The Lotus Manifesto

Nourish Yourself From the Inside Out

Category: Desserts

Uplifting Crangerine Smoothie

Cranberries and tangerine essential oil make this smoothie a winter-time favorite. Even when there are negative temps outside, this smoothie will make you warm and happy on the inside!

Cranberries and tangerine essential oil make this smoothie a winter-time favorite. Even when there are negative temps outside, this smoothie will make you warm and happy on the inside!

It’s been f-f-f-frreeeezing here lately. For mornings when I feel the need to perk up and be warm, I add tangerine essential oil to my smoothie. Tangerine essential oil is a natural digestive aid, blood purifier, and circulation enhancer. So if you’re feeling sluggish, add a drop to your breakfast. You’ll be amazed…and inspired to be amazing.

Ingredients: (For 2 Servings)

2 cups coconut water

1 cup frozen cranberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 drop doTerra tangerine essential oil

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens. Divide between two glasses. Serve and enjoy!

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bites

We had four desserts at our Thanksgiving meal, and these ‘lil beauties were the favorite. They’re perfectly sweet, and will leave you smiling.

I’m not really into this whole “Paleo” diet craze. However, I understand that it’s important to be able to offer all types of foods and desserts to the finicky, ahem, refined eaters in your life. This is by far one of the yummiest recipes I have discovered (modified from fitsugar.com) that can be tailored to just about anyone. Even my 14-year-old nephew picked this as best in show over the pecan and pumpkin pies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup coconut flour

1/2 Cup grade B maple syrup

1/2 Cup organic canned pumpkin

1/2 Cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted ghee)

1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 Tsp. sea salt

1/2 Tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 Tsp. organic cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. organic nutmeg

1/4 Tsp. ground cloves

1/4 Tsp. ground ginger (or minced fresh)

2/3 Cup organic dark chocolate chips

2/3 Cup organic chopped pecans

*Note: This recipe can be doubled if you are in the giving mood. Perfect for sharing with neighbors and other kind samaritans who deserve a tasty holiday treat!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing vigorously with a spoon to avoid clumps.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (Check them at 15 to make sure they’re browning evenly, top and bottom)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. *NOTE: NOT ALL CHOCOLATE IS CREATED EQUAL! The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content, and generally, the lower the sugar content. Buyer beware.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or “good” fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Banana Lime Spinach Smoothie

Cleanse, calm, and nourish your bod with this lean, green, smoothie.

Inspired by a recipe from joyfulbelly.com

How did your belly fare after this feastful (yes, that is a new word) holiday? Lighten the load on your digestive system with this smoothie. Bananas, coconut water, and cardamom are great to calm internal inflammation, while the lime and spinach lend to purification of the body. Tired of turkey but need the protein? Add a scoop of protein powder and stay sated for hours. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 Bananaa

1 Cup coconut water

1/4 Lime

Plus juice of 1/4-1/2 Lime

1/4 Tsp. Cardamom

*Optional: 1 Cup raw or steamed spinach

*Optional: 1 Scoop high-quality protein powder

Method:

Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend to smithereens.

Benefits:

Bananas: These nutritional powerhouses contain oodles of potassium and magnesium and are packed with vitamins B6 and C. They promote healthy bones and heart, and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.  See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

5-Minute Coco Pepita Balls

These coco pepita balls are the bomb. ‘Nuff said.

Hungry for dessert? Have 5 minutes? Perfect. Throw a few ingredients in a blender or mini-food processor, and voilá: a MUCH lower maintenance version of “Chocolate Salty Balls.” Eat your heart out, South Park Chef!

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup pepita sunflower butter (or any other non-runny nut/seed butter)

2 Dates

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Tbs. Organic raw cacao powder, plus one more Tbs. for dusting

*NOTE: This recipe makes about 9-ish 1″ servings, but can be doubled or tripled very easily.

