Conscious Food Choices

For the love of delicious healthy food…

Purple Avocados and Honey, Hawaii-style

photo credit: Kevin Smith

Nostalgia Alert: When I was a kid, I lived with my mom in Northern California during the school year and spent the holidays and summers with my dad. It was a good deal, especially since my dad worked as an art professor for the University of Hawaii, so many of my holidays and summers were spent on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. On Kauai, there is an amazing valley on the Northwest side, in the Na Pali Coast called Kalalau, which at the time you could only get to via an 11 mile hike or by inflatable Zodiac boat. (I think now even those are not allowed). Also it was a state park, so visitors are only given licenses to stay for a few days at a time. Luckily for us, we were good friends with both the rangers and “Captain Zodiac”, the owner of the island’s one boat company, so we were able to boat in and live at the ranger’s camp for weeks at a time. Kalalau Valley is mythically beautiful, and you can easily get lost for hours or days at a time climbing up into the sheer Na Pali cliffs. My childhood memories include sand so soft and fluffy you sink to your knees in it, a wonderful crazy lady named Bobo who lived deep in the valley, wore no clothes, and had the most impressively scarred body I have ever seen, as well as long afternoon hikes through the sun-dappled valley, searching for elusive wild orange groves and wild avocado trees.

Wild Hawaiian avocados are small, stringy, and bright purple, and the locals eat them as a fruit, with honey. I can’t tell you how delightful an avocado can be when you go beyond the guacamole typecasting and consider it as the fruit that it really is! Also in Hawaii you can get tubs of naturally crystallized honey which has a thick beeswax foam on the top. It tastes much less sweet than liquid honey and can be spread like butter on bread.  The closest I can find in the states is something called Really Raw honey and it is delicious. Here is my favorite breakfast…

Avocado on Toast, with Creamed Honey – for 2

  • 4 small slices high quality whole grain bread (walnut is awesome)
  • 2 – 4 teaspoons high quality raw honey, local if you can get it
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado
  • pinch of Himalayan, Celtic grey or other high mineral natural salt

Toast the bread slices and spread each with 1 – 2 teaspoons of honey. I like it light.

Cut avocados in half, remove seed, score the flesh and scoop out 1/4 avocado per toast slice. Spread evenly and give a wee sprinkle of salt.

Enjoy!

October 8, 2012 Posted by | Breakfast, Food Consciousness, Fresh, Vegan Recipes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ginger-Goji Super Granola and Friends…

I am not crazy about the flavor of goji berries, but am a strong believer in their superpowers, so this is a way to spice them up by dry blending them with a bit of crystallized ginger. (Yes, the sugary one…but a little goes a long way).

Ginger-Goji Super Granola (Raw-ish)

  • 1/2 recipe of Vanilla Almond Granola Base 
  • 3 c flaked or shredded dried coconut (combo is nice)
  • 2 c walnuts and/or pecans (soaked and dried)
  • 1 c organic goji berries,  dry blended until roughly powdered
  • 2 T finely chopped crystallized ginger pieces
  • 1 T freshly grated ginger
  • 1 c dried mulberries, (or ¼ c dates, raisins or other dried fruit) coarsely chopped or lightly dry blended
  • 2 T liquid coconut oil
  • 1/4 t coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon (optional)
  • Vanilla maple glaze made with: 1 T vanilla plus 1/4 c maple syrup

Dry blend crystallized ginger, fresh ginger and goji berries in Vitamix until most of the goji berries have powdered and are reclumping into gingery bits. The odd whole berry is fine here too.

Combine coconut, chopped nuts, gingered goji berries and other fruit in very large bowl. Add liquid coconut oil and toss to coat.

Add 2 T. maple syrup, salt and cinnamon or other spices and flavorings, toss lightly to coat.

Finally, add Vanilla Hemp Granola Base over nut mixture. Toss lightly, drizzling with remaining maple-vanilla mixture so everything is lightly coated. Make sure not to overmix at this point – there should be distinctive lumps of the oat-y base, alongside the coconut-nut mixture, all lightly glazed with the maple vanilla mix… (Mmmmm)

Spread onto 3 or 4 Perflexx sheets. Dehydrate 8 -12 hours or overnight, turning once to crisp up the undersides.

