Superfood Kitchen debuts 11/6!

These are exciting times, my foodie friends. In just a few days, my new cookbook, SUPERFOOD KITCHEN: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods, will be released! A full-color, hardcover book with over 100 recipes and extensive information on both why and how to use superfoods, this beauty is now available for preorder online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon for up to 40% off list price.

To clear up any potential confusion, SUPERFOOD KITCHEN is in fact a re-published, re-vamped version of my book SUPERFOOD CUISINE (which was released last year and is no longer in print). Comparing the two, SUPERFOOD KITCHEN features 3 additional recipes, a few copy edits, and minor formatting changes. Here’s the reason for the change:

In reality, this project began many, many years ago when I made some killer raw macaroons, sans recipe. I just put ingredients together in a food processor and played with it until it worked (and oh, it worked!). Though not really a revolutionary moment in the scope of reality, I found the process absolutely exhilarating. “I think I’m going down the wrong path in life,” I told myself. “I want to be a chef. I want to write a cookbook.” While I did make a transfer over to the world of natural food not too long after that, it took me no less than eight years to actually put together my first book. I wanted it to be nothing short of amazing – the kind of cookbook I would buy myself – and sometimes, these things just can’t be rushed.

But there was another factor that delayed the production… finding people who believed in my work, and who believed in me. Anyone who’s ever been involved in a start-up anything… from launching a business venture to getting a first acting role … knows that it’s getting that first investor, that first job, that is the hardest. For me it was getting a publisher. Having worked intimately in the natural food industry, I could confirm first hand the surging level of interest in natural foods, superfoods, and plant-based foods for health and energy. But convincing the publishing world was a different story. I shopped my book idea around endlessly from publisher to publisher, pitched my idea of “superfood cuisine” to more people than I care to admit, and yet continued to get only polite rejections (or more often, no response at all). It was disheartening, but I truly believed that there had to be a way to get my book out.

There was. Navitas Naturals, the superfood company for whom I continue to work with as a chef, agreed to help me self-publish a first run. Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart, I soon learned! Because I was running on a shoestring budget, I did as much as I possibly could myself. Aside from writing the recipes and the text, I also became my own food photographer, and, after studying-up on the in’s and out’s of computer design programs, I designed the book from head to toe as well. I can’t even begin to explain what a mammoth and often overwhelming process it was, being pulled in so many different directions creatively-speaking. The day that I got my first shipment of printed books in the mail I was genuinely shaking as I opened the box. And though I was excited, my primary thought was a last-minute desperate prayer that I’d find no catastrophic mistakes. (Amazingly, there weren’t.) SUPERFOOD CUISINE: Cooking with Nature’s Most Amazing Foods was born.

Thanks to an overwhelmingly positive response to SUPERFOOD CUISINE, within a very short time, I began working with a brilliant book agent, who found me a publisher who wasn’t just interested in taking me on, but was a match made in heaven: Sterling Publishing. Sterling was eager to climb on board with SUPERFOOD CUISINE, and before long, a contract was in place to republish the next run… and dig in on some new projects as well. Working with Sterling not only allows me to put out a better product, but get wider distribution and offer the book at a lower price point – a win for for everyone!

So here we are, a year later. SUPERFOOD KITCHEN is the new, primped-up version of my self-published first book. I received an advance copy in the mail a couple weeks ago. But this time, opening the package, I wasn’t shaking: I was filled with pride.

To every person that purchased a copy of SUPERFOOD CUISINE, I’d like to extend a most heartfelt thank you. With just 3000 copies printed on that first run, you supported and own a piece of an immensely personal, special, and very much hand-made project of mine. I am truly grateful for your support, and hope that the book continues to bring you joy, health, and deliciousness.

I hope that this new version, SUPERFOOD KITCHEN, is not just something you buy, but something that you adore to use again and again… something that you can display with pride because it supports your path of a healthy lifestyle (… and that alone is something to be proud of). I hope you gift copies to friends and loved ones, as, besides being a beautiful present, it gives those you care about the opportunity to enhance their own lives through nature’s best (and most delicious) nutritious foods. I hope that we can get the word out that living well is a beautiful, easy, and fun adventure. From my Superfood Kitchen to yours, with all my heart, I hope you love it.

