Sprouted Happy Apple Granola

In honor of all things fall I am super excited to share this amazing sprouted granola recipe from one of my long-time inspirations Cafe Gratitude. It's sweet, it's crunchy, very low sugar, no oil, packed with antioxidant rich spices and is quickly becoming one of my new fall standards. This amazing cereal will practically dress your kids and drive them to school. ;) Practically. 

 I marveled at my food processor, that I have used a THOUSAND times with the S-blade, when I for the first time (in maybe years!) switched out for the shredder blade. Wow. Major break-though.  Here I am standing in my kitchen ankle deep in all these apples wondering what the actual hell am I going to do with all of these things. Then BAM, I flipped through the old-school raw food cookbook I Am Grateful and this recipe stole my heart like a thief in the night. SO. Good. And it takes like 7 apples to make a single batch, so off we skipped, hand in hand, down the food processing yellow brick road. 

Sprouting takes a little more attention and patience than your average wham-bam oven granola, but believe me, it is as my friend said the other day, "Worth it's weight in Gold." Boom. Yeah, I know. There are so many good reasons to get into a relationship soaking your nuts, seeds, and beans. Not only will this expedite the cooking process (as with beans), but it also allows you to cross through the wardrobe into the literal Narnia of nutrients held within these tiny magicians. I will post something soon just on the benefits of sprouting, as literally as I write this I am almost moved to tears by how powerful this information is. But in the meantime, a quick search on Google will present you with a mini-mountain of information. 

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions

For more information on sprouting times and benefits of soaking/sprouting, check out this lovely raw food blogger Oolaboolah.

  "I Am Great" Granola by Terces Englehart and Orchid

 Makes about 8 cups

1 1/2 c soaked almonds

1/2 c soaked sunflower seeds

1/2 c soaked whole buckwheat 

7 small apples or 5 cups grated apple

1/2 c pureed dates(about 7 large dates)

1/2 c cranberries

1/2 c dry coconut

1/2 c agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon salt

Rinse and drain the grain and seeds. Place into a  large bowl. Grate enough apple to make five cups of grated fruit (about 7 small apples). This is where your "Shredder Blade" attachment for your food processor will have you grinning from ear to ear. Otherwise a stand up cheese grater will also work just fine. 

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "S-blade", puree the dates into a fine paste. If your dates are really dry you can add a little of the apple. 

Now, add all of your fruit and remaining ingredients to your seeds and nuts. Mix well. Use your hands, people. Use the hands!

Prepare two dehydrator trays with both the grid and Teflex sheets. You can use all of your trays if you dehydrator isn't full of other things, as this will speed up you drying time! Divide your granola mixture into as many parts as trays you will be using. Spread out the granola with your hands and dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce temperature to 115 degrees. When your granola is dry enough to peel off the Teflex sheets, do so and place onto the grid sheets. Continue to dehydrate until dry. 

This recipe will easily double of triple. you can also keep it in the fridge for one day if you don't have room to dehydrate it all at once. 

This recipe is easy to adjust to your liking! If you don't like coconut, leave it out. In other words, be creative! If you use dried fruit, you can add it at the end and it will stay much moister. Alternatively you can re-hydrate the dried fruit by soaking in warm water for about 15 minutes and add directly in with the main batch of granola. 

This granola once fully dried will be shelf-stable and last for weeks and weeks! Also a makes a great gift. Yum! 






Successful Body Cleansing Tips for Beginners

Coming Clean

About 3 years ago, I did the most amazing body cleanse I have ever done! I was preparing for the Clarity Breathwork Practitioners Training at Pachamama in Guanacaste, Costa Rica 2012. Man, what a huge freaking year for me! They had a package among their offerings called the Body Cleanse. It incorporated core-specific yoga and breathing practices around 6 am, and about two hours in the middle of each day to hear a lecture and have a sharing circle. All throughout the day, we drank about 10 different juices, teas, etc. It's a gift I gave myself that truly continues to give to me. And really, isn't that the best kind? Plus, it doesn't take up space in the garage! 

This is Tamara from Israel who was one of the goddesses making our juices in the jungle kitchen every day! 

This is Tamara from Israel who was one of the goddesses making our juices in the jungle kitchen every day! 

WHY SHOULD WE CLEANSE?

In the classic healing philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Elson M. Haas wrote Staying Healthy With The Seasons. In it, we are taught that most illnesses are the result of excess toxins in the body, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional unusable materials.

The cleanse manual I received from Pachama said it best: "Every day we are exposed to thousands of toxins and chemicals, through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the pharmaceutical drugs we use,". It explained that "Sugar and processed food is being consumed more than ever before in human history, we can often find ourselves regularly abusing our bodies with various stimulants and sedatives, and continuously being in stress at work and at home and then find it hard to relax and rest." Those are powerful words. Starting to get the picture? Our bodies need us to show up for them now more than ever. 

