Monday, January 31, 2011

Raw Chocolate

I've been experimenting with making my own chocolate candy. Here is my recent love:
1/4 cup Cocao powder
1/4 cup Melted Coconut oil (or coconut butter)
2-4 Tbs Agave, Yacon or Maple Syrup
1/8 cup almonds/ dried cherries
salt (optional)

Process all ingredients except nuts/ fruit. Scraping bowl when needed. Pulse in fruit/nuts. Spread onto was paper, parchment paper or greased pan. Sprinkle with salt (I love this, but I know it's weird). Freeze for about 5 minutes, then score with pizza cutter (if you want squares) and freeze until firm. SO good. I make mine thin so I can eat it sooner.  Delicious and versatile. Also nutritious!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mexi Spice Carrot Hummus & Wild Rice Collard Wrap

The Flight Path My Produce Makes
Here in Alaska, produce can be a challenge to get. And once you receive your produce, it may or may not be 'good.' Ordering in season definitely helps. 
Here is my latest produce order story: Last Thursday, I updated my produce list in Word as usual,  and faxed it in. The Safeway I order from shops for me (charges a minimal fee) and takes my produce to the airport. The airline then flies my food over and I pay bush shipping and freight costs to them. Well, first of all my card was undercharged by about $60, so I knew that once again, I wasn't getting everything on the list (they rarely call to discuss the order). This time I sadly did not receive: chard, kale, collards, cherries, among a few other things. At least I got in spinach. Not to delay the story any longer, but an example of how it goes here is the grapes I ordered were $17 (for 2lbs) and the apricots I ordered were $14 (for 2 lbs). Now the grapes aren't in season, but I love them so much. They normally come in squashed and 'bad' and become treats for my chickens. The grapes came in delicious and perfect this time (so happy), but the apricots are tasteless, the 3 apricots out of the bunch that weren't rotten all the way through. Last weeks apricots were SO amazing, so I ordered double, paid more, but got less in the end.

Anyway! We had quite a bit of snow, no planes came or went from Friday to Sunday afternoon. I spend about $100-$150 a week on produce. I can 't remember how much I used to spend in the lower 48.. so it's hard for me to know if that's a lot.  Of course in the summer, root vegetables are very easy to grow here and I have a better chance at produce that is in season in WA and shipped to Juneau. There are ways to eat local here. Fish, Moose, berries etc. I'm just frustrated I can't get leafy greens half the time, the other half of the time, not one grocery store in Juneau will have say beets, my favorite.

Well, on the bright side of things; those grapes are delicious! And not having produce even Saturday, forced me to be creative with what I had left. A few collards leaves and a few carrots among my produce drawers. I invented some carrot 'hummus' wrapped it in a collard leaf with some wild rice I had sprouted and drizzled some hot pepper oil on top. Voila! It was delicious! & Nutritious~

Mexi Spice Carrot Hummus & Wild Rice Collard Wrap
2 carrots
1 Tbs tahini
2 dashes Cumin and Chipotle powder
1-2 grinds of salt
2 collards, stem carefully cut out
1/4 cup wild rice (soaked/sprouted) or reg rice, whatever you want!
1 Tbs Hot Pepper Oil (easy to make, take ground red pepper, like the pizza shaker kind, mix 1 tbs to 2 tbs oil and let sit at least 15 minutes.. after a week or so it is really strong and beautiful)

Process the carrot, tahini, spices and salt until smooth(ish) then spoon onto the end of a collard leaf, spoon on some rice (or whatever veggie) and roll up, cut in half.. drizzle with oil, Enjoy!

Beet Chocolate Cake
Also thought I'd share the delicious (naughty) dessert I indulged in every day for 4 days last week (while I waited out the frostbite warning advisory-I'd like to keep my eyelids and nose thank you).  I made up for it with XT. Vegan Beet Chocolate Cake. "Enough Said" as they say... Well, but I have to say YUM! Of course I had tiny pieces. The body runs better without flour and sugar.

