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Blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds

This simple and creamy blueberry banana smoothie is packed with antioxidants, protein, fiber and healthy fats.  It is an excellent substitution for your afternoon cookie or candy bar. It is also a good mid-morning treat.

The blueberry banana smoothie recipe is great because it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients on hand. We buy buckets of Artisana raw organic coconut butter which last for 15-18 months from the date of manufacturing. Additionally, blueberries and bananas can be stored in your freezer, frozen blueberries are good for 6-8 months and bananas for 2-3 months. Dried chia seeds have a shelf life of 2-4 years.

I am featuring chia seeds in this recipe, but I actually use them almost daily in my green smoothies. We buy Nutiva organic chia seeds (120z) bags at Costco (several at a time). Mostly, I add them for extra fiber and protein. It’s ideal to soak the chia seeds in water for at least 10 minutes before blending. Soaking them helps to sprout the chia seed adding in their digestion making the nutrients more bioavailable.

Two tablespoons (or 1 ounce) of chia seeds has about 130 calories, 8 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber (about 50% of daily recommended value for women), 5.5 grams of protein and no sugar. It also provides 18% of daily calcium, 27% of phosphorous, 30% manganese, and some potassium and copper.  Chia seeds have lots omega-3 fatty acids which help to increase HDL, the good cholesterol. The aid in weight-loss, with diabetes, digestion and detox.

Recipe for blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 medium-large banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter (we buy this in bulk and use it to replace milk in all dairy and non dairy recipes – Artisana Organic Raw Coconut Butter, 17 Pound)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4+ cubes of ice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water

Mix all ingredients in blender on high for two, 30 second intervals until very creamy and seeds are well incorporated. This smoothie has the best texture when consumed fresh but it will store for up to 2 days in the fridge.

blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds and coconut butterblueberry bananan smoothie nutrition facts

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Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

These blueberry banana spelt muffins have become a staple in my household. I make a double batch and they still hardly last us through the week. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. The amount of sweetener can be adjusted to your taste, but I tend to reduce the amount of maple syrup or honey and add a little stevia. This recipe highlights the use of spelt flour in cooking. Below is a little more information on spelt.

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a grass that originated in southeast Asia.  A relative of wheat, spelt is thought to be the “wheat” that was used over 9,000 years ago, it is considered an ancient grain and has been referenced in the bible. It remained a favorite grain until the 19th century agricultural revolutions and the modernization of wheat strains.

Spelt is more easily  digested than regular wheat and it has a reputation for helping people maintain good health. Additionally, it has more protein, fat and fiber than wheat, making it a  a high-quality energy source. The gluten in spelt is of a different molecule pattern than that in modern wheat. Whereas, today wheat has been designed/bred to have a high gluten content, the character of the gluten in spelt has not been modified from its natural state.

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website: “Spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in many people who are intolerant of wheat.” This is why my sweeties begs me to make him spelt muffins – we are taking a break from regular old wheat. In baking, spelt behaves like whole wheat flour and has a wonderfully nutty but subtle flavor. In comparison to oat flour, rice flour, etc. which have strong flavor profiles, spelt makes a better wheat substitution.

Recipe for Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins

Equipment:

  • oven
  • muffin tin
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons

Yield: 6 large muffins, 12 small-medium muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup instant rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 tsp fine ground good salt (like Celtic Sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined or refined) liquid form (but not hot)
  • 1/3 cup honey (substitute maple syrup, or reduce the sweetener and add a few drops of stevia)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas mushed well

Add last

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

 Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line muffin tin with coconut oil
  3. Mix wet ingredients well in medium bowl
  4. Mix dry ingredients well in separate smaller bowl
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredient and mix well but do not over mix
  6. Fold in blueberries at the end
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F for 6 large muffins. Reduce baking time to 20-30 minutes for smaller muffins. Baking time varies on environment, keep a close watch on your muffins looking for a firm golden-brown edge and top.
  8. Tooth pick should come out clean when inserted. Cool 5 minutes and remove from muffin tin.
  9. Enjoy these blueberry banana spelt muffins while still warm
 blueberry banana spelt muffins

 

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Chocolate Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Yum. This healthy chocolate banana blueberry smoothie recipe is kinda like dessert in a glass, but it has amazing SUPERFOODS in it so you can’t really feel like you’re making a bad choice here. All of the ingredients here would be best organic : ) Play around making some substitutions if you don’t have all the ingredients.

Recipe for healthy chocolate banana blueberry smoothie

Yield: About 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium frozen or fresh bananas
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (frozen is better because you can add less ice)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coconut butter
  • ¼ cup or less flax seed
  • ¼ cup or less raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 6-10 ice cubes

Blend on high in good blender, the finer the better (especially for the flax). Don’t let the smoothie warm up in the blender, blend in increments and add a few ice cubes at a time. Share and enjoy!

