Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Everyone needs a good balanced "treat" recipe. And this one is a spin on the classic oatmeal raisin cookie with some nourishing ingredients. Yes, there is the chocolate treats, and cakes and such, but sometimes you are trying to eat a little less indulgence after the holidays and focus on eating more whole foods- I get it! These cookies might as well be a granola bar in my opinion, but then once you form it into a cookie you celebrate like it's a treat. And maybe you do, but it can really also just be a great snack and goodie-to-go for yourself and the kids.
This cookie is pure goodness. Yet, somehow paired with tea time it does seem like a celebration.
I made these yummies with some leftover pumpkin puree. Then I added some few pinches of pumpkin spice blend and it was a magical addition to any oatmeal raisin goodness.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed and refined sugar-free}
2 cups of rolled GF oats
3/4 cup of GF oat flour
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 ts. of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of applesauce
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup of avocado oil
1/4 cup of softened coconut oil
3/4 cup of organic raisins

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl first, then add in the wet and mix well with a spatula until it is a sticky ball. Then fold in the raisins last. Let batter sit for 10 minutes in the fridge and then you are ready to scoop out 1 TB sized pieces of dough and roll and spread out on the baking sheet. I was able to bake 15 on a parchment-covered baking 12x15 baking sheet. This recipe will make about 30 cookies. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. 

Much love and light, xoxo

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fresh Thyme Frittata Cups

Here is another great breakfast creation. Another great way to start your day on a positive note of nourishment and making good choices. Yes, I don't normally post a lot of egg recipes. In fact, we don't do many egg dishes at our house because of allergies (as you can tell from my egg-free baking ;). Still there are a few in our house that love eggs and this is a great way to make some and store some away for the week to warm up and go. So I understand if this is not an option for you- but maybe it is- and if it is you got to try this simple way of making a batch of frittata cups. 
How could you not want to start your day with these bright yellow rays of sunshine? Maybe they should be also known as, "breakfast sunshine cups" but also known as..."a creation you don't really need a recipe for" and "could have hundreds of great combos". Really. I made these on a whim with the ingredients I had in the house, but you could make them with your favorite veggies and herbs and get a great result as well.
I once was a part of a breakfast experiment for part of my holistic health training and it had something to do like this.... each day of the week you make a different breakfast creation and then document how you felt afterward or until lunch. So you have a day with a juice or smoothie, a day of eggs, a day of oatmeal, a day of granola or seeds and nut bar option, and then there is always the whole grain toast or muffin option as well. You are looking to see how your body responds to the differing amounts of proteins, carbs and possibly sugars. Yeah, I usually don't pay attention to the micro/macro-nutrients of foods because I am mostly interested in if the food is fresh, whole foods that don't create allergic reactions or inflammation. But I think this little experiment does something great- it allows one to find a little intuition on what is a great breakfast option for their body to start the day. Some work best with eggs, some work best with a bowl of oats, some work best with a fresh juice and an energy bar. And sometimes its different depending on the season. The experiment allows one to ask the body what it needs and then make the choices to make that happen so you can start the day the best way you can. In one season of my life, a smoothie and a bit of granola was what my body wanted. And I always love a bit of porridge or oatmeal in the winter months to warm up in the morning, but I also love the boost that a few eggs and all that protein and greens offer first thing too. So- I say all of this to offer a bit of experimenting to your food-life if you feel like you are in a rut. It may seem a little risky if you are still afraid of food that may make you sick and have been eating the same thing for most days. And that ok too. And maybe eggs are not for you- then don't try them but try some other options like porridge, stirfry, even soups. It is baby steps. Breakfast is a good place to start. 
Fresh Thyme Frittata Cups Recipe

1/2 cup of sweet onion (or a mix of green onions and white onion)
1/2 cup of finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of finely chopped greens (I used kale this time)
1 cup of chopped turkey sausage (or chicken, or bacon)
1/4 ts. of sea salt and black pepper
2 TB- large handful of fresh thyme + more for topping

10 farm fresh eggs
1 cup of milk of choice (I use coconut or rice usually- but you can use water too)
a pinch of sea salt and black pepper

other options place of the veggies:
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup of shredded carrots or root veggies
use of other greens or fresh herbs
(garlic, shallots, green onion, leeks)

In a large saucepan, sauce the finely chopped veggies and sausage. Cook until it is all soft and smells amazing! Then in a 12 cup muffin tin, make sure it is cleaned well and rubbed with ghee or organic butter of choice- then evenly distribute the veggies sausage mix in each muffin cup about half way full. 

