Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chia Peanut Butter Balls

I got this from my friend Stefanie. The kids like them and I think that one is great before a long run. In a bowl, mix together:

1 C. organic peanut butter

1/2 C. raw honey

1/4 C. brown rice syrup

1/2 C. oats

2 T. chia seeds

2 1/2 C. brown rice cereal (at your health food store)

Mix all together and roll into balls and then roll in coconut it you want.

(I also rolled mine in puffed Amaranth for an extra crunch. Don't know what amaranth is? Check it out HERE. It is awesome...like baby popcorn. You can even pop it in a popcorn machine).

Quinao Burgers

(the dumb picture won't turn the right way...sorry)
I made these burgers yesterday and we will be having them tonight for dinner. Because I was starving yesterday, as soon as I made them, I cut one up and layered it in an Ezekiel tortilla (you can learn about these sprouted products HERE) with purple cabbage, avocado and lettuce. Yummy!

I found the recipe at: http://www.simplehealthytasty.com/:

1 Cup Quinoa, cooked (I used sprouted. Click on sprouting on the right hand side to see how to do this)

1/2 C. spinach, chopped

1/2 C. carrots, grated

1/2 C. zucchini, grated

1/2 C. tahini (sesame butter)

1/2 t. dill weed

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

1/4 C. oat flour (made by putting oats in the blender. I used oat groats..the whole oat kernel)

Mix the first four ingredients together. Then, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together. Add to first mixture and then using 1/4 C., drop onto greased and heated frying pan.

Press into a patty and cook until golden brown and then flip and cook the other side. Try not to keep turning, or they will get crumbly. Top with whatever sounds great. For our burgers tonight, we have whole wheat thin buns, avocado, tomato, Veganaise, lettuce and green pepper.

Marinated Cucumbers

This is a snack/side dish that my WHOLE family enjoys. In the bowl, I have added:
1 whole English cucumber, skin on

1/4-1/2 C. seasoned rice wine vinegar

a few splashes of sesame oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

sesame seeds for garnish
Mix all together and cover. Set in the fridge to chill for an hour! Yummy! My kids eat these like they are chips. They are gonna go great with my quinoa burgers we are having tonight.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thai Peanut Salad!

Ok...so I know I have said over and over how much I like things I make...but this is by far my FAVORITE! David gave it an "8" out of ten. We ate this for dinner. This is from Original Fast Foods Website (http://www.danielschallenge.com/) I made a few slight changes, but it is super great! I can't wait to make it again when all my family comes into town this weekend. Here you go!

Salad Ingredients:

1.5 C. shredded carrots

1 medium zucchini, cut into thin matchsticks

1.5 sprouted mung beans (learn how to easily sprout beans, HERE).

6 Cups shredded Napa cabbage

1.2 C. cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped

1/4 C. sesame seeds (more for garnish)

1/2 package brown rice pad Thai noodles, cooked (found these at the health food store)

Peanut Butter Dressing:

1 T. fresh garlic, minced

1 inch fresh ginger

1/4 C. water

1/3 C. natural organic peanut butter

1/3 C. honey

1/4 t. red pepper flakes

1/4 C. Braggs Liquid Aminos (click here if you don't know what this is)

2 T. rice vinegar

1 t. chili garlic sauce (I bought the Taste of Thai brand at the grocery store)


Combine salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and warm. Combine peanut dressing with salad, toss well and serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Four Thieves Formula

(Info taken from http://theherbgardener.blogspot.com/)
The Legend of the Four Thieves Vinegar:

