Fiddlehead Ferns…who knew? by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

Fiddlehead Ferns and the First Snow Fall
During a recent visit to Pennsylvania, I experienced some firsts. My mom and I visited Cabela’s, a huge sporting goods store about an hour west of Allentown, my home town. Cabela’s is like a play ground for hunters and fishermen, but they also have great outdoor wear for active individuals. When you first walk into Cabela’s, you will either be entranced or offended by their endless array of wildlife taxidermies. I loved the huge aquarium that wraps around one entire wall and is filled with big freshwater fish and turtles. And I did buy some outdoor wear which came in handy for the first, and very early, snowfall of the year.
Hunting and fishing isn’t for everyone, but growing up in PA, I was exposed to such sports at an early age. My dad used to hunt deer in his back yard in the country. I couldn’t kill an animal myself, but as a child I loved to shoot target practice with a bow and arrow, and rifles. However, I do understand the necessity to keep the deer population under control, otherwise they may end up dead on the side of the road.
We look to fish or fish oil supplements to get our omega-3 fats which have been shown to help fight inflammation, lower cholesterol, ward off dementia and even combat depression. If we ate wild game as one of our protein sources, we’d actually get some omega-3’s as well. Wild animals live on a diet of grasses and bugs, naturally rich in omega-3’s. We’d also get a desirable ratio of omega-6’s to omega-3’s. The goal is to eat a diet with a ratio of 4g of omega-6 fats or less for each 1g of omega-3’s (4:1 or less). Poultry has a ratio of 16:1 and venison is 3:1. Free-range, grass-fed beef is also 3:1. Plus these “red” meats provide significant sources of iron, B12, selenium and zinc; minerals that are essential for transporting oxygen rich blood to working muscles and for building your body’s own antioxidant defense system. Just some food for thought when making protein choices.
My mom’s boyfriend is an avid fisherman who does what’s called “catch and release.” The fish go back in the water and instead of bringing home fish he brings home stories about the one that got away. During his recent fishing trip to Canada, he also brought back some fiddleheads.
While visiting my mom, she said, “There are some fiddleheads in the freezer if you want to try them.” I said, “What are fiddleheads?” My mom said, “They’re some kind of vegetable Bill gets from Canada. He says the people there love them.” I couldn’t believe there was a vegetable, native to North America that I had never heard of. I quickly pulled out my iPhone and fervently did some research to learn that the Fiddlehead fern is native to Canada, mostly found in the coastal regions of British Columbia as well as Ontario and Quebec. They’re also found in the moist meadows and riverbanks of Vermont and Maine. I thought, “So, they are wild harvested. That’s a good sign.”
Fiddleheads are the first greens to “spring up” in the spring. They  show up after the last snow fall and they must be picked within a month’s time, before they change from a tightly wound looking spiral (or frond), and unfurl into a full fern, at which point they become too bitter to eat. They also must be cooked and cannot be eaten raw, because they tend to hold microflora in their tightly coiled fronds which can cause symptoms of a food borne illness. However, it seems that the microflora, like the microflora in our bodies, may actually be what make fiddleheads so resilient.
Fiddleheads are rich in protein and fiber. They provide 50% of the Daily Value for vitamins A & C plus significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and calcium.
Dr. John DeLong, a researcher from Nova Scotia Canada, claims that fiddleheads also provide those coveted omega-3 fatty acids, particularly the EPA omega-3 fats, which up to this point I thought only came from animal sources. Upon further research, I learned that EPA is found in some plants, primarily microalgae, which could be where fiddleheads get their EPA. However, while digging a little deeper, I also learned that some plants, as a defense against certain types of fungi, particularly “water molds,” will convert the omega-3 Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA), into EPA. Perhaps the young fiddleheads protect themselves against these invading molds by converting ALA to EPA, which, like in humans, is essential for bolstering the immune system. So then I thought, “Hmm, if plants use EPA as a defense against “water molds,” could people do the same?”
After some research on PubMed, I found over 100 articles that say just that. EPA can help alleviate “allergic rhinitis,” such as that which I experience while visiting PA where mold is prevalent because of the damp environment. In fact, I sneeze incessantly the entire time I’m in PA. Perhaps I should eat more fiddleheads next time, and be sure to take my Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Xtra which contains 800mg of EPA & 400mg of DHA per 2 capsules. They are the best on the market so I have to let people know.
If you are ever fortunate enough to try fiddlehead ferns, and it’s really just so you can say you’ve had them, you must follow these instructions to prepare them. They could be just what the doctor ordered to boost your immune system, but if prepared incorrectly, you might be visiting the doctor with symptoms of food borne illness instead. Food borne illness was reported by people who ate fiddlehead ferns that were sautéed without first being steamed or boiled. So if you decide to eat fiddleheads at a quaint little restaurant while visiting Canada, Maine or Vermont in the spring, be sure to ask precisely how they were prepared. I’d hate to see you ruin your vacation all because of a little fern. 
But you wouldn’t be the first.
How to Prepare Fiddlehead Ferns:
Rinse the ferns under cool running water while rubbing off any brown, thin skin, that remains after picking. Cut about 1/2 inch off the end of each fern. (This is time consuming but necessary.) Steam or boil the fiddleheads for 5 minutes to kill off any harmful bacteria. Then, sauté them in butter or olive oil. Add minced shallots, onion or garlic if you like. Serve with brown rice and steamed fish, venison, or grass-fed beef. The fiddleheads taste like a cross between bitter asparagus and spinach. I scrambled mine with eggs mixed with turkey bacon, green peppers, tomatoes, onions and spinach. The combination was delicious and I felt great afterwards. No food borne illness symptoms here. I must have done something right!

