Posted: 02 Jan 2015 06:38 PM PST
First of all: Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great celebration ringing in 2015. The HH, The Girls and I enjoyed some down time at home after a veritable whirlwind during the month of December: Elsie’s health first deteriorated, then improved; my old achilles injury flared; and I marked…
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Warming, comforting and indulgent tasting treat. Mixes up quickly with a thick, rich texture. Whip up a batch of this latte and store leftovers in the fridge up to 3 days–it’s great cold, too.
100 g (about 12 whole) skinned, roasted chestnuts (I buy the kind in vacuum pack bags)
1 Tbsp plus one tsp (20 ml) carob powder
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cardamom (optional, but highly recommended)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) pure almond extract
2 tsp (10 ml) whole chia seeds
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla almond or other nondairy milk of choice
pinch fine sea salt
40-50 drops (1/2-3/4 tsp or 2.5 to 3.5 ml) pure plain or vanilla liquid stevia
Whipped coconut cream, if desired, for garnish (I used the recipe from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free)
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (see directions for regular blender, below) and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until warmed through. Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream if desired. Serves two. Store, covered in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Reheat as above or consume cold.
Conventional blender method: Grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder or spice mill until powdered. Add to blender jug with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and continue as above.
Suitable for: ACD All stages; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
1. Boost immunity. The polyphenols and flavonoids found in green tea help your body stay strong and fight against infections.
2. Thwart cardiovascular disease. Green tea helps prevent build-up in arteries and blocks the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LCL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
3. Guard against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Green tea may help protect brain cells from deteriorating and restore damaged cells.
4. Keep asthma in check. Green tea can help reduce the severity of asthma. It contains theophyline which acts as a relaxer for the muscles that support the bronchial tubes.
5. Reduce tooth decay. The antioxidant “catechin,” found in green tea, has been linked to the destruction of bacteria and viruses that cause various dental conditions and throat infections.
6. Lower blood pressure. Green tea has been found to repress angiotensin, which spikes blood pressure levels.
7. Fight ovarian cancer. Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate or EDCD, a potent antioxidant that has been observed to suppress the growth of ovarian cancer cells and stimulate apoptosis (cell suicide).
8. Reduce the risk of colon cancer. Numerous studies have concluded that green tea helps halt colon cancer cell growth and regular green tea drinkers are 50 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
9. Promote longevity. Polyphenols, which are green tea’s primary antioxidant, fight against free radicals which helps your body fight against aging.
10. Kick breast cancer. Green tea has been found to inhibit cancer cell metabolism in breast tumors.
To fully reap these benefits and others scientists suggest drinking green tea regularly, citing three cups a day as the optimal amount. While there are many drinks that now contain green tea, it’s best to consume it the way people have for years — fresh and seeped in hot water — if you want the real benefits. Recently, it has been recommended to avoid drinking green tea while eating as it can hinder nutrient absorption from other foods. Drink at leisure, but use your best judgment.
One of the best, tastiest and easiest juices to make is tropical passion fruit. It will take about 10 minutes for 2–3 liters (0.5–0.8 US gal) of delicious, refreshing drink.
5 ripe passion fruit
sugar or sugar substitute
Buy five or six tropical passion fruit – the yellow kind. They need to be crinkly but not rotten. Don’t let the look put you off because they need to be very ripe to make the juice.
- Cut each in half and scoop out the flesh into a blender.
Add about 3 times the amount of water and run the blender for a minute or so. The black seed will separate from the jelly. Don’t over blend as the seeds will break up and create a grit.
Pour the mixture into a large jug or bowl through a sieve to catch the seeds. Rub in the mixture in the sieve to get every drop.
Add about three times as much cold water again and sugar to taste. Use a teaspoon to taste the juice until you get the right amount. You may still need to add more water, but do it cautiously as you don’t want to make the juice too weak.
Run the juice through a funnel into a jug or bottle and cool. 5 passion fruit will make around 2 1⁄2 liters (0.7 US gal) of juice, so make sure your bottle is large enough.
Enjoy straight from the fridge, with ice
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Here’s the Raw Food Recipe for ya…
Holy Basil Chai Spiced Latte Tea
1 cup water
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp holy basil or tulsi
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of Vanilla Powder
1-2 tsp lucuma powder
Add all ingredients and let simmer for 20 min (at least).
