MAP Wellness

MAP Wellness
Spreading the Health

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dairy Got You Down?

Come see me make this LIVE at my upcoming "Intro to Raw Food" Culinary Workshop on May 26th.  Seats on sale now for $40!

It's smoothie season!  Well, wait.  Every season is smoothie season as far as I am concerned.  But the seasons of spring and summer certainly do inspire lighter eating in many of us.  I know that personally, I do tend towards more raw food and liquid lunching this time of year, and even though I have recently retired my hat as a  vegan, I do still prefer using a non-dairy base in my blended concoctions.  Why?  Well I often puree up more than one beverage in the morning, enjoying one straight away for breakfast, and toting the second in my bag to work to enjoy as a midday pick-me-up.  And I don't like the idea of my smoothie greens marinating in dairy all day long...I don't know is that weird?  Not to mention  I also like to add fresh or frozen fruit to my smoothies too, and the combo of dairy and fruit can wreck some real havoc on my digestive system! 

I prefer to make my own rather than purchasing one of the many tetra pack products from the store as this way I can control what goes into the recipe; non of the additives or preservatives that mass produced beverages often require. 

Regardless of reason, I think we can all stand to ditch the dairy every now and then, and replacing your cows' milk with one of these plant-based options in your daily drink is a great place to start.  Nut and seed milks are packed full of protein, and make for nutritious and delicious snacks any time of day.
Classic Almond Milk
1C Almonds, soaked at least 6 hours
4 C water
2 dates or 1 T agave syrup
2 t vanilla

Drain almonds from soaking water. Add to blender with water, dates and vanilla. Process for 2 minutes. Strain through nutmilk bag. You can save the remaining pulp, dehydrate it and use it as flour for other recipes.

ALTERNATIVE: If you do nut have a high powered blender or nut milk bag, or are simply in a pinch, combine 4 cups water & 2 tablespoons raw nut butter and blend.  No straining necessary!

Coconut Milk
3 C coconut flakes or unsweetened dried coconut shreds
5 C water

Blend, strain, enjoy!  Store in the fridge, and bring to room temperature, and re-blend  before serving for best consistency.

Be aware that homemade milks do separate upon rest.  Shake vigorously prior to serving!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creamy Cashew Coconut Soup

I have been rather absent for my blogging the last few weeks due to some major deadlines & projects that took up more time than I had imagined!  But it feels good to be back here online, and back in my kitchen playing with FOOD!

I just wrapped up a very busy weekend up in cottage country, where I was guest speaker/presenter/yoga teacher during the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's Spring Wellness Weekend at Taboo Resort.  It was a beautiful event, and I feel blessed to have been selected to lead not one, not two, but THREE sessions over the course of the three days.  My two hour lecture on how to overcome trauma and life's many hurdles was a brand new experience for me, but received great response, as did my yoga class & RAW Food Demo (60 ladies got to sample my recipes!).  I am very excited to have been asked to again take part in another upcoming retreat weekend with the organization in June, and if you want to see picture highlights from this past week's event, and hear about what's on tap for MAP Wellness in the coming months, sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Now, onto today's recipe...

With the warm weather that has finally been whisked into our world, I find myself even more in want of easy, breezy raw meals.  Sometimes a gal gets tired of salads, and so I decided that this week I wanted to whip up a light and fresh soup that I could snack on all day long, but that also had enough sustenance to hold off hunger pangs if it was all I managed to scarf down on busy afternoons at the clinic.  What I came up with is the following cashew creation, that I managed to create using only a handful of ingredients I had on hand; no grocery store trip required.  Whiz away!

Creamy Cashew Coconut Soup

In a high powered blender, puree the following until rich, smooth, and frothy:

2 C water
1 C dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 C raw cashews
1 clove garlic
3 dates
2 T fresh OJ or 1/2 an orange
1/2 t onion powder OR 1 green onion
pinch chili flakes
1 t sea salt

To serve, top with your choice of thai inspired stir-ins such as:

cucumber or zucchini noodles (I used tofu noodles)
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
fresh cilantro
baby spinach 
diced fresh shallot
sliced avocado
(I used tofu noodles, green mango, basil & goji berries!)