Megan

Natural Surrender is your directory for living naturally – doing the hard work for you, only listing products that are TRULY NATURAL, therefore safe for us to use to enhance and preserve health for our entire life span PLUS we advocate for healthy options to dominate our shopping choices.

Easy Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker – AgainstAllGrain.com

Enchilada_Sauce-004

 

SERVES: 2½ cups
COOK TIME: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS:
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• ¾ cup minced onions
• 3 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• ¾ teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 7 ounces tomato paste
• 2 cups chicken stock

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
1 Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the minced onions in the coconut oil until soft

2 Add all the spices, stir for 2 minutes, until fragrant

3 Add the tomato paste and chicken stock, and whisk until smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken

4 Puree the entire mixture until smooth

5 Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week

Raw Strawberry Key-Lime Mojito Cheesecake

Raw-Strawberry-Key-Lime-Mojito-Cheesecake1

Via Raw Guru – “This recipe has turned out to be an all-time favorite.  A magical pairing took place between the tartness of the lemon and lime… and the sweet mintyness of the strawberry glaze.  Not only that, it is stunningly beautiful. Enjoy this recipe by Amie Sue of nouveau raw.com”

Ingredients

Crust:

Strawberry glaze:

  • 1 cup sliced organic strawberries
  • 1 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced

 Key-lime filling:

  • 3 cups raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 1/4 cup raw almond milk
  • 1/2  cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lime zest
  • 3/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp lecithin, liquid or powder

Method

Crust:

  • Assemble a Springform pan with the bottom facing up, the opposite way from how it comes assembled.  This will help you when removing the cheesecake from the pan, not having to fight with the lip.  Wrap the base with baking paper.  This will make it easier to remove the pie when done… unless you plan on serving the cake on the bottom of the pan
  • In the food processor, pulse the coconut, flour, and salt together
  • Be careful that you don’t over process and head towards making a nut butter.  Nothing wrong with that… just not our goal at the moment
  • Add the coconut butter, water and sweetener. Process until the batter sticks together
  • Depending on your machine, you may need to stop the unit and scrape the sides down during this process
  • Test the batter by pinching it between your fingers.  If it holds, it is ready
  • Distribute the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan, using even and gentle pressure.  If you press too hard it might really stick to the base of the pan, making it hard to remove slices.  You can either just make the crust on the bottom of the pan or you can also bring it up the sides.  It is up to you.
  • Set aside while you make the cheesecake batter

Filling:

  • Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.  Place in a high-speed blender
  • In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, almond milk, lime & lemon juice, sweetener, vanilla, and salt
  • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model
  • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending
  • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled
  • You can use a different liquid sweetener if you are not comfortable with agave.  Just be aware of the different flavors and colors that the sweetener might impart to the cake
  • With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the coconut oil and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over process
  • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades
  • If you machines isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides
  • Immediately pour the batter into the pan
  • Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles
  • Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours till firm enough to add the strawberry glaze
  • Spread the glaze gently over the cheesecake and place in the fridge for 12 hours

Strawberry glaze:

  • In the blender combine 1 cup of strawberries, lime juice, honey and psyllium.  Blend till creamy smooth
  • Slice the remaining strawberries into bite size pieces and place in a medium-bowl
  • Add the strawberry sauce and mint.  Stir together and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • Once thickened, pour over the lime filling

Store the cheesecake in the fridge for 3-5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure that it is well sealed to avoid fridge odours

Recipe – Coconut Kefir by Cyndi O’Meara

Makes 1.6 litres

Ingredients

2 cans organic coconut milk

2 cans organic coconut cream

Kefir grains or starter culture

2 x 1-litre sterilised glass jars

 

Method

1) Pour the milk and cream into the glass jar and add the kefir granules. Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (do NOT use metal as it kills the kefir grains)

2) Seal the jar and keep in a dark place out of sunlight for 32-48 hours (it may take longer if the weather is cold)

3) Once it has thickened, strain the grains from the kefir using a plastic sieve

4) Begin a new batch or store the grains with 1/4 cup of the original kefir. Store the rest in the fridge

NOTE: if you want a thicker kefir, use only coconut cream and allow to rest for up to 48 hours (it will depend on the weather). It will transform into a coconut yoghurt consistency with the added benefit of having potent beneficial bacteria

 

ADDED NOTES:

Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonise the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.

Guest Post – Understanding What Causes The Flu by Don Tolman

Flu-2Basically, your body chooses to ‘flu’, particularly as the seasons become colder. I often explain the process by using an analogy of “a house with a fireplace and a chimney – a FLU”.

The shortened version goes like this…

A house with a fire place has a FLU for the smoke to rise and leave so that it doesn’t fill the house with smoke to the point where you can’t stay in the house. The FLU has a VENT to open and close when needed. Your body actually FLUs and VENTS 24 hours a day. And sometimes it gets overwhelmed and opens up ALL the VENTS in the house (your body) for immediate clearing.

