Natural Lifestyle

SUPERFOOD JUICES is coming … get your copy!


I am absolutely over the moon excited to share that my third book, SUPERFOOD JUICES, is hitting the shelves April 15! Even after a year of working on this project, I have to say, I gasped a little when I held it in its published form in my hands for the first time – call it mama’s pride if you will, but this beautiful book is so packed with healthy goodness and love it really shines … and I can’t wait to get it in wellness-minded households everywhere.

A little about the book: though it’s not a sequel to SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES per se, it is a partner book for sure. Like making smoothies, creating homemade fresh juices is something that can benefit absolutely everyone. Making those juices with superfoods, which are foods that are highly dense in micronutrients, takes that liquid nutrition (and flavor) one giant step further. This book shows you not just how to juice successfully, but how to make the most out of every sip.

Check back soon for tour dates and schedule! And in the meantime, you can get a copy on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, Williams Sonoma and more. Thank you for all of your support, and here’s to next-level juices!

SUPERFOOD JUICE FAQ’S

Why did you write this book?
Because I LOVE fresh juices. I’ve loved them actually since I was a teenager, when I got a juicer at the ripe old age of 15 (it was mostly just carrot-apple juice back then). I can honestly say that nothing makes me feel better than fresh pressed juice, but only if it’s done right. Especially with juices becoming more popular, there are a lot of juices on the market that don’t make the most of their health-giving opportunity. Why just juice an apple and a carrot (such as in my case, many years ago), when you can add heaps of additional vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and energy-giving phytochemicals at the same time, thanks to superfoods! I felt like we should be making the most out of each and every time we juice – the results are so profoundly rewarding.

So what are superfoods?
I define superfoods as the most nutrient-dense (aka benefits per calorie), benefit-rich foods in the world. This includes many locally available fresh foods like kale, strawberries, and turmeric … and also includes superfoods that are cherished on a more global level, like chia seeds and sea buckthorn berries. Every superfood has its benefits, each is unique. These are not “weird” ingredients just for the sake of being “different” – each is there for a purpose, which is explained in the pantry section of the book.

Do I need a juicer for this book?
Tecnically you do not – I do outline how to make juices via a blender in the book. However, if you plan on making juicing a part of your everyday lifestyle, I highly recommend getting one … it is a WONDERFUL investment in your health!

Do you have a brand of juicer you use or recommend?
For all the recipes in the book, I used a Breville Juice Fountain Pro, which is my personal machine of choice. I have had many juicers before, and I like this one the best because it is easy to clean and makes juices very quickly. Though I always loved juices, I went from hating the practice of juicing (The time! The clean-up! UGH.) to totally loving it…thanks to the efficiency of this juicer.

Do I have to get all the “fancy” superfoods to make the recipes in this book?
In a word, no. First of all, you’ll likely note that the same group of superfoods are used over and over again … so you won’t buy an ingredient “just for one recipe.” The specialty superfoods also last for a very long time, thanks to their highly condensed nutrition and small serving size. Plus, if you have either of my other books, Superfood Kitchen or Superfood Smoothies, you’ll find many other types of recipes that use the same superfood ingredient. This way, you can start with getting a couple that sound the most interesting, and still have plenty of recipes to choose from. Then you can try a new superfood every few weeks, as a food/health adventure, and build your pantry over time!

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t you work for a superfood company? Are you just trying to push products?
I actually work with many companies as a recipe developer, and yes, many of them are superfood companies. I’ve also been the executive chef at Navitas Naturals for the last 6 years, which is a big part of the reason why I know how these superfoods work in the kitchen so well in the first place — this is how I accrued the experience and knowlege to write books on the subject! But, JUST for the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, paid to write my cookbooks by any food company – the books are written entirely by me as a result of personal passion of superfoods, as I stand by and believe in the subject matter a thousand percent. I present ideas, I don’t push products (and superfoods are just whole foods, not patented products anyways). It’s that simple. I believe we all should be educated about these foods, which are at minimum helpful, energizing, and fun … and have the potential to be as great as absolutely life-changing (as they were for me). Knowledge is DEFINTIELY power when it comes to the subject of health, and creating recipes with these popular AND lesser-known superfoods is my way of putting that power into the hands of others.

