Pasta e fagioli. Italian comfort revisioned for spring.

Inspired by the Italian comfort food, pasta e fagioli, I have made an orzo pasta with black beans – a warm salad with radicchio and flowers from the front lawn. Wild violets and dandelions flowers. Finished with a drizzle of olive oil. Pure simplicity and deliciousness.

That’s the entire recipe too. Just toss them together in the ratios you prefer. Go!

 

Roasted lotus seeds: medicinal, healthy, snack recipe

Lotus seeds roasted in a pan with a wee bit of ghee, cinnamon, salt and ground Nigella sativa and fennel seeds. That’s a tasty crunchy medicinal snack. Food is good. This is a recipe  that would have made my friend Yasmina proud. (the photo, not so much – she would have made it stunningly beautiful!) This recipe is,  in fact, inspired by Yasmina. I have been thinking a lot about my friend and colleague since she passed. Her work was truly sublime and her generosity knew no bounds. I really miss her in that painful way that only happens when someone dies. Grieving allows us to see how we missed opportunities so that we can practice stepping more fully into our present moment now as we move forward into the ever-present now.

This recipe (experimentation) came about because since her premature passing, I’ve been hanging out a bit on Yasmina’s site, Healing Histamine a little more than usual while remembering and revisiting her. I reread old correspondence and found bits of wisdom I need now. She remains present in a big way through her work.

Anyway, back to the post at hand. I’ve been intending on adding lotus seeds and roots to my diet  for some years. The inspiration has always been Yasmina since she mentioned the roots in one of her early books with a recipe included. Finding the lotus seed and or roots has been a bit more challenging. Lately however I’ve been using a Chinese Medicine framework to better understand my body and that’s led me to find more herbs from the chinese apothecary. Long story short, I finally got a hold of a large bag of dried lotus seeds. Yasmina’s recipe calls for fresh frozen lotus root which I’ve not found. She does refer to using the dried lotus for tea but the fact is the roots and seeds can be cooked with and there are now lots of various asian recipes online.

From Healing Histamine:

selective focus photography of pink flowerMore than just a beautiful adornment, Asia’s revered lotus flower offers up several compounds with antihistamine, mast cell stabilising and anti-inflammatory properties. Best of all, the lotus is highly edible, tasty and fairly easy to find frozen or as a tea. 

Lotus seed is often used in Chinese Formulas for calming shen. It’s also eaten as a food in many Asian cultures. The root is likely to have somewhat different but also similar properties or ways of supporting the body from what I can gather. Whatever the case, trust your body whenever trying something new. It knows best and better than anything we can talk about. I didn’t tolerate most of the most important foods and herbs in my diet right now for many years as a result of the psych drug withdrawal syndrome etc. Learning to listen to the body remains part of my healing process.

I have found in my forays with Chinese medicine that it seems that a lot of the “shen calming” herbs are, indeed, also natural antihistamines. This is based on my own experience using them and feeling how my body responds to them. Chinese herbs are often in formulas with many herbs and they’re carefully balanced so that I’ve found I tolerate herbs in these formulas that I’ve not tolerated alone. Chinese medicine is great in that it’s got a sense of how plants work together in profound synergistic ways, hence the complex formulas with many herbs included.

I never found frozen lotus root available in our local Asian markets. I did find dried lotus seeds, however. They can also be found online sometimes.  I’m still learning about where to get the best and how to find about about growing practices etc. I try to buy all my food organic. So if anyone can recommend a really good and consistent brand, please do so in the comments.

This recipe is a variation on plain pan roasted lotus seeds. The spice mix can vary to your whim and pleasure. You can mix up all manner of other herbs and spice combinations and make both savory and sweet varieties…

I made a small amount as a experiment. Apparently a lot can be made at once and they can be kept in a jar as a snack. I will be doing that shortly because they’re DELISH.

1 cup lotus seed

1 tsp ghee (if you prefer a vegan option use coconut oil also more or less to taste)

1/2 tsp ground nigella sativa seed (an anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory herb and herb oil I’ve been using for many years now in my food as medicine collection)

1/2 tsp fennel seed  (an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, analgesic and antioxidant herb and food)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon is high histamine and I use it in both small and occasional doses because it’s also really good for all sorts of things and I now tolerate it in that way….you may not and I certainly haven’t always. If you have sensitivities proceed with caution or replace it with another lower histamine herb or spice … dried ginger and/or turmeric might be good, for example … I will be doing that at some point for sure)

roast on medium heat while stirring constantly. They will brown a bit. Experiment for your favorite crunch and texture. The texture is a bit hard and may not be good for very delicate teeth. My husband found them a bit too hard. I enjoyed them. Ideally something a little bit lighter would be nice…but chewing them well was indeed a nice crunchy snack too. ENJOY!

lotus

More posts on histamine issues at Everything Matters

This post first posted at Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

 

Wild food harvest: dandelion flowers

Not sure what I’ll do with today’s harvest of dandelion flowers.

