Delish and Nutrish…Why Avocado Toast is the Ultimate Can’t Fail Meal

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I like to start trends, not ride them, so surfing popularity waves isn’t really my thing. One recent exception, however, is avocado toast! Although, it’s been the culinary rage for quite some time; it’s for good reason. It’s fast and easy to make, delicious, versatile and nutritious. The key is to purchase high-quality levain bread baked at your local bakery (if you can get it) and ripe, tasty avocados. Although, avocados are available year-round and nationwide due to the influx of Mexican imports; there is an ideal time to get more flavorful avocados, with a less mild and “watered down” taste. California avocados (Haas are recommended), are in season February-September, with their peak occurring in the warm summer months. Get them at the height of the season and when their prices have dropped substantially. Also, when you make your super simple avocado toast, be sure to experiment with different toppings. I sometimes drizzle spicy, infused olive oil on top or thinly sliced radishes and sprouts with a sprinkle of the popular season blend, Spike. I also like to make pesto “smavocado” i.e “smashed avocado”, by adding fresh pesto (often purchased in the cold case at Trader Joe’s) to my avocado mixture. Avocado toast is so simple to make, it seems futile to include a recipe, but here’s some preparation guidelines to help get you started:

Ingredients/Directions

  • Toast fresh levain bread (brush olive oil and rub fresh garlic on toasted bread)
  • Coursely smash ripe avocados (add lime juice, celtic sea salt, pepper to taste)
  • Spread avocado on toast and top with marash pepper (optional)
  • Top with any variation of yummy: sliced radishes, sprouts, green onions, red onion, microgreens

I like to add a sliced soft boiled egg with aioli topped with anchovies as a side dish. A short cut when making aioli is mixing mayo with horseradish and placing an anchovy on top, to add that unmistakable umami and briny note to your snack, brunch or dinner.

Enjoy!

 

Watermelon Never Stood a Chance When This Cool Cucumber Showed Up On The Scene

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Summer is around the corner and there’s nothing better than the refreshing combination of cucumber and watermelon juice on a hot day. It’s lightly sweet, earthy and mild and the addition of lime, adds a bit of tartness that quenches the thirst and adds a bit more complexity. There’s no such thing as perfect proportions when making any fresh juice drink. We suggest playing around with measurements and adjusting flavors to taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) fresh watermelon juice
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) fresh cucumber juice from about 1 large cucumber (use juice extractor)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (1/4 ounce) fresh muddled mint from about 10-15 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice from 1 to 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup or agave nectar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice from 1 to 2 limes

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine juices together thoroughly and adjust to taste. Serve immediately

RECIPE: Fresh Fig Crostini with Herbed Ricotta

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Depending on where you live, decadently sweet and luscious figs might already be in season. This roly poly, tear-drop shaped fruit is wonderfully versatile and can be prepared just as easily either fresh or baked, as it is within sweet or savory dishes. Figs have a long and storied ancient history, not to mention that it’s symbolic of peace and prosperity throughout the bible; but they’re also known for having substantial nutritional value. Figs are high in fiber and a great source of essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and vitamins K and B6.

Interestingly enough, 100% of the world’s dried figs are grown in California. That’s great news, because figs’ nutritional value becomes more concentrated when they’re dried. Not only do they contain antioxidants, but three little figs have approximately 5.5 grams of dietary fiber, which means this cherubic little fruit packs quite a punch. Moisture-rich figs contain 55% natural sugar, making them among nature’s sweetest fruits, and fig puree can be used as a great fat substitute in baked goods. This dish is wonderful served anytime: Breakfast, appetizer or a light lunch paired with a mixed spring salad. Feel free to add prosciutto to create a hearty main course

INGREDIENTS:

  • Thinly sliced baguette
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 teaspoons oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sliced fresh figs
  • Blueberries or pomegranate seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place ricotta cheese in bowl and stir in your fresh and dried seasoning and herbs until well-blended. Sample and season to taste.
  3. Brush french bread slices with olive oil and arrange on top of baking rack and place in oven for 3-4 minutes (Don’t hesitate to check in on these little guys through your oven door window like you did with your childhood Easy Bake Oven!). Take out when lightly toasted and let cool.
  4. Place ricotta cheese spread on top of crostini and add sliced figs. You can drizzle honey or aged balsamic vinegar on top for added sweetness

ACAI What You See

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Okay, let’s just admit it. Açäi bowls are Instagram darlings, because they’re photogenic like a mug. Well, thankfully, they’re not just pretty, “feel good” meals, but also delicious, nutritious and super easy on the digestive system. Oh, you haven’t had one, yet? If you’re still somehow among the uninitiated, we have a super easy recipe that’s perfect for lighter summer eating. Acai is a mildly tart berry categorized as a superfood and found in the Amazon. It’s typically served as the base ingredient in an Acai bowl and served cold; either scooped or blended, like soft frozen yogurt. Acai is sold in individual pureed packs and can be purchased at most health and organic food stores, in addition to larger retailers like Costco, Safeway, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Look for Sambazon, which is one of the largest Açai food exporters.

INGREDIENTS

2 Sambazon Performance Superfruit Packs

½ banana

1 tbsp almond butter

¼ c almond milk

1 tbsp Cacao Powder

Toppings: Fresh Seasonal Fruit, Sliced Bananas, Granola, Goji Berries, Hemp Seeds, Cacao Nibs, Mulberries, coconut shavings

DIRECTIONS

Simply high-speed blend the first five ingredients and then place your chosen toppings on top of your acai mixture.

This breakfast treat offers something for every dietary need and social justice requirement as it’s organic, vegan, fair Trade, kosher, gluten and lactose free.Ç