"One version goes that in the 1630's, when the plague was raging in France, the town of Toulouse was beset with looters. Four looters were apprehended, but rather than punish them, the judge offered them a deal. Amazed at their continued health after wandering through homes and businesses abandoned by their terrified owners, the judge offered to let the thieves go if they gave him the secret of their resistance to the plague.
What was their famous secret? It was a vinegar made from thyme, rosemary, sage and lavender. This infusion was termed thieves vinegar. Although garlic was added to the mixture later, the basic infusion became famous and was used throughout Europe for hundreds of years, both internally and externally, to provide protection from the dreaded plague.
There are a number of recipes for the Four Thieves formula.
The original probably went something like this:
equal parts thyme, rosemary, sage and lavender. Place them in a gallon of vinegar and seal and put in a dark place for 6 weeks. Afterwards, strain into a clean bottle. This can also be used as a disinfectant.
The version I made was given to me by my friend, Stefanie. Here is what we did:
Take one gallon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. You can read more about the benefits of this vinegar HERE on a previous post. Pour off 3 cups and put in another jar.
In the gallon container, with the rest of the vinegar, add:
1 1/2 C. fresh onions, chopped
1/2 C. chopped fresh ginger
1/3-1/2 C. chopped garlic
cayenne to taste...start with a teaspoon..depending on the heat unit of your Cayenne
Let sit for a week to 10 days in a dark place, shaking occasionally.
Strain and discard solids. I put my "Thieves" solution in the above gallon glass jar.
Take 1 tablespoon a day (1 t. for kids) to enhance immune system.
(A note on onions and garlic: "They are packed with compounds called allyl sulfides that are thought to actually de-activate cancer-causing chemicals and well as slow down proliferation of cancer cells. In addition, they provide heart-disease protection by reducing cholesterol and keeping blood from clumping on artery walls, and may boost the immune system and have an antibacterial effect"-from Looking Younger and Living Longer by Mary Roberts Smith)
(A note on Cayenne: "It has antibiotic properties and is nutritional as well and medicinal. It builds up the body's resistance and since it is antibiotic and is high in Vitamin C, it is good to take at the first symptom of a cold. In can increase energy, and is the best general stimulant of the body and organs. It also helps improve the entire circulatory system." Mary Roberts Smith)
*****This stuff is very powerful! This is 100 times stronger than the vinegar by itself. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar everyday by itself..straight up. I tried to do it with this stuff...and
WOW!!! I now add it to a tiny 1/4 C. of my morning green smoothie and then drink it down!
This REALLY will help you, with everything else you are doing, to not get sick...Give it a try! Just don't let your kids think it is apple juice...cause that is what it looks like, especially in the jar I have!

Holy Cow...This is really good!

(This picture really doesn't do this dish justice. Some day I will learn to take better pictures).
This recipe is from one of my favorite websites: ohsheglows.com. I made this today and had to take some to David right away (25 minutes away). He said it was great and licked his snap ware clean. Here it is:

"Protein Power Goddess Bowl"

Ahead of time, cook:

2 Cups brown rice in rice cooker

1.5-2 C. lentils on stove (twice as much water to lentils. bring to a boil and then simmer with lid on, until lentils are soft).

When lentils and rice are done, in a large pan, saute:

1/2 red onion

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 red and green pepper very thinly sliced (I think I only did about 1/2 of each)

1 large fresh tomato diced

8-10 sun dried tomatoes, sliced

After about five minutes, add in 4 cups of cooked lentils and stir well. Cook for a few minutes.

Then add in Tahini Sauce (which you make in food processor or Vita Mix):

1/4 C. tahini

1 clove garlic

1/2 C. fresh lemon juice

1/4 C. nutritional yeast

1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil (next time I will add half the oil and some warm water)

1-2 t. sea salt

fresh pepper to taste.

Blend until smooth

Add the tahini sauce and stir into lentils until smooth. Cook until it starts to bubble and then remove from heat. Then add:

2 Large handfuls (very large) mixed greens and spinach

1/2 C. fresh parsley, diced

Salt and Pepper to taste

Stir well. Portion rice in bowls and tops with lentil greens mixture. Put your feet up and enjoy the fact that you are feeding your body something beautiful and completely nutritious.

What is a nutritarian?

I don't like labels and they way I am choosing to live is no exception, but as I have been doing some more research lately, I figured out that what I am trying to do with my family truly does have a name and that is Nutritarian. (I got the following information from: HERE). This website states:
What is a Nutritarian?

"A Nutritarian is a person who takes interest in the nutritional quality of their diet. A person who strives to eat a diet containing highly nutritious foods.

This person chooses foods that are high in a wide spectrum of micro nutrients per calorie. Foods that are exceptionally nutrient dense and therefore promote disease resistance and longevity are: vegetables (especially green vegetables), beans and seeds.

These foods are all rich in vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients that properly nourish the body so the body can maximize it's self-repairing abilities and combat disease.

A high-nutrient diet takes away addictions, cravings and curtails overeating behavior. It is the PERMANENT solution to weight control and great health."

A Nutritarian Food Pyramid:

Please click on "HERE" above to find out more information if you are interested. Eating and living like this, is NOT a diet. This is a way of life to help prevent disease and to live your lfe with optimal health. I think most of my recipes fit in this category.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, I believe, is really the one that has coined the title "Nutritarian." You has been seen on Dr. OZ and various other shows and has written some amazing books. I have not read them completely, but I have browsed through them. You can watch a short Nutritarian video on his website HERE. He has written:

Eat to Live, which I just ordered on Amazon (if you order it, make sure you are getting the updated copy) and his two part series: Eat for Health.