Yesterday I made dandelion flower risotto: RICE with dandelion flowers sautĂ©ed in ghee with onion, fresh parsley, fresh oregano and tossed with hemp seeds too…

Today's harvest of dandelion flowers
Today’s harvest of dandelion flowers

More dandelion posts:

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

Pickled onions: fermentation is a way to get probiotics naturally

first published on Beyond Meds in 2014

pickles
Pickling red onions

Today I’m pickling sliced onions. Not only do I get yummy probiotics, I also get a quercetin rich food with enhanced vitamin C from the fermentation process. I don’t tolerate quercetin supplements but do very well with naturally rich foods high in quercetin. I’ve also had difficulty in tolerating probiotic supplements the last couple of years, but lately can again eat carefully fermented foods and kefir. Many good healing substances in natural food products made in my own home. I’m profoundly grateful for natural whole food in my healing process.

(note: for anyone dealing with histamine issues, I couldn’t tolerate any cultured or fermented foods for several years. This capacity is a new one that I’m thrilled about. As we heal, we can add more foods. I didn’t actually expect to ever tolerate fermented foods again given what we’re often told in histamine intolerance circles, but many of us are finding out that as we heal the sky is the limit. Trust your body always, above and beyond what anyone tells you. We are resilient healing machines)

See also: Histamine intolerance round-up

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

Homemade ghee (clarified butter)

GHEE

It’s been a long time since I did a  post.

I didn’t tolerate any dairy for several years. During that time I learned that many people who don’t tolerate dairy can tolerate ghee because there are no milk solids in ghee. I found that I could, indeed, eat ghee without any reactions. I also discovered that ghee made from grass-fed cow milk actually is high in vitamin K and other nutrients and so it’s actually a healthy and nutrient dense fat. Healthy fats are very good for the healing brain. My nervous system and brain were severely injured by the psych drug use and withdrawal: this is healing medicine food.  I continue to enjoy ghee and make it regularly even though I can now tolerate raw goats milk kefir which I also very much enjoy now. I choose not to eat other dairy now simply because pasteurized cow’s milk is a dead food with little going for it. It’s truly not a healthy food.

I process three pounds of ghee at a time since the finished product is shelf stable for up to 6 months and often more depending on where you live and the temperature of the environment. Kept in the fridge or freezer it will keep even longer than that.

From Wikipedia: “Ghee, although a type of clarified butter, differs slightly in its production. The process of creating traditional clarified butter is complete once the water is evaporated and the fat (clarified butter) is separated from the milk solids. However, the production of ghee includes simmering the butter along with the milk solids so that they caramelize, which makes it nutty-tasting and aromatic.”

 

The ghee turned out lovely and clear. The light coming through actually makes it look cloudy in the picture. During the cooler months it does go a bit solid once it cools.

Ghee is easy to make. First make sure the butter is from grass-fed cows and that it’s unsalted. I get Kerry Gold a brand from Ireland’s grass-fed cows. It’s available at Trader Joe’s for a good price.

I make it in the oven. I melt the butter on the stove-top first at high heat and then I put it in the oven in a deep pot at 250 degrees F and let it simmer for about three or four hours … I make a lot at one time that way and I barely have to tend to it until it’s done. When it’s all separated I use cheese cloth to strain out the milk solids and put it into mason jars as the photo above shows.

Here is a post from Judith Tsafrir MD that gives a crock pot recipe for those who might prefer that. Liquid Gold

You can check you-tube and google for more examples on how to make ghee if you need them.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Wild dandelion and radicchio salad

My breakfast this morning.

I went out and harvested the “weeds” from my garden. Dandelion is good food and grows abundantly in my part of the world and many other parts too. I’ve been eating wild dandelion since I was a child.

The radicchio I bought at the grocery store.

I dressed the salad simply with olive oil and salt. Both the dandelion and the radicchio are bitter greens and so I like them dressed really simply like this. You can certainly add lemon or vinegar or any other salad dressing you like.

