Big Friendly Green Giant Juice

 

 

 

Seems we skipped a beat with spring here in Daegu—with temperatures already in the mid-to-high twenties, it’s practically summer and I’m not complaining. The closet’s been spring-cleaned, the body’s getting all it’s winter waste out, and I’m getting in all the greens I can. And with a little encouragement, I’m kicking coffee and sugar for the near future. Out with the gunk, in with the greens. I like it.

Usually I add half an apple or some orange segments to my juice so I’m not choking down full-frontal army-assault-green swill first thing in the morning, but I’m not having fruit for a little while. Problem solving mode: Engage. Carrots and beets are some sweeter vegetables, both ideal for juicing, but unfortunately the latter is a bit tough to track down in Korea—so no Beety Bliss juice for me here. A carrot, on the other hand, does the job quite nicely! Enough natural sugar to make the juice palatable without making it feel like you’re drinking Kool-Aid for breakfast.

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I love parsley in my green juices for its cleansing, purifying effect. It’s more than just a garnish, it’s actually an antioxidant and great source of vitamins—plus it kinda just smells like spring. Lemon is another excellent cleanser and detoxifier, helping to stimulate the digestive system and kick the bowels into gear. I’ve added ginger here for helping with digestion and its anti-inflammatory effects, but if you’re down with some garlic in your juices, go for it! It’s anti-fungal and great for your immune system. For more of my juicing tips, including thoughts on organics vs. conventional produce, when to juice, what order to put your veggies through the chute, and how to get your mix right, check out my post here.

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If you’re wanting to avoid sugars, this juice is blood-balancing, detoxifying, and sure to keep sugar cravings calm. It’s not bitter, not overly sweet, but pleasant, fresh, clean. If you really need something a little more saccharin, you can always add one or two drops of stevia, but be careful! Add them one at a time—even a few can make your juice taste artificial.

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Big Friendly Green Giant Juice (sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Try to buy everything organic, especially for juices: A glass of pesticides isn’t too appealing, is it?

1 or 2 sprigs of parsley

handful dark leafy greens (spinach, a stalk of kale, or swiss chard are great—I think I used bok choy here?)

1/2 lemon, peeled

thumbnail-sized knob of ginger

1 cucumber

3-4 stalks of celery

1 medium-sized carrot (I used 1/2 a large)

Directions:

Juice all ingredients in the order listed. If you have a centrifugal juicer, drink within fifteen minutes so that your greens don’t oxidize and lose nutrient value. If you have a masticating juicer, you’re okay for a day or two. Drink your juice slowly, and try to “chew” if you can—it may sound and even look funny, but it helps get your digestive juices going, signalling your body that it’s got some incredibly nutrients coming its way and it might as well prepare itself for full absorption!

You can use your leftover juice pulp to make an omelette, separate out the carrot pulp to make raw cupcakes (!), or make veggie pulp crackers. Feel like a superhero, and enjoy the rest of you day. ❤

 

How Your Can Have Your Quinoa and Eat it Too (and not ruin any Bolivians’ lives)

 

 

 

How timely of me, to finally come back with an article using Quinoa.

Especially after this whole fiasco—a poorly disguised, fact-lacking attack on vegetarians and vegans who are, the author says, more or less just infatuated with quinoa’s cute little spirals and low-fat attributes. (Not to mention goes on to say vegans’ demands for soy products are basically ruining the universe, when in actuality the majority of soy produced around the world—97 per cent, according to the UN—is grown for animal feed).

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A Bolivian woman on the La Paz local bus from my 2010 South American trip. Perhaps she’s snacking on puffed quinoa?

While it is true, as the article points out, that the west’s increasing demand for Bolivian quinoa has made the pseudo-grain more expensive across the globe, including for those who farm the crop in its native Andes, the rising demand and subsequent increased production has been a very direct and concerted effort by the Morales government in order to boost their economy and avoid purchasing GMO seeds like Monsanto’s. Their plan of action calls for providing small-scale farmers with non-gmo seeds, saving heirloom seeds, and reducing fossil fuel consumption. This is also the country who, just last month, ousted McDonald’s, and gives a sh!t or two about Pacha Mama, a.k.a. Mama Earth. Hmm.. Maybe we could take a lesson.

