Tag Archives: brendan brazier

Kale Chips FTW

Two weeks ago my parents visited the Pickles Not Pipe Bombs factory. They, like me, enjoy vegetables and experimenting in food preparation. While at the farmer’s market we picked up A LOT of kale. All different varieties. It was great. However, we realized that we had to do something with it. I went into the ceegar box of recipes and came up with gundru and kale chips.

Consensus said that we’d make Kale chips. That was fine with me as it gave me a chance to use a recipe from Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. This book is chock full of vegetable based recipes. Some are super simple and others are gourmet. On top of that, Brendan Brazier also dedicates a portion of the book to making the connection between diet and the environment.

Try this recipe and then buy the book.

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Water for blending
1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
1 bunch curly kale (I’ve used many times of kale. All have worked.)

  • Combine the sunflower seeds, both vinegars, and sea salt in a blender or food processor. Blend for several minutes until a chunky paste has formed, adding a tablespoon of water into the blender as needed to assist with blending. (The more water that is added, the longer the chips will take in the oven.)
  • Strip off the kale leaves into a bowl and discard the stems. Tear up any large pieces roughly, and pour the creamed mixture on top of the kale. Using clean hands, massage the mixture into the kale for one more minute to evenly coat the leaves.

Oven Method

  • Heat the oven to 200°F. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet, then spread out the kale chips evenly over the surfaceto ensure even cooking time
  • Bake for about 2 hours (time varies according to relative humidity), or until kale has dried out and is crispy. Keep a close eye on the kale at the end of its cooking process to make sure it does not burn.
  • Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Dehydrator Method

  • Warm the dehydrator to 115°F. Spread out the kale onto 4 mesh dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 10-12 hours, or until crispy (time may very depending on relative humidity).
  • Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

RECIPE: Chia Seed Drink

Yesterday I made an extremely rare visit to a leading big box “health” food store. While there I quickly starting scoping the various aisles for new product ideas. Looking at the refrigerated beverage section I saw a bottled chia seed beverage. For those that don’t know, chia seeds are being pushed as a sort of super food. I’m not sure if they are a super food, but their nutritional profile is pretty good.

While I’m glad that different kinds of food and beverage are getting some recognition, I am amazed at how pricey these things are. I support cottage industry and I definitely support small-scale producers. What I don’t support, however, are a few brands taking over a “niche” market. For example, I have been told that my pickled okra is too expensive at $5.00 a pint. That’s because people can find mass-produced “pickles” at the locally grocery store for half the price. I would argue that local, small-scale producers use superior ingredients and also support other local producers and markets. Now with people accustomed to paying $2.50 a pint for pickled okra, there is a barrier to entry for small-scale producers. Consumers are left with supporting the large-scale producers or search for competing markets. (This leads to a different topic for a different article.)

Back to chia seed drinks!

While seeing chia seeds floating in a glass bottle brought a smile to my face, I was saddened at the reputation that this sort of drink would now get. Just like kombucha has been solidified as a health food or bourgeois novelty, the delightful chia seed elixir will be as well.

Instead of sitting idly by, I would like to a share a basic adaptation of a Chia Seed drink that I started making after I read Thrive Nutrition by Brendan Brazier. I also suggest picking up Pinole Recipes by Matt Frazier. This book has a number of recipes using chia seeds.

Basic Chia Seed Elixir

Soak one teaspoon of chia seeds in  ten ounces of water. Let sit for ten minutes and then add the juice of one lime. Sweeten with agave, stevia, or honey to taste. The last step is optional as I generally skip the sweetener.

I use this recipe more as a guide. I have used many other juices and have even left the juice out. Experiment to your palate’s content.

Please note that the links in this post are affiliate links.

Pecan Sunflower Patties (Raw)

I was introduced to Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive by Matt Frazier, the No Meat Athlete. Thrive is a vegan nutrition book that focuses on tasty, nutrient dense food. Rather than looking at short term change, Thrive “is a long-term eating plan that will help you develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy[.]”  Brazier also wrote a companion book called Thrive Fitness which deals with lifestyle choices as opposed to simply “working out.”

My favorite section of Thrive has to be the recipes. Most of these recipes are raw and easy to prepare. Each recipe is nutrient dense which means that they are easily digested. (Brazier covers nutrient density in the book).

I recently made the Pecan Sunflower Burgers. Here’s how it all went down:

First, gather the ingredients:
1 cup pecans1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp hemp oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Sea salt to taste

Then, put all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until well blended. Process less if you prefer a coarser texture. Form into patties.

That’s it. Simple and delicious. I will definitely add these to my regular dietary regimen. Next time, I think I will make them into little balls to eat as a quick  snack.

Pecan Sunflower Patties with Wakarusa Salad.

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