Easy Lemon Sorbet


It has finally gotten hot (95 deg. F) after an unusually tame summer and I found my head resting in the open fridge door after a run. The environmental impact was not lost on me. Still feeling the guilt. But In the fridge with me was a lovely bowl of lemons. Inspiration! Need to make something with lemons.

First let me say, in case you needed more than the word lemon to motivate you, that lemons are VERY healthy. Oddly enough, the healthiest part is the peel which has more nutrients per gram than the juice. The peel contains limonene and salvestrol Q40 which research has shown to help fight cancers of the skin, colon and breast. Although we think of lemons as acidic, they actually act as an alkalizing agent once eaten. The bioflavonoids in the peel reduce oxidative stress and lower LDL cholesterol. The pith (the white soft portion of the rind right under the peel) contains hesperidin (a flavanoid) that reduces bone loss and lowers lipids. The pectin in the lemon rind provides a feeling of fullness and assists with weight loss. There are a few folks that should check with their doctor before using the peel and that would be anyone with kidney or gallbladder stones, as eating the peels can increase the oxalates in your body.

When using the lemon rind, it is important to buy organic and wash them well. I like a vinegar and cold water soak followed by a good rinse or a soak in ozonated water. You can always use a sharp knife, grater or peeler to remove the rind but my favorite way is the microplane. Mine is a Microplane brand zester and it makes quick and easy work of adding zest to any dish.

Having just come from a run, I didn’t want a fussy recipe so here is a drop dead easy lemon sorbet that is better than anything you can buy in a store. I am using a high speed blender for this with a tamper (a Vitamix). Love my Vitamix. Using a regular blender or food processor will not give you the smooth consistency of the Vitamix but it will still taste good.

Lemon Sorbet
Makes 3-4 servings

2 cups ice chips
2 lemons
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar depending on how sweet you like things and the size of your lemons
a cup of water for adjusting consistency as needed


Remove the outer yellow rind from ½ of the outer surface of each lemon as shown.


Leave the white pith in place as much as possible. Save the rind for use in other recipes. Cut the lemon into 4 to 8 pieces and remove the seeds. Add the lemons, ice and agave to the blender. Start blending and tamping the ingredients into the blades at a low speed but increase to full speed as you continue the tamping process until the consistency is smooth and thick. This took about 2 mins. in my machine. If the result is too powdery like this,


add additional water by the tablespoon, blending and tamping for 20-30 seconds until it is fully incorporated before adding any more.

This recipe can also be done sugar free by substituting stevia powder (1 ½ tsp.) for the agave. I personally like the agave better but it’s good to have options.

Scoop the sorbet out of the blender and serve immediately. Extra sorbet can be frozen but it becomes quite solid in the freezer. I pop the frozen sorbet block back into the blender and re-blend before serving.


Magnesium-What You Need to Know


Often called the invisible deficiency, low magnesium (Mg) intake is a common problem. Estimates vary but somewhere between 50-80% of us don’t have enough. Scientists have theorized that since farmers do not replace Mg taken up by crops, the soil, over time has become depleted and therefore, the food we eat contains less magnesium with each harvest. Since Mg is involved in over 300 enzyme interactions in our bodies that regulate everything (including energy, digestion, RNA/DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter formation and muscle and nerve function), this is a mineral you want to keep topped up.

Detecting low magnesium levels is tricky. The common blood test only finds the most critically low individuals since a mere 1% of the mineral is found in blood. The truly interested can get a Mg RBC test at www.requestatest.com for $49 that is more reliable but there is little downside to increasing consumption of high Mg foods and, in most cases, supplementation.

Symptoms of mg. deficiency can include:
Weakness                         heart irregularity                      muscle spasm

nausea/vomiting           fatigue                                             personality change

eye twitches                     numbness                                     tingling

constipation                     insomnia

How much do you need? The RDA recommends a minimum of 320mg/day for adult women and 420mg for adult men over the age of 30 with supplement recommendations running 400 to 1000mg/day depending on your health status. Several conditions lead to Mg wasting including type 2 diabetes (diabetics excrete more Mg in their urine and bind more to the sugar in their blood making it unavailable for other interactions), Crohn’s disease, GI resection, celiac disease, alcohol use, heavy soda drinking, high salt or caffeine intake, heavy menses, high stress (physical as well as psychological) and use of any of these medications: diuretics, ACE inhibitors, statins, fluoride, cipro and antacids/acid blockers. Folks who should not supplement Mg until they talk to their doctor include anyone with kidney disease or severe heart disease.

