Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Strawberry Milk

"Momma, can you make me pink milk??...or maybe a strawberry smoothie, or wait, how about strawberry milk!" 

Hmmm, I barely EVER say NO when my kids ask me for good food...Yep, that's alway a YES for sure! 

I have to admit, strawberries and creamy milk sounded divine to me too, and with the last bag of frozen strawberries from last summer it was even more special. How many more weeks till strawberry picking?!? The special-ness of those last berries were not lost on us- we made sure to really savor them. And this was a sweet and fabulous way to enjoy summer goodness months after. And even now, enjoying them gives us that last push to make it to spring!

This recipe is super simple and basic, but I added a few things to make sure that it was nutritious and protein packed as well. So because we are a strict dairy-free house because of severe allergies this milk is most definitely not cow milk, instead we added full-fat coconut milk for the fats, nutrition and creaminess! Also, an added scoop or two of gelatin makes this milk still full of protein, a 12 grams per TB is what gelatin offers, also countless amounts of goodness. So whip this one up, impress your kids, or heck, bring back your inner-child for just a moment and sit and enjoy yourself some pink strawberry milk!

Strawberry Milk Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and sugar-free}

2 cups of frozen or thawed strawberries [can be chopped or wholes]
1/2 cup of juice [or water] of choice
1-2 TB of fresh lime juice
sprinkle of quality sea salt
1/4 cup of maple syrup drizzled (more or less depending on tastes, can sub in dates too!]

1/2 cup of plant-based milk beverage (coconut, rice, ect...)
2 TB of pure gelatin

In a small pan, warm up the strawberries in the liquid and let it simmer and bubble and release it's colors and sweetness. Then turn off heat. In a small bowl whisk together milk and gelatin until bloomed. Then in your blender add the whole can of coconut milk, strawberries from pan, and the bloomed gelatin. Blend on high and then when its all creamy and frothy, pour into glasses and and instantly enjoy! It will be warm from the strawberries if you consume right away and... can chill it too and also it will become a panna cotta type treat if you have in the fridge for more than 30-60 minutes. It will start to turn into a yogurt-like subsatnce as the gelitan cools down. So you may even enjoy it as it cools more. 

Top with thawed or fresh strawberrie pieces for extra goodness and texture :)

ENJOY and much love!!!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Chocolate Muffins

It's a Monday. Sometimes Monday's call for muffins, and even more so, some Mondays call for chocolate muffins. Yes!  These are the kind of muffins that will get you out of bed and on your way. They won't let you linger, or press snooze ONE.MORE.TIME. or even have you wish this day never came. It won't be just another manic Monday if you can start it with one of these babies. They will have you ready to face the hard stuff, one step at a time.
And not to mention with a serving of pumpkin, dates and banana hidden in there beneath the energizing cocoa these really are FULL of GOODNESS too. You can nourish yourself with the good stuff and also have fun doing it! Some days call for the big guys to come out and help you through, and if you got some of these sweet muffins on your side I know you can do this. You were born for this. Don't give up on being you and doing what you know best. We all need you and you are the best person for the job. Happy baking and happy Monday, friends!!!
Chocolate Muffin Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed, soy and refined-sugars-free}

1 1/2 cup of freshly ground certified gluten-free oat flour
(or use buckwheat flour as a replacement)
3/4 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
optional: add in a drizzle of vanilla
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of date puree
heaping 1/2 cup of mashed banana
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of avocado oil
1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of dairy-free choclate chips to sprinkle on top before baking

In a large mixing bowl, mix in all the dry ingredients together first, then add in the wet and mix together well. Until you get a smooth and creamy chocolately mixture. Then use a 1/3 measuring cup already greased with avocado/coconut oil and measure out heaping 1/3 cup muffins into muffin parchments. This recipe should make about 12-16 muffins depending on your heaps. Top muffins with extra dairy-free chocolate chips to make it real special and then bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until they are stiff and no gooey middles. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before you serve. 

Then grab your favorite cupa-hot-something and ENJOY your morning...your day... and all of it...because these will get you on the right step in all the right!

Much love, xoxo

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Creamy Cauliflower Kale Curry Soup

It's been a doozey of a month. February always seems one of the hardest here in Michigan. It's when the depths of winter seem darker, colder, and never-ending. It's the dark depths before the turning over into spring. Today the wind blows and the winter blues seem like they need to be swept out and blown away. I can feel the spring new air trying to be ushered in, and I can feel our selves waiting so very patiently to get beyond this old and ready for the new.  And we still have a few more weeks yet...

We have never really planned a vacation away from the cold north before, but for some reason this year my hubs and I have been talking about next year at this time going away to a warm beach some where. This is big for us, in all our 13 years of marriage we have not had the ability to even dream this big. We are growing up I guess ;) and also knowing more and more what the rhythms of life bring and how to best love and take care of our selves. But in the meantime while we dream of beaches and sunshine, I made some soup to bring a little warmth and yellow rays into our life. This one's packed full of so much good stuff starting with the turmeric, garlic, ginger and then the cauliflower. So take deep breaths, and eat good warm soup- we can do hard things together!

Creamy Cauliflower Kale Curry Soup Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed, sugar and soy-free}
2 TB of avocado or olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 TB of fresh grated ginger
1 TB of fresh grated turmeric
4-5 garlic cloves grated or minced
1 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup of finely chopped celery
1 cup of finely chopped carrots

4 cups of riced cauliflower (fresh or frozen)

1 head of cauliflower chopped into florets

4 cups of stock (vegetable, chicken, or bone broth)
2 cups of pure water (may need to add in 2 cups more if you want more brothy)
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
1 ts. of ground cumin
2 ts. of ground curry seasoning
1 ts. of sea salt
1/4-1/2 ts. of fresh ground black pepper

2 cups of fresh kale finely chopped
1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro

15 ounce can of pre-cooked garbanzo beans (add more or less depending on your preferences)

add in more sea salt or black pepper to your taste...

