Inspring natural foods

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

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****

 

 

Cherishing chocolate: 6 incredible benefits of cacao


With it being Valentine’s Day and all, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of chocolate in the air. But don’t let all that indulgent deliciousness fool you: chocolate is, in fact, a superfood.

Of course,  not all chocolate is created equal. Many commercial brands strip chocolate of its benefits by overcooking it, adding dairy fats, excess sugar, and preservatives. But real, “raw” chocolate, known as cacao, has incredible benefits in small amounts. Sure it’ll please your taste buds, but check out some of the other ways cacao is good for your whole body:

Cardiovascular Protection: Numerous studies have shown that the antioxidants in chocolate — called flavonols — help lower blood pressure and relax blood vessels.

Relaxation: Magnesium is a mineral that helps relax muscles, and cacao is one of the highest sources of magnesium of all natural foods. Third party testing has shown some cacao powders to contain as much as 475 mg per 100 grams (the recommended daily intake for men is 400 mg and women 310mg).

Natural Sunscreen: The same favonols that enhance heart health also enhance skin health, by helping circulate blood to the surface of the body. Incredibly, researchers have found cacao may help protect against UV rays.

Mineral Rich: Cacao is high in many trace minerals, and is especially high in blood-building iron, and bone-strengthening calcium.

Mood Boost: Chocolate helps naturally increase seratonin production – the “good mood” chemical in the brain. It also contains other phytochemicals that have mood-elvating effects, like phenethylamine, which enhances the release of pleasurable endorphins.

Anti-Aging: Cacao offers cell protection like no other with its soaring levels of polyphenol antioxidants. Cacao powder has the most concentrated form of these antioxidants, which have tested up to a jaw-dropping 95,000 ORAC/100 grams. Compare that to antioxidant-rich blueberries, which average around 7,500 ORAC, and it’s easy to see why cacao is so impressive!

Remember, the higher the cacao content of your chocolate treats, the better. Get creative by making your own delectable concoctions, like my Mini Chocolate Cupcakes, or purchase high-quality ready-made chocolate with extra mindful ingredients.

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