Coconut Oil Giveaway and Recipes!

I’ve sent people to Mountain Rose Herbs for their extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, for years. I’ve never had a complaint, because their product is fabulous, and we’ve gotten tons of testimonials about skin conditions clearing and other exciting benefits of beginning to use this lauric acid-rich, medium chain fatty acid (missing in most people’s diet). When I began using coconut oil years ago, my winter-time cold hands and feet disappeared, and I now enjoy good circulation.

I use coconut oil generously on my skin every day. I run 1/3 cup through my hair (it’s long and thick—you may need less) sometimes before I shower, to help deal with the fact that I color it, and blonde out of a bottle is brutal on hair.

I also use coconut oil exclusively in baking, and sometimes in sauteeing. Lots of recipes in Ch. 4 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and other places like Ch. 11.

I’ve blogged about it in the past, and you can search on that topic on this blog.

I asked Mountain Rose Herbs for their favorite recipes, and here they are, enjoy!

Julie’s Amazing Maca Bars (modified by Robyn)

Maca, the ancient Peruvian herb, is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes turnips and radishes. It grows at high elevations of 12,000 feet and higher! Used as early as 1600 BC in Peru, the traditional use is for mental acuity, physical vitality, endurance, and stamina.

Another well-known use is as an aphrodisiac tonic that enhances sexual desire, performance, and fertility in men, women, and animals. It’s a highly nutritious food too. It contains: carbohydrates, proteins, calcium, fiber, lipids, iodine and anticancer compounds (similar to broccoli and cabbage). The nutrition alone can have a positive effect on people who are overworked, overstressed, and nutritionally unfulfilled.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw local honey (great for preventing seasonal allergies)
  • ½ cup organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seed soaked 20+ minutes in 6 Tbsp. water
  • ½ cup to 1 cup wheat-free flour or arrowroot powder
  • 1 pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
  • ½ cup organic maca Powder
  • 1 cup organic oats
  • 1 cup organic nuts (your choice)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes in a greased  9×12 glass pan. Allow to cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Julie DeBord’s Bio:

Julie DeBord oversees the extraordinarily difficult task of managing the production and packaging of nearly all the products Mountain Rose Herbs has to offer! In addition to this, she oversees our tea and spice formulating and created many of our favorites including Herbal Coffee and Firefly Chai.

Erin’s Coconut Kettle Corn (modified by Robyn)

This healthier version of the classic kettle corn recipe will delight any sweet or salty craving. Virgin coconut oil adds a satisfying richness while a touch of sugar coats each kernel with a caramelized glaze. So good, you won’t miss the butter! Fun to make around the campfire after a day by the river or on the stovetop at home, this popcorn is an absolute crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic popping corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp organic, raw coconut sugar
  • fine sea salt to taste

Directions:

Melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the kernels and cover the pot with a lid. Be sure to shake the pot continuously over the flame to avoid burning. When the first kernel pops, add the sugar and cover the pot. Continue to shake the covered pot vigorously over the flame while the kernels pop. This will happen quickly! Once the popping slows down, remove from heat and keep covered until you no longer hear popping. Transfer your popcorn to a serving bowl and sprinkle with salt to your liking. Munch and enjoy!

Erin McIntosh’s Bio:

Erin McIntosh is the Communications Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs and a graduate of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days photographing flowers, concocting herbal treats, and wildcrafting plants in the magnificent Oregon Cascades. www.mountainroseblog.com

CHI Recipes, part 2 of 2

Sweetened Almond Milk

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained

4 cups filtered water

4 dates (pitted) or ¼ cup chopped dates

½ tsp vanilla

Blend until very smooth (about 2 minutes) in BlendTec. Optionally, if you want smooth milk without sediment, strain with nut milk bag, or cheesecloth. Use pulp in green smoothies or stir it into almond or peanut butter. Or, make Patty’s Peach Cobbler, here.

Patty’s Raw Peach Cobbler

Patty is 45 and was living at CHI and volunteering there, after arriving 10 months before with multiple sclerosis that had her barely able to get out of bed. Her symptoms responded beautifully, she lost tons of weight, and she is now highly active, leading our rebounding classes every day. She’ll be at CHI teaching through May 1, 2012, so go soon and you’ll get to meet her!

Maybe it was because of 5 days straight of eating energy soup and cabbage, but this peach cobbler tasted like heaven to me. You may want something crunchy on it–I recommend chopped soaked/dehydrated raw almonds sprinkled on top.

Patty’s Peach Explosion

(Note: I think this recipe tastes like the peach cobbler my mother baked in our childhood home. My brothers, who gobbled it up, always referred to it as “Peach Explosion,” hence the name.)

