Saturday, April 1, 2023

Golden Milk – a healthy way to start your day

September 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking, Miscellaneous

What’s the FIRST thing you ingest in the morning?
Is it healthy?

My morning “Go To” drink is Golden Milk and my Health & Hiking Poles Retreaters love it!
I purchase the custom blend of spices from Oaktown Spice Shop. They have tested their turmeric to ensure high potency of curcumin in the turmeric they use.  I took a class there and have refined the recipe.

The custom blend of spices includes:

  • 6 TB ground high quality turmeric
  • 1 TB each ground cinnamon (I add more) and ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely ground pepper (critical for absorption)
  • 1 tsp cardamom (I add more)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • I add vanilla, ground cloves and experiment with all sorts of other things

Gently heat 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut oil (or ghee)
Add spices (since I order the blend, I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup) to bloom

Meanwhile, heat to boiling about 1 cup water. Add to blooming spices and whisk/stir until quite thick (up to 10 minutes)
Cool for about 5 minutes then add honey (1/4 to 1/2 cup to taste).  Use local honey!  Honey is a preservative as well as a flavor enhancement. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge.
Each morning I heat a cup of about 1/3 Calafia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk with 2/3 cup water. I spoon a generous tsp of the golden milk paste into the heated “water.”
You can also use this paste as a topping for sweet potatoes, oatmeal, squash soup. I use it in my ricotta whip dessert (that’s another post). I’ve not yet tried Golden Milk Cheesecake, but I bet it will be wonderful (and colorful).

Question that’s come in already – how long does this last in the fridge? I go thru it way before it ever begins to age. I’ve made 1 cup spice to proportionately more water and oil and it lasts. The honey is the preservative.

Also, depending on your ratios, stirring and other factors, you may end up with a paste or a more liquidy blend that you’ll have to stir. Have FUN with this and know that you’re starting your day off in a healthy way.

p.s.  Be careful as turmeric is YELLOW and can stain.




Disposable Society – Warning, this is a rant

Yesterday I was watching one of my all-time  favorite cooking shows – a lady from California making a wonderful vegan soup recipe.  She poured the thick contents of the blender into the bowl, leaving a large amount in the blender then added water to the bowl to thin the soup.

She put the blender aside without scraping any of the remaining soup into the bowl.  She COULD have put the water into the blender and swished it around, capturing all the yummy ingredients instead of wasting them.  This would have taken NO extra time and would have demonstrated what I consider the essence of ecology cooking  **

Television chefs need to set good examples.  Silicone spatulas are a cook’s friend.  Scrape all that yummy (expensive, healthy ingredients) food into the bowl/pot/container or onto your plate.  Don’t waste it and, for heaven sake, don’t teach others to waste.

This chef’s wasteful behavior was frustrating to me because of all the people out there who might copy her example and has earned my rant.

Whether it’s mellow yellow in California or preservation of some resource – we all need to do our part.  Our recent journey to Glacier National Park was bittersweet.  The glaciers are disappearing.  The naysayers of climate change seem to want to give us permission to not pay attention.  Imagine a world without clean water.  Be thankful of light switches that work.  Hug a tree.

End of rant.

** What is ecology cooking?

Joyfully creating dishes
that are healthy and tasty
& conserve or preserve
energy, resources and/or time.

Ecology Cooking: How To Avoid The Biggest Mistakes In The Kitchen

May 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking

Great Post about how to cook broccoli and other kitchen tips.  11 minute video that I loved and share with my AdventureBuddies 🙂

I’ve ruined many a batch of long beans until I learned this method and now they come out perfect every time – crunchy and bright green, not gray and mushy.  It’s a concept/way of approaching cooking that works for many things.

Of course, we heard about this on KQED (our local public radio station).


Annual Gift Guide for Health and Wellness in 2015

Top of the list again this year.  If you love the outdoors, Bay Nature Magazine is a gift that gives all year long.

If you have a skeleton, Dr. Lani’s Bone Health book is a must read.  I waited to read Susan Love’s Breast Book until AFTER I was fighting breast cancer.  Please DO NOT wait for a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis to read this book.

