Coconut Date Ice Cream

Coconut Date Ice Cream - Healing and Eating

This coconut date ice cream only uses two ingredients – coconut and dates. It’s paleo and vegan friendly, and really easy to make. This was the first time making ice cream in an ice cream maker. (Instead of a Vitamix)  I recently got one by Cusinart on sale a few days before Christmas. Luckily it’s warm in LA right now, and will only get warmer, so I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to test out my new gadget. It worked like a charm. Although I suggest freezing the ice cream after you make it. It comes out of the ice cream maker like soft serve, but I prefer mine colder and more solid, so I get pretty scoops and it doesn’t melt as easily.

Coconut Date Ice Cream
 
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Serves: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 18 medjool dates (12oz)
  • (optional) chopped pecans for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend coconut milk and dates in Vitamix.
  2. Chill mixture in fridge for at least two hours.
  3. Take out frozen freezer bowl. This should be stored in your freezer.
  4. Assemble ice cream maker according to directions and pour in coconut and date mix.
  5. Turn on for 20 minutes for soft serve.
  6. (optional) Transfer from freezer bowl to another freezer friendly ice cream container. Let ice cream further harden.
  7. (optional) Top ice cream with chopped pecans

Sea Vegetable and Cucumber Salad

Sea Vegetable and Cucumber Salad

This sea vegetable and cucumber salad is really easy to make, and a is full of healthy minerals. You can make it ahead even with the dressing, and it will still taste great the next day. I get a dried sea vegetable mix from the Asian section of Surfas, which is an awesome gourmet food and kitchen supply store in Culver City. This mix has six varieties of dehydrated sea vegetables. All you need to do is rehydrate them and add them to salads, soups or they can be a side themselves.

Although we have grown accustomed to eating nori in sushi, sea vegetables are sadly lacking in the standard American diet. I personally love seaweed (and sea vegetable) salads. I think they are really cool looking, and photograph beautifully :) Plus, they have no calories, are full of nutrition, and very filling (aka high in fiber). A simple dressing with sesame oil and rice vinegar is all you need to make these greens taste amazing. I gave mine a spicy kick, with some red pepper flakes that I put through the spice grinder.

Sea Vegetable and Cucumber Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ seedless cucumber
  • 1 packet of dehydrated sea vegetables
  • ½ tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • a pinch of freshly ground sea salt (3 grinds)
  • (optional) a pinch of red pepper flakes (finely ground)
Instructions
  1. Rehydrate sea vegetables in cold water for 10 minutes. They expand in volume 15 times.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to slice stripes of the skin off the cucumber. Then slice cucumber.
  3. If you don't have finely ground red pepper flakes, throw a tsp of them in a coffee grinder used for grinding spices.
  4. Drain sea vegetables, pat dry.
  5. Mix cucumber slices and sea vegetables. Then drizzle with sesame oil and rice vinegar.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  7. (optional) sprinkle with finely ground red pepper flakes.

My Salt Recommendations

My Salt Recommenations - Healing and Eating

Salt is an important ingredient that every cook relies on to bring out the flavors in a dish. But, it has a bad reputation as being an unhealthy ingredient, especially for heart health. Although I’m not a doctor, (and you should still consult a medical professional if you have a heart condition) I thought you guys might be interested in my thoughts on salt and the brands I use for difficult cooking applications.

In my recipes, I call for sea salt almost all the time. Usually I use Himalayan sea salt, because it’s unrefined and full of trace minerals. Consuming minerals, whether it’s from bone broth or from your salt is always a good idea. Mineral deficiencies can cause a ton of different health problems from heart disease to chronic pain. One of the main reasons the paleo community eliminates or reduces grains and beans is because of phytic acid found in these foods. This anti-nutrient binds to minerals in digestive tract before they can be absorbed or utilized. Another reason, we reduce grains and beans is to reduce sugar consumption. Now if you’re carefully monitoring your salt intake, and you still want your food to taste good, you’ll likely start consuming more sugar. Salt, fat, and sugar are the trifecta of deliciously addictive food. Likely, if you’re reducing salt, you were also told to reduce fat, which leaves you with sugar as the only option for making your food taste delicious. After reading Wheat Belly, which was written by cardiologist William Davis, MD, sugar is the last thing you should consume with a heart problem.

Lately, I’ve started using Real Salt by Redmond Trading Company. It’s unrefined salt from Utah that’s full of minerals, and without chemicals or anti-caking agents. I love the packaging, because it’s already roughly ground up and comes in a pourable and resealable pouch, which makes it easier for me to measure out amounts when I create or follow recipes. I also use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt that I buy in bulk from Costco, when I want to bake something on top of salt (such as garlic or sweet potatoes) or brine or dry rub a large piece of meat. Salt baking is a great way to cook food without wrapping it in aluminum foil. Although, I do cover the baking dish in foil to keep in moisture. The salt helps absorb some of the moisture, making it a ideal environment for baking certain types of food. Plus, I like to check on my food, and if it’s tightly wrapped in foil, I can’t tell how brown it’s getting, and using less aluminum is also good for your health. This salt is also the salt recommended in All About Roasting by Molly Stevens. Since her recipes are on the more advanced side, (at least if you consider cooking a large piece of meat or fish advanced) I like to follow her recipes as precisely as I can. (This is super rare for me since I always switch out ingredients and change up amounts) I tried out her turkey recipe on Thanksgiving (with no trial run) and it came out great!

