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How to make homemade cassava flour (yucca flour)

Cassava is an excellent starch for the tropical diet. And making homemade cassava flour is a great way to store your crop with minimal space. My husband has been trying to grow cassava on our tropical fruit farm on Big Island for 6 years. But, every time the cassava is ready to harvest the wild boars come dig it up and eat it. Finally, we started planting cassava in our large garden protected by electric netting. This is the first year we have had multiple harvests. It takes a minimum of 6-7 months for smaller roots and for some varieties up to 24 months to harvest. Cassava grows readily from cuttings. If you are in Hawaiʻi and are interested in cassava cuttings, contact me or visit our farm website ainaexotics.com.

How to reduce cyanide in raw cassava

Most how-to recipes for homemade cassava flour tell you to cook cassava pieces first and then grate them. I think this is quite silly. The authors may be worried about cyanogenic compounds (cyanide) in cassava. But if you ever cooked cassava you know it becomes starchy and sticky, and very hard to grate.

There several methods to reduce the cyanogenic compounds (cyanide) in cassava. If you eat these compounds raw they have a toxic effect. There are also varieties with low cyanogenic compounds. One method of reduction is cooking by boiling, steaming or baking. Soaking the cassava in water also reduces the cyanide. Industrial producers of cassava flour rely on the drying and milling process to reduce cyanide levels. In the more traditional version of cassava flour, they ferment the grated cassava to reduce it’s toxicity, and then dry.

Gari – a fermented cassava flour / granules

There is similar product to milled cassava flour, called Gari. Gari is staple in West Africa, in particular Nigeria which is the leading industrial producer of cassava flour. There, they grate Gari and ferment it for 3-7 days. Then they roast it and sift it into cassava granules. Their goal is to achieve a slightly fermented and sour taste while assuring that the cyanogenic compounds are decreased. West Africans use Gari as a side dish, a thickener, and as an ingredient on other dishes, desserts and more.

My method for making homemade cassava flour

This tutorial gives you a few extra steps to reduce the cyanogenic compounds in case you would like to be on the safer side. These steps are optional but if you have the time, they can enhance the quality of the flour. Basically, I soak the peeled cassava in water and hang/slightly fermenting it overnight or up to 24 hours before drying. As I am writing this I have 13 pounds of shredded cassava that have been hanging from my bathtub curtain rod for 24 hours. I actually find the smell really pleasing, sort of nutty.

This is basically a 2-3 day process depending on how much cassava you are processing, if you decide to ferment (and length of ferment) and what time in the day you start. I started with probably 20 pounds of freshly harvested yucca. It took me about and 1 1/2 to peel, core and grate the cassava. Then I hung the cassava in a mesh bag for 24 hours. My drying process took 8-10 hours and by that time it was bed time. Consequently, I kept the pilot light of my oven on to prevent it from re-hydrating or molding, and I “milled” it the next day.

Here is a few more tips:

You are better off processing cassava fresh, within 2-3 days of harvesting. I processed some of the left over cassava on day 4 and there was noticeable deterioration of the root, it started to become streaked, sort of blue and in some cases there was evidence of rot. Also, the ends of the roots which weren’t tapered and clean cut had started to mold.

You can peel and wash and leave in soaked water for a few days in the fridge if you are not ready to deal with the grating or processing.

The knife pictured below is hardly big enough to process really thick roots. For those I use a really heavy duty butchers knife / cleaver.

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How to make homemade cassava flour

This step-by-step tutorial describes how to safely make cassava flour in your own home using a food processor and your oven or dehydrator.
Prep Time3 hrs
Total Time3 d
Course: Ingredient preparation
Keyword: Cassava, Flour, Gluten-free flour, Yucca
Author: katiestropicalkitchen

Materials

  • about 20 pounds Freshly harvested cassava root

Instructions

Peel, wash and core the cassava

  • With a sharp butchers knife, cut the cassava into pieces about 2 inches long (this will make it easier to peel and core. If your cassava if freshly harvested you can wash the cassava before you cut it to avoid dirt all over your counter, but I usually skip this step and wash it after peeling.
  • Using a smaller knife like a paring knife, make a deep incision in the thick peel of the piece, working around the cassava remove the peel (it's pretty easy).
  • Wash the cassava and place it in a bowl/pot of cool water. This will aid in reducing the toxic compounds, while you prepare the remaining cassava
  • If your cassava is larger than 1 ½ diameter it will probably have a woody core. To ensure your end product is digestable, it is best to take action to remove this. Simply cut the 2 inch piece into 4 pieces and slice a "triangle" off of each where you see the cassava sort of change color and texture, almost like a ring of a tree inside.

