This is the breakfast we chose to eat while watching the highlights of the royal wedding this morning. The wedding was sweet and went off without a hitch and our banana muffins were no different.
I’m not a pastry-in-the-morning kind of person. I don’t even go for toast in the morning, even if it is gluten free, I’m just too sensitive to sweets and grains. When I wake up I need protein so I’ve loaded these up with lots of high protein, whole grain flours and boosted it up even further with some almond milk. The coconut oil also helps to maintain blood sugar levels so even after eating two of these for breakfast I’m happy to report that I had no dips at all in my energy levels.
For all of these reasons it also makes it an appropriate sweet treat for kids, when you want them well nourished and not bouncing off the walls
enjoy! Elishia Read more…
Do you ever do something anyway, even though you know better? I know I do! Last week I binged on coffee. Not a major binge but I’ve been living life really clean for about 6 months so even a few espresso’s over the course of a week sent me completely sideways and into the adrenal exhaustion I’ve been working on clearing up all this time.
What really struck me though was how I looked so much older after having a few cups of coffee. Besides feeling grumpy and feeling much more tired - I looked awful! Not exactly a strong case for continuing on and definitely a lot of reasons to quit and move on.
I haven’t been a coffee drinker my whole life, this is a relatively new habit from the last few years… being a new, and tired, mom and living for a year in Vancouver, Canada in a cold rainy place, that happens to have incredible coffee, inspired me to become a coffee drinker! Throw in a few trips to Portland and I was hooked. Its funny to me because I worked in restaurants for years where everyone around me drank coffee non-stop and I could get an espresso or capuccino any time I wanted and it didn’t interest me at all. Which is lucky for me because it wreaks havoc on my system, is not good for me at all and I definitely know better!
So I’m back in my transitional kicking the habit mode right now. I’m being gentle on myself and getting a bit of a caffeine boost from green tea and Yerba Mate. I’m also drinking lots of Tulsi Tea which supports the adrenals. Today though I wanted a super frothy latte-ish kind of thing. The latte isn’t even my coffee drink of choice but its chilly and windy here so I came up with this and it’s hitting the spot just right. It contains Tulsi Tea as the base and raw cacao, for the boost I was craving.
I’m happy to report that after just a few days back in my clean living ways, without coffee, I’m back to looking a lot more like myself! Phew!
1 cup freshly brewed Vanilla Creme Tulsi Tea, still hot (discard tea bag)
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 tsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp coffee flavor (frontier brand)
5 drops Vanilla Creme Sweat Leaf Liquid Stevia
Place everything in the blender and blend on high until frothy and all the hemp seeds are completely broken down.
Variations: Change the tea to your tea of choice. If you are avoiding cacao then you could use carob in place of it. Instead of hemp seeds you could use some almond milk or a few soaked cashews or a few brazil nuts, which don’t require soaking.
Even more than flavor I’ve always been obsessed with the textures in food. How it feels in my mouth and in my hands as I prepare it is the most sensual, absorbing part of the food experience for me. I’ll never forget learning, while living in Japan, that they have at least ten different words to describe what we blandly call “crunchy”. I completely agree, there are so many subtle nuances and they each deserve their own individual descriptive word.
Supreme-ing grapefruits might seem like a supreme waste of time to most people but its one of life’s delicious little pleasures to me. When working in restaurants I’d happily pass on dicing onions but take on supreming mountains of citrus any day! (if you’ve got no idea what a “supreme” is, no worries, stay tuned and you’ll be doing it like a pro in no time, it’s easy, with a bit of practice!). The supreme really gets my full attention because of how this cut highlights the texture of the citrus, especially nice fat pink grapefruits! It can be done with any citrus, but grapefruit are the easiest, since the segments are the largest.
In this salad I adore the bright contrasting colors and smoothness of the avocado against the acid of the grapefruit. The slight crunch of the slivers of red onion add just the right counterpoint and “crunch”.
My total indulgence in citrus during the winter makes me forget almost entirely about the cucumbers and tomatoes of summer.
2 Tablespoons grapefruit juice
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar (rice vinegar works too or sub red wine vinegar but use only 1 Tablespoon, or to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
few turns black pepper – about 1/8 tsp
2 Tbsp finely minced red onion
6 Tablespoons light olive oil (or 3 Tbsp stronger olive oil and 3 Tbsp no taste oil, like grapeseed oil)
Add the juice, vinegar, salt, black pepper and red onion all to a small jar and shake vigorously for 5 seconds or so. Add the oils and shake again. Set aside for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. This allows the onion to mellow a bit.
