Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grrrrilled Pizza Party!

Sitting by the fire...
For my birthday, I wanted to indulge. And not in alcohol, but in pizza and cake (cake post coming soon)! I actually indulged in fresh caught Alaska Salmon as well. It didn't sit all that well with me. :(

I know pizza is a huge part of the runners food group, but I just don't eat it anymore! I'm possibly wheat intolerant. Which is sad. I'm still testing it out. All I know is I can actually breathe through my nose when I don't eat it. To be on the safe side, for my pizza, I used an oat crust.

If you've never grilled pizza before, it is very easy, quick and you get that oven fired crunch. It's also a great party idea. Small party idea. Last night we had a couple people over and it was top your own crust. Monday we had a large potluck, and it was bring a dish etc. Anymore than 4-5 people and the grill will either not be big enough, and/or you won't all eat together.

I kind of threw these crusts together, but I was very happy with how they turned out.
Speedy Pizza Crust
2 1/4 tsp Yeast
1 1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 C Spelt Flour/Brown Rice Flour Mix (any lighter flour will work)
1 C Warm water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbs mixed herbs (I did oregano, basil and garlic powder)

In a bowl, mix yeast and honey with wrist temp warm water. Stir until dissolved. Let sit for a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt.

Make a well in the middle, pour in yeast mixture, oil and water. Stir until loose ball forms. Knead until elastic. Leave in oiled bowl for however long you want. I was busy with other fixin's so it sat for about 30 minutes and doubled in that time! However, you can use this immediately, it does not have to rise.

Once risen, you can divide this into at least 2 very large crusts, I divided into 5 nice thin crusts- the size of my pizza stone. Roll out on floured surface. The smaller they are, the easier they handle on the grill.

Roll out thin, but not too thin... like 1/4-1/2 inch. Lay on a plate, dust with cornmeal/ground flaxseed. Layer with another crust. Repeat.

On the grill:
On preheated/low heat grill, carefully place one crust over low flame. watch closely.. about 3-5 minutes, turn. Cook this side only until done.. not too brown. Remember that once the toppings are on, the crust will cook even more. You do want it done at this point though.

Take crusts off grill. Top with your favorite veggies. Place crusts back on grill. Close the lid. And check every few minutes. The veggies will still be a little on the fresh side, which I personally love. If you have cheese, it will definitely melt quickly. We use the top rack of the grill to keep the crusts from over cooking before the toppings are done. If your grill only has one rack, just watch closely, or pre-cook your veggies a tad.

Voila! Pizza on the grill!

I made the above recipe for my company and hubs. For myself, (trying to avoid wheat/most flours) I made a pizza crust out of oats. I tried sneaking oat flour into all of my little sisters pizza crusts/pancakes/cookies. And until she caught me blending oats, it worked! haha!

Oat Pizza Crust
2 C Oat Flour (can be easily made in food processor/blender)
2 1/4 tsp Yeast (can be made without)
1 C Warm Water
1 tsp Honey
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbs Rosemary, crushed in your hand

In one bowl, dissolve yeast, honey and water.  Let sit a few minutes.

In another stir together flour, rosemary, and salt.

Make a well in the flour bowl, pour in yeast mixture, water and oil. Stir well. The mixture will be really wet. I made the mistake of chit chatting with a girl friend as I made this up and I though.. oh my.. not enough flour.. so I made/added more (which you can tell in the photos-I didn't grind completely). What I wasn't thinking about was that the oats would absorb the water and become a manageable dough.. so what I ended up with was a drier, more crumbly dough that I had planned for, but they taste was still amazing!! The amounts above are correct (or at least close).

Once the oats absorb the water (about 10 minutes), form into a ball, and make as many crust as you can get for the size you want (this makes a good bit of dough, at least 2 medium large crusts-I made 6 small ones).

Layer on a plate being sure to sprinkle cornmeal/ground flax in between each crust to keep from sticking. If your dough is sticky, add more oats. You don't want to put sticky dough on the grill!

I loaded mine with cilantro pesto, zucchini, olives and garlic. I wasn't able to get a photo of mine, but snapped some pics of the leftovers.

Follow the grilling instructions above! Enjoy!