Whilst VENTING can be uncomfortable, it is completely natural and is the cure or method of clearing the debris out of your body. VENTING comes in the form of perspiration, breathing (20,000 times a day), sweating, congestion, rashes, muscle soreness, coughing, bowel movements, vomiting, fever, colds, and so on.

It’s interesting because these things all represent VENTING of filth and waste. When we don’t support this process of VENTING by following the principles of health then the VENTS become clogged and blocked…which then leads to other SYMPTOMS.  Symptoms are literally a sign or signal of an offense still in the body – which today is typically referred to as “DIS-EASE”. Vaccines add to the debris and can even lead to greater levels of toxicity and stress in the body which can show up as serious symptoms down the road.

VENTING is actually about PRE-VENTING discomfort or dis-ease in the body that will otherwise form if you do not allow your house to clean out. The only way you can have a disease (discomfort), is if you don’t allow the process of eliminating the overwhelm to occur that has built up in your body.

So as the seasons change, rather than stressing out when you or your children get the sniffles or even a fever or cold, here’s what you should do…

• Avoid suppressing the symptoms with a pharmaceutical drug. Yes, you might get some symptomatic short-term relief, but the effects of the harmful toxic residues that are left behind will show up down the road

• Realise that your body is ‘cleaning house’ during this period and the best thing you can do is to support it during the cleansing process by resting often

• Take a hot, salt bath

• Cut down on your intake of meat and animal products and increase your intake of citrus fruits, wholefoods and good sea salt

• Drink plenty of clean water to help flush out your system

From Natural Surrender – and take plenty of coconut oil to both rid yourself of cold and flu or, preferably, prevent it in the first place!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Coconut Butter Cake – from Thermomix Everyday Cookbook

Coconut Butter Cake

This is my version of the Thermomix recipe. I have substituted:

* For the “self-raising flour”, I have used brown-rice self-raising flour

* and instead of sugar, I have used liquid stevia

Ingredients

Liquid Stevia to taste (I use 16 drops but I am a sweet tooth)

100g fresh coconut or 70g desiccated coconut

250g butter, softened

4 eggs

250g self-raising flour

40g freshly-squeezed orange or lemon juice (approx 1 orange or lemon)

50g full-cream milk

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Lightly grease and line a 20x30cm cake tin with baking paper. Set aside

Add fresh coconut flesh (if using) to mixing bowl and mill 15sec/speed 9

Add butter and stevia and mix 30sec/speed 5

With blades rotating on speed 4, add eggs one at a time through hole in mixing bowl lid

Add flour, citrus juice, desiccated coconut (if using) and milk and mix 20sec/speed 5

Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving

If you wish, add your choice of icing

photo courtesy of Thermomix website

Mango, Blueberry and Coconut Icy Pops

Mango, Blueberry and Coconut Icy Pops

 

This recipe comes straight out of the pages of the Feb 2015 edition of the Holistic Bliss Magazine. It was just too good and too easy to pass by – by local nutritionist Lynsey

Ingredients

Serves: unknown

2 cups greek yoghurt
2 mangoes
1/2 cup blueberries
1 can coconut milk (organic if you can)
1 tsp cinnamon

Method
Simply mix together in a blender until smooth. Pour into popsicle moulds and pop in the freezer. Yummy for kids … and adults too

How simple and yummy is that?!!

Choc Coconut Balls

ChocCoconutBallsINGREDIENTS

Serves: 5
1 packet (250g) milk arrowroot biscuits
1/3 cup (40g) cocoa powder
1/2 cup (45g) desiccated coconut (plus a little extra for rolling the balls in)
1 tin (395g) condensed milk

METHOD

Preparation: 20 min
Extra time: 30 min chilling
Ready in: 50 min

Crush the biscuits and place into a mixing bowl

Add cocoa and coconut, stir together then add condensed milk

Take small amount of mixture and roll into a ball, then roll through extra coconut

Continue with the rest of the mixture, place the chocolate balls on a plate and chill in the fridge for 30 mins

Recipe via Allrecipes Australia NZ

Is your hair thinning? – Guest Post by Kirsten Tremlett of Byron Wellbeing

Hair ThinningWe think of hair loss as being a male issue, but in fact over one-third of women will experience significant hair loss in their lifetime

Excessive or accelerated hair loss may be due to a number of factors including:

* Androgenetic predisposition: A genetic condition that sensitises hair follicles to male hormones (androgens) in a woman’s body. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the more potent form of testosterone, shrinks follicles until they no longer produce hair. Insulin resistance and polycystic ovarian syndrome are conditions also associated with this type of hair loss, as insulin stimulates androgen production

* Alopecia areata: An autoimmune condition where the immune system sees the hair as foreign and targets it by mistake. Lupus, another autoimmune disease, can also lead to hair loss

* Telogen effluvium: When a large number of hair follicles enter the ‘resting phase’ at the same time, causing thinning. Triggers include physiological or emotional stress as well as endocrine imbalances such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function)