Grate and ferment the cassava

  • Grate your cassava in a food processor with the grater attachment.
  • Is you choose to, you can ferment the cassava at this stage to get a slightly nutty and more pronounced flavor. Using a mesh bag, hang the cassava for 5 – 24 hours, moving it around every once in a while to aerate the surface areas.

Dry Cassava

  • If you are using your oven, set it to the lowest temperature (mine goes to 170° F) I Spread the cassava out in a thin layer on baking sheets and prop a spoon in the door to let air escape (or use lever that is meant for broil). Depending on how thin the layer is you may need to mix the shreds every few hours. Should be done in 5-10 hours depending on thickness*
  • If you are using a dehydrator, place on trays in a thin layer and dehydrate on the highest setting ~159° F. For even results you should rotate the trays 1-2 times. The top trays dry quicker than the bottom.**

Mill the cassava shreds

  • If you have a small batch you can try putting directly into your high speed blender, pulse and shake it up every few pulses to achieve an even texture
  • For larger batches I recommend, using your food processor to chop the shreds into finer particles and then process in your blender.
  • To mill in your blender, fill the blender 1/3 full and pulse the first few times before putting on high speed for about 30 seconds. Make sure to have your counters clean without clutter because the flour particles will get everywhere when you open the blender.
  • At this stage there still may be gritter particles. You can sift them out now or sift them out according to the recipe you use. I've made bread with 1/4 homemade cassava flour and have used the flour in veggie burgers and never noticed the gritty parts. But If I was making something from just the flour I would probably sift out the grits and re-blend. For best result, in a tropical climate store in airtight bag in the fridge or freezer.

Notes

*The last batch I did was 13# of shredded cassava. It took using both my dehydrator and my oven full in relatively thick layers (1/2 inch). The oven cassava was done after 7 hours. You can subtract time from this if you are doing a smaller batch with thinner layers. Be aware if you over cook the cassava you will be roasting it. Which may have a nice flavor depending on what you plan to use it for.
**For my dehydrator -again my layers were thick – and it took about 10 hours after mixing up the shreds a little and rotating the trays).

More Resources:

http://www.cassavabiz.org/postharvest/Gari01.htm
https://permaculture.com.au/making-cassava-flour/


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Quinoa Yucca Veggie Burgers

I made this recipe for quinoa yucca veggie burgers when we had an abundance of cassava root and an abundance of quinoa from our original covid-19 stock up on protein rush. This recipe is great for making veggie burgers in bulk and then freezing a few for future snacking.


Ingredients for Quinoa Yucca Vegetable Burgers

  • 5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 cups cooked and roughly chopped casssava
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup or more gluten-free flour or not to coat

Steps for Quinoa Cassava Burgers:

1. Cook  the quinoa according to instructions 
2. Prepare and cook cassava
3. Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic, carrot, fresh herbs and sauté in pan until soft
4. In a food processor, blend cooked cassava, onion and herb sauté and egg and process until mostly smooth
5. Put cooked quinoa in large bowl and add cassava herb mixture from food processor mix well, season as desired
6. In a separate bowl add gluten-free flour or flour of choice. Place ⅓ cup mixture or so into bowl and form a ball, then squish into a patty
7. Then you can either pan fry, air fry, or bake your patties.
8. If your are using an air fryer I recommend 14 minutes brushed with coconut oil or sprayed with olive oil before and in the middle of cooking time before flipping 7 minutes into the cooking time
9. If you prefer to bake… bake at 425 and coat the pan in oil and brush the burgers in oil. You may then choose to flip halfway through baking at around 15 minutes.
10. If you are pan frying, they need about 3-5 minutes on each side to make sure the egg is cooked through. 

If you like this recipe you may like my….

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Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew

It has been a while since I have made this ginger beef stew for my hunny. For some reason I was re-inspired. Maybe it was the fresh shipment of Big Island Beef stew sent to my corner grocery store here in Pāpaʻaloa. I used to make this ginger & squash version of beef stew almost weekly for my hunny. My method is pretty dialed. I hope you find this recipe easy to follow. It is pretty forgiving. The most important part is that you cook the beef long enough. If you use tamari instead of soy sauce, and a gluten-free thickener this recipe is gluten-free and dairy free.

