Healthy Spring Fruit Salad

Healthy Fruit SaladAre you one of those people that are constantly grabbing a sweet treat in place of fresh fruit?  Are you the same person that claims that preparing fruit is too time consuming?  Well, I may have just the answer . . .

Your best bet is to buy a small variety of several fruits when you are doing your weekly shopping.  Try picking out a selection of colors to make it not only flavorful but appealing to the eye.  Good choices are granny smith apples which are less sweet than regular apples, pears, tangerines, grapefruits, melons (when in season), kiwi and all types of berries.

All fruit should be purchased organic and rinsed well before slicing.  All pieces should be cut uniform in size.  Mix them together in a mixing bowl, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime and top with fresh sliced mint or basil or a combination of both.

The orange colored fruit in the photo is a kumquot.  It is a more exotic fruit and a bit hard to come by.  If you see them, I highly suggest you invest in buying a few.  They have a unique and pungent but satisfying flavor.

Enjoy creating your own recipe!

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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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