Ahoy fellow humans! In pondering over today’s newsletter topic, I thought to myself, “Have I ever dedicated an entire blog to just cacao??” No I have not. And if I have please send me the link and remind me. Why not learn even more about the food and inspiration behind starting Not Your Sugar Mamas? In my eyes, cacao is the king of all superfoods. It is such a complex and beautiful food. I remember the first time I ate raw cacao, my whole world changed. I felt jazzed in a way that only raw cacao can make you feel. I couldn’t believe that I had been consuming chocolate that was processed my whole life. To process cacao is just plain offensive if you ask me. Taking away the beauty and the nutritious offerings that it has to offer is just blasphemy! My favorite cacao advocate is a man named David Wolfe. His enthusiasm and knowledge of cacao is contagious, so I thought I would share with you a video from David talking about cacao. The man really knows how to do the food justice in a way that no one else can. So please enjoy the following video and share your thoughts/experiences of eating raw cacao below! Have the best week ever.
For me, everything lately has been "anti-flu". My boyfriend got it, so I've been determined not to. After reading this article on Mind, Body, Green about how to avoid the Flu Shot naturally, I was inspired to make tonights creation, incorporating the main natural fighters of the flu - ginger (boost immunity), garlic (anti-bacterial), turmeric (anti-inflamatory), and lemon (vitamin C). I wanted to feel warm, satisfied, and nourished so I went with a nice hearty meal of organic chicken, roasted root vegetables, and a warm leafy green salad. For dessert, I was in the mood for something really really creamy, so I made some raw chocolate pudding. It was delicious and I feel wonderful today as I write this!
P.S. I've gotten the question a few times at Not Your Sugar Mamas, if I am raw or vegan because most of our products are - and the truth is I don't have a label for how I eat. When I did eat a strict diet, I would look at other peoples food and think it was gross or if I wanted something that was outside of my realm, I would feel bad about myself. In turn, I felt uncomfortable eating around other people and felt sad and confused because I love the experience of eating. Through time, and learning different approaches to nutrition, I found that eating a plant based diet, rich in whole foods works work best for me, and I do eat meat and dairy when I feel like it, and I enjoy it when I do. And I almost always have dessert :) Here is a cute article about a 93 year old couple who was asked after celebrating their 69th wedding anniversary, what the keys to happiness are, the husband recommended "You need to enjoy life, eat sweets." I think so too, hehe.
Roasted Organic Chicken with green apple, with curried sweet potato and parsnip fries, with a warm red swiss chard salad with fennel, cherry tomatoes and flax seeds. (no dairy or gluten)
Organic Chicken thighs with roasted green apple: Preheat oven to 375. Toss chicken thighs with oregano, a touch of safflower oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Flip sides. Take out apple, cut in half and place in oven. Cook for another 15 or until golden brown and cooked through and apple is mushy.
organic chicken thighs
1 or two green apples
Ingredients: sweet potatoes & parsnips - cut into fries
1 tablespoon curry
Warm Swiss Chard Salad: Cook on low to medium heat. Saute garlic with coconut oil, add fennel, swiss chard and tomatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Be sure to keep moving the chard around coating it with the oil. It is done when soft and still green. When close to done add squeeze of a lemon. Top with flax seeds.
If you want an idea for the leftover chicken - throw the bones in a pot with more than enough water to cover them. Throw in some salt, garlic, oregano. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. Drain the meat, bones and you've got some organic chicken broth!!
For dessert, I've was craving something really, really creamy. This chocolate pudding recipe is really something. I made enough to have the next day. I experimented with some "whipped cream" too. Pair them together and you've got yourself a delightfully rich and creamy dessert. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help ease digestion, reduce inflammation, and improve joint health and skin tone. They also help make this dish creamy without egg or dairy. I used our BE SMOOTH mix because it has raw cacao, plus spirulina (green superfood) and maca (adptogenic herb) to give me some extra antioxidants to keep me healthy.
While I was living in Spain - every lunchtime meal or "menu del dia" included a "postre", it was never a big portion or even heavy, (sometimes it was a baked apple or a fresh squeeze orange juice), so I became accustomed to liking something a little sweet after every meal. It also kept me at the table longer to relax and digest my meal. I hope you enjoy this treat!
Raw chocolate pudding: Soak chia seeds with 1.5 cups of coconut milk, coconut flakes, maple syrup and vanilla. Put to the side.
Mix arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt the coconut oil, cacao butter, add the BE SMOOTH or RAW CACAO on low. Add coconut palm sugar. Stir constantly. In a blender, blend the coconut milk mixture. Leave 1/4 cup to the side (for whipped cream). Slowly add the remaining coconut mixture to warm chocolate mixture on stove. Mix on low for a bit. When thoroughly mixed, add the arrowroot mixture. Stir on low for a few more minutes. Pour into jars. Put in fridge for a few hours. Serve chilled.