We were lucky enough to have fresh canned basic tomato sauce (like paste.. but not so thick) but you can use a can of tomato paste/sauce from the store.. or cook down a bunch of tomatoes (seeded and drained) from your garden, then pureed.

Basic Pizza Sauce
1 C Tomato Sauce (if using paste-add water until sauce consistency)
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs mixed herbs (basil, oregno, thyme, tarragon, and garlic powder are classic)
1/2 tsp honey or other sweetener

We added 1 Tbs of nutritional yeast to ours. You can experiment with other add ins such as fruit jam, hot sauce, or molasses/mustard/spices for a BBQ sauce.

Mix well, let sit for a little while to soften the dried herbs if possible. Not necessary though. THis recipe works well for marinara as well, with a few minor adjustments (add chopped garlic, 1 tsp of olive oil, up the sweetener/salt).

Super easy and a great alternative to fresh basil pesto. Cilantro can be easier to find and less expensive.

Cilantro Pesto 
1 bunch fresh Cilantro
2-5 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs ground Almonds
1 tsp Salt
1-2 Tbs Parmesean (optional)

So it basically follows basil pesto (which is basil, olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper). But, you don't always have pine nuts or basil on hand. I made mine without cheese, and it was awesome! Salt is more to taste, start with less, especially if you add Parm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DIY Mondays~Make Your Own Almond Butter!

Making your own almond, peanut, cashew or pumpkin, sunflower, coconut butter is SO easy, you'll wonder why you ever bought the jar stuff!

Back in the day, I was really anti-appliance. I still have some amount of guilt when I use my blender or food processor 4-5 times a day. It's for my health though! Right? Ah. This debate is for a different day. I'm conflicted.

So, we had an old recycled, re-used way to many times espresso machine for a few years. And no other appliances. No Juicer, blender or food processor; all of which we now have, now minus the espresso machine. We use a glass french press for coffee now, but have 2 largish appliances. I'm glad we still don't have a mixer, toaster oven, toaster, coffee machine etc. etc. But sometimes, when all three of our appliances are on the counter, I feel gluttonous and ridiculous. Healthy eating can be as simple as and apple and nut/seed butter! Oh yeah, the recipe!

Aren't You Cool Butter
It's this easy:
Plug in your food processor.
Pour in some nuts (or seeds).
Process, scraping fairly often (this will be ultra loud at first).
And you have your own, homemade, rebel butter.

Fun Add Ins: Honey, Cinnamon, Maple, Cocoa powder, dried fruit..salt as needed..

Here is a photo log of Almond-Pumpkin Butter so you can see what you are looking for:
After 1-2 Minutes

Close Up-see lil chunks

After another 1-2 minutes

Starting to release oils after another 2 minutes
Another 3 minutes

Another 3 minutes..
From here, it's preference. The butter becomes fairly warm from friction and will just get smoother as the oils warm up.
From this point you can add a handful of whatever nut you are using and pulse it in for 'chunky.'
Or, add in whatever flavor/spices/salt you want.

From here I added in a small handful of pumpkin seeds and a touch of salt.
Using raw nuts and seeds may be more beneficial to your health versus roasted. Read here and here.

Although, I believe raw peanuts may be a no-no.

So easy! Oh yeah, and healthy, protein packed too.

What is your favorite rebel homemade food?

Do you have any crazy delicious combination ideas?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smoothie Sundays~Kiwi Arugula & Cantaloupe Strawberry

Put da Strawberry in da Cantaloupe
I drink a lot of smoothies. It's a great way to be sure you are getting your greens in. I try to get a variety and not use the same ol, same ol, but that is much easier in the summer.

Here are two of my favorites from last week!

With the first one, very basic, 2 fruits, one incredible flavor. Amazing health.

Cantaloupe Strawberry
1 C Cantaloupe (chopped, no rind) 
 5 Strawberries
Almond milk/water as needed (any milk/liquid you want)
 Lots of ice

I blended up the cantaloupe on it's own, poured it into a glass. Did the same with the strawberry. I just wanted to see the pretty colors on their own. Blend and Enjoy!
Kiwi Arugula

Next up Kiwi Arugula; if you are not familiar with the pungent spicy flavor or arugula, try it before tossing it in your blender.. or try adding mostly spinach and a touch of arugula to acquire a taste of this healthy green! Freeze your chopped fruit prior to blending for a thick smoothie.

