Carrot Coconut Soup

This recipe was inspired by my really good friend Sam. She made it for me this weekend and I loved it so much I had to come home and make my version of it for my family and now share it with you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium to large carrots, chopped
  • 3 medium to large potatoes, chopped (if using russet, peel them)
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small can coconut milk (5.6oz or 165 ml)
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger (optional)
  • cayenne pepper (optional)

Steps:

  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pot
  • add onions and cook 2 to 4 minutes
  • add carrots and potatoes and mix well to coat with the oil, cook another 3 minutes
  • add water, ginger and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes or so, until the veggies are soft but not falling apart
  • turn off heat, add the coconut milk and blend!
  • I added 1 TBS of fresh ginger at the end to add a little extra kick and to boost our immune systems during this cold weather. Make sure to test this if you have children sensitive to too much spice. We love ginger at our house :)
  • sprinkle a dash of cayenne pepper for extra heat

Coconut Raisin Granola

Ever since starting to make my own granola at home I have been having so much fun creating new recipes and trying out different flavor combinations! I love how much money I am saving and how healthy it is for me and my family! Not to mention that I decide what goes in it, so really I can have it any way i want :)

Here is a recipe I created a few months ago but had forgotten about it until recently. Happy to be able to share it with you.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sprouted buckwheat
  • 1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey

Steps:

  • Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl
  • whisk together the honey and coconut oil until well combined
  • pour in the bowl and mix well. Make sure to really take your time in mixing everything together. If you don’t, you will end up with some really sweet clusters and others not that sweet. Which really isn’t that big of a deal. I just like a uniform texture and flavor with this granola.
  • spread on a dehydrator sheet and set it at 105*F for about 12 hours. Check it to see if it is crispy enough before putting it in well sealed containers. Will stay good for weeks!

 

Serve with your favorite milk or just have it ready to go in a little bag for a quick easy snack! Enjoy!

Blackberry Beet Smoothie

I love smoothies. For so many reasons but mainly because I find it to be the best way to get the kind of nutrition I want for my kids without them fussing about it. Thankfully I was blessed with some good eaters who will eat pretty much everything I put in front of them, but not always, and not always in quantities I find beneficial for their growing bodies. About 5 out of 7 days we will start our day with a green smoothie and my kids have become very accustomed to the fact that this is how things are done here. Getting them to drink their smoothie is rarely a battle. This is why I encourage parents to start feeding their children as wholesomely as possible as early as possible. Kids will fall into your routine pretty easily if you adopt a “that’s just the way we do things” attitude early on. Here I was playing with all the purple goodness we had in our fridge.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small/medium beet (if it still has the leaves, wash and use them in the smoothie instead of the chard)
  • 3 large chard leaves with stems or about 1 1/2 C chopped
  • 1C purslane
  • 1C blackberries
  • 3 medjool dates-pitted  (or more to taste)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1C ice

Put everything in a blender and blend on high until desired consistency.

Note: Most of my recipes are designed to feed a minimum of 2 adults and 2 small children. Adjust the measurements according to our own family’s needs.

Garlic and Onion Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut. The live cultures and probiotics do wonders for the body and I think it tastes great. As usual though, buying it at the store is expensive, all things considered, and doesn’t always guarantee the freshness and quality of the ingredients. So I make my own. And it’s deliciously inexpensive and easy!!

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Above is my set up and a end result picture. If you want to look all professional and feel safer using it,  you can buy a sauerkraut container, made specifically for that. They are great but not indispensable. For this particular batch I used:

  • 1 medium of organic green cabbage
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1TBS of salt
  • Slice the cabbage very thinly, as well as the onion. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss well.

For the set up:

  • one large bowl where the mixture is in
  • 1 jug of water, filled ( you can use ANYTHING here as long as it’s clean and somewhat heavy) the purpose of this is to add weight on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged in liquid
  • 1 plate that fits on the inside of the bowl
  • a clean towel

As shown in photos above, place the plate on top of the mixture, put the jug on top of the plate then put a towel over everything to keep from dust or other dirt particles to enter, then leave this on your counter top or anywhere it won’t be in your way and wait for the deliciousness to create itself! It will take about 2 weeks, depending on the heat where you live and how strong of a flavor you like. I recommend tasting it to see if it is done to your liking before bottling it.

Check the mixture every 3 days and skim off any layer of bacteria you see forming. The first time you make sauerkraut, you might get grossed out with this part of it, but just remember if you love to eat it, that’s the way it is done, even when you buy it at the store.  And it is SO good for your body!!!

