A Super Food Cocktail That Makes You Look Good #HealthyFridays

A Super Food Cocktail That Makes You Look Good #HealthyFridays

Super Food Smoothie

A Super Food Cocktail That Is Addicting

Have you ever wondered if there is a healthy food that makes you feel good without a lot of calories? A healthy food concoction that you can drink several times a day? Something you would even crave on a daily basis.  It is similar to a smoothie or should I say Froothie (that’s my version of a super Food Cocktail). Which I explain in a while.

A smoothie is around for a while and I have always enjoyed them tremendously. I also used to use a juicer on a regular basis until I got tired of throwing all the good pulp away. On the other hand my experience using a blender to “juice” up vegetables and fruit didn’t always worked out, because it wasn’t smooth enough.

However, I found a machine that is able to give you the best of both; a blender and a Juicer. How can this work you might ask. To be honest I don’t really know. I’m talking about the NutriBullet. You might have heard about it. The NutriBullet is a so-called blender of its own class. Actually the inventor of the nutribullet call it the extractor, simply because the blender is so powerful, it does the same job like a juicer only to keep the pulp in the drink. I only have this machine for about 2 weeks now and don’t want to miss it one day. It comes with a complete recipe book so you never run out of ideas.

Healthy super food cocktail

The Nutribullet makes any type of smoothie in seconds. Best of all it takes not even a minute to clean it. I have about three blenders at home which I hardly use for that only reason that it takes too long to clean and they are not powerful enough to do the job. That said there is one excellent mixer out there, which I think is the king of all mixers: The Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend, 2 Speed. No other blender comes even close in performance except the Nutribullet. I have used the Vitamix on my job for many years, and it never broke once, but it cost easily three times as much as the Nutribullet. In the same token the Vitamix is much bigger, which has the advantage of making two or three smoothies at the same time. The Vitamix is also able to blend hot food like soups and sauces and comes with its own recipe book, too.

Nutribullet Versus The Vitamix – Which is better?

By the way I’m not getting paid to write about either blender, I just like both. However, I placed a link for you to take a look at both machines so you can look up the details. In the event you decide to buy the Nutri Bullet or the Vitamix  through one of my links I would earn a tiny commission, which would make me happy and you even happier. I promise 🙂 If you have any previous experience with either one I would love to hear your opinion.

The recipe for this super food cocktail is one that I have used for many months now, but can really enjoy it since I have the Nutri-bullet. Of course you can make this healthy cocktail in any blender, you might just have some small bits and pieces in it.

Super healthy smoothie

 Enjoy Your Food and Eat Slowly…

There is one fundamental reason this super food cocktail has so many health benefits for us. Because it is food that was made drinkable, so we don’t need much chewing. We humans don’t like to chew. (It’s a fact for most of us) We are always in a hurry. Although there is a reason why we should chew thoroughly – and that is a better digestion with better nutrition absorption. This super food cocktail enables a perfect digestion and since you have a variety of fruit, vegetables and grains you’ll receive a super dose of vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fats.

I make a drink like this every morning for my family. Actually I prepare it the night before. I put all ingredients in the blender cup, cover it and in the morning I just blend it. It’s surprisingly luscious, delightful as it is addicting.

For those of us who have allergies to grains, soy or lactose I recommend to just leave these ingredients out and replace them with other fruit and vegetables.

 

A Super Food Cocktail #HealthyFridays
Recipe Type: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks,
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 organic apple, quartered and seeded
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 cup of organic baby spinach, kale & red Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of organic raspberries
  • 5 pieces of asparagus
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut water
  • 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
Instructions
  1. All seeds must first be milled.
  2. Than add all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy
Notes
For all non vegetarian you can add 1/3 cup of organic vanilla yogurt to this super food cocktail. However, I guess tofu would work great too just to add more protein to the shake. The organic baby greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are offered in some supermarkets. Some call it the super greens. If you can’t find this mixture of lettuces than baby spinach is just fine.

 

I would love to hear your opinion?

Do you own a Nutribullet or Vitamix? Do you like it?

Do you have your own “super food cocktail” recipe? Tell me about it?

