Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Smoothie Packs a Powerful Punch

Way back in the day - 2004 to be exact - when I began my transition from SAD (Standard American Diet) to Raw Vegan, I was worried about withdrawal symptoms from sugary-type snacks. My concern quickly faded because I discovered that eating almond-covered bananas with dates on top was instrumental in easing my withdrawal symptoms.  Actually, I had NO withdrawal symptoms.  Every time I craved sugar, I had my almond-date-banana and my craving was immediately satisfied.  After two weeks, no more sugar cravings.  Yay!  =)

Back in July, hubby and I took a road trip so I purchased a few packets of Justin's Nut Butters to snack on.  Wowzers!  I fell madly in love with Chocolate Hazlenut Butter.  I immediately went looking for the local health food store in the state we were visiting and bought a jar.  YUMMMMMM!!!!

This week, I kept coming across a packet of Maple Almond Butter that was left over from our trip.  I kept moving it to different spots so I wouldn't forget to use it.  Yesterday morning, I was eating a banana when I spotted that packet of almond butter.

Yep!  The maple kind!!
So sorry... couldn't resist the talking dog from YouTube.
Check him out. =)




RECIPE

1 - 1 1/2 cups of water 

2 Medjool Dates, pitted*

1 Banana

1 handful Spinach

1 heaping TBSP of Justin's Maple Almond butter

Blend away and enjoy!!



*Medjool dates are NOT the same as the ones sold in a box in the baking ingredients aisle of your grocery store.  Blech!!  Medjool dates look like this.  If you can find organic, that would be preferable.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My New Addiction – Ranchy Dill Dip

OH MY GOSH! This stuff is SOOOO good that even my SAD-eating husband and my DOG love it!! It’s SOOOO good that I’ve polished off a full jar of Vegenaise in less than a week! Since I cannot do dairy or mayonnaise, I’ve missed Ranch dressing but this dip taste – from what I can remember – remarkably like Ranch with a hint of dill.

Mayonnaise is made with soybean oil which is genetically modified, PLUS it messes with hormones.  Soybean oil is about as healthy as High Fructose Corn Syrup - it's NOT good stuff. I avoid soybean oil, corn, and HFCS at all costs.  Vegenaise is an excellent alternative as it is made with grapeseed oil - a healthy oil that has been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent disease. For more information on the benefits of grapeseed oil, check out this link.

Back in March, I posted a recipe for Vegan Dill Dip but have been tweaking it. This version is, by far, much tastier.

Tonight, hubby and I were sitting around the coffee table chomping down on cut veggies and Ranchy Dill Dip. Our lil poochie came up and put his paws on the coffee table… HE WANTED SOME TOO!! Smart dog!


For dinner, I’ve been making open wraps. Well, actually since I make them on romaine, the leaves are too thin to “wrap” them so they’re basically unwrapped wraps.  I spread the Ranchy Dill Dip on the romaine leaf, then layer carrot slices, cucumber slices, avocado chunks, tomato chunks, and sprouts. YUMMMM!!!!




The Ingredients


Ranchy Dill Dip

1/3 cup of Vegenaise (not pictured)
¼ tsp of Garlic powder
¼ tsp of Onion powder
1/8 tsp of Turmeric
1/2 TBSP of Fresh Dill dip, snipped
Salt to taste

Mix together and ENJOY!!!
Did I happen to mention that I LOVE this stuff!  It's is addicting!!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Coco Chia Cups!!

I'm trying to come up with yummy ways to get more coconut oil in me other than my usual two tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Blech. I also add a tablespoon or two to my smoothies, but I still need to come up with more ways.  Coconut is highly nutritious and possesses healing benefits beyond that of any other dietary oil.  I can attest to this as I was quite ill from November until April with asthma, congestion, and fatigue due to a metabolic disruption.  I decided to start taking two tablespoons of coconut oil three times a day as my naturpathic doc told me to do several years ago when I was sick.  It worked!!  The swelling in my lymph glands went down, my lungs cleared up and my energy returned.  Yay!!!  So I'm thinking it would be a good idea to keep the coconut oil flowing. =)

If you want to know more about the health benefits of coconut oil, this site is loaded with info.

I recently discovered Spectrum's Decadent Blend of Chia and Flax seeds with Coconut and Cacao.  How much better does it get than to have chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut and cacao in one blend?!!

Yeah baby!!

All I could think about was how much more nutritious my Coconutty Cacao Cups (previous post) would be if I added this blend to the recipe.  The newly revised version is just as yummy as the original version.  I also added a topping to the new recipe.  And the best part is, in addition to the coconut in the blend, there is also 1/2 cup of coconut oil AND 1/2 cup of coconut butter in the recipe.  YES!!!


