Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes With a Hint of Cinnamon and Fresh Orange Zest.

Gluten- Free Double Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with a Hint of Orange Zest and Cinnamon


1/2 cup of Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup of Rice Flour
1/4 cup of Potato Starch
1 1/2 T of Tapioca Flour
1 Cup of Sugar or 1 T. of Pure Stevia Powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 Egg or Egg Replacer Equivalant
1/2 cup of butter melted
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of  warm milk (*any milk of choice will do)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. Fresh Orange Zest
1 T. Finely Ground Coffee or Espresso


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 1- 12 muffin pan

In a large mixing bowl combine  all of the dry ingredients: flour(s), potato starch, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, salt, coffee/espresso, cinnamon and fresh orange zest. Stir well.

In a separate bowl:
Blend milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Incorporate the dry ingredients by adding them into thirds (three portions). Mix well.

 Portion the batter into 12 cupcakes.

Cook for 18- 22 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Place a toothpick in the center of the cupcake and remove. If the toothpick comes out clean with no  batter the cupcakes are done.

Cool cupcakes about 20 minutes and frost.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 cup of butter softened
2 cups of confectioners sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup of milk or cream.

 In an electric mixer incorporate all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

 Orange Zest Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 oz. packages) of cream cheese
1/2 cup or 1 stick of  soften butter
1 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
1 T. Vanilla extract.
1 T. Fresh Orange Zest
1 t. of fresh-squeezed orange juice

In an electric mixer incorporate all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kate's Chicken Tortilla Soup


To Prepare Chicken Stock:

 In a LARGE stock pot combine:

 1 Large yellow onion- quartered
 3 Cloves of Garlic - Smashed
 3 Carrots-Rough Chopped
 4 Ribs of Celery-Rough Chopped
 3 Dried Ancho Chilies - seeds and stems removed
 3 Dried Guajillo Chilies- seeds and stems removed
 1 Bay leaf
 6 whole peppercorns
 1 chicken carcass-- it is what it is. ;)
 Fill pot with water so chicken is fully submerged.

Bring to a boil and simmer on medium for 4 hours.
Strain and reserve the liquid ONLY.

 Black Beans:
* Rehydrate 1 1/2 cup of black beans. ( you can do this with the chicken stock).

In a LARGE Heavy-bottomed stock/soup pot combine:

I Large Yellow Onion- Diced
2 Cloves of garlic-Smashed and finely diced
4 Carrots- Peeled and diced
1 Red Bell Pepper- Sliced into thin strips
*OPTIONAL: 1 Serrano Pepper finely diced for an EXTRA KICK!!
* Sautee Vegetables until "el dente" about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add 1 T. of Adobo Sauce ( The liquid found in canned Chipolte Peppers)
1/2 Can of Organic Crushed Tomatoes
5 Cups of Chicken Stock.
3 Chicken Breasts or Boneless Thighs- Diced
1 t.. Ground Cumin
1/2 t. Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper To Taste
**** Let come to a Boil****

 3/4 cup of Black Beans
 3/4 cup of Fresh Corn

* Let Cook for 10 more minutes*
To Garnish:
 Crushed Tortilla chips
 Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice  and some chopped fresh cilantro.

To Make Tortilla Strips:
Take a 6 inch corn tortilla and cut it in half.
Take one of the halves and cut it into strips.
Heat desired oil to 3tow00-350 degrees- This should take about 5-7 minutes on medium high heat- be careful not to burn the oil!!
Carefully place tortilla strips in oil- do this in small batches as if not to crowd the pan.
This should take 2-4 minutes.They fry QUICK!
Retreive tortilla strips with metal tongs or burn proof utensil ( NO PLASTIC!) and place onto a kitchen towel or paper towel to wick off excess oil.
Tortilla chips should be slightly golden brown and crispy.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Beware of Pasteurized Juices and Green Drinks ( Superfood and Naked Juice).

I was shopping at Trader Joe's this afternoon and saw this HUGE display of bottled Green Plant Juice. Steer clear unknowing health savvy consumer-THIS is a health trap! I have supressed my inner Nutritional Therapist for quite sometime now and remained pretty quite on my opinions on the juicing debate-well apparently today's the day, I am giving you my two cents! (perhaps it's more like 4 cents).*ha*;)

For the record: I do not advocate pasteurized green drinks or juices as part of a healthy diet.

The benefit of juicing is to get a condensed dose of nutrients, minerals and enzymes. This practice can be extremely therapeutic, hydrating and nourishing to the body, but there are some definite ground rules that you MUST understand before you take stock in Odwalla, Naked Juice or run out and buy the next Power Juicer 5000.

NEWSFLASH: The juices that you can buy in the grocery store are PASTEURIZED.