Manhattan Clam Chowder


Is that the Red or the White?
I can never remember that!
“It’s RED”…and it’s also super rich in Iron, Zinc & off the Hizzookk HIGH in B12!

People always ask, especially when seeing me eat the veggies I love, “Are you a vegetarian?”

To which I reply, “No, I’m not. But I do eat mostly vegetable based meals with occasional accents of animal protein.” I can go days, even weeks without eating animal protein except for the fact that my iron tends to be low and I don’t take supplements on a daily basis. Also, knowing the increased absorbability of iron from animal protein compared to vegetable sources of iron, I’d rather eat a little animal protein now and again. I’m especially fond of making iron rich meals that go a long way, such as a soup or stew.

Much to my chagrin, I actually learned about the iron richness of clams while catching a Dr. Oz episode in passing. In the nursing homes/rehab hospitals where I work as a consultant, there are multiple TV’s on at all hours of the days. Invariably, many are tuned into the talk show scene. When I see Ellen on the telly, I get both happy and sad. Happy, because she and her guests are just so freaking funny, and sad because I was so hoping to be a guest on her show one day, but alas…

Anywho, Dr. Oz is also always on, and one day I caught an episode where Dr. Oz had a Dietitian on discussing sources of iron. She talked about using cast iron skillets. Got ‘em. She talked about consuming vitamin C rich foods with non-animal sources of iron to increase iron absorption. I do that. But she also pointed out that a jar of clams has 70% of the Daily Value for Iron. OMG! I never knew that. The Crown Prince Wild Caught Baby Clams I used for this recipe actually contain 90% of the DV of iron per 1/2 cup serving and for a mere 50 calories. As a frame of reference, 4 oz of lean beef brisket contains only 17% of the DV for iron for 250 calories! No animal or plant food even comes close to the iron content of clams! Some will tout the iron of leafy greens, sea vegetables, or beans, but you’d have to consume 1/2 cup of spirulina (163 calories) to come close to the iron content  in 1/2 cup of clams. Certainly adding a little spirulina to your smoothies is helpful, but let’s face it: Mahattan Clam Chowder vs. a Spirulina Smoothie…The chowder tastes sooo much better!

