Category Archives: Breakfast

My New Favorite Morning Muffins

Muffin

I was attending an all weekend, all day seminar that I wasn’t too excited about. I knew I needed to prepare for my early mornings, with a quick and filling breakfast, full of fiber, protein and good grains that would give me sustained energy. And this whole grain, gluten-free, blueberry, chia seed, flax seed, walnut muffin is what I came up with. I used very little coconut sugar in it. In fact, next time, I would add in a couple of chopped dates for added sweetness. I took a basic recipe and customized it with all of these goodies. That’s sometimes a bit tricky to do with baking, because ingredient proportions need to be exact. My grade school arithmetic skills didn’t fail me this time.

Check out the recipe below:

This recipe made 6 muffins. Simply double it for a full dozen. Easy to freeze and defrost!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash cinnamon and cardamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats (can use gluten free oats if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or any of your favorite nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (can substitute with oil)
  • 1/4 cup cream (can substitute something lighter if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (frozen are best, but fresh work too, and you can also use raspberries)
  • Optional: a couple of chopped dates

Directions:

  1. Place 6 muffin liners into a muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. In a larger bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (but not the berries). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not beat). Finally, add the berries and briefly mix again.
  3. Divide the mixture between the 6 muffin liners (I like to use a big ice cream scoop to do this) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and set in the middle (If a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready). Leave the muffins in the tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, and then loosen carefully with a knife before turning out to cool completely.

 

Homemade Coconut Milk

Look, Ma! Homemade Coconut Milk!

Ever since I was introduced to the art of making my own nut milk, I couldn’t bare to buy the boxed variety in stores. The main reason, other than the cost, is that preservatives are added to these milks, to retain freshness for much longer. The only thing I was bummed about was that I didn’t know how to make my own Coconut Milk – until now! This heavenly milk has a pretty short shelf life – 3 to 4 days, so I don’t make a lot at a time. But oh boy, it’s delicious!

Ingredients: coconut_milk

  • 4 cups warm filtered water (water should not be too hot, to retain the natural enzymes found in the coconut meat)
  • 1 cup raw unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice, or no sweetener!)
  • Dash vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to your blender or vitamix. Blend for about 2-3 minutes, until milk is frothy. Keep your hand on top of the blender while blending, to avoid any messy explosions (yes, that’s what happened to me).
  2. Place a nut milk bag or cheese cloth over a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl. Pour contents in the bag or cheese cloth, and with your hands, squeeze out all the liquid from the pulp. Discard the bag with pulp (or use it for your baking or in your smoothies!), and pour the milk into a glass jar or bottle. Tightly seal and store in the refrigerator. Will keep 3-4 days.

What are the benefits of Coconut Milk, you ask?

Coconut milk is high in enzymes and vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and panthothenic acid.

It is high in Lauric Acid, a a medium-chain fatty acid that is otherwise only available in human breast milk. Lauric Acid converts into Monolaurin in the human body, which helps destroy fungus, bacteria and viruses.

And most importantly, it’s delicious, and will make you go, Mmm!
Enjoy!

 

 

Ode To Springtime…and the Soft Boiled Egg!

“I have met a lot of harboiled eggs in my time, but you’re twenty minutes.”
~Oscar Wilde

Happy Spring! Ever notice that the egg is a symbol of Spring in several cultures? Naturally, we have Easter eggs, which were originally thought of as a symbol of new life. A similar tradition of dying eggs has been practiced for more than 2,500 years for Nowruz, the Persian celebration of the Spring Equinox, and New Year, in which the egg is also the symbol of new life. A hard boiled egg is one of the items on the Seder plate on Passover, and it symbolizes the roundness of Earth and life which is always moving in circles, and is also in Judaism, a symbol of Springtime.

When I was a little girl, I loved, but was very finicky about my soft boiled eggs. As I grew into a teenager, I really let my Mom have it when my egg wasn’t cooked right (hormones raging and all). And since I’ve been on my own for awhile, I have finally developed a level of comfort making my soft boiled eggs just right. A perfectly cooked soft boiled egg is all about the timing. While there is also a science to it, varying by cooking time, size of egg, temperature, etc, I have found that the best soft boiled eggs I’ve ever made were when I felt they were ready. It’s hoakey, I know. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins, and soft boiled eggs are one of the healthiest ways of preparing them, since they don’t require oil or butter to make them. Here’s how I make mine:


Place your egg(s) into a pot of water, enough to cover the surface of the egg(s). When the water starts to boil, set your timer to 3 minutes for a perfect soft boiled egg. If you don’t trust yourself, heres’s a lovely little gadget you can get that tells you the state that your egg is in as it’s cooking (soft, medium or hard). After the water has boiled 3 minutes, turn off burner, and run cold water over the egg, or place it into a bowl of cold water, to make it stop cooking.

After the egg has cooled to touch, place it into an egg cup. If you don’t have one, get creative! Try a small vase, the wide neck of a bottle, a napkin ring. I’ve used these lovely little glass jars from a French yogurt company. (They’re great for candle votives too!) This time I used my favorite little chicken cup.

My favorite way to get into the egg is to crack the top of the shell with a spoon, and gently peel off the shell, placing the peeled shells in the egg cup (for easy clean up!). Some people like to be more precise, and they cut the top of the egg straight across with a knife. Peeling the top has been a lifelong ritual, and I delight in it every time.


Dig into the egg with your spoon, and unearth that ray of yolk.


