Turmeric Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Ok. Cauliflower seems to be all the rage as a grain substitute, and turmeric is on the hot list for its anti-inflammatory properties, and there's good reason why they are both so famous right now.  

It turns out that cauliflower is really versatile, but I love cauliflower the old fashioned way, just cut it, cook it, and munch on it.  A few fun facts are that it's part of the crucifer family, which includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage; all of which are great for the liver, all of which are best eaten cooked due to goitrogenic properties that can interfere with thyroid function.  Cauliflower takes on a sweet quality when roasted, I love it!

Turmeric, is often found in curry powders, and has a special chemical, called curcumin, that is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.  Plus it has an amazing color, which in general gives us a hint that it is super nutritious.  

I make about a head at a time, and eat some and then put it in the fridge to add color and depth to my other meals throughout the week.  It's also great eaten cold as a snack.  

Ingredients 

6 servings (roughly) 

1 head cauliflower

1 teaspoon turmeric 

1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil 

sea salt and pepper to taste 

Directions (preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper) 

1) Chop cauliflower into little florets, I usually place the knife in halfway and twist to break off the florets so I don't make a ton of cauliflower crumbs.

2) Place cauliflower into a large mixing bowl.  

3) Melt tablespoon of coconut oil in a small saucepan.  

4)  Pour turmeric and coconut oil over cauliflower and mix well.  

5)  Pour mixture onto parchment lined baking pan.  

6) Place in oven for 40 minutes, check for doneness by sliding a fork through. 

Enjoy on salads, with veggie stir fries, really...anything.  

Sautéed Tokyo Turnips

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If you are like most people....the idea of turnips isn't super appetizing.  I tend to think of Peter Rabbit stealing turnips from his neighbor (is that the right reference??), so maybe more food for rabbits than for people.  

However, Tokyo Turnips will change your mind, pretty much guaranteed.  These little bulbs of goodness have a sweet, juicy texture that are so darn delicious.  I sometimes just sauté them up as a snack because I don't want to mix their flavor with anything else.  Plus you can cook the greens, and sometimes I use them at separate times.  I love throwing the greens into a soup right before I eat it, they add some beautiful color and cook super quick in just boiled soup.  

Here is a basic recipe, but feel free to experiment with different cuts and you can roast them too!  

Ingredients 

1 bunch tokyo turnips (I prefer to look for small golf ball or smaller size turnips)

1 large pat butter, ghee, or coconut oil 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions 

1) Wash turnips and greens thoroughly.  They are pulled from the ground so tend to be a bit sandy.  

2)  Cut each bulb with greens in half.  

3) Heat a medium size sauté pan over medium heat. 

4)  Add a large pat of butter, ghee or coconut oil.  

5)  Place in tokyo turnips, cook each side for roughly 1 minute or until a fork slides nicely through the bulb.  

6)  Salt and pepper to taste

Enjoy! 

You can also play around with the bulbs this way.....

Tamari Ginger Chicken

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When I began cooking, this was one of the first recipes I learned when going over to eat at my former health coach's house, Molly. Thanks for the inspiration Molly!  It fits in with my love of asian flavors and simplicity. Chicken falling off the bone is one of my favorite things, especially in winter months where the ginger in this recipe adds a warming touch.  Of course, you can add as much or as little ginger as you like, or simply place large chunks and remove them before eating.  

This is a great recipe for cooking on a Sunday, or you can also place it in the crockpot over night and wake up and have a bit of this for breakfast!  

The directions below are for stove top cooking, but if you are using a crock pot, simply put all ingredients in, and let cook for at least 6 hours.  Read the directions before slicing all the ingredients (which is something I always neglect to do).  The directions include my preferred time to chop ingredients while other things cook! This recipe also works with sliced kale, added in the last 5 minutes of cooking.  

Tamari Ginger Chicken

Serves 4 

3-4 organic chicken legs, with skin and bone

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I prefer butter, coconut oil, ghee, or animal fat)

one medium yellow onion 

1/2 cup filtered water or broth

1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms 

2 large carrots sliced 

3 cloves garlic minced 

1 tablespoon ginger, minced 

3 tablespoons tamari

2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine (optional)

Directions

1) Take a large sauté pan, and place it over medium heat, wait until pan is warm.  