Walk the eco talk: Olsenhaus Pure Vegan Shoes


We interrupt this food-related program to bring you a very important announcement: There’s an amazing shoe sale going on… and it’s eco friendly!

I was 14 when I first began to pursue a vegetarian diet. Was it an overnight change? Nope, not even close. But the longer I stuck with it, the easier it became. At 20, swayed by the health benefits, I decided to go fully vegan. Again, initially there were many slip-ups (mostly cheese-related), but with time, my cravings faded away as I enjoyed the virtues of the plant-based lifestyle. Eventually, I felt strong and solid as a bonafide “vegan” … except for just one dirty little secret.

Shoes.

I was still buying leather shoes.

As a vegan, I knew it was wrong; as an animal lover, I knew it was gross (when you really start to think about it); and as a environmentalist, I knew it contradicted everything I supported and promoted. And yet, inevitably, I would pass by a pair of THE most amazing heels, and suddenly find myself overwhelmed with a case of temporary insanity. Swept up in the momentum of beautiful design, my personal ethics were simultaneously swept under the rug. “No one will know,” I’d think. “I’m doing the best I can,” I would lamely tell people who DID know. “I’ll just get this one pair and it will be my last leather item. This is seriously it.” Finally, in 2004, I bought my true last pair of leather shoes: a pair of hot pink flats with dots. They were pretty ugly. And I realized I felt the same way buying them. “No more,” I told myself. And I meant it.

Though I had solved my ethical dilemma, it wasn’t long before I found myself faced with a new challenge: what, on earth, to wear on my feet. Sure there were a handful of companies that made “vegan” shoes, but I didn’t really like them. And the only other option was to wear shoes that were vegan by default – the cheapie shoes that were made with man-made materials that smelled like chemicals and pinched my feet. Worst of all was the time of year when fall fashion hit, when hot boots lined store windows with their tall zippers and “I mean it” heels, screaming “fabulous” in my face and daring me to even step foot in the store. As boots girl, I felt bothered.

But, my friends, that was YEARS ago.

Fashion is progressive by default, so it makes sense that, in time, it would begin to evolve environmentally and intellectually in addition to soley aesthetically. One of the first companies I discovered on my quest for an all-around “better shoe” was Olsenhaus — and they continually hold a special place in my heart (and closet). Olsenhaus presents a whole new level of yes when it comes to footwear: beautifully-considered heels, perfect flats, funky party kicks, and, of course, amazing boots. But best of all? Their shoes are in line with a compassionate lifestyle without an ounce of sacrifice, via gorgeous design, impeccable quality, AND an ethically and/or environmentally friendly footprint.

Olsenhaus has kindly allowed me to share with you a 30% discount off of their entire website good through Nov 10 – just enter “JMLOVES” at checkout. If you are a shoe girl (or guy), this is one shoe experience that has absolutely no regrets. How fun!

Back to basics… smoothie-style


I think summer was designed with a glitch in its programming – the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for why time DEFINITELY goes by at a super-sonic rate during the warmer months. Not cool, mother nature; not cool.

Personally, I’ve been working my slightly sunburnt tail off these past few months on a couple of projects… one of which, I’m tremendously happy to now be able to share with you. Navitas Naturals has put together a brand new Smoothment – a “Back to Basics” week-long initiative of superfood smoothies. I have 7 totally new recipes I’ve made especially for this event, which starts tomorrow, and you can get all of them by signing up here. Plus, we’ve put together quick little daily videos on how to make each one, there’s bonus recipe tips, and just by signing up you get 30% off all superfood ingredients. Yes!

I hope you’ll join me in this week-long smoothie celebration, and invite your friends! Check out all the goodness the Smoothement has to offer here. Lots o’ love and see you there!

Amazing, Amazing, Amazing: Maple-Maca Ice Cream (with Chocolate Chips!)


Behold the bowl of fabulous.

Once upon a time, I had a full-blown ice cream addiction, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. It was ritualistic summer days of pint-sized fun, the inevitable “just a little something sweet after dinner,” and a laughable accruement of cookie-dough bites and peanut butter cup morsels stealthily plucked and devoured from the larger “family” bin. Tighter jeans? Evening headaches? These *minor* inconveniences were no match for the lure of a moment spent with a cold, creamy, melty spoonful of ice cream bliss. My one and only excuse: teenager.

