Spreadable Almond “cheez” round

20181108_1835137767990080476201773.jpgAs I became more vegan and less vegetarian (i.e. no eggs and dairy), making charcuterie boards for my guests became a sad-side instead of a happy-side of hosting friends for meals.  I used to make boards bursting with so much meats and dairy cheese, it often became the main course for some.  I realize that was probably excessive, but now that I

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am more grounded in less excess and more healthy options all around, I felt it was time to give a cheese board a try… with a soft cheese to add to the robust, denser baked almond cheese I just made and loved (previous post).

And yaaassss!

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/2 cups non-dairy mylk
  • 1/2 soaked and skinned wild soil almonds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt of choice (I used red Hawaiian)
  • 1 teaspoon fine nutritional yeast powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar
  • 2 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • various herb mixes to dip outside of round form (I show one with paprika and cumin based mix and another mixed herb
  • optional–try a smidge of miso and less salt for savory umami-ness

What to do:

  1. Prepare your mini cake tins by lining bottom with a bit of brown parchment paper to ease movement after it is chilled and set20181108_1828338995176687588686455.jpg
  2. Put everything in a strong blender except your herb mixes to dip the round in to decorate and blend up
  3. Pour into saucepan, let boil for a second, reduce to simmer… YOU MUST GENTLE STIR THIS NON STOP FOR 5 MINUTES
  4. Pour promptly into tins/molds
  5. Let set in your refrigerator overnight or 45 minutes
  6. Do you best to gently roll the sides only in your choice of herbs
  7. Enjoy!

week 2 of UNPROCESSED…the FAST

Day 8 – IN MOST RESTAURANTS, SALADS ARE  BORING! ugh!  Good thing I am munching on healthy eats before I got out to eat! And healthy does not mean low-fat… it actually means high levels of healthy Omegas and medium-chain fatty acids… super yummy and super satisfying stuff!

DAY 9 – SEMANTIC SENSE… ?  I am finding that many eateries just agree with you if you are asking if an animal protein is organic, wild-caught, or sustainable….unless you ask again upon detecting the wait person’s verbal assent tinged with a bit of uncertainty.  It often takes an insistence to inquire into how the fish or animal was raised and killed before being served up at human food before getting a straight answer.  More often than not, if the staff doesn’t know, it’s best to avoid it as it is most likely  poorly raised and therefore, not the best to ingest personally and therefore support the gluttony of our current food systems.

DAY 10 – NEED SOME AMMO … to keep the sweet tooth at bay?  I do …especially because it’s the weekend and that is typically when I feel like I can “allow” myself extra goodies.  Getting some hard facts about the pure white and dangerous sweet stuff helps: http://www.rodalenews.com/sugar-health-effects   Great article and overall a super site for staying in the know about how to fuel yourself and conserve the environment.

Here are some more links to read while we’re at it:
1 – http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/weird-ways-sugar-affects-your-health

2 – http://www.rodalenews.com/sugar-toxic

3 – http://www.rodalenews.com/sweetness-enhancer

(see note on this link at the bottom—freaky sweety stuff!!!) ***

DAY 11 – LOVING FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE THE BEST SABOTEURS! Eating with your good buddies or with family insistent on feed you makes it hard to stick to what this unprocessed fast is about because there are no hard and fast rules and labels to what I am doing. I am not avoiding gluten or meats or anything specifically, but only avoiding that which is unrecognizably altered somehow in substance, structure, or in its contents by the machines of man….and even if I was just avoiding any sweetener, that alone would be difficult because it seems most people have just fallen to the idea that it’s simply unavoidable, so why try?! I say that’s the reason to try smarter!

DAY 12 – SPOUSAL SUPPORT is a toughie in my case…because my hubby may never ever give up certain foods, especially his animal proteins, but I find that my repetition of opting only for wild/line-caught fish and organic, pasture-happy animals makes him more mindful of, at least, what I prefer to order when we are out for a meal.

DAY 13 – SLAP MY WRIST, PLEASE!!! I keep mindlessly reaching over to nibble on whatever my hubby has on his plate or his ordered meal at a restaurant! Habits of any kind can be rather stubborn to break free from.

DAY 14 – RECIPE FOR THE WEEK. Loved this and so did my hubby but I acknowledge that most of us Americans are so accustomed to sweeter granolas, we will have to retrain their tastebuds to disfavor sugar spikes by appreciating super-foods versions like this one! (If you must add sweetener, use unrefined maple syrup or local honey and add vanilla bean paste.)

SO FULL OF MY FAVORITE YUMMIES AND SUPER CRUNCHY EVEN SITTING IN MILK!

SO FULL OF MY FAVORITE YUMMIES AND SUPER CRUNCHY EVEN SITTING IN MILK!

RAW, SPROUTED, DEHYDRATED NOT SWEET SUPERFOODS GRANOLA!
Ingredients:
1 cup buckwheat groats soaked
1/2 cup raisins and handful of dates soaked
handful of walnuts soaked
1/2 cup of dried figs (variety of)
1/4 sprouted, dehydrated pumpkin seeds
1/4 shredded and/or chips of raw coconut meat
1/8 cup of golden flax seeds
lots and lots of dashes of cinnamon (main sweetening agent but one that regulates blood sugars)
couple dashes of Himalayan salt
1/2 cup of sprouted, dehydrated almonds
(options: for my hubby’s version, I put in 1/4 cup of peanut butter, peanuts (instead of almonds and walnuts), and dehydrated banana chips…and bit more salt to give a more satisfying taste and mouth feel for his heartier palate.)

the peanuttier version

the peanuttier version

Directions:
After soaking and buckwheat groats and draining most of the water, only leaving enough to cover the groats, add the soaked raisins and dates and blend until moderately smooth in the food processor. Add cinnamon and mix up some more.
Slice up the digs into quarters or thinner cross-section pieces.
Mix up rest of your chosen ingredients and then pour onto flat teflex dehyrator sheets.
Set dehydrator to 130 Degrees since the actually temperature it is when drying is about 10 degrees cooler than that.
Dehydrated for 6 hours or so and flip over…allowing the pieces to crumble and break.
Continue dehydrating for 6-8more hours at 125 degrees … and enjoy the aroma of warm cinnamon that fills your home.

Figgy-nola with tons of healthy fats to fuel me longterm. NO SUGAR SPIKE HERE!

Figgy-nola with tons of healthy fats to fuel me longterm. NO SUGAR SPIKE HERE!

Let this redefine comfort foods — enjoy the aromatherapy started in your kitchen–the heart of my (and perhaps, your) home!

***and my last note about “freaky sweety stuff” … a wake up quote from the 3rd article above:
“Fake sweetness isn’t good for anyone.
Tricking your taste buds with artificial sweetness, whether from an artificial sweetener like aspartame or a sweetness enhancer, may keep a few calories out of your diet, but an emerging body of evidence suggests that it’s not keeping you thin. Your gut has sweet receptors just like your tongue does, and research from Susan Swithers, PhD, professor of behavioral neuroscience at Purdue University and a leading researcher on artificial sweeteners, has shown that your gut gets confused when you eat super-sweet artificial sweeteners. The sweet taste sends a signal to your gut that something high calorie is on its way, so your gut anticipates foods that do, in fact, have a high calorie count. But when those don’t arrive, your gut doesn’t utilize the foods efficiently, and that causes a cascading effect that interferes with your body’s hunger signals, including insulin levels that go haywire.”