In a nutshell, Dr. Fuhrman says (which is very similar to Original Fast Foods, my FAVORITE BOOK) to aim for:
1 pound of raw vegetables a day
1 pound of cooked vegetables a day
1 cup of beans daily
1 ounce of nuts/seeds every day
3-4 servings of fruit a day
limit starchy vegetables and grains
no fruit juices or dairy products
if you choose to eat meat, only a few ounces per week.

I believe he says to do this for 6 weeks. This can totally eliminate food addictions and cravings if you can do this. One of my good friends, Elisha Exon is trying this way of eating for eight weeks. She is documenting her experience on her website: http://www.motivatedmamas.net/. You can read about her "Nutritarian Experiment" HERE.

I think I might join her on his experiment. Even though I eat really well, there is always room for improvement and its really helpful to your body to be able to limit any form of sugar, even agave and honey, for a while to help your body (and your brain) overcome and dependance it thinks it has and to, in a sense, cleanse itself.

If anyone is serious about this, or has more questions, please send me a message. You can also email me: leannahunt@gmail.com. I really suggest getting Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live to give you the complete guide...which will start you on your Nutritarian Journey...which will hopefully last a lifetime.

Easy Peanut Butter Wrap

While I was in Moab this past weekend for my half marathon, we got to eat at some super cool yummy, healthy restaurants. I ate this awesome Peanut Butter wrap after my run. I made them for my kids yesterday and had no complaints....perfect for a fast meal, that you still want to be nutritious. Since I don't have chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas in my freezer anymore...I love finding some fast healthy things I can feed my kids on the go....

Side Note before the recipe: I used Flat Outs for this recipe. I buy them at Costco. They have whole grains and 10 grams of protein. They have a few ingredients that I am not crazy about, but if I don't have time to make sprouted tortillas, this is a easy staple that I keep in my freezer. We also use these flat outs for quick pizzas.
Pizza: Put two flat outs on a cookie sheet. Spread with a little of your favorite organic pizza sauce and top with fresh chopped basil and a few thin slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 or until the edges are crispy. My kids LOVE these...and my husband does too.

Peanut Butter Wrap:

Flat Outs

organic peanut butter

thinly sliced Fuji apple

thinly sliced banana

fresh blueberries

(i got some at the health food store, only sweetened with honey. when I don't have time to make it...this is great to have on hand for a snack or cereal for the kids)

agave to drizzle.

Spread a very thin layer of peanut butter on the entire flat out. On one half, scatter apple and banana slices, a few blueberries and a good sprinkle of granola for a crunch. Drizzle with agave and roll up. Cut in half. Yummy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Awesome Chickpea Spread

Ok...I am eating this right now, so the feelings are really fresh in my mind! This is awesome! I found the recipe from: http://happyhealthymama.com/ and the name of it is Chickpea Tomato Wrap. Instead of using a tortilla, I just made lettuce boats, put the filling on the lettuce and topped with tons of veggies: red pepper, celery, carrot and avocado. Yum. As you can tell from the picture, my 2 year old is eating one....kids will eat whatever you offer them...eventually. It's so awesome to see them try new things.


1 (15) oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 c. cooked (i used sprouted garbanzo beans)

1/2 cup (packed in oil) julienned sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained

1/4 C. Veganaise

2 T. fresh chopped parsley

1 t. stone ground mustard

1/4 t. sea salt

handful of spinach or other veggies for toppings

4 whole grain tortillas

Using a potato masher or fork, mash your chickpeas in a medium bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, Vegenaise, parsley, mustard and sea sale. Spread 1/4 of the mixture on a tortilla, top with spinach and roll it up.
Nutrition: 204 Calories, 24 g. carbs, 10 g. fat, 5 g. protein
(used reduced-fat vegenaise for lower fat and calorie count!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lentil Tacos

I have seen a few recipes for lentil tacos and couldn't wait to try it. I have to say that I was very surprised! They were awesome. Here is a quote from Victoria, my 8 year old: They taste like very good quesadillas...They were very GOOD! I can't wait to eat them again!" (Sorry no picture...we ate them too quickly)
I got this from http://www.allrecipes.com/ under "Tasty Lentil Tacos." Here is a picture from the website (really just looks like taco meat) This might be a great recipe for your Meat-Eating Guests when they come to visit:


