Oct 012014
 

Real pumpkin, zingy ginger and pumpkin pie spice come together in my fall Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars - perfect for both breakfast and a hearty snack. Try them toasted – you’ll be in love.

And the best part is hey are non GMO!

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars

Genetic modification is an issue that gets me fired up.

The more I research about the science of GMO foods - how they are made, and what the consequences are, the more fearful I become for our health.

My passion for the Non-GMO movement started four years ago. It was the year I discovered my daughter had some very strange allergies – that none of the family had.

That got me thinking…little Kinsley, Jack and Emma had severe allergies too, and so did many other kids I knew second hand. I asked that one little question.

Why?

My research has brought me back to genetic modification over and over. I learned allergies and autism began to increase in direct correlation with the introduction of genetically modified foods into the food system. Yes, I think there are many factors that are involved when we see increases in diseases and health issues; however, it is always interesting to see what was changing during those times.

 So what IS genetic modification?

Let’s start with what it is not. Genetic modification is not crossbreeding, or hybridization. GMO supporters assert that we have been genetically modifying foods since the dawn of agriculture.

Sorry, wrong.

When, in nature, do you have a rat in one cage and a jellyfish in the tank next to it and say hmm, I’ll put that rat in with the jellyfish and see if they breed to produce glowing rats?

 You don’t. It can’t happen.

 Yes, hybridization has been done for centuries,
but that is when you cross  species that already exist  to promote the traits you want. Yes, humans did intervene to speed up the process; however, it is still slow comparatively.

Genetic modification is when scientists in a lab separate the specific genes for desired traits in plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses, and insert them into the DNA of the organism they want to display the desired trait. For example, adding in genes from a jellyfish, scientists have produced a variety of glowing animals. We call these organisms “Transgenic”. This is the same way Round-up Ready corn is made. The corn that is in so many processed foods.

Transgenic

Transgenic

WHY SHOULD I CARE?

According to the Non-GMO Project, the Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that GMOs are now present in as much as 80% of conventional processed food and can cause potential reproductive issues, an increase in allergies, immune system disturbances and soil and water toxicity.

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs safe and have restricted or banned them – including countries in the European Union, Australia and Japan.

GMO LABELING

The US does not mandate labeling of GMO foods, therefore we must support the businesses and products that are organic and/or labeled voluntarily through the Non-GMO project. Look for this symbol:

non GMO project

For all these reasons and more, I have partnered with Native Sun Natural Food Market. We support organics (non-GMO by definition) and do NOT support genetically modified foods.

Here is a list of banned foods:

  • NO GMOs
  • NO antibiotics
  • NO cloned meat or dairy
  • NO artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners (aspartame or sucralose)
  • NO BHT/BHA/TBHQ
  • NO growth hormones
  • NO hydrogenated oils
  • NO nitrates or nitrites
  • NO pesticides
  • NO synthetics
  • NO melamine in meat or dairy

Join us in the fight against genetic modification of foods. Through education and awareness we can begin to change the tide.


 Native Sun Presents: GMO OMG

When? October 18th at 4:30pm
Where? Sun Ray Cinema
Cost: $7.50/ea. for matinee.
You can purchase tickets on line for a $2 handling fee. PURCHASE TICKETS
Discounts apply for children, students, and seniors.

GMO-OMG_531x249

Discounts for children, students, and seniors. Purchase Tickets Join us for a screening of GMO OMG. The film questions the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms on our children, the health of our planet, our freedom of choice, and our ability to reject the food system currently in place.

Healthier Halloween

WHEN? October 25th, 2014 from 2-4pm
WHERE? Native Sun Baymeadows
COST? FREE

NonGMO_531x249_v1
Free Halloween is scary enough without all the junk food and genetically modified ingredients. Unmask treats for the whole family to enjoy at our Healthier Halloween event! Enjoy seasonal samples from our produce department, juice bar, and gluten-free bakery while making stops to trick-or-treat throughout the store. We’ll have special sales, live recipe demos, spooky crafts, and a costume contest for the kids*. *Whiles supplies last. Costume contest reserved for children 10 and under with prizes going to 3 of the participants – See more at Native Sun’s Website. 


Now for the Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bar recipe…

My favorite way to eat them is toasted. With over 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams protein you will be satisfied all morning long!

