Good Day!!! It’s avocado season in Trinidad, so avocado is plentiful and can be had at great prices and top quality – that made me really want to sing a little! Check out this quick, easy recipe using a ripe avocado, some local produce (chandon beni, anyone?) and a few delicious items – Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – that I am including in the Thrive Market Gift Box that I am giving away in my #ReallyNourishGives Sweepstakes!
“And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Genesis 1:29-31 NKJV
This little protein and nutrient-packed pancake is inspired by a fave West Indian snack I ate more than my fare share of in my omnivorous past life. Some call it Acra, some say fish cake. The original recipe is made from salt cod 🎣 mixed with flour (I used to use a 50/50white all-purpose – and whole wheat blend), a little baking powder and water. Embellishments of whatever else is available to the cook – diced onions, garlic, scallions, parsley, spicy peppers – personalizes the recipe, as does the fish-to-flour ratio. My recipe was always generous with the fish. I maintained that tradition with my sub. I also substituted the flour blend for sprouted flour, the conventional baking powder with an aluminum-free version, and added ground flax seeds for extra nourishment. These Chana Cakes really nourish! 😉
Ingredients (organic whenever possible)
1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked, cooled, and rough chopped
1/2 cup sprouted wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds 🌾
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Spanish onion, chopped
small minced hot peppers (to taste)🌶
10 sprigs thyme
Combine the chopped chickpeas, flour, flax, and baking powder in a large bowl. Sprinkle the coarse sea salt all over the ingredients in the bowl.
Add enough warm water to moisten into a thick batter consistency. Stir as you are slowly adding water so you can know when to stop.
Add in your embellishments. Stir. Add a little more water if you need to re-adjust your batter.
Preheat a stainless steel pan. Lower the heat to low, add your preferred oil (I used a tablespoon of Earth Balance vegan buttery spread). Add one tablespoon of batter to the pan so you can cook one to taste. Allow it brown on both sides. If the pepper or salt are too prominent, add two tablespoons of flour and a little more water to remedy and cook another test cake.
These were delicious with some brown rice and spinach. Good, nourishing, obedient food!
I used my last $0.35 Tazo Chai Tea bag. I really like this organic tea, but my financial discipline is keeping me from buying it regularly. They say necessity is the mother of invention. During this time I’m cooling my heels in a cold, wintery New York City, to me tea is necessary. It’s warm, hydrating, and if it is made from good stuff, it can deliver nutrients and minerals of different kinds and be beneficial to your health.
Still had some nutmeg that my cousin brought me from Dominica last summer and a big branch of organic ginger.
I cut a piece of cheese cloth, grated those up, tied it all up into a little bag and set it to boil. I started with a large quart saucepan of water, and let it reduce to a little less than 1/3.
What you get:
Nutmeg is said to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, strengthen cognitive function, detoxify the body, boost skin health, alleviate oral conditions, reduce insomnia, increase immune system function, and prevent leukemia, and improve blood circulation.
Ginger is powerfully medicinal. It is good for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness. It is anti-inflamatory and can lower cholesterol. I could go on for days about ginger but if you’re reading this, I’ll bet you either know already how super a food ginger is, or you are inclined to go find out yourself ASAP!
You can add other things you have in the kitchen as you see fit: lemon zest, cinnamon (which combines with ginger to do some more super work in your bod!), whole clove or bay leaves.
Sweeten a cup of this delicious, aromatic, healing tea with half a teaspoon of stevia or enjoy unsweetened.
We are posting this on #TheReallyNourishMovement so we can easily retrieve and use this recipe. It’s a Genesis 1:29 bite! For now, since the Nutribullet (which we have been using as a mini food processor thank you very much!) is home in Trinidad, we may purchase the ingredients already ground up and do this by hand. We will share our results with you!
1 cup almonds
9 unpitted dates
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons golden flax seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup cranberries
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Process almonds, dates, and water in a blender or food processor. Add to medium sized bowl.
2. Process oats, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, goji berries, coconut flakes, and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add to bowl.
3. Add golden flax seeds, maple syrup, and cinnamon to bowl. Mix together. (To get a good mixture I suggest using your hands to mix it up!)
4. Line a pyrex dish with parchment paper and mold mixture into small rectangles. Put dish in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
*To store, put granola bars in individual bags or wrap each with parchment paper and store in a container in the freezer. Full article here
Being a child of immigrants from the Caribbean, the idea of fertile land and effortless nature – fruit trees spontaneously growing everywhere so much so that no one could really go hungry – was ingrained in my consciousness. I had never set foot in the West Indies until I was 19, but I had already been immersed in the culture growing up first-generation American in Brooklyn, NY.
The truth, I am learning quickly, about the food in the Caribbean is a story of post-colonialism and the struggle of small countries. Trinidad and Tobago is a leader in the region in many ways, and by some measures, is on par with developed nations. Such a position can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, the nation has an economy to speak of. She produces and packages a lot of her own food products, unlike many smaller, less developed countries that rely heavily on imports. The imports she does get are of generally higher quality with more choices compared to the aforementioned little sister nations. On the other hand, with a population of more than 1.3 million, she is an attractive market for food products, and because she’s behind the curve on GMO regulations and her people are not demanding clean, organic food loud enough yet, a lot of stuff that other countries may not want gets dumped here.
