This simple and delicious soup is a staple in my home, a favorite amongst my friends, and a recipe I give out often. It’s a smooth, warm and satisfying meal that can be made in advance. For a heartier version, serve with flax crackers.
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (approx. 1 medium squash)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons ghee**
1-quart organic vegetable broth (Imagine or Pacific brand)
1 teaspoons sea salt
1 pinch of saffron threads or powder (optional) Flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend for drizzle
In 4-quart saucepan, sauté onion and butternut squash in ghee until vegetables sweat, but do not brown. Add vegetable broth, saffron, and sea salt. Cook on medium/low heat until vegetables are tender and soft, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. Place immersion blender directly in a pot and blend until pureed, or to desired consistency.
If you do not have an immersion blender, cool and transfer mixture to a standard blender and puree for 20-30 seconds. Return mixture to the saucepan and bring back to desired heat. To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with flaxseed oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend.
**Ghee is clarified butter without solid milk fat particles, this lactose-free. It can be found at most health food stores. Feel free to substitute coconut milk for a 100% vegan version.
It was imperative that I address ‘True Love’ this month, as it isn’t only Valentines Month, but it is Heart Health Month as well.
And I began to think about how we love and what love means to us.
As a collective, we look at love as a feeling in ways outside of ourselves.
I love you.
I love this movie.
I love burritos
I love driving long distance
I love fashion and chocolates.
And it is seldom, as a collective, that we really look at Love as a universal truth, a way of being in the world, a way of feeling each day.
How can we feel the universal truth, when we are so caught up in our ways of thinking?
I am busy
I have so much to do today
I am exhausted
I don’t have a boyfriend
I need a drink
And in the way that we all think and live is our way to survive. We know and understand..what we know and understand.
And the far-reaching truth is there are some things we just can’t wrap our heads around.
And that is Acceptance.
Acceptance of what is…..
Now, I can hear your ‘ monkey mind’ saying, well that’s just lazy to settle for “what is” that is not proactive and productive.
How does “acceptance” pay the bills, and give me the life I want?
“Acceptance is a failure to move forward, and how can I accept that my car won’t run, or my cat is sick, or I hate my job”?
And herein lies the work.
Acceptance is not “being ok” with what is.
Acceptance is seeing life for what it is and changing your perspective on the story.
“It may be time for me to get a new car, or look into getting it fixed.”
“My cat is getting older and she has had such a good life and brought time so much joy, it may be her time to go to the heavens”
“I am opening myself up for a job that allows me to thrive and grow- and then I can buy a new car”
The One missing ingredient to true love is Acceptance of What is…..Acceptance of Yourself.
True love is loving yourself when:
You are fat
You are skinny
You are beautiful
You look a little ragged
You are annoying
You are tired
You are funny
You are rich
You are poor
You are having a bad day
Your car is broken and you are kvetching about life
On this Heart Healthy Month, this White and Red themed Heart-centered Valentines, sweetheart and Love ladened month, take a moment if you will and look at your life through Acceptance.
And there you will find True Love.
Written by Diana Stobo
Life transformation and Spirit Coach
Health and Wellness Expert
I upgraded this classic recipe and even went a step beyond gluten-free, there is no absolutely no grains. And who doesn’t love peanut butter and jam?
These are a pretty addition to any Holiday dessert spread made with ingredients everyone has in their pantry.
1 cup Peanut Butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
½ cup of your favorite jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend ingredients until well incorporated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough into 1 inch scoops, place 2-3 inches apart. Make a little divot in each cookie with your thumb. Gently scoop a little jam in each cookie.
The perfect recipe for the Holidays, that replaces the “naughty” ingredients for healthy substitutes. A completely grain free sweet treat.
I bet you’ve never heard of a tahini base for cookies, but these are pure perfection. Would you believe this cookie is actually an immune system booster?
Tahini is high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to obtain B vitamins like thiamine, along with minerals, including magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc.
And don’t get me started about ginger. Ginger is a powerful little root that aids in digestion and inflammation.
Plus we then sweeten with Black Strap Molasses, which is high in trace minerals (iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium) making it more nutritious than most other sweeteners. It’s strong flavor adds a richness to these cookies.
1 small (10.5 oz) jar of Tahini
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup black strap molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend ingredients until well incorporated. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop or roll dough into 1 inch scoops, place 2-3 inches apart.
I love making a huge pot of this and snacking on it all day long. It makes the whole house smell amazing. And it really is a simple meal to prep. Feel free to double the recipe and freeze portions for quick and healthy meal prep.
1 cup cooked brown rice
4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz can) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz can) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 sweet onions chopped
1/2 cup canned diced chilies
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Mix everything (except the brown rice) in a slow cooker or slow cooker pan. Cover and cook on high until the flavors are blended. Lower heat to low, cover and cook for up to 2 hours.
When leaves turn color and there’s a chill in the air, I start to think of fresh apple cider, pumpkins, and one of my childhood favorites, caramel apples. I created a Naked version that tastes just like the real thing without all the processed sugar and butter.
6 small to medium apples (fuji or granny smith)
1 cup real maple syrup
1 cup lucuma powder*
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
1 cup raw pecans, chopped (optional)
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup, lucuma powder, salt, and coconut oil until a thick, creamy sauce forms. This is a raw version of caramel sauce that can be used in many desserts.
