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Food Pharmacy – Food Pharmacy

Food Pharmacy

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A Day in the Life of a Nutrient Hunter

People quite frequently ask us what a day in our lives looks like. In particular, what we eat. What do we eat? How often? How much? Do we cheat sometimes? What happens when we get craving for cinnamon buns and soft drinks?  So, a few days we had a camera follow us along our day.

We started the day with a cup of coffee and a splash of oat milk. We usually do not eat until twelve o’clock, and the coffee gives us something to sip on while providing a little extra boost. When the weather permits we like to drink it outdoors on our walk with dogs or in the garden until we realize that the clock is ticking and we need to hurry away more than likely with only one glove or a forgotten wallet.

Lunch is arguably our most important meal of the day. Here we break the fast that ideally has been going on since 8 pm the previous night and we replenish with a large amount of nutrient dense deliciousness. Sometimes it’s a salad, sometimes and casserole, sometimes a soup. Regardless, the meal in nine cases out of ten is completely vegetarian and full of vegetables, grains, beans and seeds of various sorts and colors. We make sure to get lots of X’s in our nutrient hunter compass and possibly unbuttoned the top button of our jeans. Just today, we ate vegan meatloaf made with tofu at the office and drank to that a glass of water with apple cider vinegar.

In the afternoon we drink a lot of tea, but we usually stop by late afternoon, not for any reason more particular than that we like a full night’s rest and want to avoid waking up for a midnight wee. The current favorites are Earl Grey and mint. Today we had to good fortune of someone baking at the office today, so we took a piece of plum cake with our tea. And added to more X’s for the almonds and plums in the recipe! Want that recipe, get it here.

After work we stick home, and at 6:30 pm, it’s time for dinner. Currently at home we never really know what reaction we are going to get to the dinner being served since the reactions range from glee to total disappointment but today we decided to go for our simple eggplant pasta. We crossed our fingers and believe it or not – the little minions liked it! Definitely adding that to the gratitude journal tonight! 

Simple eggplant pasta
(4 servings)

2 eggplants
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups chopped tomato
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup fresh basil + garnish
2 zucchini (instead of pasta for those who prefer the alternative)

Slice the eggplant into fairly thin round slices. Bring a bit of water to a boil in a saucepan then place your steam basket with eggplant in the pot and steam until soft. Heat the onion and garlic gently in a saucepan with a little oil until soft. Add the tomatoes and spices. Allow to simmer until the sauce has thickened a little. And last but not least, put in the steamed eggplant. Leave to simmer on the lowest setting. Prepare the pasta or zucchini noodles then combine with the eggplant sauce and top with fresh chopped basil.

The goal is to stop eating after 8pm, so at 7:52 we take the chance nourish the body for the days last time. Today it was a celery smoothie but yesterday it was nice cream and tomorrow it will be seed porridge with apple compote recipe from our latest book Nutrient Hunter.

Our strategy is mostly to go by what we find in our cupboards at home!

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Food Pharmacy

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Guide to Lectins

The general concept of being a Nutrient Hunter is that we eat an abundance and variety of vegetables and in our latest book Nutrient Hunter (coming out in english soon) you will not only find a vast array of vegetables but a lot about legumes as well. Beans, peas and lentils are good for both our health and the environment – they are rich in protein, vitamin B, fiber and iron and are a healthy, sustainable and climate-smart alternative to meat. But, because we get many questions about lectins, we felt it was time for a guide on how to prepare legumes to avoid them causing lectin poisoning.

Simply explained, beans, peas and lentils should not be served raw or semi-cooked since legumes that are not properly cooked contain lectins that can cause problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. By soaking and boiling, however, the lectins are destroyed and become harmless. Our tip is therefore that you make it a habit to read the instructions on the packages extra carefully and not skimp on the soaking and cooking times suggested.

But, what the heck are lectins?

Lectins are a group of proteins found in all dried and fresh legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas, haricot verts and wax beans. Different legumes contain different amounts of lectins, for example red kidney beans contain a lot while mung beans, chickpeas and adzuki beans contain less. Even elderberries and mushrooms can contain lectins.

Why should I avoid consuming lectins?

Lectins can cause quite unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Symptoms usually appear about 1-7 hours after ingestion and last for about 3-4 hours.

Okay, but how do I minimize the risk of consuming lectins then?

When it comes to dried beans and peas, soaking and boiling is the key. We usually do not encourage food waste but in the case of soaked legumes, always throw out the soaking water, as it should not be used in cooking (chickpeas water is often used in cooking and baking instead of egg white, but even though chickpeas contain relatively low levels of lectins, people who are sensitive to lectins can be affected).

