Here’s A Quick Way To Kick Your Caffeine Cravings

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It’s summer and I’m thirsty and hot – a lot. New York City can be pretty sticky, and I need constant refreshment to get through a day. Try my favorite mid-day caffeine-free latte recipe!

 

 

Back in the day I would cool my afternoon energy lulls with an iced latte or frozen coffee drink from that place that rhymes with “Blahr – ducks.” Since detoxifying my body over a decade ago, I find that I don’t like or want as much caffeine, dairy, and sugar as I used to. Actually, I find that I feel even worse if I have them!

 

What’s wrong with a little caffeine you might be asking? Well, if you’re drinking several (or even one, for some people) servings of coffee, tea, cola, or “energy drink” a day, your sleep can be effected no matter how early in the day you drink it.

 

Your morning cup of tea or coffee can also dehydrate your skin making it look older than it is (horrors!), and makes you urinate more, leading to overall dehydration.

 

If you remember your high school chemistry, you might recall that calcium (from your bones) is an alkaline substance.

 

If you’re drinking caffeine (along with sugar and diary, especially) you can change the pH balance of your body to be overly acidic. There are strong links between regular caffeine use and osteoporosis, because of the acidic nature of many caffeinated beverages.

(Are you more than ready to get off caffeine, sugar, and dairy once and for all?

Join my 8 Week Delicious Detox Tele-Course here – we start Tuesday September 13th!)

 

Still, I like to enjoy a yummy cold drink, especially in the afternoons, and here is one of my favorite recipes:

 

1 cup iced Teeccino

½ cup MimiCCreme

Serve over ice

 

Teeccino is an herbal coffee-replacement that offers a roasted aroma, look and taste just like coffee, without the caffeine. Or the caffeine crash a few hours later.

 

MimiCCreme is a line of non-dairy, soy-free, gluten-free nut creams that make any cream recipe totally amazing. I like the unsweetened version for my iced teeccino in the afternoon, but the sweetened versions are great for desserts, baking, smoothies and breakfast recipes.

 

Enjoy your caffeine free latte!

 

Like this recipe and my tips? Want to really make a shift and transform your health?

Sign up for my Delicious Detox: The 8-Week Reboot Tele-Course beginning Tuesday September 13th at 2pm EST!

Learn more and sign up here:

 

Hemp Recipes That Adults & Kids Will Love!

This year’s Hemp History Week has been full of fun events and I’m hopeful that the support for legalizing this useful, safe agricultural product will grow like a weed:

- Tuesday night I co-taught a packed class at Whole Foods with Phil Lempert of Supermarketguru.com fame. We shared the delicious and healthy ways hemp can be used in cooking, along with recipes and free goodies from the Hemp History Week supporting companies. (Some of my favorites recipes are below!)

Hemp History Week Alexandra Jamieson and Phil Lempert

- Wednesday brought rain and a gorgeous luncheon hosted at Candle 79 in New York City and created by Chef Angel Ramos. The meal was filled with hemp ingredients and I was blown away. The media and blog writers I sat with had never eaten at Candle before, and they couldn’t believe how good the hemp-centric menu was! I’m sure they’ll be back for more.

Hemp History Week Endorsers Phil Lempert Alexandra Jamieson Eric Steenstra, President Vote Hemp, Musician Dar Williams and Ashley Koff R.D.

Hemp History Week Endorsers Phil Lempert Alexandra Jamieson Eric Steenstra, President Vote Hemp, Musician Dar Williams and Ashley Koff R.D.

Hemp History Week Candle 79 Joy Pierson

Hemp History Week Candle 79 Joy Pierson

- Thursday I was invited to speak at Hunter College for students in the health and biology departments. I presented information about about plant based diets and how they can be used for healing, and I also gave out products from Manibota Harvest, Living Harvest, Dr. Bronner’s, and The Merry Hempters, all sponsors of Hemp History Week. The students loved the information and loved the goodies!