What is Pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a process where they heat juices to 161 degrees for 15 seconds killing all of the potential BAD mold, bacteria and microorganisms and most of the GOOD nutrients, minerals and enzymes. This denatured/ pasteurized juice product that is left is essentially nothing more then colored SUGAR WATER.(!!!!) Did you ever wonder why they are suddenly fortifying juices with Calcium and Vitamin D?

*Note that there are 25 g of SUGAR per 8 oz serving in this Odwalla SuperFood. This juice is 16 oz (multiply the serving size by two). There are 4 grams of sugar PER TEASPOON meaning that this ONE Odwalla Superfood has 12 and a half teaspoons (or 4 Tablespoons) of SUGAR in it! YEOWSERS!

Here is My Guide To Juicing:

1. Never Buy Pasteurized Juice as a HEALTH DRINK.
Pasteurized juice is NOT a healthy drink. Pasteurized juice has way too much sugar and far too little nutrients. (Not to mention too many added STABILIZERS to keep it UNCLUMPED and tasting 'Fresh'.) No thanks!

Fresh Pressd Juices:

1. Only Juice ORGANICS. If you are juicing conventional produce you are getting a mega dose of all the nasty pesticides sprayed on and saturating your fruits and veggies.These fruits and vegetables known as the " DIRTY DOZEN" MUST be bought organic as they are they have the highest content of sprayed pesticides and fertilizers on them.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Potatoes
9. Blueberries
10. Kale/Collard Greens
11. Lettuces
12. Bell Peppers

2. Juicing should be an 80/20 ratio. 80% VEGETABLES TO 20% FRUITS. Too many fruits= too much sugar.

3. Juices should be thought of as a 'dose of nutrients', NOT as a long term meal replacement plan. Juicing can be very therapeutic for someone with compromised digestion or in conjunction with a temporary cleanse or fast. Your body is brilliant and it is designed to eat and digest a variety of nourishing foods. Personally, I will take the crisp refreshing crunch of celery anyday over celery juice--maybe it's just me? I LOVE THE TEXTURES of REAL FOOD!

4. A note on beneficial fiber. This has been the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around. I love fiber, I think fiber is KEY to a healthy diet and good digestion. Juicing extracts the magnificent dietary fiber from the the fruit or vegetable and chucks it into a side trolly in your juicer. Don't blindly toss it out or compst it. SAVE THIS! Bake with it, cook with it, put it in soups! I remember one of our super smart Food For Thought Family members, mentioned that she was an avid juicer but made muffins out of the pulp! YES! Do that! You can also add fiber back into your juice by adding: flax, hemp and chia seeds are fantastic sources of fiber.

6. Protein and Fat: Juices are devoid of proteins and fats so it is benefical to add some back in. As mentioned above, chia, flax and hemp are great sources of protein and fiber. Adding some good fats like: almonds, avocados, eggs, coconut oil, Omega-3's can be great in juices or fresh fruit smoothies. Adding fats into your juice will actually help your body benefit and get the optimal vitamins out of your juice. Vitamins like vitamins: A, D, E and Vitamin K actually NEED FAT to be used by the body!

7. Fresh pressed juices should be kept in a air tight container and refrigerated. Do not consume juices that are older then 3 days old. Juices denature and anything that was beneficial about drinking your juice has expired after 3 days. This really makes you rethink your Minute Maid Orange Juice that is seemingly still fresh after 3 weeks doesn't it?

I think juicing CAN be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet when done correctly. Here's to knowing the facts and being a well informed consumer and advocate for your health!

Happy Juicing!

photo sources:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Soy Dangers Summarized- Weston A Price Foundation

This is from the Weston A Price Foundation Website:

Confused About Soy?--Soy Dangers Summarized

  • High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
  • Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
  • Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

The above soy dangers and our Myths & Truths About Soy are available in our Soy Alert! trifold brochure for mass distribution.

Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Soy

  1. Studies Showing the Toxicity of Soy in the US Food & Drug Administration's Poisonous Plant Database(7.5M PDF)
  2. Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Dietary Soy, 1939-2008
  3. Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Isoflavones, 1950-2010

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Technicolor Foods: A Look At Artificial Food Dyes And The BEAUTIFUL Foods That Inspired Them

I was a birthday party recently where they had some of those trendy tie dye multi-colored cupcakes. They were super cute, but unfortunately the nutrition geek in me couldn't help but to shudder knowing what I have read about artificial food coloring and the connection to behavioral issues such as ADD/ADHD and allergies. Is it just me, or have you noticed some of the outrageous foods that they are trying to sell us at the grocery stores these days? Since when was yogurt BLUE? Tortilla chips GREEN and milk PURPLE? How is it that suddenly everything in our grocery stores have become technicolor? How did it get to this point?

