March has been a month to remember here at TGBK. We've had the best time celebrating National Nutrition Month by teaming up with Navitas Organics as Insiders of the Month and sharing recipes featuring their superfood products. Maca has been one of this month's highlighted superfoods and by now we hope you've given it a try. If not, it's definitely time to get some maca in your pantry! Like other superfoods, the benefits one might experience from maca in the diet are based on consistency - we suggest about a tablespoon of maca daily. Maca can simply be added to yogurt, smoothies, and drinks or incorporated into recipes to make things more interesting and fun. And that's where we come in! We've been filling the blog this month with maca packed recipes and decided to finish up with an oldie but goodie. We created this recipe for Magical Maca Maple Granola over year ago but are still enjoying it frequently in our recipe rotation. We love this granola over yogurt, handfuls as a snack, or simply with homemade nut milk. It's definitely a delicious way to add maca to your diet. If you don't already have this recipe printed and posted on your fridge (wink, wink), we've provided it for you again. Enjoy!
Magical Maca Maple Granola
PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
Servings: 18-24 quarter cup servings (note that granola is quite rich and best eaten in small portions or as a crunchy topping)
2 cups thick rolled oats
1 cup rolled barley*
1 cup rolled rye*
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup Navitas Organics maca powder
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups Navitas Organics cashew nuts
1/4 cup Navitas Organics hemp seeds
1/8 cup unbleached, white sesame seeds*
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup Navitas Organics coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean pod (insides scraped out) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, barley, rye, oat bran, maca, flax, salt, cashews, hemp, and sesame seeds.
In a sauce pan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Turn burner on to medium heat and stir until the oil has melted and sugar has dissolved. Pour warm oil and sugar mixture over dry ingredients and stir until evenly covered. Add 1/4 cup water to the mixture and stir to combine.
Evenly spread mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is golden brown. Let sit until cooled. Using a large spoon, break granola into large chunks. Place granola back into the oven and continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes. Make sure to stir granola at least once while cooking. Allow granola to completely cool before storing in an air tight container. Adding granola to the container before it has completely cooled will add moisture and soften the granola.
*Note that you can use 4 cups of rolled oats and omit rolled barley and rye which may be more difficult to find. Hemp seeds and sesame seeds can also be used interchangeably, just keep the total amount the same (~2/3 cup).
Well friends, that should do it for our maca-filled month. We hope you've had as much fun as we did and have started your own experiments with Navitas products. The nutrient quality of your food and brands you support with food purchases DOES matter. Your body will thank you and your money can be well spent - now is the time to put ideals into practice.
Go for it!
Jess and Cecelia
We've had an exciting day taking over Navitas Organics' Instagram page with our favorite superfood packed recipes. From start to finish it has been a delicious and nutritious day. If you missed us on Instagram, no worries! Read on to find out more about what we've been up to.
We tend to like a little sweetness in the morning and this recipe did the trick! Inspired by a previous TGBK favorite for our Snack Attack Bars (recipe here), this time around we took a superfood spin and packed these bars with amazing Navitas products. The outcome was fabulous, most impressive being the velvety mouth-feel from the homemade white chocolate made with organic cacao butter. We almost can't imagine starting a morning without these bars now.
Superfood Snack Attack Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes (includes cooling)
Servings: 8 bars
1 1/2 cup puffed amaranth
1 cup puffed millet
1/2 cup honey (we used clover honey, pure maple syrup would also work)
1/4 cup unsweetened cashew butter
1/4 cup Navitas Organics cacao butter, melted
1/4 cup Navitas Organics goji berries, chopped
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics maca powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Navitas Organics cacao butter
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp organic powdered sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, inside seeds scraped out (1 tsp pure vanilla extract will also work)
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics chia seeds
2 Tbsp Navitas Organics hemp seeds
Prepare a 8" X 8" pan with a sheet of parchment paper overlapping two sides for easy removal of bars once set. Combine the puffed grains, goji berries, maca powder and sea salt in a large bowl then set aside.