Right after seeing that episode, of Dr. Oz, and learning about the iron richness of clams,  I made gluten free linguini with clam sauce. It was lovely. I’ll have to post that one next. But I prefer soups to pasta because I find them easier to digest. And I’ve always wanted to create a nice Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe.

While in high school, and for up to eight years after, I worked in a steak shop where the owner would often make Manhattan clam chowder with bacon. It was delicious. The bacon gave it a nice smoky flavor.

After college, I worked in a nursing home as an Assistant Food Service Manager. Around the same time, the Jim Carey movie Ace Ventura was out. I hadn’t seen it, but every time we had Clam Chowder on the menu, the kitchen staff would recite the lines Jim said when he gave the password to the doorman at a secret club.

The scene actually went like this…
Knock, Knock, Knock
Doorman: “What’s the password?”
Jim: “New England Clam Chowder.”
Doorman: “Is that the red or the white?”
Jim: “I can never remember that.”
Jim: “White.”

Who doesn’t love creamy soups, right? However, when we’re trying to be HEALTH and WEIGHT conscious, creamy soups are not the BEST choice. And, although clams are an animal source of iron, which, by default, is better absorbed than a plant source, taking in vitamin C rich foods at the same time (we get vitamin C from the tomatoes in this recipe) greatly enhances the absorption of ALL sources of iron. Plus, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant of which we can NEVER get enough.

In lieu of bacon, I opted for smoky oysters for this recipe because they impart a similar “bacon-y” flavor while also boosting the zinc, iron, copper and vitamin D of this recipe, all of which we can always use more.

When a food contains at least 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for a particular nutrient, it is considered a GOOD source of that nutrient. Well, my friends, just two cups of this one, very simple, very tasty recipe, provides 9% or more, much more in fact, of ALL of your NECESSARY vitamins and minerals!

Somehow, someway, I aim to “Save the world…One recipe at a time!”

Let’s start with Manhattan Clam Chowder. That’s the RED one!

Manhattan Clam Chowder

  • 2 cups celery, small chopped (about 6 stalks)
  • 3 cups carrots, peeled & small chopped (about 6 carrots)
  • 1 pound yellow potatoes, medium chopped (about 4-6 potatoes)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, medium chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (2.5 oz can) smoked oysters (I used RainCoast Trading Pacific Smoked Oysters)
  • 4 (10 oz) cans of baby clams
    (or the equivalent jarred clams. I used Crown Prince Wild Caught Baby Clams)
  • 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/3 can (2 oz) tomato paste (6 oz can)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 bunch parsley (just the leaves, chopped for garnish)

Chop all the veggies and create a Mise en Place (everything in its place). A fancy French way of saying, “Put everything in its own little bowl.” image

Drain the clams in a colander placed over a bowl to reserve the liquid. Drain the whole tomatoes in another colander over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Use a knife and fork to cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Remove the oysters from the can and chop them into bite sized pieces.imageimageimage
THREE In a LARGE lidded soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and onions. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and sauté until soft, another 5 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat vegetables in seasonings.image

Add the clams and oysters and sauté to coat with the seasonings and flavor from your Mirepoix (softened vegetables). Sauté about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté until coated with flavor, about 5 minutes.image

Add the tomato paste and use to coat the vegetables. Sauté about 3 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. The combined liquid from the clams and tomatoes should yield about 4 cups of liquid. Add the reserved liquid plus another 4 cups of water. Place the lid on the soup pot and turn heat to medium high, bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Keep covered but stir occasionally. Cook another 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.image

image [Read more…]

SUPER SLAW for Weight Loss!

Eat MORE Slaw to Lose MORE Weight!

You think of it simply as summer fare, reserved for picnics, laden with Mayo, and putting you at risk for food borne illnesses, because we hear that Mayo + Heat = proliferation of bacteria.Slaw Thumbnail

However, I’d like to change your views on SLAW.