I jumped right back in to running, but not my routine. I found fun ways to get back out there. Running Sunday to a craft (bati) party, with an iron strapped to my camelbak; taking a needed rest yesterday and today running to the post office with my orders and taking the long way back. Fun, and it was double duty!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Almond Joy

Fresh Almond Milk

Mmmmm... almonds. I'm allergic to cashews and brazil nuts (they contain urushiol, the same oil as poison oak, and ivy). So sad. But almonds to the rescue! Delicious, healthy, this nut is super versatile. I use it in some form almost every day and had to give it some props.
For those of you pulling away from soy (milk) and dairy milk, almond milk is a healthier alternative. It also tastes amaaaazing.

It is SO easy to make! Don't even think about buying premade!

Almond Milk
1/2 -3/4 C Almonds(soaked overnight-skins stay on)
3-6 C Water
Pinch of Salt

1 Tbs dates/ syrup etc.
1/2 vanilla bean (or 1/2 Tsp extract)
2-5 cups of water ( I use 2 1/2-3)

*About vanilla- If I have leftover husks I use those. I usually just make it plain and unsweetened so it's more versatile.*

Sometimes you are in a hurry, but making practice of soaking all nuts and seeds will make them more digestible. Ever see whole sunflower seeds after you finish your business camping? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Here is more info. In this case, it also makes the nuts way more blender friendly!

1)Rinse Almonds well. I rinse 2 or 3 times.
2)Blend the almonds first, with a little water, adding as needed to keep it moving.
3)Add salt and water (and sweetener/flavor if preferred).
4)Blend for a few minutes on high until pretty smooth. You can drink it like this leaving the fiber in. It is thicker.

However, I like to strain mine to get a real milk consistency. I use a little cotton pouch (shown), the texture of a pillowcase. However, I have ripped a couple of these and I find a true nut milk bag, usually nylon, lasts longer (it's also a sprouting bag-so sometimes it's "busy"). You can buy them here and here if your local HFS doesn't carry them. They aren't always easy to find. Cheesecloth works in a pinch. 

I personally like a ratio of 1/2 heaping C almonds and about 4 cups water (thick and rich), but sometimes stretch it farther by adding water until it fills the blender.

It last about 5 days or so in the fridge (the salt helps I've discovered). You can flavor it with chocolate (cacao), strawberries, vanilla, hazelnut (hazelnut milk alone is delicious) use it in smoothies, puddings, baking, soups, ice cream... whatever you can think of. 
Now, you will open up your 'pouch' or whatever you strained with, and inside will be luscious, buttery smooth almond meal. You can do a lot with this. Use it on a sandwich, in raw breads,  crackers, cookies, pie crusts, freezer desserts and in baking. I threw in some cocao, maple syrup, and pecans with the pulp, rolled balls of this in coconut flakes, dehydrated for about 2 hours and voila! 

Brownie cookies! SO good. I topped some homemade coconut vanilla ice cream with them and it was a crazy indulgent (healthy!!) dessert.

Almond Joy Smoothie:
1 Cup Almond Milk
1-2 Tbs Coconut milk (meat blended with water or out of can)
2-3 Tbs Shredded Coconut
1 Tbs Cocao or Cocoa
a few almonds

Blend all ingredients. Pulse in almonds at the end for an extra crunch.. you could add in some chocolate chips too! Yum!

The wind chill is forecast at 35 below. So, another day on rest from running :( But that's okay. I'm training to keep my muscles ready!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ani Phyo's Red Pepper "Hummus" Bean Free

I love savory dips and spreads. This is my take on Ani Phyo's Red Pepper Hummus from her new book Raw Food Essentials:

1 Red Pepper chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds (ground first into a powder is best)
1 1/2-2 Tbs Tahini
1 clove garlic
pinch of parsley or 1 tsp chopped cilantro

Ani Phyo adds lemon and cumin-and her proportions are different, also omit parsley/cilantro. You can get creative here. I've always loved zucchini hummus, but red pepper hummus was an awesome surprise! Delicious, healthy and perfect for sandwiches, chips or veggies!
Shown here on a Zucchini Bread sandwich. Isn't the color fabulous!?

