Raw Stone Fruit Pudding

This recipe is too easy and tasty not to share! Peel the fruit for creamier texture, but it's just as tasty with the skin on!

Ingredients:

Flesh from one ripe avocado 1 large, or 2 medium (ripe!) peaches, pit(s) removed 2 ripe apricots, pits removed 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1 teaspoon lemon juice *8 drops liquid stevia or 1 soaked date if you want sweeter pudding *Splash coconut water for thinner consistency (optional)

Method:

Place all ingredients, but 1/2 of your apricot (sliced), into a food processor/blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour into your serving dish and adorn with your reserved apricot slices.

Allow to chill for at least 15 minutes (or if you're super hungry, eat immediately!) Serve and enjoy!

Celery Melon Cooler

  As summer winds down, enjoy this cooling, sweet drink!

Ingredients:

10 celery stalks, de-stringed 1-2 cups honeydew or Santa Claus melon 1/2 (or 1 if you like it more tart) lime, de-rinded 2-4 sprigs basil 1 drop doTERRA lemon or lime essential oil *optional: 1/2 cup filtered water

Method:

Place all ingredients but essential oil in your juicer. Juice. Place in a glass jar (with a lid) add your essential oil and optional water. Shake it up to mix it all together. Sip to your heart’s content!

Or, place all ingredients in your high-powered juicer. Add 1 cup filtered water. Blend to smithereens. Strain over a glass. Enjoy!

Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Celery: Celery is jam-packed with vitamins K and C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But also contains phytonutrients that are shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits and protect the digestive tract. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Honeydew: This melon is a plentiful source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fruit, which means it can help us to fight off unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

 

 

Ginger Peach Smoothie

Hot enough for ya? Cool off with this tasty ginger peach smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 frozen peach, chopped with VERY SHARP KNIFE into 1/8ths 1 cup homemade almond milk 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, 1 large handful blanched spinach (or raw if you're into that sort of thing) 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (or a handful of soaked almonds or cashews) 1/2 drop doterra ginger oil

Method:

Put all ingredients into blender and blend to smithereens.

*Note: 1 whole drop of essential oil might be too much for the sensitive palate, so dip a clean toothpick in the ginger oil, and stir it into the other ingredients before blending.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger Essential Oil: Ginger is a powerful analgesic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-nauseant, and stumulant. It provides tremendous benefits to the digestive system, and can also be used as an expectorant and decongestant. Ginger can also help provide relief from coughs and sore throats. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Peach: Peaches are high in a number of nutrients such as niacin, thiamine, potassium, and calcium. They are also high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A (which is essential for healthy hearts and eyes). Some say the darker the peach’s color, the richer it is in Vitamin A. The antioxidants may also help in maintaining healthy urinary and digestive functions. Eastern cultures consider peach tea as a powerful kidney cleanser and is used in detoxification. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Minty Fruit Salad

This fruit salad is minty fresh.

Ingredients:

1-2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into coins 1/4 small cantaloupe, de-seeded, de-rinded, and cut into 1" hunks 1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced 1 grapefruit, peeled, and sectioned (then peel each section so that all that remains is the glistening flesh) 4 mint leaves, minced Juice from 1/4 lemon 1 drop doTERRA lemon oil

Method:

Gently toss all ingredients together until fruit is coated with lemon and mintiness.

Serve and enjoy.

Double or triple the recipe if you have more than 1-2 hungry hippos partaking of your masterpiece fruit salad, and feel free to get creative with what fruits you add.

Benefits:

Cantaloupe: This melon is a plentiful source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fruit, which means it can help us to fight off unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapefruit: This citrus fruit is packed with Vitamins C and A. The pink varieties are an excellent source of the phytonutrient, lycopene, which has been touted for its ability to battle cancer-causing free radicals. Grapefruits also contain phytonutrients called "limonoids" which help inhibit tumor formation and growth. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Kiwi: This little antioxidant-packed gem abounds with vitamins C, K, and E. It's also a great source of copper and dietary fiber. A very tasty way to support your heart, lungs, and colon! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Peppermint: Peppermint is a good source of vitamins C and A, as well as manganese and copper. It is also great for the digestion and has antimicrobial properties. See here for more health benefits.