- Today I got inspired to whip up a couple of easy recipes that both my son Laken and I would enjoy. For an after gym treat I made this amazing smoothie:

Hemp History Week Protein Rich Hemp Cashew Cacao "Milkshake" Recipe

Hemp History Week Protein Rich Hemp Cashew Cacao "Milkshake" Recipe

Protein Rich Hemp Cacao “Milkshake”

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained

3 Medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest hulled hemp seeds

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 cups unsweetened rice milk

Blend until smoooooooth…

Hemp History Week Hemp Cashew Maple Ice Cream Recipe

Hemp History Week Hemp Cashew Maple Ice Cream Recipe

Cashew & Hemp Seed Maple Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups cashews, soaked overnight and drained

1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch Himalayan pink salt

1/4 cup rice milk

Blend all until smoooooth….

Natural Sweetener Smack Down #2: Brown Rice Syrup (With Gluten-Free Chocolate Chick Blondie Recipe!)

Natural Sweetener Smack Down: Brown Rice Syrup

 

& Gluten-Free Chocolate Chickpea Blondies

 

Chocolate Chickpea Blondies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

If ever there was a lovely sin, sugar gluttony would surely be mine. I marvel at my ability to drain daily Super Big Gulps of Dr. Pepper back in my teen years. How does a human body even hold that much extra liquid?

 

Today, I eat more fruit and sweet vegetables than I ever did in my teens and early 20s, and my taste buds appreciate the simple flavors of seasonal produce. Since changing my diet 11 years ago, I eat a lot less sugar, but I still enjoy desserts and chocolates.

 

In an effort to understand the differences between my sweet mistresses, I’m logging in the second of my natural sweetener series today.

 

A Wikipedia search revealed “Brown rice syrup, also known as rice syrup, is a sweetener derived by culturing cooked rice with enzymes (usually from dried barley sprouts) to break down the starches, then straining off the liquid and reducing it by cooking until the desired consistency is reached. The final product is 45% maltose, 3% glucose, and 52% maltotriose.”

 

According to Lundberg, one of the top producers of Brown Rice Syrup (BRS) and organic whole grains in the US, the thick, caramel-like syrup is “a nutritive sweetener about one half as sweet as sugar.” I find this to be a little misleading. While the glucose composition is very low, there isn’t much nutrition to speak of in BRS. It’s not like you’re adding fiber, protein, or vitamins to your dessert.

 

Though it is said to have a low glycemic index (25), it is not recommended for diabetics, since its sweetness comes from maltose, which can still cause blood sugar spikes.

 

BRS can legally be labeled on foods as only a carbohydrate because it is made from rice, which is a starch, not a sugar. However, your body will still respond to it as a sugar, so don’t think this is a “free ride” food. Take caution with any added sweeteners, whether you buy them from the health food store or the corner convenience mart.

 

According to Mercola.com, “The World’s #1 Free Natural Health Newsletter”:

 

“Brown rice syrup is another culprit that has a ‘healthier’ sound – but it is far from healthy. In my opinion, you should stay away from it. Besides, it’s known to contain MSG.”

 

Dr. Joseph Mercola doesn’t offer any evidence to back up his claim that BRS is unhealthy, and only mentions that it might contain MSG. This might be true of processed foods, as MSG can be hidden on labels as almost anything (yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable extract are just a couple of names to look out for). HOWEVER, if you are buying jars of organic brown rice syrup, there’s no MSG hiding inside.

 

Here’s what I like about Brown Rice Syrup:

 

It has a gorgeous buttery, caramel flavor that lends itself well to baking. Because of the low glucose content, it doesn’t affect my energy levels very much. For me, it is a mild sweetener. For someone with serious blood-sugar issues, like diabetics, this sweetener should be used sparingly.

 

Find BRS in your health food store’s baking aisle, or order it by the case or by the bottle here on Amazon.

 

To use BRS in cooking:

 

Substitute rice syrup in place of sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup or molasses. To substitute sugar, use 1¼ cup rice syrup for one cup sugar, using ¼ cup less of another liquid in the recipe.

 

gluten-free-vegan-chocolate-chickpea-blondie

gluten-free-vegan-chocolate-chickpea-blondie

Chocolate Chick Blondies

 

From Vegan Cooking for Dummies (order here for <$10!)

