Monthly Archives: September 2011

Make It Fresh – 12 Steps to a Healthier You

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Get Shopping!

You thought I’d say cooking didn’t you? Hehe surprise!!

Yes get shopping; which will lead to cooking.

It’s now fast approaching Autumn. The colors are changing on the trees and at the Farmer’s Markets. What’s in season? Apples, pumpkins, end of summer squash, figs, plums, eggplants (aubergines) and pears to name a few. And the fresher you buy the better the taste.

The air will be chilling soon and soups will call to us along with hearty stews.

One of my favorite recipes is surprisingly simple. Ok many of my recipes are simple. I find it’s easier to be healthy if it’s simple.

Warm Figs, Apples and Pears with Goat Brie

Ingredients:

6 Figs
1 Apple cored and cut into wedges
1 Pear cored and cut into wedges
1 Round Trader Joe’s Goat Brie
1/8 cup Dubliner Cheddar shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons mixed fresh herbs finely chopped – choose your favorites. I like rosemary, lavender, thyme, basil, and a hint of mint.
Himalayan pink salt

Oil a cookie sheet
Place fruit cut side up on sheet
Grind over fruit or sprinkle with salt
Sprinkle herbs lightly over fruit
Cut Brie into 1/4″ squares
Place one square on each piece of fruit
Top with a bit of finely grated Dubliner

Bake at 350 until Brie melts

Serve with red wine; as an appetizer to lamb or steak and follow with a dark green salad highlighting fresh citrus flavors.

Grains – 12 Steps to a Healthier You!

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Go For Grain!

Want to make your insides happy?
Want to lose weight?
Want to lower cholesterol?
Want to be full longer?
Want greater energy?

Yep. Grains!

Barley – Bulgar (bulgur) – Buckwheat – Oats – Quinoa – Rice – Spelt – Wheat – to name a few

In their whole forms to ground – maintaining their fiber – grains are fabulous!

Add a half cup of grain to your favorite soup.

Replace white flour with a richer ground grain flour.

Make risottos and pilafs with whole grains such as barley, brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa.

Enjoy whole grain salads like tabbouleh.

Buy whole grain pasta, or one of the blends that’s part whole-grain, part white.

Try whole grain breads. Kids especially like whole grain pita bread.

Look for cereals made with grains like kamut, kasha (buckwheat) or spelt.

Almond Coconut Granola

I found the basic recipe on line at http://www.eatingwell.com. The recipe was filled with unhealthy ingredients like corn syrup.

I recreated this using honey instead of corn syrup and added a few teaspoons of great seeds while remaining heavy on the whole grains, nuts and dried fruit. I chose organic dried fruits. And in fact used a chopped raw trail mix instead of the fruit and nuts. I’m experimenting with other milks as well with a focus on protein.

Ingredients
2/3 cup turbinado
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat flakes, (see Shopping Tip)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped Organic dried fruits – 2 cups if raisins are in the mix. Organic trail mix works well. Increase to 2.5 cups if the trail mix has nuts.

Preparation

Dissolve turbinado in boiling water in a medium bowl. Stir in dry milk and honey and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine oats, wheat flakes, wheat germ, seeds, almonds, coconut and salt in a large bowl. Add oil and the reserved milk mixture and mix thoroughly. Spread on a well oiled baking sheet. Bake the granola, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in raisins and dried fruit. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool.

Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1; refrigerate overnight. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Shopping Tip: Wheat flakes are simply wheat kernels that have been steamed and rolled, oatmeal-style. Look for them in natural-foods stores.

Variations:

Replace milk with peanut butter or almond butter.
Add unsweetened chocolate to the dry milk.
Add chocolate chips for that sweet tooth we all have.

Use to top yogurts, eat as a quick snack or . . .

Press into a sold flat sheet and allow to bake without stirring; then cut into bars.

The milk is part of your binder. If you want to add additional nuts and seeds increase the milk and simple syrup accordingly. It’s should be a bit gooey. When I was little we had astronaut food. A combo of peanut butter and dried milk. This too would work with the granola recipe rolled around it.