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A Messy Bowl of Oatmeal with Blueberries

A Messy Bowl of Oatmeal with Blueberries

a spoon of oatmeal with blueberries

Eating healthy is easier said than done. Almost every day I think about to diversify my diet, yet I hardly do something about it. My problem is; I love the good old wholesome bread with lots of grains and fibers. Although there is nothing wrong with that I just have to eat more veggies and fruits. With a busy job all that goes up into smoke and by the end of the day all I have eaten was my breakfast and a lousy snack. Does that sound familiar or am I the only one struggling to eat better?

Ingredients for oatmeal with blueberries

A Bowl of Oatmeal Everyday

Well my New Year’s resolution is among a few other things to eat healthier. Foods like a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, grilled fish, salads and more fruits are on the agenda. Yeah-yeah it’s all talk – talk – talk. I‘ll be a better eater next year?!  All these damn resolutions, serious! If I want to eat better I’ll better start right now. What do I need a New Year’s resolution for – there are for procrastinators. So here is bowl of oatmeal with blueberries. I started to eat healthier just a few moments ago and it’s up to me to keep it up!

 

Healthy Oatmeal with Fruit

A Chef’s Weakness – The Diet

It sounds paradox, but many chefs have at one point in their life struggled to eat a wholesome diet. One would think chefs have everything at their disposal. While that is certainly right it is common for chefs not to eat all day. Yes, chefs taste their wonderful creations, yet what is a teaspoon of food here and there. It’s a teaser nothing else.

Of my twenty odd years as being a chef I have always enjoyed cooking. Believe it or not there was a time in my life where I couldn’t eat all day while cooking in the kitchen.  This is a well-known problem among chefs. We stay in the kitchen all day tasting and smelling food, to the point that our appetite is completely turned off. I’m not telling you a story just check anyone who works in a kitchen, they will attest to that.

Worse is – when I came out of the kitchen – I got hungry, really hungry. And you wouldn’t guess what I was craving for: Junk food, salty, greasy unhealthy food.  Which is a shame, because I was right at the source. Fruits, vegetables, steaks, fish and my favorite bowl of oatmeal with blueberries was always at my fingertips. One day I became very ill and that’s when I changed my diet.  Now I’ll eat on time every time. Although sometimes I’ll catch myself craving for junk food but that passes after a few minutes.

So, as for my part I’ll forget about all these healthy New Years resolutions and start to eat healthier now, this moment and then – keep it up! Cheers to healthy eating!! Happy New Year!

Messy bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

 

What are your New Years resolutions?

Have you had any problems eating healthy and what did you do to change that?

What are your favorite healthy foods?

Chefs, please don’t hesitate to tell your story.

 

A messy bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

Recipe Type: Breakfast,
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of organic vanilla soy milk
  • 21/2 cups / 225 grams organic oatmeal (<a class=”zem_slink” title=”Oatmeal” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal” target=”_blank” rel=”wikipedia” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal”>quick oats</a>)
  • 3 tbsp organic flax meal
  • 3 tbsp organic sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup / 30 grams walnuts (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 organic apple finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup / 100 grams your choice of organic granola
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 1/2 cup organic or wild blueberries
  • 1 tangerine or any other fruit you like
Instructions
  1. Except blueberries cook all ingredients in a stainless steel pot for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  2. I usually add blueberries towards the end so they get a little warmed up in the oatmeal.
  3. Decorate with apple slices and tangerine.
Notes
Once the oatmeal is cooked and served in a bowl I like to pour a bit of cold soy milk on top. [br] The reason my bowl of oatmeal is so messy is that I used frozen blueberries and poured the leftover juice over it. Deliciously healthy!

 

 

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Chocolate Banana Snack for Halloween – Trick or Treat?

Chocolate Banana Snack for Halloween – Trick or Treat?

This chocolate banana snack will sooth your cravings for something deliciously sweet. Chocolate banana snacks are healthy and quick to make. I wrote this post at my parent’s home, during my visit to Germany. I will get more into detail about this great trip in later posts. While I was there I had this one day I was craving something sweet, but couldn’t figure out what I wanted. It is a tradition in our family to have coffee and cake around 4pm. However cake is something I love, but that would have taken too long to bake to satisfy my sweet tooth. I have to admit once I crave sweet foods, I have to follow through. I know it’s a bad habit. It sounds silly, but that’s just me.  However, I don’t go for first candy I see. It has to be a bit healthy, too.

