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Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford

December 3 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the founder of GOLDE Turmeric, a line of high-quality turmeric blends for golden milk, lattes, and more. We are in love with everything GOLDE, and were so excited to get a peek at its radiant founder’s wellness routine. In this interview, Trinity tells us about her rule-free approach to self-care, her path to self-acceptance, and the importance of giving the body exactly what it’s craving, as well as a Geisha-approved moisturizer that works wonders for her skin, her number one cold remedy that’s likely in your kitchen right now, exercise, beauty, stress, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? I think having some form of a routine is crucial to your mental health when you run a business from home. It’s been sort of tricky as of late because we’re in transition from our home in Upstate New York to moving back down to Brooklyn. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. On an ideal day, I’m up around 6:30am and checking my phone for email and GOLDE‘s social media. Following that, I’ll do a bit of stretching to loosen up, and then hop in the shower. After I’ve gotten ready, I’ll sit down to work and make a to-do list for the day -- this is crucial for me. I forget things and get really anxious about what I’m forgetting if I don’t bother to organize my thoughts and tasks in advance. I’ll usually dig into whatever those tasks are for an hour or so before pausing for breakfast. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? My partner, Issey, and I always make sure to have a cut-off time for work, barring emergencies. Once that point rolls around (it varies day-by-day), I’m usually catching up on the news or my favorite blogs while Issey preps dinner. We’ll eat together and then usually end off binging some TV show. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – Issey’s miso soup with tons of mushrooms and seaweed. He makes it completely from scratch using his mom’s recipe. Lunch – Lunch is usually whatever is leftover from dinner that week  -- lately its a lot of hearty stews. Snack – We’ll do a little crudite plate with raw veg from the farmer’s market: carrots, turnips, radishes, persian cucumbers. Always with some cheese and seed crackers. Sometimes also with wine. Dinner – Tibetan food from our favorite spot in Jackson Heights, Queens. It’s a lot of dumplings (momos), noodles, and warming soups. -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I can’t, really. I love the taste of coffee, but it turns me into a shaking, anxious mess. I always start the day with a turmeric tonic made with one of our blends -- usually cacao or original because the matcha also makes me a bit hyper. -- Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? Yes, yes, yes. I try not to “keep it in check” so much as listen to it with a variety of foods. Sometimes it’s fruit or homemade popcorn with coconut sugar. Sometimes it’s half a box of Dots eaten while laying on the couch. Refined sugar is trash for your system, but so is getting too regimented with your foods. I keep it light (emotionally) and eat what I’m craving. When junk food isn’t off limits, you’re not going to crave it every day. -- 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? Well, turmeric, of course. It makes such a difference in my skin and immunity. Issey loves it for instant allergy relief. There are apparently over 10,000 medical studies on its effects on the body --it’s really incredible. We’re also huge proponents of ashwaghanda in our household. Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  Upstate New York is not exactly the land of boutique fitness, so it can be more challenging to get in a sweat on the regular. I focus mostly on stretching and going on walks/­­hikes on the weekend. I think I’ve probably gained a bit of weight since I’ve been up here because I’m not moving as much as I did in NYC, but I don’t really mind. It’s okay for your body to fluctuate with your circumstances, as long as you’re treating it with respect. -- 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? It varies. I really like working out as a method to clear my head, so often I do look forward to it. But that said, I don’t really try to push myself too much. If you want to be a world-class athlete, then by all means, train 2+ hours a day. I’m just looking to keep my body and psyche in good health, so if I don’t feel like making it to my workout, I don’t feel the need to punish myself later. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? I grew up black in a very white town, so I’ve had a lot of really emotional moments coming to terms with what beauty means for me. At the moment, I like to keep things really natural with my curls out and minimal makeup. It took a while to accept my looks for exactly what they are, so now I’m really openly embracing it. I feel more beautiful now than I did 5 years ago, mostly due to opening myself up to the concept that I’m perfectly fine just as I am. -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? I try to keep my routine relatively simple. I’ll wash my face with raw African black soap or something gentle like Cerave. I love Drunk Elephant products, and I apply their C-Firma and B-Hydra serums every day. They help a lot with keeping my skin clear and getting rid of dark marks. After that I’ll moisturize with raw shea butter, or a cream that has that. -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? Turmeric, again. Because it’s anti-inflammatory, I’ve found it to be really helpful in clearing up redness or breakouts. Besides that, I try not to get too bogged down with a ton of supplements. I focus mostly on eating a variety of plants every day. -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Shea butter is amazing for my skin. My partner’s Japanese mother recently put me on to this cream called Secret de Maiko. It contains shea butter and a few other natural, organic ingredients. Apparently this is what young Geisha girls would use as a moisturizer/­­makeup base. This cream is better than pure shea butter because it won’t leave you greasy at all. I use it twice daily. It’s great for keeping your skin clear and calm. Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress?  Well, cannabis helps. I use a vaporizer pen so there’s no smoke-related health detriments/­­lingering smell. I really want to try the Hmbldt pen because I’m a sucker for sharp design. -- If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? There’s going to stress sometimes. I try to deal in healthy ways like going for a walk to clear my head, or talking to a close friend about whatever I’m dealing with. But life isn’t perfect, so sometimes you just end up being a bit tense for a few days. I think that’s normal and natural -- I try not to fight it too much. You have to let yourself feel it so that you can process it and move past it. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Garlic!! At my old job, everyone in the office knew about this because I would practically through bulbs of raw garlic at anyone who complained of illness. Nothing works better for immediately beating a bad cold. If I feel something coming on, I take 2-3 whole cloves (swallowed like horse pills) with a ton of water. That can save you in just a couple hours -- it’s crazy. -- Do you strive to maintain a healthy work/­­life balance or do those things overlap for you? What is your approach? I really like to work, so what I consider to be a healthy work/­­life balance might not be the right approach for someone else. I genuinely enjoy spending my free time dreaming up new campaigns, product ideas, or designs for GOLDE. I guess that’s the benefit to doing your own thing -- it doesn’t always feel like work. 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? I’ve gotten a lot better with this with age. I try not to have any food or exercise rules. Being militant about your body is not self-care, and it can really easily spiral into disordered behavior that veers on the edge of “orthorexia.” I mostly just listen to my body and allow itself what it wants, whether that has to do with food, movement/­­exercise, socializing vs. indulging my natural introvert, etc. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? I really think doing away with rules (re: food, etc.) has been the most important change I’ve made. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding gluten or dairy because it upsets your stomach or causes breakouts, but don’t complicate your life with structure that does not serve you. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Usually moments like these mean I need to re-focus myself. I’ll start by making to-do lists, and go from there. Knowledge -- What was your path to starting GOLDE? I was pre-med at NYU, with plans to practice holistic medicine. By my senior year of college, I wasn’t so sure about spending more time and money on schooling, and sort of fell into a marketing role at a tech startup. I really loved the creative aspects of marketing, and found that GOLDE was a way of combining my interests in sharp branding with making holistic health more accessible. The interest in turmeric actually came from my mom, who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She noticed a huge difference in her overall levels of inflammation when she started incorporating it into her daily routine -- that’s when I started paying attention. -- How do you approach the sourcing of your ingredients for GOLDE? We actually just started sourcing all of our turmeric with a company called Diaspora Co. They focus 100% on supporting ethical and high-quality spice trade that empowers rather than disenfranchises the people of color who have been growing and ingesting medicinal plants like turmeric for generations. The turmeric that we’re going to be using is an heirloom variety with almost twice the typical amount of curcumin. It’s grown on a fourth-generation, family-owned farm in India, and farmers are paid 6X the standard commodity prices to ensure truly fair wages. We’re really excited to be featuring a product that’s not only incredibly high-quality, but also works to re-build lingering inequality left in the wake of colonialism. -- What’s your favorite way to use your wellness blend? I love to have it just with hot water and raw honey in the morning. Fun and Inspiration -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? Heading to the Union Square Greenmarket is one of my favorite activities. When I’m in the city, I like to go every Monday morning when it’s not too crowded. It’s mostly just you and the chefs (or their assistants?) shopping for what they’ll be preparing that day. I also love infra red sauna. I go to Higher Dose in the East Village. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie Song/­­Album – Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? I am nowhere near as regimented as our dear Joan. Usually my suitcase is packed haphazardly with whatever clothing is clean and well-suited for the weather. -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? More people of color, please! A few of my favorites: Diane Chang Yaminah Mayo Dr. Tiffany Lester Latonya Yvette Nikisha Brunson Alex Elle Lauren Ash Sana Javeri Kadri Photos by Sana Javeri Kadri, Issey Kobori and Nico Behnzukeh. You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Amy Chaplin Self-Care Interview Series: Pauline Chardin Self-Care Interview Series: Laura Wright Self-Care Interview Series: Chi San Wan .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: Trinity Mouzon Wofford appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Cinnamon Crunch Cereal and Hemp Milk

