Sunday, March 26, 2017

Goodmorning, Blueberry Muffins

It's a good morning when you can have your day start with a cup of hot lemon water and a little muffins of blueberry goodness. These little muffins start your day off with protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and blueberry wonderfulness. So, it IS a good morning!

I have been struggling with my little 3 year old to get her to eat in the morning and then she doesn't and then she will want to just snack the rest of the day on crunchy and sweet treats. Well, this not only discourages me but also it is exhausting to have to keep being asked for little snacks after trying so hard to just eat the main meals you are preparing.... can I get an AMEN ?!? I know I am not alone. This is the struggle of almost every momma I know- how can we keep trying to give our kids the choices and nutrients they need as they grow their amazing bodies?!?
So these little muffins are my manifesto for my little one. I was so happy when she ate two of them for breakfast. Success! I may have done a little victory dance in the pantry and tried hard to not show my excitement- because we all know that if we do that- it might be the end of the victory after all. Kids like to do their own thing so it's got be their idea to love them, amiright?! :)
Goodmorning, Blueberry Muffins Recipe 
{gluten, egg, seed, nut, soy, dairy and corn-free, VEGAN}

3/4 cup of finely ground GF oat flour
(I make my flour by grinding 1 cup of GF oats in high powered blender)
3/4 cup of quick cooking certified GF oats
(I used Bob Red Mill's brand for oats)
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 ts. of baking powder
(I like Hain brand for it to be corn-free)
1 ts. baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1 cup of mashed ripened banana

1/2 cup of non-dairy milk or coconut milk beverage
(I use So Delicious brand)
mixed with 1 TB of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 TB of pure vanilla

fold in 1 heaping cup of frozen blueberries (can you fresh if you got them!)

First, mix all of the dry ingredients in one large bowl, then in a measuring cup or glass mix the coconut milk beverage with the apple cider vinegar and let it curdle for a few minutes. Then add that and all the rest of the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl mix well and the mix may even get stiff as the coconut oil cools down. It may also look more like a thick batter with the mix of warm and cool to the batter. Fold in the frozen berries and not too much so avoid blue berry bleeding. Use an oiled 1/4-1/3 measuring cup to spoon the batter into the muffin tins in the pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes until stiff and no more gooey center.  Pull from the oven, let them cool and eat warm.
Hm hmm delicious! These muffins also remind me that summer blueberry picking is coming and all those frozen berries are better now than ever. I hope these muffins will bring you some joy and nutrients to your breakfast routine. And maybe a little hope too that each day is a gift. 
Happy baking and much love as always xoxo

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fresh Golden Ginger Milk

I guess I got on the "golden milk" train this past month. It's been dreary, cold and in need for some liquid sunshine and warmth. February was unseasonably warm this year and now in March we are seeing the other end of being unseasonable cold. So this is what forced my desire for some liquid sunshine. A few weeks ago I was ready to start thinking about some spring cleaning smoothies and flushing tonics, but then with the freezing cold and sickness bugs still moving around fiercely, I felt my body saying to still burrow inward with warmth and grounding roots and herbs. 

Fresh ginger and tumeric have been making me 'happy and warm' all winter. I have been buying them fresh at my local health store and have been adding them in all my soups and stews and curries this winter. I like using dried too, but there is something so deep and strong about the strength and power of the fresh roots. Tumeric and Ginger are antioxidant and anti-inflamatory roots that have been proven to prevent, treat and restore the body after many health ailments. We all need more of these 'super foods' in our lives.  And I swear they have been keeping my family away from the sick germs too. Some how we have managed to escape weeks of illness this winter and I completely credit this to chewing and sipping on fresh ginger. Well, that and sleep.

