Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Nuts…

roasted brussel sproutsBrussel sprouts are one of the healthiest veggies you can eat. I love green food and if it has leaves even more!
Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, brussel sprouts belong to the same family as cabbage, broccoli and kale, all of which are veggies that are low-glycemic, highly nutritious and because of their high antioxidant content can offer protection from colon, prostate and endometrial cancer. Plus, they are so versatile and easy to prepare, like this recipe that can be done in 10 minutes!

To prepare about four servings…
About 16 brussel sprouts, little more, little less depend how much you eat=]
1/2 cup pecan nuts chopped in rough chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries, you can also use other berries if you like
2 tablespoons homemade pesto (you can use your own or try the one below!)

Simple…
Cut the brussel sprouts in half and marinate with the pesto for about two hours… if you’re in a hurry you can skip the marinating and go straight to the roasting, but if you have the time it definitely makes a difference. Roast on the grill or in a roasting pan placing the open half down first until slightly golden, turn to the other side and add the pecans and cranberries to roast with the sprouts just for a few seconds. You want the flavors to blend but don’t over cook the berries and nuts for they can taste bitter! and that’s it! serve them as a side with other roasted veggies, maybe some quinoa or what ever or by themselves, they are that nutritious and tasty can be a meal on it’s own!

For the pesto I usually keep it simple and fast by filling about half of the blender with basil, four to six garlic cloves, little sea salt, little pepper and about two cups of virgin olive oil. Once blended you may add more basil or oil until you get the consistency you like… mine is always thick and super green!! if you want to vary a bit you can always add cilantro, parsley or other herbs and get creative=]

Blueberrie-Avocado smoothie..

Back in Ensenada for a little bit and we’re already making the most of it!!

For the past couple of months riding through Baja we really missed having access to fresh, organic fruits and veggies, remember the Mulegé smoothie? that was definitely an exception=]

So now, time to blend some stuff!! Just finished running 5 miles, taking it easy getting back and I’m feeling hungry. Also I’ve been writing a lot about running and eating and how nutrition can help you perform better on the road. The last article written was about pre- and post-workout food. Here’s a smoothie that by slightly changing a couple of ingredients can be adapted for before or after running or training..

Blueberrie-Avocado smoothie:

1/2 avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tsp. maca root
4 dates pitted
2 cups of cold brew yerba mate

With 417 calories, boosting with lots of Vitamin B6, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and E, plus maca root for endurance and yerba mate for stamina and energy, this is a great pre-workout option. The avocado is filled with good healthy fats that will give you long term energy and both the avocado and the blueberries are natural effective antioxidants that protect the body from the damages caused by free radicals.

Banana-Blueberrie smoothie:

1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 peeled orange
1 cup coconut water
1 teaspoon spirulina

300 calories, filled with vitamin C, B6, manganese, magnesium, copper and potassium, great after-workout hydrating and refreshing smoothie. With spirulina to add protein, antioxidants and minerals to help the recovery process of the body. And you can do what we’re doing right now, after working out we drank this smoothie and that will gives us time before feeling hungry to make a healthy lunch, today’s menu: spicy beans!!

Black Sesame Seeds

 

Sesame seeds of any color are a super food, but our favorite are black sesame seeds, considered one of the most potent energy and strength increasing foods in chinese medicine. Also used for strengthening the liver and kidneys.

Black sesame seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and calcium, more than cow’s milk and more easily absorbed. They also provide a high amount of copper (needed for calcium absorbency), zinc, phosphorus and iron. They also contain omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, specially B vitamins and dietary fiber.

 

Some of the benefits of including black sesame seeds in your diet are:

* Helps regulate blood pressure because of the high magnesium and calcium content.

* Strengthens liver and kidneys.

* Natural anti-inflammatory.

* Strengthens the immune system.

* Helps in the development of strong bones and healthy joints.

* Helps to lower cholesterol. Sesame seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin, with high contents of dietary fiber that helps reduce cholesterol in the blood.

* Promote regular bowel movements.

