Food Star-Believe it…Grassfed organic butter

mg3440-grass-fed-butter-web

Believe it- Its Butter

Butter has gotten a bad rap but don’t believe it. Believe this, butter
is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, needed for a wide range of functions, from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape.

Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (D, E and K2), which are often lacking in the modern industrial diet.

Butter is rich in important trace minerals, including manganese, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium (a powerful antioxidant). Butter provides more selenium per gram than wheat germ or herring. Butter is also an excellent source of iodine.
Fatty Acids …

Butter provides appreciable amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract.

Butter also provides the perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Arachidonic acid in butter is important for brain function, skin health and prostaglandin balance.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) …

When butter comes from cows eating green grass, it contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that gives excellent protection against cancer and also helps your body build muscle rather than store fat.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/07/why-is-butter-better.aspx

Food Star-Cinnamon

Ceylon Cinnamon

Ceylon Cinnamon

 

Cinnamon is a food star by virtue of it’s health benefits as well as it’s versatile use as a spice in sweet and savory dishes. Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. It was mentioned in the Bible and was used in ancient Egypt not only as a beverage flavoring and medicine, but also as an embalming agent. It was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold.

Cinnamon is available in either stick or powder form. While the sticks can be stored for longer, the ground powder has a stronger flavor. If possible, smell the cinnamon to make sure that it has a sweet smell, a characteristic reflecting that it is fresh.

You know I am a fan of Edna Lewis and she preferred Ceylon cinnamon in preparing her dishes. Ceylon cinnamon is also referred to as “true cinnamon”, as opposed to Chinese cinnamon known as Cassia.

Oftentimes, both Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon (cassia) are labeled as cinnamon. If you want to find the sweeter, more refined tasting Ceylon variety, you may need to shop in either a local spice store or ethnic market since this variety is generally less available. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown cinnamon since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated. Irradiating cinnamon may lead to a significant decrease in its vitamin C and carotenoid content.)

Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic types of components in the essential oils found in its bark.

Seasoning a high carb food with cinnamon can help lessen its impact on blood sugar levels. Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating. This is one of the main reasons people use cinnamon in nutritional supplements. Not only does consuming cinnamon improve the body’s ability to utilize blood sugar, but just smelling the wonderful odor of this sweet spice boosts brain activity! In addition to its unique essential oils, cinnamon is an excellent source of fiber and the trace mineral manganese while also a very good source of calcium.

Cinnamon should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cinnamon will keep for about six months, while cinnamon sticks will stay fresh for about one year stored this way. Alternatively, you can extend their shelf life by storing them in the refrigerator. To check to see if it is still fresh, smell the cinnamon. If it does not smell sweet, it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.

FOOD STAR-D RIBOSE

What in the world is d-ribose you say??? The secret is its a sugar that supports energy production in the body with no toxic effects. D-ribose is a very special form of sugar. Your body reserves it solely for the vital work of generating energy molecules to power your heart, muscles, brain, tissues, and the whole body.

It is absolutely critical for the synthesis and production of cellular energy. Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar made in the body from glucose and is an essential component of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the compound that stores and delivers energy in all cells. Ribose also occurs in RNA (ribonucleic acid), one of the main information-carriers of living organisms. Because ATP is rapidly used by muscles in high-intensity workouts and because RNA is important in protein synthesis, ribose supplements and energy drinks containing ribose are being promoted for energy enhancement and better exercise performance. The supplements are said to speed muscle tissue recovery after exercise, and limit post-exercise fatigue.

D-Ribose Benefits: The Top 4

Those who supplement with D-ribose credit this powerful energizer with 4 major benefits:

1. Quick and efficient absorption: Some energy supplements lose so much of their effectiveness during digestion that oftentimes, as little as 5% of the energy potential reaches the bloodstream. For D-ribose, 95% of each dose enters into the bloodstream and subsequently reaches cells and tissues in all areas of the body.

2. Fast acting: Within only 1-2 hours, D-ribose reaches optimal levels within the body. Compare that to the days, or even weeks, it takes some energy supplements to become truly effective.

3. Short half-life: The body utilizes D-ribose quickly, so unlike other energy boosters, there’s no risk of toxic buildup.

4. Well tolerated: Tests show that blood pressure, heart rate, and blood analysis all remain normal after long-term D-ribose use.

So you can use d ribose for your coffee or tea or in smoothies and watch it work.

 

Read more: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/d-ribose-benefits-for-fibromyalgia-cfs/#ixzz30IafbTWc

What is Swerve?

Swerve is a great tasting, natural sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar! You have seen my recipes that include Swerve in them so here is the website that discusses this sweetener. Made from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables, Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors. – See more at: http://www.swervesweetener.com/what-is-swerve/#sthash.FHIFSutr.dpuf

What is Swerve? Know About Erythritol & Oligosaccharides

Swerve is a great tasting, natural sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar!  Made from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables, Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors.

SwerveSugarCookies_sm

• ZERO CALORIES
• NON-GLYCEMIC
• NATURAL
• NON-GMO

 

As a replacement for sugar, Swerve is zero-calorie, non-glycemic and safe for those living with diabetes.  Human tests have shown Swerve does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.

Swerve has no bitter aftertaste associated with other natural Swerve-Nutrition-Facts-Panel1sweeteners like stevia.  And unlike other sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol there is no digestive intolerance (no laxative effect).

We know you are a discerning shopper, reading food labels and knowing that the truth actually lies within the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredients list, not on the front of the package.

Why you’re gonna love Swerve!

The secret to our zero calorie sweetness is a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides that provide excellent baking and cooking functionality.  And with the ability to brown and caramelize, Swerve is gonna be right at home in your kitchen. There are no conversion charts needed when baking and cooking with Swerve.  If your recipe calls for half a cup of sugar… you simply replace it with a half a cup of Swerve!

Understanding Erythritol

Erythritol is made by fermenting glucose with Moniliella pollinis (a natural microorganism found in honeycomb) which breaks down the glucose and yields erythritol. Erythritol also naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables like melons, grapes, asparagus as well as fermented foods. It is classified by the FDA as a zero calorie, 4-carbon sugar alcohol that does not affect blood glucose.  It is easy on the digestive system and does not cause gastric distress associated with other sugar alcohols.