2) Place in cooking fat and melt.  

3)  Place in chicken and allow to begin cooking while you slice onions and mushrooms.  Flip chicken after a few minutes. 

4)  Add in onions, mushrooms, broth, tamari and rice wine if using.  Stir and cover.  

5)  Mince ginger, garlic, and slice carrots, add to pan.  Stir. 

6) Cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.  Check and stir periodically.  There should be a thin layer of liquid at the bottom, add more broth or water if it starts to dry.  

7)  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly before serving. 

Cook for your family, or just for yourself to eat throughout the week!  Don't forget to save the bones for bone broth later ;)  

 

Cinnamon Ginger Tea

Even in the Bay Area, the weather is getting cooler, and I'm starting to crave soups, stews, and warming teas.  Let's focus for a second on tea.  Do you drink herbal teas?  If you don't, this is a place in your diet that could BLOW UP.  Seriously.  Teas provide nutrition, medicine, and hydration.  Plus, I love having tea with friends, or offering tea to guests that come over.  They are nourishing and nurturing, and fun to experiment with.  

Let's make some Cinnamon Ginger Tea.  

Cinnamon can help with a sweet tooth, as it not only tastes sweet, but can help with blood sugar regulation.  It's helpful for digestion and is also good for congestion.  You can cook cinnamon sticks for a long period of time, I commonly use them when I braise meats, but cinnamon powder should be added right before eating.  Longer cooking of powder can make it taste bitter according to Rebecca Wood of the The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.  (Great book!)  

Ginger is also a powerhouse.  Warming, great for the metabolism, indigestion, gas, and inflammation, ginger is an amazing herb.  When I'm feeling bloated, I immediately reach for ginger tea, and many gastroparesis folks that I interviewed cited ginger as being great for helping with nausea.  You can use it in dishes, either minced or in large chunks (I usually take the large chunks out before eating).  Follow directions below to make tea :) 

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

1 claw ginger

1 stick cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

1 quart filtered water

Directions

1) Slice ginger into large chunks.

2) In a medium saucepan, place water, ginger and cinnamon over medium to high heat until water starts boil. 

3) Bring down to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Turn off heat. 

4) Stir in honey

5) You can drink immediately, or leave tea covered to steep for longer.  Wait until contents have cooled and pour entire contents into a jar to store in the fridge for later use. 

 6)If you do not want the tea too spicy, you can take out the ginger pieces when you want.  Taste as you go. Enjoy!

 

 

Summertime Gazpacho

Summertime Gazpacho 

Summertime Gazpacho 

It's September, and I'm trying to squeeze in this gazpacho recipe before tomatoes are gone for the winter!

Gazpacho originated from the Andalusia region of Spain, and is a soup, usually with a tomato base, that is served cold.   It has now evolved to take on many different forms, and it’s my recent summertime obsession. It is extremely refreshing to have on hot summer days.  It's also a perfect example of veggies that are available only in the summer months:  cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and basil.  All of these veggies love hot hot weather, and if you see them in winter, it means they come from somewhere south of the border. Which for me, means transportation costs and less flavor.  

Plus, remember, we are always trying to get variety into our diets, so when we eat seasonally, that's how we get it without thinking. 

Enjoy this super easy, simple and delicious recipe while you still can!  

 

Serves 2

2 cups tomatoes (any kind!) 

1 large cucumber

1 large red pepper

1 cup loosely packed basil

2 cloves raw garlic

1 T balsamic or wine vinegar

2 T extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

1)   Throw all ingredients into a blender, or place in a deep bowl and use an immersion blender.  Blend.

2)   Salt and pepper to taste!

3)   Serve with toast or crackers, or hard boiled eggs!

Broccoli Cream Soup

Vegetables are delicious.  Vegetable Cream Soup is even more delicious.  In this recipe, I've added some cashews for some healthy fat that helps with nutrient absorption and adds a bit of creaminess... it will be hard to believe that it's healthy.  You could definitely use this recipe and simply switch out some of the vegetables, and if you don't have bone broth, you can use water.  However, you know how much I love broth, both for added nutrients and for added taste.