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars

Serves 10
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients 

2 cups raw cashews
16 Medjool dates (or 2 cups), pitted
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt (or more, to taste)
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup raw or toasted pumpkin seeds**

Directions

1. Blend cashews, dates; pumpkin; pumpkin pie spice and salt in a food processor until well blended but not a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times.

2. Stir in crystallized ginger and pumpkin seeds; press onto parchment paper and cut into bars.

Bars are excellent raw or toasted!

**Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds from fresh cut pumpkin
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt, divided
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar

Directions

1. Clean pulp off pumpkin seeds; gently boil seeds for 10 minutes with 1 tsp sea salt; drain and pat dry.

2. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet; drizzle olive oil over evenly; sprinkle remaining 1 tsp salt, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar over seeds evenly; roast pumpkin seeds at 325F for 20 minutes or until toasted; stirring halfway through.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 294.8
Total Fat 13.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 34.1 mg
Potassium 465.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 29.4 g
Protein 5.4 g

Vitamin A 39.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.7 %
Vitamin C 0.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.4 %
Calcium 4.1 %
Copper 38.7 %
Folate 6.6 %
Iron 12.4 %
Magnesium 25.0 %
Manganese 18.4 %
Niacin 5.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.9 %
Phosphorus 16.4 %
Riboflavin 5.0 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 5.2 %
Zinc 12.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jul 302014
 

 Your alarm wakes up out of a dead sleep and you hit the snooze button…. four times. Finally you drag yourself out of bed, get dressed and when you walk out the door a wall of heat and humidity hits. It is time to fight back naturally with hydrating FOODS for Summer.

Hydrating Foods

Hydrating Foods

Recently I led a workshop at Native Sun about fighting summer fatigue and having more energy naturally.  The research is so surprising, I just can’t keep it to myself!.

Interestingly, one of the primary ways to fight back is through proper hydration, and hydrating foods should always be first on your list. The chart above shows some top hydrating foods. One of the BEST and simplest salads to hydrate is mixture of fresh berries, cucumber and watermelon.

Now let’s talk about the effects of dehydration.  Dehydration impairs your thinking, digestion, energy, how you move, aches and pains and can even age your skin.  It can be one of the main reasons for headaches, dizziness and irritability.

Taking in too little fluid is a major cause – your body loses fluid and electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids that carry an electric charge. Why is this important? Because they affect the acidity and pH balance in your body, they regulate the amount of water you retain, and they are not found in water. They are in natural sodium, calcium and potassium to name a few.

Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables

Source

In turn, one great way to hydrate properly in the summer is not only through water, but also through sodium balance!

The right kind of sodium is key to proper body function. It keeps fluids in balance, maintains blood pressure, digestion and metabolism, supports muscles and nerves, and is key for calcium absorption. It has even been called the “youth mineral” because of it’s benefits for our joint and ligaments – keeping them young and healthy.

A word of caution when it comes to sodium balance and endurance athletes or anyone working outside in the heat – you are at higher risk of hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is when your blood sodium falls below a level 135 of milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). According to the National Institute of Health, the normal range is 135 to 145 mEq/L from depleting your sodium stores through sweat and drinking too much water. Because you lose sodium through sweat, drinking too much water during endurance activities, such as marathons and triathlons, can dilute the sodium content of your blood.

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Don’t simply add table salt.

Table salt (NaCL) is mined from underground salt mines, processed, refined and stripped of the natural sodium and then anti-caking agents are added. What you want is the true organic sodium (Na). Most Americans are actually deficient in Na and consume way too much NaCl. While table salt stores in our bodies, any excess in natural sodium will be excreted.

Instead of adding table salt to your diet, add some foods that naturally contain sodium. Natural sea salt, fruits and vegetables.

  • Beets 65 milligrams sodium per beet
  • Celery and Carrots 50 milligrams in one stalk or one carrot
  • Spinach 125 mg per cooked cup
  • Swiss chard 300 mg per cooked cup
  • Also, asparagus, barley, lentils, coconut, okra, kale, raisins, red cabbage
Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

The organic sodium in these foods actually alkalizes the body and helps neutralize acidity from fried foods, meats, cheeses, alcohol and any processed foods etc. Without organic sodium, our bodies are clever, they will neutralize the acid from the mineral stores in our bodies – including our bones.