For Coconut Milk:
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup coconut meat
2 Tbsp Raisins
Blend and strain through a nutmilk bag.
When the tea is done simmering, strain into a mug and add your coconut milk.
In a pinch, sweet basil can be substituted for holy basil.
• ½ cup holy basil leaves
• 2 cups cold water
• 2 heaping teaspoons green tea
• Seed of 1 cardamom pod
• One 1⁄4-inch-thick slice fresh ginger
• One 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken
• 2 whole cloves
• Pinch of nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon honey
• Milk, to taste
1. In small saucepan, boil basil and water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in tea, spices and honey: bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep 3 minutes.
2. Pour mixture through fine wire-mesh strainer into warm teapot, discarding solids. Serve with milk. Garnish with skewered crystallized ginger cubes, fresh basil leaves and grated nutmeg.
I use my blender to whirl magical smoothies up for myself each day that I know will make me feel nourished and energized. A little kale, some green superfood, some maca, a little acai, perhaps some spinach and vegan protein powder, and even a dab of coconut butter, too, is delicious! Who doesn’t love plant-based superfood smoothies? I find that when you make your smoothies fresh and use the best order of ingredients to make your superfood smoothies, then they can truly be a game changer (and a life saver) for a plant-based eater.
But don’t insult your blender by limiting it to making smoothies alone – it’s much more capable than that! Whether you have a fancy, high tech blender (which will truly change your life!) or you just have an old Oster laying around the house that your parents gave you, any blender can work for most of the ideas below.
Now, put your blender to work – it’s your best ally to eating healthy in the kitchen every single day!
1. Salad Dressing
The days of bottled salad dressings are soon coming to a close thanks to the blender revolution that is taking place today among foodies and health nuts. There’s no need for preservatives (which are difficult to even pronounce), excess sodium, “natural” flavors (whatever that means), or toxic fats like soybean oil that just contribute to inflammation and even weight gain. You have complete control of your salad dressing ingredients when you make them at home yourself, and they’re so much tastier, too! The best part is, they’ll save you money and calories – and who doesn’t want that? Blend up these 5 ingredients that make an awesome salad dressing and try out these 19 different vegan salad dressings you can make yourself at home!
2. Non-Dairy Ice Cream
Good news all you frugal foodies – you do not need an ice cream maker to make your own non-dairy ice cream! There are truly so many ways you can do it right at home in your blender. Here are some awesome options:
- Freeze peeled, ripe bananas into cubes and blend those up to make dairy-free sorbet/ice cream (a top favorite among plant-based foodies). Because everyone knows bananas are the secret ingredient to easy vegan ice cream!
- Freeze almond milk into ice cubes and once frozen, blend in a blender with a touch more almond milk and any flavorings you want (this does work best in a Vitamix or Blendtec).
- Pour your favorite smoothie into ice cube trays, let them freeze, and blend the cubes with just a tad bit of almond milk or coconut milk until you have an ice cream-like consistency (which also works best in a high-speed blender).
- Make your smoothies super-thick and extra frosty by reducing the liquid. This turns them to an ice-cream like texture instead of a drinkable smoothie, so you can devour them with a spoon instead of slurping them down like a protein shake. Check out my tips for how to make an incredibly thick and frosty smoothie if you’ve never tried this before, but don’t say I didn’t warn you – this one trick alone will truly change you life!
- Blend a little almond milk with some fresh coconut meat and ice cubes to make a coconut-flavored ice cream or try a mix of coconut and cashews to make The Best Vegan Ice Cream in the World!
- Blend frozen pieces of avocado, banana, and your favorite fruit to make instant ice cream just like you would banana sorbet.
- Blend pumpkin puree with almond milk, pour into ice cube trays and let them freeze. Blend in a high speed blender with some vanilla, cinnamon, almond milk, and stevia to make your own vegan pumpkin latte ice cream or you can use pumpkin puree to make this yummy Pumpkin Ice Cream and Brownie Parfait!