* Have potent anti-cancer properties.

Goji berries – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

pedaling for peace - superfoods goji berries fructus lyciium   Goji berries Lycii fructus, is the comercial name of wolfberries, the fruit of two species: Lysium barbarum and L. chinense. Very rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, C and E, they have been used by asian herbalists since over six thousands years ago, they have powerful medicinal properties such as:

* Boost immune functions and increases metabolic activity.

* Protect and detoxify the liver and supports kindney function.

* Natural anti-immflamatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal.

* Improve eyesight due to it’s high contents of the carotenoid zeaxanthin that protects the retina of the eye and prevents age-related macular degeneration, the lead cause of blindness for eldery people.

* Improve sexual function and promote fertility.

* Increase longevity mainly because of their high content of antioxidants that slow the aging process by minimizing the damage of free radicals in the body to a cellular level.

* Improve circulation and overall toning of the cardovascular system.

* Prevents the grow of cancer cells.

* Reduces blood glucose and cholesterol.

Some of the nutrients you can get from goji berries are essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin C, 19 different amino acids 8 of which are essential amino acids, B vitamins, carotenoids, 21 different trace minerals incluiding copper, zinc, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. Like any fruit, goji berries contain sugar but in the form of polysaccharides, log-chain sugar molecules considered as complex carbohydrates and a primary source of dietary fiber that may help to strengthen the immune system, promote a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, enhace mineral uptake and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer .

You can consume your goji berries raw, dried, cooked, juiced or made into tea. We prefer to keep them raw or dried to preserve their nutrients intact, they are a great addition to trail mixes, granola and cereals, sprinkled over your fruit salad or even in your smoothie. Goji berrie tea is also a great way to get it’s nutrients but for us the flavor is not so appealing :-/  Is very important that you always search for organic goji berries, particularly if grown in China where large amounts of pesticides are used for their production.

Chia – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace - Super Foods Series chia seeds    Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant that is native of México. High in complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and soluble fiber, chia seeds are a superstar food for high energy endurance sports!

I fell in love with chia seeds while researching the Rarámuri, a tribe of native indians in Northern México that are both mystical and magical, not only because of their culture but also their amazing athletic power, being able to run more than 500 miles up there in the Copper Canyon Mountains… that is MORE than 500 (five hundred) MILES… up in the mountains… in sandals!!! …  s a n d a l s ! ! !  …  Since then, chia seeds are a staple in my diet:)

A very special characteristic of chia seeds is it’s hydrophilic property. If you were to place a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water, after a few minutes the whole content would have a gelatinous texture. This is in part due to the high content of soluble fiber in the seed that traps moisture: a seed can absorb up to 12 times it’s weight in water and this way, provide prolonged hydration in the body. Besides this, in the stomach, this gelatinous matter helps to slow down considerably the breaking down of carbohydrates, which results in a slow, long term delivery of energy and nutrients that won’t create a high or a low in blood sugar levels.

So you have one of the highest sources of antioxidants, packed with easy to assimilate complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, an excellent source of essential minerals, that will provide you with prolonged energy and hydration?!  N I N J A .

Loreto little birdie cookies…

pedaling for peace - friends hector and rossa eating cookies

As we let the days pass in Loreto recovering from a severe case of heat exhaustion, we take this time for working on our website, enjoying having a kitchen to cook in, have a rad time with Héctor and Rossa our new friends… and bake some cookies!!

Loreto is beautiful, a magical town in Baja California South with a colorful Mexican personality and chill atmosphere. However truth is, we have been spending most of the time at home resting and hydrating… never underestimate the desert heat! specially undergoing a HUGE physical effort like biking and monkeying all around!!