Whipped cream: Use remaining 1/4 coconut mixture and blend with drained, soaked cashews. Put in jar and to the side. Serve chocolate pudding with a dollip of whipped cream!
3/4 cup BE SMOOTH
1/2 cup RAW COCONUT PALM SUGAR
1 tablespoon chia seed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can coconut milk (not half fat, but full fat)
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons cashews - soaked 10 minutes
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
Let's face it, the holidays are commonly a time when we eat too much.
There is that uncomfortable time during the meal where we have to adjust our pants because we’ve gone overboard. And then the next few days we might resort to wearing our “fat” pants because we feel so much heavier...
Let’s first remember that the holidays are a time to be with our family and loved ones and that being amongst their company is the most important thing of all. We tend to seek fulfillment from the food that is in front of us, when really we can feed ourselves from the love that surrounds us all.Keeping this in mind, there is no reason to not let yourself enjoy healthy and delicious treats during this time of celebration without the uncomfortable switching of the pants. Our most important ingredient is love, so you will be getting plenty of that on and off your plate when youconsume our treats. When you take care of yourself first, when you ensure your own happiness, then your loved ones will benefit because you will have more love to give.
Our idea of a triple decker treat = ”The Gift that Keeps on Giving”. You will receive a tri-found package of (1) chocolate bars & hot chocolate mix for Xmas, followed by our (2) full line of Smoothie mixes for a healthy New Years and then (3) another package comes to you on Valentine’s Day. Fill yourself up with love and care with this ultimate package and you will have more to give away.
By Bennett Coffey
Holistic Health Counselor
From DIG Boston, titled "GOOD EATS GURU GOES CHOCOLATE"
Good Eats Guru goes chocolate
Who makes the best chocolate in Boston? Not Your Sugar Mama! No, seriously—this new star of the Boston chocolate scene is infiltrating the local shops and being snatched up at an alarming pace. As soon as the bin is filled in my neighborhood market, it seems to empty out in less than a week—and it’s no surprise why. I mean this chocolate is good. Better than good, great.
I can confidently go so far as to deem it
NYSM, which operates out of Martha’s Vineyard, was founded by Bennett Coffey and Kyleen (Ky) Keenan about two years ago. They have a chocolate factory in Vineyard Haven, and sell their chocolate in bars, superfood energy balls, chocolate mix, and more at shops and cafes around the state.
How do I love thee, NYSM? Let me count the ways.
1) It’s not just chocolate: Every batch is hand made from raw cacao fortified with superfoods like maca, spirulina, and goji berries. Instead of refined sugar, they opt for agave nectar to sweeten.
2) Those chocolate makers, they’re clever. Case in point: “Chocolate so fresh it’s cool. Kept cool, that is.” Because it’s raw cacao, it has to be kept in the fridge. Top-quality food with witty word play: Does it get any better?
3) The texture is nothing short of heavenly. It pulls apart like taffy and eats like light fudge.
4) They’re passionate about keeping it fresh, and have their own specific definition so there’s no confusion. Keenan clarified that “Fresh equals nothing has been added or additional processing used to make it shelf stable. That’s why we are in the fridge.” Right on.
5) Oh, and the taste? A miraculous convergence of decadent bittersweet wonder. If your palette’s attuned to such things,
it’s brimming with the flavor of its most important ingredient: love.
What, you can’t taste that? Trust me, it’s in there.
Their success is a no-brainer to anyone familiar with mindful eating. When I inquired about the chocolate making process, Keenan told me, “Bennett is the chocolatier… It’s important to her to infuse good vibes into the chocolate, whether it’s by playing good music or just removing distractions and making it a mindful process.” This little distinction can make all the difference and many people are coming to demand this important aspect of health, wellness, and nutrition in the marketplace.
This auspicious attitude carries over into their whole business model. At present, they do direct trade for their cacao with an association of farmers in Peru. Their goal is to set up direct trade relationships for all their ingredients. When I asked about plans for the future, Keenan responded,
“Willy Wonka meets Hersheys—but better, and healthier. We want our chocolate to be consumed by as many people as possible. Everyone has a right to enjoy this superfood in a healthy way.”
They do, indeed.
Not Your Sugar Mamas is a welcomed addition to Boston’s well-endowed chocolate menagerie. They even have chocolate smoothie powders and hot chocolate mixes perfect for the upcoming holiday season and frosty, snow-filled days. If you haven’t tried this chocolate yet, do yourself a favor and grab a bar at Life Alive Cafe in Central Square or City Feed and Supply in Jamaica Plain.
This was published in Dig Boston by Good Eats Guru. To read complete article please visit http://digboston.com/taste/2012/11/good-eats-guru-not-your-sugar-mamas/
The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.
No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance.
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
• Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
• Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
• What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
• When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.
By Bennett Coffey
Holistic Nutrition Counselor