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Healthy Homemade Ketchup

I’m a condiment freak — I like to dip everything. So, this healthy homemade ketchup is a must in my house!

It’s true. We are a condiments-all-the-time household. We can find a reason to dip everything in something. A few years ago it started to bother me that so much of our fridge was filled with jars and bottles that had ingredients that I would normally never use when I cooked . So, I started making my own. OMG — we are so much better off. This ketchup is especially delicious, and it doesn’t have all of the sugar that commercial ketchup has. And yes, I too used to be a Heinz lover… but now we really do all love this healthy homemade ketchup. Try it… you’ll love it too.

One day, when Steve was slathering his food with ketchup, as was his usual M.O., I had that light-bulb-over-head moment and I began creating homemade healthy condiments. Now, let me tell you, he used to really piss me off. I mean, how do you not even taste your food before you drown it in ketchup? I once heard a story about a hiring partner in a huge corporate firm who would take his interview candidates out to lunch and observe them. If they salted their food before tasting it, they wouldn’t be hired because he thought there was not enough thought and consideration in this gesture. Same goes for ketchup.

The creation of this recipe required a lot of trial and error. We ate a lot of ketchup that wasn’t… ummmm… wasn’t… worthy of the name ketchup. I tried all kinds of ingredients to get the right balance of sweet and tangy. For us, this recipe is the perfect balance. It’s the right consistency, and it tastes awesome.

You’ll notice that this recipe contains prunes. I know that sounds weird, but they really give this ketchup just the right taste. So, you’ll need to use a high-speed blender if you want your ketchup to be really smooth.

Another thing I used to buy but now I like to make homemade is Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese.

healthy homemade ketchuphealthy homemade ketchup

Hear are some of the great healing ingredients in this healthy homemade ketchup recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use prunes to reduce stomach acidity and to help smooth the digestion. The claim to fame of the prune is that it helps fight against constipation. This is true, and when you clear your intestines, you are also taking a great step toward preventing colon cancer. These dried plums also are great for your vision and they have enough potassium to make them an official heart-healthy food.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

healthy homemade ketchup

Healthy Homemade Ketchup
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Look at all of the jars in bottles in your fridge. They contain so much sugar! If you are a ketchup lover, you've got to make this recipe for healthy homemade ketchup and store it in your fridge.
Ingredients
  • 6 pitted prunes
  • 7 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients, and 5 Tbs water into a high-speed blender.
  2. Whiz it up. Add more water if necessary to get this ketchup to the desired consistency.
  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy on everything!

healthy homemade ketchup

The World’s Best Nut Butter Recipe

This truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe!

world's best nut butter recipe

I don’t think I’ve ever called any of my recipes “the world’s best”. I mean, I love a lot of my recipes, but I try not to be cocky about any of them. And it’s pretty easy not to be cocky when I have so many kitchen fails… and I do. Way too often. You just don’t see them…

But this recipe calls for some kind of special treatment when I talk about it. When I started blogging as a means of sharing my recipes with my friends and family years ago, this was one of the recipes I first posted. Everyone wants this recipe. This nut butter used to go with my daughter to camp and now it goes to college with her. It gets re-made over and over again by my friends who don’t cook. It’s a staple in my fridge at home. It truly is the world’s best nut butter recipe.

Sometimes when I make it I change up the variety of nuts, and it always comes out good. The only nuts I stay away from are peanuts. But I’ve made this with some hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts… and it has always been incredible.

Did I talk you into it?

All you need is a food processor. Really, you must try it.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a great recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HERE  to be taken directly  into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, if you want to try another great nut-based vegan spread, try my recipe for vegan cream cheese!

world's best nut butter recipe

Here’s why this homemade nut butter is so good 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.

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. 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.

Pecans are good for energy and they can also help you get rid of a cough. They are also good to help combat constipation, lower back pain, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

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 really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut 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. Coconut oil is my go-to for so many things and it works great in this nut butter.

world's best nut butter

If you make this World’s Best Nut Butter recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

The World's Best Nut Butter Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread, nut butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 1 pint
 
This truly is amazing nut butter. Let your food processor do most of the work, use whatever mix of nuts and seeds makes you happy, and enjoy!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  6. Place the tray in the oven and roast the nuts for 12 minutes, making sure they don't burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Scrape the nut mixture into the food processor and process until the mixture in finely ground and starts to stick together a bit. This may take a little time. Be patient. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times.
  9. Once it starts to stick together a little bit, add the coconut oil and the salt and turn the processor back on. Let it process until you get the consistence of a thick nut butter. Again, be patient -- it will happen!
  10. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!

 

world's best nut butter recipe

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear…)

If you haven’t found a dairy-free spread you like yet, make this vegan cashew cream cheese!

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese

A bagel and a schmear… really, is there a more delicious breakfast? (Do I sound too New York-ish or what…)

It’s been many years since bagels have had a place in my breakfast rotation. I feel so much better without grains in my diet, that bagels went by the wayside. But I’m trying to fix this. Really I had no choice but to fix it because I really love this recipe.

I made this cream cheese out of cashews and it was so good that I was craving a bagel. And lox. So, what I’m telling you is twofold: One — make this vegan cashew cream cheese. Two make or buy some grain-free bagels and stock up on some lox. You may be eating this several times a week. Maybe even several times a day.

