Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zucchini Orange Bread Or Muffins
They Are Great For Breakfast With
300 Grams Of Omega-3 Per Serving

Orange zest is the key ingredient in this zucchini recipe.
Each serving provides over 300 mg of omega-3!

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And the Zucchini Keeps Coming
Believe it or not, I'm still enjoying my zucchini. Especially the kind that I'm growing this year. It's an heirloom Italian zucchini with light green ridges. If I pick them when they are 6 to 8 inches long, they are the best I've ever eaten. Unfortunately the plant has enormous leaves that are good at hiding the zucchini until they get way too big. My grandson loves to hunt for veggies and uncovered this one that was successfully hiding.

Matisse, the veggie hunter!

I was about to make banana bread when Matisse reminded me that he was allergic to bananas which are unfortunately one of his favorite foods. But he suggested that we make zucchini bread instead. Then my daughter gave me the idea of adding some grated orange peel to the recipe. The results were wonderful! (By the way, I didn't use the monster zucchini. I used a much smaller one otherwise the zucchini would have been far too watery.)

Omega 3
Because this is a vegan recipe which substitutes flax eggs for chicken eggs, it supplies a nice shot of omega-3 fatty acid. And did you know that zucchini have a higher omega-3 content than omega-6 providing 58 mg of omega-3 and 35 mg of omega-6 in each chopped cup. 

Great for Breakfast
This zucchini bread or muffin recipe is great for breakfast, dessert, or for a nice snack. 

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Zucchini Orange Bread or Muffins
[makes 12 servings]
Requires loaf pan or 12 muffin tins
Best with an electric hand beater

Earth Balance to grease pan
2 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons water
2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon powdered stevia extract 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan or muffin tins.

Prepare the flax eggs by mixing the flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Beat well until gooey and set aside. 

In a large bowl, mix the flour, powdered stevia, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Squeeze the water out of the grated zucchini and place in the bowl. Using an electric hand beater, mix the zucchini into the flour mixture.

After grating the zucchini, squeeze the water out of it.

In a smaller bowl, blend the olive oil, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and orange zest. Add the flax egg and blend until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend with the beater until combined. 

Place in the loaf pan or muffin tins. Bake until golden and when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the bread and 20 to 25 minutes for the muffins. 

Zucchini Orange Bread
Zucchini Orange Muffins

Cool the bread for 15 minutes (the muffins for 10) and remove from the pan. Serve the muffins warm but let the bread cool a bit so that it is easier to slice. Serve and enjoy!

Per serving: 143 calories, 5.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 316 mg omega-3 and 661 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 19.5 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, and 188 mg sodium.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Don't Be Fooled By Martha Stewart's
"Bake It Better" Recipes!

Healthy baking tips in Martha Stewart's
September issue fall way short!

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Forgive my Rant, but....
I ordered a facial product a few months ago and it came with a free 12 month subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I love perusing through magazines to get new ideas on cooking and decorating. But this month's issue just made me mad.

The article starts on the right foot by saying that bake sales, though "often planned with a noble cause in mind- funding a school library, helping fellow congregates who've fallen on hard times.... don't often translate to great nutrition." Well I don't think that anyone would disagree with that. Martha then attempts to take delicious, unhealthy recipes and make them equally delicious and much healthier.

Great concept!!! There are so many things you can do to make baked goods healthier. I write about that all the time in this blog and in my book. It bothers me to no end when someone as famous and loved as Martha Stewart convinces people that a recipe is healthy when it is not.

Let me give you several examples that are in the September Issue of Martha Stewart Living titled "Better (for you) Bake Sale.

Martha's Half-Moon Cookies
These cookies claim to be healthier because they use some whole wheat flour and berry puree to color the icing instead of harmful food coloring. But these cookies still have 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and 4 teaspoons of honey. I don't think a little berry puree is going to make this a recipe you'd feel good about serving your children.

Martha's Muesli Coffee Cake
In this recipe she introduces her readers to white whole-wheat flour. I commend her for this as I've been touting the benefits of white whole-wheat flour for years. In fact, it's the only wheat flour I use for baking or cooking. But her recipe still uses 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 3/4 cups of sugar, 4 large eggs, 1 cup of full fat buttermilk and another few tablespoons of honey. The goodness of the whole grain flour pretty much gets cancelled out with the rest of the recipe.

Martha's Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes
These cupcakes also benefit from the white whole-wheat flour and once again she avoids food coloring by using fresh raspberries but she weighs the recipe down with 3/4 cups of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and a CUP of butter. This recipe is starting to rival one of Paula Deen's!

Healthy doesn't always mean Healthy
So be careful when some big name chef or celebrity says the word "healthy." Everyone wants to believe that making a tiny change to a recipe that is full of saturated fat and sugar makes it OK. 

