Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Persimmon Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

A few weeks ago, I was taking a walk around a neighborhood in Seattle. It was one of those gorgeous (rare) sunny winter days, cold and crisp. The Olympic mountain range was glowing in all its snow-capped glory in the distance and I was trying to soak in as much of the sun on my cold face as I could. It was then when I stumbled across an enormous persimmon tree. It had lost almost all of its leaves and just had these beautiful orange fruits hanging on to its branches. I was shocked that such a fruit could grow in this climate during this time of year. Amazing. And so, I was inspired to create this little breakfast bowl.
Persimmons are one of those special fruits that pop up in certain markets this time of year, especially Asian markets. Someone once described them to me as "sugar bombs" because they are so darn sweet. Hey, if the sweetness is coming from a natural fruit and not a candy bar, I'm all in for a sugar bomb! I combined this sweet fruit with some tart pomegranate seeds in this creamy quinoa breakfast bowl. It was a nice change from my typical bowl of oatmeal in the morning. And man, was it pretty!

Recipe for the Persimmon-Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl: Click Here

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Monday, December 9, 2013

A Baby!

Yes, it's true! I've got a little baby growing in my belly! I've wanted to share this news for what seems like forever and finally, the time is right. I'm a little over three months along and I'm beyond thrilled. This bit of news explains my intermittent posting and cryptic writing over the past few weeks months. Let's just say that I wasn't in the kitchen cooking all that much. Most foods didn't appeal to me. And honestly, I was so exhausted that the thought of putting together a meal made me want to take a nap. Creating and nourishing a baby is hard work, I tell you! But I know that it's all worth it. I can't wait to meet this little being. To snuggle it and love it and introduce it to all the beauty in the world. What a journey this year has been. And the best is yet to come. 

I love you, dear baby, with all my heart.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

It's that time of year again, folks! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I sure can't. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it combines two of my favorite things: gratitude and food. This year is a little different for me, since all of my family will be celebrating on the east coast and I'm out here on the west coast. But I'm going to do my best to make it a fabulous holiday. I have a lot to be thankful for, that's for sure!
This recipe comes at a perfect time because it's perfect to serve at your Thanksgiving table. It especially pleases the vegetarians out there, as no turkeys were harmed in the making of this dish. But the best part is that these stuffed little squashes are so flavorful, the meat-eaters will be asking for some, too! Enjoy and have a joyful Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude...and really great food.

This recipe is a part of my contribution to Life by DailyBurn. To see the full recipe, click here.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding the Light

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's winter in Seattle. These cold gray skies, blustery wind, and the constant drizzle has really been taking its toll on me. I feel like my body has no choice but to shift gears (rather quickly and against its will) into this new season. I've always had a hard time adjusting to the seasonal shift, but man, this year is different. In good ways (very good ways, actually) and not so good.
Life recently has been a mix of constant states of exhaustion, periods of complete and utter excitement, and times of unrelenting worry. Oh and did I mention there has been very little sunshine? This crazy beautiful time in my life is precisely why I haven't been here on the blog much. And I sincerely hope that changes very soon. Finding inspiration in the kitchen again, even on these cloudy days, will help.
I happened to have a day filled with light recently. Yesterday, actually. You see, yesterday I spent the day learning all about food photography and styling from the incredible Aran Goyoaga, writer of the award winning blog, Cannelle et Vanille (you absolutely must look at her work...it's beyond beautiful). She taught me how to capture the light in my photos. Even if it's cloudy and gray outside, there will always be enough light to make a beautiful photo. Besides being an inspiring educational photography class, it was also deeper than that. It taught me to appreciate the beauty in the grayness. Because really, the gray makes you appreciate the light that much more.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpea Tomato Sauce

 Vegetables never cease to amaze me. Between their incredible health benefits, gorgeous colors, and scrumptious flavors, they're probably my favorite food group (besides croissants). The winter squash is no exception. I mean, just take a stroll through your local farmers market this time of year and you'll see the many different shapes, colors, and sizes of squash. It's incredible. 
So let me talk about spaghetti squash for a minute. This squash is seriously magical. It's a golden yellow color and it's an easy-to-handle shape (think symmetrical and oval, not lumpy and bumpy like Mr. Turban). It bakes relatively quickly and leaves you with gorgeous nutrient-dense noodles that can be topped with any sauce you desire. Seriously, I probably cook up a spaghetti squash at least once a week this time of year. It's my fave.
This spaghetti squash deliciousness is topped with a rich and flavorful chickpea tomato sauce, full of herbs and garlic and satisfying creamy chickpeas. If you've ever felt guilty (or straight-up bloated) after eating a bowl of traditional spaghetti, then I suggest you give this a try. I guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised!

