Archive | September, 2011

Indulge

26 Sep

So I make my own nut butters on a weekly basis. Most of the time I do go through a whole jar in 1-2 weeks! I rotate between almond, cashew, peanut, walnut, pecan. But I have to say I make cashew the most. I would love to expand my horizons to make pumpkin seed butter, sunflower seed butter, and brazil nut butter soon.

Roasted raw peanuts = delicious peanut butter. I make all raw nut butters except for peanut.

This is so much better than any organic peanut butter you’ll buy in a jar. This is much more fresh with such a better flavor-like most things you make on your own. Make sure you always get any peanuts organic! Peanuts are more prone to mold-especially raw-so they are sprayed so much more than other nuts, as well as packed with preservatives after harvested. If you want to make it a little more exciting, add some cinnamon, agave, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla or almond extract, or mix with other nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made this crunchy by first putting in a couple of handfuls into the vitamix and just pulsing to break them up. Then take them out and blend the rest of the peanuts until completely creamy. Dump the crush peanuts into the vitamix with the creamy-and just blend a couple of second to combine. You get perfectly crunchy peanut butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade nutella!? I think yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw hazelnuts (also known as filberts) + dark unsweetened (preferably organic) cocoa powder + couple of dates + splash of vanilla + squeeze of agave.

This was beyond amazing.

Cashew icecream from Eats = new obsession. So apparently the store’s freezers were not working properly, so all of the icreams were on sale. Meaning I ended up getting $6 or $7 ice creams for about $2.25 a piece. It was a good day. I walked out with enough cashew ice cream to last me a year. Well maybe a couple of months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are raw, vegan, completely dairy free and all real ingredients. Not only are the ingredients not horrible for you, but they are full of nutrients! Look at the label!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirulina is an amazing super food. Known as the best plant food you could possibly eat. It is an aquatic plant=algae. Just 1 teaspoon has 100% vitamin A, 20% vitamin K, 45% B-12. It is especially powerful against oxidant stress, meaning neutralizing free radicals from oxidation caused by stress. I will have to dedicate a whole post to spirulina one time. Get exited.

Maca is a root vegetable, in the same family as radishes. You can buy it in powder form, and it helps with hormonal function, adrenal regulation an is loaded with a ton of essential amino acids. They have around 55 phytochemicals which is how it helps boost energy.

Lucuma is a fruit from the lacuma tree. It resembles a persimmon and is a popular flavor used in icecreams and yogurts in South America. It has beta-carotene, niacin, and iron! It has a maple like flavor. Here is a quick recipe I found and really want to try for ice cream!

1/2 cup LUCUMA POWDER
1 cup CASHEWS
1 Tablespoon VANILLA POWDER
1/4 cup YACON SYRUP
1 cup filtered water

Locust Bean gum and guar gum are natural thickening agents. Guar gum comes from a guar tree, and it hydrates well in cold water. Locust bean gum comes from the carob tree (carob powder is a raw cocoa substitute).

It is so worth indulging in some organic, raw cashew icecream. You will never want to go back to dairy icream. There is no comparison in my mind.

 

 

P.S. I just did this whole post in my sociology class, instead of watching a documentary on tattoos (: I think I used my time very wisely.

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2-way spaghetti

22 Sep

Everyone loves spaghetti. Luckily there are so many amazing substitutes to the white starchy noodles that are just turned into sugar in your body that causes inflammation, that most people eat. There are so many different types of substitutes for pasta. Beyond the grain noodles like  spelt, whole wheat, kamut, buckwheat, and quinoa (vegan macaroni with quinoa post is soon to come) -are all excellent substitutes for white pasta, but there is a whole other world of “noodles” out there. There are kelp noodles (from seaweed), black bean noodles, zucchini, yellow squash, or spaghetti squash! Plus a ton more I cant think of right now. There are so many options out there that so many people never experiment with, because they don’t know it exists! you almost always cover your pasta in some sauce or spread, so why not just use something that is very very close to that white pasta consistency or look and still have that “italian” dish.  You save the empty white carbohydrates, and pack in more protein, fiber, B-vitamins, and so much more nutrients.

 

First I made spaghetti with zuchini noodles and a homemade raw tomatoe sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiralize zucchini, squash, or other veggies in the spiralizer from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the raw tomato sauce I threw in a very large ripe tomato, 3 small garlic cloves, and fresh basil from the farmers market. I added nutritional yeast, ground pepper and a little salt, some sun dried tomatoes, 1 large carrot, and some water to thin! I didn’t measure anything and just used what I had, it turned out great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sprinkled some dried oregano, basil, and ground pepper on top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Topped with some shredded slices of soy vegan cheese!