Where do I get some of the lesser-known superfood ingredients?
It’s true there are a small collection of specialty superfoods that cannot be found in the average supermarket (YET!!!). If you live near a natural food store or health store like Whole Foods, try there first. If not, ordering online is SO easy (and as I said, these foods last for months). Page 203 of Superfood Juices offers the list of my personal sources that I know and trust. Or, a simple google search will bring you up plenty of results, including discount retailers like Amazon. It’s surprisingly easy, regardless of where you live!

Cheers to YOUR next-level health! Preview Superfood Juices here.

Halloween Treats! Superfood Monster Heads


I had the pleasure of joining the founder of Beaming, Lisa Odenweller, and Brad Wills on Fox 5 San Diego last week to talk about ways to “Trick Out Your Halloween Treats” … via, you guessed it, SUPERFOODS! Watch the full clip HERE as we talk about what makes superfoods so incredible, then grab the recipe we made on air below to make your own healthy (and super fun) treats!

SUPERFOOD “MONSTER” HEADS

A great project for kids to put together and enjoy superfoods! Makes about 1½ dozen “monster heads.” Adapted from “No Bake Brownies” from Superfood Kitchen © 2012 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw walnuts

1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed

½ cup cacao powder

2 tablespoons Beaming Protein Powder (or your favorite protein powder)

pinch sea salt

¼ cup chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips

[Toppings (each in small bowls]

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • spirulina powder to preference (about ½ -1 teaspoon)
  • a few spoonful’s Goji berries
  • a few spoonful’s hemp seeds
  • a few spoonful’s sunflower seeds
  • a few spoonfuls cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, briefly grind the walnuts into a coarse flour. Add the dates and process until chunky. Add the cacao powder, protein powder and sea salt and process once more until a crumbly dough has formed. Test the constancy – dough should be stick together easily and slightly malleable, if not, blend in water – 1 teaspoon at a time. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Lay the wax paper on a flat surface.  Mix coconut flakes and a little spirulina in a bowl to create light green flakes, and spill out the mixture onto wax paper. A tablespoon at a time, pack the cacao dough into a tight ball by hand, and roll around in green coconut, using a dab of coconut oil if needed to adhere more coconut. Use toothpick to help shape a mouth (etc) and other toppings to make eyes, nose, teeth, etc with different toppings. Stick with a toothpick and transfer to a serving plate.

SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES at Williams Sonoma!

It is with truly great pleasure that I am able to share the news that the SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIES cookbook is now featured at Williams Sonoma stores nation-wide. But… this pleasure extends way beyond just a little feather in my cap; rather, it is about the progress of the health movement at large… and in particular, the rise of superfoods!

Back when I first got into “all this crazy superfood stuff” (as a couple friends of mine like to playful call my [now] line of work) a decade ago, the subject of superfoods was pretty well locked into “fringe” category. There was no gargantuan raw food/superfood section in Whole Foods (they didn’t even sell chia seeds – gasp!), and there weren’t green smoothies being sported around every place you looked. How times have (quickly) changed.  See, it’s not cupcake tins or stand mixers or toasters that are the hot-ticket items at premium cookware stores like Williams Sonoma anymore.  It’s blenders. And while my parents may have never dusted off their blender for more than the occasional margarita, our generation on the other hand is looking to make everyday a blendworthy day, whipping up vast varieties of beneficial mixes: namely, smoothies. It makes me unbelievably proud that the same Williams Sonoma stores I so frequently stalked for premium kitchenware all through my 20’s, are now featuring my second book, Superfood Smoothies, right alongside healthy superfood powders, and top-of-the-line blending machines. From fringe category to featured subject! I LOVE that!

To celebrate, I have a few smoothie demos and book signings at the Williams Sonoma stores. If you are in the area, please come out and join in the fun. As a major cheerleader for superfoods and plant-based foods myself, I can attest that the more we continue to support stores like Williams Sonoma in their efforts to offer greener and healthier products, the more readily available and more easily attainable a healthy lifestyle will be in this country at large. Let’s continue to spread this subject; I’m so happy to be involved in this journey with you!

