Sunday, June 30, 2013

Raw Milk Smoothie

I am seldom tempted to venture very far from home when the weather is hot.  So this morning I got out of bed earlier than I ordinarily would to take a walk in a wooded canyon area that is not too far from where I am staying.  By the time I got back I was seriously ready for a substantial smoothie.  Trying to avoid my tendency for food ruts - and as you will note from my various smoothie posts - I have been trying to vary my smoothie each morning.  Here is what I came up with today.

Raw Milk Smoothie

1 1/2 c. raw milk
1 organic banana
3/4 c. frozen organic blueberries
1 slice fresh ginger
3 egg yolks

Blend milk, banana, blueberries and ginger until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a mason jar with a screw on lid along with 3 egg yolks and shake until the egg yolks are incorporated into the smoothie.  This prevents the healthy fats in the yolks from oxidizing or degrading.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Good Food Memory

Food memories can be awesome.  Several years ago I visited a rare and unusual place called Kayenta in  Southern Utah.  The Kayenta community is planned with respect for the environment - which includes plenty of open land, fantastic views of red rock and blue sky, as well as earthen dwellings that seem to melt into the landscape.

While exploring a beautiful desert labyrinth and Coyote Gulch Art Village my companions and I stopped for lunch at the Xetava Gardens Cafe.  

It was a hot day - as is often the case in Southern Utah.  I ordered a grass-fed beef steak salad.  It was awesome!  The steak was done to perfection - sliced thin over romaine lettuce and served with ranch dressing.

It was one of those mouth-watering and completely satisfying food experiences that you always remember afterward.

Now when the weather gets into the triple digits and I don't know what sounds good - I remember that steak salad - good food, and good company.

Saturday Morning Smoothies

It was a triple smoothie morning.

Brett, Charlotte, and I all converged on the kitchen at about the same time with different concepts of smoothies in mind.

Smoothie Number One

1 c. Coconut Water
3 frozen cubes of Raw Milk
Fresh Organic Strawberries
Fresh Organic Blackberries
Organic Spinach
1 T. Chia Seeds
1 T Coconut Oil

Blend until smooth.  This smoothie is not super sweet.  If you like smoothies that are a bit more sweet - then add a banana fresh or frozen.

I liked the addition of the frozen raw milk cubes because I was using fresh fruit this morning - the frozen raw milk added a nice chill and thickness to the smoothie.  Freezing raw milk in ice cube trays is a great idea for preserving raw milk when you have more than you can use on hand.  All the nutrients in the milk, but vitamin K, is preserved in freezing.

Smoothie Number Two

Raw Milk - Fresh Or Frozen
Frozen Organic Berry Mix - Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry
Fresh Organic Banana
Vanilla Extract
Raw Honey

Blend until creamy and smooth.  This smoothie is like a frozen ice-cream it is so thick.

Smoothie Number Three

Raw Milk - Fresh or Frozen
Fresh Organic Bananas
Lots of Dutch Cocoa
Vanilla Extract

Blend until creamy and smooth.   This smoothie is super-dark and super-delicious.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Beat The Heat - Cool Summer Meals

With temperatures reaching triple digits I am not in my usual cooking or baking-mode.

Here are some tips that help me deal with the heat.

1 - Eat small frequent meals - and eat less in general.   Small meals will keep you feeling energized and refreshed even when the weather is hot.

2 - Eat salad.  Salads are super refreshing and super healthy.  Tonight I had spinach salad, with sliced fresh organic strawberries, fresh organic blackberries, apple slices, pine nuts and a drizzle of homemade salad dressing (good quality olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard and sea salt).  I made a 15 minute pot of basmati coconut rice with turmeric and currants and a dash of cinnamon.n.

3- Learn to make cool summer soups.  For inspiration Julia Child has a fine selection of cool soups in volume two of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."   My son Brett looks forward to gazpacho when tomatoes are in season.  I like to dress gazpacho up with tiny cubes of cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and avocado.

4 - Stay hydrated with refreshing smoothies and fruity-concoctions.  One of my summer-time favorites is watermelon blended up in the blender and enjoyed like a slushi.

5 - Bananas tend to ripen fast in warm weather.  I like to freeze them rather than bake banana bread when the weather is hot.  Frozen bananas, along with frozen berries, are a great addition to smoothies.  The result can be so thick that you will be eating your smoothie with a spoon.

6 - If I do have to bake something or cook something - I try to do my cooking and baking in the morning.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Another Delicious Smoothie

For those moments when you want to indulge in some raw spinach - here is a smoothie that really is uniquely delicious, not too sweet, and VERY green.

Green Machine Smoothie

Raw spinach
Raw milk
1/2 avocado
1 t. spirulina
1 organic banana
1 t. raw honey
pinch of sea salt

Fill blender with raw spinach.  Pour in a little raw milk - just enough to make it all blend-able.  Add rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oxalic Acid and Greens For Smoothies

As those of you who follow my blog already know - I have been experimenting with smoothie making lately - and the smoothies I make often contain loads of raw spinach and raw kale - which are high in oxalic acid.

Having read several cautions lately regarding high levels of oxalic acid in foods such as raw spinach and raw kale I decided to read up on oxalic acid and oxalic acid containing foods.  Small amounts of oxalic acid, contained in the occasional spinach salad, for instance, seldom pose a problem.  However what about the popular green smoothie which contains a whole blender full of greens  that are slugged down on a daily basis?  

