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Self-Care Interview Series: Sasha Swerdloff

December 10 2017 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Sasha Swerdloff Sasha Swerdloff is a Certified Ayurvedic Consultant and blogger at Tending the Table, where she shares plant-based recipes and writes about sustainability, health, and wellness. We love Sasha’s thoughtful approach to cooking, breathtaking photography, and Ayurvedic advice. In this interview, Sasha tells us about her morning, bedtime and exercise routines, as well as self-care as a type of non-violence, addressing the root cause of health-related imbalances, the breathing technique she uses during stressful times, skincare, nourishment, yoga, and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? Routine is super important for me. Without it I tend to feel scattered, flustered and irritable. I think this has a lot to do with my constitution. I know that I tend to struggle with uncertainty so having a routine makes me feel a little more in control and a little less terrified. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. I usually wake up around 7am, do my morning stuff (scrape my tongue, do neti, wash my face etc.) then try to drink a big mug of hot lemon water. I like to listen to NPR and snuggle on the couch with my pups while I drink my morning matcha latte. Then I do yoga before making breakfast. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? Ive struggled with insomnia a fair amount but paying attention to my stress level and having a solid bedtime routine has helped a lot. A hot bath and self massage with plenty of herbal oil especially on my head works wonders. I also really love sipping on some warm almond milk with spices before bed. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast - Sautéed greens, a fried egg from the chicken ladies in the backyard, and sourdough toast. Lunch - Soup or a big bowl of roasted veggies with some sort of cooked grain, some protein, and a half an avocado. Snack - Apple and almond butter Dinner - Soup, roasted veggies, salads, veggie tacos with beans, roasted sweet potato, cabbage slaw and avocado. -- Do you partake in caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? Ive never been able to drink coffee or black tea without getting super jittery but it took me years to finally listen to what my body was telling me. Instead of coffee I drink a matcha latte with almond milk and raw honey every morning. --  Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, how do you keep it in check? Not having sweet stuff around is the only way to stop me from eating a whole bar of chocolate or way too many cookies. --  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? Im not a fan of taking lots of herbs or supplements for long periods of time. Its easy to take a pill but its a lot harder to address the root cause of an issue and make diet and lifestyle changes to address that imbalance. In the long term though, addressing the root cause through diet and lifestyle is a whole lot more affordable and leads to long term results. I do take Ashwagandha and Vit D regularly to support my nervous system and to keep me sane through the dark winters here in Seattle. Exercise --  Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  I try to practice at least an hour of yoga daily. I also walk a fair amount and jog every once in a while. In the winter I cross country ski as much as I can. Ive noticed that the forms of exercise I enjoy most incorporate some sort of rhythmic, repetitive motion which I find to be super calming and meditative. Also, any time I can get outside Im happy. --  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? Both. There are days when I dont exercise or get outside but I try to not beat myself up about it. Its too easy to get into a pattern of negativity and its much more beneficial long term to practice having compassion for yourself. The things that motivate me to get on my mat each day are my physical and mental health, someone else (my husband) holding me accountable, and the respect and admiration I have for my yoga teacher and the Ashtanga lineage. Beauty --  What is your idea of beauty – external, internal or both? Confidence is beautiful to me. I feel more beautiful when I stand up straight and hold my head high. Im slowly learning that its less about how I look and more about how I feel. --  What is your skincare approach – face and body? My skin has always been sensitive and problematic and Ive always had negative body image issues associated with it. Im finally starting to get a handle on it by going off of hormonal birth control and eliminating sugar and dairy. I also have a pretty strict routine that helps keep my skin free from breakouts. In the morning I wash my face with warm water and moisturize with January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream or Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream . In the evening I cleanse and exfoliate with Beauty Counters Charcoal Cleansing Bar and the Clarisonic skin brush then moisturize with grapeseed oil and Living Libations Dew Dab which helps prevent breakouts and combat hyper pigmentation. In the summer I spritz my face with rose water to help me cool down. --  Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? I started taking a zinc supplement a few months ago for my skin and it has helped a ton. Overall though, I notice that cutting out sugar and dairy from my diet makes the biggest difference. --  Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Family heirlooms are very much welcome. Like I said before, for me, diet makes a huge difference. But I also love my Clarisonic skin brush. It seems like a weird gadget but it has made all the difference for me. Stress, etc. --  If stress cannot be avoided, what are your ways of dealing with it? Making sure not to get too over stimulated or overcommitted helps me stay grounded but if I do get spun out I practice Nadi shodhana breathing and take some Anxiety Soother to take the edge off. I also like to do Yoga Nidra . Getting some fresh air and planting my feet on the ground or pulling out the watercolors always helps too. --  What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? I usually mega dose on Echinacea and Sambu Guard then take a hot bath and bundle up. I also try to slow down since for me, colds are often the result of stress. If I slow down my body can usually heal itself. 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 like to think about yoga philosophy and the eight limbs. The first limb is yama. The yamas are a set of five precepts that help us interact with the world in an ethical manner. The first yama is ahimsa or non-violence. This means non-violence towards all living things, including ourselves,  in thoughts, words and actions. For me self-care is a type of non-violence towards my physical and mental being. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? I take a break from whatever it is that Im struggling with and do something else to clear my mind. Knowledge --  What was your path to studying Ayurveda and yoga and how do you incorporate that knowledge into your everyday?  I first learned about Ayurveda from my yoga teacher, Christine Hoar . I had been practicing yoga with her for a year or so and was struggling with some health problems so decided to do an Ayurvedic consultation with her to see what she could recommend. Her simple diet and lifestyle recommendations completely changed things for me. I felt like all of a sudden, all of the issues I had struggled with throughout my life made sense and fit into a bigger picture of who I am. I continued studying Ayurveda with Christine and then after college completed an Ayurvedic Certification program and Kripalu. For me, Ayurveda provides a framework from which to view the world and my place in it. Im constantly thinking about the qualities of the foods I eat and the things I do or experience from an Ayurvedic perspective. Ayurveda helps me understand and take control of my health. --  Do you practice a certain type of yoga, and why did you choose that particular branch?  I practice Ashtanga Yoga. I sort of stumbled into it. A college friend told me about a summer special at a nearby studio and suggested I sign up. I did and I went to class there every day for a month. After the month was up I just kept going. I was hooked. I think a big part of why Ive stuck with Ashtanga is because of my teacher. Shes pretty incredible and has been a huge influence in my life. The method of Ashtanga also really resonates with me. I enjoy the repetition, the meditative quality of the breath, the focus and concentration required, the rigor of it and the tradition. --  Do you have any recommendations for someone who wants to establish a daily yoga practice but doesnt know where to begin? Find a teacher you connect with. Finding the motivation to practice on your own is challenging but if you have a teacher you admire and respect and a community of fellow students who are counting on you, youll show up every day. --  Your recipes are so beautiful, approachable and inventive. What is your process when it comes to developing recipes? Thank you! Sometimes Im inspired by meals Ive had while travelling but mostly I draw inspiration from whatever produce I have on hand. I love combining flavors and experimenting with spices and herbs to elevate something simple and make it unique. Fun and Inspiration -- What is something you are particularly excited about at the moment? Im excited to be incorporating more Ayurveda and wellness themes into my work. Its a big part of my life and I want to share it with others so they can feel empowered to heal themselves. Ill be teaching my first Ayurvedic workshop in the Spring here in Seattle which should be a lot of fun. -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? I love a good pedicure or a trip to the Korean spa for a soak and body scrub. But more often I find myself going for a walk or taking myself out to tea if I need a boost. -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book - Mary Oliver New and Selected Poems Song/­­Album - No Hard Feelings The Avett Brothers Piece of Art -  Satsuki Shibuya -- What are your favorite places to eat in Seattle? We dont eat out all that often, but when we do we usually head to Delancey , Seawolf , The Whale Wins or Frankie and Jos . -- We are captivated by Joan Didion’s compact travel packing list. What are some essential objects that would be in yours? -Earplugs – Anxiety Soother -A headlamp -Licorice tea -A big scarf – Lip balm -A snack (always) -- Is there anyone you would like to hear from next in this interview series? Jessie Snyder of Faring Well Photos by Sasha Swerdloff and Renee Byrd You might also like... Self-Care Interview Series: Lacy Phillips Self-Care Interview Series: Renee Byrd Self-Care Interview Series: Ally Walsh Self-Care Interview Series: Trinity Mouzon Wofford .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: Sasha Swerdloff appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

