Nourish Your Body
With Fabulous Homemade Food
Cucumber herb dip with celery
Cool, refreshing, and healthy, this dip is packed with probiotics from the Greek yogurt and cleansing cucumber
Inspired by a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, I whipped this up in about 5 minutes.
Celery sticks provide the crunch instead of chips.
Actually what I did—after I took the photo—was add more grated cucumber until it was mostly cucumber and ate it with a fork as a salad. So wonderful!
Only a few weeks left to eat this while summer herbs are still available.
More than 70% of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Thirty years ago I wrote in my first book that honey tends to be free from pesticide residues because bees that are exposed to pesticides seldom make it back to the hive. Apparently I was both right and wrong. Pesticides are contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder, but pesticides are found in honey because the bees DO make it back to the hive.
Last week the House of Representatives voted against the labeling of GMOs in food products in the USA. It still needs to go through the Senate, but there’s a good chance that GMO ingredients in food products will not be required on food labels anytime soon.
While I am totally in favor of GMO labeling, I’m not waiting for labeling to occur in order to eliminate GMO foods from my diet. We can all eat GMO-free NOW.
For me, the biggest reason to not eat GMO foods is they alter the natural state of foods. The are just unnatural. Our bodies and foods were designed by nature to be compatible. GMO foods are different. I think we may not see the health effects of GMOs for decades.
So how do you know what’s GMO?
The first thing to know is that there are very specific GMO crops. Not everything is GMO.
The following crops are at risk of being genetically engineered, either because GMO varieties are in commercial production, or because of contamination from unapproved trial varieties:
Yellow Summer Squash
Honey & other Bee Products
So if you stay away from the foods listed above, you’re pretty much avoiding GMOs.
The problem is that these are very common ingredients in processed foods, which may have other names on labels, including (but are not limited to): Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
It’s actually easier to identify what is NOT GMO.
If you are looking at packaged foods and food products (such as dietary supplements), look for identifying symbols that there are no GMOs. There is no standard symbol for this, but if a product intentionally does not contain GMOs, the manufacturer will usually make that clear on the label.
Also you can look for the Non-GMO Verified seal. This organization verifies products as compliant with the Non-GMO Project standard. Products are listed on their website and also carry the seal on their labels. These products are usually carried at natural food stores and online. Thrive is a good online source for non-GMO packaged foods and food products (and with a membership you get a substantial discount).
There is also an app you can get for your cell phone that will help you identify which supermarket foods are GMO-free. If you shop at supermarkets (which I don’t recommend). get the True Food Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding GE Food from the Center for Food Safety.
My best recommendation is to prepare your own meals with fresh, certified organic ingredients. USDA Organic standards do not allow GMOs in organic food. Even better is to frequent your local farmer’s markets or join a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) so you can get to know your local farmers, visit their farms, and observe their growing practices. Ask questions at your local natural food stores that sell organic produce and fresh meats and dairy products.
As long as you know what to look for, it’s pretty easy to find foods that are GMO-free.
Wrap made with onion flax flatbread
This “bread” is “legendary” in raw food circles. The first time I tasted it at a party I said, “OMG, what is this? And where can I get the recipe?” There actually was a smear of raw tomato pizza sauce on top and all kinds of vegetable toppings. But I loved the bread itself.
I haven’t made this in years, but it’s so memorable, I had to dig up the recipe and make it again.
My official taste tester this morning said, “Oh this is delicious! It tastes like a healthy onion ring!”
And then in the afternoon another friend came over and took a taste and said, “This is so good! It tastes like…like…like…”
“Onion rings?” I asked.
“Yes, OMG, it tastes just like onion rings!”
It’s not a quick recipe, but it’s not difficult. You just chop a lot of onions (I use a food processor) and mix them with ground flax seeds, almond flour, oil, and soy sauce (I use wheat-free). Then put it in a dehydrator (or an oven on the lowest heat).
This mixture binds together into a leather-like flatbread, akin to a tortilla. It’s great for making wraps, but I like to just eat is as is. After taking the photo, I put leftover hummus on another piece of bread and just popped it in my mouth.
A comment I must give you is to chop the onions finely but not into a puree or paste. They are actually a bit too big in the photo. Larger size onion pieces requires a longer time to dehydrate. Smaller pieces will give you a smoother bread.
You could also add other savory vegetables in place of some of the onions, or even sweet fresh or dried fruits. This is a recipe to be creative with. You could also add all kinds of herbs or spices or other seasonings mixed in or sprinkled on top.
The original recipe called for olive oil and that’s a great oil to use. Today I made it with coconut oil and it was just so buttery, and contained all those great nutrients found in coconut oil. Flax seeds and coconut oil. Pretty good for you.
A new study published July 14, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES reveals genetic enginee
discovered the accumulation of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, in GMO soy, and a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification.
Formaldehyde in soy? Now isn’t this interesting, because there are many soy-based substance such as resins and adhesives that claim to be formaldehyde-free. Now since 93 percent of soy is genetically modified, anything made with soy is probably GMO soy. So does that mean it contains formaldehyde? I don’t have enough information for a definitive statement, but I would say this is another reason to stay away from soy.
