Cashew Ginger Crunch

ginger2Fresh ginger is a spice known botanically as Zingiber officinale.  

This odd “horn shaped” spice offers a distinctive flavor. It is pungent, spicy and aromatic adding special flavor and zest to many fruit and veggie recipes.

Ginger has been prized and used in cultures all over the world for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties for at least 2,000 years.

Scientific studies reveal that ginger offers antioxidant effects and other important therapeutic properties.

It has been known for centuries as a very effective solution to symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In fact, ginger is regarded as an excellent spice for promoting the elimination of intestinal gas as well as offering the ability to relax and sooth the intestinal tract.

Ginger has also proven very effective in preventing symptoms of motion sickness and even beats out Dramamine (an over the counter motion sickness drug) in effectiveness. All symptoms associated with motion sickness including vomiting, cold sweats, nausea and dizziness are effectively reduced with ginger.

This odd looking but zesty spice offers potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols – the component responsible for ginger’s distinctive flavor. Research shows that gingerols may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells and has proven effective in reducing pain levels and improving mobility in those that suffer with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Because ginger is extremely safe to use and only requires a small dose, it has even been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women and proven effective for those suffering with migraine head-aches.

Depending on the variety chosen, ginger can be white, yellow or red in color and covered with a thin or thick (depending on when it was harvested – mature or young) brownish skin. The active substances in ginger are very concentrated so it does not take much to receive its beneficial effects.

Fresh ginger is far superior in flavor to dried ginger and contains higher levels of gingerols.

Mature ginger (more readily available than its younger counterpart) is readily available year around in the produce section of your favorite grocery store or super-market. It has a tougher skin than young ginger so it must be peeled before use. Once peeled it will last up to 3 weeks refrigerated while unpeeled ginger can last as long as 6 months. Be sure to choose ginger that is firm, smooth and mold free.

Ginger is so versatile that you may also find it in crystallized, candied or pickled form.

Try this healthy quick to make Cashew Ginger Crunch snack…

 

Cashew Ginger Crunch

1 cup cashewsgingerbars

1 cup dried apricots

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Put all ingredients except for the honey into a food processor and process until roughly chopped but still with some texture. Add honey and process just long enough for it to blend.

Press into a dish or on a plate about ¾ inch thick and refrigerate for about an hour or more.

Cut into squares or any shape and enjoy!

Most veggies and many herbs and spices can be used with great success in desserts and treats and can be key to getting the required daily requirements of nutrients that your body needs.

If you are ready to expand beyond your traditional recipes and upgrade them to a more nutrient dense level you will love my newest creation…“Blended Bites.

Treat Your Sweet Tooth to Healthy Raw Desserts…

raw cacao2Shifting your lifestyle from one with destructive, disease inviting habits to one that embraces health and wards off disease doesn’t have to be as painful as some people believe especially when it comes to diet.

Many people are under the misguided belief that their “sweet tooth” will suffer in this transition and because of that they stay locked into their unhealthy eating patterns and health destroying desserts.

But the reality is, you don’t have to give up your sweet desserts and treats. You simply have to change your perception of desserts and treats and modify them to reflect healthier ingredients.

What better way is there to make a lifestyle shift towards healthier eating and better health than with decadent raw desserts that are as healthy as they are delicious?

Truth is, you can serve up delicious raw desserts, snacks and treats that are created from the healthiest foods on earth…those that Mother Nature provides us.

When your desserts are made with real, whole, healthy ingredients that our bodies were designed to eat and process…those that provide anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes what is there to feel “bad” or guilty about?

You can replace your guilt with “joy of knowing” that you while your taste buds are getting a treat, your body is getting the gift of nutrition.

Dried fruits and other natural sweeteners replace harmful white sugar, coconut and its oil replace butter, cream and eggs (avocados are often used to replace fat too) and ground nuts can be used to replace flour. The only things you eliminate are bloating, lethargy and guilt. In return you get energy and a feeling of lightness…and all the joy, goodness and satisfaction you want and expect from dessert.

With a new perception we can appreciate desserts in a whole new way – raw and healthy. Raw desserts are a delight literally. They taste better than their counterparts and offer fresh dynamic “clean” flavors because they are created from real, whole healthy ingredients.

Imagine throwing almonds, avocados, dates and cacao powder in a food processor and creating rich cream chocolate mousse. Or, how about serving up a slice of “cheesecake” that you’ve put together with healthy ingredients like fruits and nuts that could easily rival something in a gourmet bakery.

And, to make your raw desserts even healthier…try adding vegetables to them.

