Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
If you like hummus, try making it Pumpkin Flavored. It is delicious and brings a unique, sweet, Thanksgiving flavor. It's great with veggies, chips or any kind of crackers.
Make a regular batch of hummus (see previous blog about spreads) in the food processor, and then just add about 1/2 small can of pumpkin puree, along with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup. Add more pumpkin or any other spices you need according to your taste.
Around this time of year I add pumpkin flavor to all kinds of recipes...like Pancakes...just add pumpkin puree and spices to your pancake mix, it's delicious! And top it off with Pumpkin Flavored Ice Cream...(check out my recipe in a previous post) This time you need to plan ahead and freeze the pumpkin mixture. Blend or process the pumpkin puree, maple syrup or honey, and spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla - plus (soaked) dates & walnuts. Best if you freeze the pumpkin mixture in an ice cube tray so you can just pop the squares out when you need them.
Serve the ice cream on top of the pancakes and sprinkle some cinnamon around, as in the photo.
Easy and quick, peel, chop and steam the sweet potato until soft. In your food processor, mix with raisins and/or dates (soaked in water for 15 minutes) walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla. Add a dash of sea salt if you need to.
* Please note - use about 6 dates per sweet potato.
Make it a day before and serve cold, or heat it up, either way it is divine and stays for a few days in the fridge.
Blend 2 cups of fresh cranberries in the juice of 2 fresh squeezed oranges, and throw in a few fresh apple pieces, plus (soaked) dates and walnuts (or pecans). Blend until texture is to your liking. Add some maple syrup if it needs extra sweetening.
This is an amazing combination when eaten along with the sweet potato.
Use an ice cream scooper to display on your plate - create a design with several scoops on your platter and play with the cranberry sauce to make it a beautiful creation...
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Recently I gave a demonstration at our local library in Weston, FL of a 'Secret' healthy ice cream recipe that I have been making and perfecting over the years, with frozen bananas as the main ingredient and base of this treat...the best compliment of all was that the many kids that attended kept lining up for 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths of the mini sample cones...that says it all!
We talked about the ingredients found in brand name ice creams, such as Ben & Jerry's, Edy's, Carvel. It was a real eye opener since so many of the ingredients listed are synthetic and difficult to pronounce - not a good sign!
We touched on some of the many benefits of bananas, such as:
- Available all year round, very affordable.
- Rich in vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
- Excellent source of fiber, magnesium and potassium.
- No fat, no sodium, no cholesterol.
- Contains three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose - giving an instant and substantial boost of energy and a perfect substitute for sweets.
- Excellent baby food.
You can eat it in a cone, cup or bowl. You can even make an ice cream pie with a base of crushed nuts, raisins and dates, the sky's the limit... I hope you will experiment and perfect your own recipes, and that you comment and let me know about your experience.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Have you noticed that there are hardly any healthy snacks you can buy in the supermarket that do not include loads of salt and MSG?
I have found that plain ole' popcorn is one of the best snack foods around. It's low in calories, high in fiber - which is good for helping the digestive system to function - and is a perfectly delicious, healthy and nutritious choice for between-meal snacking. It’s not only economical, it’s also fun to eat, plus you can consume a lot and not worry too much about your waistline.
It's quite tasty and satisfying.
If you feel like enjoying some extra flavor, however, 'dress it up' with some healthful toppings...
- Bragg spray (Liquid Aminos - tastes like soy sauce but much healthier with natural sodium) http://www.bragg.com/products/la.html
- Lime - slice in half and squeeze over popcorn.
- Melt unsalted butter with cinnamon, agave (or honey) vanilla, ginger, nutmeg.
- Melt unsalted butter with garlic powder, onion powder, dill, basil, oregano.
- Olive oil - drizzled or sprayed.
- Sesame oil - drizzled or sprayed.
- It's a great snack.
- Easily affordable for anyone.
- Takes just a few minutes to make.
- Easy enough for kids to make.
- You don't pay for packaging.
- You control what goes in.
