We’ve had some crazy weather but spring has finely sprung, too bad its pretty much summer already
Pumpkin Pie (grain free/ fruit sweetened/dairy free) May 13, 2013
Pumpkin doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie to me unless it’s a little sweet otherwise it just tastes like squash. So I did some research on the internet to try and figure out what fruit or fruit juice I could use to sweeten my pumpkin pie. Apple sauce sounded to grainy, apple juice sounded not quite right either…and then I came across the idea of using dates and I thought that it would be a good complement to the pumpkin flavor making it taste rich.
Kumquaty Pumpkin Pie
1/2 cup hot water
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs vanilla
Soak dates over nite in hot water (I did this in the food processor to save on cleaning up an extra bowl and it also gave me a chance to pulse the dates a few times to make sure they were fully submerged). The next day I added the can of pumpkin, 3 eggs, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla and blended til well combined. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then pour the mixture into a greased pie dish and bake for 40 mins or until it’s not jiggly anymore.
Mmmm. Something warm and comforting? and as white as a new born baby lamb? I was cleaning my pantry and found some coconut flakes and milk and had a sudden craving to try to make a coconut porridge. I saw recipes for flax porridge so why not. This is flavored with indian ingredient….you could just as easily sweeten it a little with a mashed banana, dates, or cut up fresh fruit
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
Seeds from 1 cardamom pod
1 tsp vanilla
Splash rose water
Put coconut into food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped. Put into a pot and add coconut milk, water and cardamom pod. Cook on medium. Once it comes to a bubble add the vanilla. Put the eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork. Add 2 ladles of the hot coconut mixture to the eggs and stir in well to temper then pour the egg mixture into the pot (this is to avoid having scrambled eggs strings in your porridge). Stir for a few minutes until the egg is cooked thru then turn off the heat and add a splash of rose water. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Sprouts! April 29, 2013
So I was planting lettuce in my window so I could have some fresh organic microgreens in the winter but my kitty kind of destroyed that dream by jumping into it and knocking the whole thing onto the floor….bye bye microgreens (fyi microgreens are supposedly higher in vitamins than their older siblings, that’s kinda cool)
It just happens that a few days before the disastrous event my mom gave me a seed sprouting kit. It’s cute. I probably wouldn’t have bought it myself since I have seen online that you can do the same thing with a mason jar full of seeds and something on top to strain the water with. But since I have it might as well give it a try. And it seems to work great. defiantly easier than using a mason jar and a pretty green box to put in my window
If you want to buy one of your own you can follow my link to amazon and I will get a small referal commission.
Whole 30 here I come April 22, 2013
So I have been eating really bad lately and feel equally bad so I decided to do the Whole30. I think the name paleo is the stupidest thing ever since there was no paleolithic man ever but I have read enough things to convince me that added sugar especially in the doses modern americans eat it is killing us, franken wheat is bloating us, and that maybe dairy isn’t the best thing for non-baby cows to be eating that I would try it. So I am starting on April 24 which would allow me to be done on May 24 which is JQ and my 5th anniversary yay! Not that I intend to pig out but maybe by then I will feel a little better, be a little less fluffy and be allowed to eat something special on our anniversary weekend.
So in 2 days I will be:
Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.
•Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
•Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
•Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
•Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
•Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
•Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
•Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no coconut-flour pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
The Fine Print
A few concessions, based on our experience, and those of our clients. These foods are exceptions to the rule, and are allowed during your Whole30. Including these foods as part of your varied healthy eating plan should not negatively impact the results of your Whole30 program.
•Clarified Butter or Ghee. Clarified butter or ghee is the only source of dairy allowed during your Whole30. Plain old butter is NOT allowed, as the milk proteins found in non-clarified butter could impact the results of your program. Refer to our Butter Manifesto for more details on the milk proteins found in butter, purchasing high quality butter, and how to clarify it yourself.
•Fruit juice as a sweetener. Some products will use orange or apple juice as a sweetener. We have to draw the line somewhere, so we’re okay with a small amount of fruit juice as an added ingredient during your Whole30… but this doesn’t mean a cup of fruit juice is a healthy choice! Refer to your Shopping Guide for clarification.
•Certain legumes. We’re fine with green beans, sugar snap peas and snow peas. While they’re technically a legume, these are far more “pod” than “bean,” and green plant matter is generally good for you.
•Vinegar. Most forms of vinegar, including white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, and rice, are allowed during your Whole30 program. The only exceptions are vinegars with added sugar, or malt vinegar, which generally contains gluten.
•Processed foods. Minimally processed foods like canned coconut milk, applesauce, tomato sauce, chicken broth or canned olives are all acceptable on the Whole30 – but remember, avoid anything with carageenan, MSG or sulfites. We’ve singled these three additives/preservatives out because they all have potentially nasty side effects – and you can easily find processed foods without them. (Refer to It Starts With Food for details on why we exclude these three in particular.)