From my standpoint, SLAW is something I make time and again, and in a variety of ways…without FEAR!

Although I don’t frequent many picnics, I DO eat slaw often. “Why is that?” You might ask OR, more aptly, “Who cares!” you might say. What makes “her” the SLAW Queen anyway!? Oh, “Slaw Queen,” I like that!! I could wear my vegetable laden rain boots every day I “reign,” and I could force the people I govern to eat SLAW every day and then everyone would be healthy and the hospitals would turn into perpetual health SPA’s, all because I was named “SLAW QUEEN.” *sigh*Rain boots

OK, I know I’m not Queen of anything, but I do loves me some SLAW.

Being a Dietitian and a Holistic Chef, I am constantly trying to eat more healthful foods in HEALTHY ways. I’m not a huge broccoli fan, with its strong odor and flavor, and Kale, well, you know, been there, done that to death. But cabbage, cabbage can easily be enjoyed in a variety of ways, while offering many of the same health benefits as the aforementioned, since it’s part of the same BRASSICA family.

Hmm, BRASSICA, that is such a cool name. If I had a daughter I’d name her BRASSICA. It sounds like the name of a SUPER-Hero. Although that might put a lot of pressure on a little girl, to be born a SUPER-Hero, maybe I’ll just call her Kale. OR Kale BRASSICA!!

Speaking of SUPER-Heros, BRASSICA’s are one the THE most SUPER Families of Foods we have on the planet. Their fancy name is actually Brassicaceae or more commonly known as cruciferous vegetables; so named because when they go to seed, they form a four petal flower  resembling a cross. Crucifer = “cross-bearer.”

Aside from cabbage, kale and broccoli, other Brassica kin include: cress (garden cress & watercress) mustard greens, collard greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe (this stuff I love), Chinese cabbage, bok choy (another FAV), radishes, daikon radish, horseradish, wasabi, mizuna (My running shoes? Oh, no, those are Mizunos) & arugula, plus rutabagas, turnips and kohlrabi (another cool kid’s name). I have got to broaden my interests before naming children, seriously. Actually, as I’m writing this article, even I hadn’t realized that ALL of these vegetables where part of this prolific family. I love them ALL. Brassica

I love strong flavors. And they almost all provide fond food memories. My grandfather made “bash-ed neeps” when I was a child; a combination of turnips and regular potatoes, although perhaps not the true traditional recipe of his Scottish ancestors, I ate this concoction because of  the name and because I loved my grandfather so very much. And horseradish is part of my all-time favorite appetizer: SHRIMP Cocktail. Ever since I was a kid I have loved Shrimp Cocktail, especially when the cocktail sauce is so powerful that it clears your nostrils with each BITE! YUM!!

If you’ve tried ANY of these vegetables, you’ll notice a similarity in their bitter taste and sometimes off-putting smell once cooked. But don’t run away from that smell, embrace it. For it’s the smell that tells you how powerfully protective these veggies can be.

Although some smells can indicate harmful chemicals entering the body; think of a new car smell, or the fake air fresheners people plug into walls, and those dryer sheets, don’t even get me started. As a child I remember running out of the room every time my mom used carpet fresh. Carpet fresh, they should call it, “pollute-your-lungs.” I’d sneeze and sneeze until I was out of harm’s way. And speaking of sneezing, I’m a TERRIFIC sneezer. I get it from my dad. Whenever ANY potential offender tries to invade MY body, “Achoooo!!” is all I can say. My body says, “Get the F(udge) outta here!”

Sneezes protect your body by clearing your nose of bacteria and potential virus invaders. According to WebMD, the longest sneeze lasted 978 days. OMG! They’d have to put me away if that ever happened to me. Some other interesting sneezing facts: some people are called ‘photics,’ those who sneeze when in bright sunlight. Yep, I’m one of those. Some people also sneeze after sex. No comment.

