Hi…I have a new website and blog. I’d like to invite you to visit and follow me there. http://www.co-creativehealthsolutions.com
Thanks:) New recipes and other goodies.
Hi…I have a new website and blog. I’d like to invite you to visit and follow me there. http://www.co-creativehealthsolutions.com
I’ve extolled the virtues of fermented foods on many occasion due to their beneficial enzymes that help our digestive systems function better. There are various foods that are readily available in fermented form and all cultures have them since in days gone by, it was an important process because there was no refrigeration and fermented foods keep longer. Many vegetables like in the German version, sauerkraut and the Korean version Kim Chee are fermentable. There are types of dill pickles that are fermented. Not all though so read your labels. Milk is fermentable into yogurt and kefir. Soy is fermented into Miso and Tempeh. BUT something you might not be aware of is that you can ferment nuts and seeds.
I discovered a product from a company called Spread Em. They make a variety of very nice nut cheeses that are fermented. I was a bit taken aback by the price tag of $9.00 for a small container but I guess when you consider the price of nuts, it’s understandable. The kind I bought was garlic and chive cashew cheese spread. So the idea is that it’s sort of like a cream cheese but no dairy and the added benefit of being fermented. I fell in love with it and then of course my mind went to making my own. My first batch turned out great and it made quite a lot. I love it spread on my raw dehydrated (no grain or gluten) flat bread with avocado, red onion and tomato:) Yummy!!! I’ll post another flatbread recipe here too but there’s a link for you to a sprouted buckwheat flat bread recipe.
So I guess you want to know how to make it now?? It’s easy.
Just so you know that you can use many kinds of nuts and seeds but make sure they are soaked not only because it’s required for them to ferment but to remove phytates. Examples are Macadamia, pine nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds etc.
In this recipe I used cashews and sunflower seeds but feel free to interchange and make this your own recipe.
Cashew-Sunflower Fermented Nut Cheese PRINT
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soak in filtered water 4 hours
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soak 4 hours
1/2 cup of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut-get a good quality organic brand
2 T extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 T nutritional yeast
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt or sea salt
You can flavour this up more with fresh parsely, basil, dill or other herbs of your choosing to taste. Add fresh ground black pepper, capers, finely chopped olives, green onion or chives and so on. Other options…sesame oil, coconut aminos, miso, fresh ginger and the list goes on.
Toss everything in the Vitamix high speed blender (you can use a food processor but it won’t get as fine a texture). Add a very small amount of filtered water if you need to thin it a touch. Blend til smooth. Have ready sterilized jars and add your mixture to the jars but fill only 1/2 full so it can expand while fermenting. Put lids on loosely. Let sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 days then refrigerate. It should keep a week to 10 days.
Herb and Onion Flatbread PRINT
1/3 c sundried tomatoes soaked in hot water for 10 mins.
1/3 c and 1/2 c golden flax seeds, do not soak
1/3 c pecans or walnuts, do not soak
1 1/4 c sunflower seeds, do not soak
3 medium zucchini, yellow or green, keep skin on
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion
1/3 c fresh basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 tsp himalayan pink salt or sea salt
Line your dehydrator tray with a non stick paraflex sheet.
Grind 1/3 cup flax seeds.
Place nuts and sunflower seeds in food processor and grind. Place them in a bowl.
Shred two zucchini using shredding blade in the food processor. Add them to the bowel with nuts.
Using the blade in food processor, process third zucchini and all the rest of the ingredients except the whole flax then add to the nut bowl along with whole flax.
Mix well. Spread evenly over the lined dehydrator tray and score into rectangles, dehydrate for 12 hours then flip removing the liner. Dehydrate another 4 to 6 hours until crisp. If you like it extra thin, use two trays.
You buy your salad dressings in the health food store? No guarantee that the oil is good for you. Check the label because generally you will find organic canola oil and or soy oil listed. I don’t want to consume these if they are organic or not. So now I make my own and then I know what I’m getting. I use grape seed oil usually due to it’s milder taste but olive oil or avocado oil can also be used. Here’s an excerpt from my book about these oils so you understand my reasoning.
- Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils all contain over 50% omega-6 and, except for soybean oil, only minimal amounts of omega-3. Safflower oil contains almost 80% omega-6. Researchers are just beginning to discover the dangers of excess omega-6 oils in the diet, whether rancid or not. Use of these oils should be strictly limited. They should never be consumed after they have been heated, as in cooking, frying or baking. High oleic safflower and sunflower oils, produced from hybrid plants, have a composition similar to olive oil, namely, high amounts of oleic acid and only small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and, thus, are more stable than traditional varieties. However, it is difficult to find truly cold-pressed versions of these oils.