Method:

Put all ingredients in a mini-food processor (or blender or regular sized food processor) and pulse a few times.

Then blend all ingredients for a few more seconds at a time until well blended. You might need to take a spoon and scrape the sides a few times to get all the ingredients sufficiently mixed.

Using clean hands, roll the mixture into 1/2″-1″ balls and place onto a serving plate or a sheet of wax paper.

Place remaining cocoa powder in a mesh strainer (or any other kitchen tool with a fine mesh weave) and dust the balls with chocolate. (This is the PG version, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Eat immediately, or place them in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

Health Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Homemade Almond Cashew Butter

Homemade nut butters go with anything, but my favorite way to partake is with a freshly sliced honeycrisp apple.

I just learned a dangerous new skill: making nut and seed butters. They are generally less expensive to make at home, and you can control the ingredients so you don’t eat any less-than-healthy hidden ingredients (like preservatives and sugar). But they are very delicious, so beware, or you might accidentally eat the whole container-ful in one sitting…NOT that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Serve this almond/cashew butter with apple slices, veggies, slathered on good bread, added to your favorite smoothie…get creative, the combinations are endless. Good fats abound, and these butters are also a good source of protein.

*Note: If you’re serving this with apple slices, try squeezing a little lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt to really make the flavors pop. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups organic roasted (not salted) almonds

1 1/2 Cups organic roasted (not salted) cashews

1 Tbs. organic canola oil

1 Tbs. honey

Pinch salt

Method:

Vitamix: Pour all nuts into blender. Drizzle with oil, honey, and sprinkle of salt. Turn on low, then turn up to high. Blend and stir using tamper until creamy (1-2 minutes). WARNING: Don’t process longer than 2 minutes or you risk burning out your motor.

Blender: WARNING: Not all blenders are created equal. Not recommended unless you have a muy strong blender or are ready to face the consequences if you’re nuts are tougher than your blender…No, that is not supposed to be a metaphor for anything.

Food Processor: Same as Vitamix instructions, but you will need to turn off food processor and scrape the sides with a spatula as the consistency goes from chopped to meal to a creamy buttery consistency. See here for a beautiful photo tutorial.

Health Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What’s more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or “good fat” found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the “feel good” amino acid”). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Happy Belly Tangerine Blueberry Smoothie

Introducing the “Happy Belly Tangerine and Blueberry Smoothie.” And of course my dog, Luna, stretching in the background. She knew there was a photo shoot afoot, and decided to steal the spotlight. Ham…

This week we have a plethora of greens in our farm share, so I decided to use them up via smoothie. In an effort to soothe my digestion (I’ve been misbehaving on the diet home front), I used some kefir (massive dose of probiotics!) as the base to promote healthy gut flora, with a splash of coconut water to calm any internal digestive inflammation. Top it off with an optional sprinkle of probiotic powder and two drops of tangerine essential oil, and voilá! You have a lightly sweet, tangy smoothie to soothe your digestion and keep you sated for hours to come.

On an interesting side note, there has been a recent uprising amongst the “green juice” and “green smoothie” community, wherein some folks claim that drinking such greens-laden beverages can be hazardous to your health. Their reasoning is that most greens are high in oxolates, which wouldn’t be a big deal except that in mass quantities (like every day forever) they can manifest into oxolate stones (think kidney stone…ow.). But when consumed in moderation (they are found in lots of foods including spinach, peanuts, peppercorns, etc.) are probably just fine…Not to mention that you are benefiting from the other nutrients found in said foods. So, jury is still out.

As always, do your own research. Don’t embrace a food fad until you know the basics. Probably anything (with the exception of crystal meth and elevator music) in moderation is just fine for your mind, body, and soul. Just don’t overdo it.

Happy smoothie-ing!