Kiwi Arugula
1 C Arugula
1 Kiwi- skin on if organic
3-4 Strawberries
1/2+ Hazelnut Milk (anything works.. I just had this on hand to be used)
Ice to get it thick!

*Pear would be a great addition/substution!

Blend and Enjoy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cinnamon Toast Crunch & Cinnamon Raisin Bran~ Gluten Free

Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Did you ever eat those sugary Kellogs Cereals? Maybe you still do? I know growing up we were only allowed to eat Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat, Corn Flakes, Cheerios and Raisin Bran. If we got lucky charms it was a HUGE treat. And I was caught picking out all of the marshmallows a few times! When I look back the more 'wholesome' choices (or lesser of evils) my mom made us eat, I'm grateful.

However, when living a 'clean' life, eating clean foods,  processed cereals with added sugar, chemical 'crispers', anti-caking agents and milled to death grains do not fit in. You don't have to go raw to have healthier options (think oatmeal/homemade granola/bran and quinoa flakes). But I do have a few raw (well, truly raw if you leave out the maple syrup/extract-but who's keeping score? Still leaps and bounds from frosted flakes). recipes to share. You can bake them though! Trust me, you or whoever you share this with will not know it's homemade or raw. It's that good. Gluten free and EASY, easy, easy.

First off, if you've only had buckwheat in pancakes, or have never had it at all, you have got to explore this amazing 'grain!' It's actually a fruit seed.

It's higher in fiber (per gram) than oatmeal, high in manganese, high in plant lignans and super versatile. The amazing list of benefits here. I think it's the next 'superfood.' I find myself using it more than any other sprouted grain in my arsenal. You will too!

I soak my buckwheat overnight. Then rinse well 3-4 times. and rinse often. Buckwheat is slimy when you soak it.. so you want to rinse well so it will dehydrate fully and get ultra crisp. Here is more info on sprouting/using raw buckwheat. You can let it sprouts until the little tails are just peeking out. After they get longer than that, I find the taste notably 'green,' and not as palatable. 

Going truly clean to some people means no sugar entirely. This can make you feel deprived and less likely to WANT to eat clean, possibly relapsing to processed sugars. It takes practice and over time as your body detoxes of sugar, it does become easier, craving less often. Especially when you ween off with natural sugars. At least, in my personal experience. Maple Syrup is a processed sweetener. I use it for flavor and because I read this. If you want to go ultra clean, sub apple juice as a sweetener or date syrup in any of these recipes, or omit sugar entirely.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch
3 C Sprouted Buckwheat
1/2 C Maple Syrup (or whatever you choose)
2 tsp Vanilla (or 1 vanilla bean scraped)
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon (or to taste.. easy to over do)

Process all ingredients in food processor until pasty. (alternatively, you can just stir it all together.. no need to break up the groats really). It won't take long and will be rather wet.

Spread this mixture out onto dehydrator trays (or baking tray). If you spread it thin, you can break it up into flakes later. I like to check after 1-2 hours (at 112) and break it up/pinch it into little clumps. Then dehydrate at 104F overnight. I've never baked this.. but I don't see why not. Try 350F for 5 minutes and keep checking. Maybe scoring/clumping up as you go.

No, it's not going to taste just like cinnamon toast crunch, which I believe is sweetened, flavored corn, but it is delicious!
Macaroon Crunch
Macaroon Crunch
1 batch Cinnamon Toast Crunch ingredients
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Shredded Coconut
1/4-1/2 C slivered/chopped almonds

Follow the same instructions.

The following recipe is one of the first cereals I attempted to recreate (although never a huge fan of the real thing) when I first started raw foods. I posted it on It's pretty dang good! In my original recipe I added wheat germ and ground flax. I no longer do that.
Cacao Puffs

Cocoa Puffs
3 C Sprouted Buckwheat
3 Tbs Sweetener (optional)
1 1/2 Tbs Cacao (plain cocoa works)
Pinch of Salt

Follow the same instructions! Can be made in clumps or 'flakes.' Process until super smooth for flakes.

