Saturday, January 26, 2013

strawberry orange julius

Just add strawberries to this baby clean and tastly orange julius and voila a new delicious twist on the oldie but goodie.

homemade almond milk

This is a staple around the house since I have tried to go milkless lately. I have a hard time with dairy since pregnancy and since good dairy is so expensive, I would rather cook with this than use up precious money draining sources. :) Plan to start the night before you need it.

-sea salt (optional if sweetening)
-vanilla (optional)
-sweetner (agave, honey, maple syrup, stevia) (opional)

1. Soak 1 cup almonds ina bowl of water overnight- you need a good amount of water as the almonds swell
2. The next morning- drain the almonds and put in a high powered blender with 4 cups water (filtered perferably) and no mine is not a vitamix or blendtek- but oh how I wish I had one!!!
3. Blend on high for about 2 minutes or less
4. Strain contents into another bowl or pitcher etc. I actually use a clean dish towel and it works great.
5. Put the milk back into the rinsed blender and add some salt, sweetner and vanilla to taste if wanted and give it a swirl
6. Put into fridge

Contents will settle in the fride- no need to worry- just give a little shake and tada!

Broccoli Quiche

This was so easy, I don't know why I have avoided quiches so long, but next time I think I will add the extra step for a pie crust. I LOVE pie crust. Go to Healthy recipes blogs to find this recipe that I followed exactly.

Healthy chocolate chip cookies

These are not just like the full of sugar and white flour cookies you might be used to but they are a worthy competitor and definately worth trying out. We love them. They are sweet enough and have a sort of muffin like soft consistancy just right for treats.

3/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1/2 stick butter
3/4 C raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C oats
dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt

chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line cookie sheet with parchment
2. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix or sift
3. Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry
4. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips or anything else you like
5. spoon out like regular cookies and bake for 10-12 minutes

Makes about 2 dozen small cookies

Midwife approved Herbal Pregnancy Tea

This is a tea to help improve and establish good enviroment for the baby during pregnancy and encourage a healthy labor, all of which I want. I take this about every other morning, but definately could everyday, just get lazy I guess. My midwife Stacia at Mother's Heart Midwifery sent me home with this wonderful tea and a cute little tea strainer for individual tea cups. (They really have come up with everything). I grab about a Tbsp of dry tea and submerge in a mug of hot water and steep for 7-10 minutes, then drink. It really tastes fantastic and for added health put in a little spoon of raw honey before drinking.

Ingredients: (all organic is best)
Oragnic Red Raspberry leaf  8 parts
 Alfalfa  3 parts
Peppermint leaf  3 parts
 Nettle leaf  2 parts
Keep reading if you are a book nerd like me and want all the details. 
The following information can be found at the Bulk Herb Store or at another really fantasic herb source Mountain Rose Herbs, and I trust both.
Common Names: alfalfa, lucern, buffalo herb
Latin Name: Medicago sativa
Origin: USA
Short Description:
Alfalfa herb has been called the “king of plants” since it is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. It has 8 essential amino acids and the highest chlorophyll content of any plant. Alfalfa is used as a base in many combinations and vitamin formulas because it permits rapid assimilation of plant elements. It is most popular as a blood purifier and as a cure for all inflammations, including rheumatism. Avoid while taking blood-thinning agents.

Excerpts from The How to Herb Book

The name alfalfa means "Father of all Foods." It has been called the king of plants because it is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements.
  • A good source of carotene (Vitamin A) and a little known vitamin – Vitamin K, the blood clotting vitamin which has been known to help peptic ulcers.
  • Has eight of the essential amino acids and the highest chlorophyll content of any plant. Note: Essential amino acids are not made by the body, but have to be supplied daily by our food or supplements.
  • Permits rapid assimilation of plant elements; this is one of the reasons alfalfa is used as a base in many combinations and in vitamin formulas.
  • Prevents tooth decay and helps rebuild decayed teeth, contains natural fluorides.
Alfalfa is an excellent herbal source of vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B-1.
Alfalfa herb is high or very high on the following nutrients:
-Crude fiber