* Nutritional deficiencies: Common deficiencies that lead to hair loss include zinc, vitamin A, EFAs, iron and protein. Ferritin (stored iron) levels at or below 30mg/L are strongly associated with telogen hair loss

* Certain medications: Some antidepressants, anti-coagulants, the contraceptive pill and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can all cause hair loss. Over-styling hair, using harsh chemicals, curling tongs and hot blow dryers can damage hair also

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What you can do:
* Improve blood glucose regulation: This stabilises insulin levels and helps reduce androgen over-activity associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Adopt a low GI diet and aim for 30g of fibre a day in the form of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, beans, and chickpeas

* Boost your intake of antioxidants: Higher levels of free radicals have been found in hair follicles of men with hair loss. Defend your follicles with sulphur-rich foods, e.g. garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower). These, combined with brightly coloured fruit and vegetables can increase levels of the ‘master antioxidant’, glutathione

* Olive oil massage with essential oils: Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants to nourish your scalp. Massage stimulates blood circulation which keeps hair follicles active. Add a few drops of peppermint, rosemary or clary sage essential oils for their circulation-boosting properties. Healthy hair follicles hold on to hair longer!

* Switch to sulphate free or low-sulphate shampoos as synthetic sulphates are known to damage hair follicles

Natural anti-androgens:
The hormone DHT is often the culprit in hair loss, as it causes the hair follicle shaft to narrow. Try these natural remedies to reduce DHT levels

* Spearmint oil: Taken as a tea twice daily, this significantly decreases plasma levels of androgens

* Reishi mushrooms: Found to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT

* Green tea: Either as a tableted extract or a drink also reduces 5-alpha reductase

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FROM MEGAN – And, of course, I will add coconut oil! Here is a précis of what Bruce Fife has to say about hair in his book, Coconut Cures (pgs 160 – 161)

Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair….Some claim that it helps prevent both premature graying and baldness. It is also great for the scalp and helps control dandruff…

Coconut oil has a long history of use as a hair conditioner in the (Pacific) islands…. What has been observed for centuries is backed by science. Studies have shown that using coconut oil in the hair can help prevent combing damage and improve its health and appearance.

An interesting study was reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Science …. In this study coconut oil was compared with sunflower oil and mineral oil – the two most extensively used in hair formulations. “The findings…clearly indicate the strong impact coconut oil application has to hair as compared to the application of both sunflower and mineral oils”.

Among the three oils, coconut oil was the only one that reduced protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Neither sunflower nor mineral oil reduced protein loss in hair. The authors of the study indicated that the difference in results was due to the composition of each of the oils. Coconut oil, being rich in medium-chain triglycerides is able to penetrate the hair shaft, protecting it from protein loss as well as giving it more body…..

(From all oils) Only coconut oil can protect the hair from protein loss and prevent hair damage. Therefore, it is the best oil to use for your hair care.

Random Acts of Kindness

IMG_1498My current housemate and dear friend Deb bought a flyer home from church entitled Random Acts of Christmas Kindness that listed many ways to spread the love. My church also encourages us to constantly give out to others – to commit to thinking outwards as we all go through our day. And what better time than Christmas to start or continue a wonderful daily habit such as this. So here is a selection of the suggestions on the flyer (plus I added a few!)

1. While you are out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is
2. Compliment someone to their boss
3. Smile at people in the street, just because
4. Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you
5. Talk to the shy person sitting by themselves at a party
6. Give someone a hug
7. Stop to talk to a homeless person
8. Listen intently
9. Babysit for a single parent
10. Hold the elevator
11. Write your partner a list of the things you love about them
12. Do No. 11 for your children
13. Do No. 11 for your siblings
14. Do No. 11 for your parents
15. Say thank you to a janitor
16. Help your elderly neighbour take out the trash or mow the lawn
17. Give up your seat on the bus or train for a pregnant woman or anyone older than you
18. Make two lunches and give one away
19. Encourage someone today
20. Call your mother
21. When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone – you deserve kindness too!

Healthy Bounty Bars

BountyBars 2

INGREDIENTS:

Coconut Filling:
1 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons coconut syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups desiccated coconut
Pinch of sea salt

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Raw Chocolate Coating:
Chocolate Coconut Butter

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METHOD:
To make the coconut filling, place the coconut milk, coconut syrup and coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan. Over a low heat, stir the ingredients together until combined. Mix in the desiccated coconut

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Line a slice tray or container with baking paper. Press the coconut mixture into the pan so that it is about 1.5cm thick. Refrigerate until coconut filling has set

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Once completely set, cut the coconut filling into bars. Cool in the freezer until very cold (this will make the chocolate coating step easier)

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Coat the coconut bars with the first layer of chocolate coconut butter. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set. When completely set, coat the bars with a second layer of chocolate. Allow to cool in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving

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Original recipe via iquitsugar.com. We have edited this to make it even better!

Photo via iquitsugar.com