Accumulated toxins: 

+ slow the metabolism

+ physically impair the absorption of nutrients 

+ weaken the immune system

+ create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and parasite growth

+ toxins and dead processed foods create poor digestion and toxic build-up in the colon

That's a lot of really bad stuff right? 

WHEN DO I CLEANSE?

Dr. Haas and many others would agree that springtime is the best time for major cleansing, and suggest "drinking nourishing liquids, such as fruit and vegetable juices, for a period of five to ten days or longer." This is different from fasting, as that would be only herbal teas and water. Fasting is another important philosophy we can talk about in more detail another time. The second most notable time for cleansing is in the fall. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine these times of year have specific qualities that are setting the body up for the transition between temperatures and seasons. They carry a certain type of vitality that is ideal for cleansing the body's systems. Dr. Issac Eliaz of the FAIM wrote an amazing and totally comprehensive article that says, 

"Fundamental philosophies in TCM state that the energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring offers a unique transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation and stagnancy characterizing the energies of cold winter months prior. This expansive energy helps to move things to the surface and expel some of the body's burden of toxins in preparation for the high activity of summer, and this energy of upward growth toward the sun means emotions and issues stored deep within the past also have an opportunity to be released. With a little preparation and mindfulness, the forces of renewal and rebirth that are so pervasive during the spring season can be harnessed and used to greatly benefit the body, mind and spirit during a spring cleanse."

Of course that is not to say that one can only cleanse in spring. How do you know it's time to purge you body of accumulated toxins, parasites, and built-up waste? One or more of the following signals from your body can be a sign it's time to clean up:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Excess weight
  • Food allergies
  • Impaired digestion 
  • Mood swings
  • Bad breath
  • Frequent colds
  • Recurring headaches
  • Chronic constipation
  • Food cravings
  • Skin problems
  • Candida infection

By this time, you've probably done a little Spring Cleaning around the house. Why not give your body a gentle and nourishing cleaning too?

BEFORE the Cleanse

With the rise in popularity of raw foods, smoothies, juicing, and juice cleanses, it is easier and more affordable than ever to participate in a group cleanse. The options are seemingly endless these days - you can even have  juice delivered right to your doorstep. (More on this a the bottom of the page!) It's also a highly marketable and trendy concept right now, so conversely we have more conflicting information to sort through. Cleansing can take many forms. Many people jump right in to doing a fully raw juice cleanse, not realizing it can be a big shock to the system without the adequate physical and mental preparation. Here are some ways to get your body and mind prepared for cleansing:

+ Eating a vegan diet is a type of cleanse in itself: Removing the major inflammatory foods like sugar, grains, gluten, caffeine, meat, and "the like" for 1-2 weeks before a cleanse is a great way to slowly adapt the body instead of diving in head first to the deep end of the pool. It can also really help you maximize the effects of your work should you decide to continue on with a liquid juice cleanse. 

+ Remember that the cleanse won't last forever...even though it can feel that way at times! Shifting your perspective to cleansing as a period of time for gentle and low-impact foods, rest, meditation, and general period of slowing things down can help you get over essential willpower hurdles . And yes, those WILL come up. Count on it. I like to think of as a gift to your Longevity 401K. Just like we make regular deposits towards saving for the future, we also need to invest in the vessel so we are worth a darn once we get there! 

WHAT KIND OF CLEANSE SHOULD I DO?

This one section could be an entire blog post in itself, so I am going to share from my personal experience with what has worked best for me. In my city we have a friend who, for years, on January 1st of every year, invites us to participate in a playful exploration of our diet and lifestyle choices through The Argon Challenge. It is fun, silly, and in the end, all about self-responsibility. This really empowered me to start cleansing at my own speed, and on my own terms. For me, it was really all about connecting back to the inherent intelligence of this body-healing-machine. There are practically endless options as to types of cleanses, but these are the ones I am most excited to share with you for now:

+ Dr. Hyman's 10-day Diet Detox Challenge - If you want a lot of support but don't have time to deal with all the logistics, he is completely brilliant and was a major inspiration to me during my nutritional training!

+ I am so excited by what Lydia of Portland's Pure Simple Juice is doing! She has awesome tasting 3 and 5 day packages made with LOCAL and ORGANIC produce, all bottled in glass. I know she is legit as she is regularly one of our customers at Gathering Together Farm during the PSU Farmer's Market! 