August 14 2017 My New Roots 

Cinnamon Crunch Cereal and Hemp Milk It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet. – Margaret Mead Yup. Pretty much. This entire shift began when I had a particularly gnarly couple of months with manic mood swings that rivaled my adolescence, acne flare-ups, bloating, low energy, night sweats, and all-round malaise. Knowing what I know, I looked at my diet first to see what could be adjusted. Everything was organic, whole, plant-based and totally healthy by most peoples standards. But it just wasnt working anymore. I knew something had to give. Delving in deeper, a typical day for me was a whole-grain porridge in the morning, topped with all kinds of seasonal fruit, homemade granola etc. Lunch was a couple slices of organic sourdough rye bread from the local bakery, with homemade hummus, avocado, sprouts etc. Dinner was often a mixed bowl, the base of which was brown rice, quinoa, millet or buckwheat covered in a rainbow of vegetables, homemade pickles, superfood-loaded sauce, and fresh herbs. I wasnt eating sugar, drinking coffee, I was keeping up with my exercise and sleeping well. So what was the problem? In this case, I had a feeling it was a big ol grain overload. The idea of cutting back on my morning oats, bread, and grain bowls was literally devastating to me. I cried. On multiple occasions, just talking about giving up muffins made me weep, and I felt like there was just no way I could make even more changes, or think about my diet even more than I already did. I have had two serious experiences with orthorexia in my life. For those of you who dont know what orthorexia is, it is defined as an obsession with healthy eating. It is considered an eating disorder, and one that is becoming more prevalent in Western culture as healthy eating becomes increasingly trendy. The first bout happened the year I moved out of the house to study at university. While many of my friends were bingeing on junk food and beer, I swung in the opposite direction entirely and took advantage of the incredible meal program that was offered at school, and fueled myself with enormous salads, delicious sandwiches and wraps, veggie-heavy soups and stews, and protein-rich smoothies. I also signed up for the free fitness classes at the university gym, got hooked on kickboxing, step aerobics, boot camp drills, and the weight literally fell off me. I lost about 25 pounds that year, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was in control of the way I looked. The sudden attention from guys – which I had never had before – further stoked the fires for my desire to be even thinner, even though my initial motivation to eat this way stemmed from a desire to be healthy. As my attitude towards food morphed from friend to enemy, I flirted with a full-on eating disorder at this point, playing games with myself to see how long I could go without eating, how many exercise classes I could fit in between classes and study groups, how long I could make my bean salad from lunch last (too long!). Eventually my energy levels dropped to the point where I had a very hard time getting out of bed in the morning and I couldnt concentrate well in school. I realized that I had taken things too far and started eating in a more balanced way again. I put the experience behind me without giving it too much thought. The second time this resurfaced was, ironically, while studying holistic nutrition. While I was learning all about foods and how my body worked, I became almost afraid to eat, toxifying my body, or poisoning it with sugar, gluten, dairy and the rest. I became obsessed with detoxing and subsisted only on clean foods; mostly vegetables. I was stressed, my hair started falling out, my acne came back and my energy hit an all-time low. Despite my obvious physical misery, I somehow felt validated since I wasnt putting anything bad in my body. Eating as healthy as possible became obsessive for me and my classmates, and wed all proudly bring our lunches to school, subtly scrutinizing each others Tupperware contents. Again, food had lost its pleasure, its joy, and had become something that I saw as more of an enemy than a friend. And that really scared me. After graduating, I finally got a grip, and once again slowly re-established a healthy relationship to what I was eating. It is for these reasons that food is such a tender subject for me, and changing my diet dangerous territory. I spent so many years struggling to achieve a positive connection with food, and when I finally got there and it felt like such a relief. The prospect of having to go back to that place of thinking about food more than I already did felt unsafe for me, and slipping back into an obsessive place felt like an inevitability. Meanwhile, the negative self-talk voices were loud and overpowering, telling me how I was fat, flabby, weak, old - things that I KNEW werent true. But thats the sad thing about internal monologues, they dont need to make sense to play like broken records in our minds all day every day. Its enough to drive a person insane. The cruel voices coupled with my extreme fear of reverting back to my old thought patterns and eating habits absolutely terrified me. I felt like I had hit a wall of hopelessness. And all I wanted to do to feel better was to eat a piece of eff-ing bread. The reason I suspected the grain thing was because of the unique relationship that blood sugar has to our hormones. If were consuming carbohydrates at a faster rate than our bodies are utilizing them for energy, that extra glucose gets stored in the fat cells of the liver, which decreases its ability to breakdown excess estrogen, and allowing it to hang around in our systems longer than it should. This excess circulating estrogen causes a whole host of symptoms, including, you guessed it: mood swings, bloating, sluggish metabolism, tender breasts, fatigue, foggy thinking, PMS, and many more less-than-desirable issues. Now, these things can be exacerbated by stress (shocker), inadequate fat and protein intake, and environmental factors, all of which I was likely suffering from. I set out by making a plan, since I know how hard it is to make positive changes without preparation. Instead of focusing on the all the things I wanted to reduce or eliminate, I focused on the foods I could have, foods higher in fat and protein, since I knew that those things would naturally elbow out the things I would normally fall back on (Im looking at you, banana bread). I made a list that I could refer to when I was grocery shopping for ingredients. I cooked and froze things. I stocked the fridge and pantry. I was ready. Within the first few days I already noticed a difference: my energy was incredibly stable, my emotions were in check, the bloating in my stomach dissipated, and I just felt good. As the days rolled on my compulsive urges to down half a dozen muffins subsided, and it was like I could clearly see that what I had actually been battling was blood sugar issues - not just too many grains or carbohydrates. It became clear that I had been taking my bod on a wild rollercoaster of high and low blood sugar for years, which had in turn been tossing my hormones around like a pair of sneakers in a washing machine. Stabilizing blood sugar is the first step in managing your endocrines system ability to do its job properly. I realized that if I was going to eat grains (or any carbohydrate-heavy food), I had to eat them in smaller amounts, balance them out thoughtfully with enough fat and protein, and make sure that I was actually using that energy instead of letting it sit around in my body. So far, things have been going incredibly well, and I am so darn proud of myself for not only identifying the issue, but actually doing something about it. We are fluid beings with needs that evolve and change over time. Our diets need to reflect that, which is why its imperative to listen to our bodies and be advocates for our own health. No one knows your body better than you, and once you quiet all the noise out there telling you how to eat in black-and-white terms, youll be able to hear yourself, without judgement, and choose the way of eating that is just right for you, right now. It may be different tomorrow, and that is okay too. In sharing this all with you, I am trying to set an example, because you too have this intuition that is telling you just what you need to eat and do right now. Its actually fun to be connected to yourself, your unique rhythms and needs. Learning about how you operate and designing a plan that caters to your exceptional self means that you can celebrate, instead of berate your body the whole month through, and experience pleasure in every stage of our cycle. I promise. This is undoubtedly a huge topic, and one that I plan on chipping away at over the next few blog posts. Some things I want to reiterate here are, that I do not believe that grains or carbohydrates are bad. No natural food group should be vilified, just as no macronutrient should be either. If youre thinking about giving up carbs, Id advise you not to. Glucose, the sugar found in carbohydrates is your brains primary fuel source, and when consumed responsibly, carbs will help you on your wellness journey, not hinder you. I still stand behind each and every one of the recipes that I have created for this blog, the app, and both of my cookbooks, and I believe that they are appropriate for many people to enjoy. However at this stage of my life, some of the recipes do not serve my needs any longer, and Ive had to make small changes to them, or put them on the shelf for another time. Im okay with that. Whew! Now for some notes on the recipe. The base recipe for my Cinnamon Toast Crunch-inspired cereal is grain-free, but it does rely on almond flour, which can be expensive. If you can tolerate pseudo-grains, feel free to top up the base with buckwheat flour. This will bulk up the cereal considerably so youll have more for less money. This cereal is r-i-c-h. You really only need a small amount to fuel you in the morning - not like the bottomless bowls of that were used to consuming in the morning without every really feeling satisfied, ya know what I mean? And paired with a luscious liquid like my Super Creamy Hemp Milk will keep you full for even longer, help stabilize your blood sugar, not to mention flood your bod with the delicate nutrients and powerful enzymes that store-bought, plant-based milk is missing. This recipe is dead simple and pretty much like cream – I shouldnt even call it milk, since its so rich and thick. And since were thinking outside the cereal box here, dont stop at breakfast...this milk is amazing in coffee and tea, in raw treats and baked goods, soup, smoothies, ice cream and popsicles. Youre gonna love it! I made the cereal the first time with just almond flour and a full half-cup of applesauce. It was definitely delicious, but I loved it just as much when I cut this amount in half. If you dont want all the sweetness, use just 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml of applesauce instead of the full amount. If youre using buckwheat flour, you will need the full amount of the applesauces moisture to bind it all together. I havent tried a version without the coconut sugar, so if youre not into that stuff feel free to play with the recipe on your own.     Print recipe     Grain-free /­­ Gluten-free Cinnamon Crunch Cereal Makes 5-7 servings Ingredients: 1/­­2 cup ground flax seeds /­­ 50g 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 150g blanched almond flour 1 1/­­2 Tbsp. cinnamon 1/­­4 tsp. fine sea salt 1/­­4 cup /­­ 35g coconut sugar 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml - 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml applesauce ( 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml if using buckwheat flour) 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted optional: 1/­­2 cup /­­ 85g buckwheat flour Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325°F/­­160°C. 2. Combine the ground flax seeds, almond flour, cinnamon, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir well. Then add the desired amount of applesauce and coconut oil, and stir to fully incorporate (you made need to use your hands if it gets too dry). Gather dough into a rough ball. 3. Place dough ball on a sheet of baking paper with another sheet on top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough as evenly as possible, about 2mm thickness (not quite paper thin). If youre using buckwheat flour, youll need to separate the dough into two batches to achieve this. Remove top sheet of baking paper, and using a paring knife, score the dough into small squares of your desired size (mine were about 1.5cm /­­ .5 square). 4. Place in the oven to bake for about approximately 25 minutes until turning golden around the edges, then turn the oven off and let the cereal sit in there until cool (this will help dry it out and make them extra crisp). 5. Once the cereal is completely cool, break up the pieces into squares and place in an airtight glass container. Store for up to one month at room temperature. Super Creamy Hemp Milk Makes 1 liter /­­ 1 quart Ingredients: scant 4 cups /­­ 1 liter water 3/­­4 cup hulled hemp seeds /­­ hemp hearts Totally optional add-ins: sweetener (stevia, dates, honey, maple syrup...) vanilla sea salt raw cacao powder Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high until smooth (this make take a couple minutes). 2. Pour directly into a sterilized bottle and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Initially, I was really afraid to come out about any of this stuff - the changes my diet is undergoing, the orthorexia, the internal voices! But I know in my gut that if Im going through it, someone else out there is too. And the reason I wanted to start My New Roots in the first place was to create a safe space for everyone to share and support each other on our health journeys, so I have to be as transparent and honest as I feel I can be to set that example. I want to say a huge heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have stood by me all of these years and continue to do so. It feels pretty amazing to have you, and to be getting better all together. In light and gratitude, Sarah B.   ***** Also… There’s one spot left for the upcoming retreat in Ibiza, click here to join me for a week of total inspiration and rejuvenation! The post Cinnamon Crunch Cereal and Hemp Milk appeared first on My New Roots.

Savory Yogurt Bowl + London

June 1 2017 Green Kitchen Stories 

Savory Yogurt Bowl + London We love yogurt in our family*. The unsweetened, thick, creamy and tangy kind. We enjoy yogurt for breakfast (with fruit) and sometimes dessert (with dates + chocolate + nuts). We top our soups with yogurt, we add it to smoothies and ice pops and we also dress our salads with it (Isac likes to dress himself with it as well). Yogurt works remarkably well both with sweet and savory flavors. And yet, the thought of making a yogurt bowl with savory toppings instead of sweet, had never struck us before. But as we were playing around with this crunchy cucumber and melon salad with spiced chickpeas, we (and with we, I humbly mean ME, MYSELF and I - as in, not David) had the simple idea to put them on a bed of yogurt instead of doing the usual yogurt dressing. In theory, it’s more or less the same thing but in reality it’s so much better. The warm, rich and spicy chickpeas on a bed of cold, thick and tangy yogurt, with the addition of a fresh salad with lots of crunch. It’s simple but yet so very good. And quick too. I’m sure there are plenty of savory yogurt bowls all over internet, but now they are also in our kitchen. *David and Isac are actually intolerant to dairy but yogurt is their weak spot. We buy oat yogurt for them but David often chooses a day of stomach ache just to enjoy a bowl of plain yogurt. And Isac has literally been caught with his hand in the yogurt jar more than once. Coconut yogurt has a fantastic taste and consistency but is simply too expensive to enjoy more than as an occasional treat (very keen on giving Ashley’s versions a try though!). Hey hey hey, wait a sec. This is David acting as proofreader today and I just noted Luise’s attempt at hijacking my idea. This recipe = my idea. Just wanted to make that clear. I’ll give the word back to her now. The salad is super quick as you just need to chop everything up. We found that crunchy vegetables like cucumber, celery, sturdy roman lettuce and radishes work really well here, with the avocado and melon adding softness and sweetness. The yogurt is, well, just yogurt. It needs to be quite thick to hold up the topping - our preference is Greek yogurt but choose whatever you prefer. The only thing that needs a little more preparation and heat are the spiced chickpeas. Even if the ingredient list looks long, it’s simply spices, oil and chickpeas and the result tastes way better than just using plain chickpeas. They have a rich, spicy and slightly nutty flavor which works so well with the freshness from the yogurt and the crunchy and sweet salad. VARIATIONS There are plenty of ways to vary this recipe and we’re going to leave you with a few ideas. - Whisk some creamy goat’s cheese into the yogurt. It will dissolve, become smooth and give the yogurt a more mature flavor. - If you don’t have all the spices at home for the chickpeas, use what you find. A bread spice mix works great along with a little cayenne. A turmeric or curry version would be interesting too. - You can skip the salad and pour the yogurt into small sealable jars with spiced chickpeas on top. Store them in the fridge for a quick snack. - Vegans can of course use a vegan yogurt option or simply settle for the salad with warm chickpeas stirred through. - Roasting the chickpeas in the oven together with eggplant or pumpkin could be amazing on top of the yogurt as well. Let us know if you have any other favorite variations on savory yogurt bowls and we can include them in this list. Savory Yogurt Bowl with Spicy Chickpeas & Cucumber Salad Serves 4, or 2 very hungry persons Cucumber & Melon Salad 1 cucumber 1 small (or 1/­­2 regular) melon (we used Piel de Sapo but honeydew would also work) 1 spring onion 2 celery stalks 10-15 fresh mint leaves 1 avocado 6 radishes 1/­­2 roman lettuce 1/­­2 lemon, juice 1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil Spiced warm chickpeas 2 tbsp sunflower seeds 1 tbsp sesame seeds 2 tsp fennel seeds  1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cardamom seeds 1/­­2 tsp sea salt 1/­­2 tsp ground cayenne 1/­­2 tsp ground cumin 1/­­2 tsp ground paprika powder 1/­­4 cup – 1/­­2 cup cold-pressed olive oil 1 x 14 oz /­­ 400 g can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed For serving 2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt  For the cucumber & melon salad:  Wash all produce. Cut cucumber and melon in large bite-size pieces. Trim and finely slice spring onion, celery and mint leaves. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone, then cut into cubes. Trim the radishes and thinly slice them. And chop the roman lettuce. Place all prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl, squeeze over lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt, give it a good toss and set aside. For the spiced warm chickpeas:  Add all seeds and spices (except for the ground spices) to a dry skillet, heat gently for a couple of minutes while stirring. When the spices starts to pop and smell fragrant, they’re done. Pour into a mortar and give them a few bashes with the pestle (alternatively on a cutting board and use the back of a chef’s knife). Transfer the seeds and spices back to the skillet. Now add oil (start with the lesser amount and add more later on if it looks dry), ground spices  and chickpeas and heat on low temperature for 2-3 minutes. Stir to combine. When the chickpeas are warm and covered in spices and seeds, remove from the heat. Dollop the yogurt into four bowls. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Arrange the salad on one side of the yogurt and the spiced warm chickpea on the other side. Drizzle a little extra oil on top. Enjoy immediately while the chickpeas are still warm. ********* LONDON + BATH In all my excitement over a simple bowl of yogurt, I almost forgot to mention that we are coming to London and Bath next week for a couple of book events. We’re very excited and can’t wait to meet some of you! We’re having a supper club at Grace Belgravia on Monday 5 June, 7-10 pm. More info here. We’ll do talk and Q&A at Whole Foods Market in Kensington on Wednesday 7 June, 6.30 pm. More info and tickets here. We’ll also do a talk and cooking demo at Topping & Company Booksellers in Bath on Friday 9 June, 7.30 pm. More info and tickets here. Finally, we’re having a hands on cooking class at Bertinet Kitchen in Bath on Saturday 10 June, 10 am. Tickets here (only one left). Big love!

