The Greenest Wrap

One of my favorite ways to eat more greens is to use them in place of bread or crackers.  Nothing against burger buns or sandwich bread but you can skip the processed wheat and grab a bunch of crispy Romaine or collard greens instead.  I use Romaine lettuce like a taco shell- fill it up with whatever you like- sliced avocado, tomato, homemade mayo and bacon for a healthier B.L.T.   Bibb lettuce is soft, flexible and makes for a great little wrap.  Want to eat that salad with your hands?  Wrap it up in the biggest lettuce leaves from the outside of the bunch.  Look at you, doubling down on your veggies!lettuce leaf B.L.T.

Using large collard leaves makes for a sturdier wrap that can hold such awesome summer foods as cheese burgers or the ultimate sunny seed hummus wrap.  You can use the leaves raw or lightly steamed — these are best for hot foods or for bigger wraps.  The folding is easy and unlike regular wraps, these stay sealed. The only prep work you need to do is to carefully trim them rough stems.

Cut the end of the stem off and then lay the collard leaf flat and slice off the rough stem that sticks up, so that the leaf is flat and entirely flexible, like in this photo from MindBodyGreen.com’s tutorial on how to use collards like a wrap!

MindBodyGreen.com collard trimming for wraps

Don’t worry if you tear the collard leaf a bit, you’ll get the hang of the stem trimming and can fold around any small tear.

If you want to steam your collard leaves so that they are more flexible and easier to use and eat, there are a few methods that work well.  This video from Plant Powered Kitchen.com has my favorite technique for when you just want to make up a few wraps.  Get some water boiling in your kettle and open the spout so you’ve got a nice stream of steam coming up.  Hold your raw collard leaf by the stem and wave it over the spout of steam, lightly steaming the whole leaf until it’s bight green and soft enough to fold.  Then trim off the stem as described above.  Repeat until you have enough wraps.

Or, follow the quick blanch method I found on Mind Body Green.com– bring a wide shallow pan of water to a simmer.  Take your de-stemmed collard leaves and give them a 10 second dunk in the pan, one at a time, using tongs to get the collard leaves in and then out and into an ice bath.  Dry in layers using tea towels. Once you’ve got all your wraps ready, fill as desired!

The wrapping part is easy, and there are a number of ways to do it, but this photo tutorial from Honest Fare.com is easy to follow:

HonestFare.com collard wrap- wrap up in 4 photos

Add your filling to the center of one or two overlapping leaves.  Fold the sides in to contain the filling.  Then, starting at one long end, roll the leaf over the filling and keep rolling, making sure the ends stay tucked in. Slice in half and enjoy!

bareburger collard wrap                                                  Above, a collard wrapped Bareburger – it’s as good as it looks!

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Coconut Love Bombs

This is my new favorite sweet treat.  It’s just five organic ingredients and is super simple to put together.  This raw, vegan treat is packed with lots of energy from coconut oil and shredded coconut.  Did you know that a tablespoon of coconut oil contains 1050 mg of Candida fighting Caprylic acid?  Yep, these love bombs are a great way to get plenty of nourishment and an anti-fungal treatment!  I added in some other variations at the end.  I’m sure there are even more to try.  Recipe can be halved or doubled.  So get going and make some Coconut Love Bombs to share with the ones you love!

 

coconut love bombs

 

Ingredients for 32:

  • 1 Cup Coconut oil – room temperature works best, it should be a little soft, like cream cheese and easy to blend.  Liquid oil needs to be cooled in order to work well in this recipe.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Coconut flakes
  •  a few drops of Vanilla Stevia
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract (If not using vanilla Stevia)

Method:

  1. Mix everything together well.
  2. Use a 1 Tablespoon scoop to shape the dough into little half moons.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes.
  4. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Variations:

Substitute 1/2 cup of coconut oil for 1/3-1/2 cup peanut butter or coconut manna.  I used Peanut butter and they came out better than Butterfingers!

Add 1 teaspoon Chai spices to the original recipe

After freezing, dip in melted sugar free dark chocolate, freeze again til the chocolate coating is set.

