Juice or Smoothie?


Several years ago I was introduced to green smoothies.  I thoroughly enjoy them!  Especially in the hot summer months.  What could be a more delicious healthy option than a creamy fruit smoothie with nutritious greens blended in?  My favorite is almond or coconut milk with mixed frozen berries and a vanilla nutritional powder I found.

I’ve also heard a lot about juicing.  My uneducated thoughts were that it was a waste of fiber and my body needed fiber, so smoothies are better because you have the entire fruit.  But then I did some research.  Here is what I found:

The reason people juice is so they can get the most nutrition out of multiple fruit and vegetables in one drink without getting full, all while giving the digestive system a rest. It’s a great way to cleanse your body, to train your palette and to be energized.  It’s also an outstanding way to lose weight, as a side benefit.  Years ago I watched the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, which originally planted the thought in my mind – very subliminally.

 

Last year I found out that we have a “Juice Bar” right in our little town.  Twice during the summer I did a 3-day juice cleanse from them.  I’ve also noticed the weight creeping up since I turned (ahem) the age I am… =)  and I am pretty disgusted about it.  In January 2017 I started a facebook group called New Dimensions where we are encouraging each other to lose weight, get fit, what-have-you and after 3 weeks, I decided I was going to do the research on juicing and what I found led me to decide to take the plunge!

Since I am a researcher, I researched the different types of juicers.  They have presses, masticating juicers and centrifugal juicers.  Each has advantages and disadvantages and they range anywhere from $50 or so, to thousands of dollars.  I talked to several of my friends and ended up purchasing the Omega 8006 Juicer.  Here’s why.  I plan to continue juicing for years and this one has a 15 year warranty.  Most of the others were 1 year.  It’s also a masticating juicer (sometimes referred to as a low speed juicer). The Omega 8006 processes at 80 rpm, whereas most other juicers process at a speed of 1,650 to 15,000 rpm. The low speed protects and maintains healthy enzymes, prevents oxidation and allows juice to be stored up to 72 hours without degradation. It is versatile enough to extract the maximum amount of juice from fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, even wheatgrass! (centrifugal juicers can not do greens and grass)  And you can also use this to turn nuts into nut butters (an all-natural peanut butter), make baby food from natural, fresh ingredients, whip up soy milk, extrude pasta, grind coffee and spices, and mince herbs and garlic.

I started juicing in early February and I LOVE it!  After a couple of days just guessing with combinations, I decided to use Joe’s 30 day Classic Reboot (from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead).  The first 5 days are transitioning from food to juice so you don’t jolt your body.  His recipes are delicious and so easy!

If anyone would like to join us on our facebook group, we would love it!  You can share your experiences, ask questions or just have a friendly group of people to help hold you accountable.

Olive Oil from Israel


I am SO excited!  I just placed my first order for olive oil from Galilee Green.

I had a dear friend recommend it to me.  She has been using it and loves it.  They have an automatic shipment that comes every 90 days right to your door.  I know the value of a quality olive oil, so rather than risk getting diluted oil at the store, I am ordering this.

This is from their website:

Enjoy our Premium Boutique Olive Oil

canOur Galilee Green Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil is among the finest you can find anywhere in the world. The olives are lovingly harvested from Olive Groves in Northern Israel.

It’s a mild blend of Barnea, Coratina and Koroneiki varieties. Each of these varieties are grown and harvested here in the Galilee and nurtured by the waters of the Jordan River. It’s very smooth and mild when you taste it with just a bit of a tang a few seconds later. You’ll love its delicate fragrance.

chatam soferYou can trust you’ll be getting 100% pure Olive Oil, and it is certified kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Shlomo Didi of local Kinneret-Emek HaYarden Rabbinic Council as well as Chatam Sofer of Bnei Brak. It is supervised Kosher which means that the olives are only picked from trees that are over three years old and all Biblical tithes are taken.  The olives are  brought directly to the olive press the same day. As part of the Kosher supervision, the machines are washed and cleaned before our oil is cold pressed.

And here is a video about how the oil is made:

What type of oil do you use?  Do you have a favorite olive oil?  Share with us in the comments!

 

 

Oatmeal, it’s what’s for breakfast


I have to admit, oatmeal used to be one of my least favorite breakfasts – unless it was maple oatmeal from a packet.  But I have learned to really like it a lot!  It is just SOOO healthy!

This is the way I have been eating it nearly every morning.

 

The one at the top right is mine.  It is raw steel-cut oat flakes topped with organic dried cranberries, raw pumpkin seeds, 4 or 5 apricot seeds, a handful of raw almonds, a large handful of large coconut flakes, a small handful of ENJOY LIFE mini chocolate chips (they are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and soy free!), 1/2 banana sliced, a sprinkle of chia seeds, a pinch of bee pollen, frozen blueberries, a drizzle of unsulphured organic molasses and a spoonful of raw honey.  Then I top it with milk.  YUM.

