Chocolate Bean Cake, from Debbie in Portland

This is something Debbie made and brought for me to try, as we were driving all over the rainy greater Portland area last weekend. That’s “Chocolate is Non-Negotiable” Debbie. If you can’t beat the chocolate addiction, make it tons more nutritious! This cake is rich and yummy and it comes to you with love from Portland–enjoy!

Debbie’s Chocolate Bean Cake

Smother this in the Chocolate Sauce (below).

2 cups whole-grain flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup coconut sugar

¼ cup flax seed, ground

2 tsp. baking powder, non-aluminum

½ tsp. Original Crystal Himalayan Salt (or Real Salt)

2 cups cooked beans (lima, navy, cannellini)–about 1 ½ 15 oz. cans, rinsed well

1 to 2 tsp. vanilla

1 ¼ cup almond or rice milk

½ cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 6 dry ingredients in a bowl. In blender, puree next 4 wet ingredients. Pour blender mix into bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add a little water if batter seems thick. Pour into 8″ square baking pan. Bake 45 min. or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cover with Sauce now, or each piece individually as needed. Can be refrigerated or frozen.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup coconut sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. Original Crystal Himalayan Salt

1 cup almond or rice milk

1 – 3 tsp. vanilla

1 – 3 tsp. flax oil or nut butter (optional, aids with texture)

Mix first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add next 3 wet ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate and use as needed. May need to be stirred again before first use, as cocoa powder tends to float to the top.

chia seed and flax seed

So you’ve been reading about chia seed.   (I know this because I get lots of questions about it.)   Yep, I’m talking about the little things that grow the chia pet, now getting lots of attention as a power food.   And it is.   A highly expensive one (I bought a pound of it recently for about $18).

Chia seed has 7 times as much iron as spinach.   At 18%, it has more protein than beef, and its amino acids comprise  a complete protein.   It slows conversion of sugars in the bloodstream, so it’s great to eat with a  high-sugar meal.   (I mean  like potatoes or fruit–hopefully y’all have abandoned or are at least minimizing refined sugars.)

Its mucilaginous properties mean it absorbs toxins, and it’s fantastic for weight loss.   I don’t like to eat after dinner, so if my dinner was light and I get really hungry later, what I do is eat a large spoonful of chia seed and chase it with a big glass of water.   It absorbs 10 times its own weight in fluids, so it fills you up when you are hungry with hardly any calories.

It tastes mild–tastes like nothing, really.   You can sprinkle it in cereal, or put it in a smoothie–but it will dramatically thicken your smoothie.   For that matter, it’s a great thickener!   Put 1  tsp. chia seed in 3 Tbsp. water, and you’ve got yourself an egg replacement.

It’s packed with those rare Omega fatty acids that your body cannot manufacture and must receive from foods–in perfect proportions.   And it stores for a very long time!

I highly recommend it.   I’ll find a way eventually to get it for cheaper in a local group buy (maybe national–we’ll see!).   I wish it were less expensive.

Now flax seed is still quite inexpensive at less than $1/lb.   You can watch my YouTube video making flax crackers if you want to hear more about its virtues, or read Ch.  4 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. (All my demos are on GreenSmoothieGirl.com under the Videos tab now–and I have lots of new ones coming.)

Just want to share a thought from GSG reader Rochelle T., who happens to also be my cousin, whom I set up with her husband 19 years ago!   (I have 65 first cousins, 49 of them Romneys, but she’s the one I’ve been closest to my whole life–now she has 5 children.)   She was trying to figure a way to get flaxseed in her diet every day.   She just eats a spoonful of ground flax seed every morning, chasing it with water.   She says it’s nutty and pleasant tasting and it’s a great habit she’s gotten into.   Great idea.   Keep in mind that grinding flax seed (unnecessary with chia) makes its nutritional properties much more available.   Just don’t grind it far in advance, as it goes rancid quickly.

Hope this is helpful!

Green Smoothie Testimonials, part 5

I would like to convert everybody. There are many benefits. You will experience increased energy. You will need less sleep and your cravings for sweets will decrease down to nothing. You will lose weight, your blood pressure will come down. You will feel like 21 again.

 

I actually, really look forward to the first smoothie in the a.m. It is easy, and if you give it a chance, you will love it too. The first smoothie I made I used a 1/2 banana and tasted great, but I did not want to use it on a daily basis. So, I did not make any smoothies for one month. I decided to go back and try again, this time with a 1/2 apple for 32 ounces. That hooked me!

 

Green smoothies taste so fresh. I make 64 ounces in the a.m. I use 32 ounces in the morning and save the next 32 ounces for noon meal. You can take it with you to work. It travels well and it is so easy, I just make mine fresh everyday.

 

The GreenSmoothieGirl website is extremely informative with all the information for making the green smoothie. I vary the greens (very important), but my base is apple, celery, parsley (all organic, of course).  I then on various days use two of the following, any of the types of kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion, arugula, or anything else that looks fresh.