In a small sauce pan combine the honey, cashew butter, and 1/4 cup cacao butter. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until fully melted. Turn the heat off, allow to slightly cool, and slowly pour mixture into the bowl with the puffed grains. Stir until puffed grains are evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down using a small sheet of parchment paper (easier and less messy on your hands) until firm and level. Now begin the white chocolate topping.
To make the topping add 1/2 cup cacao butter and coconut oil to a double boiler set to medium heat. Stir mixture until fully melted. You could also do this in the microwave in 10 second increments, however watch closely to avoid overheating. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla bean until fully incorporated. Allow chocolate to cool and thicken up slightly either in the fridge for 10 minutes or at room temperature for 20-25 minutes. Wait until the chocolate has thickened and almost solidified to spread a thin layer over the top of the puffed grains using the back of a spoon to cover evenly. Sprinkle chia and hemp seeds over the white chocolate then place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or until the white chocolate topping has set. Cut bars into 8 equal pieces. Store any leftover bars in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Midday, we threw it back to our past recipe for High Protein Hemp Hummus (here). A high protein dip, like this hummus, is a great addition to sandwiches, wraps, salads, and simply as a dip with veggies or crackers with lunch to keep you full and satisfied all afternoon. And if you remember from our past post, hemp is a fabulous source of plant based protein. Hemp protein contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies can't produce making it a source of complete protein - rare for plant foods! Hemp also contains an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats and is a good source of omega-3 fats which are generally lacking compared to omega-6 fats in our modern diets. With so much benefit, there honestly isn't a good reason not to start adding more hemp into your diet.
Towards the late afternoon we needed a bit of pick me up to finish out our busy day of recipe development. We reached for one of our favorite superfood berries, goldenberries, and created something pretty special. Paired with green iced tea, honey, lemon, ginger juice, and pomegranate powder, this is a superfood packed and slightly caffeinated beverage that will give you a boost of energy and nourishment when it's needed most. Just returning from a trip from Peru, Cecelia heard these native berries called Incan berries during her travels which makes them seem even more special, doesn't it?
Goldenberry Green Iced Tea
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 8 hours soaking time
Total Time: 10 minutes + 8 hours soaking time
Servings: 2, 14 ounce teas
3 cups unsweetened green iced tea (using 2 standard size tea bags)
1/4 cup Navitas Organics dried goldenberries, soaked for 8 hours or overnight in room temperature water
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp ginger juice or 1" knob of peeled ginger
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics pomegranate powder (optional)
2 tsp honey (we used tupelo honey, light clover honey would also work)
Sliced lemon rounds (optional)
In a bowl fitting with a lid or plastic wrap, soak the goldenberries in room temperature water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Combine 2 standard green tea bags with 8 ounces of hot water. Allow tea to steep for 3-5 minutes then remove tea bags and add 16 ounces of cold water to the concentrated tea. Once berries are done soaking strain them through a fine mesh strainer then add to a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec work best for this recipe). Add cooled green tea, lemon juice, ginger juice, pomegranate powder, and honey. Blend on high for 3 minutes or until the berries are completely broken up and the mixture is liquefied. Pour over ice, add sliced lemon rounds and enjoy! Any leftover tea should be stored in the fridge in an air tight jar for up to 24 hours.
We must admit, we've never truly understood the exclamation "holy mole" until we went through the amazing process of actually making mole. There are so many unexpected ingredients that go into this sauce and we've found that ingredients can vary depending on the variety of sauce being made. Mole is a chile based sauce used in Mexican cuisine that can be made with a variety of chiles and also contains vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, and even chocolate. It is traditionally made in large batches for special occasions - perfect for our ongoing celebration of National Nutrition Month! The long ingredient list can look daunting but this sauce is truly worth the effort. You'll notice how healthy and nutrient packed this sauce really is and we even added our own superfood spin. We found mole to be a perfect base for both maca and pomegranate additions - from Navitas Organics, of course! For many of the other ingredients check out your local ethnic grocer, though note that the dried chile varieties can also be found online.