Finally, add Omega 3′s to your diet. Many people think flax when they think Omega 3′s; however, flax is a phytoestrogen like soy, and can alter the body’s hormone balance. The best form of plant based Omega 3 I have found is milled chia. I eat two tablespoons daily of a blend called Mila and have been doing so for three years. Mila specifically has been cleaned of mold, dirt and insect pieces that you find in generic chia. It is then carefully milled, or sliced open, to create more surface area for your body to suck up the nutrients. Finally, each crop is tested for nutrient content and blended for consistent levels of fiber, Omega 3 and other vitamins and nutrients. The fats in Omega 3 foods hold on to hydration in the body and help it from being excreted. Chia has extreme absorption qualities and can absorb many times it’s weight in liquid, keeping you hydrated longer. If you have ever heard of the book Born to Run, chia is the food utilized by the Aztec Indians of the Copper Canyon. They would take chia on their long and arduous runs for nutrition and hydration!

* Info on Mila * To try some use US11065661 * Video *


Have you heard of these ideas on fighting fatigue, tiredness and dehydration? What are some of your tips?

If you liked this post, please comment and share with others!


Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Fresh Berry and Yogurt Bowl with Mila

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 pint fresh berries
2 Tbsp milled chia such as Mila
Sprinkle of natural sea salt

Directions

1.  Pour 1/2 cup yogurt into each bowl; top with 1 Tbsp Mila; divide the berries evenly; sprinkle natural sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 142.3
Total Fat 5.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 188.5 mg
Potassium 109.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.1 g
Sugars 8.2 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.3 %
Vitamin C 19.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.6 %
Calcium 0.5 %
Copper 2.2 %
Folate 1.1 %
Iron 3.7 %
Magnesium 6.4 %
Manganese 10.2 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 6.3 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 0.6 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 0.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 052014
 

Stick-to-your-ribs filling, my all natural and sugar free oats with nut butter and coconut oil are full of healthy fats, fiber, zero cholesterol and only 3 grams sugar. A perfectly delicious way to start your day!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

My Nana always told me white sugar and white flour is the devil. Back over thirty years ago she already knew so much of the information that comes out nowadays as the latest and greatest health news.

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Along with the flour and sugar comments from her, I would hear….eat mostly plants, pills are not the answer, you are what you eat, fast food will kill us.

She knew about the benefits of cayenne pepper, turmeric, macrobiotics, legumes ~ you name it, she was well versed in it.

A lot of my passion about natural food comes from my Nana. I remember browsing the aisles of small natural food stores, with their distinct earthy smell and natural light streaming through the windows. Life was slower, calmer and a little more relaxed when I stepped through the doors.  I could browse around and choose a healthy snack like dates rolled in shredded coconut.

She recently passed away right before Christmas ~ just shy of her 100th birthday. We miss her dearly but her long life was a testament to her health.

These oats are an ode to my Nana. She served me a similar breakfast every morning when I would stay with her.

Nana ~ we love you. Cheers to your long life!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oats with Nut Butter and Coconut Oil

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats**
1 3/4 cup unsweet vanilla non dairy milk or water
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 ripe banana
4 tsp nut butter
4 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup nut/seed mix (raisins, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds etc.)

**Be sure to use gluten free oatmeal for a gluten free meal

Directions

1. Heat oatmeal, milk, salt, coconut and banana over medium high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until oats are soft, about 7-10 minutes.

2. Divide oatmeal mixture into four mugs; top each with 1 tsp nut butter, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp nut/seed mixture.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 252.6
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.3 mg
Potassium 208.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 4.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.4 %
Vitamin C 1.8 %
Vitamin D 10.2 %
Vitamin E 20.5 %
Calcium 19.3 %
Copper 7.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 10.0 %
Magnesium 8.2 %
Manganese 12.7 %
Niacin 6.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 5.9 %
Riboflavin 2.8 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 3.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 132014
 

Move over eggs ~ there’s a new perfect protein for breakfast. My Avocado and Sea Salt Toast has a healthy, balanced blend of fat, FIBER and protein with zero cholesterol.

What’s not to love?

If you are an avocado lover, like me, you may not have thought of using it in place of butter for a simple, creamy and satisfying breakfast for your busy mornings.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Every day you get up with purpose. You get out of bed, shower, hurriedly get dressed in the dark ~ and manage to get out the door with a black shoe on your left and a brown shoe on your right. True story from my past life.  I remember it only too well.  For all of my hard working friends in Corporate America – I dedicate this post to you.

