Saturday, June 14, 2014

Betterfingers Recipe

I originally made these from Chocolate Covered Katie's recipe. I tweaked it when I made them and kind of ate them all. Ok most of them. They were for the boys' homemade, crap-free Easter baskets. These were my favorite of all the things I made.

  • 1/4 cup pure grade b maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp organic molasses (regular, or blackstrap for bars high in iron)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp evaporated cane juice or maple syrup
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter, crunchy or creamy (Almond or cashew butter will work; but the flavor just won’t be as close to that of the popular candy bar we are "recreating" here.)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic gluten free flake cereal
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • optional topping: Enjoy Life chocolate chips 
1) Combine first three ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil on medium heat. 
2) Boil about a minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. 
3) Add the peanut butter and salt, and stir until it makes a paste. 
4) Add the cereal and stir very well to coat, partially crushing the cereal flakes as you stir. 
5) Make sure the flakes are very evenly coated. 
6) Press into an 8×8 pan—either lined with wax or parchment paper, or greased very well—and freeze until completely hardened. (Cut into bars while only somewhat frozen, or thaw the block a little before cutting.) 
7) If you wish to cover in chocolate you can cover them at any time—either pre-cutting or post-cutting. 
Simply melt the chocolate chips over low heat. Sometimes I add in about a 1/4c of cocoa butter because yum.
8) Then spread over the bars, refreeze.
9) Store in the freezer for optimum “snap.” 

Makes 12-16 “betterfinger” bars.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Powerful Parsley

It's ironic that the sprig of parsley used to decorate so many plates at restaurants is often the most nutritious thing on the plate...and it's usually tossed aside and left behind. Do they even decorate with those anymore? Am I dating myself? We don't eat out much anymore so I'm not sure!
Parsley comes in the curly leaf and flat leaf variety. It's is one of, if not the best, carotenoids that nature provides. It also contains phytonutrients and flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, apiole, rutin and apigenin, which are know for their anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory capabilities.
It is also rich in chlorophyll, a phenomenal compound that happens to have a striking similar molecular structure to human blood (hemoglobin), which it helps build. This often under appreciated herb is also high in vitamin A, B, C, and K, folate and iron. It also has high beneficial levels of those minerals that today's processed food is just about always lacking, like calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vanadium, and zinc.
This little wonder leaf has a whole list of health benefits. Here are just a few:
  • When consumed regularly the vitamin C in parsley helps prevent hardening of the arteries/atherosclerosis. It also helps protect against common inflammatory problems like RA and osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster and parsley contains more of that than even oranges.
  • Parsley is a great detoxifier and it happens to help with bad breath which can be an indication of a toxic colon. It has a diuretic effect which helps prevent kidney stones and urinary tract problems plus helps remove the toxins from the body through urination.
  • This herb can particularly help with the female monthly cycle. Snacking on parsley the days before menstruation can help increase urination and eliminating excess fluid that cause bloat or water retention.
  • The high concentration of anti-oxidants in parsley helps neutralize carcinogens by reducing free-radicals and free-radical damage.
  • Folate in parsley is an excellent nutrient for cardiovascular health. It acts by helping protect blood vessels and reducing the risks of heart attack, via conversion of potentially dangerous homocysteine into harmless molecules. 
There's SO much more!

Here's a few tips for consuming this herb.
  • When cooking pasta, flavor the water with chopped parsley. The phytonutrients released into the boiling water get absorbed into your pasta just like the sea salt you add.
  • Taking parsley in juice form (along with other juices) will give you the most nutritious bang for your buck.
  • When garlic and parsley are eaten together they provide a synergistic boost to the immune system, aid digestion, and function as a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. Garlic and parsley pair well together so get creative with your cooking!
For an easy peasy way to grow your own pesticide free, non-GMO parsley to use at your leisure, check out these super attractive parsley "grow boxes" from Gardenuity!
We like to eat parsley in our salad, or in a salad dressing made with a little lemon, tahini, sea salt and garlic!
Parsley juice is extremely potent so it shouldn't be taken by itself, and usually no more than 1 oz every day. When you are making your wonderfully tasty green juices, add the parsley in instead of having a shot alone. If you have never done a detox then you will want to take extra caution when drinking this juice. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking this very potent juice.
Parsley may be high in oxalic acid, so it should not be consumed by individuals who have kidney stones. Avoid mixing with it other high calcium food, because when oxalic acid is combined with calcium it becomes inorganic.