- ‘Big Bad’ Canola Oil contains 5% saturated fat, 57% oleic acid, 23% omega-6 and 10%-15% omega-3. The newest oil on the market, canola oil was developed from the rapeseed, a member of the mustard family. Rapeseed is unsuited to human consumption because it contains a very-long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under some circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Canola oil was bred to contain little if any erucic acid and has drawn the attention of nutritionists because of its high oleic acid content. But there are some indications that canola oil presents dangers of its own. It has high sulphur content and goes rancid easily. Baked goods made with canola oil develop mold very quickly. During the deodorizing process, the omega-3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed into trans fatty acids, similar to those in margarine and possibly more dangerous. A recent study indicates that “heart healthy” canola oil actually creates a deficiency of vitamin E, a vitamin required for a healthy cardiovascular system. Other studies indicate that even low-erucic-acid canola oil causes heart lesions, particularly when the diet is low in saturated fat. One last comment….Canola is more often that not GMO as is soy.
So here are a few recipes to get you going in the right direction and you can modify many recipes to make them healthier.
Ruby Red French Dressing
Throw everything into a blender. I have a high speed blender (Vitamix) so it gets very smooth so hopefully a regular blender will achieve that too.
1 cup grapeseed oil or olive
2/3 cup organic ketchup
1/3 cup raw agave (the original recipe asked for 1/2 cup white sugar) I find the agave works but if you are on a sugar restricted diet, you may want to try stevia or skip this recipe entirely.
1/2 cup white wine or coconut vinegar
2 TBSP roughly chopped red onion
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp himalayan pink salt or good quality sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Again…toss it all in the blender…
1 cup homemade or purchased mayonnaise (the best one is Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo)
1/2 cup plain kefir or buttermilk well shaken, more if dressing too thick
1 clove garlic
1 TBSP roughly shopped red onion
1 roughly chopped green onion or scallion (chives work here too)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 TBSP fresh dill
2 TBSP fresh parsely (flat leaf or Italian best)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp or to taste himalayan pink salt or good quality sea salt
1 large egg
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper
1 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup eggless mayonnaise (this takes the place of the eggs)
3 anchovy filets or a squeeze (1 tsp) anchovy paste
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 TBPS lemon juice
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Himalayan pink salt or sea salt to taste –start with 1/2 tsp
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
With a mortar and pestle, bash the anchovies, garlic and pepper. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the parmesan and taste for seasoning.
Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until emulsified.
Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to one week. Toss liberally with romaine lettuce, croutons and additional Parmesan for an authentic eggless Caesar salad.
We gotta start with the stock home made or it won’t be healing! This can be gluten free or grain free. Your choice.
Vietnamese Spiced Beef Stock (Nuoc Dung Bo)
3 lbs meaty beef bones or oxtails
14 cups purified water
1 3-inch piece of ginger
1 onion, cut in quarters
1 tbsp salt
6 whole star anise
1½ cinnamon sticks
2 large bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp coconut sugar or raw agave nectar
2 tsp fennel seeds
Place bones in a roasting pan and roast in oven on 350° F until browned. Remove bones
and put into a large stockpot. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan. Place pan over burner
and add cold water. Scrape up all the good brown bits and add the contents of the pan to
the stockpot. Add more COLD water to cover the bones. Make sure liquid comes no
higher than 2 inches from the top. Salt and return to a boil. Stir in the star anise,
cinnamon, bay, cloves, ginger, onion and sugar. Put the fennel seeds in cheesecloth, a
tea ball, or in tin foil that’s been pierced all over, and add them to the pot. When the stock
comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming, for about 4 hours. Strain and
remove fat. ***To make this into a super stock as I like to call bone broth, simmer for at least 24 hours and add water as you need to. You also must add at the start, either cider vinegar or lemon juice to help extract the minerals from the bones. I think lime juice would be nice in Pho too…just 1/4 cup. Why bone broth? It’s full of minerals, collagen (helps joints and other tissue), glycine, glutamine and proline. The minerals are in a form that can be readily absorbed…things like calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, phosphorous and more. This can help reduce inflammation which is a big part of getting healthy. It can also boost your immune system. Best of all…it heals your gut lining and leaky gut is an immense health problem these days. It causes all kinds of troubles including auto-immune diseases.
