Friday
Aug292014

Raw Cookies: Snickerdoodles

Our dear friend, Julia Corbett, has an incredible new book coming out soon!  Today we are sharing a sneak-peek inside "Raw Cookies", which is now available for pre-order. 

For those of you who don't know, Julia Corbett is the creator of Diviana Alchemy and author of "Sweet & Raw Pie Mandalas".  She has been one of our biggest visual and culinary inspirations.  She holds the coveted title as one of the top dessert chefs!  If you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (although this recipe took us only ten minutes to prepare), then you might want to check out her amazing packaged products!  Beyond her awesome products, she is sincerely one of the sweetest (all pun intended) beings! 

Julia has a chapter in her new book called "Raw Butter Cookies", which was the first chapter I gravitated towards when I opened the book!  Noelle & I are absolute butter enthusiasts...and this recipe did not disappoint.  If you'd like more information on the nutrition of butter - we'd love to refer you to our previous guest writer - Dr. Mercola.

Snickerdoodles

  • 5TB Raw Cold Butter
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder
  • 2 TB Lucuma Powder
  • 3 TB Coconut Sugar or Sun-Dried Cane Crystals
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 TB Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Cut cold butter into chunks, and add it to a food processor.

Add remaining ingredients to the food processor, and mix by pulsing until a
dough forms and all ingredients are incorporated.

For the Cinnamon Sugar, mix together the coconut sugar and cinnamon in a
small bowl.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls with your palms.  Dip each ball in the
Cinnamon Sugar until the whole ball is covered, and set on a plate or a
parchment-paper-lined dish.  Chill for about 1 hour before serving.  Store
chilled. 

Saturday
Aug232014

Iced Chaga Latte

I'm in love with anything chaga.  Not only is this incredible mushroom antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-candida, anti-cancer, and virtually every other "anti" you can think of (read all about the medicinal properties of this herb here)....but it taste phenomenal.  

Chaga contains vanilloids, which are flavor compounds found in vanilla.  So basically, this herb brewed as a tea just tastes like a mild vanilla tea.  It's pleasantly neutral flavor allows for a multitude of uses.  Today we're doing an iced latte!

I brew my chaga tea using a crockpot.  I fill the crockpot all the way up (about one gallon's worth) with spring water, and then add about a 1/4 C of crushed chaga pieces.  I let this brew for at least six hours for up to two days.  Chaga reduces down beautifully, and will get more viscous (almost like a light syrup) as it boils down.  After the chaga has decocted, let cool down to room temperature and then strain into glass jars.  Do not throw away the chaga that has brewed, instead - make medicine by tincturing it!  Set the chaga tea in the fridge for around two hours to chill.  Now you are ready for lattes! 

Iced Chaga Latte

  • 16oz Chaga Tea, chilled
  • 1/4 C Raw Cream or Coconut Milk
  • 2 dropperfuls Chaga Tincture
  • 5 drops Vanilla Stevia (or more to taste)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender.  Serve on ice!  If you want more of a coffee flavor, use English Toffee Stevia instead of Vanilla Stevia and add in 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract.  This is also fantastic topped with a dollop of whipped cream...but really - what isn't?

Monday
Aug182014

Blue Majik Cake Pops

Today, I have the incredible fortune of collaborating with one of my best friends -- Juliana.  Juliana and I met a couple years ago at Matthew Kenney's Culinary Academy in Santa Monica.  She has been one of my favorite people since our union....she is so compassionate, hilarious, loving, and thoughtful.

Juliana and I serendipitously rendezvoused in Maine a couple weeks ago and decided to culminate some magic utilizing one of our favorite products (and one of the most interesting products on the market right now) - Blue Majik from E3Live.

Blue Majik is an extract of Spirulina.  It is mostly composed of Phycocyanin, the color pigment protein in the algae....thus making this product the most beautiful hue of blue.  You will truly believe in color therapy after opening this bottle of magic!

Enjoy this whimsicle recipe!

Blueberry Cake

  • 3⁄4 C Almonds, soaked
  • 3⁄4 C Oat Flour
  • 1⁄2 Apple, chopped
  • 2 Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 TBS Chia Flour
  • 1⁄2 TBS Psyllium Husk Powder 
  • 1⁄4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1⁄2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/3 cup Blueberries

Freeze the blueberries on a cookie sheet.  

Grind soaked almonds into course crumbs in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients, except for blueberries, and process until well combined. Remove blueberries from the freezer and fold into batter (this prevents the blueberries from coloring the batter).

Place the batter mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.  Remove from the fridge and begin to mold small donut-hole shapes.  Spear the donut holes with a popsicle stick.  Lay out your donut holes on a mesh dehydrater sheet and dehydrate for 5 hours.  Transfer your donut holes into the freezer for one hour.  This will allow the icing to adhere to the batter.

Blue Majik Icing

  • 1/2 C Cacao Butter
  • 1/2 C Stone-Ground Cashew Butter
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Blue Magik
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 drops Blueberry Medicine Flower Extract
  • Stevia Extract to Taste

Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl.  Dip the frozen cake pops into the icing, and then lay them on a cooling-rack atop a cookie sheet.  Place in fridge for icing to firm up.  Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday
Aug022014

Three Lily Farm

Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity of visiting our friends at Three Lily Farm in Maine.  Three Lily Farm is the home of Frank and Camille Giglio along with their beautiful son, Wilder.  It is 26 acres of quiet abundance. Their home, nestled in the heart of the lush property - has shelves and shelves lined with homemade spices, fermented products, meads, and other foods from their land.  Right outside of their home lays a pristine spring-fed pond.  