Last night I made some quick oatmeal cookies that were delicious, but half burnt. Never satisfied with burnt cookies, today I go for the rebound! and exploring in Rossa’s kitchen I found some niger seeds. Niger seeds are little black seeds used mainly as bird food, but turns out, they have a high nutrition value. Packed with proteins, calcium, iron, phosphorus and antioxidants, this little seeds seems like the perfect ingredient to experiment with and after some research sounds like a good addition… at least they are apparently O.K. for human consumption. However, most of the imported niger seeds are pasteurized to prevent them from sprouting in case they carry some other seeds of plants that may become invasive in the west, but this pasteurization process destroys many of their nutrients, so try to get them local raw. You can also use them as seasoning in your dishes, like sprinkling a few of them on top of your rice or soups…  anyways, here’s the recipe!

1 cup rice flour

1 cup oat flour

2/3 cup oat flakes

2/3 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. flax seeds

3 Tbsp. niger seeds

2/3 cup raisins

1 cup soy milk

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 cup sucanat

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Start mixing the rice and oat flour, oat flakes, flax and niger seeds, baking powder, sucanat and cinnamon in a bowl. Separately, blend together the coconut oil (melted), vanilla extract, raisins and soymilk until the raisins are well chopped and lightly moist.

Mix everything together, you should get a soft cookie-dough-like consistency, somewhat similar to a very heavy oatmeal. If you need to, add a bit more soymilk or a bit more oat flour until you like the consistency. If you had to make several ‘adjustments’ try a bit of a dough in case you want to add more cinnamon or sucanat for the flavor. In an oiled cookie sheet, arrange the dough. This time I used a spoon and just placed big spoonfuls of cookie dough, it’s easy to shape them this way and keep their size fairly even.

Into the oven for about 20 minutes at 450 F. However, keep and eye on them and take them out whenever they are golden and crisp. Enjoy!

Loreto little birdie cookies…

pedaling for peace - friends hector and rossa eating cookies

As we let the days pass in Loreto recovering from a severe case of heat exhaustion, we take this time for working on our website, enjoying having a kitchen to cook in, have a rad time with Héctor and Rossa our new friends… and bake some cookies!!

Loreto is beautiful, a magical town in Baja California South with a colorful Mexican personality and chill atmosphere. However truth is, we have been spending most of the time at home resting and hydrating… never underestimate the desert heat! specially undergoing a HUGE physical effort like biking and monkeying all around!!

Last night I made some quick oatmeal cookies that were delicious, but half burnt. Never satisfied with burnt cookies, today I go for the rebound! and exploring in Rossa’s kitchen I found some niger seeds. Niger seeds are little black seeds used mainly as bird food, but turns out, they have a high nutrition value. Packed with proteins, calcium, iron, phosphorus and antioxidants, this little seeds seems like the perfect ingredient to experiment with and after some research sounds like a good addition… at least they are apparently O.K. for human consumption. However, most of the imported niger seeds are pasteurized to prevent them from sprouting in case they carry some other seeds of plants that may become invasive in the west, but this pasteurization process destroys many of their nutrients, so try to get them local raw. You can also use them as seasoning in your dishes, like sprinkling a few of them on top of your rice or soups…  anyways, here’s the recipe!

1 cup rice flour

1 cup oat flour

2/3 cup oat flakes

2/3 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. flax seeds

3 Tbsp. niger seeds

2/3 cup raisins

1 cup soy milk

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 cup sucanat

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Start mixing the rice and oat flour, oat flakes, flax and niger seeds, baking powder, sucanat and cinnamon in a bowl. Separately, blend together the coconut oil (melted), vanilla extract, raisins and soymilk until the raisins are well chopped and lightly moist.

Mix everything together, you should get a soft cookie-dough-like consistency, somewhat similar to a very heavy oatmeal. If you need to, add a bit more soymilk or a bit more oat flour until you like the consistency. If you had to make several ‘adjustments’ try a bit of a dough in case you want to add more cinnamon or sucanat for the flavor. In an oiled cookie sheet, arrange the dough. This time I used a spoon and just placed big spoonfuls of cookie dough, it’s easy to shape them this way and keep their size fairly even.

Into the oven for about 20 minutes at 450 F. However, keep and eye on them and take them out whenever they are golden and crisp. Enjoy!