Each year I seem to love the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve more and more. Family lingures, work subsides, movies are watched, leftovers are eaten, games are played, lives are shared, and for a brief moment time feels still. It’s those 5 days in between holidays that in my mind make the holidays.
And as they say, what you do in those last days of the year effects what the year ahead will look like. Whether traveling, exploring, relaxing, or decompressing: whatever you’re doing to occupy these final moments of 2012 I garuntee you spend a least a moment of it reflecting.
This year, I’m spending my Final Five on the west coast of Florida with my husband, two corgis, and my in laws. Looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico each morning and watching sunsets over the vast blue water and white sand each evening truly lends itself to meditation and self reflection.
This year health has been the number one thought on my mind. In fact health almost entirely sums up my 2012, and with 2013 right on the horizon line, I can’t help but notice how much this concern has changed me: My Vegan 75 experiment has now become a natural habit, a near religion really as my recuperating system is constantly seeking calm, balance, soothing and strength from everything I eat, do, and practice.
And I’m not the only one with wealth in health on the top of the list. My in laws are in the process of switching over to the Paleo Diet. Paleo, otherwise known as the Caveman diet, in short ellimenates diary, legumes, grains, and processed foods replacing them with meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and fruit: essentially clean foods prepared simply. And so as a guest this holiday I find myself adventuring in the ‘Land of Paleo’… and as a lactose- intolerant and almost Vegan I must say that this sojourn has inspired, challenged, and enlightened my work and knowledge as a chef, cook, and consumer.
And so here is an excerpt from my diary on day one of this quest to conquer the Paleolithic Plate and Palate…the only way this Supper Model knows how:
My Chocolate Peppermint Paleo Pudding is a living raw food, packed with protein, omega 3’s, and loads of good stuff. Antioxidants and alkalinizing ingredients make me question whether or not I can even call it a dessert, but despite its non traditional composition, this seasonal treat is only sinfully good tasting, and would give any holiday homecooked pudding a run for it’s recipe…
Chocolate Peppermint Paleo Pudding
3 ripe avocados
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps dense organic almond butter (I like Justin’s Original Almond Butter)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 tsps strong coffee or espresso (room temp)
generous pinh of sea salt
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps Raw Cocao Powder
1/4 cup raw honey
2 packages organic raspberries (you will need 40-50 raspberries)
fresh mint leaves
1. In the bowl of a food processor place the hulled avocado flesh (pit removed) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pulse until the avocado is just smooth. It is important to use ripe avocados so that no hard chunks of avocado remain. Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine (be sure not to over process.
2. Scoop out all the pudding mixture into a meduim mixing bowl and with a spatula continue to fold the ingredients until fully combined and a pudding texture is acheived. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let refridgerate for at least an hour, 3-4 is best. This can also be made the night before.
3. 1 hour before serving re-stir the chilled pudding to slightly whip up the teture. Scoop even amounts of pudding into serving glasses or dishes and gently smooth out the top insuring that the pudding has settled a bit into the dish. Top with 10-12 fresh raspberries and place a small mint leaf in the center for contrast. Present and ponder how on earth this tastes the way it does…translation: it’s GOOD!
*Optional For a Very Sweet Tooth : Before placing the raspberries a top the pudding you can sprinkle them with a touch of Splenda or a tiny tiny pinch of raw Stevia powder stiring lightly to dissolve the sweatener.