Well, it’s been a hot minute since my last post!
How are you? I hope you’re doing well…considering the year we’ve all had. I can typically look at my life and easily see that the blessings outweigh the struggles, but it was still a very challenging year for us. We said goodbye to our beautiful cat Chloe (age 16) at the beginning of the year. In the fall we lost our beloved pup Romeo – in one day without any warning, to cancer. About a month later, my husband had a stroke as the result of a freak positional “accident” while flying his hang glider, but is now recovering and feeling well. And I felt like I was sick with one thing or another all dang year. All heavy stuff. Thankfully, in between the difficult times, there were also memorable moments where we were able to find rest and joy. I love how we fickle humans have the tendency to yell, “The sky is falling!” (and sometimes it really does feel as though it is), but God says, wait a minute and trust Me, I will make sure you see and experience fruitful things from all of this. I could write a 5 page blog just based on the lessons from 2020 – couldn’t we all?!
I hope throughout the last year, you too were able to find rest and peace in between the crazy. I think “clarity” is one of the most common words I am hearing from my friends. We all feel like we’ve been given an opportunity to refine our focus. We pay more attention to the truly important things and work harder at pushing the unhelpful clutter away. We recognize more deeply the gift of time, and can see the trap of focusing on things we cannot control. We see how the joy and blessings of right now are so easily overshadowed by useless fretting! Then we see how God uses so many things to steer us back onto the path of peace. There is nothing like the gritty ugly behavior and atrocities of humans and the chaos of this world, to drive us toward God and plunge us so deeply into His Word for rest and restoration. There, our eyes are opened, and while we hate what we see in this broken world, we are thankful for the awareness of it because while it is a harsh reality, clarity through the eyes of God, is a tremendous blessing.
I am praying for you, and I hope you are able to find the peace and rest that outweighs the inevitable chaotic and challenging moments throughout the year. I’ll try to fill your inbox occasionally with fun and tasty things to try, and maybe even a few adventures.
Gluten Free Zen
Savory Sweet Potato & Buckwheat Pancakes
Day 1 – Grind 2 Cups of buckwheat groats in your blender and pour into a large bowl. Add enough water to make a pancake consistency (not too thin!) Add a splash (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar, whisk it all together, cover it with a kitchen towel and set it somewhere out of the draft to ferment for 48 hours. You can allow it to ferment longer, but keep an eye on it as you do not want it to form mold.
Day 3 – Add to the ferment:
1/2 Cup of Warm Water
1 1/2 teaspoons of Instant Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup
2/3 Cup of Pureed Sweet Potato (I used canned)
1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt
3/4 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon of Dried Basil
1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano
Whisk together, cover, and rest it in a warm place for 60 minutes.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Brush with 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil. Stir the batter and spoon or pour into pan (I like small pancake size). Use the back of the spoon to spread the batter out a bit thinner into a circle. Sprinkle with more sea salt and more dried oregano. Cook until bubbled and browned on the underside and flip. Move to a wire rack to cool. Store in the fridge for three days or freezer for 30 days in an airtight container between parchment paper.
I filled mine with a bit of dinner leftovers of roasted chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and yams, roasted beets, roasted onions, spicy fermented cabbage, and drizzled them with a tiny bit of plain coconut milk yogurt and a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley. But of course, you can fill them with whatever you like!
After experimenting the last couple of years with making my own yogurt, I have finally achieved the results I’ve been looking for! Not that my previous yogurt attempts weren’t tasty or enjoyable but, they were just missing that really nice thick and creamy texture. This recipe provides that along with my idea of the perfect balance between sweet and tart.
I think cashews were the missing ingredient all along. It’s really amazing what a cashew is capable of when it’s been soaked. They can not only be used to make yogurt, but for milk, sauces, ice cream, snack bars, candy…they are incredibly versatile. They also have a very mild taste so they are able to add texture and creaminess to dishes without that super nutty flavor that other nuts would add.
I honestly didn’t think this recipe would work at all. I thought the cashews would make the yogurt taste weird and that it would likely come out gritty and gross or slippery and gelatinous like some of the store purchased cashew yogurts. So I was incredibly happy to see the texture, how thick but fluffy it is, and the flavor is delicious. I sweetened mine with a small amount of pure maple syrup to help the bacteria grow. But you could use honey or maybe if you’d like it to be more tart, you could even try it without any added sweetener and see if the natural sugars from the coconut milk are enough to feed the bacteria. You could also add vanilla bean (from the pod not an extract) if you’d like vanilla yogurt.
