Tag Archives: recipes

Two Recipes to Personify the Winter Season

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 11.19.44 PMThere are so many things to love about winter: soft, fluffy scarves to bundle up in, holidays to celebrate with loved ones, and of course all the many traditional dishes filled with hearty ingredients and warm spices.

The ingredient that personifies this time of year more than any other for me is ginger.  It’s a spicy spice in the best kind of way one that warms you from the inside out.  It works in everything from a Thanksgiving cranberry chutney recipe to a simple herbal tea.  And ginger is not just about flavor and spice, it’s also one of the most well studied herbs in botanical medicine, with an impressive body of research to support its use for a variety of health conditions including improvement in muscle and joint pain, nausea due to pregnancy or chemotherapy and a variety of other conditions where inflammation plays a role (which is almost everything).

Fun fact: Dried ginger is ten times more healing than fresh

Here are a couple recipes with ginger that I love to make this time of year:

Simple Ginger Tea

I make this tea when I’m feeling cold and a bit lazy.  It leaves me feeling instantly warm and healthy.

  • Thoroughly wash a chunk of fresh ginger rhizome (root) and use a carrot grater to remove the outer skin
  • Slice lengthwise into two or three thick pieces and add one to two slices to a cup of very hot water or tea (green or raspberry leaf are some of my favorite choices)
  • Steep for 3-4 minutes and enjoy

Superfood Muesli

I’ve modified this recipe from one I was introduced to while in naturopathic medical school.  I love it because you can make a big batch that will last for weeks and it’s fun to get creative with different spices and ingredients.  Although this dish can be eaten warm or cold, I like to warm it up in the winter for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that provides excellent whole-food nutrition and energy.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled grains (e.g. oats, rye, barley, and/or rolled rice flakes)
  • 2 cups oat bran
  • ½ cup dried, unsulphured fruit (e.g. raisins, dates, blueberries, cranberries)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds (can be ground)
  • 1 cup raw nuts (e.g. walnuts and almonds)
  • 1 cup seeds (e.g. ground flax seed, chia)
  • 1 tsp each of one or more of ground ginger

Combine all ingredients, mix well and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  To make a single serving, scoop a ½ cup into a bowl and add 1 cup liquid (e.g. water, nut milk or dairy milk are all good options).  Soak overnight and then heat in microwave in the morning or, to prepare right away, heat in a saucepan until grains are soft and ingredients have absorbed all the liquid.

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Image by Muy Yum

What Are You Hungry For Recipe Round Up: Snacks to Meals and Sweet Desserts

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 8.20.14 AMFor the last two weeks we hosted a “What Are You Hungry For?” give away and had a lot of submissions for our favorite healthy snack or meal recipe portion. While we could only pick one to win for the give away, we had so many good options that we wanted to showcase them for everyone. So everyone get your bookmarks and grocery lists ready because there are some very tasty and awesome options here for you, for the holiday season and all year round! (All links open in a new tab so it’s easy for you to save and come back for others)

Snacks

Roasted Brussel Sprout Chips - Debbie R.

No Bake Energy Bites - Julia W.

Meals

Paleo Egg in Ham Cups“I’ve been starting my day with this. It’s quite easy to substitute sliced turkey if one doesn’t eat pork.  And there’s so little prep and clean up for such a pretty, fool-proof meal.  I heat the oven while I put the coffee on, pop it in while I shower, and the egg is ready 15 minutes later, perfect timing! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I’ve noticed a big, positive difference with this perfect-sized portion of pure protein.” – Gentry L.

Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce & Courgette Salad* - “A proper, wholesome meal in minutes. These fritters are an absolute doddle and the crispy creaminess works a treat with the tomato sauce. Delicious at its best!” – Tatjana J. (Featured picture*)

Grilled Cheese Tomato SandwichPinki L.

Vegan

Kale Citrus Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Walnuts – “It is super fresh with vibrant colors, a burst of citrus, tang of cranberries, a nutty crunch, and the star of the show: superfood Kale! This salad is sure to turn any kale-hater around.  With the addition of dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, it is a wildly colorful, incredibly tasty, and amazingly healthy addition to any holiday feast.” – Dawn G. 

West African Sweet Potato Supper with Coconut Rice – “This is one of my family’s favorite recipes I found on the internet: delicious, healthy, filling, easy.” – Irene R. 