Systems Biology Group, International Center for Integrative Systems: GMO Soy Accumulates Formaldehyde & Disrupts Plant Metabolism, Suggests Peer-Reviewed Study, Calling For 21st Century Safety Standards
I LOVE these little bites of summer sweetness. And they are so easy to make.
I use these in a lot of ways. I put them in salads along with fresh tomatoes for a wonderful intense tomato flavor. You can use them as a substitute for canned tomato paste in any sauce and as a replacement for expensive sun-dried tomatoes in any recipe. I just put them in whatever I am eating and even just eat them all by themselves. I often eat them right out of the pan when I take them out of the oven.
You can roast any tomatoes, but I like to roast cherry or grape tomatoes because they are sweetener and already bite-sozed. The photo shows red and yellow and purple tomatoes. This is because I buy boxes of tomatoes with all these colors together at my local natural food store.
While tomatoes are in season now during the summer, it’s a good time to make a lot of roasted tomatoes. You can store them in the freezer to use the, throughout the year (if you can keep from eating them right away!).
I have loved peaches ever since I was about three years old and my grandfather picked me up and let me pick my own peach off the tree. It was warm and sweet and the juice ran down my arms. I loved it.
And so when peaches come in season, it’s a real treat for me.
This year I made a fresh peach melba tart. I have to tell you I was going to make peach cobbler with almond flour biscuits on top, but I really wanted the fresh, raw peaches instead.
The “melba” is the raspberries. There is a famous dish called Peach Melba, named after an opera singer from the 1800s Nellie Melba. Her favorite desert was vanilla ice cream topped with cooked peaches and raspberry sauce.
This basic recipe comes from the world of raw food. It’s pretty standard, but I had never made anything like this before. It’s all grain-free and dairy-free and delicious if you don’t expect it to taste like wheat and dairy. I think it tastes even better.
My official taste tester loved it too.
This recipe is basically a nut crust, a cashew cream, and fresh fruit. In addition to making a tart, you could also just pile up fresh fruit in a bowl or stemmed glass, top with the cashew cream, and sprinkle the crust crumbs on top.
I love fresh almond milk. I have to say, when I made almond milk this morning to check the recipe and take a photo, I just drank the whole glass right down because it felt so good in my body with the first sip.
If you’ve never tried fresh almond milk, try it. If you are drinking almond milk from a carton, please try this instead. It’s so easy to make and tastes soooooo much better. More nutrients and no additives.
I’ve sized this recipe to make about 1 cup, which is a nice serving. You can double or triple or quadruple the recipe if you want. It stores well for a few days in the refrigerator. But I like to make it fresh every time. It’s so simple.
BE SURE to do the step of soaking the almonds overnight. This softens the almonds and makes a creamy milk. If you don’t do this, the almond milk will taste terrible. It makes all the difference to use soaked almonds.
These are simple “white” gluten-free muffins made with coconut flour, eggs, and a few other ingredients.
I made them this morning and offered them to a friend who came over to visit.
“These are DELICIOUS!” he said, after the first bite. And then he ate several more.
This recipe is a modification of a very plain recipe for coconut flour muffins. You could actually make them any flavor you like by substituting any extract for vanilla. I can imagine these with
- almond extract and chopped almonds
- lemon extract and lemon zest
- maple extract
Any flavor you like could be used in these muffins.
I used a bit of agave for the sweetener but you could use any flavor of honey or maple syrup, which would also lend it’s flavor. Mmmm like lavender honey and bits of lavender flowers.
Originally this recipe was offered to make strawberry shortcakes. And you could do that. They would be bite-sized, like an hors d’ouvre. But that would be very nice. Cut the muffins in half and top with fresh summer fruits and whipped cream or Whipped Coconut Cream. Yum.
Or just eat them plain. Or with butter. Or with honey drizzled on top, or with organic fruit spread.
I think I’ll go eat another one.
I just realized, these taste very much like French Madeleine cookies. In fact, if you baked these in a Madeleine pan with the addition of 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and a sprinkle of organic powdered sugar, you probably couldn’t tell it wasn’t a real French Madeleine made with wheat flour and white sugar.
Have fun with this recipe!
Usually I eat two pastured eggs for breakfast, just scrambled.
But now that it’s summer I wanted something different.
I love hard-cooked eggs, but don’t particularly want them plain all the time, nor do I want to go through the work of stuffing deviled eggs.
This morning I wanted eggs that were crisp and cool and summery…and that’s what I made.
I started with two perfectly hard-cooked eggs that were already peeled and cold and sitting in my refrigerator waiting for me. I put them in a flat bowl and mashed them with a potato masher.
I chopped a whole stalk of celery and a large green onion and parsley and tossed them in with the mashed eggs.
Then I added a couple of tablespoons of organic Greek yogurt and mixed it all together.
And sprinkled Himalayan salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed celery seeds on top.
What made it wonderful was the abundance of vegetables, particularly the cubes of crunchy celery. There was such a volume of vegetables that the yogurt and eggs were just there to hold the vegetables together, rather than the salad being primarily eggs with only a few bits of vegetables for flavor.
It was just so delicious. And perfect for a summer morning.
I’m going to make it again tomorrow.