Honey Miso Latte

July 28 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

Honey Miso Latte Let’s talk about air travel for a bit. I never, ever eat airplane food anymore. After years of partaking in complementary in-flight meals and dealing with the resulting, brutal stomach aches, I realized that it’s the always-questionable food that was making me feel unwell, not so much the elevation as I initially suspected. The first time I brought my own, home-cooked meal onto an overseas flight was a revelation – I felt none of the usual discomfort after eating and could actually get some sleep. Since then, I take all kinds of steps to prepare for air travel, especially long, international flights and find the extra effort to be very much worth it. First off, a few days before flying, I make an extra effort to stay hydrated and to eat at least a few very nutritious and balanced meals. Along with buying a huge water bottle after security, I bring a few sleepy-time tea bags with me on the flight, then ask the flight attendant for hot water and steep a strong, relaxing cup of tea, which helps me go to sleep, since I usually need help. A good sleep mask is always good for blocking out the neighbor’s screen light, too. For food, I like to bring a spinach, strawberry and basil salad, which sounds complicated but is really the best. Since I usually travel during the summer, all three of those ingredients are at peak season and taste amazing on their own, so no dressing is needed and the salad is leak-proof, almost weightless and very manageable. I feel nourished and light after that salad and don’t crave much more. For snacks, I will make some kind of sprouted seed bars and pack a few strips of untoasted nori, along with some dark chocolate. And I find that having an apple helps freshen up after an airplane nap. It’s amazing to see the bewilderment on the flight attendants’ and seat neighbors’ faces when they realize I’ve brought my own food and even teabags – it’s just not a common practice at all. But with the huge difference it makes, I don’t see why not! Since I’ve learnt that eating miso might be helpful when it comes to countering the radiation we are exposed to on any given flight, I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my pre-flight meals, whenever I can remember. Aside from the obvious miso soup, I’ve been making this miso latte, warm in the winter and iced in the summer, before heading out the door for the airport. It’s very quick and has that whole delicious balance of sweet, salty and umami flavors going for it. There is also an immunity boost from turmeric, honey and ginger to help you fight off the myriad germs swirling around that flying can you will be spending some time in :) If you have any in-flight health tips, I would love to hear them! Always looking for more. Enjoy! P.S. We are on Snapchat under golubkakitchen, follow along for behind-the-scenes GK. Honey Miso Latte   Print Serves: 2-3 Ingredients 2 cups almond milk 1-inch piece ginger - sliced (optional) 2-3 teaspoons sweet miso paste 2 teaspoons raw honey ⅛ teaspoon turmeric (optional) black pepper - if using turmeric, for optimal absorption Instructions warm version If using ginger, simmer it in the milk for 10 minutes, then strain. If not using ginger, warm the milk on its own. Combine warmed milk with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and serve hot, sprinkled with more turmeric and black pepper, if desired. iced version If using ginger, simmer it in the milk for 10 minutes and let cool. If not using ginger combine cold milk with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and serve over ice, sprinkled with more turmeric and black pepper, if desired. 3.5.3208 You might also like... Quinoa Collard Wraps from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook Peach, Honey and Thyme Lemonade Popsicles - Ice Cream Sunday Tahini Ice Cream Bars with Miso Caramel and Chocolate - Ice Cream Sund... Gingery Rutabaga and Pear Handpies .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 Honey Miso Latte appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Homemade Chamomile Tea with Fresh Flowers from The Garden

May 29 2016 Vegan Thyme 

Homemade Chamomile Tea with Fresh Flowers from The Garden The flowers of the chamomile plant resemble a carpet of mini-daisies blanketing a small, sunny corner of my vegetable patch.  They're lovely, actually. Hardy, too. Tonight I made my first batch of chamomile/­­mint tea.  By the way, mint is the other "easiest herb in the world to grow"--you simply cannot kill it.  Trust me.  So back to chamomile: I snipped a small bouquet of the white and yellow flowers and placed them in my coffee mug with a few sprigs of mint leaves. I poured warm water over and set the timer for about five minutes.  I strained the liquid into another mug, and like magic, we had homemade chamomile tea. Your tea will taste nothing like the dried bags of herbal chamomile tea you may have tried.  The fresh-flower variety of tea is very herb-y. A bit of a lemony taste, too. It's delicious.  Chamomile tea is said to be good for helping ease stomach upset and to help with sleep. The best chamomile herb to buy is one of German origin matricaria retutica, or so I've read.  I basically used common sense and bought the herb from the nursery with the tag that said, Excellent for Making Tea!  Side-by-side growing mint with green beans. I KNOW!  But it works.  Make sure you strain the tea. Once you do, you'll have this lovely pale greenish-yellow brew.  Comfort in a cup. In other news. This is Frankie. She's a giant. We just adore her and her sissy tolerates her. 

Low Budget Vegan In Mongolia

January 14 2016 Happy Cow veggie blog 

Traveling as a vegan in Mongolia is not recommended for weak stomachs. I thought mine could handle it, but it didnt. Although I was always very well prepared, I had a […] The post Low Budget Vegan In Mongolia appeared first on The Veggie Blog.

4 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

December 7 2015 Vegetarian Times 

4 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain We asked healthy cooking expert and Skinny Chef, Jennifer Iserloh to share her best tips for keeping extra pounds off for the holiday season. The author of 50 Shades of Kale and trained chef is also the instructor for our Gentle Cleanse course. The online course is a 1-2-3 plan: a 7-day detox, 3-week meal plans, and guidelines for making lifelong decisions. Sign up today to start feeling and looking better today.   Dreading putting on a few holiday pounds? Well dont let the worry of weight gain put a damper on your holiday cheer. There are plenty of tips and little tweaks to allow you to celebrate the season without sacrificing your well being. You can nosh, sip, and brew this holiday!  Just do it the smart and healing way by following these tips to help lessen temptation for the bad stuff while you still enjoy good eats with family and friends. Nosh Winter Detox Foods Many winter foods that you know and love are detox powerhouses, like sage, broccoli, cauliflower and pickled foods, like olives. Include them in your holiday meals in a festive way.  Toss cooked broccoli or cauliflower with sage and chopped olives cooked for 1 minute in warm olive oil.  Or sprinkle greens with lemon zest, chopped rosemary, and toasted walnuts. Spice Up Drinks Chiles are chock full of antioxidants and are super low in calories.  Adding hot peppers to your drinks and foods can burn off up to 50 extra calories during a meal. Even if youre not a spicy fan, you can start with just a little pinch of cayenne in your drinks and smoothies to get a chili-licious boost. Hydrate for Health Do you know that cravings for sweets can actually be your bodys cry for water? With the bustle and rushing of the holiday season many people forget to drink water. Sipping water before you reach for a snack can actually lesson the cravings you have throughout the day -even for fatty or salted foods. Warm Up When stress is high and you just need a little TLC, try sipping a hot beverage instead of noshing on a holiday treat.  I carry tea bags in my purse to be prepared, then just add hot water!  Sipping hot teas can actually reduce anxiety this study shows. If youre sensitive to caffeine I recommend, redbush tea. It is is naturally caffeine free and contains stomach soothing compounds  - perfect for this season of over-indulgence! Want to be more proactive in your avoidance of holiday weight gain--and feel better in the bargain? Join me on The Gentle Cleanse program. The three-day, seven-day, and 21-day programs fit all your needs for eating well (and even shedding a few pounds) throughout the holidays and beyond.

Should Fruit Only be Eaten on its Own ?

October 12 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Should Fruit Only be Eaten on its Own ? Packed with fiber, vitamins, and disease-thwarting antioxidants, fruit is undeniably important to overall health. Yet, some health advocates believe that to fully reap the benefits of fruit, you should eat it with no other foods. But dont stop adding berries to your morning oatmeal just yet. Food combining, a nutritional philosophy known as trophology, holds that fruit is best eaten separate from other foods, because when fast-digesting fruit is consumed along with food containing starches and proteins, its digestion is hindered, leading apples, grapes, and their ilk to ferment in your gut, which contributes to a range of digestive woes (such as bloating, indigestion, and gas). On the flip side, when fruits are eaten on their lonesome--at least an hour before or after a meal--your body can more easily access their nutritional bounty, leading to improved energy and weight loss. True? Yes, different foods do digest at different speeds, according to Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life, but there is a dearth of scientific evidence to support the practice of segregating fruit from other edibles. A healthy digestive tract has all the necessary enzymes needed to properly digest fruit and release its nutrients in a timely fashion, Palmer says, whether or not other starches, proteins, or fats are present. In other words, the human digestive tract is efficient at digesting mixed meals. Whats more, she says, gas is produced by bacteria working on food in the colon--not the stomach. So even if fruit is lingering in your stomach, it has little relevance to gas production. As for the purported weight loss benefits of carefully matching your food intake, an International Journal of Obesity study found no evidence that a food-combining diet was any more effective at bringing about a slimmer waistline than a typical balanced diet. Our Favorite Fruit Combos When it comes to good nutrition, science shows that these combos provide an extra boost. Blueberries + Yogurt Antioxidants in blueberries and the vitamin D found in the cultured dairy appear to team up to bolster immune health. For an immune-friendly snack, top plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and chopped nuts. Orange + Beans Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are rich in vitamin C, which helps increase absorption of the plant-based iron found in beans. Try black bean tacos topped with an orange salsa. Strawberries + Dark Chocolate Antioxidants in these foods react synergistically with one another, creating an antioxidant punch not available when consumed separately. Stir chopped strawberries and dark chocolate into hot oatmeal. The Reality If you find eating fruit solo is better for your digestion, there is no harm in continuing to do so. Ultimately, the more pressing question for a healthful diet is how much fruit you eat rather than when you eat it. Aim for at least 2 cups daily. Canada-based Investigative Nutritionist Matthew Kadey, RD, sets us straight on misleading nutrition claims.