Who has time for breakfast?

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

You do! Just before grabbing your keys and leaving, toast some sesame Ezekiel bread and grab an avocado, an onion and your knife.

I’ll tell you the reason for the onion in a second.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Take your knife and cut around the avocado, the long way; twist. For now, leave the pit in the one side because it will cut down on the oxidation (browning).


Source
 ~ The Amazing Avocado

Next, cut your slices while the avocado is still in the skin. (Technically, you don’t have to do this step ~ it just looks prettier.)

Slice Avocado
Source
 ~ Thank you to the Practical Cook

Scoop out half of the slices on one side for your toast and place the remaining avocado in a reusable airtight container. Cut an onion and half and place it in there right along with the avocado. The vapors from the onion will reduce further oxidation.

If the avocado is ripe enough you should easily be able to spread it like butter. In fact, I will be so bold as to say wherever there is butter, avocado should replace it.

Let’s look at butter and avocado nutrition facts in a head to head comparison for a two tablespoon serving.

Avocado vs. Butter

Avocado vs. Butter

Shhh….don’t tell the dairy farmers.

Avocado can even be subbed in baking! According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

“Avocado is almost like a butter, and just like butter it has a soft and creamy texture. You may have to do some experimenting, but in general you can simply substitute 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter. You may have to increase other liquids as the avocado does not melt like butter.

When substituting avocado for eggs in your baking, start by substituting 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup mashed avocado for each egg.

Avocado will make your cakes rise up higher in the center, and in some occasions may even cave. It also browns quicker, and therefore your cake may look well done on the outside, but the inside may still be doughy. To avoid these things from happening, reduce your oven temperature by about 25 percent and increase your baking time.”

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

One bite and you will be subbing avocado left and right for everything – ESPECIALLY when there is coarse sea salt involved. There is something about that tiny, salty crunch on top of creamy, satisfying avocado and nutty sesame.

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Inspired my a request from my 5 year old daughter ~ she loves it!
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free Option*
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 slice sesame Ezekiel Bread (or gluten free bread)
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread; spread avocado over bread evenly; sprinkle sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 152.2
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 83.4 mg
Potassium 299.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 4.8 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 6.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 0.6 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 9.6 %
Iron 5.5 %
Magnesium 9.1 %
Manganese 3.2 %
Niacin 10.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 10.3 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 012014
 

This Eggless Breakfast Taco is a simple and flavorful twist on a traditional breakfast burrito.

Get your new year started off on the right foot – with an easy, healthy, delicious and light breakfast. If you are tired of the same old oatmeal, this recipe will knock your socks off!

Plus I’ll share my food trend predictions for 2014!

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

I’m officially declaring this year to be the year of the chickpea ~ more specifically, chickpea/garbanzo flour. In the past few weeks alone I came across several delicious recipe ideas using this versatile ingredient. The first was when my friend Vivian mentioned making tortillas from chickpea flour and then, when challenged with creating an eggless vegan breakfast taco without tofu, I came across a recipe using the chickpea flour as a replacement for eggs. Of course I had to take it a step further and add a bit of delicious nutritional yeast and smoky coconut bacon.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Made with Chickpea Flour

While we’re at it, I’ll call the second hot ingredient for this year…..nutritional yeast!  Ok, so maybe this won’t be one that the experts predict, but I’ll go ahead and say it should be on the hot trends for this year.  If you haven’t tried it yet you simply must go out and grab some from the bulk bin. It is high in protein and b-vitamins and has a wonderfully cheese-like flavor.  What I love about mixing the bean flour with nutritional yeast (aside from the fabulous taste and texture) is that this mixture is both high in protein and high in fiber.  This combination is something you cannot get from animal foods since they do not contain fiber.  What you won’t see in this recipe is cholesterol, so for anyone battling heart disease this is a great alternative to eggs.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Coconut Bacon

Miss the bacon you say?   I have a product you will fall head over heels for.  Coconut bacon!  Top your taco with this and say bye to pig forever.  You can even make a BLT with this product! Yes it is a bit on the pricier side, but a little goes a long way.  So while you are at Native Sun grabbing the nutritional yeast and chickpea flour, add coconut bacon to your list.  Plant based “bacon” is my third prediction as a hot item for 2014.

