I’m dedicating this recipe to my mother who watched me put these glasses of fruit and water together. It was the only time she participated while I created something new to post at The Kitchen Twist. Shortly after taking this picture she suffered a massive stroke that turned her world upside down. I love you mom.


During the heat of the summer when you know you need to drink more water it can be tempting to turn to more flavorful but less healthy options. Here are some simple strategies to make drinking plenty of water a little more exciting.

Fruits and vegetables added to water increase the vitamin and mineral content as well as the antioxidants making it a delightfully nutritious way to hydrate. I especially like knowing that I can create my own vitamin water less expensively than commercially made flavored waters and also feel confident about the exact ingredients in my beverage. And remember the water itself is preventing dehydration. Being fully hydrated flushes out toxins, reduces cramps and headaches and can reduce cravings for unhealthy food while at the same time it increases the metabolism. Water revitalizes your body the way water revitalizes a wilting flower making you feel refreshed and energetic.

If you want a little sweetness to your water add some drops of liquid stevia or stir in a small amount of stevia powder.


Choose any combination in desired amounts for single servings or for an entire pitcher full!

Watermelon, cubed
Lemon slices
Mint leaves

Orange slices
Vanilla bean, sliced open longways

Pineapple cubes
Mango slices

Papaya cubes
Lime slices

Blackberries, slightly crushed
Basil leaves

Pear slices
Ginger root, peeled, sliced in rounds
Orange slices

Honeydew melon cubes
Lime slices
Mint leaves

Add whichever combination of wonderful goodness you’ve chosen to your desired container and add water. Allow to steep for a while (about 4 hours) and serve to enjoy naturally flavored water. Add liquid stevia drops, or stir in stevia powder for sweetness if desired. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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One morning I watched as my son, Joshua, poured chia seeds into a bowl with some nuts and fruit and added non-dairy milk. This was his breakfast. I was fascinated. I had never eaten chia seeds as cold cereal. Then on another occasion Joshua told me how he makes hemp milk at home. Both recipes are so nutritious and sustaining that I couldn’t resist sharing his great ideas here! Thank you Joshua for your contributions!


Chia seeds are a superfood not to be overlooked. They contain: 580% more omega 3’s than what is in wild caught salmon, 940% more phosphorus than cows milk, 460% more calcium than cows milk, 120% more fiber than bran flakes, a complete protein with 300% more protein than kidney beans and more antioxidants than blueberries.

Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. They do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body, but grinding them increases absorption rates. Chia seeds provide fiber as well as protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Research suggest that chia slows the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This makes them a great food to help keep blood sugar levels steady.

One ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 14% of the recommended daily allowance of protein. Protein is a macronutrient that is important to every cell of the body. However, keep in mine that just because protein is beneficial doesn’t mean that more of it is better. It is hard to over do it when protein comes from plants, in fact, you’re more likely to give yourself exactly the right amount.  Nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of protein and they also contain many other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Too much protein, which is easy to get when eating animal based food, causes stress on the liver and kidneys, body odor, bad breath and a depletion of many nutrients that will lead to all kinds of problems from kidney stones and gout to cancer and heart disease. It is important to get the right amount protein and not too much.

Cacao nibs improve blood flow and are linked to a healthy cardiovascular system, reduced blood pressure and the health of other internal organs. Eating raw cacao is linked to brain health and may have important implications for learning and memory. Never leave out the cacao nibs when making this recipe.

You can obtain many health benefits from hemp by adding the seeds to your diet. Hemp provides you with a complete protein, and a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. It also contains many B vitamins, vitamins A, D and E, calcium, sodium, iron and dietary fiber. Hence, hemp seeds can supply you with all your dietary needs for optimum health. The consumption of hemp seeds could reduce blood cholesterol, improve memory, prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. Hemp is a natural appetite suppressant, boosts energy levels, and can contribute to a reduced risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers.



3 T sprouted grain cereal (Ezekiel brand)
2 T chia seeds
2 T pumpkin seeds (optional)
2 T chopped pecans (or other nuts)
1 T organic raisins (and/or other organic dried fruit)
1 T cacao nibs
1 mango, peeled and cut in pieces (or other fresh fruit, all optional)
3/4 cup  hemp milk (recipe follows)

Combine all in a cereal bowl, stir and serve. Serves 1. The longer it sits the more liquid the chia seeds will absorb and the thicker it becomes. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

Chia cereal is so easy to change up any way that suits your fancy. Add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom or coriander. Use sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds or scrape some seeds from a vanilla pod. along with the pumpkin seeds. Swap the pecans with brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts or chopped almonds. Along with raisins add dried apricots or cherries or swap the raisins for dried blueberries or cranberries. Use raw cacao powder instead of the nibs. Add the zest of oranges or lemons. Of course any fresh fruit of your choosing would taste great such as: bananas, peaches, strawberries or raspberries etc… The possibilities are endless!

