Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir
As many of you know, I’m really enjoying the study of herbal medicine. One of my favorite things to make is organic elderberry syrup. It’s easy, fun, and so much less expensive than buying it from the store. I source all of my medicinal herb ingredients from Mountain Rose to get the highest quality at a good price.
Well, today I made something different. I made Elderberry Cognac Health Elixir. Elderberries have been used for thousands of years to promote health. Today, similarly, people use elderberry for preventing and treating colds and flu. They are high in flavonoids which are helpful in fighting viruses. They can also have an anti-inflammatory effect. The French often refer to this plant as the house pharmacy.
Elderberry Cognac Health Tonic
- Fill a jar half way with dried elderberries. I used an old raw honey jar that still had about an inch of raw honey in it.
- Cover the elderberries with raw unfiltered honey, and stir it well.
- Add a bit of organic clove powder and vanilla powder (use your intuition on how much to add – that’s the fun of it). Stir again.
- Fill the remainder of the jar with cognac.
- Stir well to incorporate, and let the Elderberry Cognac Health Tonic sit for six weeks on a counter or in a cupboard.
- After six weeks, strain off the berries and discard them.
This can be taken frequently by the tablespoon to maintain health or at the onset of illness. Elderberries are powerful and used all year to prevent illness.
* I love this Tsp Spice company for spices because the organic spices come in individually wrapped teaspoon portions. That keeps them extra fresh.
Fresh Herb Tea: fresh basil, fresh rosemary, and fennel seeds
Did you know that you can make a deliciously nutritious tea using simply fresh (or even dried) herbs?
I never knew this until I learned it in my recent herbal medicine studies. It makes sense, of course, when I think about it. After all, we eat the herbs, we make tinctures with herbs (fresh and/or dried), so why not make a tea?
Recently, I was sick and I added a teaspoon of dried organic thyme to some hot filtered water (thyme is potent for fighting colds and flu). It seems a bit weird at first to drink herbs and seasonings, but they’re delicious so I quickly got over that.
Variety of Tsp Spices
I love these individually packaged dried organic herbs. It keeps them fresh and makes them great for travel in my purse so I can have healthy herbal tea (or herbs on my food) anywhere for a nutritional boost (camping, airplanes, restaurants), like I do with turmeric and modding my chipotle bowl. Plus, I use them for cooking at home.
Another time I had a headache and I turned to basil, which is reputed for helping headaches (pictured above). I had fresh organic basil on hand so I made a tea with it, along with some fresh rosemary and fennel seeds (rosemary is good for circulation in the brain, so I figured rosemary and basil are a good combo to help my head). Simply put some (whole or chopped) fresh leaves in a cup or mason jar, add hot filtered water, cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
Make quick dressings, sauces, shakes, tonics, and chia pudding with this great little machine. NUTRiBULLET
Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
During the summer I find myself eating more salads. They’re fresh, crisp, and help cool me down.
This recipe of Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette might be my new favorite. I use it not only on salad but also on vegetables, cooked or raw. You’ll see that some of the ingredients don’t have absolute amounts listed. That was my intent. By allowing some free reign in this simple recipe, it allows you to give your own dose of love to it.
I find, lately, that making dressing recipes in my Nutribullet is easier, and kind of more fun. It’s compactness and easy-to-clean-ness draws me in. I wrote an in depth post on my fondness for the Nutribullet here … think: easy salad dressings, sauces, chia pudding, protein shakes, fruit purees, tonics, travel, etc.
Creamy Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar (be sure to get a high quality one)
- 1/2 cup raw organic pure olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, peeled (or more)
- a little fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (fresh is best, if possible)
- Couple squirts organic yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons whole, plain, grassfed yogurt (or cream)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Dried fruits and herbs for Berry Nourishing Tea #HerbalMedicine
I’ve been studying the medicinal powers of herbs this past year (as I detailed in this post on tinctures). As a result, I don’t go a day without some sort of herbal medicine in my diet via tea, tincture, homemade syrup, or herbal-medicine-rich food (pesto anyone?).
I’ve created quite the beautiful collection of herbs. What can I say? I’m now an herb geek. When I read books and articles on medicinal herbs I can’t help but get wrapped up in their history and seemingly magical powers. It’s all very romantic to me.
Here is a wonderful tea recipe that can be used to help the health of heart, eyes, immune system, and beauty. It’s delicious, rich, and fun to drink warm or over ice, sweetened with raw honey or not (though the licorice root sweetens it perfectly for me).
I sourced all of the ingredients for this mixture from Mountain Rose Herbs. I highly recommend that you start a collection of organic herbs for medicine. I use them (internally and externally) for everything: skin beauty, boo boos, immune strength, adrenal support, vision support, longevity, calming, sleep, dreaming, and overall optimal performance. Honestly, I feel empowered using medicinal herbs… like I know secrets of the earth that many others do not. Read More »
Confession Granola #GlutenFree
I have a confession. I made granola. Really good (too good, actually) granola.
Why is that a confession? It’s a confession because I don’t eat many grains (usually only in the form of white rice, if at all) and I make a pretty big stink about sticking to that. By making granola, and using (gluten-free) oats (because oats are what true granola has), and it being granola that is impossible to only eat a few bites of… well, I ate a lot of it. So there, I admit it. I’m not perfect and I ate oats. (It was really good though.)
