Monthly Archives: June 2013

Raw Berry Cheesecake for the 4th of July!

With Independence Day just a few short days away, BBQ planning is in full force.  Whether or not your a host or a guest, there’s probably some amount of cooking in your agenda.  Haven’t decided what to make yet? This cashew-based patriotic cake will be sure to please any kind of guest.  Don’t let the directions intimidate you; they appear long because you need to work in batches to make the layers.

cheesecake

For the Crust:
8 ounces Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/3 block tempeh (7 ounce package)
1-2 tablespoons water (as needed)

Combine dates, pecans, hazelnuts and tempeh in food processor, blend until crumbly. Add water if needed to add moisture, help form a ball. Press into bottom / sides of 9 inch spring-form pan.

For the Bottom Layer:
1.5 cups cashews, soaked several hours / overnight
juice of two lemons
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup blueberries

Process cashews in food processor, adding lemon juice and acv, blend until creamy. Add agave and berries, blending until incorporated and mixture turns blue. Spread in an even layer over crust, place in freezer.

For the Middle Layer:

1 cup cashews, soaked several hours / overnight
juice of one lemon
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup agave

Process cashews in food processor, adding lemon juice and acv, blend until creamy. Add agave, blending until incorporated. Spread in an even layer over blue layer, return to freezer.


For the Top Layer:

1.5 cups cashews, soaked several hours / overnight
juice of two lemons
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave
3/4 cup raspberries

Process cashews in food processor, adding lemon juice and acv, blend until creamy. Add agave and berries, blending until incorporated and mixture turns red. Spread in an even layer over white layer. Return to freezer for several hours / overnight.

Pictures and recipe courtesy of http://www.spabettie.com

Stay Cool!

Cooling-Breath-Sheetali-PranayamaThe summer heat can be so thick, steamy and stifling sometimes that just a few minutes outdoors can make breathing feel like too much of a tiring activity. The good news – the traditional yoga practice of pranayama has gifted us with a breathing technique that essentially makes you your very own walking A/C unit. The word “sheetali” means cooling in Sanskrit, it is taken from the original word “Sheetal” which is soothing or cold. The pranayama practice of sheetali breathing calms the mind, reduces stress and helps cool the body and mind.

The purpose of Sheetali breathing not only helps calm stress and relax the body but is mainly used to cool down our body temperature. The ancient text of Hatha Yoga, Pradipika, states that this pranayama removes excess heat accumulated in the body and all our our organs. It can reduce excess bile and helps to reduce fevers. Sheetali breathing can keep our organs from ‘overworking’ in the heat thus keeping you internally and externally cool. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system, especially as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces muscular relaxation and is very effective in stress management.

In this pranayama the tongue is rolled in a specific manner as shown in figure. But many people can not roll their tongue in this fashion. If rolling your tongue is not accessible try pressing your teeth together leaving no gap between your jaw open your mouth and breath through your teeth while keeping your jaw sealed. You’ll feel a cool air stream through your teeth.

Sheetali (Cooling Breath)

cooling-breathBegin in a comfortable seated position and give yourself a minute to relax your whole body. Release any tension in your neck, spine, legs, etc. Really allow your body to release feeling completely relaxed.

Start by rolling your tongue and inhale through your mouth feeling the cool air enter your mouth within your tongue. Inhale for 4 seconds. Exhale through your nose for 6 seconds, make sure your exhales are a little bit longer than your inhales. Repeat and practice for about 5 minutes.

Source: Yoga Point 

The Magic of Aloe Vera

Aloe_vera386868234The summer heat is in full force and with the Fourth of July holiday around the corner it’s not unusual to take in the intoxicating joys of early summer and good ol’ fashioned celebratory BBQ and beach days. But it’s on days like these that we forget to re-lather, reapply, and repeat sunscreen use or even worse pick up a glass of water instead of one more summer cocktail. This is where superfood food aloe vera steps in to save the day.

Aloe Vera is a superfood that can be eaten, juiced and used topically on the skin. Used topically it can help heal and soothe minor cuts, scratches, and burns (think long beach day sunburns). The instant cooling and hydrating effect it has for the skin are the same benefits you get from the plant internally.  Aloe vera leaves are filled with a mucilaginous gel that contains polysaccharides and each gel-filled leaf is bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids and enzymes such as; Vitamin A, C, E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium just to name a few.

Aloe-Vera_4The polysaccharides in aloe are very beneficial to your stiff joints and to your nervous system and brain. Aloe vera helps boost your immune system and since it’s an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal it also aids in your body’s ability to fight illness and external skin rashes or disorders. This anti-inflammatory powerhouse is a great addition to your morning smoothie, juice, and desserts. So the next time you feel summer heat and sun getting the best of you try sipping on this delicious summer cooler!

Aloe Vera Summer Cooler

1 banana
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup pineapple
1 cup fresh aloe vera, cubed
1/2 cup ice

Recipe: Y3 Test Kitchen

Open the Hips with Frog Pose {Yin Series}

Yin yoga’s Frog Pose is one of the more intense poses of the practice, and when I’m teaching it it’s often accompanied by a few moans and groans.  Remember how we talked about Yin stressing the connective tissue instead of the muscles? Well, Frog Pose puts a fair amount of stress on the hip joint and this is something that does not go unnoticed :).  But the benefits of Frog Pose largely outweigh the few moments of discomfort.  This deep groin opener targets the adductors, but also leaves a mild backbend in the small of the back and can also benefit digestion as well as cramps.  A yogi with a bad low back should be wary of any pain (not discomfort) in the pose.

