To all of our lovely guests: Thank you for joining us on January 19 for our Fresh Start Workshop. It was an information-packed afternoon learning about healthy eating from our guest speaker Jill Lee, adjunct professor in Nutrition at Santa Rosa Junior College, who taught us how to prepare foods that boost our immune system, and the benefits of high polyphenols and antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil that can be used as preventative and curative tools for a healthy body.
We started the day at the Upper Ranch Victorian by warming our bellies (and souls) with a nourishing Nettle Soup– warm, vibrant, and chocked full of nettles that helps to decrease inflammation and can lower blood sugar and blood pressure. I used my nutrient-rich Mineral Broth as a base, then added in a whole lot of fresh nettles. The soup was topped off with crème fraîche and homemade Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) Chips for a crunch.
Then we demonstrated how easy it is to make a heart-healthy, Omega-3-enriched Ceviche using fresh Rock Cod. I added a double hit of spiciness with fresh green Jalapeños and our McEvoy Ranch Jalapeño Olive Oil, along with tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and cilantro. Light in calories, tasty, and so good for you. My version of Ceviche is a riff on one of my favorites- a classic created by Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill. Follow his recipe and you can’t go wrong.
Throughout the workshop we read passages from Thich Nhat Hanh’s How to Eat that encourages mindfulness about our food and How to Walk that enhanced our “wisdom walk” around the Ranch gardens and grounds.
Once we were down at the Frantoio (mill), we tasted through our collection of olive oils including the 2018 Olio Nuovo that contains over 450 ppm of polyphenols, making this oil one of the healthiest and flavorful oils available on the market. This “new oil” is made with the early harvest olives and is the first oil of the season. Only available through February each year, it’s truly one of our most special blends.
After indulging in olive oils and wines, we finished up on an ultra healthy note with my Vital Bites. These delicious, nut-filled orbs are packed with all-natural ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, flax seeds, unsweetened carob powder, maca powder, shredded coconut, and loads of warming spices (to aid circulation) plus a little orange zest for a touch of Vitamin C. They are so easy make and can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks for whenever a sweet craving hits.
Here are all the recipes and resources from the workshop:
Mineral Broth with Kombu (used in Nettle Soup)
Raw Flax Seed Crackers (served with the Cashew Cream graciously provided by Jill Lee)