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Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in avocado
, gluten free
, raw dressing
, raw recipes
, salad dressing
Grapefruit-Jicama Salad w Avocado Dressing #Recipe
Summer is one of my favorite times to dive into fresh and bright salads so I can go about my day feeling light. This Grapefruit-Jicama Salad with Creamy Avocado is a delightful experience perfect for just that. Crisp jicama and celery along with juicy grapefruit and creamy avocado. Need I say more?
Grapefruit-Jicama Salad with Creamy Avocado
Yield 2 servings
The Salad Base
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 1 small jicama, peeled and cut julienne-style
- 2 red or pink grapefruit (or 3 oranges), peeled, white pith removed, seeded, and cut into segments
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- Whisk together the honey and lime juice, and set aside.
- Toss the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the honey mixture and toss to coat.
- Plate the salad mixture, reserving any leftover honey mixture that is in the bowl.
The Creamy Avocado
- Leftover honey mixture (from the salad base)
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- 2 tablespoons raw macadamia nut oil (or raw olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon filtered water (or more)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- pinch black pepper, more to taste
- Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Serve over the Grapefruit-Jicama Salad.
“Give Me More” Stuffed Bell Peppers #GlutenFree #Vegan
Doesn’t that bell pepper look scrumptious? I promise you it is. I am sharing with you another recipe from my Raw Vegan Transitions book. It’s an easy recipe that you can make for a beautiful appetizer or impressive lunch.
The crisp crunch from the fresh bell pepper combined with the warmth of the rice and the “smoosh” factor from the avocado and soaked sun-dried tomatoes are absolutely delicious. Enjoy.
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 1 cup spinach, chopped and gently packed
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamari (wheat-free) or coconut aminos
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- dash nutmeg
- 4 to 6 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers
- Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover completely with filtered water plus about an inch. Let them soak for 6 to 8 hours. Drain off the water and give them a quick rinse. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a separate bowl and add enough water to cover them. Let them soak for up to an hour. Drain the water off.
- When the seeds and sun-dried tomatoes are ready to use, set them aside in a large bowl together. Begin cooking the rice, as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients and place them in the bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the (warm) cooked rice to the bowl and toss to mix.
- Take your bell peppers and cut off the tops (including the stems). Dig out the seeded part. Spoon the stuffing into the bell peppers.
Vibrant Green Chia Pudding Raw Paleo Gluten Free
Here is a refreshing chia pudding recipe for the summer that can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or as an easy breakfast (make it the night before to enjoy the following morning). I pulled it from my Raw Vegan Transitions book and changed it up a bit to suit my preferences these days. Mainly, I swapped out the agave nectar for raw honey. (To keep it vegan, simply use agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey.)
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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Olive n Veggie Pasta (gluten free, paleo, raw vegan)
The first time I created this recipe both my husband and I knew it’d become a regular in our house, and it has been for years. The textures and flavors are refreshing and delicious (especially fantastic during the warm summer months), and it’s a pretty dish. Oh, it takes a maximum of 10-minutes to throw together – I love that.
Olive and Veggie Pasta (Gluten Free. Raw Vegan. Paleo.)
Yield 2 servings
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 medium to large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 avocado, pitted, scooped / peeled, and diced
- 6 raw olives, pitted and chopped*
- 4 to 5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh chives or 1 green onion, chopped
- fresh organic lemon or lime juice, a good squeeze’s worth
- drizzle high quality raw olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- Using a spiral vegetable slicer, spiralize the zucchini into noodles (if you have kids, have them help with this because they’ll love it). If you don’t have a spiral slicer, use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini into long, thin, ribbon-like slices.
- Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
- Toss well with some fun bamboo hands and serve immediately.
* We really love Essential Living Foods Raw Peruvian Black Botija Olives. They are so unbelievably good… very juicy and meaty. The only ingredients are organic raw botija olives and sea salt.
Red bell peppers
It’s time for a raw plant based recipe today. A fun one, too. Even though I eat a diet rich in high quality animal products, it doesn’t mean I don’t make my family raw plant-based recipes, too. I find value in raw vegan recipes for their diversity to my family’s diet and the phtyo-nutrients they offer. Whole-food, plant-based recipes have a place in all diets although I no longer subscribe to a 100% plant based diet anymore for us.
Apart from the soaking time of the sunflower seeds, this recipe can be whipped up in no time flat – that’s my kind of recipe. Or, use Go Raw sunflower seeds which are already sprouted and it’ll take even less effort. The texture of the final recipe will have some crunch since the seeds won’t be soaked but that’s totally cool, too.
Easy Stuffed Peppers (Gluten Free. Raw Vegan. Paleo.)
Yield 2 servings
- 3⁄4 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
- 1⁄2 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons organic flax meal
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon himalayan crystal salt (or perhaps less, if using already salted seeds like these)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon chipotle powder
- dash of freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium to large organic red, orange, or yellow bell peppers
- Put the sunflower seeds in a bowl and add filtered water to cover by about 1 inch. Let them soak at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight if that’s easier. Drain the sunflower seeds and rinse. Remember, if you use already soaked and sprouted raw sunflower seeds like Go Raw’s then you can skip this step.
- In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds with celery, flax meal, chives, lime juice, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Process the mixture until it’s a lightly coarse texture.
- Cut the top off each bell pepper, including the stem, and pull out the seeds. Stuff the bell peppers with the sunflower seed mixture. Serve immediately.