In an effort to help my twin sister who has to assemble four lunches for her children every school day, I came up with three of the most nutritious options for trail mixes I could think of, taking into consideration each of their preferences. Two of the girls love fruit, so I mixed nuts, fruit and the chocolate chips for them.  Her only boy likes straight forward and simple.   So, for him, I did almonds, peanuts and chocolate chips.  Girl number three wanted everything but the fruit. Easy!  I will do anything for these kiddos….I call them the fantastic four and I am the very proud founder of their official fan club!

I started this little experiment with raw nuts from the bulk section of Whole Foods.  I also picked up some dried papaya, pineapple, wild blueberries and cranberries.  Oh, and dark chocolate chips!   All of the nuts went onto two large pans and into the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the nuts toasted, I sliced the papaya and pineapple into little pieces and set them aside.  Then, after the nuts were toasted and cooled I started assembly. Tons of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants without all of the added and probably rancid oils present in most packaged trail mixes and packaged nuts!   Read more

1 C       raw cashews, soaked for 1.5 hours and rinsed

2          dates, pits removed

2 C       filtered water

1 t        vanilla extract

2/3 C    ice

Pour the soaked and rinsed cashews into your blender, followed by 1 1/2 C filtered water, dates and vanilla.  Blend for one minute.  Add the additional  1/2 C water and the ice.  Blend for another minute.  Drape a clean cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the cashew milk in the center of the cheesecloth.  Gather up the ends and squeeze the liquid out.  Pour the strained milk into a glass container and enjoy!!!!!  So yum!!!!

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This is an amazing alternative to oatmeal.  And, it is gluten-free and crazy delicious!   It’s a little bit of a process, but I promise it is really easy!

1/2 C     sprouted quinoa
1/2 C     amaranth
1/2 C     buckwheat groats
1  1 1/2  inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 t       cinnamon
1/2 t       freshly grated nutmeg
1    T      fresh lemon juice
2    T      ghee
1/4  t      sea salt
3    C      cashew milk or milk of your choice
fresh berries and grade B maple syrup to serve

The night before, grind the buckwheat groats and quinoa in a spice grinder.  Transfer the buckwheat flour to a mixing bowl and stir in the amaranth.  Cover with three cups of water and the lemon juice.  If your quinoa is not sprouted, add it in and increase the water to four cups.  Cover and let stand for 10-12 hours.  

Melt the ghee in a heavy bottomed pot and add the grated ginger.  Allow it to warm on medium-low heat until fragrant.  Rinse and drain the soaked ingredients.  Once the ginger has cooked for three to four minutes, add in the buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, as well as the cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and cashew milk.  Gently simmer and stir for about twelve minutes or until desired consistency.  Garnish with a drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkled with berries.  So yum!

sesame ginger vinaigrette

1     1″ piece of fresh ginger root, grated fine
2     T  shoyu
2     T   brown rice vinegar
1/4  C   sesame oil (not toasted)
pinch of black or white sesame seeds

put all of your ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, give a few shakes and presto!  A tangy treat!

This is one of everyone’s absolute favorites!  I almost always have some around to toss in salads, snack on or have for a meal.

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2  shallots, sliced thin, tossed with olive oil and roasted for 15-20 minutes.

Wash and trim cauliflower.  Rinse and pat dry.  In a mixing bowl, combine
 the cauliflower florets with the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to coat the
 cauliflower thoroughly with the olive oil.  Turn the contents of the bowl
onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes in a 450 degree
 oven.  Remove cauliflower from the oven and turn over each piece so that
 the other side can get carmelized too.  Put the cauliflower back in the oven for
 5-8 minutes.  Serve with quinoa and sprinkle roasted shallots on top for an incredibly satisfying plant-based meal.