Quick Carrot Ferment (Probiotic)

Fermented Carrots

Here is a very quick ferment using my favorite vegetable – the carrot! Probiotics are good for the gut/digestion. Have a few of these carrots with your cooked meals for better digestion.

Ingredients:
16-ounce bag of organic carrots
2 – 3 garlic cloves
1.5 TB sea salt
32 ounces of filtered water
1 bay leaf

Optional:
Any additional fresh vegetables.

Supplies: 32-ounce mason jar with a lid

Directions:
1. Mix your brine – 32 ounces of filtered water with 1.5 TBS Salt and allow it to fully dissolve.
2. Put carrots (vegetables), garlic, and bay leaf into a 32-ounce mason jar.
3. Add brine to cover all of the vegetables.
4. Add lid and store in a corner on your countertop or in a cabinet for at least three days (if you live in a colder climate, add a few extra days).
5. Taste on day three to see if the vegetables have a “pickled” taste – if so they are ready.

As seen in the video below, download my favorite fermented vegetable recipe and visual guide at Fermented Purple Cabbage and Pineapple Sauerkraut.

Homemade Catalina Dressing – Oil-Free

I had a mango and a red bell pepper and recall making a dressing out of the two a while back. But this time, I added a few more ingredients. Then end result is a dressing that reminded me of Catalina Dressing, but this one is Oil-Free.

Catalina was my salad dressing of choice when I was a child and likely when I was also a teen. Of course it was from a bottle and one that is a very popular salad dressing brand. (OKAY, I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing that, but there are really more healthy options…such as the one I’m about to give you below.)

Granted, my salad as a child only consisted of cucumbers, tomato and iceberg lettuce. Yeah I guess, it’s a good start for anyone, but I finally learned that I love all vegetables and now I rarely eat a salad made of only 3 vegetables. Okay…enough of reminiscing about my childhood, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 small mango (Ataulfo mangos are the perfect size)
1/4 of a small to medium red bell pepper
1 TBS apple cider vinegar (use lemon juice instead for Sadkhin Diet)
1 clove garlic, small
1 – 2 inch piece of zucchini or cucumber (if more liquid is desired)
salt to taste (approx 1/8 tsp, optional)

Other possible add-ins:These are optional add-ins that are similar to most recipes that you will find online for Catalina Dressing.

  1. Honey (if you need it sweeter, but Ataulfo mangos are usually very sweet)
  2. If you want/need the extra “good” fat, add some extra virgin olive oil
  3. Tomato slice or 1 tsp tomato paste
  4. Onion slice or onion powder
  5. Dash of paprika
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.  Use as desired.
I just poured it all on top of my salad and dug in. YUMMY!

Sadkhin Cabbage Salad – Three Ways

Recently I prepared three cabbage salads for the Grand Opening Event of Sadkhin Houston.  Sadkhin is a weight loss program that doesn’t require any special foods, just mainly fresh fruits and vegetables.
 
One highly recommended vegetable for the Sadkhin Diet is raw cabbage. Also, since the diet suggests having no more than three vegetables/fruit combinations in each dish, we created the following cabbage salads for client sampling. (Note: Herbs, most spices, onions and garlic may be used freely. Also allowed are lemon juice and honey.)
 
Mexican Slaw
1 large head of green cabbage
1/2 – 1 pound of carrots
1 – 2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 – 1/2 bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 cup, packed)
For dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup) and 1 lime, 1/2 of small jalapeno (seeds removed), 1/2 tsp cumin, salt (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) and a dash of granulated garlic, cayenne and honey to taste Optional: Add a fruit – mango would be good in this one also.
 

 

Mexican Slaw
 
Apple Slaw
1 large head of green cabbage
3 -4 kale leaves, thinly sliced
2 medium Granny Smith apples
For the dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 1/2 tsp dried dill,  salt (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) and honey to taste
Apple Slaw

 

 
Asian Slaw
1 small head of green cabbage
1 small head of purple cabbage
1 – 2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 – 2 Ataulfo mangos, diced small
1/2 tsp fresh ginger juice (or 1/2 tsp dried ginger spice)
10 leaves of fresh mint
For the dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 limes (about 1/4 cup – also can add lime zest if you like) about 1/2 – 1 tsp salt and honey to taste
Asian Slaw
 

I also put together an Italian oil-free salad dressing. (Simply omit the apple-cider vinegar and possibly use more lemon juice to make this oil-free dressing Sadkhin Diet compliant.)

