Posts tagged ‘Recipes’

Peach Amazingness!

Peach Amazingness!
1 – 4 peaches (1 – 1/2 peach for each friend)

Fillings
1 1/2 cup pecans
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
pinch of cardamom
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt

Banana Creme Frosting
2 frozen bananas, diced
Meat of one young coconut
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen coconut water

And raspberries to top it all off!

August 28, 2010 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Vacationland!

Living in Vacationland (as Maine is sometimes known) has many perks!  It’s easy to take it slow when there is so much beauty to grab your attention.  As you know, Jaime is up at Moosehead Lake and we had an opportunity to make a short but sweet trip up to visit her!  There was a lot to see, so much to do, and lots of wild foods to eat, including Sorrel, which you can learn more about in our newest video.

It was Bronwyn who pointed out the tasty treat growing throughout Jaime’s lakeshore lawn and we were happy to munch away on the sour then sweet green treat (rhymes!).  Bronwyn told us how she used to munch on the stuff during recess as a kid and we were much more keen than her former playground companions to share some front yard delicacies.

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August 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Buckwheat: The Gluten-Free and Delicious Alternative

Delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, and easy to use in recipes – what could possibly be better? Buckwheat is actually not technically a grain as most assume, it is the seed of a fruit – but it functions much like a grain.  It can be used to make fabulous raw pizza crusts and breads, and it is perfect for granola and cereal (mmmmm with some fruit and almond milk…).

One of the marvelous qualities of buckwheat is that is contains all eight essential amino acids – so it is great for all you lovely vegans and vegetarians out there (though if you eat whole raw foods there is no reason to worry about protein).  Buckwheat is also a great source of magnesium, fiber, manganese, phosphorous, and pantothenic acid.

Good for your heart:

  • It contains the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, which act as antioxidants, extend the action of vitamin C, maintain blood flow, prevent platelets from excessive clotting, and keep free-radical oxidation from turning low-density lipoproteins into possibly destructive cholesterol oxides.
  • It may help lower the risk of heart disease as it has been linked to a lower risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

So… how should one use buckwheat?  There are several amazing recipes out there.  I most frequently eat buckwheat for breakfast in a cereal when I am craving something more substantial than juice or a smoothie.  RECIPE: I soak buckwheat, raw oats, and goji berries in filtered water while I make some nut or seed milk and chop up some fruit (bananas and strawberries are my favorite), then drain my ingredients, throw them into a bowl, throw the fruit on top and pour my nut milk over the creation… HEAVEN!  Sometimes I sprinkle some cinnamon on top as well.

As with all seeds, it is important to soak (“sprout”) the buckwheat to release the enzyme inhibitors and increase the nutritional value.  If you plan to make buckwheat flour for bread, first soak the buckwheat, then dehydrate at low temperatures until dry before blending your buckwheat into powder.

Here are some other tasty buckwheat recipes – enjoy!

Rawmazing Buckwheat Treats

Buckwheat Porridge

Raw Radiant Health Buckwheat Salad

Happy buckwheat adventures!

Lara

August 3, 2010 at 12:16 am Leave a comment

It’s ok, keep it cool!

“No Sweat!” Summer Salad

4 cups cucumber
2 radishes
1/2 an onion

Dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
bit of salt & pepper
red clover blossoms & extra mint leaves for garnish


July 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment

Cinnamon: The Yummiest Medicine?

As a kid growing up in Acton, MA, I used to sip hot apple cider through a rather unique straw: a cinnamon stick.  It was surprisingly effective as a straw, but it would also tantalize my youthful taste buds with a continuous subtle hint of delicious cinnamon.  I doubt I am alone in associating cinnamon with happy childhood memories: winter holidays by a fire, surrounded by family and music; comforting breakfasts and desserts; happiness and magical camaraderie.

Cinnamon is obtained by peeling away the inner bark of evergreen trees native to Sri Lanka, southwest India and parts of Asia.  As the bark dries, it curls into the delightful cinnamon sticks – also called quills.  It has been revered as a medicinal (and tasty) spice since biblical times.  In the Bible, the first century CE Roman emperor Nero burned a year’s worth of cinnamon on his wife’s funeral pyre as a symbol of the depth of his loss.  Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt for embalming purposes, as a medicinal herb, and in beverages.  It was even mentioned in one of the earliest books in Chinese botanical medicine, dated to about 2700 BCE.  Cinnamon was also one of the first commodities traded consistently between Europe and the Near East.  All in all, cinnamon is not exactly a new superfood – people of several cultures have known how amazing it is for literally millennia.

There are over 200 types of cinnamon.  The most popular kinds are Ceylon cinnamon (considered “true” cinnamon) and cassia (a Chinese variety).  North American companies frequently use cassia in lieu of Ceylon cinnamon or heavily supplement with cassia because it is significantly less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon – even though the taste is harsher and far less refined.  There is a simple test to determine whether your cinnamon has cassia mixed in: cassia is full of starch whereas true cinnamon is not.  Starch turns blue when it meets iodine, so unleashing an iodine dropper upon a sample of your cinnamon will reveal its ingredients.  Cassia will turn blue and true cinnamon will retain its golden brown color.

Like most delicious plant foods, cinnamon has many healing qualities.  Some of the scientifically confirmed effects of cinnamon are that it has antibiotic, diaphoretic (inducing perspiration – helpful for detoxing), antiulcerative, digestive, anticonvulsant, diuretic, and carminative (flatulence relieving) properties, as a sedative for smooth muscle, and as a stimulant for circulation.

In North America, cinnamon is most frequently used as a supplement to help regulate blood sugar.  In one scientific study of 60 people with type 2 diabetes, 1 to 6 daily grams of cinnamon for 40 days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent.  Triglycerides were reduced by 23 to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.

The essential oils in the bark are responsible for cinnamon’s healing qualities.  The oils contain many volatile substances, including the active components cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, trans-cinnamic acid, and cinnamyl alcohol.  These oils have been demonstrated to have antifungal, antiviral, bactericidal effects, and antioxidant properties.

Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks should both be stored cool, dark and dry in a tightly sealed glass container.  Ground cinnamon stays good for about six months and cinnamon sticks stay good for about a year.

Word of caution: much like spinach, cinnamon contains moderate amounts of oxalate and thus should be avoided by those with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones.  Also, there have not been sufficient tests done on pregnant and lactating women to ensure cinnamon’s safety when used as a supplement during these times – although cassia appears to be safe.

Here are some recipes to help any cinnamon-consuming endeavors you may  have (I mean, who can blame you?):

The Renegade Health Show has a very informative video about how cinnamon is harvested:

I have been doing quite a bit of recipe experimentation with cinnamon recently, so Vibrant Maine is bound to post new cinnamon recipes soon!  Until then, toodle-loo!

Lara

June 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm 3 comments

Seaside Delights

We’re back with a new episode exploring the seaside savories of scrumptious seaweeds!

Seaweed Wrap
1 sheet of raw nori
1/2 of an avocado
handful of cilantro
1 small scallion
alfalfa
sprouts
1 tablespoon of Winter Fire Dressing
1 teaspoon dulse flakes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 piratey “ARG!”

May 17, 2010 at 9:00 am 3 comments

Real Squirrels Live!

Nothing like your friends to help get you going in the morning.  A hardy breakfast full of flavor doesn’t hurt either!

Squirrel Breakfast
1/2 apple
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 heaping tablespoon hemp seeds
Cinnamon, nutmeg & clove to taste
1 cup nut or seed milk of your choice
(Watch 5 Milks in 5 Minutes! for recipes)

April 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm 1 comment

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