This recipe is a part of my contribution to Life by DailyBurn. To see the full recipe, head on over to their site!

Link to Recipe Here

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate

There's been a lot on my mind lately. It's funny because as I've started writing this, I've typed out at least four different introductions to this post, only to hit the backspace key over and over. There's so much swirling around in this brain of mine, yet only so much can be put into words here. I'm trying to make sense of everything, trying to feel how I truly feel, and really listen. It's amazing how quickly things can change. That's all I can say.
This salad is one that was thought up at the last minute, and it utilizes everything I had in my kitchen at the time. I always like to keep a batch of some sort of cooked grain on hand for throwing into a salad or tossing into a soup. And this time, I had a wild rice blend cooked and ready to be used. I threw in some roasted butternut squash along with sweet caramelized onions and pomegranate. Then, I tossed it with some salty feta, slivered kale, and toasted walnuts. Sweet, salty, chewy, and crunchy...it's what makes up the perfect textures for a salad. Plus, how could you say no to those fall colors?

Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate 

3 cups cooked wild rice blend (or any other grain of your choice)
1 butternut squash
1 large onion
3-4 large leaves of kale
1 pomegranate
1 cup of walnuts
feta or goat cheese (optional)

6 Tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cook your grain of choice. While the grains are cooking, peel butternut squash and remove the seeds. Cut into cubes. Put the butternut cubes on a large sheet pan. Thinly slice the onion. Put onion slices on the sheet pan with the butternut squash. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the onion begins to brown and the squash is tender.

2. While the grains cook and the squash bakes, thinly slice the kale. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients above in a small bowl and wisk well. Crumble up the feta or goat cheese.

3. Remove squash from the oven and let cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Assemble the salad by first combining the grains with the dressing in a large bowl. Then add the butternut squash and onions,  kale, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Toss very gently until just combined. Finish with a sprinkling of cheese.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What's Nourishing You?: Hannah of Health Yeah

I am beyond thrilled to share this exciting series on Nourish The Roots. It's called "What's Nourishing You?" and it is where I interview some of my favorite bloggers from around the world about food, what it means to them, and what they can't live without in their kitchen. It is truly an honor to feature these women here and I hope you enjoy their thoughts as much as I do.
Today, I'm talking with the lovely and talented Hannah, writer and food photographer of her fabulous blog called Health Yeah. She lives in New Zealand (so awesome, right?!) and I love how she ditches diet labels and identifies herself as a whole-foods lover. She passionately believes in embracing natural, unadultered plant-based foods. She has some incredible recipes on her site, including some amazingly decadent desserts that are totally natural, unrefined, and full of health-promoting ingredients. If her pictures don't convince you, I don't know what will! Check out her interview below (along with some of her mouth-watering food photographs) and be sure to head on over to her beautiful website, as well.
1. What is your food philosophy?
I believe in eating real, nourishing, living food! I've got heaps of thoughts on food - it's so much more than fuel. Next to composting I believe switching to a wholefoods plant based diet is the easiest and most powerful thing we can do as individuals to revolutionize our health and reduce our environmental impact. 
Choosing to eat well is also an act of self-respect and an effective anti-depressant: it nourishes our self esteem as well as our bodies. 
I also believe there is something magic about eating living food - the vibrant colours and flavours of fresh produce, harvested straight from the ground, connects us to nature and teaches us to respect and revere the earth's abundance in a way that processed, profit driven food cannot. 
Finally, you don't have to spend a fortune! Superfoods are nice to have, but fruits and veggies are more important.  
2. What are your non-negotiables when it comes to you diet?
Leafy greens = human jet fuel
Know where your food comes from. 
Make it taste good!

