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Nov 11, 2016

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (the canned kind)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 10 ounces high quality vegan dark chocolate (70% cocoa) – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
makes about 24+ truffles (depending on their size)

  • In a double boiler, heat coconut oil and coconut milk over a low/medium heat, whisking until just melted and well incorporated. 
  • Add the chocolate, stirring continuously, not allowing it to heat too quickly. 
  • As soon as it is melted, remove from the heat and stir very well to make sure it is all well incorporated. 
  • Add in the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt.
  • Pour into a 8″ baking dish or a pie pan and refrigerate until the mixture is mostly set , but still pliable. 
  • Using a 1″ melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll into balls using your hands, set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  • Once all have been rolled, place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes, up to overnight.
  • Place the cocoa power onto a small plate and roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat, you can also put the cocoa powder in your hands and roll them around that way. Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.
  • These truffles will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes, just before serving.

Nov 10, 2016

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Salt, to taste
Roasted Butternut Squash:
  • 1 and ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and yellow leaves are removed. 
  • Slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. 
  • Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
  • Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.
  • You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.

  • In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.

Nov 4, 2016

How to Combat High Cholesterol (without prescription drugs)

  • Reducing SATURATED FAT, trans-fatty acids and cholesterol as well as increasing   monounsaturated fats, soluble fibers and nuts will aide you in decreasing your cholesterol.
  • The level of SATURATED fats in foods are more relevant than their dietary cholesterol content. 
    • What investigators found was that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, influences blood cholesterol levels most, and that for most people dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels.
  • Consume NO MORE than 200 mg cholesterol per day.
  • No more than 10 to 15 g per day and ideally even less.
  • Soluble fiber found in legumes (lots of fiber!!), fruits and vegetables is effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
  • The overwhelming majority of studies have demonstrated that individuals with high cholesterol levels experience cholesterol reductions with frequent oatmeal consumption!
  • 35 g of fiber per day from fiber rich foods.
  • Niacin (B3) produces the best overall effect to lower cholesterol. The book recommends (in conjunction with a healthy diet and after speaking with your doctor) 1000 mg - 3000 mg at night for people with initial total cholesterol levels over 250 mg/dl within the first two months reducing total cholesterol by 50 to 75 mg/dl. Once cholesterol levels are below 200 mg/dl for two successive blood measurements ATLEAST two months apart, the dosage can be reduced to 500 mg three times per day for 2 months. If the cholesterol levels creep up above 200mg/dl, then the dosage of niacin should be raised back up to previous levels. If cholesterol is below 200mg/dl, then the niacin can be withdrawn completely and have cholesterol rechecked in 2 months.
  • Garlic has been shown to lower blood cholesterol as well. 
  • Foods to eliminate: coconut oil, pork, beef, cheese, ice cream, butter, whole milk, eggs (egg whites OK)
  • Foods to eat(fiber rich): Beans, especially kidney beans and black beans (but most are very high in fiber), oatmeal, oranges, apples, pears, figs, raisins, barley, bulgur, whole grain spaghetti, black bean soup, lentil soup, split pea soup, boiled pumpkin (this is really good in curry or as side), parsnips (boiled), sweet potato (boiled), potato (boiled), yam (boiled).
All information from The Encylopedia of Natural Medicine by Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno N.D. and  Dr. Michael Murray N.D.

How do your numbers match up?

Cholesterol and fat content of selected foods

Impact of various sources of fiber

Niacin and Lavastatin (commonly prescribed drug for lowering cholesterol) comparison

Niacain compared with Atorvastation (another statin drug)