We know how it feels when a sugar craving hits you. You’re trying to be healthy and you know cookies are loaded with sugar and excess calories. When you’re standing in the chocolate aisle aisle at the grocery store with dozens of cookie boxes begging for you to pick them up, slowly back away. Instead, opt for a healthier option that will satisfy your sugar craving. You won’t regret picking up the ingredients for this Chai Almond Shortbread cookie recipe. These crisp and buttery cookies are laced with a delicious nutty chai flavour that your friends and family will love.
The beauty of this recipe is that it calls for Tagatose. If you’re scratching your head at what this is, it’s a low-calorie healthy substitute for sugar. It’s a natural sweetener found in milk that is not quite as sweet as sugar but still a great substitute. It has a clean, neutral taste. If you want to learn more about sugar substitutes, Nat Geo baked a number of cakes with different artificial sugars: How Sugar Substitutes Stack Up.
This recipe also requires chai syrup. You can buy this at most grocery stores or you can make your own: recipe here.
We believe that anything baked at home is going to be fresher, better tasting and better for you than anything packaged and processed that you buy from the grocery store. How can it not when you add the time, attention and love?
• 1 cup of Almond Flour
• 3 Tablespoons softened butter
• 3 Tablespoons Tagatose
• 1/8 Salt
• 1 Tablespoon of Chai Syrup
In a large bowl (or stand mixer) combine all of the ingredients listed above.
Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix all of the ingredients together until a cohesive dough forms.
Scoop 1” balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. You could use a teaspoon cookie scoop or just roll them in your hands. Arrange the ball of dough about 1 ½” to 2” apart, then use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4 “thick.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. (keep in mind Tagatose browns at a lower temperature than sugar so keep an eye on the cookies) Remove the cookies from the over and cool them on the pan for 10 minutes.
Enjoy with a cup of tea and remember to share with friends and family
In the mood for spending some more time in the kitchen? Here are some healthy recipes you may like to try:
We recommend eating raw or slightly cooked sauerkraut to maximise health benefits. Exposure to high heat while cooking will kill the probiotic microorganisms in sauerkraut and will reduce their cancer preventative properties.
Sauerkraut goes well with olives, avocados, and fatty fruits. For a simple salad, toss microgreens with olive oil and sauerkraut, and top with sprouted almonds, pumpkin seeds, or pistachios. You can also enjoy sauerkraut straight out of the jar for an instant snack that’s packed with flavour and is rich in probiotic bacteria, beneficial enzymes, and fiber.
When shopping for sauerkraut, you may come across different flavours that are a spin off traditional sauerkraut. From red cabbage, to cucumber-dill and apple-fennel, your palate will enjoy the fresh, crunchy texture balanced with a combination of flavours. We are pleased to offer a range of Sauerkraut options at our online store.
Here’s why you should include sauerkraut in your diet:
Reduces breast cancer risk
Here’s some good news for females: Eating three or more serving per week of raw or short cooked cabbage and sauerkraut significantly helps to reduce breast cancer risk. Find more details from US and Polish researchers here. The anti-cancer component in sauerkraut is attributed to the high level of glucosinolates, which limit cell mutation during the initial phase of carcinogenesis.
A few teaspoons of cabbage juice or fermented juice from sauerkraut before a meal will assist in digestion by stimulating acid production in the body.
While the priobiotic bacteria helps promote digestion, sauerkraut is also great source of vitamin C and some B vitamins. It can even assist in the prevention of scurvy, a disease that results from a vitamin C deficiency.
Sauerkraut translates to “sour cabbage” in German. Over 2,000 years ago Chinese laborers that constructed the Great Wall of China ate shredded cabbage drizzled with rice wine. It has since evolved into a mixture that contains salt and sometimes spices along with fermented shredded cabbage. The fermentation process increases the vegetable’s bioavailability of nutrients.
Bone broth is not only a popular base for soups and stews, but also reductions, sauces and braising meats and vegetables. It is primarily made from bones and connective tissue of fish or animals. If you’ve never tried it, you’ll discover its versatility – you can use it in any dish that calls for almost any vegetable or meat to be cooked in liquid. It’s flavourful and you can even drink it straight.