Click here to order Bay Naturegiftforallseasons

Eating on the Wild Side:  This life-changing (but badly named) book will help you make better, more nutritious choices.  Learn how to buy, store, prepare fruits and veggies in order to make more nutritious choices, save money and shop smarter.   More info and great pod cast – click here.

Once again this year – if you have feet – these massage balls will help them stay healthy.  If you have a HINT of Plantar Fasciitis (or know someone who does), get them – don’t wait!

With Dad dying this year and mother-in-law failing, I’m aware that many of us are helping or dealing with an older adult who is at fall risk.  This simple, high quality bed rail helps stabilize at one of the most risky times – getting out of bed.  This is the one you want!  Also, I carry a Handy Bar for helping clients get out of the car, it’s a great stabilizer as well as a seat belt cutter and window smasher.  I hope I never need to use it for that!

What gift guide would be complete without a plug for POLES?  Consider gifting a class (if you’re in Northern CA) or a video (for hiking or mobility) and or a new set of poles.   To learn which poles best fit a person (and will help him/her achieve her goals), just complete the consultation form on this web page.  I have some poles that are discontinued, so my stock of high quality poles is selectively available for special needs (like extra tall people, wrist or shoulder issues, etc).

For locals (Bay Area Residents), anytime tickets to the Mountain Play are a great gift.  We go every year and the anytime tickets enable us to go when the weather is what we want (not hot).  They are only on sale for a short time in December.

Happy & Safe Holidays! 

Ecology Cooking – Healthy Choices Book Review

January 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking, Uncommon Sense

After hearing a Science Friday interview on NPR with the author of this book, I asked Bob for this for my birthday.  It was sold out and took quite a bit of research to find one.   They’ve printed more!

Reading this book has changed how I purchase, store and cook vegetables & fruits.   Faithful readers know I believe in ecology cooking (my very own mantra).   But with a busy, full schedule, time is precious.  Getting the most nutrition and value saves time, is frugal and makes healthy sense.  The name of the book is misleading….read on

This is a super easy read.  Each chapter is laid out logically.  There are so many good tips and ideas – science-based – that  I read with highlighter in hand.  I keep it in the kitchen to reference after shopping (for storage) and before cooking (to get the most nutrition).

This book is filled with simple ways to up nutrition, prevent disease, improve UV protection….  I’m learning simple strategies for purchasing, storing and preparing every day foods to maximize their potential.

For example, simply chilling cooked potatoes significantly lowers their glycemic rush.  Letting garlic rest for 10 minutes before cooking ensures maximum nutrition.  There are WAY too many wonderful tips to share here.  Do yourself a favor – get the book by clicking the link – I promise it will be the one of the best $twenty dollars$  you ever spent.  Read it and let me know what you think?  Enter a comment on this post?

If, reading this blog and me saying – BUY THIS BOOK – is not convincing enough, then read on or listen to the 20 minute Science Friday interview:

Jo Robinson is a bestselling, investigative Jo Robinsonjournalist who has spent the past 15 years scouring research journals for information on how we can restore vital nutrients to our fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products.

The nutritional losses did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, she has learned, but thousands of years earlier when we first abandoned our native diet of wild plants and game and began to domesticate animals and grow food in the first primitive gardens. Unwittingly, the choices we made about how to feed our livestock and what to plant in our gardens reduced the amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants in the human diet, which compromised our ability to fight disease and enjoy optimum health.

Robinson is a nationally recognized expert in how to recapture those lost nutrients. Her insights into the benefits of raising animals on pasture have been featured in scores of magazines, newspapers, and radio shows, including Sunset Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Mother Earth News.

Her new book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, published by Little, Brown and Company, was released on June 4, 2013. It extends her expertise to reclaiming the lost nutrients of fruits and vegetables. The book has received stellar reviews and will be featured in seven magazines in June and July—Bon Appetit, Prevention, Health, Fitness, Epicurious, Oprah’s “O”, Mother Earth News, and Redbook. Jo will also appear on several national television programs.