See from Treehugger: Please eat the dandelions: 9 edible weeds

Two more recipes from Beyond Meds with dandelion greens:

Wild dandelion and radicchio salad
Wild dandelion and radicchio salad

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

The Secrets of Food Marketing

The power of willful ignorance. You think you’re immune? Think again.

Think you aren’t being fooled by advertising tricks?

Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing’s secret weapon.

It’s really easy to always blame others about the ills in the world. The fact is we’re complicit in hundreds of ways. As we become conscious we feel the pain and spread ideas and the hope for a better way.

Some related posts:

Mango cheese cake (raw, vegan, paleo and OMG yummy)

As much as it seems to annoy some people, I do like tweeting what I’m up to in the kitchen. Sometimes people ask me for recipes. I generally don’t use recipes. I throw things together on the fly based on whims. Sometimes that works out real well. It did this time. So I patched together a recipe of sorts below. Clearly it’s not totally precise but if you like to experiment in the kitchen it’s enough to do that with.

So, a twitter recipe:

First the crust:

I suggest also putting about 1/2 tsp of salt in the crust.

Make sure the mango is really ripe. If it is you really don’t need to add any sweetener at all. The dates in the crust and the mango is really plenty. Though adding sweeteners and sugar is always an option if that’s what you prefer.

It’s best when just partially frozen. It was incredibly creamy and ice-cream like. Very delicious.

mango cheese cake

 

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

 

Salmon on a bed of parsley, garlic, burdock root and artichoke hearts

I don’t tolerate fish oil in supplement form, nor any other Omega 3 supplement so I was thrilled to learn I do okay with flash frozen (right upon catch) salmon…(histamine intolerance has its challenges) and Omega 3 fatty acids are very important to heal the iatrogenically injured brain — anyway…this was breakfast a few days ago:

Piece of salmon on top of a bed of burdock root, garlic, parsley & artichoke hearts.

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Traditional breakfast foods are pretty much all foods I can’t eat at the moment. That doesn’t stop me from eating well. In fact nothing about having some restrictions has stopped me from eating well. I’ve simply expanded my horizons (after initial elimination procedures to learn about what I could eat which necessitates cutting out most foods, briefly. Then one adds foods back in…a process I’m still involved in, actually, but I’ve learned to eat many foods I hadn’t eaten before as well). The only thing that remains frustrating is that it’s really difficult to eat in a restaurant. My kitchen, however, is filled with delightful, healthy and varied foods.

All I did was roughly chop up the large flat-leafed Italian parsley, thinly slice the burdock root and garlic and then toss it all in the bottom of a small baking pan with a little ghee. You can use any cooking oil or fat you prefer. I then placed the salmon on top of the mixture, still frozen and then covered the pan and baked it at 350 for 35 minutes. So easy, simply and delicious.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

The middle way to eating (intuitive eating)

I’ve not read the below book, but I like the way it’s talking about food, because although I’ve needed to change my diet in all sorts of radical ways during this healing process I find myself in, I actually do have a practice around food that looks much like what this quote from this book speaks to. I am actually quite flexible within the restrictions I have no choice but to impose while my body heals. I am not generally afraid of food and I routinely introduce new foods as I heal. It’s been an amazing and lovely learning journey in so many ways. When people have very real food intolerances finding one’s way back to moderation and flexibility can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. One thing I’ve needed to do is not care what others think. I have some very real intolerances and there really are foods I cannot eat for the time being. That is okay. It is real. We can still find what flexibility means for us even if that is the case with some foods for us.

mindful eating'How does the middle way apply to eating and food? It teaches that extremes are unskillful and will not bring the ease in life that we are looking for. It advises that rigid control and self-denial will not be healthy and will not lead to happiness. Neither will indulging our desires and always doing what is pleasurable. There is a middle way with food. It is not static, a fixed set of rules. To apply to the changing circumstances of a human life it must be dynamic, flexible.

This might seem difficult at first. It might seem easier to follow black-and-white rules such as “Never eat sugar” or “Always eat what you crave.” Sometimes sugar is appropriate to eat. Sometimes we shouldn’t eat what we feel like eating.

It takes a while to learn to navigate our way down the path of the middle way. We need a compass point toward health and happiness, a map of spiritual teachings, a group to support us, and a guide. Above all we need mindfulness.  — Jan Chozen Bays, from Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Multi-colored beets with cilantro and hemp seed pesto

Fresh cut beets look like candy!