Ingredients for Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
  • 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced in whole, thin rounds
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 1-2 inches thick ginger, peeled and chopped in big slices
  • about ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ medium size tropical winter squash like Kabocha.
  • 2 potatoes, washed, skinned, quartered and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • about 2 tablespoons flour or thickener of your choice (I alternate with whatever is closest to reach – tapioca starch, cassava flour, rice flour)
  • fresh herbs of your choice – I use whatever I have growing which right now was rosemary, oregano, stick thyme, and parsley. I skipped the basil because the others were more potent spices when cooked down.
  • 2 Hawaiian chili peppers if desired

(optional: more veggies like red pepper, herbs, green beans, peas, etc).

Steps for Ginger Beef Stew with Pumpkin

  1. Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until aromatic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot
  2. Add stew meat and stir consistently until the meat starts to brown
  3. Once browned and sticking to bottom, deglaze pot with ¼ cup red wine and scrap brown bits until pot is clean.
  4. add 6 cups of water bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and bring to simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water as need to keep the beef stew submerged.
  6. add the squash in one whole piece and potatoes quartered
  7. simmer another 30-45 minutes until beef begins to fall apart
  8. add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  9. add salt and pepper to taste
  10. stir in fresh herbs and finish for another 10 minutes, making sure beef is tender and easy to cut in half with fork.
  11. Remove some of the broth and taste it for flavor. Then, stir in 1-2 tablespoons flour with a whisk into hot broth to dissolve.
  12. Add flour broth mixture to pot and allow to thicken for a few minutes before removing from heat.

Enjoy over a scoop of rice!

If you like this recipe maybe you will be interested in my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie.

 

 

 

 

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Vegetable Bean Loaf


This vegetarian bean load is pretty good for being so incredibly easy. And it is a great way to use all those beans you stocked up on! This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Bean and Lentil Loaf recipe from the book… “Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook”. This is my quick and dirty recipe. Enjoy your own variations! 

 

Recipe for Vegetarian Bean Loaf

Ingredients and steps:

Sauté these first:

  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 carrot copped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • large handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme etc.

Then in a food processor blend…

  • sautéed veggies and herbs
  • 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans drain and rinsed

After blended until smoother move to a bowl and add these remaining ingredients
½ cup breadcrumbs ( I use ½ frozen ends of loafs and ½ oatmeal)

  • ½ cup cheese (I use shredded Parm)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon or more to taste cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Bake at 350 degree in an oiled loaf pan for 45-60 minutes and serve warm or cold. 
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How to cook taro root using a pressure cooker

This simple recipe explains how to cook taro with a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can boil it, but it takes much longer 1-2 hours maybe more. You must be careful to fully cook all parts of the taro plant because it contains calcium oxalate. This will make your mouth feel numb, itchy, scratchy and very uncomfortable, with possibly worse side effects if you eat too much or are very sensitive.

If you don’t have a pressure cooked, I highly recommend the Presto Model number 01370. It holds 8-Quarts and is stainless steel and only about $52 on Amazon.

I actually process taro in both my “analog” pressure cooker and in my Instant Pot (which is a bit smaller 6 quarts) at the same time.

Taro, or known in Hawaii as Kalo, is an amazing plant. The roots, stems and leaves are all edible and have unique distinct character.  It is also extremely nutritionally dense. Compared to a potato, the taro root has more fiber and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and Vitamins C, E and Bs as well as trace minerals.

Taro is most known in Hawaii for Poi, a slightly fermented paste of cooked and mashed taro. However, taro is used to make many more things. You can dehydrate it and make flour, you can eat the steam stems as a vegetable, and the cooked greens are versatile in curries, wrapped around meat, in soups etc. This staple crop for tropical climates cannot be over estimated.

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How to cook taro using a pressure cooker

This simple recipe explains how to cook taro with a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker you can boil it, but it takes much longer 1-2 hours maybe more. You must be careful to fully cook all parts of the taro plant because it contains calcium oxalate. This will make your mouth feel numb, itchy, scratchy and very uncomfortable, with possibly worse side effects if you eat too much or are very sensitive.
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time45 mins
Pressure release time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian/Polynesian
Keyword: Kalo, Pressure Cooker, Taro

Materials

  • 8 cups large chunks of Taro

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub taro. I like to peel mine before I cook it because I feel like the scruffy skin would clog my pressure cooker. However, many others like to scrub it real good and clean the skin off after it is cooked.
  • Cut into fist size pieces and place them steam basket in pressure cooker.
  • Fill water up to right below the steam basket. Place taro into basket and secure the lid and Bring to pressure (you will notice the steam start coming out)
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook 30-45 minutes depending on how much you have in there and how big the pieces are.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 or more minutes. Release the pressure and wait until all steam has been released.
  • Open the pressure cooker, the taro should be soft, showing a few cracks, and also be easy to slice with a knife.