In 1938, many dyes that were used to dye clothing, 15 were certified to be used to color foods. In the 1950's Orange No.1, Orange No.2 and Red No.32 when the U.S Congress conducted hearings on the potential carcinogenicity of these dyes. In 1973, the FDA removed Red No. 1, Red No.4, Yellow No.:1,2,3,4 and Violet No.1 due to studies that connected food dyes to: toxicity, allergies, hyperactivity and carcinogenicity. In 1976, Red No. 2 was removed except for coloring orange skins ( to provide more of a uniform consumer friendly appeal). Orange B, which is commonly found in sausage casings was removed due to links to cancer.

The Current FDA APPROVED artificial food coloring dyes is as follows:

Citrus Red No.2:
Used in Oranges to provide a more appealing color uniformity for the consumer. Avoid this by buying organic oranges.

Red No.3
Most commonly found in cherries, candy, ice cream, gelatin,pudding, cereals and baked goods.This is a coal-tar derivitive and has been linked to show cancers, gene mutations and change in brain chemistry. The FDA says that the proof is not there to support the cancer claims so it remains on the "SAFE LIST" and is only listed as an "artificial color".
Red No. 4
Most commonly found in: soft drinks, pudding, gelatin, condiments, dairy products and candy. It is also found in many cosmetic and personal care items as well as drugs. There have been some studies that have linked Red No. 4 to cancer in rats.

Blue No.1
Most commonly found in:jellies, cereals, syrup,pudding, candy, soft drinks, and gatorades. It is a coal-tar derivative. It remains on the FDA "Safe List" although it has been linked to cause allergies as well as tumors have been detected in the injection site of test rats.

Blue No. 2
This is used in many of the same uses as listed above for Blue No.1 the World Health Organization rates it as a B as questionable for use in FOOD.

Green No. 3
Used in foods such as: frozen desserts, candy, mint jellies, gelatin and cereals. It is also on the FDA "Safe List" although it has been linked to a potential allergen and has also been linked to causing tumors at the injection site in test rats.

Yellow No. 5 ( Tartrazine)
This is the MOST thoroughly studied and noteworthy Artifical Food Coloring. It is the ONLY one that must be listed by law on the labels of the foods and products that contain it. It is most commonly found in :spaghetti,pudding, ice cream, custards, soft drinks, cereal and candies. It is also found in asprins and Advil. People suffering from asthma are told to stay away from foods that contain Tartrazine because it often times makes there systems worse.

Yellow No. 6 ( Sunset Yellow)
This is most commonly found in : candies, cereals, gelatins, desserts and sodas. It is yet another coal-tar derivative.

Dr. Benjamin Feingold, MD, has studied the link between hyperactivity and artificial food coloring. He has found in his studies that children with short attention spans greatly improve when they are fed a diet that is free from ALL artificial food colorings.

One of the most shocking discoveries is that Ritalin the number one prescribed drugs for ADD/ADHD and hyperactivity is made from Yellow No. 10- one of the MOST allergenic dye on the list!

The FDA has now begun to start listing food ingredients as "artificial colors" rather then identifying and listing the separate dyes used in each product. This has become problematic for those of us that try and steer clear of particular dyes.

Food should be beautiful and full of color and vitality. REAL FOODS come in a rainbow of Natural COLOR and are packed with life giving, health boosting nutrients.

Red Fruits and Vegetables: Contain lycopene, hesperidin and quercetin which naturally lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, help destroy free- radicals in your body and reduce tumor growth.

Green Fruits and Vegetables: Contain chlorophyll, lutein, calcium, folate and beta-carotene. These nutrients help with digestion, promote healthy eyes, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, help to fight free- radicals.
Yellow and Orange Fruits and Vegetables: Contain:beta- carotene, vitamin C, potassium, lycopene and flavonoids. These nutrients help promote: healthy bone growth (working with calcium- magnesium balance in your body), help fight off free radicals, reduce the risk for macular degeneration, reduce the risk of cancer and facilitates alkaline balance in the body.

Purple and Blue Fruits and Vegetables: Contain: zeaxanthin,lutein, vitamin C, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercitin. These nutrients help promote: support a healthy immune system, improve calcium absorption, lowere LDL Cholesterol, supports healthy digestion and helps to fight cancer cells.

White Fruits and Vegetables:Contain: beta-glucans, SDG, EGCG. These nutrients help promote: the activation of natural Killer T and B Cells. Reduce the risk of prostate, colon and breast cancer. They also help balance out hormones.

**Resources Used: Staying Healthy with Nutrition, by: Elson M Haas, MD