Greens and Green Beans Salad with Wild Blueberry Dressing

As I write this, I’m sweating in humid, positively sweltering, I just want to jump in a pool, July weather. A fresh salad with fruit is just what I want to eat for lunch these days (in addition to yummy, ice packed smoothies).  I’ve been on a blueberry kick pretty much since blueberries came in season and I often add them to my salads. I created this salad yesterday after a long day walking through New York City (my legs were so sore!).  The salad was marvelous as was lying down in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment afterwards.  I knew I had to share this recipe with ya’ll.  I just wish the air wasn’t so humid. It’s simply not curly hair friendly! 

Blueberries. Flickr: brx0

Salad Ingredients:

½ pound small fresh green beans, trimmed

½ cup blueberries

1 head red or green leaf lettuce, roughly chopped

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup raw pecans

 

Dressing ingredients:

½ cup blueberries

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more if needed

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 medjool date, pitted

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water until chilled, and then drain again. 

To make dressing, purée 1/2 cup blueberries, almond milk, tahini, lemon juice and date in a blender; add more almond milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Transfer to a large bowl, add lettuce and green beans and toss well. Transfer salad to plates and scatter, blueberries, onion and pecans over the top. 

Do you all have salad or smoothie recipes that you enjoy when the weather gets so hot? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

Stay cool and be well. I’m going to dream of refreshing ocean water and the beach tonight. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

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Chocolate Goji Berry Stars

Makes 20-25 stars depending on the size of each star

Everyone deserves a little decadence now and then, especially as a post-meal treat. My dad has always instilled in me the importance of consuming plenty of nutrient rich vegetables and beans in a meal and then I can treat myself to a few of these amazing little guys. And boy are they tasty! It certainly does feel wonderful to get my greens and then as a beautiful end to treating my body right, have one or two of these melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Goji Berry Stars to finish off one heck of a satisfying meal. 

Today it was raining and gloomy where I live and most of my friends have been stressed out studying for final exams (I’m in my last semester in college). I got lucky and finished my last exam early, so I knew today was the perfect time to head to the kitchen and whip up something special for me and my over-worked friends. I had a blast making these stars, which contain just four ingredients and are raw and gluten-free. They came out so divine considering the few ingredients and I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you. They are a fantastic dessert and quite rich, just like dark chocolate, so it only takes one or two to feel oh so satisfied. I say share them with your friends like I did or refrigerate them and you have a stash that can last for a few weeks. I hope your mouth loves them just as much as mine did!

Chocolate Star

Ingredients:

1 and ½ cups walnuts

8 medjool dates (the medjool variety are soft, perfect for this recipe)

1/3 cup cocoa powder

handful goji berries

Directions:

Grind walnuts in a blender until they turn into a fine powder. Pour the walnuts into a big bowl. Pit the medjool dates and add them to the bowl with the walnuts. Using freshly washed hands, knead the walnuts and the dates together with your hands, molding the date/walnut mixture into one evenly mixed ball. The dates will add stickiness and the walnuts and dates should combine together well. Add the cocoa powder and continue to knead the ingredients until thoroughly mixed into a chocolaty ball. You can then use this ball to create mini discs, as pictured below. Place the goji berries into the shape of a star on top of the chocolate discs! And voila! Now you’ve got these mini chocolate treats to relish be it rain or shine. 

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Valentine's Day Dark Chocolate Strawberry Muffins

I tested these muffins out as a Valentine’s Day cooking experiment and boy did they come out delicious! When my boyfriend tasted them as a pre-Valentine’s Day treat, he said they were my best recipe to date (no pun intended). Make these muffins as a guiltless chocolatey treat for any loved ones this February 14th and enjoy a sweet holiday, no sugar required.  This recipe makes 12-14 muffins, so each muffin contains less than one date per muffin, making this recipe friendly for nutritarians.

Chocolate strawberry muffins

Ingredients:

10 medjool dates, pits removed

1 can (15 oz.) black beans

3 bananas

2 cups frozen organic strawberries, thawed

2 heaping tablespoons ground flaxseeds

¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

½ cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coffee extract (optional)

Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:

1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)   In a large bowl, stir whole-wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder.