Now for the soup itself…
Phó (Vietnamese Beef-Noodle Soup) Serves 6 big bowls and I think there might be leftovers:)
If you like Asian soups and can tolerate some spice, this is the ultimate comfort food. It’s
a snap to make once you get hold of all the ingredients and in many cities and other locations we have access to an amazing array of Asian ingredients. Depending on personal tastes, variations on phó would include crunchy tripe, tender long-cooked brisket, savoury beef balls, or silky tendon. Or it could come as a light chicken version, phó ga. A good phó restaurant would be expected to list 15 to 20 of these choices.
Whatever your preference, this soup is delicate but filling; fragrant and satisfying–and
historically interesting. Phó is a blend of Mongolian beef hot pot (the Vietnamese were
the only people who defeated the Khan’s invading armies–that grilled their meat on their
shields and made “hot pot” soup in their helmets), Chinese spices, and SE Asian herbs.
So gather the ingredients and prep…
½ pound phó rice noodles (These can be the real thing, banh phó, or rice sticks or any
rice noodle at all.) So this will be gluten free but not grain free. For grain free, you can substitute zucchini spiralized to make noodles. Just cook for a short time in the broth and voila, veggie noodles. I’m thinking abut trying a mix of daikon with the zucchini.
8 cups Vietnamese Spiced Beef Stock (above)
Lime juice to taste.
2-3 tbsp nuoc mam (fish sauce made from fermented anchovies available in some
supermarkets and Asian markets) or other Southeast Asian fish sauce
¾ pound slab of boneless beef (top round is fine but I spoil myself with fillet), partially frozen then sliced into paper thin slices (ask your butcher). I was even able to get the
butcher at Save on Foods to slice it for me.
Accompaniments: ¼ cup sliced green onions, ½ cup Thai basil or regular, 2 cups fresh
mung bean sprouts, 6 lime slices, finely sliced jalapeno peppers, and nuoc mam.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain (or follow package directions
for whatever noodles you’re using). Heat spiced beef stock, lime juice, and nuoc mam (fish sauce) in a large non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the broth for about 30 minutes. If you are using zucchini noodles, put them in the broth about 5 mins before ready to plate.
Arrange green onions, basil, bean sprouts, chilies, and lime slices on a platter.
When ready to serve, distribute the noodles evenly among the deep bowls, then top with
meat slices. Pour the hot broth over both, filling the bowl, and serve immediately, with
porcelain spoons and chopsticks and with the platter of accompaniments, nuoc mam (fish sauce), and chilli sauce on the side. This is a meal in a bowl!
Accompany with a bottle of chili-garlic sauce (Tuong ot Toi Viet-Nam, if you can get it) or
chili oil drizzled into broth for extra heat on the side (Yum!).
This is one serving but you can make this for the family too…just increase
ingredients accordingly. For me it gets me to want to eat a lot of salad so that’s a
good thing and it’s a great one for lunch or dinner.
2 cups Mixed organic greens (I like some arugula and baby spinach as well)
Pickled Pear or Granny Smith Apples (recipe to follow)—just a few pieces
6 Cherry tomatoes cut in ½ (try to get different colored ones like orange, green,
red and yellow)
1/4 c Chopped Red Onion, green onion (scallion) is ok too.
1/3 c Fresh or frozen green peas (just blanch them briefly in boiling water)
Crumbled Cheese (about ¼ c) best choices are either creamy goats, some kind
of blue, feta or boccocini but use what you like. I love Gorgonzola or an herb
goats. Feta is nice too and adding some Calamata olives if using feta is great.
¼ c Toasted Spiced Pecans or walnuts (recipe to follow)
Serve with a Cider Vinegar Dressing (recipe to follow).
The nice thing about this salad is that is seems really special but you can have
the pecans, pears/apples and dressing made up ahead and stored so that when
in a hurry, that’s all done and it’s just a little bit of prep.
Pecans: Melt 3 TBSP unsalted butter in a saucepan. Add a splash of
Worcestershire sauce and a splash of Tabasco…more if you really like it hot.
Also add, ½ tsp salt and pepper and ½ tsp granulated garlic. Melt the butter and
stir. Remove from heat and add 1 c pecans (walnuts are ok too). Stir to coat and
pour all into a pie tin.
