Tag Archives: seeds

Treats from seeds

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Seed bars work for many occasions. Relatively quick to make, they can replace trail mix, pastries and cookies. After eating too much chocolate, it was time for me to  go a step healthier. Raw seedbars often contain chocolate powder or raw chocolate nibs, which have no sugar or dairy added and are not heat processed.
Depending what you have at home, you can make this recipe truly raw, or nut free, you can also replace some ingredients that are heat processed for a vegan treat. The bars will harden in the freezer, and can be stored in the refrigerator, you may also add some time in the food dryer to remove moisture.
Despite the large amount of ingredients, the amount of servings is relatively small, reminding me again how nutrient dense this food is. See recipe

Nutty schmear

SchmearDSC_5858What will go on my bread? If you don’t do cheese, cold cuts or liverwurst, you may wonder what will go on your bread. While you can make your own cream cheese or paté, even ajvar in summer, I recommend to experiment  with a wide selection of nut and seed butters.
Europeans grew up with chocolate noisette creams, such as Nutella and Americans have their Peanut butter. Real peanut butter, technically not a nut butter, but a bean butter, is avoided by some because of high aflatoxin and allergy risk. Stores readily sell alternative butters from ‘real’ nuts and seeds, some are even made from peas.

With a food processor, you can make some fresh butters yourself with ingredients of choice, which may also qualify as RAW food.
Doing it yourself  also brings you awareness of how highly concentrated food a butter is. See 1/2 cup of tree nuts turn into concentrated spoonfuls of delightful butters that will be gone quickly. For example hemp butter, which also adds healthy Omega3’s. See recipe

Quinotto, Millotto, Farotto…

QuinottoDSC_5132We love Risotto. Treated like a delicacy in restaurants, it is fast, tasty and satisfying, we serve it quite often, and surely we will bring risotto to the Thanksgiving table.
Traditional recipes ask for peeled round grain Arborio rice. Great alternatives however, are other seeds and grains. I sometimes blend my ‘risotto’ with millet or quinoa, as they cook very fast. Another great thing to try instead of rice is soaked grains, such as Farro, which may cook a little longer. Brown rice, which needs longer cooking, should be made ahead of time, then blended it in the last stage of the risotto.
Pictured is a version of Quinotto, a variation made with quinoa, asparagus and brussels sprouts. See recipe

Calling for better breakfasts

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What’s new? As early as in the beginning of the 19th century, US food reformers called for cutting back on excessive breakfast meat consumption and promoted healthy vegetarian cereals, such as oats, which were considered by most of the public as ‘horse food’. Despite great inventions in the last 100 or so years, not much seems to have changed in eating habits… Continue reading

Staying fresh

AquaDSC_3873In Mexican restaurants we have Aguas Frescas. The combination of fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds is blended with sugar and water to make a light non-alcoholic beverage and are popular in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States especially during hot weather.
Aquas Frescas are different from smoothies, as they are fresh, light and based on water, lime and lots of fruit. Another Agua fresca I was writing about is Chia Fresca, which contains besides lime also Chia seeds. Especially melon is refreshing other types are guava, mango and horchata (a rice milk.) If you never know how to manage a whole watermelon in a small household, here is the solution. See recipe

Bars and Balls

PowerDSC_3128Some time during the 80’s, there were aerobics, and then there was the advent of power bars. I remember the first ‘Muesli Bars’ sold before my time in college. We ate several ones during breaks, convinced they were healthy and got quite addicted. Then we noticed weight gain as the contents were just a tad nicer as in regular candies. Today, there are so many different bars; bars for athletes, for meal replacement and weight loss programs and Vitamins, even once a ‘Snooze bar’. Most of the commercial ones taste stale, rancid or sticky. But when you find out how easy you can make them fresh, there is really no reason to put up with ‘saw dust and sugar’. The ones I made, were handy when we skipped breakfast today before the snow storm and are a great snack during meetings. Just be aware that it is very concentrated food, a small bite would be more than double the size of nuts and fruits to eat. See recipe

Tribal Running Foods

I just finished reading two books, both of them (‘The Jungle effect’ and ‘Born to run’) mention the food, of the Tarahumara Indians, known as the ‘running people’. For example chia seeds and limes, called ‘Chia fresca’ which promptly became a popular ‘energy’ drink in Wallstreet. See recipe
‘The Jungle Effect’ book by Daphne Miller has several chapters where each chapter focuses on one Western disease and travels to a part in the world where the disease is rare or unknown (Cold Spots). Continue reading

Functional Foods

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete from Vancouver, BC  is also vegan. His early research in the nutritional field has been circling around how to improve performance with nutrition, by minimizing the stress that ordinary and high acidic foods may cause to the body. Brazier moved to a diet that uses naturally ‘functional foods’. Continue reading

Comfort food

Sometimes a healthy version of your favorite Chinese takeout makes a nice dinner… Today I was craving something easy and familiar such as a vegetable stir fry with garlic sauce. And did I mention the asparagus with the broccoli? Asparagus is a true happy food. Besides the legends surrounding the stalks, it is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan plus folate, both necessary for creating mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Enzymes in asparagus are also effective in breaking down alcohol in your system, preventing a hangover… See recipe

Ancient seeds

Wild amaranth was known by hunters and gatherers throughout the whole Americas. Around 5000 B.C. the plant was domesticated in Mexico together with maize, beans and gourds and independently in other areas of South and Mesoamerica. Even Montezuma paid tribute to this important crop.  I have seen showy red amaranth plants growing wild, or as companion plant in my neighborhood. While the greens are eaten as vegetables, the seeds are harvested at a later stage of maturity.  Continue reading