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My Blog Has Moved!

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My Blog Has Moved!

I’m not done blogging, but am doing so now from my new website, ArianeCooks.com.  You’ll find all the blogs I’ve already posted here, plus new video blogs I’ve begun making recently.  Also, there is lots of background on me as well as info about the chef services I offer.

I’ve already added two how-to video blogs: one on how to make homemade beet dye that will turn food INCREDIBLE colors naturally, and one on how you can superfood up smoothies in a tasty way.  Thanks for having followed BaringFruit, and I look forward to hearing from you at the ArianeCooks blog!

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Amazingly Delicious Toffee Superfood Raw Protein Shake From Heaven

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Oh. my. yumminess.  Yesterday was typical 75 degree in late February L.A. gorgeousness, and I was totally craving ice cream.  Unwilling to actually EAT ice cream on a random Friday afternoon, which I save for special occasions usually involving another person, I made an amazingly delicious toffee superfood raw protein shake from heaven.

The shake was based on a candy I’ve been making recently, which is only called “candy” because it looks and tastes like it, not because it’s full of candy-like ingredients.  Contrarily, the candy is loaded with superfoods like chia, hemp, gojis, raw protein powder, and coconut oil.  The recipe for it is here: the Tastiest Healthy Treat I’ve Ever Made and the shake I made contained both it, and larger amounts of a few of its ingredients, plus of course liquid.  This candy, for the record, is beyond worth the half hour it will take you to throw ingredients into a bowl, and I would like to say it is the most addictive food I have created, but my Rawk-n-Roll Cuisine Notchos have enough kale chip eaters around America hooked that I don’t want to jinx anything with such a claim.  That said, I’ve eaten three batches in three weeks, and am showing no signs of slowing down yet.

Recipe For an Amazingly Delicious Toffee Superfood Raw Protein Shake From Heaven:
a 2-inch square of the Tastiest Healthy Treat I’ve Ever Made, broken by hand into little pieces
2 scoops/one serving of your favorite vanilla protein powder
2/3 cup nut or other milk of your choice
little pinch Himalayan salt
3/4 dropper of toffee stevia (I am presently having a torrid affair with toffee flavored stevia. It is completely worth eating “natural flavors” for, as it makes healthy things taste ridiculously junk foodish.)
1 tbls raw almond butter or nut butter you prefer

Blend until moderately smooth– I liked that it still had little bits of chocolate etc. from the candy, so I didn’t blend till 100% smooth/creamy. The amount of milk is small, and I didn’t add any ice, so the photo shown in an eight ounce mason jar is of the full smoothie minus a couple sips. I was looking for a compact ice cream type shake moreso than a big “meal replacement” sized drink, though this did work very successfully as my delectable lunch.  It was sweet, rich, and tasted incredibly similar to what I imagine a junk food candy milkshake would be like, though I can’t confirm that because I’ve been a food snot for so long that I’ve never had one of those.  I garnished my shake with a couple little extra “candy” pieces on top, and voila:

Perfect for an ice cream craving, satisfying enough for a meal, full of protein and a moderate amount of good fats and carbs.  Health-food life doesn’t get better than this!

Sprouted SuperPowder Trail Mix

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Nuts are one of my caloric staples, and I’m a snacker/grazer by nature, so trail mix and I are an obvious match.  In the last few months I’ve begun playing around with adding different flavors to mixes, and the one I made recently is my favorite so far. It’s low in sugar because there is very little fruit, and even though it has a sweetness from the fruit powders, they contain almost no sugars themselves. This mixture is a flavor overload of sweet, salty, sour and spicy!

There is no real “recipe,” just guidelines.  As always, all ingredients should be organic if possible.

