Red, White and Blueberry Split

We used Colorado cherries to make our star spangled banner sparkle!

Makes: 4 banana splits

Ingredients:

4 bananas sliced in half or quarters

To make: Once “nice” cream below is ready to serve, cut one banana in half and place in a banana split style container. Place one slice on the right side of the container and the other on the left. Do this for all 4 bananas. 

For Red:

1 banana sliced 

1 ½ cups Colorado Cherries – deseeded and sliced in half OR use frozen sweet cherries.

¼ cup canned coconut cream

To make: Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Place in a gallon size baggie and place in the freezer.  Freeze overnight or for at least several hours. 

Once frozen, Place ingredients from the bag into a food processor again.  Blend until you can scoop out 1 scoop and place in the middle of the banana split container. Rince out the food processor so that you can make the next color. 

For White:

1 banana sliced 

¼ cup canned coconut cream

Several drops of vanilla extract 

To make: Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Place in a gallon size baggie and place in the freezer.  Freeze overnight or for at least several hours. 

Once frozen, Place ingredients from the bag into a food processor again.  Blend until you can scoop out 1 scoop and place in the middle of the banana split container next to the red colored one. Rince out the food processor so that you can make the next color. 

For Blue:

1 banana sliced 

¼ cup canned coconut cream

1-pint fresh blueberries – washed and dried OR use frozen ones

To make: Blend all ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Place in a gallon size baggie and place in the freezer.  Freeze overnight or for at least several hours. 

Once frozen, Place ingredients from the bag into a food processor again.  Blend until you can scoop out 1 scoop and place in the middle of the banana split container next to the red colored one. Rince out the food processor so that you can make the next color. 

Top with any of the following ingredients:

Fresh Colorado cherries and Blueberries for toppings

Gluten-free cinnamon granola – low sugar

Whipped coconut cream with maple syrup

Place a cherry on top

Adjust ingredients to your taste.  Not a big fan of coconut cream, eliminate it from the recipe. 

Shish Ka-Veggie-Bobs

Grilling season is here!

Summertime is a great time to grill veggie skewers. Fresh, light and a quick healthy meal you can make during the week.  Don’t have a grill?? Use an oven broiler instead. 

To really make it pop, we decided to add a fresh chimichurri sauce to the bobs before cooking. Chimichurri was invented by a soldier fighting for the independence of Argentina.  His name was Jimmy McCurry and since people had trouble pronouncing his name, it morphed in the word “chimichurri.”

This recipe is an excellent source of Vitamin C and A, calcium and iron. It is also a rich source of protein and a good source of fiber. 

Serves: 4 Kabobs

To make the sauce:

Ingredients for chimichurri sauce

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/8th cup red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion for flavoring.

Directions: 

  1. Place al of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. 

To make the Veggie Kabobs:

Ingredients for the Kabob

  • 1 full block of extra firm tofu (14 ounces)  
  • 4 cloves of whole garlic cloves
  • ½ red bell pepper  
  • ½ yellow bell pepper  
  • ½ green bell pepper  
  • 1 jalapeno  
  • 8 organic grape tomatoes
  • ½ zucchini  
  • 4 broccoli florets
  • ½ red onion

Directions: 

  • Fire up the grill or preheat oven on broiler setting.
  • Cut tofu into chunks.
  • Cut bell peppers, jalapeno, zucchini and red onion into 4 chunks. 
  • Add vegetables and tofu one at a time onto vegetable skewers.
  • Place on a baking sheet or grill. 
  • Top with 1-2 tablespoons of chimichurri sauce.
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then flip kabobs over and bake for 10 minutes more. 
  • Place on a plate and serve immediately. Top with additional sauce as desired. 

Blueberry Brain Breakfast Bars

Blueberry Brain Breakfast Bars

June Is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month 

https://www.alz.org/abam/overview.asp

Nutritious foods are a great way to keep your brain in tip top shape. We like that the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging us to go purple this month, because our purple/blue fruits are especially rich in brain boosting nutrients.

Typical store-bought granola bars contain refined sugars and artificial colors and ingredients and often have added chocolate chips and marshmallows that may create brain fog.  

This recipe does not contain those ingredients. In fact, instead it provides nutrients that may support a healthy brain. For example….

It contains oats

Oats are considered complex carbohydrates, the good carbohydrates that are the primary fuel for your brain. 

They may improve memory and provide a steady stream of energy throughout the day to keep your brain alert.

It contains blueberries

There has been a lot of research lately on how blueberries may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 

This is because they contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that protect brain cells from damage. Wild blueberries have the highest amount!