And when I ran out of lox, I ate it with just the tomato and cream cheese…

bagel with tomato (better edit)-1452

When I have time I bake these Grain-Free Bagels, and now, some supermarket even sell grain-free bagels, so I’m set. The ones I make are kind of cake-like but taste good. The ones I buy are crunchier but they have a little bit of cheese in the dough, so I’m torn…

Let’s get back to this cream cheese. It’s really really good. Even Steve, who’s does eat dairy sometimes, thinks it’s great and loves it on the bagels. And, when you add lox and tomato… OMG, we are happy campers.

I ate the sandwich you see in these pictures for lunch when I was by myself. Then there were days that I had some version of the bagel and a schmear for breakfast AND lunch. It started to get a bit out of control. So, now, I try to pace myself. Sunday brunch is enough. OK, maybe once during the week too if no one is looking…

Vegan Cashew Cream CheeseVegan Cashew Cream Cheese

Here’s some reasons to make this cream cheese:

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 cream cheese I used raw cashews. 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 them 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.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Lemons are good for your digestion, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH, and they act as an antibacterial. They also can soothe a sore throat, lessen a cough, and hydrate the body.

Scallions, if you know me, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb(Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever. And, they make this cream cheese taste more like traditional cream cheese.

Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese (Grain-Free Bagel & A Schmear...)
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, spread
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:connoisseurusveg
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about ¾ cup
 
This cream cheese is dairy-free and vegan. It tastes great spread on a bagel with lox and tomato!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except scallions, in blender or food processor. (You will have to stop the machine and scrape down the sides several times, but be patient and it will come together!)
  2. When the cream cheese is smooth, scrape it into a bowl and stir in the scallions.
  3. Spread it on a grain-free toasted bagel with lox and tomatoes!
  4. Enjoy!

 

bagel, lox, and cream cheese collage

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce

This raspberry lavender cranberry sauce is a great everyday condiment — it’s not just for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce With Raspberry And Lavender-9611

I was deciding which Thanksgiving recipe to post today, when all of a sudden I was famished. Really hungry. So hungry that I had to stop thinking about food (which I am always doing…) and eat something. So, I opened the fridge, took out some leftover soup, grabbed my just-made cranberry sauce, put a big scoop of it right in the center of my soup and I ate. And I smiled. The cranberry sauce made my delicious soup even better. Cranberry sauce post it is!

Cranberry sauce is an awesome condiment. It’s so much better than ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise on a sandwich. And, I’m not just talking about serving it at Thanksgiving or on those delicious leftover turkey sandwiches. You can put a dollop of a great cranberry sauce on top of your salad. You can’t do that with ketchup. You can stir it into soups — try a big scoop in your next bowl of butternut squash soup…

So many people just make cranberry sauce for holidays. Well, I’m here to tell you to respect the berry. It deserves to be seen all throughout the year. Start by making a bigger bowl than you’ll need for the Thanksgiving table, save the rest in the fridge, and put it on everything all week long. You’ll become a berry-believer, I’m sure of it.

Now, this particular version of cranberry sauce is really special. It’s got the usual amount of traditional tart beautiful cranberries, but it’s also filled with sweet tender raspberries. Then there’s the fresh lemon zest; the tart fresh lemony taste mingles with the sweet raspberries… OMG. But wait, we are not done yet, because we haven’t yet added the lavender. And, the lavender just takes this bowl of berry bliss to the next level.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (pot)-9546

Cranberry sauce is one of the easiest things to make. You just stir all the ingredient in a pot and cook. And all of a sudden, like magic, you go from the above picture to the finished product. Yum.

This cranberry sauce, aside from being mouthwateringly delicious, is really good for you.

Cranberries are known to most people as being good for the urinary tract and the bladder. They are also good at preventing kidney stones and can be eaten to increase fertility.

Raspberries are an anti-aging fruit. They are great for men who are experiencing frequent urination and for men and women with vision issues. They have anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties. In Chinese medicine, raspberries are an herb called Fu Pen Zi that’s prescribed for impotence, premature ejaculation, poor vision, and frequent urination. Raspberries are great for you, but if you are experiencing difficulty urinating, that’s when this berry should be avoided.

Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (lemon)-9537Rasperry Lavender Cranberry Sauce (hand-lavender)-9516

Lavender and lemon are an amazing combination. They just taste great together. The floral taste of the lavender flowers plays perfectly with the tartness of the lemon zest in this cranberry sauce.

Lavender adds iron, calcium, and vitamin A to your diet.  It’s good for eye-health and digestion. I absolutely love the taste of lavender — there’s something so clean and fresh about it.

Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. I zest them in lots of foods to brighten the flavors…

Raspberry Lavender Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: condiment, side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 2 cups
 
This recipe takes gorgeous traditional cranberries and pairs them with sweet raspberries, tart lemon zest, and flowery lavender. It's one you won't want to miss.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup dark cherry juice (here's a concentrate I sometimes use)
  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½- to 1- tsp lavender flowers (you can get them here)(start with a little and add more if you like your sauce very lavender-like)
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs pure maple syrup (here's one)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a medium pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, about 40 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is the consistency you like. It will thicken up more when it cools. Enjoy it on everything!