Sweet Dessert

Apple Crisp from Whole Foods - “I’ve been making this crisp recipe for years. It combines both apples and pears and is great this time of year! I substitute agave for the granulated sugar and its awesome with coconut milk ice cream on top!” – Stephanie F.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough DipKarla H. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted! We hope you have fun trying out some of these dishes! If you have a favorite healthy snack or meal recipe you want to share put it in the comments below. And make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter for how to enter our other give aways happening throughout the month of December!

What Are You Hungry For? An Intent Giveaway with SCLA

Giveaway

What Are You Hungry For? It’s the name of Deepak Chopra’s new book on well-being and permanent weight loss. It’s also the question we’ve been asking members of the Intent Blog and Intent.com communities. Whether you’re craving your favorite dish or snack or something more profound – we want to hear about it! And to celebrate we are teaming up with Sports Club LA to give five lucky members of the Intent community their own copy of the book paired with a Sports Club LA water bottle and guest pass.* Winners will be notified by Dec. 5 that they have won.

There are five different ways to enter, and five separate winners will be chosen. Here’s how to enter!

1. Intent.com: If you don’t have one already, create an account on Intent.com (it’s free and easy!). Once you’ve done that, start posting Intents about what you are hungry for in our Health category, sponsored by SCLA. Please note only the intents placed in the Health category will be considered for the giveaway (but we encourage you to make Intents as often as you like)

2. Intent Blog: Leave a comment on one of our SCLA sponsored “What Are You Hungry For” (this one does not count, but the rest will have the bright orange banner!).

3.  Recipe Round-up: Subscribe to our Best of Intent newsletter for details on how to enter our Recipe Round Up! Details will go out in this weekend’s newsletter.

4.  Facebook Blog Share: Follow Intent and SCLA on Facebook this one is easy. Share the designated blog post from our Facebook page (we’ll tell you which one!) and we’ll pick at random someone to receive the prize pack!

5. Twitter: Tweet your answer to “What are you hungry for?” using #Hungry and make sure to tag @SportsClub_LA. We will choose a winner at random but make sure you’re following Intent on Twitter as we’ll rewtweet our favorites throughout the giveaway! EX: “I am hungry for my mom’s homemade guacamole #Hungry @SportsClub_LA”

*Sports Club LA is located in San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Washington DC and New York City. Guest passes will only be valid for clubs in these cities. You may still enter through all five ways even if you do not live in one of these five locations and still receive the book and water bottle if you are selected as a winner. 

What Are You Hungry For? (Harmony Books, 2013) is also available for purchase on Amazon.com

3 Soup Recipes to Warm Up Your Autumn

beet-soup1-1024x768With summer securely in our rearview mirrors, it’s time to start preparing for cooler temperatures. Get out your jackets and scarves, but what about when you’re home?

Soup! Whether you are battling one of those transitional season colds or just want an easy to warm you up as you watch the leaves fall outside. Soups are a simple and quick thing to make in the kitchen, and so easy to turn into your own recipes. And if you don’t finish all of it in one sitting you can always freeze the rest in a ziplock bag to be warmed up later.

Here are three of my favorite soup recipes, perfect for the fall season. Better yet, all of them can be made in 30 minutes or less for those that are always on the go.

1. Beet Fennel Soup

Ingredients:

  • beet – 3 medium (about 3 cups)
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
  • fennel – 1 bulb
  • kombu – 2 strips
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • tarragon – 1 tsp
  • ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • fennel powder – 1/2 tsp
  • onion – 1 medium (1 cup chopped)
  • chicken stock – 1 quart (may substitute vegetable)
  • ghee – 1 tbsp
  • coconut milk – 1/2 cup (may use soy milk or regular milk)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Scrub the beets well and then chop into 1 inch cubes. Warning – this is a messy business! While your kids might love the mess, I would avoid wearing your favorite white shirt.

Chop fennel, garlic, ginger, and onion. I am pretty rough about it. No fine dicing for me..

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.

Turn the heat down to low.

Add caraway seeds, cumin, ginger powder, fennel powder, and tarragon and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add beets and fennel and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.

Add chicken or vegetable stock and kombu. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.

Make sure to check the soup often so you don’t burn it.

When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the beets are soft.

Take the kombu out.

With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Add coconut milk. Mix well.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Butternut Squash Soup

A bowl of butternut squash soup, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, most notably C and the powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, which protect against heart disease, make this soup incredibly good for you too.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  • 3 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. If you make it if fresh, that is great. If not, Pacific Foods makes a nice organic one.
  • 1 piece of Khombu (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Put the broth, khombu and cubed squash in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium/low and let cook for 1/2 hour. Remove khombu. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.

