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

http://www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63

e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

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Khorasan Flour Crepes with Bosc Pear Filling

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Khorasan Flour Crepes with Bosc Pear Filling

It was Sunday morning and I woke up with a voracious appetite for crepes.  When I was a child, my mom would prepare them frequently on the weekend.  What a treat!  I looked into my freezer (where I keep my flours so they stay fresh) and decided to use Khorasan flour.  If you have celiac disease or have an allergy to wheat, do not use this flour!  It, like its cousin, spelt, is an ancient form of wheat.  Khorasan flour is better known as Kamut flour.  The word Khorasan refers to the area where the wheat is grown in modern day Iran.  Kamut or Khorasan is more easily digested than regular wheat flour.  It grows twice the height of modern day wheat and as a result, contains higher levels of protein, lipids, amino acids and vitamins.  The grain is amber in color and has a rich, nutty flavor.

Please keep in mind that gluten free is not necessarily healthier for everyone.  People who have celiac disease or a wheat allergy do not have a choice.  If they are interested in consuming baked goods, they must consume products that are prepared with a gluten free flour.  If you do not have either of these conditions, you may benefit more (nutritionally speaking) from an ancient form of wheat that is rich in nutrients.

Recipe:  (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour of choice

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 pastured eggs

1 1/2 cups milk or milk substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

buffalo or goat butter or coconut butter for frying

1 bosc pear thinly sliced

coconut nectar (optional)

Procedure:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ingredients and whisk until creamy and blended.

Prepare a small crepe pan with a 1/2 teaspoon of butter of choice.  Heat the butter and tilt the pan so the surface area is coated.  Pour in 1/4 cup batter and tilt the pan until bottom is covered in batter.  Heat on medium and cook until the edges start to form small bubbles.  At this point, using a spatula, try to scoop under the crepe.  If it comes off easily, then flip if over and cook the other side for about a minute longer.  If it does not come off easily, let it stay in the pan until it comes off easily.

Place on a plate.  Insert the slices of pear on one half and cover with the other half of the crepe.   Drizzle a little coconut nectar over the top if you wish.  Enjoy!

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khorasan_wheat

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

 

Beet Kvass

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Beet greens alongside beet chunks in glass container ready to make beet kvass

As a healing through food specialist and health supportive chef, I have been hearing about the wonderful health benefits that are derived from raw beet juice consumption.  The word “kvass” is a Russian word that means a lacto-fermented beverage made from sourdough rye or beets.  With its Russian origin, it originated in the Ukraine and has been consumed for over 1000 years by people living in that part of the world.  Now, it finally is making its way to the USA.

The benefits of this beverage are numerous.  As a lacto-fermented beverage, it contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which helps rebuild immunity and helps strengthen the gut.  This process allows key nutrients to be absorbed more readily into the body.

It helps with the digestive process, cleanses the liver, the gallbladder, improves bile flow, removes toxins from the body and fights free radical damage at the cellular level.  The red staining color in beets is derived from a set of phytonutrients known as betalains.  The betalains are responsible for the creation of red blood cells which alkalize the blood.

Inflammation can occur in an over-acidic body.  Due to maintaining balance among the pH level, it robs the body of calcium.  We all need to alkalize the body and beet kvass is an alkaline promoting beverage.

Beets are an excellent source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and C.  It is a rich potpourri of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

The beet kvass when ready to consume can be drunk as is or added to soups and salad dressings.

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Bowl of raw beets and the glass container of beet kvass

Recipe:

Beet Kvass 

(Serves:  8 cups)

Ingredients:

1 (2 quart) glass bottle or jar with tight fitting lid

4-5 small beets scrubbed, rinsed and diced

1 tablespoon sea salt

Filtered water

Procedure:

Put the diced beet chunks into the glass container.  Add the salt and proceed to fill the jar with water leaving about an inch or two of space from the top.  Close securely with a lid and keep it away from direct sunlight in a room temperature environment for 3 days.

At the end of the 3 days, it can be moved to refrigeration.  It is now ready to consume.  It is suggested to have 1/4 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening.

Experiment with added ginger root and carrots for a variation.

Note:  When following the GAPS Diet protocol, Stage I, the beet kvass can be consumed along with the gelatinous meat stock for additional digestive benefits.  Stage I excludes fiber but the juice from lacto-fermented beets is highly encouraged for healing of the gut lining.

Sources:

Axe, Dr. J. “The Beverage with Probiotic & Cancer Fighting Benefits”  September 16, 2015.  http://www.draxe.com/kvass/

Goldberg, Max. “Beet Kvass- What is it and Why am I drinking it?”  January 24, 2012.  http://www.livingmaxwell.com/beet-kvass

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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