Place in the oven on 350 F until fragrant. About 5 to 10 mins.
Watch them carefully as they can burn easily. Remove from oven and cool. Store
I just put all into my Vitamix (high speed blender) and blend.
1/3 cup raw unfiltered organic cider vinegar. I use Braggs.
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup raw honey or agave can work too
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo)
1 tsp salt and pepper
Spiced Pears or Apples: This is for one small jar using one pear or apple so
Make the brine:
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. vinegar (I use raw coconut vinegar but cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
are ok too.)
¼ tsp salt
1 large pear, cut up into thin slices. I didn’t peel.
1 cinnamon stick
Mix water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Put sliced pear into a small
mason jar with the cinnamon stick. Pour hot brine over them and let them sit for a
couple of hours before using. Store in the fridge.
To serve salad…Place all ingredients in your serving bowl and toss with dressing.
Make this into a real meal with some left over roast chicken or other left over
meat or fish of your choice.
Serves 4 PRINT
One night I was looking for an easy way to use chicken and was craving something a bit spicy and curry like. Well, I have a new favorite now:) And the great thing is that there are so many variations and you can use up leftovers easily in this dish. I’m making this a gluten free meal and variations for a completely no grain dish. It can be made vegetarian too just by adding more veg and toasted nuts on top. The original inspiration recipe called for packaged ramen noodles, which are gluten free but you can use thin rice noodles prepared as the package says but a tad underdone so they can finish cooking in the liquid and absorb more flavors. You can also get thin brown rice noodles which are healthier than the white. Another option is GoGo gluten free spaghetti noodles which are rice and quinoa. They take a while to cook so again make sure they are slightly underdone. To make this grain free, spiralize a medium zucchini and cook lightly in salted water but again…keep it underdone so it can cook a bit in the liquid and absorb the flavors of the curry.
*2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
*1 lb boneless chicken thighs or breast or a mix, sliced (see beef/seafood variations)
*2 roughly chopped green onoins
*1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (you may add more to your liking)
*1 clove garlic, minced or grated
*½ lb lightly steamed asparagus, chopped in bite size pieces
*1 red pepper, thinly sliced (orange or yellow peppers are ok too)
*1 or 2 hot red or green chillies, seeds removed unless you like it really hot and chopped finely (optional)
*12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
*1/4 cup thai red curry paste (yellow or green ok too)
*2 teaspoons smoked paprika
*1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk organic preferably
*4 cups chicken broth preferably home made (use more if you think it’s too thick)
*1/4 cup gluten free tamari (soy like sauce)
*2 tablespoons fish sauce (leave out if vegetarian)
*1/2 cup creamy ORGANIC peanut butter (use almond or cashew butter if you like)
*1 lime, juiced
*2 tablespoons agave for a touch of sweetness
*4 packages Ramen noodle soup, seasoning packets discarded (you may also just use your favorite pasta)
*chopped toasted peanuts or nuts of your choice, for serving
*chopped cilantro, for serving
Prepare your noodles or zucchini noodles as I mentioned above. Cooked to a slightly underdone state. Set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and the chicken or whatever meat you are using. Brown the chicken for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is barely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve.
Add another tablespoon of oil. Cook the mushrooms until slightly browned and add the peppers (sweet and hot), garlic, green onions, asparagus and any other veg you may be using. Cook until veg are lightly cooked. Add in the curry paste and smoked paprika, stirring until the curry paste has coated the veggies. Add 1 cup chicken broth and allow to heat up. Carefully stir in the peanut butter until completely smooth.
Add the chicken back into the pot along with the coconut milk, remaining chicken broth, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice and agave. Bring the soup to a boil then turn to simmer. Add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes or until happy that they are fully cooked.
Once the noodles are ready, serve soup immediately and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.
Variations: Use sliced beef fillet or ground beef. You can use other veg like snow peas, zucchini, green beans or whatever you like or may have leftover. You could also use prawns (shell removed) and just let them cook in the liquid at the end with the noodles for a few mins. Other white fish like cod or halibut can work here too. Instead of chicken broth, use beef broth if using beef in the dish. If using seafood, stick with the chicken broth.
You can get a coconut based sauce to replace tamari. It’s called Naked Coconuts- soy free seasoning sauce-organic and raw. Coconut Milk-Let’s Do…Organic-organic creamed coconut.
If using veg that are harder like broccoli or cauliflower, lightly steam first.
Now get creating:)
How a spiralizer works.