Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

Shake

We are a shake family. I drink a shake for breakfast every morning; the kids have a shake after school to quench that limitless appetite, and periodically Sean will make a shake for himself, too. Tonight Sean and Nola joined brain like forces and created their chef-d’oeuvre. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila, their masterpiece! It tastes a bit like Booster Juice’s Orangesicle, mixed with a bit of Orange Julius, but it’s not, welcome the Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie.

Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

By Sean and Nola

Ingredients:
5 Tangerines, peeled (or mandarins)
½ cup Coconut Ice Milk
½ cup pure orange juice
16 ice cubes

How To Play:
Mix in a blender and share with a friend.

 

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Anytime Squares.

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My hope for this post is to encourage moms or dads out there stuck with after school snacks. I am sure I am not the only one, but when my kids come home from all day at school, I prepare myself to be faced with whiney Caillou-like voices of mere starvation and discomfort….due to the absolute famishment, because they only had a large breakfast and lunch kit that would sustain any regular day at school that includes 2 recesses and a lunch break. However, out of mere frustration plus ambition, I decided to take advantage of the spectacular season of  the pumpkin, and try out these pumpkin squares I found from Oh She Glows. How it worked? How did they turn out? How did my kids respond to a nourishing square instead of a bowl of ice-cream? Let’s just say I was able to prepare dinner in silence, because these healthy little treats served their purpose. To fill and fulfill. These make for a great time.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Any-time Squares, Especially After School in this House!

Inspired by: Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1 flax egg: (1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
• 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
• 3/4 cup coconut sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour (Or use 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon oat flour)
• 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
• 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
• 2 tablespoon chocolate chips, for garnish, I used ½ a cup
How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl or mug and set aside to thicken for about 5 minutes.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin and sugar with electric beaters until combined.
4. Pour in the flax egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
5. Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and beat again.
6. Finally add in the oat flour, rolled oats, almond flour, and pecans. Beat until combined.
7. Spoon dough into prepared pan and spread out until smooth and even. The dough will be very sticky, but this is normal. Bake for 17-20 minutes (I baked for 18 minutes), until lightly golden and firm to the touch.
8. Place pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then, lift out and place square directly on cooling rack for another 10-20 minutes, until cool. Slice and enjoy! The bars will crumble slightly if sliced warm, but they firm up nicely when cooled.

Enjoy.

A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

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I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

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Popcorn.

Seriously, why does food have to be so good? I am finding probably the biggest challenge of this 30 day challenge is not eating after 7pm. I remember my grandmother always saying to eat after this time was a mistake. Everything my grandma has ever said, I kind of have taken to heart, even if it doesn’t make sense half the time, for it’s a sense within itself, I guess. I am not a huge night time snacker to begin with, but I just find time such a beast in the way of wanting to get all the things I want to get done in the 10 hours I have. Honestly, can it really be done?! When 3 was born, it was like the clock lost 2 hours and from that day forward, I always feel like I am running about 2 hours behind schedule. It is a chasing, answering and sharing life with little kids, planning and making meals often not appreciated, and all this with glimmer of hope that there will be at least an hour sometime in the evening to just SIT. There are times when my dinner is instead a nighttime snack, my favorite being homemade popcorn. It takes me to my happy place. Popcorn, seriously? But popcorn and I go way back. Not to date myself, but I remember in high school after one of our school plays, the group and I went to go see Austin Powers in the movie theater. I remember the awkward silence after I told my friend, the one I was in the play with, that I didn’t share and I wouldn’t share my popcorn with her. Oh…high school, how I don’t miss you. Unfortunately not much has changed. I will make the children popcorn, but when they are all nestled away in their beddies, I, without hesitation, reach for my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl and make a fresh batch of popcorn just for me. Aside from all of this, I am staying focused and steadfast. Run, really I am going to.

Image credit:www.popscreen.com

Wheat-free Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Ever catch yourself saying something over and over again? I am not so much meaning profanity when things aren’t going accordingly to plan or plans, but I have said at least 4 times in the last couple of days to 1, “Well, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.” Where on earth did this quote emerge from within the many random facets of my subconscious?

There is never a dull, a quite for too long moment in motherhood. I know. I understand. Three little ones never stopping for air just causes me to become beside myself. There are moments when I no longer recognize me. Am I laughing at a Disney show with Vin Diesel? Wait Vin Diesel is in a Disney movie-when did this happen?