Here at The Green Blossom Kitchen we have an ongoing love affair with maca. We've used it in previous recipes and explained some of the various health benefits (here). As a brief review, maca is a plant that grows at high altitudes in the Andean Mountains and the superfood powder is made from the maca root. Though maca is not a medical treatment, it is believed to aid in balancing hormones and the endocrine system, which could improve stress management, energy, and reproductive and fertility issues. Pomegranate powder, made from the pomegranate fruit seed, contains abundant antioxidants. We've also discussed antioxidants in prior posts (including here) but are happy to provide a refresher. Antioxidants help the body fight cellular damage from free radicals (or damaged molecules) that naturally occur in our bodies as a result of physiological process and exposure to the environment. Navitas Organics pomegranate powder is carefully processed - seeds are juiced, freeze dried, and then milled into powder - to preserve as much of these beneficial antioxidants as possible. Navitas has even more great information on their website (here) so definitely check them out! One question we often get about superfoods is how best to incorporate them into the diet. We think that any way you enjoy superfoods is great but love to provide new and unique recipe ideas to keep things exciting. This week's recipe is definitely a unique (and delicious!) use of both of these amazing superfoods.
PREP TIME: 60 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes
Servings: 8-10 cups mole
8 dried mulato chiles
8 dried pasilla chiles
4 dried chilhuacle negro chiles
1 plum tomato, halved
½ medium onion, sliced into quarters
3 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
3 garlic cloves
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 ripe plantain, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup Navitas Organics maca powder
4 Tbsp almonds
1, 4" corn tortilla, torn into 2" pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole allspice
3 whole cloves
2 Tbsp golden raisins
4 Tbsp Navitas Organics raw hemp seeds
2 Tbsp raw sesame seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
⅛ tsp aniseed
⅛ teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup Navitas Organics pomegranate powder
4 ounces dark chocolate (65% or greater), chopped
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 - 2 tsp sea salt
Using a damp cloth, clean outside of chiles. Cut chiles in half, discard stems, remove seeds and ribs and set aside. In a large skillet toast seeds and ribs until blacked - about 5 minutes - then remove from pan and save in a clean bowl. In the same pan, working in batches lay chiles in a single layer and cook until skin is slightly blistered and charred. Continue until all chilies have been toasted. Place cooked chiles into a large bowl and cover with boiled water. Allow chiles to soak for about 20 minutes to soften.
Add tomato, tomatillos, onion, and garlic to the skillet and place over medium to high heat. Cook vegetables until blackened making sure to turn as needed for an even char. Add charred vegetables to a blender with 1-2 cups of vegetable broth and process until smooth then set aside.
Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to the same skillet, add the sliced plantain, and cook on medium heat until golden on both sides - about 3-4 minutes - then place in a bowl. Carefully wipe the skillet clean then add the almonds and tortilla pieces to the skillet and toast on medium heat until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove almonds and tortilla from the skillet and place in the bowl with the plantain. Add cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, golden raisins, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, oregano, aniseed, and cumin seeds to the pan and toast on low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant, then add to the bowl with the plantain. Working in batches, add contents of plantain bowl, maca powder, and 2 cups broth to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth then set aside.
Drain chiles making sure to reserve the soaking liquid. Add chiles to a blender with 2 cups soaking liquid and blend on high until completely smooth. Add pomegranate powder, toasted chile seeds, and chile ribs to the blender and continue to blend on high until completely smooth.
In a large pot, add chile puree, plantain puree, and vegetable puree and cook on low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Allow mole to cool, then place 1 1/2 cups aside for the jackfruit lettuce wraps (if making). Any mole you do not plan on eating or sharing with friends within 5 days should be stored in air tight containers to be frozen for later use. When ready to use, remove frozen mole sauce from the freezer and place in the fridge for about 24 hours prior to use to completely thaw. Mole sauce can be reheated on the stove top, in the oven, or microwave.
*Note that this recipe will work best with a high speed blender (ex: Vitamix, Blendtec). If you don't have a high speed blender we recommend straining the chile puree (step 4) after blending through a fine mesh sieve. The plantain puree (step 3) may require an additional 1/2-1 cup vegetable broth for optimal blending. The other purees (step 2) should be fine without straining.
