From our home to yours…here are some recipes and tips for the foods featured on the Immunity Poster.
We snack on raw apples all day. We like them plain or dipped in nut butters or raw caramel apple sauce.
My son can’t get enough “cados”. He eats one a day – just plain on his booster tray.
· We like them in our salads, or with a sprinkle of celtic sea salt and/or Bragg Sprinkle seasoning .
· Avocados are great in smoothies (they make them rich and creamy) or as a base for raw vegan chocolate pudding.
· Make sure the avocados are ripe (soft when pushed) and they will be nice and creamy inside.
· My favorite black bean soup recipe is Brazilian Black Bean soup from Mollie Katzen’s The New Moosewood Cookbook
· We have a “make your own quesadilla night” each week in our house. Black beans play a starring role. My favorite combination is black beans, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and a little sprinkle of Daiya mozzarella (or whatever your preference).
Blueberries are everywhere in our house – in smoothies and our oatmeal, plain, in our pancakes, in our “ice cream”…fresh or frozen!
We love nut milks and brazil nuts make a great, creamy nut milk.
Aside from the nut milk, we eat one raw brazil nut a day to give us our daily supply of selenium.
We love to include broccoli in our stir fries because it takes the flavor of the stir fry sauce. One of our favorite stir fry recipes, Cashew Chicken, is from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. I’m always throwing some broccoli in there. Reduce the hoisin sauce if you want (it’s sweet) and if you want a meat-free meal, replace the chicken with tofu (or just add more veggies).
Other ways to incorporate broccoli:
· Add raw or steamed broccoli to berry or green smoothies.
· Save those broccoli stems and juice them! Or, shave the outside of the stem and chop up the tender insides for your stir fry.
· In the fall months, we roast a lot of vegetables. Broccoli is great roasted with a little olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.
· Or, you can steam the broccoli, then sauté with olive oil chopped garlic salt and pepper. This would be another great place to use the Bragg Sprinkle seasoning.
When in season, sweet cherries are amazing. We bought a cherry pitter last season and got a LOT of use out of it. In fact, I couldn’t pit them fast enough for my toddler son.
We also use dried cherries in muffin recipes. Pick the unsweetened kind since your muffin recipe will have a sweetener in it.
Cranberry Relish isn’t just for Thanksgiving. This is a raw version that is popular with many of our friends and their families.
This recipe calls for a lot of sugar. Instead of using refined white sugar, try honey, date sugar, sucanat or agave. Most of the time, I halve the sugar called for in recipes. You may need to tinker with the amount for this one. I would recommend starting with a half cup of sweetener, then add more if needed.
Oh, and while this recipe uses a grinder, you can use a blender or food processor.
Other ways to incorporate cranberries:
· Whole grain muffins
· Add dried cranberries to granola
Pan fry strips with panko or bake it with olive oil, lemon and citrus zest. Either way takes 15 minutes or less.
We use raw honey all the time because of its beneficial enzymes and antibacterial and soothing properties. Try not to heat the honey over 99 degrees because at that point many beneficial components are destroyed.
Source your honey from a reputable place (some supermarket honey includes corn syrup thereby diluting the honey and is also heated killing the beneficial properties).
· Honey and nut butter on whole grain toast – a family favorite!
· In iced tea
· In salad dressings
One of our all-time favorite salad dressings is Creamy Miso Dressing from Heidi Swanson’s book, Super Natural Cooking (see Resources).
Or Heated (not ideal, but a whole food and in my humble opinion better than refined sugar as a sweetener)
· As a sweetener in granola, muffins, pizza dough
· In tea
Please note: Do not feed honey to children under the age of 1.
Kefir is a fermented beverage that can be made from dairy or plant milk. It has more strains of friendly bacteria than yogurt, plus beneficial yeasts.
You can make your own kefir with cultures from Cultures for Health or buy it from your local farmer or grocer.
If you buy flavored kefir, which is what you are most likely to find in the supermarket, watch out for the sugar content. If you have an extra five minutes, buy the plain kefir, add that and some ripe or frozen fruit to your blender and blend away for a fruity drink (NO SUGAR ADDED!).
We often use kefir as a base in our smoothies. I also bake with coconut milk kefir instead of milk (although note that the friendly bacteria are destroyed by high heat).
Kefir keeps in the refrigerator for at least a week. I’ve found some in the back of the fridge perfectly fine for using about a month old.
· Mushroooms are great for toddlers because they are really soft and make great finger food. I eat them in my salad with a little Bragg Sprinkle seasoning and sea salt.
· One of my favorite recipes for mushrooms is from John Robbins’ book called The New Good Life (Quinoa with Walnuts).
· Olives make great snacks that satisfy the craving for salt. We always have them on a plate with nuts and fruit for an afternoon snack.
· Also add to salads and Greek-style pita pockets.
· Pit some olives and puree them with dried figs, olive oil and a little sea salt for a delicious tapenade.
Get a two for one punch when you add pecans to a spinach salad. Or, go for the gold with a spinach salad topped with pecans, mushrooms and finished with our favorite Creamy Miso dressing.
Or, just grab a handful to snack on.
Red Bell Peppers
We eat peppers raw, by themselves or with a dip, but during grilling season they are super sweet when grilled.
Spinach salad is a staple at our house. I love to add mushrooms, walnuts/pecans, dried cranberries and a nice vinaigrette. I also juice spinach and include it in our berry and green smoothies.
Cooked, spinach is great in a quiche or sautéed in garlic infused olive oil.
Anytime I’m home for a few hours, you can find sweet potatoes baking in my toaster oven. We eat them diced or mashed with lunch and dinner. Usually we don’t add anything to them, but sometimes I like honey and orange zest with a sprinkle of crushed nuts.
I have eaten yogurt for as long as I can remember. Up until the last three years or so, I ate the typical yogurt you’d find in a supermarket – flavored with a ton of sugar and more ingredients than I’d like. Gradually, we switched to whole milk plain yogurt and now I make my own with non-dairy milk.
Once learning how to make your own, you may never go back to store bought. Most of the time we do not sweeten our homemade plain yogurt, but if we do, we add a half teaspoon of honey, maple syrup or jam to about a half cup of yogurt. Granola is a favorite topping. I like my unsweetened yogurt with lots of granola (which sweetens it slightly). Homemade yogurt is sooo creamy and can be mild or tart, depending on how you like it!