Colombian Chocolate Truffles

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Ingredients for inner truffle:

3 1/2 tablespoons cacao butter

1/3 cup raw honey (maple syrup can be used as a substitute)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 1/2 tablespoons coconut butter

1 cup cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt

Ingredients or truffle coating:

3 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao butter

1/3 cup raw honey (maple syrup can be used as a substitute)

1 cup cacao powder

Procedure:

1. In the bottom pan of a double boiler, bring water to a boil (2 inches high).

2. Next, place the sauce pan on top of boiling water and melt the cacao butter.

3. Once the cacao butter is fully melted mix in honey, coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao powder,  vanilla extract, and salt.

4. After all the ingredients are mixed together, pour the mixture into a new bowl and place into refrigerator for about an hour or until it thickens to a batter consistency. (To speed up process, the batter can be placed into the freezer for about 30 minutes or until it takes form of a batter consistency.)

5. After the mixture has been in the refrigerator, use a spoon to scoop out about a tablespoon at a time and then roll this mixture in your hands and form balls. Place each truffle on to a baking rack over a tray. Next, place the tray into the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.

6. While the truffles are in the refrigerator begin working on the truffle coating.  Repeat steps 1 and 2, only this time mix in the honey and cacao powder after the cacao butter has melted.

7. Take out the truffles from the refrigerator, and drizzle the coating over the truffles using a small ladle.

8. Again, place the truffles into the refrigerator until hardened. Once they are hard sprinkle, ground coffee over them and serve. Store truffles keep in the refrigerator.

Cardamom Sugar Cookies

 

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The recipe makes about 7 cookies. Honeyville almond flour is ideal as it is very fine and unlike any other almond flour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour (Honeyville almond flour)
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

Procedure:

1) In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coriander, cardamom, raw honey, and vanilla extract.

2) Mix well and place parchment paper on baking tray.

3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

4) Scoop dough one tablespoon at a time and place on paper covered tray.

5) Press the balls of dough slightly.

6) Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

7) Let them cool completely and then, serve.

Thyme for Lemon Cookies

Thyme for Lemon Cookies

This post is especially for my grandma who loves anything with lemon from lemon scented soaps to lemon cake. Honeyville almond flour is the best type of almond flour for this recipe as the almonds are ground very fine. These cookies pair well with chamomile or rooibos tea.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp thyme (dried)
  • 2 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup Honeyville almond flour

Procedure:

1) In a mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, vanilla extract, thyme, raw honey, lemon zest and almond flour.

2) Mix well and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

3) Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.

4) Scoop the dough one tablespoon at a time and place the formed balls on the paper lined tray.

5) Slightly flatten the balls of dough and bake the cookies for about 10 minutes.

6) Let the cookies cool completely and then, serve.

Chevre Chive Sauce

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This sauce can be poured over steak, hamburgers, plain chicken breast or roasted zucchini, asparagus or sugar snap peas.

Ingredients:

  • 15 tsp of finely minced chives
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 12 oz of chevre goat cheese
  • 10 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon water

Procedure:

  1. Blend the chevre with 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  2. On high heat, warm a pot and add 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Flavor the oil by adding and stirring in the minced garlic and chives.
  4. After the chives and garlic are very slightly golden, add the chevre and oil mixture.
  5. Stir the sauce for a few minutes on low heat.
  6. Serve as a warm sauce.
  7. Optional: Pour it into a serving bowl and let the sauce cool. Then mix in 3 tablespoons of water and serve (mix well).

Balkan Cevapcici

 

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Cevapcici is a sausage like meat that originated in the Balkans. It can be made from a variety of meats including beef, lamb, veal, and pork.

Ingredients:

  • 2lb ground organic grass fed beef or 1lb of organic grass fed beef and and 1 lb of lamb
  • 1 medium onion or shallot finely minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 eggs depending on taste (the more eggs, the firmer the cevapcici)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 2 mixing bowls

Procedure:

  1. In a bowl, mix the 2 lbs of ground meat and spices.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
  3. Then add the beaten eggs to the mixture and mix.
  4. With your hands, form the meat into small flattened ovals ( about ¾ inch thick and about 2 inches long).
  5. Place on a hot barbeque, grill for 8-15 minutes( about five minutes on each side).
  6. Serve.

Date with a Brownie Bites

 

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Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 20 dates
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 4 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Soak about 20 dates in filtered water for about 16 hours.
  2. Take the dates out of the water and blend the dates and 2 tsps vanilla extract (to a paste) and pour into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add and mix in 10 tablespoons cacao powder and 4 tablespoons almond butter.
  4. Then, mix in 3 cups of shredded coconut.
  5. Optional: Add 4 tablespoons cacao nibs.
  6. On a baking sheet, evenly spread out the mixture (thickness should be like a energy or granola bar)
  7. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  8. With a knife, cut the raw dough into squares or rectangles and serve.