Once done put it in a sealed container and it will keep for weeks in the fridge. The flavor will mature with time.

That’s it! Enjoy!

Sprouting buckwheat

Since I use sprouted buckwheat quite a bit at home and in recipes, I figured I would share with you my very easy process for doing it. Although most of the recipes I use buckwheat in, I take the time to sprout for a few days before hand, just soaking the buckwheat overnight is great as well.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 2-3 cups filtered water

Steps:

  • rinse the buckwheat thoroughly a few times in cold water, the water will get slimy, this is normal.
  • place in a large bowl with water and let the buckwheat sit for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • rinse thoroughly one more time and put in your sprouting set up or use immediately.

Above I show my home made sprouting set up. You can use sprouting bags, or nut milk bags, or sprouting containers, there is a plethora of options out there.( I have several of them). But since I tend to make huge batches of sprouted buckwheat at once, I like to have a bigger container.

I put a thin towel or a cheese cloth inside a large strainer with a plate underneath the strainer in order to catch any excess water. After the buckwheat has been soaking for hours and I rinsed it, I put it on the towel inside the strainer. There’s the setup! Easy!

Then all you have to do is rinse or water the sprouts morning and night until you see little tails growing.(It can take from 2 to 4 days, depending on the heat and humidity) That’s the seed becoming alive and multiplying its nutritional value as well as increasing it’s digestibility. Who wouldn’t want to take the time to do that!?

I have started spraying my seeds with a water bottle sprayer thingy. It works great and I end up giving them just enough moisture so they don’t dry out. I also like to gently move the seeds around with my hand to get them to breath and allow them to grow better.

That’s it! Isn’t it easy? It takes time, yes, but it is so easy and so worth it!

Use your sprouts immediately or you can keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days. I am not sure how long they last as I always sprout for a specific recipe, or I dehydrate them to make buckwheat crispies that I can keep in my cupboard for weeks.

Raw Cacao Granola

I love granola. It is so versatile and delicious. Allas the store bought kind is either way too sugary or way overpriced. That’s why I started making my own at home a couple years back. I have a dehydrator, therefore I always choose to make my granola raw and have only experimented with cooked granola a couple times. I prefer the raw version as it is densely packed with high quality nutrients and makes me feel light and alive while still full and nourished. Here is my latest creation. I hope you enjoy it!

ImageIngredients:

  • 2 C sprouted buckwheat
  • 11/2 C small oats
  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C cacao powder
  • 1/2 C soaked sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 C maple syrup (or any sweetener of your choice)

Steps:

  • after soaking the buckwheat overnight, drain it and put in a bowl (if you have time to leave it to sprout for a few days, it will bring up the nutritional value a great deal!)
  • add the oats and cacao powder and mix well
  • then add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly
  • spread on a teflex dehydrator sheet and set at 105*F for about 12 hours or until desired consistency (I like mine crispy, plus the less moisture left in the granola, the longer it will save).
  • serve with your favorite milk and enjoy!

Maman’s Happy Start Breakfast

Having two kids around, it’s important I take care of myself to keep up with them and the plethora of housework, cooking, running around, and random other things a stay at home finds herself doing. Starting the day off right makes a world of a difference to me. While there are days when I really enjoy sharing in almond buttered toast with my daughter or eating half of my sons super delicious fruit and nut oatmeal, those do not leave me feeling as happy as this chia seed concoction I find myself craving. Not only does this make me feel great but it is so quick to put together! Chia seeds are amazing on so many levels and I try to incorporate them in mine and my family’s diet as often as possible.

ImageIngredients:

  • 2 TBS ground chia seeds
  • 4 TBS water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • homemade almond milk, or any milk of your choice
  • dash of cinnamon

Steps:

  • soak the chia seeds in water for about 10 minutes (that’s usually when I put my kids breakfast together) so they get that gelatinous texture.
  • top it off with banana and fresh berries, or any fruit of choice really, and the chopped walnuts
  • pour milk over the top, wrinkle cinnamon and enjoy!

(If using whole chia seeds, I recommend soaking them overnight to get that gelatinous texture.)

I like to mix everything up as to incorporate all the flavors. This breakfast leaves me feeling energized and full for quite some time thanks to the chia, banana and nuts. My one year old is actually quite a fan of this breakfast too, but I sometimes find myself having a hard time sharing as I want it all to myself ;) This makes for a delicious snack too!

