Black Tea Mocha

Exactly as it sounds. This mocha is rich and creamy and delicious. I love mocha’s. I am not a regular coffee drinker, I definitely enjoy a cup every now and then and if I’m wanting a special treat, I have a mocha. But on a daily basis, I am a tea girl. Black, herbal, dried leaves, fresh herbs, flowery or bitter. I don’t discriminate tea. And while I drink so much of it, it never occurred to me to make a mocha with it. Until now. And I am so happy I did!! This is taking my tea drinking experience to a whole new level!

I am sharing with you here one of my first mixtures, but I am sure I will be playing around a bit with this concoction over the weeks and if something even tastier arises, I will be sure to share it with you. But for now, this is rocking my morning boat :)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup steeped and strained black tea of choice
  • 1 TBS raw cacao powder (regular cocoa powder will work but you are missing out on the amazing benefits of raw cacao!)
  • 1 TBS coconut cream (This is what adds the richness, if you don’t have cream, try it with coconut oil and a little bit of your milk of choice)
  • 1 date (or sweetener of choice, again though, i feel like the date here adds to the richness)
  • 1/2 tsp Everlasting Vitality and Youth powder by Edible Goddess (optional, but I love me some superfood drinks!)

Steps:

  • put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until you get some foam going
  • pour in a cup and enjoy warm!

Herbed Lentil Loaf

This slightly nutty, pleasantly filling loaf has a surprisingly cheesy flavor to it, given the fact that it is dairy free. I had some leftover lentils that I wanted to use up and I always love the idea of having some kind of easy food to grab when I am on the go or I am gone and husband wants to eat something without having to cook. So I decided to make a lentil loaf.

This loaf is a meal in itself, but it was happily enjoyed with a side of carrot soup.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cups flour (I used garbanzo, quinoa and buckwheat)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1.2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 3 TBS fresh herbs (I mixed oregano, thyme and rosemary from my garden, using the least amount of rosemary)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 375*F
  • in a skillet comine first 5 ingredients and cook for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and water was released, put in fridge for 5-10 minutes to cool so that it doesn’t start cooking the eggs once you mix everything
  • in a large bowl combine flours, salt and baking soda
  • mix in eggs, lentils, walnuts, herbs and veggie mixture
  • pour in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (its not a big deal of your pan is slightly bigger or smaller than this)
  • bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean
  • let sit in pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
  • serve and enjoy warm or cold!

Raspberry Rawcoroons

Deliciously nutty, slightly tangy, mildly sweet, these rawcoroons are the perfect dessert, mid day snack or even quick breakfast treat. It had been a while since I made rawcoroons. For some time there I was making them almost as soon as a batch ran out. It was one of my favorite treats to bring to parties, camping, potlucks, etc…. as they travel so well and are generally such a hit. In all honesty, I am surprised that this is only my 3rd rawcorron post. I have created so many flavors over the years! If you are interested in seeing my other two posts, I made a cacao one, and a lemon cashew one. Noticing that this is just my 3rd post, you can expect to be seeing me pulling out some old recipes and photographing them so I can share them with you here!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded raw coconut, quickly pulsed in the blender to break them down a bit
  • 2 cups ground raw almonds, ground in the blender to create almost a flour like quality but not so fine
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried raspberry powder, ground in the blender
  • 2 TBS lucuma powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Steps:

  • mix everything in a large bowl until very well combined. I like to mix all dry ingredients first then add the wet ones.
  • scoop in ball shape and put on a dehydrator tray, on the mesh screen
  • dehydrate at 105*F for about 10 hours or until crispy on the outside and slightly moist on the inside
  • will save for at least a week on the shelf, even longer in the fridge

