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 Vita-Mix 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.



Tropical Green Smoothie

2 Hawaiian apple bananas
1 starfruit
2 passionfruit (use the pulp and seeds)
6 strawberry guavas
2 guavas
1 papaya, seeded
2 cups frozen pineapple
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 to 2 bunches of kale
2 to 3 cups water

Place all ingredients into a Vita-Mix or other high-powered blender and blend in intervals until smooth. Add more water if necessary. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Sam and Ben enjoying fresh coconut water

Most of the fruits and greens we purchased were from the Farmer's Market in Hanalei (on the north shore of Kauai). The boys enjoyed drinking fresh coconut water, the girls enjoyed numerous samples of tangerines and pineapples, while Ali took many photos of the luscious fruits and vegetables.

-Tom Malterre, MS, CN

The Nutritionist is IN: For those of you who are local, I will be available to answer your diet and health questions from 5pm to 7pm, March 31st at the Downtown Community Food Co-op (Free of charge). Look for my table just inside the front door.

Local Apple Bananas

More raw recipes:


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! :)

Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters

This is a recipe to make your own sugar-free chocolate. The options are endless. Replace the macadamia nuts with chopped raw almonds or sunflower seeds. Use chopped dried fruit in place of the shredded coconut. Add vanilla and nothing else. Pour the liquid chocolate into candy molds. Chill. Homemade chocolate for your sweetheart. However, if you would like to make this recipe without going to the trouble of finding cocoa butter, simply melt approximately 2 cups (12 ounces) of Dagoba Choco Drops over very, very low heat then add the remaining ingredients (except cocoa butter and cocoa powder). Note that Dagoba Choco drops do contain cane sugar. Please visit the post we did on the Links to Products We Use to help identify and find ingredients in this recipe. Raw macadamia nuts can be found at most natural health food stores and co-ops here on the mainland.

6 ounces cocoa butter
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
2 teaspoons almond flavoring
20 drops liquid stevia (or more to taste)
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups chopped raw macadamia nuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Place a piece of parchment paper over a large cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer to chill.

Raw Cocoa Butter chunks

Place the cocoa butter chunks into a 2-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder. Then add maple syrup, stevia, and salt; whisk well.

Turn off heat and stir in macadamia nuts and shredded coconut. Let mixture cool for about 10 minutes. Then drop by the heaping tablespoonful onto the chilled cookie sheet. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

Since this chocolate is not tempered it does slightly melt in your hand. Store the clusters in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freeze for a month or more. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

If you are interested in seeing a version of a cookie recipe in our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, then check out Alisa's version of my Cashew Cookie on her blog, One Frugal Foodie! She also posted my Collard Hummus Roll-Ups.

I thought I might share a family photo taken a few days ago in Hawaii......and I have a question for you...

We packed food with us like grains, beans, nuts, and seeds but....What is the ONE spice we packed with us? Please leave a comment below (if you leave an anonymous comment then please sign your initials!) Those that have the correct guess with be entered to win a FREE copy of our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook! If you already own a copy then you could enter to win one for a friend. Contest is open until Thursday, March 25th, 9pm PST.
Aloha!


Update: The Contest is now CLOSED. Thanks everyone for your guesses!

The ONE spice we brought with us was CUMIN! I didn't consider Herbamare a spice. It is a salt/seasoning in my book, but we did bring it with us. Since so many of you guessed this and I didn't clarify, we chose a name from the Herbamare guesses too.

WINNERS:
For the Cumin group: Chaos and Love
For the Herbamare Group: Shanda

Could you both please email me at with your shipping addresses? Thanks! :)


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 our cookbook).


Beet, Pear, and Almond Salad with Mint Dressing
This excellent salad is simple with complex flavors. The beets, pears, and almonds marry perfectly with the peppery, minty dressing. Serve this salad for brunch or a family dinner. I like to keep the beets, almonds, and lettuce in separate containers and serve over a few days. I cut the pears up when I am ready to serve and dress individual salads then. Use this salad during Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet for testing nuts/almonds or use during Phase 2 without the almonds.

3 large beets, peeled
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
2 to 3 pears, cored and diced
1 large head leaf lettuce
1 recipe Pepper-Mint Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel beets and trim the ends off. Place into a steamer basket in a medium-sized pot. Add about 2 inches of water. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Drain off water and set aside to cool.

To roast the almonds place them in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and place into preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place onto a plate to cool. Chop on a cutting board with a large knife once cooled.

Dice pears and set aside. Tear lettuce into pieces and rinse and spin dry. Assemble each salad by placing lettuce on each plate. Top with beets, pears, and almonds. Drizzle dressing over each salad. Enjoy! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com.


Melissa at Gluten Free for Good, also has many fabulous recipes using beets. Beet Ice Cream, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Beet & Spinach Salad just to name a few.

Also, my Pepper-Mint Dressing was featured in this week's Crazy Sexy Life Newsletter!

You might also like these great salads:

We are vacationing in Kauai right now and although we absolutely love reading your comments we may not get to publishing them for a while (all comments go into moderation before being published because of the amount of spam comments we get now). We taught our oldest daughter (almost 8) how to snorkel a few days ago and she is just loving it! The younger ones we put on a raft designed for seeing fish (through a window on the raft). Everyone is having so much fun! Off to the beach now! :)

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.

I have found that using just a tad too much chia seeds can cause the whole recipe to turn into a gummy mess. Chia seeds are similar to flax seeds though with more binding power. I add them to green smoothies if I want my smoothie to be my breakfast and keep me full until lunch. They are also delicious sprinkled over your morning hot breakfast cereal or over a bowl of fruit.

I played with the recipe a bit this morning, with less chia seeds this time, and came up with something I think you will like. My taste testers (the children and parents at school) all gave me two thumbs up today so I am calling this recipe blog worthy and hoping that you all will enjoy it too! I'll probably still continue to test this recipe to see if it can be any more delicious. I'd love to hear your feedback if you make them. :)

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are true to their name: peanut butter. The flavor of the peanuts shines through and isn't masked by any other ingredients. They are crispy on the outside, chewy in the center. I tested them with both sucanat and coconut sugar. The batch with coconut sugar is slightly less sweet. My bet is that any granulated sweetener will work here, such as maple sugar or turbinado sugar. My preference is for coconut sugar which is a low-glycemic sweetener. My taste testers noted that this recipe might do best using salted peanut butter (I used unsalted in my test batches). Sunflower butter is another option for those of you who need to eat nut-free. One of the batches I made used half sunflower butter and half peanut butter. To grind chia seeds, place at least 1/4 cup into a coffee grinder or Vita-Mix. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy! :)

Yield: About 2 dozen 2-inch cookies

Wet Ingredients:
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1/4 cup very hot water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar or sucanat
1 cup creamy organic peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the ground chia seeds and hot water into a medium-sized mixing bowl; whisk together until stringy, about 30 seconds. Then add remaining wet ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until incorporated, about 60 seconds.

Add dry ingredients and beat again until the dough forms a ball. The dough is sticky and may ride up on the beaters. If this happens just turn them off and scrape down the dough then mix again. Use enough flour until the mixture holds together well.

Roll dough into balls, place onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and press down using the tines of a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Other cookie recipes you might like: