My favorite way to use nuts is to make a pate. It's so easy and quick, not to mention versatile! I love spreading it on a collard green to make a wrap, laying it down on a piece of nori- topped with other veggies to make nori rolls, or just as a veggie dip. Always a hit at dinner parties as a starter!
2 cups Soaked Almonds (Try peeling!)
3 tablespoons squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Tamari or Shoyu Sauce
1 green onion
2 dates (I used figs due to date-outage in my kitchen)
1 small carrot (optional)
In a food processor, blend together garlic and green onions first. Then mix in almonds. Blend it up. Pour in lemon juice, water and Shoyu. Blend blend blend. Lastly throw in your dates. Blend, pulse, whiz, whir.
So now you have this delicious, nutritious almond pate. What to do with it? Try this simple and yummy Nori Rolls recipe!
On a piece of Nori, lay down a bed of fresh spinach. Then spread a thick layer of the Almond Pate. Next layer your veggies- use any you want! I used carrots, red cabbage and micro greens. Start at the bottom and roll it up. Slice and serve!
Why so nuts?!
Well, I love snacking. And nuts make a great snack! They're high in fiber, essential fats, Vitamin E, and minerals. Not to mention, they're great on salads, fabulous as pie-crust makers, delightful as yogurt toppings, super as a spread on sandwiches and wraps, and great to make milk with.
My favorite nuts:
Almonds contain heart healthy unsaturated fats, plus 3 grams of fiber per serving, and calcium. Add slivered almonds to your salad instead of croutons, or make pate! Check back tomorrow for recipe.
Walnuts offer omega-3 fatty acids; prevents blood clots and erratic heartbeats! Toss toasted walnuts on a fruit salad or low fat yogurt.
Macadamia nuts have higher levels of monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil. Add them as crumb topping to baked fish.
Soak your nuts!
Why soak? Nuts have a special enzyme that inhibit their growth unless they have all the essential things needed to thrive like sunlight and water. So when we eat raw nuts, we also ingest this enzyme inhibitor which takes a toll on our digestion because they block our in/uptake of certain minerals. Thus soaking nuts in water helps extract digestive inhibitors called phytates (organic acids)- which are present in the hulls of nuts; furthermore the nutritional value of these nuts skyrockets!
It's so easy. I usually soak almonds (my fav nuts) in a bowl for 4-6 hours; the skin will start peeling off. If you have some time it's so worth it to peel off the skin completely (it comes right off after soakage). Skinned almonds are more flavorful, soft and have 3 times the nutrients!
Softer nuts and seeds like cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds require less time to soak. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly!
So what now?
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of Nuts for Nuts; I'll share a great Nut Pate Recipe, and further what I love to make with it!
Saturated. Monounsaturated. Poly. Trans. So what's the good kind and what's bad?
The Bad ones are Saturated and Trans, the main dietary factors in raising blood cholesterol. The source of saturated fats are foods from animals (eggs yolks, meat, poultry, dairy- i.e ice cream, butter, cheese). Trans fats are found in commercially fried 'foods' (french fries, donuts), and hydrogen-added-vegetable oil-baked goods (cookies, crackers, cakes).
Now the good?
Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats are two types of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly found in liquid oils of vegetable origin. Replacing your saturated fats with Poly and Mono types will help lower your blood cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in: safflower oil, sesame oil, corn oil, nuts, seeds.
Monounsaturated fats: avocados, fish, olives/olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil.
Are you nuts for nuts (like me)? Stay tuned for a post on being a health nut, how to eat nuts, soaking nuts, what to make with nuts, and more nuttiness!
In the far reaches of the Amazon, the women of the Incan tribes relied on earthly means to heal the sick and weary. They carefully chose herbs and dug up roots, but most importantly they looked to the medicinal properties of the Sacha Inchi plant. Mounted on Alpacas, they traversed the highlands of Peru, searching for this elusive plant. Centuries later, the legend of the Sacha Inchi plant has been passed down through generations.
New from TerrAmazon, you could enjoy this nutritious and yummy superfoody snack. One serving provides 6 grams of heart loving, brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids, 6 grams of dietary fiber, and as much protein as in a cup of yogurt. The crunch of this seed is like that of a pistachio. Comes in 3 delish flavors: sweet, roasted and tamari. Got mine at Whole Foods.
Pardon my absence from the past week; I've been on the Eastern Shore with The Boyfriend and his family vacationing and celebrating a momentous 70th birthday! Their newly rebuilt and fine waterfront abode is perched on the historic Kent Island, the largest island on the Chesapeake Bay. But this beloved Bay is increasingly exposed to pollutants, thus endangering the precious ecosystem. So responsible residents (ie, Boyfriend's family) are participating in a bay-restoration project, whereby oysters are used to filter the water and remove toxic pollutants. One such environmental awareness group is Oyster King, a privately owned Maryland corporation whose initiatives are aimed at cultivating an accelerated population of oysters, which consume nitrogen-containing compounds (nutritious, actually, to these filter feeders) thus removing them from the water.
Oyster filtration mitigates water pollutants... Did you know this?!
Here's how it works. Floating Oyster Hotels are placed in the water, under the dock.
Oyster King technicians come out for quarterly visits to ensure the proper development and maturation of oysters so that they can reach all the important reefs.
Teeny tiny baby oysters, or oyster larvae, called SPAT.
Spat, a year later... Oysters!
Want a piece of the action in saving the environment?
Getting the Chesapeake Bay back to its original, pristine beauty would take about 20 million unharvested oysters... For those in Maryland or surrounding areas, may it behoove you to participate in this program. Waterfront property or not, you could still support this worthy initiative and get a tax credit.
Chesapeake Bay Program
This berry wonderful smoothie is bound to become one of your favorite quick-breakfast tricks or afternoon snack-time option! The only 'green' thing about it is its color... Sure it's got spinach in it, but it's not really a spinach smoothie, nor does it taste like one; my version is more banana-berry-licious with a hint of coconut! It's super fast, duper nutritious, totally tasty, perfect for summer, and 100% Boyfriend approved. Why spend up to $8 on a sugary smoothie? Blend up your own in minutes!
What you'll need:
1 cup spinach (a bit more if frozen, and yes, frozen works!)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries of any kind (blue, red, black- heck, mix them all in!)
3/4 cup almond or rice milk
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon flax meal (optional)
Few dollops of agave nectar or orange juice to sweeten
Blend all ingredients together, and there you have it!
Do you know what's in season? Pick some of these items up at your nearest Farmers' Market. Choosing local produce not only supports our nearby farmers but it's so much better for you and our Earth than getting, say, Organic blueberries from Whole Foods that were flown here from Chile. Am I saying you should pass up Organic Blueberries from Chile for Non-Organic local blueberries from the Farmers Market? YES!
Industrial Organic crops use up so much more energy in the production process- not to mention tons of fossil fuels in getting them transported from abroad. It also takes days for these products to finally arrive, during which they ripen wherever they're hanging out (in a plane, on a train). By the time they arrive at Whole Foods they're not as fresh as they come at a Farmers Market: just hours, a day, or two days after after being plucked from the Earth.
Eat what's available, and get it local and fresh! It's easier, healthier, community oriented, and responsible.
Check out the Natural Resources Defense Council's site to get your guide on local foods. Just plug in your area and time of year, and see the list!
You can also order a Local Foods Wheel from this great website for those in the SF Bay Area and NYC.
Nothing better than scented pink peonies greeting you upon each passing-by...
According to the Environmental Working Group's latest report, about 92% of sunscreens on the shelf don't adequately protect skin damage from the sun, contain toxic chemicals, or both. Follow these tips and never get burned again:
*DO get the lotion kind. You're likely to inhale chemicals if you spray or powder it on. It's also easier to miss spots with sprays.
*DO get a broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide, titanium oxide, or avobenzone to ward off damaging UV rays.
*DON'T use sunscreen that contains oxybenzone (a common allergen and a hormone disrupter that can penetrate skin easily) or Vitamin A (which makes skin more sun-sensitive and thus susceptible to tumor growth).
*ALWAYS slather and repeat. Use an ounce (about a shot glass-full) all over your body and reapply every two hours.
SO what brands are the best? Check out the EWG's full list of safe sunscreens and read up on their Full 2010 Sunscreen Guide to get the scoop on lip balms and moisturizers- as well as what ingredients to avoid!