High Protein Lentil Burgers (Grain Free, GAPS)

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 (This post may contain affiliate links which will benefit me if you purchase through them.)

Lentil Burgers - Purposeful Nutrition

 I love lentils.  They are easy to prepare, very versatile, and cheap.  One of our go-to dinners and lunches this summer is lentil burgers.  I came up with my own recipe that my gluten-free, grain-free daughter can eat using almond flour (I get mine from Honeyville Food Products)  and some spices to jazz it up a bit.  I cook up a big pot of lentils and then mix some lentil burgers up and cook them.  I sometimes even put extra cooked lentils in the freezer as they are easy to thaw out and mix together for a quick and tasty meal.

Lentil Burgers, The Entwife's Journal

High Protein Lentil Burgers
Serves 6
A tasty and easy to cook up lentil burger that is high in protein. GAPS friendly and gluten free.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked lentils
  2. 1 cup almond flour (I get mine from Honeyville Grains)
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tsp cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp chili powder
Instructions
  1. Soak 2 cups lentils in 2 cups water with a splash of vinegar to help break down hard to digest parts of the lentil.
  2. After soaking for several hours or overnight, add another 1-2 cups water and cook lentils for 30-45 minutes until soft and easy to mash.
  3. Mix the lentils and all other ingredients together until well mixed and easy to form a patty with.
  4. Form 6 patties and cook in frying pan with lard or another fat of choice until browned on one side.
  5. Turn over and cook on the other side.
  6. Serve with ketchup, creamy salad dressing or plain in a homemade bun.
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food. http://www.purposefulnutrition.com/
Shared at Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Natural Family Friday.

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Currants: An Old Fashioned Fruit

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Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger

Do you eat currants?  Did you know it is currant season in Pennsylvania and New York, right now in early July? 

currants at Purposeful NutritionI grew up with currants as my dad planted them on his property early on in my growing up.  I don’t remember being too excited about them, but my mother made a tasty currant jelly which we all enjoyed.   They are a part of the gooseberry family and are native to parts of western Europe.   In the 1920′s currants were a popular fruit grown in the United States, but a disease outbreak led to a federal ban on the planting of currant bushes. The ban was lifted in 1966, but the fruit never rebounded to its original popularity level.

Since caring for my own home and buying my own produce I have rediscovered currants and found them valuable for several things.  My favorite local farmer also grows them and so I was able to get some this evening when I stopped by.  He didn’t have any picked but let me come down to the field with him to get 2 quarts of red currants.  As I stumbled through the fenced in chicken area, where the currants and gooseberries are, he was busy telling me he doesn’t offer this to just any customer who comes by.  But I am a 6 year faithful customer, stopping in weekly to get whatever he has in season. 

Benefits

So why bother with currants?   They aren’t particularly sweet but they pack a pungent punch of great nutritional value which makes them worthwhile to incorporate into our diet in the few weeks of the year that they are available.   One of my favorite ways to use them is to add them to smoothies, along with a sweeter berry or the ever faithful banana. (Did I mention we go through 5-7 lbs of bananas a week there at our house?  No, well we do.)

Currants are available in several colors – red, white, and black.  I picked red most recently but I can get all 3 colors at my farmer’s house.  Red currants are high in Vitamin C . Eat just 2 oz. of red currants and you’ll have gotten 40 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. These fruits have four times more vitamin C than oranges do, according to Cornell University’s Chronicle Online. They are also high in fiber, Vitamin K, iron, antioxidants,

Black currants are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A.  100 g fresh berries provide 230 IU of vitamin A.  They are also high in flavonoids which are anti-oxidants.   They contain iron and good amounts of Vitamin B compounds, especially B1, B5, and B 6.  Black currants have anti-oxidant value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity- ORAC) of 7950 Trolex Equivalents per 100g, which is one of the highest value for fruits after, elderberry, and cranberries.  Red currants, however, possess comparatively less ORAC value at 3387 TE than the black variety.

For more info:   http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/black-currants.html

Red Currant Smoothie
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup red currants
  2. 1-2 ripe bananas
  3. 2 cups water kefir
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water until gelled
  6. 1 tbsp matcha powder
  7. 1 small handful kale or spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until all ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Serve immediately.
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food. http://www.purposefulnutrition.com/
Recipes from around the Web with currants:

From Organic Authority:  Cooking With Currants

From 101 Cookbooks:  Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini

From HeatherHomemade:  Red Currant Pie

From Wee Kitchen:  Current Cordial

From Calculus to Cupcakes:  Fresh Red Currant Scones

From Honest Cooking:  Red Currant Mousse

From Leite’s Culinaria:  Sweet Saffron Rice Pilaf With Nuts and Currants

From Rules of Dieting:  Quick & Simple Oaty Sultana Cookies (Just substitute dried currants for the sultanas)

Shared at Wildcrafting Wednesday Wellness WednesdayNatural Family Friday.

