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.
Did you know Avocados and Dark Chocolate are two of the most perfect foods? Avocados are packed with the good kind of fat that helps lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants. So I’ve combined them into this decadent powerhouse of a dessert. This will have your whole family asking for seconds.
• 2 ripe Avocados, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
• ¼ cup Cacao Powder
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
• 1/3 cup Coconut Milk
• 2/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1. Melt dark chocolate in a double broiler. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in your saucepan. Set the heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens. When you have just a few small un-melted chunks, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).
2. Place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for 15-20 seconds. Add the melted dark chocolate and pulse for another 10-15 seconds. Spoon into 4 serving cups and chill for an hour before serving.
And if something doesn’t taste good, let’s face it — you’re not going to eat it.
Green smoothies need to taste good. If they are yummy you’ll crave them every day.
So, what are your sugar options for sweetening your daily smoothie?
What is a low calorie sweetener? Stevia, monk fruit sugar, and xylitol.
What are low-GI sweeteners? Stevia, xylitol, and agave nectar.
Which are minimally processed? Organic dried fruits, raw honey, and maple syrup.
What is the best for nutrition? Wild raw honey, dried fruits, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
I personally like adding just a few drops of stevia. I find that too much has a bitter aftertaste. Or soaked dates. Soaking your dates softens them and you can always use the water they soaked in to sweeten your smoothies as well.
I’ve been getting so many request for root vegetable recipes. Especially celeriac roots and turnips. Basically, I use them instead of potatoes. You can roast them, you can mash them. They are so versatile.
Don’t be afraid of new produce!
I created this dish from my Kale Casserole recipe and it was a revelation!
Root Vegetable au Gratin with Crispy Leeks
• 3 tablespoon ghee, melted
• 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
• 11⁄2 teaspoons Spike Gourmet Natural Seasoning
• 2 teaspoons tamari wheat-free soy sauce
• 1 each parsnip, celeriac root, turnip, sliced thin
• 1⁄4 cup cashew butter
• 1⁄2 cup water
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
• 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 2)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Peel and slice root vegetables into thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandolin.
In a 9-x-9 inch baking dish layer sliced root vegetables, using a pastry brush, brush thin layer of melted ghee on each layer of root vegetable mixture.
In a high-speed blender, mix cashew butter, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt until incorporated. Pour over root vegetables, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Top with Crispy Leeks (below) and bake at 375° for an additional 15 minutes.
Thinly slice leeks, using the tender whites up to the pale green of the leek.
Toss leeks in olive oil and sea salt. Spread evenly and thinly on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Toss and bake an additional 5 minutes until almost completely browned. They will continue to brown on top of casserole.
A busy mind is one of the biggest causes of dis-ease and weight gain.
It’s time for you to Relax…
Who has time for that?
What does that mean?
Does that mean watching a movie on television? Does it mean listening to live music at a local bar? (Both of which are entertaining and stimulating — they take us away from ourselves and fill us with euphoria — but I am talking about going into ourselves.) It means making time for YOU. Quiet time. Mindless relaxation. Don’t worry if this sounds like an impossible task. I remember when I felt that way.
There are so many ways to get that mindless time. Some call it meditation, and I know that’s a scary word for a lot of people. I remember when I was told to meditate some years ago. I jumped at the practitioner who suggested it, “I don’t know how!” But, of course, I did know how, we all know how, instinctually. We just forget that we have that option.
Meditation doesn’t have to look a certain way. It doesn’t have to look like a yogi in meditation pose, chanting OMMMM with their hands resting gently on their legs, palms up with forefinger slightly touching thumb. But it can. I was extremely intimidated by the thought of meditation when imagining that scenario. It was a ridiculous-looking position and I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that, I thought to myself. I had really created a story around why that wouldn’t work for me. But, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to sit in any particular position — there are no rules for how you quiet your mind.
Unless you wish to take meditation to the next level, or wish to one day teach it, you can meditate however you like. Sometimes when I go on a walk, I pick a focal point on a long path and stay tuned into that and not distracted with other elements. My body keeps moving along the path, and all I hear is my breath while focusing on this pinpoint of nothingness. It’s just plain good practice to “give it a rest,” once in a while.
I also like to take a few minutes to do a simple meditation at home. In the video “How to Balance the Mind,” I show you how to do a 10-minute meditation. It is simple and quick enough to do every day.
ps. Your health/weight management is more than just food.