This next recipe is not your childhood raisin bran, although I do have a recipe for that to post. It is delicious and a bit spicy from all the cinnamon. VERY crunchy! I make mine on thick side. They double as amazing breakfast crackers for nut butter or fresh fruit. You can spread this thin, make granola clumps, or bake it. Try adding chopped apples, raisins, nutmeg, allspice and cutting back on the cinnamon for an apple cake variation.

Adjust the raisins/cinnamon to your preference.

Cinnamon Raisin Bran

Cinnamon Raisin Bran
2 C Almond Pulp (or ground fine dry almonds)
1/2 C Sweetener
1/2-1 tsp Vanilla
1-2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C Raisins

Process all ingredients except raisins.  Pulse in raisins so you get largish chunks. Spread thick onto dehydrator sheet.. D at 104F for 1-2 hours. Score with a pizza cutter. Or make clumps. Then D overnight at 115F. Follow the remaining instructions as above.

For a more traditional bran taste, cut back on the cinnamon, add 1/4 C moistened bran and pinch of salt.

Top these cereals, or an invention of your own with fresh fruit, chia seed etc. and your favorite milk!


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Coolest Project! 500 postcards in 500 Days!

Check this awesome project out. It's a practice in discipline for the guy running it, but also very cool for everyone that receives a postcard.

Contact him and get a postcard! Without people, the project fails!

Blossom Salad & Farmin' Friday

Did you know you can eat many flower blossoms?? So many beautiful blossoms are ready for picking, and I definitely have all I need for salad this time of year. Summer time salads are so much more fun that the same ol winter green salads. I love bright colors, and this salad just makes me smile. You can take this as an example and create your own! I just used what I picked that day. And, I measured by hand.

Jo's Blossom Salad
1 C Spinach
1/2 C Arugula
1/2 C Chard
1/2 C Mixed lettuces
1/4 C Kohlrabi leaves (young thinnings)

Handful of Arugula Blossoms
Handful of Chive Blossoms
2 Strawberries Chopped
1/4 Pear Chopped
Sprinkle of Pumpkin Seeds
Sprinkle of Coconut
Sprinkle of Alfalfa sprouts

Dressing: I just drizzled on Raspberry Vinegar and Grapeseed oil.. anything goes.. simple is best for this so you can experience all the tangy/spicy and sweet flavors. Enjoy!

Newbie Farmin Chronicles:
SO much has happened on our little farm lately, I almost need a blog dedicated to it. To keep this post as short as possible, here is a short sentence recap of the past week:

Recap: Plymouth Rock Chicken "Dinner" disappears/Black Bear on property-firearm gets carried around/Mysterious dead vole every morning (the cat)/Crazy Ptarmigan drives the dogs to lunacy/Sparky the duck fights a chicken/goshawk returns and there is a stick vs predator match/"Dinner" is found/Buff Orp Hen "Betty" is limping/Hens are hiding eggs in the fireweed and shed/Juicy Fathead the rooster is a bad ass

Ah, so, pictures may explain more briefly.... I didn't get a photo of the bear because I ran for the rifle and had the cat in my arm, and I could get a picture of the fresh vole this morning.. but no. (Just to clarify, I don't shoot to kill anything.. unless it threatens me. The sound alone scares them off).
Crazy Ptarmigan

Background: We are amateur chicken keepers. This is our second year (well, mine-not my hubs). We added to our flock this year to prepare for selling eggs in town. Duck eggs, chicken eggs, and next spring-3 different breed hatching eggs. Our adults are free range. Once they left the brooder box, we kept them penned in from age 4 wks-7wks because they were still small (and vunerable). Now, we only keep them penned in at night (they go in the coop on their own) for their safety. In the winter I have to shovel snow so they can walk out. Our young flock is currently penned (still small and it's hawk 'season' here). We'll keep them in a bit longer to grow large enough that they can protect themselves when integrated with our older flock. After giving a few away as gifts, and 5 dying (hawk/weak chicks) over the last year, we have 55 birds total.

No Yoga: Once the birds are old enough, chickens are relatively moderate maintenance. Well, at least in comparison to having one adult flock, a younger flock, a flock of ducks, a barn under construction, a special needs chicken and an injured chicken. I love having so much going on. It really keeps me busy (and outside!) however, it has disturbed my yoga routine (usually early morning before I work online) and I'm feeling stiff and maaybe a little cranky.. nah.. cranky before bed though.