October 6 2017 Happy Cow veggie blog 

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

Its Alive! Sprouted Chickpea Hummus

April 7 2017 My New Roots 

Its Alive! Sprouted Chickpea Hummus The first job I landed after moving to Copenhagen, was working as a chef in a little cafe. After a few weeks of consistently not burning lasagna and under seasoning everything, I was asked if I was interested in cooking on a few episodes on a local, public TV station. The producers suggested I choose a few dishes that I love, and filmed me in a friends kitchen, since mine was too small. My husband gently warned me beforehand that Danes dont respond well to overly-enthusiastic, hyperbolic Americans, so I faked it and was awkwardly not myself as I spoke lukewarmly about whole grains and beans, fermented things and dark leafy greens. The first recipe I made on the show was sprouted hummus, and although the recipe turned out well, I felt like a fraud. Because above all things, sprouts were, and still are, my true love. The show was on at 2 or 3 in the morning, and because I didnt have a television, I never actually saw it on air. Instead, I watched it on my computer on a borrowed CD, long after it had been on TV. Much to my dismay, the producers titled the show Cooking with Sareh, which still baffles me considering the fact that my name is spelled the exact same way in Danish. The program was poorly edited, badly lit, awkward in every sense, and in my attempts to come off as cool and nonchalant, I seemed utterly bored as I fondled chickpea sprouts - something that otherwise would get me pretty riled up. On the whole, this experience was totally mortifying, except for one small, redeeming factor. I was suddenly being recognized at work in the café, and on the bike paths of Christiania: hey sprout girl! theyd call at me. Its you! I didnt make your hummus, but your show is great, sprout girl, theyd say. If there was any consolation, this was it. I was Sprout Girl. So in case you missed my break out performance on Cooking with Sareh, and my reined-in, lackluster pitch about sprouts, here it is again. Because I am Sprout Girl forever and always. Sprouting is like any other kitchen endeavour: it seems pretty daunting until you actually do it, then youre left wondering what took you so long to try – a real facepalm moment. With simple equipment that you most likely have in your cupboard, and seeds that you already have in your pantry, its a fun and empowering practice that brings you one step closer to your food. Sprouts are so nutritious because they are life potential, ignited. When we soak a seed, we end its dormancy, and awaken the nutrition inside it needed to grow a plant which will in turn make more seeds and more plants. When we eat a sprout, we eat this potential! Pound for pound, sprouts have the largest amount of nutrients of any food. Did you get that? This is a big deal! And its all because sprouting increases vitamin content significantly, especially vitamin A, Bs, C and E, along with boosting calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc. The quality of protein and carbohydrates improves, as the sprouting process begins to break down the complex proteins and starches into amino acids, peptides, and simple carbohydrates needed by the seed to grow. At the same time, anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, protease and amylase inhibitors are neutralized. This makes a sprout very easy to digest with highly absorbable nutrients. Who is responsible for this influx of awesomeness? Its enzymes! Enzymes are compounds found in raw plants that are needed for nearly every biochemical process that takes place in our body, and something many of our modern diets are lacking. Sprouts are virtually loaded with them. There are up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and veggies! Enzymes are also what sets living food apart from raw food. Yes, raw foods still offer us enzymes, but eating a food that is alive guantees more enzymes, and in fact more nutrients altogether. As soon as a food is picked, it begins losing its nutrients. Imagine how much vitamin C is left in that orange, which has traveled hundreds, if not thousands of kilometers to get to your plate, and spent weeks, if not months in a storage facility before being dropped off at your local grocer. Sprouts are the remedy to this, pulsating with life and life-giving nutrients, and pretty much the freshest food you can eat outside of a garden. Sprouts are also incredibly low in calories, yet deliciously filling due to their high fiber and water content. A fantastic food to binge on, especially if youre trying to elbow out some of the other stuff from your diet. I love the versatility of sprouts, not only are there so many varieties, but they can be used in so many ways. Like this hummus for example! You can also go classic and top your sandwiches with sprouts, or fold them into grain salads, puree them into soups and even smoothies. I also love freshening up cooked dishes, like stir-fries, curries and pizzas with sprouts. Their crunch and earthy brightness are a welcoming balance to heavier, richer meals. If youre on a budget, sprouts are a sweet deal. Because the amount of food you sprout triples or quadruples in size, youll end up with way more to eat than you started with for the same price. Its kind of magical. Whats more, is that properly stored sprouts can last over a month, and some varieties up to 70 days. If youre prone to tossing away spoiled produce, sprouts will save you money, big time. Sprouting can take place anywhere you have access to fresh, clean water twice a day. Ive sprouted on road trips, beach holidays, visiting the in-laws...all over the place! And the groovy thing about taking your show on the road is that you can convince other people to get sprouting too. And sprouts are not just great for our health, but also the planet. Consider the fact that youre growing a garden right in your kitchen, using your own energy to make the magic happen. Its hyper-local food at its best! No chemicals or pesticides during the growing process, or fossil fuels for transportation. Could sprouts be the perfect food?! The answer is yes. But I may be a little biased. I am the Sprout Girl, after all. If you are concerned about mold or bacteria contamination, please understand that commercially-grown sprouts are propagated in an ideal environment for pathogens to proliferate. Just one more reason to grow your own sprouts at home where you can be sure of proper hygiene and care. Make sure that your jar or sprouting container is thoroughly clean, that youre rinsing your sprouts with cool water twice daily, and that your sprouts have plenty of airflow. After I drain my sprouts, I make sure that the seeds /­­ sprouts arent blocking the entire opening of the jar (see photo). If you follow these tips, you shouldnt have any problems. Scoring Seeds You can sprout just about anything, but the cheapest and easiest things are found in the bulk bin of your health food store! Lentils, beans, chickpeas, rice, buckwheat, wheat are all widely available and inexpensive. Its imperative that you choose organically-grown ingredients, as conventionally grown seeds are often irradiated, making them difficult, or even impossible to germinate. You can also purchase seeds online, especially the more specialty ones, like alfalfa, radish, onion, broccoli etc. Finding Equipment There are plenty of sprouting apparatuses that you can buy, but if youre just starting out, use a jar! I bet you already have one. – 1 sterilized, large-mouth, quart-sized glass jar with an airtight lid – small piece of cheesecloth – rubber band – a bowl or dish rack How to Sprout There are countless resources on this topic online, and even whole books written about sprouting, so I am presenting you with a very simple, yet rather foolproof technique. If you want to learn more (which I encourage you to do!) here’s a great place to learn about different methods, applications, as well as help and advice: Sprout People     Print recipe     Simple Sprouting Day 1 1. Prep (night) Take a quick glance at the seeds as you put them into the sterilized soaking container. Remove any stones, cracked /­­ damaged seeds, and rinse well. 2. Soak (night) A general rule is covering the seeds with 2-3 times the amount of water (e.g. 1 cup seeds : 2-3 cups water). Use pure, filtered, unchlorinated water. Skim off any seeds that are floating. Let sit for 8-12 hours. Day 2 1. Drain (morning) Put a piece of cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Drain the seeds letting all the water run out. 2. Rinse + drain (morning) Run cool water through the cheesecloth, swish the seeds around and drain. Repeat, then set the jar in a bowl or on your dish rack at a 45° angle so that any remaining water can drain out, but air can easily get in. 3. Rinse + drain again (night) Day 3 1. Rinse + drain (morning) Run cool water through the cheesecloth, swish the seeds around and drain. Repeat, then set the jar in a bowl or on your dish rack at a 45° angle so that any remaining water can drain out, but air can easily get in. 2. Rinse + drain again (night) Day 4 1. Rinse + drain (morning) Run cool water through the cheesecloth, swish the seeds around and drain. Repeat, then set the jar in a bowl or on your dish rack at a 45° angle so that any remaining water can drain out, but air can easily get in. 2. Rinse + drain again (night) 3. Enjoy (night) Your sprouts are ready! The tail should be at least the length of the seed itself (if it is not quite there yet, continue with the rinsing and draining process until it is. Some seeds take a couple more days). If youre not going to eat all the sprouts right away, make sure you let the sprouts drain for at least 8 hours after their last rinse before you put them in the fridge. Never store wet sprouts, as they will spoil quickly. Store sprouts in the sprouting jar with an airtight lid for one month, or more.     Print recipe     Its Alive! Sprouted Chickpea Hummus Makes 4 cups Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic 1/­­3 cup /­­ 85ml tahini 1/­­2 tsp. fine salt, to taste 2 tsp. ground cumin 1/­­4 tsp. smoked paprika (optional) zest of 1 lemon 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 4 cups /­­ 500g sprouted chickpeas (start with 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 300g dried chickpeas) Directions: 1. Pulse the garlic in the food processor until minced. Add all other ingredients, except for the sprouted chickpea and blend until you have a paste. Add the chickpeas and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Season to taste and adjust more salt /­­ spice if desired. To achieve an even smoother consistency, scoop hummus into a high-speed blender and blend on high for an additional 10-15 seconds. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days. I hope that this process seems simple enough for you to try. I promise that once you start sprouting, you won’t be able to stop! It’s so easy, fun, and connecting – not to mention delicious. Good luck and happy sprouting, dear friends! xo, Sarah B *   *   *   *   *   * Hey Copenhagen! I am thrilled to announce my first two cookbook events in CPH this Spring. The first will be an intimate talk and demonstration at SLOW Copenhagen, and the second will be a magical, celebratory dinner in collaboration with the local, organic grocer and kitchen, Kost. Click on the images for more info and tickets! Can’t wait to see you there.    The post It’s Alive! Sprouted Chickpea Hummus appeared first on My New Roots.

Farmers Market Finds: Protein-Packed Produce for Meatless Monday!