It is not too crazy complicated to make this little spicy tonic. It's main ingredients are fresh grated ginger and fresh grated tumeric. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there on the internet for this and you can google and read all about the benefits and pre-made powders and secrets. This is just the simple version I have been making in my kitchen and thought I would share if you haven't been exposed to these ingredients before.
Fresh Golden Ginger Milk
1/3-1/2 cup of fresh grated ginger (2 smaller claws)
2 TB of fresh grated tumeric (2 inches long piece)
1 ts. of black peppercorns
a cinnamon stick or a hearty pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
pinch of sea salt
2-3 TB of raw local honey
4 cups of non-dairy milk or regular milk (I have used coconut and rice)

In a medium saucepan, put all of the above ingredients in and heat on medium heat till it starts to steam and then be careful to not boil or scald the milk, you are just heating and steeping. Let this low-to medium heat steep the ingredients and after about 10 minutes you can use a very fine sieve or even cheese cloth to drain the milk from the grated ingredents. Then I usually use a cheap milk-frother, or you could even put in a high powered blender to get a frothy milk latte treat. 

Also, my friend Tina is the queen of making herbal tonics and remedies and in "latte" form is my favorite. Here is a few of my favorites.... Chamoline LatteCardemom LatteGinger Chia, Tumeric+Ginger Latte. Her recipes were my inspiration to even doing this homemade milk latte treat anyways.  I've had the gift of being a recipient to her amazing concontions in person- check out her magic!

I hope you are staying warm. Let this little cup of sunshine help give you the strength and hope you need to make it to the spring and summer. Much love as always, xoxo

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Banana 'Caramel-Date' Pancakes

Some days call for pancakes and snuggling. If we could do that most days, I bet we would be so happy... but...... get tired of it eventually. But because in real life, pancakes usually land on a day on the weekend and it really is a special occurrence- we treasure the time. We can look forward to it. It's one of the simple loves of life that get us through the hard or exhausting moments of life throughout the rest of the week. Pancakes and snuggles are those little gifts that make the world go round. 
These pancakes are made from bananas and dates mostly- but they do not contain eggs because my littlest one is still very sensitive to eggs. So we have discovered a way to make pancakes vegan without the eggs by adding bananas and dates too. These little touches help keep the cakey texture and from being a floppy mess. There are so many pancake recipes out there with lots of protein, easy with just a few ingredients to keep things easy and still full of great nutrients, but I have found all of those to be containing eggs, so this is my contribution to the recipe piles of pancakes.... one without eggs for those of us that are sensitive and still looking for a little fun and cozy-ness over the weekend. 
If you can tolerate nuts, this would be a great pancake recipe to add some crushed walnuts or pecans too- or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips- if you want to go all crazy about it. These pancakes have that subtle sweetness from the dates that have that caramelly touch with the bananas. Such an amazing combo! You gotta love that bite of the stack of 'cakes all smothered in maple syrup caramel goodness.... is it Sunday yet?!? This is your mid-week motivation to get to the weekend- it's coming folks so let's not loose heart in the hard stuff. Let's keep going and when the 'day-off' comes.... let's really rest and enjoy it. Living fully present in the good and hard and beauty and brutal is what makes this life more worth it. I hope you find ways to do this- and my hope is that this little recipe will only help us all find the simple ways to truly live into that. 
Banana 'Careamel-Date' Pancake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and refined sugar-free}

fruit mixture:
2-3 small medium ripe bananas mashed up
(about 1 cup of mashed banana)
1 cup date puree paste
(1 cup of pitted dates mixed with 1 cup boiling water to sit for 10 minutes and then blend in high-powered blender to make a puree date pudding-like mixture)

'buttermilk' mixture:
2/3 cup of non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage)
------mixed with....1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of avocado or light olive oil
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 ts. of fresh pure vanilla

flour mixture options:
2 cups of finely ground certified GF oat flour or buckwheat flour or a mix of each
PLUS
1 cup flour mixture options:
1. tapioca, potato starch, rice (1/3 cup of each)
2. millet and quinoa (1/2 cup of each)

So you will need 3 cups of flour total---but depending on what you got in your pantry and if you want more hearty whole grain pancakes, you can mix up your choice of flours in few ways. I grind my own GF oat, buckwheat, millet and quinoa flours from the dry grain/seed.

Then you need to add the baking powder, one of the most important ingredients in vegan pancakes!

