Saturday, September 29, 2012

Preserving The Genius of Life ~ A Call to ACTION!



We have an unprecedented Opportunity To Preserve The Genius of Life right now!

There is one thing that keeps us from following our intuition and separates us from our own common sense.

Doubt.

If we have a doubt in our minds, our convictions can waiver often causing us to settle for far less than an ideal situation. Need a prime example? GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

GMOs mean that the DNA—or code of life—in a living thing has been manipulated to produce a desired result other than what nature originally intended.

The act of manipulating the code of life seems risky by nature. Very risky. Considering scientists are just learning the multitude of biological signals that turn our genes on and off, we can be certain in saying that we don’t even understand the code to begin with.

And now we are freely tampering with this genius using GMOs.

One would hope we would tread cautiously on such holy ground.

And yet we haven’t.

The safety studies and approval processes to allow GMO foods into our food supply have been insults to the intelligence of life itself.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pumpkin Hazelnut Teff Muffins (vegan, gluten-free)



After my last post I received many requests to share a pumpkin hazelnut muffin recipe that was also egg-free. As many of you know, replacing eggs in grain-free baked treats can be quite a challenge. I've only had a few successes with it myself. So rather than spend hours in the kitchen trying to create an egg-free, grain-free recipe, I made it simple and worked with teff flour to create a moist, wholesome vegan treat that most everyone can enjoy.

If you have our new cookbook, Nourishing Meals, you'll notice how many recipes contain teff flour. This ancient grain is native to Africa but is now grown in the Snake River Valley of Idaho. I buy it in 25-pound bags from Azure Standard. It is definitely a staple in our house. Teff is rich in minerals, low in phytic acid, and of course gluten-free. It seems to be one of the easiest gluten-free flours to digest. I make my sourdough starter primarily from teff flour so we can enjoy Injera a few times a week. If you are looking for more vegan, gluten-free baking recipes that are nutrient dense (that don't rely on a ton of starches, sugar, or xanthan gum) then please check out our new book. All of the recipes are refined sugar-free, use whole grain gluten-free flours, nut flours, and coconut flour......and none contain potato or cornstarch!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hazelnut Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)



I know it is a wee bit early to be posting pumpkin recipes. In fact, the winter squash and sugar pie pumpkins are not quite ready for harvesting yet in our garden; but these cool crisp mornings are beginning to remind me of spicy pumpkin treats! Yesterday morning I baked up a batch of these healthy gluten-free muffins to have for the children as an after-school snack. After school we went to the river and played until dinnertime. These muffins kept them satisfied until we finally sat down for a late dinner. Beautiful, sunny September weather calls us to spend a lot of time outside here in the Northwest.

I used organic canned pumpkin in this recipe. If you use puree made from a freshly baked pumpkin or other winter squash you may need to place it into a fine mesh strainer to let the extra moisture drip out. I have found that canned pumpkin has much less moisture than Homemade Pumpkin Puree.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Roast Beets ~ The Easy Way!



Beets are a funny kind of vegetable. Although they are one of my favorite foods, many folks aren't too fond of them. It's interesting that when I prepare a recipe using beets, I get a lot of converts. Roasting beets softens their earthy flavor and brings out a wonderful sweetness. This way of preparing beets is so simple that you'll probably never go back to steaming, pressure cooking, or roasting in foil. All you need is a baking dish with a lid.

What can you do with roasted beets you might ask? Well, after they are cooked and you have let them cool, you can peel off the skins and cut them up for a marinated beet salad (like the Roasted Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette on page 230 in our new cookbook). Or how about thinly slicing them and tossing them into a green salad? You could slice them up and serve them with poached eggs for breakfast. Or my favorite: used in a batter for chocolate cake!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Simple Ways to Preserve Fruit


This time of year the fruit is falling off the trees and many people wonder how they can preserve it. A lot of fresh fruit ends up rotting. Maybe this is part of nature's grand design to add compost to the soil surrounding the roots? I don't know, but this time of year is very busy for most folks who have fruit trees and berry bushes. There are a few simple methods you can utilize to quickly preserve fruit.

We freeze much of our fruit in a extra freezer in our garage. Though this might not be the most energy efficient way, it is fairly easy and quick as long as you have an extra freezer. Dehydrating is probably the safest way because you don't need to worry about losing a whole freezer full of food if your power goes out for an extended period of time, plus it requires little energy. Canning is another method but much of the nutrients and enzymes are destroyed through the heating process. I wrote a whole chapter about preserving the harvest in our new cookbook, Nourishing Meals, if you want to learn more. Plus there are recipes in that chapter for vinegars, lacto-fermented vegetables, and sauces like Cayenne Hot Sauce!