A Guide to Feeding our Future

By: Alison Bigg, Chef, Mother, Artist – Victoria BC, Canada

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My kids and I are having a blast cooking together.  This is the age to learn how to cook using intuition, trust in yourself and also how to learn from making mistakes. Every week it’s my kids’ turn to make a meal.  I invite you follow me on their journey as they learn how to make healthy food from scratch.  Maybe your own children will be inspired to do the same with you?!

This week Oliva made marinated tofu, buckwheat noodle salad and steamed edamame for dinner.  YUM!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package medium organic tofu
  • 1 package frozen edamame (in the shell)
  • 1 small package buckwheat noodles
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup panko breading or GF bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup pure sesame oil (plus a dash)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tamari or Braag’s sauce
  • 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1″ fresh grated ginger
  • 1-2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 bunches (lots!) of fresh herbs, lightly chopped ie: mint, cilantro, chives, basil.
  • dash sea or Himalayan salt

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Directions:

  1. Slice medium organic tofu into 10 1/2 inch rectangles.
  2. Put them in a bowl with the tamari or braggs, 1/3 cup pure sesame oil and grated fresh ginger.  ( Save the marinade for the buckwheat noodle salad.)
  3. Coat the tofu with marinade then cover with mixed panko and nutritional yeast.
  4. Put frying pan on medium heat and heat 1 tbsp of cooking oil.
  5. When hot gently lay down the tofu. Brown on both sides and keep warm in the oven.
  6. In large pot, boil water. Add frozen edamame, in shell, and cook until tender but not squishy. 5 minutes.
  7. With a colander take out the beans but save water for noodles.
  8. Put beans in bowl and toss with a dash of pure sesame oil and salt. Keep warm.
  9. Using bean water, cook one small package of buckwheat noodles just until done. Don’t overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  10. Place in a bowl with left over tofu marinade, maple syrup and rice wine vinegar or lemon juice. Add lots of  chopped herbs.
  11. Add one sliced red pepper and one or two grated carrot.

 

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By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

cherries for the month of July

So excited about cherries this month! It’s our first summer in our new house, and we have 3 cherry trees in our backyard. We weren’t sure if they would produce anything, as they hadn’t been maintained previously. Also, they were just sooooo tall that, we thought most of the cherries would be out of our reach and only accessible to our winged friends. Luckily for us, all 3 produced beautiful cherries and with a ladder, we harvested many pounds from the 1st one to produce. We let the birds have the rest. 😉

This was mostly last month, but many places in N. America are beginning their cherry season now. Victoria is a tad early. We’re still not certain the variety of these cherries; we’re thinking they’re ‘Bing’ or ‘Sandra Rose’. (If anyone knows, feel free to comment).

In any case, onto the lovely things about cherries I’d like to share with you today…

ANTIOXIDANT rich! Cherries are one of the most potent antioxidant fruits available to most of us in this region. What this means for you is that they can help reverse the affects of cancer causing free-radical damage and prevent future harm. They are also rich in fibre, helping to bind to toxins in the body and help eliminate them through defecation. The rich minerals in cherries also help with this process by softening the elimination pathways. These minerals are Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium. They actually contain MORE potassium than strawberries do! Talk about a refreshing summer fruit! Cherries are a great post workout snack, helping to replenish those lost minerals and decrease muscle aches and pains.

chopped cherries in a heart

Cherries are known for reducing swelling and inflammation, particularly good for reducing symptoms of gout and diabetes, as well as the risk of stroke. They are generally a great fat buster. So munch on some cherries to shed a few pounds too!

The awesome thing about cherries is that they’re great for insomniacs, or anyone with any sleeping disturbances. Naturally high in melatonin, a hormone produced by our pineal glands that helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle, cherries make a great sleep retriever.

So, after we picked all of these cherries, snacked on some, shared some with our friends and family I then made some cherry chocolate muffins. Mmmmmm…. For me this was a great way of storing easy snacks in the freezer for after the baby comes and I don’t have time for baking. 😉

Feel free to try this easy recipe with your local cherries and reap the amazing summer benefits now and in the winter months too, if you freeze.

CHERRY MUFFINS:

Luscious cherry or dark chocolate cherry???

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Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour (or grind your own oats)
  • 2 cups sprouted wheat or spelt flour, or your favorite all purpose gf flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup raw brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
  • ¾ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1¼ cup milk, almond milk or coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 2 ½ cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped coarse
  • ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and sweetener in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together milk or dairy-free alternative. Add butter (or coconut oil) and vanilla extract. Stir.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in cherries and 3/4 of the dark chocolate.
  5. Spoon into 9″ greased or paper-lined muffin tins and top with remaining chocolate. Fill them up nicely for good muffin tops, or not so much for little muffins.  (I did them smaller for a more freezer friendly size).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve warm with butter, non-dairy alternative or enjoy plain. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh – transfer to freezer after a day or 2.

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

This month’s feature is cool and refreshing for the summertime! Dole has recently created frozen chocolate covered fruit as a low fat treat. They come in flavours of strawberry, Banana, Pineapple.  They are low in sugar and surprisingly satisfying! While the fruit may not be organic, and the chocolate may have ‘traces of dairy’ but is generally safe for most people. As a compromise food, this scores better than high fat, high sugar frozen bars, etc. In the grocery aisle, in my opinion, this product would be the winner. Enjoy!