It is 8 degrees here, so it's warming up. However, the wind chill is 25 below! Forecast to be 35 below from tonight on through 2 days! So, sadly, I'll be hitting the treadmill. Yesterday, I reluctantly called a 2nd rest day because of the weather, and it's only getting colder and windier. The air is so cold to breathe, you get nose bleeds and man does it hurt! So, treadmill, here I come.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tonic "Sunkist"

For those of you trying to avoid soda; I've got a great recipe for you. I started drinking Q Tonic with gin over the summer. Then I started making fake n tonics to cut back on alcohol. You can use any citrus fruit (strawberry too, get creative). It doesn't work as well with plain tonic (which by the way has corn syrup in it) but works okay with seltzer, with some agave (or plain sugar) mixed in.
1 cup Ice
1/2 orange (or any citrus fruit, squeezed or juiced)
Tonic water

Ice in the glass, pour/squeeze in the juice, then top off with the tonic! (mix the sugar and juice forst if you aren't using tonic- about 1/2 tsp for a glass). Refreshing, bubbly and delish! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Goji-Blueberry Porridge

I started a batch of raw cocoa 'puffs' (buckwheat crispies). They are inspired by Ani Phyo's plain buckwheat crispies. I did a few things differently. Post to follow~

This made me hungry for something that could be eaten right now and I invented a little 'porridge' cereal.

Magic Berry Porridge (1 serving)
1 handful (total) of the following mix: almonds, pecans (you can substitute and play)
1 tsp dried blueberries (trader joes for example)
1/8 cup of Goji berries (soaked overnight then drained)
2 pinches shredded coconut
1/2 tsp of flaxseed
1/2 apple chopped large
1 tsp agave nectar

Pulse all ingredients in food processor at once, then add apple last. Pulse to chunky or mushy consistency. I like something in the middle. Place in bowl and you can add an extra drizzle of agave!

Easy! And you can soak the goji's for much less time if you want, or sub cranberries. Enjoy!

Today is a run rest day... grrrr.. I hate saying that.. because I might still run later. I get itchy when I don't. I'm having a swollen/bruised foot issue. Not sure of the cause.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ani Phyo's Frosty Chai Shake

I just received the new Ani Phyo's Raw Food Essentials and today I've made two recipes. The first is Zucchini Bread. It is made of zucchini, almond meal, flax meal and olive oil. It's in the dehydrator. Post to follow!
Making raw bread made me thirsty and I flipped through the drinks section and this Chai frosty caught my eye. It's thick, icy and foamy and soooo delicious, I drank it too fast! It's (easy) homemade almond milk, though any would do, cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla (and ice).
If you'd like the recipe for one of these, I'd be glad to share it! Just ask!

Anti-Aging Dessert and Run of the Muck

My runs the last few days have been hard. My legs have been tired. Yesterday I was feeling myself however and had an awesome run! Most of the snow is gone. There is still a lot of ice; enough that I have to wear yak traks.  

Something I love is Pumpkin! It has anti-aging properties, beta carotene, alpha carotene, Vitamins C and E, Fiber and is a great source of potassium (a must have for muscle recovery!) among others. Oh, and it's fabulously delicious! Dogs love it too.

Get in Shape Pumpkin Parfait

Now, you can use greek yogurt, or whatever you wish. I personally like coconut yogurt the best, however 'real' coco yogurt can be a challenge to find (you can make it!!).
1/4 cup your choice yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup chilled canned or cooked (drained of most liquid) Pumpkin
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
1 tsp Pure Maple Syrup (you can use stevia, agave, sucanat etc but maple tastes best)
1/2-1tsp chopped walnuts, pecans or granola

That's it! layer from top of list to bottom and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rest Easy Recipes Apple/Cran Juice Phyllo 'pot pie'

Cran Apple Juice
Today is a rest day! Even though I got the normal itch to run, I stayed home because I told myself yesterday I needed a rest. I was draggin' through my run yesterday; heavy legs, felt weak, couldn't. lift. legs. faster.  So, today is yoga, peace and quiet near the woodstove with the dogs and Kukicha twig tea. Ahh... spa treatment!

Here is a basic  Cranberry Apple juice that tastes like candy!  Great anytime drink, but I especially like it in the afternoon as a pick me up (or a "don't reach for those chocolate almonds!").

