Raw Lemon and Lime Curd Tartlets

20170802_174131The credit for this sumptuous, tangy dessert goes to Zita Steyn, a graduate of the Natural Gourmet’s Chef Training Program.  After having stumbled upon the recipe by chance, I was completely captivated by the elegant aspect of the individual scalloped edge tartlets with its creamy sea green filling dotted with the ubiquitous summer blueberry.

I immediately knew that I had to make this recipe.  Upon scanning the list of ingredients, I became aware that everything going into it was raw and healthy.  The crust was made up of sprouted buckwheat, coconut oil, cashews, unsweetened coconut flakes, Medjool dates, lemon zest and sea salt.  The filling was made up of pecans, avocado, lemon and lime juice, honey, lemon oil, coconut oil and sea salt.

As for the equipment, although I possess many baking gadgets, individualized tartlet shells were not part of my baking repertoire.  I had to venture out and invest in these elaborate little pie pans.

After shopping for the specifics, I gathered all the  ingredients and set to work to try out the recipe.  Although the finished product gave the impression that it was complicated, nothing could be further from the truth.  The crust came together nicely as well as the filling.  Upon assembling it, I couldn’t believe that it looked just like the picture in the recipe.  Wow!  I was really impressed to say the least!

20170801_083704As for taste, the crust had a delicate crunch and the filling was incredibly light, creamy and tangy and not overbearingly sweet.  It seemed like the perfect ending to a mid summer’s evening dinner.

This recipe is gluten-free and vegan friendly.  It is not appropriate for the Auto-Immune Paleo, Candida, GAPS, Low Histamine, Low FODMAPS or Paleo Ketogenic Diets.  It is appropriate for the Gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian and Weston A. Price Diets.

Yield:  6 Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sprouted, dried buckwheat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup shelled, unroasted cashews, soaked for a few hours and drained
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus extra to serve
  • 3/4 cup dry unsweetened coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 large soft Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

For the Filling:

  • Scant 1 cup shelled, unroasted macadamia or pecan nuts, soaked for a few hours then drained
  • 3/4 cup mixture of lemon and lime juice (about 2 large lemons and 3 limes)
  • 2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality lemon extract or a few drops of lemon oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil

Procedure:

1.  Blitz all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse, wet sand.  Scrape out and press into 6 mini tart pans, 4 inch diameter.  Refrigerate while you make the filling.

2.  In a powerful blender, blend all the ingredients for the filling until very smooth.  If using a regular blender, the result will not be quite as smooth, so you may want to strain the mixture through a strainer.  Taste, and it if is too tart, add another tablespoon or two of honey, bearing in mind that the crust is sweet and offsets the filling beautifully.

3.  Spoon the filling into the tart shells and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Carefully unmold each tart and serve with fresh blueberries and some fresh lime or lemon zest.  They keep well in their pans in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Eat More Greens by Zita Steyn, published by Quadrille Publishing March 2017, RRP $24.99 hardcover.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.                                                                                                  http://www.healthynourishedbody.com  http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63                        e:  healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Sugar Free Buckwheat Granola

20170830_090127After having scanned the shelves of some of the best health food stores for a quality homemade granola that is both gluten free and sugar free and coming up empty handed, I decided to invent my own.

My homemade granola not only has a superior flavor, but in addition, it is super rich in nutrients, easy to prepare and fits the criteria for a healthy breakfast solution for a number of the healing through food dietary protocols.

The interesting part about this recipe is that many of the ingredients can be swapped out for similar ingredients if there is one that is not to your liking.

The main grain that I use is the much forgotten buckwheat groat.  This versatile grain is roasted in the oven along with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and spices.  I use a non scented and neutral oil such as coconut oil to moisten the grain, seed and nut mixture.  This mixture is then spread out on a parchment lined baking dish and baked in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.  As soon as it cools, it is ready to eat.

This recipe is appropriate for the following diets:  Gluten free Diet, Vegan Diet and Vegetarian Diet

Note:  For the Candida Diet, leave out the raisins and add dried mulberries or aronia berries which are low glycemic fruits.  For the Low FODMAPS Diet, leave out the raisins and cocoa powder.  For the Low Histamine Diet, leave out the nuts, raisins and cocoa powder.

20170830_092619.jpgIngredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup Thompson black raisins or dried mulberries or aronia berries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup powdered organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Procedure:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well so all pieces are coated with the oil.