I usually serve it with a hearty, whole-grain toast.  I like to cut it into strips for dipping. My older son was so excited he couldn’t wait for the toast to come out of the oven.

3. Creamy Dairy-Free Carrot Soup

This soup is a nutrient powerhouse that helps our family get through the colds and flus that often derail the holiday season.

The carrots are rich in Beta-Carotene which the liver converts to Vitamin A. This is important because Vitamin A helps to rid the body of the various toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. If our livers are not functioning properly, we are more susceptible to the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. A healthy liver is needed for a healthy body, so helping it do its job is like a natural form of health insurance.

Ingredients

  • carrots – 4 cups, chopped
  • ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
  • ghee – 1 tbsp (may use coconut oil)
  • onion – 1 large
  • apple – 1 large
  • garlic – 1 clove
  • coriander – 1 tsp
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • coconut milk – 3/4 cup
  • chicken stock – 4 cups (may substitute vegetable stock)
  • salt and pepper – to taste

Instructions 

Chop the carrots, onions, ginger, apple, and garlic.

Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or coconut oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.

Turn the heat down to low.

Add caraway seeds and coriander and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add carrots and apple and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.

Add chicken or vegetable stock. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.

Stir every few minutes to keep it from burning.

When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the carrots are soft.

With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Add coconut milk. Mix well.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

Welcome Fall! 3 Delicious Recipes for Apple Season

red-applesThis past weekend was the autumn equinox, which means we are officially moving into fall! This is the perfect time for all things involving pumpkins, squash, cranberries, and…apples! This delicious fall fruit is packed with natural sugars, carbohydrates, and fiber – the perfect snack on its own, but also a delicious ingredient for all kinds of recipes.

Here are 3 of my favorite apple recipes for you to enjoy this autumn!

1. Apple Ginger Fruit Leather

Ingredients:

  • apple – 4 cups, chopped
  • ginger – 1 piece, about 1/2 inch cube
  • honey – 1 tbsp
  • parchment paper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 250

Steam the apples and the ginger for about 5 minutes. I recommend steaming over boiling because you don’t want to apples to be soggy. Remember, we are taking the moisture out.

Puree the apples, ginger, and honey.

Pour into a pan lined with parchment paper. The pan I use is 9X12. Smooth the surface of the mixture with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula. Make sure that it is distributed evenly. The leather won’t cook evenly if there are thick parts and thin parts.

Bake at 250 for about 3 hours. Check it every 1/2 hour or so. When the leather is no longer mushy to the touch it is time to take it out.

The leather will be a little hard at this time. It needs to be left out for a few hours in order to soften up. When the leather has some give, cut it into strips and enjoy. It can be left out on the counter in an airtight container for weeks but, believe me, it won’t last that long.

2. Apple Lemonade

I love lemonade. The problem is that it takes a ton of sugar to keep you from puckering up when you drink it. This juice tastes just like sweetened lemonade. The joy is that it is sweetened only with apples. Sounds like a win to me.

Needless to say, this is my kids favorite juice. My younger son says that wants me to “make this all day, and all night, every day.” I don’t think I will be doing that, but it makes me feel much better giving them this juice instead of the hyper-sweetened variety.

The key is to add 1/2 a lemon to every apple you juice.

Ingredients:

  • apple – 1, cored – preferably organic
  • lemon – 1/2 – preferably organic

Instructions:

Put the ingredients through the juicer.

The reason I say to use an organic lemon is that I use the whole thing, peel and all. You don’t want the pesticides and waxy residue in your juice glass, so buy organic. (You should still rinse the lemon thoroughly before use.)

You should core your apple before juicing it. Apple seeds contain cyanide which you most definitely don’t want in your kids drink!

3. Gluten-free Vegan Apple Crumble

I love apple crumb pie. The best part of this pie is that it is so packed with good stuff that you can eat it for breakfast and not feel guilty!

