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Foods of the Month 2016

January - Roasting Vegetables    February - Sweet Potato for your Sweetheart
March - Aquafaba

January - Roasting Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a simple and easy way to incorporate more vegetables in your diet. When you roast the vegetables you bring out the natural sweetness to the vegetables. And when you get a little browning on the vegetables they are exceptionally delicious! Some tips to making sure your roasted vegetables are the best they can be: Lay the vegetables out in a single layer, do not pile them on top of each other. I prefer to keep the different vegetables separate and cook them on separate dishes. The reason I do this is because some vegetables will cook faster then others and you can take them out of the oven at different times.

You can use a variety of vegetables when roasting. Cauliflower is one of my favorites. Roast the cauliflower to the point it is browning and it gets kind of crisp. And cauliflower is tremendously healthy for you. Being in the cruciferous family of vegetables, it has anti-cancer properties. High in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and B Vitamins. Also known as the best brain food, helps improve blood pressure, and helps boost heart health. The dietary fiber in cauliflower helps to protect the lining of the stomach preventing bacterial overgrowth. And it contains anti-inflammatory properties.


February - Sweet Potato for your Sweetheart

One of the most loving things you can do for your sweetheart is to make them a special sweet treat. And if that treat has health benefits you are helping keep your significant other feeling better. For Valentine's day, you can make a wonderfully, delicious, sweet treat and still have it be healthy. With the addition of sweet potato in your treats it adds another layer of sweetness and rich taste.
Native to South America, the sweet potato is high in fiber, vitamin C, calcium, manganese, riboflavin, panthothenic acid, and vitamin A. Known for feeding and nurturing your spleen, pancreas. and stomach, their natural sweet taste and creamy texture make them anti-stress food. Sweet potatoes are orange, reddish, or yellow in color. Sometimes confused for a yam, which is white, ivory, cream, pink, or purple, they are completely different vegetables. And sweet potatoes are not related to the white potato either.

March - Aquafaba
(Chick Pea Cooking Liquid)

Have you heard of aquafaba? It is an amazing ingredient that is all the rave in the vegan community. I have started using it this summer and created my amazingly light and delicious vegan ice cream with aquafaba. I am very excited to be able to share this month a new Blueberry Muffin recipe I just created using aquafaba as an egg replacement. These muffins are very light and moist from the addition of the aquafaba.

Aquafaba is the liquid that is left over when you cook beans. The most popular is the liquid from when you cook chick peas. The chick pea liquid seems to work best, and has a neutral flavor.I have tried a few different beans to use their cooking liquid, and I have to agree that the chick pea liquid seems to work the best. Because of the starches, proteins, other plant solids that are left in the water after cooking chick peas, the water whipped up to make firm peaks. It is as if you are using egg whites and creating a meringue. The first time I tried to whip the aquafaba, I was so surprised to see how it expanded and looked like meringue. It is a really cool thing to witness.

You can use the aquafaba to create meringues, mayonnaise, butter spreads, vegan cheeses, macaroons, frozen desserts, and as an egg replacement to create light baked goods.

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