Spread the mixture on a baking pan lined with a Silt Pat or parchment paper.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Note:  This is a gluten free version of the traditional granola made with rolled oats.  It should be used as a topping for yogurt, fruit or apple sauce and not eaten in a large portion as a cereal substitute.  It is too rich in nutrients and needs to be consumed in smaller amounts.

20170830_095232Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.   http://www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

 

11 Foods that Promote Healing Candida in the Body

 

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with Candida Albicans, Invasive Candidiasis, Candidemia, Systemic Fungal Infection or a Parasite Infection?  I, myself, have struggled off and on with this over the years.  There are now over 46,000 new cases per year.    It has been determined that 75% of all people are affected to some degree by this systemic fungal infection which can colonize in the intestines or other areas of the body.

Modern medicine has determined that uncontrolled fungus in the body may be the root cause of various chronic diseases/illnesses.  With an unbalanced microbiome, your immune system weakens and can open the door to an entire host of medical complications.

So why is this on the rise?  One of the main reasons is due to diet.  People are too busy to think about what they are consuming.  High carbohydrate diets proliferate and not only cause an acidic environment but the starches break down into sugar and feed the fungus.  A vicious on-going cycle is created.  In addition, food is now grown in mineral depleted soil which also creates acidity in the body.  Being super stressed day in and day out also takes its toll and weakens the adrenals.

So, what can you do about it?  The number one thing you need to do is curtail your consumption of all sugar and limit the amounts of starch.  My next post will be discussing foods you can eat and foods you need to steer clear of.  Once you eliminate the sugar, start adding in as many of the following ingredients as you can.

  • Cayenne Pepper – Increases circulation (Do not use if following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet)
  • Coconut Oil – Is an anti-fungal and strengthens immunity.
  • Garlic – Is an anti-fungal, boosts good bacteria, stimulates the liver and colon.  (Do not use is following the Low FODMAPS Diet)
  • Ginger – Has anti-inflammatory properties, a detoxifying effect in the body, increases circulation
  • Lemon + Lime – Increases alkalinity in the body (Do not use if following the Low Histamine Diet)
  • Olive Oil – Is an anti-fungal, helps stabilize blood sugar levels. (Use only a good quality oil that is greenish in color)
  • Onions – Are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic  (Do not use if following the Low FODMAPS Diet)
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Are anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and high in the omega 3 fatty acids.  (Do not use if following the Autoimmune Paleo Diet)
  • Rutabagas – Are considered one of the most potent antifungal foods  (Do not use if following the Paleo Ketogenic Diet)
  • Seaweed – Rich source of iodine, helps balance the thyroid gland, flushes heavy metals out of the body
  • Turmeric – Contains the natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin  (Do not use if taking anticoagulants which can interfere and cause blood clotting)

Sources:

Richards, Lisa  “10 Foods That Will Fight Your Candida”  www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-fighting-foods.htm

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody63@gmail.com

 

 

When to Implement a Low FODMAP Diet

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Are you suffering from any of these symptoms?  Diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal distention or stomach pain?  Were you told by your doctor that you have Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?  If so, you may want to seriously think about following the low FODMAP Diet.  This diet was developed at Monash University in Australia and is specifically designed for people that have gut disorders.

The word FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.  They are short chain carbohydrates that are not absorbed and consequently, begin to ferment in the colon and are consumed by bacteria.  The waste products produced by the bacteria cause the above mentioned symptoms and if not corrected, can lead to other complications.

The diet, when first used, is considered a type of elimination diet that helps heal the gut.  It is advisable to follow the diet for about 6-8 weeks being sure to drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day to help flush out toxins.  After the 6-8 week cleansing period, one nutritious ingredient that is not Low FODMAP, can be consumed.  It is pertinent to take notice of any negative occurrence that take place by maintaining a log or diary and jotting down any symptoms experienced.

It is highly recommended that you do not follow this diet on your own.  It is best to work with a qualified health care practitioner such as a functional medicine doctor, naturopath and/or nutritionist who can run a series of tests to determine if this is the best diet to follow.

Once you get the “food as medicine” prescription to implement the diet and feel overwhelmed, you can contact me, Ilia, the healing through food specialist/chef/teacher who can work with you to design customized menu plans or offer you a series of cooking lessons specifically tailored for the Low FODMAP Diet or have the customized meals prepared for you in your kitchen by my company, Healthy Nourished Body.