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~ Perfect with Fresh Coffee

My hope for this year is that awareness for locally sourced foods will finally take hold with the mainstream population ~ that people learn what a CSA is and become wary of genetically modified foods.  As gas prices increase and access to fossil fuels decreases, prices for food that must travel long distances will go up.  This one factor may help people start to question why this is happening. My second hope we begin to realize that we need to consume a greater variety of vegetables than the standard lettuce, onion and tomato.  Cauliflower is supposedly this year’s “it” vegetable, so how about kicking it up a notch and looking out for Romanesco cauliflower? Time to diversify our intake of produce, just like we should diversify our portfolio!

What are your food trend predictions for 2014?

[If you like the sound of this recipe - please share it with your friends! Many thanks and may your 2014 be your best year yet!]

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco ~Made with Chickpea Flour

Eggless Breakfast Taco

Inspired by Oatmeal with a Fork
Serves 4 small tacos. For larger meal, double taco mixture.
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 

Ingredients

2 tsp coconut oil
3/4 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1-2 green onion(s), chopped
1/4 cup coconut bacon (optional, omit if soy-free is desired)
4 small gluten free (or regular) tortillas

Optional Mustard Sauce (makes extra)

6 Tbsp mustard (coarse ground, prepared)
6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup reduced fat or regular Vegenaise
1/4 cup unsweet original non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)

Instructions

1. Mix chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt and onion powder in a medium bowl; stir in the green onions. Mix mustard sauce in small bowl (if using.)

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet evenly; pour the chickpea mixture into skillet and let sit 3-5 minutes, or until the edges begin to set and center bubbles; gently turn with a large, flat spatula and break apart mixture to create bite sized pieces with an egg-like consistency and the mixture is fully cooked; about 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide mixture evenly between 4 tortilla shells; top each with 1 Tbsp coconut bacon and 1 Tbsp mustard sauce (if using).

**Note: Non-dairy cheddar style cheese would be delicious as a substitute for the mustard sauce in this recipe.

Estimated Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 192.8
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 628.1 mg
Potassium 188.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.0 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 0.2 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 240.4 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.1 %
Calcium 9.4 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 30.3 %
Iron 10.8 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.0 %
Niacin 140.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.1 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 282.6 %
Selenium 16.1 %
Thiamin 320.2 %
Zinc 10.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mustard Sauce: Per Tbsp
Nutrition Facts
21 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 24.8
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 48.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 1.2 g

Vitamin A 0.1 %
Vitamin B-12 19.0 %
Vitamin B-6 68.6 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.3 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 0.4 %
Copper 0.9 %
Folate 8.6 %
Iron 0.6 %
Magnesium 0.8 %
Manganese 0.7 %
Niacin 40.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.4 %
Phosphorus 2.5 %
Riboflavin 80.7 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 91.4 %
Zinc 3.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 052013
 

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast features warm apples, pie spices and lots of healthy seeds over a bed of any grain you choose. In this case I chose my favorite grain – oats – but in their purest form. The oat groat.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Can you feel it in the air?

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

The cooler weather, scents of sage and thyme, fall leaves and the holidays just around the corner.

Before you (and I) start hyperventilating about all the things we need to get done, let’s stop and take a breath.
Are you the kind of person that can’t wait for the holidays or one that gets so stressed out that you wish they would go away? (Not mentioning any names – my husband Chris.)

I saw this well-timed Jim Rohn quote on facebook and it reminds me to stop and focus on the important people and things in my life. Obviously there needs to be a balance of getting things accomplished and having time; instead of plopping down in front of the TV, this quote motivates me to use that time to be with people that mean something to me or do something nice for myself instead.  I remind myself that I’ll never get that hour back that I watched TV.

Jim Rhone

Instead, maybe I’ll do something like this with my daughter (ironically I also got this off facebook so it looks like I need to put the facbeook down. See, look at how aware I’m becoming. Ha!)

Hand Ornament

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

This breakfast is one of those ways you can slow down and share a warm meal with the people you love.  Oat groats take about 45 minutes to cook but you won’t have to babysit them. Put them on the stove with the other ingredients and know that in just under an hour a very hearty and delicious will be ready for you and your family.  Oat groats are stick-to-your-ribs filling so the serving size is 2/3 cup.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Cheers to you, my readers and many thanks for all the times you visit me and share in my life. May your holidays be warm and blessed!

