Mustard Seed Vinaigrette & How to Make Sulforaphane!

Make Your Own Sulfurophane!As discussed in an earlier post, there are three strategies to get the benefits of raw crucifers when cooked. This supporting recipe is not just a recipe for a mustard vinaigrette. When used to dress a salad containing cooked crucifers or to top cooked crucifers, it is a recipe for the wonder compound, sulforaphane!

This vinaigrette recipe includes mustard seed powder, which provides a source of myrosinase. Remember, mustard greens are crucifers. So, the ground seeds are a potent source of the all important enzyme. Theoretically, whole mustard seeds should work as well. However, do not roast, toast or otherwise apply heat to the seeds or you will denature the enzymes, rendering the seeds just another ingredient. Further, you can adapt any dressing recipe to make it a sulforaphane-maker simply by adding some mustard seed powder. Following is a recipe I now keep on hand and drizzle a little over steamed broccoli or cabbage. I have tried it with apple cider vinegar, but prefer the version with balsamic vinegar.

MUSTARD SEED VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey, ideally raw and organic (or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, prepared and powdered mustard and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients, except the oil and mix well again.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Or, if using a jar, shake vigorously, adding the oil in stages until emulsified.
  3. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Do you have a dressing with mustard seeds or powder you like to serve with cruciferous vegetables? Please share!

Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe

Gluten-Free Cornbread

If stuffing is a hot topic at your house and you are the gluten-free cook, a gluten-free cornbread is the answer. But, to the GMO-aware, having cornbread on your menu may feel like having Satan himself at your table. Fear not. Bob’s Redmill makes an organic corn flour.

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Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean BrowniesA gluten-free, grain-free, vegan brownie? You might wonder – why bother?! The Minimalist Baker convinced me otherwise. Here, I have adapted her black bean brownie recipe to make it sugar-free as well.

Beans, being a magical fruit in more ways than one, make a healthy brownie possible. Here, beans replace flour with pure vanilla and raw cacao camouflaging the bean flavor. Date paste replaces sugar. The result is a firm outside encasing a moist, dense and rich chocolate pudding-like texture inside. Only slightly sweet, this is an adult-style brownie. Think flourless chocolate cake, but healthier and antioxidant rich. Continue reading

How to Make and Use Date Paste

Date Paste

Date paste may be the best alternative sweetener you’re not using. Dates are naturally moist and sticky with hints of carmel, brown sugar and often vanilla flavor. These qualities make blended date paste an excellent alternative to processed sugar in smoothies baked goods, such as breads, cookies and bars or as a spread. Date paste also has more than a few health advantages over the white stuff.

Adding sweetness with dates means adding nutrition without refined sugar’s roller coaster ride. The natural sugar in dates, invert sugar, is easily absorbed and assimilated by the body. Yet, their high fiber content makes them a low-glycemic index food. So, dates or date paste, not only support healthy blood sugar levels and elimination, but also helps you stay full longer. Dates are also high in iron, calcium, are even richer in potassium than bananas. Dates are also a rich source of minerals, such as chlorine, copper, magnesium, sulphur and phosphorus. Continue reading

Vegan Quinoa Bars: Breakfast Solved

Vegan Quinoa BarsBy request, this recipe for vegan quinoa bars is an egg-free version of the Quinoa Breakfast Bars. These gluten-free, protein-packed and only slightly sweetened bars are a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast or snack item. This recipe is not only easy, but endlessly customizable. Dried, fresh or frozen fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts can all be added to the mix! You can’t go too wrong.

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Coconut Cashew Bars

DSC_6776While enjoying any Lara Bar, it’s hard not to think, ‘Tasty, spendy and they CAN’T be that hard to make!’ Well, you are right; their beauty is their simplicity. And, who knew Lara was Paleo?!

This is actually a 5-minute preparation recipe with a food processor. The recipe works just as well in a high-speed blender. But, you may want to coarsely chop the dates and the mix will require longer processing and intermittent scraping of the jar. I have made this recipe with various types of dates and prefer the Medjool variety. Medjool dates are larger and seem to be a little sweeter, more flavorful and softer than other varieties.

Full of fiber and dairy, gluten and sugar-free, these are my favorite pre or post-workout treat. They are also excellent with a glass of chilled almond milk and an ABC Afterschool Special.  Yield: 12 bars Continue reading

Coconut-Almond Tapioca Pudding

Coconut-Almond Tapioca PuddingI have never quite replicated my mother’s perfectly airy, yet creamy tapioca pudding. Like clockwork every year, my dad would request the chewy pearls for his birthday dessert. While I always tried to create a perfect ending to his special day, the result was tasty, albeit imperfect. I always whipped the egg whites just a tad too long. But, whoever made it, made it with love, and he knew it.

Anyone can master this vegan, sugar and dairy-free version of the traditional tapioca pudding recipe. I created this recipe while in need of a treat during a month-long cleanse. It has the richness and texture of the original recipe, but uses coconut milk and almond milk as the base and Stevia as the sweetener. If you prefer not to use Stevia, you can substitute it with 1/4 to 1/3rd cup of unrefined sugar. Using the ground tapioca pearls or tapioca starch is also optional. The same thickness can be achieved with longer cooking. Continue reading

Ginger-Lemon Tea

Ginger Lemon TeaInspired by the ‘Good for Everything Tea’ at an organic, vegan restaurant in the East Village, this drink is a simple twist on classic ginger tea. It is a constant companion during my monthly detox, an illness or cold weather. I make a quart or more and sip on it all day. Served hot or cold, this drink provides an immune boost and helps clear nasal and lung congestion. The honey option will also help soothe a sore throat. Don’t be too cautious with the cayenne. This drink is not the same without it!  Serves 2-4.

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