Hmm.. lets start with the most exciting. Yesterday I was picking greens in the garden, on the other side of the fence my adult flock was hanging out eating the thinnings/scraps I stuck through the fencing.
stayed like this forever
The roo and the hawk and the woman with the stick: So, my adult rooster is a bad ass. He fought a hawk twice last year, losing many feathers. He looks for his hens when they are missing. When he hears one cackle in distress, you've never seen a fat feathered butt run so fast! He's also gentle with the hens and eats crackers out of my hand. Very cool guy.

They were eating and making happy chicken sounds.. and he makes this sound that gives me a bad feeling and I though "why is he warning them/is he mad at me?" and I look over (he is 5 inches away from me) and all the chickens look up, so I look up and holy shiz there is a hawk, head bent, low, eyeing the young chicks near the barn. I yelled "hawk!" haha! to who? The rooster? He's like "duh!" And I ran, handful of spinach (that I found later on the ground), jumped out of the garden, grabbed a stick and waited. I normally have the .22 out for bears. And we had a bear hanging out this past week. What was I thinking? Well, 2nd option is a shovel/rake.. I must have actually put those away, and had to grab a long stick (waiting to be used as a roost bar).

2010-Juicy Himself!
So, I jump into the young chicks pen area and wait. Here it comes.. I hear the rooster-who has already herded the hens into their penned area (which is safe and netted-the young pen area is incomplete). I'm standing there inbetween hot pink and orange incomplete netting, ready to swing. The young chicks see the hawk and run and hide.. the hawk hovers right over the barn, and I see how dang big it is now. She swoops down and guess who turns into Babe Ruth (oh wait-was he a pitcher?).. she is thwarted and flies into a tree across the yard. I wait. For 15 minutes. I knew she was coming back because all of a sudden a chicken cries and herds the ducks (that was funny) and they all run. So she comes even closer this time! And I just kept swinging and after a minute of this showdown (she's like WHAT is that??) flew towards the neighbors. So I ran in and called them to warn. We have wildlife phone chains here. That was pretty exciting. I felt really triumphant.
Found the Lost One: Last bit of excitement was later that night. We found "Dinner" alive and under a tarp (that was covering some lumber). A weeks worth of chicken poo dried to her butt and she had laid an egg under there. After a minute, we got her to drink some water. And after about 20 she bit at a strawberry and chowed on some wet cornmeal. But, she didn't get up. And, after 13 hours, she still has not gotten up. I carried her inside after the first hour though and put her up in a brooder box with everything she needs. She holds her wing out for balance. One wing is missing quite a few primary feathers, all except 2. Her leg might be stiff, as she holds it in one direction-back. I checked her out and see no wounds, feel no broken bones. We'll see what happens.
Crooked Beak: Lastly.. little crooked beak. She is also a Plymouth Rock and has a birth deformity that has worsened. She needs special attention with feed. She does not get picked on, which is great. Very ambitious, she escapes the pen (the only one that knows how) and follows me around the yard for food. She likes to hang out on my arm too-while I'm working. Too funny. What a character. Isn't she cute/pitiful?

Update:  Little Crooked Beak passed away over winter. :(

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ice Cream in Your Blender

Dairy Free!
You'll never look at ice cream the same way again if you try one of these recipes! Healthy, dairy free, and no ice cream maker required! The flavor possibilities are endless! You'll be an ice cream connoisseur before you know it!

Funny enough, I made the following recipes over winter of all seasons. I made notes and took photos. There isn't a whole lot to do here in the winter! So, we eat. The planes don't come over much (little daylight) so groceries are even more limited and we get creative.  I posted these on  in January.

My hubs loves dairy ice cream. Except for the occasional sprinkle of feta/greek yogurt, I can't indulge in dairy anymore (bloat/digestive issues). One night I was watching him thoroughly enjoy his pint of Greek Gods and it looked so good that I became determined to recreate something for myself, so I tried to make my own Luna And Larry's Coconut Ice Cream (sold here in town for almost $8.00 a pint)! All you need is a bowl, spoon and your freezer!

