I Hear Safe Healthy, Safe Weight Loss Foods
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    July 31st, 2012CindyRecipes

    Alan could not believe how good it was. Got him on video of course.

    This is how I did it.

    • 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
    • 1/2 cup Organic Chia seeds (I ground them up first)
    • 4 teaspoons of Stevia in the Raw
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup of Unsweetened coconut flakes.
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    I put the milk, Cocoa Powder, Stevia and vanilla in the Vitamix. Turned it on, blended it. Then I slowly added the Chia and the Coconut flakes. Turned the Variable up to 5 and watched it blend. Maybe 30 seconds or a bit more. Came out like pudding.

    Poured the whole thing in a graham cracker crust and put it in the freezer. What you see in the video is one hour in the freezer. Took a piece for Alan then put it back in the freezer. Took it out after dinner but put the rest in the fridge.

    This thing is DA BOMBE!!!

    Now if anyone can tell me how to make a Butterscotch chia pudding, I would be eternally grateful. That is my favorite taste of all.

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    July 24th, 2012CindyRecipes

    Typically people like to use a lot of butter in my baked goods. But there are some recipes for desserts that substitute prune butter, fig butter and/or date butter in place. (I make the fruit butters in my Vitamix) Following is what I learnt from the food lovers fat loss program, and you will find a few little recipes of this nature for baked good recipes that use these types of ingredients.

    I did come up with a decent pie recipe that doesn’t use butter or oil. I took a cup of flour and added 8 dates and chopped it all up in my Vitamix. One time I made it, I added a couple of tablespoons of prune butter and a half teaspoon of whole flax seeds as well, and it made a decent pie crust.

    If you happen to be interested in recipes that use cane juice in place of sugar as a sweetener, look no further. They had some organic cane juice for sale at the farmers market.

    Cane juice is a beverage; a really sweet one

    but still. I don’t think it’s sweeter than sodas (they seem less sweet because of the acids added). It’s pleasant. You can get it fresh pressed in tropical street markets.

    You may have never thought of it as a baking ingredient, or maybe a sweet tea base. However the flavor of cane juice would work really well with black tea. If there’s something else where you use sugar water or a light simple syrup, you could try cane juice. I’m producing mixed drinks, mostly.

    Fruit butters are similar to jams or jellies but with less sugar

    I actually don’t even add sugar in some of my recipes. For prune or fig butter, I boil them in a pot on the oven. If you’re using figs, cut the hard tops off first. I strain out any liquid.

    If you want, you can use the liquid as prune or fig juice (and you may or may not want to add some sweetener then).  I put the prunes or figs in the Vitamix and process until they’re ground. You can store in the refrigerator for a few weeks. I make a big batch and store in the freezer. It makes a nice filling for cookies.

    You can also use prune butter in crepes. I tried making prune butter with figs instead of dried prunes, but it was just to watery. You need to get most of the water out to get the right consistency. I use the same type of formula for cranberry sauce.

    When I strain the cranberries, I add 4 cups of water a 1 cup sugar to the strainer and I end up with cranberry juice. What doesn’t strain gets ground into cranberry sauce. I’ve seen some nice recipes that use date sugar instead of regular sugar. You can buy date sugar in the health food stores, but so far, almost any recipe I’ve tried that calls for date sugar works equally well with dates ground up in the Vitamix. I don’t even bother to boil them first, just rinse and throw in the Vitamix.

    For those of you who are interested in this type of detailed recipes for weight loss, I’d recommend you check out the program to see if it’s worth to you :)

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    July 20th, 2012CindyRecipes

    This is my observation for myself after using my Vitamix for almost two years now. Read everything you can about green smoothies and then just decide for yourself what you prefer and the most important thing is to change it up. I got really scared when I read that one person overdosed on spinach concentrated smoothies and had to go to the hospital so it is important to be careful, even with healthful drinks. That being said, my tastes have evolved so that I now really enjoy a V8 type smoothie without any fruit on occasion.

    I think newbies like the fact that they are hiding vegetables in a drink that tastes sweet. I know I did. However, I bet your tolerance to the taste of the vegetables will evolve over time so that you don’t need the sweet. I do think the next evolution I need to take in my V8 type drink is the salt. I have switched to sea salt, but I still need some or find it too bland.

    This morning I mixed a whole cucumber, 1 large tomato, two celery stalks, 3 carrots, a scoup of black bean salsa hummus, and water and buzzed it all up.  Then I added some worstershire sauce, 3 capfuls of lemon, and a small amount of sea salt. Buzzed that and lastly went back and added a lidful of ice. My trick for me because I like my smoothies cold and like to blend everything up first.

    The Vitamix is so versatile, don’t get stuck in a rut, it was meant to be a grand experiment in your health.

    However there are a few things you will want to note when you purchase the machine:

    1. The motor should be able to act smoother at lower speeds. Aside from the intial kick this one sputters. If the spinning isn’t smooth at all, return it and exchange for another one.
    2. Out of the box, the blade assembly should loose (could unscrew it easily by hand) – check it before getting it to work as you may have risked having it come off at high speed.
    3. The speed dial shouldn’t be constant: When it reaches full speed (while on variable mode) you should notice a different between 6-7 and between 7 and 10
    4. Always start with the dial on the lowest and the flip switch on low, then ramp the dial up to 10 and flip it up to high

    All in all, Vitamix machines are known for their high quality, and it is even hard to find two consecutive machines that fail to live up to that quality standard.