Sweet & Spicy Pomegranate Pickled Relish
PREP TIME: 10 minutes + 8 hours to pickle
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes + 8 hours to pickle
Servings: 1 1/2-2 cups
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/8" rounds
3 large pink radishes, peeled and sliced into 1/8" rounds
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3" fresh jalapeno, sliced into 1/8" rounds
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 Tbsp Navitas Organics pomegranate powder
1 tsp sea salt
In a small sauce pan add vinegars, sugar, and salt and cook on medium heat stirring constantly until sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin set to a 1/8" cut, slice peeled carrot, radishes, and jalapeno into rounds. Add vegetables, chopped cilantro, and pomegranate powder to a glass jar or bowl then pour cooled liquid over the top. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and allow to sit out at room temperature for 8 hours until vegetables soften and slightly wilt. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Superfood Mole Jack Fruit Lettuce Wraps
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 (makes 8 wraps)
2, 20 oz cans young jack fruit, drained and rinsed (we used Aroy-D brand found at some specialty grocers or online)
1 1/2 cup superfood mole sauce (recipe above)
16 fresh lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried (we used butter lettuce)
1/2 cup sweet & spicy pomegranate pickled relish (recipe above)
Drain and rinse jack fruit. Using your hands, lightly pull jack fruit segments apart into smaller pieces. Place pulled jack fruit in a sauce pan along with 1 1/2 cups superfood mole sauce and cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes or until jack fruit is tender and well coated in sauce. Remove from heat and set aside. Overlap 2 butter lettuce leaves, fill each leaf with 1/4-1/2 cup jackfruit, and top with pickled relish. Serve wraps warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in air tight containers for up to 5 days. We recommend keeping the leftover jack fruit separate from the relish and lettuce leaves for easy reheating.
What else can we say but holy mole! This sauce recipe is a true show stopper and will make enough for a large group or extras to save for later use. The depth of flavor is astounding: spicy from the chiles, earthy from the scorched vegetables, tangy from the blend of spices, and rich from the nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate. We think this sauce will lend itself to a variety of uses, though absolutely loved it with pulled jackfruit in our butter lettuce wraps. We can't wait to hear from you about your experience with mole and Navitas' products.
Jess and Cecelia
March is a huge month for us here at The Green Blossom Kitchen. Not only is it National Nutrition Month, but today, March 8th, is National Registered Dietitian (RD) Day! As if that isn’t enough, we are being featured as Navitas Organics “Insiders of the Month” this March due to our love for and use of superfood and Navitas products and, of course, our expertise as nutrition professionals. Our posts this month will be highlighting Navitas products and they will be featuring us on their social media outlets – a nutrition match made in heaven, if you ask us!
The Green Blossom Kitchen is the creative product of two passionate Registered Dietitians who understand that the seemingly small choices we all make every day have a huge and lasting impact on our health as well as the environment. What we eat and where our food comes from does matter and our goal is to make in season, plant based eating accessible, affordable, and downright delicious. As dietitians, people are always asking us what we eat or wanting us to share favorite recipes; what better way to share that information than with a weekly recipe blog?
Since starting The Green Blossom Kitchen two years ago, we’ve steadily grown in terms of our following as well as personally as bloggers. Jess will never be found without a cookbook in hand researching for a new recipe and Cecelia pretty much sees everything through the lens of her camera. We’ve shared almost one hundred recipes so far and it’s hard to narrow down our favorite. Believe it or not, one of our favorite and most popular recipes remains our first post ever for The Olive Oil Blackout Cake (recipe here). This recipe is a decadent chocolate cake that unassumingly features some of the healthiest foods: cacao, olive oil, flax seed, hemp seeds and coconut (as sugar and oil). It seems like our pairing with Navitas Organics has always been meant to be, as they produce many of these superfoods that have been and will remain staples in our pantry.
We appreciate Navitas Organics as a company for the superfood products they provide as well as their attention to detail. Their products are high quality, organic, and thoughtfully processed to preserve nutritional value. Most importantly, we admire their socially responsible business practices and fair trade support of the farmers who grow these superfoods. Without knowledgeable farmers around the world and companies like Navitas these superfoods would not be readily available.
So keep up with us and Navitas Organics this month as we celebrate nutrition, agriculture, and deliciously inspired recipes. Good things to come!
Happy RD Day,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.