1 C. finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 t. olive oil

1 C. dried lentils, rinsed

1 T. chili powder

2 t. ground cumin

1 t. dried oregano

3 C. chicken broth or veggie broth

1 C. frozen organic corn

chopped cilantro


In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduc heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

2. Uncover, cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in corn and cilantro.

We served ours in sprouted wheat tortillas (found in the frozen section at the health food store) with avocado, lettuce, real sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese! YUM! (If David was home, I would have made him make salsa...but he is teaching Scouts how to swim better tonight. Oh well...he missed out!)
The lentils will be AWESOME tomorrow cold on a salad! Can't wait for lunch :)

What is Nutritional Yeast?

"Nutritional Yeast" is different from baker's yeast. N.Y. is non-active (meaning it doesn't react to sugar, like normal yeast does). It has a cool flavor..kind of cheesy and a little nutty.

Nutritional Yeast contains 18 amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also has over 15 essential minerals. It is great for vegetarians because it is one of the only food sources that contains a good amount of vitamin B12. (It is also rich in other B-complex vitamins).

If you are diabetic, or borderline, nutritional yeast may be helpful. N.Y. contains chromium, a trace mineral known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). It may also help those with low blood pressure.

I sprinkle it on my kids popcorn, have used it in THIS pasta and in this dish.

Yummy Walnut, Basil and Tomato Pasta

This is another fav from http://www.ohsheglows.com/. We ate this for two nights and everyone loved it. The nutritional yeast makes it creamy and gives it a pretty pink color. Serve it over whole-grain pasta.


1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 T. virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 t. dried oregano

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 C. packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed and chopped finely

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 C. nutritional yeast

2 LARGE handfuls spinach, roughly chopped

1/2-3/4 C. walnuts, roughly chopped

I 7-serving pasta box of choice (I used whole grain)


1. Chop onion and garlic. In large skillet, cook onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes

2. Add in the oregano and salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes and then add tomatoes, chopped basil and nutritional yeast. Stir. Bring to a low boil and then simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta.

3. Stir in the chopped walnut and the chopped spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes longer on low heat. Pour sauce over pasta. Like I said, this made enough for us to eat two dinners.

Marie's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

My friend, Marie gave me this amazing hummus recipe. I have tried quite a few, I must say, but this is by far the best. It tastes much better the second day. Enjoy it with rice crackers or veggies, or just with your finger if no one is looking.

In your oven, roast one red bell pepper. Rub it with olive oil and stick it on a baking tray at 350. When you start to hear it bubbling, turn the pepper to another spot. Keep doing this until the pepper is completely until the whole pepper looks like this: (mine wasn't this black)

Let it cool and then peel off the burnt layer.

In the mean time, add to your food processor (or high speed blender):

1 can garbanzo beans (drained) (I used sprouted beans. See * at bottom for instructions).

2 T. tahini

2 t. minced garlic

2 t. lemon juice

1/4 C. water

2 t. cumin

1/2 t. crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil as needed to make a smooth consistency (i used 2 T.)

Process until smooth and stick in your fridge overnight! Enjoy!
(This is not my picture...obviously, but this is the color of what it looks like)
The WHOLE recipe has: 1007 calories, 113 g. carbs, 49 g. fat, and 36 g. protein
(would be less if you don't use any olive oil)

* If you want to sprout your garbanzo beans, soak beans in filtered water overnight. In the morning, drain and keep your beans in a strainer. Rinse a few times a day until they start to sprout. Once sprouted, throw in boiling water and let water boil for a minute. Turn off the heat and let the beans sit in the water until it cools You are done.

True North Almond Clusters-Copy Cat

I saw my friend Lillie coming out of a health food store in Provo and she asked me to come over and talk to her for a second. I went over and she pulled out a bag of True North Almond Clusters that she had just bought from Sam's Club. She asked me if I thought I could copy them. I haven't really done much of making up my own recipe...but it was totally fun and the end result is more like a nut brittle, but super yummy and a great snack for the kids to take to school or to pack in your back-pack for a long hike or to snack on while you are snow shoeing.

