Monthly Archives: September 2013

The miracle of green smoothies

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I had been drinking Greens+ as a morning smoothie for a couple of years now, but I have only started formulating my own, from real greens, since this summer. What got me started was my daughters’ bumper crop of Swiss chard (which is still going strong). I purchased an inexpensive blender and I started using the fresh leaves along with other super foods to create a protein-rich, anti-oxidant rich and dare I say it: delicious drink.
I was always afraid of the bitter taste of fresh greens and couldn’t imagine them concentrated into a morning drink. Bleh!
Well, I’m singing a different tune now. I absolutely adore my green smoothie!
The great thing about making your own smoothie is that you can modify it to whatever you like and your body needs. For instance, right now in my life I am in need of hormone balancing. There is no better super food than Maca for this, in my opinion. It has a pleasant malted milkshake flavour.
On top of that I use ground flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp protein, which is a marvellous source of both protein and essential fatty acids, as well as being vegan (for those of you out there who are).

Some other yummy and healthy additions are cinnamon, cocoa, and even turmeric, if you don’t mind a slight curry flavour.
If you’ve never tried having a green smoothie before, I urge you to give it a try. Your body will love you for it!

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Harvest Fruit Crumble Cake

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Mmmmm!!! Babcia’s Fruit Crumble Cake – the best!

My Mom made this cake with any fruit she had around the house, including dried fruit such as cranberries, prunes and apricots but I think everyone’s favourite was plum cake made with blue plums. They’re not usually great for eating, but when baked into a cake such as this one, they are elevated to Amazing Taste status!

I have used spelt flour and brown sugar, because that’s what I had in the house, but you can use all purpose flour and any sugar just as easily.

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In a medium bowl whisk together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar (here I have used brown sugar)

 

 

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add 2 Tablespoons of sour cream and blend in

 

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add a teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract and blend in

 

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add 1/2 cup of oil and whisk in

 

 

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In a large bowl sift together 2 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt

 

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Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend in lightly, until just combined20130917-161447.jpg

 

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spread evenly on bottom of 8″ square, parchment lined baking pan

 

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push sliced fruit deeply into batter. It’s better to go heavy on the fruit.

 

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for the crumble, mix 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Combine with fingers

 

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and sprinkle rough chunks over the prepared fruit and cake batter

 

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Bake in a 325 degree oven for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre (of the batter) comes out clean

 

Non-Stick Pan

A disclaimer:
I am in no way compensated by any company, nor do I get products for free. I just want to pass along my experience with trying products that are healthier for you and/or for the environment.
This week I tried out the Paderno Eco Pan, which is marketed as a ceramic base non-stick frying pan.
As you probably already know, the old school Teflon non-stick pans are really quite bad for you as if you get even tiny scratches on the surface of the pan, bits of Teflon get into your food. Teflon does not get digested and most of us have a store of this man-made substance in our bodies. One of the ingredients of Teflon is likely a carcinogen so avoidance is prudent. Here’s a link to a brief article about this.
I love non-stick pans, so several years ago I invested hundreds of dollars into an Anolon pan which was supposed to be very scratch resistant and last a lifetime. Hah!
As you can see from the picture it is really scratched up despite my exclusive use of bamboo or silicone cooking implements. It makes me mad that it now has to go into our already overful landfills. I am really hoping that this Paderno pan lives up to its promises, although I highly doubt the 25-year warranty. For a trial recipe I made sautéed mushrooms and onions. Normally I would use a bit of fat, oil or butter, but for experimental purposes here, I have used none.
Sure enough, the pan did not stick whatsoever, but allowed the caramelisation of the mushrooms to occur.
So far, I love it! Will report back if I have any problems with it.

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my terribly scratched $200 Anolon pan. Ready for the landfill, sadly!

 

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my new $35 Paderno eco pan. (on sale at Home Hardware)

 

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shiny new pan!

 

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I’m going to saute some mushroom without using any fat

 

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I like to just wipe them clean with a paper towel, but you can wash them if you like

 

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slice them and put them into the pan over medium heat

 

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the water will start coming out of them

 

 

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add half a finely minced onion: slice into very thin strips from root to stem, leaving 1/4″ of stem end unsliced to hold it together.

 

 

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then slice crosswise and you will get a fine mince

 

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but the strips have to be very thin, about 1/16″, so use a sharp knife

 

 

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add to the mushrooms in the pan and continue cooking about another 5 minutes. You should start getting some deep caramelisation.

 

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deglaze the pan with 1 teaspoon vodka (optional, but intensifies the mushroom-ey flavour)

 

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Doesn’t stick at all! Add salt and pepper as desired.

 

 

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make sure to re-use the mushroom container – as a small paint container for instance