Ingredients:

Crust (and 1/2 the crumble)

  • garbanzo bean flour – 3/4 cup
  • almonds – 1 cup (ground to a fine flour)
  • gluten-free oats – 3/4 cup (ground to a fine flour)
  • hemp seeds – 1/2 cup (ground to a fine flour)
  • chia powder – 1/2 cup
  • coconut oil – 1/2 cup
  • Xantham gum – 1/4 tsp
  • salt – dash

Crumble

  • Half the crust ingredients
  • gluten-free oats – 1/2 cup
  • coconut butter (or oil) – 3 tbsp
  • crushed walnuts – handful

Pie Filling

  • apple – 2 cups, thin sliced
  • lemon juice
  • cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • maple syrup – 1 tbsp
  • apple juice – 1 tbsp
  • grated ginger – 1/2 tsp

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

To make the pie crust mix all of the crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl. It should have the consistency of dough.

Take out 1/2 of the mixture and press it into a pie tin. You want to make sure it is thin and consistent.

The other 1/2 of the mixture will be used for the crumble mixture so set it aside for right now.

For the pie filling take the sliced apples, lemon juice, ginger, maple syrup, and apple juice and cinnamon and mix together in a bowl (I actually used my juicer and juiced 1/2 a lemon, 1/2 and apple and a piece of ginger and poured that mixture over the apples with the cinnamon and maple syrup)

We ran out of ground cinnamon so my son grated a cinnamon stick into the filling mixture. A little more high maintenance but it worked.

Put the pie filling mixture into the pie crust.

For the crumble, take the other 1/2 of the crust mixture. Add the whole oats, sugar, walnuts, coconut butter, and mix thoroughly.

Put the crumble mixture onto top of the pie. Press it down a couple of times so that the crumble stays in place.

Bake in the oven for ~45 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

How To Make Easy & Healthy Ice Pops for Kids

choc-mint-ingredients-copy-1024x704We frequently have multiple extra kids in this house. I make ice pops by the dozen to keep them satiated until the next snack, which is usually about 15 minutes later!

I have lots of different, fun ice pop molds I use to make these special treats. I can freeze just about anything in an ice pop mold and my kids will eat it. I freeze almond milk, coconut water, kale berry smoothie and my kids go crazy for it. If it is cold and sweet and shaped like a lady bug, why wouldn’t they?

Here are two delicious ice pop recipes your kids will love. Feel free to experiment, try different ingredients, and have fun watching your kids go nuts for these sweet treats!

1. Chocolate Mint Pop

This chocolate mint pop is one of the most requested ones. They say “Uh, do you have one of those chocolatey minty ones?”

I love this simple, and tasty pop because it is so easy to make, and is rich in all things good. It combines fiber-rich coconut milk, anti-oxidant rich raw cacao and cleansing mint.

The kids take their pops, and giggling, run back into the summer sun. Life is good.

Ingredients:

  • coconut milk – full fat- 2 cups
  • raw cacao powder – 1 tablespoon
  • agave – 5 tablespoons
  • mint – fresh, chopped- 1/4 cup
  • himalaya salt – dash

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.

Pour into ice pop molds

Put in freezer for 6-8 hours.

Enjoy!

2. Fudge and Spinach Ice Pop

These fudge pops, combined with spinach – yes, spinach – are sweet and cold and chocolatey AND very nutritious. It’s a win win in my book – and theirs.

Ingredients:

  • coconut milk – 1/2 cup
  • raw cacao powder – 1/4 cup
  • mesquite powder – 2 tsp
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • vanilla – 1 tsp
  • agave – 2 tbsp
  • salt – dash
  • spinach – 2 cups, fresh or frozen

Instructions:

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds. Put them in the freezer for @ 8 hours. You will need to run hot water over the mold to get the pop out.

 

Have a favorite treat you like to make for your kids and their friends? Share with us in the comments below!

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

The Best Grab-N-Go Superfood Breakfasts

tumblr_mj4j59lg5R1rnp953o1_500If you’ve read some of my recent articles, you’ll know that I not only believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that it should also be the largest. Not just for the reasons you likely heard as a child (i.e. improved mental focus and test scores), but because a big, nutrient-dense meal at breakfast also supports things like:

  • A healthy body weight
  • Stable energy due to less fluctuation in blood sugar levels throughout the day
  • Improved digestive function (a.k.a, stimulation of a regular, healthy bowel movement)
  • Manifesting your modern day superpower (mine happens to be finding decent parking spots)

Most days, I don’t have the luxury of a leisurely breakfast, and more days than I’d like to admit, breakfast happens while driving in my car. So, after many years of perfecting my need for grab-n-go breakfast options that meet my nutrition requirements, I landed on a few favorite options that give me everything I need to feel great and get my day off to a healthy start.