A vegetable cream soup such as this is one of the simplest ways to get a ton of vegetables into our diet.   This soup is a more easily digestible form of vegetables, and you can mix and match as much as you want.  This is one of my favorite combinations, broccoli and whatever else I have in the fridge.  The following recipe is the base.  Enjoy and have fun exploring!

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

Gluten and Dairy Free
 
2 quarts liquid (filtered water or broth) 
One head broccoli, roughly chopped
One medium onion, roughly chopped
3 medium carrot sticks, roughly chopped  
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 cup cashews (soaked) 
Plus: Any vegetables that you have leftover in the fridge that you need to get rid of. Root vegetables work great.  
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1)    In a large sauté pan, sauté onions until translucent.  Throw in the rest of the vegetables and cook until soft.  
2)    Throw everything into a blender, add broth, cashews, a large pinch of salt and pepper and blend with center top piece off.  
3)    Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  
4)    Use a spatula to pour everything into a medium stock pot and heat until ready to serve! 
5)    Garnish with some olive oil or other nuts.  
6)    Freeze some if desired and save for a rainy day.

 

Almost Paleo Chocolate Chip Muffins

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

As I've explored what it means to eat healthy whole foods, I've realized that gluten doesn't always make me feel great.  When I eat too much bread, I tend to get super bloated, but I do love a yummy baked good once in a while.  I don't keep white flour in my pantry anymore, and I honestly don't bake all that much, cause I do see baked goods as an indulgence.   When I do bake, I bake with coconut flour.  It doesn't have gluten, which acts as a binding protein, so you need to make sure you add a binder, which in this recipe, is a bunch of eggs!  

I think I have finally perfected this recipe.  I've have made this before just as flat brownies, but there is something great about single serving muffins.  They are also great with ice cream, and I made them for a birthday cake once and they were a total hit!  

I call them almost paleo muffins, because they do have chocolate chips, which are made with cane sugar.  For me, I'm not strictly paleo, so I don't mind, but if you are keeping strict, then these might not be for you!  These are a once in awhile treat!  

You'll need a muffin tin and muffin cups (Are they called muffin cups?  You know what I mean....)

Ingredients (makes 10 muffins)

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda 

8 organic eggs

1 cup coconut milk 

1 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/2 cup shredded coconut 

Directions:

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. 

3) Take a small saucepan and melt 1 cup coconut oil.  

4) Add coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla.  Mix well.    

5) Add coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda.  Mix well.    

6) Fold in chocolate chips 

7)  Prepare muffin tin with muffin cups, and using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill each one with roughly 1/4 cup.  

8)  Sprinkle each muffin with coconut shreds.

9)   Bake for 15 minutes.  

Cool and serve!  Enjoy!  

Coconut Squash Soup

You know the seasons are changing when, aside from the foliage reflecting hues of crimson, brown, and gold, the stands at your favorite grocery store or farmers market are bursting with these warm colors. This beautiful time of year brings all things warm and cozy, including delicious and warming recipes. One of my favorites? Squash! A vegetable, originating in Central America that was originally cultivated for its seeds, is now found in recipes around the world and a favorite thanks to its rich, sweet flavor!

Squash is a chi-tonic and warming food, which makes it medicinal to many areas of the body including the stomach, spleen, and large intestine. Packed with generous amounts of nutrients, these vegetables are a GREAT source of natural sweetness, carbohydrates (providing starch), and alpha and beta-carotenes. The unique carotenoid complex along with the significant amount of Vitamin C (about 1/3 cup of recommended daily value in every cup) makes them a winning choice with their high level of antioxidant support. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, manganese, and fiber.

Now, would you have ever thought these superfood vegetables would have been a part of the melon family? Well… they are. Squash actually belongs to the melon and gourd family or Curcurbitaceae. A wide variety of squash including acorn, butternut, pumpkin, kabocha, and others accompany many other family members including cucumber, zucchini, pear, watermelon, and so on. Feeding humanity for centuries, the origin of this families many members, span the world.

