Full disclosure: Jill Nussinow, RD, aka the VeggieQueen and I are very good friends. She stays in my apartment when she’s in NYC, I’ve stayed in her home in paradise (Santa Rosa, CA) and we’ve been roommates at many culinary conferences since meeting more years ago than I can remember, at an IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference. My remembering says we met in Northern California and Jill says it was in Chicago, but no matter, we bonded and have been fast friends ever since. We learned that we both grew up on Long Island, NY, that we both take our own healthy snacks and teas to conferences, and that we are are not junk food vegans. Jill’s work as the “Veggie Queen” and mine as the so-called “Dessert Queen” sound dramatcially different, but really, we are on the same page. We want people to give up processed food and to get back into the kitchen and cook! I am a fan of Jill’s previous cookbooks as well as her DVD on pressure-cooking, but I have to say that her new book, Nutrition CHAMPS takes the cake! Jill’s vast knowledege of food and nutrition plus her trademark humor will coax the most unsure cook into the kitchen to make the food of champions. You‘ll find recipes from favorite cookbook authors and bloggers including Dreena Burton, Chef AJ, Kathy Hester, Robin Robertson and too many more to list here, in addition to Jill’s original dishes. I’ve got a fruit based dessert in the book that is naturally no-sugar, no oil, no gluten. The forward was written by Dr. Mary (Clifton) Wendt of Get Waisted. I am happy to promote this book. Read about it and enter to win the giveaway. You might win a copy.
Nutrition CHAMPS is a paperback and downloadable cookbook with 200 recipes, many of which are gluten-free, no oil, low or no sugar and salt. The recipes span 6 groups of food:
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Herbs and Spices
- Pulses (beans, peas and lentils)
- Seeds and Nuts
The breadth of recipes from breakfast to desserts cover all the CHAMPS foods, including raw, cooked and pressure cooked. You will learn more about the health benefits of each food category, with tempting recipes that you can eat daily.
This soft and creamy dish has an especially beautiful color thanks to the blueberries, which are as healthful as they are delicious
- 1⁄4 cup (4 tablespoons) agar flakes
- 4 cups organic, no sugar added apple juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry (or use frozen berries)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons filtered water at room temperature
- Measure the agar into a medium saucepan. Pour in the juice, but do not stir or heat. Set aside for 10 minutes or longer to allow the agar to soften. This step will help the agar dissolve thoroughly and easily.
- Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and stir to release any bits of agar that may be stuck on the bottom of the saucepan. Cover and simmer for 7–10 minutes, stirring a few times. Uncover and check the juice in the saucepan, examining a large spoonful for specks of agar. If necessary, cover and simmer longer, until the agar has completely dissolved. Uncover, and add the cinnamon and blueberries. Simmer 1 minute if using fresh berries and 2–3 minutes if using frozen berries.
- Combine the arrowroot with the water in a small bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve. Add the dissolved arrowroot to the simmering juice mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat only until the liquid boils. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. (If you cook or stir arrowroot-thickened mixtures after they have boiled, they are likely to become thin again.)
- Pour into a bowl and cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 30–40 minutes,
or until set. Spoon the set gel into a food processor and pulse a few times until creamy. Pour into a serving dish or individual dishes. Store leftover gel in a covered container. It will keep for 2–3 days in the refrigerator.
Note: If you can only get agar agar powder, use 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) instead of the flakes but the flakes are preferred.
Variation — Blueberry Sauce: Purée a portion of the gel in a blender or food processor with enough additional juice to achieve the consistency you like.
Adapted from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, © 2006 by Fran Costigan.
I have a copy of the Nutrition CHAMPS ebook for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on March 22nd. Good luck!