Superfood Muesli 

This is a recipe I was given while in naturopathic medical school. It can be eaten warm or cold, and it’s super easy to make. You can store a big batch for weeks and then place a scoop in a Pyrex dish the night before so you can literally grab it out of your fridge and go. I like to use soy milk as the liquid and add some honey for sweetness. It is incredibly dense and gives you a “stick to your ribs” kind of feeling which is great if you have a busy day ahead.

Superfood Smoothie 

One of the reasons I love smoothies is that I can throw supplements like vitamin D, fish oil and multivitamins into the mix to streamline my morning ritual even more. This recipe was my go-to breakfast almost every morning through both of my pregnancies. I’d often grab a handful of peanut butter pretzels as well to balance out some of the sugar from the fruit. Tip: Put all your smoothie ingredients into a large mason jar before going to bed so all you have to do in the morning is take it with you (if you happen to have a blender at work), or blend at home and then put back into the mason jar to use as a travel container.

Nut Butter Balls 

I came across this recipe while looking for snack options to have on-hand for my boys to eat. It turns out this recipe is not only easy to make and kid-approved, but a great on-the-go breakfast option. I like to add lots of goodies like chia seeds, flax seeds and fresh shredded coconut. You can make a big batch and keep in a large Pyrex container (create layers in the container using wax paper) for up to a week. Two or three of these balls and you’re satisfied until lunch, no problem.

Nut Butter Toast

When your best attempts at planning and prepping don’t manifest, there’s always basic nut butter toast. I like to trade between almond and sunflower butter, and when I know I have a big day planned, will make this into a toasted sandwich using two slices of stone-ground bread with a thin layer of jam. Basic and perhaps a tad boring? Yes. Super fast to make and easy to eat while driving? Absolutely.

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Photo credit: Instagram @riiaberg

How to Make Nut and Seed Milk – 3 Ways

almond-milk-set-shot-1024x768If you’re interested in finding an alternative to dairy and soy milk – or just want a delicious, creamy beverage to sip on or use for smoothies and hot chocolate – then look no further than these homemade nut and seed milk recipes!

I’m outlining almond, cashew, and sunflower seed milk, to start off, though there are certainly others you can explore. Enjoy!

1. Almond Milk

I resisted making almond milk for years. I kept hearing it was easy, but somehow, I couldn’t get my head around it. I don’t like processed almond milk, so I thought, “how good can it be?” Wow! Not only is it simple, it is delicious. To me it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. Does it get any better than that?

Yes, it does, because it is actually really good for you too. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, calcium, folic acid, as well as the minerals magnesium, selenuim, phosphorus and zinc. Almonds are wonderful for maintaining skin elasticity as well as helping to lower cholesterol and being a good source of protein. Dates play a big role here too. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium and calcium and are a awesome natural sweetener.

Ingredients:

  • almonds – 1 cup, raw
  • water – 4 cups
  • vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • himalaya salt – a pinch
  • medjool dates – 5
  • raw cacao powder – 1 tsp (optional; for chocolate milk)
  • honey – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Instructions:

Put 1 cup of raw almonds in a bowl, Fill with water.

In a separate bowl put 5 medjool dates. Fill that with water.

Soak them both overnight (or for at least 4 hours)

Rinse the nuts in cool water a few times. Do NOT use the water that the nuts have been soaking in. It will make the milk taste bitter. Rinse the nuts until all of the frothy bits are gone.

Put the nuts, the dates AND the date water into the blender. Make sure to take the pits out of the dates before blending.

Add 4 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of himalaya salt.

Blend

Strain the almond milk though a cheesecloth, a strainer with a paper towel, or a nut bag (yes, there actually is something called a ‘nut bag’. I can’t help but giggle when I say it) . That gets out all of the almond bits, so your milk is silky smooth.

This recipe yields approximately 4 cups of almond milk. The almond milk separates naturally, so give it a quick shake before you drink it. It will last for for 3-4 days in the fridge.

2. Cashew Milk

I think that cashews are a perfect food. They are so packed with essential minerals it hard to think of something they don’t do to benefit your health. These awesome nuts support your heart, brain, bone and nerve health. They are also good for skin elasticity as well as hair and nail strength. The best part is that they are a natural anti-depressant. In short, they make you feel good and look good. Did I mention they also happen to be delicious? Lucky us.