- No MSG, additives, preservatives or excess salt.
- Keep plenty of popcorn kernels on hand.
- Have a big plastic bowl.
- Make sure to floss well afterwards.
- Yellow kernels make bigger 'puffs' than white kernels.
- At the bottom of the bowl you will find un-popped kernels...don't throw them away, put them back in the machine, they taste even better popped the 2nd time around!
- The air popper tends to be a bit on the 'wild side' once it nears the end of its cycle... you may have popcorn flying all over the place, and I do mean all over, so be careful to turn it off in time before everything becomes a popcorn mania.
- At the movies you pay so much for hot buttered popcorn; who knows what the actual ingredients are? By making and bringing your own you will save money and calories.
- One cup of popped popcorn, eaten plain, contains about 31 calories, 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber.
- Because popcorn is a good source of fiber, it provides many health benefits and is often recommended by health and medical associations, including The National Cancer Institute, The American Dietetic Association and The American Dental Association.
- Popcorn is healthy for the wallet, too. One cup of plain popcorn costs only pennies.
- Hot Air Corn Poppers are available at stores like Walgreens for around $10...a great investment.
Create healthy eating habits starting today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Make your own ice-pops and have a bunch ready and waiting for you in the freezer at any given time..include your favorite fruits & ingredients and keep on hand for yourself, your family and guests.
- Plastic ice-pop trays, small paper or plastic cups.
- Wooden popsicle sticks or plastic spoons.
- Bluberry, banana, walnut, coconut.
- Orange juice, papaya, agave, vanilla.
- Watermelon & lime juice.
A few of the many benefits:
- A healthy and tasty treat.
- Eat as many as you want, at any time of day, guilt free!
- Takes very little time & effort.
- Easily affordable.
- It's fun and creative.
- Dairy free.
- You control what goes in - no sugar, preservatives, additives, corn syrup, glucose, food coloring or artificial flavoring.
- When you make a shake put some left-over in a cup with a stick and freeze for later.
- To remove ice-pop run warm water on outside of plastic holder or cup.
- For fancy ice-pops make layers - put first layer, include stick and freeze...then add second layer and freeze...etc.
- Recycle sticks and spoons.
Orange Juice (fresh squeezed)
Soaked Cashews or Almonds
Shredded coconut (organic, unsweetened)
Monday, May 25, 2009
It's the first item I make when preparing a meal for my family and guests, and my mainstay for picnics and 'potlucks'.
For me, a 'basic' salad includes romaine lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, peppers, & cucumbers.
I really love tabouli salad, and lately I've been making it 'bulghar free' by just mixing diced tomatoes, peppers, & cucumbers with finely chopped parsley, mint, lettuce & spinach (use the 'S' blade on your food processor to chop all the greens quickly and effortlessly) and then mix with olive oil and lemon/lime juice, a little sea salt & pepper, (garlic & onions optional). It is SO delicious and you can eat as much as you want!
Making a salad can bring out the 'artist' in anyone - you can be creative, spontaneous, experiment with color & texture, and 'throw' in whatever strikes you, and slice, dice, chop, shred, mince...
I find it relaxing, almost meditative, and really enjoy the process...listening to good music is a plus, and finding 'helpers' make things go quicker...I especially love working with my girls - Annette & Bettina - they are a great help all around, and have become experts in dicing...we have fun and a lot of love goes into everything we make.
There are so many options for 'adorning' a salad...alfalfa and bean sprouts are refreshing, sprouted lentils are delicious and crunchy, as are fresh corn kernels, fresh peas and chopped nuts...go 'crazy' by adding shredded coconut, chopped apples, jicima, tiny pieces of fresh pineapple, green or black olives, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, chick peas, avocado, tofu, raisins, (soak your raisins in water for 10 minutes to be plump)...the list goes on and on.
Any lightly steamed vegetable goes well in a salad, like broccoli & cauliflower florets, string beans, beets, zucchini...
'Dressing' a salad is most important...I usually use a blender and start with extra virgin olive oil and lemon or lime juice...most of the time I don't follow a particular recipe.
