Friday, May 27, 2011

What's Up With All The Nutritarian Cookies? Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies w/ Vanilla Nut Frosting & Raw Cacao Nibs

Introducing the Nutritarian Spiced Carrot Cake Cookie 
Featuring Vanilla Nut Frosting & Raw Cacao Nib "Chips" 

Just sharing really quick with you what I made for my afternoon snack today! I am SO a baker at heart, and of course my favorite past time being a nutritarian (besides living life to it's fullest, buying tiny  clothes, neglecting social time with my doctor and skipping the costly trips to the pharmacy) is finding new ways to incorporate my past love affair with baking into my whole food, plant based, no processed JUNK, happy hippy lifestyle.  LOL!  These cookies are gluten free when made from oats not processed in facilities that process wheat. They are free from processed ingredients including oils like olive oil and others, free from any non-whole food sugar (sugar that is extracted from anything and denied it's natural fibers and elements) and best of all, delicious. 

The recipe has been featured on my site before in simpler form, leaving tons of room for experimentation and alterations/substitutions. That's the spice of life, yes? The recipe for these cookies is as follows, but for more detailed instructions please see my post about nutritarian cookies HERE! 

Jemoiselle's Nutritarian Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies
 Featuring Vanilla Nut Frosting & Raw Cacao Nib "chips"

3 very ripe bananas
180g date paste/pitted dates pureed
160g jumbo oats (Quaker will work, but Jumbo make a HUGE difference)
84g Whole Sesame Tahini (puree of raw whole sesame seeds, unfiltered)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract (mine is homemade, thus no HFCS or sugar)
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger Allspice & Clove to taste
Raisins, however many float your boat
One small package Raw Cacao Nibs
Optional Pineapple, 1/4c finely chopped

1/3c Raw Cashews
1/3c Homemade Almond Milk
1/3c Pitted Soft Dates, packed
2tsp Homemade Vanilla

Vitamix, done.

Mash bananas, dates, tahini and vanilla with masher. Mix in carrots, oats, raisins and optional pineapple. Add spices to taste! Allow to sit for approx. 30 minutes to absorb liquid if using the jumbo oats, otherwise just proceed. 

Drop by the tablespoon via a mini ice cream scoop or melon baller onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Please don't use nasty cooking spray :) Just get that plastic spatula ready for when they are done and use those fine sexy biceps to get them off! LOL Drop them 2 inches apart or less. They won't spread much, besides the next step. Gather your inner passive aggressive diva and after placing a towel on the counter, BANG the cookie sheet on top of it to spread the cookies into perfect little circles! Voila! Feel better? Me too. :P 

Now bake those bad boys for 15-20 minutes at 350 F. I just wait until I smell them, and then, when the bottoms are a rich brown take them out. I let them cool in the pan before removing them. Frost with the delicious Vanilla Nut Frosting, sprinkle with the Raw Cacao Nibs and if you feel froggy (why not?) add some freshly ground flax seeds too! Yeah, I had my flax in my breakfast today so the cookies got neglected, sorry!

Thanks for visiting, see you next time!

PS Happy Birthday Meezers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"A" is for Avocado!

The Three A's: Artichoke, Asparagus and the mother of all of these to me, Avocado!

Credit: Master isolated images of freedigitalphotos.net

Today was a beautiful day here, and being such, we went out and joined in on a local playgroup with a wonderful new friend. Hi Susan! When I got home I was absolutely famished! So I quickly put my little love to bed, he was tired after all that playing after all, and then promptly raided the kitchen to find what was for lunch for me! I rummaged through the fridge and almost decided on a persimmon to snack on before I remembered what lie on the counter top mere inches away from my view...

A deliciously ripe Australian Avocado! Now, there may be some of you out there who will immediately, riiiight about...NOW be making the "yuck!" face. I hear you! I was once akin to you! But those days are in the past, because now, as a nutritarian, my tastes have morphed and changed into a completely different preference set and I love, love LOVE me some avocados like you simply would not believe! Seriously, being a nutritarian changes your tastes so dramatically you truly have no idea what you will like until you just "Nike it baby", and do it. It truly is amazing what your body is capable of if we would only give it a chance, and allow it to thrive in the best way we know how. But I digress (what's new, right?) back to lunch.

So, I get all excited at my discovery and the prospect of something especially tasty for lunch and slice my avocado in half. The color is amazing, gorgeous even! Such a creamy pastel mint green with a hint of moss color. I find it relaxing just to look at it. Something comes to mind when I think about it, sunshine, sea birds, a hammock swaying gently in the wind while a comfortable enveloping tropical breeze tousles my hair...coconuts in the trees...cool cucumbers on my mind LOL. Oh what this stuff does to me! Seriously, don't ever let me catch you saying foodies cannot become nutritarians because they love "food" too much. That is just a bunch of baloney! Literally. I am proof, it's a romance! Enough already, onward!

So, as I am eating it, I decide to look up the nutritional data to find out just how many phytonutrients and macronutrients this bad boy contains. The information available is amazing, this is perfection. It contains so many important nutrients and antioxidants/photochemicals we need in one food and while quite calorific, contains enough mono/poly unsaturated fats to make our hearts happy and offset any saturated fats we get from our nuts and seeds. Delish. It is naturally anti-inflammitory, and contains Lutein a plenty, one of the 600 known carotenoids, this one known to prevent damage to the retina as we age. Anyone out there have glasses? Mmm hmm.

