Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wellness Events

The Isla Vista Food Coop is not just a grocery store; it's the support of local farmers, the provider of food for local families, and the place for free nutrition education. I have partnered with Madia Jamgochian, in house Nutrition Educator and Deli Manager at the Isla Vista Food Coop to bring nutrition education to the local community. Together, we are hosting a series of 'Wellness Events' to bring about a greater awareness of real food, sustainability and healthy practices. As part of Fun Fridays at the coop our events will be held on Friday afternoons from 2-3pm every week. We will be giving a 'Talk, Tour and Taste!' on various different topics like Eating for Health, Sugar Free Me, or Winter Wellness. The event begins with a in-depth discussion on the topic, a tour throughout the store and will end with a surprise tasting! Some weeks you may find that during the 2-3 hour I am holding office hours where you can 'Ask the Nutritionist' any of your health related questions! To keep up with what's happening each Friday follow us on Facebook, check for fliers around the store and look out for our demo tables!

Next up is Going Gluten-Free!

Check out our demo table in the store now!

And watch our infomercial below!
 Join the event here and we hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Home-made Almond Milk

Almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts, full of healthy fats, protein and fibers! A 1/4 C serving contains 4g of fiber and 7 grams of protein! They help lower cholesterol and even have anti cancerous properties. Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E as well, a potent anti-oxidant that we all need more of! The latest trends of alternative milks have their benefits but there's nothing like making your own, fresh, properly prepared almond milk. No additives, no processed sugars, no preservatives. Just plain raw almonds, fresh dates and pure water.

Almonds would best be consumed in their original raw state but because the Almond Board of California prohibits the sale of raw almonds in the grocery store you will only find truly raw almonds at your local farmer's market. They can even be labeled 'raw' in the grocery store, but they are actually not raw, they are just 'not roasted'. They are always flash pasterurized unless you buy them directly from the farmer. Flash pasteurizing destroys most of the nutrients they originally contained so be sure to find truly raw, fresh almonds!

Properly preparing your food is another step towards better health. Soaking your nuts, seeds and grains helps improve your bodies ability to break down and utilize more of the nutrients, particularly minerals. These foods naturally contain phytic acid which is bound to the minerals they contain. Your body can not break down phytic acid all on it's own, but soaking naturally starts to break down the phytic acid. It's not bad to consume nuts, seeds and grains that haven't been soaked but you will certainly increase the digestibility and absorption of nutrients if you get in the habit of soaking them. And who doesn't need more nutrients?

The Recipe:
1/2 C raw almonds, soaked
2 dates, pit removed
3 C filtered water

Step 1: Soak almonds in a bowl covered with water, they will nearly double in size so leave plenty of room. 
Step 2: Cover with a plate or towel and let sit overnight or anywhere from 8-15 hours.
Step 3: Place in a high powered blender with dates and water. Vitamix or Blendtec works best.
Step 4: Blend on low for a minute or so then blend on high until smooth. Drink as desired!

Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, if it's just for one you may want to half the recipe. Shake well before pouring each time. Add to coffee or tea, use for a smoothie or simply a nutritious beverage! You can even add a pinch of stevia, vanilla extract or cinnamon for a delicious treat :)

Trust me, you will never settle for store bought almond milk again, plus you're getting all the fiber and more nutrients this way!

Recipe courtesy of Sheryl Rhoades.