August 8 2016 Meatless Monday 

Farmers Market Finds: Protein-Packed Produce for Meatless Monday!National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13, is a wonderful time to explore the markets in your community and plan new and exciting meatless meals with local fruits and veggies. In honor of the week-long celebration, we’ve put together this list of protein-packed produce to look for at the market and add to your menu plan. These delicious (and nutritious) veggies make it easy to create balanced meals for Meatless Monday!     1. Green Peas At the farmers market youll often find fresh-picked green peas still in the peapod. Peas have a powerful serving of protein - up to 9 grams of per cup when cooked -and are also rich in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin K. Make them the star of your entrée or add them to soup, salad, or stir fry.       2. Broccoli Farm-fresh broccoli is as rich in flavor and fiber as it is in protein. Broccoli can be enjoyed raw, steamed, roasted, stir-fried, baked in casseroles or stirred into soups. Broccoli provides over 5 grams of protein per cup and plenty of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin K and high levels of potassium, calcium and phosphorus.     3. Mushrooms Mushrooms are a protein-rich food but are better known for their savory flavors, meaty textures, and versatility in the kitchen. On their own one cup of raw mushrooms has roughly 2 grams of protein – add them to dishes with other veggies for even more flavor and vegetable protein. Ask farmers in your local market which varieties you should try.       4. Brussels Sprouts If youve never seen brussels sprouts fresh on the stalk, youve got to find them in person at your farmers market this season. This tiny, protein-packed (about 4 grams of protein per cup) cruciferous vegetable may have gotten a bad rap in popular culture, but youll love what happens when you roast them with a little olive oil and your favorite spices.         5. Asparagus Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable for summer being perfect for the grill, roasting, quick blanching, or even eating raw. This veggie contains up to 4 grams of protein per cup and also adds a lot of fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, folate and chromium to your meal. Asparagus looks fancy, but its an easy-to-cook nutritional powerhouse.         6. Artichokes Artichokes might be known for their flavor and fiber content, but they have substantial protein to offer as well (roughly the same as spinach). These flowers can be blended, steamed, roasted, or transformed into a delicious dip. Get fresh artichokes at the farmers market and your dinner guests will be more than impressed with a meatless spread.       7. Spinach Spinach is probably the most famous protein-rich veggie in the bunch; this vibrant seasonal green is not to be missed. Spinach shines as a raw ingredient in salad, sautéed with other veggies, or blended in green juices and smoothies. With over 5 grams of protein per cup, spinach makes getting your daily servings of protein easy.         8. Kale Kale is a versatile, protein-filled green that works well in everything from salads and smoothies to soups and casseroles. With nearly as much protein per serving as spinach, kale offers fiber, vitamin A, and more vitamin C per serving than oranges. Farmers cultivate a variety of types of kale, including curly, frilled, and textured dinosaur leaves.         9. Cauliflower A cruciferous cousin of broccoli, cauliflower makes a moderate protein impact of its own while adding texture and body to meatless meals. Cut your fresh head of cauliflower into thick slices width-wise to make cauliflower steaks, chop into florets and swap in for broccoli in your favorite recipes, or mash it with potatoes to a less starchy alternative.       Farmers markets offer a huge variety of protein-rich foods to make your Meatless Monday fresh, tasty and healthy. Stop by your local market to find even more ideas for delicious meals this season!   Hungry for more fresh farmers market finds? Tour the Union Square Greenmarket with Chef Bryce Shuman of Betony Restaurant in NYC: The post Farmers Market Finds: Protein-Packed Produce for Meatless Monday! appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Mung Bean Falafel Bowl with Pickled Rainbow Chard

April 28 2016 Golubka Kitchen 

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

9 Farmers Market Veggies that Put Protein on Your Plate

August 3 2015 Meatless Monday 

9 Farmers Market Veggies that Put Protein on Your PlateNational Farmers Market Week, August 2-8, is a wonderful time to explore the markets in your community and plan new and exciting meatless meals with local fruits and veggies. In honor of the week-long celebration, we’ve put together this list of protein-packed produce to look for at the market and add to your menu plan. These delicious (and nutritious) veggies make it easy to create balanced meals for Meatless Monday!     1. Green Peas At the farmers market youll often find fresh-picked green peas still in the peapod. Peas have a powerful serving of protein - up to 9 grams of per cup when cooked -and are also rich in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin K. Make them the star of your entrée or add them to soup, salad, or stir fry.       2. Broccoli Farm-fresh broccoli is as rich in flavor and fiber as it is in protein. Broccoli can be enjoyed raw, steamed, roasted, stir-fried, baked in casseroles or stirred into soups. Broccoli provides over 5 grams of protein per cup and plenty of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin K and high levels of potassium, calcium and phosphorus.     3. Mushrooms Mushrooms are a protein-rich food but are better known for their savory flavors, meaty textures, and versatility in the kitchen. On their own one cup of raw mushrooms has roughly 2 grams of protein – add them to dishes with other veggies for even more flavor and vegetable protein. Ask farmers in your local market which varieties you should try.       4. Brussels Sprouts If youve never seen brussels sprouts fresh on the stalk, youve got to find them in person at your farmers market this season. This tiny, protein-packed (about 4 grams of protein per cup) cruciferous vegetable may have gotten a bad rap in popular culture, but youll love what happens when you roast them with a little olive oil and your favorite spices.         5. Asparagus Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable for summer being perfect for the grill, roasting, quick blanching, or even eating raw. This veggie contains up to 4 grams of protein per cup and also adds a lot of fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, folate and chromium to your meal. Asparagus looks fancy, but its an easy-to-cook nutritional powerhouse.         6. Artichokes Artichokes might be known for their flavor and fiber content, but they have substantial protein to offer as well (roughly the same as spinach). These flowers can be blended, steamed, roasted, or transformed into a delicious dip. Get fresh artichokes at the farmers market and your dinner guests will be more than impressed with a meatless spread.       7. Spinach Spinach is probably the most famous protein-rich veggie in the bunch; this vibrant seasonal green is not to be missed. Spinach shines as a raw ingredient in salad, sautéed with other veggies, or blended in green juices and smoothies. With over 5 grams of protein per cup, spinach makes getting your daily servings of protein easy.         8. Kale Kale is a versatile, protein-filled green that works well in everything from salads and smoothies to soups and casseroles. With nearly as much protein per serving as spinach, kale offers fiber, vitamin A, and more vitamin C per serving than oranges. Farmers cultivate a variety of types of kale, including curly, frilled, and textured dinosaur leaves.         9. Cauliflower A cruciferous cousin of broccoli, cauliflower makes a moderate protein impact of its own while adding texture and body to meatless meals. Cut your fresh head of cauliflower into thick slices width-wise to make cauliflower steaks, chop into florets and swap in for broccoli in your favorite recipes, or mash it with potatoes to a less starchy alternative.       Farmers markets offer a huge variety of protein-rich foods to make your Meatless Monday fresh, tasty and healthy. Stop by your local market to find even more ideas for delicious meals this season! The post 9 Farmers Market Veggies that Put Protein on Your Plate appeared first on Meatless Monday.