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2/3 cup oat groats (Gluten Free for Celiac)
3 cups water
1 banana, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup unsweet vanilla almond milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Mila chia, ground
2 Tbsp flax, ground
2 Tbsp unhulled sesame seeds, ground
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp dried cranberries

Directions

1. Heat oatmeal, water, banana, apple, milk, salt, cinnamon, chia, flax, unhulled sesame seeds, raisins and cranberries in a small saucepan over medium high heat until bubbling; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes; remove cover, stir and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 228.4
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 171.6 mg
Potassium 238.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.2 %
Vitamin C 5.5 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 7.2 %
Calcium 15.7 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 2.1 %
Iron 15.5 %
Magnesium 6.3 %
Manganese 9.0 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 2.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oct 152013
 

Gently sweet, soft, moist and comforting – these kale and flax cornbread muffins are supremely satisfying.

They are perfect for breakfast or as a great accompaniment for dinner (and your kids will love eating kale and flax). Imagine that!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

There is something comforting about cornbread – it’s a little sweet and a unique texture that can only be a cornbread. For anyone thinking about adding more plant based foods into their diet this is a great start!

If you have been following my blog, you know that I’m taking plant based nutrition courses with Cornell University to obtain my Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  I did a review of my first class and have finished with the second called diseases of affluence. We are learning more and more about the healing power of plants as a whole ~ plants are filled with the right amounts of protein, are high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Inversely, animal foods (including dairy) have cholesterol, saturated fats and high amounts of animal protein that are fuel for the fire when it comes to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many more.

 Instead of doing a boring old review, I will share a moving story with you that one of my fellow students posted. He is a doctor that obviously cares very much about his patients. One in particular was a very sick lady…..

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Story courtesy of Doctor Anthony Stugan.  Dr Stugan ~ we all thank you so much for this moving story. You will change many lives through your caring and commitment to health.

“While I find all of Dr. Campbell’s Principles of Health important and compelling, I would like to take this opportunity to tell a brief story relating to Principle #6: The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages – that is, before diagnosis- can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages, after diagnosis.

In early August, about three weeks after I had changed to a WFPB [Whole Foods Plant Based] diet, I began to recommend this to my patients. One patient who I had been seeing for the past five years was a sixty-six year old female who was obese at five-feet two inches and just over 280lbs. She had undergone a left breast lumpectomy for cancer, was an uncontrolled Type II diabetic on three oral hypoglycemics, had previously undergone triple bypass for coronary artery disease, had hypertension, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, hyperuricemia, obstructive sleep apnea, renal insufficiency, and chronic venous stasis with intermittent ulcerations on lower extremities. She was taking more than a dozen prescribed medications from myself and other medical sub-specialists. At the time of her appointment I recall she was wearing UNA Boots (medicated wraps for venous stasis ulcerations) on both legs. We had previously adjusted her diuretics to try and diminish the weeping edema in her legs only to add further insult to her kidney function. Sodium restriction to her meant not adding salt to her food–which consisted of sausage, hot dogs, and a favorite in this area–biscuits and gravy.

We discussed her disappointing lab results, her weight gain, her chronic edema, and then I just told her that my approach to treating her was failing and I then asked her if she would be agreeable to exploring an entirely different path. I explained that since her last appointment, I had learned a considerable amount about the benefits of whole food plant based nutrition and that if she would consider this option, we could possibly reverse her diabetes, help her lose weight, improve her blood pressure and even reduce or eliminate the possibility of her breast cancer returning. I sat with her and we leafed through some pages of Dr. Fuhrman’s book: Eat to Live, and we talked about several of his patients whose stories are featured in the book and who were able to successfully lose weight and discontinue many or all of their medications and regain their health. I explained to her that after 20 years of medical practice, I was still learning new things. I shared with her that I had recently changed my diet and that this enabled me to discontinue my cholesterol and blood pressure medications which I had taken for 17 and 10 years respectively. She was shocked that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “But Dcotor, you’re so thin, you mean you have high cholesterol too?” Prior to changing my diet I was 5ft 10 and weighed 170 lbs. I explained that even though I was not overweight and my cholesterol and blood pressure were controlled with medication, I didn’t feel good and I was willing to change my diet to see what would happen. I told her that I now had much more energy throughout the day and that I felt ten years younger! Better still, I felt empowered by the fact that I was now in control of my own health instead of simply taking a handful of pills everyday. I explained to her that with respect to her diabetes, we were in a sense just chasing our tails by periodically trying new medications to lower her glucose and A1c levels. With the WFPB diet, she could potentially eliminate the need for all of the diabetic medications altogether. She embraced this idea, agreed to order a copy of the book and try to join me on this new healthy eating lifestyle. We kept all of her medications the same and scheduled a follow up appointment for six weeks later.