Candy Girl Cran Apple

3/4 cup fresh Cranberries

1 Sweet Variety Apple ( I especially love Fuji for this! but gala and pink ladies are great too)

Juice cranberries, then apple (cored! Apple seeds contain a small amount of Cyanide-bad for you and especially dangerous for your dogs!)

ENJOY! An ice cube, or previously refrigerated fruit makes this a refreshing and healthy treat!

Phyllo Pot Pie
Aaannnd a recipe for Vegan Vegetable Phyllo "Pot Pie"
1 pack of Whole Wheat Phyllo Dough
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 C Brussel Sprouts (quartered)
1 C Carrot Cubed
1 C Mushrooms sliced
1 C Apple, 1/2 inch chunks or smaller
1 C Leeks sliced in 1/2 inch moons (not the green tops)
2 Cloves Garlic (mashed)

For the sauce:
1 cup vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
pinches of basil, oregano, tarragon, paprika, dry mustard, black pepper and sage
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
I grind it a bit of salt towards the end, but only is your stock is not salted. Taste and see if you need it.

Springform pan works great, but you can use a flat casserole too.

Sauce first: Mix arrowroot in small bowl with 1 tbs water, set aside.
Combine all ingredients in sauce pan (except almond milk and arrowroot). Bring to boil, then lower heat to med. Add arrowroot mix and let simmer until thickens. You want it a little thicker than you'd think at this point. Turn off heat. Stir in Almond milk. The sauce will be thinner now. If it is too thin, add more arrowroot, but do not reheat.. it will reheat in the oven.

Saute leeks and carrots 5 min.
Add sprouts and mushrooms, and garlic, another 2 min. ( remember it will cook more in the oven and I like veggies crisp versus mushy).
Pour in bowl and set aside.

Melt coconut oil on med heat. Once melted, remove from heat. With pastry brush, oil pan, then layer phyllo one sheet at a time in pan, let it overlap pan rim. You can oil each pastry sheet as you layer, I do every other one or every two.

Do all but about 5 sheets of dough (save for top).

Pour sauce over veggies, stir. Then pour veggies in to phyllo lined pan. Overlap corners/edges of dough over the veggie filling. Brush top with oil. Use remaining phyllo to cover any open space over veggies (make a top crust). Brush with oil.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until brown!  Cool 5 minute or so. Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Super Woman Pom/Cran Juice & Bald Eagles in AK

Deliciously Detoxifying!
I'll start off with this awesome recipe for anytime juice. It can be a bit tart. You can always add another apple. I personally like beets and apples alone. I tried it with this and it took away the fabulous flavors of the pomegranate and cranberries. I like tart juice and this is actually pretty sweet, but you can always add another half an apple. Enjoy you Super Woman detox power! Whoo!
1 pomegranate, seeded
    1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries
    1 apple (red/gala/pink lady-any sweet variety-not grannies; optional)
    1 beet (optional)

1. In a juicer, process pomegranate seeds, then cranberries, then apple, then beet. (The order doesn't really matter, but if you use a beet, add it last to push any pulp through.)
Makes: 1 serving, Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Bald Eagle/Beartrack Mts

Onto running yesterday. It was fairly clear out. I could actually see the mountains. My dog and I have spooked a G. Blue Heron a few days in a row while running past a creek.. and I still haven't managed to get my camera out in time! However, I was able to catch a snapshot of this bald eagle when we broke through the treeline towards the beach.

My legs were pretty fatigued yesterday. I think the weekend and lack of sleep caught up with me. It's easy to not go running today. But I know I'll be so glad I did!  I never wish I hadn't.
Moose on the Trail
Here is a moose track. I'm a size 10 shoe!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kickin' Kale Smoothie


Here's a recipe for a deliciously mutant green smoothie:

    2 to 3 leaves kale
    3/4 cup pineapple juice
    4 to 5 strawberries, grapes, or 1 small orange
    1 banana
    2 to 3 pieces of pineapple
    1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked overnight

I came up with this on my juice feast that I started specifically to get rid of poison ivy. The chis seeds are great for your skin and kale is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, also good for healing.

1) First, blend the pineapple that you are using for your juice, or juice if that's what you are using. Then add the kale by itself to the pineapple juice and blend until smooth. Blending the kale first ensures that you don't get a big chunk while you're sipping later!

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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