Next I plan to experiment with fruit purees added to the yogurt while it’s warming and forgo other sweeteners, to see if I can come up with some flavored yogurts. For now though, I am perfectly happy with the way it is!
Cashew Coconut Milk Yogurt
*Makes seven 6 ounce servings
1 Cup of Organic Unsalted Cashews, soaked in filtered water with a pinch of sea salt for 3 1/2 hours
3 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk, I use the Arroy-D brand
The Contents of 6 Probiotic Capsules, I used Dr. Mercola’s (make sure the probiotic you choose is just probiotics and doesn’t have other gut supplements added)
2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons of Gelatin, I used Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin (does not have a flavor) I would guess you can also use a plant based gelatin, but I have not tried it so results may vary
Drain the cashews and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels. Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender (be sure to only use the probiotic powder, do not add the whole capsule). Blend until very smooth. Pour into your yogurt maker (I use this one). Leave the lids off and drape a clean kitchen towel over the top. Allow to heat for 8 hours. Secure the lids and refrigerate over night.
I’ve had a lot of fun on Instagram the last couple of days. I created this recipe, but then couldn’t come up with a name. So I invited people to send me their ideas and told them I’d toss them in a bowl and pick one – and that would be that, they’d forever be known as whatever was randomly selected! Lots of good ideas and a couple of very funny ones too (Third Date Balls…Schwetty Balls…) I’m really lucky to have such a fun group of people who follow me. They are all kind, some are hilarious, and they are all supportive! I couldn’t ask for a more awesome group of people.
So here we are with CHOCOLATE BOMBS, submitted by Mary Beth @walkswithfruit!
My blog is probably heavy in the sweet category. But what can I say, life is just too short to forgo tasty treats. I am all for living a healthy lifestyle, as long as it leaves room for a little (or a lot) of fun! Which is why I think it’s important to show people that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing the things you love. You simply figure our different ways to enjoy them.
These Chocolate Bombs are grain free, vegan, refined sugar free, and organic. I really don’t think I could have made them much healthier.
The pest part though, is that they taste so delicious that no one will ever even notice that they’re packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, omega 3’s, fiber, protein, they have cholesterol lowering ingredients, nutrients that help lower high blood pressure, and are packed with natural anti inflammatory benefits.
So go ahead and indulge!
15 Organic Medjool Dates
2/3 Cups of Organic Walnuts
2 Tablespoons of Organic Chia Seeds
1/2 teaspoon of Organic Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons of Organic Cacao Powder (lower to 1 Tbs if you’re sensitive to caffeine)
1 Tablespoon of Pure Maple Syrup
2 Bars of Theo’s Organic Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate
Measure all ingredients except the dark chocolate into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together and will stay together when pressed with your fingers. There will be tiny pieces of walnuts, but make sure they aren’t too big or the balls won’t hold together when you form them.
Line a cookie sheet and press the mixture into 15 balls. Place in the freezer to set. Meanwhile, place a bowl over a pan of water (or use a double boiler if you have one) and melt the chocolate. Not too hot or it will seize! Once completely melted, remove the balls from the freezer, roll each one in the chocolate, let the excess run off, and place them back onto the cookie sheet. When all of the balls have been coated in chocolate, place them in the freezer again for 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and using the remaining melting chocolate, drizzle over the top of the balls. Return to the freezer for 10 more minutes to set.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge (if they last that long!)
This recipe is a remake of my 2013 Blueberry Yogurt Muffins. Equally as delicious, but made grain free and with maple sugar instead of white sugar, and coconut milk rather than almond milk. Either recipe is incredibly easy and whichever one you choose, will get rave reviews.
You can switch up your berries, but if you use a more tart berry like a raspberry or blackberry, I would increase the sugar a bit. You can also use whatever type of sugar you like, but if you use coconut sugar, the muffin will turn out a much darker color. Switching up the milk is easy too however, I prefer coconut milk as it adds a certain amount of delicate crumb to the muffin because of the extra fat. And of course, you can add whatever yogurt you prefer. Plain or vanilla dairy free or full dairy yogurt will work just fine.
I used Miyoko’s Dairy Free Cultured butter in this recipe but in my 2013 recipe use Earth Balance Soy Free Butter in the tub. I prefer the Miyoko’s because it tastes like real butter, is healthier, and you can work with it like real butter. The Earth Balance has it’s uses too in certain recipes, but it has the texture of margarine. Miyoko’s is much more expensive, so if your budget won’t allow for that at the moment, the Earth Balance will still result in a lovely and delicious muffin!