My husband has started to eat it every morning too!  It just does a body good, ya know?  His is on the left.  He eats the same type of oats, bananas, coconut flakes and chia seeds, but he varies his with raisins and pecans instead of all my other stuff.  He likes his sprinkled with raw organic sugar and topped with milk.

I like to have grapefruit also.  First.  Grapefruit first…before the sweet breakfast.  If you have ever tried it the other way around, you know why I am emphasizing that.  =)

My grandmother, who lived to be 98 years young, ate oatmeal with raisins for breakfast every single day for the last several years of her life.  She loved it.  I believe it is part of the reason she lived so long.  And she was healthy and mentally alert right up until the end!

I have to admit.  I don’t eat them every single day.  Sometimes I have french toast, an omelet, waffles, pancakes or on festive days maybe a cinnamon roll… but *most* days, it is this healthy, delicious oatmeal.

Why eat oatmeal for breakfast?

Here’s a quote from Healthy Eating that pretty much sums it up.

Steel cut oats differ from old-fashioned, rolled oats in only one way: Steel cut oats are not rolled flat into flakes. Instead, the whole toasted oat grain, or groat, that is used to produce rolled oats is cut into thirds to yield steel cut oats. Steel cut oats — also called Scotch, Irish or Pinhead oats — are nearly identical to old-fashioned, rolled oats in nutrition. Regularly eating steel cut oats gives you the same health benefits as rolled oats, says Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N. A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

If you want more details, just click here and head over to their page to read more about it.  In summary, eating oats contributes to a longer, healthier life.

DISCLAIMER:  The link in this post to the ENJOY LIFE mini chocolate chips takes you to my Amazon store.  They will pay me a tiny commission for sending you over to them to buy it.

cc

Red Velvet Cheese Cake


When we used to celebrate birthdays, my oldest daughter always requested Red Velvet Cake.  You may know it as Red Waldorf Cake.  I grew up having it every year on my dads birthday and it’s a delicious, moist cake.  However, when I found this gluten-free recipe, I had to try it and *WOW* is it delicious!

If you use your own chèvre instead of buying cream cheese, it is less expensive, but with the store bought it’s amazing too!

Ingredients:

 

81mjqDyIGGL._SL1500_Disclosure: I get a tiny commission if you purchase these from this link. =)

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • three 8 oz pkgs of cream cheese, softened
  • 1  1/2 cups raw sugar
  •  4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oz red food coloring (or make some with beet or pomegranate juice)
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • fresh mint sprigs

Stir together cookie/graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat three 8-oz packages of cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups raw sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minutes.  Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined.  Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325º for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300º and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm.  Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off.  Let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 minutes.  Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Cover and chill for 8 house.

Beat 3 oz cream cheese and 1/4 cup soft butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake.  Remove sides of springform pan.  Garnish, if desired.

Consume.  Share if necessary.

I would love to hear your comments on this – especially if you make it!  =)

 

 

Three Delicious Recipes


We are learning a whole new way of cooking on our travels, but I thought I would share a couple of recipes that I have been wanting to write on here.

tomato-pie-vertical-a-640

Picture from Simply Recipes

The first one is for Tomato Pie.  My daughter-in-love made this for us one day.  The recipe is from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tomato_pie/  This is not pizza.  It is an exquisite deep dish pie that will make your tastebuds dance for joy!  Wow!  It only takes 10 minutes to put together and then bakes for 35 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 9″ pic crust
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped again to yield 3 cups chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh sliced basil (appx 8 leaves)
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combo of sharp cheddar andMonterey Jack – or Gruyere or Mozzarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º  Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or til lightly golden.
  2. Squeeze extra moisture from tomatoes with paper towels
  3. Sprinkle the pie shell with chopped onion, then tomatoes and finally the basil
  4. In a bowl, mix the cheese, mayo, hot sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste
  5. Place in oven and bake 25-45 minutes or until brown and bubbly

cukes

The second recipe is for Pickled Cucumbers.  I grew up eating these and they are just the right side dish for the tomato pie!  You will want to start these the night before or at the latest, in the morning so they have time to marinate.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large scrubbed cucumbers, cut thin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar or 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill and/or parsley

Instructions:

Mix together salt, vinegar, sugar or honey, pepper and spices.   Pour over the cucumbers.  Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Makes 6 cups

Healthy-Brownie-Recipe

The final recipe for this post is Fudgy Oat Brownies.  My mom made these for us while we were on our special diet and we LOVE them!  My favorite brownie of all time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Grease an 8″ square pan.  Melt the chocolate chips and butter together.  Stir together dry ingredients.  Beat eggs and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients, then blend in the chocolate mixture.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes.  Cut when cool.  You will want to eat the entire pan.  Pour yourself a glass of milk and hide in the laundry room =)

Would love to hear your comments when you try these recipes!

Also, for anyone who is interested, we have created a blog for our family journey out of country.  You are welcome to read about it at http://boquetetribe.wordpress.com  On the right hand side of that page you can subscribe for regular updates.