Tools: High Speed Blender, Dehydrator, Spatula,   Mixing Bowl,   Rectangular Glass Cake Pan, Knives, Cutting Board.

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour (we use ground up dehydrated almond pulp left over from almond milk)

2 cups rolled oats (we rinse it multiple times to get the gluten and allergens off)

1 cup melted coconut oil (melt it at 110 degrees in the dehydrator)

Teaspoon nutmeg

Teaspoon cinnamon

8 soaked and pitted organic dates

1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

About 1/2 cup water

Crust Directions: Mix ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth and creamy, spoon onto peach filling. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 10 hours. I found the handles of my glass rectangular baking pan fit snugly into the side grooves of an Excalibur dehydrator. (If you have another dehydrator, you might need another dish.)

Peach Filling Ingredients:

12 Organic Peaches washed and sliced

8 soaked and pitted organic dates

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

2 – 2 1/2 cups of water from soaked dates

Peach Filling Directions: Liquefy dates, water, salt and cinnamon in high-speed blender. Pour into mixing bowl with sliced peaches and mix well. Pour peach filling into ungreased glass baking pan.   Your peach mixture should be watery. Most of the water will evaporate during dehydration and you’ll want to make sure your cobbler is nice and juicy.

one of my favorite weekend breakfasts, pumpkin waffles

So my Breakfast class at the Zermatt Resort last week was great fun. Just one strange thing, I discovered after class when I went to sample the food: the chef apparently made my Pumpkin Waffles . . . without pumpkin!

Weird. But my newsletter with these recipes went out, and one reader immediately went out to find canned pumpkin and said “crop damage” means no canned pumpkin right now. Maybe that’s why! (I keep it in my food storage, so I didn’t know.) If you can’t get it in the store, hang onto this recipe, perfect for fall. Or used cooked pureed carrots, or your own winter squash or pumpkin, baked, outer peel removed, pureed.

Anyway, we love these dense, delicious waffles with raw applesauce from the apples coming out of our tree now (see the photo below of Tennyson picking them), and a little real maple syrup.

To redeem myself, here’s the recipe. It makes a big batch so you have leftovers, which you can freeze if you want.

Remember (read Ch. 9 all about this) that if you soak the liquids in the grains overnight, you neutralize phytic acids that may bind to minerals, making them unavailable to you. You also break down the proteins, making grains easier to digest.

PUMPKIN WAFFLES

2 cups whole-wheat flour (finely ground, soft white is my favorite for this)

2 cups regular rolled oats

1 (30 oz.) can pumpkin

¼ cup coconut oil (liquid)

3 Tbsp. Sucanat or unrefined coconut sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. sea salt

1 ½ tsp. baking powder (no aluminum), reduce by ½ tsp. if you soaked grains overnight

1 cup yogurt or kefir

2 ½ cups water

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs (organic, free range) or 3 Tbsp. chia soaked in 9 Tbsp. water

Mix rolled oats in your high-power blender to break them down to a coarse meal. Mix the whole-wheat flour, oats, yogurt, and water together, then cover and let sit overnight (optionally). In the morning, add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand, but don’t overmix. Batter is dense, and baking time usually must be longer than waffle timer indicates. Top with Quick Raw Applesauce or plain yogurt, and real maple syrup.

Quick Raw Applesauce

4 large Jonathan or Fuji apples, washed/cored/quartered

1 cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup (or more, to taste) maple syrup

Pulse all ingredients in high-power blender for a chunky sauce.

Reflecting on nutrition, food storage, and hard economic times

What a year this has been.   The much-predicted failure of  American investment banking  has come to pass,  our nation’s net worth has plummeted precipitously, and we’ve started into what promises to be a long recession.   I just came across this quote by a wise man named Joseph Smith, from 175 years ago:

“Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.”

So, many other times in even the comparatively short history of the U.S., we have found ourselves in perilous times.   The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

But we need not fear because we can do simple, inexpensive things to prepare.   People of the dominant religion where I live (Utah) are counselled to store a year’s supply of food.   Yet no matter how long this counsel is given, and how urgently, at any given time, only 15 percent of LDS (Mormon) people actually have a year’s supply.   At the moment, church leaders are pleading with the people to get a three-month supply in place in the immediate future.

This is a smart thing to do for anyone, not just LDS people.   You have observed how sensitive supply and demand is, for food.   (I mentioned in a blog comment recently that I cannot buy canning jars anywhere, because Kerr and Ball cannot keep up with the demand nationally.   You have seen the price of rice increase 250 percent.)   That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I frankly hate scare tactics.   (Love Mike Adams “The Health Ranger,” hate all the fear-mongering in his newsletters.)

