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eat your vegetables
Gluten Free Falafel
As you can tell, I had food on the brain today! I woke up early and got to work making buttermilk pancakes and then ran a ton of errands…aka kids to their various activities! Then my eldest had a friend over who is vegetarian, so I had to start brain storming what would be a good snack to serve. We love foods from all over the world, and the more I can convert gluten free or are already gluten free, it just makes my life very happy! So for Andy, the gluten free falafel wheels started turning! They turned out super good, and will be a good addition to the lunch box menu! Hope you love them as much as we did!
Gluten Free Vegan Falafel
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (or sub cilantro)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp (17 g) raw sesame seeds (or sub finely chopped nuts, such as pecans)
1 1/2 tsp cumin, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pinch of cardamom
1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
3-4 Tbsp all purpose glute free flour
3-4 Tbsp cooking oil (I like coconut oil, but any high heat oil will work)
Place chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, cardamom, coriander, salt, pepper to food processor or blender and mix/pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed until thoroughly combined. You don’t want dough, the mixture should be crumbly.
Next add the gluten free flour 1 Tablespoon at a time and pulse to combine until no longer wet and you can mold the dough into a ball without it sticking to your hands.
Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate mixture for abut an 1 hour to let it firm up. Once chilled and firm, scoop out rounded tablespoons and then form them into 11-12 small discs.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the pan – about 2 tablespoons, swirling the pan to coat it in oil. Once the oil is hot, add only as many falafel as will fit very comfortably in the pan at a time – about 5. Adding too many falafel discs will cause the oil temperature to drop, resulting in soggy, oil soaked falafel discs! Nasty!
Cook the falafel for a total of about 4-5 minutes, flipping when the underside is deep golden brown. Repeat this until all of the falafel are browned. They will also firm up more once slightly cooled.
My favorite way to serve falafel is in a traditional way. Well, at least its traditional to me. The first time I had falafel was at a restaurant called Al Amir in downtown Portland, OR. I went there with my friend Brandy and fell in love with the falafel! So back to my serving technique…on top of hummus, drizzled in tahini, maybe throw some raw carrots or veggies of choice. A delicious memory I can re-create as I please!
Posted in Food | January 30 th , 2016 | 0 Comments
Phytonutrients and why they are so important
Your mom has always told you to eat your vegetables. Whether you listen or not, could be affecting your health. The reason why vegetables are so important to have in your diet is highlighted in a recent article by the Hippocrates Health Institute.
Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and fiber, but the tiny compounds that scientists are most interested in are the phytonutrients. These specific plant compositions allows a plant to protect itself from fungi, disease, and bugs. Research is showing that those phytonutrients help your body protect itself in similar ways, when included in your diet.
The Hippocrates Health Institute reports “Organic fruits and vegetables have far more phytonutrients than nonorganic plants. This is because nonorganic plants become dependent upon the artificial, chemically-synthesized pesticides and fungicides farmers spray on them to help them grow. Consequently, the plants stop producing many of the antibodies needed to naturally deal with these challenges. Phytonutrients are also very sensitive to heat and are destroyed by the cooking process. Therefore fresh, ripe, raw, organic, and whole fruits, vegetables, and sprouts are the best source of these powerful defenders for your immune system.” There are 5 key benefits the body is rewarded with when consuming fresh, organic, raw vegetables:
Antioxidant: Phytonutrients work to rid our bodies of damaging free radicals. If left to roam in the body, free radicals can cause damage to cells, proteins, and even your DNA.
Antibiotic: Phytonutrients are known to boost your immune system to help prevent bacterial infections.
Cancer preventative: Some of the phytonutrients studied, specifically in broccoli and tomatoes, are thought to have cancer preventing properties.
Anti-inflammatory: Many are known to have properties to reduce inflammation within the body.
Immune support: Phytonutrients have qualities to support your immune function. This is done in partnership when inflammation in the body is reduced, encouraging tissue support and protection.
According to The Hippocrates Health Institute, scientists have identified more than 25,000 phytonutrients in plant foods. Many phytonutrients give plants their distinctive colors such as the green, orange, and red in spinach, carrots, and bell peppers. Here are just a few:
Chlorophyll – wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and in all leafy greens. Good for healthy blood, brain, all bodily tissues, detox, lowers blood pressure, glowing skin.
Beta-carotene – carrots, yams and green leafy vegetables. Good for Healthy eyes, skin, hair, bones, teeth and sex.
Lycopene – tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruits and apricots. Good for boosting the immune system and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, lung, stomach, intestines, prostate, cervical and colon.
Selenium – brazil nuts and walnuts. Boosting the immune system especially for people dealing with colds, flus, AIDS/ HIV, and tuberculosis. Excellent for the thyroid and it is anti-aging!
Diindolylmethane – broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and collard greens. Strengthens the immune system.
Allyl Sulfides – garlic, onions, and shallots. Strengthens the immune system, good for allergies, colds, and flu.
Curcuminoids – Turmeric. This phytonutrient has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, pro-digestive, and anti-infectious activities.
Listen to your mother, and eat those vegetables!
Posted in Health & Wellness | April 24 th , 2015 | 0 Comments