Red Cabbage and Beet Sauerkraut

I’ve always been a lover of sauerkraut. I loved it as a kid and still love it as an adult. I don’t remember when I started making my own but if I asked my wallet I’m sure it would remember ;) If you are someone who buys or has ever bought raw sauerkraut, you know what I’m talking about. It’s amazing how much money one can charge for a head of fermented cabbage. I spent that money for some time because it was well worth it for me. And while I will still purchase it on rare occasions if the craving hits and I didn’t anticipate that 2 weeks prior, then I splurge. Sauerkraut, which is a fermented food, is a very high source of probiotic, which is essential for good gut health. Having a healthy gut is pretty much one of the best things you can do for you overall health. Have you ever heard that we have two brains? Our actual brain, and then our gut, or “second brain”? Well it’s true. Our gut holds so much information that it is imperative we take care of it. Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, amongst many other things, is a great way to introduce probiotics to our systems. While I make the plain and simple version more frequently, I like to play with the flavors every now and then. My latest kraut creation is a beautiful combination of red cabbage, beets, and red onions. Not only are we getting the benefits of fermentation here, but we are adding all the health benefits of raw beets (great for blood health and liver cleanser) and onions (awesome immunity booster). This batch came out surprisingly mild in flavor while still containing that delicious fermented taste that I look for. If I would have let my sauerkraut sit for a few more days, I probably would have gotten a stronger flavor, which would have been awesome as well. I’ve been introducing sauerkraut to my kids since they were babies, and they all like it. They are not always in the mood to eat it but I keep on presenting it to them, and some days they eat happily. I think it’s important we give our kids plenty of chances to eat “funky” foods without pressure in order to teach them about variety and so they can be familiar with all kinds of flavors of health boosting ingredients. Go slice yourself a cabbage and enjoy one of the cheapest ways to eat your way to a healthy gut.

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One of my favorite lunches recently has been this sauerkraut combined with some avocado, yellow yams, and whatever fresh greens I have growing in my garden. I actually crave eating that most days!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of purple cabbage
  • 2 small beets
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 TBS salt or to taste
  • 1 cup filtered water

Steps:

  • run vegetables in a food processor with the shredding attachement
  • put in a large bowl and add water and salt and massage really well to get the salt in there, it will get the vegetables to start releasing their juices faster so the fermentation process can start
  • either use this method here, or put your mixture in a large mason jar with screened lid covered with a piece of fabric (to keep bugs out) and press it down every few days to make sure the cabbage remains submerged in water. This is imperative or it will go bad!
  • let it sit on your counter or any place out of the way, for at least 2 weeks, taste it and let it sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
  • when you are satisfied with the flavor, put it in sealed jars and keep it in the fridge for weeks!

Banana Birthday Cake

Banana chocolate chip cake with strawberry cream filling and banana frosting. That is the birthday cake that my 3 year old requested. Once again I was inspired by Love. Love so deep for this little human that I wanted to give him the cake he wanted for his birthday, even though I tried to convince him that a banana cake with chocolate frosting decorated with fresh strawberries would be super delicious. I am so happy I listened to him and went for it. Not only was this cake fun for me to make, it was also pretty delicious. I wouldn’t have been able to create anything better or more perfect for my little man hadn’t it been for his heavy input :)

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I didn’t have much time to snap good pictures of the whole cake,  as I finished frosting it minutes before we were heading out the door to go to the park where my sons party was at.

I found the recipe for the cake here and modified it quite a bit to fit my nutritional preferences. I pretty much followed the instructions for the cake as they were written, even though my rebel was really tempted to do it “my way”, and I feel happy with the outcome. I also doubled the recipe as I wanted to create a layer cake. I did not use the frosting recipe given in that recipe and instead created my own vegan, raw one. I then decorated the cake with fresh strawberries and bananas roasted in coconut oil and date sugar.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 cups bananas, mashed (about 6 large bananas)
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 cups flour (I mixed rice, buckwheat and coconut)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups coconut oil
  • 2.5 cups maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 large organic eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, or homemade chocolate chunks for a completely refined sugar free cake

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 275*F
  • mix bananas and lemon juice in a small bowl
  • in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt
  • in a large bowl or a stand up mixer, cream the maple syrup, coconut sugar and coconut oil together. I ran out of coconut sugar or I would’ve used only that and not the syrup, which would have allowed for the mixture to actually “cream”.
  • beat in eggs, one at a time
  • add bananas
  • beat in flour mixture and milk, alternatively
  • add in chocolate chunks and combine well
  • pour in two 10 inch round spring form pans
  • bake anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Or until a too pick comes out clean. Mine took 1.5 hours.
  • put immediately in the freezer for 45 minutes
  • I kept my cakes on the counter in the pans overnight before putting it together the next day for the party.

