Friday, December 2, 2016

Avocado Cashew Cream

Eating plant-based doesn’t mean you need to give up your favorite foods. I love chips and salsa with sour cream and guacamole, but sour cream doesn't fit into a plant based diet.

Using soaked cashews instead of sour cream will help give your dips that creamy taste you find from adding sour cream, but without all that bad fat. Instead, you'll get loads of the good unsaturated and monounsaturated fats along with heaps of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which have all shown to be beneficial to your body, especially your heart. Research has demonstrated that people who consume at least one handful of nuts four times a week reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by 40% when following a balanced diet.

So why not try this Avocado Cashew Cream next time you're craving some chips and dip. This dip will even surprise your most carnivorous of friends. Try it as a dip or even as a sauce on your favorite Mexican Dish, like my Black Bean Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 
1 avocado
2-3 garlic cloves
1 lemon or lime, juiced
1-2 small chilis
handful coriander/cilantro (about ½ cup)
1 cup water 
salt to taste (~½ tsp)

How to make cashew cream…

  1. Soaking cashews helps soften them and makes your Avocado Cream very creamy. I soaked the cashews overnight, or when in a rush as little as 20-minutes in hot, not boiling, water. 
  2. Add all the ingredients to a NutriBullet, high-speed blender, or food processor. No special equipment needed for this recipe.
  3. Blend until smooth- you may need to add more water depending on how thick or thin you want the cream.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Soup: The next greatest diet or just another fad?

“Nutrient dense power meals wherever you go, feed, not starve your body, nourish your body… Incorporating delicious soups into your everyday diet is easy with Soupier.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner soups available to your door? No, this isn’t some kind of new advertising gimmick, this is Soupure, a California based company promoting a healthy diet by consuming only soup. The next big diet fad, or is this just soup, something people have enjoyed for centuries and California is just catching on?

Souping diets, or cleanse as the company advertises, are becoming the next greatest diet fad since juicing; The only difference, you’re getting the fiber that is lost in juicing diets, and wasn’t that the problem with the juice diet?

Smoothies seemed to fill that gap, but then everyone complained about how much sugar is in smoothies. So soup seems the next logical step in our diet crazed minds.

Using soup to cleanse or heal the body isn’t anything new. Soup dates back to 4000 B.C, and was widely used for its restorative or healing powers of the body. Even before the age of modern medicine, soup was used as remedies, and has continued to be used for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). If you think about it, we turn to chicken soup when we are sick to ease our symptoms of the cold and flu. Soup has been used to heal and restore our bodies for centuries, so why are we now calling it the next best diet?

Recent research has supported that having soup before a meal will help a person feel satiated, (that means feel full) in turn, decreasing hunger, making you eat less. This is good right? Well of course it is if losing weight by eating less is your goal, but there’s only thing missing- Variety of food, and in some cases chewing!  

If you goal is to lose weight, then enjoying soup before a meal is a great way to help you feel full, and may reduce the amount of food you eat during the meal. Soup will also increase the nutritional density of your meal, which is great for your body. But before you get caught up in the hype of this latest diet fad, which can end up costing you hundreds of dollars, ask yourself this one question…

Can you see yourself eating only soup for your meal every day, for the rest of your life?

If the answer is no, then skip this latest diet fad, save your money and just enjoy soup.

Now that the weather is cooling down, homemade soups are a great addition to your weekly menu. I always make extra so I have enough to take for lunch, or have as an afternoon snack to keep me fueled while chauffeuring my kids to all of their after school activities.

My kids love Butternut Squash, and we enjoy having Butternut squash soup for dinner once in a while. Now that so many of the ingredients are in season at your local farmer’s markets, Fall makes it the perfect time to try this one at home too.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes I make when I’m craving something warm.
Black Bean Soup