Nuts About Nuts (& Seeds)

You may have seen this recipe floating around the internet already, but if you haven’t, you are welcome!

This bread-like creation relies on psyllium seed husks to bind together all these wonderful nuts and seeds. Psyllium seeds are from a plant native to India, and are hydroscopic, which means they absorb water, expand and become gel-like. You can find them in a natural foods store (sometimes in the vitamins section, just ask) or online. They are extremely inexpensive! And a fantastic source of dietary fiber.

“Bread”
1 c. sunflower seeds
½ c. flax seeds
½ c. almonds
1 ½ c. rolled oats
2 T. chia seeds
4 T. psyllium seed husks (3 T. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 T. maple syrup
3 T. melted coconut oil
1 ½ c. water

In a loaf pan combine all dry ingredients. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup, add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Smooth the top, and let the “dough” hang out for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 350, then bake your bread for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan, and bake it upside down for another 30-40 minutes. It will sound hollow when it’s done.
Let it cool completely before slicing.

I’d highly recommend reading the full article from the My New Roots website. She has a great blog, and a wonderful post about her discovery of this bread and her experiments with it. This was my first attempt, and I will definitely be trying out different varieties…I’m totally satisfied with this result – delicious plain, with peanut butter for breakfast, or hummus/pesto for lunch.

Whole Grains & the Macrobiotic Diet

Maybe it was the two decades of formal schooling, but I’m a note taker. And now I’d like to share my notes with whomever wants to read them.

Here, you’ll find my thoughts on the macrobiotic diet – a healthy, holistic way of eating and striving for balance. Macrobiotics is really a lifestyle, and food is just one part of that, but everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Macrobiotics stresses whole grains as an essential component of the diet, so I’m also including my notes on grains for your edification. Hopefully you’ll read, learn and enjoy!

Macrobiotics

Whole Grains

Know Your Farmer

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Sick of going to the grocery store? Tired of eating tasteless produce from California or Mexico? Concerned that what you’re buying isn’t what it says it is? Dreaming of fresh, seasonal food that needs minimal cooking?

Meet your local farmer! Join a CSA, shop at a co-op, start a kitchen garden, volunteer at a community garden – or drive out to a farm! I’d sure trade you for some kale…

Now that spring has officially sprung, our supply of sweet, tender vegetables is ramping up. Last weekend, I went out into the field to collect my lunch, and here’s what I came back with:

Know Your Farmer

Arugula Flowers, Bolted Kale, Lemon Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Senposai

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Red Russian Kale, Bordeaux Spinach, Redbor Kale

IMG_0302 For lunch that day, I snacked while I harvested. Nothing better than food plucked directly from the source.

In a few weeks, I’ll be able to include asparagus, snap & sugar peas, carrots, radishes, turnips, raab, and an even greater abundance of greens to the mix.

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After a long day’s harvest, I was ready for a heartier meal. I steamed up some of my kale, tossed it with chickpeas and millet I already had cooked, added a touch of salt and lemon juice, and piled it onto a baked sweet potato. A delicious, nutrient-dense meal that took less than ten minutes to prepare (thanks to bulk cooking at other times in the week).So what are you waiting for? I know you’ve gotta eat, so why waste an opportunity? Get your food from as close to the source as possible, say good-bye to the dreaded grocery store, and hello to some of the best produce you’ve ever tasted!

Farmers Have Weekends?

Farmers Have Weekends?

Plants don’t take breaks, so how can farmers? We don’t, really, but there are some days when we don’t have a formal work schedule, and so breakfast can be a bit more of a production.

With my plant-based diet, that means a delicious bowl of hot cereal. Just like granola, the possibilities for grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are endless. Here’s my latest combination:

Coconut Barley Porridge
1/2 c. hulled barley
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
handful of dried fruit (apricots, prunes, cranberries)
handful of nuts & seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds)
pinch of salt, cinnamon & nutmeg

Bring the barley and coconut milk to a boil. Turn the heat to a simmer and let it hang out for about a half hour. Stir often to prevent the barley from sticking to the pan. It’ll drink up all that coconut milk and you’ll end up with a soft, creamy, hearty porridge.

About five minutes before you want to eat your porridge, toss in the dried fruit and spices. I like my fruit to have a little softness when I eat it with hot cereal. You could do this with the nuts and seeds, but I like the crunch, so I add them after the fact.

Barley has 12 g. of protein and 13 g. of fiber per serving (compared to rolled oats at 6 g. protein and 4 g. fiber)!!!

Consider using whole or steel-cut oats, wheat berries, farro, amaranth, millet, spelt, etc. for your grain. Branch out from rolled oats! I’ll post about the wonders of whole-grains soon.

What’s in a name?

What's a Sandwich

That which we call a sandwich….

I’m not sure if the general public would call this a sandwich, but for my intent & purposes it sure is. Who needs bread or other refined flours and general nutritional deficiencies when you’ve got a crunchy cabbage leaf?! And as a result, an amazing source of minerals (thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus & potassium), fiber, and vitamins C, K & B6.

To complete the meal, add a heaping spoonful of hummus (recipe below), some shredded carrots & beets, and some spinach. Easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious eating, and a meal that makes you feel full without being weighed down!

Quick Hummus Recipe
1 c. cooked chickpeas*
1/2 c. water from cooking chickpeas
2 tsp. tahini
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt, cumin, paprika & cayenne

Blend in your blender, food processor, etc. Add olive oil or sesame oil until it reaches your desired texture (hopefully you won’t have to add more than 1/4 cup, if that). Tastes extra delicious if you’ve got some fresh parsley on hand.

*I make a huge batch each week and use them throughout the week. Just soak a couple cups of them overnight so a couple inches of water is covering them. The next day, drain, rinse, and add in more water. Make sure there’s 2 inches of water above them. Bring them to a boil, then simmer until soft and buttery. I like to make hummus right away so I can use the cooking water. Otherwise, drain them and store in the fridge for about a week.