Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SUPERFOOD CUISINE - Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods - BOOK REVIEW

SUPERFOOD CUISINE - Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods is a beautiful hardcover book by Julie Morris, a natural food chef, writer, educator and advocate of whole, plant-based foods and superfoods for optimal health.  Julie includes 100 recipes, a vivid description of each superfood (including history, benefits, use and taste), and a convenient "pantry list" of what you need and where to find these special foods. She uses Navita Naturals 100% organic superfoods. I found I already had a lot of these superfoods in my pantry since I am a huge fan of Navita Naturals Raw products. If I counted correctly, about 46 of the 100 recipes are raw. The recipes I tried were easy, full of nutrients and super satisfying. Superfood Cuisine is the perfect Christmas gift. Get your holiday shopping finished early with the healthy gift that keeps on giving!!!

In chapter three Julie talks about 'The Need for Nutrient Density'.  She states that for the very first time in history, a yonger generation is showing signs of a shorter life expectancy than its parent generation.  Epidemic rates of terminal diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity - to name just a few - are at an all-time high, and rising.  She states the problem stems largely from our current Western diet.  We demonstrate a profound dependence on processed and refined (nutrient-void foods, which inundate our bodies with empty calories; a habitual craving for animal protein, with its high cholesterol-forming saturated fats and destructive acidic impact on our blood chemistry; and the almost unconscious consumption of refined sugars (such as high fructose corn syrup and excessive white cane sugar), whose omnipresence on supermarket shelves has contributed to the alarming spike in diabetes, among many other disease.  Our addiction to these foods is literally destroying us.  Because they often require more resources from the body just to digest than they give back in benefits, these foods can be classified as "antinutrients"  Instead of building us up, they actually break us down:  robbing our body of energy.  Modern studies point to the utilization of a whole-food, plant-based diet as one of the most promising ways to keep these serious - yet largely preventable - chronic disease at bay.  The World Cancer Research Fund has stated that simply by eating the right diet, a person can cut his or her cancer risk by up to 40% (a number thought to be on the conservative side by many estimates).

Superfoods are one of the easiest, most efficient ways to make significant beneficial changes to even the most risky of lifestyles, Small, powerful changes really do add up, and superfoods are one of the best ways to make an impact.  Superfoods are also super delicious! 

The recipes I created were: Mediterranean Vegetable Pizza, Kale & Black-Eyed Pea Stew, Pure & Simple Green Smoothie, Tater (Like) Tots and Hot Chocolate.  They all turned perfect and tasted so delicious. One superfood I used in the Green Smoothie was Lucuma Powder and it was so delicious. It is made by freeze-drying the Lucuma fruit, which is native to South America.  It has a sweet, maple-like taste, but is very low in sugars. Julie considers it her "secret ingredient" and I agree.

Below I have posted the recipes I created, a video where Julie shares her No Bake Brownies and an additional link so you can download 3 more recipes from her book + the introduction chapter from the book on her FACEBOOK page.  The 3 recipes you can download are Asian Tempeh Lettuce Cups, Cheesy Kale Crisps and Sacha Inchi Buckeyes - YUMMY!!
You can also purchase an autographed copy of her book at juliemorris.net.

 There's something about a pot of good stuff bubbling away on the stove that's always exciting.  Especially when that "good stuff" includes powerful ingredients providing a balanced array of minerals, protein and fiber.  Adding the kale at the very end of the cooking ensures that it's softened enough to be enjoyed, without destroying all of its nutrition through heat.  This is the kind of stew that eats like a meal.

KALE & BLACK-EYED PEA STEW
Makes 6-8 Servings

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups white onions, diced (about 1 medium)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon chipolte powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons wakame flakes, ground/crushed into fine pieces
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 head kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the celery and bell pepper and cook for a few minutes loner.  Stir in the herbs and spices, cooking for about 30 seconds.  Add the vegetable broth, water, wakame flakes, and black-eyed peas.  Bring to a gentle simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, add more water if needed.  After the soup is cooked through, stir in the kale and keep over the heat for a minute longer - just enough to wilt the kale.  Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.  Top with parsley and serve.

SUPERFOOD TIP:
Using smoked ingredients like chipotle powder and smoked paprika add an impressive depth of flavor to recipes without compromising nutrition through overcooking. 

Pure & Simple Green Smoothie, Pg. 221
(made with frozen mango chunks, banana, lucuma powder, spinach leaves, chlorella powder, water and stevia)

Hot Chocolate, Pg. 230
 (made with cacao powder, mesquite powder, maca powder, palm sugar and either cashew or almond milk)


Mediterranean Vegetable Pizza, Pg. 136
(This is a pizza more by architecture than by detail.  The crust is a high-protein, cracker-like flatbread boosted with super seeds; the sauce is a savory olive spread rich in minerals and healthy fats; and the vibrant topping boasts copious amounts of flavorful cooked vegetables)

 
                          No-Bake Brownies (By Julie Morris)

Download 3 free recipes + the introduction chapter from the book via Superfood Cuisine on  facebook
@greenjules on twitter
Website juliemorris.net (can purchase signed copy here) Pin It

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