Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recipe: Arugula-Cashew Spread

Week 2 of my class on healthy living and whole food, we're talking about getting more greens and plants into our diet.  This is a a lot like pesto but it doesn't have any cheese, and when you taste it you won't even miss it.  We also made home made hummus, with garbanzo beans that we'd soaked and cooked until tender.  This is a link to the recipe I've posted before.  

One day last summer we went to a restaurant in Irvine called Native Foods Cafe for a cooking demonstration, this recipe was one of the things they served.  They called it a crudité but it’s really more of a spread or pesto.  I’ve made it a few times and it’s excellent as a pesto on spaghetti squash or pasta or as a dip for crackers or vegetables.


Arugula-Cashew Spread

3 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (I used Braggs)
2 cloves of garlic
6 cups of arugula or baby spinach or a combination of both
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
dash of fresh ground pepper
dash of red chili pepper (optional)
In a food processor, pulse the cashews, nutritional yeast and garlic, so that the ingredients are mixed but the cashews are still crunchy. Empty into a medium sized bowl and set aside. In the food processor, add the olive oil and lemon juice first, then add the greens. Pulse to blend well. Mix the two together and add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or flat bread. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Water and snacks and a Recipe for Cocoa Bites

So, for the first night of our class on healthy living and whole food we're talking about water and snacks.  There's a lot of differing opinions about how much water you should drink each day, 8 glasses for most people is not enough.  I typically drink 5 water bottles a day (23.6 oz) which is almost 120 oz, so that's about an ounce per pound for me.  That's in addition to any tea, coffee, or smoothies that I might have during the day and I still get dehydrated sometimes, especially during the summer.

As for snacks, my friends laugh at me because I always have some kind of a snack in my purse.  I find that most people end up eating something unhealthy or going through a drive through because they're starving and don't have a snack with them.  If I don't have access to a frig my favorite go to's are Kind bars or Larabars.  They're gluten free, have a very short ingredient list and are very convenient.  If you're looking for an easy, home made snack both of these are perfect.  (The picture is of the cocoa bites)

Peanut Butter Balls


1 c oatmeal
2/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 c ground flax seeds or wheat germ
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract


Mix together honey, nut butter, vanilla, and chia seeds.
Add the oatmeal and flax seeds or wheat germ. Roll in coconut or chocolate chips. Enjoy.

Cocao Bites


1 cup raw seeds or nuts of choice (I used sunflower, flax seeds, and walnuts)
1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1-3 tbsp water (I used 3)
1/4 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips*
cocoa powder, sesame seeds, or shredded coconut, optional for coating


Place seeds/nuts in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Pulse in cocoa, vanilla, and salt.
Add in the chopped dates and water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together nicely.
Process until all ingredients are distributed evenly.
Pulse in the cacao nibs or chocolate chips.
Roll pieces of the dough into small, tablespoon-sized balls. Optional: roll them in the cocoa powder, shredded coconut, sesame seeds or any other toppings of choice. Refrigerate or freeze for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

*Cacao powder and cacao nibs are vegan and raw