Understanding Oligosaccharides

Oligosaccharides are sweet, non-digestible carbohydrates extracted from fruit and vegetable sources. They are similar to fiber and can help stimulate beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.

The natural flavors in Swerve are derived from food sources. For those concerned about MSG being labeled as a natural flavor, you can be assured that MSG is not contained in Swerve.

- See more at: http://www.swervesweetener.com/about-swerve/#sthash.BIreXKSA.dpuf

 

What is Swerve? Know About Erythritol & Oligosaccharides

Swerve is a great tasting, natural sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar!  Made from a unique combination of ingredients derived from fruits and vegetables, Swerve contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors.

SwerveSugarCookies_sm

• ZERO CALORIES
• NON-GLYCEMIC
• NATURAL
• NON-GMO

 

As a replacement for sugar, Swerve is zero-calorie, non-glycemic and safe for those living with diabetes.  Human tests have shown Swerve does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.

Swerve has no bitter aftertaste associated with other natural Swerve-Nutrition-Facts-Panel1sweeteners like stevia.  And unlike other sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol and maltitol there is no digestive intolerance (no laxative effect).

We know you are a discerning shopper, reading food labels and knowing that the truth actually lies within the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredients list, not on the front of the package.

Why you’re gonna love Swerve!

The secret to our zero calorie sweetness is a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides that provide excellent baking and cooking functionality.  And with the ability to brown and caramelize, Swerve is gonna be right at home in your kitchen. There are no conversion charts needed when baking and cooking with Swerve.  If your recipe calls for half a cup of sugar… you simply replace it with a half a cup of Swerve!

Understanding Erythritol

Erythritol is made by fermenting glucose with Moniliella pollinis (a natural microorganism found in honeycomb) which breaks down the glucose and yields erythritol. Erythritol also naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables like melons, grapes, asparagus as well as fermented foods. It is classified by the FDA as a zero calorie, 4-carbon sugar alcohol that does not affect blood glucose.  It is easy on the digestive system and does not cause gastric distress associated with other sugar alcohols.

Understanding Oligosaccharides

Oligosaccharides are sweet, non-digestible carbohydrates extracted from fruit and vegetable sources. They are similar to fiber and can help stimulate beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.

The natural flavors in Swerve are derived from food sources. For those concerned about MSG being labeled as a natural flavor, you can be assured that MSG is not contained in Swerve.

- See more at: http://www.swervesweetener.com/about-swerve/#sthash.BIreXKSA.dpuf

Food Star-Yerba Mate

 

 

Yerba MateYerba mate (yer-bah mah-tay) is made from the naturally caffeinated and leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree . It is common in South America and people find tremendous invigoration, focus, and nourishment in yerba mate.
The leaves of the rainforest mate tree naturally contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value” and that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”
Yerba mate contains caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in tea, coffee and chocolate. The caffeine content varies between that of green tea and coffee. Unlike tea, yerba mate has a low tannin content and unlike coffee the caffeine does not cause jitters but users report more alertness and focus without the jitters.
Yerba Mate is one of the most natural ways to give yourself that extra energy that you need to get up in the morning, get through the day, or work late through the night. After consumption, there is not a “crash-and-burn” phase, like that after drinking caffeinated coffee. Beyond the pick-me-up, it doesn’t interfere with sleep cycles as so many other energy ingredients do.

Largely popular as a medicinal herb, Yerba Mate has been used for a wide array of reasons beyond the natural energy boost already mentioned. One of the most popular uses is for weight loss. Research has indicated that the xanthines found within boost metabolic rates by as much as 10%, while the pantothenic acid prevents the nervous system from being overstimulated. The fitness industry has certainly taken note, identifying Yerba Mate as an ingredient that assists in aerobic glycolysis (carbohydrate breakdown). This means that your body will actually burn more calories during exercise than it would without it.

Yerba mate is very versatile and can be prepared a variety of ways, from a tea infuser to a coffee machine. It can be consumed hot, or cold, and served with milk and honey or iced with lemon and mint, the combinations are endless. You can definitely have more, a double portion.

The Crème in Crème Brûlée (Coconut Creme)

(The Crème in Crème brûlée

 

This dairy free, refined sugar free recipe The  Crème in Crème Brûlée is adapted from Iced Gem Bakes Chef Gemma McFarlane, Author of Gluten, Nut, Egg and Dairy Free Celebration Cakes.  Needless to say this recipe celebrates free range pasture fed chicken eggs so it is not egg free. The key ingredient besides the egg yolks is the coconut creme which works perfectly with the eggs to make the Crème Brûlée .

Ingredients

1/4 cup of isomalt

1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar, ground to a finer consistency

1 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp of vanilla extract

8 pasture raised chicken egg yolks

1 1/2 cup of coconut creme

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar for caramelization

Instructions

Whisk together the  isomalt,  coconut palm sugar, cornflour, vanilla and egg yolks together.

Bring the coconut cream to the boil and whisk onto the egg mixture. (temper )

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and stir over a low heat until the mixture is thick enough to cover the back of the wooden spoon. Do not boil or the mixture will scramble.

Pour the mixture into Crème Brûlée ramekins. Allow to cool. When cool place in the fridge until needed.

When ready to serve, sprinkle with coconut palm sugar and place under a really hot grill or caramelize the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch and serve.

Food Star-Pasture Raised Chicken Eggs

The evidence shows that eggs from Pasture Raised Chickens are higher in nutrients than confined animal operation chicken eggs. Over the last 50 years, the way food animals are raised and fed has changed dramatically. People are starting to find that most of the food animals in the United States are no longer raised on farms at all. Instead they come from crowded animal factories, also known as large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The feed designed to feed the chickens is not the natural food chickens would eat if allowed to have free pasture range. CAFO’s have redefined how chickens are fed and they are given drugs and chemicals , plastics pellets, manure, and same specie infected meat.. Animals raised in humane conditions with appropriate space and food rarely require medical treatment. But animals at CAFO’s often receive antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for crowded, stressful, and unsanitary living conditions. When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens. . Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. When raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets. Eggs from hens raised outdoors on pasture have from three to six times more vitamin D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin D and then pass on to the eggs his latest good news about eggs comes from a study just released by Mother Earth News, a magazine that plays a leading role in promoting health-enhancing, natural foods. The editors found that eating just two eggs will give you from 63-126% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. The choice is yours to make. Buy organic pasture fed eggs from local farmers or stores that specialize in organic produce. Try my refined sugar free dairy free recipe The Crème in Crème Brûlée using pasture raised chicken eggs.

