POWERHOUSE PESTO–reinvented!

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An empowered take on a healthy classic, my version energizes this delicious condiment/sauce into a healing food. This is a vegan jubilee unless you add bee pollen for those added health benefits…it’s up to you!!!

20171112_184206.jpgINGREDIENTS: (all organic, favoring homegrown greens)

3 cups of Basil (used sweet Italian and Greek)

2 large garlic cloves minced

1/3 cup extra virgin cold-pressed (more if needed to food process smoothly)

1/4 cup raw, activated (if possible) apricot kernels

1/8 each activated (if possible) walnuts and pistachios

1 Tablespoon of Moringa Powder (Italian style)

few dashes of Himalayan pink salt (to taste)

splash of balsamic red wine vinegar

Option: Add pine nuts for more classic flavor by replacing above seeds and nuts and add 1 Tablespoon of local bee pollen. If thyroid support is your focus, substitute the pistachios with Brazil nuts since they are a good source for selenium.

Top with freshly ground black pepper.

What to do:

Put basil leaves, garlic, olive oil in food processor and keep going while adding all the other goodies until it becomes a rich thick paste or runnier with more olive oil or water as you prefer.

Mix it in to your raw veggie or kelp noodles or on spaghetti squash as pictured here… and top beautifully with more fresh, raw sustainably sourced produce.

It’s sooo rich in health values, it’s ridiculous that it can taste soo good and be versatile enough for anyone—carnivore or raw foodist. It is a super boost for anyone!

The Whys—Information to consider and explore as this world is full of natural health optimizing foods that is good to know about and try if you feel moved to!

Apricot Kernels for B-17 as a possible cancer fighter.

Walnuts and Pistachios for body soothing healthy fats.

Moringa powder for an array of goodness.                                                                                 (This is the brand I used, in case you would like to check them out: http://moringaforlife.com/)

Bee Pollen.

ENJOY this densely nutritious and tasty POWERHOUSE PESTO!

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MOM IN LAW’s Maple Bacon Non-Dairy Paleo “Cheesecake.”

My husband loves bacon… and so does his mom.  What do I do when she comes to visit for her birthday?  Ummm… end the visit with this!

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Inspired by a blogpost on #thrivemarket, I tweaked a bit to make my own and topped with a yummy dark chocolate goat milk ice-cream.  Went nuts! I don’t like to eat bacon, but I certainly appreciated the flavor profile and the warm reception to this dessert that should be eaten chilled, not-room temperature.  Bacon lovers and non dessert fans will find this option intriguing to say the least!

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST= 1 cup sprouted and very lightly toasted pecans, 1/2 cup fine ground almond flour, 2/3 medjool or other caramelly dates, 1/4 cup maple real bacon cube bits– EPIC brand was used here, several dashes of Himalayan pink salt and all-spice.

FILLING=2.5 cups of soaked cashews (4 hours or so), 1/4 coconut oil, 1/3 cup coconut nectar or Lakanto brand maple syrup, 1 dollop vanilla paste or extract, 1/5 cup of maple bacon cube bits, 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.

DRIZZLE=equal parts of coconut oil and coconut nectar warmed up to mix with Nutzo brand Power Fuel (almond-nut-mix butter) and one dash of vanilla extract.  Set aside some large flakes of sea salt for topping before putting on and sprinkling on top of the ice cream scoop!

WHAT TO DO:

Use a 6-inch springform pan or smaller for a taller, thicker pie… line the bottom and lightly oil the sides with coconut oil

For crust= Coarsely chop by hand up the gooey dates and then throw all in a food processor and go for it until it is all finely and thoroughly mixed together. Place in refrigerator for now.

For filling= put all ingredients in food processor and keep going until smooth… if it’s too thick or the machine is laboring, mix in more maple or coconut oil until it hums along happily. Pour into crust.  Chill.

For drizzle=warm up all the ingredients together and then whisk well and drizzle to your delight!  This was actually my favorite part and I kept drizzling it onto my spoon and into my mouth!

