Fresh Maine Family-Friendly Summer Fare

80% Raw living food, 20% cooked whole food

In the summer my family eats about 80% raw foods. Which is not hard to do. We could pretty much live in our pea-patch right now and the carrots are only a row over, so we’ve already got two of my kid’s favorite food groups covered. But since I am training a lot these days (nine workouts a week) I have been experimenting with fast, family-approved cooked foods that help add a little heft and protein to our otherwise fresh raw diet. I find that as it gets hotter I am replacing my usual heavy-use of nuts and seeds with beans and pseudo-grains because they are less dense and oily, feel easier to digest and seem less heating (pitta aggravating).

Quinoa Love

I am obsessed with quinoa this summer. It makes everything crunchier, fuller and yummier. I’ve been adding this lovely little Incan pseudo-grain to salads, mixing it with beans and topping it with berries. It is closely related to amaranth (and a little less closely to spinach). These funny looking seeds are in the Goosefoot family and are low in starch but high in protein (18%), calcium and iron.  These days pretty much all store-bought quinoa has been pre-washed so I just throw a cup or two into my rice cooker, add water twice as deep as the dry grain and hit go. It cooks in 20 minutes and the result is a lovely fluffy, versatile highly nutritious grain. Sometimes I add a few tablespoons of amaranth to round out the flavor (and the amino acid profile).

Quinoa with blueberries, hemp milk and toasted almonds 

1 cup fresh organic “wild” Maine blueberries
1 cup cooked quinoa (see above)
¼ cup toasted almond slivers
½ cup fresh hemp milk

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is the perfect summer milk. It is quick and easy to make, easy to digest, cooling, and full of protein and essential fatty acids. I make it first thing in the morning before I can read the numbers on my measuring cup, but it always seems to work out . . .

~1/3 cup hemp seeds (find them in the fridge section of your health food store)
3-4 cups water

Optional:
A touch of almond or vanilla extract
A touch of stevia liquid or powder
A pinch of sea salt
A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg (I usually skip these in the summer as they feel to warming
2-3 tsp of maca powder (adds some fat and extra energy)
2-3 tsp flax oil

Blend everything on high for a minute or so. Serve immediately.
Store extra in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a four days. Shake well before serving.

I often mix my hemp milk with chia seeds (1 cup milk to 1Tbs seeds) to make an awesome on-the-go breakfast drink. I also pour it over berries and cold or hot cereal, but I don’t heat it up – high heat will mess with the delicate and healthy omega fatty acids.

Summer squash abundance

We are on the verge of being buried in summer squash. So today I took a bruiser of a yellow squash and put it in the mini-chop. Not sure what to do next, I spied a giant bag of chard that needed to be used so I added several leaves and stems to the blend. Then three eggs. The batter was a little thin so I added a few tablespoons of Pamela’s gluten free baking mix to thicken it up. The result was an amazing savory pancake mix that the girls declared better than “syrup pancakes”. I served them with fresh salsa and the girls ate every single one. Which means they also unwittingly ate an entire squash (one down, eight to go) and a whole bunch of chard.

Beans

Since I’ve cut out sugar and processed grass-grains from my diet, beans have become a really nice source of dense, filling comfort food. My favorite is a bowl of refried beans and quinoa topped with cherry tomatoes and raw corn freshly sliced from the ear (yes, a grass-grain, but organic and unprocessed . . .)

Home-cooked beans are sooo much better than the canned version

About twice a week I soak two cups of beans (pinto, black, white or chickpea). The next day I rinse them and cover them with water in a heavy cook pot. I add a pinch of hing (asfoetida) and a few pieces of kombu seaweed (both help with digestion).  If I have time I let them cook a full hour, but 40 minutes usually makes them soft enough to eat. I take out the kombu (my kids simply flatly reject seaweed-flavored beans!) land eave half of the beans unprocessed to use later. The other half I blend in my minichop.

Pinto and black beans go well with:
Garlic scapes, green onions, cumin, cilantro and paprika and sea salt

White beans and chickpeas go well with:
Lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, green onions and garlic scapes.

This then becomes the base of all things yummy at lunch. As a spread on collard greens, or sprouted corn tortillas. As a dip for carrots and red pepper slices . . .

I add the whole beans to my salads. And I’ve been experimenting with bean-quinoa “burgers” too. Beans are family-friendly, cheap and nutritious and they definitely deserve a place in the 20% cooked food category.

3 Comments on “Fresh Maine Family-Friendly Summer Fare

  1. I”m so jealous of your wild blueberries – we don’t have them out there.
    And your squash could take over the world.
    Nice post!
    (you might add social share buttons to the bottom!)

    –cate

    • Just added the facebook button – thanks. I’m not sure I could live without Maine blueberries. I just ordered 30lbs from the farm down the road!

  2. Pingback: An awesome summer of playing, training and racing | Charlotte Clews

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