In addition to researching the health benefits of wild-like fruits and vegetables, Jo has been growing the most exceptional varieties in her garden on Vashon Island.  She believes that growing the most nutritious fruits and vegetables in backyard gardens is the wave of the future.


Annual Gift Guide – Granary Bulk Foods

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking

I’ve been a regular customer of this company for about 20 years.    They focus on quality products, minimal packaging (yippee!) and unusual items.   I love their mixes – bread mixes for my bread machine, cookie, brownie, gingerbread cake (great holiday item) as well as so many other items.

Here’s our 2013 picks:

Rada Tomato Slicer:  At $6.10 this is one of the most amazing gift items EVER.  Made in USA, the quality is superb and every single person I’ve given this knife to – LOVES IT!  Before you gift it, I suggest you write in RED sharpee marker – Tomato Slicer – on the sleeve.  Order several to give as gifts year round (especially in tomato season) and be sure to keep one for yourself!

Silicone Spatula Spoon:  You’ll have to call or email to get this one.  The large one is $12 and the small one is $8.  The design is so cool!  It sits up so that the spoon is raised.  Silicone is durable and does not scratch non-stick pans.   They come in great, bright colors.   Great gift – very unusual and incredibly useful!

Rada Pie Plate:  If you’re making a pie for the holidays, this pie plate ROCKS!  At $23.25, it’s a bit pricey, but so worth it!

Granary Bulk Foods:   920-830-3311
Explore their website before you call – Great spices, Almond Emulsion, gosh – have fun!


Ecology Cooking Tip

May 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking, Uncommon Sense

In the morning, I boil a pot of water for tea.  Yum!   I pour the extra boiling water over my sponges in the sink.  Also:

  • I put my sponges in the dishwasher when I run it.
  • I recently read in our local paper that another way to disinfect your sponges (which can harbor a TON of bacteria) is to put them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.  Sponges must be wet when you do this.  Time depends on your microwave.  I actually get my sponge quite wet and microwave it for about 3 minutes.
  • The other recommendation was use one sponge for dishes and another for cleaning the kitchen to prevent cross-contamination.

What’s your favorite kitchen tip?

Crab Cakes – Gluten Free

December 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking

Tis the season for crab!  Here’s Brenda’s recipe for Gluten-Free Broiled Crab Cakes
Group A:

  • 1 lb of crab meat, picked over
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar (for blue crab) or lemon juice (for dungeness crab)
  • 1/3 cup finely minced parsley

Group B:

  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 – 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard

Pick over crab meat to remove tiny shell pieces.
Sprinkle cider vinegar or lemon over crab meat and gently mix.
Gently mix parsley into crab.

In a separate bowl mix, Group B ingredients together and then add to Group A ingredients, mix gently, but completely.  Form balls for cocktail portions, or into paddies for meal portions.

Spray broiler pan with oil spray before placing crab on broiler pan.

Broil, high, on each side until brown.
(3 to 5 minutes or more depending on your oven.)
Stay close – these cook very quickly.

This recipe also works great for Salmon cakes (use cider vinegar) using either freshly cooked salmon, (good way to use left-over cooked salmon) or canned salmon.

Quick Cocktail sauce

  • Good Quality Ketchup
  • Add horseradish and lemon juice to taste.
  • Optional – capers

Shared to AdventureBuddies by Brenda M. Goodwin, MBA
Principal, GoodWin Leadership, Executive & Leadership Coaching
Chair, Registration and Logistics at Professional Coaches, Mentors and Advisors

Raw Food Recipe: Healthy, Low Calorie, Easy and Delicious

April 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking

I call this Silky Soup.  It’s a rich, nutritious, beautiful and super easy. Serve as an elegant appetizer, a snack or lunch on a hot day.  The avocado adds richness and it’s a way to use the parts of mango you might otherwise discard.  It looks like a lot of steps, but it’s fast and easy.