Recipe Ideas for Taro:

There are so many ways to prepare taro. We just started harvesting them on our farm and have done little experimenting. One easy way to prepare cooked taro is just to slice it and fry it in a shallow pan with 2 tablespoons or so of oil. Just add a little salt and pepper to each side and fry each side until crispy (about 3 minutes on each side). Another recipe that we’ve made several times is our taro millet vegetable burger recipe or my taro rice veggie burgers. My newest favorite way to use taro: Taro Carrot Banana Muffins

I also found these recipes while doing a few searches.

http://www.quericavida.com/recipes/taro-root-fritters/d9c2d0c4-9bb5-4d14-959c-1f1a1a8203e4

http://raygrogan2-ivil.tripod.com/tarogrowcookeat/id9.html

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/taro-kalo-burgers/

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Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (no milk or cream)

I developed this healthy cauliflower cheddar soup recipe while visiting the mainland. Like so many of my recipes, Adam bugged me for months to make him cauliflower cheese soup. I finally came through for him. This recipe comes out savory and super creamy. I don’t drink milk or use cream so unlike many recipes for this type of soup I didn’t add any extra dairy beyond the cheese. This soup is great for cheesy soup lovers who cannot tolerate the lactose in many types of cheese but can tolerate cheddar. It is also gluten-free and can be prepared vegetarian.

And yes, I know first hand that cauliflower isn’t easy to grow in the tropics. However, some talented farmers and gardeners are able pull off small crops and small heads in parts of the islands. But in the store they are largely unaffordable costing up to $10 for a head of organic cauliflower.  Hopefully our talented farmers will get better at growing and we’ll be able to enjoy more of them in Hawaii.

This soup goes great with toasty or fresh bread. Try my easy recipe for rosemary garlic focaccia bread or grandpa’s sourdough bread recipe

If you like this type of recipe you may also like:

winter squash bisque (gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and delicious)

coconut red pepper and squash soup (dairy-free, gluten free and vegan)

 

Recipe for cauliflower cheddar soup

.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Equipment: Regular blender or immersion blender

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 quart chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Sauté cauliflower, onion, potatoes, garlic in olive oil, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, add a little more oil as necessary to prevent sticking
  2. Once the onions are soft, add broth (should just cover the veggies) and bring to a boil until potatoes are tender (15-30 minutes depending on how small they are chopped).
  3. Let the soup cool until it safe to put in blender and then blend on high until creamy and uniform.
  4. Return to pot (rinse it out first) and heat on low
  5. Add cheddar and stir until combined
  6. Test it and add more salt and pepper.

This recipe was inspired by a few posted recipe’s including

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3327/cauliflower-cheese-soup

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cauliflower-cheese-soup

 

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Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

We are blessed right now to have eggplants coming out of our ears!!! (or just choke on our plants). So…I invoked this recipe from my repertoire. This recipe is a slight twist on the many variations of Indian dish Baingan Bharta.

All Baingan Bharta recipes have many ingredients in common: eggplant, onions,  tomatoes, ginger, pepper and garlic. Many add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, etc.  I learned to make this during my very first vegan phase in my early early 20’s. To make it heartier (more protein) I started adding chickpeas, and to counterbalance the heat in it, I favored adding a few plump raisins at the end. So in reality it is a bit far from any Baingan Bharta you would order at an authentic Indian restaurant, but in my opinion mo betta!