When I came around to understanding food a bit better, the ingredients of ice cream appalled me. Even the brands made with “all natural ingredients” were still made of all natural junk. Really really condensed all natural junk. As in, there’s nothing good going on in there. Gross and ew. Eventually, I turned my back on conventional ice cream forever; ice cream and I were over.

Little did I know just how re-inspired I would become when working with raw food desserts…

Though I don’t specify myself as a “raw food” chef per se, I do love many of the techniques and elements of the raw philosophy, and often incorporate them into the recipes I make. Specifically, I cherish the idea that we can lean on whole, plant-based, clean foods (and superfoods!) to create 99% of the flavors, textures and colors of almost any dish we crave … yes, even ice cream. Cream and sugar? Who needs them when you have cashews or almonds, and dates or maple syrup? Talk about an upgraded treat!

When I was contributing recipes for Brendan Brazier’s latest literary masterpiece, Whole Foods to Thrive, I had a lot of fun creating some, dare-I-say, ice cream recipes with benefits. There’s a lovely mint one made with real mint leaves, there’s an action-packed protein ice cream, and then there’s my favorite ice cream recipe of all: Maple-Maca Ice Cream (with chocolate chips!). I’ve shared my love for using the maca in recipes here before, and I don’t see that trend stopping any time soon. Maybe it’s this bona fide superfoods’ profound benefits (the mineral-rich maca root has adaptogenic qualities, which may support the regulation of stress and repair, balance hormones, boost sex drive, and enhance strength and energy… all without being a stimulant). Or, maybe it’s the fact that the potent, earthy, butterscotch-esque flavor is completely enchanting when combined with friendly flavors. All I know is that it’s a good thing maca ice cream didn’t come in store-bought pints when I was a teenager, else I may have never moved out of the frozen food aisle.

At last, your ice cream with benefits is served…

Maple-Maca Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Though this ice cream is perfect for warm weather, maca has a slight warming quality, making it a good pick for cooler days as well. You do not need a ice cream maker for this recipe, however, if you do not have access to a high powered blender (like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or even a Magic Bullet), soak the cashews and water together for 30 minutes before blending for smoother results.

Makes about 1 pint (4 servings).

INGREDIENTS
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
½ banana
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp gelatinized (or raw) maca powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS
Blend all ingredients – except the chopped dark chocolate – in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware container and freeze for 30 minutes. Mix in dark chocolate chunks into the cold ice cream, then continue freezing, covered, until frozen through – about 6-8 hours. Let defrost for 5 minutes before serving to soften.

Note: If you have an ice cream maker, feel free to put it to use for a fluffier texture.

© 2012 JulieMorris.net

Quinoa-Chia Energy Bars


Though energy bars may have been designed with elite athletes in mind, they’ve become an absolute staple for active, busy people as well. (Present company included!) And though there are SO many prepackaged options to choose from (some of which I do admittedly enjoy often), as I’ve mentioned before what I really love best is making them at home — not only because they can they be made into gazillions of various flavors, but also because homemade efforts allow 100% control over the ingredients.

With your perfect bar just a mixing bowl away, it’s hard not to get creative with such a hands-on, simple snack. Need more protein? Pack some protein powders in. Looking for lower calories? Add shredded vegetables like carrots in as filler. And of course, so often energy bars are overly (as in, crazily overly) sweetened. I mean, not every snack needs to have an over-the-top candy bar flavor, nor the sugar content to match. With this in mind, I’m happy to share a recipe I’ve been making a lot at home lately: extra-natural bars sweetened entirely by fruit, with no added sugar, no honey, no agave … nothing. How nice for a change! They’re also gluten free, and even stash a bit of protein with their quinoa base. Plus, fabulous chia seeds are responsible for holding everything together in each and every delicious bite. Grab-and-go energy a la superfoods!
 

Quinoa-Chia Energy Bars

These bars are entirely fruit sweetened, and have no added sugar.

