Dukka Macadamia Nut Cheese!

by Barbara Mendez, RPh, MS on July 21, 2014

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you are all enjoying your summer, taking care of yourselves and staying in good health.

A few months ago my friend and fellow blogger Lisa Angarame made a macadamia nut cheese that looked irresistible! I knew I would make it eventually but put it on the back burner until I came across a recipe for Dukka covered goat cheese that I had to try. Since I tend to avoid dairy as much as possible, I knew it was time for some alchemy in the kitchen. I immediately went out and bought macadamia nuts.

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Dukka is an Egyptian spice blend made from a mixture of herbs and nuts, most traditionally cumin, coriander, and hazelnuts. It can be added to salads, eggs, and fish or sprinkled on vegetables.   If you don’t like cumin, then you can use any herb or spice like caraway or even mint. Anything goes really with this versatile spice blend. It is so yummy you can eat it as a snack all on its own.

Using Lisa’s recipe as a guide, I also did a little research on other nut cheeses to get a better sense of what I needed to do. Lisa recommends soaking the nuts overnight but in other posts I read it stated that soaking macadamia nuts in particular makes them bitter. Compromising on the two, I settled on 4 hours of soaking to remove some of the enzyme inhibitors and allow the nuts to soften up for better blending.

I have tasted some amazing nut cheeses, particularly when I’ve dined at Pure Food and Wine in NYC. They’ve really perfected their recipes and it is impossible to tell that they are made from nuts. And while the end result of my experiment was delicious, I’ve got a little work to do to make it indiscernible from goat cheese. The Dukka really made it into something special though, particularly when I added it to an arugula salad. It was the perfect combination of spicy and savory and a nice protein alternative for lunch.

It was a lot of fun to make this recipe and for the love of cheese, but in an effort to continue my dairy-free lifestyle, I am going to spend some time this summer finding the perfect recipe for a nut cheese that tastes exactly like the real thing… Stay tuned.

Enjoy! And have a great Monday!

xo

B

Macadamia Nut Cheese

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Ingredients

  • 1 pint macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon probiotic powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Himalaya salt
  • Nutritional yeast, optional

Directions

  • Blend the first three ingredients in a blender until smooth. Put in a cheese cloth and squeeze out all the excess water you can with your hands.
  • Place the cheese cloth in a colander (be sure to have a plate underneath), and then place a dish on top of it and on top of that place a heavy can to weigh it down and allow it to strain overnight at room temperature.
  • Blend in 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon, 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast and some salt into the mixture.
  • Place mixture on parchment paper and roll into a log.

* You can serve this as it is without the Dukka. Another option is to chop some tarragon leaves and roll the cheese in that. Yum!

Dukka

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup assorted nuts (I used hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts and almonds)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalaya salt

Directions

Pulse ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Putting it together…

Roll nut cheese into balls. Place Dukka on parchment paper and roll nut cheese over Dukka and press the mixture into the cheese. Serve with crackers or on salad. Enjoy!

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7 Supplements to Help Stabilize Blood Sugar

by Barbara Mendez, RPh, MS on July 14, 2014

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!

We’re at the height of summer and therefore, swimsuit season and I know you are all eager to look your best while on the beach, but in order to lose any weight, the first thing you need to do is stabilize your blood sugar!

Earlier in the year, I posted two videos on this subject. The first one was about lifestyle factors that you need to modify for optimal glucose control and the second was about foods to eat that will help you with your goal. If you’ve not watched them, go back and do that first before considering supplementation, as modifying those things may be sufficient to help you get to your goal.

If you’re already eating well and have changed your habits yet you still feel that you’re hungry, tired, irritable and generally struggling with an unstable blood sugar, then you may want to consider using supplements to help move you along.

In today’s video, I discuss the top 7 supplements for balancing blood sugar which in turn will help control your appetite and cravings and help you lose weight. Remember though, before beginning any supplementation with vitamins or herbs, that you discuss it with a health care practitioner familiar with your case, particularly if you are currently on medication for diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Once you’ve watched the video, I’d love to hear from you! Are there any supplements you’ve used in the past that have helped you feel less hungry, lessened your cravings and supported healthy weight loss? If so, please leave your comments in the space below.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback. Till then, stay well, stay cool and have a great week!

xox
B

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