Coco Chia Cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/3 cup raw almond butter (or cashew butter)
1/2 cup Chia and Flax Seed Decadent Blend
1/4 cup honey
1 TBSP organic vanilla extract
handful of sunflower seeds (for crunch) 

Mix together everything except sunflower seeds till well blended.  Then stir in sunflower seeds until mixed through.  Put 1 regular teaspoon (not measuring spoon) into small lined muffin pan and put in freezer.

Topping
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 TBSP raw cacao
1 TBSP vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix above ingredients until smooth. Add to tops of muffin cups and place back in freezer.  Store in freezer.

My stepdaughter loved these!  Said they are delicious!!  Oh, and even hubby liked them!!

Bon Apetit! :-9

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Love Me Some Coconut and Cacao!

I went to a healthy recipe night recently and came away with something close to this recipe. I tweaked it just a tad.  Packed full of anti-oxidants, healthy fats and protein, this treat is not only heart-healthy, it's YUMMY!!


Coconutty Cacao Cups

Ingredients
1 cup coconut oil (soft, not melted) (I used 2/3 cup coconut oil and 1/3 cup of coconut butter since I did not have enough coconut oil)
2/3 cup raw Almond butter (or Macadamia Nut butter)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 TBSP of Maca
1 TBSP organic vanilla extract

Toppings
Hemp Hearts
Himalayan Pink Salt

Optional topping: You can also take 1 tsp each of chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, grind them in your coffee grinder and sprinkle them on top to add a superfood punch.

Directions
Mix coconut oil, nut butter, raw honey, raw cacao and vanilla with a spoon.  No need for a blender.
Spoon into lined muffin pan cups.

Sprinkle tops with pink salt and hemp seed and freeze.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Lemonade with a Kick

I love lemonade but not loaded with white processed sugar. A few years ago, I happened upon a lemonade recipe that included lemon, honey, apple cider vinegar and water. I tried it, and after a bit of tweaking, decided I found my new drink. I used to be a big sweet tea drinker, but tea creates an acidic environment in the body.  Disease grows in an acidic environment.  Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, balances the body's ph level which is much healthier.

The really cool thing about this drink is its numerous health benefits, but first, let me post the recipe.

Lemonade with a Kick

- a quart mason jar
- 1 cup glass measuring cup or something comparable
- 2 TBSP of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar*
- juice from 1/2 of a fresh, preferably organic, lemon
- 2 TBSP raw local honey.

*It is not necessary to buy Bragg's.  There are other brands out there, but I prefer the taste of Bragg's the best.  Also, it is imperative that whatever brand you choose, it is raw and unfiltered.  You WANT to have the "mother" or cob-web like stuff floating around in there because that is what contains all of the powerful enzymes. 

In order for the honey to blend well in the lemonade, I add the honey to warm water first. I keep a tea kettle on the stove so I heat up the water in the kettle, then pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a 1 cup measuring cup. Then I add two tablespoons of honey to the warm water and mix well till the honey is completely dissolved.

Next, I fill the quart mason jar half way with cold water, add the apple Cider vinegar and lemon, then pour in the honey water. Mix well.


You can either drink this warm, like tea, or cold with ice. If you add ice, be sure to shake the "lemonade" well prior to adding the ice.

Oh, and you just absolutely have to drink this out of a quart mason jar, because that makes it taste so much better! Ha ha!
My "sunshine" - NOT moonshine! =D

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

The best part, for me, is that apple cider vinegar is NATURAL and it is LOADED with nutrients, trace elements and minerals.  For example, aside from the fact that ACV is a natural anti-bacterial, it also contains  calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, fluorine, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, and sulfur.

It has many uses and many benefits.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, I highly recommend the following two sites that are loaded with excellent information about this topic.


As for me, when I drink my Lemonade several times a week, I've notice that allergies don't bother me, mucus production is greatly reduced thus less trouble with asthma, sinus issues gone, cellulite is gone, metabolism is increased, immune system is enhanced.  And it doesn't hurt that I love the taste of this stuff.  I will say that you have to get just the right amount of honey and lemon for it to taste really good.

ACV works great as a hair rinse as well.  I just put a capful of ACV into a cup of water, add a few drops of essential oil and after shampooing, I rinse with the ACV water.  Leaves my hair silky and clean.

Another great use is when my dog gets ear infections. I just mix 1 part ACV with 1 part water and a few drops of tea tree oil into a small spray bottle and squirt the mixture into his ear several times a day.  He just loves that!! LOL!