In a large quart measuring cup mix up the 10 eggs and 1 cup of milk and get a frothy egg mix. Ad in a pinch of sea salt and black pepper here too. then pour the mix over each muffin cup full of veggie mix. Fill 3/4 full and then top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes and then let cool and set for 10-15 minutes before digging out. The butter helps it pop from the tin- oil gets more stuck. Also after letting it sit for the few minutes allows it to pull away from the tin as well. It was pretty easy pulling out and placing on a plate about 10-15 minutes later. Eat warm, or when they are cooled too- They are amazing regardless. 
Dress up with salsa- potatoes, or just by itself. They are a fun option for brunches or parties or little gatherings. They are cute and packed full of flavor and nutrients. I bet once you make them you will be thinking of other great options for combos and how to make them fantastic. That is why I say they really don't need a recipe per say- but I guess it helps to know the general amounts of veggie to egg ratio for the 12 muffin cups. I hope this recipe finds you ready to experiment and start your day well.
Happy Breakfast, friends!

Much love and light, xoxo

Monday, January 9, 2017

Overnight Soaked and Baked Oatmeal

Happy New Year! A week late ;) But still basking in the newness of January after the holidays. I'm not really a resolutions person lately. I think I was in the past for some years there. I think I want to believe that any day can be a FRESH NEW start even if it is a random day in the middle of the week with no holiday to celebrate. I think I know this after being through a plethora of my own setbacks, traumas, and new beginnings. Sometimes the event or day just happens. And sometimes, yes, you have to make it happen. So either way you have to find what would bring the best source of health and balance for you. So maybe it is resolutions and goals, or maybe it is a word for the year, or maybe a theme. I think all of those things are amazing. I love seeing a person grab onto something and make it a part of there life with passion and force. I've seen change happen this way. It is a powerful thing to watch and create.
So, here we are 2017- maybe you have been trying to set goals for healthy living and eating, and breathing and movement- or all of the above- I am there with you. I have been forcing myself to get some form of movement in every day. The treadmill, a yoga class, dancing. But for me it is just as much a help for my mental state as it is for my body- the mind-body-soul connection happening. This is a goal of mine I guess you could say.

And this recipe is here to help you on this journey. It is an easy make before bed and bake in the morning while you trying to get out the door or while you are spending some time on the mat or in meditation. This is a great choice to start out the day and it isn't super difficult to make it happen. I know this to be true about myself, that starting the day with a few simple positive choices, the whole day seems to stay focused. And being focused is where I want to be!
Overnight Soaked and Baked Oatmeal Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg and refined-sugar free}

2 1/2 cups of rolled GF oats
1/2 cup of chopped dates
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 apple finely chopped (optional) (you could add other fruit)
1 ts of ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. of ground cardamom
1/2 ts. of ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
2 cups of milk of choice (I used coconut milk beverage)
1/4 cup of ground flaxseed or chia seed

optional: sprinkle from frozen blueberries onto before soaking
optional #2: 1/4-1/2 cup sprinkle of roasted almonds or walnuts

In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir together and then pour into a glass 9x9 pyrex pan.   You can sprinkle some frozen blueberries or nuts on top. It is very loose, but it will soak and sit overnight (or 3-4 hours works too) and then you can eat just like that, so to warm up put in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Then scoop into bowls and serve with a an added drizzle of maple syrup, ghee, butter of choice and milk of choice. Or even a dollop of greek yogurt and a fresh fruit. 

This recipe fills a 9x9 pan, if you want to fill a 9x13 pan then add 1 more cup of oats and 1 more cup of milk, and additional dates, nuts and seeds of your preference. The dates add a caramelly taste and crunch to the dish to perfection.

