Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe

3 tbs ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
1  cups turbinado sugar  (I wanted to manipulate this and do all brown rice syrup, but I didn't have much left over)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp each cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
sprinkles of oats, cinnamon, and sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the flax seed and water until thickened.
Combine flax mixture in a large bowl with sugar,brown rice syrup, applesauce,
oil, and pumpkin.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking
powder, and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.  Fold in the walnuts.  Lightly
grease loaf pans.  Divide into two regular 8 inch loaf pans or four
mini loaf pans.  If you'd like, sprinkle on some oats, cinnamon and
turbinado to garnish.  Bake the large loaves for about 55 minutes and
the smaller loaves for about 40 minutes.  Let sit for 20 minutes
before removing from pan.  These actually taste great if left in the refrigerator.  

*This was a borrowed recipe from No Meat Athlete's blog... I didn't change to much since I was in a pinch and I didn't take but a bite since it was made with wheat.  Brinley, my little man, loved this!  I kept the second loaf for him. :) I made this for our Fall Party we threw on Halloween night this year with a bunch of our friends.  Brinley got to dress up and hand out candy (raisins and other healthier chocolate options).  We had a great time and look forward to doing this every year!  

Oh, and of course, all ingredients I used were organic!  :)

Chickpea and Oat Granola Bars

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tsp honey
1 tbs ground flax seed
¼ cup of warm water
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
1 cup brown rice krispies (or any whole grain cereal )
1 cup dried fruit (I used Turkish apricots (chopped) and raisins)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
3 tbs olive oil (all I had, but canola or any other healthy oil should be fine)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
*Mix the ground flax seed with 1/4 cup warm water, set aside to thicken (this a binding agent instead of using eggs).

Toss the chickpeas in the in 1 tsp of the cinnamon and honey.  Bake for 10 minutes, stir around in the pan, then back for 10 more minutes.  Add the oats to the pan and bake for 6 more minutes, stirring the oats halfway through.
In a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, olive oil, and flax paste.
In a bigger bowl, combine the cooked chickpeas/oat mixture, cereal, dried fruit, and remaining tsp of cinnamon.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine.

Press the mixture into a greased pan 8×8 if you have it.  Press and pack in the mixture as hard as you can with a rubber spatula.  Refrigerate until firm and then cut into 24 bars.  Yummy!!!

* Flax paste is a great way to substitute eggs in baking.  Eggs are usually the binding agent that keeps “it” all together.  Our family tries to eat vegetarian as much as we can.  We do have meat occasionally, but we find that we feel so much better going lighter on the meats.  Moreover, I have been discovering that wheat gluten doesn’t sit well in my tummy—more of an IBS thing than Celiac’s Disease and my husband has severe reactions to his body (won’t go into detail) when he eats red meat.  As you can see, we are limited, but there are ways to get around all this!  Just research and experiment different recipes out there.  I has been so much fun discovering different ways of cooking and using unique ingredients.  This recipe above comes from one of my new favorite blogs:  I tweaked it a little, of course!  I love brown rice syrup—it has a lower GI than honey and it is YUMMY!  Their recipe called for Sucanat—still sugar, no matter what you call it, so I used honey instead.  As always—everything was organic! :) 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I have so much great info I want to share, I don't know where to begin...

First, I have to give a shout out to "Keeper of the Home" and their current article on farmer, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia.  If I remember correctly, he was featured in the documentary "Food, Inc" as someone who is doing is right.  Check out this site:

Enjoy and hopefully I will get back on here today to discuss a few topics... as October is Non-GMO Month...etc!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chocolate Avocado Fondue (Calli's Recipe)

1 tablespoon butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 cup avocado puree (I used 1 avocado)
1/4 cup carrot puree (I used 2 small carrots)
1 cup powdered sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
OR 1/2 cup quality dark chocolate pieces
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add purees. Whisk in powdered sugar. Add chocolate and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Serve warm.

Now I went over for dinner to my friend, Calli's house.  She made amazing grilled salmon and steaks (for the men)... and a huge bowl of Moroccan couscous with a flavorful salad on the side.  For dessert, she served this recipe from Deceptively Delicious (Jessica Seinfeld).  This was very yummy and I couldn't stop dipping my bananas and pretzels in it.  My husband, who is very hard to convince, didn't even notice he was being deceived :)!

I haven't actually made this yet, but I told Calli that I had to post it on my blog for all of you to see!  Of course, I am already thinking how I can make this recipe a little "cleaner".  The confectioner/powdered sugar is getting to me.  Even just the other day, I was watching the Cooking Channel and Tyler Florence (Food 911) mentioned that this kind of sugar usually has added cornstarch--apparently it keeps the powdered sugar from caking... With that said, I think I would try brown rice syrup/honey. If this compromises the flavor (for my husband), I would try to grind organic sugar even more in a food processor (when mine gets fixed) or seek out an organic powdered sugar made with tapioca starch.

Bran Flax Muffins (fiber and nutrient rich)

1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup bran
3/4 cup to 1 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cups of mashed fruit (whatever you have--bananas, applesauce, berries..etc)
1 cup buttermilk (milk soured with 1 tsp vinegar)

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet. Bake about 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 18 muffins-- Make sure to grease well.

