I love coconut oil for SO many reasons – not the least of which is the amazing organic popcorn (cooked in coconut oil) I’m enjoying right now! Here are some important facts on this amazing oil:
If you haven’t met freekeh yet, welcome … you’ll have a new addiction like mine! Freekeh is an ancient form of cracked green bulgur wheat that packs 11 grams of protein per serving, and twice the fiber of quinoa. And it’s delicious, super-easy to cook, and sooooo versatile. Oh – and super-easy to cook, as it always turns out light and fluffy.
This morning, I cooked two cups but only used a small bit – I’ll be using it all weekend with other dishes as well – salads, pilafs, etc.
Fast Fruity Freekeh
Serves two with leftovers
- 1 cup freekeh (you will have extra, but that’s a VERY good thing – I usually double this, actually, and have leftovers for days)
- 2.5 cups water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or cream, unsweetened (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 2 fresh or frozen peaches
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sprinkle of nutmeg
- Optional: nuts or hemp seeds as topping – I used pistachios
Add 1 cup freekeh to the water and coconut milk or cream (if using) and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and cook for 10-12 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
While freekeh is cooking, chop peaches (no need to peel, in my opinion) to the cherries in a small saucepan, squeeze lemon over all, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. You won’t need to add water or any liquid, the fruits will liquefy. Turn to medium-low and continue cooking until soft, about 12 minutes.
Add freekeh to a small bowl and top with cooked fruits, sprinkle of fresh nutmeg, and nuts/seeds if you are using. Also, if you are using coconut milk/cream, just a bit of that over the top is amazing.
I am always getting requests for recipes for dark chocolate without compromise … these dark chocolate brownies are exactly that! If you are having friends over, PLEASE don’t call these “vegan” or “gluten free,” though they may be both … just call them “almond brownies” and watch them disappear!
Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Brownies!
These are SOOOOO delicious, made with whole, real ingredients, gluten-free, and couldn’t be easier to make! I like them made with 1/2 cup sugar, but if you like sweeter brownies, you can use the higher measure. Feel free to add coconut flakes, walnuts, or other ingredients – this is a great base for experimentation!
Mix together in bowl:
2 cups almond butter (Click2Cart my favorite at Amazon)
3 eggs (I have heard that vegan egg substitutes work great; I have not tested them)
1/8 cup pure cacao or cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk (Click2Cart my favorite at Thrive Market)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
Then, stir in:
2 bars 70%+ cacao, roughly broken (I love Theo’s because it is organic and fair trade … and delicious!). NOTE: use chocolate chips only as a last resort – they tend to melt into the batter and get lost, while the larger chunks make great chocolatey bits in the brownies! Seriously!
Spread into 13 x 9 pan lined in parchment paper. Bake in 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until firm (test with your finger – it is ready when the top bounces back when touched).
For fun, garnish with homemade cocoa sugar: use a Vitamix to blend together 1/4 cup coconut sugar with 1/4 cup cocoa powder until super-fine (will start to float out the top of the blender vent holes). Sprinkle through fine mesh sieve onto brownies. Add berries of any kind, coconut whipped “cream,” or a side of brandy if you’re of age 🙂 – all a delicious accompaniment!
If you don’t have the exact ingredients below, feel free to sub with similar … chipotle can be replaced with a bit of Sriracha sauce … or even black beans with white beans. Play around – worst case, it falls apart but it still delicious!!!
Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry they are 🙂
Optional items, for a different texture/taste/nutrition:
Cook quinoa and let cool … or ideally, use leftovers :-).
Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin, plus a pinch of salt. Saute about 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Place into a large bowl, and add 1 cup of the black beans (reserve 1/2 cup for texture, later) and tomato paste. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash all of the ingredients together.
Stir in the remaining beans along with quinoa and ground oats until evenly distributed. Make 4-6 patties, packing them tightly with your hands, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.
Preferred: Bake on an oiled baking sheet at 400ºF for 20 minutes until heated. Flip halfway to brown evenly.
