Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a company selling glass straws, Glass Dharma. Luckily, they had a promotion, so I actually got the straw for free, and just had to pay shipping. I thought, is a glass straw really that big of a deal to help reduce my consumption of plastic. Amazingly, it is! I go through at least one to two straws a day depending on how many smoothies I drink. Now I have a reusable glass straw that is very easy to wash. My son also enjoys using the straw, and prevents him from biting and squishing the end - we now have a straw he can use through an entire drink (and more).
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
5 halawi dates (or other dates - if using medjool, only 2 or 3 are needed)
1/2 cup water
2 cups frozen blueberries
Put first three ingredients in Vitamix and whirl until creamy. Add frozen blueberries and whirl again. More water may be added to thin consistency, but we like it nice and thick so it is more like a milk shake than a smoothie.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This was a very quick dinner with some prepackaged foods - better than most take-out but not as healthy as what we typically eat.
1 Pre-made Gluten-free pizza crust - I used Sami's Bakery which has the density of a deep dish pizza crust
5 oz. Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella
1/4 cup of Pizza Sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
10 large olives, sliced or diced
1 14.5 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, strained - reserve liquid
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
Place diced tomatoes, italian seasoning and sun dried tomatoes in blender and whirl until everything is incorporated. If sauce is too thick, add some reserve liquid. If sauce is too thin, ad a few more sun dried tomatoes.
Preheat over to 425 F. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet. Top with sauce, broccoli, then shredded cheese. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until cheese begins to melt and crusts start to brown. Remove from oven and top with olives. Let cool. Slice and serve. 16 pieces.
Monday, May 11, 2009
We cloth diaper, so why not cloth wipe too? I have been working on a wipe recipe for so long now and I finally have found one that does not irritate my son's skin, and yet kills/prevents any type of yeast.
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup Aloe Vera Juice
15 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (anti-fungal and a preservative)
5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or any flavor you like),
2 or 3 old receiving blankets cut into wipe size
old wipes container, or old casserole dish with a tight fitting lid
I tri-fold all my wipes, put them into an old wipe container, then pour most of the mixture over the wipes. They should be moist, but not drippy wet. Any leftover solution, I put into a spray bottle to use for a bottom spray during morning dipe changes.
We eat this dish as a substitute for mac & cheese - pictured are Deboles Gluten Free Corn Elbows, chopped broccoli, peas, and straw mushrooms in peanut sauce.
12 oz to 1 pound gluten free noodles
4 cups of chopped veggies - I typically use a combo of broccoli, peas, straw mushrooms, mung bean sprouts and shredded carrots
1/4 cup peanut oil
4 green onions
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Chili paste to taste, or cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of agave syrup (or brown sugar)
1 cup peanut butter
6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids
3/4 cup hot water
Boil pasta according to package. Put 4 cups of veggies in a colander. When pasta is ready to be strained, pour into colander - this is plenty of blanching for the veggies. In a sauce pan, heat peanut oil. Add green onions, ginger, garlic and chili paste. Cook and stir until soft and fragrant (about 1 minute). Mix in remaining ingredients. Stir until peanut butter is smoothed out. Serve garnished with the scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Freckled Green Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
1 large handful lambs quarters (edible weed)
1 large handful beet greens
1 cup water (if needed for blending)
Place all ingredients into a high powered blender (like a Vita-mix) and whirl for about one minute until everything is nice and creamy. Red flecks from the beet greens remain which is why I call this freckled.
Whenever I find something that passes my son's taste test and that I enjoy as well, I am posting because it will become a staple in our home.
I was able to get about 15 pounds of overgrown cucumbers from a local organic farmer and while they taste great, they are very seedy and the skins are pretty tough. I decided to juice them, and so far my sons and my favorite combo juice is a simple cucumber orange.
Cucumber Orange Juice
2 cups Cucumber, washed, cut into chunks that will fit in the juicer (I use a Champion) Use organic cucumbers so that you can juice the peel as well.
