Blueberry Bread

Winter is a wonderful time to prepare dishes that feature the summer's bounty and remind us of the warmer days that will soon come.

We froze a lot of blueberries this past summer and have been enjoying them in baked goods all winter long.

May this bread nourish and inspire you. It's a great one to make an advance and have ready for breakfast or a snack when you're short on time.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon each: baking powder and baking soda

  • A pinch of salt

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350.

Oil a loaf pan and set aside.

Mixed together the flours, spices, soda, powder, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and put the vinegar, syrup, eggs and oil into that well.

Whisk them together with each other then incorporate with the dry ingredients. The batter should be fairly thick and lumpy.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Run a knife along the edges of the bread and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

brandon-wilson-52838-unsplash.jpg

Gluten-Free Maple Gingerbread

The nights are getting cooler here in Vermont, and I am thinking about the kinds of warming, blood-building foods that will strengthen our immune systems in preparation for the colder months.

Molasses is an excellent source of iron, supports blood and heart health, and is packed with minerals. Try to find sorghum molasses, which is derived from a low-glycemic, gluten-free grain: sorghum. A relative of millet, sorghum is native to North Africa. It is a warming and tonic food that helps build fluids in the body and regulates digestion. When boiled, it creates a delicious and rich syrup that takes this recipe to another level.

If you cannot find sorghum, unsulphured cane sugar molasses will do just fine.

This recipe is rich in medicinal spices to balance blood sugar (cinnamon), support digestion and endocrine health (nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon), and ward off the cold and flu (ginger and cloves).

Maple Gingerbread

You will need:

  • 1 cup sorghum or millet flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cloves and nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and ginger

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 egg or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal dissolved into 2 tablespoons hot water (vegan)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a baking dish with coconut oil. I use either an 8x8 dish or a loaf pan.

Mix all ingredients together in the order listed. Spread evenly into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a knife blade into the center of the bread. Bake for 5 more minutes if necessary.

Cool 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Mjuk_pepparkaka_med_lingon.jpg

Wholesome Bread

This wholesome bread is protein-rich, gluten-free, and delicious!

Try making it this weekend.

You will need:

  • Baking paper

  • Food processor or high powered blender

  • 1 cup whole raw buckwheat groats

  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

Optional:

Add 1 teaspoon each: coriander, cumin, caraway & fenugreek seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place raw buckwheat groats, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds into a food processor and mix on high until the mix resembles flour.

When the flour mix is done, add all the remaining ingredients and mix on high until it resembles dough.

Line a loaf pan with baking / waxed paper and grease the paper with some extra coconut oil.

Place bread in the oven and cook for 35 minutes (until the bread is firm ton top and springs back when gently pressed).

Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes in the tin.

Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

monika-grabkowska-372159-unsplash.jpg

Leek, Fennel and Squash Soup

After Thanksgiving, it's a wonderful practice to simplify your diet for a week. Enjoy vegetables like fennel, celery and leeks. These potent plants cleanse the lymphatic system, support healthy lungs, and lend a bitter-sweet complexity to any dish.

Try adding bitter, liver-cleansing foods like quinoa, chard, beets and spinach. These chenopodium family plants are high in plant nutrients and help restore healthy blood and liver function.

Give these recipes a try!

LEEK, FENNEL & BUTTERNUT SOUP

You will need: 

  • 1 medium butternut squash, baked and peeled

  • 2 tablespoons local oil (sunflower or olive)

  • 3 leeks, chopped and rinsed

  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped

  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped – save fronds for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon each: thyme, cinnamon, turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and fresh black pepper

  • ½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • fresh, chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Poke squash with a fork, place on a baking sheet, and bake for about 1 hour (20 minutes per pound).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large soup pot. 

Add the leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped fennel, ginger, hazelnuts, spices, salt and pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, cut it open and let it cool for 5 minutes. Compost the seeds. Scoop out flesh and add it to the soup pot. Add the vegetable stock and stir.

Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat. Blend until smooth. 

Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro.

Serve with cooked quinoa.

natural-chef-carolyn-nicholas-560118-unsplash.jpg

Immune-Boosting Delights

These are wonderful foods to incorporate into your diet to boost immunity and curb sweet cravings.

Sweet Potato: high in omega 3 essential fatty acids to tonify the internal organs and strengthen immunity; rich in carotenoids, whose anti-oxidant content offers anti-inflammatory support; high in vitamin C to boost immunity; rich in B vitamins to reduce stress.

Black pepper: although it’s known for making you sneeze, black pepper can actually help to ward off the sniffles. Black peppercorns are high in piperine, a compound with anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce swelling in joints. Piperine also helps you absorb the benefits of other spices.Try for 2 teaspoons of both black pepper and oregano per week to boost your immunity.

Lime: both the skin and juice of this citrus fruit contain a natural flavonoid called hesperidin, which is shown to help combat cancer and ward off viruses and bacteria that cause the stomach flu. Avoid drinking undiluted juice to protect your teeth. Add lime to salads, water, or use it as a salt alternative when sprinkled on veggies.