In a large soup pot (6-8 quart), saute your onions, garlic, tumeric, ginger first and then add in the rest of the veg. Saute and sprinkle salt and pepper to sweat them out and cook down and then add in the cauliflower, spices and the rest of the liquids. Let cook and boil and everything get soft and cooked for 30 minutes or so and then add in the greens last. Add the kale and cilantro and let them cook for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a dollup of yoghurt of choice. 

This could be served well with some bread or just slurp and ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Banana Bread Tea Cake

When it's February in Michigan, the snow isn't as magical as it once was. It tends to feel very cold and possibly an inconvenience with the unending shovelling and driving slow and careful. And, you start to hear more and more complaining ;) and more and more cases of seasonal sadness taking over lives, begging for sunshine and warm to come just a bit early this year. I think maybe our dreams were dashed when that silly groundhog saw his shadow... I guess saying we have 6 more weeks of winter??  I could have told you that ;) Or at least here in Michigan we have [at least] another 6-10 weeks of winter conditions!

Or is it because we are trying to rush through to the next thing...ALWAYS! It is hard to sit and be in the place where you are. Just being means you have to slow down and pay attention. Being. Mindful. Take it all in. The smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds... And it doesn't hurt to have a few winter activities to find cozy comfort and stay grounded in the present.

Like, have you gone out on a winter hike? Yes you have to get bundled up, but I swear to you that it will change your whole heart when it comes to winter. It is quiet...sacred...simple.. and magical. It will remind you of the present beauty that is all around you and begging you to see and be.

Or the winter sunrises and sunsets. They are what get me up each day and keep me going. The pinks, reds and orangey-peach that fills the sky is breathtaking! Like witnessing a miracle each day!
Baking bread is another one of those activities that brings me warmth and joy in the winter months. I don't care as much about getting warm next to the oven in the summer months. In fact I would likely LOVE to not put the oven on and stay outside in the sun at the beach! But in the winter months you can truly enjoy and savor the space to enjoy baking. And that's why this bread came into creation. One of those days sitting and taking in all the winter-goodness and sacred space. If you are looking to bring a little more warmth and joy to your life these last few weeks [months!] of winter I suggest finding a few activities that bring you life, hope, joy and soaking in them. Happy baking, friends xoxo
 Banana Bread Tea Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed, nut and refined-sugar-free}

3/4 cup of fresh ground buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of fresh ground GF oat flour
3/4 cup of rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of oil [avocado, light olive, or softened coconut]
3 mashed bananas [1 cup]
2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage or other plant-milk
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup of applesauce
3/4 cup of date puree paste

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together first. Then add in the wet and oil and mix together well.  Then oil a baking 9x13 pan or a cake pan or a bundt. Pour in the batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes for the bundt, or 30ish for the 9x13 sheet cake pan. Check with toothpick to see if middle is set and not gooey. Let cool and serve up with warm butter or jams of choice. 

I hope you find the sacred in the every day, everything is connected and spiritual and as it should be. Soak it in, enjoy it's season and the parts that are painful or challenging- hold onto them and move through them- they can be your teacher and make you who you need to be!

Sending much love and hope for you today, xoxo

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LOVE Brownies

I had the joy and honor to cook for another Women's Wellness Retreat this past weekend. It was another group of fabulous women with such bravery to dig deeper into the inner self for healing, rest, nourishment and self-love. After these experiences, I again remember how I truly believe that women are the force of change and love in the world. They are the ones that are willing to go through the wounds, the pain, and the joys that make us who we are... and then somehow turn that power into superpowers to share with those around them. It's pure magic and amazement to see this beauty unfold!

I make many of my most favorite Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, homemade bread, covered in honey butter and berry chia seed jam. And I had to share some of my newest favorite ways to start the day with the warm smoothie or immunity shots. And then there is cookies, and muffins, and so much more...(hot cocoa and marshmallows...) It is so fun...and exhausting in a good way. This time by the end of the retreat I wanted to use up some of the leftover ingredients and I whipped up a pan of brownies to send our guests home with. These brownies were born out of LOVE and leftovers :) And of course they were magic in a pan :)
Love 'Leftover' Brownie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy and nut-free}

1/2 cup of GF oat flour
or a mix of a GF flour blend (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, rice)
1/3 cup of cocoa powder (or hot cocoa mix)
1 TB of coconut flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca flour
1 ts. of baking soda
1/4 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt

1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of date puree
2 whipped-up fresh eggs
(you can omit eggs and add in more pumpkin puree or use chia 'eggs')
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
drizzle of pure vanilla

In a saucepan, melt the following together to add to the batter...
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

optional: sprinkle more chocolate chips in and on top before baking (another 1/3-1/2 cup)
OR if you are nut/seed person you could add some walnut or pecans to the batter here too

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then the wet, finally folding in the melted oil and chocolate chips. Fold all together and then you can add more chocolate chips to the batter or to the top before baking. Spread in a parchment papered  9x9 tin or glass pan to make it easier to pull the brownies out to cut. Spread evenly in the pan and then you can bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes. Pull out and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting squares to help with less crumbles. 

This recipe will fit into a 9x9 baking pan, or double the recipe up and pour into a 12x15 baking sheet pan. I originally made this recipe doubled and then made it again halved for my own family.

After cutting out squares you can ENJOY just as they are with so much gratitude and LOVE for good deep rich brownies made with wholesome ingredients and ones that you can share :)

Much love as always xoxo