Chocolate Banana Snack

Chocolate Banana Snack

So while I searched my parents home for goodies I discovered a professional crêpe stove. This one actually belonged to my sister who used to run a creperie in my home town in Germany. ” That’s awesome” I said to my self. Who in a world has a professional crêpe stove at home. “I’m going to make myself some decent crepes” I happily said. Unfortunately the electric cord was missing so I couldn’t make crepes that day.  I spoke to my sister to bring the cord so we can make crepes one day.

Back to my cravings. I usually would make myself a granola cereal with bananas and vanilla soy milk, which is one of my favorite snacks or quick meals. This wasn’t what I wanted even though it is healthy.  These thoughts brought me to this chocolate banana snack, which by the way is much more nutritious than cake.

 

For this recipe I melted the chocolate. Not to be confused with tempered chocolate, even though it would look better. Since I only used a small amount of chocolate it makes no sense to temper it. Premium chocolate obviously taste better than no name brand. I used 60% dark and 40% milk chocolate.

Chocolate Banana Snack with Coconut

Chocolate Banana Snack with Coconut

I think this snack would be perfect for Halloween. Instead of feeding our children unhealthy candy, chocolate banana snacks are appealing and healthy.

What is your favorite snack? Do you have one?

Do you crave foods or am I the only one? Let me know. Leave a comment.

 

Chocolate Banana Snack
Recipe Type: Snack,
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Prep time: 40 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Ingredients
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 4 – ¼ inch banana slices, cut on a bias
  • 4 tbsp cereal of your choice
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 dried red cherries
  • A few blueberries or strawberries for decoration
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler melt chocolate. Stir occasional.
  2. Mix 1-2 tbsp of molten chocolate with the cereal.
  3. Place about one tbsp of chocolate cereal mixture on each banana slice.
  4. Than pour warm chocolate over the cereal snacks.
  5. Sprinkle coconut flakes atop the chocolate banana snacks.
  6. Decorate with dried cherries.
  7. Dip a whisk into the chocolate and in a quick left and right motion drip chocolate all over the plate.
  8. Decorate plate with berries and place chocolate banana snack on it. Enjoy
Notes

Bring the water in the double boiler to no more than 120 Fahrenheit. Remove the double boiler from the flame and let chocolate melt. Stir occasional with a wooden or plastic spoon. Repeat process if chocolate is not molten thoroughly.

The chocolate can also be molten in a microwave. I don’t like this method, since the chocolate can over heat. Chop chocolate into small pieces so it can melt faster. Stir occasional and check the microwave often if chocolate is not overheating.

 

 

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Crudite Shots versus Platters? What is Your Favorite?

Crudite Shots versus Platters? What is Your Favorite?

While I prepare myself for my upcoming trip to Germany, here is an old favorite snack of mine served a bit different than usual. – Before I get to this I’d like to mention the little story that lead me to write this post in the first place. I was recently invited on a party, which was held at a fairly decent catering hall. Among the appetizers was a crudite platter. A boring platter with carrots, green peppers, celery and cherry tomatoes served with I think was store-bought ranch dressing (which is OK).  The platter had no decoration at all. – My question is: Is it so difficult to make a crudite platter more appetizing? Don’t get me wrong there are many chefs and caterers out there who take great pride in serving brilliantly decorated appetizer platters. What I learned in recent years is that caterers have come to the point of dropping this hors d’oeuvre from the menu completely. Yet many customers ask for it. So why not reinvent the old?

Crudite served in shot glassesWhy do we serve hors d’oeuvres?

An hors d’oeuvre is served to simply whet your guests appetite to what is yet to come. (except on receptions). It is usually served before the actual dinner starts, so guests can mingle and get comfortable. However, in my opinion an hors d’oeuvre as well as the famous amuse-bouche is testament of what the chef & his or her team is capable of. So whether it’s a simple crudite served in shot glasses or platters  – as a host it is my job to impress my guest with the very first opportunity. – The Hors D’Oeuvre

Crudite Shots

Crudite Shots

Crudite Shots versus Platters? What is Your Favorite and Why?

