Fall is here, and while I am so sad to see the summer go, this time of year brings many new options for seasonal produce and flavors. I was so excited to find baby ginger when I perused my local farmer’s market- ginger screams fall (and comfort)! This awesome rhizome is really versatile and can be used for both savory and sweet dishes.
Baby ginger is milder, juicier and much less fibrous than it’s tougher and more commonly seen counterpart. This thin skinned ginger is tender enough that it doesn’t even require peeling. It is great for teas, syrups (think fall-inspired cocktails!), pickling or as an addition to kimchi or preserved vegetables. It also adds a beautiful, warm flavor to stews, stir fries and soups. You probably won’t find this kind of ginger in your chain grocery store - it damages and molds easily so it cannot travel long distances. That means you need to get to your local farmer’s market to score this special treat. It isn’t around for long, but if you can get your hands on some, pick it up and freeze it! Store the rhizome whole and grate as needed, mince ahead of time in portions or slice and freeze so you can have it available all winter long.
Not only is ginger delicious, it also boasts many health supportive benefits which include, but are not limited to:
relieving nausea and motion sickness
aiding in digestion
stimulating circulation and warming the body
helping reduce pain and inflammation
aiding in the thinning of mucus and helping relieve cold symptoms
A simple and delicious way to enjoy baby ginger is with a warming and immune boosting tea.
For an extra kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper to help open nasal passages and further decongest. Drink this simple tea to help soothe your cold and virus symptoms, or enjoy it throughout the colder months to boost your immune system and give your body a nice fall-spiced hug from within :) Enjoy!
As a natural foods chef, I love a delicious treat that is made with real ingredients and has some nutritional value to boot! I find it frustrating that so many desserts out there are labeled "healthy" when they contain lots of refined sugar and processed ingredients. The world of food labeling is very misleading, so a good rule of thumb is if you can't pronounce an ingredient or don't know what it is, it probably isn't health supportive and a super long ingredient list is usually a red flag that there are lots of unhealthy additives. I am also a big believer in whole fats. Low fat food (that doesn't naturally come that way) typically has lots of added ingredients to make it taste better. The problem is, your body isn't satisfied as easily and you will continue to feel hungry, causing you to eat more than if you had the same dish in its natural, whole fat form. Eating a small portion of this dessert will leave you feeling more satisfied than eating it's junky and over processed counterpart, plus it is easy to make! This no-bake pie is a creamy indulgence that will satisfy your sweet tooth without refined sugars and highly processed oils. It contains protein packed natural peanut butter, nuts and whole fats that will leave you feeling full. This pie has real ingredients with all the sweet and peanut buttery taste of a traditional peanut butter pie, but without all of the not-so-good stuff. Delicious desserts can be made with simple and whole ingredients and this one is no exception.
Yield: 1 pie
3/4c raw cashews
3/4c walnut halves or pieces
1 1/2c pitted deglet dates
1/4tsp fine sea salt
1/2tsp vanilla extract
2Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3Tbsp mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 8oz. package cream cheese
3Tbsp real maple syrup
1c crunchy peanut butter (can substitute with creamy-I use peanut butter which is just nuts and salt)
1c whole milk
1/3c whole whipping cream, whipped
For the crust:
1. Using a food processor, pulse the cashews and walnuts until they are in small, crumb- like pieces, but not into a fine powder.
2. Add the dates, sea salt, vanilla and cocoa powder and process until well combined.
3. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few more times until incorporated.
4. Push the date-nut mixture onto your pie dish until the bottom and sides are covered and place into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm.
For the filling:
1. Blend cream cheese and maple syrup.
2. Add peanut butter and milk and combine. Taste for salt and sweetness and adjust if desired.
3. Fold in the whipped cream a few spoonfuls at a time until incorporated.
4. Spoon mixture into your date-nut crust, cover and freeze until firm (about 1 hour), then transfer to the refrigerator. You may keep in the freezer, just take the pie out for 15 minutes to thaw.
Before filling the crust, I decided to layer it with melted chocolate, then adding the filling on top. You can also add chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle or chopped peanuts to the top of the pie. You can do no wrong adding a little extra chocolate love.
Please use organic ingredients whenever possible. Enjoy!