Oatmeal Muffins (soaked)

These muffins are awesome because the grains are first soaked (and they taste good!). Soaking in kefir or an acid breaks down phytic acid and prepares it for better digestion and nutritional benefits. After trying the original recipe a few times, I found the texture was best with just under 1 c oats and 1 c flour, as you can mix the liquids through more evenly, and it keeps it nice and moist! I like them with frozen blueberries or blackberries added to each muffin cup before popping in the oven!

Ingredients:
• scant 1 cup rolled oats
• scant 1 cup white flour or whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 cup kefir or yoghurt (I usually mix 2/3 kefir with 1/3 filtered water)
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/3 cup melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
• Berries or raisins (optional)
• Raw cane sugar or chopped nuts to sprinkle on top (optional)

Instructions:
1. Approx 12 hours prior to baking, combine the oats and flour and drizzle kefir or yoghurt all over. Cover the bowl and allow the grains to soak.
2. When ready to bake muffins, preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease muffin tin (I use coconut oil). Add the other ingredients (sprinkling the baking soda & salt as evenly as you can over the batter). Stir to combine without over-mixing.
3. Fill muffin tins and bake 15 minutes until the muffins are set and lightly browned. Makes 12 muffins.

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Smoothies!

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One of my favorite breakfast foods… or drinks (I guess it depends on the thickness) that really make a complete meal!

Some tasty and nutritious ingredients in one of our favorite breakfast smoothies include antioxidant-rich berries and greens, fiber and omega 3 filled flax, coconut cream for good metabolism boosting fats, and don’t forget the kefir which is full of probiotics! Thicken it up with chia seeds that add protein. And if you feel you need to sweeten it up a little, just add a tsp of unpasteurized honey. I also often soak a handful of almonds over night with sea salt, rinse in the morning, and blend with water before adding other ingredients to my smoothie (soaking raw nuts allows us to absorb more nutrition).

Super Smoothie Recipe:

-1/3 c coconut cream/milk (love super thick Trader Joe’s coconut cream), or soaked almonds
-1/4 c kefir* or plain yoghurt (organic, 3.5% or higher MF is best)
-approx 1 c frozen berries
-handful of frozen kale leaves
-1 frozen banana
-up to a Tbsp each of chia and flax seeds*
-water to thin

*Kefir is this amazing superfood that has been made for centuries from kefir “grains” and milk. The milk ferments into a yoghurt type liquid that is full of probiotics, and the kefir grains grow so you can keep making more! It is the most tolerated dairy product by people with milk sensitivities.
*Flax seeds can be purchased whole and ground in a clean coffee grinder or blender with single blade attachment. You can also buy ground flax. Once ground, flax should be refrigerated as it quickly becomes rancid.
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Popcorn Seasoning (no artificial or GMO ingredients here!)

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We’ve been experimenting with nutritional yeast – a cheesy-flavored seasoning and exceptionally good B vitamin supplement – on our eggs, casseroles, and popcorn! It is de-activated yeast (so you don’t have to worry if you’re on a candida diet). It has a flaky texture, but is a great flavored alternative to cheese in dishes that call for cheese to garnish or have cheese baked inside.

Beware that most corn/popcorn kernals are GMO (genetically modified foods are linked to inflammation issues and a wide spectrum of diseases)… Get organic popcorn (and if you’re cheap like me, order a bulk bag not realizing it will probably last you til 2050!).

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So, pop a big bowl of organic popcorn for a late night snack (or lunchtime favorite side with my kids), sprinkly generously with half melted coconut oil/ half organic butter, then nutritional yeast, coconut sugar or sucanat (cane sugar), and sea salt. I made it for a non-GMO party my friends had where we watched the creepy but educational Genetic Roulette. I think my friends enjoyed the popcorn because I made 3 big bowls and they were gobbled up in no time flat.

Family Friendly Fries

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Yams, or the dark orange variety of sweet potatoes (there are many varieties) are low on the glycemic index plus they are one of the top potassium-rich foods. And my kids love ’em for snacks or with lunch.

Sweet Potato Fries:

2 med yams (close to 3/4 lb)
grapeseed oil

rice and tapioca starch

Dip:
organic mayonnaise
chipotle powder
honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut yam into fry-like strips. Rinse in colander and pat dry. Shake up fries in a large bag with 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil, add 4 tsp each of tapioca and rice starch and shake again, then scatter over baking sheet. I usually use a stoneware baking sheet and it cooks really nicely (you may want to use foil if you are using a metal pan?). Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and cook another 15-25 minutes, or until inside is soft and edges are browned (timing will depend on how fries are cut). Add your salt and pepper. Spoon some mayo in a bowl and season with chipotle powder to taste for your dip. Serves 2-4.