Vanilla Coconut
I'm not sure where I got the idea for the banana ice cream. Maybe I Googled homemade ice cream? I can't remember. All I know is I was so impressed and immediately concocted a zillion flavors. Now we don't even buy the $5.00 pints that my hubs was eating (toooo much of I dare say). They are so good, they converted an ice cream fiend. All you need is a freezer, and a blender or food processor.

A couple notes on the coconut ice cream. It is best in my opinion to use fresh, whole coconuts. Which can be a challenge. In a pinch, or just to try it out, you can use a can of good quality coconut milk however, please keep this in mind about canned goods, especially coconut milk. Gosh, I use to use canned coconut milk ALL the time. :( I still do sometimes. But I don't feel as good about it.

How to make your own fresh coconut milk here.

An alternative to BOTH, making milk with dried coconut flakes is here. I find bobs red mill large flakes are best.

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
1-2 C Coconut Milk (choose your method above)
1-2 Tbs Yacon, Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave (I was using this at the time.. check here)
1 Vanilla Bean or 1-2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (bean makes the pretty speckles)

Chocolate Sauce:
2 Tbs Cacao
2 Tbs Liquid Sweetener
(1 Tsp Coconut oil-optional)

1. Coconuts: Open 1 to 2 coconuts (depending on size) and pour coconut milk into a blender. Remove the meat and add to blender; blend until super smooth. Strain if needed (I do). If your milk is purplish, throw it away! It's bad! If you are desperate to try this and do not have coconuts, see info above recipe.

2. Transfer 2 cups of blended coconut into the bowl of a food processor. (I use a food processor for the rest because it's easier to scrape etc.)

3. Add agave syrup and vanilla bean (I also throw in the husk after it's been scraped); process until smooth. Taste along the way, this will only take a minute or two to blend.

4. Pour in large glass bowl (anything may do) and place in freezer. Stir well every 30 minutes or so, making certain to scrape the sides and don't leave the spoon in! That is it!

5. Chocolate Sauce: In a bowl, combine cacao and sweetener; mix well (it takes a minute or two to get them to blend). Drizzle away!

Blueberry Colada
Blueberry Colada
Add 1/2 extra cup of Coconut milk and 1/2 Cup of frozen blueberries, process until smooth (unless you want chunks) and mix in 1 Tbs or so of Shredded coconut.

I made this next one up especially for my mom who loves coconut/almond/chocolate combos. If you are like minded here is an Almond Joy smoothie recipe also.

Almond Joy
1-2 C Coconut milk
2-4 Tbs Maple Syrup
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Almonds
1/2 C Chocolate/Carob Chips
1/4 C Shredded Coconut
Pinch of salt

Process Coconut Milk, Maple (the maple is important for this recipe!) and vanilla. Pulse in remaining ingredients. Freeze, stirring every 30 minutes or so. Once fully hardened, let sit out 10 minutes or so for easier serving.

You can take it from here. Obvious delicious add ins would be berries, chocolate, pineapple, pecans, cinnamon etc. etc.

Now, 1 ingredient soft serve ice cream!

Basic Banana Ice Cream
1 chopped, then frozen banana

Place in blender/food processor. Process until smooth. Enjoy!
Choco Banana (sauce recipe above)
1 banana, peeled, sliced into rounds, then frozen
2 tablespoons yacon or agave or maple to taste
2 heaping teaspoons cacao or cocoa powder

1. In a blender or food processor, place frozen banana slices, yacon syrup, cacao (or you could skip this and add one half vanilla bean, scraped, then include husk); process until smooth, scraping the sides a few times while blending.

2. You can eat it at this point, but if it started to melt during processing- pour into a large container, place in freezer, and stir every 30 minutes or so until totally frozen and ice cream like. (It will freeze pretty hard, so you'll want to leave it out 5 minutes before eating.
Top with your favorite goodies! Enjoy!

 This wasn't a favorite of mine. But I used an ultra ripe banana. And I'm not an ultra ripe banana kind of girl. I'm like 'em on the green side.

Variations I've tried (per 1 banana):
Strawberry-Add in 3 Frozen strawberries (chopped if you can) per 1 Banana Pulsing in last one for chunks.