But these are good tips. White whole-wheat flour is much better than all-purpose processed white flour. And berries are better than food coloring. But why stop there? You can do other things to improve your baked goods.
Things like:
* Using flax eggs instead of eggs
* Substituting a good bit of the sugar with stevia
* Substituting half or more of the oil with applesauce

For recipes and tips on healthy baking, download my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen. I think I'll send a copy to Martha.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Baked Falafels With Lemon Tahini Sauce
On A Salad Or In A Pita
An Excellent Source Of Protein

Falafel sandwiches in pita bread make a great lunch!

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is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Garbanzo Beans as a Protein Source
I love garbanzos. Besides being a versatile bean that can be used in many different dishes, they contain an excellent source of complete protein which means they provide all the essential amino acids in the proper proportions. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, and manganese.

Baked Falafel
I love a good falafel but most of them served in restaurants are fried. This recipe uses a small amount of oil and bakes them in the oven. Stuff a few of them in pita bread with chopped lettuce, cucumber, avocado and tomato. Top with some lemon-tahini sauce and you have a great lunch. Or for a lighter gluten-free meal, serve baked falafels on top of salad tossed with lemon-tahini sauce.

For a gluten-free meal, skip the pita and serve on top of salad.

Start with Dried Garbanzo Beans
Did you know that you can make falafels from dried garbanzo beans? Most cooked beans are packed in cans that are lined with BSP (bisphenol) so using dried beans, especially when they are organic, is a healthier way to go. And since you only have to soak and not cook the beans in this recipe, it's not much of a bother.

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Baked Falafels with Lemon Tahini Sauce
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 20 (2 inch x 1/2 inch) falafels and 1/2 cup tahini sauce, about 4 to 6 servings]
Requires a food processor, such as a Cusinart

Start soaking the beans the night before.

For the falafels
1 cup dried garbanzo beans
Water to soak beans
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the tahini sauce
1/4 cup tahini (I use raw tahini)
1 clove pressed garlic
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pick through the garbanzo beans and discard any clumps of dirt or rocks. Rinse under cold water. Place in a 1 or 2 quart bowl and cover with several inches of water. Soak overnight.

With the food processor running (I really like the 11-cup Cuisinart), place the garlic through the shoot and process until all the garlic is chopped. 

Rinse the garbanzo beans and place in the food processor along with the cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, black pepper, baking powder and parsley. Pulse until the garbanzos are coarsely chopped. Add the onions and pulse until everything is minced. Scrape down the sides when necessary. Do not over process. The resulting mixture should look like this:

Pulse until the mixture is minced, NOT pureed. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease a cooking sheet or shallow baking pan. I like to use Silpat non-stick baking mats. These allow me to bake the falafels with the least amount of oil.

Form small balls of the mixture and pat them into 2 inch by 1/2 inch patties. Place on the prepared baking pan. Take a tablespoon of olive oil and using your finger or a brush, rub a little oil over each falafel. 

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven.

Make the tahini sauce. Place the tahini in a small bowl with the pressed garlic and lemon juice. Stir until it is a smooth paste. Stir in the water until it reaches the desired consistency. Add the salt to taste and set aside.

Serve the falafels in pita bread with small diced cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes drizzled with the tahini sauce. 

Or place a few falafels over a salad that has been tossed in a thinner tahini sauce (add some more water) with a bit more tahini sauce drizzled over the falafels. 

Per falafel: 48 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 16 mg omega-3 and 335 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, and 101 mg sodium.

Per serving of tahini sauce (about 1 1/3 teaspoons): 18 calories, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 11 mg omega-3 and 620 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber, and 60 mg sodium.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Enter To Win Pomona Cookbook
Plus Jelly Jars, Pectin And More!

Win this cookbook, jars, Pomona pectin and more!

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Pomona Pectin
You know how much I LOVE Pomona's Universal Pectin. Every jam recipe in this blog uses it and I even dedicated an entire chapter in my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen, to making healthy jam using this wonderful pectin. What makes Pomona's Universal pectin so great is that it allows you to make jelly and jam with little or no sugar! 

Pomona Pectin Giveaway
My friends at Pomona wanted me to tell you all about their exciting giveaway that will run from August 5th through August 13th, 2014. 
All you need to do to win is enter the Giveaway - and everyone gets 2 FREE ENTRIES.

Here's What You'll Win!

Cookbook: Preserving with Pomona's Pectin 
by Allison Carroll Duffy
A Box of Pomona's Pectin
A case of 6 Orchard Road Jelly Jars with lids and bands
A Stainless Steel Funnel

The Cookbook
Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013) teaches you how to make jam using sugar-free and preservative-free Pomona's Universal Pectin. 

Here are some examples of the wonderful recipes in this book:
* Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam
* Chocolate-Cherry Preserves
* Margarita Marmalade
* Nana's Favorite Dandelion Jelly
* Savory Blueberry-Ginger Conserve
* All-Fruit Strawberry Jam

This is the perfect book for both beginning and experienced preservers, and everyone in between. The more than 70 recipes are organized by type—jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, and marmalades—and there are simple classics as well as new twists with exciting ingredients. And, most importantly, all of the recipes use low amounts of sugar or alternative sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, or fruit juice.

How to Enter
To enter to win, go to the Pomona Website. There will be TWO winners!

