How to make juice without a juicer!

juice4juice 3 juice2juice1I love the idea of juicing everyday, but for years I’ve put off buying a juicer. Mainly because I’m really particular about THE ONE and I haven’t found room for it yet in my budget. *in other words- my priorities are whacked*

Anyhow, if you too find yourself buying bottle after bottle of vino, rather than saving for that juicer-do not fret! You can make a yummy juicy with your trusty old blender and a wire mesh strainer. Easy peasy. And I am here to tell you how.

I like to make my juice with as many veggies as possible, and rarely ever add fruit. I also recommend taking it easy on the carrots and beets too, because they are higher in sugar and without the fiber of the plant, will cause your blood sugar levels to go through the roof. So don’t go too crazy on these or you might as well head over to the mall for a Jamba Juice…(blech)

Here’s the scoop:

  • Add all your veggies to the blender with 1-2 cups of filtered water
  • Blend just enough for it all to form a nice puree *Avoid ‘overblending’ to save the nutrient integrity of the veggies
  • Pour it through your strainer into your glass (or bowl because it gets kinda messy)  *You may have to stir/scrape the mixture while it is in the strainer to allow all the liquid to pass through

I like to add a spoonful or two of the pulp back into my juice for a little fiber, a couple squeezes of lemon, and a pinch of sea salt and that’s it. Done. Delicious, you’re gonna love it….

Sweet Potato Buns

Here is a fun little breakfast treat from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, another great blog with amazing recipes! I’m now trying to avoid all grains, not just wheat/gluten, and one thing I really miss  is sandwiches! Especially a nice breakfast sandwich. So when this recipe popped up on my screen, it totally caught my eye.  I had to try it.
I tweaked it a bit, of course, but that is the beauty of cooking food yourself–you can do whatever you damn well please, thank you. I used arugula, tomato, avocado and scrambled eggs for my sammie and I’m not gonna lie, it was super messy to eat but SO delish. I think if I could have made the ‘buns’ crispier, it might have been easier to eat like a sandwich. No matter, a fork worked perfectly.  So go here for the recipe and really beautiful pictures of  Sweet Potato Buns. Stay here for a second and see how mine came out…..Not as pretty in pictures, but oh, so tasty.

sweetpot1
Slice
sweetpot3
Bake
sweet pot
Tada! Looks like toast…


 

 

 

 

Duck Fat and More

IMG_1819     I love this stuff. After finding out about my dairy intolerance, I have been on the search for a safe fat to cook with.  I love coconut oil but I sometimes want something that has the similar warm, rich taste of butter for cooking. I have known about the benefits of different animal fats for awhile now, just finally got around to trying duck and chicken fat in 2013. YES. You read that right. I said benefits of animal fats. The truth is our bodies need healthy fats to function properly and animal fats happen to be a stable source to use for cooking. Not to mention they are delicious, satisfying and add a certain depth to your meals like no other.
    The big problem is that we have been mislead. There are many oils people are using to cook with that are simply not safe when heated and some not good to ingest at all. The no-no’s include canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil and heaven help us all…..any type of margarine. These oils are extremely processed usually with harsh chemicals and heat. They are most often made from genetically modified ingredients and are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated which creates harmful trans fatty acids. Basically putting these into your body equals a small machete hacking away at your arteries….OUCH.
    Here are some good articles that explain more about different kinds of fats and oils, benefits of fats to our health and also the crazy processing that occurs with commercial vegetable oils. Don’t just walk away from your computer now, for the sake of your health- READ THESE!!

http://www.ntptalk.com/articles/safer-fats-for-cooking-part-1.php

http://www.ntptalk.com/articles/safer-fats-for-cooking-part-2.php

Oh, and for sure don’t skip this one. This Doc is a real hottie……

http://www.draxe.com/canola-oil-gm/

Equally as unhealthy as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils,  are oils that have gone rancid. Good oils for cooking are the more saturated types because they are more chemically stable and less prone to rancidity when heated.  Some options are coconut oil, palm oil, and animal fats like duck fat, butter or ghee. Oils like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined sunflower oil,  and flax seed oil are best for drizzling over foods and should not be heated. They are unstable oils and can become rancid with heat and light. This means more free radicals for your poor body to deal with. Stop it now!

Here is a guideline of what to look for when choosing your fats and oils:

  • first pressed or cold pressed
  • unrefined
  • dark colored glass jars
  • organic and/or non-genetically modified
  • some oils, like flax seed or fish oils should always be refrigerated

And when searching for animal fats, the key words to look for are fats rendered from grass-fed or pastured animals, organic and hormone-free. I am lucky to live in Portland, Oregon and I can find these at local grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Search around your markets, start with the meat department or try asking local farmers in your area. Good luck and happy eating!

 

 

Paleo/Primal Eaters: Don’t Forget Your Veggies!

Last night I was thinking about how interesting it is that people always ask me if I’m a IMG_1765vegetarian. It happens all the time, even though I’ve been eating meat for years. I was talking with my parents about it, and my mom said it’s because I always eat a lot of vegetables. Well, I guess mom was right. I feel like something is missing when I have a meal without my beloved green things.  The truth is…..I *heart* veggies!

Sometimes the thought of a primal/paleo/low carb way of eating conjures up images of huge drumsticks, fatty strips of bacon, steaks, eggs, etc. I eat all these things as well, as long as they are coming from a good clean source. This means grass-fed, and pasture raised if possible, or at least hormone free.  Just say no to factory farmed meats. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to support that industry in any way. And for that reason, I once did try to be a vegetarian. (That lasted about two seconds, then I started dating a guy who was a chef and it was all over.) Wow. I’ve changed so much, from the girl who didn’t really like meat and was scared to eat an ounce of fat. Anyways, I can talk about bacon for days, but back to the veggies…..

My point is that just because we are eating more proteins these days, doesn’t mean not eating lots and lots of veggies! If you are not filling up on starchy carbs or dairy products, then you need to eat more than just meats. Otherwise you are missing out on tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Not to mention probably eating way too much protein. Vegetables fill you up so you won’t feel the need to overeat. The biggest mistake is letting yourself get too hungry, because then we tend to reach for sugary snacks or processed food for a quick fix. Plus veggies make your plate look pretty : ) I like to think of my greens or veggie as my bread, rice or pasta and use it the same way. For example, pasta sauce over spaghetti squash or lightly steamed greens. And as much as I like warm food in the cold months, I make sure to include some raw vegetables everyday too.

So, the moral of the story is: your momma was right. Eat your veggies!