Coconut Creamsicles

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal, QC

creamsicle

This simple recipe is both brain and body friendly, and is totally guilt free! Coconut milk is full of healthy fat for proper brain function; fresh orange juice is a great source of vitamin C;  and raw honey is chalk full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and friendly immune-supporting bacteria. So have some guilt-free fun with your kids and create these cold sensations 🙂

Yields:

6-8 Creamsicles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 TBSP raw honey
  • ¼ tsp orange extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Let set for 30-60 minutes; then add popsicle sticks.
  3. Freeze for another 4-6 hours or until frozen.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, run some warm water along your popsicle mold to loosen the popsicles and serve immediately.

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

PC gf pancake

I stumbled across the boxes of gluten free pancake mix in the organic section of the Superstore one day. I looked at all the different ingredient lists and finally settled upon this particular box. “How bad can it be?” I thought … I should have wondered “How GOOD could it be?” These pancakes were every bit as satisfying as a ‘regular’ batch of pancakes could be! Naturally, pancake batter can be used for far more than just pancakes … it can become the coating on onion rings or a dumpling-like crust on pot pie, etc.

Celiacs have spent decades without the luxury of custom-made gluten-free boxed foods such as this. I am sure that now many people are rejoicing over the increase in products on the shelves out there designed to better meet their needs. As a non-celiac person reducing the amount of gluten eaten in my household, I am happy to have made this delicious find!

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

radishes for the month of june

Fresh radishes dusted with a tad of dirt, straight from the garden are my favorite!  Almost as good as a juicy carrot.  Some people think radishes are too spicy or pungent for their tastes and they prefer them cooked, shredded fine or pickled.  Others, like me, crave that detoxifying nourishing root.

The pungent spicy flavour that some of you may be adverse to is due to the fact that radishes are a part of the cruciferous (or brassica) family. All of those slightly bitter greens, like mustard greens or cabbages like kohlrabi, contain phytochemicals that produce that strong flavour. For those with some certain hormonal conditions like thyroid issues, it’s imperative to cook all vegetables from this family.  Doing so removes the oxalic acids that cause this flavour and that can directly block your thyroid from functioning optimally. For those not concerned about this hormonal disruptor, munch on!  If you are cautious or struggling to re-balance hormones, the recipe at the bottom of this post is a great simple way for you to enjoy the benefits of radishes while eliminating that thyroid-blocking agent, and pungency.

Medicinal Benefits

Radishes are known to be protective against many chronic or acute toxicity conditions.  The original radish was actually deep purple or black.  This colour is known to be more powerful in promoting the efficacy of those phytonutrient warriors battling our free-radicals and flushing excess chemicals and hormones from our systems.  For this I am grateful! Thank you, radish!  These little friends are great used in detoxification and cleansing protocols.  Also a super hero in fighting and preventing many cancer battles and protecting against common colds and flues.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we look at the connections between certain flavour profiles and which organs they are related to.  Pungent is related to the large intestines and lungs.  It’s that pungency that exists in many of these cruciferous foods.  Think about a strong mustard or wasabi, which are also pungent foods, and how they can really get your respiratory system flowing, right?!  Same thing here…some are just a tad gentler than others, depending on variety and quantity, but radishes are known to do the same thing.  They’ll help strengthen and tone the lungs, helping clear blood vessels of toxicity and moving the blood-circulating oxygen into our respiratory systems.  They will also stimulate appetite and improve metabolism by stimulating the digestive system.

Radishes are also known as a balancing or neutral food in TCM.  Certain foods are considered yin or yang, hot or cold, masculine or feminine… and radishes are considered balancing because they are neither hot or cold, or just enough of hot and cold to balance itself out.  We often refer to root vegetables as a balancing and calming food. Some, but not all of them are considered balanced in the TCM approach.  To someone like me, this makes radishes awesome!  A real super food!

Recipe: Roasted Radishes and Brussel Sprouts

Here’s a simple radish recipe you can use with any other cruciferous vegetable.  This time of year, instead of brussel sprouts, cauliflower may be more available to you and is a great replacement in this recipe.

roasted brussels and radishes
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ½ pound red radishes, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup of walnuts or pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, reduced by at least half, or until thick

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
  2. Cut sprouts from stem, cut large ones in half, peel stem and cut into similar sized chunks. Toss in large bowl with coconut oil, rosemary and radishes.
  3.  Space on a large roasting pan and place in top rack of the oven. If you have a convection oven, turn it on, watching they don’t burn. This will cut your cooking time in half.
  4. Roast until brussel leaves are brown and crisp and heads are tender and brown. Radishes will be lightly browned but still crunchy.
  5. Remove and plate.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with nuts or seeds.

By: Hollie M. Hunt-Last, D. C’Ed. ROHP/RHN – Moncton, NB

coconut cream frontcocnut cream back

Dairy FREE Whipped cream in a can…that is actually BETTER than the real thing! Can you believe it? I hardly did! This was a real find. I was able to find this a few times on the refrigerated shelf of an Atlantic Superstore (Loblaws). Since then, it has been more of a challenge to locate. I am hoping that more people buy it and it becomes more popular. I would not claim this as a super food – but it is a great alternative for those who are dairy intolerant and wish to have just a little cream on their fruit cup!

The only thing I will say that you need to know is … You must shake it very well before each use. The coconut cream is quite thick. So unless you force it to the top of the can, you will use up all of the pressurized air in the can and the cream will remain stuck inside. Once you learn this trick, you are good to go!