 

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Flavor Variations (are endless… these are just ideas)

Maple Pecan Granola

  • Use all pecans instead of walnuts
  • Use gingered gogi berries, or not…
  • Use only the finely shredded coconut, not flakes
  • Increase cinnamon to 2 T
  • Add 1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

Blueberry Almond Granola

  • Use 2 cups chopped raw almonds (soaked, dried and truly raw)
  • Use only flaked coconut
  • Leave ginger out but dry blend the gogi berries to a fine powder to dissapear them
  • Use 1 c sundried blueberries as the dried fruit,  and do not chop or blend.
  • Replace cinnamon with 1/2 t fresh lemon juice and zest
  • Add 1/2 t almond extract to and 1 t lemon juice to vanilla maple glaze

Rainforest Crunch:

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a necessary trace mineral not easily found in many foods. This is a good way to eat a little bit each day.

  • Use 1 c walnuts, plus 1/2 c brazil nuts, soaked overnight, thinly sliced and dried
  • Add 1/2 cup finely chopped raw cashews, (unsoaked is fine).
  • Use chopped dried figs, pineapple and/or mango for the fruit.

Pumpkin Spice:
Pumpkin seeds are another great nutritional powerhouse. Extremely high in minerals, especially magnesium, plus a wide range of B Vitamins, and Zinc, they also contain L-Tryptophan which among other things, makes you feel good. Along with walnuts, they are also listed as one of the better sources for omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Add 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t dried ginger and a pinch of cloves, or 3/4 t pumpkin spice mix to gogi berries and dry blend.
  • Add 1 cup soaked and dried pumpkin seeds to the blender just at the end, to coat them in flavor
  • Add 2 t cinnamon and a dash more nutmeg or spice blend to the vanilla maple glaze at the end

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Breakfast, Food Consciousness, Raw Food Recipes, Recipes, Sugar Free/Unrefined Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Silky Chocolate Ganache

This recipe is taken from Sarma Melngailis’ Chocolate Tart recipe which can be found in her cookbook Raw Food Real World. Not only is the original tart recipe fantastic, but it has been the inspirational spinnoff for many many deliciously decadent chocolate treats and this ganache is the foundation.

  • 2 c maple syrup (or mix of maple and agave syrup)
  • 2 c high quality organic cocoa powder (not alkalized)
  • 1 c virgin coconut oil
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend 1 -2 minutes until velvety smooth. Store in glass containers as a spread or topping,  or pour immediately into prepared crust if using as a tart or bar filling.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Breakfast, Desserts, Recipes, Sugar Free/Unrefined Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment

Evil Chocolate Breakfast Spread

Evil because its crammed with all sorts of wickedly good for you superfoods…cunningly disguised in something like a fudgey dark chocolate Nutella. I love this spread on a thick slice of San Francisco sourdough. I have heard through the grapevine that this spread is also the key component in a heavenly hot chocolate …? Recipe please!

  • 1/2 recipe Silky Chocolate Ganache
  • 6 – 8 capsules blue green algae*, or more
  • 1/4 c finely powdered raw cacao
  • 2 T dried goji berries, finely ground in high speed blender
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup smooth raw almond butter

In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients except almond butter and blend a minute or so on high, or until everything is a smooth as can be. Lower speed and add almond butter – blend just to combine.

Finish mixing by hand (do not over-blend or the mixture will split). Adjust for sweetness, taste and chocolate intensity, and store in glass containers. Can be kept at room temp for 1 -2 weeks.

Play with this recipe:

  • Use roasted and/or chunky almond butter (my favorite)
  • Try hazelnut butter!
  • Add blue mangosteen powder for even more antioxidant boost

* I use Crystal Manna, because it has a very subtle flavor which is easily masked by chocolate. But you can use any type of bg algae or greens powder – just start with less and see how far you can push it.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Recipes, Sugar Free/Unrefined Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment

Kashi Porridge

I grew up in the 70’s with a hippy mom who went through great lengths to get me to eat healthy food (thanks Mom!) and I have a tortured childhood memory of staring at the pile of cooked buckwheat on my plate and wondering how I was ever going to survive… so I was really surprised at how delicious and deeply satisfying this breakfast cereal is, made entirely of buckwheat and raw sunflower seeds! You have to try it!

Serves 4

  • 1 c raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 1/2 c water (or soy, or hempmilk, or apple cider!)

Blend buckwheat and sunflower seeds in a hi speed blender to a fine meal, with a little texture to it still.

Dry roast in a heavy bottomed pot, (large enough for porridge) for 4 -5 minutes, stirring contstantly, just to get a nice toasty flavor.

Add salt and water, whisking constantly (be careful when you first add the water the the hot pan – it will steam up).

Let cook 4 -5 minutes, or until buckwheat is soft and cooked through.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Breakfast, Recipes, Vegan Recipes | , | Leave a comment