Raw oats are awesome! They’re healthy, gluten free and don’t need to be cooked. Once you get over the initial “strangeness” of eating raw oats, you’ll love this high fiber and healthy breakfast. Muesli, a European cereal based on raw oats is loved in Europe – give it a try where ever you live! Don’t buy expensive store bought muesli, it’s easy to do it yourself and healthier.
Recipe: Strawberry Muesli
1 cup raw oats
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp ground flax (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Cover the oats with your choice of milk. Nut milk, rice milk, goat milk or regular cow’s milk will do the trick. Let them soak while you slice the strawberries thin. Add the strawberries and walnuts. Sprinkle with ground flax (optional fiber booster). If you like things a bit sweet, dust the mixture with some brown sugar.
TIPS on Raw Oats: Getting used to raw oats can take some time even for the most adventurous eaters. The texture can be a bit rough. The longer you soak your oats, the softer they will be.
What to do with chicken hearts? Eat them! If you’re on paleo diet, you have to try chicken hearts. Here are the highlights of chicken heart nutrition (per 1 cup or 145 grams), followed by a chicken hearts recipe:
- 38 grams of protein
- 73% of iron, 176% of B12 and over 20% of other B vitamins
- 11 grams of total fat, 3 grams saturated
- 351 mg of cholesterol (exceeds daily limit)
Recipe: Grilled Chicken Hearts
1 lb. (1/2 kg) chicken hearts
Metal or wooden skewers
Skewer the chicken hears as shown in the picture while you pre-heat your grill (or ribbed iron pan). Sprinkle the chicken hearts on all sides with any kind of chicken grill seasoning or seasoning of your choice. We use a traditional Bulgarian grilling seasoning mix, but any dried seasoning that’s good on grilled chicken would be good on grilled chicken hearts (with the exception of citrus or dried herbs).
Grill until the hearts get crispy. Serve on the skewer. In order to eat them, hold one end of the skewer and slide the chicken heart off with your fork.
TIP: Where can I find chicken hearts? – Not every store will be overflowing (OK, or even sell) chicken hearts depending on where you live. In the Middle East, it’s no problem, but worldwide the availability varies.
– If you frequent a butcher, just ask:)
– Supermarkets that cater to Asian food (like 99 Ranch)
– Know any restaurants that serve them? Ask them where they get them.
Soup, particularly purees can look a bit like baby food. So here is the idea: julienne some zucchini, throw on some toasted pine nuts and top with olive oil. It’s beautiful, tasty and brilliant – and not my idea:) This dish is from Chez Caro in Arles, France. It was hot pea soup with either barely cooked or raw zucchini. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in Arles.
In our own version, we had a cold zucchini gazpacho and opted to top it with raw cucumbers, toasted pine nuts and olive oil. Also delicious!
Greek yogurt is huge all over the world, but its Levant cousin, labaneh, can be much tastier and has a much more sophisticated texture and flavor. What Americans and Westerners eat as Greek yogurt, isn’t really what the Greeks eat. When in Greece, a yogurt is generally thick, fatty and usually comes from sheep’s milk. It’s sour, it’s complex and it’s good. While Greeks do eat yogurt for breakfast with sweets like honey & walnuts, in the Levant it’s not eaten with sweets. Here is a simple appetizer with the complex flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean. Do not use Greek yogurt in this recipe! Commercially produced Greek yogurt is too mild, not fatty enough and has a gel-like texture, not a creamy texture.
Labaneh Greek-Levantine Appetizer
Labaneh (Here is a great labaneh recipe, 2 ingredients: yogurt & salt!)
Mixed Nuts (mostly pine nuts & walnuts, some pumpkin & sesame seeds)
Kalamata Olives OR Cured Black Olives
Start dry toasting your nuts on parchment paper. While you are going this, spread labaneh onto the middle of a plate. Slice and arrange the cucumbers – peeling is optional. When the nuts are starting to smell toasty, take them out and sprinkle them on the labaneh and arrange the walnuts as in the photo above. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sumac & zatar and then decorate with Kalamata olives.
Kalamata Olives TIP: Kalamata Olives are extremely tasty, but also more difficult to take the pit out. Save yourself the trouble and preserve more olive by eating them directly off the pit.
Macadamias are a great way to start your day! They’re anti-inflammatory and one single serving (.5oz/15) has 5% of your daily fiber; but this same serving is almost 100 calories. This is a great breakfast for before or after working out. I make this when we’re going on a long bike ride! It’s also good for folks who need some extra calories, you know who you are:)
Blueberry Banana Macadamia Yogurt Delight (with optional ground flax)
6 oz Fully Fat Goat Yogurt (or Regular Yogurt)
1/2 oz Raw/unroasted Macadamia Nuts
1 oz Dried Blueberries
1 Fresh Banana, Sliced
2 Tbsp Flax (optional)
Empty the yogurt into a bowl. Carefully measure out the nuts (they’re 200 calories for 1 oz!) and dried blueberries and add on top of the yogurt. Slice the banana and add it. Sprinkle with flax seed for extra fiber.
TIP: Macadamia Nut Nutrition: Macadamia nuts are nutritious, but tend to be high calorie. Enjoy them in moderation. Macadamias are naturally high in thiamine (vitamin B1), which everyone needs, but people with Crohn’s, kidney disease or those taking diuretics need in particular. Studies also show that thiamine, with other vitamins, can help prevent cataracts.