4 ts. of corn-free baking powder (I use the Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon or ground ginger

2-3 TB of coconut oil for cooking on electric skillet or pancake pan

In a large mixing bowl, add in the fruit mixture and mix well. Then add in the buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients. Then add in the flour and start folding in and then add in the baking powder and rest of the dry ingredients and whisk together well. It will start to bubble and rise right before your eyes. Fold together with hand held whisk or spatula for best results. 
Then use an-oiled-1/3 cup scoop and scoop on the batter on a preheated-coconut oil-greased pan. I pull out my electric skillet and get 8 pancakes on there twice for a total of 16 pancakes with this recipe. Let the pancakes cook on each side for 3-5 minutes and try to keep the heat around 325-350 degrees on the electric skillet to help with not burning. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven or serve right away with vegan butter (or regular or ghee), maple syrup, jam, or fresh fruit or any other favorite pancake toppings.
This meal is not super 'green' with veggies- but it is a special occurrence. If you want to add a veggie or egg scramble to this and omit the turkey/tofurky sausage or if you want to add a squash or potato hash those are also great additions to a breakfast meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner for that matter.
I hope you find the little moments in life- yes this can be found in the simple pleasure of fresh and enjoyable foods- to help you live life in a full and real way. A way that can travel through the hard and exhausting, but also look forward to and treasure the rest and downtime of being with those you love. Much love to you friends, xoxo

Monday, March 13, 2017

"YES" Cookies

The kids were helping me the other day in the kitchen. We decided to bake a batch of cookies to share. I asked... "Should we add chocolate chips? Should we add raisins? Should we make them chocolatey? Or what about molasses cookies?"... and the answers kept being "Yes! Yes! Yes!" So these are the cookies where everything was thrown in and it actually turned out kid-approved-amazing. They are a mix of just a plain oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with added chopped dates and sweet raisins. Also some how a little molasses into the dough added a whole new level of taste and now I'm so glad the kids said "yes!" Sometimes it's the curious creativity of kids that reminds us that there needs to be more YES's and less NO's in life.
We made these from my base Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe idea and added in some extras with what we had in the pantry. I used up some date paste and added some chopped dates as well- so the cookies have the sweet and soft caramelly taste weaved throughout the rest of the crunchy chewy goodness. Dates are a new favorite combo with chocolate chip cookies.... it's a sweet and salty component that can't be beat!
They remind me almost of a trail mix granola bar type treat because of all the crunchy and sweetness of the dried fruit. I bet you could make a big batch of these before the hike, camping trip, or long-drive adventure and your people will thank you for it. Seriously- I know if we are going on a little adventure my people seem to stay happier longer if I have little treats to keep us going. Not to mention.... nourished! These little babies are packed with protein, minerals and vitamins- also all things my kids can say "yes" to without really knowing it while chomping on a cookie ;)
"YES" Cookies Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and refined sugar-free}

2 cups of rolled gluten-free oats
2 cups of finely ground certified GF oat flour (I grind my own out of rolled oats)
1/3 cup of cocoa/cacao powder
1/3 cup of tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
1/3 cup of potato starch
1/3 cup of rice flour

2/3-3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 1/2 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ginger

1/2 cup of date puree paste (I make this out of pitted dates soaked in boiling water and blending in high powered blender until you get a pudding like substance- same amount of dates per water, in this recipe that would mean 1/2 cup of each but you can make a few cups at a time and store in the fridge for further use)

1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup of soft or melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of chopped dates
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips

Mix all the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet and mix well and add the oil and mix into a sticky dough. Use a TB to spoon the dough into balls onto a baking sheet. For best results one your baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes or until your desired crispy cookie liking. Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before moving to avoid cookie breakage. This recipe made about 2 dozen medium/lg sized cookies....but you could make 3 dozen small ones I bet.

I hope you can say "yes" to this cookie recipe and make some for yourself. Happy baking!!!!