Choose an apple and press a craft stick into the center, pressing through the core halfway. Holding the stick, dip the apple into the raw caramel sauce and turn slowly it to coat the apple. Use a spatula to spread sauce evenly around the apple and to remove excess.
If you like, finish by coating with chopped pecans. Place chopped pecans on flat bowl or plate. Hold the stick and roll the caramel-coated apple in the pecans until well covered with nuts.
*Lucuma is a Peruvian fruit. It is considered a superfood because it is an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including beta-carotene, niacin, and iron. It has a butterscotch or caramel-like flavor.
This beautiful and creamy tart melts in your mouth. It has a chocolate crust and a creamy filling made with the unique pili nut, which is a rainforest nut from the Philippines. They have the highest vitamin E and magnesium content of any nut and add a creamy, buttery texture to recipes.
Chocolate “Graham Cracker” Crust
1¼ cups raw walnuts
1 cup coconut cane sugar
¾ cup raw cacao nibs
1 cup raisins or cranberries
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place all walnuts, sugar, and cacao in a food processor fitted with an s-blade and process until it is finely ground. Add raisins (or cranberries) and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Do not over-process. Transfer crust mixture into a 9-inch round or rectangular tart pan. Spread evenly and press down with hands to compact and bring the crust up the sides. Set aside.
2 cups whole pili nuts; shelled, brown skins left on
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to use a plunger or scraper to get the best consistency. Spread filling evenly over crust and let sit to set. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a month.
With so much information scrambling around about eggs, it’s hard to separate the yolks from the whites. Are they good for me? Too high in cholesterol? Which came first? The importance of eating healthy and naked are always essential, one should always keep the “5 know no’s” close to heart. But if you occasionally want to indulge in a luscious poached egg served over sauteed rainbow chard, I implore you to find the best egg possible.
Eggs provide us with an egg-celent (wink wink) source of protein, which can keep us full longer. Eggs contain choline, which helps our bodies maintain proper B vitamin levels and promote brain function. Also vital is lutein, an antioxidant that protects our eyes and lowers our risk of cataract development. Although we can obtain our lutein from our yummy and beloved dark leafy greens, the lutein found in egg yolk is more easily absorbed into the human body. Bottom line: if you love your morning egg, your morning egg will love you back.
That being said there is still the conundrum of what type of eggs to purchase.
White vs. brown
The nutritional benefits of brown and white eggs are exactly the same. Different breeds of chicken produce different colors of eggs. If you shop local farmers markets, you can find them in a variety of colors including green, blue, and speckled. Just the variety of life!
Cage free vs. free range
Cage-free eggs are from chickens not kept in a cage — simple enough. Even though these chickens are kept free from the confinement of a cage, they are still kept inside barns or warehouses.
Free-range chickens are housed inside barns and warehouses but are allowed access to an outside area.
Organic vs. non-organic vs. vegetarian-fed free-range organic vs. vegetarian-fed free-range humanely raised organic!
Organic eggs come from chickens that are fed exclusively organic feed with no hormones or antibiotics.
Vegetarian eggs are produced from hens given feed containing no animal by-products, such as fish or (gasp) other chickens.
Humanely raised means just that: the hens are given the freedom to roam, eat grubs, and play in the sun (okay not really, but you get what I mean). Hens raised in crowded cages pass on their stress hormones to their eggs, and we certainly don’t need more stress hormones in our lives!
So what does it all mean? Nutritionally all eggs are basically equal, but a fresh egg tastes remarkably better and has more nutrition than a mass-produced store-bought egg. Some store-bought eggs are more than a month old before they land in your fridge.
Also, keep in mind that an egg from a healthy hen is nicer for your body than one from a sick hen. So only buy eggs from chicken fed their natural diet of grains.
I say, when you can, buy from your local farmers market. There you are given a chance to see the source, ask questions about how their hens are raised, and support your local agriculture. It feels right and you are getting a fresher, higher quality egg.
Fresh eggs keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. They are better when fresh, so you might as well use them right away. Eggs require a consistently cold temperature, so always keep your eggs stored inside your fridge, not in the refrigerator door.
Now go and enjoy your big-kid egg hunt and Happy Easter!
Not only is this warm drink delicious, it is also soothing for sore throats and stuffy noses. Ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. The black pepper boosts those properties. You can make this with any fresh nut-milk you have on hand or even store bought coconut milk. Make sure you heat it gently to not curdle the milk.
Non-Dairy Turmeric Milk
2 cups homemade almond, coconut milk, or any non-dairy milk of your choice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1″ piece of ginger sliced
raw honey to sweeten, if desired
Combine all ingredients and whisk on low heat until milk is warm but not too hot. Serve immediately.
This recipe was developed down at The Retreat. Our whole philosophy down there is “Tico Fresh” and Farm to Fork, basically we want to give you the freshest foods from what we have locally available. And if you know me, you know I love taking familiar recipes and making them “Naked”. When you are craving something fresh and filling, this recipe is perfect. It’s also a great dish to bring to potlucks and picnics.
Red Bean Ceviche
• 1 can of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed thoroughly
• ½ cup red onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup bell pepper, chopped finely
• ¼ cup cilantro, copped finely
• ½ cup fresh lemon juice
• ½ cup fresh orange juice
• salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow all the flavors to combine.