Red Potato wedges:

Wash and cut up enough red potatoes to make about 6 cups of chunky fries. I cut the potato in half then cut each piece into quarters (depends on size of potato though). Rinse in colander, then pour onto towel and pat dry. Pour into a large bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (approx 3 Tbsp) and 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. I like to grease the pan with a little butter as well. Spread over baking sheet (I have actually have only used my large stoneware pan from Pampered Chef… these things are awesome). Bake for 50 minutes at 375 degrees F, then turn down to broil and bake another 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve with mayo or ketchup.

Blackberry Banana Muffins

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I’m starting to think maybe I should have just made a blog on muffin recipes!

This one is everyone’s favorite. We spent a few evenings this past Summer picking blackberries around our neighborhood which was well worth it. I learned these are my favorite berry to bake with. So juicy and flavorful! (Delicate though, so I recommend carefully washing them by in a big basin of water, let them air dry on towels, then very gently fill your freezer bags, and you’ve got the perfect stock to bake with later on!). I also find it helpful to have quarters of ripe bananas in freezer bags, and defrost when needed for baking.

I stick to using wonderful, soft spelt wheat flour (it’s non-GMO, nutritious and easily digestible) now for most of my baking (it can be very expensive though, so I’ve shopped around quite a bit before ordering it bulk through Azure online). Coconut is my choice of oils because of it’s health benefits (especially for kids – it even has the same wonderful fats that breastmilk has!), organic butter is also great. Many other popular baking oils such as vegetable and canola oil are genetically modified and cause more harm to our bodies than good.

Blackberry Banana Muffin recipe:

2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 Tbsp non-aluminium baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup plain organic yogurt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 c coconut sugar or sucanat (raw cane sugar)
6 Tbsp melted coconut oil
2 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
some sucanat or coconut sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan, the top of the pan too because they’ll spill over.
Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan over low heat melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup, then mashed banana. Pour in medium bowl, adding eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, until the dry ingredients are moistened. I have added a little water to moisten it (up to 1/4 c). Add the berries. Don’t over-mix. The batter won’t be smooth. I like to add a pinch of sucanat (raw can sugar) sprinkled over each muffin.
Bake 18-20 minutes.

Pumpkin Banana Muffins


I found it was a good idea to double this recipe (from http://www.traditional-foods.com) to make the most of my defrosted pumpkin puree and (our many!) freshly picked apples!
I love using soft whole grain spelt flour. It’s a nutritious wheat that causes less digestive issues than our commonly used duram wheat. It is growing popularity here, but pretty expensive. Because of this I recently started purchasing it in 25 lb bags online through a co-op called Azure, making it super economical!

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Pumpkin Banana Muffins:

1/2 cup soft coconut oil (you may need to melt in small saucepan)
1/2 cup sucanat or coconut sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup pumpkin or winter squash puree (make your own by simply blending baked squash)
1 large (or 2 small) ripe banana, mashed
1 egg (or sub 1 tbsp chia / 2 tbsp water, and let stand for a few minutes before adding to other ingredients)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cup whole flour
2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash each of ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
1 small apple, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease muffin tin with coconut oil (the top of the pan too, so they don’t stick!).
Using a mixer, combine the coconut oil, sugar, and squash puree. Mix at high speed until creamy and blended.
Add the egg and the mashed banana. Add the yogurt. Beat until all is blended.
Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
Using a low speed, add the flour mix to the creamy mix a little at a time until just mixed.
Fill the muffin cups. Using an ice cream scoop or ladle can be helpful for the job.
They will bake 16-18 minutes. Test with a toothpick or sharp knife. The surface of either should come out clean, no raw clinging dough on the sides.
Cool the muffins and then store in an airtight container. They also freeze well.

vegan peanut butter cookies

1/2 cup nut butter (1/4 c almond + 1/4 c natural peanut butter)
1/2 c liquid sweetener (I did 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 c honey)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup your fave chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a warm saucepan, beat the almond butter, maple syrup, oil, chia and and vanilla until smooth. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt and add . Stir in the chocolate.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets and bake until just set, about 10 minutes.

Let cool on the cookie sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.