In two weeks, she called the office because she experienced her first ever near-hypoglycemic episode, a finger stick glucose of 74. She told me that although she had “cheated” once or twice, she was enjoying the book and was committed to the lifestyle change. I recommended that she immediately discontinue all three of her diabetic medications.

On her follow up appointment, we rejoiced over her 21lb weight loss, normal blood pressure, complete resolution of her lower extremity edema, and glycohemoglobin A1c of 5.8% — now in normal range. I am so proud of her, I told her that in all of my years of practice, I had never seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time. No medication will ever accomplish this.

She is now even more committed to continuing this lifestyle and she has gone on to support one of her friends adopt a WFPB diet.

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

For anyone that is looking to cut out oils – including extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil – you can try substituting some or all of the oil with unsweet apple sauce. I will definitely be trying this in future batches!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk
1 cup whole wheat or gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup agave or local honey
1/2 cup pure coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup finely chopped raw kale
2 green onions, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F.   Mix 1 Tbsp flax with 3 Tbsp non dairy milk and place in refrigerator. Mix flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add agave or honey, coconut oil, 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, flax mixture and stir to combine. Fold in kale and green onions. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin tins and bake 17 -20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 207.4
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 232.3 mg
Potassium 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g

Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 2.6 g
Vitamin A 22.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.3 %
Vitamin C 5.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 1.9 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 4.9 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 5.3 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 2.9 %
Zinc 1.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Sep 202013
 

 

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

 Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips ~ a unique breakfast idea.

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Are you the kind of person that sticks with their tried and true breakfast? Or are you someone who mixes it up on a whim?

Either way this dish is for you! If you love your tried and true breakfast then try this for dinner, and for you fly-by-the-seat of your pants sort of people – hang on to those britches!

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

 I have done this flavor combo in the past before switching to a plant based diet.  It was so wonderful that I tried it again with hummus but this is the first time I’ve used banana chips.  What I like about the chips is that they offer another layer of texture over this savory version of oatmeal.  Don’t get hung up on the fact that oatmeal is typically eaten at breakfast – in this case think of it more as a stand-in for rice but creamier.  I love the aromatic cumin and the fresh cilantro when mixed with the classic black beans, onions and garlic. The bananas just give it that sweet hmmm  factor.

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats with Sweet Banana Chips

Cumin Scented Black Beans and Savory Oats
with Sweet Banana Chips

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale at Native Sun Natural Food Market, Sept 7-Oct 6, 2013

Ingredients

Oats
1 cup gluten free (or regular) old fashioned oats
2 cups vegetable broth, divided (plus 1 Tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt, divided

Beans
1 Tbsp broth or water
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp minced fresh jalapeno
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper (or less)
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped dried banana chips**
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or culantro, chopped

Directions

1. Heat 1 3/4 cup broth and 1/8 tsp salt in a small sauce pan to a boil; add oats, stir, reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp water or broth in another small saucepan; add onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently; add garlic and jalapeno, cook an additional 2 minutes; add cumin, chili powder, black pepper and 1/8 tsp salt, cook 1 minutes; add beans and 1/4 cup broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes; taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

3. Top about 1/2 cup oats with generous 1/4 beans, 1 tbsp chopped banana chips and 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 263.1
Total Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 619.4 mg
Potassium 438.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 45.3 g
Dietary Fiber 11.8 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 12.1 g

Vitamin A 6.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.9 %
Vitamin C 3.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.2 %
Calcium 3.8 %
Copper 12.5 %
Folate 39.3 %
Iron 19.8
Magnesium 20.0 %
Manganese 31.9 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.3 %
Phosphorus 15.6 %
Riboflavin 5.2 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 22.9 %
Zinc 8.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Sep 172013
 
All Natural Banana Bread

All Natural Banana Bread

This fall twist on all natural banana bread is sure to please with it’s moist texture, warm cinnamon, tart dried cranberries and lots of nuts and seeds.

