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Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh

October 29 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh Ally Walsh is a model and co-founder of Los Angeles-based organic coffee company, Canyon Coffee. Though we’ve never met, we love Ally’s easy-going approach to wellness, her beautiful instagram, and what her and her partner are doing over at Canyon. It’s an all-around girl crush :) In this interview, Ally tells us about her transition from a vegetarian diet to a feel-good, intuitive diet, the tonic she always takes before bed, the books she’s found to be instrumental to her well-being, exercise, beauty, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? I love routine, but that probably has a lot do to with the fact that my schedule is constantly changing! I really enjoy my morning routine, waking up early and making coffee at home. But its always nice to switch things up and come back to that. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.  I definitely try to ease into my morning. I used to grab my phone first thing when I woke up--now I keep it out of the bedroom. Instead, the first thing I do when I wake up (on a good day!) is sit upright and do a 20 minute meditation. To me, theres no better way to start off the day. Meditation is always followed by some Canyon Coffee. At home, I typically make a pour-over, which is another little opportunity to be mindful as I start my day. On a day off its so nice to sit outside on the porch with some friends and read and have coffee together. We get the New York Times delivered to our house on Sunday mornings and I could spend the whole day reading and relaxing outside in the sun. Its honestly one of my favorites things to do. If I’m shooting though, or out of town for a job, most days start early and end late. The schedule for modeling is often last minute--I sometimes dont know my schedule until the day or night before. In contrast, its nice to have Canyon, where I make my own schedule. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? I make a glass of calm/­­magnesium before bed every night! I take that with me wherever I go--security always pull me aside at the airport to ask about what this white powder is ha :) Aside from magnesium, Ill sometimes make a warm tonic with some ashwaganda. And reading always helps me to fall asleep. I guess I wouldn’t call it a ritual, but I do love watching a show or movie before sleep, too. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast: I have a cup of black coffee and almond butter or avocado toast with gluten-free bread every morning. Im a creature of habit... I have my favorite go-tos, and Im happy eating them every day. If I have to work super early sometimes i like to make overnight chia seed oatmeal. Ill mix in some oats, chia seeds, almond milk, maca and flax seeds, and then in the morning top it off with some fruit and almond butter. Lunch:  Usually a salad with quinoa, avocado, kimchi, roasted seasonal vegetables, seeds, lemon and different oils like grapeseed, olive, and white wine vinegar. I would also be very happy with just roasted kabocha squash and pesto :) Snack: Cashews, pumpkin seeds, Dates and almond butter, green juice, avocado toast, and currently addicted to Honey Mamas Chocolate! -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? Well, it kind of comes with starting a coffee company ;) Some people are surprised to learn, though, that I only drink one cup of black coffee in the morning! Thats pretty much it. I cant do too much caffeine. Only on rare occasions, like when Im on vacation, will I have an afternoon espresso or cortado. I was in Copenhagen and Stockholm recently, and fell in love with oatmilk cortados! Definitely pushed my caffeine limit there! -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? I honestly don’t! I love raw chocolate, but Im really sensitive to sugar! So Im kind of weird in that I really dont love sweets. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? In addition to magnesium at night (for sleep), Ill take ashwaganda at any time of the day for my adrenals, and probiotics daily. I feel such a difference when I take b12, too. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  Yes. Yoga has been such an important practice to me, for years. I usually go to a class a couple times a week. I intersperse that with hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and walks on the beach. -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? I actually look forward to exercise. I dont really partake in any forms of exercise that arent enjoyable. For example, Ive never really gotten into spinning or boot camp-style workouts. I love getting out in nature for hikes, and I find an hour-and-a-half in the yoga studio to be very meditative. After a long work day, I really look forward to being able to do something nice for my body. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? I really think the most beautiful people are those that feel confident in their skin and are who they want to be--not what society expects them to be. Someone thats naturally comfortable in any setting. As a model, so much emphasis is put on the external, and thats important for a photograph or video. But in person, beauty really does come from within. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? I think the most important thing for healthy skin is to eat and drink clean. Especially drinking lots of water. As for products, I use the most natural that I can find. I love Earth tu Face, True Botanicals, Osea and Linne! I use oils for moisturizing and just use water to wash my face in the morning. I love using Bodha and CAP Beauty rose water spray, too. Ill try to do a face mask once a week from Wildcare while taking a bath! Its very relaxing :) -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Water! I also think getting a good night of sleep is just as important! -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Stay hydrated. My mom is 59 & has the most beautiful skin – not one wrinklel! And she swears by drinking lots of water! Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress? Im trying to get better at this, but acupuncture has been a life saver! Its a place to relax and reset. I see Maria at Elysia Life Care and she is life-changing! I think getting into a regular routine of acupuncture and meditation can help so much with stress. After having a consistent routine with both, you start to notice things that used to stress you or make you upset no longer have the same power or effect on you. You can laugh it off, or just observe it and not be affected by it. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? Going on a walk always helps. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Lycopene vitamin C packets, lots of ginger and tea tree oil (usually just put it in my water!) -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? This has been a learning process for me, how to balance everything. Modeling, Canyon Coffee, relationship with my partner, my friends, and time for myself. Especially with starting a company with your partner, that start-up grind can be all-consuming because theres always more work you can do! So weve had to learn how to turn off- and make sure to make time for a date night! Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? My goal is to maintain a state of love (as opposed to state of stress, or lack, or anger, etc.). I was lucky to learn from a qi gong master named George Falcon for a couple years before he passed, and I feel like his teachings provided me with tools to help stay in this mindset throughout the stressors and obstacles of daily life. One of the big ones is to take responsibility for our actions and state of being. Its easy for us to blame, to say he, she, or it made me feel this way. But really its our decision. Of course, we sometimes fall out of that consciousness of love. When Im not feeling well, my first step is to take a break. To meditate, listen to a recorded guided meditation of George, go on a walk or a hike. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Ive made different changes throughout my life that have been substantial in terms of my wellness. I stopped eating meat when I was 19, then introduced fish (mainly salmon!) back in years later. Acupuncture has perhaps been the most substantial in helping me maintain balance and wellness. All of these changes or decisions are really informed by just listening to my body. You can get caught up in the mindset and identity of, say, Im vegan. But its important to check in with yourself and ask, Am I feeling good? Is this helping live a balanced and vibrant life? If not, then its important to make a change! -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. So many books! If I had to pick two, Id say Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Anatomy really opened me to the power of our bodies to heal and self-nourishment. It helped me connect my mental and spiritual state to my health and well-being. Its a book you can go back to, re-read and continue to learn from over time. Big Magic was instrumental in motivating me to start Canyon Coffee. It made me feel like I had more to give, creatively, and pushed me to start something with a greater purpose. It brought clarity to the creative process for me, breaking it down in a way that makes it approachable and applicable to my own life. Its one of those books that really inspires you to follow your dreams, and what could be more important for self-nourishment? Knowlegde -- You run Canyon Coffee together with your boyfriend, Casey. What was your path to starting your own coffee company? Personally, I was feeling uninspired. I felt like I wasnt making the most of my creativity and talents. Ive always been grateful for my modeling career, but I had also always wanted to start something of my own, and I was feeling that itch. Casey and I had both fallen in love with coffee over the years... through making it at home together and visiting coffee shops in our travels and around LA. Casey actually started working in the coffee industry, and we became friends with a roaster, James. Eventually, our passion for it grew to the point that we had the thought: why not start our own company? It really was a natural culmination. The moment we decided we wanted to do it, we just never looked back. -- What is your process when choosing beans for Canyon Coffee? Are there certain growing practices, flavor profiles, or geographical locations that are important to you? The universal practice of tasting different beans is called cupping. It involves preparing small roasted samples of different beans exactly the same way and trying them at the same time. For Canyon, our parameters narrow down our options. We usually decide on a country first, and then see what organic, seasonal beans grown at high altitudes are available through the network of importers near us in California. Then we order samples, cup, and choose the bean that smells and tastes best to us. High altitude is important because the elevation makes the coffee plant grow slower and put more energy into producing cherries. The slow growth results in cherries (and coffee beans) that are much more flavorful and vibrant. To start Canyon, we focused on Latin American coffees and wanted to find amazing-tasting beans in the chocolatey /­­ caramel flavor profile. We went with beans from Guatemala and Colombia first, because theyre known for these flavor profiles and they have great infrastructure for small coffee producers to process and export their beans. Fun and Inspiration -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? I love going to the movies :) And a nice dinner out before or after. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Anatomy of the Spirit .. anything from Krishnamurti & Ram Dass Song/­­Album – Paul Simon – Graceland, Feist – Let it Die, Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams Movie – Beginners Piece of Art – Robert Lango Men In the Cities, Alfred Stieglitz’ Portraits of Georgia OKeeffe -- What are your favorite places to eat in LA? Gjusta/­­ Gjelina, Honey Hi, Amara Kitchen, Pace, Botanica, Necco, Destroyer, Erewhon -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? Im actually in the process of moving out of my house right now! Were taking advantage of the end of our lease to do some traveling and try out living in some new neighborhoods. As a result, Im having to put a lot of my stuff in storage. Its been really nice to get rid of a lot of things and simplify to the essentials. But as far as traveling goes, I always have with me.. – new book and magazines – headphones – Jesse Kamm pants – Nikes – journal – Bodha rose water spray – probiotics – magnesium and ashwaganda  – sparkling water – ursa major rings – eye mask – almond butter packets -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? Emily LAmi of Bodha, and Lacy Phillips at Free & Native! Both these women are a constant inspiration! You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Amy Chaplin Self-Care Interview Series: Lauren Spencer King Self-Care Interview Series: Renee Byrd Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

October 6 2017 Happy Cow veggie blog 

Here’s a quick and healthy recipe from Plant-Based Cooking that is just in time for fall! Why? Because it contains everyone’s favorite fall flavor — pumpkin spice. Chia pudding is great for a grab-and-go breakfast, or a light snack. It’s made with chia seeds, which are packed with fiber, omegas, potassium, zinc and magnesium. A superfood that is great for boosting energy and so much more! You can get super creative with what ingredients you put in your chia pudding, which is one of the reasons we love it so much. So for anyone looking for a pumpkin spice version of chia pudding, this recipe will do the trick! Here’s how to make it: Read the full recipe here. The post Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding appeared first on The Veggie Blog.

