How To Make Probiotic Coconut Yogurt At Home By Breakfast Criminals

This was originally posted on

Homemade DIY Coconut Yogurt Life Equals Probiotic

If you think coconut yogurt is a delicacy with a high price tag, listen up: you can easily make your own delicious, creamy co-yo at home! All you need is two ingredients–canned full-fat coconut milk and probiotic capsules.

An exceptionally healthy fermented food, coconut yogurt is easy to make and is perfect for parfaits. It’s unsweetened (you can sweeten it to taste) and has more healthy bacteria than a store-bought yogurt.

Homemade DIY Coconut Yogurt Life Equals Probiotic


  • 1 can of organic coconut milk (I get Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk on Vitacost)
  • 3 dairy free probiotic capsules (I used Life Equals probiotic, you can subscribe to it on with 75% discount, use code “BREAKFASTCRIMINALS75 and read more about this amazing brand that gives back in my interview with founders Chris and Kyle“)
  • Directions:
  1. Mix the milk and probiotics by opening the capsules and adding the contents into the coconut milk. Discard the capsules.
  2. Close the lid tightly and shake.
  3. Store the jar in a dark corner on your kitchen counter for three days, shaking or stirring with a clean spoon every 12 hours.
  4. Then, refrigerate your yogurt, and it will thicken. Once thickened and chilled, serve with your favorite granola, berries, nuts, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Trust me, the jar will be gone very quickly!

If you want a demonstration of how it’s done, check out my friend Willow of CJNutrition’s “How To Make Coconut Milk Yogurt” video.

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Tolerance is required for true co-operation

The Cornell Alliance for Science had booked the Space @GreenStar Co-op for their September 10, live event, Ask Me Anything About GMOs. It has now been voluntarily moved to a different venue.

The event was meant to make available a diverse panel of US University GMO scientists for answering your questions about the controversial science they are engaged in. It was proposed by the Cornell Alliance for Science, some of the staff longstanding co-op members themselves.

GreenStar agreed to rent the Space because they do so without censorship or discrimination—but also without any implied endorsement. The truth is, while many (or even most) of GreenStar’s members are anti-GMO, not all members feel that way. In the spirit of democratic cooperation, there have to be ways even for unpopular ideas to be heard.

When the event was being booked, GreenStar staff suggested that there might be a disruptive attitude toward the panel. We thought having a moderator from GreenStar might help ensure that the hard questions would be asked and answered, and that there would be a respectful exchange between the panel and the audience.

The idea was that the scientists would be confronted with the very real difficulty many people have with GMOs. A the same time, those critical of GMOs could meet some of the real people who believe just as much in the work they are doing creating them. The event would provide everyone—scientists included—an opportunity to hear different points of view in the spirit of true co-operation.

But the event was seized upon by a few vociferous people, mischaracterized, and misrepresented. Assumptions of motives were disseminated quickly across the web without any attempt at contacting either GreenStar or the Alliance to hear what their involvement or their motives were regarding the event. Soon, accusations and indictments came from literally all across the country, shutting down what is at the heart of democratic cooperation: the right of diverse voices to be heard.

Rather than cause the co-op any more harm than was already caused, the Alliance for Science voluntarily withdrew the event from the Space, with the intent to hold it elsewhere.

While we understand how and why people reacted the way they did, those people were not presented with the truth. So we felt we each needed to speak for ourselves from our very different relationships to this event and our intents as the proposed moderators.

GreenStar has always taken a strong, anti-GMO position. It is a member of the Non-GMO project, GMO products are characterized as “discouraged” in our stores, and we do not carry them if at all possible. GreenStar is concerned that the GM industry restricts access to its products by researchers and has compromised the science by doing so. The co-op supports GM labeling.

The Cornell Alliance for Science encourages evidence-based decision-making around discussions ranging from biotechnology to climate change. It promotes access to innovation to ensure that scientists have access to the tools needed to find innovative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. The Alliance emphasizes the importance of choice—so that farmers and consumers globally can make their own decisions about what they want to grow and eat.