3. What are your 5 favorite ingredients in the kitchen?
Leafy Greens
Grapefruit and lemons
Summer fruits

4. If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and what would you make?
All the people at Auckland City Mission or all the patients at Auckland Hospital. I would love to put on a huge spread of tasty, healthy, fresh food with lots of leftovers!

Thank you so much, Hannah, for sharing your insight on food with Nourish The Roots. Keep up your incredible work! And readers, be sure to check out Health Yeah for recipes for what you see pictured. The raw vegan Blackberry Coconut Cheesecake, the Quinoa and Buckwheat Granola, and the raw vegan Vanilla Chocolate Mousse Cake are just some of the incredible recipes on Hannah's site!
And you can also follow Hannah on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sweet Potato Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Vegan and Gluten-Free

It seems like everyone out there has some type of food allergy or sensitivity. Or they're avoiding some type of ingredient. Or they're trying some new diet. I think it's great that more and more people are becoming aware about the food they put in their bodies instead of blindly consuming anything and everything. I'm all about eating quality, whole foods that are healthy and delicious, while avoiding foods that don't help my body in any way. I also think that food allergies are becoming more and more common largely due to the effects of an industrialized food system and compromised digestive systems. It's a sad truth that the number of people who suffer with food related issues is rising.

Over the years, I've tried different ways of eating. I've cut out certain ingredients and then reintroduced them. I've listened to my body and how it felt when I did so. And to be honest, sometimes it's hard to listen to your body when you're inundated with information about how your body should feel. It takes time to really be in tuned with it. I want to be able to support people on their food journey of discovery through this blog. I want to provide recipes that everyone can eat, because I understand what it's like to feel like you can't eat anything. And while my recipes aren't completely allergen-free, (it's impossible to write a food blog without using any allergens...sorry) I try my best to include recipes that almost everyone can enjoy.

These sweet potato apple cinnamon muffins can be enjoyed by many . They're vegan, gluten-free, and refined-sugar free. The base of the muffins is rolled oats and sweet potato, with the added bonus of apples, coconut oil, and coconut sugar. They're as delicious and moist as they are healthy...I know this because my husband practically ate the entire batch in one sitting. So head on over to Life by DailyBurn for this muffin recipe and enjoy.

Click Here for Recipe 

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Best Unsweetened Homemade Apple Sauce

This is my first autumn in Seattle and it's definitely a bit different than what I'm used to from the east coast. For starters, apple picking isn't really a thing here. People look at you funny when you tell them about apple picking. To me, being an upstate New York kinda girl, apple picking equals fall. No questions asked. Everyone piles in the car and you drive out to the apple orchards and pick thirty pounds of apples. Then, you go home and spend the rest of the week whipping up apple pies, apple sauce, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple everything. All the while drinking hot mulled apple cider. It's just what we upstate New Yorkers do.
I searched for you-pick apple orchards near Seattle and the only one I found was about an hour and a half outside of the city. We were willing to take the nice long scenic drive out to this incredible organic apple orchard filled with gorgeous heirloom apple trees. It was nestled at the foot of the northern Cascade mountains and it was breathtaking. The best part (aside from tasting all of the apples), was that we practically had the entire orchard to ourselves. Remember, apple picking really isn't a "thing" here, so yeah.
I returned home with lots of different types of apples; different colors, sizes, textures, and flavors. Aside from just eating them straight up and putting them in my breakfast oatmeal, one of the first things I made was applesauce. To me, there's few things more comforting than a warm bowl of homemade applesauce. And the smell of the apples simmering away on the stove just permeates every corner of my apartment. It's heavenly.
I tend to like my applesauce slightly chunky and I don't mind leaving the apple skins on. This makes the cooking time shorter and really, who enjoys peeling apples? I sure don't. And there are nutrients and fiber in the skins! If you like smooth applesauce, then feel free to peel the skins, cook the apples for longer, or even puree the whole bit with an immersion blender. You can't really go wrong.
In this particular batch, I chose to keep the apples naked, meaning that I didn't add any sweetener to them. I wanted the flavors of the individual varieties (I used six different types) of apples to have a chance to shine and not be overpowered by sweetness. If you're using more tart apples, then perhaps you'd like to add a bit of sweetener. Pure maple syrup would be my preference.
 Homemade Applesauce (makes 4 servings)

7 medium sized organic apples, any variety
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract, or whole one vanilla bean

1. Core and slice apples. Set aside. In a deep skillet or pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla (of using a whole vanilla bean, split it open and add it to the pot). Stir to coat the apples.

2. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure the apples cook evenly and so that they don't stick to the pan. Add more water if the sauce becomes too thick.

3. Use a handheld potato masher to break up any larger pieces of apples. Alternatively, you can blend the sauce to make it completely smooth. Taste and add more cinnamon or nutmeg if you'd like. If it needs more sweetness, feel free to add some maple syrup as well. Enjoy!

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Love and Health to You, 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Macrobiotic Bowl

The first time I heard about the macrobiotic diet, I was watching some stupid show on E! that was all about Madonna. I remember them saying how she follows a strict macrobiotic diet that was supposedly one of the reasons why she's essentially ageless (of course, another reason has to do with plastic surgery, but we all know that). I was probably in early high school and at that time, my fascination with food and nutrition was just beginning. The show prompted me to research the macrobiotic diet and I remember marveling about how healthy it seemed. I knew that I would never strictly follow the macrobiotic lifestyle (it seemed a bit restrictive), but adopting certain aspects of the diet seemed like a healthy thing to do. Macrobiotics resurfaced for me a few more times since that Madonna episode while I was taking an alternative healing class in college and while reading one of my favorite nutrition books, Healing with Whole Foods. Since the macrobiotic way of life is primarily rooted in Asian culutre, namely Japanese, that may explain my deep love for Japanese food culture.
I'm not going to try to explain all of the ins and outs of the macrobiotic way of life here. Firstly, because I'm no expert on the subject, and secondly, because if I did, this blog post would be way too long. In a nutshell, the diet embraces whole foods prepared in traditional ways. Whole grains (primarily brown rice), vegetables (including sea vegetables), beans, fermented soy, and soup (such as miso) form the bulk of the diet. Fish, nuts, seeds, and fruit also make up the diet, but in smaller amounts. The diet is great for times of healing or cleansing, but strictly following the macrobiotic diet for long periods of time may lead to nutritional deficiencies if not carefully planned. I was in the mood for a simple meal the other night, one that also happened to showcase my gorgeous fresh black beans. This macrobiotic-inspired bowl came to mind and within minutes, I had a satisfying dinner.

Macrobiotic Bowl (serves 2)

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked black beans
1 large clove of garlic
1 small piece (about 1 inch) fresh ginger
2 carrots
small bunch of kale
kimchi (see my recipe for amazing kimchi here...but this kimchi pictured is from here) or pickled ginger
black sesame seeds for garnish
splash of brown rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce
one sheet of nori seaweed, cut or torn into small strips

1. Distribute cooked rice and beans between two bowls. Set aside.

2. Chop the garlic. Peel and chop the fresh ginger. Set aside. Julienne the carrots (or shred/grate them). De-stem the kale and chop into thin ribbons. Set aside.

3. In a large frying pan, add some sesame oil (or any oil of your choice), chopped garlic, and ginger. On medium low heat, warm the garlic and ginger until it just begins to be fragrant. Add the carrots and kale and a pinch of salt. Stir continuously just until the kale begins to wilt. Remove from the heat.

4. Add a splash of brown rice vinegar, more salt, and a touch of toasted sesame oil, or even some tamari, to the greens. Season to taste. Arrange the greens in the bowls with the rice and beans. Top with kimchi or pickled ginger, nori, avocado. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy with Japanese green tea, if you have some.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Root Vegetable Lentil Stew with Kale

