What would cashews have to do with jalapeno nacho cheese dip? Let’s consult my handy dandy 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden… it says “A lot.” Cashews are in fact the base of this dip and before you dismiss this as hippie quackery I urge you to give it a try.
Cashews and nuts in general have been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and attacks. It does this through its monounsaturated content which raises good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL). Cashews are rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese and selenium. Add to that 5 g of protein and 1 g of fiber per ounce. Have I mentioned that it’s delicious? Just ask my meat-eating-Sarah’s-a-crazy-hippie friend who said “Frito Lay Jalapeno Dip? Yeah I love that stuff! Oh but this is waaaay better.”
Jalapeño Cheese Dip (adapted from Amy Healy)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (fresh or roasted)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for a few hours then drained – optional step)
- 1 medium slice of fresh onion, diced (or 2 tsp onion powder)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp pink salt
- 2-3 T nutritional yeast (try it!)
- 4 T water +/-
- 2 T fresh lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
- 1/2-3 jalapeño pepper with seeds
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Blend all ingredients in a VitaMix, blender or food processor until smooth. Refrigerate.
Put it on some of these recipes or try it on any of your own:
For a comparison to Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar Dip let’s look at the obvious. The Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar dip lists MSG twice in the ingredients; once as monosodium glutamate and the other as autolyzed yeast extract (yep, that’s MSG!).
I love snacks just as much as the next person, and this one is a staple.
These are frozen, so they’re a perfect pre-workout snack when you’re about to leave the house or while you’re filling your water bottle… They are also a great pre-dinner snack, because let’s face it, I’m starving after lunch/before dinner/any time.
Banana Honey Oat Bars
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 2 cups raw oat flakes
- 1 c raw almond butter
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 T fresh raw bee pollen granules
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil to grease the pan
- Grease an 8×8 or 9×9″ pan.
- Mix all other ingredients in a bowl until dough forms. I like to pre-chop my oats gently in my VitaMix (food processor will do) until they’re all about cut in half.
- Pat dough into pan (or make balls) and freeze for 24 hours. Cut into squares after 12 hours or so – it’s softer. Can be stored up to 2 weeks. 9×9 pan makes 25.
Bananas are an awesome pre-workout food, as are Oats. This article says oats are the perfect fiber fill-up without gas for steady carbohydrate release, and bananas keep muscle and nerve function going strong with the right amount of fuel. This snack is also awesome for kids and they could probably even make it.
And if you’re still wondering about Bee Pollen, let me tell you I put 1 tsp in 1 L of our smoothie every day. Bee pollen is said to be nature’s perfect food because it’s packed with micro stuff like enzymes, trace elements, ~18 amino acids, almost all known minerals, and has more amino acids and vitamins than beef, eggs, or cheese. It’s also one of the few non-meat sources of B12. Bee pollen contains the essence of the plants as well, and I can say we don’t suffer from allergies. It’s a superfood in Bowden’s 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
And if you are fretting over the cost of almond butter, see if a store near you has bulk almond butter from a machine like them machine churned peanut butter. You could mix 1/2 almond butter and 1/2 peanut butter to change the taste as well and make the almond butter splurge last longer. You can always make your own almond butter in a VitaMix too! I just prefer the 10 second machine churned version!
Those beauties are halibut, and it’s the weirdest-looking-most-delicious-tasting fish. Living in Alaska at the time I got to take home around 20 pounds of the freshly frozen fish and I learned to cook it every which way. After moving away halibut wasn’t on the menu but once or twice a year. The costs of animal and fish meats have noticeably risen, particularly when you’re making local, antibiotic/hormone-free, organically fed, and biodynamic meat purchases a priority. If you’re considering the insanity behind the uppity choice in meat and fish labels, I can shed some light.
You’ve possibly heard about the horse meat scandal across Europe; beef containing horse DNA that got as far as European Ikea’s meatballs. The issue is not wholly about the fact that it was horse meat, but rather that people didn’t know as the meat wasn’t labeled as such. Debating the consumer demand for horse/beef meat isn’t my intention, but rather to address the origination issue. What came first (think chicken and egg); The mislabeled food we knew about – or the mislabeled food we didn’t know about? The latest round of sandal around our fishy friends comes from a 2 year test by Oceana, a conservation group, showing 33% of the fish tested was not what it claimed to be; snapper and tuna being the worst offenders.
I love fish and wholeheartedly agree with The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth when it states,
“…it’s refreshing to find a principle upon which everyone absolutely agrees. One such principle is to eat more vegetables and fruit. Another is that seafood is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.”
Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, sablefish, anchovies and farmed oysters are particular health superstars. White fleshed fish are high in vitamins and minerals, and low in fat, calories and proinflammatory omega-6 fats. Fish like halibut, flounder, cod and orange roughy are lower in fat than any animal protein. You could say white fish are a nice all-around fish. Orange roughy and cod also contain selenium (in Brazil nuts too) which has been linked to lower cancer rates.
Fish is food AND friend, so procure as thoughtfully as you can to the best of your ability.