Cashew milk is the closest to whole milk in taste and texture. The thickness comes from the fact that this milk does not need to be strained the way that almond milk does. That also makes it much easier to make with less mess.

Ingredients:

  • cashews – raw -1 cup, soaked overnight
  • medjool dates – 4 cups pitted, soaked overnight
  • water – 4 cups
  • himalaya salt – dash
  • vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Instructions:

Rinse the nuts under cold water until the water runs clear. Add all the other ingredients (including the water that the dates were soaked in). Blend until completely smooth.

Drink it, use it in smoothies or on cereal.

3. Sunflower Seed Milk

This one might not be for everyone. The sunflower seeds have a slightly bitter after-taste similar to that of sunflower seed butter. I tend to use it more in smoothies and on cereal. I drink it plain sometimes but my kids won’t touch it like that. “So why should I make this?” You’re probably asking. Because it is really easy, it is incredibly good for you and when you feel like it, you can turn it into a magical potion called Chocolate Cardamom Sunflower Seed Milk. For that, you will thank me.

Sunflower seeds are very high in trace minerals like selenium and magnesium. These minerals are an essential part of what keep our bones strong and our nerves calm. These seeds are also filled with Vitamin E which, like an internal sunblock, protects your skin from UV radiation. Sunflower seeds also help to sweep accumulated radiation out of your system.

I tend to leave my nuts and seeds to soak overnight. As part of my bedtime ritual, I soak whichever ones I plan to use the next day. It doesn’t take much time. You just have to remember to do it which is a task in itself. Once you’re in the habit, it is like second nature. Nuts and seeds tend to be difficult for your body to break down. Soaking them makes them infinitely more digestible.

Ingredients:

  • sunflower seeds – 1 cup, raw (soaked for at least 4 hours)
  • medjool dates – 4 large (soaked for at least 4 hours)
  • water – 4 cups
  • vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • himalaya salt – pinch

Instructions:

Rinse the seeds under cold water until the water runs clear. Put them and all of the other ingredients (including the water the dates were soaked in) into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. It should be thick and creamy, like a milkshake.

What’s your favorite nut/seed milk? Let me know in the comments section and share your recipes!

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

4 Delicious Breakfasts More Interesting Than Cereal

kefir-blue-1024x768No one can skimp on breakfast. My son’s kindergarten teacher said that she could tell which kids had eaten a good, nutritious breakfast. They were the ones who were still alert and interested at 10:30am circle time and kept right on going until lunch. I had to come up with a quick and low maintenance way the get my kids to eat a nutritious meal- and quick! Here are 4 easy, tasty, and nutritious breakfast recipes that are way more interesting – and healthier! – than breakfast cereal or any other average morning fare.

1. Coconut Milk Kefir

Ingredients:

  • coconut milk – 2 cups, full fat
  • Body Ecology Kefir Starter – 1 packet

Instructions:

Shake the cans before opening them. This mixes the milk and the whey so that it is easier to handle. Empty the contents of the coconut milk cans into a clean quart mason jar.

Empty one packet of the kefir starter into the coconut milk. Mix well with a wooden (not metal) spoon.

Cover with a towel or a plate, but leave some room.You want to make sure that air can get into the jar. If it is airtight it will not turn into kefir. Let it sit for @36-48 hours. When it starts to thicken and has a mild “tang” it is done. The colder the place it is stored, the longer it will take and vice versa.

When it is sufficiently “kefired,” put an airtight lid on it and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for a few weeks. It will thicken up more when it is cold taking on the consistency of yogurt.

I use it in place of sour cream, as a fruity yogurt drink, as a yogurt topping on my berries, with apple crumb pie, as a base for smoothies, as a yogurt and  as a “cream” for soups.

2. Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

  • chia seeds – 1/2 cup, ground
  • hemp seeds – 1/2 cup, ground
  • coconut flour – 1 cup
  • garbanzo bean flour – 1 cup
  • coconut – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Xantham gum – 1 1/2 tsp
  • baking powder – 1 tsp
  • himalaya salt – 1/2 tsp
  • bananas – 3 mashed ripe
  • vanilla – 2 tsp
  • coconut oil – 1/2 cup, melted
  • maple syrup – 1 cup
  • almond milk – 1 cup
  • dark chocolate chips – dairy-free 1/2 cup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Fill muffin tins with baking cups or spray pan with a non-stick spray

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well.
Mash bananas in a medium size bowl with the back-side of a spoon.