3)    Then, in a cup or small bowl mix ground flaxseed with ½ cup water and let sit for five minutes.

4)   Put aside dry mixture and in a Vitamix or blender, combine black beans, pitted dates, 2 bananas, cocoa powder, flaxseed gel (after sitting for the five minutes), vanilla and coffee extract.  Combine this mixture with the dry mixture and stir thoroughly until all the flour is mixed into the wet chocolately mixture.

5)   Chop up the 3rd banana and stir in for some fun banana chunks in the final muffins.  Add whole defrosted strawberries (if there is “strawberry juice” in the bowl of defrosted strawberries, leave this out as it will make the batter too liquidy) and stir in these as well.

6)   In a 12-cup muffin pan place cupcake paper cups and using a spoon, scoop in batter in equal parts. Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve warm.

7) Sprinkle cinnamon on top if desired.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Dr. Fuhrman's Health Getaway; part 1 - the meals

Rancho Bernardo Inn, tucked away in beautiful San Diego County, was the location for Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaway that took place on July 11-17. Every detail was perfectly orchestrated to make it an incredible week of learning the latest nutritional discoveries by Dr. Fuhrman, motivational encouragement, special presentations, physical fitness classes, healthy eating, tasting new recipes, health assessments, relaxation, and forming lasting friendships.  Because describing the Getaway is like trying to capture Niagra Falls into a glass jar, I’ll focus on different parts of it over the next few weeks; plus, I’ll include some commentaries from others so you can hear various perspectives also. [Special thanks to Dan Williams, a guest at the Getaway and a phenomenal photographer, for sharing some wonderful images that I'll be posting over the next few weeks.] 

The following were highlights of the week’s meals:

  • The Sunday evening welcome reception was on the San Bernardo patio overlooking beautiful views of the landscapes below; complete with a refreshing California breeze and delicious hors d’oeuvres: Fruit Kabobs, No Meat Balls with Marinara Sauce, Endive stuffed with Tuscan Bean Dip, Cantaloupe Slush, and Coconut Slushy.
  • This was followed by dinner in the San Bernardo Ballroom: French Minted Pea Soup, Pistachio Crusted Tempeh and Shiitake Mushrooms, Wild & Basmati Rice, Fresh Greens with Dr. Fuhrman’s Salad Dressings, Steamed Green Beans, California Creamed Kale, and Poached Pears with Raspberry Sauce. 
  • Every meal for the entire week, including each breakfast, was a lavish celebration of delicious foods and visual beauty.  Breakfasts and lunches were served on the Santiago Courtyard; complete with outdoor fountains, sculptures, flowers, linens, and dinnerware. 
  • The recipes came directly out of Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat for Health, or the recipe section of Member Center of DrFuhrman.com. I tasted almost everything, and there wasn’t one recipe that I would not make for my family and/or dinner guests.  Some of my favorites were:
  • California Creamed Kale (I could eat this for every meal for the rest of my life!)
  • Dr. Fuhrman’s Anti Cancer Soup
  • Broccoli Vinaigrette (doesn’t get much better!)
  • Braised Bok Choy (delicious! a must make-again)
  • Roasted Vegetable Pizza
  • Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (tastes a lot like chocolate/cherry cordials)
  • Broccolini with Tomato Almond Sauce (my favorite of favorites!)
  • Asian Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Eat Your Greens Fruit Smoothie
  • Eggplant Roll Ups (the tops; fascinating combination of flavors)
  • Mixed Berry Freeze (refreshing)
  • Banana Walnut Ice-Cream
  • Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie (to die for ~ in my opinion)
  • Apple Surprise (a wonderful breakfast treat)
  • Apple Carrot Custard Pie (“Wow, this is healthy?!”)tomatoes
  • Many were ecstatic to have dropped several pounds by the end of the week while eating such delicious foods!  As one guest described it, "The food was delicious and so satisfying I was surprised this was good for me. I really CAN eat this way for life."  May we all incorporate such great tasting food into our lifetime journeys of eating for health. – Bon Appetit!   

