Friday, 30 March 2012

10 things you'll always find in my kitchen

Although I hold many foods near and dear to my heart, these ten take the cake. Here's why I love 'em and how I use 'em in everyday life.

1. Sprouts

Why I love it: I am obsessed with sprouting! I just went on a raw food detox, and since then I've really experimented with it. These guys on the left are mung beans, one of the quickest and easiest things to sprout. Basically, sprouts are living foods that are full of enzymes to help you with digestion. If you want to watch a great video to help you start off, I suggest checking this out:

How I use it: Salad toppers, in smoothies, or thrown on cooked dishes. (Eating them by the spoonful never hurts, either.)

2. Nutritional yeast

Why I love it: As any vegan surely knows, this baby is full of cheese-like flavour that adds a protein kick without calories.

How I use it: On popcorn, on steamed veggies, or in dips/sauces.

3. Spirulina

Why I love it: OK, this algae may smell funky, but it is one of the healthiest things you can put into your body. It's over 50 percent instantly absorbable protein, perfect for athletes.

How I use it: In smoothies (masked with sweetness from fruit is best) or in salad dressing.

4. Lemons

Why I love it: They're versatile, cleansing and really help to take bitterness out of some green juices. I always have some cut up slices ready to go in the fridge.

How I use it: In my juicing, in baking, in tea, thrown into a glass of water or on steamed veggies.

5. Cacao nibs

Why I love it: Yum, yum, yum. Who doesn't love chocolate? Cacao nibs are raw and not sweet like chocolate, but I actually love their bitter taste. Raw cacao is a great iron source for vegans and is full of antioxidants, as well as countless other nutritional benefits.

How I use it: In smoothies/shakes, or in baking. I even grind some up coarsely with my coffee beans for java made in my French Press.

6. Coconut oil

Why I love it: Many oils are carcinogenic (cancer-causing!) used at high heat, but coconut oil retains its chemical structure even at high temperatures. However, I would like to note that I don't recommend cooking on high heat because it denatures your food's nutritional value. This baby is amazing in its raw form.

How I use it: For cooking or baking, in spreads, in pre and post workout shakes and as a lip moisturizer!

7. Raw honey

Why I love it: Love is an understatement. It's so tough for me not to overindulge on raw honey. I've kicked refined sugar to the curb and used powerfully healing unpasteurized honey in my daily life. Conventional honey is pasteurized and's crap. Raw honey is a living food that can be very beneficial used in moderation as a sweetener.

How I use it: In baking, in tea, as a spread...or truthfully, right out of the jar. A sweetener staple and great substitute for refined sugar.

8. Carob powder

Why I love it: There's something about this sweet root that I just love. It's often used as a caffeine-free alternative to cacao powder in recipes.

How I use it: Made into a hot drink with boiling water and a splash of almond milk and cinnamon, in baking or in smoothies.

9. Almond butter

Why I love it: I've always loved nut butters, and as a regular consumer of peanut butter I used to buy almond butter just to switch things up sometimes. I just read a book talking about how peanuts are naturally difficult to digest for a lot of people, so that made me love the almond alternative even more! Always buy raw - more flavour and nutrition, less ingredients.

How I use it: In shakes, as a spread, as a dip for apple splices, or in breakfast porridge.

10. Ginger

Why I love it: Fresh ginger is very good for your digestion. It adds a great zing to countless dishes, sweet and savoury. I always put it in my green juice to mask the bitterness. I like to take a small piece, peel it, run it through my food processor and throw it in a little container in the fridge for easy access daily.

How I use it: In tea, in Asian-inspired dressings/sauces, on porridge, in my juicing or in baking.

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