  • 1 medium cucumber (make sure it’s a firm/thin cucumber or remove large seeds)
  • 1  medium to large apple
  • 1 mango, ready to eat
  • 1 medium Avocado, soft and ready to eat
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Lemon

cut fruit from seed for 3 sections to work with

Massage Mango Seed to get all the juicy bits

Make squares with a dull knife; scoop out with spoon

Scrape the skin with a spoon

Make soup in a food processor:

  • If organic, rinse cucumber, apple, mango,  avocado, mint & lemon.
  • If not organic, wash with your favorite vegetable wash (we like Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap); rinse thoroughly.
  • Zest just the outer layer of the lemon, set aside.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon, removing any seeds, set aside.
  • Peel cucumber, halve and remove any large seeds.  Roughly chop to yield approx 1 1/2 cups.
  • Peel apple and roughly chop to yield about 1 1/2 cups.  Larger apple makes the soup a bit sweeter.   Granny Smith apple will make it more tart.  Experiment to see what you like or you can even use an apple that’s a bit past its prime.
  • Cut mango halves away from large seed.  Cube with dull dinner knife right in the skins.  Scoop out the cubes into a bowl.   Reserve the skins and seed.
  • Put cucumber,apple & 1 tsp lemon juice in food processor.  Pulse until blended.  Taste and enjoy the cool flavors.
  • Squeeze every last ounce of juice and bits from the mango seed into the food processor. Scrape the mango skins so that you get everything you can from that luscious ripe fruit.  Discard seed and peel.
  • Add about 1/4 of the cubed mango bits.
  • Add 3 to 4 mint leaves (removed from stems)
  • Pulse all of this until smooth.
  • Peel avocado and scrape all the yummy bits into the mixture being careful not to add any skin or stem.  If your avocado is large, start with just 1/2.
  • Pulse until smooth and taste.
  • Add another tsp of lemon juice and 1 to 2 mint leaves  and pulse just to blend but that so you can still see little bits of green.  Taste to see if you like the flavor or would like a bit more lemon or mint.
  • Gently stir in most of the mango pieces now or after you put the mixture into bowls.
  • Pour into small bowls using a silicone spatula so that you get every last drop out of the processor.
  • Top with a bit of  lemon zest and top with just 2-3 remaining mango pieces for color.

Have you ever seen Agatha Christie’s Poirot peel a mango? It’s art!   There is a real technique to “peeling” a mango.   Use a sharp knife (well, yes. all your knives should be sharp :), and we like using a carving knife).  On a cutting board,  insert knife lengthwise into mango and carefully cut around the big seed.  This will give you 3 sections – 2 with the “meat” of the  mango and the seed.  On the 2 outer halves, (on a cutting board) you can use a dull dinner knife to cut both ways to make squares.  Then, cradling the section in your hand,  scoop out the squares with a spoon just as you would an avocado.

Use silicone spatula to get every last bit out of processor

Serve in small cute bowls or mugs

Stay tuned for vegan quinoa tabouli recipe

Never EVER cut into your hand with a sharp knife. I know this sounds silly, but I’ve seen my sister suture herself after cutting a bagel  into her hand.  Even expert, experienced chefs can make really stupid mistakes.

An AdventureBuddies’ Birthday Cooking Card (click on the link to see one of my favorite sites)

Ecology Cooking Tip for Tea Drinkers

January 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Ecology Cooking

Do you pre-heat your teapot?  Then do you pour that hot water down the drain?  Or do you have boiling water left over in your kettle after making your tea?

If so, here’s something you can do with that very hot water.  Pour it over your sponges in the sink.  Or put your good knives (the ones you do not put in your dishwasher) in the sink and pour that hot water over them.    Be careful not to pick up hot sponges or knives.  Do not leave knives in the sink where they can become cluttered and then cut you.

Washing and/or sanitizing sponges is important.  You can do it many ways.  You can put them in your dishwasher when you run it.  You can soak them in a solution of bleach and water.   This hot water rinse is an interim way to clean your sponges.

If you have lots of hot water left over, you can pour it down your bathroom sink or tub.  This can help clear your drains.

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