Monday, July 28, 2008

Hip Hemp

Aloha, it's a new week! New beginnings and new food to be tasted.. So my skin has not taken too kindly to the estrogen-rich soy I've been eating. I have had soy yogurt, soy pudding and soy milk! Quite a bit of it too! Lately my smoothies were becoming soy yogurt based, so this morning I was almost forced keep my fast. Fortunately, I pulled it together and realized I can still make amazing smoothies avec sans soy! Today I was craving blueberries so I made a Hip Hemp smoothie thats still fruity, creamy and oh so tasty! I used my new favorite protein powder called Nutiva Hemp Shake Berry Pomegranate thats organic, non-dairy, gluten-free and 100% soy-free! You would never guess where I found it.. 24 hour fitness! They also sell Chocolate and Amazon Acai shake flavors and for around $14.95.

Hip Hemp
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 c frozen raspberries
1 T almond butter
1 T sesame tahini
2 T ground flaxseed
2 T Nutiva® Hemp Shake Berry Pomegranate™*
1 c hemp milk
1 T agave nectar
2 T golden raisins
handful of ice cubes

*Ingredients: Organic hemp protein, superberry blend (organic mesquite pods, organic strawberries, organic blueberries, organic raspberries, organic cherries, organic pomegranates, organic Sambazon® a├žai, organic goji berries, organic guar gum, inulin from chicory root), organic Fair Trade Certified evaporated cane juice, organic berry flavor. Contains tree nuts.

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into one large glass or two medium size glasses. Enjoy! (Side note: This is a super thick smoothie so a spoon might be best!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paired with Pear

Mmmm! This morning I made another Dreamy smoothie.. pairing notes of lavender, honey and vanilla with pears and green grapes.  The perfect blend of creamy sweetness and exquisite flavor.  Lavender is one of my favorite herbs!  It's floral quality really kicks it to the forefront in a dish.  It is especially complimentary in sweets like lavender sugar, lavender tea, lavender chocolate, lavender coffee etc.. Fresh lavender is THE best! Here in the islands there is a place called Ali'i Kula Lavender on Maui that covers your every lavender need from postcards to lip balm.

Pale Pear smoothie

1 c frozen sliced pear
1/2 c frozen green grapes
handful ice cubes
1/3 c soy yogurt
1 1/2 T cashew butter
1 T honeycomb
3/4 c vanilla hemp milk
1/2 t vanilla bean paste
2 pinches of lavender buds

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into two tall, medium sized glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of lavender. Enjoy!
(Side note: You may have to stop blending a few times and stir up the mixture so everything gets evenly blended.)

Substitutions for..
green grapes~add more pear
soy yogurt~yogurt of choice
honeycomb~regular or whipped honey
vanilla hemp milk~ vanilla soy milk
vanilla bean paste~pure vanilla extract or 1/4 t vanilla beans scraped from pod
cashew butter~replace with 1 T sesame tahini

*Lavender has amazing healing qualities.  It's wonderful for soothing the mind and body as well as renewing the spirit and soul.  It enhances sensuality; bringing awareness to ourselves and tuning us into our inner being. ;-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kick it with da Kiwis

I'm heading to New Zealand in a few weeks, so this afternoon I sipped a Kiwi Kooler smoothie. It's light, sweet, tangy and will be disappear before the sun can slip behind the clouds.  I made enough for two, so I put the other half in a container to freeze as sorbet for another sunny day.

Kiwi Kooler smoothie
3 peeled kiwis
1 c honeydew melon cubed
1 c or about 14-15 frozen green grapes
1/3 c pineapple cubed
1/4 c soy yogurt
1/4 c coconut milk
handful ice cubes
*1/4 c water
1/2 t poppy seeds

(*if needed; or replace 1/4 c coconut milk and 1/4 c water with 1/2 c lite coconut milk) 

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth.  Pour into 2 chilled glasses and serve with straws. Cheers! 

(Side note: This smoothie does have some texture because of the grape skins and pineapple strings.)

Substitutions for:
honeydew melon~pear
coconut milk~vanilla milk of choice
poppyseeds~just leave out..

You don't say!--------------------------------------------------------------
-Did you know kiwifruit was orginally called "chinese gooseberry" (yes, almost everything came out of China!) and then after that it was a "melonette?" 
-It's actually named kiwifruit, although commonly referred to as just "kiwi."
-Kiwifruit is high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and a protein-dissolving enzyme actinidin as well as being a natural blood thinner.
-Italy produces the most kiwifruit followed by China (smirk) and then New Zealand.
-There is a special tool called a "spife" used to eat kiwi. It has a knife on one end and spoon on the other to first cut the fruit in half and then scoop out the flesh.

-------------------------------------------------------------(He didn't say...)

I'm heading to the North island of New Zealand next month, so I'll be sharing all my culinary experiences here on my blog as well as any recipes I can nab from friendly, unsuspecting kiwis (the people, not the fruit silly!)  I have heard much about Pavlova, so I might have to bite the pill (lactase pill that is..) and just try some, aye? ~Cheers mate!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A date with chocolate

I remember when my mom first wanted me to try dates. I was like "eww, yuck what are those wrinkly brown things?!" But after some persuasion I tried and one.. and then another one.. and "ohh these are kinda good!" maybe just one more.  Eating dates is almost like sticky brown sugar in a more solidified food form. Its satisfies the sweet tooth and the desire to chew.  It's like health food store candy. ;-) They are basically pure sugar so pace yourself and don't eat too many at a time or you'll have a sugar crash.  Medjool dates are my favorite because they are the largest, most moist dates and supposedly at one time reserved only for Morrocan royalty. This may be why medjool dates are the priciest, so for this recipe I used smaller organic deglet dates.