                 

 

image credits:  meal settings by Rancho Bernardo Inn; food by Dan Williams of KalareStudios.com

Susan's Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Many members of DrFuhrman.com have fine tuned their culinary skills and Susan is no exception. In fact, she has even created a blog documenting some favorite nutritarian recipes that she’s developed. Below is one of her favorite, high nutrient salad dressings. She said the pomegranate concentrate can be found in many Whole Foods stores as well as in Mediterranean grocery stores. Other members have successfully made this dressing and love it also. 

                                                        

Ingredients:


8 fluid ounces of 100% pure pomegranate juice
(no sugar added)

1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (start with less and add to taste)

2 T. pomegranate concentrate (100% pomegranate, cooked down to a syrupy texture)

½ cup chopped parsley

1 raw garlic clove, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

2-3 T. tahini (ground sesame paste, no oil or salt added)


Mix the first three ingredients in a blender or food processor until well blended. Then add the parsley, garlic, scallions, and tahini. Pulse to incorporate, but do not liquify.

The dressing has a sweet, tart taste and coats lettuce leaves without using a lot of it.

 

 

image credit: www.susanscooking.com

Black Bean Brownies for Valentines

Valentine hearts

Wait! Before you skip over this recipe . . . it’s good! When I first read the title, I thought to myself, “No way!”   (Plus, read on ~ Dr. Ferreri made a delicious Chocolate Cherry Pie using it for the crust.)

Since Valentine’s Day is just eleven days away, and chocolate and valentines go hand-in-hand, I decided to give the recipe a try to see if it would be worth making as a special treat for my family. I didn’t mention that beans were in it, and they liked them. However, I highly recommend keeping the black beans a secret ingredient!

I have a son with type I diabetes that requires accurate insulin coverage, so I calculated approximately 30 grams of carbs per brownie if the recipe is cut into 12, even pieces. Because of the beans, they didn’t affect his blood sugars in a negative way. 

 

Black Bean Brownies

½ cup dark cocoa powder

2 t. vanilla

1 t. baking soda

1 (15 oz.) can of salt-free black beans (drain liquid)

1 large handful of sunflower seeds or 1 T. ground flaxseed

1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 cups pitted dates (chopped)

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup walnuts

Put the first six ingredients in a food processor. Turn it on and then gradually add the 2 cups of chopped dates, a few at a time until blended. Add the flour and continue to mix until everything is well blended. Turn off the machine, remove the blade, and stir in the nuts. Spread into a 13” x 9” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

brownie batter

Note: I doubled the recipe, put the batter into the 13” x 9” stoneware pan, and increased the baking time to 55 minutes. It made 24, chewy brownies. I thought they were plenty sweet, but next time I’ll slightly reduce the applesauce, and add one or two ripe, mashed bananas to make them a tad bit sweeter for my family's tastebuds. 

 

Dr. Ferreri made and taste-tested the following recipe. She and her friends gave it a “thumbs up!”

 

Chocolate Cherry Pie

Crust = ½ recipe of the black bean brownies

Spray a pie plate with olive oil, and spread the brownie batter into the bottom and sides.  Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling:

2 - 16 oz bags of frozen cherries, thawed

1 cup dates

1 Tbsp arrowroot

Drain the cherries and reserve the juice.  Set aside ½ cup of cherries, and place the rest in a bowl.

Blend in Vitamix or blender: cherry juice, ½ cup cherries, dates, arrowroot

Stir the juice/date mixture in with the cherries, spoon into the crust.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

 

Enjoy! These recipes make delicious, health promoting treats. Please let us know how yours turn out!    

       

image credits: hearts, cabotblog.com; brownie batter, Emily Boller

Mango - a sweet treat with anti-cancer potential

Mango is the world’s most widely eaten fresh fruit. Mango originated from India and southeast Asia, but is now grown in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, and Australia as well – today, Mexico is the world’s largest mango exporter. Mangoes were introduced in the U.S. in the late 1800s, and some are still grown in California and Florida. Mango is part of a nutrient dense family – its relatives include cashews and pistachios, but unlike its family members, the seed of a mango is inedible.