Add almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips (I use a dairy-free one called Enjoy Life or you can substitute raisins, dried cherries, walnuts, or any other add-in that you think would be yummy). I add chocolate to everything I can.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Fill about 3/4 of the way because they will rise. I like to sprinkle a little bit of coconut sugar onto the tops of the muffins before I put them in the oven.

Bake for around 25 minutes.

These are a great breakfast, a lunchbox or snack. Give one to your kids when they are saying “When’s dinner going to be ready?” and it’s still 1/2 an hour away. It’s just enough to satiate them but not so much that it spoils their dinner.
These muffins are packed with Omega 3′s, potassium, fiber and protein. Not bad for a little muffin.

This recipe yields about 50 mini muffins which is equal to approximately 10 regular sized ones.

3. Oat and Almond Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

  • garbanzo bean flour – 2/3 cup
  • Xantham gum – 1/4 tsp
  • chia powder – 1/2 cup
  • hemp seeds – 1/3 cup, ground to fine flour
  • gluten-free oats – 1 cup, ground to a fine flour
  • almonds – 1 cup, raw, ground to a fine flour
  • coconut – 1 cup, shredded
  • himalaya salt – pinch
  • figs – optional
  • jam – optional
  • coconut oil – 2/3 cup
  • maple syrup – 2/3 cup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Heat the coconut oil until liquid. (At room temperature it has the consistency of margarine.) Add the syrup and the oil to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Line a 7X11 baking tray with parchment paper. You’re going to have to use your hands to get this flat and even in the tray.

This mixture does not rise and it does not melt. Whatever shape it has when it goes into the oven is exactly the shape it will have when it comes out.

Bake for 20 minutes. Do not overcook. It will become too hard. The center should remain soft.

Let it cool before you cut it into squares.

I keep the bars in an airtight container on the counter. When you are ready to eat them, cut them in half and add whatever filling strikes your fancy. I rotate between strawberry jam and figs but it can be whatever filling is appealing to you. To make the fig filling, soak a few dried figs overnight, and then blend until smooth.

I give my son 2 bars and a bowl of berries most mornings. This combination makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast that requires very little effort. Works for me!

4. Flax and Sesame Seed French Toast

Ingredients:

  • sesame seeds – 1/3 cup
  • flax seeds – 1/3 cup
  • natural organic sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Udi’s gluten-free chia millet bread – 3 pieces
  • egg – 1
  • fresh berries – 1 cup
  • maple syrup – dollop
  • sesame seed oil – 1 tablespoon

Instructions:

In a dry saucepan, toast the sesame and flax seeds until they begin to pop.
Put the seed mixture in a grinder or a blender. This mixture can be kept for up to 6 months in the freezer, so you can grind a large quantity and save it for future use.

Combine the seed mixture with the sugar. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl wide enough to fit the the bread. Soak the bread in the egg, then, coat it with the seeds and sugar.

In a hot pan, cook the french toast with 1 tablespoon of good quality oil for high heat. I use Sesame Oil. Cook until the bread has got a nice brown crust on both sides. It should take about 2 minutes per side.

Serve with berries and maple syrup.

Enjoy!

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

4 Cooking Inspirations for Labor Day!

pesto-small-1024x682Labor Day is just around the corner! Here are 4 delicious and simple recipes to inspire your cooking energy, perfect for a late summer, daytime feast. Enjoy!

1. Basil and Sorrel Pesto

I love pesto. The best part about it is that it can be made out of anything you want – or happens to be in your kitchen. The basic rule is that pesto must have oil, a vegetable or herb, and a nut. Personally, I think garlic is almost always a must, but those who don’t like garlic can skip it.

That said, my favorite new combination for pesto is basil, sorrel, garlic and pine nuts. The combination is so fresh tasting, it’s like summer on a fork. I have been using this pesto recipe on everything: pasta, in sandwiches, drizzled on roasted vegetables, as a dipping sauce, or just straight up with a spoon. Yes, it is that good….

Make a batch and keep it in your fridge. It will stay fresh for about 4 days.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil – 1/2 cup
  • basil – fresh, 1/2 cup
  • sorrel – fresh, 1/2 cup
  • pine nuts – 1/4 cup
  • lemon – juice of one
  • agave – 1 teaspoon
  • garlic – 1 medium clove
  • salt and pepper – to taste

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor, and enjoy with pasta, sandwiches, or veggies (like the cauliflowers, up next!).