- Blend some leftover, strongly-brewed coffee with almond, coconut, or soy milk and freeze into ice cube trays. Blend in the blender with a little bit of the same non-dairy milk to get it going and add some vanilla, stevia (or coconut sugar), cinnamon, and a touch of cocoa powder to make your own mocha flavored ice cream!
- Try out this Cacao Nib and Mint Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream while you’re at it and kiss the days of dairy ice cream goodbye!
3. Coffee Drinks
Learn to make your own coffee drinks right at home instead of paying four bucks a pop or more for those pricey (though tasty) coffee house beverages. All you need to do is choose an awesome coffee (organic, fair-trade is best and here’s why) and blend it (hot) with some almond, soy, or coconut milk to make your own latte. The blending helps the milk froth up just like those from the coffee house do. You can also make an iced coffee drink by letting the coffee cool, adding some ice, and blending away. Pour over ice and there you go! Feel free to sweeten however you prefer.
I pretty much have a love affair with salsa almost as much as smoothies. I used to buy the jarred stuff (and still do in a pinch) but lately, I’ve been enjoying making my own at home in the blender. Here are some tips if you’d like to try it, too.
- Choose between fresh tomatoes for a salsa ‘al fresco or canned, organic fire roasted tomatoes for a more robust flavor.
- Blend the tomatoes with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (which is much better for you than distilled vinegar use in regular salsas), some fresh scallions, perhaps a chopped jalapeno pepper, and the juice from one lemon and one lime (that’s the secret to making it yummy!)
- Try this Mason Jar Salsa and Homemade Salsa Verde if you need a couple or recipes to get you started.
Salsa is a low-calorie, very healthy option in comparison to dairy-based dips that you’ll find in the store. You can use this as a dip alone or even as a healthy salad topping if you like. It also ROCKS when mixed with hummus!
Since fall is here and winter is rolling around the corner, why not use your blender to make one of the season’s most coveted dishes? Soup! Soup is an excellent food to enjoy during this time of year, and it’s so healthy for you, too! Soup has even been proven to help reduce total calorie intake while providing your body with nutrition. Skip the store bought stuff, though, and try some of these healthy options instead: Raw Blender Soups, Raw Thai Coconut Soup, White Pumpkin Lentil Soup, White Bean and Kale Soup and Roasted Vegetable Lentil Soup.
To make these in your blender, you can either puree them or pulse them to keep them chunky so they retain their texture. You can also use the blender to chop and pulse ingredients instead of you having to do it yourself. Or you can keep things easy and literally put everything in the blender whole and just blend to make your own pureed soup in seconds. Just be sure to wash the ingredients first!
6. Oat Flour
Oat flour is a popular baking ingredient today, and it’s simple enough to make at home if you have some oats on hand. Just pulse the oats in your blender until you get a flour consistency. Try baking with this instead of refined flours, such as in these awesome fall-inspired Vegan Carrot Apple Vegan Muffins! You can also make your own flour with other grains like quinoa, millet, rye, spelt, wheatberries, and even chia and flax seeds. Experiment with the combination of new flavors that these healthy flours can bring. If you’re a gluten-free eater, you can use all of your flours to make these 10 Rockin’ Gluten-Free Desserts!
7. Nondairy Milk
Most everyone knows you can make non-dairy milk right at home in your blender, but in case you’re new to the idea, here are some simple tips to guide you through the process seamlessly.
- Be sure to buy organic, raw nuts or seeds (almond, coconut, walnut, hemp) which will give you more nutrition and prevent you from taking in pesticides, oils, and other not-so-beneficial ingredients.
- Soak almonds and other nuts at least eight hours (though 12-24 is better) in filtered water. You don’t need to soak coconut, hemp, or flax since they blend up just fine as they are.
- If using nuts, rinse and strain to remove any of the excess phytic acid that the nuts contain (which is what gives the soaking water the cloudy appearance it has).
- Blend with three times the amount of nuts you have to make a normal-sized recipe, or blend the nuts with double the water to make it richer and creamier (though it will be higher in fat).
- Feel free to add some cinnamon, sea salt, and even a little vanilla to add flavor to your milk.
- Drink within four days in your fridge to prevent it from spoiling.
You can make seven delicious things alone just from your own non-dairy milk. For more tips, check out How to Make Almond Milk and How to Milk an Almond. Also be sure to try your freshly made nondairy milk in this awesome power smoothie made with fresh almond milk!
