Friday, January 19, 2018

Dr. Meg's Homemade Blueberry Juice.

You guys, this stuff is RAD.  It's rad both because it tastes good and because it's good FOR you!

In medical school, we received extensive education on herbal medicine. One of the great Naturopathic doctors who helped integrate the use of botanicals and primary care naturopathic medicine was Dr. Bill Mitchell. His case books tell great stories of people acheiving wellness through natural therapies. I've seen this first hand in my own practice, also, which is why I became a Naturopathic doctor in the first place!

This berry juice was one of Dr. Mitchell's passions. His family still carries on his legacy, and sells a great product. I've used that product personally and with patients, and it's delicious, but I knew I could make something easily at home and reap similar benefits.

Berries, mostly the blue and dark dark colored berries, contain anthyocyanodins. Anthocyanodins are potent antioxidants, and they have a great affinity for the vascular system. Men, young and old, should be on this berry concentrate daily. Women benefit the most after menopause, as their cardiovascular health risk increases.

Here's the recipe: get cooking! Be sure to read the whole recipe first before embarking.

Dr. Meg's Blueberry Juice.
     makes 1 quart jar + berry "compote" leftovers

8 pints organic blueberries
8 pints organic blackberries
^ I previously lived in Seattle, and had access to local farms, this equates to 2 flats of berries
1 cup filtered water
1 Tbsp coconut oil

  1) Turn your slow cooker on to WARM setting, you want things to heat up for extraction of constituents, but not to "cook" the berries.
 2) Add all your berries to the pot, add water, and coconut oil. Replace lid.
 3) Simmer on warm for 48 hours, stirring occassionally, only about 3 times per day.
 4) When done, berries should look "shriveled" like you defrosted frozen blueberries, and the juice should nearly cover the berries and be dark blue in color.
 5) With a fine mesh strainer, gently scoop the berries out, and press-out juice lightly with the back of wooden spoot into a funnel that goes into a large 1 qt mason jar. Do this in batches. You will be left with about 1 qt of berry juice and berries.
 6) Store in the fridge. I like to eat the berry portion with breakfast (see my recipe for chia pudding) and then take shots of the juice OR add to a large portion of water and drink throughout the day.
 7) The berry juice is not very sweet, so it won't affect your blood sugar levels much.

Enjoy :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Black Bean Brownies.

This version included walnuts!

If you've never had black bean brownies, now is the time to try them.  Like many people, I was skeptical at first, but since trying them, I can't make any other kind of brownie.  I've been making these non-stop for six months now.  These are deliciously fudgy, chocolatey, and satisfying.  I've brought them to many events and they always ellicit rave reviews!  These are great if you're new to gluten-free baking and just need a brownie recipe that works, without having to buy a bunch of gluten-free flours.

Black Bean Brownies.
    makes one 8x8 pan

    2 cans (15 oz x 2)  black beans  (make sure you get the unseasoned versions)
    1/4-1/2 cup  sugar  (or 1/3 cup is a good middle)
    1/4 cup  coconut oil, melted
    2  eggs,  large or medium sized
    1 cup  unsweetened cocoa - mine favorite is mixture of dutched and non-dutched
    1 cup  unsweetened almond milk OR milk of choice
    1/2 tsp  baking soda
    ~9 oz  dark chocolate chips, this is 3/4 of one choc chip bag
    2 tsp-1 Tbsp  vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp  real salt

  1)  Un-can the black beans into a fine mesh strainer. Strain and run under cold water x1 minute or until water over the beans runs clear.
  2)  Place all ingredients, except chocolate chips, into Vitamix blender (or equivalent) and blend for about 30 seconds to 1 minute OR until all ingredients are incorporated, and the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Stir in chocolate chips with a soft spatula.
  3)  Pour into one greased or parchment paper lined 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees non-convection for 40-45 minutes. Brownies are done when slightly pulling away from the sides of the pan, and the middle is slightly set. Bake longer to be slighly less fudgy. Let cool on counter. Store in fridge for best results.

I personally love how easy they are to make! You can have awesome brownies ready in under an hour. These are best the next day, however, after they've had some time to set. I love them straight from the fridge. GREAT with any kind of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Note on substitutions: I've made these with melted butter and water before, with coconut milk, with almond milk, and ALL versions have come out extremely yummy.

Nothing like a new brownie recipe to rock all summer long!

P.S. I'm all graduated from medical school now (Dr. Meg has finally arrived!). Maybe you'll be seeing more recipes on this space again! And my apologies for the poor photo - this was quickly snapped in clinic when I brought brownies for the whole shift.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Most Awesome Massaged Kale Salad.

A few months after getting on the "I love kale" band-wagon, I discovered just how great massaged kale salads taste. Also, they are incredibly easy to make. The massaging process only takes a few minutes, but is sufficient to break down the cellulose and other fibers in the kale, making the leaves more digestible and less chewy when eating. This version is super simple, and very customizable. I like to add parmesan cheese for a salty kick and an off-set to the slight bitterness of the kale leaf. But if dairy isn't your thing, feel free to leave it out.

The Most Awesome Massaged Kale Salad.
    serves 4-6 depending on your kale-love-level

    2 heads dino kale, stems removed, and cut into 1/4”-1/2” ribbons
    1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    2 Tbsp tahini
    juice of one lemon
    1 Tbsp olive oil / drizzle of olive oil
    3 dashes nutmeg
    2 dashes cayenne pepper
    1 dash smoked hot paprika
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    salt and pepper to taste

  1)  Place kale in large bowl, add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Massage with bare hands for 3-5 minutes, until kale decreases in size by half and is soft and looks dark green.
  2)  Add parmesan, tahini, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
  3)  EAT and enjoy! This is even better the second or third day, but I doubt it will last you that long!

Feel free to add more heads of kale if you want to make a bigger portion, but you may have to adjust the amount of cheese and tahini; however, I've made this with 3 heads of kale and didn't add any more ingredients. It's that forgiving! The photos here are of the salad made with regular green kale, but I much prefer the dino kale, but both work and are equally delicious.

Possibly vegan, gluten-free, nutrient rich and delicious. Share it with all your family and friends. They’ll gobble it up! My family, friends and I surely did.