Onion bread

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Recipe credit Elaina Love

This recipe is raw, dehydrated and a satisfying bread substitute. 

The aroma wafting through the house as these are ‘uncooking’ is incredible.  Its the rich tamari seasoning and the pungent onions that catch my attention and demand taste tests ASAP!

This recipe is incredibly simple in terms of ingredients, as long as you have a dehydrator.  Do not attempt in the oven!!  It takes A LOT of time..24 hrs, then another 12 hours after flipping..so it pays to fill your dehydrator up with double or triple batches to make the most of the time.  Or..if you have a new Sedona (like me ;), then you can use your seperator tray to operate the top or bottom half only.

Onion bread

3 large yellow onions
3/4 cup flax seeds, unsoaked, ground
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsoaked, ground
1/4 cup wheat free tamari
1/3 cup olive oil

1.  Peel onions, slice finely using a mandoline.
2.  Place onions in a bowl, add remaining ingredients.  Mix well to combine.  Take 1/4 of mixture and blend to a smooth batter.  Mix this back into the remaining mixture.
3.  Spread 1.5 cups of mixture evenly onto a teflex lined dehydrator sheet.  Repeat until all mixture is used.
4.  Dehydrate at 41C or 105F for 24 hours.
5.  Flip and peel off teflex sheet.  Dehydrate for another 12 hours or until its reached the texture you prefer.  I like mine still moist and tender. Next time I’ll use a little less tamari and oil as the tamari is quite overpowering and I want the onions to be the king of this recipe.

I cut mine into pieces, wrapped in parchment paper and froze it.  I eat it by itself as its so tasty..or you can serve alongside a salad or with guacamole or hummus.

The dirty dozen

When it comes to the contentious  issue of eating organically, I confess that a lot of the time I don’t.  While I was in Bali I ate ALL organic food because I went out to eat.  It was available, excellent and well priced.  Everyone around me was eating organic, plant based food.  But now I find its not as freely available, there’s less choice and its expensive.  So I want a bit of a yardstick to measure what items are FULL of pesticides that I’d be better off buying organic or growing myself.  And I also want a list of the produce that I can get away with buying despite them being grown with crap sprayed all over them.

Why would I go to all of this trouble? 

Xenoestrogens are one reason.  Pesticides and parabens mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the endocrine system.  This can lead to a multitude of chronic conditions including hormonal imbalance which wreaks havoc, particularly for women.  Its called estrogen dominance (ED).  How many women do you know who have endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, ovarian or breast cancer or the symptoms that go with them – acne, depression, digestion problems, inability to conceive, weight gain…the list goes on.

You probably would have heard that the addition of parabens to skin care products, cosmetics, shampoo’s and moisturisers cause the same endocrine disruption as pesticides.  Well, did you know that parabens are commonly added to packaged food?  The dirty dozen of food parabens as published by EWG, list a bunch of foods that could be causing havoc in your body including:

Jellybeans, tortillas, muffins, beverages, dairy products, meats, preserved meats, chips, sausages, lard, anything with artificial colouring, microwave popcorn….anything packaged listing ingredients with strange numbers…

…I should summarise by saying that anything processed that has a shelf life is likely to be full of crap and ultimately hormone disruptors.  And all of them are contributing to sickness.  How can the body regulate itself – how can it reach homeostasis – that place where the all of the systems work together harmoniously to provide the perfect recipe for the body to operate without Dis-ease?

In a study of children living on farms, their fat contained up to 14 pesticides of which some were estrogen mimicing

The dirty dozen
This is a list of 22 foods to buy or grow organically.  These suck up pesticides and hold onto them.  There was originally a dozen, hence the name.

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Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, chillis, kale, collard greens, zucchini, lettuce, blueberries, fatty meats, milk, coffee, wine, chocolate.

The clean 15
This is a list of foods that don’t suck up pesticides quite so much.  One tip you can use is to rinse inorganic produce in a water/vinegar solution to remove any residue.