10 Supermarket Foods and Drinks That Aren’t Always Veg

June 22 2015 Vegetarian Times 

10 Supermarket Foods and Drinks That Aren’t Always Veg Grocery shopping can be intimidating for new vegetarians: off-limits ingredients abound, and questionable products seem to lurk in every aisle. Is there lard in those beans? Anchovies in that dressing? When in doubt, use this handy cheat sheet to identify the most common supermarket foods and drinks that might not pass the veg test--and learn how to replace them with suitable substitutions. 1. Alcohol You wont find an ingredients list on most bottles, but isinglass (fish bladders), gelatin (animal skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments), and crab shells are just a few of the fining agents sometimes used to clarify alcohol. Check out barnivore.com to see if your favorite wine, beer, or booze was made with veg-friendly fining agents. 2. Caesar Dressing Anchovies give this popular salad dressing its signature salty kick. We love Follow Your Hearts creamy fish-free alternative, which gets plenty of zing from veg Worcestershire sauce and a hint of mustard. Great for vegans, its made without Parmesan cheese and egg yolks, two other standard Caesar ingredients. 3. Cheese Parmesan, Romano, and other old-school-style cheeses typically contain animal rennet--a cheesemaking ingredient extracted from the stomachs of calves, kids (goats), or lambs thats often simply labeled enzymes. Read VT‘s shopping guide, and stick with cheeses that state theyre made with microbial or vegetable rennet, or no rennet at all. (Psst: BelGioioso makes a vegetarian Parmesan wedge.) 4. French Onion Soup Beef stock may be providing the rich base for this comfort-food classic, so check the fine print on any supermarket can. Ordering it at a restaurant? It might also contain Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses made with animal rennet. Ask your server. 5. Gummy Treats Along with gummy vitamins and Starburst candies, conventional gummy bears and worms get their chewy texture from gelatin. Come Halloween, offer trick-or-treaters gummy treats that use fruit pectin instead--we promise they won’t be able to taste the difference. 6. Jell-O This jiggly childhood dessert is almost synonymous with gelatin. Find veg equivalents in the baking aisle of natural foods stores, or make your own using a thickening agent such as arrowroot powder or agar powder, derived from algae. 7. Kimchi A Korean staple believed to aid digestion, this spicy concoction of pickled veggies is traditionally fermented with fish sauce or dried shrimp. Look for jars that skip the seafood, such as Mother-in-Laws Vegan Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Use kimchi to add heat to veggie burgers, eggs, rice, and tacos. 8. Marshmallows Sorry, smores lovers: your favorite fluffy pillows contain gelatin. That goes for marshmallow-y treats such as Peeps and Rice Krispies Treats too. Have your campfire fun with vegan marshmallows made by Dandies or Sweet & Sara; vegetarians can also grab Marshmallow Fluff, which is gelatin-free (but contains dried egg whites). 9. Refried Beans Look out for lard in cans of refried beans, especially traditional versions. Some Mexican restaurants may also use animal fat in their bean and tortilla recipes, so be sure to ask. Luckily, its easy to find vegetarian refried beans cooked in oil. Amys Kitchen and Pacific Foods make a few VT favorites. 10. Worcestershire Sauce You can find a laundry list of ingredients--including anchovies--in this umami-rich condiment added to burgers, barbecue sauces, Bloody Mary cocktails, and more. For equally pungent, veg Worcestershire, try Annies Naturals or The Wizards, or swap in soy sauce. Shop Smart Restocking your kitchen? Follow these pro tips for veg-savvy grocery shopping: Inspect the label Read all ingredients carefully to avoid mix-ups. The same brand may have a veg and a non-veg option of the same type of food, notes Lindsay Nixon, author of The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living. Go natural Change up your supermarket routine. Nixon suggests visiting health food stores for a wider variety of veg-friendly goodies. (And if youre lucky enough to live near an exclusively vegetarian market, hop to it.) Make it yourself Vegetarian versions of sauces can be expensive, says Nixon. A homemade version is a fraction of the cost! Get easy recipes for veg kimchi, Caesar dressing, French onion soup, and more in VT‘s extensive recipe database.

Warm Summer Fruit Salad + Video

June 14 2015 Green Kitchen Stories 

Warm Summer Fruit Salad + Video If my 15 year younger self would see me know. I am sitting here writing a text that praises a warm fruit salad. Young David would have told me  that I was an idiot: “Why heat fruit when you can have it cold?!” You see, young David wasn’t very fond of warm fruit. At all.  Back then, I could binge eat bowls of fresh fruit, but cook or bake it and I wouldn’t touch it. Even apple pie, the one dish that every normal person loves, made my stomach turn upside down. I sometimes allowed myself to eat the part of the crust that hadn’t been touched by the fruit, but my tongue cringed from the bare thought of warm apple in my mouth. And now I’m all of a sudden ridiculously excited about this fruit salad that has taken a quick tour through a hot oven. What happened? I would love to say that this recipe was the game changer. But truth be told, I think I just slowly learned to appreciate warm fruit, recipe by recipe. Apart from the fact that I used to hate warm fruit and now swear by this dessert. Apart from the fact that this recipe is dead-simple and can be prepared in no-time. And apart from the fact that it includes some of the best bounty of the season and you will get all these summer-bonanza-feelings just by preparing it. Yes, apart from all that, this fruit salad is also covered in grated dark chocolate (that melts!), coconut flakes and salted almonds (that pairs oh so well with dark chocolate). Young David might not approve, but old David thinks this is pretty darn good and would like you all to give it a try. If you are still not  convinced, we created this video for our youtube channel as a final selling point:  The original Swedish version of this dessert is called Gino. It’s baked strawberries, kiwis and bananas with white chocolate on top. Our version is quite different, but t he choice of fruit and measurements are really just suggestions here, add or subtract fruit to your liking. Peaches or pineapple would also be good baked. Or raspberries. We have used fruit in season, but baking fruit is also a great way to increase the flavours during the winter season. Luise and I haven’t entirely agreed on the baking time. Personally I think the fruit only should be heated quickly, so it’s still quite firm. Just 5-6 minutes or enough time for the chocolate to melt. Luise however prefers the fruit to be more baked and a bit softer so the juices and flavours come together more. That’s about 10-12 minutes. But we’ll leave that decision to you (in the photos and video it’s baked after Luise’s preference). Warm Summer Fruit Salad with Dark Chocolate & Salted Almonds Serves 4 1 cup almonds + 1 tbsp boiled water mixed with 1 tsp salt (or store-bought salted almonds) 3 kiwi fruits 3 apricots 2 bananas, peel 10 strawberries 10 cherries, pitted 2 plums, remove stones 1 lime, juice 1 oz /­­ 30 g dark chocolate (70% or darker) 1/­­3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes Preheat the oven to 200°C /­­ 400°F. Prepare the almonds by placing them in a mixing bowl, pour the hot salted water over the almonds and combine until all almonds are covered. Place the almonds in a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden and crunchy. Set aside. Prepare the fruit by cutting them into bitesize pieces. Place the fruit in a baking dish and add the lime juice, toss to mix. Chop the almonds and sprinkle over the fruit salad. Grate the chocolate until it covers the fruit. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate has melted and the fruit is warm and juicy (not mushy). Serve in bowls with a dollop thick plain yogurt or ice cream.

Movie on a Mission: Inside the Garbage of the World

May 4 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Movie on a Mission: Inside the Garbage of the WorldPhoto: Carillo Films When you learn that an average American discards 4.5 pounds per day of trash, you realize we are the problem because we are not aware of where our trash is going and what it does to the environment and ultimately to our health, says Philippe Carillo, co-director and co-producer--with his wife, Maxine--of the documentary Inside the Garbage of the World. The film aims to correct this lack of awareness by showing the scourge of plastic pollution. Here, Philippe passionately responds to questions the film prompts. How would designating plastic as hazardous waste--which the film advocates--be a game changer? When plastic will finally be considered hazardous material, then plastic manufactures will be forced to come up with a safe material for human consumption and for the environment. We should have a totally independent organization, a pro-consumer organization, which should do all the testing of any product before it goes to market. But today that is far from the case. Big corporations have way too much power, and they are not ethical in regards to public safety. Californias ban on plastic bags, set to start this summer, is on hold since an industry-backed referendum qualified for the November 2016 ballot. What would you say to the states voters? I challenge anybody who is voting to overturn the ban to go to the beach every morning like I do and clean it of plastic. Believe me, they will start to understand. Have them ask scientists about the dangers of plastic, learning what it does little by little to their health, and to the fish and marine mammals who are dying all over the world because their stomachs are full of plastic bags. Ask them to visit one of the first beaches where plastic has concentrated, such as Kamilo Beach in Hawaii, and see if they can apprehend the future and how we are killing ourselves. We cannot leave our future in the hands of greedy organizations. Our future depends on us. Where would you suggest people start to get involved? In any vote that may occur in your vicinity, vote for your future and the future of your children. Also, vote with your pocketbook. That is your great power. You are the one who chooses what grocery stores sell. Remove plastic from your life, even if its step by step: Bring along your own fabric bags when you shop. Stop buying water in plastic bottles; there are alternatives such as glass bottles, or carry your own water container if you have a good water filter at home. Use your own mug when you buy coffee; buy bamboo or camping utensils to avoid using plastic utensils; use your own stainless steel container for takeout food. After a while you will see a change. We are the change! What about you? How are you reducing single-use plastic in your life?

4 Reasons Why You Should Start Juicing

April 24 2015 VegKitchen 

4 Reasons Why You Should Start JuicingContributed by Garrick Dee Tan. When it comes to staying healthy and fit, a lot of health experts like dieticians and doctors would say that you should eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. How much? It varies. For instance if youre a 35 year old male who does not exercise a lot, you should eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables. This handy tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will calculate how much you should eat depending on your age, sex and physical activity level. What counts as a cup? According to the CDC a whole small apple can be considered as a cup, a large banana is considered a cup, half a cup of sweet potato + half a cup of green beans is considered a cup. Heres the full chart. Eating all that vegetables and fruit really fills up your stomach which is great because itll leave less room for junk food but the digestive system gets overwhelmed. One option that will help health conscious folks like you and I consume more fruits and vegetables is juicing, and Ill share with you 4 reasons why you should consider incorporating this practice into your diet. - Allows you to consume more fruits and vegetables Like what I said earlier in this article depending on your age, sex and physical activity level you need to consumer 5 to 6 cups fruits and vegetables. Juicing helps you consume more because the process separates liquid from pulp. Whats left is a liquid brimming with live enzymes and nutrients get absorbed by the body without having to be digested by the gut. This in a way helps rest the digestive system. - Helps treat certain types of ailments like diabetes Diabetes is an epidemic that affects over 30 million Americans with over 1.5 million new cases per year. One of the best natural remedies used with success by a number of people to control diabetes is bitter melon. This (you guessed it) bitter fruit contains four ingredients that is known to help the bodys capability to absorb and process sugar. These four ingredients are vicine, polypeptide-P, charantin and lectin. It is so potent that doctors and health practitioners have warned against combining this with diabetic medication because it could cause hypoglycemia or a condition where the blood sugar falls to dangerously low levels. Dosages vary but the maximum you can safety take is around 2 bitter melons per day. If youve tasted bitter melon, it is very bitter and I doubt no matter how good the chef is you wont be able to eat a whole piece. An alternative is to juice bitter melon. This removes all the pulp and what you get is a concentrated drink that has helped thousands of people reverse type-2 diabetes. If pure bitter gourd is too bitter for your taste you can try adding these ingredients. Important note: If youre under medication, consult with a physician first before incorporating this into your diet because like what Ive said combining this with diabetic medication can cause hypoglycemia. And when you do take this regularly monitor blood glucose levels - if it falls within normal levels ask your doctor if you can discontinue medication. - Helps you lose weight No, Im not talking about a juice fast where youll eat nothing but juice. Im talking utilizing juicing into your diet in order to reduce hunger pangs. While a juice fast can work for the short term and Ive read a lot of success stories, the truth is it isnt sustainable for an extended period and can be dangerous if you do it the wrong way. What Im suggesting here is a solution where you dont need to starve yourself. The solution involves drinking fresh juice before a meal or in-between meals in order to curb the hunger pangs that normally would occur if we dont eat snacks in between meals. Health experts agree that eating smaller portions is the key in losing weight and keeping it off but if what you are eating in between meals is rich in fructose then this method can also work against you, which is why drinking juice or a smoothie /­­ juice combo is a better option. Not only will your body get the nutrients it craves for thus reducing appetite, it also lessens the carb and sugar intake. This will result in weight loss minus the nutrient deprivation. If you dont believe me, try some of these recipes before any meal and see if it helps in reducing hunger pangs. Some of these recipes have ingredients that help in weight loss like Avocado and Grapefruit. - Improves digestion A health digestive system is important to our overall health, in fact a third of our immune system is found in the digestive tract and research confirms this. Juicing helps indirectly by providing you with a healthier alternative to store bought juices. Fruits like lemon also help with the digestive system by lubricating the digestive system and softening the stool. Drinking a cup of warm lemon water in the morning will help improve in fact will help digestive health by stimulating the liver to produce bile which is a fluid needed to flush out waste from the gut. Another ingredient you can add to your juices to improve digestion is ginger. Eating a thumb of ginger is just plain impossible but juicing it is not and adding it adds a nice spicy contrast. Next week, Ill cover the most common mistakes a lot of people make when juicing. One of them is a key contributor in people gaining weight so please stand by for that. - For more juicing tips, visit Juicing with G.