A date with chocolate (smoothie)
~serving up pleasure for two

mmmmm...nutty, sweet, sensational and chewy?

1 1/2 Large frozen banana
4-5 finely chopped/sliced dates*
1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 T almond butter
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t maple syrup
3/4 cup chocolate soymilk
1 T ground flaxseed
handful of ice cubes

*I thinly sliced my dates before tossing in the blender and consequently there were small chewy bits in the smoothie. I loved it! But if you are not too keen on anything you can't suck through a straw, put the dates in a food processor before transferring to the blender.

~When freezing bananas for smoothies first cut each up into 2-3 inch pieces before putting in a sealed bag/container.  Large pieces of frozen bananas can be hard to break up (even for the blender!) I usually estimate about 4 pieces equals one large banana.
~If you are using maple syrup in a recipe, NEVER ever use imitation or artificial maple syrup.  That is unacceptable.  If you don't have pure maple syrup, just leave it out of the recipe or use honey or agave nectar.
~This recipe makes enough for two large glasses so please share!

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into two chilled glasses and serve with spoons. Enjoy!

Substitutions for:
chocolate soymilk~chocolate hempmilk, chocolate almond milk or chocolate dairy milk
almond butter~peanut butter
maple syrup~no need, just make it without.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A sweet complexity.

So this morning I was itching to measure out the ingredients for a smoothie I am calling the BLC Combo. Banana Lemon Coconut. sigh. Take a moment to imagine the possibilities.. Its the beginning of my Dreamy smoothies.  I call them Dreamy because they come from my daydreaming about possible flavor explosions. Dreamy smoothies are creamy, delightful, delicious, delectable, and desirable. (You can add in another D adjective after you try it out!)  These particular flavors I have been keeping in mind for a cupcake, but as I am not baking much at the moment.. I have left out the eggs, flour, baking soda and salt and tossed the rest in the blender! It's more of a dessert smoothie, as its takes time to distinguish all the flavors in one spoonful (I ate mine with a little spoon to savor it and make it last longer) ....or slurp! 

BLC Combo smoothie

1 large frozen banana 
handful of ice cubes
1/2 c lite coconut milk
1/4 cup soy yogurt
2 T cashew butter
1 t honeycomb
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 t grated fresh ginger
1/2 t vanilla bean paste
1 t poppy seeds*
~unsweetened coconut flakes to garnish

~When juicing citrus fruits you always want to "roll" them first. Apply firm pressure with one or two hands and roll several times (3-5 is good) across a hard, flat surface before slicing in half and juicing.
~If you are squeezing the juice of the lemon out by hand, do this into a separate dish and then pour into blender to keep out any pesky seeds.
~Buy a good grater/zester~! I have a Microplane Grater that will literally grate almost anything including your fingers! Here it is for less than $15 on amazon ...Microplane Grater

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute.) Pour into a tall glass and top with a pinch of the coconut flakes.  Enjoy! 

(*side note: If you are going to be taking a drug test within 48 hours do not consume more than 5 glasses of this poppy happy smoothie. ) ;-) Just joking.

Substitutions for:

coconut milk: unfortunately some of us are allergic to coconut so you could use evaporated milk or cream.

cashew butter: Not too common! I found this at the natural health food store and was pleasantly surprised at how much I have forgotten the scrumptious taste of cashews! It's a little on the drier side for a nut butter but light and delicious.  A suitable replacement would be almond butter.

lemon: Cut off guard and missing the lemons everyone else is getting in life?? Just grab an orange! You don't lose the citrus flavor and there is still harmony.

fresh ginger: So sometimes when we forget about that hunk of ginger we bought at the store.. it shrivels up and starts sprouting! The remedy? Crystallized ginger. Its shelf life is almost forever and its perfect for using in desserts and sweets. Just slice up thinly and toss it in!

honeycomb: regular honey silly! Or you could use agave nectar.

vanilla bean paste: I love this because it gives everything this "gourmet" look. But it tastes the same as pure vanilla extract so go ahead and use the later.

~I'll try to post up some picture to accompany the recipes within a week or so. ;-) Please let me know if do try out the recipes and what you think.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breakfast Berry Bliss

Aloha fren~
I've decided to start a blog for my kitchen creations and gourmet delights I find around the islands.  I've been eating a non-dairy and gluten free diet for almost 3 months now because of a sore tummy. I just got off a 5 day cleanse this past weeks so I am trying to make food that makes my tummy and tongue happy.  I have been experimenting with smoothies for a few weeks now with a the goal of a creamy non-dairy deliciousness.  Today I made a wonderful berry smoothie that was just the right combination of fresh sweetness, creamy texture and wholesome healthiness.  Perfect to make to go as well! Just pour straight into a tall, insulated coffee cup from the blender.

Berry Bliss

about 1/4 c frozen blueberries
about 1/4 c frozen strawberries
1/4 c plain yogurt* (*I used soy but any yogurt is fine) 
1 heaping T almond butter
1 1/2 T ground flaxseed
1 T maple syrup* (*optional; it is a LGI sweetener)
3/4 to 1 c of hempmilk* (*any kind of milk will work)
small handful of ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend about 2 minutes until smooth consistency. Enjoy!

*~This recipes makes about one large serving. If you want to thin it out a bit add more ice cubes and/or milk.
*~LGI; Low Glycemic Index, which means it takes longer to metabolize than most sugars to metabolize in your body.

Possible replacements:
Lets face it.. not everyone is stocked like a natural health food store so feel free to add to or change the recipe.
soy yogurt~dairy or goat yogurt
almond butter~peanut butter
ground flaxseed~flaxseed oil
maple syrup~agave nectar
hempmilk~soy milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, dairy, or goat milk