 

healthy chocolate banana blueberry smoothie

 

If you like this smoothie recipe check out my other smoothies:

guava passionfruit green smoothie recipe

blueberry banana smoothie with chia seeds

fresh papaya and lime smoothie

chocolate banana flax smoothie

green smoothie love

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Buckwheat spelt pancakes with sunflower seeds and bananas

These pancakes are made with HEALTHY HEARTY STUFF. When served  to Adam’s nephew, he gasped, “how did you make these taste so good?!” It’s true they are really quite yummy.

This pancake recipe highlights buckwheat, which is a highly nutritious and gluten-free cereal also referred to as kasha. It has numerous health benefits. For example, it contains rutin, glycoside, that has been shown to strengthen capillary walls and improve circulation.  It also contains all eight essential amino acids, thus is high in protein.  Buckwheat also has a lot of fiber, B vitamins and is shown to regulate glucose levels which is helpful for controlling diabetes.

This recipe uses coconut butter milk instead of buttermilk, (or milk substitute made by blending coconut butter and water), honey instead of sugar and is topped with sunflowers for added protein and banana for some fruit vibes!

Buckwheat pancakes with sunflower seeds and bananas

Servings: about 6-8 pancakes, ~5 inches in diameter

Equipment: frying pan and blender if making coconut butter milk

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup flour (I use spelt, but you could try using gluten-free flour mixes, or another mild or complementary flour like coconut, or almond)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups coconut butter milk (blend heaping tablespoons of coconut butter into water at room temp)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Steps:

  1. Combine wet ingredients and stir
  2. Combine dry ingredients and stir
  3. Stir dry into wet and combine but not over stir, batter shouldn’t be too thin, less runny than cake or brownie batter but not thin. Think about the batter for the box-kine pancakes. If too thin add a little more flour until thickens up a bit
  4. Let rest for 30 minutes or so for best results
  5. Heat pan on medium to medium high depending on stove top
  6. If using non-stick you just add a little butter or coconut oil. Otherwise with stainless steel, use a significant about so that it cover the pan and the pancake will not burn. This is always the hardest part about pancake.
  7. Cook on one side, add sliced banana and sunflower seeds, check bottom when it begins to brown and when top begins to bubble a little flip. Turn down heat if necessary. You want it to cook inside before it burns on the outside : ) About 2 minutes per side.
  8. Eat alone or serve with jam or maple syrup  : )

 

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Immune boosting coffee with chaga mushroom and coconut butter

This chaga coffee recipe results in a creamy, slightly sweet morning treat. It is absolutely the best, creamiest, super-beverage coffee that I have ever come across. The use of the medicinal mushroom chaga is comparable to use of reishi mushrooms by the coffee company Organo Gold.

It is an amazing way to sneak the superfood powers of mushrooms into your daily life. No need to drink mushroom tea! The flavor of coffee completely masks the earthy mushroom flavor. The coconut butter makes the coffee velvety and creamy and the maple sweetens it just enough. This is a great way to start you’re day off with healthy fats, immune boosting properties and minerals from the maple syrup. Read more about chaga at the end of this article. Lately, we’ve been drinking our coffee black, without the coconut butter and maple syrup, this is fine and there is no weird taste from the chaga.

Equipment: French Press, cheese grater

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  1. high quality whole bean organic coffee
  2. organic coconut butter (not oil)
  3. pure organic maple syrup
  4. wild harvested whole chaga

Steps:

  1. Use a cheese grater to add up to 1 tablespoon of powdered chaga
  2. Boil water first (212 F) and then reduce to simmer and add chaga and leave until water is brown. Traditional knowledge describes that chaga is best decocted in temperatures between 150F and 180F, although many people give it a boil for up to 30 minutes (including us because a slow extraction is more time consuming and because we like hot coffee, we believe that many benefits are retained).
  3. Add to 4 tablespoons ground coffee in french press, steep for 5 minutes, and press the top down to strain.
  4. In coffee cups add 1 heaping tablespoon coconut butter and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
  5. Pour less than ¼ cup hot coffee in cups and cream the coconut butter until smooth.
  6. Add rest of coffee and enjoy!!!

chaga mushroom

Chaga

(Inonotus Obliquus) is a mushroom that grows exclusively on birch trees. It feeds off of a non-toxic parasite in infected trees in cold areas like the northern parts of US, Canada,  Europe, Russia, and Korea. It has been used traditionally though out history as food and as medicine.

We use chaga primarily to boost our immune system, but it has several other health benefits due to it’s antioxidant properties (named in parentheses). It’s antioxidant properties are partially due to melanin,  a natural black pigment which has many polyphenols. Chaga also protects against oxidation and free radicals (super oxide dismutase enzymes).

