Posts Tagged ‘healthy food’

Something New, and Kinda Weird

May 12, 2014

So you’ve heard of chia seeds.  Maybe you’ve even seen them on store shelves.  They’re actually not all that new.  It’s said that the Aztecs used chia seeds to survive long journeys. They even make really cool pets (yes, these seeds marketed as food are indeed the same little seeds that came in your Chia Pet kit).  But what the heck can chia seeds do for you?  For starters, they offer antioxidants (and who doesn’t need more antioxidants?)  They also provide significant amounts of Omega-3’s (these are the Omegas we need more of).

As mentioned in the title, they are a little weird.  They are hard little seeds, but when added to liquid they get gelatinous.  Kinda soft and squishy and slimy.  You can add them to your yogurt or smoothies for an extra nutrient kick.  This is probably one of the most popular uses.  But when you add the proper amounts of the right ingredients, you can get a wonderful (healthy) dessert.

Chia pudding 1Chia pudding is one of my favorite desserts these days.  If you are ok with the texture of tapioca pudding, then you’ll probably enjoy chia pudding.  While you can use almond milk and fruit, my preferred recipe includes coconut milk, dates, and raw cacao powder.  The dates give a wonderful sweetness and the cacao powder offers a healthy dose of antioxidants as well as magnesium and iron along with a great chocolately flavor.

Give it a go if you dare!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients: 1-1/4 cup coconut milk, 3-4 dates pitted and chopped, 1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1/4 cup chia seeds

Method: Soak dates in coconut milk for 20-30 minutes to soften.  Stir in cacao powder until well blended.  Add vanilla and chia seeds and stir well.  Cover and let set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes for flavors to come together.  Enjoy!

 

But It’s GREEN!

June 27, 2012

Green drinks can take a little getting used to.  They look and taste, well… green.  Freshly mowed lawn and algae sometimes come to mind… but, put all that out of your mind.  Green smoothies are chock full of nutrients, more in one glass that most people get in an entire day!

But it’s GREEEEEN!

OK, get over the green thing.  Let’s consider what’s in the green drink.  Here’s a smoothie I drink almost every day:

Green Smoothie

Ingredients: strawberries, pineapple, baby spinach, avocado, wheatgrass powder, fresh parsley, peeled cucumber, chia seeds, coconut water, raw milk kefir or carrot juice.

Optional Ingredients: flax seeds, flax oil, bee pollen

Method: Add 1 Tblsp chia seeds to 1/4 cup coconut water and set aside to gel.  I use frozen fruits and let them thaw in the blender cup overnight in the fridge so they are soft but still cold in the morning (about 3-4 strawberries and 3-4 chunks of pineapple).  To the fruit, add a small handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 an avocado, 1 scoop of wheatgrass powder, a few sprigs of fresh parsley, and about 1/4-1/2 cup cubed cucumber.  I then add about a teaspoon of either flax seeds or flax oil and 1/4 tsp of bee pollen.  Add raw milk kefir or carrot juice (1/2 – 1 cup depending on consistency you want).  Blend thoroughly.  Just before drinking, stir in gelled chia seeds in coconut water.

Of course, you can alter the fruits, veges, and optional ingredients.  To make this vegan, use carrot juice instead of raw milk kefir and do not use bee pollen.

You might be wondering about some of these ingredients.  Parsley is a wonderful detox herb, aiding the kidneys in flushing toxins out.  It is also very high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and calcium.  Chia seeds provide protein, magnesium, dietary fiber and Omega-3’s.  The gel also helps move toxins through (and out) of the intestines.  Wheat grass powder is an easy way to help you reach your 5+ servings of vegetables each day.  It is chock full of antioxidants and dietary fiber and also supports your immune system.

So what are you waiting for, GO GREEN!

What’s Healthy?

June 19, 2012

OK, here we go… I was browsing around Pinterest (check it out, it’s a great place to find everything: recipes, decorating ideas, geeky pictures) and I came across another seemingly great healthy recipe.  Breakfast cookies they are called, so I dutifully followed the link to see for myself.  The first line of the blog entry: “When I first saw this recipe I was intrigued by the fact that these have NO sugar, butter, eggs or anything that can be considered unhealthy.”  Well, despite the fact that eggs and butter ARE healthy, I continued on to the ingredient list:

Rolled oats, check… coconut flakes, check… salt, cinnamon, allspice, check…  almond meal, mixed nuts, dried fruit, check… bananas, check… vanilla, check… canola oil … WHAT?!  Canola oil?  Really?  You’ll demonize real unadulturated butter but praise a chemically altered GMO oil that turns toxic once heated?

Sorry, epic recipe FAIL.

Let’s start over.  I will try baking these cookies using my own healthy ingredients: coconut oil instead of canola, and I may add an egg in place of some of the banana (Bananas are good, but egg gives extra protein and a better consistency for baked goods).  I will post an update with pictures so stay tuned…

In the meantime, consider food.  Real food, not a food-like product.  Can you identify where it came from (it grew in the ground naturally, it is a part of an animal or came from an animal)?  Would your grandparents recognize it is a food product (whether or not it came from their country or was part of their diet)?  Could it be reproduced at home, from scratch (like making butter from unpasturized cream)?

So many healthy and natural food products are declared  unsafe, yet they are the foods that our country’s founders ate.  Did the settlers have homoginization and pasturization processes?  No, they didn’t need them.  Unclean, profit-driven factory farms didn’t exist.  Just the family cows, who may have even had names and were taken care of in clean barns and fields.  Milk came straight from the cow.  The cream that separated naturally was churned into butter, not hydrogenated spread.  But butter and whole milk and animal fat cause heart disease, you might be thinking.  Well, think again and do the research for yourself.  Look up “lipid hypothesis” and then make your own decision (rather than relying on what the pharmaceutical companies are feeding to the medical industry).

I could continue (and don’t you worry, I will in future posts!) but for now, suffice it to say that what the average American believes are healthy foods are not.  But don’t just listen to me. I encourage you to do your own research (from a variety of sources, including sources not funded by big pharma, the processed food industry, and the FDA) and decide for yourself.