 

Spaghetti Noodles # 2 …topped with fresh pesto!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This basil is from the FM, but my parents just brought me a potted basil plant to keep in my backyard! Although I am a little worried that someone may knock it over on accident..For the pesto I used about 3 large handfuls of basil, 4 garlic cloves (I like it really garlicy), some parsley I had leftover from the farmers market, ground salt + pepper, 2 scoops of nutritional yeast, around 12 soaked almonds, and about 1/3 cup of EV olive oil. Then some water to thin if necessary. I just vitamix it, then taste to see what needs to be added.

This time I used spaghetti squash that I got from the student garden at Smithfield!

-Sidenote: almost every time I go to the Sustainable Food Corps meeting, someone brings a box of produce from the garden that they insist we take. I never refuse (: This tomato was like 3 pounds, and the eggplant was tiny. So cute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti squash is so so awesome because it is very mild and a tiny bit sweet, so it is good topped with anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save the seeds for roasting, they have an amazing nutty flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve made pesto so much since being back at school. It is super easy and convenient with all the fresh basil, and I keep it in the fridge for several days to use with other types of “noodles” or just a bunch of random veggies I have, or even over a spinach salad.

 

Spaghetti squash nutritional benefits: It should be said that compared to butternut and acorn, spaghetti squash is not as dense in vitamins and minerals, especially beta carotene. It is however still smart to substitute for pasta, besides the obvious of eating a vegetable over a white flour. The carb count for these are low, especially compared to other “starchy” veggies. (Not the same type of starch in white flour)  There is however significant amount of vitamin A, C, B3, and B6. These B vitamins help convert the carbs in the squash to energy in your body!

granola bars to-go

18 Sep

I have desperately appreciated having a nice granola bar I can take on my way out the door, that is not processed or packaged, but made with all real ingredients, by me. I just threw in a TON of ingredients, wrapped them up individually, and popped them in the freezer! Now I did not measure any of the ingredients, so I will do my best to guestimate how much of everything I used…

Almond-Everything-Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 ish a cup of raw almond butter

quinoa flakes

unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

couple Tablespoons ground flax

couple Tablespoons of hemp seed

2-3 Tbs coconut oil

A splash vanilla extract

1 VERY ripe banana

1/8 cup unsweetened vegan carob chips

1/8 cup chopped dates

cinnamon & nutmeg

+Anything else you would like

(You can use any type of nut butter, different kinds of dried fruits for sweetness, and other spices like ginger or pumpkin pie spice)

Combine and spread into a glass baking sheet lined with wax paper and chill in fridge. After they are firm, cut into squares and wrap individually in plastic wrap and keep them into the freezer-and they are ready to take on the go. They defrost great once they’ve been out  for a little. These are full of protein with such a huge variety of amino acids from 5 different types of seeds, almond butter, and quinoa flakes. When aiming to get a lot of protein variety is key, because if you constantly eat the same source of plant protein you will always lack those amino acids that other foods contain, so to eat true complete plant protein sources, you must eat a vast variety. Our body is constantly craving variety to acquire all our essential vitamins and minerals anyways!

reality

5 Sep

Sadly, but realistically I have had no time for the blog 😦  My schedule is back to craziness, being in involved with a few too many things. I am  taking 17 credit hours (although Microbiology should count as twice as much), I am an officer for Fitness and Nutrition club, involved in Student Dietetic Association, Sustainable Food Corps, I have a recently added Civic Agriculture and Food Systems minor, involved with Cru and my church-Northstar, and  in a Cru and Northstar bible study. Life is very good, but very busy. I will try to do a few posts whenever I find the time! I did recently make an amazing almond basil pesto & these almond, hemp, carob granola bars I wrapped up individually to take on my way out to class. I will definitely blog those two soon!

I have been so lucky to have the Blacksburg farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, where I buy 75% of all my food! if not the FM, then I shop at Eats, where I am now a member with a 15% discount (: Eats is awesome, with a huge variety for being in such a small town. Their bulk is amazing, especially being a college student and maybe only needing 1/4 cup of red quinoa and not a whole bag, so it’s perfect! They even have items that Wholefoods doesn’t carry!!

I am also super excited to be putting in 10 hours of volunteer work on one of the local farms (probably the student garden at Smithfield)!