Common Names : Nettle, stinging nettle, common nettle
Latin Name: Urtica dioica
Origin: Bulgaria

Excerpts from Nutritional Herbology

Extracts of nettle have been included in hair tonics for centuries due to its purported ability to stimulate hair growth. Like many bitter herbs, nettle is a blood purifier. Its long list of traditional uses can be summed up in its ability to increase the production of urine, its mild laxative effect and its ability to increase the efficiency of liver and kidney function. Besides these general effects, folk use points to the herb’s affinity for treating imbalances of the mucous membranes. It has traditionally been used to treat asthma, ulcers, bronchitis, jaundice, nephritis, hemorrhoids and spasmodic dysmenorrhea.
Contains bitter compounds that increase the flow of urine, are antiseptic, and relieve pains. It also contains astringent compounds that shrink inflamed tissues and stop bleeding. Nettle has been used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, inflammatory skin conditions, diarrhea, and asthma.

Primary Constituents:
Chlorophyll, in high yields... Nettles are a significant source of vitamin C and vitamin A, bio-available minerals, including calcium, silicon, and potassium chloride; protein, and dietary fiber.

Common Name: Red Raspberry Leaf
Latin Name: Rubus idaeus
Origin: Croatia
Red Raspberry Leaf is the herb of choice for pregnancy, and for women's health. Red Raspberry is not only great for mamas, it is wonderful for their whole family. It is filled with essential minerals and vitamins like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C, E, A and B complex. It also contains easily assimilated calcium and iron. Red Raspberry can make a real difference in your whole family’s health. Todays herbal market is flooded with Red Raspberry. The problem is, most of it is sprayed, irradiated, old, dried out and pour quality. We are proud to say that ours is not.

Red Raspberry is the best single herb that we can take for total uterine health. There is a long list of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that the uterus needs to work efficiently. Red Raspberry Leaf has virtually all of them. The most popular use for Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is for mama and baby’s health throughout pregnancy. It provides your uterus with a nourishing source of vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy pregnancy. Red Raspberry is also an excellent source of an alkaloid called fragrine, which tones the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. This really helps to lower and sometimes eliminate cramps from the menstrual cycle and also makes for an easier birth. Red Raspberry leaves also contain many vitamins like vitamin C, E, A, B complex, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, silicon, sulfur, tannins, also easily assimilated calcium and iron.
The Uterus
The uterus is one of the most amazing organs in the female body. We ask our uterus to sit docile for decades, and then in 38 short weeks of pregnancy, it has to stretch to 10 times the size it has always been. It starts at the size of a tennis ball, and has to stretch to the size of a beach ball. WOW! The uterus adds around 2 pounds of muscle and process as much as one liter of blood per minute. When our baby is ready, we start to flood the uterus with hormones called prostaglandins, making the uterine muscle cells more sensitive to the hormone oxytocin, simultaneously softening the cervix. And then it is time; we start to sweat, scream, and even swear, that we can’t do it, and we are right. We can’t, but our uterus can. Relax and let your uterus do its work. The contractions start to pound the uterus, exerting as much as 43 pounds per square inch, contracting and retracting. Then, finally, in a beautiful moment we meet our little sweetheart. A healthy uterus gives you a healthy baby. So ladies, lets stop taking our uterus for granted and show it some love.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is full of a naturally occurring calcium that is easily absorbed by the body. In the smooth muscle of the uterus, calcium controls the depolarization of the cells. That in turn, allows the uterine muscle to receive oxygen and work efficiently. In other words, without a sufficient supply of calcium, only part of the uterine muscle will work as it should. This will strain the rest of the uterine muscle beyond reason, generating heat and stress on an already taxed body.
Getting enough calcium also eases the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Calcium helps to regulate the hormones your body is flooded with every month. If your calcium supplies are adequate your body will not have to release as many of the hormones that cause PMS . Women who suffer from PMS have elevated levels of these hormones during their menstrual cycle, and the symptoms of PMS, like cramping, irritability, and depression are all very similar to other calcium-deficient symptoms.
Magnesium helps to control the frequency of contractions by mitigating the repolarization of the muscle cells and slowing down the absorption of certain hormones. It is also needed to metastasize calcium to your bones.
Seven years ago there was a flurry of warnings over the web not to use large amounts of red raspberry leaf(only European raspberry) during early pregnancy. I always take the safe road, so I cautioned pregnant ladies to only drink a cup or two a day of raspberry until they were 5 months along. Now trusted researchers go on record as saying that Raspberry is safe for pregnant women. Here are two sources that are respected and helpful. Debi Pearl