Tahini: a classic Mediterranean flavor, this peanut butter-like spread is made from ground sesame seeds. It contains two immunity-boosting ingredients: magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is essential for optimal immune function, while zinc protects against infection. Try tahini with hummus or in an open-faced sandwich with honey and apple.


Sweet Potato Muffins


You will need:
1 large sweet potato, steamed for 10 minutes or until tender
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup millet flour
1 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon each: black pepper and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of sea salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop and roast sweet potato in sunflower oil and salt for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the oil, almond milk, maple and vanilla.
Add the flours, spices, and salt.
Once sweet potato is roasted, mash it with a fork and fold it into the batter. It can stay chunky.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.


Oil 12 muffin cups, fill 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.
Let muffins cool before serving. They are delicious with almond butter!



Blueberry Chia Lime Smoothie


In a blender, combine and blend:
2 cups organic frozen blueberries
juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 cup water

Yum!



Tahini Yogurt Dip



In a bowl, mix:
1 cup full fat unsweetened yogurt
1 minced clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of tahini 
juice of 1 lemon 

Enjoy!
This makes a great dip for veggies or a spread
inside a sandwich wrap.

Sourdough Best Practices

It is easy and rewarding to make your own sourdough and bake bread from it. As my friend Nick says, "it's the pet that feeds YOU!". Just like any pet, you must care for it.

To make your own sourdough starter, click this link.

If you have a starter and wish to ensure that your loaves give you a fluffy, delicious result, follow these guidelines. They are most helpful if you keep your starter in the refrigerator. 

Mix well to re-incorporate any liquid that has formed on top of your sourdough starter. Whole grain flours especially will yield a darker liquid.

Remove 1/4 cup of sourdough starter from the fridge and place it in a large jar or bowl. Feed the starter with 1 part starter with 1 part water and 2 parts flour. For example, feed 1/4 cup of starter with 1/4 cup of water and a scant 1/2 cup of flour.

Mix the starter, flour and water together and stir vigorously, incorporating plenty of air. Cover the starter with a towel or cheesecloth secured by a rubber band. Leave in a warm spot for 4 to 12 hours until the starter becomes bubbly.

Repeat this process two more times prior to baking using the same ratios listed above.


By the third feeding the starter should be very bubbly and rising to double its size within 8 hours of being fed.

Remember to add some freshly made sourdough starter back to your master sourdough culture.

Autumn Breakfasts: Easy and Healing


Autumn is here, with cool, misty mornings and pink sunsets streaking the evening sky. It feels hard to get our of bed sometimes! Once I get up, I try to step outside, look up into the sky, and breathe deeply. Even if it is cold outside, this practice invigorates me and whets my appetite for breakfast.

Since breakfast is one of the best ways to get our metabolism going for the day, please eat it. Try these recipes to ease the transition into fall.

Banana Coconut Super Power Bars

You will need:
3 bananas, ripe and mashed
2 cups cooked oats (any kind is fine, especially oatmeal leftovers!)
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg (this is the medicine!)
½ cup dried dates, chopped (optional)

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.

Mix everything together.
Spread onto cookie sheet evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Slice and store in tupperware containers in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Protein-Packed Popovers


You will need:
6 eggs
2 cups almond milk
6 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted 1 cup almond meal
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon and salt

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 8 muffin tins with vegetable oi.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy using a whisk.
Beat in the almond milk and coconut oil.
Then, beat the flour, cinnamon and salt into the egg, milk, and butter mixture. Pour about ¾ cup of the batter into each of the greased muffin tins.

Bake for 1 hour. Make a slit in each to let out steam; bake for 10 minutes more. Immediately remove the popovers from tins.
Serve with cooked fruit and nuts.

Apple Pie Parfait


You will need:
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt (cow, goat, or almond)
1/3 cup applesauce
3 Tablespoons walnuts
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
pinch cinnamon

To prepare:
Stir together and eat.

Pumpkin Custard


You will need:
1 medium pumpkin

2 Tablespoons coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon each: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice

To prepare:
Roast the pumpkin whole at 375 for 1 hour.
Remove from oven, cool, remove seeds, and scoop flesh out into a stock pot.
Add all the other ingredients and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Pour into a glass container to cool and set if you like.
This dish will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Home-made Crackers and Creamy Green Spread

As summer surrounds us with luscious greenery, enjoy more plant foods and whole grains. Try these recipes and embrace the season.

As a snack or appetizer, make nut and grain crackers.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a spice grinder, grind:
            1 cup sweet nuts (almonds or pecans)
            1 cup savory nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)
            1 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

Mix together in a bowl with1 cup leftover oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or millet. Make sure you have cooked the grains down into a porridge-like consistency before mixing them in with the nuts and seeds.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and any spices you like.

Try one of these combinations: either cumin, coriander, turmeric or thyme, coriander, oregano.

If mixture is a bit dry, add a few splashes of olive oil.

Mix well before adding any additional oil – the nuts already contain oil.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and spread mixture in a thin layer.
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

Allow to cool completely before breaking into cracker pieces and storing in plastic bags.