Nut and Seed Spread

I had just made some almond milk and had the leftover almond pulp I needed to use. I was going to visit my friend who had just had a baby and bring a lunch to share with her. I know how hard it can be to put effort into eating deliciously healthy when having a newborn so I thought I’d whip up something fresh and nutritious for us.

ImageThe texture resembles that of ricotta cheese a bit, but the flavor is absolutely unique and delicious. You can use this as dip with some crackers, spread it on bread before making sandwiches, eat it with a spoon, or stuff it in a cabbage leaf and top it off with avocado and fresh tomatoes, which is what I did for my friend and I. (I wish I had taken a picture of the finished product, it was beautiful and held really nicely together, but I assembled it fresh once I got to my friends house).

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 4 hours, or if like me you are doing this last minute, soak them in boiling hot water for about 30 minutes, while you prep the rest
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3/4 cups almond pulp (which is approximately what should be left from one almond milk recipe
  • 2 TBS chopped cilantro
  • 2 TBS green chopped green olives

Blend first 5 ingredients in food processor, then transfer to a bowl with last 3 ingredients, mix well, and voila! The stuffed cabbage leaves were such a fulfilling meal, and left us feeling great and energized.

“Bottom of the fridge” Veggie Patties

Obviously I am no photographer and most of my photos do not do my food any justice. This one in particular. But every time I look at this picture, I am reminded of the beautifully blended flavors and textures that came out of this creation. So I want to share it with you. Also, I make veggies patties quite often, and after eating these, my husband said these were his favorite so far of all the patties I’ve made. Another worthy reason to share :)

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When I have grains leftover, I often end up making some kind of vegetable medley, or a scrumptious salad, but every now and then, I make veggie patties. And I am never disappointed. Patties are a great way to incorporate more veggies into my kids diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked grains ( I used farro here but any grain will do)
  • 1 cup cooked veggies (i had leftover steamed broccoli and carrots, but again, anything will do and even fresh veggies work fine)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBS herbs of choice
  • 2 TBS bread crumbs (optional, but I like the added texture thing)

Steps:

  • Put all in a food processor and blend until well incorporated.
  • In a heated pan, put a little oil so the patties won’t stick, and spoon patties into the pan
  • Since everything is already cooked or at least chopped very finely, you do not need to cook too long, just enough to brown each side and bind everything together.
  • Eat ‘em up warm! They taste great cold too, as leftovers or packed for a lunch.

I prefer mine with a fresh crispy lettuce and some hot mustard, but if you are more traditional, they taste great in between buns with any toppings of your choice! My son devoured these so quickly, it made me so happy to see :)

This recipe is just an idea. Imagination is your limit here. You can add any kind of spices (curry?), or veggies, or nuts or seeds (sunflower seeds would’ve tasted great here) or anything you are in the mood for or can find hanging out in the bottom of your fridge needing to be eaten. Have fun with it!

Mother Nature Provides!

This season right now is my favorite of seasons at the farmers market for the abundance of fruit. Bitting into the perfectly ripe peach so that it’s juices run the long of my pinky down to my elbow tells me that summer is here. Seeing my son’s face stained red from all the berries shows that their sweetness is hard to resist. The bing cherries are making an appearance and it’s hard to make it home with a full bag, my red fingers and tongue giving away my secret indulgence of the drive home. I love summer fruits. I love the juicy, sweet nectars and happiness it brings me, my body and my family. That’s why after going to the market yesterday morning, this was our lunch.

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I grew up on an organic “farm” in the country side in France. Whatever could grow in my region, my parents grew. We had an abundance of fruit trees and berry bushes, as well as a field of strawberries and nut trees. Several times my siblings and I would come home from school for lunch to find a table filled with fruit and nuts freshly picked from our garden. We were always happy to find such a treat. I told myself that when I grow up, I would treat my family to meals made of delicious seasonal fruit like my parents did. Although my table today is not nearly as abundant as it was when I was a kid, since all we had to do as kids is walk outside and eat our hearts desire, whereas today I have to spend a pretty penny to get the most decadent, pesticide free fruit (totally worth it), we still get to fill our bellies up and be fully satisfied and blissed out. This is just a momentary solution until we own a piece of land big enough for me to grow all this deliciousness myself. In the meantime, I feel VERY fortunate to live in a city where local farmers share their most precious foods and where I get to support their efforts while feeding my family well. Mother nature always provides. No need to look very far to feel amazing with what we put in our bodies.