Raw desserts offer more flexibility than their baked or cooked counterparts and eating them helps us to not only achieve ultimate health but it helps us to maintain a healthy weight. The negative impacts of chemicals in our food and our exposure to food allergens like wheat, dairy and gluten are eliminated.

Next time you serve dessert, feel good about what you are serving. Try serving something made with raw healthy ingredients and watch as people’s face light up and they come back for seconds.

Here’s a simple but delicious fudge recipe that’s sure to quench your sweet tooth and bring in rave reviews.

White Chocolate Goji Fudge

Grind up:

1/2 cup goji berries (usually sticky not really a powder)goji fudge

Blend until smooth:

1/2 cup cacao butter

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup agave nectar

Blend in ground goji powder and mix in by hand:

1/2 cup cacao nibs, 1/2 cup whole goji berries

zest from 1 orange

Spread in a glass pie plate and chill in the freezer until firm.

Serve and accept compliments with grace…

Isn’t it time you began introducing much ignored nutrient-dense super-star ingredients into all your dishes…including your desserts?

For more delicious, nutritious desserts and treats – “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies.” Inside  you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes…

Enjoy These Ginger Carrot Protein Bites Anywhere

carrots2

Without a doubt, vegetables boost the nutrient density of any meal or snack they are invited to.

They are perfect in salads and mandatory as side-dishes and are the perfect finger food snack item adding texture, taste, color and flavor wherever or however they appear.

They can be sweet or tangy, soft or crunchy, dressed up or plain, mixed with sauces or shining on their own and nature seems to have provided us with an endless variety to choose from.

But their beauty and benefits don’t stop in the savory department. These colorful, sometimes exotic foods are broad in spectrum and serve us equally well when included in desserts and treats. [Read more…]

Chocolate Zucchini Bars

chocolatepie

Zucchini, a summer squash (also goes by the name courgette), has its origins in America although countries like Japan, China, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Argentina are the largest producers of Zucchini today.

Although there are a few varieties from yellow (golden) to light green and dark green, the dark green is the one most often found and that most people are familiar with. [Read more…]

Dates are the Perfect Sweet Binder and Base…

icecream2As consciousness shifts towards healthier living and eating, sugar-free foods continue to be a hot topic and new and healthier recipes are surfacing to meet the demands of these health conscious cooks.

Making the switch to sugar free desserts and treats is easy when you discover the natural sweetness and texture that dried fruits provide and dates take a starring role.
[Read more…]

Tiny But Powerful Goji Berry…

goji berriesThe incredible edible Goji Berry.

This little but power packed berry has been around since the early days of Chinese medicine (they are still used to treat eye, liver and kidney issues) and has recently surfaced and regained popularity.

Goji berries, considered both a fruit and an herb are native to parts of Asia (popular in the Himalayas and Tibet) and Europe and are sometimes referred to as “wolf berries” and “Tibetan goji.” [Read more…]

The Incredibly Versatile Sweet Potato…

sweet potatosThe incredible sweet potato. This high powered super food deserves a article of its own for what it contributes to our health and well-being.

Sweet potatoes are root veggies (meaning they grow below ground) that are treated in similar ways to butternut squash, turnips and parsnips.

There are about 400 different varieties with the skin and flesh appearing from white to cream to yellow, to orange (these are the most common) to pink and deep purple. They are often mistakenly grouped together with yams but they are a different food family altogether. [Read more…]

Yummy Lemon Kale Cheesecake

kaleKale in a cheesecake? You bet!

All hale the kale! Without a doubt, Kale has surfaced as a trendy but here to stay super-food. There are a few different varieties of kale available that include dinosaur kale, curly kale, baby kale, flat Tuscan kale and Red Russian kale. Kale is also known as borecole or cow cabbage.

This green powerhouse veggie sports a broad nutritional value. [Read more…]

Delicious Chocolate Zucchini Cheesecake

Zucchini CheesecakeSuper foods are an amazing source of minerals, vitamins and super-antioxidants (to fight disease). All the attention, focus and trend towards incorporating them into our diets is here to stay.

Every year new superfoods are being discovered and catapulted high on the health and nutrient list and each one has its own army of supporters and devotees. [Read more…]

Pumpkins Pay Big Health Dividends…

pumpkin and seeds2Pumpkins are oftentimes associated with the fall season, but this stand-out super-food is an excellent ingredient to use year round in both savory and sweet dishes.

The beautiful orange unique globe shaped squash is low in calories with only 83 calories per cup and provides us with an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients including potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamins C (17% of your daily requirement in just one cup) and E and a wealth of fiber. This helps to keep us to feeling full and satisfied. [Read more…]