Roasted Tomato, Mushroom + Avocado Pizza // BasilHealth

You might have heard me talk about a new product I'm working on - - where I share health, food and lifestyle information each issue/week. You'll find tons of my recipes and interesting articles about gluten, sunscreen, and healthy products. This web site is launching even more very cool, innovative and progressive things come Fall. I can't tell you exactly what just yet, so stay tuned by signing up. Plus you won't want to miss an issue. 

This week you'll find my {gluten-free + dairy-free} pizza recipe. It was so tasty that I ate almost the entire pizza after photographing {shhhh...I really should have shared it}. The roasted tomatoes are just wonderful and you won't miss the cheese with the added avo. If you want to make this pizza, do it soon because the tomatoes are just perfect right now. They will be going out of season very soon, sadly. And if you must have cheese, choose feta, you won't need much and the saltiness is a really good combo {see photos below}. 

For the entire recipe, please check out my work over at  ... and while you're at it, take a peek at the article by Jasmine shares knowledge on healthy{er} wines and cocktails, plus she shares my spicy margarita recipe {remember, I talked margs last week?}. You don't have to have margaritas with mexican food, they go great with pizza, especially cheesless {wink}!

Get both recipes at - and feel free to submit an idea you would like to know more about. We will try and write about it. 

Have a great weekend. 

Snacking on Toast + Pressed Juicery in SD?

Sometimes the easiest, most simple ideas aren't so obvious. I'm sharing my mix-and-match toast ideas for weekends with the kids. Simple snacking done healthy and wholesome. Check out the entire post in the PURE LITTLES section.  



Plus, there's some exciting news to share: Pressed Juicery is coming to San Diego. Opening day will be Sept 19th and they are offering FREE juice! Go check it out. I'm so excited about this. I just love the Chalkboard Mag {Pressed Juicery's blog}, where I also contribute recipes from time to time {see them here}. 

Also in the news...SUNSCREEN TALK! 

Friends, family and readers ask me ALL the time which sunscreen I use for my kids, etc. I don't go to the beach for hours at a time without sunscreen. But I prefer not to use sunscreen everyday because I love the Vit and getting sun exposure {note: I use a tinted daily spf on my face}. When I am at the beach all weekend, like this past holiday weekend, I pack an umbrella for shade, put rash guards on the kids, wear a good hat and use Honest Company sunscreen

It's also important to understand the whole complicated SPF thing when you're trying to pick a sunscreen. Do you buy SPF 15 or 50? It all depends on how long you're in the sun, etc. Read the full length article that I wrote for BasilHealth, talking about SPF and natural sunscreens - I also talk about my other favorite sunscreens.  

Whole Foods Market Talks Fall Produce

It's that time again...Fall is just around the corner and I'm excited to share with you not only what is in Season, but also some tips on picking the perfect produce. 


This all-you-need-to-know information to finding, storing and using your Fall produce was created by Mark Martinez, a Whole Foods Market produce coordinator {who better to ask than the produce buyers themselves?} along with my helpful graphics to make the perfect buyer's guide. Happy Fall! 

Apples: Nothing says llike a perfectly crisp apple, and there’s no better time to try these family favorites. From sweet Fujis to sweet and tart Honeycrisps, there's a flavor for every palate. To pick the best of the orchard, choose apples that are firm and free of blemishes or bruises. Apples emit ethylene, which speeds up the process of ripening so be sure to store them in a cool place away from other ethylene-sensitive produce, such as avocados, bananas or citrus fruit. When storing cored or peeled apples, a squeeze of lemon will help to prevent browning.

PearsFrom Anjous to Bartlett to the Sugar Pear, this fall favorite offers a wide range of varieties and flavors from tart to sweet. No matter the type, pick pears while they are still firm and allow them to ripen at room temperature for a few days. They ripen from the top down they are ready to eat when they give a little at the stem. It also helps to know your varietals – bosc are better a firm while comice are best soft. In some cases look for changes in color, like with the Bartlett, which turns from green to yellow. Opt to store them in the fridge to slow the ripening process, or use them up within five days. Just like apples, lemon juice can help prevent cut pears from browning.

Winter Squash: From acorn to butternut to delicata, you can choose from a range of hearty gourds and squashes in fall that are perfect for roasting, mashing and pureeing. Choose squash that remains firm when pressed, contains an intact stem, and feels heavy for its size. Winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark place for several weeks if kept in its tough exterior. Kept refrigerated for a few days if cut or raw. 

