recipes and tips for better living

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Whow G', What's With The Goji?" : A Healthy Berry Meets Our Heart Healthy Cookie In "Pack'm up & Snack'm Up" Bars

By now most of you have heard of Goji-berries, also called Wolf-berries. Gojis are nutrient dense dried fruits that contain a vast amount of antioxidants, at least 18 amino acids (including the 8 essential), Vitamins B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, more Vitamin C by weight than an orange, more beta-carotene by weight than carrots, and more iron by weight than spinach. These little delights power pack a punch of 'anti-aging' health benefits AND taste good at the same time! Gojis are knows to strengthen the immune system. They contain betaine which calms nerves and enhances memory, solavetivone which is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound, and may benefit cervical cancer, the heart, and blood pressure. While they do contain beta-sitoserol which is an anti-inflammatory agent, gogis are members of the night shade family (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers). Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders should be cautious as they may not be best suited for your diet.

If you've been actively following the blog page, we've already had our first few adventures in preparing raw foods - so let's keep the pace! Here's another yum recipe to impress yourself, your friends, and little ones with how well you don't cook! And, as a bonus for all you visual folks, pictures are posted!!!

Stack'm up first:

3 large medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup coconut
1 cup plus another 1 cup of (gluten free) oats - divided
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp (approximately) coarse sea salt: i tend to love salty - so you may choose to stick to a 1/2 rounded tsp
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup plus an additional 1/4 cup goji berries - divided
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
2 dashes cinnamon

Gettin' to business:

Get your handy dandy food processor out.
Load it up with the dates, raisins, agave nectar coconut, 1 cup of oats, salt, flax seeds and cinnamon.
Process to a dough.
Add the gojis and cocoa nibs, continue to process - using a flat spatula to push the dough down into the blade often.
Pour the contents of the food processor into a mixing bowl.
Add the additional cup of oats and the additional gojis - use a fork and mix until well combined
Grease a plastic cutting board lightly with olive oil
Put some olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking and press the dough down tightly forming a square just under an inch in height.
Rub olive oil on a knife and clean up the edges forming a perfect square. Score the bar approximately 4 times down to form 5 rows of bars and score through the middle. You will have approximately 10 bars.
Place these bars on a dehydrator rack and dehydrate at around 118-120 degrees for a few hours, flipping half way through.

**If you do not have a dehydrator you are welcome to eat these treats as is, storing in your fridge in an air tight container or wrapping individually in plastic wrap. You can also try placing them in a low heat oven with the door slightly cracked - make sure temp stays low, and stay near the kitchen to keep your pets and children away from danger. Dehydrating time will vary, but will probably be a few hours. Check periodically and flip after about an hour. When bars are to your 'done-ness' (and this is purely how dry you like them; they are completely edible and delicious at any stage), remove from dehydrator, let cool, and store in an air tight container.

Pack'm up & Snack'm up - these yummy treats are good on the go.


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