Despite all of the things that might make us sneeze, the smell of the cruciferous cooking, while being a little pungent, is nothing to sneeze at, or more grammatically correct, “nothing at which to sneeze.” Those strong smells of the BRASSICA truly indicate a “SUPER-Hero of sorts” is at WORK!

It’s those unique sulfur compounds aka “organosulfur” compounds, which confer the most health benefits. To be more specific, and there will be a test at the end of this reading, NOT, but they are: glucosinolates, thiocyanates, thiossulfinates, sulfoxides and apparently any name with a “thiol” in it. THIOL, hmmm…a strong boy’s name.

But speaking of those long named sulfur compounds, it’s thanks to them that by eating just a mere 10g of these foods, that you will significantly DECREASE your risk of cancer. “Well, how much is 10g?” You might ask. It’s barely 2 Tablespoons of cabbage. Heck, anyone can eat THAT much, right?

Many studies have shown that daily doses of cruciferous vegetables may reduce the development of breast tumors, decrease the incidence of bladder cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer and all cancers for that matter. Cruciferous vegetables are the true “detox” foods of the plant world, as shown in one study where “healthy” college students were fed cooked cabbage and Brussels sprouts for ten days and had a significant increase in the clearance of DRUGS from their systems. Every day for TEN days?! I’m sure there were a lot of noxious gases being let lose in the process. And 500g of broccoli per day, about 3 cups cooked, increased cytochrome P450 dependent caffeine metabolism. Caffeine is considered safe, but it is used in research as a MARKER to show how the cytochrome P450 system is actively DETOXIFYING the body by getting rid of harmful substances. OK, I’m NOT completely clear on that one. But I guess in the scheme of things, caffeine is the SAFEST of the substances which can be regularly consumed AND still follow the cytochrome P450 metabolism. Anyway…

Although this whole SPEIL was presented, partly for your reading enjoyment, and mostly to get you to eat more CRUCIFEROUS/ BRASSICA type vegetables, this does not mean that you should now down copious amounts of kale and cabbage smoothies, although a smoothie a day will likely keep the doctor away…Sooo….

But, keep in mind that too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect. For example, too much kale, or broccoli, or cabbage, or any of these lovely Crucifers of which I just bragged, can affect the job of the thyroid gland, which, by and large, dictates your metabolism. And if we’re eating SLAW to lose weight, well, then eating too much SLAW might have the opposite effect.

As for the thyroid effect, since the thyroid gland needs adequate iodine to work properly, try crunching up a nori sheet onto your slaw, or over your brown rice, or into your miso soup; wherever you find seaweed to be befitting to the flavor of your meal.

A little slaw plus a little seaweed and you’re good to go.

In regards to other nutrients you need for the day, check out the nutrition profile on this one little recipe. Loaded with vitamins A, C & Folate as well as Manganese and Potassium and you’ll see that adding a little slaw to your diet each day will go a long way towards good HEALTH! No drugs, or pills, needed. (This will make way more sense if you watch the video!)

SUuuPER SLAAAWWW!! (and the whole recipe in the video RHYMES!)

SLAWSlaw ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp mixed nuts, the kind that include Brazil nuts
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated BY HAND (Always scrub carrots with a vegetable brush. Save the peels to add to smoothies or to make vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup parsley, stems removed (basically a nice handful & just cut off the stems as close to the leaves as you can)
  • 1 cup cilantro (same deal, a big handful, cut off the stems)
  • Set the herb stems aside. Place them in a paper or plastic bag or in a jar with the carrot peels, and use them in your next smoothie or to make soup stock.
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (but you can also use a combination of purple & green cabbage or Napa or Savoy cabbage)

(instead of traditional Mayo Laden Slaw dressing, we’re making a nut mayo SLAW dressing. ‘Cause, let’s face it, Mayo tastes yummy but it doesn’t contribute much nutritionally, whereas nuts, on the other hand, are OFF the CHARTS chock full of disease fighting, energizing nutrients!)