1 cup each, all raw:
almonds
brazil nuts
pumpkin seeds
walnuts
You could also use cashews, jungle peanuts, and/or any other nuts. They can be used as is, but I sprout and dry them for the health benefits. To do that, soak them in a bowl of filtered or spring water for several hours. Rinse and drain, and either put in a sprouting system or leave in the bowl with a towel or plate over it. Rinse and drain every eight hours until you see tails sprouting; this usually takes 24 hours or less. Place on dehydrator trays, and dry at 105 degrees for about 24 hours. You can skip all that and make this right away, or you can have time consuming but very healthy sprouted nuts- your choice.

To the dried nut mix, add 1 cup goji berries, and combine.

Flavor mixture:
2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp cayenne (reduce if you don’t like things HOT)
2 tbls camu camu powder
2 tbls lucuma powder
1/2 tsp stevia

You can mix these together beforehand, but I just add them directly to the nut and goji mix and stir thoroughly. Taste can be adjusted according to how sweet, salty, etc. you prefer it. The camu adds a distinct sour bite, since it is chock full of vitamin c, and the lucuma lends a lightly sweet, maple-y quality. Both of these products are available in the bulk section of a good health food store, or in 8 oz packages in the raw section of one. Conversely, you can easily find them online. My favorite brands are Essential Living Foods for lucuma, and Navitas Naturals for camu camu. I get my nuts either from the farmers market or ELF, my pumpkin seeds from the bulk bins, and my gojis from Dragon Herbs via iHerb. Dragon Herbs’ gojis are much softer than the standard ones you find.

I love how the superfood powder mix makes these simple nuts and seeds absolutely burst with flavor. If you’ve been getting bored with trail mix, this is the perfect way to reintroduce yourself and liven it back up.

Greenwashed Green Powder

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Everyone loves samples (or should, because they are free and fun), and when we visit my mom she always gives us a slew of them from a local store that includes a baggie-full with every special vitamin order.  We came home this past trip with scads of samples, and as always I was excited to leaf through the little packets and discover new healthy goodness.

When I came across a green powder, I was skeptical; green powders tend to taste like poop.  But I am always looking for a good tasting one, so I inspected it more closely, and it was awash in no-no’s.  First, the brand name is “Food Science of Vermont.” “Science” is not generally something I want in my food, and using the state of Vermont to conjure images of nature does not do enough to negate the fact that you’ve put the word “science” in your brand of food.  Next, I noticed that nowhere did it say the ingredients were organic, which is a definite must when dealing with concentrates.  Who the hell wants to eat powdered pesticides?  Apparently Food Scientists think you and I do, but on my end at least, they are wrong.  Then, listed in the “other” ingredients was “natural apple flavor.” Natural flavors are not actually natural, since they are made in labs.  Well, at least the “science” has come into play now.  Lastly, and worst, the first damn ingredient of these “Superior Greens” is SOY LECITHIN.  Not only does the lack of specification that it’s non-GMO mean that it is GMO, since most soy grown in America is, it’s not food, it’s not green, and it surely isn’t superior to much of anything.  Soy lecithin is used commercially as an emulsifier, not a food/ingredient for nutritive value- yet here it is as the #1 component.   That’s when I decided I would not be trying this product out after all, as besides my aversions to FrankenFood I am suffering from severe hormonal imbalance at the moment and the last thing I need is to throw a bunch of estrogen into the mix, which is one of soy’s many evils.

I did go ahead and taste this supposedly-superior not-really-green greens by dipping my finger into the packet, and it tasted like what I imagine Apple Jacks are like.  I think I ate Apple Jacks once, in 3rd grade, at my best friend Jami’s house (they were her favorite cereal), and I was so used to health-food cereals that I didn’t care much for them, even though she had done a lot of leading up to the situation with talk about how pink they turn your milk.  So yes, to the average consumer these might taste ok, though certainly not “delicious” as the package claims, unless you have a propensity for fake apple flavor.

Food Science of Vermont, I declare you guilty of putting out GMO crap under the guise of health food.  I am reminded once again: if you want greens, you’re best served simply EATING them in fresh, natural form.

This is the standard packaging for this offensive product. It is also available as a box of individual packets, one of which was the sample I received.

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