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Energy Boosting Red Smoothie

There’s a lot of talk about green smoothies… but red ones are awesome! Try this energy boosting red smoothie!

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Turmeric Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are great for your heart, digestion, and skin!
turmeric chia pudding

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I absolutely love to go out for breakfast. I also love to cook breakfast. I love breakfast for dinner… and lunch. But, I’m human, and sometimes there’s just not enough time in the morning to have an elaborate breakfast. OK, most days there’s not enough time. Except Sundays. Sundays are made for HUGE breakfasts. Anyway, this turmeric chia pudding is the perfect solution to those I-have-no-time-for-a-good-breakfast days.

Chia seeds are like magic beans. You take the sand-like substance out of the bag, add liquid, and you get a velvety, rice-pudding-like creamy pudding. Magic.

I have made chia pudding in every flavor imaginable. And, I’ve also experimented with some flavors that most sane people wouldn’t want to imagine… This turmeric chia pudding was a great experiment! It has a slight Chai flavor. And the goji berries in it give it great extra flavor and texture.

Have you made chia pudding before?

It’s the easiest! Put the ingredients in a jar, shake it up, put the jar in the fridge overnight. Eat it in the morning. Done. Cue smile on face. And, it’s sooooooo good for you!

If you don’t like the texture of rice pudding, or tapioca, feel free to put it in the blender in the morning to get a smoother pudding. But, I like mine with all the chia texture.

If you want to try another flavor of chia pudding, try my recipe for Matcha Chia Pudding.

turmeric chia puddingturmeric chia pudding

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this turmeric chia pudding:

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this chia pudding, I used cashew milk.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming. Here’s an article about the benefits of cinnamon from Well-Being Secrets.

Goji berries are also a Chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this bark should be fine for anyone.

turmeric chia pudding

Turmeric Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, vegan, vegetarian, simple, overnight
Cuisine: breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Put all of the ingredients in a jar and shake it up. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Done. Awesome.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cashew milk (or another non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • ¼ cup plus 3-Tbs chia seeds (you can buy them here)
  • 3 Tbs pure maple syrup (you can try this one)
  • 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • about 1 tsp turmeric powder (use a little more or less depending on your taste) (here's one)
  • 6 grinds of black pepper (don't leave this out -- it helps with the absorption of turmeric)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 Tbs goji berries
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a mason jar.
  2. Put the lid on.
  3. Shake it up.
  4. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Enjoy in the morning.

turmeric chia pudding

Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

You’ll swear there’s oatmeal in these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies, but nope… totally grain-free!

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

These grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies are magical. I say that because there is no way you can tell that they are grain-free. You can’t tell by the texture — they have the exact texture of traditional oatmeal cookies. You can’t tell by the taste –nthey taste better than most oatmeal raisin cookies!

Full disclosure: I am not the magician here. The original recipe is from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain, cookbook, so kudos to Danielle! I took some liberties with the recipe when I made it (because I am pretty sure I am incapable of not changing a recipe…), and I (not being the best baker in the world) was so impressed with the end result that I ended up making a ton of these cookies and putting bags of them in my freezer! Another disclosure: they are so good that sometimes we eat them frozen instead of waiting for them to defrost…

A few weeks ago I had some old friends over for dinner. It was the first dinner party I had in our new apartment. But more importantly, the women who were coming are amazing women who I re-connected with after many years and I really wanted the serve special food.  I knew some of my guests would bring dessert (at least those that were not bringing wine) so I just wanted to have something here that was healthy to nibble on so I wouldn’t go crazy eating all of the decadent desserts I expected would be on the table. Well, my friends did not disappoint. Yes, we had lots and lots of wine. But, between the Italian pastries and the cheesecake and the prettiest boxes of cookies I ever saw, I set a basket of these grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies. And, they were able to withstand the competition! They really are that good!

If you like chocolate chip cookies, but don’t want the grains, try my Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookie recipe.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

Here are some of the reasons these cookies are awesome for you:

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. Even if you are not on a dairy-free diet, almond milk is the way to go. This recipe uses almond meal instead of a grain-based flour.

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. It’s the coconut flakes that mimic the texture of oatmeal in these cookies, and there is also some coconut flour included.

Raisins help relieve constipation, can help bring down a fever, and can be good for you if you have anemia. Research has also shown them to be effective in helping to ward of cancer because they increase antioxidant levels in your body.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Goji berries are a Chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in these cookies shoud be fine for anyone.

Honey is an amazing food. It is also a Chinese herb (Feng Mi). Raw honey is honey in its purest form; it has not been filtered, strained or heated above 115 degrees. This means when you eat it, the enzymes, anti-oxidants and nutrients haven’t been disturbed. I use raw honey in my tea, smoothies and in any recipe that calls for honey. Raw honey is solid and may need to be melted before you use it, but this is easy and only takes a minute or two. Honey helps with constipation, some coughs, and some stomach ulcers.

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

 

Grain-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, grain-free, paleo
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Against All Grain
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
 
These are oatmeal cookies with no oatmeal... but no one will ever know!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, place the shortening and egg and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla and mix until creamy.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and flax meal.
  5. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix for about one minute, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  6. Add the coconut, raisins, and goji berries and mix again until combined, about one minute.
  7. Using a tablespoon, place balls of dough onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen balls.
  8. Wet your palm and gently flatten each ball. I like my cookies kind of thick, so I didn't flatten mine too much.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes, then swap the tray positions so they will evenly cook. Then cook for 4 minutes and then swap again and cook for another 4 minutes. Then repeat for 3 minutes in each position.
  10. *This is how long my cookies took to bake; be aware and check the cookies often -- if they are thinner than mine were (see how thick mine are in the photos), they will cook faster. The original recipe calls for 12 minutes total cooking time.