Avocado, baby. In the eyes, Lutein actually was found concentrated, according to the Wiki link here  in the retina. The hypothesis (reason they believe it goes there when we eat it) states it is there to absorb "blue light" which causes oxidative stress to the retinas, which would other wise have been damaging it over time leading to macular degeneration. It is also shown to play an important preventative role in the development of cataracts.

Hmm, what else does it have? Gosh, there is really too much to list here and not bore you to tears! I'll try to shorten the list. Here we go! The following is sourced from http://www.avocado.org/nutrition/

-Avocados contain 20 essential nutrients including fiber, Vitamin E, K, C, B vitamins, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, selenium and folic acid.

-They act as a "nutrient booster" if you will, enabling the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, when eaten in tandem with the avocado.

According to this site, the avocado's anti-inflammitory qualities come from it's rich concentration and variety of phytosterols. Phytosterols in avocado play an impressive role in the prevention of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Among it's other benefits, it is being shown as an anti-cancerous food, relating to mouth, skin and prostate cancer prevention and blood-sugar regulation. In one study, it was shown to actually increase oxidative stress in cancer cells resulting in those cells, for lack of a better description, self-destructing. Meanwhile, in healthy cells, the opposite mechanism is observed where as the healthy cells are shielded from oxidative stress! Amazing.

Information abounds online, if you are interested in reading more I now release you into the "cyber wild" to go on safari for avocado knowledge a plenty! I don't know about you though, but I for one didn't need to know any of this to know that avocados are delicious and I want to eat them almost every day! And most days, that's just what I do.  They are delicious, and that is the end of it.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about this gorgeous and rich little treat of nature, now go get one for yourself! I recommend simply cutting them in half, taking out the pit, and sprinkling them with a little bit of my favorite no-salt no-potassium seasoning "Table Tasty" available from Benson's Gourmet Seasonings. If you are curious, one of my previous posts in the "My Secret Weapon Series" covered a thorough review of Table Tasty. To this day, I would never wish to live without it! Delish and heart healthy. Now that's what I am talking about!

In Health and Happiness,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Salad Inspiration: Going Back In Time

Hello to you out there!

How have you been doing with your plant-based whole foods lifestyle? Me? Oh, my. I have been doing great! But with anything this amazing and life changing, comes a desire and curiosity to continue improving until you've reached your fullest potential. That is where I am today, and I seem to be lost in thought, very deep thoughts, about the funniest thing I have ever pondered in such a way. Salad!

Dr. Fuhrman tells us "The salad is the main dish!" and he is absolutely right. Big changes awaited me after I became focused on mastering this little challenge as a Nutritarian. I crave my salad each day, as funny and backwards as that sounds, and have developed many different nutritarian dressings to use with them. My Husband though, bless his culinary emblazoned soul, came up with the mother of all Nutritarian Dressings, and absolutely changed the way I ate salad.

I had to have that dressing every day or else I would feel something was missing; it caused me to eat a LOT more salad than I had been eating! Which was good until I actually noticed how much dressing I was consuming with salad being the staple in my diet! I know the dressing was nutritarian, but still, something in me was grossed out by it! The thought of consuming a whole tupperware of dressing every 1-2 weeks due to the massive amounts of greens I eat was really disturbing me until last night. I decided since I was running out at the end of the day, that I would attempt to eat my salad dry. Fancy that?! Now I am taking this to a new level. I shouldn't be surprised, I don't do anything half way!

So, right now, I am having my huge salad for lunch and have noticed a few very interesting things! I have spent the last 2 years honing in on my ability to taste the subtleties of natural whole foods like fruits and veggies without sugar, butter, oil or salt, but have absolutely denied myself the same opportunity with the salad leaves! Would our ancestors, scavenging around for the day, eating the greens they found along their journey, have had the time to get their vitamix and puree up nuts, seeds, dates and other things mixed together to make their salad palatable before eating it? There was my answer. Greens should be edible by themselves! We just don't give them a chance! Perhaps to be like this from day one of trying to change your life would be asking too much, but seriously. Why have we neglected the greens? Why do we not attempt to appreciate them for what they are like we do with the other veggies?

As I said, I am sitting here munching on my dry salad. I am amazed at how slowly I eat each bite compared to how I wolf down my typical salads with dressing. I ponder the taste of every leaf (it's a mix of varieties) and surprise myself by instinctively feeling a pull to put down the fork and reach with my hands, delicately. It feels so very natural to pause after grabbing a leaf, and smell it, before eating it! How amazing these small things are! I notice the purple leaves taste sweet with a hint of apple aroma, and others even taste like what I remember hard boiled eggs tasting like. Some are very crisp and almost, dare I say, juicy, and others are rich and dense. After eating a fraction of my bowl I am shockingly full and very satisfied. Leaving me to question.....

Am I on to something?

I'll leave you at that, and in the mean time I encourage you to conduct a little experiment of your own and report your findings! I look forward to hearing what kinds of experiences you all have :)

In health,