  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts, the kind that include Brazil nuts
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive or flax oil
    OR 2 Tbsp of each
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soak the nuts and seeds for 2 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
Drain the nuts and reserve the soaking liquid.

Process the nuts, lemon juice, oils, garlic, Dijon, salt & pepper in your blender. Any blender will do. Add a little of the soaking liquid to help things move, if needed.
This gives you nut mayo, just FYI.

To make the Slaw Dressing:

  • Add 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar or the juice of any citrus fruit
  • 2 teaspoons of honey or the equivalent amount of sugar & water, just something sweet to balance the acid you just added.

Blend & TASTE. Does it have enough, sweet, salty, sour and savory? Add what it needs to balance that Flavor-y.

Toss the dressing with the chopped slaw ingredients.Slaw image
Eat it as is

Or pair the slaw with your morning scramble.Garbanzo beans & slaw tacos
Throw it on your salad greens.
Make slaw tacos with Garbanzo beans.

Put some slaw on your taco of Fish.
This slaw is so good, it can enhance any DISH!

Just enjoy
I taught your some SKILLZ (chopping, soaking nuts, making nut mayo, RHYMING)
You now have the means
No need for any PILLS!fish tacos

Eat up, yes, eat up!!
How much?
At least a cup.
For 63 cents a serv
You could eat the two cups you deserve.

130 calories for each cup
For that few you could eat it for Breakfast, Lunch and Sup’

Did I mention you also get half of your Vitamin C
And even more of Vitamin A’s Rela-tiv-ity
You get carotenoids that protect your eyes
These are called antioxidants and they’re your biggest allies
Going by the name beta-caro-tene (from carrots & leafy greens)
This one protects your skin deep from withene

But all you really have to worry about is what this slaw is doing for you
Thanks to its filling fiber and healthy fats, it can help you drop a pound or two
And in no time you’ll be singing this tune
(to the music of TIMBER)
My weights going down
It’s getting lower
This slaw’s the one
I’m gonna love
So eat up now
I gotta go to work
I hope you enjoyed
‘Cause I had some fun!

Cost per serving: $0.63
Nutrients per serving (4 oz-wt/ 1 cup / 113g): Calories: 130, Total Fat: 11 g, Carbs 9g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 156 mg

% Daily Value
47% Vitamin A
5% Thiamin
4% Riboflavin
6% Niacin
5% B-6
0% B-12
49% Vitamin C
0% Vitamin D
11% Vitamin E
11% Folate
5% Calcium
11% Copper
6% Iron
8% Magnesium
16% Manganese
8% Phosphorus
9% Potassium
5% Selenium
4% Zinc

1,790mg Omega-3 fats
1.6:1 Ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6’s (desirable is < 4:1)

Garbanzo Bean Cookies, NATURALLY Gluten Free & High in Fiber

What is life without COOKIES??

I’m in Love, I’m in Love and I don’t care who knows it…

Garbanzo Bean Cookie Recipe

Garbanzo Bean Cookie Recipe

I’ve been Gluten intolerant for several years and I really miss cookies. Yes, there are gluten-free versions on the market. And there are gluten-free recipes using gluten-free flour, but since giving up most processed foods, I find that gluten-free cookies send my blood sugar and my energy on a roller coaster.

Then one day, after sharing my Black Bean Brownies with a coworker, she said, “Oh my God, these are soooo good!!!” And then she said, “Have you heard about the Garbanzo Bean Cookies?”

And with both excitement and intrigue I replied, “No.”

