A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Steps to Make Your Own Kale Chips

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

Right now kale is in season here in Arizona. In addition to massaging kale (yes! we massage kale!) and making all kinds of delicious raw kale salads with fresh berries, fruit, and figs, I decided to dehydrate a batch of kale. The simple way to dehydrate kale is to lightly massage (or coat) the kale leaves with organic extra virgin olive oil, add sea salt, and dried herbs, such as basil and oregano.

I am so fortune to live less than a mile from Maya’s Farm in South Mountain, Arizona, that I had the opportunity to visit the farm this week and see the organic kale growing.

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SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE YOUR OWN ORGANIC KALE CHIPS

Step 1: Gather mise en place: Organic kale, organic extra virgin olive oil, dried herbs (basil, oregano), sea salt. Keep kale leaves as large as possible, as they will shrink when dehydrated or baked in the oven.

Step 2: Gently massage (toss) organic kale leaves in the organic extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground herbs, and sea salt.

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Step 3: Mindfully spread the kale leaves onto dehydrator trays, being careful that the leaves do not touch each other.

Step 4: Slide trays into the dehydrator. I’m so excited to dehydrate kale on all 9 trays of my dehydrator.

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Step 5: Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about 7 hours.

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Step 6: Plate and enjoy the fresh, crispness of your home-dehydrated organic kale chips!

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Step 7: Place extra organic kale chips in class containers for healthy ready-to-eat healthy snacks.

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If you enjoy this simple recipe, I invite you to take a look at my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating, which is available now!

Step 1: Order the Book

 Step 2: Fill out the form and receive Top 5 Recipes & Culinary Tips

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A New View of Healthy Eating: 3 Types of People who Dehydrate

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

The last few days, I’ve been having fun dehydrating and tomorrow I will post a blog with the 9 trays of kale chips that are in the dehydrator right now.  Meanwhile last night I dehydrated a few apples and realized how much I love the crunch, sweetness, and texture of dehydrated apples.

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EXCERPT from A New View of Healthy Eating

What is Dehydrating?

Dehydrating is the process of removing the moisture from food by surrounding food with a warm circulation of air, not exceeding 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This process concentrates flavors and creates dry, crisp food.

Dehydrating is a simple, quick way to prepare food for different types of people and various culinary uses:

  • Raw Diet. Raw foodists (who eat food that is not cooked above 118 degrees) dehydrate lots of fruit, vegetables, wraps, and crackers with nuts and seeds for everyday eating.
  • Simple Fruit. Kids and adults of all ages enjoy dehydrated fruit (bananas, apples, persimmons) for everyday snacks.
  • Culinary Delight. Chefs and culinary enthusiasts dehydrate to concentrate and intensify the flavor of food, such as tomatoes, sweet peppers, and beets.

If you’re interested in my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating, it’s available and I can ship it to you right away.

Step 1: Order the Book

 Step 2: Fill out the form and receive Top 5 Recipes & Culinary Tips

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A New View of Healthy Eating: Get to Know Goji Berries

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

Lately, I have been hooked on goji berries, enjoying them with my morning smoothies and added them to some date balls I made for a client last week. I clearly remember when superfood, raw food expert David Wolfe mentioned goji berries when I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Medicine in New York in  2006. After learning about them, my friends and I literally ran to Whole Foods Market in Columbus Circle to buy goji berries and raw cacao. And, I’ve been enjoy them ever since.

Today’s smoothie, topped with three of my favorite superfoods, goji berries, hempseeds and raw cacao nibs, was so tasty and refreshing.

Superfood Smoothie topped with Goji Berries, Hempseeds, and Raw Cacao Nibs

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Excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating

Get to Know Goji Berries (Wolfberries)

Antioxidant and protein-rich, with a strong, sweet, bitter taste. Enjoy a handful as a crunchy snack. Blend in smoothies or add as a topping. Cook in a veggie stir-fry. Enjoy as a sweet, earthy, warm tea.

  • Used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years
  • Traditionally known as a strength-building, longevity, and immune system superfood
  • Grown in South America and the Himalayas
  • High in protein, with 18 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids
  • Rich in antioxidants and more than 20 trace minerals, and full of fiber

Come over to our Facebook page and share a photo of you enjoying your favorite superfood: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating

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A New View of Healthy Eating: Vegan Pesto Recipe for Spiralized Organic Veggies

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

This past Saturday at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, I had the opportunity to lead a fun, hands-on cooking class, SHOP+CHOP+COOK.  During this class, I guided the participants to create their own veggie pasta. Often we think about making veggie pasta with zucchini, but during this class, we also spiralized a local organic butternut squash and a few sweet potatoes. 