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Roasted with garlic and onion too.

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Topped with cilantro and hemp seed pesto.

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Cut the beets in cubes with the garlic and onion and toss with some ghee or coconut oil (or any oil/fat you like to roast with). Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for up to 40 minutes. Check them once or twice to toss them about and see if they’re done.

The pesto recipe:

  • 1 bunch cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro use another fresh herb or green — basil, dill, kale, beet greens, or fennel greens for example)
  • Olive oil (just enough to make it pesto-like)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • salt to taste

Puree it all up in a food processor and put it over the already cooked beets. Toss it up. That’s all!

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Butternut squash pasta — grain free, vegan, tomato free (oh my)

butter

So I julienned a butternut squash. Julienne peelers are pretty awesome. I use them with zucchini and sweet potatoes too. I intend to experiment further with other veggies as well. This is actually the one I have. I borrowed the picture to the right from google because I failed to take a photo. The picture of the actual finished dish is what I made, however.

I put onion, celery, carrots, one small beet, garlic, parsley and basil in a food processor first…then the grated raw veggies were sautĂ©ed and browned in ghee for about 45 minutes…then at the end I added a cashew cream (soak cashews for 4 hours and then blend in the blender — I used half a cup of nuts which came to about a cup of cream) with some hemp seeds also tossed in…with some additional raw garlic…. (the dish is basically a vegan –save for the ghee– and if you don’t want to use the ghee you can use a non-dairy substitute and voila it’s a tomato free, grain free, pasta dish).

Yes, my histamine intolerance makes me get quite creative in the kitchen.

Photo on 1-22-14 at 12.14 PM #2I tossed the “noodles” into the hot veggies for a couple of minutes to take the crunch off. You can heat them as long as you like. I ate them pretty much raw and like them that way. My husband preferred them cooked a bit.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Apple, caramelized onion and ginger chutney

A recipe in tweets.

I announced what I was cooking in a tweet:

apple, carmelized onion and ginger chutney currently cooking on stove…

Someone requested the recipe and so I tweeted the following:

recipe: it’s really yummy…eating it now…as a main course actually…I made it up on the fly…I’ll do my best with a recipe

3 large apples, one large red onion (sliced thin and caramelized first in ghee) sliced up the apples and added them next

added a quarter cup of water let it come to furious boil and then turned it down to simmer for 15 minutes.

oh…I also added a tsp of nigella sativa seeds and grated some fresh ginger in before simmering

when it was all soft I smashed up the apples a bit…and added 1 tsp of salt (or whatever you need to taste)

served it topped with hemp seeds…and a bit more ghee.

That’s really how I cook…things just kind of happen on the fly. This turned out very nice and I will be repeating it.

 

Socca flat bread with cilantro pesto (grain free)

This is a variation on this flatbread I made a few posts back.

Socca flat bread with cilantro pesto
Socca flat bread with cilantro pesto

Today I only made enough for one serving so I used 1/4 cup of chick pea (garbanzo bean) flour. I tossed in half a small onion, a large garlic clove and a teaspoon of chia seeds. (yes I go crazy with variations) I didn’t cook the onion or the garlic, I just tossed them all together with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper too and then I blended it all with my immersion blender (my favorite small kitchen appliance).

I made it in a ten inch cast iron pan in the oven.

The pesto was very simple as well. Cilantro, olive oil, garlic and salt. In a small food processor. Again, just enough for this one person meal.

Simple, delicious.

For more info and a recipe go here.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

Sweet potato “grits” (paleo & grain-free)

Paleo grits (grain free) sweet potato and appleOdd but wonderful concoction: blended sweet potato, apple, chia seeds and LOTS of garlic…baked the “batter” in cast iron pan till crispy. It turned out tasting vaguely of baked or fried grits or polenta, both foods I miss but can no longer eat. This was a delightful surprise as I made it up totally on the fly with no real sense of what the final product would be like. You know what they say about the mother of invention. I need variation and diversity in my diet and so I am forever playing with new ingredients. My diet may be restricted in certain regards, but I make it a habit to add new foods I’ve never tried before as well as new combos all the time. This means I don’t generally feel deprived as I’m always eating new and delicious foods.