Common Names: Peppermint, balm mint, brandy mint
Latin Name: Mentha piperita
Origin: USA

Excerpts from The How to Herb Book

Peppermint is a delicious mild tea. It is wonderful to use as a beverage – hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Dieters, it contains no calories.
  • One of the oldest and most popular remedies for simple colic and minor bloat in children and adults.
  • Good for all digestive problems, helps stomach pain caused by indigestion and is soothing to the stomach.
  • Expels stomach and colon gas.
  • Excellent for fevers, flu, diarrhea, ulcers, and colitis.
  • Strengthens nerves and heart muscles.
  • Cleanses and tones the body.
  • Can be used instead of aspirin for headaches.
  • Can take the place of coffee for a stimulant.
  • Promotes relaxation.
Peppermint is high or very high on the following nutrients:
  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Niacin

  • Phosphorus

  • Potassium

  • Protein

  • Riboflavin

  • Thiamine

  • Vitamin A

  • Friday, January 11, 2013

    pancakes take 2

    These pancakes are adapted from Two Blue Lemons ( a site I really like) and I've made them so many times since finding them. The lovely husband much prefers waffles to pancakes (I'm sure for the reason of more syrup to cake ratio) but he REALLY loved these and my boys asked for them this morning so this is what you are getting. She has a nice blackberry syrup recipe there too. I usually make some sort of syrup with frozen berries to go along with it.

    Yields about 20 pancakes


    -1 1/4 C whole wheat flour
    -1/3 C cornmeal
    -1 Tbsp unrefined sugar
    -2 tsp baking powder
    -3/4 tsp baking soda
    -3/4 tsp salt
    -1 C Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
    -2 eggs
    -1/4 C coconut oil melted
    -enough water to make good pancake consistency


    1. Put together dry ingredients
    2. add in wet ingredients
    3. should be a pourable mix, so add water if necessary
    4. one tip: put your coconut oil on the griddle you are going to cook the pancakes on and melt it there. You get the best of both worlds. The griddle is oiled and the oil for the pancakes is melted.
    5. Get the griddle hot before starting the first ones- then enjoy!

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Lemon blueberry banana muffins

    I have been wanting a good lemon blueberry muffin for a while now and though I've attempted many recipes in the past, today's attempt was perfect and sweet and moist and lemony. I just mildly adapted my banana oat muffin to fit this and it turned out to be the best ever!


    -1 C whole wheat flour (soft white or hard white is best)
    -1 C oat flour or quick oats (make your own oat flour by putting old fashioned oats into a blender till ground)
    -1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    -1/4 tsp baking soda
    -1/4 tsp salt
    -cinnamon (I just thow it in there)
    -2 eggs
    -1/2 C coconut oil melted
    -1/4 C raw honey
    -1/4 C maple syrup
    -1 large banana roughly smashed
    -1 lemon zested and juiced
    -1/2 C frsh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, let them thaw a bit before combining)


    1. Combine all the dry ingredients to a bowl
    2. Add in the wet ingredients and stir together
    3. Fold in the blueberries
    4. Fill muffin tins lined with liners to the top almost
    5. Bake at 375* for 15-17 min
    6. spread with pastured butter or coconut oil

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Dried cherry pumkpkin seed salad

    A little twist on my favorite salad, this one uses some more winter like flavors and spotlights red wine vinegar instead.