Cinnamon-Add in 1/2-1 Tsp Cinnamon and 1/4-1/2 Tsp Vanilla

Masala Chai- My sister in law and I worked to get this one right.. but I can't find the notes.. here is my guess from memory: Add in
1/2 tsp+ Cardamom
1/4-1/2 tsp Ground ginger and Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Cloves
Pinch of white pepper
1 Tsp of some kind of sweetener, Add vanilla if you want Vanilla-Chai

Ginger Lucuma Add in 1 Tbs Chopped Candied Ginger and 1/2 Tsp powdered Lucuma (I like 1/2 Tsp honey in this)

Almond Butter-Banana
Almond Butter-Banana 
Add in 1 Tbs Almond Butter per 1 Banana

Enjoy your healthy creation!! Share with a friend.. a little.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How Much Does Produce Cost in Alaska? & Blender Minestrone

Can YOU guess how much this pile of produce cost? Minus the 4 pluots I ate in the car... and the squash was a different purchase. I guess I should mention that this is all organic, and those are Valencia oranges, and Pluots. I still have produce to order from Juneau. It comes out to about the same,  (freight from Juneau vs. markup in town), I just have more options.

I've got to wait for most of it to 'ripen,' but that will help me control myself. I've been low on produce for a few days, nursing a couple grapefruits and luckily picking from my garden.

On another note! I just LOVE tomatoes. It's always been a favorite. If you do not feel like cooking, chopping, and barely feel like chewing, I've got a great recipe for you! Almost any veggie works!

Blender Minestrone
2-3 Tomatoes
1/4 of Red Pepper
1 Carrot
2 inch piece Zucchini
1 inch piece Red Cabbage
Couple slivers of Onion
1 Garlic Clove
Half handful Parsley (or fresh basil)

Pinch Tarragon (totally makes it)
Dash or two of oregano/basil/garlic powder/black pepper
Salt as needed
Dash of Cayenne (as finishing touch-just my thing)

Place tomatoes, parsley, red pepper and carrot in blender. Blend well, but not completely smooth, you want tiny carrot chunks.
Pulse/chop in the rest of the ingredients (so you have slightly larger chunks).

If you have a high powered blender, you can leave it on stir for a while to warm it up.  Otherwise, transfer to a pot, gently warm on low heat.

This soup is a little on the thin side. Two options to thicken:
1) If you have any last season tomatoes jarred, they have this canned consistency that is great for thickening (or just use a good quality canned stewed/diced etc).
2) I like to add a touch (1/8 cup or so) of almond milk once the soup is warm and directly into my bowl (as opposed to in the pot).

SO easy. And it is very satisfying. Change up the spices to your liking. Serve with love! Shown served with my Rosemary Grissini Crackers (recipe coming soon!).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice Hummingbird & Rhubarb Spritzer

Tonight a (juvenile-see his coloring is not complete) male Rufous Hummingbird was trapped in my sunroom! I thought it was a Ruby Throated at first, I'll have to double check their range. The gorget was SO bright, it glowed! I didn't get a great picture of that (3rd photo).

The hummingbirds are all over, but I've never had one get inside. The other day I saw what at first looked like huge hummingbirds, and they hovered. I got so close to one (hovering right in front of me, SO cool) and saw that they were actually sparrows. Absolutely gorgeous.

I took these pictures very quickly as my husband walked him to his freedom. Didn't want to stress the little guy out anymore, but what luck to get a photo and see one up close (and still)!

Then, for a summer solstice party we are about to head out to; I made a Rhubarb Spritzer to bring.

Happy Summer Solstice!
Rhubarb Spritzer:
A bunch of chopped rhubarb (guessing 6-8 cups)
Honey(agave, simple syrup etc) as needed (or whatever you want)
1 C Frozen Strawberries
Q-Tonic Water or Club Soda

I tried Juicing Rhubarb the other day, it was fine in my Champion juicer for 2 stalks. After 4-5 the fibers clog it up. So, I switched to the blender. I filled the blender with chopped Rhubarb, used the juice (from the previous attempt-you can use water) to help move things along. Once blended well, I strained the pulp from the juice with a nut milk bag, but a colander will work fine.

Complete this same juice and strain method with the cup of strawberries ( I used frozen).

Place Juice back into blender, add Strawberry Juice and Honey to taste (I did 1/2 C).

This is also good with pineapple or apple juice as a sweetener. Or add some lemon/lime!

Blend. Then chill before serving.

