Luscious Crimson Smoothie

Luscious is right. Luscious. Vibrant. Slightly tart, definitely sweet. Slightly bitter, definitely awesome. Thick, creamy and dreamy.

I made a huge batch of this with the intention of sharing it with my family. I didn’t. I often go to bed with a thought for what the first thing I want to put in my body is. I am usually intentional with my first meal. And this time, I knew I wanted it to be red. Bursting red. With lots of anti oxidants and immunity boosting qualities. I wanted it to feel refreshing while still warming my body. I wanted it to be bursting with flavor and dense in vitamins. I wanted something that would make me feel alive and excited to be awake. This smoothie did all those things and then some. I’m making this again tomorrow.

Just in case you needed more convincing here are a few nutritional benefits of some of the ingredients in this smoothie:

beets: high in iron and B vitamins (great for blood and new growth cells), as well as potassium and magnesium. They also contain tryptophan (creates a sense a well-being).

grapefruits:  high in vitamin A (good for mucus membranes and skin) and vitamin C (an antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infections). Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of dietary iron (so a great pairing with the beets!)

maca: high in vitamins B, C, and E (healthy immune system, skin and eyes), as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. Maca is also known to increase energy and improve one’s mood. There are many other benefits to maca that I won’t post here. If you’ve never tried maca, I suggest you do :)

jicama: high in fiber it is also rich in vitamin C and provides healthy amounts of minerals such as magnesium, copper and iron. Another great addition for this smoothie :)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large beet or 2 small ones
  • 2 large pink grapefruits
  • 1 large chunk of ginger (about 2 inch cube)
  • 1 cup chopped jicama, or 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 TBS maca (optional but highly recommended as it gave me super powers)

Steps:

  • juice first 4 ingredients
  • add juice to blender with all other ingredients and blend on high until nice and smooth
  • pour in your favorite large container and feel alive!
  • this made enough for two large servings. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top because cinnamon makes me happy.

Springtime Cucumber Noodle Salad

Crunchy, fresh, lightly sweet and flavorful. This salad was such a refreshing late afternoon snack after spending the day in the sun gardening.

If you do not own a spiralizer, I urge you to get one! They are so easy to use and turn your everyday vegetables into fun culinary experiences. Chopping up cucumbers to make this salad, would absolutely work, but I have to say that eating it with chopsticks because of the noodle like consistency, added to my enjoyment and therefor my appreciation for what I was eating.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2TBS fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 TBS fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 handful snap peas
  • salt
  • 1 tsp orange zest(optional)
  • basil leaves for garnish

Steps:

  • either spiralize your cucumber or shred it using a vegetable peeler
  • put it in a plate and toss it with all other ingredients
  • enjoy and feel refreshingly nourished!

Cacao Energy Clusters

These little clusters are packed with nutrient dense ingredients: flax seeds (high in omega 3’s, good kind fat), cacao powder (powerful antioxidant, god for fighting free radicals), maca powder (good for energy) amongst several other amazing ingredients.

This recipe kinda just happened. I had made a lot of sprouted buckwheat when prepping for making raw granola, and didn’t feel like really putting anything fancy together so just threw a bunch of ingredients in the bowl, thinking I was going to be making another granola. Before putting it in the dehydrator I tasted it and it tasted so good I immediately wrote down what I had used in order to not forget! When it came out, instead of being a granola, it was more of an energy cluster. Not only because it stuck together in convenient clusters, but also because the flavor was so rich that I don’t think I could actually eat a whole bowl of it. A few clusters was enough. I packed some for a hike and my daughter wanted some for her school snack. I am so happy I wrote down the ingredients so I can make this again.

So here it is. Another kitchen happy “accident” :)

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sprouted buckwheat, or buckwheat that has soaked for at least 8 hours, then rinsed really well
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 TBS mesquite powder
  • 2 TBS maca powder
  • 1/4 cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Steps:

  • mix everything together in a bowl, adding the wet ingredients last
  • spread on a dehydrator sheet, tapping it down to make it more compact
  • dehydrate at 115* for about 12 hours or until dry and crispy
  • store in an airtight container for weeks! (Although ours lasted barely a week)

If making this in the oven, put it on the lowest setting for about an hour, try it and keep checking every 10 minutes until fully done.