With summer just around the corner, I highly recommend trying Lemonade with a Kick!  It's very refreshing and healthy.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adios Snickers!

Hubby has asked me to help him wean off his Snickers addiction.  It's a good thing he loves to work out.  It truly amazes me how someone who eats so much sugar is not overweight!  I've been trying out new recipes to see if we can find a winner that will help him completely forget Snickers ever existed.  Huge task, I know, but I'm up for it.

This is what I've come up with so far, and while it's not the "golden ticket" at least he likes it.  I'll keep trying though until I hit jackpot!

RawNut Nuggets 

**Advance Prep: Dates need to be soaked at least 1 hour.


NOUGAT FILLING
1 cup raw almonds, unsoaked
1 cup raw cashews, unsoaked
3 Tbsp raw local honey
1 Tbsp water, or more if needed
CARAMEL
1 cup dates, pitted & chopped
juice of one half lemon
Water to cover dates
1 Tbsp coconut butter
¼ tsp sea salt
CACAO COATING
1 cup cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
½ cup coconut oil
¼ tsp dark mesquite powder
Pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla
 

1.  Soak dates (for caramel) in the water and lemon juice for an hour. Reserve soaking water.  Proceed to step 2 while dates are soaking.

2.  Nougat Filling - In a coffee grinder, grind almonds & cashews into a fine powder.  Place nut powders in a large bowl. Add honey and water. Stir until mixture is a thick paste-like consistency. Form nougat into miniature candy pieces. Place nougat pieces on a plate and put in the freezer for an hour.  [I formed them into 1”x1” squares with a slight indent in the center to hold the caramel.]

3.  Carmel - process soaked dates, coconut butter and sea salt in a blender.  Using soaking water one tablespoon at time, blend until you achieve a thick creamy mixture. Spread caramel on top of nougat pieces and return the candy to the freezer while you make the chocolate.

4.  Cacao Coating - In a large bowl, whisk cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, mesquite powder, instant coffee (optional) salt and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Coat candy pieces and freeze an additional hour or until coating hardens.   Keeps well in freezer.

Yield: Approximately 20 candy pieces

Before the cacao coating.
Ready to chow down!




Monday, March 18, 2013

Raw Collard Wraps and Fresh Dilll Dip

I've been in sunny South Florida since the beginning of the month enjoying the balmy weather and helping my mom move from her home into a condo.  This has been the prefect opportunity to introduce her to raw foods.  This week I've been making Collard wraps with freshly made dill dip for lunch and finally got her to try one.  I'm happy to report that she loved it! YAY!!  She especially loved the dill dip.  Double YAY!

I ate my wrap all up before I thought to take a picture; however, I lucked out when I discovered mom was still eating hers, so I grabbed a shot before she polished hers off!  I sure wish I would have had the presence of mind to take a photo when I was assembling the wraps.  Maybe I'll remember tomorrow and add a photo later.

Yep, it was THAT good!  :-9
Collard Wrap Ingredients
Dill Dip (see below for recipe)
Collard leaves
Sprouts (I used Clover this time)
Julienne carrots, spring greens, cucumber
Sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow or orange peppers
Thinly sliced avocado slices

I cut the spine out of the collard and make short wraps.
Then I spread the dill dip onto each collard leaf half.
Next I spread the sprouts and then start layering the veggies.

Since I don't want the wrap to be too sloppy, I don't put a lot of the dill dip on the leaf, just a thin layer.  I put some dip in a small bowl and served it with the wraps for dipping.

Mom's Wrap
Vegan Dill Dip
1 cup of Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise
1/8 tsp Onion powder
1/8 tsp Garlic powder
dash of Sea Salt with Sea Veg (optional)
2 Tbsp cup of snipped fresh Dill
1 Tbsp snipped fresh Parsley

The above measurements are best guess scenario as I did not measure my ingredients.  Be sure to add ingredients to your taste.

If you make this, let me know what you think. Also, I'd love to hear any variations you come up with!

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Another Gorgeous Juice

I guess I just can't help myself.  I love pretty juices!  Here's another beauty.



This juice is supposed to be good for asthma and it consists of carrots, celery and grapefruit juice.  I just love the way it separates.  Even after shaking up the jar and drinking some juice, it reverts back to this lovely sight after about 10 minutes.  Simply gorgeous rawesomeness!

Sorry about the crumbs under the dehydrator.  I made this pretty amazing Sprouted Chickpea Bread the same day I was drinking this juice and didn't realize I'd captured the crumbs in my photo until much later ... after the juice - and the crumbs - were gone.  Oh well.  Life goes on. =)

To life!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Healthy Chocolate ... WOW!!