    And personally I have no problems at all with the end result the Vitamix is providing: great smoothies, nut butters, hummus etc… all have worked out very well for me so I hope yours will work well as well.

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    July 16th, 2012CindyHealth, Recipes

    Not sure if you should ever make hummus in VitaMix? First you need to know that besides it is going to take sometime to tamp ingredients down, it would sometimes sound like it was broken and adding more water. All these are pretty normal.

    I thought this was a serious problem and I just used the food processor instead. But after tasting today to see any season adjustment or add more water (can’t imagine it needing it), everything about the machine just suddenly made sense to me. I’m taking to a family gathering & my cousin was going to make a veggie tray. I also want to make another batch for trip to NC. I’ve been using my pressure cooker to do beans. So far have done the garbanzo for hummus (& lentil casserole which can be made into a salad)

    I made hummus the other day using the VM and it came out great after I added a little more lemon juice. I also added Tahini and a little water and some cilantro. I cooked the garbanzos until they were pretty well done too. When mixing, I did not flip the high switch, but used the higher settings on the variable dial and I did have to use the tamper too.  To get all of the hummus out of the blades and below, I used a skinny spatula, one about an inch wide.

    I add olive or grapeseed oil to my hummus, but my new trick is after I get as much out of the container as possible making hummus, I make a V8 type smoothie and the last ingredient I add is ice. That really helps clean out the machine and makes it easier to do a general clean up.

    I don’t always use dish soap but rinsing for many smoothies, but after anything with oil I put in some dish soap and water and run the machine. Ice seems the best to clean the machine.

    I don’t use the Vitamix for Hummus – I use the food processor or Blendtec. I’ve got the Wildside jar for the Blendtec, so it’s even easier to get things out. HOWEVER – if you don’t have a narrow spatula for getting food out the Vitamix (or other blender) jar, I think you’d really like it. I consider it a necessary tool for our blenders. Once you spatulate out all you can, you can put the jar back on the Vitamix, put the lid on, and give it one quick pulse. Any hummus or whatever sticking to the blade flies off to the jar sides where it’s easy to
    get.

    Anyway, you can purchase VitaMix from its official store: http://www.vitamix.com/ (I also got mine from there)

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    July 1st, 2012CindyRecipes

    Made this today and if I do say so myself, just as good as going to Starbucks.

    I combine a handful of white chocolate chip morsels and half a tall glass of vanilla almond milk (commercial Almond Breeze version, but the lower calorie vanilla) and heaping spoonful or two of instant coffee in the container and buzz until you can’t hear the morsels anymore. Then I go and measure 3/4 of the tall glass of ice and then add that into the container and finish buzzing it.

    You can add a frozen banana if you desire or some yougurt I am sure or another flavor if chips. Experiment, whatever you do it will be delicious and cheaper than Starbucks. You already made the big investment on your Vitamix!

    Another tip is that, the secrete ingredient in a Starbucks Frap is xanthan gum. Its a natural gum base that is a thickener (a lot of gluten free people will use xanthan to thicken foods) and it gives that Starbucks mouthfeel and it will keep
    your homemade frap from separating. It might seem expensive for that little bag of powder, but you only need a tiny bit and it lasts forever.

    However, you gotta know that a part of those bacteria is used, but nothing biologically active or anywhere nearly harmful. Which reminds me, I forgot to take my “probiotic” this morning – so I missed getting those thousands of live bacteria…

    I remember someone came and told me this, “hey, you know that black stuff annoying our cabbages? Bet if we ferment some sugar water with that it might end up containing something we can get out of the moonshine and dry and grind to a powder and use to thicken Frappucinos and give structure to gluten-free breads.”

    But I mean the bacteria of which I speak is not a pathogen nor a helpful bacteria for people if you have some knowledge about it. Whatsoever, the 31 day fat loss cure program (this’s where my inspiration came from) also suggested against it, so try it and you will see everything yourself eventually.

    DIY Watermelon Smoothie

    By the way, I also have self-designed and created a cup of Watermelon Smoothie today with my kids. What I really wanted to tell is, we make popsicles out of this, and all our leftover smoothies. Our kids love them, and I am happy they aren’t eating sugary, chemical-filled junk. It’s also a nice way to use up leftovers, especially in summer.

    Another good summery treat, which has totally gotten us off ice cream, is we blend frozen bananas with a tiny bit of milk to make “ice cream.” Sometimes we add peanut butter, which is heavenly. We also sometimes add carrots, spinach, mangoes, or strawberries. It’s so good we use it to positively motivate our children.

    Also, I love freezing red grapes to add to smoothies. I just wash, dry and pull them off the stems. As long as they are dry don’t seem to have the mush problem so don’t need to flash freeze. Just pop them in a plastic bag.