Immediately I pulled out my iPhone and began Googling. I found several posts using the EXACT same recipe for Chocolate Chip Garbanzo Bean Cookies. Each recipes called for 1 ¼ cups of garbanzo beans, but having measured the yield of a can of garbanzo beans, I know that you get 1 ½ cups of beans from a 15oz can. So I thought, “Why not use the whole can?”   Gabanzo beans draining in sink

These same “copied” recipes also call for baking powder. Now, I’m not a food chemist, although I did take many food science classes during my undergrad Nutrition Science coursework, buuuuttt, as far as I know, baking powder doesn’t really do anything unless there is some kind of leavening agent involved, namely eggs or an egg substitute. So what IS the point of the baking powder in these cookies??? NOTHING. I made these garbanzo bean cookies with and without the baking powder and it did not make one IOTA of a difference.

Some other ingredients found in this recipe include salt, vanilla, peanut butter and chocolate chips, of course. Baking Powder NOT Required

In the end, I feel this cookie hits the “COOKIE SPOT” without causing the unnerving BLOOD SUGAR rollercoaster found after consuming flour laden cookies.

Aside from modifying the mimicked garbanzo bean cookie recipe, I also came up with some variations based on taste and/or supplies…

Here is my rendition of Chocolate Chip Garbanzo Bean Cookies…

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ready in 30 minutes                                                                                                    –    Makes 20 servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

+ 1 ½ cups garbanzo beans, one 15 oz can, drained

(save liquid in a bowl in case you need to add moisture)

+ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


+ 1/4 cup Organic Dark Brown Sugar


+ 1/2 cup ALMOND butter or nut butter of your choice

(I prefer the taste of the cookies with almond butter over peanut butter)


+ 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (for binding)

(You can make the cookies without the flax but it helps keep them together better & adds a bunch of OMEGA-3 fats!!)

+ 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Place everything, EXCEPT the chocolate chips, in a food processor. You can also use a blender but you will need to push the ingredients down without hitting the blades. It’s tricky, so be careful.  Garbanzo beans in food processor


Blend to a creamy, cookie dough, or pudding-like, consistency. Add liquid, if needed, about 2 Tablespoons at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If you’re batter is thinner than pudding, it’s OK. The cookies will be a bit flatter but still cookie-like.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse to combine.


Use a teaspoon & a spatula to spoon the batter onto the tray. Scoop batter with the spoon and push the batter off the spoon with the spatula. Don’t worry if your batter doesn’t fall in a perfect circle.

Since these cookies won’t rise, you can place them fairly close to each other; at least four rows across and six rows down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 27 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. These cookies are more like little cakes. They are AWESOME straight out of the oven or even the next day or two. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Label & date and consume or share within a week. OR freeze for later consumption. They thaw within a few hours in the refrigerator or in an oven set at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.


Cost per serving: $0.26

Nutrients per serving (1 cookie / 24g):  Calories: 84, Total Fat: 5 g, Total Carbohydrates: 10 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2.5 g, Sodium: 4 mg

Omega-3 Fats: 210 mg, Omega-6 fats: 990 mg

RATIO Omega-6: Omega-3 = 4.7:1 (ideal is < 4:1)

% Daily Value

20% manganese

9% magnesium

9% copper

7% vitamin E

7% folate

7% phosphorus

6% iron

4% niacin

4% zinc

4% calcium

4% potassium

3% riboflavin

2% selenium

2% B-6

2% thiamine

1% vitamin D

0% B12

0% vitamin C





Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

Ready in 30 minutes  Makes 20 servings

STYROFOAM (yucky for the environment) but good for displaying jewelry

My BFF Kara, gave me this lovely LEOPARD print jewelry box during one of my many luxuriously restful visits.

LEOPARD Jewelry Box

LEOPARD Jewelry Box

Since I live AT the BEACH, I prefer to spend my “vacation” visiting friends & family back east. 

Kara’s guest room, in the quaint, historic town of Frederick, Maryland, houses THE BEST, most comfy BED, bar none. It RIVALS that found in any 5 Star HOTEL.
  (Image courtesy of the Downtown Frederick website)

While visiting Kara, aside from getting plenty of restful sleep, I also get in some splendiferous shopping, often accumulating unique pieces of jewelry.

