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Millet Polenta

You may remember a looooong time ago, your little sister coming home from school with a homemade birdfeeder: a pinecone rolled in peanut butter and then mysterious little grains. Naturally when most of us see these grains, even if it’s in a human-food aisle at the grocery store, we think of birdseed. It makes sense, it has been in our birdfeeders (or stuck to our pinecones) for years.

Millet Polenta

Not just for the birds anymore, millet, the grain with the nerdiest name also happens to be one of the few grains that is alkalizing to our bodies. This doesn’t mean it will help you fly like a bird, but it may help you alienate some wonky cells. Cancer waaaaay prefers to live in an acidic body over an alkaline one, so alkalizing foods are our cancer-crushing friends. Millet is also gluten/allergen-free and very easy to digest. Bonus.

Millet Polenta

It also happens to make a really good, cornmeal-free polenta. Millenta? It is mild-tasting and somehow texturally comparable enough to pass for something very close to the real deal. (more…)

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Balls

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What I really wanted to make for you this week was peanut butter balls. Either a version of the creamy, sweet ones from your childhood, or the rich and perfect ones from The French Laundry cookbook. That was my jumping-off idea, and although the recipe I have created is indulgent in many ways, I could include close to zero of the ingredients from these original recipes and still keep it crushing-cancer appropriate.

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There is still chocolate, which we can all applaud for. Dark chocolate with 70% cacao or higher is a great source of antioxidants and magnesium, and is low in the other stuff, which includes sugar, cocoa butter and possibly other additives. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the lower percentage of other ingredients, which means the darker the chocolate the better, in the health department.

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Banana Bread with Dried Plums

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When we become more conscious of what food does to our body, especially when we are in search of wellness, we tend to cut out a lot of old favourites. Choosing a long and healthy life over your famous mac ’n’ cheese or coffee and muffin routine is an easy choice, right? For many, it is at first, but food also brings us comfort and conjures up fond memories, and it is hard to let this all go, long term. And then if we temporarily fall off the wagon, the guilt and visualization of the delicious buffet that you have just set up for your cancer cells, really doesn’t help anybody.

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For this reason, from time to time, I am going to include a healthier alternative to something we might be missing from our lives, to keep us from feeling the guilt, and to help us to create new, fond food memories. New soul food, if you will.

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Perfectly Cooked (soaked) Quinoa

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(Raw and dry)

I feel like quinoa is new enough (to most of us) that it is still a bit misunderstood. At this point, the majority of us know how to cook pasta and rock a rice cooker, but what about the rest of the grains, especially the whole ones? And do the rules change when we soak them first? I don’t have all of the answers for you today, but I do have one: how to cook soaked quinoa perfectly.

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(Raw and soaked for 12 hours)

I don’t throw this word around recklessly. As much as I find plenty of charm in nature’s imperfections and messy but delicious food, poorly cooked quinoa is not one of them. When prepared properly, quinoa is neutral tasting compared to many whole grains, and has a less fiber-obvious texture. It is so full of protein, and such an easy (ahem, once you learn the rules) and convenient food to make, that it is only fair that you enjoy it at its best, instead of suffering through it because it is ‘good for you’.

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