Crudite shots are not very useful when drinks are served. Yes they look great, but having two glasses in your hand leaves you with confusion. So it’s important to keep this in mind before deciding of either.   I just think crudite shots are fun – dipping, eating and chatting – walking around with your little shot glass. Having someone passing the crudite shots around is another fun way. The colorful little glasses make a nice impression on a party.

Simple Crudite Shots Spice it up a bit.

To make this old-fashioned appetizer “pop” I added jalapeno peppers and avocados to the ranch dressing. The jalapeno gives it a little zing and the avocado some depth. There are lots of alternatives to add flavors to your dipping sauces. From peppercorns, herbs, cheese, chilies to horseradish, the sky is the limit. However, the foundation is always the same; it’s either mayonnaise or vinaigrette based (there are exceptions). I prefer a mayonnaise based sauce, because it sticks better to the vegetables. I know it’s more calories, but more flavor too.

Unfortunately,  I had limited vegetable at hand for my crudite. I usually would add red radishes, button mushrooms and broccoli just to mention a few.

 

Veggies for Crudite

Veggies for Crudite

Organic or Not Organic?

I prefer to buy organic produce, because they are free of pesticides. That said organic produce is expensive and I’m not always willing to pay the high price. You can find out more and form your own opinion about organic foods by visiting the EWG (Environmental Working Group). There, you’ll find a ton of information and you might end up supporting them by subscribing to their newsletter. But hold – sign up to receive my blog post first – I would really appreciate it. 🙂

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Let’s not forget the health factor in these little crudite shots. Organic or not, both produce are nutritional and packed with vitamins and minerals.

Shot glasses for crudite

Shot glasses for crudite

Do you like crudite? Do you prefer them served in shot glasses or platters?

Do you think they are old-fashioned ? What’s your opinion?

Organic vegetables or not. Does it matter to you?

I would love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment

 

Crudite Shots
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Hors D’Oeuvre
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1/4 romaine or iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
  • 1/2 cucumber cut in 4 -1/4inch thick slices & 8 – 3 inch long sticks
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
  • 1/4 red cabbage, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
  • 8 asparagus, cut 3 inch long with head on
  • 4 grape tomatoes each on a 4 inch skewer
  • 4 – 4 inch long celery stalks with leaves on
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 1 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix avocados, jalopeno with the ranch dressing.
  2. Fill the shot glass with an inch of lettuce as a bed for the ranch dressing. Spoon about 1 tbsp of the ranch dressing into the glass than add all other vegetables. Add an extra spoon of dressing to it.
Notes

If you don’t serve the crudite right away, keep the vegetables moist. That is done by covering the vegetables with a moist towel. It is also possible to submerge them for a few minutes in ice-water to keep them hydrated. However, keeping the vegetables too long in the ice-water will drain them of essential vitamins and minerals.

 

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Have you ever tried bitter melon?

Have you ever tried bitter melon?

As part of my recent trip to the Caribbean I would like feature “Bitter Melon” also called corilla, bitter gourd or karela among many other names. Bitter melon grows throughout the Caribbean, South America and Asia and is an important food source to the locals. In this recipe I refer to this vegetable as either bitter melon or corilla. As the name reveals it is very bitter, yet packed with powerful medicinal properties. Corilla has been studied all over the world for its beneficial health properties, yet it has not gotten the respect in the western world the way broccoli is looked at. I think this vegetable deserves much more attention and respect.

In fact bitter melon is so powerful, that people in the Caribbean and Asia  using it as a folk remedy to treat and prevent chicken pox, measles, malaria and HIV. Studies have confirmed that corilla has anti malaria properties; however studies of humans have not been released. Studies conducted by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have shown that bitter melon could be used to treat certain cancers, diabetes, Aids, fever and infections. Although the cancer institute is warning that this vegetable shouldn’t be used as a medical substitute to treat any sickness.

Bitter melon from my garden

Bitter melon from my garden

Bitter Melon – Medicine or Vegetable?

We are learning now what other cultures have discovered many years ago without any laboratories. Bitter melon is a very powerful type of vegetable that indeed needs to be eaten with caution. Pregnant women should not eat bitter melon as this could induce abortion and in the same token it is given to women just before childbirth to ease the pain. How bizarre is that? By the way it is also used to treat painful menstruation. Now I sound like a doctor, who I’m not, but I think it is important to know.  The red seeds (ripe corilla) shouldn’t be feed to children as they “could” be toxic. However when I discussed this topic with my wife; who grew up in the Caribbean, said she and her friends sucked on the red seeds all the time, because they were sweet. Nevertheless, I never use the seeds and discard them whether ripe or green.

