June 29, 2016

Whole Food Carrot Cake

The first carrot fronds are popping out of our rich garden soil. The long summer days are hot and we give the beets and carrots some extra water to encourage their growth.

As the first tiny carrots come into the summer harvest, I give thanks with this delicious, wholesome and protein-rich carrot cake.

Try it for yourself! It happens to be vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and sweetened only with dates.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

You will need:
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg
A pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups carrots, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a cake pan with olive or sunflower oil.

Place all ingredients EXCEPT carrots in a food processor. Blend well.
Fold in carrots.
Smooth into cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make coconut frosting to go on top.

Coconut Butter Frosting

You will need:
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small pot. Heat gently, whisking and stirring to blend.

Spread a light layer of frosting onto baked carrot cake.

With gratitude to My Whole Food Romance for this inspiration.

June 25, 2016

Sustain Your Energy! Healthy Summer Treats

During these long summer days, we can support ourselves and maintain balanced energy with healthy treats. Instead of grabbing something quick and chock full of preservatives when you are starved, pack some of these treats in your snack bag.

As always, be well and enjoy whatever you eat.

Maple Pecan Fudge

You will need:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a blender and combine.

Fold in 1/2 cup pecans.
Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment/waxed paper.

Allow the mixture to cool in the freezer or fridge into solid. Slice into small 1 inch by 1 inch squares or slices. 

Because of the coconut oil, these will melt if not kept in the fridge or freezer.

Protein Power Squares

You will need:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 banana, mashed
1/3 cup nut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 C chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maca (if desired)

Mix everything together. Shape into squares. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

You will need:
1 cup peanut butter (no sugar, organic) - substitute any nut butter you prefer
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped almonds, cashews, or pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt peanut butter and maple over low heat.
Once all of the mixture is all melted, add the rice and chopped nuts.

Mix all of it together and press it into a 9×13 pan.

While the rice part is cooling, melt the chocolate chips, cinnamon and vanilla over low heat. I just use the same pan for this part to save on dish washing.

Spread the chocolate chip mixture over the rice base, put in the fridge to let cool and soften.

June 19, 2016

Get Your B Vitamins!

Many kinds of B vitamins are important to human health: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. Each of the B vitamins has a unique and essential function:

Vitamins B6, B12, and folate: red blood cell production and nervous system health

Biotin and pantothenic acid: healthy metabolism

Niacin and thiamin: cardiovascular health and energy production

Riboflavin: production of skin cells, nails, and hair

The B vitamins are necessary cofactors in an essential cellular process called the methylation cycle. In this cycle, all three B vitamins are used to convert a potentially damaging molecule called homocysteine into the useful amino acid cysteine. When levels of these B vitamins are low, blood levels of homocysteine rise—a situation that has been shown in numerous studies to significantly increase the risk for heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Luckily, homocysteine levels can be kept in balance by eating a diet high in the following foods.

Whole Grains (high in B6 and B12):
brown rice
kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)

Vegetables (high in folate):
spinach (also contains B6)
broccoli (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
kale (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
turnip and mustard greens (also contain B6)
romaine lettuce
bell peppers (also contain B6)

Fruit (high in B6):
avocado (also contains pantothenic acid)

Legumes (high in folate and niacin):
all lentils
green peas

Nuts / Seeds (high in B6, B12, folate and niacin):
sunflower seeds

Animal Protein (high in folate, B6 and B12):
chicken / beef liver (also contains biotin)
chicken (also contains niacin & riboflavin)
pastured eggs (also contain biotin, niacin & riboflavin)
wild salmon (also contains riboflavin

Be sure to include food sources of B vitamins all year round! Some of us may need supplementation of specific B vitamins. If you would like to learn about ways to tailor your dietary needs to your personal constitution, please schedule a nutritional consultation here.

June 16, 2016

Cool, Green Summer

We find balance in summer weather by eating foods that are bitter (cooling, moist), such as: unsweetened cocoa, olives, dandelion, kale, celery, and amaranth leaves. It is also important to take time to rest, sit in the shade, breathe deeply, and absorb the green color that surrounds us.

These are the healing properties of summer herbs:

Basil –anti-bacterial, digestive, and aromatic, this member of the mint family stimulates growth of white blood cells and protects against unwanted bacterial growth.

Cilantro – the leaf of the coriander plant stimulates the secretion of insulin and helps lower levels of total and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Cilantro’s volatile oils have antimicrobial properties.

Parsley – purifying, anti-dandruff, digestive, and tonic, parsley is also rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health.

Velvety Green Soup

You will need:

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
2 large zucchini, sliced
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 pound fresh or frozen peas
3 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh basil

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and onions.
Cook, covered, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add zucchini and sauté for 5 more minutes.

Add the chard and peas.
Add the water and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Add the basil.
Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender.

Chop the rosemary and use as garnish.
Serve with cooked quinoa. This soup is excellent chilled, too!

Herbed Pesto

You will need:
2 cups fresh basil
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh parsley¼ cup pumpkin OR sunflower seeds1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place basil, seeds, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor.

Make a coarse pesto and set aside.
This is delicious over kohlrabi potato salad - recipe here.

Healthy Eating Program

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