It contains flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in Omega 3’s that may be associated with slower rates of decline in memory and speed or the ability to quickly process new information in certain individuals. 

Omega 3’s are super important to help babies brains grow and develop which is why most formulas are fortified with it. 

Blueberry Brain Breakfast Bars

Serves 9 

Ingredients: 

Mix together dry ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats, not quick cook

¾ cup dried blueberries OR wild blueberries

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Add:

¼ cup almond or coconut oil

1/4 cup pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup brown rice syrup  

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pinches sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Place oats, blueberries, ground flax seed and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir until combined. 

Add in oil and stir.

Add in maple syrup and brown rice syrup and stir again.

Add vanilla extract and salt and stir until all the oats are coated. 

Pour into the parchment paper in the baking pan and press and level with leftover parchment paper.  

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden and it feels slightly crisp to the touch. 

Let cool in the pan completely (cooling overnight is best).

Slice into 9-12 bars. 

Bars will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for 4 days. 

Romaine Lettuce Taco Wraps

WITH SWEET-LIME DRESSING  

A new idea for Taco Tuesdays. The best part of this ultra-nutritious recipe is the homemade dressing. 

Simple, easy and delicious!!

Ingredients

Serves 6

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 large limes)

Optional: 1 teaspoon lime zest

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 scallions, minced  

1 teaspoon ground cumin  

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 pinch sea salt

For the taco wraps:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can no sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 small red onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

½ of a jalapeno pepper or more if you like it spicier

1-2 cherry bomb peppers

3 cups cooked farro or short grain brown rice

2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped

Spices: 1 pinch of fine sea salt, ground black pepper and granulated garlic

12 Colorado grown romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed thoroughly

Optional Toppings:

The Taco – local hot sauce from the Seed Ranch

Diced avocado

Pico de gallo fresh salsa

Directions: 

1. Add all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blend thoroughly.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, peppers (hot and mild) and spices. Cook until vegetables are soft, approximately 5-8 minutes. 

3. Add in cooked rice, fresh cilantro and the dressing. Stir well until combined.

4. To assemble the tacos, add one heaping scoop of the vegetable mixture to a leaf of lettuce. If desired, Top with avocadoes, salsa and hot sauce. Fold over like a taco. Enjoy!

Adapted from: thekitchn – Swiss Chard Taco Wraps with Cumin-Lime Sauce

COLORADO CANTALOUPE MOCKTAIL

COLORADO CANTALOUPE MOCKTAIL

Mocktails are alcohol free drinks that were invented to mimic regular old cocktails with alcohol.

Typical bar made mocktails contain some pretty unhealthy ingredients including simple syrup, refined sugar, sodas, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated juices, artificial colors (think Red 1) and artificial flavors. 

Healthier versions are home made using fresh local fruit, cold pressed juices and fresh herbs and spices.

Try this much lighter, healthier version using fresh Colorado cantaloupe and fresh mint.

Ingredients:

1 Colorado grown cantaloupe (rind removed, deseeded and cut into chunks)

½ cup fresh, cold-pressed orange juice

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

2 cups ice

Optional: Drizzle of local raw honey

Fresh mint leaf sprigs and triangle sliced cantaloupe for decoration

Instructions:

1. Add the cantaloupe, orange juice, lime juice, mint leaves, ice and optional honey to a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour into 4 cocktail glasses and serve immediately. 

@reportercathy An Ounce of Nutrition

#CFVGA #coloradoproduce #cantaloupe

Hearty Tempeh Thai Salad

Hearty Tempeh Thai Salad

A light salad with a hearty twist!

With summer right around the corner, we often start turning to lighter and simple recipes. Salads are tops on the menu. 

5 Benefits of Eating Salad for Dinner:

  1. Helps you meet your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
  2. Lightens up your dinner meal, so you have plenty of time to burn it of before bed.
  3. Are full of gut supporting fiber.
  4. Provide protein and healthy carbs, if they are the hearty kind. 
  5. Are full of healthy fats to help you absorb anti-oxidant rich vitamins. 

This recipe is full of the sweet and spicy ingredients that Thai sauces often provide without the added refined sugars. 

This recipe is also an excellent source of protein (23 grams per serving) and contains 324% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A and 110% of your daily recommended amount for Vitamin C.

It is rich in fiber, iron, folate and potassium.  

FUN FACT: Tempeh is a fermented soy product that originated in Indonesia.  Today food makers are starting to also make it with chickpeas, lentils or other beans for those that don’t like a to eat a lot of soy. 