There are over 50 different varieties of mango, and we see about five of these in the U.S. Color varies – green, yellow, orange, red, or a combination. Although unripe mangoes are usually green, the best test of ripeness is how hard or soft the fruit is. A mango that indents in response to gentle pressure is ripe. Tart, unripe green mangoes are used in several ethnic cuisines, and are sometimes sliced and dipped in salt (but not by nutritarians!). Ripe mangoes, however, are extremely sweet and tasty.1-2 

A great deal of research has been done on the health benefits of high antioxidant fruits – blueberries, goji berries, pomegranates, acai – but the mango has been somewhat ignored by scientists because its antioxidant capacity is not quite as high as these other fruits.  Atulfo mangoes – the smaller, yellow mangoes often sold in Asian supermarkets – have the greatest antioxidant content of the five common varieties found in the U.S. Also, the orange flesh of mangoes is full of beta-carotene and vitamin C.3-4

Mangoes

A new study has revealed that mango, despite its low level of antioxidant activity, may have potent anti-cancer properties. Researchers treated cells derived from several common cancers – colon, breast, leukemia, and prostate – with mango polyphenol extract. Breast and colon cancer cells were most significantly affected – the cell cycle was disrupted and they underwent programmed cell death in response to the mango extract. Normal colon cells, however, remained alive and undamaged. The researchers suggest that gallotannins, the most abundant antioxidant polyphenols contained in mango, were responsible for the anti-cancer effects.5

Fresh mango is delicious all on its own. If you haven’t quite yet figured out how to cut a mango, here’s one way. Another is to slice lengthwise on each side of the pit, score the flesh, and then turn each side inside out, as illustrated here

Frozen and dried mango can make a great treat too:

Dr Fuhrman’s Fantastic Mango Ice Cream

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish

1/2 cup hemp, almond or soy milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 10-ounce bag frozen mango

4 slices dried mango, unsweetened and unsulfured

Instructions:

Soak dried mango in the plant-milk until soft (overnight or one hour in advance). Then blend all ingredients, including the soaking milk, in a Vita-Mix or other high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Garnish with reserved coconut.

 

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango
  2. http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/mangohistory.htm
  3. Manthey JA et al. Influences of harvest date and location on the levels of beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, total phenols, the in vitro antioxidant capacity, and phenolic profiles of five commercial varieties of mango (Mangifera indica L.). J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 25;57(22):10825-30.
  4. http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1952/2
  5. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111154926.htm

More Holiday Baking

I live in northeastern Indiana, and as I’m writing this post the ground and evergreen trees are covered with a blanket of beautiful, sparkling snow.  I took the pictures below from my front door.  (Note the cross country ski trails on the right ~ that’s the fancy footwork of my teenage daughter.)  Hopefully, it will continue to be a white Christmas!                    pictures of snow covered landscapes

As you are baking for holiday gatherings, the following recipes from the Member Center of DrFuhrman.com, including Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times Newsletters, may be of interest to you.  After the gifts are unwrapped, the company is gone, and you have a moment to relax, I encourage you to browse through the many wonderful recipes on the Member Center.

A holiday treat does not have to be junk food or damage the health of your loved ones.  -Dr. Fuhrman

 Enjoy making health promoting memories with your family and friends!

 

Cashew Cookies

1 cup raw cashew butter or 2 cups raw cashews

1 cup oats

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup date sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla

Unsweetened strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend oats (and raw cashews if you are using them) in a food processor or VitaMix until it’s the consistency of flour.  Pour blended ingredients into a large bowl and stir in all the remaining ingredients except the jam.  Mix thoroughly.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet.  With your fingertip, form a small well in the center of each cookie.  Place a small amount of jam in each well.  Bake for 15 minutes.  (makes approximately 2 dozen)

 

Chocolate Oat Clusters

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup date sugar

2/3 cup raw walnuts, ground

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 ¼ teaspoons arrowroot powder

4 Tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s Cocoa Powder or other natural cocoa powder

¾ cup oats

8 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped

¾ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Blend applesauce, vanilla and date sugar in blender until creamy.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, arrowroot powder, ground nuts, and cocoa powder.  Add the blended wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in oats, chopped dates and chopped nuts.  Bake for 10 minutes.  (makes approximately 4 dozen)  These cookies freeze well.  For a chocolate-coconut cookie, add 3 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut.  

