Life Savour got some big props from Comedienne Candy Palmater star of The Candy Show; check her out on the APTN Television Network. Here she is on her YouTube Health Vlog!
In other news, I am sad to announce that the magazine publication 'The Source Journal for Health and Wellness' is no longer. This comes as a surprise, as I just was to become a regular columnist! However; I will post here the article I had done for the Dec/Jan issue and I will continue to publish thoughts and recipes on this page! Enjoy!
Food For Thought : By Natural Foods Chef Lyz Sutcliffe R.H.N., Owner of Life Savour Gourmet Meal Delivery
Just to fill you in on some information about me; I studied at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and became certified as a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant. I wanted to combine my knowledge of foods and healing with the practical application of cooking. That lead me to the Natural Gourmet School for Health and Culinary Arts in N.Y.C. A school started by Anne Marie Colbin, PhD. She is the author and authority on many books regarding healing through foods.
From there I worked in raw foods restaurants in San Francisco and Australia, as well I was the head chef of Satisfaction Feast in Halifax, NS.
In 2011 I launched Life Savour Gourmet Meal Delivery (www.LifeSavour.ca). It is a business that operates though my website and people can order up to five entrée’s for the coming week as well as sides. The meals are delivered to your home or office. I also make custom meals for people who need specific healing foods.
Throughout my education in nutrition, I learned about the direct relationship that food plays in our health not only in preventing disease but also managing and supporting recovery. We also learned that not one approach to healing works for everyone. So while I may be expressing enthusiasm for a particular technique or ingredient, please know that your body and all the wonderful molecules that comprise it, may not jive with everything that is beneficial to others. It is important to get tested for food sensitivities and allergies and also learning to listen to what our body is telling us!
Now on to the food! Tis’ the season, fa la la…What a wonderful time of the year to be slow cooking big pots of soup, roasting root vegetables and staying cozy inside from the cold maritime wind. This is a time when food connects us, with our families and our friend families. As wonderful as this all is, it might be a time of year when we are munching more on sugary holiday cookies, libations, and “treats” galore.
My best advice is, if you are attending a function with a large spread of food that has questionable ingredients in it, don’t go hungry! Having a healthy snack with complex carbohydrates and some fruits or veggies before-hand will make it a lot easier to just enjoy a little of what is offered.
Also, if you are attending something like a pot-luck it would be great to bring a dish that is not only healthy, but a show stopper. People often have the misconception that if it doesn’t include meat, refined sugar, or cheese then it can’t be decadent! The best way to convince naysayers is to let them try something without talking about its healthy merits before-hand. Just let them savour the deliciousness of your creation and then tell them what time it is!
One ingredient that needs more positive attention in the media is coconut oil. It is a wonderful product that can be used in place of butter in many baking recipes! This especially comes in handy at holiday time.
In the past, especially the 80’s and 90’s, coconut oil got a bad rap. It was lumped in with all the other ‘bad’ saturated fats. (As long as they are not hydrogenated, we know now that it is important to at least get some saturated fats in the diet; coconut oil being a great one to use).
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid that stays hard at room temperature with a low melting point and conversely has a very high smoke point, so if you wanted to pan fry or deep fry (this might be costly!) coconut oil is one of the best to use.
There are two types of coconut oil that are good choices for baking and cooking. The first one is extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil. This variety is the purest form you can find. Not only does it have a million and one purposes, it smells divine. You can use it in baking, as a body moisturizer, a deep hair conditioner, and my favorite, in my morning smoothie!
The second type is the extra virgin coconut oil. It will usually say ‘unscented’ on the container. This variety has been more processed to take the scent out of it. This one is good to use if you want to sauté vegetables without the flavour of coconuts.
Extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil contains approximately 50% Lauric Acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is also found in mother’s milk. Among its many attributes, it is anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti viral and is generally overall good for your immune system. Many studies suggest consuming between 1-3 tablespoons a day in your diet. I will add that if you want to incorporate it in to your diet, start slow, with one tablespoon and work your way up to three maximum over a couple weeks.
You will find in baking that coconut oil behaves quite similar to butter. It’s also used widely in raw desserts. So it’s a double whammy! Enjoy some holiday foods but keep them healthy and yourself healthy by eating them! Does it get better than that? Check out my adapted recipe for raw coconut lime vegan “cheesecake” in the recipe section. Happy Holidays!
Raw Coconut Lime Uncheescake
Adapted by Lyz Sutcliffe, owner of Life Savour Gourmet Meals from the Sweet Gratitude Cookbook by Café Gratitude.
This recipe is not your conventional baked cheesecake, however, it is healthier and surpasses in taste. Tell them it’s healthy after they eat it. Wink wink.
Soak cashews needed for this recipe the day before! They act as the ‘cheese’ in the recipe.
Spring form pan
1 ½ C raw dry almonds
1/ C coconut flakes
3 oz date paste (make this ahead of time by processing seeded dates with a few tablespoons of water until it is a smearable consistency)
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/8th teaspoon of salt
Directions: Process all ingredients in food processor, let it pulse, open the lid and scrape down the sides. You don’t want the almonds turning into butter but you also don’t want any big chunks. The pulse, scrape, pulse method works until it is a mealy consistency. Check its readiness by grasping a chunk in your hands and pull it apart. If it makes a clean break it’s ready. If it seems a bit to dry to come together add in a table spoon of water and pulse, scrape again.
Transfer to spring form pan. Gently but firmly press into bottom of pan. Set aside.
3 C soaked cashews, soaked the night before, and rinsed well before adding
1 ½ C coconut milk
1 C lime juice
¾ C agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
3 T soy lecithin granules
¾ C extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil (gently melted at low heat to liquid consistency)
Blend all ingredients in your blender except the soy lecithin and the melted coconut oil. Keep blending for 3-5 minutes, until very creamy.
After this time has passed, add in the soy lecithin and melted coconut oil. Keep blending until well incorporated. Now it is important to taste it. Sometimes it may require a little pinch of salt to bring out the flavour. Once it is to your liking, slowly pour into the spring form pan. You may see some bubbles rising to the top. Gently tap them out on the counter by lifting the pan and bringing it down very gently.
Now it needs to set! Since this is a raw cake, we put it into the freezer for a couple hours to solidify. Make sure you have an even surface in the freezer so it sets straight. After two to three hours it should be ready. To finish, take a paring knife along the edges of the pan, go along the perimeter so it is a clean break when the spring form is removed. Gently unhinge the pan and now it is time to decorate! You can use sliced lime pieces, and coconut flakes, or even berries! Bon Appetite!
Follow Chef Lyz in The Source magazine. She will be taking over the Food For Thought column in the Dec/Jan 2012 issue and beyond.
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