And while you're there, check out the recipe from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin for Gingered Lemon Fig Preserve. It looks yummy!

Gingered Lemon Fig Preserve

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What To Do With All Those Cherry Tomatoes?
Make Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato Salad
With Cucumbers, Avocado And Jalapeño

A delicious and simple way to use those cherry tomatoes
and other garden veggies. Only 53 calories per serving!

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is available on Amazon and iTunes.

My Garden Overfloweth
While my garden zucchini has taken much of my attention, these cute and very prolific yellow pear cherry tomatoes are gathering steam. My cucumbers and jalapeños are also holding there own so what better way to use them all up than in this simple raw salad! 

Raw yellow tomatoes are low in calories and are an excellent source of Vitamin C, niacin, folate, potassium, copper and manganese.

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Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato Salad
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

2 cups halved yellow pear cherry tomatoes
2 cups peeled and diced cucumbers
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced (seeds optional)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, red onion, and jalapeño in a bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice, salt, and pepper and toss gently until well coated.

Per serving: 53 calories, 4 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 29 mg omega-3 and 441 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, and 207 mg sodium.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marrow Beans With Lemon And Rosemary
Fast Cooking And Creamy!

Marrow beans are so creamy and they cook very quickly.

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available on Amazon and iTunes.

Marrow Beans
My friend Margarite loves beans. Actually, I'd have to say she is obsessed with them. Just last week she bought 80 pounds of various beans from Purcell Mountain Farms (a great internet shop that offers exotic beans). 

She's always introducing me to new foods. Last week she came over and presented me with a little bag of dried marrow beans that she picked up at Tierra Vegetables farm stand in Santa Rosa. I had never heard of them before but was excited to try a new bean!

These plump white beans look a lot like cannellinis but they are softer, creamier and cook faster. In fact, they cook so quickly you have to really watch them so that they don't get too soft. That's good news for those of us who don't have hours and hours to cook dried beans. 

Some say marrow beans have a bacon-like flavor but I didn't detect that. Perhaps that's because I haven't eaten a piece of bacon over 30 years! 

Why Dried Beans are Superior
Having a quick cooking dried bean is a wonderful thing. Although it's very convenient to pick up a can of beans, it's hard to find one that isn't lined with bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is an industrial chemical that can be an endocrine disruptor, interfere with the bodies hormones, and is linked to an increased risk of infertility, obesity, breast and reproductive system cancer, and more. Cooking your own beans from scratch avoids this issue. It's also a lot cheaper! 

Buy marrow beans online at Purcell Mountain Farms or on Amazon.

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Marrow Beans with Lemon and Rosemary
Vegan, Gluten Free
[Eight servings]

2 cups dried marrow beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 packed tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pick over beans and rinse thoroughly in cold water.

Two methods to soak beans: 
Place the beans in a bowl of fresh water and soak, covered, for 3 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well. 
Or, place the beans in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and soak for 1 1/2 hours, drain and rinse well.

Heat the oil in a medium pan (I use my 5-quart Dutch oven) and cook the onion, rosemary, garlic, and carrot for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the soaked and rinsed beans, bay leaf, and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are cooked to the desired texture, 30 to 45 minutes. Add more water if needed. 

After about 35 minutes of cooking

Remove the bay leaf and add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or pasta or by serve by itself as a stew.

Per serving: 165 calories, 2 g total fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 82 mg omega-3 and 263 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 9 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, and 303 mg sodium.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How My Morning Smoothie Became A Chemistry Experiment

Just have fun when making a smoothie!

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is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Summer Smoothies
Now that it's warm, I generally start every morning with a raw smoothie. I rarely use a recipe and quite often they become a chemistry experiment. Yesterday's chemistry experiment was awful and today's was wonderful. But it's always fun to see what happens. I encourage you to do the same.

This morning I started out with kale. Besides it being a superfood, its volume in my garden is only surpassed by zucchini. So we eat some kale at just about every meal.

Next I added a heaping tablespoon of chia seeds that I soaked in Tempt's new Coconut Hempmilk. (A yummy new product .) This made it thick and full of omega-3.

A few stalks of celery made it in there so that I didn't feel too guilty about using so much fruit.

I sliced up a big pear because they have tons of fiber (6 grams per medium pear.)

And then there was that peach that needed to be eaten. A bit too ripe to bite into but still yummy enough for a smoothie.

Of course what would a smoothie be without frozen blueberries. Their colorful anthocyanins make the smoothie a more pleasant color. I'd much rather sip a thick purple drink than one that looks like it was scooped out of a pond. 

I added a few figs that I froze from my neighbors crop from last year because this year's crop is already coming in and I need to finish them up. Oh yes, I had to use that ripe banana. 

I finally stopped adding things because I ran out of room in the blender and there was only two of us here to drink it. I put in a few cups of cold water and blended until smooth and creamy. 

I finally ran out of room!

So you can see where I'm going with this. Smoothies are fun to experiment with. As long as you start with fresh or frozen organic fruit and veggies, you can't really go wrong. And if you do, try something else tomorrow!