It is so beautiful to experience contrast in life.  Kaia, my good friend, and I went from a busy work day in the city to the secluded farm.  You can almost feel a shift in your nervous system as you pull into the long drive-way.  Noticing and entering the stillness in life can be so nourishing - especially when you have experienced the divergence from it.  

We got to Three Lily Farm and Camille brought up a gorgeous sun-tea her and Frank had prepared yesterday. Camille prepared an elixir and then we we're off to harvest berries for some homemade chocolates.  Their land is abundant with raspberries, mullberries, and blueberries.  About half of the berries made it into the berry pouches, and about half you would eat right off the bushes and trees.

Sun Tea

  • 2 TBS Hibiscus
  • 2 TBS Peppermint
  • 1 TBS Sumac
  • 1 TBS Nettles
  • 1 TBS Rose Hips
  • 1 TBS Oatstraw
  • Berry Kombucha or Sparkling Water
  • Stevia Extract

Place all the dry ingredients at the bottom of a half-gallon mason jar.  Cover with spring water and let sit in the sun for 8 hours.  Chill overnight.  When ready to serve, fill glasses up with ice.  Pour in 3/4 the size of the glass of sun tea, and then add in 1/4 of the cup in Kombucha or sparkling water.  Add in stevia extract to taste. Enjoy!

We returned back to the home and prepared beautiful a beautiful white and dark chocolate which we then filled with a divine berry whipped cream.  We swam in the pond and enjoyed our chocolates.  It was such a glorious day.  Frank & Camille are some of the sweetest souls and so commited to crafting the universe of their land.  

 

Frank Giglio, a remarkable and extremely educated chef, has composed an in-depth course on Fermentation.  If you are looking to add home-made fermented goodies to your repetoire, then you have to check out this course!  It is 5 weeks of hands-on crafting with guided instruction by Frank himself!  If you are interested in learning more about this awesome offering, then click here to find out more!  

Tuesday
Jul222014

Chocolate & Cardiovascular Health by Mercola.com

We are so incredibly blessed to feature Dr. Mercola's amazing team on our blog today!  Dr. Mercola is a champion of wholistic nutrition and healthy living.  He has inspired millions of people to pursue their health goals and we are so moved by his mission!  Today, we are talking about none other than our favorite food -- chocolate!  

How Chocolate Can Be Good for Your Heart

Chocolate is one of the most popular and well-loved foods around the world, and giving it up is difficult for many people. Fortunately for chocolate lovers, plenty of studies vouch for the health benefits of chocolate.

It is important to note that the chocolate in question here is raw cacao or dark chocolate – not milk chocolate. 

Unprocessed chocolate contains flavonols, which have antioxidant properties that can help eliminate free radicals.

Can Chocolate Promote Cardiovascular Health?

Years ago, researchers found that small amounts of dark chocolate can support your heart. The researchers discovered that, like aspirin, chocolate possesses a biochemical effect that decreases the clumping of platelets, which cause blood to clot. Platelet clumping can be fatal if the clotting blocks a blood vessel.

Another study in 2008 found that raw cocoa powder can lower the risk of cardiovascular problems in diabetics. Participants were given a special cocoa drink (with high levels of flavonols) to drink for one month. An improvement was seen in the diabetics’ blood vessel functions, which was impaired. This change was similar to those observed who exercised or used diabetes medications.

In a more recent study, researchers discovered that chocolate contains the compound epicatechin, a flavonoid that can help protect your brain after a stroke by stimulating two pathways that shield your brain’s nerve cells from damage. Epicatechin and similar antioxidants can be found in tea, red wine, and certain fruits and vegetables. 

Other Benefits of Chocolate

Take a look at these other chocolate benefits: 

  • Resveratrol, a potent water-soluble polyphenol, is produced by certain fruits and vegetables, most abundantly in muscadine grapes. Recent findings have shown that resveratrol can be obtained in raw cacao.
  • Raw cacao can contribute to a healthy sex life because of its “aphrodisiac” properties. Cacao contains anandamide or the “bliss molecule,” along with compounds that prevent your body from breaking down this molecule. 
  • At the same time, cacao is a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, antioxidants, arginine, and methylxanthines. It also has phenylethylamine or the “love chemical,” which induces the release of dopamine in your brain during sex.
  • Chocolate is a natural painkiller. A researcher from the University of Michigan found that consuming chocolate can help release natural opiates in your brain that help relieve pain. 
  • Eating chocolate can also yield a psychoactive effect, helping increase your production of endorphins or “feel good” hormones in the brain. 
  • A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry rated different types of chocolate according to their antioxidant content.  Cocoa powder has the highest amount, then unsweetened baking chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and finally, milk chocolate. 

Recommended Types and Amounts of Chocolate  

While one of the studies confirms the antioxidant properties of milk chocolate, this type of chocolate should be avoided. The milk added to chocolates interferes with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients in the chocolate. Milk chocolate also contains loads of sugar and has less than half of the flavonoids of dark chocolate after being processed.

Another concerning matter about processed milk chocolate is its high lead content. There is little information on where the lead comes from. Researchers speculate that it’s from the shipping or the manufacturing process. You can limit your risk of exposure by consuming only dark, organic, unprocessed chocolate.

Other than limiting your chocolate to the unprocessed variety, consume it only if you’re healthy and in moderation. People with disorders related to insulin resistance should avoid any form of chocolate altogether.

You should only eat about 6.7 grams of dark chocolate per day, or less than half a bar a week. This small amount may produce significant effects against inflammation and cardiovascular disease. 

About the Author:

Katrina Pascual writes for Mercola.com, and is researching wholesome foods that naturally promote cardiovascular health. She is also researching wholesome herbal supplements, such as curcumin and tulsi, and how they affect people’s overall health.