All Natural Banana Bread

All Natural Banana Bread

The traditional banana breads call for at least a cup of sugar, a stick of butter and an egg or two to round out the recipe.  For this bread, I’ve replaced the butter with coconut oil that is high in quality fatty acids called medium chain triglycerides which have been shown to actually lower belly fat in some studies.

Next up, the refined white sugar was replaced with 1/2 cup of organic coconut sugar – a much less processed variety of sweetener that has even been featured on Dr Oz!  He states, “Switching from regular sugar to coconut palm sugar could prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry and then cause you to gain weight. See why coconut palm sugar could be the best sugar alternative.” It has potassium, iron and vitamins – beat that white sugar!

Finally, in place of traditional wheat flour I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free blend – but feel free to use any flour you like.

All Natural Banana Bread

All Natural Banana Bread

One taste of this EASY and delicious all natural banana bread and you will realize you don’t miss ANY of the animal foods or processed sugar!

All Natural Banana Bread

All Natural Banana Bread

All Natural Banana Bread

Serves 10
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredient on sale at Native Sun Natural Food Store Sept 7-Oct 6, 2013

Ingredients

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup organic coconut sugar (this is less processed and lower glycemic)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup non dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup Cranberry Jubilee ~ seed, nut and fruit mix (or any combo of nuts, seeds and dried fruits you like)**

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the coconut oil and sugar in a mixing bowl; add the bananas, non-dairy milk and vanilla; stir well.

2. Mix the flour through baking soda in a separate bowl and mix until well blended. Stir into wet mixture until just blended. Stir in cranberry mixture; pour dough into baking dish greased with a bit of coconut oil. Bake for 50 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 224.9
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 5.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 218.7 mg
Potassium 131.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 5.7 g
Protein 3.1 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 6.9 %
Vitamin B-6 15.7 %
Vitamin C 9.9 %
Vitamin D 1.9 %
Vitamin E 5.1 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 2.0 %
Folate 8.4 %
Iron 9.5 %
Magnesium 3.3 %
Manganese 8.6 %
Niacin 2.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.8 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 3.5 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 2.7 %
Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 212013
 
Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

 I thought I was SOOOO smart.

At my daughter’s daycare I had created tons of vegan and gluten free lunch and snack ideas that she loved and were easy to prepare.  With all her food allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and dyes (like red 40) it was just easier to send our own food in.

But the catch was that most of them could be heated on site by the resident chef.

Upon talking with the food manager at her new school there is no heating of lunches for kids with food allergies.

Ug! Back to the drawing board for cold friendly items.

For those of you with kids – what do you pack for their school lunches? Or do they buy food at the school?

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

I have found that the key with children is to keep things simple and fun.  Lately her favorite breakfast is toast with sunbutter, three raisins for the eyes and nose, unhulled sesame seeds for the hair.

These skewers fit the bill perfectly. She loves to dip so this is a fun way to help her get a serving of fruit.
Upon tasting the yogurt mixture she promptly announced that it tasted like frosting. Score! We loved the sweet jeweled look of the skewers and the lemony burst in the vanilla yogurt is sure to please kids and grownups of all ages.

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla "Frosting"

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Grape Skewers with Lemon Vanilla “Frosting”

Serves 2-4 (1/2 cup fruit with generous 3 Tbsp frosting.)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup grapes
1 cup blueberries
1 60z vanilla yogurt (I used non-dairy almond yogurt)
1 Tbsp agave (or local honey)
1 pinch coarse sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest

Directions

1. Skewer two blueberries and one grape on toothpicks.

2. Mix yogurt, agave, sea salt and lemon zest in a small bowl.

3. Dip grape skewers into yogurt mixture and enjoy!

**Tip: the grape skewers are delicious frozen too! 

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 98.6
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 43.8 mg
Potassium 80.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 17.1 g
Protein 1.0 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.9 %
Vitamin C 15.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.2 %
Calcium 0.7 %
Copper 3.0 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 1.1 %
Magnesium 1.1 %
Manganese 6.5 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %
Phosphorus 0.9 %
Riboflavin 2.5 %
Selenium 0.5 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 0.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.