You can create your very own 'house dressings' by stocking up on and combining the ingredients listed below...have fun experimenting!
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice from a lemon/lime
Bragg liquid aminos http://www.bragg.com/ or soy sauce
Agave or honey
Ginger powder or fresh
Tahini (sesame paste)
- Homemade dressings last for at least 3 days and are so much healthier, tastier and cheaper than store-bought, and they don't include MSG and other ingredients we should stay away from.
- Soaked raw cashews or silky tofu mixed in with any of these ingredients gives it thickness and a ranch-like taste, especially with onion or onion powder.
- Check on line for recipes for dressings with your favorite ingredients, there are 1000's!
You may not want to take the time to make a salad and dressing, all that chopping, cleaning the food processor, blender, etc..you're busy, tired, wanna grab something quick...but if you create good habits by filling your fridge with an abundance of greens, veggies and herbs, and get organized by preparing certain things beforehand - you will feel so good, save a lot of money, and reap the health rewards big time.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
When your bananas get brown after several days of being out, peel and freeze, so you always have some on hand...also keep a few strawberries, pieces of pineapple, mango and papaya in the freezer to make your shakes extra delicious.
Some tips and tricks...
- Add water to get the shake going in the blender, no need for milk.
- The fruit is sweet enough, no need for honey or sugar.
- A handful of spinach thrown in is a great way to get more iron & extra vitamins in... it makes your shake green but isn't everything going green these days?
- Mint tastes delicious in a shake.
- A drop of vanilla adds 'yum' to it.
- A spoonful of tahini (sesame paste) gives a special flavor.
- Fresh squeezed orange juice is a good base.
- A few walnuts add a great taste plus Omega 3 to your shake.
- Some crushed flax seeds also add Omega 3 and is good for your heart.
- Coconut adds a special flavor (unsweetened, organic is best).
- Adding one tsp of Carob powder makes a real treat.
- Any kind of berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries - add great flavor.
On a hot day blend crushed ice with watermelon pieces (seedless) - it is a very tasty and refreshing Summer drink that you can make in less than 30 seconds.
Blended salads are a great way to eat healthy when you're on the go...no need for chopping a lot and you get even better nutrition by drinking it rather than chewing...throw in a pepper, tomato, cucumber, sliced avocado some parsley, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, seasonings and blend baby blend!...experiment with other veggies, add lettuce or spinach for extra green...tastes delicious and very refreshing, kind of like drinking salsa or gazpacho.
Enjoy & Bon Appetit!
Friday, May 8, 2009
As a follow-up to my last post I decided to share some of my favorite healthy recipes for spreads...these are great to serve your family, your guests, bring to a picnic, a party, and to eat with vegetables, crackers, chips or to spread on a sandwich or wrap with chopped salad.
The tastiest and healthiest chips, in my opinion, are Pita Chips - the ones you make at home...no salt is added, and they are a better value - a bag of pita (onion pita is especially yummy) is significantly less than a bag of chips, plus no extra additives - just slice 'em up, heat 'em up on a flat pan, and serve warm...
My favorite veggies to dip are baby carrots, celery stalks, red peppers, sweet pea pods, cucumber sticks, and the firm inner leaves of a Romaine lettuce.
* You will need a food processor for these recipes...hope you enjoy and create your own!
Black Bean Hummus
Same as humus, just add cooked or canned black beans to recipe.
Same as humus, just add cooked or canned lentils to recipe.
1 whole cauliflower chopped into florets - lightly steamed
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB mayonnaise (preferably the healthy 'veganaise' or homemade kind)
1 tsp agave or honey
Optional herbs - Dash of sea salt, dill, basil, oregano, black pepper
Put all ingredients in food processor and mix until consistency is just right for you. Serve immediately or refrigerate, stays for at least 2-3 days.