Here you go Lillie:

Preheat Oven to 250

In a bowl, combine:

1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped almonds
1 C. coarsely chopped cashews
3/4 C. coarsely chopped walnuts
set aside
(all my nuts were soaked and then dehydrated, but I am sure you could just use regular if you are short on time)

In a saucepan, combine:
1/2 C. brown rice syrup (you can find this at your health food store by the other syrups. It is in a jar with a metal lid)
1/4 C. sucanat (raw sugar)
1/4 C. coconut oil
1/2 t. sea salt
Bring to a boil and let boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly

Take off the heat and add, 1/4 t. baking soda and 1 t. vanilla (be careful, because it might bubble up)

Stir and pour over nuts. Stir well and pour on greased roasting/baking pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 12 minutes or so. Let cool just for a few minutes and then scrape off nuts and break into little clusters. Enjoy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Butternut Squash

Some people may have never tried a fall harvest squash before, besides pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It can be a little intimidating to see the squash at the grocery store and wonder what to do with it, and even how to open it up. Step by step instructions, can be found HERE.
Well, fall squash, like butternut are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients (click HERE for more info). The color of the butternut squash is beautiful and bright and full of nutrients: fiber, potassium, vitamin b6, folate, and most importantly it contains carotenoids (shown to protect against heart disease). In particular, beta-carotene, which our body converts into Vitamin A. One cup of this delicious squash contains about half the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C. Butternut squash, because of its high antioxidant count may also help with inflammation. Because it contains seeds, it is technically a fruit.
Here are my three favorite things to DO with butternut squash:

1. Make Fries

(picture from http://www.hungry-girl.com/)

click for simple recipe instructions from "hungry girl" HERE!

(these are awesome)

2. Make a yummy "cheezy" pasta dish to fool your kids.
I found the recipe here.

(My kids never knew what made the sauce yellow)


2 C. chopped butternut squash, cooked

8 oz. whole wheat short pasta (brown rice pasta would also be awesome)

2 bay leaves

2 C. vegetable stock

3 1/2 T. nutritional yeast

(don't know what this is? click Here to find out about this amazing food. this actually gives the cheesy flavor).

1 T. sesame seeds

2 t. Dijon mustard

1/2 t. onion powder

1/4 t. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 C. whole wheat bread crumbs (make your own by wadding up a piece of whole wheat bread and drop it in the blender. pulse for a few seconds.)

1-2 T. earth balance spread, or butter and Parmesan cheese to top


1. Cook your squash: I like to cook my squash, by cutting it in half, scraping out the seeds and placing both halves, skin side up on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 until you can make an indent with your thumb. Let it cool and then scrape out the inside.
You can also put your squash in a crock pot (the whole thing) in the morning with some water for steam and cook it on high. In a few hours, it will be done and you can cut it and scrape out the seeds.

2. Preheat oven to 400. Bring pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta.

3. Warm vegetable stock in another pot with bay leaves and leave on heat for 5 minutes. When done, remove bay leaves and add all ingredients, except pasta to a food processor or high speed blender. Process for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour pasta in a baking dish and pour sauce over the top (I had a little too much sauce, that I just ate with a spoon). Add breadcrumbs and dabs of butter. I also topped mine with some Parmesan cheese for my kids.

5. Bake for 20 minutes until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp. Serve hot! Stored great and heated up well the next day!

3. Make Soup:
1 got this recipe from my trainer, Cody (freshairwanted.blogspot.com).

It is great and stores well in the fridge for a few days.

1 1/2 C. butternut squash, cooked and cooled

2 stalks celery, diced

1 T. red or sweet onion, chopped

1/2 yellow squash, diced (don't have to cook if you have a high-speed blender)

1 T. olive oil

1 t. sea salt

1/2 t. turmeric

1 t. apple cider vinegar

4 C. pure water
garnish with fresh parsley or sunflower seeds

In your high speed blender, blend all until smooth. In my Vita-Mix, I can leave the soup in there for a few minutes and it will get hot, so I don't need to heat it on the stove. If your blender does not do this, then blend it really well, and then put in your pot until warm.

Rustic Banana Cake

I have gotten a lot of my vegan ideas from http://www.ohsheglows.com/. I love this girl's positive attitude and her story. She makes yummy things and this one we had today for breakfast (with our cocoa banana shake was great). I caught David eating his piece with a piece of butter on it. Right as he was eating it, he asked me if it is healthy. I kind of laughed and said, "yes!" He is still working on it :)... I love this recipe because it can be gluten free, if you use GF oats... Here it is from ohsheglows.com with a few "Leanna" changes.

