Learn How-to Make Cold Brew Coffee with this surprisingly simple process. It takes just three simple steps to the best cold brew you’ll ever have. No super special equipment needed, it’s much more affordable than your local coffee shops and you can customize the strength of your brew to your liking.
It has happened slowly over the last year or so, as my body and my health has continued to shift and improve, but I have developed a pretty solid morning habit that involves a quality cup of organic coffee shortly after I rise. I have come to find that this morning routine serves many purposes for me, personally, but most importantly, I find it’s a really beautiful morning ritual, something that I greatly enjoy and always allow myself the space to honor and totally embrace, no matter where in the world I am.
Often I am asked “is coffee good for you?” As you can probably imagine, my answer to this question is quite similar to how I respond to many other food and health related questions and that is – “it depends”.
Since I have begun seeing clients as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I am so grateful for my longstanding experiences with and my love for food. I am constantly asked the question “If I shouldn’t eat this, then what can I have, instead?”. I love having answers to this question.
I firmly believe that changing diet and lifestyle has to come from a place of both education and confidence. If I meet with a new client and tell them to stop drinking several Cokes daily, but don’t explain why, I can’t really expect them to want to make this change. Why would they? They are both chemically and emotionally attached and possibly even addicted. If I can take the time to explain the effects that the high levels of sugar are doing to their insulin resistance, if I can talk through the reasons why high fructose corn syrup is terrifying and explain the affects this one drink can have on their blood sugar, digestion, mineral absorption and so on, I have a much better chance of getting them on board for the long haul.
Ghee is a kitchen staple around here. For the longest time I was buying it, and I still do in a pinch, but as I discovered the cost efficiency and simplicity of making it at home, I have made this part of my DIY repertoire.
For those unfamiliar, ghee is a clarified butter, of sorts, that has been cooked down for some time, removing any moisture, milk solids and impurities. What remains is a pure and delicious butter oil, that has turned a beautiful golden color, it’s taste and flavor are slightly sweet and nutty. Ghee brings an aroma, taste and flavor a lot like butter, but even better. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is ghee’s lengthier cooking process, to remove all the moisture and the milk solids are browned in the fat and then strained out, bringing the slightly nutty taste. Ghee has a longer shelf life, due to all the moisture being removed.
Ghee is a wonderful option for those who are lactose or casein intolerant and want to enjoy the taste of butter. Ghee is also clearly a much better option than those scary hydrogenated oil-filled margarines and other highly processed vegan spreads. It does not burn, unless heated excessively, so it’s a wonderful option for stir fries, sautéing, frying, roasting, sauces, ettc. It’s also delicious as a spread, on toast, pancakes, scones, over rice and more. It can also be used on the body, as an oil for massage, as a base for healing herbal treatments, for burns, skin rashes, etc.
In India, ghee is a sacred and celebrated symbol of nourishment and healing, especially in daily rituals. It is also used in every day cooking. Ayurvedic physicians celebrate this liquid gold as being important to health and well-being, balance and vitality. If you don’t wish to make your own, ghee is usually found in the ethnic section of any big grocery store, in most Indian/South Asian stores or online.
Always make ghee with high-quality grass-fed organic butter. Cheap butter contains a lot of water and chemicals and it tends to burn faster. Due to the reduction and straining process, always start with 25% more butter than the amount of clarified butter desired. 1 pound of butter = approximately 1 1/2 cups ghee.
The Benefits of Choosing Ghee:
Rich Butter Taste without the Lactose or Casein. Made from butter ghee has the buttery flavor, but the milk solids have been removed, so if you are lactose or casein free, enjoy without issue.
Ghee has a high smoke point. 485ºF. You can cook and fry with ghee and it will not burn nor will it break down into free radicals, like so many other cooking oils can.
Ghee doesn’t spoil easily. Without the presence of milk fat and water, this makes ghee shelf stable. If you desire, it can be stored at room temperature rather then refrigeration. Ghee will last a couple months in an air-tight container at room temperature. If you aren’t sure if any moisture or milk solids remain, you can certainly play it safe and store in the fridge, to maximize it’s shelf life. That’s generally what I do.