Superfood Smoothie book signing & demo DATES:
Both the Cookie Dough Smoothie and the Cherry Vanilla Smoothie from Superfood Smoothies are on the menu!

July 20, noon: Williams-Sonoma South Coast Plaza

July 27, 11am: Williams-Sonoma Santa Monica

August 15, 6pm: Williams-Sonoma San Francisco (Union Square)

August 22, 6pm: Williams-Sonoma New York (59th & Lexington)

TBD: Williams-Sonoma Chicago

5 amazing superfood candy recipes

One thing I particularly appreciate about this season is getting asked quite a bit about a subject that’s rather dear to my heart: chocolate. And, jumping on the excuse, I always end up making a few new chocolate candy recipes, clearly inspired by all the delectable discussion. Tis the season of cacao powder.

This year, I wanted to take the chocolate parade to a new level. There were just too many goodies to choose from to share just one recipe, so not only did I decide to create an EPIC chocolate recipe collection, but I asked some of my favorite superfood-savvy chefs to share their most popular recipes too. Between the subject matter, and the recipes themselves, this is the may be one of the most exciting collections ever known to mankind. I kind of really do mean that.

1. Raw Raspberry Cream-Filled Chocolate Candies

Recipe and image by Amber Shea Crawley

Author of Practically Raw as well as the highly anticipated Practically Raw Desserts, Chef Amber Shea definitely knows a thing or two about making incredible raw desserts! But really, this particular recipe just takes my breath away. The gorgeous raw cacao exterior, followed by the va-va-VOOM of the soft raspberry filling is just over the top wondeful. RECIPE

2. Bliss Balls

Recipe and image by Marni Wasserman

It’s no wonder Marni Wasserman’s highly acclaimed classes and upcoming cooking school consistently generate such a buzz: the recipes she offers continue to be the inspiring combination of healthy, simple, and SMART. These impeccable donut-hole-esque treats are a perfect example of how quickly an incredible dessert can come together when made with just the right natural ingredients. RECIPE

3. Chocolate Haystacks

Recipe and image from Raw & Simple, by Judita Wignall

Yearning for the secret to chef Judita Wignall’s gorgeous glow? It’s all in the food! Between her successful book Going Raw, and her popular new work Raw & Simple, Judita stylishly shares mouthwatering recipes that make the healthy benefits of the raw food lifestyle a motivatingly delicious adventure. Case in point: these chocolate haystacks (WOW!!!), which Judita describes as “super–simple to make and will brighten anyone’s day. I use longer coconut threads to give it that haystack look, but you can use the finely shredded coconut with the same great results. Jazz it up with some chopped nuts or hemp seeds for a little nutrition boost.”

Makes 12 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2/3 cup (66 g) cacao powder
½ cup (118 ml) maple syrup
1⁄₄ cup (59 ml) coconut oil, warmed to liquid
½ vanilla bean, scraped, or small pinch of vanilla powder
1⁄₄ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 cups (160 g) shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:
Blend cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

In a bowl, hand mix the shredded coconut with chocolate mixture.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Use a spoon or melon scoop to form twelve to fourteen individual haystacks on the parchment paper. Freeze for thirty minutes or until firm.

The haystacks can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for one month.

 

4. Vanilla Cacao Bliss Bites

Recipe and image by Meghan Telpner

Cooking class extrodinairre, spunky Nutritionista, and author of the upcoming UnDiet cookbook, Meghan Telpner has an undeniable knack for motivating people to eat “the good stuff” through her accessible, flavorful, easy recipes (and super fun attitude!). With these luscious vanilla-cacao treats on the queue, I can’t wait to get on the “UnDiet” bandwagon! RECIPE

 

5. Salted Caramel Bonbons

Recipe and image by Julie Morris

And, of course, I couldn’t help but include one of my own recipes in the mix. While I still am a die-hard fan of the “perfect-anytime” simple raw chocolate recipe included in Superfood Kitchen, this “whole-new-level” recipe was inspired by a friend who gave me the request to create something “chocolately, with caramel, and salty-crunchy.” Ahem, um, how can I say no to that? With in a moment, I knew homemade bonbons were in the near future, and the resulting recipe is just ridiculously wonderful: deep, dark, raw chocolate that wraps a soft, nougat-like caramel center … with just a touch of salty crunch. I know, I know, I know...