2 C. regular oats, processed into a flour
1/2 C. regular oats (not processed)
1/4 C. sucanat (raw sugar)
1/3 C. agave
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
2 T. coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 C. applesauce
1/4 C. coconut milk (could use almond milk)
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 C. fruit-sweetened chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 8 or 9 inch circle cake pan.
2. In large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oats,oat flour (from blended oats), sugar, spices, baking powder and salt).
3. In another bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, agave, milk and vanilla. Addin the mashed bananas and stir.
4. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Spread into pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cook before cutting, if you can stand it.

Here is a glaze you can put on it, but we ate it plain:

1 ripe banana
2 T. peanut butter
1/2 C. icing sugar,
pinch of salt

Directions: Mash banana in bowl until smooth. Addin peanut butter and mash until combined. Sift in the salt and icing sugar and stir until fully combined. Makes about 2/3 C. glaze. Keep in fridge for a few days.

Quick Yummy Cocoa-Banana Shake

This recipe is from http://www.rawmelissa.com/. I LOVE everything she has created. I lover her "Faves" cookbook that you can buy from her website, but this recipe is a freebie you can find, along with some others from her website. We had this today before church and everyone liked it, except for Tyler...but he is not a really big chocolate fan!

In your blender, add:
3 frozen bananas, peeled or course
2 C. water (or I am sure almond milk would be yummy)
2 C. ice
1 heaping T. cocoa (I added more)
1/2 t. vanilla
1-2 T. agave
1 C. almonds

Blend in blender until smooth and serve right away! This is a really creamy chocolaty shake. Yum!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's in a salad?

I have been trying to eat more vegetables. period.
Many of you know that I LOVE the book, Original Fast Foods. You can buy it HERE!

It was probably the best 20 $ I ever spent and has really helped me have the courage to eat a plant-based diet. The author, Jim Simmons has a fascinating story about how he recovered from 11 years of sickness by eating this way. There is soo much truth to what he says in his book and the information on his website (click "HERE" above to be taken there).

Anyway, I wanted to post some info on why eating more veggies is important and crucial for healthy living:

"The facts are in and there is no argument by leading authorities that the dietary key to achieving ideal body weight and to living long is to eat your vegetables! Per calorie, no other foods deliver quite the nutritional bang for the buck. And at about only 60 calories per pound, you can fill up your plate several times a day without ever eating too many vegetables. Enjoy them freely and abundantly for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even between meals!

Use fresh whole seasonal fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth, as needed to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners! As you center eating around whole vegetables and fruits, other food choices, such as grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and animal -based foods (not more than 10% a day) become healthful complimentary additions to meals, rather than becoming unhealthful through over-consumption.

Adequate vegetable intake is one of the primary factors for overcoming insulin resistance. Problems associated with insulin resistance: Heart Disease, Obesity, Poor eyesight, neuropath, organ damage, amputations, degenerative diseases and accelerated aging.

By consuming adequate intake of vegetables during each meal, you slow down the absorption of the meal into your bloodstream, and by doing this....you create a much more even and steady flow of required and healthful carbohydrates into the bloodstream. By consuming sufficient vegetable, you help to satisfy your appetite naturally without feeling the need for overt fats. Your body can convert the plant-based omega-3s to meet your needs for essential fats properly.....Your body can maintain adequate levels of essential fats, without adding extra fats."

So, a plant based diet that is supplemented with fruit, legumes and some quality grains is really the way to go. Use seeds, nuts and even avocados sparingly.

There is much more information on the Simmon's website and I hope you will take some time to check it out.

Here is my salad from lunch:

1 head of romaine

a few handfuls of mixed greens

chopped carrots and cucumbers

lightly steamed organic green beans

a small portion of sprouted brown rice

1/2 c. sprouted black beans

1/8 C. avocado

balsamic vinaigrette.

(this salad looks smaller than it actually is..it takes a long time to eat and then you won't be hungy for ever! Try mixing in different beans, different greens and veggies too keep it interesting!)


The following information is from http://www.wisegeek.com/

"Sucanat is a minimally refined form of cane sugar. The process for making Sucanat starts out like that used for other forms of cane sugar, with the harvesting of the sugar canes. The canes are cut, leaving the roots behind so that they will sprout new canes in the coming year, and then they are crushed in a mangler which extracts their naturally sweet juice. If the sugar was going to be refined, the juice would be run through an evaporation process which included measures for purification, and in this process, much of the natural molasses would be extracted..

Sucanat is simply heated and them allowed to cool, forming granular crystals of what is basically dried sugar cane juice. Hence the name Su (sugar) Ca (cane) Nat (natural).