Eggless Sprouted Mung Bean Pasta, Spring Style

April 20 2015 Golubka Kitchen 

Eggless Sprouted Mung Bean Pasta, Spring Style Chances are, you’re familiar with mung bean noodles, some clear and some ghostly white, that can be found in abundance at Asian markets. I’ve always been fascinated with the simplicity of their ingredients list, which typically includes only mung beans and water. Making pasta at home has become somewhat of a hobby for me over this past winter, and I was determined to nail down this healthy, protein-rich mung bean version. The first attempt, which involved just grounding mung beans into flour without sprouting them, resulted in pasta with too beany of a taste that I wasn’t satisfied with. I noticed long ago that sprouting grains and garbanzo beans improves the taste of the resulting flour, so I decided to sprout the mung beans for this pasta as well. My next attempt, made of sprouted flour, was much better and mild tasting, but included eggs, and I didn’t care for the texture. When I was ready to give up the idea, I bumped into the possibility of using psyllium husks as a binder in gluten free pasta. I gave them a try and it turned out absolutely amazing – a nicely pliable, flavorful, freshly-made pasta, that is very light and gentle on your stomach, and quite easy to make once your flour is ready. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m pretty sure that other types of gluten free flours such as quinoa, buckwheat, etc. will work great in this recipe as well. It may seem like a lot of work to make such flour at home, but in reality what you will mostly have to do is wait until beans sprout and dry. If the process is not for you, however, there are several companies that make sprouted flours and my latest favorite is Blue Mountain Organics. Our local health food store carries and array of their flours and they are not only delicious, but also less expensive than regular flour. For this post, I prepared the pasta with peas and spinach to celebrate spring, but it will work well with your favorite homemade tomato sauce or any other pasta toppings. Happy Spring! Sprouted Mung Bean Pasta adapted from here Serves 6-8 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder 1 cup sifted sprouted mung bean flour (see below), plus more for rolling out pasta 1/­­3 cup tapioca flour 1/­­4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water 2 tablespoons coconut oil – 1 tablespoon melted, divided 3-4 cups baby spinach leaves 2 cups fresh or frozen peas splash of canned coconut milk – optional freshly ground black pepper grated Parmesan – optional 1. Mix together psyllium husk powder and 4 tablespoons filtered water in a small bowl. Let thicken while mixing together dry ingredients. 2. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl, mix to combine. Make a well in the center, add 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, gelled psyllium husk and 4 tablespoons of water. Stir to combine with a fork as much as you can. The mixture will appear dry, but don’t add more water at this point. Begin working with your hands, mixing and kneading the mixture into slightly sticky (but not wet) dough. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, if you find that it’s absolutely necessary, or more flour if dough seems too wet. 3. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, keep them wrapped to prevent drying. 4. Working with one portion at a time, roll out on a well floured surface into a paper thin thickness. Cut it into pasta of any desired shape using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Sprinkle with more flour to prevent from sticking (the same sprouted mung bean flour or brown rice flour will work great for rolling and dusting). 5. Divide the pasta into two equal portions. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook one portion of fresh pasta at a time for 2 minutes, until al-dente. 6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add half of the spinach, sprinkle with salt and stir to coat. Drain pasta reserving about 1/­­4 cup of cooking liquid. Add pasta, 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid and splash of coconut milk (if using) to the pan with spinach, stir until spinach is wilted, for a minute or so. Add half of the peas, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, stir them in and remove from heat. 7. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan if desired. Note: You can continue cooking the other portions of pasta in the same manner or keep the remaining dough wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Remove from refridgerator to warm up 15 minutes prior to rolling.  Sprouted Mung Bean Flour 1. Rinse 2 cups of mung beans and place them in a large bowl covered with filtered water, soak overnight. 2. Drain and rinse again, cover with wet kitchen towel and leave to sprout. You should see white tails in 24-48 hours. Make sure to rinse every 8 hours and keep the towel damp. For the purpose of this flour, sprouts don’t need to be large and thick – tiny white tails will be sufficient. 3. When you are satisfied with the look of your sprouts, rinse them thoroughly, drain well and shake off water excess as much as possible. If you have a dehydrator, spread sprouted beans on mesh screen covered trays and dehydrate at 115 F until completely dry. 4. Alternatively, spread on a dry kitchen towel or paper towels and let dry for 24 hours, change towels to dry ones after the first 8 hours. Spread on a baking sheet and continue to dry in the oven at the lowest temperature for a couple of hours, until completely dry. 5. Grind into flour using a high speed blender, mill or coffee grinder (in batches). Sift through a fine mesh strainer.

My Cookbook + a Bonus Pack of Recipes

March 4 2015 My New Roots 

My Cookbook + a Bonus Pack of Recipes Dear friends! Its hard to believe that in just a few short weeks my cookbook, My New Roots: Inspired Plant Based Recipes for Every Season will be landing in stores, your homes and hands. Bah! Pretty exciting stuff. I know the wait has been long, but were nearly there. Your support and unabashed enthusiasm for this project has filled me up and fueled me these past months while I waited with knots in my stomach just to see it, and I can say with great relief and pride that I am thrilled with how its turned out. Now I have my fingers crossed (and toes and arms and legs and eyes) that you feel the same way. Here is a trailer for the book – and clips from the year that I made it. So to tell you a little more without giving too much away... The book opens with the techniques and processes I use in my kitchen every day, which form the foundation of all plant-based cooking: how to cook beans and grains and how to make nut and seed butters are just a few examples. With detailed yet easy to follow, step-by-step instructions, youll master these simple methods in no time and be well-equipped to cook the recipes from the book as well as have the confidence to be creative on your own. The recipes follow, with 100 all-new, never-before-seen recipes with a couple of your favourites from the blog, just because I thought youd appreciate them in print. Some of my favourite recipes are Savoury Spring Hand Pies, Raw Cashew Yogurt with Maple and Blackberry, Grain-Free Hemp Tabbouleh, Sparkling Mint Melonade, Apricot Rhubarb Clafoutis, Sunflower Sesame Seed Brittle, Trippy Tie-Dye Soup, Vanilla Rose Apple Cider, Chunky Banana Bread Granola, and Raw Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. All of the recipes are vegetarian, most of them vegan, and many of them gluten-free. I have some stellar raw recipes that go beyond just salad, hearty breakfasts, meals to take to school, the office, and road trips. Beautiful drinks to quench your thirst, soups and dips and sandwiches. Simple family fare, and meals to impress your best guests. The book is laid out in seasons, five in fact, which you will learn more about once you read it. I wrote the recipes and photographed in real time, as the weeks rolled through the year, inspired by what was around me, growing in the garden, available at the market, and the dishes reflect this. When I look through the pages, the photographs pull me back to the places I was, the slant of daylight, temperature of the air, who I was with in the kitchen. It is, very much like the blog, a diary of sorts: a collection of more than just food, but moods and memories. As we are counting down to the books launch, Ive put together a bonus pack of six exclusive recipes not in the cookbook (plus two that are, for fun) for all of you who want to preorder to the book, and also for those that already have. Its easy: pre-order the book from your retailer of choice, here, and then go to this page, insert your purchase order (PO number), personal information and you can download the Bonus Pack PDF immediately. No matter where you live in the world or where you are buying /­­ have bought the book, you can get the bonus pack! This book represents so many things for me. After eight and half years (!!!) of blogging, it seems like the natural next step to become three-dimensional, to enter the world as a published author. I am very proud of my journey, and this book is a culmination of that. I truly never imagined that I would be sitting here, cradling this collection of recipes from my heart, holding it out for you to take. But it feels right. And now is the time. Thank you for making this possible and for taking this journey with me. Now lets go cook. In love and gratitude, Sarah B.  #MNRcookbook

Essential Vegan Foods To Bring While Traveling

June 6 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Essential Vegan Foods To Bring While Traveling We asked best-selling cookbook author and passionate vegan chef Julie Morris to give us her best tips for traveling as a vegan. Were thrilled to partner with Julie on our exciting new online course, Go Vegan! 30 Days to a Plant-Based Lifestyle. This intensive, interactive course features vegan cooking skills, tips on getting proper nutrition and thriving on a vegan lifestyle, and more than 70 recipes for a vegan meal plan to get you started. Check it out now. TWV, or Traveling While Vegan, may not be a trending hashtag acronym yet, but at the rate of increasing popularity of a vegan diet, its only a matter of time before its a well-known term! Its a situation I understand well. I travel a good bit for my job, and remember the anxiety I faced during my early days as a vegan when it came time to hit the road. Although enjoying a vegan diet has always been easy within the security of my own kitchen, a different city (or country) doesnt always offer the same safety net of healthy plant-based options. Dont get me wrong -- theres a surprising amount of vegan food in the world to enjoy (hint: most of the time its not called vegan food, its just food ... that happens to be vegan!), but for the occasions when time or patience runs out, I rely on a few things that Ive actually brought with me. Packing a light, pared-down kit of key vegan foods while traveling can make all the difference in how you feel on a trip: You wont have to compromise your energy, health, or values. Over the years Ive refined my kit into a system that covers all the fundamental vegan bases in a hyper-condensed form.  So the next time you pack a suitcase, you consider bringing a small supply of these Plan B essential vegan foods: Energy Bars: As a condensed mini-meal, an energy bar can feel like its truly saving the day. Look for varieties that contain as many natural ingredients as possible, or for best results (and significant financial savings), make your own! Homemade energy bars are surprisingly easy to create using a food processor, and can be cut into bars and wrapped in plastic or parchment for single servings. Pack one for each day. Something Green: Fresh green foods are a foundation of any healthy diet, but can be surprisingly difficult to find when traveling to a new city. This is where green powders or tablets can be your best energizing friend! Made out of freeze-dried nutritious greens, such as kale, broccoli, wheatgrass, or spirulina, these superfoods are hyper-concentrated (a little goes a long way). You can bring spirulina tablets (a few for each day), or single-serve packets of your favorite green powder blend to add to a bottle of water. Something Protein: While its getting easier to find great-tasting vegan meals, not every restaurant offers a good nutritional balance. Traveling with vegan protein can help satisfy cravings and allow you to be more relaxed with other meals (bonus points if it includes vitamin B12). Bring a stash of vegan protein powder that you can shake inside of a water bottle for a quick smoothie. Or just make sure the energy bars you choose are high in protein - look for 10 grams or above. Crackers & Almond Butter: While its easy to grab the sweet stuff, packing a little something savory is good for both your taste buds and your health! A box of crackers can help satisfy an unruly stomach, while a little bit of nut butter makes this snack more nutritionally balanced with healthy fats and easy-to-digest protein. Look for crackers that are made of nutrient-dense whole grains and seeds (they will be the most satisfying), as well as single-serve pouches of nut butter that are perfect for packing. A Treat: TWV is an enjoyable and easy experience 99% of the time. On the rare occasion that its not quite as epic from a delicious standpoint (hello, airplane food), having a treat you can look forward to can be a complete game-changer in your mood! Keep a small stash of one of your favorite treats, such as a go-to chocolate bar, a bag of fruit gummies, or homemade cookies. This little pick-me-up is a great reward for sticking to your values.

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.

How to Eat Healthy for Your Gut and Feel Better

January 11 2016 Vegetarian Times 

How to Eat Healthy for Your Gut and Feel BetterWe asked healthy cooking expert and “Skinny Chef” Jennifer Iserloh for tips on feeling our best in the new year. Jennifer is the author of numerous best selling health books including, 50 Shades of Kale, Secrets of a Skinny Chef, and Healthy Cheats. She’s also the instructor for our easy-to-follow online course, Gentle Cleanse, which features recipes and guidelines for gently detoxing with healthy recipes and making lifelong dietary changes to feel your best. Sign up for exclusive free tips and discounts for the Gentle Cleanse course! If youre lacking energy after the holidays, it may not only be stress or lack of sleep thats slowing you down. Getting more energy could be as simple getting good eats for your gut! Thats right, there are foods and meals that are especially healing for the colony of bacteria that live in your large intestines, called the microbiome. When your bacteria are unbalance (more bad than good) it could mean lack of energy, poor digestion, weakened immune system and brain fog.  Eating good things for your gut start by noshing on a plant based diet! Fiber and Prebiotic Foods Fiber isnt just important for weight loss and digestion, its crucial for our gut flora since thats what they eat.  And we cant be our healthiest without them - since these good bacteria are responsible for manufacturing B vitamins, vitamin K,  as well as strengthening our immunity, and breaking down complex carbohydrates.  So how do you make sure they get what they need?  Its easy –  add plenty of prebiotics foods like carrots, asparagus, and artichokes. They are rich in a particular fiber called inulin, that the good bugs love. Limit Gluten Not everyone has gluten sensitivities but giving gluten a rest for a few days when youre feeling slow, limiting gluten when you feel the drag is a good idea since gluten has been show to activate allergies, and can be tough to digest for those with sensitive stomachs.  Dont go for the package gluten free products since they can be loaded with sugar, unhealthy fats and salt.  Enjoy naturally gluten free grains instead like millet, quinoa, and brown rice.  If you want to learn the 101 on these grains while you go gluten free follow my 3 day mini cleanse.