Super Food Star- The Darker the Chocolate…

The blacker the cocoa the sweeter....the health benefits

The blacker the cocoa the sweeter….the health benefits

I am sure everyone has heard about the research on chocolate being a superfood. One thing to remember is not all chocolates are created equal. Chocolate contains flavanoids from the cocoa plants that produces thousands of compounds called phytochemicals which have health benefits. Flavonoids are one group of phytochemicals that have antioxidant abilities. Cocoa beans are good sources of flavonoids, but not all chocolate retains much of the cocoa bean. If your favorite chocolate bar is not dark chocolate, it may be a better source of calories and sugar than of beneficial flavonoids.

Before you grab a chocolate candy bar or slice of chocolate cake, it’s important to understand that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavanols.

Cocoa naturally has a very strong, pungent taste, which comes from the flavanols. When cocoa is processed into your favorite chocolate products, it goes through several steps to reduce this taste. The more chocolate is processed (through things like fermentation, alkalizing, roasting, etc.), the more flavanols are lost. Flavanols found in cocoa solids may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve glucose metabolism and maintain the health of your blood vessels

The highest flavonoid content, according to the Mayo Clinic, is in the darkest of chocolates. A rule of thumb that holds true is that the greater the percentage of cocoa (cacao), the greater flavonoid content possible. The highest percentages of cocoa are found first in dark chocolate and then in milk chocolate. The exception is white chocolate; its processing removes all flavonoids. Adding healthy dark chocolate to other foods—can enhance the level of antioxidants you get or you can eat a small serving of at least 70% chocolate one or two times a week.  Adding healthy dark chocolate to other foods—can enhance the level of antioxidants you get.  The good news is that chocolate not only contains healthy compounds but if you can’t get enough of that funky stuff it is nice to know that eating  at least 70 percent chocolate or raw organic chocolate is a good thing!

Live raw organic chocolate

Live raw organic chocolate

 

 

Food Star-Isomalt

I would be remiss in talking about natural sweeteners if I did not introduce you to Isomalt. I use Isomalt for baking because it has the almost all the physical properties of sugar. I find that it is not as sweet so I do add stevia or monk fruit to boost the sweetness once I taste my batter.

Isomalt is a substitute sugar made from beet sugar and used in the weight loss and diabetic food industries. Isomalt is unique among replacement sugars because it retains almost all of the physical properties of real sugar with added benefits for sugar artists, cake decorators, and pastry chefs.  These benefits include:

Increased resistance to humidity

Better resistance to crystallization (clouding)

Isomalt, in its uncooked form will absorb moisture from the air and should be kept in a tightly sealed container or a thick tightly closed bag. Uncooked Isomalt has a shelf life of two years or more if stored correctly. The addition of a food safe silica gel packets prolongs the shelf of Isomalt by removing any moisture that may find its way into the storage container or bag.

The large manufacturers  of Isomalt make their products for the confectionery, baking, and weight loss industries. Many isomalt products are blended with other polyols in order to create mixtures. Many retailers of Isomalt buy and distribute these mixtures assuming that they are selling 100% Isomalt products.  A blended Isomalt mixture can yellow prematurely and can also be less resistant to humidity. I use Clear Cut brand Isomalt which is 100% pure Isomalt with no other polyols added.

I use Isomalt as a natural sweetener in many of my recipes, such as nasty good chocolate bread or That’s Whats Up Pound Cake.  Because Isomalt has the same characteristics of sugar, this makes natural sweetening baking very easy as the end product has many of the characteristics of refined sugar. No one will ever know once you get the hang of it.

Understanding Isomalt How to Store is borrowed from  Chef Dominic Palazzolo-Founder President of MakeYourOwnMolds.com.  Understanding Isomalt: How to Cook, Hold, Pour, and Store Isomalt.

Just Beet It… Sugar Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

Just Beet It!!

Just Beet It!!

 

My daughter is a fan of red velvet cupcakes and visits me for my birthday. When family comes home you always cook their favorite dishes and I spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen (I love it) preparing for her arrival.  Since I have chosen to eat wheat free while dealing with inflammation the challenge for me was to make red velvet cupcakes for her and be able and eat them too. Normally when my daughter comes home whatever she eats I eat. Not anymore. I have learned to prepare her favorite dishes without the wheat and they are just as good as the recipes with wheat. I am a fan of Bruce Fife’s book “Cooking with Coconut Flour”. I like to use coconut flour and almond flours because then I don’t have to use xantham gum, however I do use a lot of eggs because coconut flour is loaded with fiber and you need to add about 4 eggs per 1/2 cup of flour. The eggs take the place of gluten in the recipe and you have to increase the fluid in the recipe because of the high fiber. I love to use beets because of the health benefits associated with beets and it provides a natural red coloring. You can use artificial red food coloring but go for the vegetable food coloring which is made from?? you guessed it, Beets. So make a sugar free red velvet cupcake and Just Beet It!!

.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line a muffin pan with 6 cupcake liners

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup organic cocoa powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp make your own baking powder

4 large eggs

3 tbsp melted buter

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup Nectresse (more if you like it sweeter)

1 tbsp roasted grated  red beets

1 tsp red vegetable coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package of low fat cream cheese

1 stick of butter

3/4 cup of Swerve Confectioner Sweetener

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Mix butter, butter milk, eggs, sugar, salt, beets and vanilla.
Combine coconut flour with salt baking powder, and coca, baking
sift into batter until there are no lumps. Mix with hand mixer until smooth

Scoop 1/3 cup of mix into cupcake liner. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty five minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Mix cream cheese, confectioner Swerve, butter, zest of lemon and ginger.  Taste and adjust sweetness accordingly.

Food Star-Foods that Heal (Juicing)

 

 

Foods that healAfter living for more than half a century and being exposed to probably every toxin known to man, I have a lot of inflammation in my body. I was told a knee replacement was in my future, however I just could not see myself as a candidate for a knee replacement. I started to research holistic methods to help with my inflammation and lo and behold I found that foods actually heal. After extensive research I found the Gerson Therapy institute developed by Max Gerson. He developed a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, and coffee enemas.  The Gerson Therapy has helped heal cancer patients who no longer had hope and were terminally ill. I have borrowed from his philosophy of raw organic juices because it works and has helped my joint inflammation immeasurably.