+ Making juices with your own juicer at home can also be a great option if you live in a more rural area (or just like to save money and have the time to prepare your own juices). Juices are best when we can drink them immediately after they have been processed; this ensures optimal nutrient absorption and availability. Feel free to browse my Pinterest board Raw To Live By for juice and raw/cleansing food recipes! Remember green juices with less sweet fruits will be more alkalizing than acid or sweet fruit/vegetable juices. But have fun with it and go at your own pace! Your taste buds will also adapt as the days go on. 

+ Holistic Hydrocolon Therapy has become pretty much the main reasons I cleanse any more. The whole period of cleansing for me is about preparing my body for the detoxification of the colon. If you are in the Portland area, I highly recommend Chakra 17. They will take immaculate care of you! I believe colonics are best once to a few times a year. They are a huge event to your system and should not be taken lightly. Always remember to replenish with probiotics and LOTS of water after a colon cleansing. 

+ Enemas can be done at home and are a powerful healing tool for stimulating the bowels, clearing impacted waste and toxins from your colon and long intestine, as well as soothing many other emotional symptoms. 

BREAKING THE FAST 

Playwright George Bernard Shaw, who was an experienced faster, said," Any fool can fast, but only a wise man can break the fast properly." The man knew what he was talking about! The return to normal eating after a fast or cleanse, signifies that the daily functioning of the metabolism and digestion are being rebuilt. It is much easier for the body to switch from eating to fasting than from fasting back to eating. The organism has stopped the flow of digestive juices, and the body has to get them started again. It happens gradually, not like the flip of a switch. For that reason, the return to eating is as vital as the cleanse itself. Give yourself and your body as much care in the 3-5 days after your cleanse, as you do during the previous days. I suggest doing another 1-2 weeks of the vegan transition (like I mentioned earlier) on the back end of your cleanse. Your body will thank you for it!

I will never forget how amazing this papaya tasted as my first solid food off the cleanse..! Full of natural pre-biotics. An ideal food to break the fast with. 

I will never forget how amazing this papaya tasted as my first solid food off the cleanse..! Full of natural pre-biotics. An ideal food to break the fast with. 

I have so much more to share on cleansing and I look forward to sharing Chapter 2 with you all! In the meantime, please send me any questions you might have and let me know about what type of cleanses you are interested in learning more about. I am formulating my own magic custom programs right now! 

With All Things Love and Delicious,

Shannon! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Covered Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit that has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life for years by countries around the globe. These pom-covered chocolate morsels are so satisfying and delicious! So feel free to give in to your sweet tooth without the guilt or digestive backlash of a pastry. ;)

Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cooking Time: 60 minutes 
Yields: 8 people 

Ingredients:
2 pomegranates (seeds only)
1 10 oz bag of high quality organic dark chocolate
Handful of coconut flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate on stove.
  2. Mix in pomegranate seeds until fully covered in chocolate.
  3. Spoon out in droppings onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with coconut flakes.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

 

Ayurvedic Indian Feast

I am so happy to be able to share this special cache of recipes with you all!

Weekend before last I helped cater a lunch with the angels of Taking Care Portland at Portland's 2015 Ayurvedic Fair. What an incredible collection of knowledgable practitioners, speakers, visionary artists, and artisanal food (and GHEE!) makers. Good lord, the aromatherapy alone.. SO. GOOD. 

I was, however, the majority of the time working behind the scenes under the direction of an amazing native of India named Minal Rajan. A breast cancer survivor herself of two years, her kindness and was only matched by her staggering knowledge of Ayurvedic spices and traditional Indian food preparation. (SCORE..).

She has generously handed over all the recipes we served at the event (that, by the way, sold out in a little over an hour..!) All of the lunch proceeds will go towards Taking Care Portland's incredible community cancer survivorship events. Click here if you want more info about their free services or would like to volunteer in a future TCP event. Kitchari means mixture, and is best described as a healing stew that combines protein and carbohydrates into a gentle, nutritionally balanced and deeply cleansing meal. It was chosen for this event as it is a staple of many Ayurvedic cleansing diets and, especially with all the amazing condiments Minal showed me, is simple to prepare and REALLY delicious.

Win-win, right? Well, there's a few more bonuses you should be aware of before I set you off on your own: This amazingly tasty dish is also said to heal digestive distresses (THE cornerstone of Ayurvedic philosophy surrounds balancing the digestive system), balance the metabolism, cleanse the liver and the blood, assist in healthy weight loss, and support the body's tissues in detoxing accumulated toxins. YUM!

You may consider taking a field-trip to your local Indian grocery store. In Portland the one I went to is called Apna Bazar. They have great prices on bulk and specialty spices, the specific kind of mung dal and rice needed for the kitchari, and otherwise tricky to locate items all under one roof. It's also kind of like a mini global travel experience..so I can highly recommend! 