Much love, xoxo

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Buckwheat-Quinoa-Millet Bread

This is my 'good ol bread recipe' again. But this time I revised it to be made without gluten-free oats and rice flour. The three main flours are buckwheat, quinoa, and millet. All 3 are alkaline-producing, protein-packed and have amazing doses of minerals and vitamins. All things your body needs in recovering from malnourishment from an auto immune disorder or other digestive ailments.  My oat bread is fabulous as is, but this one offers a break from GF oats and has a much earthier taste and component. This bread also contains the psyllium husk powder and so lots of good fiber added to your gut as well. Just make sure to keep up with water drinking while consuming fiber for best results ;) I won't go into more details here...you get the point ;)
Our bodies love vegetables and fresh food, yes, but there is something very comforting and grounding about a good loaf of hearty bread. I think the vitamins and minerals in these seed-grains really have something to do with it too. The protein gained in these flours are also something wonderful and nourishing as well.  I could go on and on about my love for bread and the ways it centers, grounds and bring much love into our lives. It is something we learned to hate after our diagnosis of the GF allergy or other food allergies. It can be loved again and it starts here...
This recipe has changed my life. It all started with trying to create a GF bread without yeast and without gums. And it truly has been a gift to me and those who cannot eat yeast, and other gluten-free grains. Also such a great way to create a baked good with only a little honey to add in for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. It is the perfect pair for soups or for jam. My hope for you if that you will be brave enough to try again- start here- this is a bread recipe to pursue as you pursue healing and hope in your journey. Much love as always, and happy baking xoxo
Buckwheat-Quinoa-Millet Bread 
{gluten, yeast, dairy, egg, nut and sugar-free}

3 TB of psyllium husk powder (must be powder, not seed or husk)
1 cup of pure water
1 cup of non dairy milk (I used coconut milk beverage)
2 TB of apple cider vinegar
2 TB of raw honey
2 TB of olive oil

1 cup of finely ground fresh buckwheat flour
1 cup of finely ground quinoa flour
1 cup of finely ground millet flour (plus an extra 1/2 cup for kneading and rolling out)

*all 3 of the above flours can be ground from seed in the Vitamix or high powered blender* You can even grind them up together if that works best for you in the moment. I had my buckwheat and quinoa already ground up together and then I just added fresh ground millet to the mix.

1 ts. of sea salt
2 ts. aluminum-free baking powder (I use Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda

You may need 1/2 cup more of flour (a mix of the 3 or just millet) to knead and get less sticky

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the psyllium husk powder, water, milk, and apple cider vinegar together. It will turn into a thickened blob in a few minutes, then whisk in the oil and honey in together. *You can sub the honey for maple syrup if you are a strict vegan* 

Then, add all of the dry ingredients. Add in all the flours right on top of the wet ingredients blob and start by mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon until all of the flour is blended, but be careful to not over mix and make it too clumpy.  Then sprinkle in some more flour and use your bare hands to knead and turn over until you get a no-sticky anymore blob of dough that you can roll into a loaf on a parchment papered baking sheet. 

Don't be afraid to use extra rice or out flour to roll out if it is still sticky and not moldable.  Try and roll out a 12-15 inch loaf and roll out as many creases as you can. 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, but can last for 60 minutes if you want a crispier/thicker crust.

Pull from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into. This will be hard for you because this bread makes your kitchen smell heavenly!

I hope you give this recipe a try if you are looking for a protein-packed and nourishing bread. Happy baking and much love and light, xoxo

Monday, March 6, 2017

Accidental Leftovers Chocolate Cake

A few days ago I was presented with a last minute occasion to whip up some kind of dessert like you do. I was dealing with bare bones in the pantry and fridge with the need to go grocery shopping but also needing "a expected-GF-bakery-treat" solution fast, so I threw what I had into a bowl and made a chocolate cake. Like you do. I scraped up some leftover pumpkin puree...needing-to-be-used hot cocoa mix... and not really enough oil (all I had left) I would normally put in a cake....BUT....
To my humble surprise, it came out great! I was chicken-scratching on my notebook what I threw in so that I could share it with you. These are my kitchen problems. Food blogger problems, really. I know you really could probably care less about these issues, but it happens to me more than I would like to admit. These random miraculous recipes that come out of nothing wonderful and they surprise me every time. And then there is the part about how I should have "wrote that down" or my husband rolls his eyes and says with adoration, "how only I would have these problems" and "why am I so surprised". Truly. It is just as crazy to me every time how clearing out the pantry and fridge with mostly a huge dollop of love can make something great. Which is a great reminder that food sometimes has more to do with intentions and love than it has to do with recipes and ingredients.
So with effort of remembering and with the hopes that maybe you could too find what you need or what you have is enough to create something gluten-free-great. This recipe is that reminder to me. And truly I wanted to share. That is one of my favorite parts about actually taking the time to write down the recipe or recalling what magic went into the bowl.... it is so that I might share it with you and that you might share in the food-love and gluten-free-hope just a little bit more too. Much love and hope to you friends!
Accidental Leftovers Chocolate Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed-free, and vegan}
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 1/4 cup of finely ground certified GF oat flour
3/4 cup of homemade hot cocoa mix (or use 1/2 cup cocoa powder with 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar)
1/4 extra coconut palm sugar 
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1/4 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup of avocado oil (because this is all the oil I had- you could add 1/3 if you've got it ;)
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of maple syrup
3/4 cup of coconut milk beverage or other non-dairy milk