Tropical Muffins

Pineapple. Coconut. Orange. It’s like pinacolada in muffin form!! When my husband came home with a pineapple earlier this week, I knew I wanted to make muffins with it. The thought of bitting into a baked good and finding a nice piece of sweet pineapple is what got my creative juices flowing.

My good friend just had her second baby, and as good friends do, I brought her some food. Among all the goodies I brought her, were a version of these muffins. The first version actually. Although I wasn’t a fan of the way the first batch came out, I still delivered them to her because I didn’t have time to bake another batch that day and I really wanted to provide her with something more than just dinner. So she got my test run muffins (Sorry Paige!!). The very next morning I woke up and decided to try again because I just wasn’t satisfied with how they came out. After changing the recipe a bit, I am much happier with this version :) The only thing I would change is adding more fresh pineapple.

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Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used buckwheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric (optional)
  • 1 cup oats (I used small)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut shreds
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Wet:

  • 1 cup orange juice (I used fresh pressed)
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup coconut pieces to top muffins

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • in a smal bowl combine ground flax with water, stir and let sit
  • in a skillet, on medium heat, toast the coconut shreds. Stirring constantly. Pay close attention to this as the coconut goes from not toasted to brunt really fast. This should tie just a couple minutes.
  • in a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients, coconut included
  • in a blender combine all the wet ingredients, flax seeds included
  • barely blend, just enough to mix the ingredients and start breaking down the pineapple. If you have settings on your blender, I would put it on low. If you don’t you could do this in the food processor and pulse a few times.
  • put in greased muffin tins, top with coconut pieces and bake about 10 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for larger muffins.

Fudge Squares

Ooooooohhhhhmmmgosh. Creamy. Rich. Melt in your mouth goodness. This has got to be one of my most favorite chocolate recipes I have created so far. And I make ALOT of chocolate creations. It is no secret I love chocolate, and I absolutely LOVE fudge. It is actually because of my utter love for chocolate and most things sweet that I started making my own desserts and treats. There is no way I would be able to maintain the level of health I believe to be necessary to live the life I want, if I were to indulge in the commercial sugar laden, often dairy filled, sometimes chemically induced sweets I find at the store, every time a craving hit me. Instead I use all natural, organic, mostly raw ingredients to provide not only the highest level of nutrients to my body but also to provide the most flavorful indulgences. The only bad thing about using such wholesome ingredients in my recipes is that I don’t usually feel too bad if I eat way too many. And let’s face it, too much of a good thing, well eventually does become too much. Anyways, right now is not the time to talk about how to slow down eating such amazing delicious goodness, right now is the time to share one of the fastest ways to get your sweet fix while still loving your body. Given you don’t eat the whole batch at once, and every day. But you might have to try doing that at least once. Just to try. IMG_2260

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 soft medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 large ripe banana (if you are not a fan of banana you could omit this, but the texture will be somewhat affected)
  • dash of salt

Steps:

  • melt the coconut butter and oil together, either in a double boiler, or in a pot on the stove. If doing this last method, heat the pot first, put your coconut products in it and leave the flame on low for maybe a minute and turn off and stir to get the oils melted. You do not want to cook them, just melts them and having them in a hot pot will be enough.
  • put everything in a food processor and blend until nice and smooth and rich
  • poor in a 8X8 dish, lined with parchment paper
  • set in the fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10
  • cut in small squares and keep in the fridge

Baked Polenta Fries

Who ever created polenta fries is a genius. These things are so ridiculously tasty. We eat them occasionally at a restaurant nearby and I never even thought of making them myself. Until my daughter came around. This girl always offers me suggestions of things to make. So to mostly satisfy her desire of having these fries at home, and also for the curiosity of trying to make them myself, I gave it a go.