Tahini Hot Chocolate

December 4 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Tahini Hot Chocolate Most of us know that feeling that usually rolls around at around 3 pm on a workday, when it seems as if you’ve hit a wall and need to somehow recharge before going back to work. I have to say that since I’ve been taking a break from caffeine, it has been less a of a crash and more a need to get up, stretch and whip up some kind of fun potion in the blender, just as a mental breather. Since it’s been cold out, I’ve been really into making hot, frothy, restorative drinks as my 3 pm activity, and this super quick tahini hot chocolate has come out on top many times. This drink gets its decadent chocolate flavor from raw cacao powder, which, contrary to popular (and my own until very recently!) belief, contains insignificant amounts of caffeine. The energizing properties of cacao come from theobromine, a mild cardiovascular stimulant (while caffeine is a nervous system stimulant) that increases heart function and blood flow and is much milder in effect than caffeine. Cacao is also high in magnesium, a mineral known for its relaxing properties, anandamide – the ‘bliss chemical,’ and PEA – the ‘love chemical.’ So this drink will calmly wake you up and give you a lift in mood – nothing crazy and no jitters. It gets its creaminess from tahini and nut butter, and its sweetness from prunes (you can also use dates, but I like the richer flavor the prunes yield here) and honey. It’s very easy to make and comes together in no time. I drink this hot chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up, but it’s good enough to serve on a special occasion, and could act as an elegant, sweet finish to a festive meal. There are some links after the jump, have a nice Sunday :) Immunity Herbal Infusion – I’ve been very much into making herbal infusions and drinking them instead of water throughout the day (nettle, raspberry leaf and goji is still my favorite), and this immunity-supporting one sounds amazing. Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment – an article questioning the recent trends of mindfulness, full of many valid points and this response, very valid in its own way. Willka Yachay Instagram – amazing photographs of the Q’eros Nation of Peru by an organization helping their community thrive in the modern world. Well + Good’s Health and Wellness Trends of 2017 – I’m especially into the #s 5, 11, 13 and 14 Amanda Chantal Bacon on the One Part Podcast How Ayurvedic Beauty Can Change Your Health – all good reminders Tahini Hot Chocolate   Print Serves: 1 mug full (about 1½ cups) Ingredients 1½ cups hot water 2 prunes or dates 1 heaping teaspoon tahini 1 heaping teaspoon almond butter 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder 1 tablespoon raw honey, or more to taste pinch cinnamon (optional) Instructions Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy. 3.5.3208 You might also like... Late Summer Oat Milk Smoothie with Figs and Grapes Black Sesame Cappuccino Beet Tahini Snack Bars Garlic Onion Veggie Dip from Food Loves Writing .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Tahini Hot Chocolate appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

August 2 2016 VegKitchen 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Based on the famous PB&J sandwich and full of nutrition, this berry smoothie is antioxidant rich. And peanut butter gives you protein and fiber as well as well as vitamin E, B6 and magnesium. Recipe and photo from How to Be a Smoothie Criminal by James McLoughlin, published by Green Press.

Banza Co-Founders on Creating a Chickpea-Powered Pasta

May 16 2016 Meatless Monday 

Banza Co-Founders on Creating a Chickpea-Powered PastaWe here at Meatless Monday love chickpeas. And whats not to love?  A great source of protein and high in fiber, magnesium and folate, these naturally gluten-free legumes are loved across the globe for their nut-like taste and buttery texture. In its newest rendition, the versatile chickpea is used to make pasta, and we sat down with the founders of Banza to see how they came up with “pasta that loves you back”. MM: What was your initial inspiration to eat more nutritiously? Health, sustainability? Did you grow up with healthy cooking/­­eating as a family or did you become interested in it later on? Brian: Growing up, I was a picky eater – I didnt venture far away from chicken nuggets and bagels. After college I started paying closer attention to the way I ate, and noticed a real difference in how I felt. I began to focus my attention on food and nutrition. Now Im the guy who stays up late reading food science books and thinking about our next innovation. MM: How did you get the idea to use chickpeas as your starter food? Why pasta? Brian: Im a huge fan of chickpeas. Theyre delicious and a staple of the mediterranean diet. Meanwhile, I love pasta. If I could, I would eat it every day. But durum wheat doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value. So I bought a hand crank and started making chickpea pasta in my own kitchen! I figured I wasnt alone – other people also must be craving a better pasta. So I recruited my big brother Scott, who was working in private equity at the time, to co-found the business with me. And weve been chickpea dreamin ever since! MM: Tell us about some of your creative failures creating the pasta and your final ah-hah moment? Scott: Early on, we realized why chickpea pasta didnt already exist. Its really hard to make! We worked with pasta experts, and still werent satisfied. We finally found the right plant, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into production, and landed our first big order. But our initial attempt fell short of our expectations. We lost a fair amount of time and money, but the challenge motivated us to spend every waking hour researching, testing and perfecting. Well never stop obsessing over making our product better. MM: Whats the feedback you hear from people about your product? Scott: When were sampling our pasta in stores or at events, we get to meet our customers, which is incredibly rewarding. We love watching people take a bite, and be shocked to discover Banza is made from chickpeas. Since day one, weve made a commitment to building a brand thats personal – one that people can meet and get to know. MM: Whats your favorite chickpea pasta recipe of all the time and can you share the recipe with us? Thats like making a parent choose a favorite child! Mac & cheese is a team favorite. We also love this avocado cream with herbs! Get the recipe for Banza’s Spring Pea Pesto Penne! MM: Do you have plans for other products with chickpeas or other ingredients? Brian: Right now were focusing on pasta – well be launching a high protein mac & cheese soon! But yes, our mission is to take the foods that people love and make them better, by using more nutritious ingredients. Im continually experimenting in my kitchen – making better versions of the foods we dont want to give up - from cereal to tortillas. Stay tuned. MM: What advice can you give our readers about how to live a healthier and more sustainable life - besides eating Banza chickpea pastas?! Everyones different, but everything in moderation. You dont need to give up all the foods you love to eat well. There are a lot of options out there that are healthy, simple substitutions for everyday foods, and healthy is much more sustainable over time if its done without sacrifice.   The post Banza Co-Founders on Creating a Chickpea-Powered Pasta appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Mung Bean Falafel Bowl with Pickled Rainbow Chard

April 28 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Mung Bean Falafel Bowl with Pickled Rainbow Chard Mung beans have been my legume of choice as of late. I love them for their versatility, good nutrition record (protein of course, manganese, potassium, magnesium, zinc, etc.), brief cooking time, and a very fair price tag. They work well for falafel, with very similar properties to chickpeas, albeit lighter in every way. Soaking the mung beans overnight and baking the falafel instead of frying makes them easy on the stomach – I say this because even though I love to get traditional fried falafel when out, it always makes me feel unwell. These mung bean falafels are made with my favorite spice mix that goes well with their bright, lemony flavor. When I go to the farmer’s market, I often have the eyes bigger than the stomach problem, especially with greens. Last week, there was lots of beautiful rainbow chard at the stand, and I carried away more bunches than we could ever eat. Pickling was the next best choice and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. The marinade I came up with is very mild and simple, and the pickling only takes a day. It seems that in our little health food community, bowl format has become the default lunch format, and we are right there with everyone, happy to enjoy a veggie loaded and colorful lunch bowl, any time of day really. As usual in spring, I can’t get enough of quickly sautéed, crispy and tender asparagus, which complements any grains or legumes. A base of quinoa, which can be substituted with any grain, tangy tahini sauce, crunchy nuts, herbs, and pickles complete this meal. All these components are, of course, suggestions, and dishes like these are highly customizable. I do very much recommend trying all the parts – the falafel, the pickles and tahini sauce – if not together, then independently, added to sandwiches, salads, and the like – you won’t regret it. Mung Bean Falafel Bowl with Pickled Rainbow Chard serves 4-6 for the mung bean falafel bowl 1 cup rainbow quinoa or other grain of choice – cooked sea salt – to taste 1/­­2 tablespoon neutral coconut oil about 20 asparagus – tough ends removed freshly ground black pepper – to taste mung bean falafel – recipe below pickled rainbow chard – recipe below large hadful baby spiach/­­other salad greens handful cilantro leaves/­­pea shoots/­­other microgreens tahini sauce – recipe below sesame seeds – for garnish (optional) chopped pistachios/­­other nuts – for garnish (optional) to assemble the falafel bowls Distribute quinoa between bowls. Warm coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add asparagus to the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until soft and bright green. Divide asparagus between bowls on top of quinoa. Arrange falafels on top, followed by chard pickles, if using. Add spinach or other salad greens, herbs/­­microgreens. Drizzle with tahini sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and nuts. Mung Bean Falafel makes about 18 falafels 1 cup mung beans – soaked overnight 1/­­2 cup pumpkin seeds juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons sesame tahini 2 tablespoons melted neutral coconut oil or olive oil 1/­­2 tablespoon cumin seeds – freshly ground 1/­­4 teaspoon red pepper flakes sea salt – to taste freshly ground black pepper – to taste 1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). 2. Drain and rinse mung beans and cook them in plenty of salted water for about 7 minutes, or until soft but not mushy. Drain over a colander and set aside. 3. Coarsely grind pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Add mung beans and the rest of ingredients. Pulse to combine. 4. Shape about 18 small falafels and arrange them on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side. Keep covered and warm, if using right away. Otherwise, keep refrigerated in an airtight container and reheat in the 350° F (180° C) oven for about 10-15 minutes. Pickled Rainbow Chard 1 large bunch rainbow chard – leaves and stems separated 4 garlic cloves – sliced pinch red pepper flakes roughly chopped dill and cilantro – to taste (optional) Thinly slice chard stems and leaves into bite sized pieces. Place into a large water-proof bowl, and pour purified water over them to just cover. Drain water, reserving it, and measure it, as you will need to prepare the marinade according to these proportions: 5 cups water 1/­­2 cup apple cider vinegar 2 1/­­2 tablespoons sea salt 1 teaspoon coconut sugar 2 bay leaves 3 whole cloves 1/­­2 teaspoon coriander seeds 1/­­4 teaspoon black peppercorns to pickle Combine measured water with other marinade ingredients in a medium saucepan. If you have more or less water than the recipe calls for, adjust the amount of vinegar, salt and spices accordingly – it doesn’t have to be exact. Bring the marinade to a boil over medium high heat, lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs to the chard, mixing to distribute evenly. Pour hot marinade over the chard and place a plate over it to keep all the chard emerged in the marinade. You can use a heavy object to weigh the plate down, such as a jar filled with water. Pickles will be ready the next day. Keep refrigerated. Best within 1 week. Tahini Sauce 1/­­4 cup sesame tahini 1/­­4 cup purified water juice of 1 lemon 1 garlic clove – chopped sea salt – to taste tiny pinch red pepper flakes (optional) Combine all the ingredients in an upright blender and blend until smooth. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Do Food Cravings Mean Your Nutrient Deficient?