To serve=In stored in freezer, let thaw 30 minutes and then slice, scoop ice-cream on top and drizzle.  If in fridge, serve beautifully garnished right away!  THIS IS A SALTY-SWEET LOVERS DISH!

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pre-decorated slice.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHERYL! 🙂

NOIR CACAO CHIP COOKIES

Warning: This recipe is ONLY FOR REALLY BITTER-NOT-SWEET CACAO LOVERS...but you can always sub out the cacao mass chips to make it more tame and sugary if you need! This is a Gluten-free, Vegan,  Dairy-free version for the most particularly sensitive palates.

INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup coconut oil (I used the Nutiva brand with butter flavor)

3/4 cup golden Lakanto sweetener (Monkfruit, so does no glycemic impact)

3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (only 35 on the glycemic index)

2 Tablespoons of maca powder (between the cacao and maca, expect energy!)

1/4 cup of mylk of choice… or if you cannot, you can just use water

2 1/3 cup gluten-free baking mix you like!

1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon guar gum

1 heaping Tablespoon of vanilla paste of your choosing

12 ounces of chocolate chips (I used 10 oz of Pascha brand which is 100% cacao mass and 2 oz of Enjoy Life brand to balance out the bitter with hint of sweet.)

Sprinkle of cinnamon mixed in or dash on top before baking for 10 minutes

20170716_170159WHAT TO DO:

1- soften the coconut oil and then add vanilla paste and sweeteners in. Mix very well

2- add oil and continue mixing, adding the water or mylk until well combined

3-after mixing dry ingredients in other bowl, slowly incorporate into the wet mix

4-add your chocolate chips

5-make into cookie dough balls and flatten them a bit with a spatula for the classic cookie shape OR make into a log and slice up to freeze for future munch-ease!

NOTE:  If you need it more like a classic cookie sweetness, increase the coconut sweetener to your taste.

ALSO…these were baked too long 12 minutes—because I forgot in the midst of other cooking to-dos… SO DO NOT BAKE MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. Less would have been much kinder to these darlings.  They don’t hold together well until cooled, but you can always add your favorite nice-cream atop and eat them while piping hot!

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BUCKWHEAT’NANA BREAD

Hearty enough for a hangry man… or woman!

Buckwheat is not wheat –YAY! It’s a seed-based flour substitution that’s awesome for baking. It’s flour is grainer, darker, richly flavorful, and distinct.  You can swap buckwheat flour 1 – 1 for or mix up how you prefer!  The nutritional profile of buckwheat is excellent. For every 1 cup of flour there is approx. 402 calories, 15 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and 3.7 grams of fat. It’s a good source of vitamin B6, thiamin and niacin, and is rich in trace minerals such as magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus and folate. Here’s another article about it!

As you can tell, I am using buckwheat more and more because it’s healthy heartiness!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated monkfruit (I used Lakanto brand) – sub 1/4 cup of date paste or 1 Tablespoon of stevia if you prefer… or don’t add any sweetener at all and just add another 1/2 a banana!
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayn pink salt
  • 5 large very ripe bananas, mashed 2 cups (if you use date paste above, reduce by 1/2 banana here)
  • 1/3 cup light flavored olive oil and/or walnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 small pasture raised farmers market egg or sub with chia “egg” and splash of apple cider vinegar

WHAT TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the buckwheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, mix well. Mash bananas, oil and vanilla paste, and stir together. Mix all ingredients…saving just a bit of dough for topping mix.

Chop up walnuts or GF oats or your topping of choice with bit of dough you set aside… put atop and mix in to surface area of bread batter you put in a parchment lined or lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan.

Bake on the middle rack for 50-60 minutes.  Test with toothpick or slender chopstick if you have plenty like I do in my kitchen.

Let cool about 15 minutes and yum it up!