First off let me tell you, this took much longer than I thought it would. Because these are baked and not fried, it adds quite some minutes on the timer. Minutes that I had not taken into consideration while planning on making these. While they were totally worth it and I will be making them again, these won’t be a part of my dinner and a movie night at home with the kids again. Unless I plan better.

In case you remember, I had mentioned receiving beautiful dried chanterelles mushrooms from my parents back yard in the French Pyrenees. And I didn’t know what I was going to use them in, but I promised I would shrea the recipe if what I came up with was delicious. So here you go :)

While I loved these fries the way they were, I won’t be putting the mushrooms in them next time I make them for the kids. Even though they ate a good amount, they weren’t big fans the way I had hoped they would be. And I know it had to do with the dried mushrooms.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used organic local cheddar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup thinly chopped dried mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 TBS thinly sliced fresh sage (optional)
  • 3 TBS olive oil

Steps:

  • bring water to a boil, add the salt
  • poor the polenta in the water and whisk for a couple minutes until it has thickened
  • cook for 30-40 minutes covered, stirring vigorously every 10 minutes or so.
  • once the polenta is done, poor it in a shallow greased pan. The larger the pan, the thinner the fries, so use your own judgement here. I used an 9 x 12 inch pan.
  • set in the fridge to cool for at leaf 30-40 minutes
  • preheat oven to 400*F
  • once cooled, flip it on a flat surface, so the oily side of the polenta is then facing up and cut into fries
  • grease the bottom of a baking sheet and place fries on it, like that you have oil on both side of the fries
  • pop in the oven and bake until crispy to your liking, Since we wanted ours nice and crispy, it took about 45 minutes and I had to flip them every now and then so that all the sides got nice and toasty.

We dipped them in some tomato sauce which was so delicious, but you can use anything here obviously.

This took twice as long as I thought it would, but I am already planning on making them again they were so good.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

It’s spring break for my daughter this week, so we get to sleep in, stay in our PJ’s late and take our time with breakfast! I love these kinds of days as the pressure of getting somewhere on time is taken away and we can all just relax and enjoy each other’s company. And what better way to do that than a kitchen activity! I had been wanting to make these cookies since I saw Peanut Butter and Ellie post them. Hers look divine and I wish I would’ve checked out her recipe one more time before making my own as I would have added more PB, but they cam out great and chewy and delicious nonetheless. Her cookies looked soooo easy and delicious and filled with awesome breakfast fuel that I just had to get my hands dirty with the kids and have fun in the kitchen making them!

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So I did. The kids and I made these this morning and it was really quick as well as super kid friendly to make. I wouldn’t make these with them on a school day but it’s perfect to kick start our week off :)

As you can see they all had a great time mashing all the ingredients together. This is the most fun for kids! They get to squish and mash and play with food and then end up with cookies that mom says it’s okay to eat for breakfast!? Win!!

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Ingredients (per bowl, which means I doubled the recipe so that each of my two oldest had their own bowl):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup small oats, regular oats will do fine, i just prefer the small oats for texture
  • roughly 1 TBS peanut butter (could’ve used more)
  • roughly 1/4 cup raisins (my daughter preferred to use my homemade chocolate chunks)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • put all ingredients in a bowl and mash them real good!!
  • shape them in which ever form you wish
  • bake for about 15 minutes
  • devour with a nice cold cup of homemade almond milk

Each bowl made about 8 cookies.

Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili

This chili is so much lighter than most chili’s I’ve tasted and definitely lighter than my usual go to the Sweet Potato Chili. Cutting down on the beans by adding lentils instead makes it that it is still rich in protein without the heaviness of too many beans. And switching out the sweet potato for some butternut squash really sealed the deal for me. In my husbands words “this one’s a winner”.