From what I have read - when oxalic acid occurs in high concentrations, as it does in some vegetables, such as those listed below, and fruits such as plums, figs, raspberries and blueberries (some of my favorites), and even chocolate, it can interfere with the absorption of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium which may even aggravate kidney stones over time. 

Traditional preparations have historically relied on cooking and fermenting to help mitigate the effects of oxalic acid in these otherwise super nutritious foods.


Sweet potatoes
Dandelion greens
Green Pepper
Turnip greens

So to err on the side of caution - I decided to swap out the spinach and kale this morning.

New and Improved Morning Smoothie

1 c. coconut water
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. chia seed
1 c. frozen organic berries - raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
1 frozen banana
handful of raw baby carrots
handful pea sprouts
handful sunflower seed sprouts
scoop raw protein powder
slice fresh ginger

Blend until creamy and smooth.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vegan Blueberry Smoothie

This past month or so I have been exploring variations on a theme of smoothies.

Today I intend to go shopping for ingredients. Meanwhile, I have been using ingredients that I already have on hand.

When I make a smoothie using a raw/vegan protein powder, which I do every so often, and which can give a smoothie a powdery flavor, I like to add either a fresh slice of ginger or a fresh slice of lemon with the peel on or both for that matter.  Lemon, in particular, gives the flavor of the smoothie a lift.

Vegan Blueberry Smoothie

1 c. coconut water
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 T coconut oil
1 T chia seeds
1 1/2 c. organic frozen blueberries
1 organic banana
1 scoop raw protein powder
slice fresh ginger or slice of lemon with peel

Blend until smooth and creamy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Coconut Berry Smoothie

Sunday morning - and I decided to mix things up a bit and create a non-dairy smoothie with some ingredients that I already had on hand.  Though any frozen organic berries will do - this morning I used a combination of acai fruit and blueberries along with some canned coconut milk that was left-over from making cardamom flavored basmati rice pudding with my son.

Coconut Blueberry Smoothie

1 c. coconut water
1/3 c. canned coconut milk
2 T coconut oil
1 T chia seed
1 organic banana
1 1/2 c. frozen organic berries
2 egg yolks

Blend coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, chia seed, banana and frozen berries until smooth and creamy.  You may have to stir it a lot as it is very thick.  Stir in egg yolks and enjoy!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Egg Yolks and Blueberry Smoothies

Over the past month I have eaten anywhere from one to three raw egg yolks a day.  I have stirred egg yolk into blended soups for added thickness, I have added them to salad dressings, and this morning I stirred raw egg yolk into my morning smoothie.

I have been reading up on raw egg yolks lately and without a doubt they are superstars when it comes to nutrition.  The yolk, in particular, is important because the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are concentrated in the yolk.  The yolk is also where you will find plenty of B vitamins, including B6 and B12, which many folks are short on, as well as calcium and zinc.  The bright yellow yolks of pastured eggs are loaded with important fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin - known for preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.  Egg yolks are rich in choline.  Choline is a fatty substance that is a major component of our brain.  Yolks are a good source of lecithin and contain Omega-three DHA another vital brain nutrient.

Raw Milk Smoothie

1 c. raw milk
1 c. organic blueberries
1 organic banana
1 slice fresh ginger
3 egg yolks from pastured egg - stirred not blended

Blend raw milk, blueberries, banana, and ginger until smooth and creamy.  Stir in egg yolks.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Good Pregnancy Food

One week ago today I became the grandmother of two healthy boys.

Pre-conception and through out her pregnancy mother Charlotte did not stint on nutrient-dense foods.

Charlotte carried the babies full term and went into labor naturally at forty weeks and one day - which, I hear, is pretty impressive in the world of twins.  With six midwives in attendance the babies were safely delivered at home.

At birth twin A weighed in at 6 pounds 8 oz. and measured 21 inches.  He is long and lean and strong.  At one week he is already filling out on breast milk.  Twin B weighed in at a hefty 7 pounds 2 oz. and measured 18 3/4 inches.  He is plumper than his brother and has been a contented baby with a calm disposition.

Little boys with big appetites can put a huge demand on a new mother's resources.

To keep Charlotte feeling good I have gotten into the habit of making a pre-breakfast smoothie in the morning to keep her going until breakfast.

I like the idea of making smoothies because they are convenient to make and are loaded with nutrients.

Though the smoothie I make varies every morning - here is an approximation of what it looks like. 

Breakfast Smoothie

coconut water
organic baby spinach or baby kale
organic berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
frozen acai puree
1 organic banana
1 scoop of raw protein powder
1 T. chia seeds
1 T. coconut oil
green stevia powder to taste

Blend until smooth and creamy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What Diet Is Right For You?

In the past year or so I have devoted much attention to exploring the concept of what does or does not constitute a "Perfect Diet." I have questioned again and again, taking individual differences into consideration, whether there really is a diet that is perfect for everybody.

During the past couple of years I have experimented with my own diet, exploring various macro-nutrient thresholds, always with an eye to how I feel.

As I explored carb thresholds I experimented with low carb diets - even very low carb diets.

Without going into great detail I became convinced that low-carb diets were not ideal for my energy needs or sense of well being.

Just recently I came across a book that seems to address many of the questions I have had about my experience with low-carb and paleo-style diets in general.

For those of you who might be on a similar path - I highly recommend "Perfect Health Diet" by Paul Jaminet, PH.D and his wife Shou-Ching Jaminet, PH.D.