Vinegar 101: Types of Vinegar, Health Benefits, and How to Cook With It

November 16 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Vinegar 101: Types of Vinegar, Health Benefits, and How to Cook With It Derived from the French vinaigre (meaning aged wine), vinegar is a staple in most pantries worldwide. With dozens of varieties readily available, you can use your favorite type to elevate nearly any meal – by creating marinades, emulsifying vinaigrettes, seasoning dishes to brighten flavors, or even making reductions. How its made The process of producing vinegar includes inoculation, fermentation and aging. An alcoholic liquid is acted upon by the Acetobacter bacteria to form an acidic solution. It evolves into a self-preserving substance due to its high acidity. Fermentation of wine into vinegar is triggered by a mother, or other ambient bacteria, transforming sugars into alcohol into acetic acid; a vinegar mother is a harmless cellulose structure produced by acetic acid that occurs naturally in unpasteurized vinegars. The process may take from 20 hours up to several months, depending on a variety of factors. Types of Vinegars Rice: With a 4% acidity, rice vinegar is great for pickling, dressings, or seasoning sushi rice. (Check out our Garlic and Kale Soup that uses Brown Rice Vinegar.) Balsamic: Made from the concentrated juice of white Trebbiano grapes and aged in casks, balsamic works well in glazes, reductions and marinades with its 6-8% acidity. (Try our Sicilian-Style Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Syrup.) Apple Cider: With a 5% acidity, this ones best for seasoning more subtle dishes, as an infusion, or drizzled over grain or bean salads. (Use it to make Carolina-Style Barbecue Sandwiches.) Wine: With a 6-8% acidity, this vinegar adds a touch of umami, and works well wherever a stronger flavor is desired. (Make Minestrone with Sun Dried Tomatoes and White Beans.) Coconut: Made from fermented coconut water or sap, coconut vinegar has a 4% acidity, and is perfect for a splash of brightness when making nut-based cream sauces or a stone fruit chutney. Health Benefits Unpasteurized and unfiltered vinegar is a natural probiotic and can be used to help the body break down fats. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is used to treat sore throats and upset stomachs, as well as topically for some skin conditions; it is also a natural liver cleanser. In addition, vinegar can get digestive juices flowing and increase appetite, which makes it a great addition to starter courses like salads and chilled soups. (Check out our article: Apple Cider Vinegar: Healing Foods) How to Buy Be sure to carefully examine labels and ingredient lists, and purchase varieties free of additives and artificial coloring. Keep in mind that aged vinegars have stronger flavors. Gradually stock your kitchen with different types of vinegars to determine which you like best for different applications. Culinary Uses Reductions: Reduce over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Serve over fresh berries, or when plating an entrée or salad course. (Top Red Pepper Soup with a Balsamic Reduction.) Herb Infusions: Blanch herbs like tarragon, dill or basil, blend with vinegar, and allow to steep for a few days in the fridge. Marinades: Use to tenderize and flavor vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant before grilling, along with fresh garlic, ginger and herbs. Quick Pickle: Add three parts vinegar to one part water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, adding a splash of sweetener of your choice, a pinch of salt, and red chili flakes for extra spice.  Pour over cut produce and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator. (Try our Hot-and-Sour Celery Pickles.) Baking: Can be used as a leavener, eliciting a chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide to give cake batters a lift. Poaching eggs: Adding a tablespoon to the cooking water with prevent eggs from spreading. Ceviche: Mix with oil, garlic and herbs, and toss with mushrooms or avocado for a refreshing twist. Serve with tortilla crisps. Enhance color: Vinegar brightens reds and purples, like cabbage and beets or red pearl onions. Chef Olivia Roszkowski is a graduate of NGIs Chefs Training Program and a full-time instructor. Olivia holds a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University and has worked at various well-known NYC restaurants, including The Mercer Kitchen and Momofuku Ssam Bar. Olivia is a master at root-to-frond cooking.       

Kale Day Chat Recap: 12 Kale Questions Answered

October 8 2015 Vegetarian Times 

Kale Day Chat Recap: 12 Kale Questions AnsweredDid you miss our live Facebook Chat for National Kale Day? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s a recap of 12 questions our Facebook fans asked Kale Day co-founder and author of 50 Shades of Kale, Chef Jennifer Iserloh. The “Skinny Chef” loves kale so much that it’s a featured ingredient in our new online course, Gentle Cleanse. Kale is the ideal ingredient to go along with the 7-day detox plan and 21-day meal plan, to get you looking and feeling your best. Ready to start your journey on the Gentle Cleanse course? Use code KALE25 to save 25% off just for a special National Kale Day promotion. Q: What are your favorite ways to use kale in the kitchen? A: Smoothies, sauces, salads, tacos, in soups and stews, the ways are endless! Q: Do you think kale is really here to stay? Or is it just a fad? A: Definitely here to STAY!! The studies are so positive, kale is cheap, it’s versatile – mild tasting, thank goodness we have an affordable health food. Q: Is there anything to look for when SHOPPING for fresh kale or other greens? A: Definitely – make sure the greens aren’t wilted in the store – that means they don’t transport them correctly. Also the leaves should be firm to the touch, this includes kale, mustard greens, bok choy- you name it. They shouldn’t have any yellow or brown spots, that means they’re getting old and have been around the block! Q: How do you recommend storing kale and other leafy greens? A: In a bag with paper towel to keep greens from getting wet spots and spoiling. Excess moisture in the bag causes greens to spoil faster. Q: Can you freeze fresh greens? A: You can buy frozen greens, but if you try to freeze fresh one you have to blanch them and they may loose nutrients. Q: Is it healthier to make my own green juice or buy one? Sometimes it makes my stomach hurt. A: Make it, but better yet, make a smoothie so you get all the fiber, too! Q: How do mustard greens compare to kale nutrition-wise? A: Kale is king, it’s higher in vitamin and mineral content compared to all the greens. However you still want to mix and match it with other greens since it superfood has a unique nutritional profile Q: If I mix and match mustard greens with kale, is the cooking time the same? A: No. mustard greens cook faster so cook your kale 2-3 minutes before adding other delicate greens like mustard and spinach. Q: How are Asian mustard greens different from the “Southern” kind (as I think of them)? A: Asian [mustard greens] usually have a little more “kick” or a hint of spice. I like to combine them with stronger flavorings like ginger, soy sauce, and hot sauce while with Southern greens like collards, I serve them with herbs, cheese, lemon or nuts Q: Is the cooking time the same for collards and mustard greens? A: Collards take a little longer, but I don’t do them the Southern way. They cook them for 45 minutes so the Vitamin C is defintely destroyed. I thinly slice them, saute them [for] about 6 to 8 minutes. Q: Is there a better way to prep mustard greens – like soaking? I find them bitter sometimes. A: I don’t recommend soaking, but yes, mustard greens are really strong tasting, so I mix them with other greens and fat items, like nuts and seeds (and eggs if you eat them) to mellow them! Q: Have there been any studies in the past year on kale and its health properties? Any new research or discoveries? A: There are a bunch of studies out there, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. Kale is the #1 food besides turmeric, but you can combine the two.  

Vegan Father’s Day Recipes! Gluten-free Soy-free Options

June 19 2015 Vegan Richa 

My Dad is like most Dads, very hard working and does not know the meaning of vacation. He visits every few years for a month and before the plan is finalized, he always makes sure he will have something to do. He made a super sturdy King Size Bed Frame for us in his 2013 visit. Go figure. This was his vacation   It is next to impossible to get him to sit through a 3 hour Hindi movie. I sometimes wonder if he even likes going to the beach. Its fun watching hubbs and Dad together. Hubbs loves spending time on the beach or a park, just sit and think and watch, and Dad sits there and it seems like he is liking it, but 15 minutes later he starts to look impatient.:) This Vegan Father’s Day Recipes round up is dedicated to him. He might try some of these recipes, but the way to his heart and stomach is simple Indian food filled with vegetables and dals Happy Father’s Day Dad!  Continue reading: Vegan Father’s Day Recipes! Gluten-free Soy-free OptionsThe post Vegan Father’s Day Recipes! Gluten-free Soy-free Options appeared first on Vegan Richa.

Warm Summer Fruit Salad

June 14 2015 Green Kitchen Stories 

Warm Summer Fruit Salad If my 15 year younger self would see me know. I am sitting here writing a text that is trying to sell the idea of a warm fruit salad. Young David would have told me  that I was an idiot: “Why heat fruit when you can have it chilled?!” You see, young David hated warm fruit. And I mean. Truly. Hated.  Back then, I could binge eat platters of fresh fruit, but cook or bake it and I wouldn’t touch it. Even apple pie, the one dish that every normal person loves, made my stomach turn upside down. I sometimes allowed myself to eat the part of the crust that hadn’t been touched by the fruit, but my tongue cringed from the bare thought of warm apple in my mouth. And now I’m all of a sudden very excited about this fruit salad that has taken a quick detour through the oven. What happened? I would love to say that this recipe was the game changer. But truth be told, I think I just slowly learned to appreciate warm fruit, recipe by recipe. Anyway, apart from the fact that I used to hate warm fruit and now swear by this dessert. Apart from the fact that this recipe is dead-simple. Apart from the fact that it includes some of the best bounty of the season and tastes like summer in your mouth. Yes, apart from all that, this fruit salad is also covered in grated dark chocolate (that melts!), coconut flakes and salted almonds (that pairs oh so well with dark chocolate). And if you are still not  convinced to try it out, we created this little video as a final selling point:  This is originally a Swedish dessert called Gino served with strawberries, kiwis and bananas with white chocolate on top. Our version is quite different, but t he choice of fruit and measurements are really just suggestions here, add or subtract fruit to your liking. Peaches or pineapple would also be good baked. Or raspberries? We use fruit in season here, but baking fruit is also a great way to increase the flavours during the winter season. Luise and I haven’t entirely agreed on the baking time. Personally I think the fruit only should be heated quickly, so it’s still quite firm. Just 5-6 minutes or enough time for the chocolate to melt. Luise however prefers the fruit to be more baked and a bit softer so the juices and flavours come together more. That’s about 10-12 minutes. But we’ll leave that decision to you (in the photos and video it’s baked after Luise’s preference). Warm Summer Fruit Salad Serves 4 1 cup almonds + 1 tbsp boiled water mixed with 1 tsp salt (or store-bought salted almonds) 3 kiwi fruits 3 apricots 2 bananas, peel 10 strawberries 10 cherries, pitted 2 plums, remove stones 1 lime, juice 1 oz /­­ 30 g dark chocolate (70% or darker) 1/­­3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes Preheat the oven to 200°C /­­ 400°F. Prepare the almonds by placing them in a mixing bowl, pour the hot salted water over the almonds and combine until all almonds are covered. Place the almonds in a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden and crunchy. Set aside. Prepare the fruit by cutting them into bitesize pieces. Place the fruit in a baking dish and add the lime juice, toss to mix. Chop the almonds and sprinkle over the fruit salad. Grate the chocolate, it should almost cover the fruit salad. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate has melted and the fruit is warm and juicy (not mushy). Serve in bowls with plain yogurt or a dollop of ice cream.

