Cilantro, some people love it and some say…leave it!

photo(3)Here’s why I love it:
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an annual plant with a similar but more delicate appearance than parsley.   I enjoy cooking with cilantro because all parts of the plant are edible so you don’t need to worry about picking off the leaves and discarding the stems, which can be time consuming. Just wash it add it to whatever you are making.  I do tend to discard the longer stems if its easy.

Cilantro has a cultivation history that dates back to at least 1500 B.C., as Sanskrit writings from that time indicate.  Isn’t that amazing?   Vitamin K is one of cilantro’s major contributors to your health.  Vitamin K supports the coagulation of blood in a healthy way and Vitamin K is also known to have anti-inflammatory powers that help those suffering from arthritis & other joint pain.

In my opinion, the most enticing benefit to incorporating cilantro into as many meals as possible is its ability to be a natural chelator.  It can potentially help to remove, or chelate, heavy metals from the bloodstream. These heavy metals can wreak havoc on your body in many ways so learning how to gently detox from these metals is something that your mind & body can greatly benefit from.  Cilantro is a rather inexpensive way to embark on this detoxifying journey.

If awareness is the key, then we need clarity to become more aware.  Therefore, if detoxing heavy metals from our bodies & brains can bring about more clarity and peel some of the toxic layers off – than I say, “Bring on the cilantro and the let the awareness shine through!”

To learn more about cilantro chelation, click here.

If you just want to read an awesome article on cilantro & liver health by one of my favorite teachers, Andrea Nakayama of http://www.Replenishpdx.com then click here.

I participated in a blood-sugar detox with Andrea.  She had teamed up with knowledgeable and awesome chef, Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Her website is http://www.dietdessertndogs.com

Ricki provided us with an array of delicious recipes that we were able to enjoy during our detox and after.  During that course I was introduced to Ricki’s amazing website and talents.   This website features healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly recipes.  Here is a link to her recipe for Serendipitous Black Bean Spread.

I usually enjoy this spread with cucumbers and carrots for either lunch or a snack.  Also, great idea to take hiking and it is easy travel food.  Enjoy!

Magnificent Raw Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

photo(1)It’s really a mind-blowing dessert!

This is simply delicious, refreshing and extremely satiating.  I have been making this recipe for years after being gifted the cookbook, I am Grateful.  I used to make it and pour it in small ramekins, lately I have been pouring the mousse in a larger ceramic dish and bringing it to small gatherings.

If you are looking for a sweet treat that is also full of healthy fats and nutrients – this recipe will answer your chocolate desires.

Here is a link to the Chocolate Mousse recipe as posted on The Recipe Renovator website.  There are some great recipes listed on that site – enjoy looking through and trying out something new.  See my renovations to the recipe asterisked below.

You will notice a few unusual ingredients listed in the mousse recipe, such as Irish Moss.  I bought a bag from Mountain Rose Herbs. The bag of Irish Moss that I purchased has moss that is already cut into small pieces.  It has lasted me for a quite a while since a little Irish Moss goes a long way.  It is very important to soak it for 12 to 24 hours for ideal results.
 
The other items can be purchased at your local health food store.
 
*Note: I have not tried the powdered Irish Moss yet – but a friend of mine did and she says it works even better.
 
**Instead of the coconut oil that is listed in the recipe I use coconut butter (you can warm the jar in some hot water if it is to hard to scoop out, then add as is)  I find this to make the consistency a bit creamier and it is what the original recipe calls for.  I also use Pacific Brand Hemp Milk (original flavor) instead of the almond milk.
 
***For the mint flavoring I add 2-3 drops of Young Living Peppermint essential oil at the very end of blending.  Personally, I love the combination of chocolate and mint.  This is completely optional and it is no big deal if you omit it.  Be sure to use a peppermint extract or  essential oil that notes on the bottle that it is safe for dietary consumption.  Please keep in mind that many essential oils brands are not meant for dietary consumption.
 
****I use maple syrup in place of agave nectar.  If you want to learn some interesting facts about agave nectar’s sad truth, click here.
 
It’s worth knowing that agave nectar is not the healthy alternative sweetener that many of us thought it was.
 
Enjoy this decadent dessert and let me know if you try making it.  Cheers to sweet and delicious desserts that are sans white refined sugar or flour products!

Kale – Packed with Power!

kaleMost likely you have heard about kale being a shining star amongst veggies. It’s true and that is because kale is a powerhouse of packed nutrients. Kale is rich in Vitamin K, A, C, B6, folate, fiber, manganese, copper, tryptophan, calcium, potassium, lutein (high in chlorophyll – which reduces inflammation.) Click here to check out how kale can be supportive in achieving healthy looking & feeling skin.

This article is also useful in learning more about skin care and kale’s influence on healthy & glowing skin.

There are several kale salad recipes out there but this one is my favorite and it was created by a dear friend of mine, Tacy. I have played with it and made some substitutions, you are encouraged to do the same!

 Anytime Kale Salad

3 cups finely sliced raw kale
1 cup shredded raw beets
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ lb. goat feta cheese (optional)

Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
1 heaping Tblsp kalamata olive spread (tapenade)

Thoroughly wash raw kale, cut out the center stem, break into chunks and put through a salad spinner. Next, slice the kale into thin strips and place in a large bowl.
Peel raw beets, cut into chunks and shred in a food processor. Place in bowl with kale.
Sprinkle salt over the kale and beets. Using hands, tenderly wedge the salt in for one minute. This has a “pickling” effect, and takes some of the bitter taste out of the kale.
Add walnuts.

Mix together ingredients for dressing. Place salad and dressing in refrigerator until ready to eat. Before serving, add feta cheese and dressing, to taste. Yum!

 The picture shows kale & beets from our garden (thanks to my husband and amazing gardener, Dave.) In my book, it doesn’t get any better 🙂

 ***Note: double this recipe if you are taking to a friend’s house, it goes quickly.

Nutrient Rich Granola Bites

granolaThe journey of health and wellness as a Holistic Health Coach is consistently opening new doors & opportunities. The latest nutritional information & research is often popping up in my inbox and I often experiment with new concepts and decide if the most current philosophy resonates with my truth and my individual & family needs. I do feel that it is crucial to eliminate as much processed food from my family’s diet as possible. So many products (even the “healthy” versions) are filled with sugar substitutes and other fillers that make for a longer shelf life.

So, when I find a recipe like the one I stumbled upon from The Tasty Alternative, I stick with it and make it work for my family by eliminating the allergens and adding other nutrient dense substitutes.

Here is the original recipe: The Tasty Alternative Hemp Seed Granola Bites

  • I substituted almond butter for the cashew butter because Jaiden is allergic to cashews.
  • I also did the same with switching out pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds.
  • One batch I added some unsweetened shredded coconut flakes and added dried cherries – YUM!

Enjoy with a glass of Pacific brand hemp milk. I prefer the original flavor because it does not include the additive carrageenan. To find out more about carrageenan and why you want to avoid it, please click here.

***note the Native Forest brand coconut milk has a BPA-free lining in their cans***