We also created a delicious vegan, dairy-free pesto with pre-soaked raw cashews, fresh organic basil from Maya’s Farm, a little lemon, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. This dish was so incredible that a local farmer friend of mine with “The Community Exchange” Table stopped by and enjoyed the left-overs.

The key takeaways from this class were that we can make a pesto without cheese and we and eat some veggies raw that we would generally think we’d need to cook.

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EXCERPT from A New View of Healthy Eating

Spiral Veggies with Nut-Based Creamy Dressing

Learn how to spiral colorful veggies and create a simple dressing with raw cashews and basil.

Basic Salad Dressing: Raw Cashews & Basil Pesto

A vegan, dairy-free, creamy dressing is the base for this colorful raw spiral veggie salad. With fresh basil and lots of garlic, this refreshing dressing is a perfect alternative to a cheese-based pesto.

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours in water
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 fluid ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil

SIMPLE STEPS

  • Place all ingredients except organic extra virgin olive oil into food processor.
  • Add olive oil little by little until smooth.
  • Taste and add extra garlic, lemon juice, or basil leaves to create a taste that’s right for you.

Cashews are an excellent substitution for cheese in raw vegan dishes, as they are creamy and smooth in sauces and dressings.

A raw spiral veggie salad is a perfect way to introduce raw food to everyone, from young kids to adults. It’s simple, delicious, and fun to prepare.

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Spiral Veggies

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 butternut squash, solid end, peeled
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 red beet
  • 1 golden beet

SIMPLE STEPS

  • Spiralize veggies into long, pasta-like shapes using a spiral vegetable slicer with a small blade. Be sure to spiralize the red beets last and separate them from the other vegetables to limit bleeding.
  • After spiralizing each vegetable, slice to make the pieces shorter.
  • Allow the vegetables to sit at room temperature to dry.
  • Toss all spiralized vegetables together.
  • Add pesto to the vegetables and toss.
  • Serve and enjoy this fresh raw salad.

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Spiralizing veggies is very mindful and meditative. I love creating the long, beautiful spirals with a rainbow of different colored vegetables.

Have fun experimenting with spiralizing different types of organic veggies and creating a vegan pesto. Share your dishes with us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating

I’d like to take a  moment to thank everyone who has already purchased my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating. It was a joy to share the book publically for the first time at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market this weekend.

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A New View of Healthy Eating: 4 Steps to Bake an Organic Apple Crisp with Freshly Ground Spices

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

After teaching a cooking class yesterday at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, today I decided to give myself some self care time in the kitchen. I always love enjoying the aromatherapy of fresh herbs and spices, the mindfulness of chopping, and the natural aroma of desserts in my oven.  I decided to cook, for the first time since the launch of my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating, one of my very favorite desserts.

Enjoy today’s step-by-step photos creating the Organic Apple Crisp. For your reference, the complete recipe from the book is here for you, as well.

  • Start with hand-ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. The incredible mindfulness of grinding the spices, along with the distinct aromatherapy of each brings back memories of baking with my Mom and Grandmother when I was a kid.
  • Slice organic apples, like these fresh apples which grew in Wilcox, Arizona. If you live in an area where you can “pick-your-own” apples, have fun picking and then come home and enjoy preparing this apple crisp.
  • Practice your mise en place: Get all of your ingredients together for the apple crisp filling and topping, for mindful cooking.

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  • Place filling ingredients into a sauce pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Apples, spices, sweetener (local Arizona honey today), grapeseed oil, lemon and orange zest and juice. Near the end of cooking, I added a few organic raspberries to the crisp.
  • Mix the ingredients for the topping: oats, chopped nuts (walnuts today), sweetener (Arizona honey today), grapeseed oil, and the ground spices.
  • Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

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EXCERPT from A New View of Healthy Eating: Aromatic Apple Crisp with Freshly Ground Spices

This apple crisp is one of my all-time favorites. From cooking with local organic apples to mindfully hand-grinding and enjoying the aromatherapy of freshly ground warming spices, from the aromatherapy of the apples sautéing in the spices to memories of eating pies when I was a child, this dessert (or breakfast) is outstanding. Enjoy the process of setting up your mise en place, cooking, and enjoying this dish with your family and friends.

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

Topping

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans, sliced
  • ¼ cup maple sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, fresh ground
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds, fresh ground
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil

Filling

  • 8 apples, sliced
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 4 tbsp maple sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, fresh ground
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds, fresh ground
  • ½ tsp cloves, fresh ground
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested

SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Prepare your mise en place.
    • Hand-grind all spices in mortar and pestle.
    • Hand-squeeze and zest the orange and lemon.
  1. Prepare topping.
  • Mix all dry ingredients for topping until well combined.
  • Pour in grapeseed oil and mix.
  1. Cook the apple crisp.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place sliced apples in a large sauté pan.
  • Turn heat to medium and add remaining filling ingredients.
  • Cook until apples slightly soften; stir occasionally.
  • Pour cooked apples with sauce into 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish.
  • Top with oats topping.
  • Bake on middle oven rack for 20-30 minutes.
  1. Enjoy!