There are many more recipes you can make your blender, such as cake batters, sauces, and so much more. These seven options above are just some of my personal favorites. And if smoothies are still your favorite thing to make in the blender (as they are mine), then be sure to include these 10 amazing ingredients almost every superfood smoothie should have!
What’s your favorite thing to make in your blender besides smoothies?
Lead image source: How to Make Homemade Unsweetened Coconut Milk
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Superfoods are notoriously expensive and hard to find, but there are some diamonds in the rough. Cheap superfoods are available – you just have to know what to look for and where. Below, we have accumulated a list of some of the cheapest superfoods out there and accompanied them with some darn good recipes and ideas for you to try today! Read on and find out how to include more superfoods into your daily routine.
Spinach is a relatively simple green, but it is definitely a superfood. This superfood, which is rich in calcium, folic acid, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and iron, is not just nutritionally amazing; it’s also tasty and cheaper than kale!
At Costco, a wholesale store, a pound of baby spinach is just $3.79. At Winco Foods, five ounces of the same green is a mere $2.78. Sure, regular, non-organic baby spinach is less expensive, but it’s also twice as dirty as far as pesticides are concerned. Try this spectacular green in this amazing salad, these stuffed mushrooms, or this spinach dip!
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil seems to be all the rage these days, replacing the extra virgin olive oil phase. This oil is jam-packed with immunity, brain, and skin revitalizing nutrients, so you can’t go wrong with saying it is indeed a superfood. You can purchase this oil for relatively cheap if you scope out your options: at a wholesale store, you can buy a whopping 78 ounces of the organic stuff for $22.99 or around $4.716 per pound. Once you’ve gotten your hands on some, whip up a decadent raw strawberry chocolate coconut pie, some homemade vegan butter, or use it for oil pulling.
The Anishinabe Indians of the upper Midwest of America depended on strawberries as a key part of their diet, especially in the month of June when the berries were particularly ripe. Because strawberries, or “heart berries” according to the American Indians, are indigenous to North and South America, these berries are sacred which explains why they are now considered a superfood.
These tiny little red berries are chock full of phenols like anthocyanins and ellagitannin, both of which are potent antioxidants that protect the organs by defending autosomal cell membranes. Other benefits of this simple fruit include: anti-inflammatory compounds, cancer protection, and heart boosters. If you purchase organic berries, they might be more expensive, but they are still reasonable as far as superfoods are concerned. At Trader Joe’s you can buy 16 ounces for $3.49 in their West Coast and Texas stores and $3.79 in their East Coast, Midwest and Southeast stores. To use up your strawberries and reap their benefits, check out this comprehensive list of 25 strawberry-centric recipes or just make a good old strawberry smoothie and some raw strawberry creme chocolate truffles while you’re at it!
Quinoa is full of protein – there’s 8 grams of complete protein and 5 grams of fiber per cup of this pseudo-grain! It has quite the reputation as being a superfood, and rightfully so because of its dense nutritional profile. There’s a larger demand for quinoa nowadays, so the price of it has steadily declined. You can now purchase a pound of organic quinoa for around $4.99, which cooked yields four and a half cups. Make some quinoa and sweet potato bolognese, some quinoa oat muffin clusters, or some quinoa and white bean burgers.
5. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (Himalayan crystal salt)
Not all sea salt is created equally! Himalayan pink sea salt contains a high dose of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron, all of which aid the body in processing sodium chloride and maintaining an optimum electrolyte balance. Purchase some of this special salt for $3.99/13 oz. or $4.911/lb, a small price to pay for a mighty superfood. Add this super salt to a DIY wellness drink, a batch of no bake raw vegan treats, or a superfood packed shake!
This smiling, yellow fruit often gets a bad rap as being overly carbohydrate-dense, but they are the perfect, potassium rich, superfood. Look at those lovely shining fruits just sitting on your counter looking sad. They are a superfood! Make some banana bread, or slice up those fruits for a scrumptious oatmeal topper. Do you have overripe bananas? Don’t throw them away! Take a stab at some of these delightful recipes. Whatever you do, you should know that organic bananas are the best, and they are super cheap, coming in at around $1.99 per three pounds or $0.663 for a single pound.