Chaga has the highest ORAC score of any superfood. Beyond helping with the immune system  (Beta-D-Glucans), it helps to maintain healthy blood vessels, can help with ulcers and gastritis, can normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels (betulinic acid), can help fight cancer (phytosterols), can aid in pain. It also reduces blood sugar in people who suffer abnormal blood sugar peaks.  It is known for reductions in fatigue and inflammation, as well as increased mental sharpness. Traditionally, Siberians used it in their stews, soups, and teas. They extracted it with hot water. It is also important not to boil the chaga past 180 degrees, which would destroy the proteins, sterols, and enzymes.

Chaga is available whole, in chunks and in powder. Like many ingredients, the more whole the product when you receive it, the fresher, and more health benefits it will impart. I buy my chaga on Etsy. Here is a link one seller that I’ve bought from.

Contraindications:

  • high in oxalates, which in large doses can prevent the absorption of nutrients and may be toxic in high doses

Chaga resources

  1. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/chaga-mushroom-the-immune-boosting-superfood/#3
  2. http://www.faim.org/sites/default/files/documents/PPNF-Journal-Chaga.pdf
  3. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/chaga-mushroom
  4. https://oriveda.wordpress.com/chaga-the-facts/
  5. http://www.organogold.com

 

 

 

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Simple Chocolate-Banana Flax Smoothie

This chocolate flax smoothie recipe is wonderful when you are craving something sweet. Good for an afternoon snack or even dessert, this recipe is so simple and flexible. You can add more super foods if you want like chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, gogi berries, maca powder etc.

This recipe highlights flax seed. Flax seed not only has high fiber content, but it also has high omega-3 fatty acid content. It contains lignans, which have antioxidant properties, and their mucilage content (it’s gummy when ground and mixed with liquid) helps them remain in the stomach longer to absorb nutrients. Flax may also help regulate the female menstrual cycle and hormones (1). Flax is best consumed when it is ground fresh. Whole flax seeds are hard to chew and may pass through the digestive system completely. Raw cocoa powder also has many antioxidants and natural caffeine, so you can feel good about this smoothie, for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack.

 

Yield: about 12 oz

Equipment: Blender

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 tablespoons whole flax seed (to make the smoothie less thick, reduce this amount)
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsweetened chocolate powder
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup water, almond milk, coconut milk or other substitute ( I use coconut butter and water)
  • Optional sweetener like honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste

Steps:

  • Blend everything together on high in intervals of 30 seconds until smooth.
  • Add sweetener if desired.
  • Chill if not cool enough.

 

(1) Phipps, W. R., Martini, M. C., Lampe, J. W., Slavin, J. L., & Kurzer, M. S. (1993). Effect of flax seed ingestion on the menstrual cycle. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 77(5), 1215-1219. doi: 10.1210/jcem.77.5.8077314

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Simple Buckwheat Pancakes with sliced banana

This recipe gives buckwheat pancakes a the good reputation they deserve.  I made them for Christmas morning for my sweetie and his parents. Although they were my first experimentation with buckwheat, ever, they came out really yummy and hearty. I made silver dollar sized pancakes, and everyone ate them until they were gone! Topped with a little bit of pure maple syrup from the Catskill Mountains in New York and a little bit of organic butter and they were delicious and filling. Next time I’ll try adding some mac nuts or berries.

Recipe for Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup organic white flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk (we use coconut butter blended with water to make a sort of coconut milk substitute)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1 tablespoon + pure maple syrup for in the pancakes plus more for eating after
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sliced bananas

Steps:

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet to the dry and stir gently
  4. Then, heat coconut oil in a pan on medium to medium high when oil starts to get hot add the pancake batter.
  5. Add sliced bananas to the top of the pancakes
  6. Leave it until it starts to bubble and then flip over and cook for another 3 or so minutes
  7. Serve warm with butter, coconut oil and maple syrup.

 

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Fresh papaya and passionfruit (lilikoi)

This fresh papaya and passionfruit recipe is the simple marriage of fresh papaya and lilikoi flesh. Papaya’s latin name is Carica papaya and it is from the family Caricaceae. It is one of the fastest growing fruit trees in Hawaii and also one of the greatest agricultural products to be exported from the island chain. In Australia it is known as Paw Paw. It is native to southern Mexico and Central America, but is now grown in subtropical and tropical locations all over the world.

If you have never had a ripe papaya it tastes a faintly like a mix of melon, bananas, pineapple. It has a flesh that is similar to a soft melon. In Hawaii, papaya is so abundant that almost everyone has a few papaya trees even on smaller plots of land. Another great thing about papayas is that they grow year round. Likewise, they are inexpensive and abundant in stores. Try to look for non-GMO varieties, some of which include: Mexican Red , Caribbean Red, Maradol, Royal Star, Singapore Pink, and Higgins.