OPTIONAL… mix in some blueberries or raspberries for a completely fun and vibrant taste profile. But I suggest gently pressing the whole frozen berry into batter from the but before adding nut topping so they keep their shape.  It makes an aesthetic difference once done baking.  Otherwise, you can end up with a fully colored loaf instead of spots of lovely color.  Oh…. And uh, chocolate, is a good idea, too! 🙂

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This nutty crumbley topping is sooo delicious and hearty.  

MORNING MATCHA PANCAKES (GF & V)

Hearty, just a touch of sweet, and easy to make breakfast for guests or save for leftover snacking–and enough of an energizer to satisfy, but not overdo!  

MEET MY MATCHA MORNING PANCAKES!

20170520_183635INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsweetened macadamia milk (almond or coconut also works)

1 Tblspn flax/chia “egg” or 1 pasture-raised hen egg

1/4 cup buckwheat flour & 2 Tblspn coconut flour

1 Tblspn Lakanto Matcha powder & 1 tsp pure matcha

1/2 tsp baking powder & 1/8 tsp xantham gum

2 tsp apple cider vinegar & 2 Tblspn fresh mashed apple without peel

1/2 tsp vanilla paste

dash of Ceylon Cinnamon and Himalayan pink salt

coconut oil or walnut oil to panfry

options: Lakanto brand maple syrup , almond butter, 1 Tblspn Maca powder, & various nuts and fruits as toppings

WHAT TO DO: 20170520_181340

1-Combine all dry ingredients

2- Mix dairy-free milk of choice with apple cider vinegar and let sit.  Do the same with your flax/chia egg.  1 Tblspon + 1 tsp of chia in 4 Tblspns of water and let gel.

3- Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed, adding in smidge more of your milk it too thick.  Add your choice of egg, too.

4- This will make 5 thin or 4 thick pancakes, so divide and fry as you prefer.  Walnut oil makes it taste more buttery and a touch sweet-nutty and the coconut oil was less sweet to me.

5- Fry and flip until lightly golden brown.. no more than 5 minutes depending on your heat.

6- Add your toppings to the stack of green yummies and serve!

NOTE:  Lakanto’s mix for Matcha has a sweeter note, so balance the taste per your palate and switch the ratio of plain matcha with Lakanto’s drinkable matcha mix.

Also, the version with the hen egg turned out more fluffy and the vegan version tasted more sweet to me.  Almond butter is a winner on both!

Spring green apple muffins

I feel awful when I waste food…good, organic, good-for-me food.  And so I do whatever I can to NOT let goodness go bad.

I had a bunch of pasture raised eggs and 6 imperfect granny smith apples that needed to get gone, so they mixed together to make a yummy treat for me and my pups Rocky the Rescue and Contessa Bear Smith!  Yes… win-win for all!

I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because sweeter, not tart, apples are typically used for baked breads and cakes, but I figured if the green goodies can go into pie, then why not a muffin?!  Besides, it sounded fresh for Spring! Experiment challenge taken!

INGREDIENTS:

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Simple ingredients; easy recipe to try!

1 cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon

2 teaspoons of each baking powder and baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 cups applesauce (or 5 average size apples pureed with juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon and 6 dates–fresh, homemade is always better!)

8 pasture-raised eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil melted

2 teaspoons each local or favorite honey and vanilla paste

WHAT TO DO:

 

=Heat oven to 350 degrees.

=Add all wet ingredients (applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, honey, and vanilla paste) and mix by hand or mixer machine.

=Sift together dry ingredients and combine with wet and mix thoroughly.

=Scoop into silicone muffin molds or paper-lined muffin tins.  These do not rise too much, so filling almost to top is fine.

=Bake for 20-25 minutes… I ended up going close to 25 minutes.

wp-1491358673612.jpg=Optional: save a scoop of batter, add date paste of 5 Medjool dates, and 1/4 up of GF oats and mash together.  Take a little bit and mix this mash onto the top of each muffin batter in the tins or mold.  This will bake for at least 25 minutes.  It’s just a little bit sweeter and has a nice touch of texture that delights.

