Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pumpkins!


If you couldn’t tell by the weather, it’s officially fall (or Autumnal Equinox if you will). So happy second official day of fall, everyone!

In honor of autumn’s falling (get it), we encourage you to check out some of the produce that’s now in season, such as Brussels sprouts, grapes, mushrooms, turnips, and cauliflower. We’ve even provided you with a yummy cauliflower “fried rice” recipe to test out!

While I personally attempted to broaden my fall foods horizon (well…for the past 3 days), there’s just something about the cold that makes the traditional fall flavors hard to resist.  So for the rest of you who have fallen to the temptation as well, get pumped because we’re about to…Pumpkin. All. The. Things.



Just so you know, in addition to being extremely tasty in both savory and sweet dishes, pumpkins have some awesome nutritional benefits. Pumpkins boast high amounts of vitamin c (hello, immune system), vitamin a (good for your eyes), beta-carotene (may prevent cancer), and fiber. So delicious and nutritious!

In honor of this glorious fall fruit (yes, apparently it’s a fruit #themoreyouknow), we give you… Pumpkin Pie for Two! You know, since it's cuddle season. And P.S. it’s grain free, dairy free, and nut free, so all of the people with all of the allergies can enjoy J.

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Pumpkin Pie for Two:

Crust ingredients:
¼ cup tapioca starch (or almond flour if you can eat nuts, but it will change the texture a little)
¼ cup coconut flour
½ banana, mashed (or 1/4 cup applesauce)
2 tbsp. almond milk (or regular milk)
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted (or butter)
2 tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
Pinch of salt

Filling ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (roughly ¾ tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. nutmeg 1/8 tsp. ginger)
Pinch of salt


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.     Mix together the tapioca starch, coconut flour, and salt.
3.     In a separate bowl whisk together the mashed banana, almond milk, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup.
4.     Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until dough forms.
5.     Divide the dough in half and press evenly into two ramekins (or cupcake tins or any oven-safe baking thing).
6.     Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes and let cool before adding the filling.
7.     While the crust is baking, thoroughly mix the filling ingredients. If you have blender, use that.
8.     Adjust filling for sweetness and spices.
9.     Pour the fill into the cooled crust and refrigerate until the filling has set (around 2 hours…sorry…)
10. If you’re super fancy, top with whipped cream or coconut cream (the thick part from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk) or Greek yogurt or cream cheese.
11. EAT THE THINGS. Cat is optional.




Victoria Price

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe



While cooler weather usually makes people start craving apples and pumpkin in everything, let's not forget about all of the other delicious foods that are coming into season. One prime example? Cauliflower, one of the most underrated of vegetables. In this recipe, it's finely chopped so as to resemble rice, but it's equally good (and super comforting!) roasted or pureed.

This recipe is a one of those dishes that takes about five minutes to prepare, but in the end turns out to be so darn tasty that you can't quite believe how simple it is. Don't believe us? Go ahead and give it a shot...

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

*This recipe doesn’t include amounts because basically the only ingredient is cauliflower, so use as much as you need*

Ingredients:

Cauliflower
Toasted sesame oil
Soy sauce
optional: sesame seeds

Directions:

With a food processor: Place cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor, then pulse in about 3 second intervals until the cauliflower has broken down and has a coarse, rice-like texture.

With a box cheese grater: Grate the cauliflower with the cheese grater to break it down and create a coarse, rice-like texture.  

In a wok, frying pan, or skillet, heat up some sesame oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and fry over the heat for a few minutes, until softened. Add some soy sauce to taste (careful not to add too much!) and sesame seeds if using and continue to cook a few more minutes.

Serve with veggies, scrambled eggs, any other mix-ins, or just plain on its own!

Rossi Anastopoulo 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Buzz on Honey

Sticky, sweet, golden, and pure- who doesn't love honey? It's one of the most wholesome and amazing substances you can put into your body, and unlike refined sugar, it's full of a plethora of health properties– just as one might expect from something made by bees straight from plants. Honey is revered for being both antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory; as a result, it’s an amazing treatment for wounds. It also contains flavonoids, which are the antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, and ironically enough, it can help regulate blood sugar because of its balance of glucose and fructose. Honey also can boost your immune system because of its vast wealth of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Lastly, if you have annual allergies, consuming local honey can help clear up your symptoms.

But buyer beware! We all want to take part in the natural benefits of this amazing wonder, but not all honey available on the market is who it says it is. In a study conducted by Food Safety News in 2011, it was discovered that more than three quarters of the honey sold in grocery stores was not real honey. Instead, the pollen had been filtered out; without the pollen, these products would fail most worldwide quality standards, and the FDA has stated that an ultra-filtered product without pollen isn’t considered honey. What’s more, this filtering process heats the honey to high temperatures, killing the enzymes that make it so good for you. Here are some of the findings of the study:

•76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed, These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.
•100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
•77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
•100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
•Every one of the samples bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen
• Out of seven samples labeled “organic”, five (71 percent) were heavy with pollen

The bottom line? If you want to benefit from all of the amazing medicinal properties of honey, make sure that you are buying pure, raw honey. The best way to do so is to get local honey, straight from beekeepers in your area. In this way, you can support small scale beekeepers, ensure that you're ingesting pure natural honey with all of its incredible benefits, and even help with your seasonal allergies. Now that's something to buzz home about.

Rossi Anastopoulo