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Onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, mango, papaya, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, mushrooms.

Pumpkins have two big problems; insects love them and they catch lots of diseases such as bacterial wilt and mildew. So what do the farmers do? Apply liberal doses of pesticides and fungicides. More bad news, pumpkins are so efficient at absorbing poisons from the soil they could be used as a filter to clean out toxins like DDT, PCBs and Dioxins.

Well I got the above quote from the green eatz site and I don’t know how true it is because my Mum has a bumper crop of pumpkins growing  without pesticides.  However pumpkin doesn’t feature in EWG’s top 50 dirty dozen so I’m not going to fret over the inorganic pumpkin I used in this soup!

Pumpkin soup

1/4 pumpkin, chopped
Stock or bone broth
Cumin
Ground coriander
Garam Masala
Turmeric
Vegetable boullion

1.  Put pumpkin in pot
2.  Cover with broth.
3.  Add in everything else to taste
4.  Bring to boil, then simmer till pumpkin is tender.
5.  Blitz in blender until silky smooth.
6.  Add in a dollop of coconut cream if you’re feeling decadent.

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My vitamix turns out the BEST silky smooth soup!

References
Good housekeeping
NCBI
Clean eats
EWG

Tahini

Tahini is the easiest thing in the world to make.  I use tonnes of it to put in slices, hummus, as toppings or just by the spoon full!  It’s a great no-nut peanut butter substitute.  Sesame seeds are full of all the good stuff:

  • Incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.
  • The seeds are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, which comprises of up to 50% of fatty acids in them. Oleic acid helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in mono-unsaturated fats may help prevent coronary artery disease, and stroke by favoring healthy serum lipid profile.
  • Sesame seeds contain many health benefiting compounds such as sesamol (3, 4-methylene-dioxyphenol), sesaminol, furyl-methanthiol, guajacol (2-methoxyphenol), phenylethanthiol and furaneol, vinylguacol, and decadienal. Sesamol and sesaminol are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the human body.
  • Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin.
  • 100 g of sesame contains 97 µg of folic acid, about 25% of recommended daily intake. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis. When given to expectant mothers during their peri-conception period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.

Just a handful of sesame a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein.

I used unhulled sesame seeds in this recipe, which you can buy from Binn Inn.  But you can use hulled (the white ones) seeds also.  You can also make this a raw tahini by omitting the toasting step.  Toasting (and the unhulled seeds) give the tahini a nuttier flavour which I prefer.

Tahini (makes about 400 gm)

Recipe inspiration from http://www.thekitchn.com

250 gm Unhulled sesame seeds

1/2 cup Grapeseed oil (or any neutral flavoured oil)

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for 5-10 minutes until they are fragrant.
  2. Blend until the seeds form a powder that starts to stick together
  3. Add in the oil until it reaches the consistency you desire.  It should have the texture of peanut butter.

Store in the fridge.

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References

Nutrition and you

The Kitchn

Cashew cream & chia parfait

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Chia seeds are native to South America.  They are a nutrition powerhouse.  A serving of 28 gms contains:

Fiber: 11 grams.
Protein: 4 grams.
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
137 calories

They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

These are the reasons I love chia :

*  High in protein
*  Full of antioxidants
*  Can be used as an egg replacement
*  Contains 18% RDA of Calcium
*  High fibre, wholegrain
*  Easy, versatile meal

Cashew cream & chia parfait

I usually love my parfaits with coconut yoghurt – but I ran out, so I whipped up some cashew cream as a substitute.  Its creamy decadence is wicked and calorie wise should definitely be restricted!  However its a versatile cream that can be used on top of anything from pancakes to soups.

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Cashew cream recipe adapted from http://www.healthyblenderrecipes.com

Cashew cream:
1 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours
1/4-1/2 cup filtered water depending on desired thickness
1-2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract, plus more to taste
a pinch of Celtic/himalayan sea salt

Throw everything into the blender and blast on high until thick and creamy.