Bone broths are simple to prepare at home and are inexpensive (the cost of bones is usually under $2/lb).
Broth has always been considered a healing food, especially if you consider the tradition of eating chicken soup when you’re sick with a cold – Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen
Popular Stock Method of Cooking Broth
Bone broth needs to be slow cooked to allow for the release of nutrients from the bones. If you don’t have a slow cooker or pressure cooker, you can make bone broth the way your grandmother or great grandmother would have done it: in a regular stainless steel stock pot. Use the largest pot on hand to make a big batch and freeze for later.
Depending on which bones you choose, you’ll have to simmer for different lengths of time:
Beef, pork or lamb: 48 hours
Chicken or Turkey: 24 hours
Fish: 8 hours
Grass fed, quality bones: as little or as many as you wish—2 lbs is a good starting point, either frozen or thawed
1–2 tbsp Organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Stainless steel stock pot
1. Place your bones (at least 2 lbs) in the stock pot with 1–2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar 2. Cover with filtered water leaving an inch of room at the top 3. Place the pot on high heat until boiling 4. Upon boiling, switch to low heat and simmer for the recommended time depending on type of bones as mentioned above. You can skim the foam/ impurities at the top as it’s simmering 5. Allow it to cool and store. When it cools you may notice a layer of fat at the top, which you can choose to remove and discard 6. Enjoy, use it in a recipe, or store for later
Seasoning can be done towards the end of cook time. Fresh herbs, spices and onions can be added in the last 10 minutes.
Do not add any salt to the broth itself. If you’re planning to reduce the broth to make soups or sauces, you may end up with a high salt content. Salt should only be added to the finished product, not the broth.
Once your broth is cooked, place the pot into a sink of cold water to allow it to cool quickly, to reduce bacterial growth. You can keep broth in the fridge for one week. Be sure to note its smell – it will need re-boiling if it smells off.
Vegetable peels will be the base of your soup instead of animal bones if you’re vegetarian. Collect all organic vegetable peels and freeze them. To learn how to make a hearty vegetable soup with vegetable broth, see Dylan Stein Acupuncture’s post “A vegetarian version of bone broth“.
The popularity of bone broth has spiked in the past few years. There is an abundance of media coverage filled with its purported health benefits. The truth is there’s little evidence to support those claims. Researchers from Harvard Medical School have addressed some of these claims. See “What’s the scoop on bone soup?” for further details.
This delicious “transformational” raw cacao-based tonic will give you a boost of energy first thing in the morning. The key ingredient, Anandamide, is a blend of unsweetened Raw Heirloom Cacao and Tonic Herbs that has been known to activate and harmonise the nervous, digestive and immune systems.
Handcrafted in small batches using organic or wildcrafted ingredients, this blend contains freshly-ground spices. It has a chocolatey, creamy and spicy taste that will give you the kick you need to get you through your day. Combined with raw honey to sweeten, the mild nutty flavour of Rice Bran Solubles, and the healthy fat of Coconut Oil, this blissful tonic is nutritious and quick and easy to prepare.
Nut milks are a fantastic daily-free substitute for cow’s milk. If you don’t tolerate dairy well or are looking for a tasty alternative, this will be perfect for you. This recipe only requires three simple ingredients; water, a nut of your choice, and an optional sweetener.
Store-bought nut milk isn’t as fresh and contains questionable additives and chemicals. Homemade nut milks not only taste great, but they are easily digested, easy to make, and affordable.
If you’re concerned about switching to nut milk and losing the calcium that cow’s milk provides, think again. Calcium is present in a lot of plant-based foods, including broccoli, kale and figs. Harvard’s School of Public Health suggests you look beyond the dairy aisle for sources of calcium.
Enjoy nut milk with smoothies, cereal, in baking, or simply pour yourself a glass.
Ingredients (serves 3):
1 cup soaked nuts (8+ hours almonds or other nuts, 6+ hours cashews)
3 cups filtered water
To sweeten add:
1 raw vanilla bean pod
Pinch of sea salt
3-4 dates or 3 tbsp of agave, honey, or sweetener of choice
Soak nuts for at least six hours in water and cover them with a cloth, then rinse. Soaking then nuts makes them easier to digest and improves their flavour.