(One of our favorite shops The Muse

So, appropriately for the occasion, Kara presented me with this lovely LEOPARD print jewelry box (featured above), knowing my affection for ALL THINGS LEOPARD. 

(Even my cell phone case, from which I’m writing this entry, is covered in much loved, and weathered, LEOPARD print.)

The only downfall of my lovely LEOPARD jewelry case is that the drawers would not hold my jewels SECURELY, since there were none of the usual jewelry-holding-type inserts.

I mostly wanted to use it for big rings, because my jewelry collection could not even begin to fit into just one box. 


I thought about the “foamy” ring inserts I’ve seen in other jewelry cases. Then I thought about all of the things I’ve bought to furnish my apartment, and I remembered throwing away tons of foam & styrofoam packing material. Much to my chagrin.

I actually put these “foamy” products in the recycle bin in my building’s garbage area. According to the La Sanitation website, styrofoam falls under “plastics” & IS recyclable, YAY!!! Thank GOD! And then I thought, “How perfect some of those pieces would be right now.”

But since I haven’t bought or ordered anything lately, which would come with that wasteful, but now useful, styrofoam, I decided to take a peak in the first floor garbage/recycle area. Yep, I’m not ashamed to pick through recycled boxes in search of “foamy” stuff.  


I didn’t do any measuring, but I had an idea of the dimensions of pieces I would need to fit in my LEOPARD jewelry box. I found some pieces that were probably wide enough but too thick for the space.  


So I took my cheap, but sharp knife, (the one I do not use for food) and I cut the pieces to make them thinner. I fit them into the drawers of the box. Then I cut slits, spaced evenly apart, and inserted most of my bigger, more glitzy, rings into the slits.


Some of my smaller rings are housed in my LEOPARD shoe-shaped ring holders. 


Did I mention that I LOVE LEOPARD print??

Aside from my LEOPARD cell phone case, I have tons of leopard blankets, pillows, shoes, belts, & I even covered a piece of wood with LEOPARD duct tape to use as a shelf in my bathtub. This LEOPARD piece goes across my tub & supports my corner bathroom caddy. 


When all was said & done, my rings now fit securely in my LEOPARD jewelry box. The box sits on two metal slats which have been attached to one of my very large jewelry display cases. 


Living in a small, yet cozy, studio apartment, and being just the opposite of a “minimalist,” I am forever making creative use of my space while also using whatever I find lying around, as purposeful pieces to my projects.

These metal things, of which I don’t yet have a name, are leftover from when I used to build stacked closets from particle board units I’d bought at Home Depot. I no longer use these heavy units as they are not “moving friendly.” Instead I’ve switched to wire metal clothing racks.

I’ll share some of my other creative space ideas in future posts.

For now, here’s one use for that “yucky,” un-environmentally-friendly STYROFOAM.


And if you take on this type of project, beware that you’ll be cleaning up little, staticky, styrofoam pieces once you’re done cutting. 


A vacuum cleaner works well for easy clean-up. Use the hose attachment. 

Water & a cloth also work, but don’t rinse the “foamy” pieces down the drain. We don’t need to add to water pollution. 


As I’m wrapping up this piece, and thinking about the association between internal health & the cleanliness & organization of your refrigerator, because I’ve covered that in the linked article, I thought there may be an association between being “organized” & being “healthy,” but the only relationship I could find was related to “business health” and “organizational management.” In reality, being TOO organized might be a form of OCD. Yes, I have a little of that, but I can leave my clothes in a pile with the best of ’em. 

It’s fun to organize AND relax AND get outside for some fresh air & Vitamin D (click link)

 So I’m done. I’m OUT! Going to get my “D” on for the day!!

Thanks for your un”D”vided attention. 🙂