The Best Vegan Milk (Non-Dairy) Alternatives

April 22 2015 VegKitchen 

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

Deluxe Butternut Macaroni n Tease

February 18 2015 My New Roots 

Deluxe Butternut Macaroni n Tease Im over winter, but winter definitely isnt over. Although I really cant complain about the balmy temps here in Denmark, its dark and damp and I would probably pay a lot of money to see the sun right about now. And my heart does go out to all my family and friends freezing their tooshies off stateside. Yikes! Im here to help. Or at least, this recipe is here to help. Like most kids, I ate a lot of macaroni and cheese growing up, the kind that came in a blue box with the magical, neon orange flavour powder. Sometimes my mom would toss in a few slices of bell peppers and cocktail wieners and my brother and I felt like kings. Kings! Those were the days. In fear of falling short of that level of awesomeness, I havent actually attempted to make mac n cheese on my own past the days of high school. Until recently this winter, a gnawing hunger for warmth, comfort and nostalgia took hold and just wouldnt let go. If youre anything like me (a human) youll love tucking into this tasty meal every week until spring hits. So, what makes this mac n tease a tease? Its vegan! Not one speck of cheese or milk or butter or cream in sight. Nope. Instead the delectable sauce is a winning combination of roasted butternut squash and garlic, creamy butter beans, and cheesy nutritional yeast. Although not exactly like the cheese sauce of yore, it is still completely smooth and creamy, rich, unctuous, and deeply satisfying when combined with fat noodles and the most amazing non-breadcrumb-topping made out of sunflower seeds. Thats right. Nutritional Yeast: A Cheesy Tease Although the name is slightly unappealing, nutritional yeast is a delicious and versatile seasoning to have in your pantry. Made from a single-celled organism called, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, the yeast is grown on cane or beet molasses, fermented, then deactivated with heat to stop the growing process. The yeast is sold both as flakes and powder (use half the amount of powder if a recipe calls for flakes). The natural colour of nutritional yeast is vibrantly golden. The flavour is often described as cheesy, which makes it a perfect substitute for dairy products in dressing and sauces. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on popcorn, salads, sandwiches, soups, blend a little into hummus and other savory dips. Because of its high nutritional content, many people treat nutritional yeast as a food supplement. First and foremost, nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins, and in many cases B-12 (though not all brands, read the label to make sure). Our bodies need B-vitamins to convert food into energy, keep stress at bay, alleviate insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, PMS, and mood swings (so, kind of important). Nutritional yeast also contains high amounts of protein with 4 grams per tablespoon, and contains 18 amino acids. It is a good source of dietary fiber, folic acid, selenium, and zinc. It is gluten-free and vegan. In North America nutritional yeast is available at natural grocers and bulk food stores. In the UK, it is sold under the brand name Engevita; in Australia, it is called savory yeast flakes; in Scandinavia it is sold as yeast flakes or B-yeast /­­ B-gaer (due to the high B-vitamin content). Among cool kids, nutritional yeast is referred to simply as nooch. Drop that bomb at your next vegan potluck for major street cred. It should also be noted that nutritional yeast is not the same as brewers yeast, dry active yeast or baking yeast. Do not use these as a substitute for nutritional yeast in any recipe. It will be gross. If you suffer from Candida or suspect that you have yeast issues, not to worry. Nutritional yeast is totally safe and will not infect you or exacerbate yeast conditions. It should be avoided however by those that are allergic to yeast and yeast products, like bread products, grapes and beer. The shape of pasta you use for this really matters. I chose a large, deeply ridged, tubular pasta that said macaroni on the package, but its much closer to rigatoni if you ask me. Rigatoni, penne, classic macaroni, ziti, or even conchiglie (shells) would work here, as the ultimate goal is to get as much sauce in and around each noodle as humanly possible. In fact, I guarantee when you make the sauce youll be questioning my recipe amounts - there is a lot of it, people. But once you pour it over the cooked pasta and start stirring, it magically disappears into the nooks and crannies only reappear later in your mouth, like a rich and savoury flavour explosion from heaven. Tubes work best for obvious reasons, but Ill let you decide how you want your sauce delivered. And I hope that it goes without saying that you should make an effort to find the most high-vibe pasta you can. There are so many on the market these days, even at regular grocery stores, so no excuses! No white pasta! And yes, there is topping. In keeping with the gluten-free theme I went with a Sunflower Crumble Topping that I am quite chuffed about. Its savoury, crunchy, and totally takes this meal to the next level - better than breadcrumbs I tell ya! And its delicious not only on mac n cheese, but garnishing avocado toast, grain salads, and roast veggies. You may have a little extra of the topping, but my casserole dish is relatively deep and narrow compared to most, and I wanted to make sure you had plenty to cover the top of yours. If you want to save time and skip steps, the pasta and sauce alone is super delish all on its own. But. The topping. After cooking up this meal, I looked around the kitchen at the dish carnage and shrugged my shoulders. You know why? So worth it. Yes, you will use pretty much every cooking element and piece of equipment you own, but make it a Sunday project, invite some buds over and have them clean up. You did cook them a totally awesome meal after all, its the least they can do.      Print recipe     Deluxe Butternut Macaroni ‘n Tease Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 large butternut squash (mine was 1.25kg /­­ 2.75 pounds) 4 cloves garlic 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 250g cooked butter beans (about 1 can) 3/­­4 cup /­­ 45g nutritional yeast flakes 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 1/­­2 tsp. fine grain sea salt 2 tsp. paprika 2 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 2 - 3 cups /­­ 500 - 750ml plant-based milk, as needed (I used rice milk) 4 cups /­­ 340g whole grain gluten-free macaroni (or your favourite pasta) Sunflower Crumble Topping 1 cup /­­ 130g sunflower seeds 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes 1/­­2 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1/­­4 tsp. garlic powder 1/­­4 tsp. ground paprika parsley for garnish, if desired Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F/­­200°C. Peel and cube butternut squash, peel the garlic cloves, and place everything on a baking sheet with the coconut oil. Place in the oven to melt coconut oil, remove from oven and toss to coat, then set them back in the oven to cook, about 15-20 minutes. The butternut should be slightly blistered and tender. 2. While the squash is roasting, make the Sunflower Crumble Topping. In a large dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds, tossing often so that they do not burn, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the seeds to a large plate to cool. Place them in a food processor with the remaining topping ingredients and pulse several times to combine and chop up some of the seeds. Season to taste. Set aside. 3. Transfer the roasted squash and garlic it to a blender with all ingredients except for the milk. With the motor running, add the milk until the desired consistency is reached: you are looking for a very thick, yet pourable sauce. Add milk until the blend is smooth, creamy and just the right consistency. 4. Set a pot of water on to boil with plenty of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and return to the pot, drizzle with a little olive oil, toss to coat, and keep the lid on to retain the heat. 5. Pour sauce over the pasta in increments and keep stirring so that it folds into all of the nooks and crannies. You should be able to use up all of the sauce, but if you have any leftovers serve them with the finished dish or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 6. Turn down the oven temperature to 325°F/­­160°C. Transfer the pasta to a casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle the top generously with the Sunflower Crumble Topping. Bake until warmed through and golden on top, about 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

From my Cookbook: Raw Vegan Eggnog

December 5 2014 My New Roots 

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

5 Reasons Why You Should Drink Ginger Lemon Tea

November 13 2014 VegKitchen 

5 Reasons Why You Should Drink Ginger Lemon TeaAre you searching for a way to give your immune system a boost? How about a drink that can relieve stress? Well, if you’re holding a cup of ginger lemon tea in your hand, then you’re on the right track! Sweet, spicy and one of the best drinks to have during the winter, ginger lemon tea is power-packed with some incredible health and body care benefits too! Let’s see how: - It Boosts Your Immune System: On top of the list of benefits of ginger lemon tea is its ability to strengthen your immunity. This is due to the presence of high levels of anti-oxidants in ginger. Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C which can heal wounds and preserve the strength of bones and teeth. In the onset of cold and flu, the ginger lemon tea can act as an effective anti-biotic. The bioflavonoids that lemons contain help to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. The anti-oxidants in the lemons help in reducing inflammation and arthritis symptoms. The powerful anti-oxidants can reduce free radicals in the body. Ginger also increases blood circulation in the body that is vital for optimum health. - It Brings Instant Relief From Nausea and Indigestion: Vomiting and nausea usually occur as symptoms of a body disorder. Ginger lemon tea provides the best relief mechanism. Moreover, if you have a motion sickness tendency, you can drink a cup of ginger lemon tea prior to travel to prevent nausea. It can also help cure the vomiting related to chemotherapy and pregnancy, which is a relief during that period. It eases the pain and uneasiness of an upset stomach. The ginger and lemon in the tea lowers the chances of heartburn and indigestion. It causes the food to be better absorbed by the body and prevents belching and bloating after eating too much. It improves your appetite as well. - It Lowers The Effects Of Diabetes: New research has thrown light upon the fact that drinking ginger lemon tea on a daily basis can reduce kidney damage that occurs due to the effects of diabetes. The high levels of zinc found in ginger play a prime role in the production and secretion of insulin. It is the insulin that controls the blood sugar levels and keeps diabetes in check. Other harmful effects of diabetes like blood pressure, heart problems and so on can be countered by the anti-oxidants present in the drink. - It Is Your One-Stop-Drink To Perfect Skin And Great Hair: As mentioned above, ginger lemon tea is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins which are beneficial for perfect skin, hair and health. The beverage helps in improving your digestion and guides you towards smooth and flawless skin. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties protect your skin from infections. For strong and beautiful hair, ginger lemon tea provides you a natural aid. Vitamin A and C are recommended in plenty for those with hair issues, as they combat the production of DHT in the scalp that in turn triggers hair growth. A vitamin and anti-oxidant rich drink like ginger lemon tea will help you overcome hair problems in an absolute natural and simple way. - It Is The Apt Drink For Weight Loss: High blood sugar levels trigger cravings for carbohydrates and fatty foods. Ginger helps to normalize these sugar levels which otherwise can affect your ability to lose weight or eat healthy food. Ginger also improves fat absorption and prevents it from accumulating in the body. Both ginger and lemon have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent inflammations and enhance the activity of the liver that helps in shedding those extra pounds. The smell of lemons reduces stress causing an increase in metabolism and proper organ function that can help in weight loss. How do we prepare ginger lemon tea? Using green tea as a base, finely chop the ginger root and infuse it boiling water for twenty minutes. This helps in transferring the active ingredients into the liquid. Adding two tablespoons of lemon juice and honey or stevia into the mix helps in both sweetening the tea as well as countering the spicy effects of the ginger. It can be served either hot or cold as the revitalizing effects are the same. Ginger lemon tea can be very refreshing to drink with its medicine like qualities. Moreover, a few recent studies suggest that it can help to stop blood clotting and lower cholesterol levels. This can prevent cardio-vascular diseases and strokes from taking place. If you feel tensed or worn out, the drink can also be an effective stress reliever. The strong aroma, spicy and refreshing taste and calming effects provide you relief and relaxation of your body and mind. Try it out today and feel healthy and energetic! Vineetha Reddy is very passionate about nutrition, fitness, health & wellness. She strongly believes that the ingredients you find in your pantry are the best medicines that you can get. Follow her on  Facebook and  Twitter. References: - http:/­­/­­www.dailymail.co.uk/­­femail/­­food/­­article-2205998/­­Stress-Ginger-tea-answer.html - http:/­­/­­www.momjunction.com/­­articles/­­unexpected-benefits-of-eating-ginger-during-pregnancy_­0082719/­­ - http:/­­/­­www.wikihow.com/­­Make-Honey-Lemon-Ginger-Tea - http:/­­/­­nutritionfacts.org/­­video/­­better-than-green-tea/­­