As organizations and as moderators, we do not agree about GMO’s and probably many other things as well, but we do both believe there is a lot that could have been gained from such a discussion promised by this event — especially in our cherished community that prides itself on tolerance, life-long learning, and on embracing diversity.


Joe Romano, Marketing Manager, GreenStar

Sarah Evanega, Director, Cornell Alliance for Science

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This recipe was originally created by The Chalkboard Mag for
Gluten-Free Dreams: Almond Spice Cake With Coconut Cream

Food should be nourishing, delicious & not over-complicated. It sounds simple, right? It can be hard to find sweet treats that fit this category, and while you can’t live off a cake and call yourself healthy, it’s comforting to know there are better alternatives available to nourish that sweet tooth 😉

It’s topped with a layer of coconut whipped cream. Because really, the only thing better than a grain-free, refined sugar-free, spice-filled cake is one that’s got whipped cream frosting on top.


For the cake:

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Garnish with:

  • honey
  • raisins
  • nuts
  • cinnamon sticks
  • coconut whipped cream


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
  3. In a large bowl, stir almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, agave, eggs, and extracts. Pour into flour mixture. Blend well and then add raisins and nuts, if desired. Pour into the pan outfitted with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and flip onto a cake platter.
  5. Decorate with coconut whipped cream and whatever ingredients you like.

For the coconut whipped cream:

  1. Set the can in the fridge overnight so that the coconut fat solids separate from the coconut water.
  2. Open the can and carefully pour out the thick coconut cream. With an electric whisk, beat the cream, agave and vanilla extract on high until peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. If not serving immediately, place the bowl of whipped coconut cream in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then beat it again right before serving it.

For more recipe inspiration, check out The Chalkboard. Photo & recipe credit: Sweet Laurel Bakery & The Kitchy Kitchen.

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How To Make A Perfect Macrobiotic Bowl From Well & Good

This post was originally posted on May 5th, 2015.

macro-bowlHave you ever spied a stunning bowl of grains and vegetables on Instagram and wondered a) what in world of deliciousness is that? And b) how you could have some, too?

Whatever it was, we’re betting it has roots in Macrobiotics, a healthy way of eating that gained major popularity stateside in the ’90s. Although it lacks the trendiness of some current nutrition crazes, the Macrobiotic Diet has informed tons of others, like vegetarian, South Beach, and even Paleo itself. But what, exactly, is it all about?

Chef Lee Gross is here to explain, and teach you how to whip up a perfect macro bowl at home. Gross, who worked as Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal chef, is now the consulting chef at Los Angeles’ M Cafe, which is known for its menu of macrobiotic dishes, plates, and bowls.

What is Macrobiotics and the Macrobiotic Diet? A lot of the principles and teachings have been taken from Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Japanese traditions, explains Gross.

Chef Lee Gross of M Cafe. (Photo: M Cafe)

“Macrobiotics is about balancing ourselves with the natural world—and the easiest way to do that is with our meals. We get further and further away from this balance if we choose [to eat] processed industrialized foods,” he says.

Gross was actually thinking about joining the PeaceCorps in 1998 when he learned about Macrobiotics at the Omega Institute and Michio Kushi, who is credited with bringing Macrobiotics to the West, at the Kushi Institute. Once he discovered the diet’s focus on eating mindfully, “my whole profession and perspective on food shifted,” he says.

What’s the foundation of a Macrobiotic meal (or macro bowl)? Each meal is a combination of grains, vegetables, beans or fish, and fermented foods. The bowl part, however, is optional. “Taking a macrobiotic meal and putting it into a bowl is just for the convenience factor,” Gross says. But hey, it sure it pretty enjoyable and photogenic this way.

So…how can you make one? Gross admits that while there’s no “correct” breakdown for a Macro meal, he has some suggestions for making the most delicious, well-rounded one possible.