I do think salt can be harmful, especially in the large amounts found in processed food. There is usually a lot of other harmful ingredients in processed food as well, so cooking food yourself and from scratch should be more important than worrying about salt intake. If you are still concerned about salt, season the food when you’re finished cooking, so you can monitor it yourself and only add the smallest amount necessary. Organic kelp granuales, which are usually found near the seaweed section of the grocery store, can be a great salt alternative. Although I use it more as a seasoning that’s a little salty, rather than a replacement for salt.

Sources

  1. Living with Phytic Acid – westonaprice.org
  2. No Benefit Seen on Sharp Limits on Salt in Diet – nytimes.com

Sun-Dried Tomato Zucchini Pasta

sun-dried-tomato-pesto-pasta

This easy zucchini pasta  is an easy paleo friendly meal, that you can make ahead of time. The longer you saute the pasta, and evaporate the water released from the zucchini, the creamier and less watery the pasta will become. (The blended pine nuts in the sun dried tomato pesto, will make the pasta sauce feel and taste creamy) That makes this dish great for reheating later, especially if you under-cook the pasta a bit.

I used a Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler to create the noodles. It’s only $18.94 on amazon, and it’s really easy to use. Use a fork to hold the zucchini, since the peeler is crazy sharp. If you don’t want to make a ton of zucchini noodles, and they will cook down giving you less volume as well, consider turning this into a side dish. My husband and I baked some chicken to go with this and ate it with the leftover pesto. We enjoyed it so much we had the same thing the next night!


Sun-Dried Tomato Zucchini Pasta

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 8-15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

  • 5 zucchinis
  • 3 tbsp sun dried tomato pesto
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup of halved sugar plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • (optional) fresh ground black pepper (3 grinds)

Cooking Directions

  1. Julienne zucchini, into zucchini noodles. Then add olive oil to a pan, and start sauteing zucchini.
  2. To the pan, add sun dried tomato pesto, sea salt, and halved sugar plum tomatoes.
  3. Cook down liquid/sauce for 8-15 minutes or until sauce is desired thickness.
  4. Plate, and serve. (optional) grind some fresh ground black pepper over top of pasta.

DIY Lavender Face Oil

DIY Lavender Face Oil

This DIY face oil only requires two ingredients, and is really easy to make. Those ingredients include Rose Hip Seed Oil by Pura d’or, which is an unrefined, cold-pressed, organic oil that can be used by itself as a moisturizer, or as a carrier oil for essential oils. In this recipe, I used organic lavender essential oil.

I’ve tried many oils on my face,  but I have acne prone skin and I’ve never been a big fan until rose hip seed oil. This oil is considered a “dry” oil, which means it is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue like a lot of other natural oils. I was able to apply liquid foundation and powder after it was absorbed with no problems.

This oil is used by celebrities such as former Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, and actress Rose Byrne. Plus, it’s been around for a long time. It was used by the Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans for it healing properties. Rose Hip Oil is great for soothing inflamed, sensitive skin (which I have) and can be used to treat acne (which I also get), sunburns, and eczema. It’s a skin brightener too, and helps with sun damage and acne scaring. It’s also great for wrinkles since it contains essential fatty acids, as well as tretinoin (also called all-trans retinoic acid), a vitamin A acid that retinol converts to, which also helps treat acne.

Lavender essential oil is another great ingredient for soothing inflamed, acne-prone skin. It’s antibacterial as well, and is used in aromatherapy to calm the mind and reduce stress. Apply at night, to help you fall asleep.


Lavender Face Oil

Prep time: 2 minutes
Total time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of organic rose hip seed oil (Pura d’or)
  • 2-3 drops of organic lavender essential oil (Aura Cacia)
  • 1 amber eye dropper bottle

Directions

  1. Combine rose hip seed oil and lavender essential oil in amber eye dropper bottle.
  2. Shake to mix oils, and add 3 drops to hands, rub hands, and gently pat into your face.
  3. (Optional) Wait a few minutes for oil to absorb before applying makeup.

Sources:

Rosehip Seed Oil: Why This Miracle Skincare Product Will Be The Next Coconut Oil by Huffington  Post

Can Rosehip Oil Give You Supermodel Skin? by FoxNews

Rosehip Seed Oil by Wikapedia

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto - Healing and Eating

This sun-dried tomato pesto is raw and vegan friendly. The sun-dried tomatoes were a bit of a impulse purchase when I went shopping at Surfas, which is an amazing gourmet food and kitchen supply store, geared towards culinary professionals in Culver City. They were not packed in oil, so I was able to use my favorite extra virgin olive oil to soak the sun-dried tomatoes in, which added another delicious layer of flavor. All olive oils have their own flavor profile, similar to wines, so definitely keep that in mind and use the good stuff.

I used pine nuts as a substitute for Parmesan cheese. Do not sub out the pine nuts. They are needed for the cheesy flavor that you miss, when you’re dairy free. The more pine nuts you use, the creamier your pesto will turn out. Plus, their flavor is buttery and pretty neutral, so it won’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. If you’re not a fan, you soon will be.


 Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of packed sun dried tomatoes that were soaked in extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of pressed garlic
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste (3 grinds each)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Add sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pressed garlic, and extra virgin olive oil, until desired smoothness.
  2. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste, about three grinds each.

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