Case in point: Liza oils. This is a Cargill product, and Cargill is from the USA. This was my first experience actually seeing a product claiming to contain genetically modified ingredients. I wondered, since Trinidad’s government has not made a decision to require such labeling, what countries rejected this product that it ended up here.
I simultaneously wondered if Trinidadians are talking at all about GMOs and if any of them even know that this oil, which I am certain sells extremely well here based on the amount of shelf space the brand has in Sangre Grande’s Coss Cutters sumpermarket, is made with Frankenstein soy beans.
Thankfully, I brought along the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil that I got as a free gift from my most recent Thrive Marketpurchase of US$79.00 or more. But when that was about to finish I was rather concerned. For the first week or so I was preparing for this eventuality. I had assumed that in a country where one cannot walk a kilometer without seeing a coconut tree, there would be plenty good oil around. Not so much! I had finally found, after some searching, a coconut oil I could cook with,
but it was kind of orange-colored, a color indicating that it is not extra virgin cold pressed (The other process of making coconut oil involves heating up the separated fat in coconut milk and straining out nearly burnt solids, leaving you with an orangy-brown oil. Cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil is colorless.), and probably grown with agrochemicals, given the scale of the producers who make those brands. I finally found the good good – cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil in an herbalist shop in Arima, Trinidad, about 21 km (13 miles) away from where I live. To put that into perspective, the North Shore Staten Island neighborhood of Saint George where I have my New York apartment is about 14 miles away from the Whole Foods market I travel to TriBeCa in Manhattan to shop at to get these kinds of items.
But WHY COCONUT OIL?
Because saturated fats are good for you and have been determined to have no link at all to heart disease.
Because it doesn’t oxidize in high heat.
Because it also contains very beneficial fatty acids for your bod.
I’ve found so far, in essence, that the challenges here in Grande are similar to the challenges in New York for the active food revolutionary.
The Main Differences:
In the U.S., we have more internet access to apps and product to meet our food revolutionary needs.
In the U.S., we have organic labeling for produce. More about that in an upcoming post.
Outside of the U.S., some grocery items will actually indicate on the label that they are made with genetically modified ingredients. A few states in the union have that, but it’s not nationwide. Instead, we have the DARK act awaiting the attention of the U.S. Senate.
Outside of the U.S., we have organic grocery items from the European Union as well, where they actually have laws forbidding GMOs or at least demanding labeling.
So the trick is just to overcome the learning curve. It’s not any different than the life of a food revolutionary States-side, though. There’s a learning curve to overcome there too, one that most people haven’t addressed having lived there all their lives!
Bottom line: As a food revolutionary wherever you live, shop and eat, it is imperative in today’s world to arm yourself with knowledge about what is available around you – where it comes from, how it is produced, what the label is NOT telling you, how to get your hands on better quality versions. It is possibly dangerous to your health to make ANY assumptions. You will be richly rewarded for putting in the effort to accumulate your armament in the form of a better quality of life in general for you and yours.
mommy’s home made Krispy Kurly Kale Chipsare definitely included in that category for them. The other alternative is our favorite Garden of Eatin’ Sprouted Blue Corn chips, so don’t worry friends, none of the real junk is passing their lips!
People’s main complaint about this leafy green nutrient powerhouse is that it is too coarse. Here’s a way that anyone can enjoy it even on their first try! We like the curly kale, green or purple, or a mix of the two will do nicely. Rinse and thoroughly dry with paper towels or in a salad spinner if necessary.
Here’s how we do it:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C
Strip the hard stems out of the Kale and break them up into pieces on a sheet tray or a sizzle platter
Drizzle liberally with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt to taste
Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The curly edges get nice and crisp (check by touch at 5 minute intervals to avoid overcooking), while the rest of the vegetable keeps its color and flavor very nicely.
Cool and serve. They make a nice side for a wrap or sandwich. Kids love them!!
BUT because of their extremely *Low Glycemic Index, unlike their potato-based counterparts, they don’t cause weight gain and have you constantly craving more and more. Very satisfying indeed!!
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.
One of the main parts of our mission at The Really Nourish Movement is that organic, non-GMO food should be available, accessible and affordable for every mouth. We have a long way to go to accomplish that goal, but in the meantime, we can debunk the “organic is more expensive myth.”
We all know that most of what we eat is seasonal, but with the technological advances
spurred by the industrial revolution at the turn of the previous century, we have been able to access all kinds of food all year round from all over the world.
That is a fact. But the TRUTH is that the seasonal nature of cultivated food still exists. Think about when something is on sale in the produce section. If it’s on sale, the reason is usually because there is more of it available so they can charge less per unit or per pound, right? But why does the quantity available change?
Answer: When food is in its God ordained season, it is abundant AND ALSO at its peak quality!
(Oh wow, that’s a WORD right there!!)
That’s true universally, even for chemically grown or greenhouse grown food. As for their organic counterparts, you may find that there are some times of year when certain items are
simply not available at all, but when they are in season, they are inexpensive and so delicious!
Judah and I went shopping yesterday and we found local, organic, in-season squash for only $.99 a pound! We also bought some local, organic eggplant, which is still yummy but coming close to the end of its season for $2.99 a pound.
We are going to half the squash, scoop out the seeds, make a delicious mix with diced eggplant, red onion, garlic, sprouted brown rice and fresh herbs from our terrace garden and that is dinner for less than $2 a serving!
Do you still think organic is expensive? Post your comments below.