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Fourth of July will be here very soon. Before you start feeling bad for vegetarians, I have a really awesome bean burger recipe to share. It’s is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine and changed a thing or two. The original recipe asked for quinoa, but I felt that buckwheat, while similar in texture, has a more “meaty” look to it. That, and I had some leftover buckwheat laying around. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 cup cooked buckwheat

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drained and finely chopped

1.5 cups black beans ( cooked or canned and drained) – I like to use canned spicy beans here

1.5 cups water

2 tsp.   steak seasoning

2 garlic cloves, minced

optional: a few drops of Tabasco sauce

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil for oiling the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium frying pan, sautee the onions, the tomatoes and the carrots for about 4 minutes, mixing periodically. Use the oil form the tomatoes to sautee. Add the beans, the spices and the water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to the food processor, add the buckwheat and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Oil up the baking sheet. Form 8 patties, using your hands. Arrange the patties in the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the patties are crisp on top. Flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes, until both sides are crisp and brown.

Serve in a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato. Mayonnaise, ketchup and cheese are optional.

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Healing Cream

With a complete overabundance of “natural treatments” available on the market, it’s very hard to tell which ones work and which ones don’t. A lot of herbal creams do not have the herbs, listed as ingredients, in high enough concentration, to make a difference. Coyote’s Natural Medicine products are as pure as they can get. They are made with loving care from pure organic herbs and this is why they work like magic. I have been using them myself and advertising them to all of my friends ( without being paid for it.) These natural remedies are made form organic herbs that my midwife and her husband grow in their beautiful garden in Florida. Their Coyote’s Natural Medicine line offers  baby products, ointments, vitamins and more. Their “healing cream” is probably my favorite product and I believe everyone should have a jar. I used it post-partum and it helped my sore bottom like the best anesthetic. I also used it on my kids’ bruises, burns and cuts.

Remember the carrot ginger soup recipe I posted recently? What would you do with the pulp that’s leftover from juicing 3 cups of carrots? I made a casserole that turned out pretty good.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups carrot pulp (or grated carrots)

1 medium onion

1/2 cup olive oil

4 small zucchinis, sliced

1 cup of grated cheese ( I used the almond cheese variety)

2 eggs or chia gel substitute

a few drops of tabasco

1 tsp curry

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sautee the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil. add the carrots to the onion and some more olive oil. Saute, mixing periodically, for about five minutes. Add the parsley and the spices and sautee for another minute or two. On a separate pan, sautee the zucchinis in some more olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the zucchinis to the carrots and mix well. Mix in the cheese and the eggs. Oil the baking dish and (optionally) sprinkle some breadcrumbs on it. Put the casserole mixture in and bake for about 35-45 minutes.

I served this casserole with quinoa and  a salad with avocado in it. Avocado’s moisture balanced this casserole’s flavors really well.

I have a few recipes of healthy cookies that I like to use. This one I found on a Russian website a year or so ago. It’s simple, gluten-free, can be made vegan and always turns out fabulous! Occasionally, I add raisins or almond slices to this recipe.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs (or chia substitute)

1/3 cup buckwheat honey

1 tsp coconut oil

Warm up the oven to  325°F. Mix the eggs or the chia gel with the powdered sugar, add honey, добавить мед and flour and mix well.  Cover the dish with the dough with a kitchen towel and let stand in  a cool dry place for thirty minutes. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper and oil it up with coconut oil.  Put the dough on the parchment paper, using a tablespoon. Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes. Optopnal :sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.

My eight months-old twin babies are eating real food. Not the stuff that comes from jars and costs 99 cents per 1/4 cup-size portion. I am not a pediatrician, I am a mother and a nutritionist, so take my advice accordingly, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to feed your children healthy, nutritious whole foods from the time they are about 6 months old.

 

Firstly, you need to change the way your family eats. I know, easier said than done. Keep in mind, whatever you eat is exactly what your kids are eventually  going to end up eating, so the occassional pizza or the French fries, or the “hidden” chocolate bar or a gallon of ice cream: they will find it and eat it, no matter how hard you are trying to never take them to a fast food restaurant or feed them a raw diet of carrots and broccoli.

So, the first step to the optimal baby nutrition is optimal family nutrition.

Grains, veggies, some organic meats, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds…. You know, the real stuff.  Not cheerios, pasta, bread pieces and weird baby snacks that cost $5 per handful. If you have an organic sweet potato lying around, think twice about buying the processed baby food jar full of sweet potatoes. First of all, one sweet potato yields about three-four jars of baby food. So, you are spending A LOT less. Second, you can make fresh food, instead of feeding your baby something canned, that could be three months old. Think of energy of that jarred food that’s eventually going to become your child’s thoughts. Would you personally eat all of your food from a jar? Than why do you think your baby likes it any more than you do?

If you fear bacteria in homemade food, use boiling water in cleaning any utensils that have to do with baby food. Rinse produce with boiling water, as well. People have fed their babies homemade food for generations and humanity is still here. Jarred food is a relatively new invention and we don’t have enough long-term studies to see its consequences on human development.