Corilla from my garden

Corilla from my garden

Why Corilla?

You probably are saying  why is he featuring this vegetable? Because it helped me in the past to feel good and could probably help anyone who is fighting cancer or diabetes. I was introduced to Corilla 20 years ago in Antigua and since than when I have a chance to eat it I will. That doesn’t mean I eat it every day, but rather once or twice a month. I actually grow bitter melon every summer in my back yard. Maybe I should say my wife is growing it and I reap the benefits :-). It is not the best tasting vegetable, but I feel good eating it.

Cleaning Corilla / Bitter Melon

Cleaning Corilla

Corilla can be cleaned just like melons. The seeds are easily removed with a spoon.

Sliced Bitter Melon

Sliced Bitter Melon

 

Sautéing Bitter Melon

Sautéing Corilla

Whenever I prepare corilla I usually sauté it with onions and garlic and the juice of a lemon. The lemon actually takes away some of the bitterness.

Bitter Melon served with Garlic and Onions

Bitter Melon served with Garlic and Onions

 

Sauteed bitter melon (corilla) with garlic and onions
Recipe Type: Vegetarian, Healthy food, Side Dish, Vegan
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time: 12 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 32 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 small corilla, cleaned & seeded
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and sliced
  • Juice from one lemon
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ½ of vegetable broth
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Keep a little oil for later.
  2. Sautee onions until almost translucent, then add garlic keep stirring.
  3. Add corilla and lemon juice. Let the vegetables caramelize slightly to give it some color and flavor. Season with salt, pepper and add vegetable broth, cover to give it a little steam. Cook corilla until little more than al dente, I don’t like my corilla it too soft. Towards the end add the remaining olive oil and incorporate gently.

Have you ever tried Bitter melon? Do you like it? Let me know. I love your comments.

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio

Cantaloupe melon is the perfect fruit for hot weather temperatures.  Melons are so versatile when it comes to preparation methods. Although not everyone’s taste or should I say aroma. Very ripe Cantaloupe melons have a very strong aroma, comparable to a bouquet of flowers.

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio

 

Here is how to pick a ripe cantaloupe melon:

A ripe cantaloupe melon smells fragrant or better said sweet. It shouldn’t be hard as a stone and not soft either, but it should give by a tiny bit, you know what I mean. If you can’t get a ripe melon just leave it out for a day or two in a dark dry place. However, just make sure the melon is ripe otherwise you have a dilemma.

 

Cantaloupe Melon with mint and lemon

Cantaloupe Melon with Mint and Lemon

 

There are so many cantaloupe melon preparations out there, whether it’s cold soups, appetizer, dessert or ice creams just to name a few. Cantaloupe melons are very healthy with a good dose of B vitamins, C & A vitamins, potassium, fiber and of course it is fat-free. Melons are generally low-calorie food, but keep in mind that most carbohydrates come from the sugar, which makes it ideal for fruit Carpaccio. The acidity of the lemon and lime penetrates the melon resulting in a luscious delightful fragrant dish.

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio & Lime

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio & Lime

 

 

Minty Cantaloupe Melon Carpaccio
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe cantaloupe melon, washed and peeled
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Zest from 1 lemon & 1 Lime
  • 1 oz virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint thinly sliced, but keep enough sprigs for decoration
  • 1 red-hot pepper, thinly sliced
  • a few pinches of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Slice melon lengthwise in very thin slices, less than 1/8″
  2. Fan out 7-8 melon slices on each plate.
  3. Sprinkle zest, hot pepper and mint over the melon.
  4. Then pour citrus juices, olive oil and a bit of salt over it.
  5. Decorate with Parisienne melon balls and mint twigs.
Notes

Make sure the melon is washed before cutting it.
If you don’t feel comfortable cutting the melon in thin slices with a knife, then just use a vegetable peeler.

I also found the use of a few drops of orange flavored liquor very appealing. Have you had cantaloupe carpaccio before, you probably have your own style of preparing melon carpaccio. Let me know. Leave a comment.

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