7. Sweet Potatoes
These orange tubers are brimming with beta-carotene, which raises vitamin A levels in the blood. Because of this and their other remarkably dense nutritional profile, sweet potatoes can be considered a superfood. Organic sweet potatoes can be purchased for around $1.075 a pound or $6.99 for 6.5 pounds – a little bit more than white potatoes, but better tasting and richer in vitamin A. You can do many things with sweet potatoes, including: sweet potato waffles, barley-lentil soup with potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, or spicy sweet potato salad!
All of these superfoods are worth the buy. Not only are they relatively inexpensive compared to other superfoods, but they’re also more easy to find. With all of these superfoods, you can make a wide variety of recipes, and you’ll get more nutrients by consuming these foods.
Raw Strawberry Chocolate Coconut Pie
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 2 cups shredded dry coconut
- 2 T coconut oil
- 3-4 T maple syrup
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup water, added slowly
- 5-10 strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced
Coconut cream topping
- 2 whole young coconuts, meat only
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- coconut water (if needed)
- 2 grinds of sea salt
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract (or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean)
- 1 can coconut milk (in the fridge overnight)
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- Process your crust ingredients in a food processor until sticky but still chunky. Dump onto your pan (I used a tart pan) and press down until firm. It should be crumbly but also sticky enough to hold. Set aside on the counter.
- For the chocolate layer, blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adding water slowly as needed (don’t over water). Spread on top of the crust and put in the fridge for an hour (or so) until set.
- Slice all your strawberries and layer them over the chocolate layer. Any leftovers can be folded into the coconut cream topping.
- Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth. ( … add coconut water if needed, 1 T at a time) Pour filling into a bowl and fold in the remaining strawberry slices. Pour over the chocolate and smooth out.
- Leave the can in the fridge overnight. The next day open the can and scoop out the hardened cream. Leave the liquid for another use. I mixed the cream in a KitchenAid mixer with a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and an 1/8th of a teaspoon of seeds from a vanilla bean. Spread over the top of the pie and sprinkle the flakes over the top.
- Let the whole pie chill until you’re ready to serve.
Pineapple Coconut Water
Pineapple Coconut Water
HS: I use a juice extractor for the pineapple juice here. I suspect you could also use a blender, or Vitamix, then straining or partial straining? Although, my pal Jeffrey, in his new book – The Bar Book – recommends juicing pineapples by pulsing peeled/cored cubes in a food processor, and then spinning the puree in a double-cheesecloth lined salad spinner. :). To juice ginger, peel the ginger, grate using a microplane grater, then press through a strainer. Or, alternately, use a juicer.
3/4 cup / 180 ml fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup / 120 ml pure coconut water
1/2 teaspoon pure ginger juice
1 teaspoon runny honey, if needed
Combine the pineapple juice, coconut water, and ginger juice in a cocktail shaker or mason jar filled with ice. Shake well, taste, and if needed, add a bit of honey to sweeten. If your pineapple is sweet enough, you won’t need much honey, if any.
Fill small, chilled glasses with lots of ice cubes, and razor-thin slices of lime. Pour the pineapple coconut water into the prepared glasses, and finish with an extra squeeze of lime if you like.
Posted: 25 Jun 2014 09:55 AM PDT
Looking at the list of ingredients, you’ll understand why chai tea, with its cloves, cinnamon and black pepper, is so good for you; this latte is reminiscent of that aromatic beverage without tasting like chai. It’s one of the most soothing, comforting drinks you’ll have, and a perfect sipper to help you relax after a busy day. For a summertime variation, this is also lovely served cold over ice.
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened alternative milk of choice, plus additional if desired
1 cup (240 ml) water
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground turmeric
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried rosemary (10-15 sprigs, crushed slightly, or pinch of ground rosemary)
pinch cayenne (optional)
In a medium post, whisk together the one cup (240 ml) milk, water, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary and cayenne, if using. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately turn down heat and allow to simmer 5 minutes. Strain into a large mug and top up with additional water, if desired. Makes one large or two snack servings.
Suitable for: ACD All Stages; sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.