If you are interested in more healthy dessert recipes, A New View of Healthy Eating is available now. Order today and I’ll ship tomorrow!

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Step 2: Join our e-newsletter and receive the Top 5 Recipes & Culinary Tips.

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A New View of Healthy Eating: We Eat with our Eyes First

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

To celebrate the launch of my new book, A New View of Healthy Eating, last night I enjoyed an incredible, beautiful meal at the Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain, in Phoenix, with my yoga friend, Jody Loren. Since The Farm is only a mile from my home, over the last decade I have enjoyed the natural, quiet beauty of the farm; the just-harvested organic veggies, flowers, and fresh herbs at Maya’s Farm; and am honored to teach “farm to table” cooking classes in the Spring and Fall of 2016.

Even though I spend a lot of time at the farm,  last night’s dinner at Quiessence totally exceeded my expectations with the mindfulness and beauty of the environment at The Farm, and the outstanding, unique beauty and simple, yet complex taste and textures of the delicious meal .

The meal at Quiessence reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

“We eat with our eyes first.”

I invite you to enjoy this photo essay of my celebratory evening at The Farm, commit to go out and enjoy the beauty of your food.

The Simple Beauty of The Farm

 The Food Art

  Beautiful time with friends.

 Good night at The Farm

I look forward to seeing photos of you enjoying your “food art” on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating

 

A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Steps to Create Your Own Sorbet

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

This evening I celebrated the launch of my book, with my dear yoga friend, Jody Loren, at the wonderful Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain, which is just a mile from my home. Tonight I’m sharing with you our dessert: incredibly beautiful and tasty fruit sorbet, topped with dehydrated fruit. My favorite flavors were the sweet and refreshing apple and pineapple. Our meal was so tasty and beautiful at the magical Farm at South Mountain, so stay tuned as I’ll be sharing more of the beautiful food, should I say food art.

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The excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating are the simple steps to make your own sorbet.

Fruit Sorbet

For most of my life I ate refreshing sorbet only at restaurants. Now with this simple sorbet process, I enjoy making it at home with local, seasonal fruit. I especially love sorbet with freshly harvested Arizona oranges. Intuitively create sorbet with fruits that are local and in season and experiment with different fruit, spices, and herbs to create sorbet year-round.

Simple Steps to Create Fruit Sorbet

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups fresh fruit
  • ½ cup fresh fruit juice, as needed
  • Freshly ground spices or herbs
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 5 tbsp agave nectar or coconut sugar, as needed

SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Blend fresh fruit, fresh fruit juice, ground spices or herbs, and a pinch of sea salt in high-speed blender.
  2. Taste and add sweetener if needed.
  3. Pour into frozen sorbet maker and process for about 15-20 minutes until thick, soft, and creamy.
  4. For firmer sorbet, freeze in an air-tight container for about 2 hours and remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.
  5. Enjoy.

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I invite you to have fun experimenting with making your own fruit sorbet. Come over to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating and share photos of your sorbet with us.

A New View of Healthy Eating: Find the Right Chef’s Knife for You

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

Today we were shooting some video segments and one of the segments was about Getting your Kitchen Ready for Success. For success in the kitchen, our kitchen tools, refrigerator , and pantry must be ready to cook.  In my view, the number one most important kitchen tool is a Chef’s knife. While I also use a 4” paring knife, serrated tomato knife, and a large 8” Chef knife, my everyday knife is a 6” heavy steel German-made knife. It fits nicely in my hand, feels balanced, and is always sharp.

Learn more about knives and some of the other basic tools to successfully cook whole foods in this excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating.

Knife. A knife that is “right for you” is the number-one most valuable kitchen tool. The key aspects of a knife are: fits comfortably in your hand, feels balanced, and is sharp. For me, a basic Chef’s knife, 6-inch or 8-inch, can be used for virtually all cutting in the kitchen. Before you purchase a knife, visit a kitchen store and experiment by holding and cutting with different knives to determine which works best for you.

Some people prefer stainless steel, relatively heavy German knives. Others prefer lighter, thin Japanese knives, while still others prefer lightweight, colored ceramic knives. The most important thing is to find a knife that feels comfortable in your hand and to know that the investment is worth it, as each of us tends to use our favorite knife every day, for years and even decades.