Home-made crackers are terrific topped with creamy green sauce:

Choose 2 large yellow onions.

Chop off top and bottom, peel skin and slice each one in half width-wise.

Place two halves flat on cutting board and slice each one into thin crescents.

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a skillet that has a matching lid.

When oil is hot, add onions, stir briefly with spatula, turn burner down to medium-low, and cover.

Add ½ cup water. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if onion is sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a medium stock pot with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.

Rinse and chop 1 large bunch kale, collards and/or chard.

Add greens to the pot, cover, and reduce heat to low. Braise greens for 5-10 minutes.

Add greens to onions. Stir well to incorporate and purée with immersion blender or food processor.

Savory Summer Breads

Asparagus upside down corn bread

You will need:
8-10 stalks asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup milk (almond or cow)
2 eggs OR 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal

1/2 cup flour (spelt or millet)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a cast iron or oven-proof skillet, warm a bit of olive oil.
Add rinsed asparagus with its tough, woody stems broken off.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add a little water, cover, and saute 5 more minutes, or until tender.

As asparagus cooks, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, eggs/flax and milk in a mixing bowl. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

Mix well to incorporate.
Pour over asparagus and bake for 25 minutes.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before running a knife around the edges.
Then, place a plate on top of the skillet, flip and enjoy!

***

Apricot chickpea biscuits


You will need:
1/2 cup dried apricots, soaked in boiling water

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup olive oil
 1 cup flour (rice or spelt)
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cardamom, coriander, baking powder and baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil a bit of water.
Coarsely chop dried apricots. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water.

As apricots soak, mix all the other ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Drain apricot water and add apricots to the mixing bowl.
Stir to incorporate.
Place dough in heaping spoonfuls on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy as breakfast or with soup!

***


Parsnip almond flatbread

You will need:
3 medium parsnips, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each: salt and nutmeg
olive oil for roasting

1 cup flour (spelt or millet)
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup milk (almond or cow)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Chop parsnips and place in a glass baking dish (8x8 or so).
Coat with olive oil, nutmeg and salt.
Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile. whisk all other ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Once parsnips are roasted, reduce oven heat to 350.
Toss parsnips with a spatula, pour batter over them, and bake for 25 minutes.
Enjoy with scrambled eggs and spinach as a lovely brunch or a light dinner.

Foods To Tame Spring Fever


Try these recipes to bring circulation to the lymphatic system, cleanse your liver, and embrace the sour flavor and the wood element of spring!

Lentil Soup with Tangy Yogurt Sauce


For the soup:
1 cup cooked green lentils

1 yellow onion, diced

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 teaspoons each: cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt

1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

12 firmly packed cups of chard, spinach, and/or beet greens

For the sauce:
1 cup whole plain yogurt
½ teaspoon each: salt and nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Rinse the lentils, cover them with water in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté for 15 minutes. Add the spices and sauté another 5 minutes. Add the greens, stir, and add 8 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Rinse and drain the lentils, return them to the stock pot, cover again with water and bring them to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and cook, uncovered, until tender – about 20 minutes.

Add lentils to the soup, taste for salt, and turn off the heat. You can purée the soup with an immersion blender or in an upright blender if you like.

In a serving bowl, mix the yogurt sauce.
Serve soup with a dollop of yogurt sauce and enjoy!

***
Nut and Grain Crackers

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a spice grinder, grind:
            1 cup sweet nuts (almonds or pecans)
            1 cup savory nuts (walnuts or hazelnuts)
            1 cup seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)

Mix together in a bowl with 1 cup leftover rice. Make sure you have cooked the grains down into a porridge-like consistency before mixing them in with the nuts and seeds.

Add ½ teaspoon salt and any spices you like.
Try one of these combinations: cumin, coriander, turmeric OR thyme, coriander, oregano.

If mixture is a bit dry, add a few splashes of olive oil. Mix well before adding any additional oil – the nuts already contain oil.

Grease a cookie sheet with oil and spread mixture in a thin layer.
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Allow to cool completely before breaking into cracker pieces and storing in plastic bags.

***
Spinach Artichoke Dip

Place ¼ cup water in a small pot. Add ¼ pound spinach and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
Open one glass jar artichoke hearts and drain water out.
Place artichoke hearts in blender and add:
            ¼ cup olive oil
            2 heaping spoonfuls almond butter
            ½ Tablespoon lemon juice concentrate
            ½ teaspoon salt
            ½ Tablespoon dry thyme leaf
            Braised spinach
Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy with grains or breads.
Keeps in fridge for 1 week.

***
Pesto of Wild Leek Leaves and Greenhouse Greens

Rinse 2 cups fresh, tender greenhouse greens (claytonia, buckwheat greens, arugula, dandelion, or a combination thereof).
Rinse ½ cup wild leek leaves.

Place both in a blender with:
            ¼ cup olive oil
            ½ teaspoon lemon juice concentrate
            ½ teaspoon salt
           
Blend at highest speed for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy with grains or breads.
Keeps in fridge for 1 week.