1 small head butter lettuce (about 2 handfuls of washed leaves)
1 handful of arugula
2 pink grapefruits
1 large ripe avocado
Wash and dry the butter lettuce and arugula. Supreme the grapefruit, like I show in the video. Peel the avocado and slice into strips. Toss the lettuce, arugula and about half of the dressing together. Add the grapefruit segments (reserving the juice for another purpose) and the avocado slices and toss again gently. Add dressing a bit more at a time until it is just how you like it. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately. All of the ingredients, besides slicing the avocado, can be prepared a day in advance and held in the refrigerator. Toss just before serving.
Playing with your food:
If you want to give this a bit of a Mexican vibe then switch from vinegar to lime juice, add some freshly chopped cilantro, a bit more red onion, 1/2 tsp ground cumin to the dressing and 1/2 cup of thinly sliced or cubed jicama. If you like it spicy then add in some freshly minced jalapeno. This would be great served along some grilled fish or shrimp.
You could also take this in a Japanese direction by switching the grapefruit to orange, adding a bit of grated ginger and toasted sesame oil to the dressing and substitute soy sauce for the salt. To make it more authentic you have the option of tossing the salad with some toasted sesame seeds and switching the red onion to a 1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions. You can use any mild flavored greens you want for this but I’d probably use mostly spinach and then a handful of finely sliced cabbage, bok choy, daikon radish or red radish. I would double the dressing recipe and serve this salad with soba noodles, using the dressing on the noodles as well. Would be delicious either warm or with chilled noodles. If you love seaweed then rehydrate some wakame and/or sea palm, drain and add to this dish.
This is the first video I’m posting on this website. I feel a little nervous. I know I look silly! I am a human being after all so I’m not going to worry too much. (but if you want to see more of my cooking videos feel free to leave charming comments:-) In my ongoing quest to figure out how to translate what I do in the kitchen to the web I know I have to include video. Maybe one day you’ll be able to download all the tastes and smells, but for now I hope that little videos like this will get you learning cooking by osmosis, like many of us used to learn from our mothers or grandmothers. This is the way I’ve learned to cook; from my mom, friends and all the different chef’s I’ve worked with. I’ve had so many incredible teachers, I hope I can be one of yours!
Almond milk is my favorite nut milk to make. I think its the most palatable one. I always soak the almonds overnight first, which makes it easier to digest and also opens up all of the nutrients for easy absorption. Its nutrient profile is impressive with high doses of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, protein, essential fatty acids and a wide spectrum of minerals. It is also the most alkaline of nuts and alkalizing the body has all sorts of health benefits, one of them being weight loss.
It has a mild, sweet flavor and easily replaces cow’s milk in most traditional recipes. For recipes that contain cream or half & half just use thicker almond milk, or almond cream. I show exactly how to do this in the video. Enjoy!
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight in 3 cups water then drained and rinsed
6 cups water
- Place the soaked almonds in a blender with 3 cups of water for 1-2 minutes, until very well blended.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer or use a nut milk straining bag to squeeze all of the nut milk out. Set this thick almond milk aside. You can make the almond milk even thicker by simply decreasing the amount of water added.
- Put the almond pulp back in the blender along with 4 cups of water and blend again for about a minute. Strain it and refrigerate, preferably in a glass container.
- Almond milk lasts 3-4 days in the fridge.
Nut milks can be used on top of your favorite raw granola or hot cereal, in smoothies or on their own. They can be flavored in many different ways, here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Cinnamon & cardamom with vanilla extract, a few drops of Sweet Leaf Vanilla Stevia or other flavored stevia, small amount of maple syrup, a pinch of Celtic sea salt, a few dates can be blended in for a sweet, delicious flavor and for something more exotic you can also add some rose, orange blossom water or a drop of cinnamon essential oil. Have fun experimenting!
Brazil nuts and hazelnuts can be used to make nut milk without soaking as they do not contain any enzyme inhibitors on their exterior like other nuts, so they are fine to use without soaking.