Serves: 4

Day 1: Marinate the tempeh

Ingredients for tempeh marinate

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ tablespoon unrefined sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons real maple syrup

Directions: 

  1. Remove tempeh from package. 
  2. Add it to a skillet with 1 inch of water. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Steam for 10-12 minutes (flipping ½ way through)
  3. Pat dry. Then cut the tempeh in ½ and cut each ½ into small triangles. This process will remove the sourness of the tempeh.
  4. While tempeh is cooking, add the red pepper flakes, sesame oil, peanut butter, lime juice and maple syrup to a small bowl.  Whisk together until mixture is thin.
  5. Add the tempeh and mix again until tempeh is well-coated. 
  6. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. For dinner the next evening, preheat an oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the tempeh and bake for 20-30 minutes. Tempeh should be a deep golden brown when ready.
  8. Add it to the Hearty Tempeh Thai Salad recipe below. 

Day 2: Make the Salad

Hearty Tempeh Thai Salad

Ingredients for the salad

  • 6 ounces black rice pad Thai noodles.
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 stalks scallions (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 cup loosely chopped spinach (chopped)
  • 1 cup sliced red or purple cabbage (sliced thin)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • Marinated peanut tempeh from above

Ingredients for the dressing  

  • 1/3rd cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup  
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Approximately ¼ cup water – to thin sauce to desired consistency

Directions: 

  • Cook noodles according to package directions.
  • While the noodles and tempeh are cooking, assemble the carrots, scallions, cilantro, mint, spinach, cabbage and red bell pepper in a large serving bowl. 
  • Make the dressing by adding the peanut butter, coconut aminos, maple syrup, chili sauce and lime juice to a small bowl.  Whisk together with a whisker. Add water a little at a time to thin it and achieved your desired consistency. 
  • Take some of the salad ingredients and noodles form the big bowl and mix in a serving size bowl.  Top with tempeh and some sauce and enjoy! 

TRUE FRUIT COCKTAIL

True Fruit Cocktail

Made with utterly fresh springtime fruits!!

In honor of National Fruit Cocktail day on May 13th, we thought it would be fun to make an updated healthier version of this traditional fruit mixture. To make it “cocktail like”, we are serving it in a cocktail glass with a sauce vs serving it in a traditional salad bowl.

Fruit cocktail was originally made from bruised or less attractive pieces of fruit that couldn’t be sold whole. They would cut them into smaller pieces, and it looked like it was supposed to be this way. 

A traditional fruit cocktail is from a can and often is laced with heavy syrup.  This syrup contains high fructose corn syrup, sugar and corn syrup and packs a whopping 21 grams of sugar per serving!

To update this, we used fresh springtime fruits, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple.  Then we added our own special sauce to it.  One serving of this recipe contains a mammoth amount of 223% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C! Plus it contains calcium and iron. 

It also contains poppyseeds which are thought to contain pain-reliving compounds, help with digestion and may improve chances of fertility. 

Many people think fruit cocktail has the word cocktail in it because it was originally made with booze. Simply, not true. However, some people are actually now adding their favorite booze such as brandy or whiskey to their homemade versions. 

FUN FACT: Fruit cocktails are one of the most popular accompaniments to wine.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Fruit cocktail –

  • 1 fresh pineapple – cut into cubes
  • 3 medium kiwifruit – halved and sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries – chopped or sliced

Directions: Chop fruit and place it in a large bowl. 

Fruit cocktail sauce – 2 ways

#1. Creamy Lemony Fruit Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plain coconut yogurt – I used the Culina brand
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon (about 1 medium sized lemon). I used my fruit squeezer for this. 
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon organic almond oil
  • ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon lemon zest. 
  • Optional: whole fruit or coconut flakes

Directions: 

  1. 1.Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. 2.Pour over fruit mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. 3.Divide mixed fruit into martini or other cocktail glasses.
  4. 4.Top with a whole fruit or coconut flakes – if desired. 

#2. Poppy Seed Fruit Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon organic champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkle of granulated onion 
  • 1/3 cup organic almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Optional: whole fruit or coconut flakes

Directions: 

  1. 5.Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. 6.Pour over fruit mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. 7.Divide mixed fruit into martini or other cocktail glasses.
  4. 8.Top with a whole fruit or coconut flakes if desired. 

Egg-less Roll in a Bowl

Egg-Less Roll in a Bowl

A healthy spin on a Chinese classic!

Believe it or not, egg rolls even if they are not vegan often do not contain egg. It is called an egg roll because originally the veggies were covered in an omelet-style wrapping. 

This new version is not only free of eggs, but it also is not deep fried like many traditional egg rolls. Deep frying often adds a ton of calories, uses unhealthy oils and is loaded with salt. This healthier version is low in calories (around 283 per serving) and is a great source of plant-based protein. Plus it is loaded with Vitamins A&C, calcium and iron!