Sesame Seeds: Ways to Use and Health Benefits

September 28 2014 VegKitchen 

Sesame Seeds: Ways to Use and Health BenefitsSesame seeds are worth much more than their weight, both in nutritional benefits and in culinary properties. The flavor of sesame seeds is mild and nutty. It greatly intensifies when they are expressed into oil or are ground into a paste (known as tahini) or into a butter. When buying sesame seeds, look for the whole, unhulled variety, which have not been stripped of their nutritious, deep-tan hulls. If they look shiny and white, this tips you off that they’ve ben refined. Look for black sesame seeds as well. They add visual interest to simple dishes. Whole sesame seeds will keep well for many months in a tightly lidded jar in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate them during the summer.  Sesame seeds are 48 percent fat, with roughly equal parts polyunsaturates and monounsaturated and only a small proportion of saturated fat. Sesame seeds are about 18 percent protein. Two tablespoons contain 110 calories. Sesame seeds are valued for their high vitamin E content. They are also rich in minerals iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorous and provide substantial amounts of the B vitamins niacin and folacin.  - Sesame seeds are an excellent garnish sprinkled on almost any types of casserole, stir-fried vegetables, Asian noodles dishes such as vegetable lo mien, and green salads.  - Sesame seeds may be sprinkled over or incorporated into yeast breads, quick breads, crackers, and muffins. - Use whole or ground sesame seeds in granola or sprinkle a tablespoon or so over a serving of cold cereal.  - Toss a small quantity of sesame seeds into simple cooked grains such as brown rice or bulgur or into grain pilafs. - Incorporate them into homemade energy bars and other unbaked or baked desserts. A few recipes that highlight sesame seeds: - Chocolate- Orange-Sesame Truffles - Sesame Zucchini “Noodles” with Snow Peas - Simple Sesame-Roasted Asparagus - Simple Sesame Soba Noodles - Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing - Homemade Chocolate Energy Bars For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, please explore our  Healthy Vegan Kitchen  page . Here are more of VegKitchens   Natural Food Guides .

How to Satisfy a Cheese Craving – Without Dairy

April 16 2014 Vegetarian Times 

How to Satisfy a Cheese Craving – Without Dairy    Thinking about going vegan, but not ready to give up cheese? You’re certainly not alone. Many vegans have gone through a period where giving up cheese felt impossible. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and I never thought I would be able to give it up. Yet, I haven’t touched cheese pizza in three years and don’t miss it one bit. How do you say good-bye to cheese when you still enjoy the taste? Different things work for different people, but I have some suggestions to help you reach your goals while satisfying your cravings. Personally, I started feeling guilty every time I ate cheese pizza. I couldn’t help thinking about cows being confined and pumped for their milk. After a few months of feeling like that every time I ate dairy, I finally gave it up. Fortunately, there are delicious animal-free cheeses on the market now, plus some fantastic recipes to help you make your own. Though my days of eating dairy are over, my “cheese” days are not!   Vegan Mac and Cheese   Nutritional Yeast  This non-active yeast can be a vegan’s best friend. Nutritional yeast is sold as flakes or a powder and has a cheesy-nutty flavor. Use it to add a cheesy or umami flavor to everything from popcorn and pizza to veggies and salads. Nutritional yeast is also a good source of B vitamins (including B12), protein, folic acid, and zinc. I love sprinkling nutritional yeast on popcorn and in sauce for pizza or pasta.   Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna with Daiya Cheese   Store-bought Vegan Cheese  At many health food stores you can find dairy-free cheeses that melt, some that can be sprinkled (like Parmesan), and even aged cheeses. Some meltable cheeses are Daiya, Teese, and Follow Your Heart. Each of these brands sells “mozzarella” and “cheddar”--perfect for pizza, quesadillas, or grilled cheese. Use them like you would any cheese. Parma! and GO Veggie! both sell Parmesan-style cheeses to sprinkle on pizza, pasta, salads, and more. Hard and aged vegan cheeses are becoming more popular as companies look to make cheese alternatives beyond the usual soft, meltable cheeses. Look for Treeline, Kitehill, Dr.Cow, and Punk Rawk Labs gourmet cheeses, each made with nuts and perfect for cheese plates.   Make your own amazing vegan cheese   Make your own  If you like to DIY in the kitchen, definitely try making your own amazing vegan cheese. I highly recommend Artisan Vegan Cheese, by Miyoko Schinner. And be sure to browse the VT recipes archives; you can learn how to make delicious dairy-free cheeses for a variety of different dishes and occasions--even your own Parmesan-style crumbles or cheesecake!   —— Jenné Claiborne is passionate about helping women adopt and maintain a plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight, and feel their very best. Founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York-based personal chef service, she is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips, and cooking videos. In 2013, Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, an interactive online program that takes the guesswork out of becoming vegan. Follow Jenné on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.    

5 Brain-Boosting Vegan Foods that Really Work

May 10 2016 Vegetarian Times 

5 Brain-Boosting Vegan Foods that Really Work Likely, youve heard the claim that eating foods that look like the same parts of the body theyre good for is an easy route to better heath. In the subject of mental health, that food honor goes directly to walnuts, which look amusingly similar to a human brain. Walnuts are indeed a healthy choice, but supporting the brain extends far beyond simply popping a handful of nuts ... or a pill: variety and consistency is essential. Supplements cannot replace a healthy dietary pattern, reminds Fran Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. in a recent Time article. The overall dietary pattern is more important than a single nutrient. With this in mind (Yay, pun!), here are several superfood ways to get your brain boost on, everyday: Chia Seeds | The reason why walnuts are so renowned as a brain food is thanks to their rich omega-3 fatty acid content, which is linked to helping enhance memory as well as protection against cognitive decline. While walnuts are good, chia seeds are even better. A much more condensed source of this important nutrient, with 8x the amount of EFAs found in salmon ounce per ounce, chia seeds make efficient work out of providing us with the fats we need, at a lower calorie cost to boot. Sprinkle chia on a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. and reap the rewards. Or to mix things up, you can also use another omega powerhouse, too: hemp seeds! Goji Berries | Considering the number of antioxidants in these remarkable berries, regularly consuming gojis is, quite literally, a smart habit. Although only a preliminary study, research has indicated that the lycopene in goji berries might be a promising neuro-protective agent against Alzheimers. Researchers are currently exploring goji berries as the base of future treatments, but you can enjoy them regularly by the handful, in smoothies, or tossed into your favorite breakfast bowl. Blueberries | High amounts of flavonoid antioxidants are responsible for blueberrys brain-enhancing fame, which studies have shown enhances memory as well as learning and general cognitive function. To mix things up further, you can also stock up on flavonols by eating cacao, acai, and maqui. Pumpkin Seeds | These tasty green seeds are one of natures best sources of zinc, a vitamin linked to enhancing memory and thinking skills. Enjoy pumpkin seeds by the handful, or try them mixed into seasonal soups or hearty salads, like my White Bean Pepita Salad. Cranberries | One of cranberries many unique rewards is a high concentration of ursolic acid, a compound that has shown promise in protecting brain cells from injury and degeneration, and possibly even reversing damage. To get the maximum amount of ursolic acid from these red berries, use them fresh (ideal), or sun-dried without sugar (using fruit juice to sweeten). Ill admit, there are many other great superfoods out there that work as a mental boost as well (matcha tea would be another example, and one that I personally use several times a week). What are your favorite ingredients for extra brain power?

Better Skin Secrets from The Gentle Cleanse

January 18 2016 Vegetarian Times 

Better Skin Secrets from The Gentle CleanseHealthy cooking expert and Skinny Chef Jennifer Iserloh shares secrets and tips for getting better skin. Jennifer is the author of numerous best selling health books including, 50 Shades of Kale, Secrets of a Skinny Chef, and Healthy Cheats. Shes 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!   The secret to smoother, more vibrant skin may be waiting for you right in your very own kitchen. Your eating habits and meals have a huge impact on the quality of your skin, since skin health relies on a wide range of nutrients. Doing a light detox program, like our Gentle Cleanse is just the ticket for an easy detox program that naturally integrates skin-healing foods. Even if you are already a healthy eater, pollution, regular alcohol consumption, stress, and pet allergies can wreak havoc on your skin. So if you havent detoxed in a while, youre skin could be a bit backed up with toxins since your skin is the largest detox organ. Heres a quick rundown on five skin-enhancing foods that are the cornerstones of the Gentle Cleanse: Red Bell Pepper Red bell pepper is one of the top sources of Vitamin C which protect the quality of your skin by stabilizing collagen. Kale Kale is one of the richest sources of glucosinaloates, important sulfur compounds that boosts your bodys ability to detox from your internal organs to your skin. Beans and Legumes Black beans have the highest antioxidant activity among legumes, trailed by red, brown, yellow and white beans, in that order. Lentils are high in zinc, which stabilizes cell membranes in your skin. Almonds The high levels of Vitamin E in almonds  boost the livers ability to detox more efficiently. Turmeric Turmeric is the gold standard when it comes to detox, and studies have shown its ability to soothe skin disorders like psoriasis.