=BONUS!  This was baked with our best pup pals in mind!  My two rescues licked their plates clean… If your pup likes apples, this will be a great treat to enjoy together!

=FOOD TRIVIA: Did you know that various sources say it takes anywhere from 55 to 120 gallons to produce one egg?  I imagine the wide range is for the allowances from conventional to biodynamic farming… and everything in between.

Nevertheless, it’s best to eat up what you get and avoid wasting food and resources it takes to produce that food…for the love of people and our planet!  

AND LOOK WHAT YUMMY GOODNESS THAT FIGHTING FOOD WASTE INSPIRED! 🙂

PALEO CARROT CAKE & MUFFINS!

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Carrot Cake… swoon.  *sigh.

Yes, it’s one of my favorite treats, but I don’t enjoy it as much when there’s Gluten and especially when sugar is the first or 2nd ingredient on a long list of too many not-so-goods!  But, it takes a bit more of an effort than other nice cakes, so I don’t make it often. However, my mom’s recent birthday prompted me to try re-making a version I loved because my parents both love carrot cake…they passed that preference to me! LOL

This is a good number of ingredients, but they are all wholesome and you can cut down even further on the fruit and the maple syrup if you want less sweetness.

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INGREDIENTS:wp-1488935949741.jpg

1.5 cups shredded carrots (about 7 medium to large sized)

1/4 pure maple syrup (grade B for least processed variety- use up to 1/3 cup)

 

2/3 cup coconut flour sifted with 1/2 cup arrowroot flour

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

1 Tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon

1 heaping tsp each of allspice, ground ginger, and baking soda and baking powder

8 pasture raised eggs

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (measured after squeezing out juice) (omit for strict paleo)

1/2 cup each of raisins and white mulberries (omit for strict paleo)

1 cup or so activated walnuts (I save this for the frosting for distinct texture from cake)

Coconut Rum Frosting-recipe at the endwp-1488871720258.jpg

WHAT TO DO:

1- Prep your fruit.  If you have fresh chunks of pineapple, put them in a food processor, then squeeze as much as possible out and allow the raisins and mulberries to sit in the juice. Set the pineapple fiber aside for mixing in to batter.  If you don’t already  have the date paste ready and softened, put your seeded dates into the food processor and make a nice paste 🙂

2- Peel and then shred carrots in food processor and let sit in maple syrup overnight, preferably, or an hour or so. Again, do what you can to squeeze as much of the carrot juice and syrup from the fiber by hand.  I usually press it between two stainless steel bowls.

3- Sift all your dry ingredients together (coconut flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking soda and powder.)

4- Mix up wet ingredients (eggs, date paste, vanilla paste, melted coconut oil)

5- Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing.

6- Wring out your wet ingredients another time and add pineapple pulp, carrot shreds, mulberries, and raisins and stir everything together.

7- Grease cake pans of your size preference or muffin pans and fill!

8- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (smaller pans)-60 minutes (9-inch pans).  Because this is sooo moist, you may need to bake longer depending on how well you squeezed out the juices.

9- Test cakes/muffins at 45 minute with a toothpick and remove if/when done.

10- Let cool… Frost and garnish with activated walnuts. (Frosting recipe below.)

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NOTES: Adding pineapple and the dried fruit makes it not so Paleo, so omit if that’s a major matter for you.  I added them because I love the taste.  Also, if you prefer a denser cake and not the lightness of the flour mixture in this version, then sub arrowroot with more coconut flour or buckwheat flour.

FROSTING –INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

5 teaspoons arrowroot flour

1 Tbsp rum extract

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup coconut manna or 1 cup soaked cashews to blend together

WHAT TO DO

1- Put all in your food processor or high-powered blender.  If you need some liquid to help move along the processing (if the manna or cashews are too thick,) then use some of the pineapple juice from above.

2- Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and when it’s solid enough, yet spreadable enough, decorate your cake/muffins!  I love sprinkling light coconut shreds on top along with the walnuts for a pretty touch.