1. Start with a whole grain that makes up about 20 to 30 percent of your plate. It could be anything from quinoa to brown rice to millet. Kushi’s original recommendation called for 40 to 60 percent of grains, but lately people have been lowering the amount of grains and upping the veggies, he says.

2. Vegetables can make up about 40 to 60 percent of your plate or bowl, Gross says. Within that it’s important to have three categories of vegetables—round (like onions or squash), leafy (like kale), and root veggies. How the vegetables are prepared fall into two categories: quick cooked via steaming or sautéing, and long cooked, like stewing.

3. Beans, soy protein, and sea vegetables can comprise about 5 to 10 percent of your plate or bowl. Think: tempeh or tofu. Plus sea vegetables like nori, hiziki, a wild Maine kelp, and dulse. “They’re an important and often overlooked source of valuable nutrients and trace minerals,” explains Gross.

4. It’s important to also include fermented foods, like naturally fermented pickles, explains Gross, “instead of brined pickles, which do not contain active probiotics.

5. Soup is another thing you can add to your macro plate or bowl. “You can experiment by adding a miso soup or kombu soup broth during the winter months for an instant stew-like macro bowl,” Gross says. “You can also change up the routine and make it a noodle bowl by swapping the whole grain for buckwheat soba or udon noodles.” —Molly Gallagher

For more information, visit

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A Day On Not A Day Off

MLK QCard-2



The 21st annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held at the Beverly J. Martin School gymnasium, 302 W. Buffalo St., Ithaca.  

Monday, January 19th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Performances by Honey Child Soul Quintet and John Simon  

A luncheon—free and open to the public 

This year’s theme “MYTHACA—Facts and Fiction”

will be facilitated by guest speaker Godfrey Simmons

The day is organized by the Greater Ithaca Activities Center; the Multicultural Resource Center; the Cornell Public Service Center; the Center for Transformative Action; GreenStar Cooperative Market; Student Leadership, Engagement and Campus Activities at Cornell University; Cornell Dining; Ithaca College Office of  Multicultural Affairs, Cooperative Extension of TC;  Challenge Workforce Solutions and and community members

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The Winter Market is Back — Starting This Saturday!



The Ithaca Farmers Market again returns to The Space @ Greenstar for the winter months, bringing you fresh local produce, from sweet spinach and kale, to root vegetables, pastured meats, apples, cheeses, preserves and more. Plus, get your freshly baked pastries, hot coffee, breads, hot prepared food, and artisanal gifts also!

Markets are held Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Space from January 10 to March 28. Please enter at the intersection of Fulton and Court Streets, and you will be directed by an attendant to park in the lot there. After March 28th the market returns to its Steamboat Landing pavilion.

The Space has been newly renovated and serves as a beautiful, cozy and warm venue for our winter market. The Ithaca Farmers Market Board of Directors and management wishes to thanks Greenstar for being so generous with their lovely new community space.

From the farmers in their passive solar greenhouses, harvesting spinach, to the chefs in their kitchens and the artisans in their workshops, thank you for your support of our efforts to continue cultivating earth and community in the new year and throughout our winter months.

Come for groceries, come for brunch, come for gifts, or just come to reconnect with friends, community members and family. It’s all happening at the Ithaca Farmers Market’s Winter Market.


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Creamy Tumeric Latte


* Originally posted here on

Turmeric is the vibrant orange-yellow spice affectionately known as the magic sword against inflammation, birthed in India and crowned centuries ago as one of the great dosha balancers in ayurvedic medicine. With all the healing benefits, you can taste the inherent goodness with each sip. It is just as delicious as it is nutritious. Drink up!

*Serves 1


1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon fresh turmeric root, grated (or use approximately 2 teaspoons turmeric paste – see below)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated (or 1 teaspoon ground)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
Raw honey or stevia to taste

*Note: To make the turmeric paste combine 2 parts turmeric powder with 1 part boiling water. Mix and store any extra in the fridge up to 5 days.


