Cashew butter is made by blending cashew nuts down to make a smooth paste, I also like to add a little pink himalayan salt and a drizzle of macadamia oil to produce a delicious nut butter. You will find a recipe in my cookbook on page 306. Cashew butter has a neutral taste, which makes it perfect for adding to recipes to give a creamy texture without affecting the recipes flavour. If you are purchasing cashew butter, make sure it contains 100% cashews only, with not gums or thickeners and comes in a glass jar.
To make cashew milk, soak raw cashews in filtered water with a pinch of sea salt. Allow to soak for 1 - 2 hours, drain and rinse well. Place in a high speed blender with filtered water and blend well. If using for cooking there is no need to strain. This is my preferred milk for adding to baked goods. Use 1 cup of cashews to 3 - 4 cups of water, depending on how creamy you prefer your milk, blend cashews with 1 cup of water first, then add remaining to you get a lovely smooth and creamy milk.
Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.
Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables that should be eaten on a regular basis, as it has huge health benefits. One cup of cooked cauliflower provides you with 73% of your DRI of vitamin C, it's also a good source of vitamin K. You will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower to cancer prevention.
Cayenne pepper is a powdered form of red hot chili pepper, cultivated from the capsicum family (a nightshade vegetable). Cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A, it also contains vitamins B6, E and C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. Cayenne can speed up the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin.
Celery seeds are found in the small white flowers of the celery plant. Use celery seeds in dishes that benefit from it's warm, bitter, celery-like flavour - meatloaf, soups and mayonnaise dressings. They have been used in medicine for thousands of years in the Eastern world. Today the seeds are mostly used as a diuretic, it helps the body eliminate water. It's also known to be used for treating arthritis, gout and reducing inflammation.
Both celery stalks and leaves can be used, whole stalks are eaten raw in salads or cooked to give flavour in stews and soups. Raw stalks with the leaves are excellent in your morning smoothie and give you a good dose of vitamin K, B and A, folate, riboflavin and more, plus celery contains several minerals.
These little seeds absorb 9-12 times their weight in water and are excellent to add as a thickener to sauces and fruit spreads. They can also be use as an egg replacement in muffins and cakes (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). There are many health benefits of chia. It is the richest plant source of Omega 3 fats, dietary fibre and protein. Chia seeds are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and fatty acids.
Choose grass fed, free range chicken and organic if available. Chicken is a meat that gets injected with hormones to plumb it up, shop carefully. A good source of protein.
Making home made chicken broth is a great way to heal Leaky Gut and excellent to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. By using a slow cooker, making your own broth/stock is so easy. As soon as a roast chicken is eaten, all the bones go into the fridge or frozen ready for the next batch of broth. If purchasing store bought stocks, read the labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free range brands are available. Chicken broth recipe is on page 295 of The JOYful Table cookbook. Freeze ice block trays filled with chicken broth for when a small amount is required for a recipe.
Boneless chicken that's been ground down. Excellent for meatballs and can replace beef or pork mince in most dishes. Choose grass fed, free range chicken mince and if available, organic. Chicken is a meat that gets injected with hormones to plumb it up, shop carefully. A good source of protein.
Chilli is the spicy fruit of plants that belong to the capsicum family. It is eaten fresh or dried. Chilli powder is dried and ground red chilli peppers. They are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Red chillies contain large amounts of vitamin C and are a good source of most B vitamins, they are also very high in potassium, magnesium and iron.
Chinese cabbage (or Napa cabbage) is oblong in shape with crisp stems and frilly greenish yellow leaves. (Napa is a Chinese word which translates roughly as 'leaf'). This cabbage variety is sweet and softer than the regular green cabbage and makes delicious summer salads.
Chuck steak is an economical beef cut. It's a tougher cut of beef that works well for slow-cooked and baking meals, it has a lovely rich flavour. Beef is an excellent source of protein. Our body needs protein to rebuild damaged tissues. Chuck steak is rich in minerals - calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, niacin and vitamin D.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Cloves are one of the highly prized spices, recognised all over the world for their medicinal and culinary qualities. Cloves have a strong distinctive sweet flavour, use the whole bud or ground and just a little goes a long way. The spice contains healthy benefiting essential oils and a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and magnesium. Cloves also contain a good amount of vitamins A, K, B6, B-1, C and riboflavin. Purchase organic (I use the Simply Organic brand).
In the majority of my recipes where I use dried coconut, I use finely-shredded desiccated coconut (unless I have stated otherwise). Make sure you are purchasing unsweetened and organic - many regular brands contain preservatives (sulphur dioxide).
An excellent soy free alternative to soy sauce and tamari. It comes from the sap of the coconut tree and has a sweeter flavour than soy sauce and is not as salty. Coconut aminos can be purchased from health food stores or online. This is one of my favourite ingredients.
Coconut butter is a healthy and nutritious spread made with 100% coconut. Add to smoothies or just eat out of the jar when a sweet treat is needed. It is so easy to make yourself, saving you lots of money, see recipe on page 304 of The JOYful Table cookbook. It can be warmed and mixed into slices and bars to give a rich coconut flavour. An added benefit is that it does not melt as easy as coconut oil and stays firmer in the recipe.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.