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Book Review: The Healthy Slow Cooker

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I love my slow cooker.  I use it at least once a week and some weeks it is 3 or 4 times.  So when I had the opportunity to review The Healthy Slow Cooker, 2nd edition. by Judith Finlayson I jumped as the chance.  And this cookbook did not disappoint.
Healthy slow Cooker Cover

One key thing for me to enjoy in a cookbook is when they have extra information beyond recipes.  This book does that.  The cookbook starts out with a chapter on using your slow cooker.  Even if you have cooked with one for years sometimes you can still pick up some new information.  For instance, Ms. Finlayson recommends softening your vegetables before putting them in the slow cooker.  She says it will improve the quality of the dish because the browning of the veggies begins the process of carmelization, which release flavor.  And it extracts the fat soluble parts of the food which also contribute to the flavor.    This was news to me and something I intend to start doing when I make a crockpot meal (unless I am in a huge hurry putting it together.)

Then throughout the 135 gluten free recipes there are interspersed many small articles on different foods.    Some are called Natural Wonders and the topics include things like extra virgin olive oil, butter. sweet green peas, kale, apricots, etc.   The others are Mindful Morsels and include instructions like how to soak beans to prevent gas problems,  the value of curry, value of coriander seed, and many other tips.

I have tried and enjoyed several recipes from this cookbook.  One thing to note is that many of the recipes (but not all) include dried beans, which makes many of these recipes very economical.  If you are not someone who enjoys beans then this might not be a real winner for you, but if you want to include more of these healthy and affordable ingredients in your recipes then this is a good choice.

Below I am sharing a recipe from the cookbook (with permission) for Mixed Vegetables in Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Mixed Vegetables in Spicy Peanut Sauce
Serves 8
Here’s one way to get kids to eat their vegetables, so long as they don’t have peanut allergies — cook them in a spicy sauce made from peanut butter and add a garnish of chopped roasted peanuts. All you need to add is some steaming rice or brown rice noodles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  2. 2 onions, finely chopped 2
  3. 6 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups/1 L) 6
  4. 4 stalks celery, diced (about 2 cups/500 mL) 4
  5. 2 tbsp minced gingerroot 30 mL
  6. 4 cloves garlic, minced 4
  7. 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
  8. 1 cup vegetable stock 250 mL
  9. 3 cups frozen sliced green beans (see Tips) 750 mL
  10. 1⁄2 cup smooth natural peanut butter 125 mL
  11. 2 tbsp gluten-free reduced-sodium soy sauce 30 mL
  12. 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 30 mL
  13. 1 tbsp pure maple syrup 15 mL
  14. 2 tsp Thai red curry paste (see Tips) 10 mL
  15. 4 cups shredded napa cabbage 1 L
  16. 2 cups bean sprouts 500 mL
  17. 1⁄2 cup finely chopped green onions, white part only 125 mL
  18. 1⁄2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts 125 mL
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add ginger, garlic and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
  5. Add vegetable stock and stir well.
  6. Add green beans and stir well.
  7. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
Notes
  1. Tip
  2. I always have a bag of frozen green beans in the freezer because they can be conveniently added to slow cooker recipes. They contain valuable nutrients: vitamins C and K, a selection of the B vitamins, including folate, and the minerals manganese, iron and magnesium. They also contain fiber.
  3. Courtesy The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food. http://www.purposefulnutrition.com/
 

Shared at Wellness WednesdayWildcrafting Wednesday.

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One of the Best Olive Oils I Have Ever Had

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I realize that is a pretty big claim but I am for real on this one folks.  A few weeks ago I was sent a bottle of Emile Noel’s pure organic virgin olive oil and let me tell you it is amazing stuff.  Granted I don’t usually spend that much on my olive oil.   I most often buy it at the local Lebanese store and it is quite good but this one blew it out of the water.

We used it here at our house to make salad dressing and to pour over a pasta dish.  I found the flavor to be full and robust, exactly what I am looking for in an olive oil. 