I'm so blown away! All I can say is "WOW!" 

If you've been reading my blog posts this year, you know that I've been struggling with my health since a few days after Thanksgiving. I did a 3-week juice fast but it wasn't enough to get my immune system back up to par, so I decided to stay on the juice fast.  I was still feeling rather cruddy, with no energy and lots of congestion. I didn't even have the energy - nor the desire - to make my poochies homemade "muttloaf" that I give them instead of store bought dog food. Now that's bad!  Neglecting my babies!!

I forced myself to get up, get dressed and drag my sick body to the holistic dog food store to buy some raw dog food. While there, the owner and I were discussing my health and she slid a piece of chocolate across the counter and told me to try it. I thought it was rather odd but figured, "What the heck" and I ate it. She also gave me a couple of free samples of freeze dried raw meat patties for my dogs.

On the way home, I crumbled up one of the patties and was feeding it to my Pomeranian, who accompanied me on my trek to the dog store. Afterwards, he refused to eat what was left of the muttloaf. Instead, he stared and growled at the empty sample bag that I'd kept so I would remember what to buy on my next trip to the dog store. His intent was quite obvious. He wanted more of the freeze dried dog pattie. Ugh!

So, two days later I repeated the scene. I forced myself out of bed, got dressed and dragged my butt back to the dog store. This time, another woman was working behind the counter with the owner and she heard me cough ... and the subsequent churn of mucus in my lungs. She asked me what was going on and I told her my story. She reached under the counter, pulled out a gold-foil wrapped nugget and slid it across the counter. She said, "Here, let this melt in your mouth, preferably under your tongue. It should make you feel better." The thoughts running through my mind were, "What IS UP with these women?! Every time I come in here, they keep pushing CHOCOLATE on me?!!" Then the owner turned around and said, "In about 15 minutes, all that mucus will start breaking up." Okay...

Well, I sat there chatting with them, partly because I didn't have the energy to get up off the comfy chair I was sitting in, and partly because I was fascinated by the conversation these two were having. Then, all of a sudden, I started coughing and man was she right! That mucus was breaking up and coming up. Yeah, GROSS!!! But I was very grateful. I asked them to tell me more but the owner said that she didn't know much more about it except that she had lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Two years earlier she was in a wheel chair and was having 52ccs of fluid drained off her knees. You should see her now! She is bouncing around that store like a teenager! She told me to come back on Saturday and talk to another lady who would be there. I had to wait ANOTHER two days!!

Saturday came and I was eager to get over to the store. I met up with Carol, the chocolate lady, and she gave me a BUNCH of information. She also loaned me a box of "nuggets" and told me to take three a day, one as soon as I wake up, one in the middle of the day, and one after I brush my teeth at night, when I go to bed. I did that and it TWO DAYS ... (2) DAYS!!!  I was up, dressed, and out the door - first to the health food store, then to the grocery store, then to the bank, then came home and unloaded groceries! WOW!!! My husband asked me if I was feeling better because I was "zooming around like my old self again!" I looked at him and after a moment of stunned silence, I started bawling like a baby because he was right! I DID FEEL LIKE MY OLD SELF AGAIN!!! 


The next day, I was out running errands again, then came home and did SEVEN loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, cleaned the kitchen and went to a chocolate tasting party in the evening! WOW! I'd just done more in two days than I had done in the past TWO MONTHS!!!!

Okay, so I'm sold! I signed up to be a distributor and I want to get the word out to anyone who has chronic pain, inflammation, or whatever illness to try this! Everyone's body is different and there are no guarantees, but there are so many testimonies of people who have been helped that it's amazing. 


You may be wondering WHY can't I just buy chocolate at the store. Well, for one thing, the chocolate at the store has been heated, treated, processed, and radiated. This chocolate has a proprietary method of cold-processing the cocoa bean so that it does not destroy the antioxidants. The highest levels of antioxidants are found in unprocessed dark chocolate, raw blueberries and acai berries. This chocolate has been infused with blueberries and acai berries to give it an antioxidant level that is comparable to medical grade.

The stories are amazing, and from doctors no less!! But that's not what sold me on Xocai (pronounced "Show-Sigh") Chocolate. My results are what definitely got my attention and won me over. I have been consuming this chocolate for two weeks now and I feel FANTASTIC!  I keep thinking about how much of a difference I experienced in two simple days!  And I'm STILL blown away!