So far, my babies have tried: carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, broccoli, pears, butternut squash, cauliflower, cucumbers, avocado, quinoa and buckwheat. Some veggies have been  cooked and some were given raw, to preserve naturally present enzymes. When I cook grains for us, I always leave a bit for the babies. I don’t buy the “special” baby hot cereals, because it’s a waste of money. I don’t feed my babies the empty-calorie rice cereal. Some foods need to be cooked and mashed and some things (like bananas or avocado) only need a fork and three seconds of your time to be made into nutritious baby foods.

You don’t need a fancy food processor to mash up the baby foods: I have a 15$  small blender from my local pharmacy and it works just fine. I don’t spend a lot of time on ideas for baby dinners: I just take the foods we eat as a family and mash up a small portion of them for the babies.

My babies also snack on unprocessed foods. The Cheerio-eating babies are an interesting modern phenomenon: why give your child processed food that costs  a lot? Make buckwheat, put it on the tray in front of them and let them pick at it. Let them nibble on cucumber slices. Let them pick up and eat a banana. Let them pick up avocado slices. Blueberries work, too. A whole carrot or quartered apples are excellent for taking to restaurants, because they tend to occupy babies well, in addition to providing excellent nutrition. My children eat quartered apples daily from eight months old on. Giving your baby cooked pasta to pick at, is, essentially, giving your baby processed food. Try a chopped cooked carrot or some cooked broccoli florets, instead. Green peas are wonderful baby food, too.

There is an interesting method of giving your baby fresh whole foods as their first solids. It’s called Baby-Led Weaning.  I haven’t tried it, but heard many good things about it.  For example, giving your baby a cooked whole carrot, instead of a pureed one, to get them accustomed to table foods faster, is a baby-led weaning technique.

Another problem with commercially purchased purees is their texture. It is way too smooth. Babies generally don’t choke if there is a tiny bit of texture in their food. They do choke if you jam too much of it in their mouths. I am all for chopping fruits finely with a knife, instead of fruit purees, once the baby is past the first “intro to solids” page. Babies used to texture of raw foods, don’t cringe at salads later.

I am also for natural food combining. If you look at baby food jars at your local supermarket, everything is made to be sweet. Combos, such as green beans with apples are normal in jarred food world. Would you eat green beans with apples at your family’s table? Unlikely. Babies tend to do better as far as not becoming picky eaters, when they are introduced to non-sweet solids first. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans : these foods are all great as first solids. Then, trying to stuff your baby full of banana would be a piece of cake.

Eventually, as your family gathers up for a healthy dinner, your baby will be a welcome participant, as he or she would have some of your mashed up grains, veggies, meats or casseroles. Your baby would be part of your family and not an alien, requiring a whole cupboard full of weird food that costs a lot.

 

This snack is nutritious and super easy.  Kids love it and it’s not junk food! I like to cut corners by using precut carrot slices, but, obviously you can slice your own carrots. I like to double up the recipe and keep the leftover chips in an air-tight container. Unfortunately they don’t stay there for too long: way too yummy!

 Ingredients:

6 cups round thin carrot slices

5 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the carrots on a baking tray. sprinkle the oil and the salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the carrots begin to get slightl brown around the edges.

 

I love this green, low-calorie, nutrient-packed soup. If you don’t like tofu, you don’t have to put it in. You can also add potatoes, whole wheat pasta or beans of any kind. You can season the soup with some curry for a more of an exotic twist. Yo u can even add some brown rice or buckwheat!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 9 cups water
  • 7 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 block of tofu, cubed
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, separated into florets
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large  pot. Cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in all other ingredients, except for the green onions. Simmer on medium heat for about 2o minutes. Add more water if needed. Add the green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

My friends keep asking me for healthy cakes and healthy cookie recipes, so here’s one more: Raw Carrot Cake.  Keep in mind, even though this cake is free of white sugar, butter and flour, it is still rich in good healthy fats and calories. So don’t devour the whole thing.


 

 

Ingredients:

For  Carrot Cake:
4 cups grated carrots ( you can shred them in food processor)

1 small avocado

1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon allspice

For  Cashew Frosting:

1.5 cups cashew butter sweetened with agave to taste ( approximately, 1 jar)

Blend the dates, the apricots, and the walnuts. Add to the grated carrots mixture and the juice. Add the spices, the avocado and blend until the mixture holds together ( you may need to do it in two batches.) Add the coconut.

Put the cake mixture into a cake dish, using your hands. Put the frosting on top. If you want to do something fancier, you can add some carrot juice to some of the frosting to make it orange and paint carrots on top of your cake. You can also sprinkle the frosting with some more shredded coconut.

 

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  Kale is also a good source of minerals, like copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale works very well in a multitude of cooked dishes: from soups to stews. Fresh, however, its nutrients are  preserved a lot better. I like the combination of kale with citrus flavors.

Ingredients:

2 bunches of kale, stems removed

2 oranges, sectioned

1 small red onion, diced

1 small avocado, sliced thin

1 medium cucumber, sliced

1 celery stalk, diced

1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped thinly

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp salt

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Wash kale thoroughly, then add apple cider vinegar, and cover the leaves with water. Soak for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Spin the leaves dry.

Return to bowl, drizzle with 1/2 cup olive oil, then sprinkle on the salt. Use your hands to rub the olive oil and salt into all the crevices of the kale leaves. Leave for 10 minutes.   Add all other ingredients to the kale. Chop the orange sections into small cubes and put those on top of the salad.
Toss well and serve.

http://www.kidsteals.com/

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