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18

Aug

Kitchen Staples

If you’ve read this blog before, then you know that I like to eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies.  Five years ago, I would have bought fruits and veggies and they might have spoiled on the counter due to my lack of knowledge on what to do with them.  Now, I make sure the kitchen has a few essentials to make the produce prep a little more fun and interesting.    

Here’s my shopping routine:  

  1. Pick out the best looking fruits, veggies, and herbs
  2. Make sure I’m stocked with my kitchen staples  

Below is a list of what I try to always have on hand.  Try out 3 or 4 items and see how you do.   

1.  Dates

Wonderful as a sweetener for smoothies, or chop them up and put them into oatmeal.  Try stuffing them with almond butter for a filling snack.

2.  Almonds

Have you ever made your own almond milk?  It’s a lot easier than you think.  Raw almond milk is packed with nutrients and tastes unlike any store bought brand.  

3.  Quinoa

Mix with cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup for breakfast quinoa.  Toss with roasted veggies for a main dish.  

4.  Coconut Oil and Cold Pressed Olive Oil 

Coconut oil is great for cooking because of its higher smoke point.  Cold pressed olive oil is a great oil for making your own salad dressings.

5.  Celtic Sea Salt

Many sea salts are bleached with whitening agents and heated at high temperatures.  Celtic Sea Salt is dried in the sunshine and is packed with nutrients that support a healthy nervous system.

6.  Spices Galore

Cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, curry, garam masala.  Stock up on these and more to flavor your creations in a pinch!

7.  Chia Seeds

These provide an amazing energy boost.  They also nourish your brain.  Soak them in water until a gel forms and they’ll stay good in the fridge for about 2 weeks.  Mix into drinks or fruit puddings.

8.  Dijon Mustard, Tahini, & Tamari

The perfect additions to any dressing. 

9.  Veggie Stock

Throw some veggies in a blender.  Add the mixture to a pot with some veggie stock and spices, and you’ll have the freshest instant soup you’ve ever tasted.

10. Coconut Milk 

I’m not a huge ice cream person, but I’ll get a craving every now and then.  Coconut milk + maple syrup + celtic sea salt + ice cream machine = smooth and frosty delight in under 30 minutes.

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is famous for being able to balance the body’s PH.  Throw into sauces, dressings, or dips.  Mix with water and drink it for optimal health. 

12. Maple Syrup

My all time favorite sweetener.  Packed with antioxidants.  

If you need some additional inspiration in the produce department…it’s usually hard for me to turn down the following:

1.  Lemons

Wonderful for vitality.  Extremely alkaline.  I squeeze lemon juice on everything. 

2.  Broccoli

A whole head of steamed broccoli with a little lemon dijon dressing and you’ve just had yourself a quick and delicious no-fuss meal. 

3.  Bananas 

Smoothies, smoothies, and more smoothies.  Also great to take with you as a snack on the go.  

4.  Kale/Spinach

I alternate between these two, but I’ll always have at least one in the fridge.  Throw them into that banana smoothie.  Chop up and mix into your pasta sauce or quinoa salad.  Sauteé with garlic, onion, and tomatoes.     

5.  Local Produce

This will be the most nutrient dense produce in your market because it will have been picked the most recently.  

I applaud you if you’re planning on going to the store and picking up some of these items.  I will warn you that the first trip is always going to be the most expensive.  Remember that all of these staples (excluding the produce) keep very well on the shelf, so you won’t need to purchase them frequently.  It might be an investment at first, but it’s sure to pay off.  

What are some of your favorite kitchen staples?

25

Jul

Seasonal Peach & Cucumber Gazpacho

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I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at farmer’s markets this summer.  It really is the best place for recipe inspiration.  Here’s a seasonal dish that takes second to prepare.  

Seasonal Peach & Cucumber Gazpacho 

(makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 ¾ cup cucumber, peeled, about one medium cucumber (promotes joint health)
  • 3 cups chopped peaches, about 3 peaches (vitamins A & C regenerate skin tissue)
  • 2 TBS + 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (boosts vitality)
  • ¾ tsp celtic sea salt (great for nerve health)

Add peeled cucumbers, peaches, lemon juice, and sea salt to a blender or food processor.  Blend well on high until combined.  Serve with kale chips from your local farmer’s market!