Pecan Pesto

Slathered on bread, tomatoes, or to dress a salad, this pesto is tops!

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh organic local basil 2 cloves fresh organic local garlic (or a sprinkle of garlic powder) 1/2 cup raw pecans 1/4-1/3 cup nutritional yeast, or same amount of a grated hard cheese such as Parm, Pecorino, or Romano if you're into that sort of thing... 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil 1 drop doTERRA basil essential oil Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Combine the garlic (or garlic powder), basil, and pecans in a food processor. Pulse several times to roughly chop the mixture.

Add nutritional yeast (or cheese) and pulse again until ingredients are a course and sandy texture.

Put mixture into a bowl and add the drop of basil essential oil and the olive oil. Mix until well-blended.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Put a hefty spoonful over noodles, zuccini strips, slather on tomatoes with mozarella, or add a bit more olive oil and dress a salad. There's no wrong way to eat this pesto.

*Note: This also freezes will in ice cube containers or mini-tupperwares. Delicious in the middle of winter when there's not a vegetable in sight!

Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil Essential Oil: Basil has powerful anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It can be used to boost alertness and concentration, ease anxiety, nervous depression, headaches, mental fatigue, and insomnia. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Garlic: Garlic has long been touted as a health promoting food. It is high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. Garlic is also rich with manganese and is a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, as well as selenium. This "stinky rose" also protects our blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress, but its other health benefits abound. See here for nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a staple source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. It is one of the few non-animal sources of B-12, is rich in folic acid and other nutrients and amino acids. Nutritional yeast is free of the Candida Albicans strain, making it safe for those concerned with candida. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a tablespoon of pesto and you've got a delicious salad dressing!

Chilled Pea Soup

When it's hotter than Hades outside, cool off from the inside out with some chilled pea soup.

This recipe was inspired in part by www.chow.com.

I love summer cooking. Usually it involves slathering lots of fresh veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and tossing them on the grill. But we had some peas to use up, and they don't grill particularly well. Thus, this pea soup recipe. I just took the same ingredients, sauteéd and pureéd them, and voilá: a nice, cooling and delicious dinner. Lots of ways to dress up this soup. You can add other herbs to taste, or just leave it simple. Sometimes, in cooking and in life, simplicity is the best course of action. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth 3 cups shelled fresh peas, or frozen and thawed 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped leek, onion, or shallot Drizzle of olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed freshly ground black pepper to taste juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more as needed 1 drop doTERRA lemon essential oil * 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (optional) *crème fraîche, for serving (optional) *fresh arugula blossoms for serving (optional)

Method:

Drizzle olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek/onion/shallot, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and a pinch of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. (About 3 minutes.)

Add the broth, remaining salt, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the peas are tender. (About 5 minutes.)

Remove the pan from the heat. If you want a minty flavor, add the mint leaves, and stir to combine. If you have time, allow the mixture to sit uncovered until the flavors meld. (About 10 minutes.)

Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth.

Transfer the soup back to the saucepan to a clean saucepan and stir in the lemon juice and essential oil.

Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.

Top each serving with a dollop of crème fraîche or a few arugula blossoms. (They have a faint aroma of chocolate!)

*This soup can also be served warm if you don't have time to chill it.

Benefits:

Lemon Juice: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

Onion:  Like garlic, onions are high in sulfur (and while that might make us a little, ahem, stinky, this may be an important part of a our otherwise sulfur-deficient diets. They are a very good source of vitamins B6 and C, fiber, and manganese. They help protect our blood, bone, and connective tissue. See here for other health benefits and nutritional info. Please note: due to its rajastic nature, garlic and onions are NOT part of the traditional Saatvic diet.