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Ingredients for strawberry filling:

  • 3 cups coconut cream from a can
  • 6 dates
  • 4 TBS coconut milk
  • 1 package of freeze dried strawberries, or 1.2 oz. powdered in a blender
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (added ONLY right before assembling the cake)

Steps:

  • put everything in a large bowl and mix well. You can also do that in a blender
  • pour in a container and set in the fridge for several hours

Ingredients for banana frosting:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 6 dates
  • 2 cups coconut cream from a can

Steps:

  • put everything in blender and blend until smooth
  • pour in a dish and set in fridge for several hours

To assemble the cake, take one cake out of the pan and put in on a plate. Mix in strawberries to the filling and spread a nice thick layer all over the cake.

Gently put the other cake on top and spread frosting evenly all over and around the cake. Decorate as wished.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the filling and frosting are raw and made from coconut oil and cream, they will soften when out of the fridge. Keep in fridge or cooler until ready to serve, and keep in fridge or cooler until ready to eat. It will still taste divine f you leave it out, but the cake might start falling on itself a bit as the star berry filling softens.

Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Bananas.Peanut butter. Chocolate. I mean c’mon. If you love bananas, you can’t go wrong with banana ice cream. SO easy. SO delicious. SO nutritious. SO cheap. And pretty fast to make. One of my very first posts was a banana ice cream. I’ve been making this ice cream for years, and although I have upped my skill in the kitchen and purchased an ice cream maker to make more fancy frozen things, I still love the simple and easy dessert that a frozen banana offers. I am sure most of you reading this have tried a version of the banana ice cream. What is your favorite combo? IMG_2375-2

Ingredients:

  • 4 large frozen bananas
  • 3 TBS natural peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • 7 TBS chocolate sauce

Steps:

  • if you don’t have any, make chocolate sauce
  • in a food processor put all the bananas and blend. You will have to turn off the machine every now and then to scrape down the sides. Eventually it will catch and a beautiful creamy mixture will start forming
  • At this point, add the peanut butter and 3 TBS of the chocolate sauce
  • resume blending
  • spoon into bowls and top with 1 TBS of chocolate sauce. This will harden at the contact of the frozen banana and create a nice crunchy chocolate layer. MMMMMM goodness….

This made just enough for my little family of 5. We all could’ve had a little more ;)

Watermelon Grapefruit Juice

We scored a huge box of grapefruits recently. While my middle child and I LOVE grapefruits (hence the name of this blog :) ), there are just a little too many of them. I am finding ways to use them up before they go bad and one of the ways is to make loads of juice :) I’ve also juiced a bunch and made ice cubes so that I can have those ready to make this smoothie, (which is my latest beverage crush), when grapefruits aren’t around.

As you may know, grapefruits are pretty bitter if you eat the pith. Which is what happens when you juice them. My son and I don’t mind it, the other 2 kids aren’t fans. So this juice is a special juice just for the two of us :)

While this isn’t really a recipe, I am sharing it with you because it was such a fun juicing project with my almost 3 year old boy and the colors are too pretty to not share :)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 watermelon, cubed
  • 3 large pink grapefruit, peeled

Steps:

  • blend everything on high until completely broken down
  • using a nut milk bag, pour the contents of the blender in to the bag over a large bowl, and let your kids massage the bag in order to separate the juice from the fibers. We did this in 3 times in order to not overfill the bag.
  • make sure you hold the top of the bag tightly or juice will come spilling all over!
  • throw away the contents of the bag, unless you like eating super uber bitter fruit pulp
  • drink up your juice as is, or get creative with it by adding sparkling water, or making a smoothie with it.
  • we did all those things and then some :)

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The flowers are from a recent hike we did. Spring is blooming and it’s beautiful!!!

Happy Mothers Day!!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there!! If you are a mother, it means you are blessed. And hopefully you are blessed with extra thoughtful people like I am!!!

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I got to sleep in past 10 am this morning!!!! And was woken up by a lively performance from my family, my husband playing the ukele and my kids singing a mothers day song, that they had obviously practiced all together behind my back :)

My daughter, the oldest, showered me with 4 (4!!!) different mothers day art projects that she had made and managed to not tell me about! That, in and of itself is a surprise! She never manages to keep her excitement from me, so the fact that she has managed to not only make me things but not tell me about them, shows me how much my almost 7 year old is growing. Thoughtfulness is sinking in and she is understanding the power of personalized gifts and emotions. I love her.