Cashews, hemp seeds and sesame seeds can all be used to make a nut or seed milk that does not need straining. Cashew milk that has been made with little water. I.e. 1 cup cashews to 2-3 cups water is now “cashew cream” and is an excellent dairy replacement in mashed potatoes or if you are trying to create a rich, dairy free, soup.
I’m still looking for great recipes or uses for it! If you have one I’d love to know about it!
Rice Balls or "Onigiri"
I know this must seem like the most boring thing in the world. A post on how to cook rice and form it into tiny balls. Yawn right? It’s not! I promise. It’s one of those things that looks so simple and plain and tastes refreshing and delicious. When living in Japan I fell in love with their rice balls or “onigiri”, especially from the 7-11. It was just such a novelty to be able to get such healthy fast food that tasted so good! Those ones had different fillings and were wrapped in super fresh nori.
This is the version I make at home all the time. They’re super fast and easy to make. They only contain 4 ingredients and versatile; they’re just as good for any meal of the day or a snack. My daughter loves them and if there are leftovers I heat them up in a dry skillet or cook them in a drop of toasted sesame oil till they get golden and crunchy on a few sides. These are my version of “yaki onigiri” or grilled rice balls. My kind of fast food!
Dress them up for a party by placing them on a beautiful platter with julienned vegetables, small nori sheets or smoked salmon. Especially good with cold beer, as I recall.
In all my years of making gluten free pasta, the brand Tinkyada is the only one thats completely comparable to regular wheat pasta. It’s delicious, it doesn’t fall apart, and best of all, I can serve it to anyone without having a huge conversation about gluten free pasta! Most people don’t notice it’s not Ronzoni, and if they do, it’s a moot point. It tastes good, end of story. Only thing to remember is that it does need to be rinsed after cooking or else it can be a bit gummy. The second runner up in the gluten free pasta department is Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. I like serving this to kids (and me too!) for the extra protein. I especially like the shells are with this creamy sauce.
When its cold out and I want a super satisfying soup that uses all those sweet, orange winter vegetables that are high in beta carotine, this is the recipe I grab first. It can be made with carrots, sweet potatoes or butternut squash. I usually use a combination of two of these.
My daughter started calling this “orange soup” so that’s what we call it now. Not sure if its due to the orange color or the fact that it contains oranges. Either way, she loves it and requested it for dinner tonight. My husband loves the crunchy pumpkin seeds and eats them by the handful so I usually double the recipe. enjoy!
I don’t know about you but I love making something extra special on Valentine’s Day! This year I’m into making raw desserts so I created this dessert for my sweetie who loves dark chocolate with salt.
I used a vegan pressed crust, that’s baked, for the textural contrast that’s so important to me in a satisfying dessert. The filling is raw so you serve it as a fully raw dessert by switching out the crust for a raw version or serving the filling on its own as a very rich chocolate mousse. If your sweetie is more of a fruity type then just skip sprinkling salt on top and serve it with fresh berries or a raspberry sauce on top instead. I’ve included a recipe for a raspberry sauce at the bottom!
When I’m in the mood for something a little more mysterious and spicy then I add some cinnamon, orange flavor or essential oil and a few dashes of cayenne. You don’t have to worry about tasting something with raw eggs in it so you can add and taste and make it your own.
Whether its Valentine’s Day or not I wanted to give you a slam-dunk of a recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth without spiking your blood sugar levels. This is such a rich, creamy, thick mousse that I would serve it to any of my foodie pals or in-laws without any excuse or explanation about how healthy it is. They’ll never suspect it doesn’t contain all the usual eggs, cream, sugar or butter. I’ve tested it and no – one called me a hippie. Promise.
These are delicious cookies and especially fun to make with kids, as they are foolproof, low in sweetener and full of healthy fats and whole grains. I’ve had friends feed them to their kids for breakfast, saying that they are healthier than any cereal out there – they reported no sugar spike. Isn’t that the best, when we feel like we’re feeding our kids really healthy food and they feel like they’re getting a treat!
It’s a forgiving recipe, you can change the nut or flours depending what you prefer or have on hand. After trying many different combinations, this is my favorite. I love the subtle nuttiness of the buckwheat flour and the extra protein of the quinoa flour.
1 cup almonds
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut or canola oil
2-3 Tbsp jam – your favorite kind. I use bionature strawberry “fruit spread” that is sweetened with apple juice.