LPB’s Candied Grapefruit Peel

I just made this fantastic recipe for homemade holiday gifts!

LPB gave me this recipe and it came out great. It took some time but the work was minimal. I recommend coating all the pieces in some sugar when done, otherwise they seem very sticky and hard to package.

4 grapefruits

4 cups sugar

(or a 1 to 1 ratio of whatever amount of peels that you have)
The measurements and times listed are for 4 grapefruits. You can amass a good amount by cutting and prepping your peels and keep them in a bag/tupperware in the fridge until you’re ready.
After eating the fruit, slice into quarters and each quarter in 4 or 5 strips.
Bring pot of water to boil (large stock pot) and drop peels in water. When the water returns to a boil, remove and strain the peels.
Repeat this 3 more times, using fresh, cold water each time.
On the 4th and last boil, let the peels stay in the boiling water 10-15 minutes. This will plump them up.
After the last boil, strain and keep the peels and about one cup of the water in the pot.
Add the sugar on top of peels and cook over high heat, stirring a bit to help dissolve sugar. When the sugar syrup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until the syrup thickens, about 25 minutes. (To test, dip in a rubber spatula and test with your finger on the spatula. you want it to be sticky)
Place a wire rack over a clean baking sheet. Use the spatula or thongs to remove the peels and lay out on a single layer on the rack. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
You can leave them plain or coat them 4-5 at a time in a bowl of sugar. Coarse sugar makes them nice and crunchy.
Lay the coated peels back on the rack to dry some more.
Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
LPB’s tip for the leftover grapefruit infused sugar syrup:
“Of course I saved the excess syrup. going to use it in a bourbon drink verrry soon.”

PRODUCT REVIEW: Botan-100% soluble vegetable protein drink

Some of you have seen my Instagrams and tweets about testing a brand new, ready-to-go nutritional beverage, Botan. I was pretty thrilled when they contacted me to test their product and to see and taste this vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO drink that delivers 12g of protein per bottle (25% of the FDA’s recommended daily amount) with just 110 calories. I’ve struggled to find a non-chalky or non-silty vegan protein that is free of soy, gluten, dairy, whey, artificial preservatives. I especially like that Botan lists their ingredients n a detailed way on their website too. Botan uses pea protein, describing peas as having an essential amino acid, rich in BCAAs (branch chained amino-acids), which delays fatigue during exercise; they contain arginine, which enhances immunity; and they are rich in lysine, which promotes bone health. 

Pea protein powder is listed on the label as their protein source and the solubility is described here:

“Botan is the result of a unique and patented method designed to extract proteins from plants and make them completely soluble. We use this amazing technique, combined with a simple natural ingredient (our trade secret), and the result is a 100% soluble plant protein containing a balance of all of your essential amino acids.”

I regularly make a protein smoothie after workouts and races or as an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. I was pretty sold on just grabbing a hydrating cold bottle out of the fridge or cooler to make that process even easier. After speaking with the company founder, Edward Cannan, I was pretty convinced, that even if I didn’t like the taste, this was a brand I wanted to get behind! Edward started the company after a severe injury and used plant-based nutrition to turn his health around and regain his vitality and wellness. Edward’s passion for surfing and outdoor sports drives his education on the environmental impact of packaged products and their disposal. Botan is thinking ahead with an Earth-friendly focus, using glass bottles that are recyclable and renewable and won’t contaminate the beverages. 

 

Sounds right up my alley!

I received my case of Botan to test and decided to try the 3 different flavors (strawberry-cucumber, pineapple-coconut, cherry-tomato) it in 3 different ways for review:

1. cool or room temperature, as if I’ve tossed it in my bag for after a workout or race

2. Icy cold from the fridge or cooler, as if I packed my cooler with me for after a race or workout, or grabbed at home

3. Blended in a smoothie as the liquid base, as if I made it at home after a workout or as a breakfast or lunch

 

Botan recommends shaking the product well and drinking cold, so the first test of drinking at room temperature resulted in the product tasting sweet but not refreshing. 

Next up, I tried it cold from the fridge and it was much more tasty, refreshing and easy to drink. I ultimately put it over ice and would recommend drinking it served over ice for the best flavor and most hydrating drink-ability. This will be ideal in the winter months when it’s too cold to make smoothies.

Lastly, I made it into smoothies, using Botan as the base, adding banana and some frozen fruit. This was basically amazing during this hot summer. I didn’t need to add protein powder, sweeteners or essential vitamins-they are all already in the bottle of Botan! With just 110 calories, making Botan into a smoothie is a great way to make a recovery beverage or small meal after workouts or racing. 

 

I gravitated to the pineapple-coconut flavor at first but found it to be too-sweet tasting straight up but excellent as a smoothie base. 

Botan is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia and I personally think all of the flavors could be less sweet and more tart or earthy to highlight the natural flavors of the fruits and vegetables used.

I ultimately prefer the strawberry-cucumber served over ice as my go-to and the cherry-tomato.

I was surprised to find Botan so filling, yet light and hydrating and a perfect midday snack while I’m at work.

So far this product is a great addition to my training, racing and work lifestyle and I’m happy to share my experiences testing it. If you’re local to me and you want to try some, let me know! 

 

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Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

This is my new favorite Spring food obsession! Serve with crispy chickpeas or tofu to make a light meal of this tasty salad. 

 

Ingredients:

1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons (OR 1 head romaine and 1 bunch of kale, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons)

fresh lemon juice from 2-4 lemons (up to ⅔ cup)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water (or a few TBSP more for thinning the dressing)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill golden flax meal)

½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 15-30 minutes, then drained

2-3 large cloves of garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

Toss washed/dried lettuce and kale in a bowl and set aside.

Add all remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

Toss lettuce with about 1/2 cup of dressing with salt and pepper (to taste)

Store dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

KK Weiler’s Homemade Coconut Yogurt

This recipe come’s direct from the blog of Kate Weiler Sports Nutritionist. Kate shared with recipe on Twitter and I finally got around to making it. It was a fantastic addition to breakfast, as most non-dairy yogurts are full of gums, and thickeners and odd extras that I refrain from them. But yogurt is one of the only non-vegan foods that I actually miss.

Welcome back, yogurt.

Her coconut yogurt recipe is fantastic: http://www.ironnourishment.blogspot.com/2013/10/homemade-coconut-yogurt.html

Enjoy!

 

 

Vanilla Cashew Cream

I was relieved to find out that cashews were no longer on my “potentially allergic to” list after some testing this year.

As a vegan, that means cashew creams and cheeses and actually snacky cashews are all available! The cashew is a pretty versatile food and I’ve been blending up with tasty cream  as a yogurt alternative.

1 cup cashews, soaked in water 8-10 hours

1 cup fresh coconut water (or filtered water or non dairy milk)

1 tsp vanilla (get good vanilla, like Penzey’s)

Drain cashews and put in a blender with coconut water and vanilla, blend until smooth.

That’s it! And it’s amazing.

Spicy Cacao-Cayenne Winter Smoothie

This is a variation on the Coconut-Banana-Sunflower Smoothie with raw cacao and warming spices.

Ingredients:

2 cups non dairy milk

1 TBSP raw or sprouted sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter

1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 TBSP ground flax meal

1/2 TBSP chia seeds

1-2 dates

1 banana

1 TBSP raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cinnamon (try Vietnamese for a kick)

1 inch peeled chunk of fresh ginger

pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)

6 ice cubes

Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more cayenne and cacao to taste.