Hello 2017!!!

2016 brought many changes for our family.  The Papa opened a new practice at the same time my sewing business took off.  I ended up having to step in and take on a bigger role in the practice than anticipated, so needless to say we were BUSIER than ever.  The Mama wasn’t “at home” anymore, and this required much adjustment on many different levels for everyone in our family.  One of the biggest areas that suffered was our healthy lifestyle, both with exercise and eating.  It became easier and easier to brush off exercising and homemade food in exchange for quicker, easier options.  I can honestly say that I firsthand have a brand new appreciation for working mamas.  That is not to say that being “at home” isn’t hard work; it is!  But trying to maintain that same level of everything that I had while at home while also working outside of the home on a daily basis was a brand new challenge for me.  I have given myself 6 months to transition, but now it is time to get down to business!  I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions being a requirement in one’s life.  I believe that any time is a great time to make a decision to change.  BUT, the new calendar year brought a perfect opportunity to give me the push I needed to buckle down.  I have a renewed desire to feed my family healthy, homemade snacks and meals.  It is just going to require a stronger desire, incredible organization and forethought and planning.  I know that I am capable of all of these things, and I am excited to see what this year brings for our family.  Let’s start the year off with this delicious smoothie we had this morning for breakfast.  I did not have all the ingredients, so it was modified.  I will post the original recipe below, along with my changes.  ENJOY and make it a great 2017!!!

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Blueberry Blast Smoothie (Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates*
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds**
  • pinch of sea salt

*I used 2 Tbsp. raisins instead  **I used 2 Tbsp. Tahini  ***I also added 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter and some crushed ice

Add ingredients to high powered blender in the order listed and blend until smooth.  This smoothie has a strong lemon flavor, and also a nutty flavor the way I made it.  It was delicious and very filling.

We enjoyed this before and after a family run.  We are embarking on a mostly whole foods diet this month.  Check back often for recipes and ideas.  Happy New Year!

Gluten-Free Lemon Raspberry Muffins

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Another delicious recipe from the cookbook, Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles.  A hit with 3 of my kids; the one who didn’t like it was not a fan of the strong coconut flavor.  These recipes can easily be modified to remove that strong coconut flavor, though.  These were moist and had a wonderful flavor from the lemons.  If you have never tasted gluten-free baked goods, please know that they have a very different texture from gluten muffins. I happen to be a fan, but it may take some getting used to if it is new for you!  These muffins are a great option for my oldest, who eats a mostly vegan diet.  Since he won’t eat eggs alone, he can still benefit from the protein from all the eggs baked into these muffins.  I did not add poppy seeds to mine because  didn’t have any.  They were still delicious, so I can only imagine how they would taste even better with the addition of the poppy seeds!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Raspberries

Ingredients (Makes 12 muffins):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (***I used 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (***I used zest from 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (add to batter frozen)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil muffin pan; I used coconut oil spray.  Whisk eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Stir in coconut flour, sea salt and baking soda.  Fold in raspberries and poppy seeds.  This batter thickens the more you stir it.  Fill muffin pans almost to the top and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  These muffins should be enjoyed within a day.  If not, they should be stored in the freezer and reheated prior to eating.

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TIP: When trying a new recipe, let you children taste it before you send it in their school lunch.  Unless you have a child who loves surprises!

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Recipe: Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

This is the first of several new recipes I will have to share with you this week.  I received a cookbook recently as a gift, and it has really motivated me to go back to eating more raw foods and gluten-free options.  I spent the morning preparing to go to Whole Foods to shop for the week.  It is the only affordable option around me that has everything I need.  I am a one-stop shop kind of gal.  Everything I have tried thus far today from the new cookbook has been fantastic.  Keep in mind that if you are not used to eating a lot of raw foods or baking gluten-free, then these things will be very different for you, both to make and to eat.  Keep an open mind and remind yourself that you are what you eat!  That in itself is motivation enough for me to stay on the right track!

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The cookbook is Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles (pictured above with one of my favorite cookbook authors, Robin Robertson).  This is the first recipe from it that I tried.  2 of my 4 kids loved it, but the other 2 did not.  I think it is because it has a pretty strong coconut flavor, and some of my kids are not a fan of strong coconut.

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For the record, I thought these were absolutely fantastic, so rich and moist.  You really could only eat one or two, and that is saying a lot for this gal with a huge sweet tooth!  It is the perfect kind of treat that is filling and satisfying.  They are also gluten-free, vegan and raw with no added sugar!

Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts
  • 1 Cup cashews
  • 1/4 Cup goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao nibs

Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor (I used my Vitamix!) and process until the nuts are in small pieces but not powder.  Add remaining ingredients and process until everything mixes together, and you have a dough-like consistency.  Roll** into small balls and freeze for 30 minutes prior to eating.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

**dough feels oily in your hands