So this is what I did to create this dish. As usual I don’t have a precise recipe because I’m pretty much always in spontaneous create mode.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cut up one sweet potato, one apple and a HUGE clove of garlic (it was elephant garlic, so you can use three cloves of normal garlic) and tossed it all into a food processor. Then I added two tablespoons of chia seeds and just a wee bit of water (maybe a 1/4 cup). I added a bit of ghee and salt and pepper and blended it until it was nice and grainy but not totally smooth.

I heated the cast iron pans on the stove and put ghee in the bottom of the heated pan. (you can use any cooking fat or oil you prefer. I stay away from industrial seed oils –corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, etc.– because they’re not healthy) Once the oil and pan are hot I spooned the very thick batter into the pan and flattened it out then put the pans into the oven at 400 degrees.

I cooked them for about 15 minutes and then brushed the top lightly with ghee and broiled it for about 5 minutes. The time is going to vary depending on how much of the batter is in the pan. That varies according to the size of the potatoes and apples. Experiment and have fun…it’s really good if you get a nice browned crust going on both the top and bottom.

Eating wholesome whole real food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

 

Sweet potato chips (fried in coconut oil) homemade not so bad “junk food”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHad a hankering for something crunchy and I haven’t eaten chips of any variety in eons (literally several years) …so I did the only thing I could do in this circumstance…I deep fried my own sweet potato chips in coconut oil… photographed below is one of the batches…I ate each batch as the next batch fried…I’m shameless…

They were good. They would have been better had I had a mandolin to slice them. They were a bit thick.

Recipe is simple. Slice sweet potato. Fry in coconut oil. You do need a lot of coconut oil. It should be about 1/2 inch deep to start. Add more later if you’re frying lots of batches. Add a bit of salt. They’re good.

This was a treat. I don’t eat any processed foods and heck, I wanted something a bit decadent.

If you don’t want to be this decadent you could try baking them.

Socca – (Farinata) — grain free, flat-bread

socca
I made socca (chickpea flour flatbread)  it came out great. I was so excited as I eat nothing even vaguely bread-like these days. I made half of it with tomato and basil (for my husband….drizzled olive oil on top). The ones I ate had zucchini and basil with olive oil. I can’t eat tomatoes as they’re high histamine. So happy! (socca is a chick pea flour flatbread…it’s generally made in a round pan) I can’t eat so many foods these days as I continue to heal that I’m learning to experiment with all sorts of new foods…it’s really very fun when I’m not bummed out about what I can’t eat. 

Here is the recipe I used from the New York Times: Socca (Farinata)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

PREPARATION

  1. Heat the oven to 450. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. (If you have a socca pan, obviously that will work well also.)
  2. Put the chickpea flour in a bowl; add the salt and pepper. Slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover and let sit while the oven heats, or for as long as 12 hours (it’s actually better to soak overnight beforehand — it helps minimize phytates and other natural toxins that occur in legumes). The batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
  3. Remove the pan, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into it and swirl. Add the onions return the pan to the oven and cook, stirring once or twice, until they’re well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the rosemary. Stir the onions and rosemary into the batter, then immediately pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is firm and the edges set.
  4. Heat the broiler and brush the top of the pancake with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry. Set the pancake a few inches away from the broiler, and cook just long enough to brown it in spots. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot or warm.  (see full post at NYT)

This is a recipe that lends itself to variations. You can make it plain with no herbs or onion, or vary the herbs and use garlic instead. Caraway seed would be good too and I’m sure many other variations too. Oh, I can’t eat cinnamon, but I can imagine a sweet version with cinnamon and vanilla and a bit of your favorite sweetener as well. Play with the recipe…I plan to!

And then, of course, you can go wild with toppings too. Everything from mini pizzas to whatever you’ve got in the fridge at the moment. Or you can eat them plain as crisps or crackers of a sort. It can be baked to real crispiness or taken out a bit shy of that as well depending on your tastes and what you feel like at the moment.

Updated note: experiment with the amount of water…that recipe has a bit too little it seems…I am changing it each time I make it…it always tastes good however…I also have experimented with the temp and length of time in the oven as well as the herbs/spices…it’s a very versatile recipe amenable to a lot of changes!

Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet


Homemade grain free granola

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been sprouting beans and seeds quite a lot lately. It’s a wonderful way to get extra nutrition from the same foods. I also recently added buckwheat back into my diet. Buckwheat is a seed. It is not wheat, nor is it related to wheat. It has no gluten. Once the buckwheat is sprouted you can dehydrate it on a low heat setting. (115 is good) It remains raw but it’s crunchy like granola. Given I don’t eat grains, I’ve been really enjoying this!