My Grandmother used to put a tiny sliver of butter and a tiny pinch of salt on each spoonful before scooping out the meat of the egg. I have strayed from that ritual, and now vary with a small sprinkle of herb salt, or a spritz of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Below you can see I had my soft boiled egg today with a fresh arugula salad, and lavash bread, one half with avocado and cucumber, and the other half with my favorite salty Irish butter. Hungry yet? Feel free to send me your favorite ways that you enjoy your soft boiled egg!

Green Festival LA!

Join me at THE GREEN FESTIVAL on October 29th, the biggest GREEN LIVING event!

I will be demonstrating how to make nut milk, raw oatmeal, and a healthy eggy delight!
http://www.greenfestivals.com/speakers/kagan

What: Healthy Delectables Breakfast of Champions 

When: Saturday, October 29th 11am

Where: Downtown Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, United States

Email me for limited FREE tickets!

Sneaky Greens

Sneak your greens in a fix, with a bunch of other delicious and nutritious goodies, in this lovely shake I often make before my morning run. Don’t fear the green. You will hardly notice it’s there, among the coconut and fruity deliciousness. This smoothie makes me feel soooo good!

Ingredients:
4 oz Coconut Milk (any alternative milk will do)
4 oz Coconut Water
4 oz Aloe Juice, or low sugar juice of your liking
About 1 Tablespoon Flax Oil (high lignan is best)
Half Banana
Big handful of greens, like swiss chard or spinach
Other fruit you have handy – fresh and frozen

Combine into a blender (I use my beloved-can’t live without it immersion blender), blend and enjoy!

Well, Aren’t You A Tall Drink of Green Lemonade?

Oh godly elixir, you awaken the energy in me I didn’t know I had!

This is my new favorite drink, and it is perfect for people like me who don’t own a juicer, or just don’t want to deal with the mess of a juicer. :)

8-12 oz Water or Coconut Water

1 cup chopped Apple

1 chunk (about 1/2″) Ginger

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1/2 – 3/4 cup Spinach

You can add cucumber, celery, substitute kale, chard, collard greens or romaine lettuce. Hell, throw in some unsweetened coconut, half a banana and make it a smoothie. I’m getting ahead of myself…

I use my beloved immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender, and throw ’em all in and blend, baby, blend! I particularly love the spinach because it blends so easily, there’s no need for a fancy schmancy juicer. And it’s SOOOOO tasty and refreshing. I feel full of energy after I drink it.

Green lemonade is used as part of a cleansing and detox regimen, to eliminate waste, and rebuild the immune system. But even on a daily basis, it is an easy and delicious way to keep your body clean and full of energy. And it’s packed with tons of healing vitamins and nutrients.

Besides its delicious taste, it’s known to aid in weight loss, treat and prevent cancer, diabetes, skin problems, oh the list goes on.

Get ready to be hooked.

Foodie Fun in Sea Ranch, CA!

My family and I are rarely all together in one place. My sister lives in Paris, France, my parents live in San Francisco, and I’m in Los Angeles. Our last family trip was to Thailand for my Dad’s 60th birthday in January, 2007. This weekend, we all took a trip up to Sea Ranch, a three hour drive north of San Francisco, off of winding coastal Highway 1. We’ve been going there for many years, and I have never failed to avoid car sickness. But the nausea is totally worth the crisp sea air, ocean views, and being surrounded by nature and adorable deer, jack rabbits, wild turkeys and horses every which way.

Two Fish Baking Company, Sea Ranch CA

Two Fish Baking Company Sea Ranch, CA

It rained all of yesterday, and we were stuck indoors for most of the day. But this morning, the sky was a gorgeous blue, and the sun was out, so the four Kagans took a morning hike up to The Two Fish Baking Company, a popular little spot among the locals, that is off the beaten path for your run of the mill tourist traffic. The artisan bakers and owners are two awesome ladies, Margaret and Hilla, who opened up shop in 2003. They bake starting at 2:30am, and offer different fresh breads and pastries, and delicious coffee from Equator, a small roaster in San Rafael. (Anyone who knows me, knows how seriously I take my coffee, and theirs was GOOD! :))

Our morning pastries were yummolicious! My Dad got a delectable Bear Claw, Mom got a perfectly zesty Orange Currant Scone, my sister got a slice of Coffee Cake that was a delicious balance of crumbles, while not being too sweet, and I got a Morning Bun, that was like the pastry child of a croissant and a cinnamon donut, only better. Then just when things couldn’t be better, Margaret, who at first gave me a hard time for taking photos in her shop, brought out a slice of Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake I was eyeing. It was AMAZING!! The Olive Oil, while not overpowering, melted in my mouth, and the Rosemary and Lemon combination…well, you just have to try it, and that’s that.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a trip up north, make sure to check out
Two Fish Baking Company, and say hello to Margaret and Hilla for me.

What To Do With A Ripe Banana!

I love to have bananas around. They’re a great snack to substitute sugar cravings, and are packed with Vitamin B6, which stabilizes your mood and gives you energy, Potassium, which regulates your blood pressure, and helps your muscles from cramping when you work out, and Vitamin C, which keeps your immune system strong.

Since my freezer is already filled with overripe bananas, that I will later use for baking, I decided to mash up my brown banana and sprinkle some cinnamon on it, and ribbon it through some plain yogurt, that I topped with muesli and a little bit of honey. I often have yogurt with fruit and muesli for breakfast; but changing it up a little with the mashed banana and cinnamon, was a great way to trick me out of being tired of the same old thing to eat. If you’re a fan of all of these ingredients, you will really start off a great day with this super nutritious and yummy dish!

Ripe banana that I mashed and sprinkled with cinnamon

Ripe Banana, mashed and sprinkled with Cinnamon

Ribbon the Banana through the yogurt, top with Muesli and a little Honey

Ribbon the Banana through the yogurt, top with Muesli and a little Honey!