Makes 2½ dozen bonbons

INGREDIENTS

For the caramel:

6 tablespoons coconut butter*
¼ cup agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice
½ teaspoon maca powder
1 teaspoon lucucma powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the chocolate:

2/3 cup cacao butter, solid form – cut into shavings
2/3 cup cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice

For the base:

¼ cup pretzel sticks**
2 tablepsoons raw pecans

DIRECTIONS
You will need 2 bonbon trays for this recipe.

Make the caramel first: In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter over low heat until softened. Add the liquid sweetener, maca, lucuma, and sea salt, and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat. Transfer the contents to a small pastry bag, and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate. Use a double boiler method to gently melt the cacao butter into a liquid. Transfer to a bowl, and add the cacao powder, coffee granules, and sea salt, and whisk to combine. Pour in the liquid sweetener and stir well. Spoon chocolate into the bonbon trays, filling each cavity to the top. Over a bowl, flip the trays over and tap out the excess chocolate, leaving just a thin layer in the bonbon trays. Transfer to a freezer, and let the chocolate shells harden – about 15 minutes.

While the chocolate is setting, place the pretzels and pecans in a small zip-lock bag and seal, removing any excess air. Use the back of a heavy jar, or a wooden spoon to crush the contents into fine bits, leaving a little bit of texture.

To assemble, remove the chocolate shells from the freezer. Pipe a small dab of the caramel into each one – about ¼ teaspoon. Use the pretzel mixture to fill the shell ¾ full, pressing down gently to pack into place. Carefully top with chocolate, filling to just below the baseline. Return the bonbons to the freezer to let fully set – about 20 minutes.
For best results, keep bonbons refrigerated or in a cool place to prevent the raw chocolate from melting.

*Use a coconut butter like this one – do not substitute with coconut oil.

** Look for whole wheat or gluten-free varieties.

Pumpkin-Lucuma Pie

pumpkin_lucuma_pieWith a busy holiday week ahead, I have little time to write a proper post, but I DID want to share a fabulous pie recipe with you. It seems every year I go on a personal quest to create a lower sugar, lower fat pumpkin pie, and this year I’m so pleased with the wonderful recipe that’s emerged.

To begin, it’s delicious. If you like pumpkin pie, you will love this one.

But this special pie has two pretty major healthy secrets underneath it’s tasty exterior. The first secret is the use of organic silken tofu (be sure to use an organic or a certified non GMO brand). Incorporating tofu in the place of eggs, cream, or even cashews, gives the pie a deceptive richness while making it very low in fat, lower in calories, and high in protein (WIN!). I’ve seen many plant-based pie recipes use this trick, and for good reason: it works. And incredibly, you won’t taste it a bit.

The second ingredient trick which I love even more however, is the use of lucuma powder. As I’ve mentioned before, this South American fruit provides a complex-flavored sweetness, yet is naturally very low in sugar. It also has a slightly squash-like undertone, meaning it is the PERFECT addition to a pumpkin pie! Using lucuma powder in this recipe means that though a very minimal amount of sugar is used (just a tablespoon per serving!) we can still retain all the traditional flavor. You can definitely feel proud serving this one up to your friends and family – for all the right reasons! Learn more about lucuma powder here.

Pumpkin Lucuma Pie

Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 12.3 oz package organic silken tofu
½ cup coconut sugar
⅓ cup lucuma powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon clove powder
1 prepared pie crust (preferably whole grain and dairy-free)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients – except the pie crust – and mix until completely smooth. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie crust, and spread into a flat layer. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 40-45 minutes longer, or until the top has slightly browned and the crust is golden. Remove from the oven, and let the pie cool completely to room temperature, to fully set. Slice and serve; will keep up to 4 days, unrefrigerated.

Serving suggestion: Make a coconut whip cream by chilling a can of full-fat coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight. Scoop out the separated cream from the water, and use a hand-held blender to whip the cream until slightly stiffened. Top the pie with coconut whip cream when ready to serve.

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.

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