When it comes to fresh peas and beans, they should also be cooked briefly before you eat them, In the case of lentils, they should always be fully cooked. Planning on sprouting beans? Sprouting reduces the content of lectins, just keep in mind that they should be soaked first and that the soaking water should be discarded.

Thanks for the tips! Do you have any good recipes with legumes?

Do we have recipe? Of course! How about, mung bean bread, a quick tikka masala with carrot and black beans, black bean patties with golden pumpkin mash or our oat crispbread with red lentils, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds!

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Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Fall Birthday Cake with Sweet Potato and Cinnamon Frosting

This cake is what cake dreams are made of. Moist, flavorful and frosting so good you’ll lick the bowl clean before the kids even get a chance. 

This recipe calls for sweet potato puree and we are going to get that from baked sweet potatoes. You can bake them just for this cake or bake a few extra next time you make some so that you can make this cake with the leftovers. Either way if you bake some sweet potatoes, whole and pricked with a fork, at 200C/400F for about 40-60 minutes you’ll have perfectly baked taters on your hands. Then just puree them in a food processor and your ready to go.

And the frosting… made with cashews?, you say. Yes! we assure you it does not taste one bit like cashew butter, it is creamy silky sweet and tangy just like a traditional cream cheese frosting. And incase you didn’t have time to soak your cashew nuts, you can use our time-saver tip and boil them in a pot of water for 20 mins, they’ll be perfectly soft and ready to mix up, just make sure to rinse them cold first. Unless hot frosting is your thing?

Cake with Sweet Potatoes and Cinnamon Frosting
(serves 8 pieces)

2/3 cup (140g) pureed baked sweet potatoes
1/3 cup (75g) coconut oil – melted
1/2 cup (118ml) plant-based milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup (50g) honey or maple syrup
3 eggs
2 cups (200g) almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 15 minutes and cool rinsed
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ cup honey
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
2 tbsp water

Put the oven on 350F/175C. Combine all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Grease a springform pan with coconut oil and pour the batter in.  Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Allow the cake to cool and mix up the frosting meanwhile. Add all of the frosting ingredients to a high speed blender and mix until smooth and creamy. If the frosting seems too thick you can make it fluffier and creamier but adding a bit more water. You can also adjust sweetness with honey and tanginess with more lemon juice as desired. 

You can split the cake into two layers like we did or just frost the cake and enjoy. We decorated with walnuts, cinnamon and dried cranberries for an extra autumn touch.

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Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Hot Chocolate x 4

Fall is upon us my friends, the air is crisp, raindrops keep falling on our heads and suede shoes are clickety-clacking everywhere. Time for some warm and cozy drinks! And who doesn’t like hot chocolate? Whether you’re a white chocolate kind of person or you’re all about adaptogens we’ve got you covered, we even found a nutrient hunter’s dream – red beet hot chocolate!

Vegan White Hot Chocolate

Have you ever heard of something so decadent? This recipe uses cacao butter which isn’t exactly an at home staple but those who have tested it can attest the luxurious buttery chocolate touch it lends. Worth the effort to find and add to your shelves at home! This recipe is from the minimalist baker, one we’ve followed for awhile and can warmly recommend!

Maca Hot Chocolate

A recipe that tastes good and does good, this one combines cacao and maca. Maca wha? you say. Maca breakdown: a perusian root the has a flavor profile of vanilla, caramel and nutty. It is an adaptogen and is said to increase both energy and sex drive (ahem, make a double!). If you like us realize that you have a bag of maca laying around that you once upon a time bought then this is how you should use it up! Love and Lemons is another great site, by the way, we like to follow for inspiration, check out the instagram here.

Food Pharmacy’s Hot Chocolate 2.0

This hot chocolate is more of a classic, but classics are a classic for a reason right?! Sometimes though we throw in a twist and add a few chili flakes.

2 fresh dates, pitted
1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbsp raw cacao
2 cups plant-based milk
1 pinch chili flakes (if you’re feeling bold)

Mix everything in the blender and then warm up in a pot. Fill a thermos to bring on an adventure or pour into some cozy mugs. 

Beet Hot Chocolate

Oh, and this one is too lovely not to toss in this collection! @amychaplin is yet another super insta tip, unfortunately she doesn’t share the recipe here but you can find it in her book called “Whole Food Cooking Every day” – 250 vegetarian recipes free from gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. Definitely worth looking into by the sounds and looks of it! Either way you at the very least have a new delectable insta feed to check out!

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