Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to make a Green Smoothie ~ an uncooking video

You are about to bear witness to our first ever cooking video. We decided to bring our digital camcorder with us to Hawaii in hopes of producing a few cooking videos with all of the "free time" we would have. Instead, the camcorder was filled with laughing children boogie boarding down sand hills, toddlers chasing the crashing waves, and Ali relaxing in the sun. We shot one cooking video, one take, that's it.

We packed our Vitamix with us and are about to show you how to make a Green Smoothie from local Hawaiian fruits and greens. Edited down to a little less than five minutes.

The boys, now 27 months, help me prepare the green smoothie every morning. Their favorite part? You guessed it - revving the 2.2 horsepower motor to the max. And off again. And on again. Then time to drink our smoothies. The other morning they drank three full glasses each. That's over 24 ounces each in those tiny bodies! Needless to say, they have no issues with their digestion and elimination.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fresh Papaya Salsa

While we were in Hawaii we lived off of papayas. Papayas with lime for breakfast, papayas in green smoothies, and fresh papaya salsa. We packed rice, quinoa, and pink beans with us. I found it very easy to make a large pot of pink beans, cooked with cumin and onions, to have on hand for quick lunches and dinners.

The sublime flavor of ripe papayas was delicious. I took full advantage of their juiciness and made several large batches of salsa to put over our beans and rice or fish and rice. The salsa even doubled as a "salad dressing" when tossed with fresh greens.

The papaya photos you see here were not taken in Hawaii (except for the market shot above). The papayas I found here were not as ripe, dark, juicy, or as full of flavor compared to those in Hawaii (well, of course!). Still though, they made excellent salsa!

Fresh Papaya Salsa

Even if you don't live in a tropical place and want to try a papaya, you can find them at some health food stores or Hispanic markets. When we were in Hawaii, I made this salsa with halved local cherry tomatoes. I didn't add them to the salsa in these photos but you can. Remember to score your unripe papayas gently with a knife (shallow, lengthwise slits) to help let out some of the sap. The salsa will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

3 cups diced fresh papaya
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced into rounds
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 to 2 limes, juiced
dash extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to let the flavors mingle. Serve over mixed greens, beans and rice, or grilled fish. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Other raw recipes you might like:

The Winners of the Cookbook Giveaway have been posted! We brought Cumin with us as our only spice! We also brought Herbamare but I didn't consider this a spice. Since I wasn't clear, we picked a name from both the cumin group and the Herbamare group! Chaos and Love, who guessed cumin won as did Shanda who guessed Herbamare! Please email me your shipping addresses. Thanks everyone for participating!

Anybody have a favorite, unusual Salsa Recipe to share? If so, leave the recipe in the comment section below so we can all enjoy it! Happy Spring! -Ali :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters

In preparing for Easter, I decided to make my own sugar-free candy (healthy treats) this year. The kids usually get a variety of raw nuts and dried fruits hiding inside those little plastic Easter eggs. That Easter bunny is just too darn healthy! Sometimes he leaves jelly beans and a lollipop too. Since chocolate can strongly affect some children, I'd recommend wrapping only one of these chocolate clusters up in a small square of parchment paper, tied up with a pretty ribbon, for your child. I have no doubt that the adults in the house will munch the rest.

We have just returned from Hawaii - our Vitamin D prescription for the winter (if you are following us on Facebook, you'd already know all about our trip!)! Our family enjoyed the sun and all of the fresh produce the islands have to offer. One of our favorite treats is, of course, the macadamia nut. We bought the roasted, salted variety while there but they weren't nearly as tasty as the crisp, raw unsalted type we found. Hence, macadamia nuts inspired many recipes. Don't worry if you aren't a fan of nuts, I have a number of fresh recipes AND an uncooking video to share soon!

The recipe I am about to share is a new one, in fact, I created it today! I have had the idea whirling around in my mind for a while. You know how ideas are. Sometimes they take their time to come 'round. I took a glance last night at Kim's lovely Affair's of Living Blog after a comment she left here on my Teff Sandwich Bread. She has many fabulous recipes posted, including one for Choco-Coco Nests. Once I saw her photo, the recipe began to take shape. I fiddled with it today and on the third try I got it.

Folks, this is a recipe to make YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE! Not melt chocolate. It is very easy, let's get to it! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beet, Pear, and Almond Salad

Beets, beets, I know, either you love them or have awful memories of eating canned or pickled beets as a child. Luckily I didn't have any memories of eating beets as a child so when I first tried them I fell in love. I began making fresh beet juice in my juicer, using them in cultured vegetables, roasting them with salt, pepper and olive oil, or using raw grated beets in salads.

Beets are an excellent cleansing food, being particularly useful during the Elimination Diet. The beautiful purple hue indicates that they are full of powerful antioxidants. Research indicates that beets may increase liver enzyme detoxification function, decrease the risk for colon cancer, and help to effectively lower cholesterol.

There are many ways to prepare beets. If you own a pressure cooker you can cook the whole beet, peel and all, for about 25 minutes, then cool (the peel slips right off) and cut into cubes for this salad. This is probably the easiest way and the best way to preserve nutrients. Steaming is another option but you will need to trim the ends off of the beet first, then peel, then cut into cubes for steaming. This is the next best option of you do not own a pressure cooker. You can also roast beets in the oven after partially steaming. Mmm, this is delicious! Sometimes I thinly slice raw beets and roast them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (that recipe is in my cookbook).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies ~ Gluten-Free & Vegan

Have you ever had a quest to come up with the perfect recipe? Well I've been on a journey for years to create the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe. Not just any peanut butter cookie recipe though! I set out to create one that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs and one that is naturally sweetened. To go a step further I also wanted a recipe free of starches and xanthan gum. A whole foods cookie if you will.

I haven't really been dabbling in baking that much lately. Spring is here, my 2 year old twins recently weaned, and I have been craving lighter, cleansing foods for the first time in 8 1/2 years. Yes, this is the first time I haven't either been lactating or gestating in nearly nine years! The boys sleep soundly now with their sisters for a good eleven hours. I no longer need those calorie-dense foods that baked goods provided. However, as I was turning off the light in the pantry last night, a recipe struck me. It came to me in a flash, in the amount of time it took me to turn off the light. I had to bake! At 10:30pm the cookies were in the oven and I patiently waited for the arrival of the perfect peanut butter cookie. They weren't it! Too gummy and chewy but definitely worth the effort to tweak the recipe and try again.