Victoria Boutenko says she calculated once that her family of four could live for a year on one 50-lb. bag of wheat, by sprouting it.   I don’t know how that’s possible, unless she is calculating nutrients rather than caloric needs–but anyway, she said that.   The LDS Church has a calculator at lds.org, and one person needs 200 lbs. of grain per year.   (Of course,  50 lbs.  of sprouted grain has in some cases as much nutrition, plus lots of live enzymes, that 200 lbs. of dry grain does!)

Thus, my family of six has stored 1,200 lbs. of grain: wheat, quinoa, rye, rolled oats and oat groats, popcorn, Kamut, and spelt.   That may sound like an obscene quantity, but when you add it up, people eat a lot of food!   We also store 400 lbs. of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) and lots of other items like coconut oil, olive oil, agave, honey, and sea salt.   I do more than that, but if all the rest will be overwhelming to you for now, just start with a three-month supply of those basics.   When you’ve got those inexpensive bases covered, consider storing bottles of VitaMineral Green for your greens; cans of Ultimate Meal for easy, optimal nutrition; nuts and seeds (frozen in Ziplocs where possible); and spices, herbs, and condiments.

The point is, when your food storage is a bunch of white flour, white sugar, canned powdered milk, canned turkey, and macaroni (the staples of most Mormon one-year supplies), you might not end up hungry, but you’re going to end up sick.

Store whole grains, and know how to use them.   What I am teaching you in Step 9 isn’t just for good nutrition–it’s for good emergency preparedness!   When you know how to sprout as I teach in Step 7, you have the invaluable skill to use dry, long-term storage foods (like any grain) and make it live food that will keep your family healthy–not just alive.

My European immigrant ancestors came across the plains from the East Coast to Utah, with handcarts, and some of them were caught in winter storms.   Their nutrition was sometimes reduced, in the winter, to small rations of cornmeal fried in lard, day after day.   Some of them died of starvation, as well as exposure.   Some became ill with typhoid, malaria, scurvy, and smallpox.

We have the ability to spend very little but have the peace of mind to be prepared well, by storing whole foods.   I hope you’re getting a year’s supply of RAW ALMONDS in the current group buy–yet another way to eat well now AND buy very inexpensive insurance against emergencies.   It’s the kind of insurance that doesn’t need the backing of our virtually bankrupt federal government.   It’s the kind of insurance that pays no premiums to a huge company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, being robbed by its executives.

Phytates . . . part II

The phytate issue is fiercely contested in the nutrition world, with some believing that soaking grains is critical, and others believing it’s unnecessary.   I have studied compelling evidence on both sides, leading me to the following recommendations.

Regardless of whether phytates in whole grains lead to mineral deficiencies, soaking and slightly fermenting your grain clearly aids in digestion.   It costs nothing and doesn’t really add time to a recipe’s preparation, although you do a portion of the work in advance.

Most adults in the Western world need to be kind to their digestive systems.   That’s because before most of us get serious about treating our bodies right (which you’re doing if you’re reading this), we have abused our bodies with the modern lifestyle.   In particular, we’ve damaged our digestive systems.   Some of us have developed chronic digestive problems, and many of us have decades of damage to undo.    Part of a whole-grain habit, then, is to as often as possible soak your flour or grain for up to 24 hours, and add a bit of whey, kefir, or yogurt.   Even 8 hours of soaking is very helpful.   Many  12 Step recipes (in Ch. 9) call for soaking the flour or grain.  

The grain with the highest phytate content is oats, so if you like oatmeal, put the boiling water in the rolled oats right after eating breakfast, add a Tbsp. or two of yogurt or kefir, cover with a lid, and just reheat it for breakfast the next morning.   It can sit for 24 hours and will be just fine, so don’t worry.   If you like sourdough, you’ll probably like the slightly fermented taste.   If it’s too much for you, soak it only 8 hours and use a very small amount of yogurt.   This habit requires thinking ahead but is worth developing.    

Unlike oats and wheat, brown rice, millet, and buckwheat have low phytate content, so you can soak them just overnight, for shorter periods of time.   When I am serving brown rice for dinner, I put boiling water in it in the morning.   I cover it and leave it to steam all day in the oven preheated to 350 degrees (and then turned OFF).   The rice is perfectly cooked at dinnertime.   When making kasha (buckwheat cereal), I put the boiling water in the night before, letting it steam overnight.   All of this is in Step 9.    

Part III (the end of this topic) tomorrow.