“When traveling for a week or more, I take my favorite Chef knife with me, as it is so much nicer to cook with ‘my’ knife that fits ‘just right’ in my hand; it cuts food smoothly.”

Bamboo Cutting Board. Cutting boards are essential in the kitchen to make cutting easier with a flat surface, protect your kitchen counters, and keep knives sharp. My favorite cutting boards are made of bamboo, as they are clean, sustainable, and naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Cutting boards last decades, so finding the right cutting board to invest in is important. A key to purchasing a cutting board is to be sure that it is large enough that your entire knife (blade and handle) stays within the board when you chop.

Wooden Spoons. A few wooden spoons are staples in the kitchen and are used to move food around in a sauté pan or to stir food in a pot. Personally, I prefer bamboo with a flat edge. Bamboo, a grass, grows at a fast rate, so it is eco-friendly and biodegradable. It’s strong and durable, and will not scratch cookware.

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I’ll continue to share the key tools to get your kitchen ready for success. Come on over to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating and share photos of your favorite kitchen tools.

A New View of Healthy Eating: Mindful Mirepoix into Delicious Quinoa Red Lentil Dish

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

Today was a very mindful, quiet, reflective day and for quiet self care,, I decided to create a new dish inspired by today’s version of mirepoix.  Most of us know mirepoix as carrots, onions, and celery as a base to build the flavor profile of a dish. Today, in my intuitive mirepoix I used onions, leeks, garlic, carrots, bell peppers and a little sea salt. I added organic quinoa and red lentils to create a simple, nutritious meal with pseudograins and protein-rich lentils.

Excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating

Experiment with Mirepoix

Mirepoix, the aromatic vegetables used at the beginning of the cooking process, builds the flavor profile of a dish. Different cuisines around the world typically begin their cooking with different combinations of vegetables. Experiment with various aromatic vegetables to create a wide variety of flavored dishes.

French: onions, celery, carrots

Italian: onions, celery, carrots, plus parsley, garlic, fennel

Mediterranean: onions, tomatoes, garlic, fennel

Spanish: onions, garlic, tomatoes

Asian: garlic, ginger, lemongrass

Cajun “Holy Trinity”: onions, celery, green pepper

German: carrots, celery root, leeks

Enjoy the process from mirepoix to the delicious quinoa lentil meal.

  • Today’s intuitive mirepoix: Green onions, leeks, fresh garlic, carrots, and bell peppers.
  • Cook: Add 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup red lentils, 1 cup homemade veggie stock, and about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered with lid, for about 20 minutes.
  • Mindfully enjoy. Be intuitive. Quinoa Lentil Side with dehydrated bell peppers.

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  • Enjoy Cold Quinoa Lentil Side with kalamata olives, capers, and a drizzle of organic olive oil.

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A New View of Healthy Eating: Quick Steel Cut Oats with Spice Aromatherapy

By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC

Nine years ago when I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I learned how to cook whole grains for myself and to share with my clients. What I found was that it is so easy, tasty, and healthy. Lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies for breakfast, so I decided to add a little variety to my breakfast with steel cut oats.

Simple Ingredients: Organic steel cut oats, sunflower seeds, a local Arizona organic apple, goji berries, and vanilla.

Spices: Enjoy the aromatherapy and taste of fresh-ground spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). Use a microplane grater to  mindfully grind the spices.

Prep: After thoroughly rinsing the steel cut oats with water, place all ingredients into a pot. Add twice as much water as whole grain.

Cook: Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then simmer with pot covered for about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating

Steel-Cut Oats: Ireland

Steel-cut oats are sometimes called Irish or Scottish oats and grow in the cold, wet climates of northern Europe and North America. Oats are unique among popular grains, as the bran and germ are rarely removed in processing.

Why Oats

  • The fiber, beta-glucan, in oats helps lower cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and enhances the body’s immune system.
  • Avenanthramide, a polyphenol antioxidant in oats, may have anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy, and anti-itch properties.
  • Fiber helps us feel fuller longer, which controls weight.
  • They have the highest protein content of popular cereals.

Eat Oats

  • Available as steel-cut oats or oat groats (hulled grains).
  • Do not eat instant quick-cooking oats. They are low in fiber because most of the bran is removed. In addition, sugars and preservatives are usually added to the package.
  • The mild, smooth, sweet flavor makes oats a perfect breakfast grain to enjoy with nuts, seeds, and fruit.
  • Oats are naturally gluten-free, but may be contaminated with gluten during growing and processing. Look for oats certified gluten-free if you are sensitive to gluten.

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Share your whole grain breakfast meals with us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NewViewHealthyEating

Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods

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