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The Book Tour Stops Here: FoodTrients by Grace O with Strawberry/Peach Tea Chia Frescas (+ a Book/Apron Giveaway!)

Posted May 03 2012 8:56pm
We are given only one body and so keeping it healthy by eating a diet full of natural, whole foods is critical to promote a long life full of energy and vitality. FoodTrients: Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life by Grace O, is a new resource and cookbook for just that purpose.

FoodTrients (2012, FoodTrients Publishing, Hardcover, 152 pages), contains 66 recipes all color-coded and labeled with one or more of the five FoodTrients categories: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Immunity Boosters, Mind and Beauty and Disease Preventing. Recipes are divided into Starters, Salads, Main Courses, Extras, Desserts, and Drinks. The FoodTrient recipe ingredients include ones that most people will be familiar with like fresh garlic, broccoli, blueberries, and sweet potatoes, as well as some that are less familiar moringa, bitter melon, soursop and jackfruit. Some current popular "super foods" like hemp milk, chia, and acai are mixed in too. For many recipes, access to a well-stocked natural foods store or Whole Foods is helpful, but there are plenty of recipes that can be made from a trip to the supermarket or a local farmers market and most of the recipes seem relatively easy to make. 

Author Grace O, grew up cooking and did it professionally for years, running restaurants and giving cooking classes. She has also spent time studying the healing proprieties of foods and their affect on healthy aging, running several senior healthcare facilities. She says, "Wholesome food have nutrients, which I call FoodTrients, that our bodies need. FoodTrients offer various benefits from anti-inflammatory properties to repairing oxidative cell damage." Drawing on her own experience and building a Board of Advisors in a variety of medical disciplines, she blends the science of nutrition with the art of cooking. (You can read more on the FoodTrients website here .) In addition to the health information included with each recipe there is a Guide to Age-Defying FoodTrients in the back of the book making it a good resource for anyone looking to live and age in the healthiest way possible.

I received my copy of the book a little later than expected so I have not had a lot of time to cook through it yet. On my list to try are Soy Custard Cups, Potato Kale Soup, Apple Barley Salad, Beet and Potato Salad, Green Tea Noodles with Edamame, Buckwheat crepes, Whitefish with Turmeric, Tangy Ginger Dressing, Turmeric Rice, Cranberry Bread Pudding, Acai Sorbet, and Blueberry Hemp Smoothies. I have been experimenting with a bag of chia seeds the last couple of weeks, making different chia puddings, so when I saw the recipe for fruity Chia Frescas, I knew that was the recipe that I most wanted to make to "road test" this book.

Grace O says, "Aguas Frescas are popular refreshing fruit drinks found in Mexico. Some roadside vendors add chia seeds to their drinks for extra texture. When soaked. the seeds develop a soft outer coating, somewhat like tapioca. Chia seeds add more than just a textural dimension to fruit drinks; they also provide fiber and the anti-inflammatory Omega-#s. Their nutty flavor goes well with peach tea and strawberry lemonade. They are also nice mixed into sweetened green tea.

FoodTrients in this recipe: Anthocyanins / Catechins / Fiber / Omega-3's / Vitamin C 

Chia Frescas 
From FoodTrients, by Grace O 
(Serves 2 or more

2 Tbsp white Chia seeds 
1/2 cup water 
3 sliced strawberries 
2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (optional
1 cup cold water 
1 cup chilled peach tea 
1/4 cup crushed ice 

Soak the chia seeds in the water for 1 hour.  

To make strawberry lemonade, combine the strawberries, lemon juice and agave nectar or honey. Mash with a wooden spoon until the fruit is crushed. Add the cold water and stir well. 

Combine the peach tea and the strawberry lemonade in a pitcher. Add the chia seeds. Top with crushed ice. 

Notes/Results: Refreshing and very good. I have made other chia seed drinks, but this combination of flavors is really delicious. The strawberry, lemon and peach add a summery feeling and the chia seeds are fun to drink through a straw. ;-) I have some texture issues and am not normally not a fan of tapioca or bubble tea but I like the smaller chia seeds. I love the idea of adding them to iced green tea suggested in the recipe information. I added about 1 tablespoon of honey--to keep it a little tart which makes it a perfect warm weather drink. I will make this again.   

FoodTrients is interesting to read through, has helpful information and is full of colorful photos of each recipe. It is a little meat and poultry-centric, especially in the main dish section, for the way that I am currently eating, but I still found plenty to make and easy substitutions could be made to make some of those dishes meatless. It would appeal to anyone looking to learn more about how what we eat effects our health and appearance and wanting to try some new and different ingredients. (You can read what some other bloggers think of FoodTrients, by following the links here .)

Need to get some FoodTrients into your life? The author and her publisher have generously offered to send one Kahakai Kitchen reader their own copy of FoodTrients along with a FoodTrients apron (I am so coveting that apron!

To be entered in this giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what nutritious ingredient that you have heard about and want to try/experiment cooking with by 11:59 PM (Hawaii Standard Time) Tuesday, May 8th. A winner will be randomly drawn from all applicable entries and announced soon after. (The giveaway is open to readers in US and Canada.) Good Luck!

Note: Review and giveaway copies of FoodTrients were provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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