    Ingredients for salad:
    Baby spinach
    Spring mix salad or other greens
    Pumpkin seeds
    Thinly sliced red onion
    Crumbled feta cheese
    Dried cherries or cranberries
    Chopped pears

    Ingredients for dressing:
    Olive oil
    Red wine vinegar
    Maple syrup
    salt and pepper to taste

    1. Mix salad ingredients
    2. Mix olive oil and red wine vinegar in a 2 part oil to 1 part vinegar ratio and then add sweetner to taste (I usually like a few Tbsp of it) then add s&p. Shake in a glass bottle and store for later use with leftovers

    Bulgar wheat pilaf

    This is a recipe from my neighbor from Saudi Arabia, she shared it with me the other night and I wanted to give it a try with the family. It turned out great and the whole family loved it! It is so simple and fast and a nice change up from rice.

    2 C Bulgar Wheat
    Approximately 2-4 cups water
    Coconut oil
    1/2 onion chopped
    2-3 garlic cloves chopped
    Salt and Pepper to taste

    1. Put the grain in a bowl and cover with hot water just until it reaches the top of the grain and let sit for about 10-15 min.
    2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot and saute onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent.
    3. When the onion mixture is done add the bulgar (which will have soaked up the water and be plump) to the pot and fill with water until it covers the mixture 1-2 inches.
    4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or so, until the water is gone and it is easily fluffed like rice.
    5. Add salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.

    cranberry orange butter syrup

    I made this up after having leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and nothing to use it with. It was a huge success with me and my kids liked it too!  It seriously makes me feel like I am at a bed and breakfast (well I've never been to one but I bet this is what they serve. :)) It takes just a little bit of time but once you have it made it will last for a while in the fridge. And will be handy everytime you have pancakes or waffles.


    -2 oranges
    -2 Tbsp butter
    -3-4 Tbsp maple syrup
    -cranberry sauce


    1. Zest the oranges and then peel the orange by cutting with a knife around the edges so the white and segment skin is removed.
    2. Seperate the orange slices and try to remove the segment skins from them (easiest if you pull from the side already free of skin.
    3. Put the oranges plus all other ingredients into the pan and simmer until a sauce starts to form
    (If you like the segments whole, don't let it go too long, otherwise make a sauce) and then smash together with a fork.
    4. Pour onto pancakes warm and eat as is or with maple syrup drizzled on it.

    cranberry sauce

    I made this cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year and it was tangy with a hint of sweetness. I then had lots of leftovers because we did Thanksgiving by ourselves this year and I am the only one who likes it so I got creative and made a cranberry orange syrup for pancakes after and that was sooooo delicious. I couldn't stop eating it.


    -12 oz bag of cranberrries fresh
    -1/2 C honey
    -1 cinnamon stick
    -zest of one orange and the juice from it
    -1 C water


    1. Put all ingredients into a pot and simmer over medium heat for 30-45 min and watch to be sure the liquid doesn't run out. Simmer till it is a thick sauce, then let it cool or serve warm. This can easly be frozen and put in the fridge to thaw. It came out just as wonderful after being frozen.

    Clean and tasty Orange Julius

    I had a hankering for an orange julius, reminisant of the days when I would go to the mall and get them ones loaded with all sorts of things. I hopped online to see if I could find any inspiration and ended up devising my own. So here goes.....

    Serves 4


    -4 oranges (or a combo of oranges and manderans which is all I had)
    -2 bananas frozen
    -about 3/4 C whole fat coconut milk
    -1 tsp vanilla
    -orange juice fresh or not OR I used coconut water cause that all I had again (enough to get it mixing well)
    -Ice cubes

    1. Combine all but ice cubes in the blender and blend till smooth
    2. Add ice cubes to your liking (I love icy drinks so I do about 8 or so)
    3. Pour and enjoy!