2. Roasted Cauliflower with Paprika

I am having a love affair with paprika, specifically sweet Hungarian paprika. I am finding myself making up recipes whose sole purpose is a paprika delivery system. Obsessed? Perhaps, but as obsessions go, this is a good one.

This beautiful fiery red spice is high in Vitamin C, as well other essential vitamins, and is a storehouse for many phytonutrients. Paprika boosts circulation, works as an antibacterial and boosts the immune system with a good dose of carotenoids.

Let’s not forget the paprika’s delivery system; cauliflower. This great cruciferous vegetable has a similar nutrition profile to that of broccoli and cabbage. It’s packed with anti-oxidants and b vitamins as well as a host of essential minerals. Cauliflower is high in fiber but low in calories, so go ahead, have a second helping.

Ingredients:

  • cauliflower – 1 head or @3 cups
  • sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
  • paprika – 1/2 teaspoon
  • himalaya salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Chop the cauliflower into florets

Place in an oven proof pan

Toss with sesame oil, salt, garlic powder and paprika

Cover with tinfoil

Cook for @20 minutes or until the cauliflower is softish

Remove foil

Turn oven to high broil

Roast for @5 minutes or until the cauliflower gets a toasted look to it. A word of caution. Do not walk away from the oven when something is on high broil. Things burn pretty quickly at that temp. Your beautiful cauliflower can turn into burnt nub in the blink of an eye.

3. Fish Sticks with Chia and Hemp Seeds

What I love most about this recipe is that it takes the typically unhealthy part of the fish stick and turns it into something super healthy. The chia seeds don’t add much flavor, but they pack a huge nutritional punch.

Fish is an excellent source of low fat protein. White fish is rich in B vitamins which help eliminate toxins from the body and keep the skin, nervous system and red blood cells healthy.

The chia seeds are the real powerhouse here. They are rich in Omega 3′s,  calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, protein, selenium, antioxidants, folate and lingans among others. Basically, they are good for everything. Any place you can add chia to your diet is a good thing.

The hemp seeds also offer a number of phytonutrients, amino acids, fatty acids, and protein along with a balance of Omega 3′s and 6′s. Mostly I like them because they add a slightly nutty flavor which I really like.

These healthy fish sticks can be made anytime and reheated in a toaster oven. They keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. They also make a good lunchbox item.

Ingredients:

  • white fish – 1/2 lb. Sole, tilapia or flounder will work. It’s best to use wild-caught fish.
  • breadcrumbs – 1/3 cup – I use organic gluten-free ones.
  • parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup
  • chia powder – 1/3 cup
  • salt – 1/4 tsp
  • egg – 1
  • milk – splash
  • hemp seeds – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • oil – 2 tbsp of canola oil or other good high-heat oil

Instructions:

Combine the breadcrumbs, chia powder, parmesan cheese, hemp seeds and salt in a shallow bowl.

Beat the egg and milk with a fork in separate  bowl.

Cut the fish into nugget size pieces.

4. Fresh Cherry Snow Cones
This idea came from George, my 6-year-old and up-and-coming chef. We had been on a play-date where they had been given those brightly colored frozen ice sticks. When the boys asked if we could buy ice pops like that I said no, they are nothing but sugar and dye, but maybe we could come up with another idea. George piped up and said “I have an idea! Why don’t we use fruit juice instead of the sugar and dye? We can just blend it with ice.” Well, one thing led to another as we experimented with shaved ice and fruit and, presto, the way-cool Fresh Cherry Snow Cone was born!

I used cherries because I happened to have some nice looking organic ones and I thought the color would be bold. Keep in mind that this same idea can be translated into any fruit or fruit combination. I am currently looking forward to making a lemon and ginger one, or a kiwi and pear, or a watermelon basil…. They all sound so good I can’t decide.

Makes 4

Ingredients:

  • cherries – 1/2 cup pitted
  • honey – 1 tablespoon
  • ice – 4 cups
  • himalaya salt – a pinch
  • water – 2 tablespoons

Instructions:

Put the ice in the blender. I use the ice crush mode. Blend until all the ice is broken into fine pieces.

Scoop the ice into 4 bowls and set aside.

Put the cherries, honey, salt and water into the blender and blend until smooth.

Pour equal portions of the cherry syrup over the ice and serve immediately.

 

What will you be cooking this Labor Day?

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

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