Kitchari:

1c rice (use small grain rice (zeera rice/Ambemore rice from Indian store) -- long grain basmati is for special occasions and too pricey) 

1c yellow Moong Dal

wash both well and keep aside. 

Take about 2c diced vegetables. (ie carrots, fresh or frozen green peas, etc)

1" PC ginger -- chopped fine 

2-3 cloves of garlic 

10-12 black peppercorns & 1tsp cumin -- dry roast till fragrant and crush with a pestle. 

In the pan put oil / ghee and when hot gently fry the ginger garlic and then the vegetables.-- about 3 mins. Add the crushed pepper cumin spice mix. Mix in the rice- dal. Add 3/4tsp or more of Turmeric powder and salt to taste. You can add slit green chillies if you like a bit of a kick to it. 

Add about 6 cups of water and bring it to boil. Once boiling lower the flame and cover the pot till the dal is soft -- and most of the water is absorbed. It usually should be served runny like a porridge/ oatmeal so you can add more hot water if it's getting dry and dal is not cooked. Serve with a dollop of ghee on top. 

Usual accompaniments are green chutney or Raita -- a yogurt whisked with roasted cumin powder  & salt -- a little red chilly powder if you like and chopped cucumber or mint leaves. Or mango pickle or try it with Kimchee!

 

Tomato Chutney:

Chop about 10 large Roma tomatoes 

Slice 1-1/2 inch pc of ginger 

12-14 pods of garlic peeled and crushed 

In a pan heat oil -- I typically use Mustard oil for this -- 

Add 1/2 tsp each of Fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, nigella seeds. Split dry chilly. When they splutter add te ginger and garlic and fry till a little brown and fragrant. 

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to mix. Add salt , sugar and turmeric (pinch) and chilli powder a pinch. Cover and stew for good 20-30 minutes -- you should have a nice sticky sauce that coats the back of the spoon.

 

Green chutney:

Two bunches of cilantro leaves. Wash and pick any brown leaves but keep the stems- remove only the very bottom part that looks white and fibrous. 

1-2 green chillies 

1tsp cumin 

A handful of peanuts 

Salt 

Put all ing in the blender add a little water -1/2c and blend. Add water little by little to facilitate smooth sauce -- too much water will not blend the leaves and you will get a gritty texture and floating leaves. 

Remove from blender and adjust seasoning -- salt and sugar. Squeeze 2-3 tbsp of lime or Lemon juice. It should have a a nice tangy freshness and salt and sugar and green chilly balance. Refrigerate for a while to let the flavors settle. Stays bottled for upto a week. 

-- use this to marinate vegetables, meats fish and grill them. 

-- use it as a dip for tempura vegetables or kebabs

-- use it instead of mustard as a sandwich spread with tomato and cucumber slices. 

-- add a bunch of mint leaves and remove the peanuts to make another version.

 

Coconut chutney: 

-- if you buy a whole brown coconut then break it open and take the white flesh out. You need a scraper. Else using a knife remove pieces and then you can blend them in a blender. 

Easiest -- buy grated coconut (fresh and not desiccated) -- 

A handful of cashew nuts

Half a handful of raisins -- sweet variety. 

A green chilly a few curry leaves (have seen at trader Joe's etc and in Indian stores.) 

A few cilantro leaves if you like. 

Again add water and start blending to a smooth paste. Add salt. 

Season it on the top by heating a tsp of oil in a small pan and splutter 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and  1tsp of moong dal. And a few curry leaves.  Pour this onto the coconut chutney. 

 

Delicious with savory pancakes. We make fermented rice pancakes called Dosa and this is the typical chutney served with them.

 

Cilantro Mango Chicken

Cooking feeds your body, mind, and soul. It allows you to control the food you put into your body, connect with your family and friends over a home cooked meal, and save the money you might otherwise spend in restaurants or on processed, prepackaged foods. Believe it or not, making simple and satisfying meals from scratch doesn’t have to be hard. Here is one of my favorite easy, healthy recipes. Eating well can also be delicious!


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 people

Ingredients: 
2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split
8 ounces plain yogurt
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime, juiced
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 large ripe mango, peeled, finely diced

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine 1/4 cup yogurt,1/4 cup of cilantro, half of the lime juice, cayenne pepper and garlic. Coat chicken breast with this mixture, marinate for at least 1 hour.
While chicken marinates, purée remaining yogurt, 2/3 of cubed mango, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice and 1 cup cilantro in blender.
Bake chicken in a glass baking dish for 25-30 minutes.
Place chicken on serving plates, pour on sauce and sprinkle with mango and extra sauce on side.
Add a sprig of fresh cilantro for garnish.