Grain Free Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
*Makes 12 Muffins
2 Cups of Cassava Flour
2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder
1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt
3/4 Cup of Pure Maple Sugar (if you use white sugar increase to 1 cup)
3/4 Cup of Miyoko’s Vegan Cultured Butter, cold and cubed (if you use Earth Balance, reduce the amount to 1/2 Cup)
1 Container of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Organic Cashew Yogurt
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract, 2 if you use plain yogurt
1 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk
2 Cups of Organic Frozen Blueberries
Pure Maple Sugar for Sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, xanthan, salt, and maple sugar. Cut in the butter until it resembles pea sized pieces. Whisk the vanilla and egg into the coconut milk. Add the coconut milk and yogurt to the flour mixture and gently fold until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Next, add the blueberries and continue gently folding until they are dispersed.
Use the entire flour mixture for the 12 muffins. I spoon the batter into each muffin paper up to the edge, then go around again and top them of with another scoop. They will appear overfilled, but don’t worry, they bake perfectly! Next, sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a generous pinch of pure maple sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes or until they test done in the middle. I use convection for all of my baking, if you’re using a conventional oven, they may take 5 or so minutes longer to bake.
This is a remake of an old favorite I used to bake for breakfasts and dessert before I knew that gluten and dairy were an issue for me. This time around though, I aimed high wanting to make it grain free, vegan and refined sugar free. A tall order, but it worked out and it was delicious!
I honestly didn’t think it was going to turn out so I was very “relaxed” about the photography. I really couldn’t ask for a worse set of photos. That aside, the most important thing is that it’s an easy recipe that looks gorgeous (in real life), tastes wonderful, and will get rave reviews from your family!
Mixed Berry Crumb Tart
Preheat the oven 350 degrees and prepare a 9″ tart pan or pie pan with oil
For The Crust & Crumble:
1/2 Cup of Walnuts, finely chopped (or almonds or macadamia)
4 Tablespoons of Raw Pumpkin Seeds, finely chopped
2 Cups of Cassava Flour
1/2 Cup of Pure Maple Sugar
8 oz of Miyoko’s Vegan Cultured Butter, cold
For The Filling:
4 Cups of Frozen Mixed Berries (I used raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
1/2 Cup of Pure Maple Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Arrowroot
Allow the berries to thaw for 30 minutes, then toss with the sugar and arrowroot and set aside.
Whisk the nuts, seeds, flour, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Cube the butter and cut into the flour mixture until it resembles pea sized crumbs. With your fingers, evenly press half of the flour mixture into the bottom and sides of the tart or pie plate. Spoon the fruit filling into the pan (some of the sugar and arrowroot may be in the bottom of the bowl, if this happens, simply sprinkle it over the top of the fruit in the pan). Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the berry mixture.
If you’re using a tart pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on a cookie sheet to catch butter and fruit drips. Bake (I use convection, so if you are using an conventional oven, time may vary a bit and take longer) at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Cool completely before removing from the tart pan. Or, if you’re using a pie plate, you can also serve it warm. The addition of a scoop of dairy free vanilla ice cream would make it extra special!
It’s my BLOGVERSARY!
It’s hard to believe 9 years ago today our son talked me into starting a food blog. Oh the time, it goes quickly! It has been so much fun and I have loved being able to show people that living gluten free and dairy free, really can be enjoyable.
I am blessed to have such kind followers, here on the blog and on Instagram. I am truly honored when you share that maybe even a snippet of a recipe I post or something that is going on in my life that I share with you, may have made a bit of difference in your day. When I started this blog I set out to help others, but you have been a blessing to me! Sharing the things we have in common, or learning from each other’s experiences and specialties is an incredible gift that I cherish.
I have several close relationships that have blossomed due to the crazy world of social media and my blog. Over the past 9 years hundreds and hundreds of people have allowed me into their lives via their table through my recipes and via social media. I will forever be thankful for all of the “hey, me too’s” I hear all the time. Every single person on this planet needs to know it’s not just us going through all of life’s ups and downs. When we are willing to be authentic and share our personal stories and reach out to support others, amazing things happen! Whether it’s food allergy issues, chronic illness issues, lyme stuff, family struggles, or just life in general, you guys have trusted me with your innermost thoughts – and those interactions, your sharing of your hearts, has made such a wonderful impact on my life.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You guys are the best.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us!