It is a good idea to start with ¼ cup of water, and then gradually thin it out in order to achieve the desired thickness.

**Please note – you will need a high speed blender in order to achieve a really creamy consistency. With a conventional blender, you must soak the cashews by covering with room temperature water for about 4 hours or the quick way (albeit not raw) by covering with boiling water for 15 minutes.

Parfait
1/2 cup frozen berries (thawed)
Water to blend
1/4 cup soaked chia
Extra brown rice syrup for topping

I keep a jar of soaked chia in the fridge, however if you are making this last minute use boiling water for instant soaked chia!

Blend your berries with a little water.

Start your parfait with the chia, then layer with berries, cashew cream and LSA, finishing with cashew cream on top and a sprinkle of LSA and a streak of syrup.

You can add seeds or nuts or granola to give it some crunch!

Enjoy!

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References
Authority Nutrition
Healthy blender recipes

Delicious Buckwheat oat pancakes for 1

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Screw it, I’m having pancakes for dinner!

This recipe is based off the buckwheat pancakes I posted a few days ago but in a single portion and its now gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, low fructose and NO eggs!!  And I prefer them!  Yummy!  And so easy to make.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup milk of your choice (I used ricemilk)
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp aluminium free baking powder
Pinch of himalayan salt
1 T coconut oil (melted)
1 chia egg (1 T chia meal in 3 T water..sit for 5 mins in fridge)
1-2 T brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

Coconut oil to cook

Pour milk into oats and sit for 10 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients except xanthan gum and mix.  Sprinkle in xanthan gum and stir a few times quickly.  The xanthan gum is optional.  This recipe should work without it but haven’t tried it yet.

Cook until golden brown on either side and serve with your choice of berries, syrup and yoghurt.  I had mine with maple and brown rice syrup and fresh tart plums from the garden.

Heat coconut oil in pan until hot and make 3 big round pancakes.  The mixture will be thick and easy to shape.

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Zoodle stirfry (& how to zoodle!)

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If you haven’t caught onto the craze yet – zoodles are a noodle made from zucchini.

Well, my stirfry doesn’t really show my zoodles to their full magnificance – this is what they look like with skins on:

If you peel then marinate the zoodles in a little himalayan or sea salt for 5-10 minutes and lightly saute, they’re a great substitute for wheat noodles in spaghetti bolognese.  The texture is soft and delicious and kidlets will LOVE them!

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..and here is the gadget that produced them – the Paderno world cuisine spiralizer.  It has a tri blade that cuts 2 sizes of spaghetti type noodles and a ribbon cut noodle :

You can purchase the Paderno on Trademe (or Amazon).  It’s about NZD$77.

Words can’t describe my childlike glee when I take a humble zucchini or carrot and within seconds, produce a long colourful voodle (vege noodle).  This is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.

Zoodle stirfry

I’m loving this sweet and salty tasty vege sidedish that can be whipped up quickly and cheaply.

 

1 small zucchini (zoodled or grated)

half a carrot (zoodled or grated)

handful of finely sliced cabbage

some finely sliced red capsicum

small amount of sliced up spring onion

handful of leafy greens

1 tsp green curry paste

1 tsp coconut nectar (or your choice of sweetener)

1 tsp tamari soy sauce

sprinkle of sesame seeds

grapeseed oil for saute

 

You can sprinkle some himalayan salt on your voodles and leave to marinate for 5 minutes – or not – up to you.  Then just bung it all in a pan and saute till its cooked to your liking.  Sprinkle over sesame seeds.  Eat as a sidedish or by itself with some avo and sauerkraut. You could use this recipe as a base and throw in meat, beans, tempeh or tofu to jazz it up.

Use any vege you have in the fridge for this dish.  And all ingredients are interchangeable except for green curry paste.  You can use normal normal soy instead of the tamari.