2 cups Oranges, washed, peeled, cut into quarters and peeled. You can juice the peel and pith, but it will be a little bitter. I used Valencia Oranges - a really good juicing orange, but any orange will work.
Run all the fruit through the juicer, stir, strain and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. This tastes best very cold but my son and I enjoyed it straight from the juicer as well.
Fun info about cucumbers and oranges
Cucumbers are beneficial for both skin and hair. The cucumber is high in silica - a mineral which strengthens connective tissue. The cucumber is best natural diuretic known, secreting and promoting the flow of urine. The potassium content of cucumber makes it highly useful for conditions of high and low blood pressure. Cucumber contains erepsin, the enzyme that helps to digest protein.
Consumption of large quantities of oranges will decrease the outpouring of mucus secretions from the nose. Oranges are very well known for thier high Vitamin C content, but also contains the following nutrients
Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm. of raw orange juice (acc. to nutritiondata.com - please not these are values for RAW OJ - once pasteurized, the vitamin and mineral content is significantly diminished)
- Vitamin A - 496IU - 10% USRDA
- Vitamin C - 124mg - 207%
- Thiamin - 0.2mg - 15%
- Riboflavin - 0.1mg - 4%,
- Niacin - 1.0mg - 5%
- Vitamin B6 - 0.1mg - 5%
- Folate - 74.4 - mcg19%
- Calcium - 27.3mg - 3%,
- Iron - 0.5mg - 3%
- Magnesium - 27.3mg - 7%
- Phosphorus - 42.2mg - 4%
- Potassium - 496mg - 14%
- Copper - 0.1mg - 5%,
Friday, May 1, 2009
I have been researching ingredients in shampoo as it seems to be one of the last "beauty" products that we purchase. There are so many reasons to stop using Shampoo:
- Shampoo is expensive
- Shampoo is one of those products that I have not yet figured out how to purchase without also consuming new plastic containers with each purchase.
- Chemicals in shampoo irritate and dry out your scalp and hair.
- Toxic chemicals in shampoo are absorbed through the skin - your scalp!
- The body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Shampooing upsets this process and causes the scalp to produce more oil than necessary to compensate for this stripping of the natural oil.
Now that I have decided to go "No-Poo," what is the next step? Today is day 1 of "no-poo" for me and I decided to go the baking soda (BS) and apple cider vinegar (ACV) route. I took about a tsp of baking soda in my palm, added enough water to make a thin paste, then rubbed it in to my scalp at the crown. There is no lather, so to distribute the paste throughout my scalp, I gave myself a scalp massage with my finger tips. This seemed to work pretty well. I thought it would be hard to rinse out, but it came out better than shampoo ever has. I then took about a tablespoon of ACV in my hand and tried to just add this to the tips of my hair. This was awkward so I will probably just dilute and rinse over my entire head next time. Come to think of it, maybe that is how I will mix the baking soda as well.
I am taking some pictures over time as well - I have heard that there is a scalp detox period that can be kind of yucky, but that if I tough it out, the rewards will be worth it.
Oh - and if you are wondering if I smelled like vinegar all day, I did not. ACV does not have that typical strong smell that white vinegar has. And if you have ever mixed baking soda and vinegar to make that wonderful foam, that did not happen on my head either - so I assume I was able to rinse all the baking soda completely.
I was really craving chocolate tonight so I whipped up these "brownies." They have a strong cacao taste but the flavor of the walnuts still comes through as well. If you do not care for walnuts, you can use other nuts that are not quite as strong.
Raw Chocolate Brownies
Makes 12 brownies
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 Tbs agave nectar
2 cups dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
Process all ingredients in a food processor. Press into a brownie or pie pan. Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm them. Slice into squares or wedges. These are very rich so cut them small. Serve with Raw Caramel Sauce.
Raw Caramel Sauce
1 cup raw agave nectar
5 dates, pitted
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla (to taste)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Put all ingredients in Vitamix or other highspeed blender and blend for 20 - 30 seconds on high. Place in container and chill for at least 2 hours. Drizzle over brownie wedges/squares.