Check out Pure Taste on instagram for more recipes @ http://instagram.com/puretastehealth 

24

Jul

Beats For Your Eats: Down in Mexico by The Coasters

This song is ultra smooth with a hard edge.  Kinda like Cowboy Juice.  Kick your “cool level” up a notch with a combo of the two.    

Follow the Spotify playlist Beats For Your Eats for regularly updated tunes you can rock in the kitchen.

21

Jul

The Importance Behind Loving Your Food and How to Do So

Here are the facts.  The nervous system controls digestion.  When you’re stressed, especially about what you’re eating, the digestion process will be compromised by a nervous system on alert.  This can lead to stomach discomfort, poor absorption of nutrients, and unwanted weight gain.  

Food should be enjoyed.  It’s supposed to taste good and nourish our bodies.  Find out what fresh foods you really enjoy and focus on different ways to prepare them.  

Have fun, enjoy eating, and relax.

1.  If you don’t like it, don’t eat it

There’s no point in trying to force yourself to eat something you don’t like.  Eating is meant to be a pleasurable experience.  The world is chock full of fresh and nourishing foods.  You are bound to find a few that you enjoy if you experiment a little.    

2.  Have fun eating outside of your home

One of my favorite things to do is trying a new restaurant.  I love feeling out the atmosphere, seeing a new menu, and scoping out the staff.  I especially love to do this while I’m traveling.  I can assure you that one way to totally kill this experience is to overly worry about what you’re eating.  Sometimes, it’s simply about the preparing and sharing of food, the people that you’re with, and the stories and jokes that are the most important.  Food is cultural and emotional.  Soak it in.  

3.  Take a seat

Eating while standing says, “My mind is really on something else, but I’m hungry” or “I’m trying to distract myself from something.”  Obviously you won’t be able to sit down every time you eat, but it’s something to keep in mind.  Let your body know when you’re eating for optimal digestion.  Don’t confuse your system.   

4.  Chew

There was a man by the name of Antonio Stanchich who was taken prisoner in WWII.  His living conditions while held hostage were treacherous to say the least.  Poor food rations and weather conditions had the prisoners living in extreme discomfort.   Antonio and two other men began to chew their food and water 75-300 times and found it kept them warmer and more nourished.  Out of Antonio’s crew of 35 people, only three survived the concentration camp.  Those three were Antonio and his two friends.  

Chewing will help to release essential enzymes and nutrients in your food making them easier to absorb into your system.  Chewing will also allow you to truly taste your food.  Do you even like what you’re eating?  You should.   

5.  Educate 

If you’re having trouble finding motivation to eat a little healthier and livelier, turn to books, documentaries, and google.  You can live in ambiguity and what ifs all your life, but when you are exposed to information that has real evidence and factual back up, you might find it’s hard not to change your ways.  Quite a few documentaries led me to cut foods out of my diet that I had been debating over for years.  After I was presented with the facts, my brain was clear on what it no longer wanted. 

6.  Relax

Some people have eaten some really weird stuff and still survived.  There’s a man who ate a plane and everything in it lived long after the task.  Now, I’m not encouraging you to run away with this idea, but my point is that the body is more resilient than you think.  I’m sure Mr. Aviator Extraordinaire was excited about his mission and had a positive mindset while chowing down on armrests and such.  Gives a whole new meaning to the term “airplane food”.  My point is, get your mind to be on board with what your putting in your mouth.      

7.  You should eat well because you want to 

I’m not a believer in diets, but I enjoy short raw food cleanses.  They remind me of how good it feels to give my body such nutrient rich food.   After the cleanse, I feel more alert and energetic.  I also feel stronger.  Remind yourself of the good stuff by experiencing it first hand.

8.  Have treats and indulge when you feel like it

Don’t deprive yourself.  The mind only becomes more tempted and feels less taken care of when you deprive yourself daily.  If you accept, allow, and embrace indulgences in your life, you just might find that you don’t crave them as much.  

9.  Let go of counting calories

Some people won’t agree with me on this.  I’m going to put it out there anyway. 200 calories from a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos is just not the same as 200 calories from an avocado.  #sorrynotsorry 

I also don’t think anyone should be computing numbers while they’re eating.  In my experience, chemicals in food, along with unnatural and over processed ingredients are the main culprits for unwanted weight gain.   Try focusing on the quality of your ingredients as your main prerogative and see what happens.  

I love you all.  Now go love your food.