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Recipes

Make Nuts More Delicious and Easier to Digest!

Soaked & Dried Nuts - Why & How

It is easy to  make store bought nuts even tastier, and at the same time,  easier to digest.

Nuts are nutrient dense, and provide a good balance of fat and protein, along with omega 3 fatty acids! They can be a great food for most people.

What Problem Occurs with Eating Raw Nuts? 

One of the downsides to nuts is that they contain enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid. In nature, phytic acid prevents the seed from sprouting prematurely, safeguarding the nut until proper growing conditions occur. Unfortunately for humans, phytic acid can be considered an "anti-nutrient" because it binds to minerals (e.g. calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper) making them unavailable for the body, and inhibits enzymes that aid in digestion. 

Although nuts are considered a nutrient dense, "healthy" food, the body will not benefit as much from nuts if the nutrients are not digested and absorbed. In addition, whole grains and seeds also have high levels of phytic acid, so eating them with nuts makes the problem worse. Read more about phytic acid. in nuts, grains, and seeds.

How Do You Solve This Problem?

It's easy! Soak and dry the nuts.

Our ancestors soaked nuts, seeds, and grains to start the process of breaking them down and making them easier to digest!

How Do The Nuts Taste?

I did a side by side taste test of soaked and dried nuts vs. nuts straight out of the bag. There is a definite difference. Nuts out of the package have a slightly bitter taste that is absent with the soaked and dried nuts!

Recipe to Soak and Dry Nuts

Ingredients:

  • Nuts - any kind you like. For example: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or brazil nuts. Note: Peanuts are not a nut, they are a legume, and have their own issues that are outside the scope of this recipe.
  • Filtered water
  • 1 TBSP sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place nuts in a large glass bowl or mason jar

  2. Cover completely with filtered water

  3. Add sea salt and stir

  4. Cover and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours

  5. Drain and rinse nuts and lay them out on trays of dehydrator

  6. Dry at a low temperature (about 105-150 degrees) for about 24 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator,  bake them in the oven at the lowest temperature of your oven for 12-24 hours.

  7. Enjoy! Store your dried nuts in the refrigerator or freezer for best quality.

Soaking and drying nuts is not difficult, but it does take some time. I urge you to give it a try, and observe the difference. Let me know what you find on facebook!

Dr. Jamie Thomure


 

 

 

Gluten Free, Grain Free Fruit Cobbler

grain free fruit cobbler

This delicious fruit cobbler has been my go to dessert this summer. It is gluten free, grain free, nut free, and delicious!  I love its versatility and have made it with berries, peaches, and apples so far.  I also love that it contains only a small amount of honey and is mainly sweetened by the roasted fruit. 

This cobbler contains my new favorite grain free baking flour – Otto’s Cassava Flour!  I heard a buzz about Otto’s, but it seemed expensive. What does a foodie on a budget do?  Ask for it for your birthday to try it out!  I was not disappointed!

What is Cassava Flour?

Cassava flour comes from the peeled and baked yuca plant root.  The fiber and starch properties of this plant make cassava flour act similar to whole wheat flour in recipes. 

Why Use Cassava Flour?

I prefer Cassava flour over whole wheat flour because it contains the additional fiber and nutrients from the yuca plant that are not contained in whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour is mostly starch, and lacks nutrient density. 

Today, most standard wheat flours have been treated and processed in undesirable ways making them often unrecognizable by the body and difficult to digest.  Otto’s Cassava Flour is made from a clean, unadulterated source of yuca plants, making it more healthful and easier for the body to digest.

Cassava flour is popular because it can be substituted 1:1 for the regular flour in recipes.  I’ve also made chocolate chip cookies and tortillas that you would never know were grain free and gluten free. Almond and coconut flour have different properties, and cannot be subbed 1:1 in traditional recipes.

Although I highly recommend cassava flour for the occasional grain free, sweet treat, it is still something to avoid as an every day part of your diet, as discussed in the previous article on moderation

Otto's Cassava Flour is the only brand that I have researched and tried, therefore I recommend it. There are other cassava flours out there that may also work well but, but I do not have experience with them.

Grain Free Fruit Cobbler Recipe

Cobbler Filling Ingredients:

  • Fruit of choice (6-8 peaches or apples, 3-4 cups of berries)
  • 2 tsp of Otto’s Cassava Flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional – I usually omit and just enjoy the sweetness from the fruit)

Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Otto’s Cassava Flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cold butter (coconut oil or lard work also)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  1. Make the filling: Mix fruit, 2 tsp of cassava flour, lemon juice and cinnamon and honey if desired in a large bowl until coated.  Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish and place in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  2. While fruit filling is cooking make the topping. Mix 1 cup of cassava flour, baking soda, salt and ½ tsp of cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in the butter.  Add water and 2 tbsp of honey.  Mix until a dough comes together. 
  3. Putting on the filling: Drop small spoonfuls of cobbler topping over the pan evenly.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until topping begins to turn golden.  

Enjoy! 

-Joelle Kurczodyna, NTP


Stuffed 8 Ball Squash

Stuffed 8 Ball Squash

Earlier this week, my mom shared a great new farmers market find with me: 8 ball squash! I had never seen them before. Stuffing hollowed vegetables with meat and other veggies is one of my favorite meals. Let's try it with 8 Ball squash!