Emile Noel’s business has been around since 1920.  They are a French based company and you know the French and good food.  It is no accident that they are producing olive oil like this.  Emile Noel is now sold in the USA and they  make over 20 organic virgin vegetable oils, including blended oils that combine the benefits of each one. There’s a flavor for every palate and style of cooking – helping to enhance a varied, balanced diet.   We have not tried the other but based on our experience with the olive oil I am sure the others are equally as good.

The Emile Noël oil mill offers only organic products – farmed without chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or GMOs.  They also practice fair trade long before it  reached the mainstream and developed equitable commercial relationships with sesame growers in Africa in the early 1980s.

To find out more about Emile Noel and their products you can go to their website.   One of my favorite companies, Vitacost,  also carries some of their products and that is where I recommend buying from.  (Although they don’t carry the olive oil at this time.)  You can enter their site through my affiliate link and if you are a first time buyer at Vitacost we will both benefit from your purchase.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Tigernuts: A Superfood Gluten Free Snack Review

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What are Tiger Nuts?  That was my question a few weeks ago as well before I received a sample bag of these tasty little gluten free snacks to review for you. I received a sample of Supreme Peeled Tiger Nuts. First off I should confess that they are actually not nuts at all, but rather a tuber that grows in the ground (much like a potato), chock full of nutrition, flavor and fiber to nourish you throughout the day. 

Tiger Nuts Review - Purposeful Nutrition.

These tubers are from Spain where they are grown in the ground and harvested by farmers, who then lay them out to dry in the sun before packaging them up and shipping to TigerNuts USA.  They also seem to be popular in parts of Africa including Ghana and Nigeria.

My whole family liked these little snack nuts.  My husband’s description is that they are like popcorn but with density.  They have a slight chewiness to them which can satisfy that urge to chew that can often lead some of us to eat more than we need.  They also have a slight sweetness to them but there is no sugar added.  The nuts are gluten free, lactose free, organic,  and suitable for vegans and diabetics.

These little “nuts” are quite small so there is a warning on the package not to give them to children under 6 years old.  Some nutrition information for 1 serving of 20 nuts:

  • Total fat 3.5 grams
  • Sodium — 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate – 8 mg (so great snack for diabetics)
  • Fiber – 3 g
  • Natural sugars – 3 g
  • Protein – 0 mg
  • Calories – 282 calories
  • Contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium,  vitamin C and Vitamin E
  • The fatty acid profile is nearly identical to olive oil and their caloric profile is virtually the same as human breast milk.

So what are you waiting for?  With a profile like that you can’t go wrong picking up a few bags of these tasty little snacks for when you are on the go.   Go here to get more info and order for yourself.

 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Summer Chicken Salad

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Summer Chicken Salad

Who doesn’t love a good chicken salad? For different seasons there are different things that can be easily mixed together with the cooked chicken to get a tasty and nutritious summer meal. I threw this salad together one night in June when it was 88 degrees out and I did not want any hot foods to eat. Thankfully, my slow cooker did the job of cooking the chicken for me without heating the kitchen.  Then I threw together a variety of summer vegetables I had in my fridge and mixed it all together with some homemade mayonnaise.  It turned out to be very tasty and nourishing and my family ate up every last bite. (That is the trouble with a big family; they eat too much.)

For the mayonnaise recipe we used one from the cookbook Cooking with Coconut Oil,  I found a similar recipe at this site, except we used half coconut oil and half olive oil.   

Shared at Allergy Free WednesdayWellness Wednesday,  Natural Family Friday, Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Summer Chicken Salad
A tasty and nourishing chicken salad with lots of summer veggies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole chicken, cooked in a slow cooker and taken off the bone.
  2. 1 cucumber, sliced into small pieces
  3. 1 whole tomato, cut into small chunks
  4. 1 cup of edible pea pods, sliced into 2-3 chunks per pea pod
  5. 3-5 spring onions, or 1 mild onion, sliced into fine pieces
  6. 1 recipe homemade mayonnaise.
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces and put into a large bowl.
  2. Refrigerate the chicken until cook.
  3. Add cucumber, tomato, pea pods, and onions.
  4. Make 1 cup homemade mayonnaise (or cheat and use some bought mayo).
  5. Mix mayonnaise into chicken and vegetables and stir to combine.
  6. Serve on a bed of lettuce with some homemade sourdough bread.
Purposeful Nutrition: Healing With Food. http://www.purposefulnutrition.com/

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