June 25, 2013


Try this nutty little grain to cool summer heat and nourish yourself.

Buckwheat helps maintain balanced cholesterol, stable blood sugar, and low blood pressure. Its beneficial effects are due to its high flavonoid and magnesium content.

These recipes will inspire you to savor kasha, toasted buckwheat groats, in new and interesting ways!

Plum buckwheat breakfast

In a stock pot, bring these ingredients to a boil:

3 plums, halved, pitted, and quartered
2 ½ cups water
1 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
½ teaspoon each: cardamom and cinnamon
pinch salt

Reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

At the end of cooking, add:

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons honey

Mix to incorporate and enjoy! Top with unsweetened whole yogurt if you like.

Buckwheat cauliflower casserole

Place 1 cup dry kasha (buckwheat groats) and 2 ½ cups water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes until kasha begins to thicken.

Add ½ teaspoon each: salt, coriander, nutmeg

Stir vigorously until grain reaches porridge-like consistency. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Chop 1 large head cauliflower into florets.
Chop 3 large carrots into crescents.

Oil a rectangular baking dish.
Add carrots and cauliflower to the baking dish.
Season with ½ teaspoon each: salt, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon.
Toss well to coat.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Mix as many peas as you like with the cauliflower and carrots. Remove from baking dish and set aside in a bowl temporarily.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a thin layer of cooked kasha.
Cover kasha with the vegetables.
Cover vegetables with the rest of the cooked kasha.
Bake for 15 minutes, cool and enjoy!

Strawberry buckwheat dessert

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix these ingredients together:
1 cup buckwheat flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder

Make a well in the center and add:
3/4 cup milk (almond, rice, or cow)
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs

Whisk well.

Add 2 cups fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and halved.

Incorporate wet and dry ingredients.
Pour into an oiled pie plate and bake for 20 minutes.
Cool, slice, and enjoy!

June 17, 2013


Thanks to Dr. Andrew Weil for his recent inspiration about this delicious grain.

For Aztec people, amaranth was not only a dietary staple, but an important aspect of religious rituals, as the women would shape a mixture of amaranth seeds with honey to be eaten ceremoniously.

Today, amaranth is often popped like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate to make a popular treat in Mexico called "alegría" (meaning "joy").

Although amaranth derives its name from the Greek for "never-fading flower," it is its highly nutritious seeds (and greens, though they are hard to find), not its vibrant red blooms, that are its most valuable asset.

Like buckwheat and quinoa, amaranth is an especially high-quality source of plant protein including two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine, which are generally low in grains. Amaranth is gluten-free, easily digestible, making it a traditional food for people recovering from illness or transitioning from a fast or cleanse.

Look for amaranth is at your local natural food store.

Simple cooked amaranth
Combine1 cup amaranth with 2 1/2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for up to 20 minutes, until grains are fluffy and water is absorbed.

For a porridge-like consistency, use 3 cups water for 1 cup grain and cook a little longer.

Amaranth flatbread

Take 2 cups cooked amaranth and mix in a bowl with:
2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
4 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon, salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes in an oiled pie or baking dish.
Cool and enjoy with sauces and spreads of your choosing!

June 8, 2013

Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen

Because we must eat to live, it is important to recognize that nourishment is a basic way to be well and prevent disease. Tools exist to help shoppers choose healthy, affordable food.  The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted extensive research proving that pesticides in our food and water have health and environmental risks. Consumption of certain pesticides is linked to cancer and neural toxicity. To read more, click here

In response to public concern, the Environmental Working Group started publishing a ‘Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce’ eight years ago.  Researchers update the list annually, analyzing pesticide testing data from the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to determine which foods retain detectable pesticides after being washed or peeled.  
The guide targets commercially grown food, separating it into two categories. It lists the ‘dirty dozen’: fruits and vegetables that transfer pesticide residues to the human body. It also itemizes the ‘clean fifteen’: produce that does not store pesticides and can be purchased conventionally. This resource strives to help shoppers consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible in an affordable way. For details, click this link

The "Dirty Dozen Plus"
Buy these organically whenever possible.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Cherry tomatoes
4. Cucumbers
5. Grapes
6. Hot peppers
7. Imported nectarines
8. Peaches
9. Potatoes
10. Spinach
11. Strawberries
12. Sweet bell peppers
+ Kale and collard greens
+ Summer squash
Kale, collard greens, and summer squash were added to the "avoid" list because they were contaminated with organophosphates, pesticides that pose a particularly high risk to the children's IQ and brain development even at low doses, and organochlorines, pesticides linked to stunted growth in kids.

The "Clean 15"  
These are ok to buy conventionally.
1. Asparagus
2. Avocados
3. Cabbage
4. Cantaloupe
5. Sweet corn
6. Eggplant
7. Grapefruit
8. Kiwi
9. Mangos
10. Mushrooms
11. Onions
12. Papayas
13. Pineapples
14. Frozen sweet peas
15. Sweet potatoes
Pesticide residues aside, there are other reasons it's important to support organic 100 percent of the time, if you can, including protecting farm workers and local waterways from toxic pesticides that don't typically wind up in our food.

Healthy Eating Program

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