In the next post, I will be discussing which foods you can consume and which ones to steer clear of for the Low FODMAP Diet.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/ writer/ blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 or e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

7 Foods That Can Interfere with Your Meds

Most of us who take medication do so without giving a second thought as to with which ingredients it is taken.  We pop a pill, gulp down some water and we are off.  I would like to inform you of some foods that may cause havoc if taken in conjunction with various medicines.

The first one I would like to point out is the grapefruit.  It negatively interferes with a number of prescription drugs.  The medicine winds up remaining in the body too long or for too short a time and consequently, can cause a host of side effects.  An example is Lipitor, the cholesterol lowering statin which so many are on these days.

Another food to be on the lookout for is milk.  The combination of the minerals, calcium and magnesium as well as the protein, casein, make it much more difficult for the body to break down the antibiotic.

A third food to be aware of is licorice.  It contains a chemical that disrupts the potency of the drug, making it less effective.

The fourth food (oh no, everyone’s favorite treat) is chocolate.  Believe it or not, dark chocolate is the worst and will have a weakening effect on a drug like Ambien meant to help you relax and fall asleep.  In addition, for patients on Ritalin, the stimulant drug will increase in potency and for people taking an MAO inhibitor, it makes your blood pressure sky high.

Number five is alcohol which negatively interfere’s with almost all meds by making them either ineffective, completely useless, too strong or presenting horrible side effects.

The number six food is, yeah, you guessed it, coffee which weakens the effect of the drug and interferes with how your body uses iron.

The final food is the vitamin K rich category of cruciferous vegetables which consists of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, etc.  These vegetables need to be limited if taken warfarin to prevent blood clots.  Contrary to one’s beliefs, it can thin the blood and make you susceptible to a blood clot.

So there you have it!  These foods do not work synergistically with meds in the body. Make a note of it and be aware!

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/ writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

 

A Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookie

IMG_20170729_201153_561 (1)Does your mouth water and an immediate craving sets in upon the mention of homemade chocolate chip cookies?  I know this happens to me!  These delectable morsels were often times a treat that I would come home to from school on numerous occasions.

Now, 40 years later, we have come to realize that the ingredients that make up the traditional cookie are not that good for us from a nutritional perspective.  The time has come for a chocolate chip cookie makeover.

Try substituting tiger nut flour for the traditional white flour.  It is antioxidant rich and despite its name, it is nut free and gluten free.  It derives from a wild tuber which, by the way, is a good source of fiber which keeps you full and eliminates over indulging.

Try adding some tahini (ground sesame seeds) which are high in healthy fats and amino acids (protein).  The white sugar can be swapped out for maple sugar which is derived from the sap of the maple tree and is rich in minerals.

Try using chocolate chips which are sweetened with a little stevia or monk fruit in place of sugar.  This recipe can be made without the sugar for individuals with diabetes.  If you are vegan, try swapping out the egg for ground flax and filtered water.  (ratio:  3 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon ground flax meal).   Both tiger nut flour and tiger nuts can be purchased at quality health food stores.  The simple recipe is on the back of the package.  Feel free to add some walnuts or unsweetened coconut flakes.  Enjoy!

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/ blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Lemon Curd Parfait

With the heat of the summer and the abundance of fresh berries on hand, this is the perfect dessert to satisfy

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your sweet tooth.  Although it really isn’t all that sweet, it is very gratifying.  It is tangy and creamy and has a pudding like consistency.  Imagine taking a spoonful and being delighted with  the creaminess of the pudding enveloped in a sea of fresh berries that seem to explode on your taste buds. I chose blueberries and raspberries but you could use any other berry of choice.

This dessert uses an alternative sweetener called monk fruit which ironically is 300-400 times sweeter that sugar with no calories and zero effect on blood sugar.  It contains antioxidants known as mogrosides which are metabolized differently than traditional sugars.  It has been in use for centuries and now can be found in health food stores in the United States.  It helps fight free radicals in the body and helps lower the risk of obesity and diabetes among other benefits.

Recipe:  (Yield 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 4 large eggs or medium
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups berries of choice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint

Procedure:

In a medium pot, whisk the sweetener, lemon and egg.  Add coconut oil and place on medium heat.  Once the oil is melted, constantly whisk until mixture thickens.  Pour the mixture through a strainer with small holes.  Let the curd cool completely.

When cool, in a parfait glass, layer the berries and pudding.  Top with grated lemon zest and mint.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/ culinary instructor/writer/ blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e: healthynourishedbody@gmail.com