Grapes: Whether sprinkled in salads, mixed into salsa or eaten by the handful, grapes are at their best flavor in fall, when they can be enjoyed fresh from the vine (including many varieties you can't get other times of year like champagne, concords and Holiday seedless red grapes). Look for fruit that is plump and firm. When it comes to color, green grapes should have a yellowish hue (known as amber) and red grapes should be a bright shade of crimson. Avoid wilted stems or wrinkled grapes when browsing for the perfect bunch. Unwashed grapes can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Leafy Greens: Ironically, while leaves are changing from green to yellows, browns and reds, autumn is actually one of the best times to enjoy leafy greens – both in terms of variety and flavor. Kale's popularity has skyrocketed in the past few years, and for good reason – often touted as a superfood, kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fiber, and a good source of manganese. But there are lots of other powerhouse greens that are at their best in fall, like chard, watercress, leaf lettuce and mustard greens, arugula, raddichio and chicory. 

Mushrooms: From Oyster to Portobello, all mushrooms should feel firm and dry when you’re selecting a perfectly earthy bunch. They can be stored in a paper bag between layers of damp paper towels in the fridge. If your mushrooms are prepackaged, make sure to remove them from the store packaging to maintain freshness.

Persimmons: Persimmons are a delicacy originally from East Asia. Golden orange, in color and packed with nutrients, they look similar to small tomatoes. Persimmons can be extremely tart until they become ripe, when the fruit becomes sweet and spicy. There are two varieties: Hachiya persimmons are acorn-shaped and remain tart and chalky until they are extremely ripe, while Fuyu, the squat, tomato-shaped persimmons are sweeter and can be eaten when still firm. When picking persimmons, avoid any with brown spots or bruises

Sweet Potatoes: These naturally sweet root vegetables are equally delicious in desserts and savory dishes. Choose uniform sized sweet potatoes (for even cooking) that feel heavy in your hand and buy them shortly before you plan to use them. Store whole potatoes in a cool, dark place and toss any sprouted tubers. Whole Foods Market features a wide array of sweet potato varieties including Hannah, Japanese, Jewel, Garnet, and Purple Stokes. Talk a Whole Foods Market produce team member in your store for tips on selecting the best sweet potato variety for your dish or for recommendations on recipes to make the distinct flavor profiles really stand out.  

Beets: These nutritious root vegetables come in a variety of colors besides their classic fuchsia hue. Whether red, pink, white, or orange, beets are delicious when roasted, pureed or used raw. Choose beets that are firm and smooth; if the beets still have the leaves attached,look for greens that are bright and spry. Do not wash beets until you are ready to use them, as this can water down the flavor. I also recommend grabbing a pair of gloves so that color does not stain your hands!

 Cranberries: Thanksgiving would not be the same without these tiny, tart berries. Look for brightly colored berries and check each bag for any shriveled or discolored berries, which should be discarded.  To maximize freshness and flavor, keep the bag tightly wrapped in the refrigerator (they can stay good up to two months!), or freeze them for increased longevity. When cooking cranberries, remove them from heat as soon as they begin to pop. Overcooking could result in mushy or bitter fruit.

Coconut Yogurt For Breakfast

Homemade is just always better. I know that making things at home is more time consuming than grabbing something already made at the store. But before we label something as "icky" or "gross" we always have to try the fresh/homemade version first. This goes for almond milk {stuff in the box is no where near as good as homemade/fresh}, coconut water {fresh young coconuts are amazing but the cans...not so much!}, and coconut yogurt {stuff on the shelves at Whole Foods aren't all that wonderful}

So before you stick out your tongue and frown at the idea of yogurt made from coconuts, try the homemade version first. You'll see why some people swear by it. My kids like it too, and shhh, they don't even know it's coconut and super healthy.

This recipe is full of natural electrolytes and probiotics {good bacteria for the healthy gut}!



4 young thai coconuts

1 cup of young thai coconut water

1/2 TSP Kefir starter OR 2 capsules of high quality probiotics

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 Tbls maple syrup or honey


In a Vitamix, add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, like your favorite yogurt. 

Let sit at room temperature for about 15 hours. This will activate kefir starter and/or probiotics capsules. Refrigerate. Yogurt will last 3 days. Top with your favorite granola or fruit. 

Note: persimmons are wonderful with this yogurt. So are berries and kumquats when in season. Also, try almond extract, cacao, or even some extra lemon. For a heartier breakfast add granola or you can top it with sweeter fruits like, peaches, bananas, and so on. Enjoy!

And hooray for Worldwide Coconut Day - September 2nd! And if you can't get around to making yogurt at least grab a young coconut and cheers to that!