Ghee is rich in fat soluable vitamins A D and E. If you have gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s or certain pancreatic disorders, you may have a problem absorbing vitamin A. By using ghee for cooking, and as a replacement for butter, you can increase your intake. Vitamin D can be made in the body, after exposure to sunlight, but obviously in the colder winter months is can be challenging for us to make enough. Ghee benefits the body by improving moisture and contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant whose role is to repair damaged skin, balance hormones, improve vision and help to balance cholesterol. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed with fat and stored in the gastrointestinal tract — and they are essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism and various biochemical functions in the body. (1)
Ghee is also rich is K2 and Conjugated Linoleum Acid. Studies show K2 is better for building bones than calcium and proper levels of K2 can help fight tooth decay, bone loss and aid in the fight against the calcification of arteries. CJA is antioxidant with anti-viral properties, when sourced from grass-fed cows. Studies indicate that it may help to reduce tumors, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and actually lower body fat.(2)
Like coconut oil, ghee is rich is medium chain fatty acids, which are quickly absorbed directly to the liver and used as energy. This quick burn can actually lead to weight loss.
Ghee and butter are rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid great for protection against fungal infections and aids in colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (3)
Ghee Reduces Inflammation. Ghee’s levels of butyrate play a role in reducing inflammation in the digestive tract and throughout the body. In Ayurvedic practice, ghee benefits the body by creating a more alkaline system that overall reduces inflammation by reducing the leukotriene secretion and reducing prostaglandin in the body(4)
This is a super easy tutorial this week you guys, literally One Step. One ingredient.
How-to Make Coconut Butter.
What is Coconut Butter?
Coconut butter is basically just ground up coconut meat that has been processed until it is smooth and creamy. The same idea as nuts being used to make nut butter. Though it isn’t quite as creamy as a store bought creamy peanut butter and the texture can vary.
What is the Difference Between Coconut Butter and Coconut Oil or Coconut Cream?
Coconut butter includes the meat of the coconut and coconut oil does not. Coconut oil is used more as typical oil is, when cooking or baking, where coconut butter is more of a spread or dip, it could also be used in baking as nut butters would be.
Additionally, coconut butter is different from coconut cream which contains water. Coconut cream involves cooking down as much as 4 parts coconut to 1 part water, then straining out the coconut. Coconut cream is also what is found at the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. Coconut cream contains less water then coconut milk but coconut butter contains no water at all and there is no straining involved, the meat is left in.
How-to Make Coconut Butter:
Start with a quality brand of unsweetened organic shredded dehydrated coconut. Unsweetened coconut flakes will also work. Not fresh, not low fat, not sweetened, not toasted. Just regular ‘ol unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut. Use somewhere between 2 cups and 4 cups of shredded coconut, depending on the size of your food processor or high speed processor blender. 4 cups of shredded coconut will make about 1 cup of coconut butter. I find in my 14-cup food processor, that using 3 or 4 cups of coconut works much better than just 2 cups.
I have a dirty little secret that I have been keeping from you guys. I am not proud of it. But… I have a love for french fries that cannot be tamed. There, it is finally out and in the open.
I know, I know – I eat so healthy, I carry on about how important it is to eat your greens, blah blah. I don’t care, we all have our vices and I love fries!! No one can ever take that away from me. Everything in moderation, right?
That said, having a gluten intolerance means that many times eating fries at a restaurant is out of the question, whether because the fries are coated in some sort of flour starch or because they are cooked in a shared frier, doused in denatured, hydrogenated vegetable oils. Regardless of the gluten intolerance, I also prefer to not eat foods that have been cooked in poisonous oils that also cooked battered or breaded foods. Most fries are. It sucks.
Besides that fact, we all know what makes the fries so darn tasty and addicting, it’s the fact that they take a nice long, deep swim in a huge vat of oil. Fat makes us happy. But it’s important that we are eating the right fats and oils.
OK, so the honest truth is that I generally try to keep this addiction in check, I don’t eat fries nearly as often as I would like to. But, if you have been reading this blog for sometime, you know that I truly believe in moderation. With the exception of the foods that are just not good even in moderation, the make me physically ill or that I know are really, really bad for me – I do like to indulge on occasion and eat those certain special foods that are reserved for very special rare occasions. I think this is important part of allowing myself to eat this way. Read the rest of this entry »