Carrot and Flax Seed Crackers

I’m going to give you the basic recipe…then some ideas on the add-ins to achieve different flavors

Ingredients:

Dehydrator – Before


1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup psyllium husks
2 carrots
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender such as a Vitamix and blend until smooth.
  2. Spread onto teflon sheets of a dehydrator and follow dehydrator’s instructions. I set my Nesco dehydrator at 135 degrees F. 
Note: Sometimes I set higher … depending on how quickly I want to eat these. These can be dehydrated at a temperature lower than 115 degrees F to preserve enzymes and if you still want to consider the crackers to be RAW.
Add-ins for flavoring:
  • ginger and turmeric about (1/8 – 1/4 tsp each)
  • stevia (1/4 tsp), agave*, coconut sugar* or honey* for sweetness (1 tsp)
  • garlic powder and Italian seasonings (1/8 – 1/4 tsp each)*
  • curry and ginger spices (about 1/8 – 1/4 each)
  • taco seasonings (1/4 to 1/2 total in spices) – use a mix or cumin, garlic, chili powder, etc *
  • whole seeds sprinkled o: sesame, chia, sunflower, flax & pumpkin (shown in photos)
*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.
Crispy Carrot and Flax Seed Crackers

Avocado Drink with Basil and Mint

I was browsing my computer this morning and I came across a Vitamix recipe that used milk and sugar in the mix , so I decided to mix it up a bit in a different way for some Real Food goodness and I added a little special touch with the basil and mint addition. This tasted like a milk shake to me…I actually made two servings because the first was so good.

Feel free to adjust to your liking. See more possibilities below.

Ingredients:
¾ cup water
2 TBS nut butter of choice
1 – 2 bananas (depending on how sweet you want it)
½ avocado*, pitted and peeled
1 Date*
3 leaves each of basil and mint
1 cup ice

Optional: Add Stevia (without inulin* or other additives) as an additional sweetener.

*High FODMAP food – remove these ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe. Peanut butter is considered a low FODMAP food. Since almonds should only be consumed in the amount of 10 or less, almond butter would likely be a High FODMAP food. Also, you might be able to tolerate 1/8 of an avocado and I suggest using maple syrup in place of the date.

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into Vitamix in order listed
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend until desired consistency is reached.
Other add-ins or switch-outs:
  • cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin spices in place of basil and mint
  • peaches or mangos in place of bananas (or along with them)
  • nut butter choices: cashew, almond, peanut, sunflower
  • add coconut milk or use in place of water and nut butter
  • chocolate (raw cacao)
  • leave out banana and add Stevia or an additional date as sweetener, plus flax seeds

Spicy Tropical Salad

Ingredients:
2 Altufo mangos
2 peaches, nectarines and/or apricots
1/2 cup strawberries
1 – 2 TBS green onions (or red onions)
3 leaves of fresh basil
green salad mixture as desired
Dash of Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

Oh, and I added a few bits of grapefruit today…

Directions: (Simply add every to a bowl and toss together)

  • Peeled and sliced mangos
  • Chopped peaches, nectarines and/or apricots after removing pits
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Clip salad and basil with scissors into smaller parts
This recipe was inspired by Fully Raw Kristina’s ‘Spicy Mango Basil Salad’ from the Fully Raw Diet book.

No Oil Italian Salad Dressing

Hi everyone. I promised that I would post this recipe and I am fulfilling my promise on the same day! (Amazing!) I had to leave home and get a cubicle at the library in order to focus on doing this, but I really feel that it’s so important for me to share the recipe.

 

So, why would anyone want a no oil salad dressing? (FODMAP FRIENDLY version below)

  • Reduce calories – just 1 TBS of oil contains at least 100 calories.
  • Savings – if you use oils in your salads, you want to use the best possible oils so that you get the best nutritional benefit. Never use hydrogenated oils in your salads because they overload your digestive system. Click here for more information about choosing healthy oils. A healthy, cold-pressed oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, cost more than hydrogenated oils.
  • Difficulty digesting fats. Perhaps you don’t produce enough bile, need to give your gall bladder a rest, or had your gall bladder removed.
  • Eliminate IBS Symptoms (Oils can trigger IBS and acid reflux, (FODMAP FRIENDLY version below)
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar is my top choice)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 – 3 fresh sprigs of parsley
  • 1 tsp raw honey (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 – 2 TBS color bell peppers (or 1/2 – 1 TBS dried)
  • 1 – 2 TBS chia seeds (this will thicken the dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (use an Italian blend or mix single herbs of oregano, rosemary, dill, etc)
  • up to 3/4 tsp salt (I wouldn’t use anymore than that)
  • dash to 1/8 tsp pepper
      optional: I would only use the following when using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix
  • 1/4 of a small apple*, peeled
  • 2 inches of cucumber, peeled
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.  Use as desired.
 

This recipe has been revised to make it more FODMAP Friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar is my top choice)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • 2 – 3 fresh sprigs of parsley
  • 2 – 4 drops of Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 – 2 TBS color bell peppers (or 1/2 – 1 TBS dried)
  • 1 – 2 TBS chia seeds (this will thicken the dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (use an Italian blend or mix single herbs of oregano, rosemary, dill, etc)
  • up to 3/4 tsp salt (I wouldn’t use anymore than that)
  • dash to 1/8 tsp pepper

* If you desire a garlic flavor, the best way is to opt for a modified “low-oil” version and add 1 TBS of a garlic infused oil for flavoring. This would still be low-calorie since you won’t be using the entire recipe on one serving of salad.  

Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.    