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pastries
*This recipe makes 8 pastries
For the bottom layer:
1 Cup of Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/2 Cup of Miyokos Vegan Cultured Butter
1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Sugar
3 Tablespoons of Cold Water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Whisk the flour, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar. Cube the butter and with a pastry blender or fingers, quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mix is crumbled and the butter is dispersed into small chunks. Stir the water in with a fork and with the back of the fork, work the the dough a bit to get it to come together. Don’t over work it! Form the dough (lightly) into a ball and slice into 8 sections. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll (lightly) all 8 dough pieces into a ball, and with floured fingers, pat them out into about 4 inch circles. I added fork marks to the edges of mine for aesthetic reasons, but it is not necessary. Set aside.
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
1 – 8 ounce Container of Plain Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons of Grated Lemon Peel
2 teaspoons of Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract
1/2 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Sugar
Beat until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Top Pastry Layer:
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/2 Cup of Miyoko’s Vegan Cultured Butter
1/8 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Sugar
Pinch of Sea Salt
3 Large Eggs – room temperature!
1/2 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract
Whisk the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, and sea salt, set aside. Warm the water, add the butter, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat as soon as it boils. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. It will begin to stick together, don’t panic! With a wooden spoon, beat in one egg at a time. At first, it will separate, just keep beating and it will come together after each egg. Once all of the eggs have been incorporated, add the almond extract and beat with the wooden spoon to combine. Spoon the pastry mix over each of the rounds on the baking sheet. It will be sticky, spread it with a metal spoon. Make a small well in the center of each.
Remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge and dollop about 1-2 Tablespoons in the middle of each well.
Bake for 30 minutes. (I use convection for all of my baking. A conventional oven may take a bit longer. You want the pastries to be lightly golden.) Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once the pastries have completely cooled, dollop the top of each with the raspberry jelly. About a 2-3 teaspoons. Not so much that it takes over the top of the pastry!
For The Frosting Drizzle:
About 3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
About 1 Tablespoon of Melted Vegan Butter
About 2 – 3 teaspoons of Water to thin
I say “about” because with powdered sugar frosting, the consistency and amounts can vary greatly. If it’s not thin enough to drizzle (but you don’t want it too thin of a drizzle either!) then add a tiny bit more water at a time until you reach the consistency you like. If it’s too thin, add a Tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until you like the looks of it. It’s really that simple.
There’s a lot of not so stellar, “I am in a hurry” Thanksgiving Day photography going on here but trust me, the cake was scrumptious. I can’t take credit for this entire recipe though! The fabulous grain free and dairy free angel food cake is Back Porch Paleo’s creation and it. is. amazing. Michelle works tirelessly creating delicious paleo recipes that she dubs “family comfort foods”, and I couldn’t agree more!
All I did was add my own spicy touch and whip up a dairy free cream cheese frosting using Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Cultured Cream Cheese. So simple and the cake combined with the spices and frosting was delicious!
You can head over to Back Porch Paleo for her Paleo Angel Food Cake recipe. Follow her recipe and then simply add these spices to the dry ingredients:
3 teaspoons of Ceylon Cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoons of Nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons of Ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Allspice
1/2 tsp of Cloves
For the frosting, I made a basic cream cheese base with a bit of vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, pure almond extract, pure vanilla extract, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. If you need to, you can use a tiny bit of coconut milk to thin it to spreading consistency. If you use the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese, the cake will need to stay chilled.
Granola is such a great snack because it’s a fun, filling, can be made very healthy, cures a little sweet tooth, and it’s versatile. You can please all kinds of different taste buds. When you put it in a cute jar and add a ribbon or a holiday gift bag, it makes great hostess gifts and a delicious gift for neighbors, or those dreaded work gift exchanges.
It’s also perfect for those of you who don’t really care to bake extravagant things or spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Granola is super easy, and anyone can make it!
If you’d like more ideas or recipes for a more elaborate granola, I have something for almost everyone:
Anything Goes Granola, Granola Bark, Dried Apricot & Almond Butter Granola Bars, Maple Almond Raisin Granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates, Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola with Caramelized Pecans & Walnuts, Nut & Groat Granola, Banana & Raisin Granola
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Granola
*This recipe will fill four 34oz mason jars*
1 2 lb Bag of Gluten Free Rolled Oats
2 Cups of Roughly Chopped Raw Unsalted Cashews
Pinch (generous) of Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 Cup of Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
3/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup
1 16 oz Jar of Organic No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter
2 Bars of Theo’s Organic 70% Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. You will need 2 large bowls but will start with one. Measure the oats, cashews, and sea salt, and stir to combine. Add the coconut oil and syrup and fold and stir until all of the oat mixture is coated.