Fourteen Carrot Soup with Ginger

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 bags of organic carrots ( about 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • ¼ cup of grape seed oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • large casserole dish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced

Procedure:

  1. Put 2 bags of carrots and ½ sliced medium onion in a large casserole dish.
  2. Add ¼ cup of grape seed oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F until the carrots and onions are caramelized, golden, and tender (about an 45 minutes).
  4. Let the dish and carrots and onions cool and then.
  5. Add the carrots and onions to the blender (Vitamix).
  6. Add 4 cups water and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil to the blender and blend.
  7. Serve at room temperature, chilled or heat stove top.

Country Brussel Sprout Salad

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Brussel Sprout Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of brussel sprouts
  • 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary (dry)
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground sage (dry)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Procedure:

  1. Finely mince ½ medium onion and 1 shallot.
  2. Clean the brussel sprouts and cut them into quarters.
  3. Heat a pan and pour 5 tablespoon grapeseed oil.
  4. Then, add the minced onion and shallot and stir.
  5. After about 30 seconds, add the chopped brussel sprouts.
  6. Stir in 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Stir on high heat for many minutes.
  8. Then, add four tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon rosemary and 2-3 tablespoons ground sage.
  9. Add 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp of ground black pepper.
  10. Continue sauteing until the brussel sprouts are golden and soft. The onions and shallots are caramelized.
  11. Serve warm.

Sweet Matcha Japanese Truffles

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The recipes makes about 10 mini truffles. These truffles can be both used as an antioxidant-rich dessert or an energizing and metabolism-boosting snack.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of creamy raw almond butter
  • 2-3 tsp of matcha green tea powder
  • 4-5 tsp raw honey
  • 6 tablespoons almond meal

Procedure:

  1. With a spatula, mix ½ cup of creamy raw almond butter, 2-3 tsp of matcha green tea powder and 4-5 tsp raw honey.
  2. Mix in 6 tablespoons almond meal.
  3. Form into mini balls, refrigerate and serve.

The Autoimmune Disease Epidemic

The Autoimmune Disease Epidemic

The Autoimmune Disease Epidemic

Written by Audrey

Over the past year, I have researched what is causing the widespread epidemic of autoimmune diseases and how one can treat one’s disease (I used a variety of book, website, magazine, journal article and video sources).

Currently in the world there is an autoimmune disease epidemic. There are over 100 different types of autoimmune disorders (from asthma to diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). Over the last few decades the amount of people suffering from an autoimmune disease has quadrupled. In fact, more people suffer from autoimmune disease than cancer as 1 in every 12 people have an autoimmune disorder or will develop one later in their life. Cancer costs in the U.S. are $50 billion while $100 billion for autoimmune diseases. Environmental stresses such as a poor diet and toxins caused this rise in autoimmune disorders. These triggers (toxins in food, products and environment) are called autogens. The human body did not have time to adapt to these changes as it takes thousands of years for the body to adapt to new environmental stresses. Many people believe that autoimmune diseases are genetic, but this is not always the case. Genetics do not change so fast and could not have caused the sudden and rapid increase in these disorders. The increase in autoimmunity parallels the increase of chemicals and the average person is exposed to 126 chemicals before they leave the house in the morning (cream, hair spray, shampoo, toothpaste, etc). On average, there are 287 industrial chemicals (pesticides, mercury, flame retardants etc.) in our bodies right now. Toxins alter the structure of our DNA and this can cause the immune system to see mutated tissue as a foreign object and attack itself. Moreover, women are affected by autoimmune diseases more than men as they use more beauty products which have many chemicals and carcinogens. In order to prevent this, doctors suggest using better quality and paraben-free and phthalate-free creams and cosmetic products. (We like Jason and Kiss My Face products.) Hippocrates once said that “all disease begins in the gut” and he was right as 80% of the body’s immune system is located near the gut. Toxins cause excess gut bacteria and permeability which is called leaky gut (common symptom of this is lack of vitamin D or food allergies). One can cure or treat (depending on severity) their leaky gut and autoimmune disease with the proper diet. If not treated, autoimmune diseases can get serious. Many times people take medications like NSAIDs that mask symptoms. But, in actuality, NSAIDs make the condition worse as they suppress the immune system. All my sources encourage eating organic and probiotic foods and removing allergens.

The recipes we provide you with are low inflammatory and vitamin rich. We chose to remove foods like grains, legumes and soy that ruin and permeate the gut. I will talk more about the products my family and I use and some common symptoms of leaky gut in a later post.

Annotated Bibliography

Blum, Susan. The Immune System Recovery Plan. New York: Scribner,

  1. Print.

Nakazawa, Donna. The Autoimmune Epidemic. New York: Touchstone, 2008.

Print.

Welch, Liz. “Autoimmune Epidemic: The Medical Experts.” Self. Conde Nast., 1 Apr. 2015.

Web. 8 June 2015.

Hrie, Catherine. “Autoimmune Disorders: When Your Body Turns On You.” Experience

Life. Experience Life., Oct. 2013. Web. 8 June 2015.

Jackson, Kinsey. “The Autoimmune Epidemic.” Paleo Plan. Paleo Plan, n.d. Web. 26

Nov. 2014.

MacDonald, Thomas, and Giovanni Monteleone. “Immunity, Inflammation and Allergy in the

Gut.” Science 307.5717 25 Mar. 2005: 1920-25. Jstor. Web. 9 June 2015