To come into Frog, begin in Child’s Pose.  Start to slide the hands out, but keep the glutes on top of the heels.  As you come forward separate the knees while still sitting on the heels.  Feet can be pointed in or out and blankets may be used for padding of the feet or knees.  Frog Pose is one that is very individual to each yogi.  The amount of flexibility in the hips largely influences where the rest of the body will end up.  So spend a few moments finding your edge, that “sweet spot” between discomfort and pain.  Once you’ve established your edge, bring your focus to the sensation in your hips.  This can be a great lesson in contentment.  Instead of trying to avoid the discomfort that arises in both life and yoga, experience it and breathe into it.  Remain here from three to five minutes.  When the time comes to back out of the pose, do so in whichever way speaks to you.  Move slowly.  Your hips will be talking to you and they may even give you that “stuck” sensation but be patient, it will come.  Once you are able come to lie flat on your back.  After a few moments, hug the knees to the chest and do any movement that feels organic; circles, rocking, or anything else that appeals to you.

Image

Y3 Classic kale Salad for Meatless Monday

Y3 Classic Kale Salad

Y3KaleSalad

This is hands down our favorite Kale Salad.  Beets are bountiful this summer season and you could swap kale for summer arugula if you’d prefer.  Either way, it is a flavor explosion and the varieties of textures kept us engaged to the last bite.

This salad is bursting with Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and is a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

We originally created this salad for our annual spring cleanse.   Who knew it was going to be such a big hit and become our everyday go to salad.  Not only is it nutrient dense and great for a weight loss program, it will satisfy and energize you and your taste buds will be screaming for more.  We seriously couldn’t get enough of this salad.  We made it again and doubled the recipe to have leftovers and tossed with black quinoa for a protein packed side dish perfect for a summer picnic or any day of the week.

Salad:

1 Head of Kale, washed, stems removed, massaged with lemon & salt, chopped into bite sized pieces.  Massaging the kale makes it easier to digest and the texture is much more pleasing.  It is well worth the extra effort. Set aside to marinate.

3 radishes, thinly sliced

¼ of a large purple onion, diced

1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons Hemp Hearts

1 cup sliced figs

Juice from half a Lemon

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Cracked Pepper

Incorporate all ingredients very well and add:

2 Beets, I used 1 red & one gold, cut into matchsticks, add last so everything is mixed well and the beets don’t turn everything pink

Gently toss with Dressing:

1 tablespoon Champagne Vinegar

1 tablespoon Olive Oil, or more if needed

Serves 2 as a main dish

Variations:

  • Serve as a side dish with wild caught Salmon, marinated in maple syrup, and grilled on a cedar plank.
  • Serve tossed with quinoa for a cold salad.  If doing this you should diced everything up instead of slicing, so it is more like a slaw.  Add quinoa last and toss gently so it doesn’t become PINK from the beets or use black quinoa.

Enjoy and let us know what you think!

Y3

Summer Solstice Meditation

summerHappy Summer! Today marks the longest day of the year and there’s no better day to celebrate light than today, which means there’s no better day to take joy and pleasure in this light than to get outdoors to bathe yourself in the day’s abundance of light. I totally recommend you try taking today’s mediation practice outdoors!

 Summer Solstice Meditation

Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax.

At this time of greatest light, we meditate on light as a symbol of spiritual energy. Breathe now gently and deeply and with each breath become aware of the light that surrounds you and the light that is within you — the light that is the energy of Our Great Mother.

Inhale. Exhale.

The light can be any color. It is often imagined as white — like bright sunlight. But it can be any color, any intensity that is best for you. Blue, green, yellow, purple, rose; we know that light can also be black. The light may stay the same color for you during this meditation or it may change from color to color, or become a blend of many colors.

See the light now in your mind’s eye. This light is all around us, we are bathed in its brightness, energy, and warmth.

Inhale. Exhale.

Focus on the light until you sense that you and the light are one. This will be your signal that you can now bring the light inside you.

196.largeInhale. Exhale.

When you bring the light inside you, one-way is to let it stream in through your crown chakra at the top of your head. The light — this healing energy — flows through you now, from your crown, down to your third eye (between your eyebrows) to your throat, your shoulders and your arms, and your hands, to your heart, your stomach, shining brightly at your solar plexus just above your navel, to your sex organs, shining too at your tailbone. The healing light travels down through your legs, your knees, your ankles and your feet. Feel the warmth of this healing energy now as it travels all through your body.

Inhale. Exhale.

Now sense the one part of your body where the light can shine the brightest and imagine the light there. See it shine.

Now take from this light the energy that you need, and know that there is plenty for all. For the Source of this light is endless and ever abundant. Take a moment to experience Her abundance, and know that as you partake of Her light and Her love, so do you give your light and your love. And as you give energy, so do you receive it. And thus does the circle of life continue.

From She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, by Judith Laura.

Grilled Portobellos Stuffed with Tomatoes and Olives

I don’t know about you, but my tomato plants are finally starting to produce lush, red tomatoes and I can’t wait until I can pick the first one. What says summer more than a fresh off-the-vine tomato? My impatience got the best of me and I picked up some organic, fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market this weekend.  They’ve been ripening on my counter for the past few days and I’ve been dreaming of how I’ll use them first.  This recipe is at the top of my list!

tomatoandolivemushrooms

Ingredients
2/3 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or other cheese (optional, but volume will reduce if witheld)
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/8 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 portobello mushroom caps, 5 inches wide
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari/Bragg’s Liquid Aminos/coconut aminos

Directions
1.  Combine tomatoes, cheese, olives, garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, rosemary and pepper in a small bowl.
2.  Preheat grill to medium.
3.  Discard mushroom stems. Remove brown gills from the undersides of the caps using a spoon; discard gills. Mix the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, lemon juice and soy sauce in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over both sides of the caps.
4.  Oil a grill rack (see Tip). Place the caps on the rack, stem sides down, cover and grill until soft, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and fill with the tomato mixture. Return to the grill, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more.

Enjoy!