February 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Do Food Cravings Mean Your Nutrient Deficient? Myth: You crave a certain food because youre deficient in one of its nutrients. If youve ever found yourself desperately pushing through a crowd to get at the double-chocolate cupcakes in a display window, youre well aware of the power of food cravings. Some people suggest that such cravings are an effort by your body to correct a deficiency in a certain nutrient. In the case of chocolate, that might be magnesium--cocoa is considered a good source of this vital mineral. The urge to dig into a tub of salted caramel ice cream, some would say, is an indication you are coming up short in bone-building calcium. And if youre desperately searching for that strawberry shortcake in your fridge, are you deficient in vitamin C? Probably not. Your hankering for certain foods is more likely caused by a mixture of social, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental cues rather than nutritional ones. Case in point, we most often yearn for foods laden with fat, sugar, and salt rather than nutrient-dense choices such as leafy greens and lentils. See also 8 Foods Every Vegetarian Should Eat A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that volunteers who received an infusion of fatty acids (similar to what you would get from comfort foods) while being exposed to depressing stimuli, such as dreary music, reported feeling less sad. And a British study looking at the state of mind of participants right before a craving struck found that they were prone to being anxious or bored and to experiencing a depressed mood. These findings indicate that areas of the brain involved in emotions and moods are strongly affected by dietary elements that can impact cravings and the urge to eat. So when youre feeling down in the dumps, a warm muffin may positively impact parts of your brain--and result in a learned craving for that item. Outsmart a Craving Heres how to outsmart cravings for foods laden with sugar, salt, or fat, which can lead to unbalanced eating and weight gain. STEP OUT The next time you sense a craving for a brownie coming on, lace up your shoes instead. Research shows that a brisk walk can be enough to dampen the urge for sugary snack foods. GET SLEEP Research suggests that people who get more hours of shut-eye tend to be slimmer. KEEP NOTES A detailed food log can help you pinpoint craving trends. You can then take measures to fight back, such as using yoga to deal with stress that induces cravings. UPGRADE Look for healthier substitutes for the foods you crave. For example, try salty tasting nori snacks instead of potato chips or sweet frozen grapes instead of candy. See also Cut the Sugar in 3 Easy Steps The Reality of Food Cravings Cravings are more about wanting than needing. While your body can coax you into drinking more water when youre parched, its not likely to urge you to eat more pumpkin seeds when you need magnesium. Psychological and external factors, though, are the main motivators that drive people to indulge in food cravings. Canada-based Investigative Nutritionist Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Spelt Flour

February 2 2016 Vegetarian Times 

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Spelt FlourWe asked our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute to weigh in on popular, healthy ingredients and cooking methods. Vegetarian Times has partnered with the renowned New York-based culinary school to create a  comprehensive new online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition. Whether youre a new vegetarian, an avid cook wanting to expand your skills, or contemplating a career in the food industry, you will find this course helpful. Sign up to receive discounts and information about this awesome course. While spelt may be an ancient grain, its finding its way into lots of modern recipes. And no wonder: its a perfect choice for health-conscious cooks who want to add more variety to their current stable of grains, and it’s a fitting alternative to whole wheat products. Some people claim spelt is better than whole wheat, touting its nutty flavor. While taste may be a valid distinguishing quality, spelt is nutritionally on par with whole wheat --it boasts fewer calories, but it has less fiber and other nutrients than its counterpart. Another big difference? Spelt is technically not wheat. Though it does contain gluten,  spelt’s gluten is more soluble than that of wheat gluten, and therefore acts differently during the cooking process. Health Benefits of Spelt Spelt provides lots of nutritional benefits, and boasts an impressive mineral and vitamin content. It is high in fiber, and a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. Here are a few favorite recipes utilizing spelt: Spelt pizza dough--Spelt flour is a sub-in for flour in any pizza dough recipe. Many people swear by the texture and flavor that it provides versus other heartier flours.  Spelt salad--Toast about 1 cup of spelt kernels in a dry skillet until browned, rinse well with cold water. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and simmer spelt until tender, about an hour. Use this as a base for a salad serving eight to ten people. What else to include? Try a protein such as tofu or beans, veggies like bell peppers and onion, and a spicy peanut butter sauce to top it off. Spelt waffles - Spelt flour can act as a 1:1 replacement for whole wheat flour. So try it out in waffles to create a light, airy final product with a nutty flavor. These waffles can also include spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Shredded apple can be a great addition too. Kayleen St. John is the resident nutritionist at NYCs Natural Gourmet Institute. Kayleen has a Masters degree in clinical nutrition from NYU and is a registered dietitian. Her research examines the relationship between diet and inflammatory conditions. Kayleen is an avid runner and believes smart nutrition contributes to optimal athletic performance. Our new course, Foundations of Plant Based Nutrition, led by Kayleen, covers essential plant-centric professional cooking techniques, health-focused topics including allergens and inflammation, and how to separate nutrition fact and fiction in a vegan and veg diet. 

Is Low-Fat Always Better Than Full-Fat?

May 21 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Is Low-Fat Always Better Than Full-Fat?Illustration: Stephanie Birdsong Nope! It’s a myth. It wasnt so long ago that we began blaming fat for all the things that ail us, leading to widespread fat phobia and the proliferation of lower-fat foods on store shelves. Yet opting for only low-fat or fat-free items might be hurting, not helping, our health and weight-loss efforts. Researchers at Cornell University discovered that labeling snacks as low-fat ups their consumption at a single sitting by as much as 50 percent. Why? ?A low-fat label can increase what people perceive to be an appropriate serving size, and temper the guilt associated with, say, polishing off a bag of reduced-fat chips; similarly, a study in the journal Appetite found that people tend to underestimate the calories in candy presented as low-fat, and also perceive the candy to be more healthful than full-fat versions. Such miscalculations can lead to excessive calorie intake and potential weight gain. Worse still, reduced-fat versions of grocery products arent necessarily ?a nutritional upgrade. When fat is removed from such items as peanut butter, frozen yogurt, and salad dressings, manufacturers tend to make up for the ?loss of flavor and texture by pumping in more sugar and salt, which raise ?heart disease risk. Not to be overlooked are nutritional assists from fats. A type of unsaturated fat called oleic acid, packed into foods including olive oil, converts to a hunger-curbing compound in the body, thus helping curtail between-meal trips to the cookie jar. Fat also improves absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as the vitamin D added to milk. And, according to research from Purdue University, even just a bit of the monounsaturated fat in canola oil- or olive oil-based dressings promotes absorption of health-protective carotenoid antioxidants supplied by salad veggies. Fat Chance Adults should get 20 to 35 percent of their calories from fat, according to the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. Start with these naturally fat-rich plant foods that provide plenty of nutritional perks. Almond butter supplies magnesium, a mineral that aids in lessening heart disease risk. ?Spread on crackers, apple slices, and celery sticks. Here’s how to make your own almond butter. Avocado boosts dietary fiber intake to help kick-start weight loss. ?Blend into smoothies, chocolate desserts, and dips. Hemp seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, delivering about ?10 grams per 3-tablespoon serving. ?Add to yogurt, salads, and soups. Bottom Line: Dont always fear the fat. In most cases, youre better off selecting the full-fat versions of grocery goods, and simply paying attention to portions to keep calories in check.

5 Types of Seaweed to add to your diet

April 18 2015 Vegie Head 

5 types of seaweed to add to your diet Wakame – called the woman’s seaweed because it is loaded with osteoporosis-preventing calcium and magnesium and acts as a diuretic (which helps reduce bloating). Wakame’s dark pigment, fucoxanthin, is known to improve insulin resistance, and...

6 Top Health Benefits of Almonds

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

6 Top Health Benefits of AlmondsAlmonds are one of the worlds most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few: Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal. Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/­­day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries. Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts! Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs. A good source of calcium and other nutrients: Weve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, theyre a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well. Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said! Adapted from Nuts.com, with permission. Discover your favorite almond products at nuts.com from premium supreme-sized raw almonds to finely blanched almond flour and all natural almond butters for your snacking and recipe needs.