Despite the crazy stresses of life, finances, lack of groceries, clothes with holes, stained carpets, chipped glasses, broken drawers, and not enough spoons for everyone, this is just the how the cookie is crumbling these days. When I feel stressed, I bake. When I bake, I eat. Let’s just say there has been a lot of baking and eating and observing the unrealistic amount of crumbs on the table.

The perfect storm, could it be coming to its final end? I am not sure. It still remains poking its ugly face here and there, but yesterday important discoveries have began to wash up from the shores. Are there causalities of innocence being taken down by a recess oppressor?  I keep praying for more understanding. More revelation. More assurance as this storm remains steadfast against the windows of our house, I diligently try to remain focus. I am looking through this storm for the face of truth which sets free.

Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Inspired by Post Punk Kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups almond flour
½  teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cups coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 Tablespoon flax meal
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

 How To Play:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flax meal and almond milk. Add sugar and stir, add oil and vanilla and whisk vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified (about a minute).Mix wet ingredients into dry, fold in chocolate chips. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving and 1 1/2 inches of space in-between cookies. Bake for 10 -12 minutes.

wheat free cookie

Enjoy.

A snicklesnack?

This crispy treat is, as 1 has been telling me, the greatest snickle-snack to have at school. Snickle-snack? Well, it is the little bit of food one eats in their lunch, it is kind of a snack, but not, because it is a snickle-snack, the snack before the snack?  It is my daughter’s favorite part of her lunch. Does anyone else remember kids in their classes having food allergies? I don’t. I remember wanting everyone else’s lunches, because they looked exotically processed, but allergies? Maybe of bees,  but not of kiwis or nuts. Many schools forbid nuts to enter the doors of their schools, understandably so. This is what makes these treats ideal.  I love making these nifty little crispy treats for the kids, plus they love helping me.  I tell them we add double chocolate chips and they think it’s the coolest, perhaps even most rebellious thing I do. I understand the nut allergy thing, but it can be a pain trying to find substitutes.  I far more love sunflower seed butter than peanut butter, anyways, and my kids do too, so I hope this helps someone who is in need of a new idea for a nut-free snickle-snack.

Crispy Treats with Chocolate Chips

Inspired by The Kind Diet

Ingredients:
5 cups Special K rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
fine sea salt
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup of chocolate chips or carob chips

How To Play:
Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch or two of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquefies, add the sunflower seed butter and stir until well combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips. If the mixture isn’t cooled, the chips will melt, which I guess isn’t tragic, but your call.
Turn the mixture out into an 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Wet your spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool for 1 hour before cutting into squares.

Enjoy.

Carob Clusters

Carob Clusters with Toasted Almonds and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups carob chips, sweetened
1/3 cup almond butter
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped (toasted hazelnuts work great, too!)
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

How To Play:
Melt chips and almond butter together in a double boiler. Add chopped nuts. With a spoon, drop quickly onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Sprinkle the sea salt liberally over each cluster. Refrigerate or put in the freezer until they have set, about 10-20 minutes. Makes about 16 medium sized clusters.

Homemade Protein Bars


Last week I weighed myself…I am currently 179. I have a goal to be 177 this week, we will see. I have been eating good and diligently going to spin class, the gym at 5:30am and running. It is the food I am struggling with. I just love to eat. My boost, my brain food, and my favorite go-to snack would be the coconut bites. They are my splurge and my treat. I have been eating a lot of hummus, as well.  At spin class, I always aim to have the bike that is not super close to anyone, so I don’t offend them with the immense amount of garlic I consume in a day, poor Sean. He will sometimes ask, garlic? Ok, are you in need of a quick snack on the go?  Perhaps you are a mom like me, or a busy guy like Sean, either way, this snack is a filler. It does take a bit of preparation, but it is a good bit of fun when you have a free night.  Especially on those nice nights when the kitchen window can be open, breathing in the beautiful fresh spring air and listening your favorite beats.  I love to cook and bake with  Babbu Mann.  He is super fun.  I found this protein bar from the Slice cookbook.  Like most of my snacks, I put these in the freezer and grab one when I am short on time and heading out the door.  The kids love them too, but they are considered a once in a while treat, because as selfish as this may sound, they are mine!