 

Sweet Beet Carrot Bars

2 cups whole grain flour

1 cup beets (raw, peeled and shredded)

1 large carrot (peeled and shredded)

3 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup date sugar

2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup pineapple (blended)

1 banana (mashed)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour and baking soda in bowl.  In a larger bowl, beat date sugar, blended pineapple, mashed banana, and applesauce together.  Stir in the vanilla and then add the flour mixture along with the chopped walnuts, shredded carrots and beets.  Mix well.  Spread in a non-stick baking pan.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool and cut into squares.  

 

                    Christmas candles

At our house, when the fresh pine boughs are placed around the centerpiece of candles and fresh fruit, that means Christmas is just around the corner.  All of my children will be home by lunchtime tomorrow so I'm making a big pot of their favorite vegetable soup to welcome them all home!  

 

What health promoting foods and/or memories are you creating with your loved ones this Christmas? 

Healthy Apple Crisp and Sweet Potato Pie

 

 picture of apples

Hot and Healthy Apple Crisp

The following recipe is from the Member Center of www.drfuhrman.com   A member commented that this crisp smells wonderful while baking in the oven.  Enjoy!

 

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

8 apples, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup date sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup raisins

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup Goji berries, soaked (optional)

Sprinkle apples with lemon juice & toss.  Mix rest of ingredients together then combine with apples and mix thoroughly.  Pour into an 8" X 11" baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Note:  If using Goji berries make sure to soak them for an hour ahead of time in just enough water to cover.  Drain before adding the berries to the mixture.  The Goji berries not only add color to this crisp but, more importantly, they add a nutritional antioxidant boost!

                                       

                              Painting of Pilgrimans and Indians at first Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Pie 

The following recipe is from Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times Newsletter; Issue 3, November 2002The pineapple gives it a delightful Hawaiian twist.  Happy and healthy Thanksgiving baking!  

 

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

4-6 sweet potatoes (organic are sweeter)

1 1/2 cups orange juice

Canned sliced pineapple (unsweetened)

Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or until soft.  Let cool.  Peel off skin and mash in a food processor or Vita Mix with sufficient orange juice to reach desired consistency.  Spread mixture into a pan.  Cover with pineapple slices.

Bake for 1/2 hour.

Makes 4 servings.

 

image credits:  google.com

Delicious Guilt-Free Pumpkin Pie with Oat Crust

Here in the United States we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving in less than three weeks.  I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for pumpkin pie from the vast selection of nutritarian recipes that are posted on the members’ center of www.DrFuhrman.com  Enjoy!   

image of slice of pumpkin pie  

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

 

OAT PIE CRUST

1 cup quick oats (not instant)

1/4 cup ground almonds

1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

 

PIE FILLING

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin

1/2 cup date sugar*

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 10-ounce pkg soft tofu

 

CASHEW CREAM

1 1/3 cups raw cashews

3/4 cup vanilla soy milk

2/3 cup dates

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pie Crust:  Mix oats, almonds and flour.  Blend oil and water together with a wire whisk. Add to dry ingredients and mix until it holds together.  You may need to add a little more water.  Spray 9-inch pie dish lightly with cooking spray and press the crust to thinly cover the bottom and sides of the pie dish.

Pie Filling:  In a blender combine the pumpkin and date sugar.*  Add raisins, spices, arrowroot powder, and tofu.  (Some like more spices; individual preference.)  Blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees.  Cover crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent burning, and bake for an additional 60 minutes.

While pie is in the oven make the Cashew Cream.  Blend all ingredients together in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender.

Serve slightly warm or cold with a dollop of Cashew Cream.

Note:  The pie filling will firm up as it cools. 

 * A member commented that she used dates in the pie filling instead of date sugar and liked it better.  She baked the pie for 75 minutes at 350 degrees; 15 of those minutes with the crust uncovered, and 60 minutes with the crust covered.  (Tip:  Cover crust by using a square of aluminum foil with a large hole cut out in the middle, leaving most of the pie uncovered.)  According to her, the texture and appearance came out great!