Vegetarian 'Liver' Pate
1 can of sweet peas (or dried peas soaked overnight and cooked)
1 onion - fried
1 handful of walnuts
Dash of black pepper
1 clove garlic minced
Dash of sea salt (optional)
Mix all ingredients in food processor until it turns to pate and serve immediately or refrigerate, stays for at least 2-3 days.
Black Olive Spread
1 can of pitted black olives
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
A few parsley leaves
sun-dried tomatoes soaked (optional)
Mix all ingredients in food processor until it turns to pate and serve immediately or refrigerate, stays for at least 2-3 days. Delicious on everything!
A few fresh tomatoes
1/2 green pepper
1 red pepper
A few sprigs of fresh parsley (or dash of dried powder)
A few sprigs of fresh basil (or dash of dried powder)
A few sprigs of fresh oregano (or dash of dried powder)
Dash of black pepper
1 tsp Agave or honey
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or dash of dried powder)
Optional cayenne pepper
Mix in food processor with some water. Serve immediately or refrigerate, stays for 2-3 days.
Perfect with pita or corn chips - preferably unsalted, with humus and guacamole nearby.
Vegetarian Tuna Spread
4 stalks of celery
1 can of chick peas
1 TB mayonnaise (preferably the healthy or homemade kind)
Added options: garlic, paprika, dill, seaweed flavor, lemon juice, onions, olives, pickles...
Thursday, April 9, 2009
This year we felt like doing something new and different, and so we created a fabulous menu which showcased a variety of flavors while recreating some of the traditional tastes of Passover like gefilte fish, chopped liver, tzimmes, and macaroons...(recipes below)
We even made our own grape juice by juicing 8 lbs. of grapes in the juicer...absolutely divine!
The Matza we ate was from Israel...some day I'd like to make my own "Living Foods Matza" with a Dehydrator...
This year we used extra-large thick green leaves from trees in our backyard as place mats, and under the seder plate, plus we picked flowers from the garden for decoration. The best part, however, is that everyone in the family helped to create this year's seder, and it was great fun, no stress, and really joyful...
A little history...my husband and I have been raising our family as vegetarians, more like vegans, eating no flesh food and very little to no dairy and eggs...fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and legumes have been the main source of our diet, which has included steaming vegetables, making stir-fry, baking our own bread, cooking pasta, couscous, quinoa, rice & lentils...now, after about 20 years of eating this way, it seems like a natural progression to become closer to a 'raw foodist' or 'live foodist' lifestyle, since we know how much better it is for our health and body maintenance, and also our energy and spirit.
The benefits of going raw/vegan are boundless. Raw foods are easy to digest, and they provide the maximum amount of energy with minimal bodily effort. Try eating a raw food diet for one day, one week, then one month, and see if you can tell the difference!
So...here is the menu we put together for this occasion. Hope you have time to try a few of the recipes during this holiday, or perhaps some time when you feel to...in any case hope you enjoy!
Yields 5 servings
1 bunch celery, chopped
4 C water
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C lemon juice
1 Tbs honey
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers chopped very small.
Sweet & Crunchy Green Salad
Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Chopped Spinach, Shredded Carrots, Raisins, Chopped Macadamia Nuts.
Sweet Mustard - Yields 3/4 cup
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tsp agave nectar or raw honey
1/4 Tsp sea salt (optional)
1/2 Tsp crushed garlic (1/2 clove)
Dash black pepper
Place all ingredients in blender until smooth & creamy. Will keep for up to one week.
Ranch - Yields 1 Cup - so rich and creamy you won't believe it's dairy free!
1 C soaked cashews
3/4 C water 2
Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp onion powder
1/4 Tsp sea salt (optional)
1 Tbs fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 Tbs minced fresh dill weed, or 1 teaspoon dried
Place all ingredients in blender until smooth & creamy. Will keep for up to 5 days.
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 Tsp sea salt (optional)
1/4 Tsp crushed garlic (1/2 clove)
Dash cayenne (optional)
1 1/2 Tsp minced red or yellow onion
1 Tbs minced fresh dill weed, or 1 teaspoon dried
Place all ingredients in blender until smooth creamy. Will keep for up to 3 days.