Fresh pressed juice from raw foods provides the easiest and most effective way of providing high quality nutrition. Scientists have identified over 5000 different enzymes plus many more that our bodies utilize. Live enzymes are the catalyst for every human function. They perform 1000 important life supporting functions. They help repair our DNA help digest food, and help as assimilate the nutrients within food among many more.  The following is a list which is not inclusive of foods that have healing properties when purchased organic and juiced. You can visit the Gerson Institute at www.gerson.org


for the recipe for the green juice and carrot and apple juice.

Apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble Fiber. It aids in appetite control and improves digestion. Pectin reduces cholesterol and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Apples are rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid. They have a very high mineral content, which is beneficial for the health of your skin, hair and fingernails. Apple skin is a source of quercetin, an antioxidant that keeps the heart and lungs healthy. Apples also contain a huge number of protective compounds Flavanoids, which are absorbed by the body.
Apples are at the top of the list of produce most contaminated with pesticides. Buy organic apples or you defeat the purpose of cleansing your body.

Beets:
Beet greens contain an abundance of chlorophyll, vitamin A and C. It also has a high mineral content, being especially rich in calcium and potassium. Beets contain fiber, vitamins C and K and folate.
The Betaine in beet juice stimulates the function of the liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts. Beets are an excellent way to detoxify the blood and renew it with minerals and natural sugars.

 

 

Broccoli:
Broccoli is a potent anti-oxidant which has been proven to protect against cancer. It is loaded with more Vitamin C than oranges. 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage
Red or Green, cabbage is a Cruciferous vegetable along with cauliflower, kale, cress, bok choy, broccoli and a few other green leaf vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables have long been prasied for being healthy and important additions to one’s diet. Sources recommend a minimum of 3-4 servings of cruciferous vegetables a week.
They all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health.
Red Cabbage known as purple cabbage, is darker in color than it’s green counterparts, because it has a higher “concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which contribute to red cabbage containing significantly more protective phytonutrients than green cabbage.” Anthocyanin Polyphenols are pigment compounds found in many plants that lend them their characteristic colors and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, properties.

 

Carrots:
The three most important elements of carrots are beta-corotene, vitamin A and phytochemicals. There is powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti- aging.  They also improve muscle, soft tissue and skin health. While also reducing the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, while boosting immunity and protecting the skin against sun damage.
The high levels beta-carotene also act as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells. Beta Carotene is also converted into Vitamin A in the liver, which helps vision. Carrots are good for the eyes. The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots binding with bile acids.
Carrots soak up agricultural chemicals lurking in the soil.  Buy Organic.

 

Celery:
Celery leaves have a high content of vitamin A. while the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.
 
Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing that helps aid bowel movements, it has a natural laxative in the juice that helps relieve constipation. It is also a diuretic effect.
The poly-acetylene in celery is great for relief for all inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis

 

 

Cucumber:
Cucumber Juice is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K. Also a good source of phosphorus, pantothenic acid, manganese, magnesium and potassium. Cucumber contains two useful compounds called ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, both help prevent water retention and lowers cholestrol level.
  It is known as “the beauty mineral”, because it has the ability to improve skin, nails and hair. Giving a youthful glow and complexion.

 

 

 

Cranberry
Cranberries havea high vitamin C content, a good portion of fiber and maybe has been mentioned as being an anti-oxidant.  There is 5 key health-supportive phytonutrients in cranberries” in the chart below: Phenolic Acids, Proanthocyanidins, Anthocyanins, Flavonoids and Triterpenoids.
This small fruit is a huge powerhouse of health supporting nutrients.

 

 

 

Fennel

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, copper, folic acid (folate), manganese, and fiber when eaten, and is also a good source of magnesium, iron, calcium, and niacin. Fennel has a calming effect on digestion and is very good at reducing bloating. Fennel helps to activate endorphins in the brain diminishing anxiety and promoting a sense of euphoria.

 

 

 

Grapefruits are rich with flavonoids, Vitamin A, B5, B6, and of course C. So, consuming a good amount of Grapefruits has many health benefits. Pink and Red Grapefruit contain lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient. .Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells.

 

Kale:
Kale is rich source of vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin C, 11 more time lutein than broccoli, and zeaxanthin also an excellent source of calcium Kale is also a good source of iron, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.  Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

 

 

 

Orange:
There is nothing like a fresh raw Orange Juice. Oranges are rich in vitamin C. Oranges have a high level of mangnesium and potassium. They have an inflammatory properties that help relieve joint pain and contain enough nutirients and mineral to boost your immune system. They are also rich in antioxidants and the cartanoids that fight free radicals to reduce damage to cells. Raw orange juice is best done manually.

 

 

 

Spinach:
Spinach is high in vitamin A and C, and is one of only four vegetables that are also high in vitamin E. It’s also a good source of choline, calcium, iron, potassium and folic acid. Spinach is high in protein per calorie and has 14 times the iron per calorie than red meat.

Spinach has two powerful antioxidants, glutathione and alpha lipoic acid,  It is  one of the best anti-oxidants and is the primary antioxidant in the cells. It protects DNA from oxidation, detoxifies pollutants and carcinogens, boosts the immune system, aids healthy cell replication, and reduces chronic inflammation. As we age glutathione production decreases so including spinach in your juicing regime provides the cells with natures best anti-oxidant.

 

Swiss Chard:
Swiss chard is very high in Vitamin E, K, B6, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber when eaten. It’s a good source of zinc, folate and thiamin.Has a key phytochemical anthocyans, that protect the digestive tract. It is a rich source of vitamin K, which is vital for maintaining bone density.

 

 

 

Watercress:
watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, is higher in calcium then milk, has more iron than spinach, and also has protein. Its a good source of vitamin A, E, K, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese; and a good source of folate, pantothenic acid and copper.
The leafy green plant has high levels of phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates, the same disease fighting components found in brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kai choi, kale, horseradish, radish and turnip.

 

 

Stevia-Glycerite-My Personal Food Star

No bitter aftertaste

No bitter after taste

 

Stevia is a popular zero calorie sweetener but it gets a bad rap because of the bitter aftertaste.