Unlike summer squash, winter squash is eaten when fully matured. They are available from August through March, but are best when in their peak season- October through November. When choosing yours, look for one heavy for weight with a firm rind. Soft rinds can be an indication that the squash is watery and has little to no flavor. A good squash will be overflowing with delicious, rich flavor. Also check for soft spots or signs of decay, for these blemishes can manifest and spoil the entire vegetable.

Another unique characteristic of squash is their ability to act as the main starch component of a meal. With about 90% of its calories coming from starch, we recognize squash is a very starchy vegetable. Now, I know what you may be thinking. Isn’t that… maybe... not the greatest? On the contrary! Research shows that not all starch is the same and with this starch in particular, there are great health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and insulin-regulating properties. Remember, it is important to eat these vegetables with a healthy fat to ensure maximum nutrient absorption! I recommend organic grass fed butter and coconut oil….yum.

The transition into the Autumn and Winter seasons, bring a chilly breeze, cozy sweaters, and kitchens filled with captivating aromas. That means… it’s time to head to the kitchen! Check out Tammy's favorite recipe below! Some of my favorites include Spaghetti Squash, Beet & Brussels and Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale. Take a look at these other fall recipes and try experimenting with different flavors at home!

Written by Ashley Green for The Nourished Belly

Fall is the time for winter squash.  These really are such a treat.  For this soup, you can use any squash, but Kabocha is one of my favorites.  You can even mix them together!  I prefer to steam kabocha, since it can be dry if roasted.  However, if using another squash such as butternut or acorn, roasting will bring out a sweetness that will be lost in steaming.  Simply cut the squash in half, place on a baking sheet face down, and bake for approx 40 minutes!

Coconut Squash Soup 

Serves 4

Ingredients

Coconut Squash Soup

1 medium squash (butternut, kabocha, acorn, or delicata work great!)

1 quart bone broth/veggie broth/water 

1/2 can Native Forest Coconut Milk 

1 medium onion

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger 

sea salt to taste 

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

handful of cilantro/parsley and pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions

1)   Cut Kabocha squash in half , and take out seeds.  Put them in the compost.

2)   Cut into large cubes, you’ll blend everything together later, you just want the pieces to cook quicker.

3)   In a large pot, place kabocha cubes with 1 inch of water.  Put over medium heat.  Cover.

4)   When the water starts to steam, turn down heat and cook for 10 minutes or until a fork slides through easily. 

5)   While the squash is steaming, slice onions into slices and heat a sauté pan on medium heat. 

6)   Place coconut oil or butter in the pan and put in onions and minced ginger.  Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

7)   Once kabocha is finished, add in onions, ginger, chicken broth and the coconut milk. 

8)   Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. 

9)   Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Add filtered water if you desire a more liquid consistency, or more coconut milk. 

10)        Add salt to taste and serve with cilantro/parsley or pumpkin seeds

 

Sources

- Wood, R., Pitchford, P., Markel, P. (2010). The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: An A to Z of Selection, Preparation and Storage for More Than 1000 Common and Uncommon Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, and Herbs. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

- Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods: The Most Comprehensive, User-friendly A to Z Guide Available on the Nutritional benefits and Medicinal Properties of Food. New York, NY: Atria Books.

- Organic For All, Inc. The Cucurnitaceae Family. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from http://www.organicsforall.org/vegetables5.htm

- Drummond, R. (2013, Nov 11). Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Kale. Retrieved from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/11/roasted-spaghetti-squash-with-kale/

- J Dean. (2013, Oct 5). Spaghetti Squash, Beets & Brussels. Retrieved from http://www.deliciouslivingnutrition.com/spaghetti-squash-beet-brussels/

- George Mateljan Foundation. Squash, Winter. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

Making Ghee

Ghee

Ghee is used widely in Indian cooking, and is used in various religious ceremonies.  It’s made by simmering butter, which evaporates the moisture (butter can be 18% water) and causes the milk solids to sink to the bottom.  Therefore,  some people who are lactose intolerant, are able to tolerate ghee as opposed to butter.  Clarified butter is made in a similar manner, but not simmered as long.  In ghee, the milk solids are browned which give it a nuttier taste.

Ghee is regarded as anti-inflammatory and is said to boost memory.  In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to cure a whole host of ailments, from treating burns to aiding in digestion.

