Food

 

Lemon Bars

 

Lemon Curd:

* 3 organic eggs                                 * 1/2 cup lemon juice

* 1/4 cup raw honey                           * 1 tbsp. organic lemon zest

* 6 tbsp. of extra virgin coconut oil (or organic butter/ghee)

Opt for organic ingredients whenever possible

In a medium saucepan on low heat, whisk the eggs, honey and lemon zest together. Add the coconut oil (in small clumps for even melting) and lemon juice. Whisk continuously while cooking, until the mixture thickens and a few bubbles appear. Remove from heat. Strain curd if desired, although I prefer not to so that the lemon zest remains in the curd for some extra flavonoids & potassium! Refrigerate for several hours to thicken.

 

Nut Crust:

1 cup organic, raw almonds                * 1-2 tbsp. organic lemon zest

1 cup organic, raw cashews                * 2 organic eggs

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil or organic butter/ghee, melted

1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt

Opt for organic ingredients whenever possible

Preheat oven to 400*. Grind nuts to a medium fine flour in a food processor or blender. Small chunks are fine; if you grind too much, it'll turn into paste. Add the remaining ingredients and blend. Spread the mixture evenly onto a greased 8x8 pan. Cook for 15-18 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle. Note: You'll see some of the oil rising during baking but it'll subside once removed from the oven. Cool completely and spread lemon curd on top. Let set in the refrigerator for several hours. Makes 16 bars, or cut into smaller pieces for bites on the go.

 

Healthy Facts

 

These lemon bars are packed with good-quality fats & protein plus antioxidants from the lemon zest. Perfect for a healthy dessert or afternoon snack!

 

High quality fat is a necessity in your diet. Your brain is composed of over 60% fat, your cell membranes are made of fat and fat helps regulate your body temperature, hormones, mood and thinking ability, not to mention it keeps you full and satisfied so you eat less. You also need fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E & K. High quality fat means that it is unrefined and organic.

 

Coconut oil: A healthy saturated fat that balances blood sugar and aids in proper digestion and metabolism, increasing weight loss. It’s antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, increasing immunity. It can also increase HDL cholesterol to help balance the LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio, which can be damaging if not well balanced. It has been shown that eating 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily actually decreases visceral fat (belly fat)*. Lastly, the medium chain triglycerides, a healthy fat found in coconut oil, are an ideal source of sustained energy.

 

* http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058

 

 

 

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Organic, Grass-fed Meatballs

 

* 1 pound organic, grass-fed meat

* 1 small carrot, chopped

* 1 small zucchini, chopped

* 2 celery stalks, chopped

* 3 crimini mushrooms, chopped

* ½ onion, diced

* 1 organic egg

* Organic ghee (or substitute butter)

* ½ tsp. sea salt

* 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Opt for organic ingredients whenever possible

 

Heat pan on low with enough ghee to cover the pan. Add all chopped vegetables except onion to the pan. Sautee until soft. Remove veggies when soft and puree in blender or food processer. Allow to cool. Sautee onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350*.

 

Mix cooled puree, onion, egg & meat together. Do not over mix. Fill a casserole dish with just enough water to cover the bottom. Make golf ball size meatballs, place in casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until no longer pink in the center. Remove from oven and serve. Makes about 20 meatballs.

 

Healthy Facts

 

You are what you eat eats!

 

Organic, grass-fed meat: An excellent source of protein and nutrients when it is organic and raised on its natural food sources (i.e. grass-fed). Beef contains vitamins E, B3 & B12, the minerals selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus & choline, and a healthy omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of about 3:1*.

 

Conventionally raised meat: Has a much higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, making it inflammatory, which is a root cause of chronic illness. Toxins that are consumed by animals (like antibiotics, hormones & genetically-modified feed) are stored in their fat.

 

Portion size is also important. Meat doesn’t need to be the center focus of your meal! A serving of meat, poultry or fish is 3oz. – 4 oz., which is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.

 

* A joint study by California State University, Chico and the University of California Cooperative Extension Service found that beef from cattle fed solely on grass provided a more healthful ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats — 3:1 versus about 20:1 in grain-fed beef. The Chico/UC study’s grass-fed cattle also contained up to 50% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than the grain-fed cattle (Daley et al., 2006b). Another study has shown that CLA, in amounts above 3.4 grams per day, reduces adipose tissue stores (belly fat) and reduces Body Fat Mass in human study subjects (Blankson et al., 2000).

 

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Fresh Vegetable Buckwheat Salad

 

* ½ cup uncooked buckwheat

* ½ red bell pepper, chopped

* ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

* ½ cup cucumber, sliced

* ¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans (raw or toasted)

* 1/8 cup red onion, diced

* ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

* 1 tbsp. fresh mint, diced

* Juice of ½ lemon

* 1 ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil

* Salt & pepper to taste

Opt for organic ingredients whenever possible

 

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Rinse buckwheat in cold water. Add rinsed buckwheat to boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until soft and water is gone, about 10-15 minutes. Allow buckwheat to cool and mix all ingredients together. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

 

These vegetables are just an example of how to “eat the rainbow” in a meal. Try another variety of seasonal vegetables for a whole different dish: Carrots, kale, parsley, snap peas and the list goes on!

 

 

Healthy Facts

 

Buckwheat is not a grain nor is it wheat! It is a seed, used as a grain or gluten-free wheat-flour alternative. It contains the bioflavonoids rutin and quercetin, which act as antioxidants & are anti-inflammatory. They also maintain blood flow and extend the action of vitamin C, great for a healthy cardiovascular system. Buckwheat is also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, fiber, phosphorus, and high quality protein with all 8 essential amino acids.

 

Eat the rainbow: Different foods have different nutrients so eating a variety of colored fruits and vegetables will help assure you get the variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that you need for optimal health.