Eating the Plant-Based Rainbow

February 13 2015 VegKitchen 

Eating the Plant-Based RainbowExcerpted from The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan -- with Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Health* by Julianna Hever (C) 2014 Da Capo Lifelong Book, reprinted by permission. A rainbow a day keeps the doctor away and our bodies humming. Vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods provide a broad spectrum of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and abundant vitamins, minerals, and fibers. We get the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck with colorful plant foods--especially vegetables and fruits. Nutrients are considered essential when we cannot produce them in our bodies on our own and require consuming them from our diet.  Certain macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals are classified as essential.Fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients, providing doses of vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, magnesium, potassium, selenium, iron, calcium, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, an entire additional category of nutrients that are not categorized as essential are at the crux of lasting health: phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, also referred to as phytonutrients, are nonessential nutrients found in plants. Phyto means plant in Greek. Scientists have found that although these compounds are abundant, several factors pre- vent them from being easily quantified and classified. First, so many different types and varieties of phytochemicals are out there that many have yet to be identified. Secondly, levels found in plants vary dramatically ac- cording to genetic factors, in response to environmental conditions, and even between cultivars. Finally, assessing how phytonutrients are metabolized and utilized in the human body is difficult because of these added complexities. In other words, if they are found inconsistently in nature, they are more challenging to predict, generalize, and document. Thus, phytochemicals remain the silent saviors, the unsung heroes of our plant food supply. They remain humble, indeed, and go to great lengths to keep us healthy, even without adequate praise. Yet, phytonutrients really arent made for us, specifically. They are designed for the plants they live within. Plants generate pigments and other chemicals in order to ward off pests, protect against harsh weather, and fend off ultraviolet (UV ) radiation, among other purposes. Symbiotically, these same compounds happen to protect our human bodies from a broad variety of concerns. As of now, researchers have identified tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of phytochemicals--found  largely in fruits and vegetables  and other edible plant foods like legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and teas. Here is a list of just some of the vast benefits of these nutrients: - Reduce cancer activities by blocking the formation of tumors, decreasing the proliferation of cancer cell growth, repairing damage to DNA, and inducing bodys ability to detoxify carcinogens. - Protect the heart by decreasing damage to blood vessel walls, de- creasing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, increasing blood flow, de- creasing cholesterol levels, and reducing the formation of blood clots. - Enhance immune function by defending against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. - Act as powerful antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals that cause cell damage. - Reduce inflammation, which may very well be one of the primary sources for disease. - Prevent common eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts and support vision. - Decrease risk for osteoporosis. Because each color of the rainbow represents a unique pigment range and broad array of different nutrients, we should aim to eat each and every color every day. The World Health Organization attributes 1.7 million or 2.8 percent of deaths worldwide to low fruit and vegetable consumption and considers it one of the top ten risk factors contributing to attributable mortality. Organizations including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Cancer Society, and Physicians Committee  for Responsible  Medicine  (PCRM)  recommend  that half our plates be built of vegetables and fruits. Taking full advantage of them means enjoying vegetables and fruits at each meal and providing our bodies with a constant stream of protection. - Visit Julieanna Hever at The Plant-Based Dietician. *This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

From my Cookbook: Raw Vegan Eggnog

December 5 2014 My New Roots 

From my Cookbook: Raw Vegan Eggnog   I always know that Christmas is right around the corner when eggnog suddenly appears in my parents fridge. My father just loves the stuff and hell guzzle through umpteen vintage-deckled cartons over the course of the holidays, especially if guests pop by. Me? Im not so much into it. Although I can totally dig on the warming spicy scent that wafts from the punch bowl, knowing what it’s made of, kind of makes my tummy flip. Once I realized that it was the sweetness and smell of freshly grated nutmeg that was charming me, I set out to make a raw vegan version that would satisfy even my dads discriminating eggnog palette (well, in theory anyway). Its super rich, so thick and creamy - an amazing breakfast in fact - but decadent enough for dessert. The secret is in the sesame seeds: an unusual addition to a blended drink, but give them a try! They add tons of protein, fiber, healthy fats, calcium and help make this smoothie a veritable meal. I am also excited to post this recipe because it is the first one I am sharing from the cookbook! Its a simple one, but a sure favourite. Plus, it seems like the time of year when many of you will be dusting off your reindeer-shaped eggnog cups, so I thought it appropriate to swoop in and present you with a possible alternative.   Smooth Move, Sesame Seeds If youve been reading My New Roots for a while, you are already well aware of my sesame seed obsession. I love their versatility, nutty flavour, nourishing minerals and healthy fats. I love how inexpensive and readily available they are, and how long they stay fresh (storing them in the fridge is always best!). I buy them in bulk and use them for so many things, from dressing up salads to throwing them in my smoothies. Thats right! You can drink sesame seeds. For real. I first discovered this upon running out of protein powder, and searching the cupboards for an alternative, my curiosity fell upon the holy seed. I soaked them overnight, and the next morning whirred them up with some fruit and greens to reveal a most satisfying meal-in-a-glass. Since then, I havent looked back! Now I often add sesame seeds to my smoothies, and even blended soups, as I find they add incredible body and richness to just about anything. If you are the kind of person that loves drinking smoothies, but finds that you are hungry an hour later (me), sesame seeds will really help with the stick-to-your-ribs satiety factor. It may surprise to find out that sesame seeds are an excellent source of essential minerals. Calcium for the prevention of osteoporosis and migraines, magnesium for supporting our vascular system, zinc for bone health, selenium for antioxidant protection, and copper for reducing inflammation are just a handful of the incredibly important roles these minerals play for us. The biggest surprise of all? By weight, sesame seeds have a higher iron content than liver!   If you have a high-powered blender the sesame seeds will blend up very quickly. If you have a regular blender, remember that it make take a little longer to achieve a perfectly smooth consistency. Just keep the motor running and be patient. The level of spiciness in this drink, I leave up to you. I like mine super nutmeg-y, but thats not everyones taste, so start with just a little, blend, and add more if youd like. The same goes for the figs: I usually make my milkshake with just one, but others might enjoy it a little sweeter. If you find that your figs are very dry, soak them the night before beside the sesame seeds, and use the soak water in the eggnog. The turmeric is really just to add a slightly creamy yellow, so its optional.       Print recipe     Raw Vegan Eggnog Milkshake Serves 1 Ingredients: 1 frozen banana 1-2 dried figs (depending on how sweet you like it) 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, soaked for 8 hours, or overnight 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds 1 cup milk of choice or water 1/­­2 tsp. ground cinnamon pinch of freshly grated nutmeg pinch of ground clove pinch of turmeric (for colour) a little squeeze of lemon juice Directions: 1. Place sesame seeds in a glass with 1/­­2 tsp. of sea salt, cover with water and soak up to 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. 2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Spice to taste. Enjoy. If you are looking for Christmas gifts this year, dont forget that a pre-ordered My New Roots cookbook is probably on everyones list, amiright? Not only that, but it comes with the added bonus of arriving in spring, when most people have long forgotten about the holidays and are in serious need of presents! Wow, didnt I time that perfectly? I am always thinking ahead here, friends. You can preorder the My New Roots cookbook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and Indigo. In all seriousness, I have been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from all of you about the book. I know that you are just as excited as I am to hold this collection of from-the-heart recipes in your hands. Only a few more months to go now! And most thrilling of all, is that my cookbook is going to be published translated into Danish and Dutch! The UK and Australia are publishing it too. Here are the release dates: US: March 31, 2015 Canada: March 31, 2015 UK: April 9, 2015 Australia: April 9, 2015 Netherlands: June, 2015 Denmark: pending In the meantime, have a look at the gorgeous quotes below from my friends and peers who have been fortunate enough to have a sneak peak of the book. Thank you to all of them for being so incredibly generous and encouraging with their words.   My New Roots is beautiful proof that eating with nutrition in mind need not be a compromise. This is an unabashedly enthusiastic riff on the food-as-medicine approach to cooking and eating. Sarahs playful and encouraging voice is infectious; you get the sense that she is waiting on the other side of each recipe to give you a high five. --Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day My New Roots is filled with good ideas for fresh new ways of using plant foods. Sarah Britton shows that truly alive ingredients can result in more interesting and better-tasting recipes and are always worth seeking out. --Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone Sarah is a veggie-lovin culinary goddess! Her unique and seasonal plant-based creations will inspire you to fall head over heels in love with vegetables. There are so many beautiful recipes I cant wait to make! --Angela Liddon, author of The Oh She Glows Cookbook I have been waiting for this book since I first started reading Sarahs blog years ago. She has a gift for writing truly wonderful recipes, vibrant with produce, and has the knowledge to explain why these plant-based foods are good for us. Her sweet spirit shines through every page. So thrilled to have this keeper in my kitchen! --Sara Forte, author of The Sprouted Kitchen Sarahs creativity always inspires. With its vibrant recipes, evocative visuals, witty combinations, and approachable ways to live better, this book is a must for anyone interested in optimal, delicious health. --Laura Wright, thefirstmess.com Sarah always treads the beautiful line between making whole foods practical and also appealing, leading the way in this new real food movement. --Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar Being healthy and happy is so easy when youre cooking with Sarah. Her gentle approach, love and passion for whole foods, and flair for pairing mind-blowing flavors create fabulous and fresh food that looks stunning and is bursting with personality and life-affirming goodness. With unbelievable tastes and textures, My New Roots takes you on an exquisite journey that seduces you with every lift of the fork, leaving you voracious for vegetables. --Tess Masters, author of The Blender Girl Its a rare book that delivers inspiration through its every page, yet each one of Sarahs recipes sings with flavor and originality. The entire collection is a seductive introduction to a more wholesome way of eating and an irresistible call to the kitchen. --Clotilde Dusoulier, author of The French Market Cookbook and Edible French  