The original recipe sounds good too, I found it on the side of my Nutiva Coconut Oil container:

coconut oil recipe

Carrot Cupcakes

Cute carrot muffins ready to eat!

Cute carrot cupcakes ready to eat!

I have tried out several carrot cake and carrot muffin recipes and I think I’ve finally come up with the perfect combination the natural sweetness of the carrots and coconut make for a moist cupcake you can eat for breakfast, snack time or yes, desert!  If you have a Cuisinart, shredding the carrots will take no time at all.

Ingredients:

Dry-

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

dash of allspice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Wet-

3 large eggs

1 Tablespoon mayo

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 dropperfuls liquid stevia, to taste

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup milk- almond, coconut, soy or cow’s milk

Mix in last-

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease a  muffin tin for 12 with coconut oil or butter.

Grate 2 cups of carrots and set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients, work out any lumps and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mayo together on high speed for about 3 minutes til nice and frothy.

Add the stevia, vanilla (or use vanilla stevia!), cooled, melted coconut oil and the milk and whip together to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

Taste test for sweetness, add more stevia if needed.

Fold in the carrot and coconut.  Add up to 1/4 cup more milk if need, the batter should be thick but moist.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin.  I like to use a small ice cream scoop to get evenly sized muffins with round tops!

Bake at 350 for 22-26 minutes, til cooked though and lightly browned.

Store muffins an air tight container in the fridge.

Makes 12 muffins each one is about 190 calories, 15 grams of healthy, filling fats, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams net carbs and 5.5 grams of protein.  These are an excellent snack, breakfast or dessert and a great way to get your kids to eat an extra serving of veggies while making them think they are eating a cupcake!

 

 

Pudding? Frosting? Pie filling? Yes!

Our friends Megan (massage therapist extraordinaire) and James (one half of Red Apple Butchers) came up with a snack idea that I thought would make an awesome pie filling or frosting.  Or, yes, you can just mix it up and eat it with a spoon.  Let’s start with the star of the show, the cultured dairy pudding:

Ingredients:

This will make enough to fill a 9 in pie crust, frost a one layer 8 in cake or just mix it up and store it in the fridge for the next time you want a serving or two of pudding!

  • 2 cups creme fraiche or whole milk, unsweetened Greek style yogurt or use a little of each.  The creme fraiche is easy to make yourself and adds a nice tangy flavor.  The cream also whips up nicely for added lightness to this rich food.
  •  1 cup smooth nut butter, any one of these are delicious: almond, hazelnut or peanut butter
  • 3-4 dropperfuls of Whole Foods brand vanilla stevia
  • 2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
The nut butter sank to the bottom, all the ingredients ready for blending!

Creme fraiche and cocoa powder are so good together!

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a big bowl and use a mixer to whip them together into a smooth, fluffy bowl of deliciousness.   Taste and add more stevia or cocoa powder to your liking.  The mixture will be like pudding, you can make it thicker by adding more nut butter or thinner by adding plain heavy cream or more creme fraiche.

Now you have a cultured dairy pudding snack.  Which you can eat right now or use to frost a cake or cookies!

But, wait, what about making a cream pie?  Chill your pudding in the fridge while you get to baking.

Set your oven to 350

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding Pie

 Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour- I always use Bob’s Red Mill Brand
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted pasture butter
  • 1 large organic farm egg
  • a pinch of salt

Method:

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor.

Press the dough evenly into a 9 in pie plate and bake at 350 for 10-14 min, until firm and starting to brown.

Cool the crust completely and then add  the above pie filling.

Refrigerate the pie for at least an hour before serving.

When it’s time for pie, whip up 6-8 ounces of fresh cream.

Cover the top of the pie completely with the whipped cream and top with chopped roasted nuts and maybe even some chopped dark chocolate.  Sugar free has never tasted this good!

Yes please!

Yes please!