Gently warm the almond or coconut milk in a small saucepan. Do not boil. Add turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Next, combine coconut oil with milk and heat together until melted. Use a wire whisk or immersion blender to create a foam. Continue to stir until frothy and heated through.

Stir in honey or stevia to taste. Sip, savor & enjoy.

– See more at:

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Mmm… Meyer Lemons


Guess what, Meyer lemon season is here! I could probably write a blog post a day about a different ways to use this amazing little gem. The Meyer Lemon is a cross between a true lemon and either a common orange or a mandarin. The result is a “not very sour” lemon. A lemon you could actually bite and eat with joy. One or two of these yellow gems make it into all of my shopping baskets during their 2 month season.
Here are a couple of my standard recipes to make.

Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing
zest of 2 Meyer lemons, divided
juice of 2 Meyer lemons (6 Tbl.)
3 Tbl. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Whisk to together olive oil, lemon juice , salt and pepper. Add ½ the zest. Toss the dressing with romaine leaves or mixed greens. Sprinkle the remaing zest on top of the salad. Serves 4.

Meyer Lemon Pasta Sauce
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons (6 Tbl.)
1 8oz. package mascarpone cheese
1tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
a few grinds fresh black pepper

Whisk together lemon zest, mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Cook 1 pound of pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 3 Tbl. of the pasta water. Return pasta to the pot. Over low heat, stir in the sauce. Cook until just warm. Add pasta water, if needed, to keep the sauce fluid. Try adding 8 cups washed arugula or spinach by tossing the greens with the sauce and pasta, until just wilted. Serves 4

Meyer Lemon Veggie Dip
zest of 4 Meyer lemons
juice of 4 Meyer lemons (¾ cup)
1 16oz. package 2% Greek yogurt
1tsp. salt
a few grinds fresh black pepper
2 scalions, diced

Mix together lemon zest, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and scallion. Serve with veggies.

The salad dressing is a good way to change up the good old kale salad or on a light butter lettuce salad. The pasta sauce can impress a few dinner guests. My favorite is the veggie dip. It is easy to make and bring to work. The afternoon Greek yogurt becomes lunch instead.
The juice and zest are both so tasty you really do not want to miss out. You can stock up now and store the juice and zest in the freezer for the hot summer months. Or throw one in your basket and take a bite, you may be surprised.

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Ithaca Wine Fest presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company

On Saturday, December 13, join nearly two dozen Finger Lakes wine makers and cheese makers at The Space@GreenStar for this brand-new event. General admission tickets are $30 and include a commemorative wine glass and unlimited wine & cheese tastings. Only 50 VIP tickets will sold at $45 and include 30-minute “early bird” entry and a food-and-wine pairing demonstration by local author Laura Winter Falk and signing of her book, “The Culinary History of the Finger Lakes”. Tasting times are 12pm-2pm or 3pm-5pm. For information or for tickets, visit

Vendors include:
Americana Vineyards , Bet the Farm Winery, Finger Lakes Distillery, Ports of New York, Damiani Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery, Hosmer Winery, King Ferry Winery, Sheldrake Point Vineyard, Six Mile Creek Winery, Hector Wines, Red Newt Vineyards, Cayuga Ridge Estates, Wagner Vineyards, Leidenfrost, Sunset View Creamery, Engelbert Farms, Muranda Cheese, Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, Crosswinds Farm Creamery , Kenton Cheese and F. Oliver’s Oils and Vinegars.

All proceeds benefit CCE-Tompkins.

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Healing Blueberry Ginger Oatmeal by Breakfast Criminals


Check out this glorious recipe by Breakfast Criminals, one of my favorite breakfast recipe bloggers. It is perfect for this cold weather and cold season!


Directions: Mix everything except banana in a pot and cook until ready. Then, top with banana, more blueberries, ginger, bee pollen and coconut chips, if you wish (I’m obsessed with Dang!), mulberries and kiwi can add a nice touch too. Enjoy the goodness!
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