Because it does retain the molasses, it can have a very strong distinct flavor. It is grainy, rather than crystalline. It also contains less sucrose, because it has not been purified...white sugar contains the most sucrose....and is mostly ALL sucrose."

It has been fun to experiment with. Some suggest that it doesn't work well with citrus and chocolate flavors. I haven't gone there yet, but I do know that it is awesome with natural peanut butter. My family adores these simple, delicious, gluten-free cookies:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
In bowl, mix:

1 C. natural salted peanut butter (if not salted, add a little sea salt)
3/4 C. sucanat

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 C. fruit-sweetened chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer. Should make about 15 cookies. I like to use a scooper to put them on my cookie sheet and then make a criss-cross on them with my fork, to kind of flatten them out.

Bake for 9 minutes. Let them cool before you take them off the cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My new favorite salad dressing

I have adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com. Here is my version:

In your blender, add:

1 C. good quality olive oil

1 C. awesome balsamic vinegar

1-2 t. stone ground organic mustard

2-4 T. RAW honey (depending on how sweet you like it)

1 large clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Blend in your blender and then try to keep from licking the blender as you pour it into your jar!
My family loves this...especially on a salad with mixed greens, green and red apple slices, celery, and dried cranberries. Should keep in the week for a few weeks...but I wouldn't know because we are eating it to quickly.

This is not my picture, but this is what it looks like...dark and thick! I like keeping my fresh dressings in mason jars..because the lids stay on and they fit well in the fridge.

Gwam Crackers

I found this yummy recipe HERE. My kids love them and they hold up great in their lunches! Don't let them cook too long or they will burn...which is always a sad thing:

GWAM Crackers:
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour (I used sprouted wheat)
1/3 C. sugar (I used sucanat...pure cane sugar)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
scant 1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 C. oil (I used a blend of pure canola/olive oil)
2 T. unsulphered molassas
1 t. pure vanilla
1/4 C. milk: raw milk, rice milk, coconut milk...etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, molasses and vanilla. Stir everything together until combined.

3. Slowly add in your milk and then use your hands to knead the dough a few times until it holds together. If you need to add more milk then add it. It should be able to make a nice ball of dough.

4. Place a piece of parchment on your counter top (this is to help the dough from sticking). I spray PAM on my rolling pin. Roll dough into a rectangle. Dough should be about 1/8 inch thick (probably 10x14 inch rectangle).

5. Cut dough into square crackers, or any other shapes you want. You can trim off the edges, if you want them to look really pretty, or just cut away. I use a really small spatula (like my one from pampered chef) and carefully scoop them up and put them on my GREASED cookie sheet.

6. You can poke them with a fork, so they look like normal graham crackers. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350. Let cool and and then enjoy dipped in peanut butter or fresh almond milk.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I want to be healthier, but where do I start?

The first book I read about improving myself through nutrition since being diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue was Looking Younger and Living Longer by Mary Robert Smith, N.D. I love her list for overall improved health. If you are feeling overwhelmed, this is a great place to start...a great place to refer to and it is manageable.
It is important to add one new thing at a time, or you will feel frustrated and more likely to give up, then if you are slow and steady. If you are in a hurry, print out this list and read it and reread it! I am still working on this and feel like I can almost do everything on the list without ever thinking twice, but it was been 3 months. The following info has really been life-changing.

Here is what she recommends to rebuild your body-the anti-aging program:

1. Unprocessed foods. Eat fruit and veggies and raw nuts, organically grown (or local) as much as possibly. Highly-refined and processed foods are robbed of the essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes necessary for good health. Many contain MSG or other harmful chemicals.

2. Protein. Protein intake is important, but animal protein has been linked to cancer. Plant proteins are healthier and safer. If you have a protein deficiency, your ability to metabolize toxins is diminished. Complete proteins are necessary for muscle building:
a. Meat: Eat meat sparingly, if at all. When you do eat meat, make it grass-fed beef, with no hormones or antibiotics. Cook meat on low heat, as protein is injured by prolonged, high heat.

b. Dairy: Commercial dairy contains more "casein" then we should ever consume. My idea: Try using raw milk and raw cheese, which means it is unprocessed and from grass-fed, healthy cows. Cage free hens are healthier chickens and will produce healthier eggs. If possible, buy eggs from hens fed on flax seed. They are full of the omega 3 fatty acids. Get fermented yogurt with lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria that aid in your digestion and improve your immune function.

c. Legumes: Beans, including soy, are the best source of protein with no bad fast or bacteria to worry about. Plant based proteins are "safe" proteins. You can combine beans with any of the following to make a complete protein: cheese, corn, nuts, rice, seeds, or wheat. You can combine rice with any of the following to make a complete protein: beans, cheese, nuts, sesame seeds or wheat.

d. Nuts and seeds: Raw and unsalted are best. Keep in the freezer and bring out in small amounts, if left out, they can become rancid.