 

grain-free oatmeal raisin cookies

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge

Keep this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in your freezer and you’ll always have an awesome healing dessert ready to grab!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge-0012

Open your freezer right now. Look in. Is there a healthy grab-and-go bite-size dessert in there? If not, think how happy you would be if a tray of this deliciously creamy no-guilt fudge was starting at you.

This is how it works. I make at least one tray of petite freezer-friendly dessert every week. After dinner or when we are binge-watching TV shows, I don’t have to worry about it when Steve grabs his idea of healthy snacks (which somehow he can rationalize as being fried chips with a whole tub of dip), because I can just open the freezer and grab the best desserts ever.

This fudge is not one of those desserts that “tastes good for something that’s healthy.”

It IS really good… even if it wasn’t healthy you would grab it. I mean it. Really.

With this pumpkin peanut butter fudge in the freezer, the chips in our cabinet went stale. Yup, this one’s a winner and even trumped the chips in flavor.

A great thing about this fudge: you can  have 2 or 3 pieces without killing your diet. It’s actually good for you, tastes like a combination of decadent peanut butter fudge co-mingled with an ice-cream bonbon, and no cooking experience is required.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (single)-0047

I’ve made many batches of healthy fudge, but this one is my favorite. Here’s what’s in it and why it’s so good for you:

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this fudge I used cashew butter and it really is just perfect — I like the creaminess it lends to the fudge and it tastes awesome. I know some of you have a problem finding raw nuts sometimes — I’m happy to try to help you locate them if you need shopping suggestions, so just leave a comment and I will try to help. I buy then whenever and wherever I see them. I’m also lucky enough to live near a Whole Foods, so I sometimes buy them from the bulk bins here.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates. This fudge requires no sugar because we fill it with dates — amazing, really!

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this fudge should be fine for anyone.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is used in different forms in Chinese medicine: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge (closer)-0044

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, fudge
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18 pieces
 
It's like a dream come true: fudge that will actually heal your body. And it tastes like real fudge. Amazing!
Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 6 Tbs cashew butter
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • For topping:
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbs raisins
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients (through maca root powder) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan.
  3. Top with nuts and raisins.
  4. Let set in freezer at least a few hours or overnight.
  5. Cut into squares.
  6. Keep leftovers on a tray, covered in freezer.
  7. Enjoy!

Persimmon Pomegranate Smoothies

When persimmon season hits you have to try these persimmon pomegranate smoothies — so sweet and so healthy!

Persimmon Smoothie-9957

Here it is the day after Thanksgiving. When I walked into my kitchen this morning and looked around, I saw all of the food that remained staring at me. I’m not talking about leftovers (although there are plenty of those…); I’m talking about the fresh ingredients that I bought with grandiose ideas of preparing so many more dishes than we needed. Or that I had time to make. Or that I was in the mood to make after a few glasses of wine…

So,  this morning, on my kitchen island calling out to me were the most beautiful, huge persimmons you have ever seen. Persimmons are amazing. They are in season now and here in New York they are everywhere. The farmers markets have them, the fruit vendors on the street are carrying them, and the supermarkets are well stocked. So, a few days before the big event I bought 4 huge persimmons. I was going to make a salad with arugula, kale, persimmons, cranberries, nuts, and cheese. Well, that never happened. So… what to do with these deliciously sweet and juicy persimmons????  Breakfast smoothies!!!

If you’ve never had a persimmon, this is the time to try them. I was a first-timer up until a few weeks ago and now I’m kind of obsessed with them. I can’t figure out what fruit they are similar to, but they are great. They are really, really sweet and smooth and beautifully orange. They actually kind of taste like they look.

Persimmons being sliced-9873

These persimmon pomegranate smoothies are as good for you as they are beautiful:

Persimmons are great for some coughs and sore throats. They can also relieve diarrhea, quench thirst, and lessen the effects of a hangover. The tops/stems of persimmons are a Chinese herb (Shi Di). This herb is used to stop hiccoughs and can be mixed with other herbs to stop vomiting.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Bananas (I like to use frozen ones that I keep in the freezer all year round) make this smoothie particularly creamy and give it a great ice-cream-like texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Goji berries are a chinese herb (Gou Qi Zi). They are great for your blood. I prescribe them to some people with chronic pain in the legs and lower back. They are also good for men experiencing impotence and can be used to treat some eye problems. Women who are pregnant and people with intestinal issues should be careful not to eat too many gojis, but the amount in this smoothie should be fine for anyone.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Bee pollen is considered one of the most nutritious substances you can put in your body. It is higher in protein than anything animal-based and it contains an amazing amount of amino acids. It’s good for your energy, your skin, your breathing and your allergies. Add a spoonful to whatever you can.

Persimmon Smoothie (top)-9961

Persimmon Pomegranate Goji Berry Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
The bright orange taste and flavor of this smoothie is from persimmons, pomegranate seeds, goji berries, clementines, and bananas. It will brighten your day and keep you healthy!
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 large Hachiya persimmons
  • 2 Clementines
  • 2 Tbs goji berries
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbs bee pollen
  • 2 tsp maca root powder (here's a good one)
  • ⅔ cup coconut water (I like this kind)
  • 6 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender (my Vitamix made quick work of this) and blend until perfectly smooth. Enjoy!