You can get your Stevia fix in various forms. First, you can directly use the leaves from the Stevia plant, which is its freshest, most natural, and unrefined form.

Dried Stevia leaves are actually sweeter than fresh ones. When finely crushed, the powder produced can be mixed in different beverages and dishes like pastries and cereals.

In its supplemental form, Stevia extract can come in green or white powder. Whole leaves are used to create the green powder, while the white powder is made by separating glycocides from the leaves. The green powder extract has more nutritional benefits than its white counterpart.

Stevia extract can also be in liquid form. Liquid Stevia can be black and syrupy as a result of boiling Stevia leaves in water. The leaves can also be steeped in distilled water. Another way is to mix Stevia powder concentrate with water. Stevia glycerite, on the other hand, is a solution made up of stevia dissolved in vegetable glycerine. I find stevia glycerite does not have the bitter aftertaste most people complain about because the vegetable glycerin somehow tames the bitter aftertaste.

Because it is a natural sweetener that has no calories, Stevia glycerite can greatly benefit anyone trying to cut down on carb calors because it has zero calories.   Its sweetness can subdue your cravings for sweets, or even food cravings in general. I use stevia glycerite consistently but you should try all of them and see which one works for you.  Zero Calorie-Yep. Food Star-Yep. A Double Portion-Absolutely.

 

 

Stayin Alive Salad

Live Raw Food

Live Raw Food

The terms “Live Food” and “Raw Food” have in common that they refer to food that has not been heated to the point at which the enzymes are destroyed. Eating a diet containing all or a high percentage of live food means that a person is consuming food that has all its nutrients intact, including the enzymes and even the subtle energies of the food. It also means that the person is avoiding or reducing exposure to the harmful substances that are produced when food is cooked. It is always good to incorporate live food into your daily diet. This salad fresh and delicious.

 

Ingredients

6 persian cucumbers, rinsed and chopped

1 carton of grape tomatoes, chopped (leave some whole)

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Instructions

Mix chopped fresh vegetables together.  Sprinkle with sea salt, add pepper if you like. Pour vinegar and olive oil over salad.  Refrigerate and allow flavors to meld.

 

 

 

Food Star-Monk Fruit (Luo Han Guo)

Luo Han Guo

Luo Han Guo

 

I am sure you have noticed by now that I use Monk Fruit in some of my recipes.  At one time, Monk Fruit was obscure however North America has finally discovered this natural sweetener. Monk Fruit in its natural form is approximately 170 times sweeter than sugar.

So what’s the story behind this sweetener?  The monk fruit is a small, sweet melon native to China and Southeast Asia. Legend has it that Buddhist monks cultivated the lemon-sized fruit in the 13th century, hence the name. In China it’s known as luo han guo and has traditionally been used in herbal medicine. Monk fruit is full of healthy anti-oxidants and vitamins., but for those watching their carb intake it is a natural low calorie derived from fruit.

There are companies that market monk fruit made from extracts and mixed with erythritol or dextrose.  I tend to look for pure Luo Han Guo which is available online. When processed using a natural process so as not to destroy the anti-oxidant properties, it has many health benefits.  I use it to boost the sweetness of a dish without adding a lot of calories if I want a sweeter baked good.  For example, in my OMG..I can’t believe its not flour peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, you can add monk fruit to boost the sweetness if you so desire. Monk fruit is approximately 170 times sweeter than sugar so go easy when using it. I will try to use a small amount of natural sweetener, like isomalt to give the baked goods the same characteristics of baked goods made with refined sugar. The great thing about this natural sweetener is that there is no bitter aftertaste; has a low glycemic index; and has been used in the past for its healing properties. This super fruit definitely is a major food star worthy for a double portion

 

Food Super Star-Flax Seeds

Flax meal cookie

Flax meal cookie

 

 

Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations valued flax seeds and was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 B.C. diet. Once you try the I can’t believe its not flour peanut butter chocolate chip cookies made with golden flax seed meal, you will never think twice about using flax seeds in your diet.
Research has shown that flax seeds lower serum cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. The lignans in flax seed are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide antioxidant benefits, fiber-like benefits, and also act as phytoestrogens. Among all commonly eaten foods, researchers now rank flax seeds as the #1 source of lignans in human diet. These hormone like agents has shown a number of protective benefits in women’s health. In addition, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flax seed do not apply only to the cardiovascular system. Oxidative stress and excessive inflammation (which can also be related to deficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients) are common risk factors for a wide variety of health problems. These problems include development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. There is preliminary evidence that flax seeds intake can decrease risk of all the problems above by increasing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.
Flax seeds can be purchased either whole or already ground. The two different forms offer distinct benefits. Because flax seeds can be very difficult to chew, grinding of the seeds prior to consumption can usually increase their digestibility (also release nutrients easier in colon). Pre-ground flax seeds—while more convenient—also come with a shorter shelf life than whole flaxseeds. I buy golden flaxseed meal for cooking and I keep it refrigerated. Because of its laxative effects it is recommended that you start slow and work your way up to 2 tablespoons per day.. I grind a tablespoon of whole flax seed into my morning smoothie and I add it to my baked goods. Whatever way you decide to incorporate this Food Super Star into your diet, you can start slow and then work your way up to a double portion.

OMG..I can’t believe its not flour Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup golden flax seed meal
1/8 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1 tsp Lo Han (Monk Fruit) optional
1 tsp of make your own baking powder
3 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use 60 percent Ghiradelli, no more than 16 per cookie to keep carbohydrate content down)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees-line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
Combine peanut butter, sugar, lo han, baking powder and flax meal in a medium sized bowl Add chocolate chips. Spoon by rounded tablespoons onto a silplat or parchment lined baking sheet. Press dough with fork to form at cross-wise pattern. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for ten minutes and remove to rack to finish cooling. Try to stop yourself from eating all of them.

Super Food Star-Coconut Oil

 

 

Coconut OilI know you must think I have gone coco:) but I can’t say enough about the benefits of coconut products.  I have started using coconut oil on a daily basis because it has so many health benefits and lends itself well to baking. Believe it or not I actually swish coconut oil for 15 minutes through my teeth at least once a week because it helps get rid of plaque and bacteria (be sure to spit it out).  Go figure.  Coconuts are really a superfood and coconut oil being a byproduct makes it eligible and a food star for A Double Portion.