Alternate: In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry in a bit of oil for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
While patties are cooking, mix the dressing ingredients well in a large bowl, taste and correct seasoning if necessary, then toss all salad ingredients with the dressing. Note: the flavor of this dish is complemented by the dressing, but doesn’t depend on it, so it needs very little dressing. If you’re concerned you need more, feel free to make it, but hold it to the side until you’ve tasted the patties/salad together – you may find you don’t need it at all.
Plate the salad in large bowls and top with the warm, golden brown patties.
I heard about this new product a few days ago, and I am SO excited! 100% natural vegetable purees that you can quickly and easily slide into favorite foods. Not that it’s THAT hard to cook up carrots, spinach, or sweet potatoes … but this makes them portable, quick and excuse-proof!
Check out their recipe section for some great ideas, and definitely don’t miss the Butternut Squash and Walnut Dip!
Hooray Purée is now sold at Whole Foods, and they’re celebrating by giving away a $500 gift card. Click on the graphic above, or here: $500 Whole Foods Gift Card to enter.
NOTE: I was not paid or in any way compensated for this post. My comments reflect my genuine opinion.
With early warmth this year, a friend mentioned that she had already been able to get tomatoes started in Florida! Her concern was that a frost may force her to pick them before they’re ready (typically a problem in fall, but here we are) and she wondered whether the nutrient value would suffer.
On the contrary – green tomatoes are remarkably healthy, and even beat red tomatoes on a few measures! One large green tomato (about 1 cup), provides:
- 42 calories
- 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber
- 29 mg of vitamin C, half the daily requirement for men and nearly 60 percent for women (vs. 23 for red tomatoes)
- 16 mg calcium (vs. 6 in red)
- 623 mcg of beta-carotene (helps your body produce vitamin A)
- 58 mcg of vitamin A, giving you close to one-tenth of your recommended daily intake
- 10% of your daily requirement for the B vitamins thiamin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid, and just under 10% of the riboflavin and niacin you need
- One-fifth of your recommended daily intake for vitamin K
- 5 to 10% of your recommended daily intake for iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese
- An important alkaloid called tomatine, which may fight breast, colon, stomach and liver cancer cells, according to research published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2009
Check out my Summer Recipes list on myList for some ideas on what to do with green tomatoes (there are much better ways than the traditional “fried” version). And for added benefit, pair green tomatoes with iron-rich foods like fish, spinach, or supplements, since the vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron more efficiently.
I don’t agree with everything on this list (Frozen waffles?!), but do agree with most of it. What I’d really like is a grocery store that stocks only these and similar items – I really hate seeing what is in most peoples’ carts in traditional grocery stores! Check out the full story at: The 100 Foods Dr. Oz Wants in Your Shopping Cart | The Dr. Oz Show.
First, check out the great information on the history and lore of pomegranates at Pomegranate – HandPicked Nation.
Then, newly inspired to get the fabulous health benefits of this fruit, try one (or both) of the following easy ways to enjoy them!
1. Open the pomegranate and eat the arils – the mess-free way!
The key to opening a pomegranate without it looking like a crime scene afterwards is simply to do it underwater! First, shallowly slice through the pomegranate skin, and cut away the are around the stem. Then, dunk the whole pomegranate into a
bowl of water deeper than the pomegranate, and pull the fruit apart with your hands. You’ll be able to easily roll the arils away from the white pith, leaving the arils on the bottom of the bowl, with the white bits floating. Pour out the water and floating bits, and eat!
2. Juice the pomegranate (you’ll never drink the stuff in the jar again)
Again, cut shallowly around the pomegranate, dividing it into about 4 sections (depending on size). Pull the fruit apart with your hands (underwater if you want to stay clean). Using a hand-held juicer – one made for oranges or grapefruit – insert the sections of pomegranate and squeeze. You may have to reposition each section and squeeze twice … and this could be messy, so wear an apron or cover yourself with a towel. Warning: this fresh juice tastes nothing like what you can buy at the store … you might get addicted!
Want to use even more of the fruit? Apparently, ancient Romans used pomegranate rinds as a form of leather … hmmmm ….