I can't believe today is the first day of fall. It seems like just yesterday I was watching fireworks on the fourth of July.  I guess I need to accept the fact that it's just going to get colder from here on out, so I might as well make the best of it. Fall calls for soup, of course! I make lentil soup all the time. Yep, even in the summer. I probably have fifty different versions of lentil soup using various types of lentils and vegetables and you know what? I love them all. Lentils are so satisfying and nourishing.
Fall is also the time to eat root vegetables. These sweet, nutrient-dense vegetables are what our bodies crave during the cooler weather. Root vegetables absorb and store insane amounts of minerals and other nutrients through the soil in which they grow (all the more important to buy organic). They're high in vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and complex carbohydrates. In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, they're considered "warming" foods that nourish the body. Paired with warming spices, like the ginger and cardamom in this stew, root vegetables are incredibly comforting on chilly days.
As I currently write this post, it's pouring outside. It's cold and cloudy and pretty miserable, really. But I've got a batch of root vegetables roasting in the oven smelling delicious. And I've got some gorgeous winter squash sitting on my countertop just waiting to be made into some delicious meals. A variation of this soup will be one of them, for sure.
The recipe for this root vegetable and lentil stew is the part of my contribution (see my first contribution here) to the fitness and healthy lifestyle website called Life by DailyBurn. Check out this recipe, plus many more over on their site. You certainly won't be disappointed.

Recipe: Root Vegetable Red Lentil Stew with Kale

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

I can't believe that I went this entire summer without posting a legit recipe showcasing tomatoes (tomatoes on avocado toasts don't exactly count). That doesn't mean I haven't been eating them and enjoying them to their fullest. And I'm sitting here holding back my tears because I realize that very very soon, there won't be any more tomatoes at the farmers market until next summer. Sigh.
I've made a version of stuffed tomatoes on the blog awhile back and you can check that one out here. That recipe is a bit simpler and lighter. Today's recipe is more substantial and these tomatoes are just about a meal on their own, especially if they're served with a heaping plate full of garlicky kale. Feel free to get creative with the quinoa stuffing. You can't really go wrong with it. Add some caramelized onions or roasted red peppers to it. Yum. Or I'm thinking you could even do a Mexican style version of these tomatoes with a brown rice and black bean stuffing. I'm picturing some cilantro, fresh corn, chili, and cumin topped off with a nice sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Hmmm...might have to go try that while I can still get tomatoes at the market! Either way you stuff them, they're going to be delish. I can guarantee it.
Depending on how many tomatoes you choose to stuff and how large they are, you may have leftover stuffing. That's ok because this stuffing is excellent on its own served over a bed of mixed green lettuces.
Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
For the Quinoa Stuffing:
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

6-8 medium sized tomatoes
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
olive oil

1. Combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Don't be afraid to add salt...it makes the flavors pop! Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 375. With a sharp knife, gently cut out the stem portion of each tomato. Then, with a spoon, gently scoop out as much of the seeds as possible, being careful not to split the tomatoes or poke through the bottom of them. (Note: I added the seeds of the tomatoes straight to the quinoa stuffing mixture to add moisture and because I didn't want to waste any part of my beloved tomatoes!)

3. Gently stuff each tomato with quinoa mixture, again making sure you don't split or poke through the tomatoes. Put them in a baking pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and top them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with a bit more cheese.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some Thoughts on Black Beans in the Pod

I consider myself pretty connected to and conscious of where my food comes from. I choose to eat whole foods that have been minimally processed (and hardly anything packaged). I purchase the majority of my vegetables and fruits from local farmers markets. I eat local free range eggs from chickens that roam in grass all day. And I know that the wild salmon I ate on Sunday was probably caught in the icy cold waters of Alaska the day before (one of the perks of living in Seattle, for sure). Yeah, so I guess you can say I'm a conscious consumer. But far from perfect.

Granted, I don't own a farm, I don't have an enormous garden where I grow all my own food, and I don't have any backyard chickens (somehow, I don't think my landlord would approve of chickens roaming around my nonexistent plot of grass). I admit that I live in a city (albeit a very environmentally friendly and food-focused one), and that limits me a bit. Even though I can easily travel 30 minutes to a local farm to see food grow, I can't say that I'm immersed in the growing process.
I was awakened to all of this the other day when I came across these fresh-as-fresh-can-be black bean pods at the farmers market. I was giddy with excitement...almost in awe of them. Of course I knew that black beans grow in pods. But my only experience purchasing black beans had been scooping them out of bulk bins at my natural foods store. To many other people, the only black beans they know of come out of a can. As a nation, we have become disconnected to where our food comes from and it's sad.
Besides being overly excited about these black bean pods, I realized that to a certain degree, I will always be disconnected from what I eat. There's no way I can know where everything that graces my lips comes from or who grew it. But I can become more conscious of and to be grateful for the food that I do choose to eat. And I think that buying these black beans, taking the time to remove them from their pretty pods to lovingly prepare them certainly put that into perspective for me.
I don't have a recipe for you today. I just felt like writing about how these beans made me feel. Call me a food nerd. I don't mind. But be sure to stay tuned because you can be certain that I'm going to make something delicious with these black beans...and of course I'm going to share it with all of you!