Peas: Green peas are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, large amounts of manganese, and are high in dietary fiber. They're high in protein and are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Yum! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Best Chicken Salad I Ever Ate...

This batch fed a roundup of hungry ladies at a baby shower brunch, served with buttery croissants. Yum.

...Meanwhile the meat/no meat debate continues...

Ah, the endless debate: If you are a true yogi, can you eat meat? That is for you to decide. But I will say this: the concept of "ahimsa," or unconditional love for all beings (as defined by Nischala Joy Devi in her heart-centered translation of the Yoga Sutras) must be applied to oneself too. Yes, it makes my being writhe to think of animals being abused and "dispatched" for human consumption. But if your body is in need of certain sustenance that only animal flesh can provide, and you prepare and eat it with love and gratitude in your heart, then I personally think it is ok in moderation. Granted, there are likely yogis, vegetarians, and vegans who would vehemently disagree. And that's ok.

My best advice is to listen to your own body and soul's inherent wisdom. But if you decide to go for it, try this recipe. The extra time it takes to shred the chicken meat is totally worth the effort. It's nutritious and delicious, and can be made in large enough batches to feed the masses...as long as they're not vegetarian. (In which case make any of the other recipes on this site.)

Ingredients:

4 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 pound)

*Note: 1) If you use breasts and thighs it tastes even better! 2) If you shred the chicken rather than cut it, it tastes even better-er! 3) Make sure chicken is completely cooled before mixing with other ingredients to make it taste the better-iest!

*Note: This is a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken and/or turkey meat.

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled

1 cup chopped fennel (can sub celery if you don’t have/like fennel)

3 sprigs finely chopped green onion

2 cups halved seedless purple grapes

1/4 cup mayonnaise (can use homemade Paleo-nnaise if that’s your bag, baby)

½ cup Greek yogurt (can use all Greek yogurt if you don’t like mayo)

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint or 3-4 Tbs. dried

Hefty dash tabasco sauce

Hefty drizzle honey (1 Tsp.-ish)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. Can be served immediately, but is even yummier if allowed to sit for a few hours or even overnight.

Can be served solo, in sandwich or wrap form. This chicken salad is heavenly on a fresh croissant, but is also tasty when served in lettuce wraps or radicchio leaves if you’re doing the grain-free thing.

Health Benefits:

Chicken: If you're looking for a good source of protein that's also low in fat try an organic chicken breast. The thighs have a richer (read: fattier) flavor, but both are great sources of tryptophan, selenium, and vitamins B3 and B6. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Fennel: In addition to its abounding phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. It also has a unique licorice-like flavor and a ton of crisp crunch. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapes: Grapes are packed with vitamin C and manganese and contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and resveratrol (think red wine!). These tasty little jewels are thought to help support the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and nervous systems. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier version of "regular" yogurt that boasts high protein, healthy bacteria which support healthy gut flora, and is a good source of calcium. It's a versatile addition to your diet and can replace higher fat dairy products. See here for more about the nutritional info and health benefits of yogurt.

Pecans: Pecans protect your brain, heart, and body. They're high in vitamin E, oleic acid, vitamin B1, thiamin, magnesium, protein, and an array of other vitamins and minerals. They are also great sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (read: good fats), and are very low in saturated fat. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

You Say Tomato, I Say Caprese

Tomatoes, fresh mozza and basil, with a hint of truffle salt and olive oil. I could live on this combination in the summertime. Hi. My name is Celestia, and I'm a caprese-aholic. I love tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in just about any form....From slabs of heirloom tomato with hunks-o fresh mozzarella and chopped basil, to an open-faced caprese sammy, I'm a sucker for any dish that resembles that magical combination of ingredients. It's an ultimate summertime favorite, so I had to throw this recipe in here before the chilly air takes the tomatoes away until next season. Enjoy...