Scoop half of the oat mixture into the other large bowl. Scoop 1/2 of the peanut butter into each bowl. With a wooden spoon, work the peanut butter into the granola by kind of pressing it down a bit, twisting the wooden spoon, and folding. It will come together eventually and spread out nicely. You want it to be a little chunky, but not big blobs of peanut butter.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat and pour the oats onto the sheets. Spread the oat mixture out as evenly as possible and bake for about 25 minutes or until it just starts to turn golden. The granola will firm upon cooling.
Roughly chop the chocolate while the granola is cooling. Once the granola is completely cooled, add the chocolate chunks.
Store in airtight containers.
I’ve made many changes to my diet over the past 12 years. I have no regrets. I’m convinced that a proper diet that keeps inflammation down and your gut happy, is the way to go for whatever ails you.
Many people won’t even consider dietary changes, even when they face terrible health consequences. We like our food, especially if we don’t realize we’ve been using it to comfort us when there’s things we don’t want to tackle. Food when used for all of the wrong medicinal reasons, can be very dangerous.
When used for all of the right medicinal reasons, food does bring comfort and healing. If you take a tour through my recipes (I think there’s well over 300 now), you will also see that diet changes don’t have to be boring or limited. You learn a few new things, make some tweaks that fit your own diet, and you begin to realize letting go of all the junk and processed, “easy” things, is worth it.
If you’re like me, you’re a fighter and you don’t give up until you figure out things that work. You figure out how to enjoy life, just differently. I love bread-ish foods in every form. Loaves, biscuits, pancakes, buns, rolls, and wraps. They simply just make life more tasty. With the right ingredients and a little patience, you can find alternatives for just about anything and everything.
If you enjoy these wraps, I also have a recipe for Grain Free Spinach Tortillas and if you follow me on Instagram and scroll through my timeline, I have another recipe for plain grain free wraps. I post recipes there more often than I do on the blog.
On this day, I used the tortillas for breakfast wraps. Just a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and fresh zucchini. All of my tortillas/wraps are extremely versatile! You can add all kinds of flavors and fill them with whatever you love.
*egg free *dairy free *gluten free *grain free (buckwheat is not a grain) *sugar free
1 Cup of Ground Organic Raw Hulled Buckwheat Groats (I grind mine in the blender)
1/4 Cup of Otto’s Cassava Flour
3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt
3/4 teaspoon of Organic Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup of Chopped Organic Parsley
2 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
About 1/2 Cup of Water (more or less depending on texture)
Grind the groats in a blender until they resemble flour, it will still be a bit grainy. Whisk the flours, sea salt, garlic powder, chopped parsley. Add the olive oil, and 1/4 cup of the water. Mix with a fork until it starts to come together, add more water as needed until it comes together enough to knead. Knead until completely smooth. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
Heat a medium cast iron skillet (or any skillet you have) on medium high (no oil). Cut two pieces of parchment paper (for rolling the tortillas). Split the dough into 8 somewhat equal pieces, form into balls, and place one at a time in the middle of a sheet of parchment. Press down the dough ball with your palm to form a flattened circle then cover the top with another piece of parchment and roll out into a thin circle. Continue with the remaining dough. If they begin to stick, sprinkle the paper with a little groat flour or cassava flour. I also cover the waiting dough balls with a damp paper towel.
When the pan is hot, loosen the paper from the top of the tortilla and flip the tortilla off of the bottom sheet into the pan. When it begins to bubble, lift the edge and check to see if it is slightly browned on the underside. It should also slide pretty easily in the hot pan when it is ready to flip. **DO NOT use a plastic spatula to flip the tortillas because it will melt and leave streaks of plastic in your pan. Use a flat wooden spatula or you can also slide a butter knife under the tortilla and hold the top with your other hand to flip it. Remove the cooked tortillas to a cooling rack to cool or tortilla holder if you’re serving them immediately and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
These bars get rave reviews from my husband and neighbors. They are so tasty! The base is chewy and sweet and the filling is cool, tangy, and such a lovely velvety texture. If you’re looking for more of a holiday bar, I think homemade cranberry sauce would work really well too in place of the berries I’ve used, although you may have to add a bit more sweetener.