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Zucchini

November 2 2014 VegKitchen 

5 Surprising Health Benefits of ZucchiniZucchini, a vegetable originating from the Americas, has a variety of benefits. Though botanically it is a fruit, it is considered a vegetable world-over. Both raw and cooked zucchini are great for the overall health of an individual. Before we go into details about five major health benefits of zucchini, here’s a little trivia about this summer squash: Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo which includes pumpkins and cucumbers. It is also known as courgette in French while the British call it vegetable marrow. The skin color can vary from light to dark green. It is best eaten prior to the skin becoming tough and seeds growing large. The flowers of the zucchini are also edible and used regularly in French and Italian cuisine for dressing meals or for garnishing cooked fruit, offering great taste in the process. Zucchini is extensively grown in Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt China, Japan, Italy, and India amongst other countries. Though grown all year long, the peak season is in the summer months. Zucchini cannot be stored for long periods unless frozen (you can freeze grated raw zucchini, or lightly steamed slices. Make sure to pack in air-tight containers). The five surprising health benefits of zucchini are: Zucchini Is Awesome For The Heart: Zucchini contains good amounts of potassium that helps reduce blood pressure. It also contains moderate levels of folate that breaks down amino acids like homocysteine that cause heart attacks and strokes. The considerable amount of magnesium helps in keeping blood pressure at a normal rate and the heart beat at a steady rhythm. Zucchini Helps In Weight Loss: Zucchini has incredibly low calories that make it a much-preferred part of any weight loss diet. Substituting calorie rich foods with a sizable portion of zucchini helps you in reducing the number of calories that are taken in. This makes it easier to burn off calories, thereby helping you lose weight. The fibre content helps in burning the fat in the body. Zucchini also keeps the body hydrated with its 95 percent water content. This gives you more energy and fewer headaches. Zucchini Improves Eye Health: The cousin vegetable, cucumber is beneficial for reducing the puffiness in the eyes. Similarly, zucchini when used externally helps to remove the puffy bags that develop around the eyes due to excessive water retention. The swelling around the eyes lessens due to the water-rich content. The carotenoid Beta-carotene can be converted into vitamin A in the body. The presence of Vitamin A in the squash helps in active cell development in the eyes, which enhances vision and helps in preventing age-related medical conditions affecting the eyes such as macular degeneration. Zucchini Guards Against Asthma and Strengthens Teeth And Bones: Due to Zucchini being a good source of vitamin C, it is considered a good food for fighting asthma. Vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant, plays a huge role in keeping the immune systems healthy and fighting respiratory problems. The anti-inflammatory properties help keep the lungs open and clear. Zucchini also contains calcium that helps the nervous system to function properly and gives strength to the bones and teeth. Zucchini Helps Lower Cholesterol: The high-fiber content in zucchini helps in lowering cholesterol. The high levels of vitamin A and Vitamin C delays the beginning of atherosclerosis by keeping the cholesterol from oxidizing the body’s blood vessels. Zucchini rids the body of excess toxins. The benefits of zucchini are immense and not limited to just these. This versatile summer squash is also healthy for the skin giving it a glow and restoring its moisture. Recent studies indicate that zucchini assists in reducing symptoms of prostatic hypertrophy (BOH) or a condition in which there is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Complications with urination and sexual functioning can thus be checked. The anti-inflammatory properties can play a significant role in the protection against diabetes. Begin savoring this wonder-working vegetable as a regular part of your food habits! Resources : - http:/­­/­­www.choosemyplate.gov/­­food-groups/­­vegetables-tips.html - http:/­­/­­www.livestrong.com/­­article/­­334127-the-health-benefits-of-zucchini/­­ - http:/­­/­­www.stylecraze.com/­­articles/­­benefits-of-zucchini-for-skin-hair-and-health/­­ - http:/­­/­­healthyeating.sfgate.com/­­benefits-raw-grilled-zucchini-2771.html Vineetha Reddy is very passionate about nutrition, fitness, health & wellness. She strongly believes that the ingredients you find in your pantry are the best medicines that you can get. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tropical Soba

June 1 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Tropical Soba The hotter the weather gets, the more I find myself substituting meals with just a ton of watermelon, mango or papaya, or even some kind of iced and very hydrating smoothie or drink. The heat brings out those strong cravings for all things hydrating, juicy, and cooling, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. For something more substantial and nourishing, but still in line with all the aforementioned requirements for a hot summer day meal, there is this Tropical Soba. Papaya is one of my favorite tropical fruit. Of course, we didn’t have anything like it when I was growing up in Russia, so when I moved to Florida and tried papaya for the first time, I was blown away by its buttery consistency and complex, unfamiliar flavor. I was also pleasantly surprised by all its sunny health benefits – papaya is anti-inflammatory due to a wealth of vitamin C and beta-carotene, and some special enzymes, and contains other good stuff like potassium, magnesium, copper, fiber and folate, etc. (the list is quite long). I had a very similar story with mangoes, being completely overjoyed the first time I tried one. So when both of these fruit come into season, they sneak into all kinds of meals around here. Soba noodles are on high rotation in our house as well. Paloma, being in her very picky eater stage, will accept some kind of soba bowl any time of day, which I’m ok with, as the protein-rich buckwheat in soba makes the noodles filling and nutritious. For her, I tend to buy the 100% buckwheat soba, just to pack in as many extra goodies as I can into her meal, but I also like wheat/­­buckwheat blend soba, which tends to be more affordable. This recipe basically combines everything we want to eat at the moment. Nourishing, chilled soba noodles are the base, accompanied by sweet and luscious pieces of papaya and mango, jicama for a nice crunch, a sprinkle of desiccated coconut for some bite, basil, cilantro and mint for that herbal freshness, all dressed with a creamy coconut milk and lime sauce. A tropical dream in a bowl really. I hope you get around to making it sometime this summer :) Tropical Soba   Print Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1 large, ripe mango - peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces ½ medium papaya - peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces 1 small or ½ large jicama - peeled and cut into small cubes basil, mint, cilantro - to taste juice of 2 large limes - divided 1 8 oz package of soba noodles (I used these) sea salt Thai chili paste/­­sriracha - to taste (optional) 1 can light coconut milk unsweetened desiccated coconut - for garnish Instructions Combine mango, papaya, jicama and herbs in a large bowl. Squeeze juice of 1 lime over the mixture, toss to coat. Cook soba noodles in well salted water, according to instructions on the package, take care not to overcook. Drain over a colander, rinse briefly with cold water and shake off any excess water. Add soba to the bowl with the fruit, toss gently and squeeze juice from the second lime over the dish. Add a little squeeze of chili paste, if using, followed by coconut milk. Toss to coat well. You can add more coconut milk to make the dish soupier, if desired. Distribute between bowls or serving plates, garnish with desiccated coconut and more herbs. 3.5.3208   You might also like... Raw Rutabaga and Crispy Sage Pizza No Noodle Pad Thai Raw Caramelized Vegetables in Crispy Coconut Cups Raw Thanksgiving .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb { background: !important; -webkit-transition: background 0.2s linear; -moz-transition: background 0.2s linear; -o-transition: background 0.2s linear; transition: background 0.2s linear;;color:!important; } .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover{background:#ffffff !important;color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover .yuzo_­text, .yuzo_­related_­post:hover .yuzo_­views_­post {color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb a:hover{color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb:hover a{ color:!important;} .yuzo_­related_­post .relatedthumb{ margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 5px 5px 5px 5px; } The post Tropical Soba appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

4 Great Tips for Using Dates

May 10 2016 VegKitchen 

4 Great Tips for Using Dates Are you ready for your hot date tonight? Dont worry, I havent hacked into your social calendar--I am referring to the naturally sweet and energy-dense fruit. Dates are packed with fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and K.

How Do I Cook with Seaweed

April 12 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Sea vegetables deserve way more attention than they get from sushi bars and maki rolls.  Mineral dense and a great source of iron, magnesium and potassium, seaweed is the unique source of plant-based EPA; an omega-3 fatty acid otherwise only found in animal products.  And theres an entire world of sea vegetables out there.  Here are a few of the most common varieties. Nori: The sushi staple also makes great wraps for veggie rolls.  Dulse: After a quick soak in cold water, the brownish/­­ dark purple seaweed makes a wonderful addition to salads.  Kombu: The fat, dried strips of sea kelp are most often used as flavoring agents. They can be added to vegetable broths as they cook, then thinly sliced to add texture, umami flavor, and richness to soups.

Do Food Cravings Mean You’re Nutrient Deficient?

February 19 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Do Food Cravings Mean You’re Nutrient Deficient? Myth: You crave a certain food because youre deficient in one of its nutrients. If youve ever found yourself desperately pushing through a crowd to get at the double-chocolate cupcakes in a display window, youre well aware of the power of food cravings. Some people suggest that such cravings are an effort by your body to correct a deficiency in a certain nutrient. In the case of chocolate, that might be magnesium--cocoa is considered a good source of this vital mineral. The urge to dig into a tub of salted caramel ice cream, some would say, is an indication you are coming up short in bone-building calcium. And if youre desperately searching for that strawberry shortcake in your fridge, are you deficient in vitamin C? Probably not. Your hankering for certain foods is more likely caused by a mixture of social, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental cues rather than nutritional ones. Case in point, we most often yearn for foods laden with fat, sugar, and salt rather than nutrient-dense choices such as leafy greens and lentils. See also 8 Foods Every Vegetarian Should Eat A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation found that volunteers who received an infusion of fatty acids (similar to what you would get from comfort foods) while being exposed to depressing stimuli, such as dreary music, reported feeling less sad. And a British study looking at the state of mind of participants right before a craving struck found that they were prone to being anxious or bored and to experiencing a depressed mood. These findings indicate that areas of the brain involved in emotions and moods are strongly affected by dietary elements that can impact cravings and the urge to eat. So when youre feeling down in the dumps, a warm muffin may positively impact parts of your brain--and result in a learned craving for that item. Outsmart a Craving Heres how to outsmart cravings for foods laden with sugar, salt, or fat, which can lead to unbalanced eating and weight gain. STEP OUT The next time you sense a craving for a brownie coming on, lace up your shoes instead. Research shows that a brisk walk can be enough to dampen the urge for sugary snack foods. GET SLEEP Research suggests that people who get more hours of shut-eye tend to be slimmer. KEEP NOTES A detailed food log can help you pinpoint craving trends. You can then take measures to fight back, such as using yoga to deal with stress that induces cravings. UPGRADE Look for healthier substitutes for the foods you crave. For example, try salty tasting nori snacks instead of potato chips or sweet frozen grapes instead of candy. See also Cut the Sugar in 3 Easy Steps The Reality of Food Cravings Cravings are more about wanting than needing. While your body can coax you into drinking more water when youre parched, its not likely to urge you to eat more pumpkin seeds when you need magnesium. Psychological and external factors, though, are the main motivators that drive people to indulge in food cravings. Canada-based Investigative Nutritionist Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