Ghee is ideal for frying since the smoke point (when molecules start to break down) is 482 degrees F.  It is probably the only oil that I would feel comfortable using in deep frying.  It does not need to be refrigerated, and can last about 6 months in a cool dark place.  With refrigeration, it can last up to a year.  Be careful not to add any moisture as this will cause spoilage.

Since it is so simple and relatively quick to make, I don't make large batches at once.  I use it pretty frequently, so I keep it in my pantry, which keeps it soft and easy to scoop out.  Note: I have noticed that after a few months, it loses its nutty aroma and starts to smell stale, so I try to use it regularly.

How to Make Ghee

Makes 1 pint

2 sticks unsalted organic butter

1)  In a saucepan, heat butter on low until it starts to simmer.  A white foam will rise to the top and it should start to bubble. 

2) Check every few minutes and stir occasionally. 

3) You will start to see white milk solids cling to the bottom of the pan. 

4) When they turn nice, golden brown (in about 10 minutes) the ghee is done!  

Some say the aroma is like popcorn, but to me it smells like a buttery croissant.  Careful not to burn the solids on the bottom as this will affect the flavor.  You can also simmer with different herbs to add flavor:  thyme, rosemary, basil and garlic are good options.  Strain and place in a glass jar, opaque if possible, but otherwise store in a cool dark place.  Some people sprinkle the browned milk solids on toast or over potatoes.  Use frequently and feel proud that you make it yourself!

 

References

Fallon, Sally and Mary Enig, Ph.D. (2001) Nourishing Traditions. Washington D.C.: New Trends Publishing

Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: ATRIA Books.

Wood, Rebecca. (2010)  The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.  New York.  Penguin Books.

 

*LEGAL DISCLAIMER – This website (including any/all site pages, blog posts, blog comments, forum, etc.) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational  purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have an urgent medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Any application of the recommendations in this website is at the reader’s discretion. Tammy Chang and The Nourished Belly are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of this website and/or any web site(s) linked to/from it. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the recommendations in this website.

How to Make Bone Broth

If you want ONE thing you can do to improve your health….this might be it.   Save your chicken bones.  Make your own stock.  Bone broth is one of the most amazing foods you can add to your diet.  Truly.

bone broth

Traditionally, bone broth has been used throughout cultures as an ailment for the weak and the sick, and throughout culinary traditions as a way of adding flavor and depth to a dish.  It’s a win/win!  In ancient cultures, bones and organ meats were prized more than meat itself.  They are the most nutrient dense parts of an animal, and therefore, the most nutritious for us.

Benefits of Bone Broth

  • High in Minerals:  Due to the current food supply and the American state of health, most people are deficient in minerals.  Minerals are just as important as vitamins to our daily bodily functions.  Bones are a power house of minerals, and through prolonged simmering, we are able to extract all of these precious nutrients.  Thomas Cowan, author of A Fourfold Path to Healing, suggests that adding bone broth to our diet is the fastest way to rebuild our mineral deposits.
  • An Important Source of Gelatin: Gelatin is extracted collagen and an extremely soothing and nourishing food.  It is an excellent digestive aid and it’s extremely healing to our gut, our nervous system and for our entire body.  This is the original reason that jello is served in hospitals.  Patients were served a gelatin based food, but in the words of Jessica Prentice, worker owner at Three Stone Hearth, the jello served nowadays to patients is a “toxic mimic” of tradition.
  • High in Protein:  Included in the large amino acid profile of bone broth are glycine and proline.
    • Glycine is necessary in creating glucose when we are in need of more energy and is vital in supporting our detoxification pathways (thus, cleansing with only bone broth is a great idea.)
    • Proline is essential for the production of collagen, which helps us maintain healthy skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

 

Making Your Own Bone Broth

Making your own broth is less time consuming than you might think, and if you have the proper tools (i.e. a crock pot!) it is extremely simple.  First off, save your bones in the freezer.  Of course, quality always matters, so at the very least you should be buying organic meats with the bone.  You can also go to the butcher and ask for bones, they are pretty inexpensive for the amount of nutrition that they provide.