After a series of unfortunate events, I am finally feeling like I’m getting back on track. My goal was to try to start posting several recipes a month again like I used to, but I swear, the minute I say that – 12,000 things get in the way! I won’t bore you with everything but I will tell you about the accident I had (enter eye roll here).
I had a freak fall in our kitchen that put a stop to all things fun for me a little while. If you know me, you are sadly, probably not surprised by this. I am not known for my graceful moves. In the last three years I have torn my shoulder starting our snow blower, the dog ran into my knee at full speed and tore my MCL (horrific pain that took 6 months to heal), I broke my toe in half on my Pilates tower (ouch and ugh gross), I have slipped down the stairs twice (no injuries thank goodness), stepped off the stool into a basket and tumbled while decorating our tree (only my pride was hurt but I was sore the next day)…and now this mishap.
My latest injury happened while were eating breakfast at our kitchen bar. I was wearing socks…stood on the bar across the bottom of the stool with one foot to reach over the bar (which is high and I am short – 5’4″) to the counter to grab a magazine. My foot slipped off the bar stool about 18 inches or so off the floor. The slip sent me crashing down and my chest and my underwire bra smacked onto the edge of our granite counter (this may be a good excuse to never wear a bra again, because I am quite sure that it was the underwire that did the damage).
I knew immediately that something was wrong, it was very painful and as the day wore on, I couldn’t take a breath without a lot of pain. I couldn’t bend over, couldn’t laugh, couldn’t cough, couldn’t push or pull or lift anything with the arm on that side, and could barely pull up or down my pants.
I went for x rays that evening and luckily nothing was broken (that they could see anyway – evidently xrays only show a small percentage of breaks), but I do have an intercostal muscle tear. Which let me tell you, is quite painful.
I had a couple of weeks with terrible sleep. It hurt to lay down and the limited mobility really put a cramp in my otherwise very active schedule. No vacuuming or cleaning at the level I like, no walking the dogs by myself, no morning stretching like I do religiously, and I had to hold my breath to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and teach myself to squat (great for the thighs!) instead of bending over. Not to mention, I haven’t been able to attend yoga in several weeks (enter crying here). So, here I am 25 days later, and just now starting to feel like I have about 90% of my movement back – still sore and I have to be careful, but SO much better.
I have a few more recipes I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones!
Raw Berry Bars
For The Crust:
2 Cups of Extra Thick Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup of Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 Heaping Cup of Organic Walnuts Halves
16 Pitted Organic Medjool Dates
3 Tablespoons of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon of Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt
For The Filling:
1 1/2 Cups of Soaked Organic Cashews (rinse and soak in filtered water with a pinch of sea salt for a minimum of 4 hours or over night)
1/2 Cup of Organic Frozen Berry Mix (I used Simple Truth Organic Cherry Berry), thawed & drained
1 5.3 oz Container of Kite Hill Vanilla Almond Milk Yogurt
2 teaspoons of Fresh Organic Lemon Zest
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Organic Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk (my favorite brand is ArroyD)
1/3 Cup of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted and cooled to the touch
1 Tablespoon of Raw Honey (Vegans can use pure maple syrup)
Directions For The Crust:
Add the oats, seeds, nuts, to food processor. Pulse for about 20 seconds to finely chop, but not enough that it turns into flour. Add the dates and pulse a few times. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and sea salt and pulse until it forms a paste and comes together. Line an 11 x 16.5 baking sheet with parchment, and spray lightly with nonstick spray (I use organic avocado oil spray). Scoop the crust mixture onto the tray and press out with fingers until flattened. Then, using an 8 oz drinking glass, press and roll the crust until it is uniform and has a nice edge up the sides of the pan. Smooth the edges with your fingers and place the pan in the freezer to set.
Directions For The Filling:
Rinse the cashews that have been soaking and add them to a high powered blender. Add the thawed berries, the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut oil, and raw honey. Blend until completely smooth. Be mindful if you’re using a Vitamix or a Blendtec because if you blend them on high for too long, it will begin to heat the filling. You don’t want that! Remove the crust from the freezer, pour filling over the crust and smooth. Tap the tray on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles and return to the freezer. Freeze completely, remove from the freezer and cut into squares. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days (do not stack them on top of each other), or in the freezer and they will last two weeks (if you can stay away from them that long). They are delicious frozen too!