One pot meals like these make me so happy. I make a huge batch, either freeze some for later use, or just have leftovers for a few days. And this method guarantees my kids will get a good dose nutritious delicious vegetables in one meal. As with most one pot meals, I find that it tastes better the next day, although my family had no problem eating more than half of it as soon as it came off the stove.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 cup dry french lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 28 oz can of diced organic tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked beans (I mixed white and black)
  • 1 tsp salt

Steps:

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and sautee until they become slightly transluscent
  • add all the spices and keep cooking until the aroma has come out, 2 minutes about
  • add butternut squash, lentils, and water and bring to a boil (this is usually when I chop the rest of my veggies)
  • reduce heat, add all other ingredients except for beans
  • simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked
  • add the beans 10 minutes before done
  • taste and adjust spices and salt according to preference.

I ate mine with cilantro and avocado, because avocado makes everything taste better :)

Garden Love and Gomassio

I finally started up my garden again this year after a couple year sabbatical. It feel so great to be playing in the dirt again, planting little seeds watching them grow, feeding our bodies directly from the earth and bringing awareness to my children of the importance of where our food comes from.

Growing up on an organic farm, we ate mostly from what my parents grew. And as a kid I took it for granted. That’s just the way it was! Food grows outside, we pick it, we eat it. During the summer time and school was out, we had to participate in the upkeep of the garden. It was a chore. All my friends were out playing and I had to stay back and put in my two hours before I could do anything. I didn’t like doing it. I complained often. But boy am I happy my parents did that! It is definitely one of those moments where my parents said “You will thank me later”, and I did :)

Having ma parents show me what real food was at such a young age, got me to grow into a food conscious adult, as well as bring awareness to the planet and living things. Now with my kids when we are out in our little city back yard, they observe bugs and ask questions about why I grow certain things and not others and talk about edible flowers. When having children, gardening becomes so much more than just eating from the source. And while I do not have the capacity to grow enough food to feed my family all the vegetables we require, it is still enough to have fresh greens daily and to involve my kids in something I find so important: Health and our Earth, and how the two are connected.

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We have been eating a variety of greens and herbs from the garden for several weeks now, but this is our first batch of radishes, and the kids were so excited to pick them!! Radishes are such a great vegetable for kids to grow because they are so easy, grow fast, are easy for them to pick,  and are cute and pink! Although they have a little spice to them, my kids didn’t seem to mind. I think the excitement of eating from the garden took over the slight spiciness :) I remember loving radishes as a kid. When we ate them at my grandmas house we would put some fresh organic butter on them and then dip them in gomassio, this powder thing that my grandma would buy. For many years I reminisced about how tasty that was, thinking it was a childhood memory or that i had to be at my grandmas house to eat radishes that way. Until I found out that Gomassio was essentially just sesame seeds and salt. So I recreated this childhood memory with my own kids and it was perfect :) We had some leftover gomassio and my daughter being the awesome little creative chef she is decided to use it to make a vegetable stir fry :) I unfortunately have no pictures of that dish. IMG_2495

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp himalayan sea salt, or real salt

Steps:

  • smash them together until fine enough to dip radishes in it!
  • A mortar and pestle would be ideal here, but I broke mine a while ago and never bought a new one, so we used my daughters mini food processor

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream with Pistachio Chocolate Chunks

I wasn’t always an ice cream lover. There was actually a time in my life where I just didn’t eat ice cream. Weird, I know. Thank goodness those days are over. And now that I have my own ice cream maker, I get to have fun creating all kinds of flavors!!

Here is one that I made a while ago and just never got around to sharing with you.

You do not need an ice ream maker to make this. It’s just more convenient and faster with one.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dairy free milk (I used almond)
  • 1 cup cashews soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 TBS lucuma powder
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chunks. I added 1oz or 20 g of pistachios to the chocolate before freezing it for this recipe.

Steps:

  • put everything but chocolate in the blender and blend until smooth
  • if using an ice cream maker, follow those directions, adding chocolate towards the end

If not,

  • then either freeze in ice cube trays and run them through a champion juicer with the blank attachment, fold in chocolate before serving, or put them in the blender with a little bit of milk to get it going, add chocolate before serving
  • or in a shallow dish that you will then have to take out at least 30 minutes before eating to let if get somewhat soft. Add chocolate before freezing
  • Top with pistachios and extra chocolate chunks