A Guide to Cruelty-Free Summer Beauty

July 1 2015 Vegetarian Times 

A Guide to Cruelty-Free Summer Beauty Summertime, and the livin should be easy. So, simplify your grooming routine, and get your (sun-damage-free) glow on ?with an assist from naturally sourced, ?cruelty-free goods. Cut the Fuss Streamlining the basics of your skin-care regimen to ?a gentle cleanser, toner, and moisturizer will keep skin balanced while also reducing summer primp time. Danny Neifert of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Skin Harmonics suggests nurturing skins natural protective barrier with products containing rosewater to soothe dryness and irritation, hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and natural oils to seal in hydration. Oil-rich moisturizers should be used in two phases, Neifert says. Pat and glide on more than you think, wait five minutes, then massage in to even it out. Other calming, hydrating ingredients to seek out include cucumber and aloe. To prep your face for your pared-down routine and help clear clogged pores, Claudia Colombo, founder of Fábula Skincare & Wellness in New York, advises a weekly exfoliating treatment; for those with ultra-sensitive skin, she suggests a patch test before trying bi-monthly exfoliation. And she recommends using a mild exfoliant with papain and bromelain, found in papayas and pineapples. Product picks for fresh, ?dewy skin: Nourish Organic Face Cleanser ($13.99/­­6 oz.; nourishorganic.com) Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner ($12.95/­­6 oz.; andalou.com) Acure Sensitive Facial Cream ($19.99/­­1.75 oz.; acureorganics.com) Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme Hawaiian Facial Scrub ($13.99/­­4 oz.; albabotanica.com) Cover Up in the Sun Slathering on the sun protection is a must when it comes to your daily routine. Sun damage is one of the biggest controllable factors that accelerates aging and skin cancer, says Alan Dattner, MD, a pioneer in the field of holistic dermatology. While a small amount of sun exposure is important to getting natural vitamin D, people often apply too little sunscreen and forget the parts that show age more quickly, like the hands, décolletage, ears, and lips. Thick application and consistent reapplication is key. Dattner recommends a physical sunscreen for its staying power and reduced likelihood of causing skin irritation. Physical sunscreens contain one or both of the active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, natural minerals finely ground into powders that create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. While the physical sunscreens of yesteryear had a reputation for leaving a sticky, ghostly-white pallor when applied, modern-day options are more pleasantly lightweight. Be sure to look for broad spectrum on the packaging of any sunscreen you choose. This signals the product will protect you from both types of the suns ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. The most recent evidence implicates both UVA and UVB in sunburn as well as premature aging and skin cancer. Jessica Krant, MD, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, also cautions against direct baking in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the suns rays are the most potent. Shield yourself further by donning chic protective clothing and gear, such as wide-framed sunglasses, broad-brimmed hats, and swimsuits and cover-ups that boast UPF (ultraviolet protection factor), the apparel industrys version of SPF (sun protection factor). Product picks for foolproof ?sun defense: LiViTY Outernational Private Beach ?Hat ($39.99; ?livitystyle.com) California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum ?SPF 30+ Sunscreen ($19.99/­­2.9 oz.; californiababy.com) Hurraw! ?SPF 15 Sun Balm ?in Tangerine Chamomile ($4.29/­­0.15 oz.; hurrawbalm.com) Create the Look To replicate summers sun-kissed radiance and breezy allure--without risking damage from the sun and parching winds--Katie OSullivan ?(aka The Green Product Junkie) recommends products that conjure bronzed skin, a healthy flush, just-bitten lips, and dreamy beach waves. A tinted, illuminizing moisturizer with SPF 30-plus will even your complexion and shield it from the elements while imparting a just-got-back-from-vacation glow. And because its tinted skin care, you can reapply it during the day, focusing on the cheekbones for extra radiance; use it on arms, hands, and décolletage for sun protection in a pinch; and even rub it into legs to lend color and evenness. To enhance lips and cheeks with a vibrant flush of in-the-sun color, OSullivan suggests a multitasking tint. Apply it to lips first, and then pat whatevers left on your fingers onto the apples of cheeks for a natural blush, or even onto eyelids, especially if its a neutral tan or peach hue, for extra pop. For a tousled, ocean-breeze-swept mane, a texturizing sea salt spray lends volume and texture: just spritz and scrunch at the root and down the length of your hair. A natural salt spray with moisturizers such as coconut and aloe can also be used to revive limp hair when you hit the snooze button too many times to catch a shower. Product picks for breezy, bronzed beauty: Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer, shown in Sand ($29/­­2 oz.; juicebeauty.com) Aster & Bay Beet Root + Hibiscus Lip Stain ($12/­­0.25 oz.; asterandbay.com) The Gnarly ?Whale Cucumber Melon Hair Beach Waves ($12/­­8 oz.; ?thegnarlywhale.com) 

Winter Rainbow Panzanella

March 16 2015 My New Roots 

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

Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

December 15 2014 My New Roots 

Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies Hey guys. Remember how I like pretending that baking is easy? Well, I’ve done it again! I actually wanted to make a gingerbread recipe last year. I even went out and bought a cute set of cookie cutters for the occasion as soon as they appeared in the stores. Let me just preface this by saying, this was at the very end of my pregnancy and pre-baby. Bahahaaa! How I thought that I would have time, energy, or sanity after giving birth to make cookies is beyond me, but I can at least laugh at my extraordinary naiveté. So, fast-forward to the present moment: my mental wherewithal mostly in tact after the first 12 months of motherhood, and the desire to be involved in some kind of holiday tradition tugging at my heart strings. I was actually so excited to make gingerbread, once and for all, and blog about how easy it was. If you follow me on Instagram, you will recall a certain Michelin-man-shaped gingerbread puddle that I posted last week. Yea. Like I said, I forgot that baking is not easy when you’re silly enough to invent recipes of which you have zero experience, under crushing time pressure. Okay, well, no big deal. Roll up my sleeves and start again, right? To rectify the poofing, I decided to eliminate the baking soda, baking powder and all liquid. Genius! Instead of a puffed up puddle, the cookies were rock hard and greasy. Gingerbread: 2, Sarah B: 0. At this point, in a frustrated frenzy, my husband chimed in for the pep talk. Hun, you know that this happens every time you bake. Its science! And youre bad at science (Im paraphrasing). Just give it one more try and I bet youll nail it, because in the end you always do (he forgot about the carrot cake debacle, bless his heart). So this morning began in the kitchen, sleeves rolled up, and ready to face this worthy opponent with a veritable village of gingerbread casualties in my wake. Except this time, I won. Everything Youve Ever Wanted to Know About Molasses Isnt it ironic that the waste product of manufacturing white sugar, is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic syrup? I’m talking about molasses. That gooey, rich, unmistakably black-brown nectar with a rather divisive flavour. There are a few varieties of molasses, but to understand how they vary, lets first look at how molasses is made. Molasses is created from either sugarcane or sugar beets (but because the molasses made from beets can be quite bitter, sugarcane molasses is the most common variety available for human consumption). These plants are harvested, and then cut, crushed, and mashed so that the juice is extracted. Fancy Molasses is the first product to be made, but is in fact the only type of molasses that is not a by-product of sugar processing, but instead a direct product from sugar cane. This type is super sweet and is most commonly enjoyed as the syrup straight on pancakes or waffles, and as an ingredient in baked goods. Varieties of Molasses The real deal molasses comes from boiling the juice of sugar cane down to crystallize the sugars, producing a concentrate, the first of which is called First Molasses, First Strike Molasses, Barbados Molasses, Light Molasses, Mild Molasses, or Sweet Molasses. This comes from the first boiling of the sugar. It is light in colour and mild in flavour. Some people also enjoy this type directly on their food, like fancy molasses. It is about 65% sucrose. Next up is Second Molasses, Second Strike Molasses, Dark Molasses, or Full Molasses. As you may have guessed, this is made from the second boiling of the extracted cane juice, a process that extracts even more sugar, producing a darker, thicker syrup typically used as a cooking ingredient in sauces, marinades and baked beans. It is about 60% sucrose. Blackstrap molasses is likely the one all you health foodies out there know and love. This type of molasses is made by boiling the cane syrup a third time, which extracts even more sugar and concentrates the flavour. By this point, the sucrose content is so low (about 55%) that the syrup no longer tastes sweet, but slightly bitter. The colour is nearly black, and the consistency is very thick and viscous. Blackstrap molasses is used in baking, sauces, stews and even as a food supplement due to its high nutrient content. Nutritious and Delicious Blackstrap molasses is highly concentrated in essential minerals, such as iron, calcium, selenium, manganese, potassium, copper, and zinc. As I mentioned above, this type of molasses is sometimes used as a dietary supplement or tonic. One tablespoon stirred into warm water is a food-based way to boost mineral levels, especially iron, as this small amount contains a whopping 20% of your RDI. You can also enjoy it in foods such as smoothies, tea, warm cereal, or dressings, sauces and stews. Remember to eat iron-rich foods with vitamin C to enhance its absorption. I like to use a little lemon juice. Blackstrap molasses is one of the few sweeteners that is low on the glycemic scale with an index classification of 55. This means that it metabolizes slowly in a controlled way, demands less insulin production and wont cause a spike in blood glucose levels. All in all, blackstrap molasses is a fantastic, healthy sweetener to which I enthusiastically give a thumbs up! Buying and Storing When purchasing molasses, read the label to ensure that what you are buying is 100% pure molasses (some companies will cut blackstrap molasses with corn syrup to make it sweeter) and that it is unsulfured. Sulfur dioxide can be added to all grades of molasses to help preserve it, as it prevents the growth of bacteria and mould. From a health perspective, sulfur can cause reactions in sensitive people (you can read more about that here). Sulfur dioxide also has a very bitter flavour, and can drastically alter the flavour of the dish you are making. Look for organic molasses whenever possible too. Store unopened molasses in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Opened containers must be stored in the fridge and will last for up to six months. So this gingerbread, this is really it. Its deeply spiced, perfectly balanced in sweet and salt, and super addictive. I love the special flavour and richness that molasses brings to the cookies as well. Its a must-have component of this recipe for sure, and should not be substituted with other sweeteners due to its properties in the baking itself. The cookies are totally vegan (!!!), made with whole spelt flour and natural sweeteners. But the coolest part of this recipe? If you like a chewy cookies, bake them for 7 minutes, and if you like a crispier version, bake it for 10. Science! I tried two versions with this batch of cookies, and although I prefer the chewy ones, my husband really likes the crunch of the longer-baked variety. I am really, really proud of my gingerbread, especially after persevering through three rounds of total uncertainty and insanity. Although the first two recipes, according to some were just fine, I couldnt post a recipe here on My New Roots that is just fine. Never! I want everything I put out into the world to be my best, and this, I am so pleased to say, (finally) qualifies. Whew. As I was very anxiously waiting for this last trial to bake, I whipped up a Cashew-Cacao Butter Icing to decorate the little guys with (I got it on the first try too!). As I was making it however, I used honey to sweeten it, and then promptly delivered myself a swift forehead slap realizing that the rest of the cookie recipe was vegan! Argh. So, if you dont want to use honey to sweeten this icing, I am confident that maple syrup or coconut nectar would work in its place. I havent tried making this recipe in a regular blender, only a Vitamix, so I know that the icing consistency may be a little grainy if you dont use a high-powered machine.     Print recipe     Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Makes at least 2 dozen medium-sized cookies Ingredients: 2 1/­­2 /­­ 350g whole spelt flour 1/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1/­­2 tsp. baking powder 1 Tbsp. ground ginger (or less if you prefer more mild gingerbread) 1 1/­­2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/­­2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/­­2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted 1/­­2 cup /­­ 70g coconut sugar 1/­­2 cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses 3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce 1 tsp. vanilla extract Directions: 1. Sift the dry ingredients together. 2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then whisk in the molasses, applesauce, and vanilla. 3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and fold to combine - you may need to use your hands to mix this, but dont overwork the dough. Fold just until the ingredients come together evenly. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, make a ball, then flatten into a large disc. Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 4. Preheat oven to 350°F /­­ 175°C. Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap and cut in half. Wrap one half and return it to the fridge. Place the other half of the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll out (if it is very stiff, you may need to let it warm up just slightly). Remove top half of the paper and cut out desired shapes with a cookie cutter or a knife. Slide a knife or thin egg lifter under each shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Ball up the scraps of dough, roll it out between the parchment and start again. Once the dough becomes too warm, return it to the fridge and repeat the entire process with the other half of the chilled dough. 5. Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes (7 minutes produces a softer, chewier cookie, while 10 minutes produces a crispier one). Remove from oven and let cool on pan. Decorate with the Cashew Cacao Icing if desired (recipe follows). Cashew-Cacao Butter Icing Makes about 3/­­4 cup Ingredients: 1/­­2 cup /­­ 65g cashews a few pinches of sea salt 3 Tbsp. /­­ 40g cacao butter, melted 1 1/­­2 Tbsp. raw honey (or liquid sweetener of your choice) 1/­­2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 3 Tbsp. hot water Directions: 1. Soak cashews with sea salt for four hours, or overnight. 2. Drain, rinse and place cashews in the most powerful blender you have along with all other ingredients. Blend on high until as smooth as possible. 3. Pour into a piping bag and store in the fridge until it firms up, about 2 hours, then use. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. If you do not have a piping bag, you can also use sandwich bag with a teeny corner snipped off, which is what I did! For those of you living in Copenhagen, Ive only found one shop that carries molasses and its the Super Brugsen on N?rrebrogade. I know at least one of you is going to ask! And finally, I want to say a HUGE Happy Holidays to everyone out there. I hope that your days are filled with wonder and delight, family and friends, and above all, delicious food. I can’t help myself – it’s what I live for! All love and sparkling winter holidays, Sarah B. Show me your gingerbread on Instagram: #MNRgingerbread