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vanilla Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding

You know when you have a surprise for someone and you really really want to tell them what it is because it's just so exciting? Well, I've been wanting to share some exciting news with you all for the longest time and now I finally can! I'm going to be a guest recipe contributor for an amazing healthy lifestyle website called Daily Burn and this is my first post for them! This is the start of what I hope to be an incredible journey of sharing my nourishing recipes with the world and I'm beyond thrilled about it. You can check out the recipe for this luxurious chia breakfast pudding (plus my recipe for homemade almond milk) over on their site, plus read little bit about the incredible little chia seed. Enjoy!

Recipe: Vanilla Almond Chia Seed Pudding

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rose Hip Tea

It's amazing what I find on my walks around my neighborhood. I'm lucky enough to live in a place where blackberry bushes are literally everywhere and fruit trees grow on almost every street. We're talking figs, various varieties of plums, apples, and pears. Gorgeous curbside gardens overflowing with kale, chard, and tomatoes are the norm. Artichokes are growing on street corners. Seriously people, I live in a city that's full of incredible food! And the best part is that gardeners are willing to share it! It's pretty freaking awesome if you ask me. Just the other day, I came home with at least eight pounds worth of fruit just picked from some neighbors' trees. I'm a lucky girl.
On one of my walks yesterday, I came across a gorgeous wild rose bush that was bursting with these gorgeous ruby orbs. They're called rose hips, and while they may not be the first to come to mind when you think of edible fruits, they certainly are a fruit that's worth looking for. Rose hips are the fruits that develop from the rose blossoms after their petals have fallen off. Cool, right? Heck, I'd take a bouquet of rose hips over the their flowered counterpart any day!
So why should we be eating rose hips? Well, upon doing a little research, I discovered that these little red fruits are incredibly nutritious. Apparently, just a single teaspoon of rose hip pulp provides more Vitamin C than an orange, making it an excellent immune system booster. Rose hips are also incredibly high in beta carotene (thanks to their incredible reddish-orange color). Beta carotene is essential for maintaining gorgeous skin and healthy cells. It's astonishing how high the antioxidant content of rose hips is! I even read that rose hips are clinically proven to improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Those are some powerful fruits, I tell ya.

Rose hips can be eaten fresh (after the seeds have been scooped out) or they can be dried and stored for later use. I've seen recipes for rose hip jams, syrups, and tinctures. In fact, there is even a traditional Swedish rose hip soup that is quite popular during the cold winter months to help fend off colds and flu. Here, I chose to make a simple rose hip tea to really enjoy their health benefits. Depending on the variety of rose, the hips will vary slightly in appearance and flavor. The rose hips I found were from a rugosa rose bush, which is known for having the biggest, most vibrantly colored rose hips. Overall, they have a mildly tart taste and remind me a bit of the flavor of cherry tomatoes.
 There are a few ways to make rose hip tea. I chose to steep the rose hips in a teapot of boiling water for about 20-30 minutes, but you can also simmer them on the stove in water for the same amount of time until they break up and form a pulp. Either way works, just strain the pulp before drinking the tea. And of course, you can eat the pulp, as well!

Fresh Rose Hip Tea (makes 2 cups)
10-12 fresh rose hips, seeds removed
2 cups boiling water

1. Put the rose hips in a teapot or French press. Pour boiling water over them, cover, and let steep for your desired amount of time. (See note above).

2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or push the plunger of the French press.  I pressed on the rose hips to release more of their goodness. Sweeten the tea with honey, if desired. And eat the rose hips, if you'd like an extra boost of Vitamin C!

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