Ingredients:

Heirloom tomatoes, sliced into thick slices

Fresh mozzarella cheese, torn or cut into pieces (to match the size of your tomato slices)

Fresh basil, julienned (Or homemade pesto)

High quality olive oil for drizzling

Pinches of salt (to taste)

*Optional: truffle salt OR truffle oil (but not both), balsamic vinegar or reduction, other types of cheese to replace the mozzarella such as goat or brie.

Method:

Arrange tomato slices on a serving plate or platter.

Carefully administer pinches of sea or truffle salt.

Arrange cheese on tomato slices.

Add julienned basil.

Drizzle with olive oil (and optional balsamic).

Keep your hands and arms away from the platter as each bite disappears.

Health Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Mozzarella Cheese: Dairy products are not for everyone...but for those of us who can eat a bit of dairy, Mozzarella is a great source of  vitamins (such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and vitamin B6), minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus), and is high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Caprese with brie and balsamic reduction.

Local, multigrain bread with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, avocado, olive oil, and sea salt. Best summer lunch I can think of...

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

For this "simple man's" zucchini carpaccio, I used a potato peeler to create paper-thin zucchini ribbons. I've always been a glutton for delicious words like "kumquat" and "soliloquy." Diving into the world of culinary arts has opened up a treasure trove of new words that make me tingly just to say them. One such word is "carpaccio." I love the way it rolls off my tongue, especially when in the same phrase as multi-syllabic words like "zucchini" and "avocado." Call me a word nerd, but I don't care. I take almost as much pleasure speaking the names of these dishes as I do tasting them. So I present this beautiful dish, which was spawned from food icon, Patricia Wells' cookbook Vegetable Harvest, but I found and adapted this version from food52.com. It takes a few minutes to assemble, can marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, and is absolutely divine. The tartness of the marinade is rounded out by the fat of the avocado and the salty creamy crunch of the pistachios. I didn't include lemon thyme in this version, but that would surely elevate the tasting experience even more. Enjoy!

 Ingredients:

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. fine sea salt, plus additional as needed

1/4 cup high-quality pistachio oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil

4 small or 2 medium zucchini

1 ripe avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts, chopped

4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, preferably with flowers.

Method:

Combine lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in small jar. Cover and shake to blend.

Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using mandoline or very sharp knife...I used a potato peeler and had pretty good (albeit not perfectly even) ribbons.

Spread slices on platter and drizzle with lemon mixture. Tilt platter to evenly coat slices. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Alternate zucchini and avocado slices on your platter (or individual salad plates), slightly overlapping each slice.

Sprinkle with pistachios. Season with salt to taste, garnish with lemon thyme, and serve.

Health Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pistachios: These nuts are rich with antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and thiamin. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

This 5-minute salad was one of my favorites of the summer...Sweet, tart, and tangy, I'm drooling a little just thinking about it. Nectarines and tomatoes might not seem a likely pair, but oooh, they are. Sweet yet savory, tart but smooth, the ripe flesh of both of these fruits (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit) are a sultry match, like a tango in my mouth. I had to make an instant salad to go with dinner, and ended up enjoying this way more than the main course. So I offer it humbly, and hope the results are equally as satisfying to you.

Ingredients:

2 large or 5 small/medium RIPE heirloom tomatoes (I like the smaller ones as their flavor is more concentrated)

2 RIPE nectarines

2 Tbs. julienned basil

High quality olive oil and sea salt for marinating

*NOTE: This recipe can be made with ripe peaches as well for a similar effect, but I recommend using nectarines. If using peaches, peel them for less "mouth fuzz."

*OPTIONAL: If you're craving dairy, try a few crumbles of goat cheese for a nice variation on taste and presentation.

Method:

Slice tomatoes and nectarines into a bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Toss.

Sprinkle with basil and allow to sit 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long!)

Serve and enjoy.

Health Benefits:

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nectarines: Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene (read: high in cancer-fighting free radicals!), and are high in fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain healthy blood pressure. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.