 

These gluten free bars are dense and full of nutrition. The chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) offer substantial protein and replace the flour normally found in dessert bars. Once you cut them, these squares can be individually wrapped and frozen for later. Make a double batch and freeze half for a road trip, picnic or upcoming potluck.

 

Preparation time: 30 minutes

 

Yield: 6-8 servings

 

Canola, sunflower or unrefined coconut oil

 

15 ounces (1 can) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

 

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

 

1/2 cup apple sauce

 

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter (crunchy is best)

 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

 

2 Tablespoons brown rice flour

 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 

1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 350.

 

    1. Lightly coat an 8-inch baking pan with oil.

 

    1. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides a few times.

 

    1. Pour the batter into the pan and stir in the chocolate chips.

 

    1. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.

 

    1. Cool to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing into 8 squares.

Party Planning Chelsea Clinton Style

Top 10 Tips For Planning a Gluten-Free, Vegan Party

This weekend the nation watched as former 1st daughter Chelsea Clinton married her longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky. Not only was the wedding gorgeous and the bride beautiful, but the catering included vegan options and a gluten-free cake – how cool! If you admire the menu options and thoughtful way the bride and groom accomodated the diverse dietary needs of their guests, check out my Top 10 Tips For Planning a Vegan, Gluten-Free Party Menu…

1. Serve it Seasonal: Every season offers a cornucopia of veggies, especially in summer and early fall. Use locally grown produce to add a rainbow of colors and flavors that will create a visual feast.
2. Eat first, label later: Don’t worry about emphasizing that the party will be gluten-free and vegan. The food will speak for itself and the guests will be happily surprised to find out that their delicious meal was so healthy. If told beforehand, their preconceived notions might alter their experience.
3. Serve Salacious Salads: Offer a variety of salads with different ingredients and themes. Beans, pasta, potatoes, tofu, grains, tempeh, and lettuce salads can all be prepared with different dressings and herbs to create a truly stunning party buffet.
4. Fabulous Flavors: Place a wide variety of gluten-free, vegan condiments near the buffet or on the dinner table so that guests can add different flavors to their taste. Gluten-free soy sauce, lemon wedges, fancy sea salts in grey, black, and pink, mustards, non-dairy sour cream, vegan mayonnaise, fruit-juice sweetened ketchup, cornishons, caper berrys, relish, salsas, and hot sauces will give guests options for creating their favorite flavor profiles.
5. Devouring Dessert: Finish the meal with a decadent vegan, gluten-free dessert and your guests will rave about the amazing healthy meal they enjoyed. Whether chocolate, fruit, pudding, or cake based, vegan, gluten-free desserts can be delicious and inspiring to your guests.
6. Try a Theme: Decorate your party and choose recipes based on the time of year, holidays or special events. Summer barbeques with grilled vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and tofu spruce up any July 4th party. May 5th can inspire a Mexican themed buffet. The end of December can be a solstice celebration uniting Christmas and Hanukkah foods that are veganized and gluten-free.
7. Create a vegan drink list: Many alcoholic beverages are made using animal products to filter out impurities. Check with www.barnivore.com for a complete list of vegan and gluten-free wine, beer, and spirits.
8. Hot Potato: For a casual gathering, set up a baked potato bar. Using baked potatoes as a base guests can season with whatever toppings they desire. Shredded vegan cheese, tofu sour cream, steamed broccoli, vegan baked beans, cubed tofu, and chives can spruce up the lowly, delicious potato.
9. Mexican Madness: Celebrate May 5th with a burrito buffet. Corn tortillas and taco shells can be stuffed with beans, rice, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado slices, guacamole, salsa, shredded vegan cheese, olives, sliced green onions, and jalapeños.
10. Eating Ethnic: Choosing a menu from an exotic world cuisine may offer more vegan and gluten-free options. Sushi rolls and miso soup using gluten-free soy sauce make for the beginnings of a fabulous Japanese dinner. Many Indian recipes can be easily veganized by replacing the butter with Earth Balance or coconut oil, and chickpea flour papadum are delicious and gluten-free. Italian menus can easily be put together using gluten-free pasta, fresh vegetables, and shredded vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes for added flavor.