MOCK "GEFILTE FISH"
Yields 6 Patties
½ C cashews, soaked overnight ½
C almonds, soaked overnight
½ C pine nuts, soaked overnight
½ C green onion, finely minced
½ C parsley or fresh dill
¼ C lemon juice (more or less)
1 clove or more of fresh garlic
1 Tbs sea kelp granules (this gives the "fishy" and salty flavor)
Run the soaked cashews, almonds, and pine nuts in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, a small amount of water, the minced onions, parsley, and other seasonings. Form into balls or patties, and let stand to flavor the paté. Serve on a bed of spinach or lettuce with a small amount of freshly grated horseradish on the side.
MOCK "CHOPPED LIVER"
Yields 6 servings
1 C lentils or peas soaked, and/or sprouted
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
¾ to 1 C walnuts
1 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kelp powder or granules to taste
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Optional: minced celery, red bell pepper, grated carrots, or other chopped vegetables. Process all ingredients in a food processor. Will keep for 3 days.
LIVING FOOD TZIMMES
Yields 8 servings
1 large sweet potato
1 small white potato
½ lb. carrots
1 small sweet apple (Fuji, red delicious)
½ pound mixture of soaked pitted prunes and raisins
(soak these overnight in freshly squeezed orange juice, not water)
1/3 C freshly squeezed orange juice
Optional: 5 or more chopped pitted dates
1 ½ Tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
½ Tsp ground ginger, or to taste
Finely grate the sweet potatoes, white potato, carrots, in a food processor. Mix the vegetables, and set aside. Peel, core and chop the apple, dates, prunes, raisins, with the orange juice in a blender until it is a consistency of thick sauce. Add cinnamon and ginger to the sauce. Combine the sauce to the grated vegetables as needed. This recipe should be sweet. Because of the heaviness of this dish, serve it with something light.
Yields 6 servings
Peel 2 big zucchinis and create "natural pasta" in a spiral slicer.
Yields 3 cups, 6 servings
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes, soaked or oil packed
1 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
6 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs minced fresh basil, or 3 Tsp dried
3 Tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 Tsp crushed garlic (3 cloves)
A pinch of sea salt (optional)
Dash of black pepper (optional)
Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Will keep for 3 days. This is a staple and favorite of our family!
Yields 10 small 'not-meat' balls
2 C raw walnuts
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp extra-vergin olive oil
2 Tsp tamari
1/2 Tsp garlic powder
Dash sea salt (optional)
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley
2 Tbs minced onion
Place all ingredients in food processor and process into a paste. Stop occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Make little balls and store on flat plate or in tupperware and serve on top of zucchini pasta with marinara sauce.
Yields 15 cookies
2 C shredded coconut
1/2 C ground almonds
4 pitted dates chopped very small
4 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 C raw carob powder (optional)
Mix ground almonds and dates with mashed bananas and make into little balls. Roll the balls in shredded coconut, then in carob powder. Freeze, and when ready to eat make sure to thaw for approx. 10-15 minutes before serving. These are amazingly delicious and nutritious.
Tastes like the old fashioned kind of pudding
Yields 4 servings
1/2 cup Vanilla Creme Sauce (see below)
1/4 cup Crumble Topping (see below)
Place the Vanilla Creme Sauce and half of the banana in a blender and process until smooth. Top with Crumble Topping.
VANILLA CREAM SAUCE
Yields 1 cup
1 C soaked raw cashews
1/4 plus 2 Tbs water
2 Tbs pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Vanilla Cream will keep for 5 days. This tastes delicious on everything!
Yields 2 cups This topping tastes like it was freshly baked! Use it on Pudding, Mousse and Icecream.
2 C raw walnuts, unsoaked
1/2 C unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 Tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup raisins, unsoaked
4 pitted dates, unsoaked
1/4 cup agave nectar
Place the walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade and process until coarsely ground. Add the raisins and dates and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and begins to stick together. Don't over process. Stores for one month in refrigerator or three months in freezer.