Once you have a nice bag of bones, you are welcome to mix them, but I usually separate chicken from other meats due to flavor.  Place them in a large stock pot and cover with water (preferably filtered) and add a splash of apple cider vinegar.  The vinegar helps to pull the minerals out of the bones.

Temperature and simmering length are important.  The broth should be kept at a simmer, too high of heat will destroy the gelatin.   I personally leave the pot covered on a low flame over night and when I am out of the house.  The only incident I’ve run into is when I left a window open and the flame went out.  Another option is to leave the stock pot in the oven on 200.  However, if you have a crock pot, you don’t need to worry about any of this!  A crock pot has literally changed the way I cook in the kitchen, so I highly recommend you get one.  They are inexpensive and for busy people, they are invaluable.

Ingredients: (Makes roughly 3-4 quarts)

1-2 lbs of bones 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped 

4 carrots (you can include tops) roughly chopped 

4 stalks celery, roughly chopped

2 bay leaves 

Directions: 

1) Place the bones at the bottom of a stockpot or Crock-Pot, covering the bones with filtered water.

2) Add the apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will help to pull the minerals from the bones.

3) Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

4) Follow the cooking times below: Bones should be easily crushed, this means you’ve extracted as much as you can out of them!

 Fish (keep the fish heads!): no more than 6 hours

Chicken: 12–24 hours

Lamb and goat: 36 hours

Pork and beef: 36–48 hours

5) For the last 4 hours of cooking, add the onion, carrots, celery, and any other vegetables of your choosing! Using a strainer, funnel the broth into jars. Freeze some (label with the date and kind of broth) and keep some in the fridge for immediate use! 

 

If the bones you are using have a nice amount of collagen and you've kept it at a nice low temperature, the broth should gel nicely when cooled.  This is a sign that it is gelatin rich.  Great job!

So get started!  Start saving your bones!  Or get a whole chicken and use the carcass.  I just used the turkey carcass to make an amazing stock….the holidays are a great time to try it out!

References:

Cowan, Thomas.  (2004) The Fourfold Path to Healing. United States; New Trends Publishing

Fallon, Sally.  (2000, Jan 1)  Broth is Beautiful.  Wise Traditions. Retrieved from http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/broth-is-beautiful

Prentice, Jessica. (2006) Full Moon Feast; Food and the Hunger for Connection. Vermont; Chelsea Green.

Coconut Banana Squash Pancakes

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Pancakes are an American brunch staple!  I’m excited to share this recipe for coconut flour pancakes, and they make great snacks on the go as well. Spread some almond butter on them and they very well could be a post workout snack. They are denser than normal pancakes, so don’t expect the same fluffiness, but they are wonderful in their own way. My favorite way to eat them is to dip them in yogurt.

 Ingredients

(serves 2)

1 ripe banana

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon vanilla

2 heaping tablespoons cooked squash, canned pumpkin, or sweet potato (optional, I would use an extra banana if you don't use these)

3 tablespoons coconut flour

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

handful of coconut shreds

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

 

1) Heat a large sauté pan on the stove while you mash the banana, eggs, vanilla, and squash in a medium bowl with an immersion blender or mixer.

2) Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, coconut shreds, salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly with a spatula.

3) Turn heat to low, and place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or butter per batch in the sauté pan.

4) Cook for roughly 2 minutes on low on each side.  Be careful flipping!

5) Enjoy with fruit, maple syrup, nut butter, yogurt, or any topping you wish!

 

Creamed Sunchokes and Parsnips

I had never really eaten sunchokes OR parsnips before.  They don't really show up in Asian cooking, so it's only recently that I've been experimenting with them.  My friend Amaya suggested I eat creamed parsnips, so I thought I could also add some other fun stuff.  I also had the added joy of having a tooth pulled when I created this recipe, so I was really focusing on nutrient dense, easy to blend foods.  

Sunchokes, are also called Jeruselum artichokes, are known for their prebiotic qualities.  They help feed our healthy gut bacteria.  They are also high in fiber and have a wonderful sweet note. 

Parsnips are also a root vegetable, and look much like a carrot, but the texture is slightly different.  They are high in fiber, folate, vitamin C and potassium.  One of my clients loves cutting them into strips and making parsnip fries!  