Coconut oil has unique fatty acids that offer  unique medicinal properties.  Lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria which is why I do the coconut swish once a week. Coconut oil  contains medium chain triglycerides that go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy.  The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term. Human and animal studies show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL (Lousy)  and HDL(Healthy) cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. (I say lousy density level  and healthy density level to remember which is bad and which is good)

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it. Like I said I swish it, eat it, use on my skin, use it in my hair, the possibilities are endless. Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you.  Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs. The one thing to remember is to use organic virgin coconut oil that has not been refined.  This versatile oil is definitely a Star on A Double Portion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Star-Chia Seeds

Moringa, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America. The seed which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption. You can add these seeds to any and everything since they are tasteless and have no flavor so it won’t interfere with the flavor profile of any dish you are preparing.

The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fiber(one ounce =11 gms fiber), which is important for digestive health. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Chia seeds contain calcium, manganese, and phosporus. They are also a source of protein with one ounce providing a little over 4 grams of protein. Food Star?? Yep! Have a Double Portion.

Super Food Star-Moringa Oleifera

Moringa, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds

One of natures best kept secrets is a food star known as Moring Oleifera. It hasn’t caught on yet in wellness circles although it is starting to be recognized for the superior food that it is. Moringa is a fast growing evergreen decidous tree that grows best in sandy soil. Moringa oleifera, also called the drumstick tree, is a tree that grows in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. It is also cultivated throughout Central and South America and Africa due to the ease with which it grows in tropical and sub-tropical environments. A typical serving size of moringa is 1 tablespoon of powder. You can obtain moringa as a powder, tea, oil, and lately as an elixir (There is a MLM company promoting Moringa now)

Moringa’s health benefits
The powdered leaves of the moringa tree (which is the way most people consume moringa) contains 46 types of antioxidants. One serving, in fact, contains 22 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants on Earth, and a whopping 272 percent of our RDI of vitamin A.
The leaves of the moringa tree contain 18 amino acids, eight of which are essential amino acids, so moringa is a “complete” protein.

Moringa leaves provides the body approximately 125 percent of our RDI of calcium and 61 percent of our RDI of magnesium.

Moringa leaves contain 90 different types of nutrients, including four times more calcium than milk, four times more potassium than bananas, four times more vitamin A than carrots, 50 times more vitamin B3 than peanuts, 36 times more magnesium than eggs, and 25 times more iron than spinach. It also includes high amounts of additional nutrients such as dietary fiber, iodine, lutein, zinc, selenium, zeatin and beta-carotene.

Moringa is mostly celebrated for its leaves, its seeds also have a worthwhile purpose: the pods contain almost 40 percent of an edible, non-drying oil called “ben oil,” which is comparable to olive oil in nutritional and antioxidant value. Ben oil is odorless, sweet-tasting, clear and – most importantly – lasts indefinitely. In fact, moringa leaf powder is also immune from spoiling, making it a superior food to have in your kitchen.

Due to their trace mineral content, dried and powdered moringa leaves are great for nourishing the skin.

Regularly consuming moringa leaves has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mood, immune-boosting effects and, thanks to their high fiber levels and low fat and calorie levels, weight loss.

I use Moringa, chia seeds, and flax seed in smoothies. I also drink the tea and use the oil on my skin and hair. I order organic moringa powder, tea, and oil from Amazon as I have not found it in local retail stores at the present time This food is without question a food to have more of, a double portion. Just try some moringa and watch it show out!

Nuttin from Nuttin Leaves Nuttin Cookies

Wheat free peanut butter cookies

Wheat free peanut butter cookies

 

 

I have been learning how to use nut flours in cooking in my quest to increase protein, fiber, and decrease carbohydrate content when baking. Almond flour is one nut flour that is readily available and has a high protein, low sugar, and high fiber content. I use blanched almond flour (be sure it is almond flour and not almond meal or you won’t get the texture you want). Almond flour is moist, delicious, and easy to use. I usually buy almond flour in bulk online because it is cheaper if you bake like I do. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats found in olive oil, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Almonds have Vitamin E which is a powerful anti-oxidant and along with it being a mono saturated fat has been shown to reduce LDL (Lousy) cholesterol. Almonds also are loaded with magnesium and potassium. I was at Trader Joe’s and noted they had cashew meal. I absolutely love cashews so I just had to try it and I developed this nut cookie recipe. This cookie recipe is rich in the healthy fats of nuts and the protein content makes it filling.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup cashew meal

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter, room temperature (can use chunky too!)

2/3 cup almond milk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup organic coconut palm sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt (I like Himalayan sea salt)

1/4 cup avocado oil (for dipping fork)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees line baking sheet with silplat or parchment paper.  In a large bowl whisk the almond flour, cashew meal,  baking soda and salt.

In a separate mix the peanut butter, milk egg, vanilla and coconut palm sugar until smooth.  (I use handheld mixer)

Stir into the flour mixture until combined.  Drop by tablespoon onto baking sheet,  Take fork and dip into avocado oil and flatten as you would a traditional peanut butter cooking.  Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Remove to rack to cool completely. If you are adventurous you can add some chocolate chip to this recipe and it will be like having a peanut butter cup.

 

 

 

 

Food Star Edna Lewis-Make Your Own Baking Powder

 

 

 

 

Edna Lewis Baking PowderI am a fan of Edna Lewis who was the grand-daughter of freed slaves.  Lewis was born in the small farming settlement of Freetown,the granddaughter of an emancipated slave who helped start the community in Virginia. She was one of eight children. She learned how to cook from the plantations best chefs, her grandparents.  This woman is amazing. She became the cook at Cafe Nicholson when it opened in New York preparing cheese soufflés and roast chicken. Cafe Nicholson became an instant success among bohemians and artists. The restaurant was frequented by William Faulkner, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and many other stars.

With encouragement from Judith Jones, the cookbook editor at Knopf who also edited Julia Child she turned her handwritten recipes into The Edna Lewis Cookbook (1972). This was followed by The Taste of Country Cooking in 1976. The book is considered a classic study of Southern cooking.