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients in and then add in all the wet. Use a whisk to get it all bubbling and mixed well together. Then pour into a 9x13 glass baking dish that had be "greased" with a little organic palm oil shortening. And a last minute thing I also did after pouring in the batter was sprinkle over top of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips...about 1/4 cup. I wasn't sure what I was going to do or if I was going to frost or glaze the finished product so I sprinkled over the chips in effort to try something.... Then I baked in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until it was fully stiff and no gooey middle. I let cool completely and then I poured the following glaze over with other finishing ingredients...
Chocolate Glaze Recipe
2 TB of pure maple syrup
2 TB of homemade hot cocoa mix (or 1 TB of each cocoa powder and coconut palm sugar)
pinch of sea salt

In a glass bowl over a bowling water pot, stir until it melts and then whisk fast to blend well. Then let sit until it cools just a bit ansd then pour over the finished cooled cake and let sit for a few hours to let fully dry and cool off. It will will be stiff when it cools. 

This cake reminded me much of a texas-sheet-cake type of cake. I bet you could sub out the palm shortening for some nut/seed butter as a good glaze topping sub. It would be a nice flavor touch as well. The key is looking at what you have to make this cake happen and trying to fit in what ingredients you gotta use up and deal with what you have to make it great. 

Much light and love, xoxo (and a little luck in the kitchen too ;)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ginger Carrot Baby Greens Salad

I may be rushing into the urge to eat a greens salad before true spring. But it is 'green filled March' now and about this time of year I start to get the craving to have a few more fresh veggies than just warm and cooked in soups, stews and roasted. So, this salad with it's warming fresh ginger and sweet grounding carrots was just the right fit.
It is a great side to 'Friday night pizza night' or add it as a topping to a plate of quinoa or rice and some roasted meat or curry roasted chickpeas. It can be what you make of it but the parts that make it warm and spicy come from the fresh juiced ginger. It might even be too spicy if you are not familiar with the fresh medicinal root spice.
Ginger Carrot Greens Salad Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and sugar-free}

4 Cups of washed, dried baby kale and spinach mix
(or chop larger leaves...even small enough to make a slaw)
2 large carrots grated to make 1 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup of organic raisins
(I used Thompson's-but I think golden ones would be a nice touch)

additional options depending on preferences/allergies:
1/2 cup of roasted cashews
1/2 cup of roasted cooked chickpeas, possibly with salt, pepper and a little curry powder

Fresh Ginger Dressing:
1-2 TB of finely minuscule grated fresh ginger root (or if you have a juicer you can juice your ginger root and use 1-2 TB of the juice instead)

1/2 cup of California Olive Oil
1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
(can sub apple cider vinegar if you do not have fresh lemon)
3 TB of raw local honey
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of good sea salt
pinch of good black pepper

Whisk up the dressing in a bowl or shake it in a pint Ball jar and try to get it to an emosified state for best flavor and pouring. Then assemble the bowl of greens, grated carrots, raisins, cashews, or chickpeas and then drizzle the dressing on and rub with your hands or with some spoons... for best results massageing the dressing into the greens does make them a little less tough and soft. Then sprinkle extra toppings on top before serving. This salad should feed 4. Double/triple depending on your group.

I love how this salad is pretty simple, but touches on all the taste buds of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. It really is a nice compliment or main dish this time of year. Much love and hope to you, xoxo