(How to sprout and dehydrate buckwheat)

I make a mix in the morning right in my bowl. You could certainly mix it ahead of time in larger quantities too for convenience. I like making the mix in my bowl because I can then change ingredients as I like.

I put some dehydrated buckwheat, some coconut flakes, and then sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds. Use whatever you like! I also often toss in some fresh lentil sprouts…which actually works really well even if it sounds weird. Then I top it with a handful of blueberries (or other fruit). I use all raw and all the seeds are sprouted and dehydrated first. (except the hemp seeds which are not sprouted at all and the lentils which are just sprouted but not dehydrated)

I make raw milk with an added date for sweetness in my immersion blender cup with a raw nut or seed butter of my choice. Yes, I discovered it’s a great way to make a small amount of milk. Tablespoon of the nut or seed butter and enough water to cover the granola and the date cut up in bits. Use the immersion blender until it’s nice and smooth and pour it over your bowl of granola! it’s great!

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I’ve been learning a lot about sprouting here: Sprout People

This is a good brief article on sprouting in general too:  Why sprout?

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet


Aspartame, not for the cucina naturale…

This post was already written when a new round of news about why diet sodas are so bad hit the media again a couple of days ago. Among all the other reasons as stated below, aspartame and artificial sweeteners also mess with your metabolism in unexpected ways.

See  Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms? from NPR

It may seem counterintuitive, but there’s a body of evidence to suggest that the millions of Americans with a diet soda habit may not be doing their waistlines — or their blood sugar — any favors.

As the consumption of diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners continues to rise, researchers are beginning to make some uncomfortable associations with weight gain and other diseases. (listen or read more)

And there are many other reasons to avoid artificially sweetened foods, too.

If you google excitotoxin or aspartame poisoning you can find much more on this toxic substance.

Aspartame is implicated in many diverse health concerns and illnesses. This included mental health issues. In her piece: BIPOLAR off meds success, Jazz traces her experiences with mania that led to a bogus bipolar diagnosis to consuming large quantities of diet soda. I’ve talked to others who have made this connection with their own “mood-disorders.”

From Jazz:

diet drinkIn my reading, I also came across some information about the artificial sweetener Aspartame being implicated in mood disorders. When I thought back over my own history, I realized that my mood swings had started in college, soon after I’d turned to diet soda as a study aid. I’d never liked coffee or tea, and didn’t want the calories in regular soda, so Diet Coke became my drug of choice. More importantly, those mood swings had stopped when I’d stopped drinking Diet Coke.

She has since been officially undiagnosed, see: “Bipolar” Off Meds Success

I stick to one guiding principle in my diet. If nature didn’t make it I don’t eat it. There are also some things that nature makes that I’ve discovered I have sensitivities to. I’ve learned the hard way to pay attention to everything I put in my body.

aspartame

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet


The green juice that looks pretty darn red…

green juice ingredients
green juice ingredients
green juice turns out rather red
green juice looking red

Ingredients:

Dandelion greens
parsley
celery
turmeric
apple
beet
cucumber

I actually only used about 1/3 of the beet, 1/3 of the turmeric root, and half of the apple. I added 1/2 a tablespoon of hemp oil to the juice. Many veggie vitamins are fat soluble and like to be accompanied with some fat when ingested for more complete absorption. You can add liquid fish oil or flax oil or ghee or coconut oil too. Whatever you prefer.

I juice when my body wants it. And that varies a lot. Sometimes not at all for months and sometimes twice a day for a good long while. I’m in a juice phase again. My energy shifted with the summer solstice — my body wasn’t wanting juice for quite a while before. Learning to listen to the body has been the biggest gift this otherwise horrible illness has given me. See: Are you addicted to sugar/carbs? other foods? and Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

When we learn to listen and respond to the body everything starts making sense. It’s rather lovely.

The body as meditation. Everyday.

If you’re interested in juicing I recommend doing some research. It’s an intense way to get nutrients and as I suggest above, it’s not always something the body wants or needs. It requires learning to listen to the body as well as knowing something about the veggies you’re juicing and how much of everything you should be ingesting. I’ve picked up knowledge in bits and pieces over the years…both by reading and listening to my body. Take it slowly. As with most things, learning about juicing is a process.

I have one of these lovely and huge masticating juicers:

Champion Juicer Color: Black

black juicer

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot about my adventure with diet and healing here:  Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

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