Edna did everything from scratch from rendering lard to making her own baking soda. Gluten-free baking soda is the similar to Edna’s.  She would take 1/4 cup of cream of tartar and mix it with 1 tbsp of baking soda.  Recipes on A Double Portion use Edna Lewis’ original recipe. This Baking Powder handed down from Edna Lewis is definitely a food star on A Double Portion and a tribute to a great African American Chef.!!

Ingredients

1/4 cup of cream of tartar

1 tbsp baking soda

whisk together and store in mason jar.

CoCo for CoCo Sugar (Organic Palm Coconut Sugar)

One of my early food memories is of my mother buying fresh coconuts, opening them with a hammer, and giving us portions to eat the meat out of the rind.  It was the best treat ever. Today, coconut has emerged as a powerful super food and now we have coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, coconut flour, and my favorite coconut palm sugar.  In baking I use it as a substitute for brown sugar.  I make a delicious snicker-doodle cookie with organic palm coconut sugar and no one has any idea that there is no refined sugar in the recipe. I use Isomalitol for the white sugar in the recipe and I coat them with coconut palm sugar mixed with cinnamon.

Coconut sugar has a high mineral content, being a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron.. In addition to this it contains B vitamins. When compared to brown sugar, coconut sugar has 18 times the potassium, 30 times the phosphorus and over 10 times the amount of zinc. Coconut sugar can be used as a sugar substitute and is diabetic friendly.

Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index which takes into account the quality of a carbohydrate in a food. A glycemic index tells us how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. Glycemic load take into account the quality and quantity of carbohydrate content in food.

 

Glycemic Index takes into account the quality of the carbohydrate in a food and ignores its quantity.  A glycemic index value therefore tells us only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar.  It doesn’t tell how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food.  Both the things are important to understand a food’s effect on blood sugar.

Glycemic load considers the quality and the quantity of carbohydrate content of the foods.  Glycemic index and load for carbohydrates are as follows:

Low GI =55 or less

Medium GI=56-59

High GI=70 or more

Coconut palm sugar has a low glycemic index of 35 which does not cause the insulin spike phenomenon that leads to fat storage.  Therefore, you can reduce the glycemic index and load of your desserts by limiting foods that have a high glycemic index and a high carbohydrate content .  This makes organic coconut sugar a food star for use in recipes in a Double Portion, because the goal is to have your cake and eat it too. Snickerdoodles

 

 

Creamy Delight Avocado Mousse

Creamy Avocado MousseAvocado Mousse DSCF1600Ingredients

2 large avocados, peeled and pitted

1 square unsweetened chocolate (100%)

1/2 cup organic cocoa powder

1/2 cup of  organic agave nectar

1 tsp monk fruit (optional to boost agave sweetener)

1/2 cup Milk (Almond, Coconut, Cow)

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Instructions

Place the unsweetened chocolate in a small bowl. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, almond milk, vanilla and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Spoon into glasses and refrigerate.  Should be eaten the same day you make it due to oxidation if refrigerated more than 3 hours.

 

Food Star- The Talented AVOCADO

 

 

 

Avocado

Avocado

Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat because they contain 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocados also contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein. Avocados are a great source of mono-saturated fat which has been shown to keep cholesterol levels down and maintain heart health.

Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants produced in the body for absorbing free radicals.  Avocados contains three time the glutathione content of any other fruit. Avocados are also the highest fruit source of lutein, which promotes eye health. Beta-Sitosterol in high levels is linked to lower cholesterol levels.  Phytonutrients found in avocados have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which is a plus because it reduces the risk of inflammatory and degenerative processes. The monounsaturated  fats in avocados can  help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.

Thus, avocados are such a versatile fruit they can be used in savory dishes and in desserts. Avocado will be the food star as I describe how easy it is to make avocado chocolate mousse. Although you can approach a mousse from a traditional recipe, using cream, cooking, and so on, avocado mousse is so simple you will never want to go back to the traditional way of making chocolate mousse. Top that off with all of avocados benefits, this food star is definitely worthy of  A Double Portion.

 

 

 

 

 

Coco Bananarama Pancakes (Coconut Flour Pancakes)

Coco Banannarama Pancakes

 

3 Ripe bananas

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp monk fruit or sugar alcohol (Xylitol, erythitol, Isomalitol)

1/4 cup of unsweetened chocolate, cut up

1 tsp vanilla

In a medium size bowl, mash the bannana.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  May use handheld mixer to mix.  Sift in 1/4 cup of coconut flour, baking powder and monk fruit.  Mix well.  Stir in unsweetend chocolate. Heat coconut oil in a pancake skillet.  Cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes and flip.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Serve with pure maple syrup, get fresh with me strawberries,  or topping of your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coco for Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a low carb alternative that can be used for baked goods. Not only is it high in fiber, but it also has protein without the gluten. Coconut flour contains almost double the amount of fiber found in wheat bran. Fiber has numerous health benefits, from reducing the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, to lowering cholesterol. It can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. For those who practice a gluten free diet this is good news. Coconut flour is also highly absorbent due to the fiber which means you also need to use more liquid. You should use a 1:1 ratio of coconut flour and liquid and add butter or coconut oil to keep if from drying on out. When baking with coconut flour it is always best to sift it into the wet ingredients because it tends to clump. You can add coconut flour to some of your regular recipes to increase the fiber content but you will have to add more eggs. Since coconut flour is slightly sweet you can reduce the sugar, but don’t omit. I hope you enjoy the recipes using this amazing nut flour.

Get Fresh with Me Strawberries

IMG_00000273 I will start to do some savory dishes in the near future. I have found that the best food is fresh food. So come on and Get Fresh with Me while I make a no artificial sweetener strawberry preserve.

Ingredients:
•1 1/2 quarts red, ripe strawberries
•5 cups Isomalt
•Juice of 2 lemon, fresh

Preparation:

Wash and hull strawberries. Combine berries with isomalt a large stainless steel pan; let stand for 3 to 4 hours to macerate.
Bring strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Cook rapidly until strawberry mixture is clear and syrup is thick, about 15 minutes. Turn off and squeeze juice of fresh lemon into mix.

Pour mixture into a shallow pan and let stand, uncovered, for 1-2 hours. Ladle strawberry mixture into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Makes four 8-ounce jars.

May give as gifts or use some now and save others for later.

nastygood

Nasty Good Chocolate Bread

Today I am making nasty good chocolate bread with organic coconut palm sugar and a little stevia for baking.