Add all ingredients to a Vitamix or high powered blender. Blend for one and a half minutes until the texture is smooth and consistent.
Pour the blended beverage into a nut milk bag, holding it over a bowl. This straining method will catch any pulp or solids present in the mixture.
Once all the liquid has been strained, squeeze the pulp in the cloth until it is free of liquid. The nut milk will remain in the bowl.
Serve chilled and enjoy.
The nuts have to be soaked for at least six hours and ideally overnight, so plan ahead.
Nut milk bags are commonly made of very finely weaved cheesecloth. If you don’t have this on hand, you can drape a good quality cheesecloth over a colander. If you’re using cashews, they blend well and typically don’t need to be strained.
Store the nut milk in the refrigerator after making and consume within 2-3 days, as it does not contain any preservatives. It should be stored in an air-tight jar or pitcher.
If you’re wondering what to do with the pulp that’s left over, you don’t have to throw it away. You can make nut flour out of it by dehydrating it. To do this, spread the pulp evenly over a cookie tray and dry the mixture for two hours in an oven at 200 degrees F. If you pinch the flour and it leaves moisture on your fingertips or forms a ball, allow it to dehydrate a little longer. Once fully dehydrated, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Nut flour can be used in gluten-free recipes.
This quick and easy to prepare smoothie is delicious and will give you the energizing boost you need to start your day. Packed with an array of ingredients, this smoothie is highly nutritious and in one sitting you will receive vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. It’s a fast and easy way to include vegetables in your diet.
Add all ingredients to a Vitamix and fill almost to the top with water. Blend on high for one minute. Serve and add ice to cool.
If you don’t have a high-powered blender, we recommend chopping up the ingredients into small pieces to encourage smooth blending in a regular blender. If you don’t have dates or stevia drops on hand, honey is a good substitute that will add a touch of sweetness (try our Zebra Organics raw honey). Anandamide powder is raw cacao blend that will add a bit of a bite to the beverage. For a similar taste you can use cinnamon.
For extra nutrients, add 1-2 tbl spoons of rhodiola powder. Rhodiola powder is a plant extract that has a sweet and slightly bitter taste that is masked when incorporated with other ingredients. It’s known to reduce fatigue, relieve stress and improve overall health.
Featured Image Source: Flickr. The photo was not modified in any way.
Sea vegetables are packed with a broad range of minerals (particularly iodine), making them a great addition to a healthy diet. As many of us are unfamiliar with these nutrient-loaded foods, we’ve compiled a guide that sheds some light on how to add some commonly consumed sea vegetables to your diet.
Widely consumed since ancient times in Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia, sea vegetables are also prominent in most countries located by water, including Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, the Pacific Islands and coastal South American countries. Sea vegetables have a long history and have been consumed by Japanese people for more than 10,000 years and makes up more than 10 per cent of their diet today. Honoured guests and royalty in ancient China were served sea vegetables as a special delicacy.
While land plants tend to be brittle and often have rigid stalks and leaves from growing in soil, sea vegetables are soft and flexible. A simple, flavourful addition to vegetable dishes, salads and soups, sea vegetables don’t require cooking.
The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends 1 tsp of sea vegetables per day. They are the highest known source of iodine and also contain vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B2. They are also a good source of vitamin A and copper, protein, pantothenic acid, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B1. (Read more at World’s Healthiest Foods).
The most readily available type of edible seaweed, kelp is generally found in dried form and can be eaten right out of the bag. It can be soaked for several minutes in warm water and added to vegetable stir-fries, bean stews, soups, cooked grains or simple noodle dishes. It complements carrots, onions, kale, cabbage and other greens well. It will add a salty flavour to dishes.
Kelp is a very sustainable plant that grows exceptionally fast and can grow back fully within ten days of being harvested.
A study by the University of Berkeley’s School of Public Health found that kelp can reduce the level of hormone related to breast cancer risk.
A member of the kelp family, kombu is a thick, dark green algae. Commonly eaten in Japan, it comes dried and is used to make dashi, the essential broth used to make soup and noodle dishes. It’s cooked until soft and used to make salads. It can be roasted until crisp, then crumbled and used as a substitute for salt. It is known to help release toxins from the body and strengthen the blood (The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health).