 

Put the soft washed leafy greens in the bottom of the blender and top it with the harder washed vegetables. Add the filtered water, and start blending, If it is too thick, add more water and blend again. I sip it (as a good portion of digestion occurs in the mouth). And, I get to enjoy this every morning.

 

Now, to keep the greens extra fresh, here is what I do. I place each type of green, unwashed in a mason jar 1/4 filled with water. I top it with one of those green bags and twist the green bag at the bottom around with my fingers, so it is fairly secure around the mason jar. Greens keep great, and I never throw out anything, seriously. Keeping green onions like this is wonderful, the greens love it. Wishing my best to everyone who has a desire for great health and is willing to give a green smoothie a fair shot.

 

–Lorraine L. (Naples, Florida)

 

What can we say! My husband, myself, and our 15 month old baby are hooked! There is no such thing as the 3 o’clock sleepiness anymore. We have so much more energy. Our daughter loves the smoothies. She even has a smoothie dance she does when she wants some. With her on the green smoothies, I do not worry so much about if she is getting proper nutrition. I just know she is. With the addition of flax seed or chia, I also know she is getting the good fats she needs for brain development.  I am so glad I stumbled onto your site, Robyn. This has changed our lives.

 

–Shelly N.

 

 

This is the healthful “FAST FOOD!” My health has changed for the better! I now have a desire to do, and to live! Thanks to green smoothies!

 

–Dallas J.

Dehydrator Recipe . . . part 3 of 3

Sprouting (and dehydrating) is very frankly the most sophisticated nutrition principle I teach. For newbies, I start with lower level things: getting more fruits and vegetables in the diet, and eating whole grains, for instance. Most Americans are not prepared for the idea of sprouting and live foods. Some of my readers are so ambitious that they go ALL OUT and within weeks of leaving a processed diet, they’re already sprouting.

Others of you have been doing the first few steps in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. . . and you feel you’re in strange territory, but you’re ready to try.

If that’s you, ask for an Excalibur 3000 series dehydrator for Christmas to start making live snack foods from Chapter 7 (or the Crunchy Snacks recipe collection).

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for using the dehydrator to get get LIVE flaxseed in the diet. These crackers are easy to make, yummy, and filling.Remember with dehydrated foods to always drink water with them. (Otherwise they aggressively soak up all the liquids in your digestive tract, like stomach acids.)

Flax-Veggie crackers

  • Soak in 4 cups water for several hours:
  • 3 cups flax seeds (1/2 brown, ½ golden)
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Shred in food processor, or very finely dice
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Puree in Blend Tec:
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nama shoyu
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

Mix all all three mixtures together well, by hand, and spread on plastic dehydrator sheets, about ¼” thick.Cut into cracker shapes and dehydrate at 105 degrees until crackers are dry on top, about 24 hours.Turn over, take off teflex sheets, and finish drying until crackers are crispy.

Tip: We like to eat these plain, but we also often put slices of avocado on top.

Good, Better, Best: Oils and Pastas

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What are the good oils, and what are the bad ones? And how about pasta?

Oils

Worst oils: shortening, lard, margarine. Also refined canola, safflower, vegetable, soy, peanut, corn oils.

Good oils: unrefined almond, borage, evening primrose, cod liver, butter (in small amounts)

Better oils: coconut, flaxseed, palm, extra virgin olive oils Best oils: same as in the “better” list, but organic

Pasta

Worst pasta: durum/semolina/white/enriched pastas of all kinds

Good pasta: whole wheat

Better pasta: organic whole grain of any kind

Best pasta: organic quinoa, spelt, or Kamut

Fish, and taking fish-oil pills

For you fish eaters, the U.S. FDA stated in 2001 that fish with the highest mercury levels are tilefish, swordfish, mackerel, shark, white snapper, and tuna.   The lowest levels are found in salmon, flounder, sole, tilapia, and trout (though these fish are high in other toxins, in some waters).

If you’re eating fish-oil pills hoping to avoid heart disease, consider that you might be getting cancer-causing toxins in the bargain.   For instance, highly toxic PCBs have been found in Great Lakes fish.   Family Practice News reported in 1989 that you’d have to drink water from the Great Lakes for 100 years to get the same amount of PCBs in one serving of trout or salmon from those waters.   Similar findings link hydrocarbon pollution to fish in Puget Sound, Boston Harbor, and more.   New Orleans has extraordinarily high rates of cancer, where residents eat fish and shellfish daily.  

Farmed fish were thought to be safer, but recent data suggests other reasons to be concerned about the way fish bred in farms absorb toxins as well.

If you must eat fish, avoid those high in mercury.   A less risky way to obtain Omega fats is to eat flaxseed or flax oil, as well as a diet rich in a variety of greens and seeds/nuts.