This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law's orange muffins... which are still yummy, but her recipe calls for use of a food processor and mine is broken.  Anyway, I also cut out the eggs and oil since I replaced the brown sugar with brown rice syrup (liquidy) and the bananas and flax work as binders (replacing the eggs).  Her recipe has a nice orange flavor, but the raisins seem to be a little too much--some can taste a little charred/bitter, so that is why I cut back on the raisins in my recipe.  The raisins add a nice flavor so don't get rid of them completely. Her recipe is:

Orange Bran Flax Muffins
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup bran
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 oranges-washed & cut into small pieces to grind in the food processor
1 cup buttermilk ( milk soured with 1 tsp vinegar)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ones.  Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 18 to 24 muffins.  Make sure to grease well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apple Oat Bran Muffins with Dried Apricots

So, on August 21st, I delivered twin boys naturally...  It was a much better experience than my first.  I only pushed for 2.5 hours---and had a 45 minute break in between! :) I am working breastfeeding both twins now--and it takes a lot out of me.  For one thing, I am just plain tired... but I swear my appetite is so much bigger than it was when I was pregnant!  This brings me to my point of posting this recipe.  Originally, I wanted to post my mother-in-law's Orange Muffin recipe--so full of healthy goodness (i.e. flax, oat bran, wheat bran, oat bran...etc), but I can't find the recipe.  As an alternative, I made these Apple Oat Bran Muffins with Dried Apricots inspired by "Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking For Health" version (p.52)..  It is nice to have an easy, on the go snack between meals, feeding twins and an working with an active toddler!

1/2 cup of plain non-fat yogurt (Stoneyfield is my favorite)
1 mashed banana
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp of black-strap molasses
1/2 to 3/4 cup of finely chopped dried apricots
2 cups of chunky applesauce (mine was homemade, but store bought pureed should be fine or just finely cut up peeled apples)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more-my fav)
1/4 rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil a 12 muffin tin. Stir together yogurt, banana, vanilla, and molasses in a mixing bowl.  Then stir in the apricots, oat bran, and applesauce.  In another bowl, bring together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and stir in the oats, walnuts, and flax.  Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture just until combined.  Spoon into muffin tins and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven, I could not resist... I ate them warm and with a little spread of natural peanut butter.  Talk about melt in your mouth!  Now if I am a little hungry amidst the chaos and can't think of what to eat... I just grab a healthy muffin. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It has been a while...

38 weeks, 4 days... and still pregnant with twin boys.  As of last week, one is 7 lbs, 5oz and the other is 6 lbs, 8 oz.  They are big.

Just wanted to share this site, Pesticide Action Network:  It is such a cool website, so I am putting their Ad on my blog.

Find out what's on your food at:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back again...

So, I have been a little out of commission when it comes to this blog—and I hope you will find for good reason. First of all, I had a ton of homework--I was in my last semester of school. I now I have earned my Master of Education degree--yippee! :) Secondly, at the end of December, I found out I was pregnant! A few weeks later, I found out I was having TWINS! Yes, TWINS! They are due August 21, 2010 and my son will just be 2 years and a little over a month old. I am still soaking in this information... how our lives will be busy!

Now I must confess, in the midst of it all, I have been a bad eater! I crave salty fried food... while not all bad if cooked in the right oils, man; you have to watch the calories and portions! Thankfully, I haven't packed on the pounds as quickly as I did with Brinley--60 lbs total (yes, I was a beast!). I am praying that I will have self-control and good judgment when it comes to eating. My whole being stands for healthy, holistic nutrition and when I pregnant, I am always super sick and crave junk... so pray, pray!

I have been a big proponent of Juice Plus and have been taking it with this pregnancy. I did with my son and I am back on it again. I was taking the pills, but I couldn't keep them down so Brinley and I are sharing the Juice Plus Gummies. If you are interested in what Juice Plus is, check out their site: Basically, they are "pills” that you would be tempted to call vitamins or supplements--buy they are not either! It is food that contains about 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains, pretty much dehydrated into a pill that naturally contains the vitamins you need on a daily basis. I think the company tags the Juice Plus as a "whole based food product." Check it out! If you are interested in it, I have a friend that introduced it to me about 4 years ago and she could give you great info on it.

Now, I was sitting around watching Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" sneak peak this past Sunday on ABC. Man was it a great show for all to watch! I wanted to call everyone I know and get them to tune it! Thankfully, the premiere will be this coming Friday, I believe at 8 pm EST. I encourage you all to watch it. Jamie seeks out the most unhealthy, obese city in the world--which happens to be right around the corner from us in VA--it is in Huntington, WV. He goes into a school system and is shocked to see pizza for breakfast is served for the kids, not to mention the processed other foods--like powdered potatoes and meats filled with a long list chemicals that are hard to pronounce. I was shocked! Now, I know that Americans are on the easy, fast food train, but, boy was I shocked to see that it was that bad. I mean, the school was following the guidelines of the USDA--considering french fries as a vegetable. Here is the site if you would like more information: Please watch the show if you can and come back with your thoughts!