And they made me breakfast in bed. Pancake cutouts made by all the kids with a very special honey fruit sauce made by my daughter. That beautiful paper bouquet is from her also :) While it was the not the relaxing breakfast in bed experience one would think of, as the baby was crawling all over me wanting to breast feed and the middle child was eating all my pancakes as quickly as my daughter could manage to pour the fruit mixture on them, it was MY perfect breakfast in bed, with all of them being themselves as the full expression of the art that my husband and I created together.

This day is a bitter sweet one for me. Feeling so incredibly blessed to be a mother myself, to have 3 gorgeous children with an incredibly caring and loving husband who also happens to be a kick ass involved father. At the same time I am filled with sadness that I do not get to celebrate my own mother, who died when I was 7 years old. Wishing she were a phone call away, so I can tell her how much I love her. Wishing she was in hugging distance to comfort me when I am struggling at my own mothering. I have had a tumultuous life starting at a young age. I have experienced more death and sorrow at a young age than most people have in their adult life. I have endured more challenging life situations than one would think capable of. Yet at this point in my life, I am realizing one of the hardest things I have had to do, is be a mother without the guidance of my own mother. From what I remember and what is often said to me, she was a goddess. She had 5 children, me and my 4 brothers,  and was an incredibly devoted and loving mother. She sang and danced and cooked and gardened. She was lively and friendly and loved by many. She was charismatic and beautiful. Spiritual and grounded. She was all the things I strive to be as a mother and I wish she were here to give me insight and direction, to allow me to melt in her arms when I am feeling weak, to hug her fiercely with love when I feel powerful. While her energy and spirit are very much present, nothing can replace a mothers physical presence, the look of love in her eyes as she watches her children, the gentle comfort in her touch.

Yet with all this sadness filling my heart, I would not be half the woman I am today if my life had been any different. All the struggles were necessary for me to live such a happy and fulfilled life today. Living in the dichotomy that all this pain was a necessity to be proud of who I am now, that I would not love myself as I do had it not been for all the loss and challenges I experienced. Not wanting to be anyone else than who I am now comes with the acceptance that I needed to loose some important people along the way, shed too many tears and have my heart be torn appart, my spirit crushed. Life is perfect. With all its imperfections and its pain, life is perfect. And I am perfect as I am, living with purpose, with love and intention. Showering my children with everything I wish I was given today by my own mother.

Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there. If you do not have your mother, I hope it gives you insight on what you miss by not having her and how that can empower you in your own mothering.

We are all blessed as we have children of our own.

Raspberry Granola

Crunchy. Naturally sweet with a  slight tang. Full of flavor and packed with vitamins and nutrients. This granola is a perfect way to start the day. I eat mine with some fresh home made almond milk which just brings this bowl of goodness to a whole different level of yum. But I am confident that it will go great with whatever your milk of choice is, or even as is, for an on-the-go snack! 

As usual I made a big batch of this to feed my little family of 5. Half the recipe if you feel the need to, but keep in mind that most granolas will keep for several weeks if not months, in an airtight container, so making a big batch is rarely a bad idea ;)

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Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sprouted buckwheat, or buckwheat that has been soaked at least 8 hours and rinsed very well then drained
  • 4 TBS lucuma powder
  • 1 TBS vanilla powder
  • 1 cup soaked sunflower seeds, at least 4 hours then rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup all natural Maple Syrup (not the Aunt Jemima kind)
  • 3/4 cups melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp hibiscus powder (optional, but it does add to the tang and pairs great with the raspberries, plus it adds a pretty light pink color :) )
  • 1 cup (or more!) freeze dried raspberries

Steps:

  • combine all ingredients except raspberries in a large bowl and mix well
  • taste it and adjust flavors according your preference, you can’t really go wrong here
  • lay on several dehydrator sheets
  • dehydrate at 105*F for abou 12 hours or until fully dry and crispy
  • add raspberries (I add them last so they retain their crispiness)
  • store in an airtight container, (hide yourself a container in your underwear drawer, in you live with people who who’s idea of one serving is half a jar)
  • feel nourished and go have fun!

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.