One of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners, organic coconut palm sugar is highly nutritious, ecologically beneficial and provides sustained energy with a good sweet taste.

Organic coconut palm sugar is perfect if you are trying to get away from refined sugar.

While coconut sugar has long been a staple for South East Asian culinary heritage and herbal medicine, the evolution of this traditional sweetener into a baking sweetener allows for sweet treats without all the worry of insulin spikes. Coconut sugar has an extremely low glycemic index, an extremely high nutrient content and is a cost effective alternative to sugar.

Recipe for Nasty Good Chocolate Bread

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

13 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup stevia for baking

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

3 tablespoons of boiling coffee

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

3 eggs

 

Add dry ingredients  into a large bowl. Whip flour with mixer for 60 seconds on low. Add  coffee to cocoa and whip until smooth. Once cool add 3 eggs and whip until mixed.  Add butter into flour and 1/2 of cocoa. Mix with blender until buter incorporated. Add rest of chocolate and beat on high for 60 seconds or until everything is incorporated.  Scrape down bowl and mix. Pour into 5 cup bread pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

How bout dat!!!

tn (2)Today I would like to talk a little bit about Isomalt (Isomalitol).  Isomalt is a substitute sugar made from beet sugar and is used in weight loss and diabetic food industries  Isomalt is unique in replacing refined sugars because baked good retains almost all of the physical properties of real sugar with the added benefit of having a low glycemic index. Pure isomalt is better than a blend.  When buying isomalt make sure it is 100 percent isomalt and not mixed with other polyols. I made the perfect pound cake that is delicious, beautiful, and refined sugar free.  How bout dat? If you are interested in this recipe,  visit me on facebook and tell me you want this recipe. Thank you for visiting a double portion, where food is the starr.

Brenda Starr

 

So, I got a request or a like for adoubleportion.com so here is the pound cake recipe using isomalt and a sweetener called Swerve which contains natural fruit sugars and erythitol.

 

Room Temperature Ingredients

3 tablesppons of milk

3 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

13 tablespoons of butter

 

Dry ingredients

1 1/2 cup sifted cake flour

1/2 cup isomalt

1/4 cup Swerve

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 4 cup loaf pan 8″ x 2.5″ loaf pan with non stick spray. In a medium bowl combine milk, eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for one minute. Add half the butter. Blend and add the rest of the butter. Add half the egg mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Kick up speed to high for one minute. Add 1/4 of egg mixture and mix for 20 seconds. Add the rest and mix for  twenty seconds. Scape down bowl and mix another 20 to 30 second. Bake in middle of rack for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Tough Cookie!!

I think eating healthy should not be a chore, ho hum, boring, or something to be dreaded.  My goal with A Double Portion is to share healthy recipes that are delicious, filling, exciting. sexy and so on and so on and so on!!!!. I have learned how to have my cake and eat it too. One of my first recipes for the New Year is a take on Edna Lewis’ teacakes.  Instead of using sugar, I use Isomalitol and monk fruit mixed with erythitol. I have had successful results with this teacake. Here is the recipe

Sugar Free Cookies

1 stick of butter, softened

1 1/2  cup  isomalt

1/2 cup monk fruit/erythitol

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup buttermilk (room temperature

1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest (can substitute any citrus)

4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

Isomalitol for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Mix together in a large mixing bowl  butter and sugar by hand or with blender. When well blended, add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the buttermilk and lemon zest.  Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a separate bowl. Add the flour by cups to the liquid ingredients mixing well after each addition (I use my hands because dough is thick). Divide the dough into four portions. Roll each portion on lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out 2 1/2 inch rounds.  Place 1/2 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with Isomalitol. Bake on the middle of the rack for 8-10 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack to cool. When cooled store in a tightly sealed tin for up to a week if they last that long.  Makes great gift also.

 

1 1/2 tsp of salt

 

 

 

 

What Is a Glycemic Index

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. A lower glycemic index suggests slower rates of digestion and absorption of the foods’ carbohydrates and may also indicate greater extraction from the liver and periphery of the products of carbohydrate digestion. A lower glycemic response usually equates to a lower insulin demand but not always, and may improve long-term blood glucose control[2] and blood lipids. A low-GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which leads to more suitable postprandial (after meal) blood glucose readings. A high-GI food causes a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels and is suitable for energy recovery after exercise or for a person experiencing hypoglycemia. Many fruits and vegetables (but not potatoes) contain very little carbohydrate per serving,. Fruits and vegetables tend to have a low glycemic index and a low glycemic load. GI values can be interpreted  as percentages on an absolute scale and are commonly interpreted as follows:

Classification GI range Examples Low GI 55 or less most fruits and vegetables, legumes/pulses, whole grains, nuts, fructose and products low in carbohydrates Medium GI 56–69 whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potato, sucrose, baked potatoes High GI 70 and above white bread, most white rices, corn flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, glucose, maltose

According to the Glycemic Research Institute there are natural sugars that do not stimulate fat storage and do not elevate your blood sugar. These are the ones you want to use when making sugar free desserts. The natural sugars or sweeteners need to have the following characteristics: All Natural No synthetics, no chemicals low glycemic index Not genetically engineered.

The following natural sweeteners are: erythritol xylitol stevia Blue agave syrup

Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol that occurs in fruits and fermented foods and does not affect blood sugar. If you eat too much of it it can have a laxative affect but it does not cause digestive discomfort as some of the other sweeteners do. Stevia and xylitol are also natural sugar alcohols. Xylitol is added to many products for sweetness including gum. Dentists sometimes recommend it because it “starves” harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. There are even toothpastes on the market that contain xylitol because it is so helpful in preventing tooth decay. . My favorite low glycemic sweetener is agave syrup which is widely available in natural foods stores. It tastes a little like a mild maple syrup and of course is low glycemic.

Try the recipe of the month Black Bean Brownies made with natural sweetners and cocoa and carob!!  You won’t even miss the refined sugar.

Welcome to A Double Portion

Welcome to A Double Portion where you can have your cake, and eat it too. Join me as I explore delicious ways of having the food you love, like cookies, cakes, and brownies. My philosophy of food is simple. Progressive American. This country has become a melting pot and I love to embrace spices, seasonings, and techniques from all cultures. I also believe you should be able to have more, a double portion. Again, Welcome to A Double Portion, where food is the star!!