3. Fruits and Vegetables, organically grown. Fruits are vegetables are full of antioxidants, which are an important key to living longer. They should be the basis of your diet. (I try to eat now at least 1 pound of raw vegetables..usually more.)

4. Use 100% wholegrain cereals, breads, flours, and brown rice. They contain important B complex vitamins, vitamin E, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and the important unsaturated fatty acids. Whole grains will increase your intake of chromium and other trace minerals essential for immune function and blood sugar regulation.

5. Use cold-pressed virgin olive oil and coconut oil. These are an excellent source or the healthy, essential, unsaturated fatty acids, which are absolutely essential to good health. Replace butter or shortening with coconut oil in your baking and frying. It is great tasting, does not burn at high heat.

6. Juice. Get a juicer, and use it. You can get such a high concentration of vitamins and minerals in a glass of juice. Be sure to have at least one glass every day, preferably a green drink. Whenever you are ill, it would be wise to drink only juices until you feel better.

7. Drink at least 8 glasses or pure filtered water daily, preferably ten. Dehydration is a major cause of disease. Water delivers nutrients around the body, regulates body temp and transports waste

8. Drink a honey vinegary drink daily. This is made with 8 oz. pure water with 1-2 t. pure apple cider vinegar (Braggs), 1-2 t. honey. This drink will give your body the potassium it needs, keep your pH balance where it should be, and keep your arteries clean.

9. Take a natural whole food supplement. And make sure you are getting at least 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1200 mgs of Calcium to prevent the risk of cancer.

10. Drink Aloe Vera Juice every day. Aloe juice will help your digestion, and is also very healing to your body. 2 ox. or juice once or twice daily. Make sure it is whole leaf aloe with no fillers in it!

11. Take a chlorella supplement. This will increase your energy noticeable. Most nutritionists recommend taking a green supplement. Chlorella is superior to all of them (meaning wheat grass juice, barley grass, spirulina or chlorella).

12. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise makes your brain grow, helps prevent cancer and heart disease

13. Deep breathe. Take cleansing breaths every day, in fresh air, while you walk and before going to sleep to relax and induce sleep.

Email me with any questions: leannahunt@gmail.com. I would love to talk to you about any thing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yummy Walnuts

Looking for a quick healthy snack you can take on the go? I love these, and they keep great in the fridge...yummy! (Also, fabulous on a salad)
In bowl, mix:

1 1/3 C. walnuts (i use ones that were soaked and then dehydrated)

1 T. agave

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. salt
Thanks Raw Melissa for this recipe. You can find some more of Raw Melissa's yummy recipes on her website: http://www.rawmelissa.com/. This is my afternoon snack and I love them. (2 T. equals 184 Calories, 4 grams of protein, 17 grams of healthy fat, and 7 carbs) Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3 alpha-linolenic-acid. Eat about 1.5 oz. (or 20) walnuts a day to reap these great benefits. Walnuts are one of the best plant sources for protein. The are rich in fiber, B12, magnesium, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Try a few on your oatmeal, like my favorite raw, overnight oats, HERE!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stefanie's "Reformed" Pumpkin Cookies

I have a new friend and her name is Stefanie. She gave me this recipe the other day, and all I have to say is WOW! My college-aged nephew said these were amazing and that they made him happy. Not a bad response from a 21 year old. Sorry...no picture...we ate them too quickly:
Beat Together:

1/4 C. coconut oil

1/4 C. applesauce

1 extra large organic egg

1 C. canned pumpkin

3/4 C. agave (i added a little raw sugar on top of this)

In another bowl, whisk together:

1 C. oat flour (1 1/4 C. rolled oats run through a blender)

1 3/4 C. sprouted wheat flour (i used half spelt and half wheat)...can use non-sprouted

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. Redmond Real salt (the best salt ever)

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

Using as little stirring as possible, mix dry ingredients into wet ones.

Then fold in your choice of:

1 C. fruit sweetened chocolate chips (can buy at your health food store)

1/2 C. fruit sweetened craisens

1/2 C. nuts

Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Cook on rack.

Love these cookies very much!