Chocolate Coconut Powerbars

(from Slice)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup unpasteurized honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups nutmeal, leftover from making Nourishing Nut Milk (see below)

1 cup oat flakes or flakes of your choice, I also like Barley

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup whey protein isolate, unflavored, or Vega French Vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

How To Play:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, lightly grease a 9×12 inch dish. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine almond butter, honey, oil, tahini, and vanilla for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth. In a bowl, combine nutmeal, oats, cocoa powder, whey protein, coconut and cinnamon. Stir almond butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Press mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Store refrigerated for up to 7 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to one month. * I bake these no longer than 18 minutes, because I prefer them to be under baked than over baked.

Nourishing Nut Milk

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup hazelnuts, skins removed

1/4 cup sesame seeds

4 cups filtered water

2 dates, pitted, or 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract

How To Play:
Place nuts and seeds in a glass bowl. Cover with filtered water and soak for at least 4 hours, or over night. Drain and rinse nut mixture. In a blender, combine 1 cup of water, soaked nuts, dates and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Set blender to low, and slowly add 3 cups of water. Strain mixture through a fine strainer or cheese cloth. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 7 days. The remaining nutmeal can be saved and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy.

Oh She Glows Hummus

I just got back from the Dermatologist and it was reassuring to some small degree that the spots on my face, which were not there when I was in my twenties, is a completely normal thing for people who are blue eyed, fare skinned, and in their thirties…They gist of his message was this… I am aging.  Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my mom.  Especially during the days when I was young, did she feel the way I feel now?  I used to think she knew all the answers and was untouchable by people who were mean.  She came across, to me, as fearless, well, fearless regarding people, the thing I was most fearful of when I was young.  Now, I look at myself in the mirror, with my lines and spots and my favorite lipstick, and in my head I am the same me.  I feel as though I haven’t aged.  I am 11, I am 15, I am 20, but I am really in my thirties.  I don’t know all the answers.  I am not untouchable, and yes, I still have a slight fear of people, so hide under the label of shy, however, my mom paved a way for me to be a mother to my kids.  She exhibited a confidence that made me safe.  I pray that I will do the same for my own children.

After seeing Dr. Dermatologist, I made Hummus, from Oh She Glows.  It is a great snack and I ended up just eating it as my lunch.  I added a wee bit more of lemon juice and one spoonful more of Tahini with a dash more of salt.  Costco has these amazing cracker tortilla chips made by Food Should Taste Good.  They work really well with the spread, as well as peppers and carrots.

Oh She Glows Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 Cup tahini
  • 7-8 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp reserved chickpea liquid (or water)
  • 4-8 drops of Tabasco or hot sauce, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Paprika, for garnish

How To Play:

Place all ingredients into a food processor (except the salt) and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Now add in salt gradually, stopping to taste as you go. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a good quality olive oil and garnish with paprika. Makes about 2 cups and lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container.

Enjoy.

My Favorite Snack


It is typically not a good thing when your almost 3 year old is in the bathroom saying, “I’m sorry mommy, I’m sorry…”  2 has been toilet trained for 5 months now, but today he had a bit of an accident.  I am not sure exactly how it happened, but I am guessing he was trying to wipe himself but some fell on the floor?  It was a messy situation.  Let’s just say brown little barefoot prints on the tile floor and a long strand of toilet paper caked into a brown substance with a heel mark in it.  At least the majority of it was in the toilet.  Today I have been mostly working on my message for tomorrow.  I have not spoken at church since the end of October of 2010.  I couldn’t believe how frazzled I felt.  Perhaps it was feeling distracted.  When this little bit happened, it just kind of made me realize that I am a mom, these sorts of things happen and it is ok.  Speaking of bare feet, tomorrow I am going to be making granola.  It is my staple breakfast with fiber flakes.  Unfortunately, it is 2’s as well…eeeks.  Since it is Saturday, not really a cheat day, but a treat day, I am having my staple snack…organic popcorn.   I don’t have a microwave, so I cook it with a popcorn popper.  I sprinkle it with a bit of grapeseed oil and sea salt.  Sometimes I will use parmesan cheese to kick it up a notch.