 

Recipe for Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

 

Servings: 4+ (~1 cup each)

eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium size eggplants
  • 1-2 medium-large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 1 large onions (chopped fine)
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (chopped fine)
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 inch (½ in diameter or so)piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 inch(¼ inch diameter or so) piece of turmeric grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 and ½ cup (or to liking) cooked chickpeas

ingredients for baingan bharta

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay eggplant on baking sheet, pierce eggplant to help let out steam.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over. Bake another 15 minutes or so until a knife enters easily skin starts to separate from the flesh of the eggplant
  3. Once cooled peel eggplant and roughly chop and mush
  4. Heat oil in large sauté pan (med-high heat) and add onions until they start to become soft, stirring very often
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and stir constantly for less than 1 minute
  6. Add tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for a time until tomatoes incorporate themselves into onions mixture.
  7. Add eggplant and mush a bit with your spatula or mixing spoon, allow to heat up and cook another 5 minutes or so on medium heat.
  8. For the last 5 minutes add chickpeas and raisins.
  9. Enjoy warm with rice, alone, over greens, or with naan, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Creamy macadamia nut dressing

This creamy macadamia nut dressing recipe is Adam’s creation. It is essentially one of the only dressings we make because it is so satisfying. It also has many different applications besides salad. For example, we use it mixed with pasta as the sauce, we use it in our tacos, on top of our shepard’s pie, to dip our carrots in and more. The texture is silky, with a slight tang, a subtle sweetness and a strange taste resemblance to bacon. Adam says it reminds him of the secret sauce commonly used in fast food restaurants. Yet, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, gmo-free, and extremely delicious.

Macadamia nuts are the local choice for nuts or seeds in Hawaii. They also have a unique set of nutritional benefits. Firstly, it is an excellent source of energy as it has one of the highest caloric values for the seeds/nuts (100g is 718 calories). They are high in fiber and are naturally gluten-free. Additionally, macadamia nuts are packed with minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc), antioxidants, and vitamins (especially B-complex vitamins, with smaller amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Macadamia nuts are also a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. These are known  to help lower total LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol.

Recipe for creamy macadamia nut dressing:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mac nuts (or other creamy nut, like cashews)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce (non-gmo and gluten-free)
  • 1/4 of a medium red bell pepper
  • 4-6” sprig of rosemary (stem removed)
  • 1/2 – 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard

Steps:

Blend ingredients together in blender, slowly adding water until creamy consistency is achieved. Add salt if necessary.

 Ideas for a salad:

Salad: (use as many as you have, but at least 3).

  • Chopped mixed lettuces
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Carrot slices (use a peeler to achieve thin strips)
  • Beet slices, same method as above
  • Sliced radish
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Fresh corn
  • Sprouts
  • Raisins
  • Chopped apples

Resources:

  1. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/macadamia-nut.html
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Raw carrot and beet salad with tahini dressing

My brother Dan brought this recipe beet salad with tahini dressing into my life. Him and his girlfriend used to make this often. To get me involved they started asking for my help making the dressing. After I had made the tahini dressing just a few times in their presence, they made me do it from ever on, which was how I built my confidence in making salad dressings. It is so creamy and yummy, it perfectly balances the earthiness of the raw beets and the sweetness of the carrots.

If you need a good way to include raw beets in your diet, this is it. It is also a great way to use raw carrots and beets from your garden. Guests are amazed at how good it tastes. Most people eating this salad recipe eat way more beets in one sitting than they ever would have. Remember, tahini is from ground sesame’s so anyone with an allergy to this should be warned  : )

If you looking for another way to use raw beets and carrots, juicing them has amazing health benefits. My very favorite homemade fresh juice is carrot apple beet juice with ginger. Afterwards I often use the pulp to make pulp bread.

If you like beets and sweets you should check out my killer recipe for beet brownies and also my healthy carrot cake recipe.

Raw carrot and beet salad with tahini dressing

Yield: 4-6 servings

Equipment: Food processor or other method for grating beets and carrots (e.x. mandoline slicer, spiralizer, cheese grater), and a blender for dressing.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 10 medium-large carrots
  • 2-3 beets
  • Lettuce or mixed baby greens

Tahini dressing ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (or more water)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt
  • optional: add a little goat cheese to make it creamy

Steps:

  1. First, prepare the dressing in blender by combining all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Next, grate the carrots and then the beets (easiest in food processor), if you wish squeeze a little lemon over them so the carrots keep their color.
  3. Place the carrots and beets in bowl and mix in the dressing, serve on top of lettuce or mixed baby greens (you will have more dressing than salad, dressing should stay good in refrigerator for about 5 days).

Resources on the Health Benefits of Beets, carrots, and tahini

  1. http://www.health.com/nutrition/beets-health-benefits
  2. https://www.almanac.com/blog/natural-health-home-tips/beets-health-benefits
  3. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298585.php
  4. http://www.realfoodforlife.com/10-benefits-of-carrots-the-crunchy-powerfood/