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Witches’ Market in La Paz

All that said, I don’t want to imply that everything’s hunky-dory in Bolivia. While it is a beautiful country, with incredible scenery and unique topography, it’s also home to South America’s poorest and a decline in quinoa consumption for Bolivians is not ideal since it is such a nutritious staple in their traditional diets. However, the country as a whole could boost their economy significantly more and benefit more diversely from pushing quinoa as an export, perhaps even enough to make the country a better place to live.

So, omnivores, vegetarians, vegans—people, really, you can all have your quinoa and eat it too. This week, here’s how I recommend doing it.

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These pancakes are excellent—protein-packed and served with a slight nuttiness from the quinoa, they beg for some maple syrup. Pure, perfect comfort food, made better. My mom made them on Christmas Day and I’ve had a hankering since. This recreation does not disappoint!

Quinoa Pancakes (dairy-free, sugar-free)

Inspired by True Food Kitchen, adapted from this recipe

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Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour (sure you could sub gluten-free, I don’t have my fully-stocked kitchen in Korea so I made do!)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup non-dairy milk (soy really helps to thicken them up)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs (veganize by replacing with a flax egg)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 tbsp coconut oil

whipped coconut cream, slivered almonds, and maple syrup or honey (if desired for topping)

Directions:

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, milk, vanilla, and eggs until everything is combined and there are no clumps. Add in the quinoa, making sure it isn’t clumping in balls.

Heat the coconut oil on a griddle on medium-high and ladle the batter onto the pan, flipping when bubbles form. Serve topped with coconut butter, coconut cream, nuts, fruits, syrup and feel nourished!

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(if my cakes look a little less fluffy, it’s because I didn’t have baking powder! hopefully yours will have a little more perk ^^)

 

Sunflower Seed Cheez Whiz

I like to call this recipe Cheez Whiz, ’cause it’s like, “Gee Whiz! That was easy!” Thankfully, my cheesy spread has got a much better texture. And won’t kill you softly (and miserably).

Below is the full list of ingredients in Kraft’s Cheez Whiz. Bonus points if you can pronounce all of them. (And don’t even ask about Cheez Whiz “Light.” The only thing it’ll lighten up is the number of times you’ll get to blow out your birthday candles.)

WHEY, CANOLA OIL, MILK, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MALTODEXTRIN , SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM ALGINATE, MUSTARD FLOUR, WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE (VINEGAR, MOLASSES, CORN SYRUP, WATER, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, GARLIC POWDER, SUGAR, SPICES, TAMARIND, NATURAL FLAVOR), SORBIC ACID AS A PRESERVATIVE, MILKFAT, CHEESE CULTURE, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), NATURAL FLAVOR, ENZYMES.

Doesn’t that just scream “yum!” to you? Denatured, highly processed milk ingredients? I’m sure my childhood obsession with Cheez Whiz slothered on white bagels has nothing to do with this little lactose sensitivity I’ve developed over the years… nothing at all.

So for my own epicly awesome and healthlicious cheesy flavoured spread, I looked to my little friend nutritional yeast (a.k.a. “nooch”). Nutritional yeast is a super, super food lending a cheese-like flavour and texture where it would otherwise be amiss in vegan dishes. It’s chock-full of the B vitamins often elusive to those who follow a plant-based lifestyle, and is a complete protein, meaning that it provides all of the essential amino acids required by your body for proper functioning. I like nutritional yeast on popcorn, as a salad topper, pulsed in a food processor with equal parts pine nuts to create a vegan parmesan, or as below, to give my favorite seed-based spread a new lease on flavour. No unwanted, lactose-induced side effects (read: gas) included.

Sunflower Seed Cheez Whiz (raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

Ingredients:

2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked at least 2 hrs, drained, and rinsed (why soak? read up here)

1/2- to 3/4 cup nutritional yeast (depending on how dangerously cheesy you’d like it to be)

3 tbsp tamari (in a pinch you can use soy sauce – just note it contains gluten)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp miso paste (I used red brown rice 5 year aged miso)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tsp sea salt

extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), as needed for desired texture

Directions:

Process all ingredients together until no visible chunks or clumps remain. If you want a smoother texture you can run some EVOO through the mouth of the food processor as it is running. Spread on pizza or crackers, as a paste in nori rolls or to amp up some wraps, or ad by the spoonful to give a salad staying power. Keeps about 5 days in the fridge.