I'd MUCH RATHER have chocolate than handfuls of supplements any day! I hate pills ... BUT I LOVE ME SOME XOCAI!!   Check out my ad at the top of the right column.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nature's Flu Shot

Someone sent me a recipe to "Natures Flu Shot" and just a couple of days after receiving said recipe, I had the opportunity to test it out. Fortunately, I did NOT get the flu, but I did get a healthy dose of pharyngitis/bronchitis/sinusitis ... on top of my asthma!

I didn't have enough lemons to mix up a full batch, so I made half a batch. Folks, let me tell you, this stuff really works!! And it's quite tasty too ... well, at least for the first few seconds, and then the afterburner affect of the cayenne, garlic and ginger kicks in! YOWZA!! I really should divulge here that I am NOT a "spice girl" but lean more towards being a "sugar baby." I can barely handle black pepper, much less cayenne! lol. So, if you like spice, then you'll probably love this tonic. Actually, after the first few sips, the "heat" didn't bother me anymore. YAY!

Here is the recipe:

Juice of 6 fresh lemons, preferably organic
1 "bulb" of garlic (Yep, a full bulb - the whole shebang - not a "clove")
2 tsp of ginger powder, preferably organic
2 TBSP raw local honey
3 cups of fresh pineapple juice*
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients thoroughly and store in a glass jar.  
Drink 1 cup, 4 times a day until symptoms are resolved.

* * *
I didn't keep drinking the juice until symptoms were "resolved" because, as mentioned, I didn't have enough ingredients; however, I did notice a significant difference in chest congestion, coughing and stuffiness every time I drank a cup of juice.

*I buy pineapples already cored.  For this recipe, I just cut the cored pineapple into spears and ran them through the juicer.  I then saved the pineapple pulp (which came out more like soft serve ice cream) and used it in smoothies.  =)  Just make sure when you juice the pineapples, that the juicer is clean so your pineapple pulp is pure and not mixed with other produce.

Even though there's a full bulb of garlic in this photo, I only used half since I halved the recipe.

I hope you won't need this, but if you do get the flu, this tonic is, by far, a much better and healthier alternative to a toxic flu shot.  Here are a few of the health benefits of the ingredients in the Natural Flu Shot tonic:

GARLIC is renowned as a natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral ... and with NO side effects!  Well, except for smelling like garlic!

On Dr. Mercola's site, he quotes John Summerly:

Forget the flu shot. A soup based on more than 50 cloves of garlic, onions, thyme and lemon will destroy almost any virus that enters its path including colds, flu and even norovirus.”

LEMON has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. In addition, it is a liver cleanser and aids digestion. Lemons contain many vitamins and nutrients that fight infections by enhancing immunities -- notably citric acid, Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, pectin, and limonene.

PINEAPPLE is extremely nutritious and is loaded with many essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes.  One enzyme, Bromelain, has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties, and is effective in breaking up mucus and suppressing coughs.  Pineapple is also rich in vitamin C that can ward off viruses that cause colds and cough, plus it can accelerate healing.  Besides Vitamins C, pineapple also contains Thiamine, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and proteins.  Oh, and Vitamin B6 which helps to promote a healthy immune system!

GINGER has anti-inflammatory properties and has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu.  If you've ever had "Ginger Ale" you know ginger eases the symptoms of stomach flus and food poisoning.

RAW HONEY is just loaded with benefits!  For one thing, it's a fabulous antiseptic that promotes healing and fights infection.  It is also an anti-bacterial and anti-viral that contains enzymes and antioxidants proven to fight bacterial and viral infections, like sore throats, coughs, colds, bronchitis, flu ... you know, all the stuff that the "flu shot" is supposed to (ahem) treat.  If you take RAW HONEY every day, the antioxidants and phytonutrients that it contains enhances the immune system.  

***NOTE OF CAUTION: It is crucial that you buy raw, local honey.  According to Food Safety News, more than three-fourths of the processed honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn't even honey!  The bee pollen has been deliberately filtered out.  Bee pollen is what makes honey, honey!  When the pollen is not present, there is no way to verify its origin, which typically means it is fake honey from China.  Honey that comes from China is contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics which are dangerous, even fatal, to a very small percentage of the population.  So buyer BEWARE!!

CAYENNE PEPPER, according to Eat This! is one of nature's most healing and therapeutic foods.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that stimulates circulation and neutralizes acidity.  It also has the ability to ease stomach upset, sore throats, as well as spasmodic and irritating coughs.  Since it helps to break up and move congested mucus out of the body, relief of flu symptoms usually follows shortly afterwards.

So there you have it - a natural alternative to the flu shot that TASTES GOOD, is HIGHLY BENEFICIAL, and has NO SIDE-EFFECTS!  Hmmmm... seems like a no-brainer to me! 

Stay healthy and be wise.