Apple Breakfast Bowl

For almost 2 months this has been my daily breakfast. Additionally, I either have a glass of fresh green juice or I use a green powder mixed with water. It’s hydrating, sweet and satisfying. It only requires a little preparation. To make the mornings easier, you can mix all the ingredients the night before, except for the apples (because they oxidize quickly and you want them to be as fresh as possible).
Apple Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
  • 1 large apple, chopped into bite-size pieces (like a Fuji, or two smaller ones) – about 300g
  • Carrots, shredded (about two medium size) – 130 g
  • Celery (1 to 2 stalks) – 50 grams
  • Chia Seeds – 2 TBS, preferably soaked in water
  • 1 TBS Nut Butter (I prefer almond butter)
  • 1 Date, chopped (or an equivalent amount of raisins)
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger, powder – 1/8 tsp (or juice of 1 small knob pressed using garlic press)
  • Shredded Coconut, unsweetened – 3 TBS
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.
Options:
  1. If you need more calories, add more apple, dates (66 calories each) or nut butter (100 calories per TBS).
  2. If you don’t have nut butter, you can simply sprinkle the breakfast with chopped nuts
  3. Add coconut water (or coconut cream – more calories) to make it easier to mix in the nut butter.
  4. When I’m really in a hurry or I am traveling, I simply use my favorite Larabar in place of the nuts/nut butter, dates and coconut.

Calories and nutrients calculated using http://www.caloriecount.com/

Texas Caviar

This is a new one for me. I have never heard anyone call “salsa” by any other name. I have lived in Texas for 45 years! Texas Caviar – never heard of it.
So I did my best. The only think different about this salsa is that I didn’t chop/puree the tomatoes in my food processor. Actually, I feel that this version is more like a salad. 
Here are the ingredients I used. Feel free to use the proportions that you like best.
Ingredients:
  • Red Onion
  • Green Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Corn (roasted on stove top, a nice addition)
  • Cilantro
  • Black Beans (cooked, leave out for a total raw meal)
  • Lime Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (just a splash will do)
  • Jalapeno (or Cayenne Pepper)
  • Salt/Pepper to Taste
Directions:
  1. Chop fresh vegetables and toss together with remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes for flavors to combine.
  3. Eat with tortilla chips or use to top a fresh “Tex-Mex” salad.

Kale Chips “Your Way”

Potato chips are not currently in my diet because potatoes should be avoided on the GAPS, SCD and Candida Free Diets. So, when I want something crunchy other than my homemade crackers, I make kale chips. I’m saving so much money by making them on my own also.

Additionally, I prefer to make them myself because I know exactly what I’ve put into them and I can “mix it up” based on my own preference. Ideally for best results, you should use a dehydrator – but an oven will work too.

These are YOUR home-made Kale Chips. So many of the ingredients listed below are optional including the nuts, but they do add a special crunch when used in a recipe. Add seasonings/spices to taste and any combination that you like (keep them light, will be stronger once dehydrated) Listed below are some that I use often.
Ingredients:
  • Dehydrator (or Oven set to it’s lowest setting. 200 degrees Celsius is the max temperature)
  • 1 bunch of washed kale, not necessary to fully dry the leaves
  • (I’ve used both “common” kale and “lacinato” kale)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (Most commonly used ones: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds. Nuts are optional, but most commercial recipes use them to create a denser crunchiness.)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • turmeric
  • cayenne pepper
  • onion powder
  • curry powder
  • 1/4 cup (yellow, orange or red) bell peppers or tomato (these add liquid to the mixture in addition to the oil)
  • salt to taste
  • nutritional yeast will give it a cheesy flavor – use about 2 TBS or even more 
Instructions:
  1. Add everything except for kale to a blender or food processor.
  2. Taste your recipe. Remember the flavor will be a bit stronger when dehydrated.
  3. Add just enough water, if needed, to enable you to pour your flavor mixture over the washed kale – kale does not need to be dried. The water will evaporate.
  4. Massage the mixture into the kale. They might begin to look a bit wilted, but that’s OK.
  5. Spread the kale onto the dehydrator and dehydrate between 105 and 135 degrees Celsius.
  6. (At 135 degrees Celsius, the kale will be ready in 2 – 3 hours. Yet, many raw food proponents suggest keeping temperature under 115 degrees Celsius.)
Notes:
Here is one specific flavor combination that I enjoyed recently:
1/4 cup walnuts + 3 TBS almond meal (mix with water to form nut butter/paste)

Other recipe ideas:1. Nutritional yeast is really tasty with cashew nuts plus other seasonings
2. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (keep whole) with coconut oil (no olive oil) plus other seasonings 3. Add Stevia for sweetness (perhaps if you are going for a B-B-Q flavor combination)

 
ANOTHER OPTION: You can add some Kale to one of the flavor mixtures which includes nuts and spread the paste onto a baking sheet to make homemade crunchy crackers. By adding nutritional yeast and a little cayenne, you just might end up with some "Cheez-It" type snacks.

My dehydrator is by Nesco. I purchased it from Kohl’s for about $35 (year 2012) or less when I used my Kohl’s coupon. I haven’t had the privilege of trying an Excalibur dehydrator. But this one does just fine.