If you’re not well acquainted with sea vegetables, try kombu egg soup. Its flavour is fairly mild and it requires minimal ingredients. You can find a great recipe here.
Closely related to kombu, wakame is commonly used to make seafood salad and miso soup (it will often be floating on top in thin strips). It can be purchased dry or fresh and is available in powder form. When cooked, it turns a translucent green colour. Restaurants in Japan and Korea will often toss wakame with sesame oil over a bed of lettuce. The chewy seaweed complements the delicate lettuce well. Wakame helps protect against high blood pressure. tumours and infection (The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health).
A brown kelp commonly used in Japan, China and Korea, arame is characterized by a sweet, mild taste and delicate texture. Ready to eat after a brief soak in water (for at least five minutes), it turns dark brown when cooked and is a great addition to soups and salads and complements other vegetables well. Try sautéing soaked, drained arame with garlic and onions, red pepper, sweet corn. You can follow the recipe here.
Dulse does not require cooking and can be eaten right out of the bag as a snack. They are a great, healthy substitute for corn chips or potato flakes as they have a crunchy, salty flavour. A red seaweed originating from the waters of the Atlantic Coast of Canada and the shores of Ireland and Norway, dulse flakes can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, dried or can be used to thicken soups. They are excellent for sprinkling onto salads, soups or other favourite dishes. Keep on the dinner table for seasoning foods instead of using table salt.
If you’ve eaten sushi rolls before, you’ve eaten nori. Thin and crispy, nori is the mildest form of seaweed and is generally found roasted in sheets. It can be eaten plain as a healthy snack, or you can try wrapping up gobs of tuna tossed with olive oil. Rich in protein, iron and calcium, nori fosters kidney and urinary function and helps improve circulation and reduce cholesterol. Try brewing a carrot daikon tea with nori to cleanse the body and help foster digestion. You can try this recipe.
When purchasing sea vegetables, look for tightly sealed packages. Available in different forms, choose ones that best fit your culinary needs. Sea vegetables should be stored in tightly sealed containers at room temperature, to maintain freshness and prolong shelf life for at least several months.
There is ongoing debate concerning the possibility of sea vegetables being contaminated with toxic or heavy metals. Considering their excellent ability to act like a sponge and absorb all the beneficial minerals in sea water, it seems plausible that they would also absorb all the negative compounds, such as mercury, lead and arsenic. Many studies have revealed the low probability of health risks from heavy metals via sea vegetable consumption. Only one type, Hijiki, is considered to be high-risk when it comes to arsenic exposure. Based on numerous studies, we recommend avoidance of hijiki unless available it’s certified organic (read more here).
Naturopathic physician Dr. Paul Gannon reveals how healthy, easy and delicious Asian cuisine is. Watch the video below to learn how to make a wakame (seafood) salad that your family and friends will enjoy.
Providing you with vitamins and minerals, energizing you first thing in the morning and throughout the day, this quick, fresh and healthy raw soup is delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare.
Pat Olsen, nutrition advisor at Zebra Organics, shares her recipe so that you can try your hand at making it. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type contact Zebra Organics to arrange having Pat’s soup shipped to you with cold packs, and love. Pat cured herself of insulin dependent diabetes more than five decades ago and continues her energetic and youthful lifestyle, along with husband Dick, educating willing listeners on how to shift their health with simple diet and lifestyle adjustments. A gourmet cook, Pat is talented at creating tasty recipes that are also healthful.
Roughly chop ingredients and place in a Vitamix blender. Fill with water to the seven cup mark. Start Vitamix on 1, ease up to 5, then increase speed all the way, and blend for one minute. Serve and enjoy.
May this short clip inspire you to try this simple, delicious, nutritional recipe.
During The Healthy Living Event Series, guests joined us for a Healing Green Soup Workshop. They experienced how to make the soup under Pat’s instruction, learned why blending all these vegetables is so healthful, and sampled the finished product. Pat’s husband Dick works along side her making the soup.
Pat Olsen with her husband Dick
Packing the final ingredients into the Vitamix
The Healthy Living Event series is sponsored by Sky Island Organics and Zebra Organics and features lectures by doctors and wellness practitioners, cooking classes, demos, and film screenings at their joint facilities in Palm Springs, California.