 

Caution: The more unripe a papaya is, the more latex it contains, which may aggregate people with latex allergies.

Passionfruit is called Lilikoi in Hawaiian

Equally common in Hawaii is passionfruit or lilikoi vines. These vines require little maintenance after planting as long as they have something to climb. Comparable to papayas, passionfruit vines have a long fruiting season. Here on the Hamakua coast of Big Island our vines mostly fruit from late Summer to early Winter. The ripe fruits drop to the ground from the vines that can climb the tops of trees, fences, buildings etc.

papaya and passionfruitIn Hawaii, papaya is a common accompaniment with breakfast. It is usually garnished with a wedge of lime which is squeezed on top to liven the flavor. Even if this combination doesn’t convince you to eat papaya regularly, you should definitely give papaya with fresh lilikoi a try.

All you need to do is scoop out the the seeds from a halved a papaya. Then scoop out of the seeds from the halved lilikoi into the papaya flesh and enjoy with a spoon.

 

Resources

  1.  https://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-facts-about-papaya.html
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Healthy Cornbread with Coconut Oil

I grew up on Jiffy cornbread. In fact, I learned to bake with these packaged mixes. I know they have their time and place but once you learn more and more about processed foods it is hard to buy  pre-made mixes. In fact, there are many reasons to stay away from baking mixes. For one, the fewer ingredients a recipe contains, the more wholesome it is. Eating WHOLE foods is the key to a healthy existence.

This recipe for healthy cornbread with coconut oil is comparable to your traditional cornbread with butter and buttermilk.

2014-08-03 11.19.20

wet ingredients:

  • 1 and ⅓ cup milk (I have used whole, organic, raw milk from the mountains of Pa‘auilo), you could also do ⅔ buttermilk (2 teaspoons lemon juice and milk and let sit for 10 minutes) and then ⅔ cup regular milk.
  • 2 eggs (organic)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (Big Island honey all the way)
  •  2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or substitute 2 tablespoons butter )

dry ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free 🙂
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (fine ground sea salt of celtic sea salt)
  • 1 cup corn meal, you can buy coarse cornmeal and grind it in your blender to have a fresher taste and texture
  • 1 cup white flour (white, unbleached, bread flour)

steps:

1) butter/oil baking pan

2) mix dry ingredients

3) preheat oven to 400 degrees, place buttered pan in oven to warm it

4) whisk wet ingredients

5) mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moist (do not over mix), batter should be runny

6) take hot buttered/oiled pan out of oven and put batter in hot pan, should sizzle a little

7) bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges creep away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown. 2014-08-03 11.00.13 8) turn onto wire rack 2014-08-03 11.01.18 9. for best results serve warm with butter, oil, or jam : )

2014-08-03 11.19.20

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Raisin cinnamon swirl bread

This raisin cinnamon swirl bread recipe will take you back to you childhood. Nostalgic sugar sweetened plump raisins in chewy bread. This recipe is not complicated. Just follow the steps and allow time to let it rise until it doubles in size 2x. This recipe is perfect for a Sunday morning when you are just hanging around the house. Don’t rush the rising process!

Recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Equipment needed:

  • oven
  • loaf pan
  • wire cooling rack (optional)
  • heavy duty mixer or food processor

 dry ingredients (step 1):

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 -3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 and ½ cup flour

wet ingredients (step 2-3):

  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk (⅔ cup milk + 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice-let sit for 5 minutes)

Other ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons yeast (for step 3)
  • 1 cup + raisins, for best results they should be brought to room temperature (for step 8)

Steps:

1) mix dry ingredients

2) add ⅔ cup milk regular milk (not buttermilk) into a bowl and add ½ cup of brown sugar, stir to dissolve

3) add yeast to milk and brown sugar mixture. let sit for 5 minutes. stir to dissolve (make sure you STIR and allow it to dissolve before adding anything else).

3) mix until combined and makes a soft dough

4) knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic and then place in oiled bowl covered with towel. (although metal bowls are said to conduct too much heat, and rise the dough too quickly. even though I live in the tropics, where it is always warm and humid, my place is windy. I find that my dough rises good in my kitchen aid bowl.)

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5) let rise until double in size (no matter how long it takes).

6) after doubled in size, punch down and turn over onto lightly floured surface, let rest for 10 minutes

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7) roll out dough into large rectangle, a good 5 inches or more long than your loaf pan

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8. Add raisins and rolls into a loaf, tuck the sides in and place in the loaf pan and let rise again (until doubled in size (can be ½ hour to 2 hours).

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9. bake in an oven at 425 degree F until the top starts to brown

10.  reduce to 350 degrees F for about 20 more minutes. Cool on wire rack and love it.

2014-08-03 12.22.51    2014-08-03 12.24.06

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