Parsley is another great way to add nutrients as a garnish.  They fit the idea of Belly Boosters, which are foods that can add nutrition to an already lovely dish.  Parsley is related to celery (their leaves look super similar) and is a GREAT source of vitamin K, vitamin C, carotenes and folate.  There are a ton of dishes where parsley is the star (tabouli for example), but it also makes an awesome edible garnish.  

Enjoy creaming these guys, I found this dish to be rather sweet, and it was really nice paired with a salty steak :) 

Can you guess which one is the sunchoke and which one is the parsnip?  

Can you guess which one is the sunchoke and which one is the parsnip?

 

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

Creamed Sunchoke and Parsnips with Steak Strips

Creamed Sunchoke and Parsnips with Steak Strips

5-6 medium size sunchokes, (peeled the best you can)

5-6 medium size parsnips, peeled if skins look old 

1/4-1/2 cup broth or filtered water 

1 handful parsley 

4-5 cloves garlic 

salt and pepper to taste 

1 large pat of butter (more if necessary, you can also substitute coconut oil or ghee) 

Directions

1) Heat oven to 375.  On a large baking pan, place parsnips and sunchokes.  

2) Bake for 30-40 minutes until you can stick a fork through easily.  

3)  Using a blender or an immersion blender, add 1/4 cup broth and butter, blend until smooth.  Add more liquid or butter/fat if desired.

4)  Add handful of parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper, blend again.  Taste.  Experiment until you find the right taste for you!

5)  Serve!

Homemade Strawberry Coconut Jello

jello

As a child, I loved jello.  The melt in your mouth, make you hyper jello.  My mother used to make a rainbow jello, which we took the day to make before bringing it to a party.  We would go to the store, and buy different packs of Jello Brand jello, all the colors of the rainbow.   Today, a box of jello is only about 80 cents a box, which makes it a really really cheap dessert.  But is that a good thing?  The ingredients on a box of strawberry jello are: sugar, gelatin, adipic acid, artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, fumaric acid, and red 40.  So…  mainly sugar, gelatin, and some chemicals.

Jello wasn’t always like this.  It was considered a very healing food, because gelatin is a very healing delicacy.  It’s the culinary term for collagen, and there are many benefits to collagen.  In our body, it pretty much holds us together.  It gives our skin its strength and suppleness, and is an integral part of our bones, joint, and connective tissue.  It’s healing to the gut and considered to be a digestive aid.

I’ve recently started experimenting with gelatin in the kitchen and boy is it fun!  Instead of the packaged jello, it’s possible to make jello out of whole foods with very few ingredients, and just as much enjoyment.

I had a few batches of tasteless, rubber ball like batches, but I think I’ve perfected the recipe, at least to my tastes   Enjoy the recipe and I would love to hear about experiments you make!  Instagram tag me @thenourishedbelly or tweet me at nourished_belly.  Join the Nourished Belly community with #thenourishedbellydiet.

Happy Nourishing,

Tammy

 

Homemade Strawberry Coconut Jello 

5 servings

Strawberry Jello Ingredients
1 cup strawberry puree

1 cup water

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or palm sugar 

4 teaspoons gelatin

 

Coconut Jello Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup filtered water

1 tablespoon coconut sugar/maple syrup/palm sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 and 1/2 teaspoons gelatin

 

Directions: 

1) Before you start, set up 5 cup size containers, I like half pint mason jars, so that you can pour the mixture directly in. 

2) In a medium saucepan, heat strawberry puree, water and sugar over medium heat until it starts to simmer.  Turn off heat. 

3) Using an immersion blender or wisk, slowly add gelatin and blend/wisk until fully blended. 

4) Pour into jars, lid, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes until solid.  

5) When gelled, take out and open the jars to prepare to pour the  coconut portion. 

6) In a medium saucepan, place coconut mik, water, and coconut sugar over medium heat until it starts to simmer.  Turn off heat. 

7) Add vanilla. 

8) Using an immersion blender or wisk, slowly add gelatin and blend until fully integrated.  

9) Pour over strawberry portion.  Divide evenly between the jars.  

10) Lid and refrigerate!  Should be ready to eat within the hour :)