Homemade Granola Bars with Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, and Cranberries

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This is a filling, healthy snack or addition to a lunchbox and a great way to welcome Fall!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, almonds, and pumpkin seeds and spread on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and put in a large bowl.

In a saucepan, heat honey, brown sugar, vanilla over medium heat for a minute. Pour over oat mixture. Mix in the cranberries.

Line an 8 x 13 in baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Pour in the mixture and press into pan.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely and cut into rectangles. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Banana Cupcakes with Blueberries

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Adapted from www.trufitjacksonville.com/breakfast-oatmeal-cupcakes/

Ingredients (12-15 servings):

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups blueberries (you can substitute chocolate chips for the blueberries for a richer treat!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Line muffin pan with cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Divide batter into 12-15 cups.

Bake 20-30 minutes (until the edges start to brown).

115 calories, 21g carbs, 3g fat, 4g protein

 

 

 

Planting My Fall Garden

I am pretty pleased with my first spring and summer garden. We had more kale, leeks, red and white onions, carrots, tomatoes, chard, collards, and cucumbers than we could eat ourselves. Sadly, I am still waiting for the red and yellow peppers and eggplants. I did not have the greatest luck with those this year, I think, because I did not get them in the ground early enough. I will be freezing a lot of things that will warm us up in homemade soups and sauces this winter!

I am getting ready to transition to my fall plantings, which will include more carrots, red and white onions, green onions, two types of spinach, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, garlic, kale, and radicchio. As always, I used seeds from SeedsNow.com, and so far they are sprouting nicely!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     I hope to get these in the ground within the next week and look forward to all of the wonderful dishes and salads we will make from them!

 

 

 

Picky Eaters

One of the biggest challenges I face as a mom trying to promote a curative lifestyle is getting the picky eater(s) in my house to eat healthfully. My middle son, Alex, has been a very picky eater since infancy. He is one of those kids that picks one or two things that he likes, and will ONLY eat those things for weeks at a time. His favorite thing last year was Honey Nut Cheerios (Yikes!  I now know that they are loaded with GMOs and other yucky stuff!). Now, I only stock my pantry and kitchen with organic, non-GMO snack choices and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Despite my best efforts, Alex still does not eat a very well-balanced diet. He has started eating some fruits and veggies, like strawberries, bananas, and broccoli, but that’s about it. I have relied on a multivitamin to give Alex that extra boost of nutrition that he does not regularly get from diet. Recently, I read that some of the popular kids’ multis have some rather undesirable things in them, like aspartame,  Blue #2, Red #40, Yellow #6, GMO corn starch, hydrogenated oil, and other toxic substances. So, I set out to find some that were safe, healthful, and non-toxic. These are a couple that I am trying, and in the meantime, we will keep encouraging Alex to get his nutrients from whole, organic foods!

and

All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Kids: Multivitamin + Omega 3s + Vitamin D3

Garden-Fresh Marinara with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

My daughter loves to go out to the garden and pick whatever is ripe.  Right now, that happens to be tomatoes. She came in the house the other day with bags loaded with tomatoes – Roma, Cherry, Celebrity, Champion. I had no idea how I was going to use all of those beautiful tomatoes. One can only eat so many salads and sandwiches!  So, my husband and I decided to make a batch of homemade marinara sauce. We were able to pull a couple of onions out of the garden and we had some fresh garlic from a neighbor’s garden handy. We also have three beautiful basil plants as well as a parsley plant on the deck. Here’s what we threw together, and, as you can imagine, our house smells like a Tuscan kitchen in summer time!

  • 10-12 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 small onions, chopped (if you are using a conventionally-sized onion, use about 1/2 – 1 onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn or chopped
  • 2-3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered olive oil

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First, immerse your tomatoes in rapidly boiling water for one minute. Have a large bowl filled with ice cubes and water ready. After your tomatoes have boiled for a minute, use tongs to place the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water. The skins should peel off easily now.

Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. You can either place the tomatoes in a blender (I used my NutriBullet) or chop them up. We did a mixture of about 3/4 pureed and 1/4 chopped.

In the meantime, chop the onions. Place about 2 tbs of unfiltered olive oil in a pot and warm over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until they turn clear. Be careful not to brown the onions. Add the tomato sauce.

Add the chopped garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and lower heat to low setting. Let cook for several hours (the longer the better!). We added olive oil as the sauce cooked, because it thickens up a lot.

Cook your pasta per package directions and enjoy!

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Lunch Can Be Yummy AND Healthy – Part 2

I received a lot of feedback and questions about yesterday’s post, so I thought I’d follow up today with another lunch post. This time, I am using the Sistema Salad Cube.

Today Miss Sophie will be taking tuna salad, sunflower seeds, fresh strawberries, whole wheat crackers, raw carrots and broccoli, an apple, and organic chocolate milk.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     This box is really cool because it comes with it’s own knife and fork set, which clips neatly under the top compartment. It also has a small dressing container, which I am using to hold sunflower seeds. Here are links for the two cubes I have shown (just click the images):

                         

Lunch Can Be Yummy AND Healthy!

I love this new lunch cube (and more importantly, my daughter does, too)! She loves choosing how to fill up the compartments. Once at school, she loves to show her friends what healthy things she has!

Today’s lunch: (My daughter’s class eats at 10:30am, so we have to provide lots of goodies that will sustain her until 3:00.)

Crazy Richard’s Natural Peanut Butter and Nutella Sandwich on Flax Bread, Pomegranate Seeds, Almonds, Pretzels, an Apple, and Organic Chocolate Milk. Yummy!

For some cool ideas on healthy lunch options, check out the Paleo Lunch Roundup and 100 Days of Real Food.

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Lentil Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

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This dish came out of my favorite cookbook, Forks Over Knives, which I HIGHLY recommend if you are looking for some easy, delicious plant-based recipes.

The lentils have a light lemon-cilantro-mint flavor and the arugula adds a nice complimentary peppery taste. This is a very nice, light summer dish.

The recipe does not call for tomatoes, but my garden is overflowing with them at the moment, so I decided to add a few 🙂

 

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bad

There’s nothing more curative for the spirit than relaxing and spending time with family. But while I spent the last week restoring my spirit, I did just the opposite for my body. I spent my vacation week indulging my every food whim. Although this might seem like a bad idea, this was just what I needed to reinforce the fact that what I put in my body completely impacts how I feel.

I read once (I forget where) that you should not even be aware that you have a digestive or gastrointestinal system. You should not feel bloated, gassy, crampy. I got so used to feeling this way before I began my curative journey that it became normal to me. When I started eliminating certain things from my diet and adding others, I found out what that was supposed to mean. I ate and I felt nothing. Digestion just happened, below my awareness, and my body felt good. It was operating like a well-fed machine, easily, smoothly, happily.

So, on vacation, I ate steak, lobster, cheese, ice cream, french fries, shrimp, cheeseburgers, chicken and everything else an indulgent vacationer comes across. I ate virtually no raw food and boy did I start to feel gross. Although I gained three pounds and my stomach and intestines screamed to me in pain and agony, I am appreciative for the experience. It reminded me why I want to change. It reminded me what I need to do to feel strong and healthy.

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