Stock Your Pantry with Plant-Based Protein

January 25 2016 Meatless Monday 

Stock Your Pantry with Plant-Based ProteinGearing up to go meatless on Mondays? Keep your kitchen and pantry stocked with plant-based foods that are rich in protein and flavor! When folks start eating meatless once a week, many wonder where they can get enough protein to stay healthy. The truth is, plants (especially pulses) are full of protein, and with just a little planning you can get all the nutrients you need from plant-based foods! Here are some of the most popular plant-based sources of proteins that Meatless Monday diners love. Lentils Nutrition: 1 cup = 18g protein Lentils are a protein powerhouse: 9 grams of protein in just half a cup! But protein is only part of the picture for lentils; these pulses add a significant serving of fiber, folate, iron, and potassium to your meal. Dried, canned, or pre-cooked, lentils are an essential in any pantry. Lentil Recipes for Meatless Monday: Breakfast Lentils, Lazy Lentil Soup, Lentil Balls with Riata Hemp Seeds Nutrition: 3 tablespoons = roughly 10g protein Far from a simple garnish, hemp seeds add protein to any meal and contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Whether sprinkled on salads, stirred into smoothies or blended in soups, hemp seeds at a mild sweet or nutty flavor to meals. Hemp Seed Recipes for Meatless Monday: Mushroom Hemp Tartlets, Blueberry Brainiac Smoothie Chia Seeds Nutrition: 2 tablespoons = 4g protein Chia seeds are a sprinkle-able, stir-able, drinkable source of protein with simple instructions: just add water! Soaking your chia seeds allows them to absorb water and produce their iconic soluble-fiber- rich gel. These seeds and the gel they produce also make an excellent thickening agent in cooking. Chia Seed Recipes for Meatless Monday: Chocolate Banana Smoothie, Blueberry Apple Porridge Quinoa Nutrition: 1/­­2 cup = 7-9g protein A perfect protein-rich replacement for rice, quinoa has recently become a popular meatless main course ingredient and stand-alone side dish. Quinoa is packed with full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese, and makes a very nutritious addition to your menu. Quinoa Recipes for Meatless Monday: Black Quinoa, Farro & Rice Salad with Radishes, Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers, Supreme Crispy Quinoa Vegetable Burgers Quinoa Nuts and Nut Butters Nutrition: 1/­­4 cup = about 7-9g protein Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and more – nut butters are perhaps the easiest way to add a dollop of protein and healthy fats to your diet. Nut butters go way beyond the traditional PB&J; spread it on whole grain toast, add a spoonful to soups or sauces, or just enjoy a spoonful on its own! Nut Recipes for Meatless Monday: Spicy Peanut Chutney, Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce Beans (Like Black Beans, Kidney Beans, and Cannellini Beans) Nutrition: 1 cup = about 15g protein One of the best-known plant-based protein sources, beans are versatile and can be very easy to prepare. In addition to the protein they bring to your plate, beans also offer a heaping helping of fiber and flavor. Bean Recipes for Meatless Monday: Italian White Beans with Kale, Mashed Plantain with Red Beans Seitan Nutrition: 1 cup = 40g protein Nicknamed “wheat meat,” seitan is made of wheat gluten and has a chewy, meaty texture when cooked. It’s know for its ability to soak up the flavors of the other foods, seasonings, and sauces it is cooked with. Seitan Recipes for Meatless Monday: Seitan-Cashew Blanquette, Seitan with Mushroom Gravy, Smoked Spicy Seitan Chili Tempeh Nutrition: 1 cup = 22g protein This meatless protein source is made of fermented soy beans, and has a nutty, sweet flavor on its own. Like tofu and seitan it absorbs flavors well, but tempeh has a firmer consistency that makes grilling and searing ideal cooking options. Tempeh Recipes for Meatless Monday: Sesame Tempeh with Green Beans, Tempeh Fried Brown Rice, Thai Tempeh Tacos Tofu Nutrition: 1 cup = 14g protein Spongy, versatile tofu is one of the most popular meatless protein-rich foods. Made from soybean curds, tofu can be silky soft or extra firm, and can be grilled, fried, baked, steamed, sautéed, or even eaten raw. Tofu Recipes for Meatless Monday: Curried Tofu Egg Salad With Almonds, Korean BBQ Tofu Tacos, Asian Noodles with Tofu and Almonds The post Stock Your Pantry with Plant-Based Protein appeared first on Meatless Monday.

The Best Vegan Milk (Non-Dairy) Alternatives

April 22 2015 VegKitchen 

The Best Vegan Milk (Non-Dairy) AlternativesAre you looking for some healthy vegan milk alternatives that can please your taste buds at the same time? Well, the market is flooded with dozens of non-dairy milk beverages and quite a few of them are worth trying. Sounds interesting? Read on below to learn more: Why Vegan Milk is a Good Choice for You? No matter whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, picking non-dairy milk alternatives over the regular ones is always beneficial for you. Let us dig a bit deeper and find out why one should go for vegan milk choices: - Being free of lactose, it is non-allergenic. So, if you are allergic to cow milk, going vegan will help you a lot. - If you have lactose intolerance, the chances are big that you experience acid reflux, abdominal gas, bloating, etc. frequently. Dairy-free milk substitutes can eliminate these symptoms fast and easily. - Acne and regular milk always go hand in hand. The risk becomes even greater in case of skimmed milk. But when you replace your dairy consumption with the vegan alternatives, you get rid of it. - When the milk is produced from a cow non-organically, it gets contaminated by the antibiotics and hormones injected into the animals body. The unnatural production process of milk also causes mastitis to cows, which results into the presence of pus in milk. All these lead to hormonal imbalances and various other ailments in human beings. However, when you opt for non-dairy milk, you can always stay away from these worries. - Most of the vegan milk alternatives can be made easily, quickly and economically at home and you can even add lots of flavor to it. 8 Best Vegan Milk Alternatives You Should Try -  Soy Milk It is prepared by pounding and processing dried soybeans with water. You can find a variety of flavors including light, sweet, full-cream, vanilla, chocolate, etc. in the market. The density and creaminess of the milk may also vary greatly and it tastes even better than regular milk. Qualities: - The protein content is almost similar to cow milk (around 8 grams a cup). - High in dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin D, plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, antioxidants, phytoestrogen, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, choline, folate, etc. - Very low in saturated fats and sugar - Lactose and cholesterol-free - Prevents prostate cancer, osteoporosis, cholesterol transportation, etc. - Strengthens blood vessels - Eases menopausal symptoms - Oat Milk This nutritious milk is made by pre-soaking the grains of oatmeal in water and straining the concotion carefully. It is sweet in taste and thick in consistency. A variety of flavor is available in the market and you are free to pick your favorite one. Qualities: - Fulfills almost 35% of our daily requirements of calcium - Works as a protein powerhouse - Fat and sugar content is very low. - Contains no cholesterol or saturated fats - Rich in soluble fibers, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, phytochemicals, etc. - Prevents a number of cancers - Improves cardiovascular health - Promotes digestion and prevents constipation - Increases good cholesterol level and reduces bad cholesterol level - Makes the immune system stronger - Keeps skin clean and acne-free -  Rice Milk This thin and naturally sweetened milk substitute is prepared from brown rice grains and is considered as extremely healthy. You can also avail its vanilla-flavored version from your local supermarket. Qualities: - Has perfect proportions of protein and carbohydrate - Great source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, etc. - Gluten-free milk - No saturated fat and cholesterol - Very inexpensive -  Almond Milk This wonderfully tasty vegan milk is made by pulverizing soaked almonds thoroughly. The sweet and nutty flavor and high nutrition make it highly popular among the lovers of dairy-free milk substitutes. Qualities: - Fulfills 30% of our daily requirements of calcium - Contains 25% of our daily requirements of vitamin D - Very low in calories (one servings offers only 30 calories) - Enriched with proteins, omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, dietary fibers, vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, etc. - No saturated fats, cholesterol and lactose - Gives immunity a boost - Makes teeth and bones stronger - Helps in healthy digestion - Perks up the skin texture by offering anti-aging benefits - Encourages weight loss -  Coconut Milk It is another creamy, flavorful and nourishing alternative to regular milk, which is basically prepared by grating the meaty flesh of ripe coconuts as well as extracting the concoction. You can get both thick and thin coconut milk for using as cooking ingredients and both of them are super tasty. Qualities: - High in dietary fibers, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, selenium, etc. - Contains very less amount of sugar - No fructose - Helps in controlling blood sugar - Strengthens both bones and blood vessels - Prevents arthritis and osteoporosis - Gives a feeling of fullness, thereby helping in weight loss -  Cashew Milk Cashew milk has a natural vanilla flavor and it is made of a smooth, rich blend of water and cashew nuts. It is an amazingly tasty, absolutely creamy and highly satisfying milk beverage. Qualities: - Amazing source of proteins, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, copper, etc. - Very low fat content - Free of cholesterol - Increases the production of RBCs (Red Blood Corpuscles) - Promotes healthy metabolism - Helps in tissue and bone formations - Keeps cholesterol levels under control - Enhances cardiovascular health -  Hazelnut Milk Being derived from tasty and savory hazelnut, this milk tastes heavenly. It also has a nutty flavor, which is very much liked by people. Like all other vegan mil substitutes, it also has high nutrition value. Qualities: - High in healthy carbohydrates, vitamin B-12, vitamin D and calcium - No saturated fats, lactose and cholesterol - Takes care of bones and teeth - Keeps filled for a long time -  Hemp Milk It is prepared from the seeds of hemp tree and is regarded as one of the healthiest choices for dairy-free milk. It is widely known for its earthy taste and nutty flavor. Qualities: - Contains as much as 10 essential amino acids - Has a perfect omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids ratio - Loaded with soluble fibers, proteins, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, calcium, potassium, - Aids in muscle building - Provides immense energy 3 Simple and Easy Homemade Vegan Milk Recipes What if you need a good vegan milk alternative for cooking or drinking but do not wish to purchase commercial one? Just DIY! We are giving you 3 easy, simple and fast vegan milk recipes to try at home: (1) DIY: Homemade Almond Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Best-quality raw almonds - 1 cup (organic is even better) - Sea salt - 1 teaspoon - Distilled water - 2 to 4 cups (as per your preference) Method: - Take the almonds in a glass bowl and pour distilled water into it to soak them completely. Add sea salt to the water and cover the bowl with a lid. Keep it aside for nearly 12 hours. - Rinse the swelled up almonds well under running water to get rid of all sorts of enzyme inhibitors. - Now, put the almonds in a blender and pour rest of the distilled water into it. Blend thoroughly to mash all the nuts. - Strain it or not, your creamy almond milk is absolutely ready! (2) DIY: Homemade Oat Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Oats - 1 cup - Organic raw honey - 1 to 2 tablespoons (as required for sweetness) - Sea salt - (1/­­4) teaspoon - Distilled water - 3 cups Method: - Rinse the oats well and drain them perfectly before placing them in a bowl. - Add water to it and cover with a lid. Let the oats soak for 8 to 10 hours so that they get softer as well as easier to process. - Once again, rinse the oats well and remove the oat slime completely. - Shift them to a blender and pour distilled water into it. Blend for some time and sieve it. - Press the semi-pulverized oats with the backside of a spoon in order to take the maximum milk out of it. - Add honey and sea salt to the concoction and your homemade oat ilk is here! (3) DIY: Homemade Brown Rice Milk Recipe Ingredients: - Brown rice - (1/­­2) cup - Sea salt - 1 teaspoon - Distilled water - 2 cups Method: - Clean and wash brown rice properly and soak it in water for a couple of hours. - Cook it as usual. - Now, place the cooked brown rice inside a blender jar. Also, add sea salt and distilled water to it. - Blend until a smooth, thick milk is formed. - Voila! So, are you ready to switch to vegan milk alternatives? References http:/­­/­­vegetarian.about.com/­­od/­­vegetarianvegan101/­­f/­­MilkSubstitutes.htm http:/­­/­­www.peta2.com/­­lifestyle/­­vegan-milk-101/­­ http:/­­/­­www.beautyglimpse.com/­­almond-milk-vs-regular-milk-which-is-healthier/­­ Authors Bio Soni likes to share her knowledge with the world helping others to live a healthier life. She also loves to share her express her views and explore anything and everything that can feed her pen.