Golden Sauerkraut – Wild Fermentation

May 4 2015 Green Kitchen Stories 

Golden Sauerkraut – Wild Fermentation Before we start this post, we wanted to introduce a new little feature here on the blog. We call it Homemade Whole Food Staples. Unknowingly, we actually already started it a few weeks ago, with our post about homemade nut butter. A lot of you told us that this was the first time you’ve made nut butter at home, so we realised that this could be a good opportunity for us (and you) to learn more about classic methods, recipes and pantry staples that are popular in whole food kitchens. It’s nothing wrong to cut some corners and buy jars and cans of staples from the store, but if you want to save some money, learn what really is in those jars and get a better hum about the kitchen basics, you might find this new feature interesting. Our hope is that we can show how recipes that many find too intimidating to try at home, really isn’t complicated at all. We are discussing sharing how to make your own vegetable stock, the ultimate pomodoro passata, mastering a sourdough and how to make homemade coconut yogurt. But we are also really interested to hear what you want us to try/­­share. Leave us a comment and let us know if there is something specific that you are curious to learn more about. Today we are talking fermented vegetables. It’s one of the healthiest thing you can eat but the whole idea of food that needs 3 weeks before its ready, scares most people from even trying to prepare it. Right? But please folks, stay with us on this one. Not only are fermented/­­cultured vegetables on most top-lists of trendy food 2015, but a large spoonful of homemade Sauerkraut is also TRULY delicious on top of a salad or inside a sandwich. Furthermore, the natural occurring probiotics in fermented food are great for your stomach and body. The whole 3-weeks-to-prepare-issue is more like 20 minutes of active work and then 3 weeks of waiting. Best of all, we are going to show you the most natural way of doing it, without any starters at all. It’s called wild fermentation, only 2 ingredients are needed and the method has been around for hundreds of years. But you can also add a bunch of different flavourings to it, like caraway seeds, ginger, garlic, beetroot, chilli, fennel or turmeric. Does this project still sound impossible? Here in Scandinavia, we have quite the tradition of pickling, preserving and fermenting. But weirdly enough, Luise’s and my interest for fermented vegetables actually sparked during our recent trip to Australia. Almost all the cafes we frequented had at least one salad or bowl that was topped with fermented vegetables or sauerkraut. And the health food stores there have whole isles with different brands of organic raw fermented/­­cultured vegetables. It didn’t take long until we were hooked. The flavours were just so fresh and the acidity added a real kick to whatever we paired it with. And in a strike of unbelievable luck, we met Vivianne on our potluck picnic in Sydney, she is one of the founders of Raw Sisterhood, a Bondi based company that makes incredibly tasty fermented vegetables, raw crackers and raw granola. She promised to teach us some of their secrets and now we get to share one of their recipes here. We made the first batch together in her house and we have continued making it now when we are home. They call this version Golden Goodness and it’s basically wild fermented cabbage and carrots flavoured with turmeric and garlic Before we get on to the recipe, we wanted to let Brenda and Viv from Raw Sisterhood explain the magic behind Wild Fermentation and healthy bacterias: Why wild fermentation: Wild fermentation is a natural process in which we provide the perfect environment for nature to do its thing, so no starter is needed.  All fresh fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria (lacto bacilli) which allows them to break down (ripen). As fruits and veggies ripen they go through an enzymatic process, essentially they digest themselves.  When foods go off or rot, they have been exposed to oxygen. In a wild ferment, we allow the vegetables to digest themselves, in an oxygen free environment.  The lacto bacilli in the vegetables, eats the naturally occurring sugars and then produces lactic acid and more lacto bacilli....and the cycle continues.  Why eat healthy bacteria: Lactic acids can kill many strains of parasite and many other pathogens in the body purifying the intestines. Fermented veggies increase the healthy flora in the intestinal tract by creating the type of environment for them to flourish in. Increases nutrient values in the vegetables especially vitamin C. The high fiber content in cultured vegetables help to clean the digestive system, removing undigested food and unwanted toxins. Fermented foods also facilitate the break down and assimilation of proteins. Golden Sauerkraut - Wild Fermented Cabbage, Carrot & Turmeric Makes about 2 huge jars. You can easily half this recipe if you prefer. Be sure to sterilise your jars before your start. 2 green cabbages (3 kg) Save some of the outer layers of the cabbage for packaging on the top 800 g /­­ 7 cups carrots (6 medium size carrots) or beetroot 15 g /­­ 1,5 tbsp grated ginger 15 g /­­ 1,5 tbsp minced garlic 15 g /­­ 1 tbsp fresh grated turmeric (optional) 30 g /­­ 3 tbsp ground turmeric 5 g /­­ 1 tbsp caraway seeds 5 g /­­ 1 tbsp fennel seeds 2 tbsp /­­ 30 g himalayan sea salt (optional, you can do it without salt, but it speeds up the process) Wash the cabbage and scrub the carrots, then finely slice the cabbage and grate the carrots. Or use a food processor with a fine slicer attachment for the cabbage and rough grating attachment for the carrots. Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Use your hands (you might want to wear rubber gloves to prevent your hands to get stained by the turmeric) to mix and massage until it starts to get soft and juicy. The vegetables should release quite a lot of juice, if not, just add some more salt. Use a spoon or a tong to spoon the mixture into 2 large clean jars. Pack it really tight to leave out all air, keep packing until the jar is full of veggies and the veggies are covered in juice (important). Leave some space at the top to place a whole folded cabbage leave on top, this is to prevent any oxidation. Close with an air-tight lid. During the fermentation process the veggies will expand and the liquid will try to come out, we put our jars in a bowl or a plastic bag for any juice that might drip from the sides. Leave the jars to ferment in room temperature for 2-4 weeks (depending on room temperature), 3 weeks is usually perfect. When ready, it should be softly textured but not mushy and have a fresh, spicy and acidic flavour. Discard the cabbage leave at the top and store the jars in the fridge. We usually divide the fermented vegetables in smaller jars and hand out to friends and family or keep it in the fridge. Tip: o If your veggies are stinky and leaky, then place the jars in a bowl and place everything in a plastic bag and close it. Then place in a cupboard and drain the water after about 3 days. o If the top is discolored or has a bit mould, dont be alarmed just remove it and wipe around or just change the jars. o Use organic vegetables for fermenting and dont wash or scrub to much, it can destroy the natural enzymes on the vegetables.

Asparagus, Fennel & Spinach Soup + Topping!

April 22 2015 Green Kitchen Stories 

Asparagus, Fennel & Spinach Soup + Topping! In our house, soup is rarely served without some kind of topping. It’s almost like a yin and yang thing, we start talking about soup and the conversation directly leads on to toppings. I guess it’s a pretty natural thing since we eat a lot of soup and prefer it to be a more complete meal, instead of just a starter. The toppings does not only add a different texture and flavor to the soup, but also some more stomach filling proteins. To be honest, many times I think we spend more time working on the toppings then on the actual soup. It’s the same principle as we have with oatmeal toppings. Here are a few of our favorite soup + topping combinations from earlier blog posts: Sweet potato and red lentil soup with aubergine and kale topping, Carrot and tomato soup with corn ceviche topping, Spinach and kale soup with tahini dressed chickpea topping. We found a huge bunch of over-priced asparagus in the market the other day and for some reason decided that it was a good idea to spend our last money this month on asparagus instead of a new set of clothes for Isac. So we walked home and made soup. We went for a smooth and quite mildly flavored soup and allowed the toppings to have more punch in flavor and texture. We only chose green-ish ingredients for the topping. Yup, there we go again, choosing ingredients by color. But it actually turned out fantastic. It’s got a lot of crunch from the pumpkin seeds, flavor from parsley and the asparagus tips, richness from the lentils and sting from the chili. I ate the leftovers without the soup straight from the fridge. Now I”ve spent most of this post talking about the topping, but the soup is pretty good too. Quick, simple, delicious and with a clear taste of spring. If you don’t have any fennel at home, you could add a few potatoes instead, or other green spring vegetables. We also made a quick cashew cream to go with the soup. We often just add a few dollops yogurt into our soup but cashew cream is a nice and rich vegan alternative. If you just remember to pre-soak the cashew nuts, the cream is done in no-time. As a side note, I just tried adding some cashew cream on top of my latest smoothie and it wasn’t bad at all. So, go make your vegetable market guy happy and buy a bunch of asparagus. Make soup, whip up a cashew cream. And for goodness sake, don’t forget about the topping! Asparagus, Fennel & Spinach Soup Serves 4 We keep a jar of toasted pumpkin seeds in our kitchen and almost always have some cooked lentils ready in our fridge. It’s a good advice as it makes it a lot easier to create small quick meals. 1 pound /­­ 450 g green asparagus 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter 6 thin spring onions or 1 yellow onion 2 cloves garlic 1 small fennel bulb (or 1/­­2 large) 1 large handful spinach 2 cups water or vegetable stock 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon salt & black pepper Lentil & Pepita Topping The reserved raw tips from the asparagus 1 cup cooked puy lentils (1/­­2 cup uncooked, boiled in water for 18 minutes) 1/­­2 cup dry-toasted and salted pumpkin seeds /­­ pepitas 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley 1/­­2 green chili, finely chopped (optional) 1 tbsp olive oil Cashew Cream 1/­­2 cup cashew nuts 1/­­2 cup filtered water 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/­­2 tsp sea salt Trim the tough end off the asparagus. Cut in diagonal pieces, 1/­­2 inch /­­ 1 cm thick. Save the asparagus tips for the topping. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Finely chop onion, garlic and fennel and add to the the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the asparagus, stir around and let fry on low/­­medium heat for a minute, then add spinach, water/­­stock, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the topping. Carefully pour the soup into a blender or use a hand blender to mix until smooth. Taste the soup, add more water or salt if needed. Preparing the topping: Finely chop the asparagus tips and the parsley and place in a bowl together with the boiled lentils and the toasted pumpkin seeds. Add chili if your prefer it a little spicy. Pour over some olive oil and stir around so it’s all mixed well. Preparing the cashew cream: Cover the cashew nuts in water and let soak for at least 3 hours. Drain and rinse and place in a blender. Add the filtered water, lemon juice and salt and mix until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed.