Makes 16 bars

INGREDEINTS

¾ cup Medjool dates, pits removed (about 7-8)

2/3 cup white grape juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup chia seeds, divided

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1½ cups quinoa flakes

1 cup unsalted pistachios, shells removed and coarsely chopped

½ cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1½ teaspoon cinnamon

1½ cup dried figs (White Turkish variety is the best), chopped coarsely

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8-inch pan* with parchment paper. Combine the dates with the white grape juice and vanilla in a small blender and let soak for 10 minutes to soften. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and add the chia seeds. Mix well to avoid chia clumps, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the chia to thicken.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa flakes, pistachios, and walnuts. Cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes until the quinoa and nuts are fragrant. Add the sea salt and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds more, then remove from heat and transfer contents to a large bowl. Mix in the chopped figs, and add the saturated chia mixture. Stir well to distribute the ingredients and form a chunky dough.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan, and press down firmly into a flat layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into 16 2×2-inch squares. When wrapped, energy bars will keep up to a week.

*If you don’t have a pan this size, line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment instead, and simply hand-form the bar “dough” into an 8×8 inch flat square.

© 2012 JulieMorris.net

 

Superfood SPRING TOUR Dates Announced!


It’s official! I’m packing my bags, my superfoods, and my blender, then saying a temporary goodbye to sunny SoCal  to head out east and spread some superfood love! We’re gonna have a blast! I’ll be doing events and book signings up and down the east coast that each include: a talk on superfoods covering all your nagging what’s and why’s, my top 7 anti-aging and energy-giving superfoods and how to use them, a superfood smoothie demonstration and tasting, a Q&A session, plus free superfood samples via Navitas Naturals.  I’ll also be ending each event with a Superfood Cuisine book signing, and if you don’t have a copy yet (or want another to gift to a friend) there will be plenty of books available for purchase on site as well. I am SO looking forward to meeting some of you at these vibrant events – you won’t want to miss them!

Most events last around 90 minutes. See you soon!

Massachusetts:

Wednesday 3/21/12, 11:00 am: Debra’s Natural Gourmet

Wednesday 3/21/12, 6:00 pm: Whole Foods Wellesley

Thursday 3/22/12, 5:30 pm: Whole Foods River Street

Friday 3/23/12, 11:00 am: Whole Foods Charles River

Friday 3/23/12, 5:30 pm: Whole Foods Dedham

Rhode Island:

Saturday 3/24/12, 9:30 am: Whole Foods University

Saturday 3/24/12, 2:00 pm: Whole Foods Cranston

New York:

Monday 3/26/12, 11:00 am: Whole Foods Upper West Side

Monday 3/26/12, 5:00 pm: Health Nuts

Tuesday 3/27/12, 11:00 am: Whole Foods Tribeca

Tuesday 3/27/12, 5:00 pm:  Westerly’s

Wednesday 3/28/12, 11:00 am: Whole Foods Columbus Circle

Thursday, 3/29/12,  11:00 am: Integral  Yoga

Thursday 3/29/12, 5:00 pm: Whole Foods Union Square

Friday 3/30/12, 11:00: Whole Foods Chelsea

Sunday 4/15/12, 10:45-11:15 class: Natur-Tyme Health Fair

New Jersey

Saturday 3/31/12, 10:00 am: Whole Foods Princeton

Tuesday, 4/10/12, 10:00-11:00am: Whole Earth Center, Princeton

Tuesday, 4/10/12, 6:00-7:30pm: Whole Foods Marlton

Washington DC/Virginia

Tuesday 4/3/12, 5:00: Whole Foods Market Friendship Heights

Wednesday 4/4/12, 12:00 pm: Whole Foods Georgetown

Wednesday 4/4/12, 5:00 pm: Whole Foods P Street

Thursday 4/5/12, 12:00 pm: Whole Foods Alexandria

Thursday 4/5/12, 6:00 pm: Whole Foods Arlington (free class)

Friday 4/6/12, 12:00 pm: Whole Foods Market Rockville (free class)

Friday 4/6/12,  6:00 pm: My Organic Market – Rockville

Philidelphia

Monday, 4/9/12, 11:00am-1:00pm: Whole Foods Devon

Wednesday 4/11/12, 11:00am-1:00pm: Whole Foods Kimberton

Wednesday, 4/11/12, 4:00-6:00pm: Whole Foods Plymouth Meeting

Thursday, 4/12/12, 11:00am-1:00pm: Whole Foods Wynnewood

Thursday, 4/12/12, 3:00-5:00pm: Whole Foods Glen Mills

Friday, 4/13/12, 11:00am-1:00pm: Whole Foods North Wales (meet & greet only … no class)

 

****For daily updates, check in on our Facebook page****

 

 

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