Should You Soak Nuts, Grains, and Beans?

November 25 2014 Vegetarian Times 

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

6 Hearty Vegan Soups Under 200 Calories Per Serving

October 17 2014 VegKitchen 

6 Hearty Vegan Soups Under 200 Calories Per ServingStarting a meal with a veggie-packed vegan soup fills you up in a good way. Hardy vegetables (especially roots and cruciferous veggies), grains, beans, peas, and lentils are quite filling, yet low in calories. Veggie-filled soups contains more water then other dishes, keeping you hydrated, which also helps maintain healthy. They’re quite appetizing, yet at the same time help curb appetite for foods that may not benefit you or which you may be tempted to overeat. Because soups based on vegetables and/­­or legumes are high in fiber, they also keep you full for a long time. Pureed soups, like a vegan cream or broccoli or carrot soup, will really amp up your veggie intake in one meal. They can be a nice first course or a  a complete meal with a hearty salad featuring beans or lentils. Plant-based soups are filled with vitamins and other nutrients. All in one delicious bowl, you can get a great part of your daily needs of protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, and the B vitamins, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, folic acid, and antioxidants, depending on which particular ingredients you use. Spice your soups up as you wish, to boost flavor as well as increase health benefits. Here are a half dozen soups that so hearty that their modest calorie count is truly surprising. There are many variations on Tortilla Soup, a southwestern classic. The common denominator is a crisp corn tortilla garnish. This veggie-filled rendition is a light and pleasant way to begin a meal with a southwestern theme. See the photo at the top of this post. Like Minestrone, Italian Pasta and Bean Soup is a classic, sometimes referred to as  pasta e fagiole. Its a meal in a bowl that you can complete easily with fresh garlic bread and a big salad.  The earthy flavor of these protein-packed legumes shines in this basic rendition of Hearty Lentil Soup. Make sure to see the variations listed below the recipe. This is perfect as a soup centerpiece,  An appetizing, mildly spiced mélange of nourishing ingredients, Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup makes a stellar centerpiece for a soup-based meal, as its done in 30 minutes or less. Everything about this Butternut Squash and Apple Soup says fall harvest, from its warm golden color to its slightly sweet, fresh flavor. Once youve got the squash baked, it cooks fairly quickly. Of course, you can enjoy this throughout winter as well. Heres the comforting Classic Mushroom-Barley Soup. Its nothing fancy, but always so satisfying. Change it up by using different kinds of mushrooms.    