Ramen Revisited + How to make Dashi

March 31 2015 My New Roots 

Ramen Revisited + How to make Dashi My parents made my lunch every day that I was in school from the time I was barely old enough to hold a brown paper bag, right up until my last days of high school. It was always exactly the same format, with slight variations: sandwich, juice box, granola bar, piece of fruit. Pretty standard fare for most of my peer group if I remember correctly, and I never complained about it. That is until the day I peered over my bologna-on-a-bun to see Alexis at the popular kids table in the junior high cafeteria slurping over what looked like a rather foreign and intriguing styrofoam cup of something hot and tasty. Oh, thats Mr. Noodles, my best friend Julie said, and went on to explain that all you had to do was pour boiling water into the cup and wait a few minutes before eating the noodle soup-like meal. I looked down at my cold, relatively flavourless, pedestrian food and felt left out. Not only was I totally un-cool, but suddenly my lunch was too. Could life get any worse?! I ran home and told my mom about the cup noodles and begged her to buy some at the store, promising her that this could not only save her time, but most importantly, my lunchroom reputation. Dont you want me to be popular?!, I wailed. Convinced this was my ticket to the promised land of spin-the-bottle and weekend shopping mall hang-outs, I persuaded her to invest the fifty cents on a couple trials and see what all the fuss was about. When she came home I had the kettle boiled and ready to get down to business. Folding back the paper lid, I spotted a magical little package of flavoured powder inside, which I read was meant to be emptied into the cup before adding the water. A couple shriveled, token peas fell out amongst the dust and my mom looked pleased to see green. The boiling water was added, I closed the lid again and waited - the longest four minutes of my life thus far. But oh, what ceremony! What rapture! The timer on my ironman wristwatch beeped, I stirred the cup, and dug in. It was salty. Very salty. Thats about all I can recall. The noodles, semi-cooked and crispy in parts were underwhelming and bland, while the broth, if I can all it that, was shockingly saline. But none of that mattered. I would have eaten cow dung if it meant sitting next to Alexis. I finally had the answer to the question of cafeteria coolness. Needless to say, eating ramen did not initiate me into the popular crowd, nor did it inspire a great love of this ubiquitous, cheap eat canonized by hung-over college kids everywhere. Until very recently this had been my only experience with ramen. But when yet another ramen recipe request landed in my inbox, I knew it was time to revisit this famous dish. It needs to be said that instant ramen is a far cry from its traditional roots of noodles in broth, which when prepared properly with care and intention, can be utterly delicious. I suppose its like most things that go from revered, regional dish to the freezer section of the gas stations grocery aisle, or worse. Shouldnt these things receive a different name or label in respect to the original recipe? Its somewhat maddening, but I surrender to the fact that there is only so much I can change in this world. The backbone of all ramen is the broth, or dashi. Dashi is a clear stock that is traditionally made using kombu, Japanese sea kelp, and katsoubushi or bonito, dried fish. Other dashi bases can include shiitake mushrooms, and because my recipes are plant based, Ill be showing you how to make this variety and the kombu one today. Once you have this base, you can spike your dashi with shallots, garlic, ginger, miso, etc. but today were keeping things simple and I leave the fun and improvisation to your ramen-hungry minds. Toppings vary widely, but vegetarian ingredients can include noodles (obviously), mushrooms, strips of nori or other tasty sea veggies, greens, spring onions, shredded cabbage, kimchi, garlic, and the ever-so-popular soft-boiled egg. If you are vegan, simply leave this ingredient out – it’s the only animal product in the recipe and still delicious without it. The one thing I love about ramen is its versatility and infinitely customizable combinations to suit every season, taste, and budget. On Salt, Sodium and Finding a Balance The big bad deal with packaged ramen and its accompanying powdered broth or flavour packet is the incredibly high sodium content, some brands containing an entire days worth in just one serving! On the flip side, making your own dashi allows you to control the sodium level and provide you with balanced saltiness for overall wellbeing. Sodium is not only important to us, our survival depends on it. Its role in the human body is to work in conjunction with potassium to maintain cellular fluid levels, acid/­­alkaline balance, and keep the nerves and muscles functioning properly. Sodium plays a role in hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, and is used during the transport of amino acids from the gut to the blood. Because sodium is needed to maintain blood fluid volume, excessive sodium can result in increased blood volume and elevated blood pressure, especially if the kidneys are compromised in any way and unable to clear it efficiently. Hypertension and premenstrual problems are more frequent in people who have a high salt intake, especially when there is a relatively low level of potassium in the diet to counteract it. Virtually all whole unprocessed plant foods contain more potassium than sodium. Grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, offer ten to several hundred times more potassium, and yet the average American is said to be deficient in potassium. Although there is no standard ratio of sodium to potassium to recommend, eating a balanced, whole foods diet (surprise!) is the best way to achieve equilibrium. So how much sodium should be eating in a day? First it needs to be established that sodium and salt are two different things. The salt we consume is in fact a combination of two ions, sodium and chloride, in percentages of roughly 40% and 60%. Most nutrition experts agree that sodium intake on a daily basis should not exceed 2 grams per day. This amount is equal to 5 grams of salt, or 1 teaspoon. Yup. Thats it. Put into those terms, its easy to see how one could overdo it...by lunch hour. To avoid excess sodium intake, limit processed foods. As I mentioned above, a little recon revealed that some instant ramen brands cover the daily sodium base in just one serving. Yikes! Sodium lurks in some very unexpected places, so be savvy and read labels. To be extra cautious avoid high-salt foods such as commercially-prepared pickles, olives, and saurkraut, canned and instant soups, processed cheese, condiments like ketchup, barbeque sauce, gravy, alfredo sauce, salad dressings, mayonnaise, soy sauce, snacks foods like chips, salted peanuts and pretzels, crackers, and boxed breakfast cereal. Remember, cooking for yourself is the only way to know exactly what you are getting in your food. There are a few things that need to be mentioned about this recipe. First, you need to start the process the night before (or the morning of) by simply soaking the dashi ingredients in water and set in the fridge. This is how you make the broth. You can hurry the process by cooking the ingredients in hot water if youre in a rush, but the results are better if you follow this slower method (plus, your fridge does all the work). I will also say that traditional dashi is delicate and mild-flavoured, unlike the instant dashi that is saltier and stronger due to the addition of artificial, chemical flavour enhancers. When you try the dashi for the first time, try not to compare it to the ramen broth youve had in the past - this is the real deal. Appreciate its clean, pure taste and it subtlety, and add tamari or miso only as needed to enhance the natural flavour. Second, you can make and enjoy the dashi bases separately if you like, or combine the two for a more complex flavour. I really like the combination of the kombu and shiitake dashi together. They both contain good amounts of umami, so united they deliver a deep, multifaceted taste experience without the meat. Third, get organic ingredients if you can. Sea vegetables and mushrooms are both like little sponges in their respective environments so finding the cleanest and highest quality you can is a good idea. Finally, purchase the most high-vibe ramen noodles you can find. The other reason I was inspired to write this recipe and post was because of all the incredibly awesome ramen Ive seen at the health food store. Made with whole grains, some of them even gluten-free, I couldnt say no! Now, you could make your own noodles if you like (this is an art I greatly admire) but in the interest of saving a smidgen of time, buy yourself some noodles and get to the ramen even faster.     Print recipe     Ramen Revisited + How to make Dashi Serves 4 (each dashi recipe below serves 2) Dashi 4 cups /­­ 1 liter water : 60g dried shiitake mushrooms (do not use fresh) 4 cups /­­ 1 liter water : 20g kombu Directions: For the kombu dashi, place .7oz /­­ 20g of kombu in 4 cups /­­ 1 liter of water overnight in the fridge. In the morning, discard the kombu, strain the remaining liquid and warm it in a pot on the stove until just barely simmering. Serve. For the shiitake dashi, remove any dirt or debris from the dried mushrooms and place in 4 cups /­­ 1 liter of water. It is important to submerge the mushrooms, so place something on top of them, such as a smaller glass lid, and set them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the mushrooms, squeezing out as much liquid from them as you can. Set the mushrooms aside, strain the remaining liquid and warm it in a pot on the stove until just barely simmering. Serve. Ramen 3-4 bunches baby bok choy, quickly stir-fried in a little shallot and garlic 2 carrots, julienned 2 spring onions, sliced 2 soft-boiled or medium eggs (to suit your taste) (optional) 1 pack whole grain ramen noodles (gluten-free, if desired) To serve dried or fresh chilies tamari or miso, to taste (use discretion!) Directions: 1. Prepare all the ingredients: stir-fry the bok choy or other greens, julienne the carrots, slice the spring onions, slice the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, soft boil the eggs. 2. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. 3. While the noodles are cooking, ladle the broth into the bowls. Add the hot noodles and all other ingredients. Take a moment to arrange the food in a pleasing way, sit, and enjoy.   *   *   *   *   *   * Hey everyone! Mybook comes out today!!! I am so ridiculously excited to see this day arrive and the book arrive in your homes and kitchens. The reviews have been so positive so far and for that, I thank you. Please note that although most stores in North America that are carrying the book should have it in stock today, some may take a few days to longer. If you want to purchase the book online, there are many retailers listed here. I would like to take this time to acknowledge the couple of misprints in the book. During the editing process the following mistakes were made: on page 21, the ghee recipe is labeled vegan. On page 241-242 buckwheat and spelt switched places so that buckwheat is in the gluten-containing section of the grains chapter, while spelt is in the gluten-free section. In other news, my Vancouver tour dates and events have been confirmed! Here is where and when you can find me in Van city (this will be my first time there, can you believe it?!). Click the links for more details and ticket information. April 15: Burdock and Co. Collaborative Dinner + Book Signing April 16: Whole Foods Cambie Cooking Demo + Book Signing April 17: Interview + Afternoon Tea with CBCs Sheryl MacKay Barbara Jos Books to Cooks Dinner Event + Book Signing Looking forward to seeing you all there! Also, check out my most recent interview over at the gorgeous site, The Coveteur.

Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies

February 8 2015 My New Roots 

Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies My friend Adam is a serious health-foodie. He teaches sprouting workshops, is part of a vegetarian soup club, and appreciates a good sourdough as much as I do. Hes also quite fearless in the kitchen, combining tastes and textures I would never dream of, most often successfully. There was that one time however he put peppermint oil in a batch of his granola, and it tasted like breakfast and toothpaste all at the same time. I admire his gumption, but he will never live that one down. One day while I was over at his place, I was really craving a cookie. He lives near a very high-vibe bakery so I was nearly out the door when he said, wait! I have something you should try. He proceeded to tell me that his experimental cookies were flour-free, grain-free in fact, and contained only had six ingredients. I was scared - this sounded like a treat from wrong town. But when I took my first skeptical nibble, I was shocked. This cookie was everything I had ever wanted: rich, moist, not-too-sweet and deeply satisfying. Then he told me that it was just almond butter, eggs, maple syrup, chocolate, baking soda and sea salt. Um, what?! No flour? How was this even possible? Inexplicable, culinary wizardry at its best, thats for darn sure, and an experiment gone absolutely right. After googling almond butter cookies, I discovered that this kind of recipe had been floating around the interwebs unbeknownst to me. Anyway, I got Adam to make them for me again this past summer at his cottage, posted them on Instagram, and many of you asked for the recipe. I tinkered with them a lot to make sure they were just right, changing up the nut butters, using different sweeteners, various add-ins etc. (its a tough job, I tell ya). Then it dawned on me: what if I put the dough into a pan and made blondies?! For the win. Now I dont know about you, but I take my indulgences seriously. When I crave something sweet, I definitely dont mess around with mousses, flaky pastries or light-n-airy items. Heck no. I want to sink my teeth into something substantial, for it to announce its presence to my stomach with a fulfilling thud, and feel like I actually ate something. These blondies are just that. Aside from their incredibly rich, satisfying flavour, the texture of them is ultra chewy and have that dense brownie quality I love so much. It still baffles me that there isnt any flour in the recipe, since it just feels like there is, from a “this-must-be-really-bad-for-me perspective. Like I said, there is some serious alchemical conjuring taking place, proving that the universe loves us, so don’t ask any questions. Being choosey about your Chocolate Yes, yes, were talking about blondies here, but dont all blondies have chocolate in them? Im no expert, but I do believe this is a necessary addition. How do we go about choosing our chocolate though? Is there really a difference between cocoa mass percentages? Does organic really matter? Does milk chocolate count? Here are my top four tips for making sure your chocolate isn’t total junk food. 4 Tips for Choosing the Healthiest Chocolate Choose dark chocolate varieties. The darker the bar, the higher the cocoa mass percentage will be. When a bar says it is 70% cocoa that means it has a relatively high concentration of health-promoting compounds, like polyphenols and antioxidants. It also means that there is less room for schwaggy stuff like refined sugar, processed oils, and flavourings. Always choose a bar with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids for maximum benefits. If the chocolate bar does not list a cocoa percentage, dont buy it. Read the ingredients. High quality chocolate should only contain three to four ingredients: chocolate, cocoa butter/­­ cocoa mass, and/­­or cocoa liquor, plus sugar. If the bar contains any oil, milk or milk products, soya lecithin, emulsifiers, natural flavour, or preservatives dont buy it. Buy Organic whenever possible. Cacao plants are some of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world. As pesticide residues can end up in the final product, choose chocolate that has been made from organically grown beans. Learn about the process. Although it will require a little reconnaissance work, finding out how your chocolate was manufactured is important in determining how healthy it is. Drying cacao beans in the sun instead of roasting them preserves many of the chocolates delicate nutrients. Make sure that their processing temperature is not over 110°F. Avoid chocolate whose processing includes Dutching, an alkalization method that actually removes the polyphenols, as they lend characteristic bitter flavour to the finished product. I also encourage you to purchase Fair Trade Certified chocolate whenever possible, as it makes a huge difference to the lives of cacao farmers and their families. Fair Trade is an international certification that ensures that farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their product, decent working conditions, and that the processes they use protect the natural environment. The blondies are not overly sweet, which I appreciate. If you like your desserts on the more saccharine side, I believe that swapping out 1/­­4 cup of coconut sugar and replacing it with maple syrup would work very well. This would also help keep the blondies moist on the second and third day (although they wont last that long. Trust.). You could also choose a chocolate with a lower cocoa mass, such as 70%, but dont go lower than that, as the sugar in it will outweigh the health benefits of the chocolate itself. I chose a bar at 85%, which tends to be a little bitter, but I find it pairs well in this dessert. As far as nut butter goes, anything goes.  I used a homemade almond and hazelnut butter blend in these, which was unreasonably delicious (for a blended nut butter recipe, check out my post here). Because my nut butter was a deep caramel brown, my blondies turned out more like brunettes (tee hee), so the colour of your finished product depends on the nut butter you use. I tried a homemade sunflower butter in my experiments and it worked really well. I would also like to try tahini and pumpkin seed butter, although I know the colour in that case may be a little weird! I have a feeling cashew butter would taste out of this world, and pecan or walnut as well. And I definitely recommend roasted nut butter over raw for depth of flavour, and because youll be baking these anyway. I will say that I really tried making these darn things vegan, but guys, it just didnt work! Eggs in this case are crucial because they not only bind the ingredients, but they give the blondies air and volume. Using chia and flax works to bind, but youll end up with a tasty puddle. If thats okay with you, go for it! I obviously ate all of my experiments, and quite happily indulged in many yummy, almond butter pancakes. I did not try vegan egg replacers though, and that may work better. If you have success in this arena, let me know. And can we take a minute to talk about my favourite part of all? The corner pieces. If you actually own one of those funky all-corners brownie pans, you get where I’m coming from friend, and this is the time to use it. The edges are extra dense and chewy, slightly crisp and oooohhhhh my goodness I cant even write about this anymore. On to the recipe.     Print recipe     Grain-free Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies Makes 20 blondies Ingredients: 2 large, organic eggs 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup unsalted nut butter (I used almond-hazelnut) 3/­­4 cup /­­ 100g coconut sugar 2 tsp. baking soda 1/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 3.5oz /­­ 100g dark chocolate (70% or higher), roughly chopped a pinch flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), optional Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325°F /­­ 160°C. 2. In a small bowl whisk eggs and vanilla extract together. Set aside. In a measuring cup, combine coconut sugar, 1/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt, and baking soda. 3. Measure out the nut butter and place in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture, stir thoroughly to combine. Add the coconut sugar mixture and fold together. The dough will be very thick. Add about half of the chopped chocolate, using your hands if necessary to incorporate. 4. Press the dough into a parchment-lined 8×8″ (20x20cm) brownie pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top and press each piece slightly into the dough. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt and place in the oven. 5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the blondies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan completely before cutting. Seeing as it’s February and we’ve been so very behaved since the first of January (right…?) I thought it was time to pull out the big guns and celebrate with these ladies. I hope you drop everything you are doing right now and go make them. It’s true, blondies have more fun! xo, Sarah B Show me your Blondies on Instagram: #MNRblondies


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