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

For tofu mixture:  

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into thin slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ½ teaspoons minced ginger (I use jarred minced ginger without added sugars)
  • One 12-ounce block of extra-firm tofu.
  • 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated

Toppings:  

  • 2 scallions, green part only, sliced
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts
  • Drizzle of coconut aminos and sweet and sour sauce
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Optional: Cooked farro or other rice

Directions: 

  1. 1.Put tofu into a tofu press for 15-30 minutes to drain all of the liquid. 
  2. 2.Prepare the sauce.  Add all of the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. 3.In a large sauté pan, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and begin to brown. 
  4. 4.Crumble the tofu into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the tofu starts to brown. Pour in ½ of the sauce and stir to combine.  Place contents of the pan into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. 
  5. 5.Raise temperature to medium-high heat and add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan. Add the cabbage and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add the tofu mixture back into the pan along with the remaining amount of sauce. Heat thoroughly. 
  6. 6.Add to a bowl and top with the toppings. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/vegan-egg-roll-in-a-bowl/

Mozza Socca Pizza

Mozza Socca Pizza

Pizza crust made with Chickpea Flour

Socca is a flat bread that originated in either Nice, France or Genoa, Italy neighboring cities. Street sellers still serve it today, fresh out of a wood fired oven. We used it to make pizza crust. 

This crust is made from chickpea flour (finely ground chickpeas that are naturally gluten-free) and has a light, slightly nutty taste. Like the chickpea itself, it is very rich in protein and iron and is an excellent source of fiber! The toppings in this recipe add Vitamins A&C plus calcium. 

Serves: 2

Ingredients

Pizza crust:

  • 1 cup organic chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of water
  • Sprinkle of nutritional yeast

Toppings: Spread liberally

  • Pizza sauce
  • Fresh basil
  • Chopped garlic
  • Plant-based mozzarella cheese – cut into cubes.

Directions: 

  1. 1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. 2.Place a splash of olive oil on a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven while it preheats. I don’t have a cast iron skillet so used one of my stoneware pans.
  3. 3.In a medium bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
  4. 4.Whisk the water slowly into the mixture. Batter will be super thin.
  5. 5.Remove the pan from the preheated oven and add the batter to the pan. Swirl it around so the pan is completely covered. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top. 
  6. 6.Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until edges and the top of the crust are lightly brown. 
  7. 7.Remove crust from oven.  Add desired amount of pizza sauce to the top of the crust and then add basil, garlic and plant-based mozzarella.  
  8. 8.Return skillet to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. 
  9. 9.Remove from oven and flatten the mozz cheese with a fork. 
  10. 10.Serve immediately. You can serve with a bright colored green salad to further bump up the nutritional value. 

Jouir…enjoy!

**PLEASE NOTE: Cooking times/temperatures may vary for you as we are in elevation and food cooks differently here. 

Spring is in the Air and Chocolate is Everywhere!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Bunnies and Chicks. 

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it’s always good to celebrate spring with our newborn furry friends. It is believed that the bunny became part of the spring tradition because it was associated with a symbol of new life. Kind of like how we feel going from cold winters into spring.  We feel reborn!

Part of having a healthy attitude towards food is integrating treats in along the way, so here is a special, treat recipe to celebrate a new spring. 

Dairy-Free Chocolate Bunnies and Chicks: The only ingredient you need for this is dairy-free, vegan white chocolate chips. I used Pascha white baking chips, but you can use any vegan white chocolate you prefer.  I also tried to make it sugar-free by using Navitas White Cacao Butter but haven’t perfected the recipe yet. 

You can also add natural food colors (I used food colors from nature) to give them color or fruit flavorings to give them flavor.  I made the bunny with plain white chocolate and used lemon coloring and flavoring for the chick.  Some other ideas are pink coloring and strawberry flavor or orange coloring and orange flavoring.  I like the frontier co-op flavors for flavoring ingredients.  

Directions: 

  1. Melt white chocolate in a pot or sauté pan on low heat. 
  2. If you want white colored animals, pour the mixture into bunny/chick molds and place in the freezer until frozen (about 45 minutes). 

OR

  1. Melt chocolate and then add a sprinkle of coloring at a time into the melted chocolate until you have the desired color you want. 
  2. Once you have the desired color, add a drop of flavoring, one at a time until you have the desired flavor.  
  3. Then add mixture to bunny shaped or chick shaped molds. Place in the freezer and freeze until firm. 
  4. Remove from the freezer and serve immediately. They melt quickly! 

Let us know if you end up trying any of these chocolates and if so how you made them?