Raw Bounty Bars

June 11 2014 My New Roots 

Raw Bounty Bars Oh how times change. If you were to hand me a Bounty Bar 20 years ago, I would have looked at you like you had gone coconuts (ahem, sorry). Bounty Bars were sick-a-tating, and most certainly on the bottom rung of the candy ladder because coconut was a vegetable in my mind and therefore decidedly not edible even when smothered in chocolate. I dont know when I came to my senses, discovered that coconut was in fact a not vegetable, and also totally delicious. These days, Ill go so far to say that I dont know what my life would be like without dear coconut around, as I likely employ one or more of its products on a daily basis. You can imagine then, that being in Bali was quite a gas for me, as its dripping with coconuts, quite literally. I loved being able to get fresh coconut water every morning; mammoth orbs heavy with well over a liter of liquid gold, for under a dollar. Freshly shredded coconut at the market, coconut palm sugar by the bagful, young coconut flesh blended in smoothies... it was the business! One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Big Tree Farms -  a place where they make incredible coconut  products among other things, such as raw cacao and sea salt. As Ive been using their delicious coconut palm sugar for a while now, it was pretty amazing to see where the magic happens and meet the sweet people behind the sweetness. I was also introduced to a new product: coconut nectar! A gorgeous, full-flavoured syrup that looks a lot like honey, but with a citric, smoky flavour that surprised and delighted me. Coconut Nectar of the Gods Coconut nectar, and the coconut palm sugar that is made from it, have been produced and enjoyed for over 6,000 years. In fact, the first documented sweeteners ever used are that from coconut palms (Coco Nucifera). Coconut nectar is made by harvesting the sap from the coconut palm blossom, which is collected twice daily by the farmers at Big Tree. They climb up each trunk in the morning, remove the vessel full of sap, slice the very tip off of each flower bundle and place an empty vessel underneath it to collect sap until the evening when they will repeat the process. The sap is then boiled down to remove all the water it naturally contains, leaving a thick, caramel-like syrup, which can then be cooled and bottled.  To make coconut sugar, that same syrup is cooled and then rubbed, creating granules of the delectable coconut sugar that I love so much. You can watch a very cool video about the whole tree to table process, here. Coconut nectar is high in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It is happily low glycemic, ranking 35 on the GI scale, compared to agave at 42, honey at 55, cane sugar at 68. This is due to coconut sugars composition of long-chain saccharides, which are absorbed by the body at a slower rate than something like refined white sugar. Coconut sugar also contains amino acids, which are thought to slow down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, acting as a buffer of sorts. You can read more about Big Tree Farms Coconut Nectar and Palm Sugar nutrition here. After visiting Big Tree, I was feeling creative and hungry for chocolate. I decided to get my Willy Wonka on and recreate a favourite treat to pay homage to my coconut adventures, and also because, lets face it, Bounty Bars are delicious. This is my (nearly) raw version of the classic candy, a very easy and scrumptious translation using simple ingredients. They are totally rich and coconut-y, just like the real thing, but way better because they taste real – not like science. The chocolate is smooth, rich and decadent, and the filling is extra coconut-y due to the virgin coconut oil I use. If you have a good-quality virgin coconut oil, I suggest employing it here, as you want to emphasize the coconut flavour. This is one of the few times I use virgin coconut oil, as I usually dont want everything tasting of the tropics, but in this case I definitely do. If you dont have any, regular coconut oil is fine. And if you dont have any coconut nectar not to worry - substitute it with honey or maple syrup and the results should be almost the same. These should be stored in the freezer, especially in the height of summer when the chocolate can melt in the heat. Plus, biting into one of these is quite refreshing when the 4 oclock summer sun hits and you need something sweet to rouse you from your nap. These are also really fun to make - who doesnt love a good candy project? Get your kids involved, get your friends into it, and create some candy bars that you actually wont want to share with anyone who has helped you. Youve been warned.     Print recipe     Raw Bounty Bars Makes 12 candy bars Coconut Filling 2 cups /­­ 175g unsweetened desiccated coconut 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml coconut oil, melted (virgin coconut oil if you have it) 2 Tbsp. coconut nectar (substitute with honey or maple syrup) 1-2 Tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it – you can also use coconut nectar) 1/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 1 Tbsp. water Raw Chocolate 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60 ml melted coconut oil 2 Tbsp. /­­ 30ml melted cacao butter 1/­­3 cup /­­ 30g raw cacao powder 1/­­4 cup raw honey a couple pinches salt, to taste Directions: - In a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water) melt coconut oil. Remove from heat and add coconut nectar, honey, sea salt and vanilla seeds, whisk to combine. Set aside. - Place coconut in a large bowl and sprinkle the tablespoon of water over top, stir well. Pour the coconut oil mixture over and fold to combine, using your hands if necessary. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary. - Line a 7×7 (18x18cm) baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving plenty of extra to hang over the sides. Press the coconut mixture firmly into place, especially around the edges. (If you dont have a baking pan, just use the plastic wrap as an edge, pulling it up around the open ends, pressing firmly to ensure it is compact.) Wrap edges around coconut and place in the freezer to firm, at least 30 minutes, up while you make the chocolate. - In a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water) melt coconut oil and cacao butter. Add honey and whisk to combine. When completely uniform, remove from heat and sift in cacao, and add sea salt. Taste for sweetness and saltiness, and adjust accordingly. - On an open work surface, place a piece of parchment paper underneath a cooling wrack (and oven wrack will work just fine, but it helps if whatever you choose fits into your freezer). Make space in your freezer for the wrack to fit. - Remove coconut from the freezer, unwrap and cut into 12 bars of equal size. Round off the ends by slicing off the corners if you like (this is just for aesthetic reasons, but its up to you!). One by one, place a coconut bar into the liquid chocolate and turn over a couple times to coat. Remove with a fork, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then place on the cooling wrack. Repeat with remaining bars. Once all the bars have been done and they  re no longer dripping, place wrack in the freezer for the chocolate to harden, about 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process, giving each bar with one more coat of chocolate. Return bars to the freezer. -  If you have any chocolate remaining, remove chocolate bars from the freezer and drizzle it over top in a design that you like (its fun to do with a plastic sandwich bag – simply slice a teeny corner off of one end and pipe chocolate onto the bars). Return to the freezer to firm up completely, at least one hour. Then remove bars from wrack and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.

Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding

January 20 2014 My New Roots 

Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding The holidays are over. The rush of New Years has passed. And now we plummet, head first, into the depths of winter. Well, that was uplifting, Sarah. Okay, perhaps it feels a little doomsday around here with the weather as it is. It rains, it pours, today it snowed, and I have to turn the lights on in the house at 2pm. Sometimes Copenhagen is so dark, I pretend that I am living on some groovy planet in another galaxy far away where there is no sun. For some reason, this makes things more bearable. But you know what else makes things more bearable? Delicious food! Ahh...works every single time. Last weekend I had my darling friend, Earthsprout Elenore over for a sleepover with our babies (and husbands!), and for breakfast I made this Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding. We were instantly transported to another place, far, far away. Instead of a not-so-groovy, poorly-lit planet we were on a tasty tropical paradise island - at least our tummies were - and I knew that I had to share the experience with you. Let me start by saying that I am not a huge fan of rice pudding. I find it rather boring, in fact. But I had a light bulb moment recently when cooking up a pot of black rice, thinking about how creamy and sweet it was, that maybe using it instead of white rice would be pretty darn delish. When I considered the other ingredients used to make rice pudding, dairy milk, white sugar, butter, I realized that this was one recipe that could easily become a high-vibe bowl of goodness with some simple substitutions. Okay, its true that the combination of coconut milk and black rice have been thought up before (oops) but it was news to me! And such a welcome change from the humble bowls of oats that Ive been eating for breakfast lately. My Passion for Passion Fruit If you can believe it, I ate my first passion fruit about three years ago. I could barely handle how delicious it was! The flavour of it was so explosive, bursting with high-vibe vibrancy - a golden, succulent miracle! And can I share what made me avoid these fruits for so long? I simply had no idea what to do with them. Seriously. Id see them in the store, shrug, and walk by.  It wasnt until working at a restaurant here in Copenhagen where we also sold organic fruits and veggies, that one of my co-workers sliced one open for me to try. I was floored. The thing that tripped me up, and undoubtedly many others, is that when a passion fruit is ripe, it looks like something that got lost in the back of your fridge for a month, that you almost want to remove with tweezers. Okay perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but ideally, that little golf ball should be well wrinkled before you cut it open. The inside of the passion fruit is not much better either: something along the lines of alien offspring. Once past the shriveled visage and goopy interior, youre in for a real treat. The flavour is kind of like eating perfume, in the best way possible. It is sweet-tart, slightly acidic, and bathes your tongue in beguiling, tropical fragrance. Passion fruit is quite the little health bomb too. Loaded with vitamins A, B6, and E, calcium, iron and zinc, the fleshy interior also contains crunchy, edible, fiber-rich seeds. Three passion fruits contain only 54 calories and supply your body with 189 milligrams of potassium, and 27 percent the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. The final result of this pudding is silky, creamy and totally divine. Ive always thought that black rice has a real perfume, somewhat similar to vanilla, so I tossed in half a pod after scraping the seeds out and it really added something special, while intensifying that unmistakable delicate vanilla bouquet of the rice itself. In keeping with the tropical theme, I went all out. I biked to the local market and bought every single fruit that squeals of sunshine and sparkles and life. Mango, banana, pomegranate and passion fruit were my selections, and I felt like I was eating mouthfuls of vanilla clouds with juicy glitter on top! No big deal at all. Yes, this was my breakfast, but I think it would make a delicious dessert after a light meal too. Today I ate it for lunch next to a protein-rich green smoothie - a fantastic combination! For research purposes I made this pudding twice: once with soaked rice and once with raw rice. The texture of the soaked rice was better, and as a bonus, it cooked in about half the time. If you can remember to soak the grains the night before you are going to make the pudding, it will be tastier and faster, plus much easier to digest. To learn why soaking grains is a very good idea, read more here.     Print recipe     Coconut Black Rice Breakfast Pudding Serves 3-4  Ingredients: 1 cup /­­ 200g black rice, soaked overnight (if possible) 1 can full-fat coconut milk (reserve a couple tablespoons for garnish, if desired) 1/­­2 cup water with soaked rice, 1 1/­­2 cups water with un-soaked rice 1/­­4 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1/­­2 vanilla bean (optional) 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or other sweetener of your choice) 1/­­3 cup coconut flakes, lightly toasted Fruits of your choosing: mango passion fruit pomegranate banana kiwi pineapple Directions: 1. Measure out rice, rinse and cover with water. Let soak overnight or for up to 8 hours (even one hour makes a difference!). Drain and rinse well again. 2. Place rice in a pot with coconut milk, salt, vanilla bean (seeds and pod) and the indicated amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (you still want a little liquid). Times vary depending on whether or not you soaked the rice: for un-soaked rice, cook 45-60 minutes; for soaked rice, cook about 25-30 minutes. Add maple syrup and fold to combine. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. While the rice is cooking, prepare all the fruit that you would like to accompany the pudding. 4. To assemble, scoop out desired amount of black rice into a bowl, top with fruit, toasted coconut, and a drizzle of coconut milk. Enjoy. I hope this dish brings a little sunshine to all of your lives as we plod along into winter. You know, its not so bad when you have happy, healthy food to get you through. Lets all keep our spirits high, fill our bellies with tropical tinsel and march onward! With passion, fruit, and passion fruit, Sarah B. *   *   *   *   *   * While we are on the subject of breakfast and Elenore of Earthsprout, I would love to share with you her amazing new app that she just launched: 30 Raw Breakfasts. This 30-recipe app is your ticket to inspired, healthy, whole-food morning magic (but gosh, I have to say that almost every one of these treats could double as dessert!). Shes giving away one app to you, the fabulous My New Roots reader. All you have to do is post your favourite breakfast in the comments section of Elenore’s post (on her blog, not mine!), and she will choose a winner at random. Good luck, and make sure you invite me over for breakfast!  


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