Winter Rainbow Panzanella

March 16 2015 My New Roots 

Winter Rainbow Panzanella Dear colour. I miss you. Please come back soon. Your pal, Sarah B Ive joked before about the oh-so dark, single-toned, and super grey city Copenhagen becomes in the winter. After months upon months of this, I feel as if my eyes have turned into little slits, and only capable of seeing in black and white. Needing some kind of sign that I wasnt turning into a subterranean mammal, I cycled down to the central market of Copenhagen last week to find some inspiration in the form of light and colour. I was pretty shocked when I arrived to see a plethora of vibrant veggies, all lined up and waiting for me take them home. I guess Id gotten into such a routine with my shopping that I had failed to remember that winter does in fact offer a lot of brightly hued food, and that I am, undoubtedly, a human. Excited and hungry, I hurried home with a whack-load of produce and a plan brewing in my brain. Oh the colours! Oh the possibilities! Oh what a nerd I am! With some stale sourdough rye sitting on the counter and a knob of ginger in the fridge, a hearty, satisfying salad began to take shape in my mind, a rainbow swathe of vegetables stretched out before me like a beacon in an stubborn steel grey sky. Super Cool Kohlrabi Kohlrabi is a mysterious and intimidating vegetable, dont you agree? Ive gotten a lot of questions about this prehistoric looking creature, as many of you out there seem to be quite scared of even taking it home! Well fear not. Kohlrabi is not going to take off a finger or worse if you approach it with a knife. It is a rather gentle and yielding brassica, a cross between a cabbage and a turnip that can be enjoyed cooked or raw. Its pleasantly crisp texture is perfect julienned in salads, but its also a tender treat roasted in the oven in slices or batons. The flavour is somewhere near to broccoli but a tad milder and sweeter. I really like it in soups as well, blended up with white beans or chickpeas. The leaves are also edible and very delicious in salad or stir-fried with garlic like collards or Swiss chard. Key nutrients in kohlrabi include vitamin C, for fighting infection, vitamin E for preventing arterial plaque build-up, and a range of B-vitamins for combating stress. The potassium in kohlrabi helps the body maintain proper fluid balance, while the calcium manages the acid/­­alkaline balance of our blood. Other minerals in kohlrabi include iron, magnesium and zinc. When buying kohlrabi, look for bulbs that are firm, smooth and free of holes or cracks. Typically this part of the vegetable is pale green, but you can also find purple varieties like the one pictured above. The younger ones can be eaten with the skin on, but as their season (late fall to early spring) stretches, youll find peeling the more mature bulbs is a tastier choice. The leaves should be taut and unblemished. To prolong the kohlrabis shelf life, remove the leaves and wrap them in a damp towel, place them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up four days. The root bulb can be stored separately in the crisper as well, and will keep well for couple weeks. To the panzanella! Traditionally, this is a salad made with stale white bread and tomatoes, a popular dish in Tuscany. My version is a far, Nordic cry from the classic, but its a meal in itself and a very satisfying one at that, since there is just so. much. going. on. The key to building this dish, or any dish for that matter is layers and balance; flavours, textures and of course, colours. Taking into consideration that the base of this dish would be hearty winter greens I knew that I needed something creamy and yielding, like roast veggies, and something dense and crusty, like the Garlic Sourdough Rye Bread Croutons to contrast and compliment. From a flavour perspective, especially in salads, balancing tastes is very important for success. Because the roast vegetables are so sweet, its important to have an acidic hit to add brightness. I made some very tasty Ginger-Pickled Carrots in advance, but capers would also be a nice touch if you are pressed for time. The point is to step back and look at your dish as a whole, then adjust all the levels of salt, sugar, and acid as needed tipping the scales until everything is just right. And just a special note about these croutons, because they are so darn delish. I first came up with these in the good ol days when I was cooking at a very small café here in Copenhagen, inventing new dishes every day and being creative with what I had available. The odd time we had any leftover rye bread, I would make these garlic croutons, few of which actually made it onto any finished dishes because I would typically eat them all up before service with my kitchen mates. They are addictive. The kind of thing you wouldnt necessarily think of as a terrific little snack, but wow, are they ever hard to stop eating! There is a high amount of garlic-to-bread ratio, but because Danish rye is so rich and flavourful, youll need that amount of garlic to be heard. If youre using a lighter bread, a spelt loaf for instance, you can scale back just a touch unless you really love your garlic and/­­or not planning on making out with anyone for a couple days. This dish may seem component-heavy, but most of these elements can be made in advance so the whole thing comes together when youre ready. The only thing you need to do before serving in fact, is massaging the kale and kohlrabi leaves. Now excuse me as I dive face first into this bowl of rainbow ecstasy! Okay, good-byyyyyyeeee!     Print recipe     Winter Rainbow Panzanella Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 cups /­­ 100g shredded kale and kohlrabi leaves (or any hearty winter green) 1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice a couple pinches sea salt A variety of winter vegetables suitable for roasting. I chose: – sweet potato – golden & red beets – kohlrabi – parsnip – Brussels sprouts Other suggestions: – celeriac – butternut squash – purple potatoes – Jerusalem artichoke – cauliflower – broccoli – leeks Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F/­­200°C. 2. Scrub veggies well, chop into similar sized pieces (no need to peel!) and place on a baking sheet with a few knobs of coconut oil or ghee. Place in the oven and when the oil has melted, remove pan from oven, toss to coat veggies and return to the middle rack. Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your veggies. Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. 3. While the veggies are roasting, prepare the kale and /­­or other greens. Wash and dry then well and chop into small pieces. Place in a large bowl and dress with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Vigorously massage the oil and juice into the greens for two whole minutes until they are tender and dark green. Season to taste. 4. To assemble salad, Top the greens with the roasted veggies, add as many pickled carrots as you like, drizzle the dressing over and toss. Top with garlic croutons and serve. Overnight Ginger-Pickled Carrots Ingredients: 300g carrots 1 cup /­­ 250ml apple cider vinegar 1 cup /­­ 250ml water (or more if needed) 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup 1/­­2 Tbsp. fine grain sea salt small knob of ginger (about 10g), peeled and sliced Directions: 1. Scrub carrots well. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots lengthwise into long, thing ribbons. Place into a 1-quart /­­ 1 liter glass container. 2. In a measuring cup combine the vinegar, water, maple syrup, salt and ginger, and stir to dissolve the salt. Pour over the carrots and top up with more water as needed to cover them completely. Place in the fridge for 24 hours and enjoy the next day. Grainy Mustard Dressing Ingredients: 3 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard 1 tsp. maple syrup generous pinch of sea salt Directions: 1. Whisk all ingredients together. Season to taste. Garlic Sourdough Rye Bread Croutons Ingredients: 2 cups /­­ 200g stale dark sourdough, cut into generous cubes (any bread here would work, but make a healthy choice) 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee (ghee is definitely the tastiest) 2 fat cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane a couple pinches flaky sea salt Directions: 1. Melt oil in a small saucepan over low heat. When it is melted, grate in the garlic and stir to combine. Cook just until the garlic starts to simmer, immediately remove from heat and let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 400°F/­­200°C. 2. Cut bread into generous cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour the garlic oil over the top and toss to coat, using your hands to squish the oil into the bread. Spread out bread cubes on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven. Toast for 10-15 minutes, tossing a couple times during cooking. Croutons are ready when they are crisp and golden around the edges. Once cool, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. *   *   *   *   *   * Hey guys! I have some very exciting news...Im going on tour with my cookbook! Although we are still working out some of the hard details, I wanted to let you know when and where Ill be so you can make a note of it. It would be so rad to meet you, and I hope that you can come out and celebrate! I will update this page and post the events on my Events page and Facebook as they are finalized. Looking forward to it, more than you know! TORONTO April 9-14 VANCOUVER April 15-17 LOS ANGELES April 18 + 19 NEW YORK April 22 + 23 I hope that everyone who has pre-ordered the book is enjoying the Bonus Pack of recipes! Thanks for all of your very positive feedback so far. There is still time to get yours if you’re interested…click here!