Ingredients:

1 Cup organic berry-flavored Kefir (or you can make your own, which I haven’t YET tried)

1 Splash coconut water

1 Large handful organic spinach

1/2 Cup organic blueberries

1-2 Drops doTerra Tangerine Essential Oil

*Optional: Can add a little sprinkle of additional probiotic powder, but ONLY if you have a good one. I like Jarrow-Dophilus.

*Note-if you don’t have kefir, add 1/2 cup yogurt, 1-2 pitted dates, and use 1 cup of coconut water instead.

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend to smithereens (1-2 minutes)

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Kefir: This fermented dairy beverage abounds with healthy probiotics to promote healthy gut flora, and is packed with protein, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and D, as well as folic acid. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, and iodine. Some say that it is also easier for many to digest than regular cow’s milk. It’s tasty too! But be forewarned, the flavor is not for all palates. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Tangerine Essential Oil: DoTerra’s Tangerine Essential oil is an extremely powerful blood purifying agent, digestive aid, anti-septic, and relaxant. It can help improve blood circulation, and reduces internal inflammation. The neurological benefits abound as well. See here for a full description and uses for this amazing oil, and click here if you’re interested in purchasing any doTerra essential oils.

 

Life’s a Peach

Peaches

Ah, the peach…The essence of summertime. Happy to have learned a way to preserve some for those freezing cold January nights!

Learning How to Savor and Preserve Life’s Sweet Moments

Autumn steadily approaches and summer’s delights are making room for the fall flavors. But who says we can’t preserve a few sweet treats for those long, cold nights? Matt, our local fruit stand guy, told me how to freeze whole peaches so we can taste their sweetness long after the frosts come. I froze a few bags full, and look forward to trying them come winter. But get them while you can! Once they’re gone, we won’t get another chance to enjoy the freshies ’til next summer. Enjoy!

Method:

1. Let whole, unblemished peaches ripen.

2. Rinse off fuzz and towel dry.

3. Place peaches in a plastic bag. (I used the vacuum seal variety, but you can use a regular zip-lock.)

4. When ready to use, remove the desired number of peaches from the bag, run cold water over frozen peach and slip off the skin.

5. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. (I don’t like microwaves much, so will see how allowing them to thaw naturally works…will keep you posted.)

6. Use peaches as desired: for cereal or yogurt toppings, pie or cobbler, or just as is.

7. Let me know how it goes!

Lots of little peaches, all snuggly in their airtight ziplock freezer bags.

 

One Swedish-made pe…ahem…peach pump. This handy gadget sucks the air out of the ziplock bag to ensure the peaches don’t get freezer burn…but it TOTALLY looks like something out of Austin Powers. 🙂

Impressive (and easy) Peaches and Cream

Peaches and Ice Cream with Balsamic Reduction

Peaches and Ice Cream with Balsamic Reduction. Thank you, Rachel from http://blog.foodierachel.com for the lovely photo!

This recipe is a mouthwatering delight, perfect for the warm weather. July is peach season here, and the juicy orbs are ripe for the pickin in these parts. Lots of ways to vary this recipe. You can even substitute the ice cream for yogurt and eat it for breakfast. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Ripe peaches, sliced

Ice Cream (I’d recommend vanilla or sweet cream—read the label and make sure you recognize all the ingredients, or just make your own.)

Aged balsamic vinegar

*Optional: sprigs of your favorite garden-fresh herbs such as rosemary, lavender, or mint

*Optional: sprinkle of sea salt

Method:

Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepan over medium heat and let the vinegar reduce to a nice thick syrup (about half the volume of the original).

Take it off the heat but don’t let it sit too long (or it will turn to balsamic tar).

Scoop ice cream into serving dishes

Adorn ice cream with peach slices

Drizzle or spoon balsamic reduction over peaches

If you’re too lazy to make balsamic reduction, then sprinkle ice cream and peaches with herbs and/or sea salt instead.

Variation: You can also grill the peaches for a delicious warm/cool dessert treat.

VERY IMPORTANT STEP: Hide the ice cream and the peaches so as not to polish off the supply!