Almond Tea Cookies or Pie Crust

These sweet little cookies can be made many different ways, including into pie crust!  Easy and quick to make, these are nice afternoon snack or after dinner treat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour- I always use Bob’s Red Mill Brand
  • 2-3 Tablespoons unsalted pasture butter, use 2 Tablespoons for pie crust and 3 for cookies
  • 1 large organic farm egg
  • a pinch of salt

Stop right there if you want to make pie crust.

Or

Add any of the following combinations for cookies:

  • a splash of rose water, a sprinkle of cardamom and vanilla stevia to taste- about 2-3 dropperfuls of Whole Foods brand vanilla stevia
  • a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of ginger, vanilla stevia to taste
  • lemon  or lime zest and vanilla stevia to taste
My friend Bobbie made these cookies for a tea party, wordy icing optional!

My friend Bobbie made these cookies for a tea party, wordy icing optional!

Method:

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor.

For pie crust: press the dough evenly into a 9 in pie plate and bake at 350 for 10-14 min, until firm and starting to brown.  Cool and add pie filling, then bake or refrigerate as called for in your pie recipe.

For cookies: scoop out dough by the tablespoon and form into flattened rounds.  Bake at 350 for 18-22 min, til they are starting to brown lightly.  Enjoy making these simple tea cookies with many different flavorings!

 

 

Updated Egg Salad

I love this new version of  egg salad that Heidi posted on her blog 101 Cookbooks, which if you don’t already rely on it for great recipes, now you know!  This is a nice, light update on a familiar classic, perfect for a new light filled season.

Here’s her recipe, I didn’t want to change a thing!

Perfectly cooked eggs

Perfectly cooked eggs

Ingredients:

6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small head of radicchio, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 baby radishes, shaved thin

to serve: little dollop of salted creme fraiche and/or a drizzle of olive oil.

Method:

“Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for ten minutes (a couple minutes longer than I normally do). Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, then use the big holes on a standard box grater to grate the eggs. Place in a bowl and use your fingers to gently toss the eggs with the salt and pepper. At this point you can add whatever you like to the salad – I tossed in shredded radicchio, fresh dill, shallots, and shaved baby radishes. Serve topped with tiny dollops of something creamy – like creme fraich or plain yogurt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Just a bit of each so you don’t weigh it down.”

Serves 2-4.

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

Serve this salad on top of homemade flax crackers or store bought flax crackers!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Comfort foods can be healthy foods: These grain free buttermilk biscuits will leave you feeling full without the sugar crash or carbohydrate cravings from traditional wheat biscuits.   Wheat is a common allergen, we all know that but did you know that  some people report dramatically lowered seasonal allergy symptoms from eliminating wheat?  Tell your friends!

High quality eggs, buttermilk and butter or coconut oil make these a great source of brain food and lasting energy-perfect for an afternoon snack!  The flours, flax and buttermilk are available locally at Berkshire Organics, Guido’s and the Berkshire Coop Market.  These are perfect for brunch: as a base for eggs benedict.  Or  a dessert topped with creme fraiche and a few blueberries or how about biscuits and gravy?  Yum! Set your oven to 425 and get baking!

First, mix together your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any lumps.

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 Tablespoons almond flour- Bob’s Red Mill makes a superior almond flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground flax
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

Once your dry mix is thoroughly combined:

  • add 6 Tablespoons (a heaping 1/3 cup) of cold coconut oil or cold, unsalted pasture butter, broken up into small chunks.

Cut the fat into the dry mix using a pastry cutter until you get a pea sized meal.  Stop combining before it starts to clump together into a ball.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Combine in a separate bowl:

Whip the egg into the buttermilk.

Evan's Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Evan’s Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and fold to combine.

Finished batter resting for a few minutes. The batter will be very wet, but as it sits for a few minutes the coconut flour will fully absorb the excess liquid. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out biscuits, I have used 1/4 cup measure as well as an ice cream scoop.  Make them as big – 8 biscuits- or as small – 16 biscuits- as you like.  Use your hands to flatten them a bit into shape. Bake for 18-20 minutes- til browned and set. Eat immediately or let cool completely and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

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