A rule of thumb for supplementing Mg is that you know when it’s too much if you develop diarrhea. While that is largely true, there are several types of Mg supplementation and not all of them lead to loose stools. Magnesium cannot exist elementally by itself and must be bound to another molecule for stability. If considering a supplement, it could matter what form you take.

Magnesium Oxide: cheap, readily available, poorly absorbed, softens stool

Espsom Salts (Mg Chloride) or Mg oil: Well absorbed through the skin, used topically as a bath additive or massage oil, it is cheap, easy to get and harder to take too much. Should not cause GI symptoms

Magnesium glycinate: good absorption, least likely to cause diarrhea, has more of a calming effect as the Mg is bound to glycine which is a calming neurotransmitter

Magnesium sulfate: found in Milk of Magnesia, has a large laxative effect. Not recommended as a Mg supplement source

Magnesium Citrate: Laxative, well absorbed

Magnesium carbonate and gluconate both have poor absorption

Magnesium L-threonate: A new player in the Mg market. The only one to cross the blood brain barrier and show benefit to cognition (see this study if you want more info)


The safest, and best tasting, way to get your Mg fix is in food. 30-40%  of the Mg in food is absorbed. Foods high in Mg include:

Dark leafy greens                   nuts (brazils, cashews, almonds)

herbs                                              avocado                                        wheat/oat bran

sunflower seeds                      shrimp                                            beans

brown rice                                 artichokes                                     pumpkin seeds

garlic                                             dark cocoa powder

There are also several steps you can take to keep the Mg you have:

Don’t drink soda (the phosphates in the soda bind Mg)

avoid sugar and caffeine

limit alchohol to one drink per day

People who need more Mg, usually need more B6, Vitamin D and selenium to use it well. A good multivitamin should cover these bases. Magnesium is best taken on an empty stomach and not within 2 hrs. of taking a calcium supplement.

Want a recipe for a high magnesium smoothie? Thought so 🙂


Magnificent Magnesium Chocolate Smoothie

1 cup spinach leaves

1 tablespoon raw cashews

2 tablespoons unsweetened black cocoa powder ( I use Bloomers)

1 ½ frozen bananas

4 ice cubes

1 cup cold water

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Makes a bit more than 2 cups of smoothie. If you drink the whole thing, it will give you 279 mg of magnesium, 224 calories, 4.5 grams of protein, 23% of your potassium, 59% of your daily vitamin A and 12% of your daily iron requirements. Definitely a healthy chocolate fix!





S’mores Cookies


It’s SO summer and what do a girl’s thoughts turn to but…S’mores 🙂 Since going vegan, there are some things I have had to adapt. S’mores, that quintessential summer cookout treat, is one of them. While not a huge marshmallow fan, I do love them melted. The problem is that commercial marshmallows contain gelatin (an animal product) and the chocolate has milk.
One year, I tried to go all Martha Stewart and make my own marshmallows. While they were amazing in hot coco, they just melted off the stick over a campfire and were a ton of sticky work. Since then, vegan marshmallows have become more mainstream. Dandies makes a vegan/ gluten/GMO free version that holds up well to the rigors of S’more making. Milk free chocolate also exists. For baking, Enjoy Life brand makes regular, mini chip and mega chunk options. All of them are great and can either be ordered online or often found in local or whole foods markets.
One rainy summer afternoon, with no campfire in my future, I came up with this recipe to satisfy the craving and it was a family hit. Make up a batch of these and all you will miss is the wood smoke.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Earth Balance (or vegan butter substitute of choice)
2 tbsp. ground flax seed
6 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 cup ground up graham crackers (shoot for a mix of finely ground and bigger chunks)
¾ cup chocolate bar chips
¾ cup vegan marshmallows



Begin by adding the water to the ground flax seed in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set this aside to let it thicken. Next, cream together the sugars, Earth Balance butter, flax seed/water mix and vanilla until smooth.


Gradually add the flour until combined and then the crumbled graham crackers.


Once you have all the dry ingredients added, stir in the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows (if you like big chunks of marshmallow, leave the mini ones just as they come from the package. If you like smaller bits, cut them up with kitchen scissors or a knife first, as I have done here).



Place the dough by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake in a 350 deg. F oven for 8-10 mins. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.




Try to keep them from being eaten all at once. Just try:)