And I will be doing so as cheaply as possible. For about 2 months I was eating mostly organic, attempting free range/ grass fed etc and now we are scraping the street for change so I will be doing this while sticking to a $35/week grocery budget. And as typical I will keep to my schedule of cooking for the whole week on the weekends….so only 4 meal plans to worry about. Get ready set go!
18 Rabbits! April 21, 2013
Isn’t that the cutest name ever??? That’s what I thought when I went to the website and their graphics are cute too very modern Alice in Wonderland So I just had to try their product….oh packaging how you draw me in like a 3 year old child to candy. So I ordered it online and a few days later I received this
Even the box is cute!!!! And I immediately received a delivery confirmation email, nice touch. And this was what was inside….its keeps getting better! my husband (JQ) was probably very confused as to why I was so excited but it was just SO CuTe!!! O.o
So they have granola, granola bars and jr granola bars. I decided I wanted to try the granola. The three flavors they have are:
Veritas Granola-Hazelnut, Walnut, Cacao Nibs, & flaxseed (wheat free)
Gracious Granola-Pecans, Almonds, Maple, Coconut (wheat free)
Felicitas Granola-Chia, Sunflower Seed, Honey, Bing Cherries (wheat & nut free)
Okay so a warning for those that have actual nut or gluten allergies this product was made in a plant that processed wheat, peanuts, and tree nuts….so beware. That would be my first comment on something they could change but since I am none of the three I just dug in
The only one that blew me over was the Gracious Granola. That had a really nice coconut flavor. I shared some with a few different friends at different times and they all really liked it too.
I neither saw nor tasted cacao nibs in the Veritas or cherries in the Felicitas so I was a bit disappointed. Also with these two they were a bit tasteless and left a residue in your mouth. Also the clusters could have been bigger for eating by the handful. One last complaint the walnuts in Veritas where too big (or clusters too small) it was too much of a contrast. But the walnuts did have a nice sweet coating on them which I discovered when I fished them out so that I could go onto the next step of my review process.
Since I didn’t really enjoy Veritas and Felicitas straight from the bag I decided to try and find a way I would enjoy them and score!!!
I really liked eating Felicitas (pink bag) on a parfait. I spooned unsweetened whole fat yogurt onto a cup and topped it with cooked down peaches and a healthy shake of the granola and it was delicious much better then it would have been with just the cooked peaches. The contrast was perfect and it was nice that it wasn’t too sweet. Did I remember to take a picture? No. Did I remember to devour it…yes.
I decided to use Veritas to make granola bars. Like I said I had to fish out the walnuts, they were too big to use with the recipe especially since I wanted JQ to try it and he doesn’t like large chunks of nuts. I decided to try to make a chocolate chip granola bar since I thought the Veritas would have chocolate undertones since it supposedly has cacao nibs in it.
No bake (18 rabbit) Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
1/2 stick butter/coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar/honey/agave
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup flax seed
2 1/2 cup granola (18 rabbit)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Melt butter/coconut oil. If using brown sugar add at this point and cook until sugar crystals are dissolved. If not using sugar as soon as the butter is melted remove from heat and stir in honey or agave. Next stir in almond meal, flax seed, granola, and cinnamon into oil/sweetener mixture off the heat. Then stir in chocolate chips. Press evenly into an 8×8 sprayed baking dish. Chill in refrigerator. After a few hours cut up into 9 squares. Enjoy!
I used brown sugar this time in the recipe since I ran out of honey (and money to buy more) it didn’t stick together as well as I liked so the bars had to be cut bigger to keep it from crumbling apart. Also it was a bit sweeter than I liked (JQ liked it fine) so I have to figure out how to get it to stick together better but with less sweetener….any tips?
*FYI I did get this product for free but the review is based on how it actually tasted in my mouth not on the lack of impact on my pocket*
LaraBar Review Part III- Uber and Jocalat April 17, 2013
Everyone needs a quick healthy snack that they can keep on hand when on the go and I’ve been seeing and hearing about LaraBars everywhere and wanted to give them a try. The company was nice enough to send me a few to review. I wanted to review one of each of their 4 types of bars
Alt- lemon pound cake
Uber- apple turnover
I picked flavors I knew my husband would like because I will eat almost anything, even if it’s kind of gross, if it’s healthy. So he is a better candidate to review than I am and I really like to see what healthy things I can get him to eat.
[sorry I forgot to take a picture of the Uber Apple Turnover ...just imagine something chunky and sticky ]
Uber Apple Turnover
*I liked it a little sticky and a little sour but yum yum. The texture of the dried apple was a bit spongy.
*My husband said *grossed out face* don’t like overall taste, sour, sticky, unpleasant texture, bad aftertaste, texture changes from crunchy to chewy
Jocalat Chocolate Mint
*I could barely swallow my bite, very bitter tastes like dirt
*He said not good but kept eating more, a friend said smells like wine
So overall. We only like the original Larabar. But what they got right they really got right. Yum
I received these samples of Larabar from the company for free but the review is just because I found it to be yummy (or not)