5 Top Health Benefits of Almonds

February 24 2015 VegKitchen 

5 Top Health Benefits of AlmondsAlmonds are one of the worlds most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes, renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few: Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal. Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/­­day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries. Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts! Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL bad cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs. A good source of calcium and other nutrients: Weve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, theyre a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well. Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said! Adapted from Nuts.com, with permission. Discover your favorite almond products at nuts.com from premium supreme-sized raw almonds to finely blanched almond flour and all natural almond butters for your snacking and recipe needs.

Pitaya Breakfast Bowl

December 29 2014 Golubka Kitchen 

Pitaya Breakfast Bowl Paloma often asks for açaí for breakfast, meaning the açaí bowl. It’s an easy and nutritious thing to make if you have frozen açaí puree on hand. Paloma loves it because it’s fruity, drinkable and, most importantly, purple. I make different variations on the bowl, but the ingredients that stay consistent are frozen puree of peruvian acai berries, ripe bananas, almond milk and some veggie protein. I often add other fruits, greens, and some nut butter, and top it with anything from bee pollen to cacao nibs. I was recently introduced to a similar product, a frozen raw pitaya or dragon fruit puree, and my first thought was to turn it into a pitaya breakfast bowl. To my surprise, dragon fruit has its origin in Central America, while I’ve always thought of it as a strictly Asian fruit. Pitaya is a great source of antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, active enzymes, and B vitamins. It energizes, aids digestion, supports the immune system, and, as Paloma put it, it’s very pink! It’s hard to believe that this week we will be saying goodbye to 2014. 2015 will mark the fifth year of Golubka Kitchen. Thank you for reading and Happy New Year! Pitaya Breakfast Bowl Note: Pitaya Plus, the company that makes the frozen puree, sent me some of their product to try. Aside from making a raw, single ingredient, additive free puree, they are on a mission to help struggling farming communities in Central America, getting local farms certified, and taking their sustainably grown fruit to the larger market. 2 packages frozen pitaya puree (dragon fruit puree) 1-2 bananas 1/­­2 cup frozen berries 1/­­2 cup almond milk, preferably homemade 2 tablespoons vegetable protein powder, such as hemp, pea or your favorite nut butter Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Divide between bowls and garnish with bee pollen, goji berries and hemp hearts. You can also enjoy it as a smoothie.

Should You Soak Nuts, Grains, and Beans?

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

Should You Soak Nuts, Grains, and Beans?  Is it true that soaking these foods boosts their nutrient values? Yes. Soaking raw nuts, grains, and legumes (including lentils, peas, and beans) makes minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium more available to our bodies. It may slightly improve amino acid (protein) availability in these foods too. ?This can be especially important for vegans, who look to nuts, grains, and legumes as primary sources of protein. Soaking helps to remove phytate, an agent in plants that locks up nutrients. Phytate is negatively charged and, like a magnet, attracts positively charged compounds such as minerals and amino acids. Because phytate attracts and binds minerals and amino acids, theyre less available to our bodies. Soaking decreases phytate in two ways: First, it activates an enzyme in plants called phytase, which breaks down phytate. Second, phytate is water-soluble, so some leaches into the soaking water that gets discarded. Plant foods lose even more phytate when you sprout them after soaking. Soaking, ?then sprouting reproduces the natural process of germination--where a seed develops into a plant--and once nutrients no longer need to be stored to prepare for germination, phytate levels drop. To sprout raw nuts, grains, or legumes: drain them from the soaking water; then place in a clean jar to about one-third full; fill the jar with water and 1/­­2 teaspoon sea salt, and cover with cheesecloth or a mesh lid; lay the jar on its side on a counter or windowsill in natural light, angling the jar so water drains off. Rinse and drain two to three times a day to prevent mold. Sprouting can take up to three days, but skipping this step and soaking alone can still help reduce phytate. Soaking How-To 1. Place one part raw nuts, grains, or legumes in two parts warm water; cover with a kitchen towel; and leave overnight at room temperature. ?Certain nuts such as macadamias ?and cashews need only a few hours ?of soaking since they dont have as much phytate to begin with. 2. Drain the soaking water from grains or legumes, and cook them with about half as much water as usual since theyve absorbed liquid during soaking. Drain and refrigerate soaked raw nuts, and eat within two to three days, before they get moldy. Or dry the nuts so they last longer, using a dehydrator or heating in the oven at around 200°F. Health-food junkie Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is creator of the weekly e-newsletter Nutrition WOW.

Sarah Bs Bubble Tea

August 19 2014 My New Roots 

Sarah Bs Bubble Tea I get some pretty interesting recipe requests from you, my readers, and although I receive far more than I could ever fulfill, I do like to rise to the occasion. I am especially inclined to answer the call if more than one person asks for the same thing: gluten-free vegan lasagna, healthy cookies, and easy breakfasts are just a few of the cravings Ive tried to satisfy. It seems that over the past year, bubble tea has become a popular item for health-ifying, and Ive gotten several emails about this very thing. How can we take a pretty sugar-laden, artificially-coloured-and-flavoured beverage and turn it into something beneficial, light, and refreshing? Here I am to the rescue! But can I make a confession? Ive never actually tried it before. Most of the time I do my research in order to gear up before making something out of my wheelhouse, but this time it was just too much to swallow. I actually did go to a teashop though, with my best intentions to sample a bevy of bubbles. I walked in, saw all the crazy colours, dubious juices and syrups, pulled a 180 and headed straight to the health food store instead. I did leave with bubble tea straws, of course. That much I know is essential. So, that all said, if I get this totally wrong, I do apologize. This is my version and I quite like it. Sarah Bs bubble tea is not pretending to by anything other than what it is - a bubble tea all its own. Tapioca Pearls of Wisdom What makes those darn bubbles anyway? Its tapioca, in fact. Tapioca is the dried starch from the root of the cassava plant, a tuber native to South America. It has a naturally sweet taste, which is why it is so often used in candies and desserts, most familiar of them being tapioca pudding. Tapioca also the amazing ability to absorb and thicken liquid. Being naturally gluten-free, it is has become a popular gelling agent to use in foods, as opposed to fillers containing wheat. You can use tapioca flour /­­ starch /­­ powder in place of arrowroot or cornstarch in most recipes. Tapioca is a staple food in many countries throughout the world due to its high concentration of carbohydrates, low levels of fat and dietary cholesterol, and its vitamin and mineral balance. Key nutrients in tapioca include calcium to support bone health, magnesium to help control inflammation, phosphorus for protein synthesis, and vitamin A for glowing skin. You can find tapioca at most health food stores where it is often sold in powder, flaked, or pearled form. For bubble tea, look for large pearls instead of the small ones that are typically used to make tapioca pudding. Make sure that the only ingredient in the pearls is tapioca starch, and organic if possible. Many novelty pearls contain food coulouring and flavouring agents, and its best to avoid those for obvious reasons. Natural peals are pure white and are almost completely flavourless, except for a hint of sweetness. Peaches and plums have just come into season, so Ive decided to use those as the fruit base for my teas. You can use whatever is available where you are of course, and match the brewed tea flavours accordingly. I chose chamomile to pair up with the peach and green tea to go with the plum. These were really delicious combinations, but are by no means the only options. Rooibos would be tasty with peaches too, and maybe jasmine with plums? Im just guessing here - get creative!     Print recipe     Sarah B’s Peach and Plum Bubble Tea Serves 4-6  Ingredients: 1/­­2 cup large pearl tapioca 6 cups water, divided 2 - 3 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey (to your taste) 4 peaches 4 plums 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 Tbsp. dried chamomile flowers (or 2 chamomile tea bags) 1 Tbsp. loose leaf green tea (or 2 green tea bags) milk of your choice for serving (optional) Directions: 1. Bring 3 cups /­­ 750ml water to a roiling boil, add the tapioca pearls and stir. Reduce the heat to simmer and let cook for 25-30 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit covered, for another 30 minutes until the pearls are translucent (if a few of them have slightly white centers, this is okay, but test one to make sure that it isnt powdery in the middle). 2. While the pearls are cooking, add 3 cups /­­ 750 ml of cold water to a large glass jar or container. Stir in the liquid sweetener of your choice to dissolve. Once the pearls have cooked, add them to the jar of cold sweetened water and let sit in the fridge until ready to use. If the water does not entirely cover the pearls, add just enough water to do so. 3. Brew the tea. Bring enough water for 4 cups of tea to the boil. Let cool slightly and pour over tea bags (I used two different tea pots for the two different flavours). Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard. 4. Peel the peaches and plums. Add peaches and 1 teaspoon lemon juice to a blender and blend on high until totally creamy and smooth. Repeat with plums and remaining lemon juice. Set aside. 5. To serve the tea, place desired amount of tapioca pearls in each glass, fill 3 glasses about half full with chamomile and the others with green tea. Spoon peach purée into the chamomile glasses and plum purée into the green tea glasses. Add a squirt of milk if desired. Stir with a large straw, sweeten to taste and enjoy. So what else do you want to know about? What other kooky experiments will you have me diving into? Bring ‘em on! If you are so inclined to send me an email, type “recipe request” as the subject line and I’ll squirrel it away for a time when I’m a bit stumped for what to make next. And you never know, I may just answer your call. Hope you are all having a gorgeous summer! Sorry for the radio silence on my end – I’ve been giving the cookbook so much attention, it’s hard to keep the blog up to speed. I promise it will be worth the wait though. Good golly am I excited!!! *   *   *   *   *   * Show me your bubble tea on Instagram: #MNRbubbletea


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