Ingredients:

  • 3 - 8 ball squashes - (if you can't find 8 ball squash, this recipe would work great with zucchini or yellow squash- just cut in half and hollow like a boat. No need to do the boiling for 10 minutes step if you are using a long squash, but start baking it in the oven while the filling is in the pan)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper (chopped) (Or use hot peppers if you like it spicy)
  • 2/3 pound Italian sausage (or substitute meat of your choice). I used a spicy sausage to give it some good flavor
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cheese of choice- 1/2 cup (optional)
  • (Optional) Additional veggies (e.g. carrots, sweet potato, celery, mushrooms)

Directions:

  1. Cut off the top of the squash
  2. Place squash (cut side down) in about an inch of boiling water and let cook for 10 minutes
  3. While squash is cooking, brown sausage and saute veggies in a pan
  4. Hollow out squash. Separate seeds, and add flesh to filling mixture.
  5. Add half of cheese to filling mixture (optional)
  6. Spoon filling mixture into hollowed out squash
  7. Top with other half of cheese
  8. Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted

Green Peppers are the bumper crop of our garden this year. Later in the week, I made the same filling, and stuffed 5 peppers. I added a small zucchini and a small pablano pepper instead of the bell pepper. Great way to use some produce that is plentiful or produce that you need to use.

Keep in mind that this recipe is totally flexible! It isn't like baking where ratios are important. If there is a meat, veggie, or type of cheese that you like- use it! I bet it will turn out great! Let us know if you try it- and if you find an awesome combo let us know on Facebook! 

Dr. Jamie Thomure

Seasonal Spotlight: Beets

 

beet sweet potato recipeOur family has made a commitment to source our produce from local farms with organic growing methods.  We invested in a share from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and buy the rest of our produce from local farms at farmers markets.  This has given us a chance to try foods that we don’t usually buy, and I have loved finding ways to prepare them and learn about them (follow on instagram @kfamilygoessustainable)

Our most recent CSA basket contained two varieties of beets, Chiogga beets and candy-stripe heirloom beets (pictured).  People tend to have a love/hate relationship with beets, and I’ve always fallen more on the hate side, but I wanted to give these freshly grown beets a chance.  They didn’t disappoint.  I paired them with sweet potatoes, bacon, and the greens from the beet leaves (see recipe below) and the flavors were a perfect marriage of sweet and salty.

Besides their unique taste and bold color, beets pack a powerhouse of nutrition.

Beets are jam packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. They also contain carotenoids, lutein, glycine, betaine, and beneficial flavonoids.  With all of these nutrients, beets have been known to be beneficial for the heart, prevent certain cancers, stimulate liver and gall bladder function, prevent respiratory problems, prevent cataracts, be an aphrodisiac, and increase energy levels.

Beets are worth trying, especially if you find them freshly picked from your local farmer. Note: Beets are also be used as a dye, so they could turn your hands or counters red. 

Beet and Sweet Potato Sauté

Ingredients

  • 3-4 small to medium beets or 2 larger ones, peeled and cubed with greens
  • 2 small to medium or 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 4 slices bacon

Directions

  1. Cook bacon on stove top in large sauté pan (I use my cast iron skillet).  Set bacon aside.
  2. Use the bacon fat to sauté the beets and sweet potatoes.  Cook until beets and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  3. Add beet greens and chopped bacon to your beet/sweet potato mixture.  Cook until everything is warm and greens are cooked down.
  4. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Perfect as a side dish. Try cooking an egg on top for a delicious breakfast!

What are your favorite recipes using beets? Please share on our facebook page.

Joelle Kurczodyna, NTP
@kfamilygoessustainable on Instagram


Homemade Pesto

Pesto RecipeOne of my goals this summer is to keep up with harvesting, so that I reap all of the benefits of our small, backyard garden. We planted quite a bit of basil and it is already big enough to harvest. I have learned that the more leaves you pick, the more they grow. You can harvest it many times - learn more about growing and harvesting basil.

What is the best way to use an abundance of basil? Make pesto, of course!

An awesome benefit to cooking with herbs is that you get an abundance of the green vegetable color profile in a different way than your typical salad or broccoli side dish.  Pesto is a delicious topping for chicken, fish, spaghetti squash, or spiralated zucchini.

This is a quick and easy pesto sauce, using ingredients that you probably have on hand. Make double or even bigger batches when basil is plentiful. The pesto freezes well and I love having the fresh garden taste during the winter. Freeze in ice cube or small muffin cups. Once frozen, empty them into another container and keep in the freezer until needed.

Simple Pesto

Yield: ½ cup pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup of walnuts (pine nuts, cashews, or another kind of nut works well too)
  • 1-2 chipped garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a food processor combine basil, walnuts and spices until blended thoroughly. Pour in olive oil and blend again until mixture has reached desired consistency.

Store in refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for later use.

Enjoy!

Article by: Joelle Kurczodyna, NTP


Creating a Healthier Thanksgiving Menu

thanksgiving collage copyThanksgiving is just around the corner, the one day of the year when notching your belt one hole too big is not only acceptable but generally encouraged. On such a day, is it possible to stick to a menu that consists of all real, unprocessed, nourishing foods?   Absolutely!

 

Here are several variations of the typical thanksgiving fare that include only real food, unprocessed ingredients! As you begin planning your menu this year, try subbing out or adding one or more of these delicious recipes to your Thanksgiving feast! You may be surprised that by doing so, you’ll actually feel good after feasting, instead of the standard post thanksgiving lethargy and stomach ache. Enjoy!

 

The Bird:

Easy Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

Butterflied Turkey Recipe (with tutorial)

 

Stuffing:

Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

Paleo Comfort Foods - Stuffing

 

Green Bean Casserole:

Paleo Green Bean Casserole

 

Sweet Potato Casserole:

Sweet Potato Casserole

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Mash

 

Cranberries:

3 Ingredient Cranberry Sauce

 

Other Sides:

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Butternut Squash Risotto

Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

 

Desserts:

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Crisp