This recipe is very similar to my Raw Breakfast Museli but this is a baked version to warm you well over the winter months with added spice and baking. 

Hope you are starting 2017 well. Don't give up and keep going...

Much love and light xoxo

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cherry Chocolate Snow Cake

It's been a winter wonderland for the last 10 days here in Michigan- so much snow! We are not complaining (now)- just enjoying the cozyness and the excitement the snow brings as it ushers in more Christmas spirit. I'm sure when January rolls around we will be a little more whiney about the constant shoveling and delays that snow brings, but for now I am truly enjoying the quiet and still gorgeous beauty of the snow falling. There is something magical in watching the world be glittered with gentle white powder sprinkles from the sky.  It stills the racing heart if you let it- something to sit and do amongst the crazy season of shopping, baking, wrapping and parties.
My kids saw this cake I was making and thought the sprinkle of powdered sugar on top looked like the beautiful snow and called it the snow cake :) Seems appropriate because we have been watching snow fall for so many days now. A cake is always needed to celebrate if you ask me and chocolate and cherries always help no matter what the season :)
This week also marks the Winter Solstice on Wednesday at 5:44 EST.  So the "shortest" day of the year for us in the Northern Hemisphere with the darkest day and hours of sunlight you can count on your hands. Traditionally the Winter Solstice is a time to reflect in the darkness and to journey deep within to restore and nourish from the inside out. I think the body observes these cycles whether we are aware or not- this shift in our world is happening whether we are present in it or not. So, being aware allows us to dig deeper into our thoughts, hearts and soul. I can appreciate the space to do this, if I actually allow myself to slow down and live fully present in this gift of life.
I have been enjoying my time in the kitchen this Christmas season. I know it may seems a little unreal or crazy that I do so much baking at my house.... but it is just a part of me. It may even be said to be "easy" for me to bake, cook, create. And it is most days- but I see it as my gift to share. That's what these recipes and blog is all about-it comes from a place in me that needs to be shared and given. I truly see what I have been given a gift- my life, my loved ones, my kids, and every detail of my little livelihood. But what brings me more hope, joy, purpose is when I can share what I have been given. The recipes are my gift to you. I hope they find you so that you can create them and share and enjoy them too. I know that it is not much when it comes to all that is hard and difficult in our world- but if it makes your home and life a little brighter- in the simplest of ways- then I know it was worth creating and sharing. 

So I hope you enjoy and have the merriest of Christmases with moments of hope, peace, joy and LOVE. You have been given the greatest gift of love and now it's our turn to share it too. Merry Christmas and much love and light to you xoxo

Cherry Chocolate Snow Cake Recipe
{free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nuts and seeds}

1 1/4 cup of gluten free oat flour
2/3 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 ts. of baking powder (I use Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/3 cup of applesauce
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 cup of date puree ***This involves pouring 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance.

1 ts. of pure vanilla
1 cup of warmed coconut oil
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious)
2 TB of apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup of chocolate chips morsels (Enjoy life brand)

2 cups of frozen chopped pitted cherries, halved (I used ones from last summer pickings in our freezer, but any frozen cherry will do, tart or sweet)

First grind your GF oat flour and mix well with all the other dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients, date puree and lastly the warmed oil. Mix well and you will start to see the vinegar and baking powder do it's work and make the batter poof up a bit. Fold down and then mix in the chocolate chips, and then lastly the halved frozen cherries

Pour in a coconut-oil-lined baking pan. I baked mine in a bundt or angel food cake pan. But you could also make this in a 9x9 circle or square pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until it is no longer wet and giggling. The cake should show a clean toothpick from the middle of the cake and firm, but soft. no wetness. Pull from the oven and let it cool completely.

When it is cool completely, you can use a sieve and sift powdered sugar over the top looking like snow falling on such a dark chocolate cake. I use about 1/4 cup of sugar, and I use the organic powdered sugar because it is processed with tapioca starch and no corn. 

Set up with some fresh cherries, cranberries, or green grapes for a little red and green color with the cake. It is a rich cake, but some coconut ice cream or whipped topping is a nice touch too. 

Hope you ENJOY! Happy Baking :)