Here are some ideas for other flavor combinations:

Papaya, dried coconut, macadamia nuts
Strawberry, lemon zest
Pecan, banana, raw cacao powder
Raspberry, peach, almond
Raisin, apple, cinnamon
Dried Cranberries, orange zest, walnut
Vanilla bean, cacao nibs, pear


3/4 cup hemp seeds
2 medjool dates, pitted
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod (or 1 t vanilla extract)
A pinch of Himalayan sea salt
5 cups water

Combine the hemp seeds, dates, vanilla seeds and Himalayan sea salt with 2 of the cups of water in a Blendtec* blender. Whirl on the whole juice setting. Whirl again until the dates are completely blended with no small pieces. Stir in the remaining 3 cups water and pour into a pitcher. Chill for 3 hours before using. Makes about 5 cups. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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This whimsical summer sandwich comes together quickly and will be enjoyed by all. It is definitely a delicious sandwich with a nutritious twist!


Pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Both of these nutrients can be thought of as antioxidant nutrients that help protect cells in the body from oxygen-related damage due to free radicals. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in all water-soluble areas of the body, and is critical for good immune function. Vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, directly kills many bacteria and viruses, and regenerates Vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects fat-soluble areas of the body) after it has been inactivated by disarming free radicals. Copper helps protect the body from free radical damage through a copper-dependent enzyme that eliminates superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals are a type of free radical generated during normal metabolism, as well as when white blood cells attack invading bacteria and viruses. If not eliminated quickly, superoxide radicals damage cell membranes. Researchers have linked three servings of fruit daily as protective against the vision-destroying disease, macular degeneration. This pear sandwich can help you reach this goal.

Adding pecans to your diet each day may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids which in turn helps prevent heart disease. This positive effects is due to pecan’s significant content of vitamin E. They rank very high among nuts in antioxidant capacity, meaning pecans may decrease the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological diseases.

The cashews in the cashew cheese spread are full of magnesium. This mineral is vital for healthy bones as about two-thirds of the magnesium in the body is found in our bones. The magnesium in the cashews helps regulate nerve and muscle tone, regulate blood pressure, prevent muscle spasms including spasms of the heart and reduces the severity of asthma. It helps prevent migraine headache attacks, and promotes normal sleep patterns.

The kelp is optional in the cashew cheese spread only because it isn’t much of a flavor component, but if you leave it out you’ll be shorting yourself on the many nutrients within. Kelp contains algin, carrageenan, iodine, potassium, bromine, mucopolysaccharides, mannitol, alginic acid, kainic acid, laminine, histamine, zeaxanthin, protein, vitamins A, B, E, D, K, C, and is rich in minerals. Kelp proteins are comparable in quality to animal proteins. Kelp contains sodium alginate (algin), an element that helps remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body. Algin, carrageenan and agar are kelp gels that rejuvenate gastrointestinal health and aid digestion. Kelp works as a blood purifier, relieves arthritis stiffness, and promotes adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health. Its natural iodine can normalize thyroid-related disorders like overweight and lymph system congestion. It is a demulcent that helps eliminate herpes outbreaks.



2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
4 pears, very thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch spinach leaves
Cashew cheese spread (recipe follows)
Cinnamon sprinkle (recipe follows)
Sliced bread (I use artisan or Ezekiel bread)

In a large, hot skillet toast the pecan, set aside. Slice pears and brush with lemon juice, set aside. To assemble sandwiches: spread each slice of bread with cashew cheese spread, layer spinach leaves on half of the slices and toasted pecans on the other half. Layer the pear slices on the spinach and top with the cinnamon sprinkle. Put sandwiches together and serve. Makes  4 to 6 sandwiches.


2 cups raw cashews, soaked
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/4 t kelp powder* (optional)

Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover completely with water and allow to soak for 3 to 4 hours. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the water. Add the cashews, reserved 3/4 cup of water, tahini, nutritional yeast, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Himalayan sea salt and kelp powder to a food processor fitted with the S shaped chopping blade. Process for about a minute until nearly smooth. Chill. Makes about 2 cups. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com


Combine equal parts of cinnamon and xylitol. Store in an airtight container. Use to add a sweet spice to any recipe.

See Sources*

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