I poured mine into a sun tea jar, it filled it about half.. then topped it off with Tonic Water. I love how this green foam floats on top of the pink liquid. So pretty.

Monday, June 20, 2011

DIY Mondays~ Spruce Tip Tea

Maybe some of you Northwesterners need a quick inner slacker spruce tip recipe. Here it is!

Spruce Tip Tea:
1) Pick young spruce tips with brown paper casing still on
2) Remove papers, crumble onto dehydrator trays or mesh tray that you can leave in a warm place
3) Leave out or dehydrate until full dry
4) Jar and use as you would any loose tea!

Sweet and lemony smelling, Spruce Tip tea is good for the winter sore throat and congestion. Although, the older the spruce tips, the stronger the tea. If you want to eat your spruce tips, or make syrup, shortbread or salads with them, use the youngest, tender tips.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Smoothie Sundays-Blueberry Spinach & Chocolate Cherry!

I actually had this for dinner Saturday night. Still feeling a little icky, wanted to go with something liquid. Didn't feel like making miso.

This is pretty basic and delicious!

Blueberry Spinach Smoooothie
2 Cups Spinach
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4-1/2 Cold Apple
1/2 C Almond Milk (more as needed)
2 Tbs Chia Seed
2 Ice Cubes

I put the ingredients in the blender in that order. Blend away and enjoy!

 Post 9 mile run today, I made a smoothie that I can't believe I haven't though of before! Chocolate Cherry! I know, it seems obvious... buuuutt...
Chocolate Cheeeeery:
1 Cup Frozen Cherries
3/4 C, Almond milk (may need more)
1 Tbs Raw Cocao (although plain cocoa will work!)
1 Tsp Flax Meal
1 Tbs Chia
2 Ice Cubes

Blend away. Holy Schmoly, this was amazing! I made two in a row!

PLEASE, comment with your favorite smoothie recipe!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Key Lime Pie For Your Soul!

Got the summer citrus dessert cravings yet? Maybe you just want a vacation in your mouth. This is a super simple, hard to botch freezer dessert. I've already eaten two of these. So, I had to get photos before my hubs ate the other half of the batch. I usually don't tell people (at potlucks etc.) what is in my pie or puddings, because some people haven't eaten the main ingredient before. It's the amazing, beautiful, ugly, don't judge a book by it's cover avocado!

OK, you MIGHT have heard Avocados are the shiz nit. Here is some general info, just in case.

I could do a month of posts on avocado recipes alone. It never fails me. It's good in just about everything, my favorite way is right off the pit. It makes a great snack, meal, supplement, thickener, savory, sweet friend to just about .. everything.

The avocado pudding/pie has certainly been done before. Although I find most recipes for raw desserts a little heavy on the nuts, too sweet and too complicated, although almost always beautiful.

This is EASY. (and way healthier than the SAD version!) And you can use this as a template for any 'pie' you want to invent. Changing up the filling when needed. I've made this pie with Cocao, banana, strawberries and plain vanilla bean (and coconut meat). The only thing is when you get into blueberries, mango etc.. you'll need to sub part or all of the avocado with nuts, more oil or psyllium, irish moss etc. It's a big experiment, that's for sure.. and there may be times you eat it out of a bowl, but that's okay! Remember that the coconut oil is important. When it freezes, it makes your filling a custard-cheesecake consistency. A blender is nice for this, but if you have the patience, you can hand whip the avocado. Halving this recipe doesn't work so well. It can be a pain to get the blender really going with a smaller amount than this. Besides, this is so good, you'll wish you made more!

Jo's Key Lime Pie (6 smallish servings)

2 Avocados
2 Tbs Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (did I say it was low fat? Whoops)
2 Tbs Raw Honey (any honey really, I don't favor date syrup with this, experiment)

1/2 Cup Almond Pulp (I used leftovers from making milk- finely ground almonds/almond flour will work)
1/2 Cup Dates (not soaked)
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne (may think I'm crazy.. that's just how I like it..the spicy/sweet thing)

*Blend all filling ingredients together. Set aside.
*For the crust, process dates and almond pulp (and salt/cayenne) together until smooth(ish).
*Press the crust into greased or lined muffin tins (or custard dish, whatever you've got really).
*Spoon in filling. Freeze for 1-2 hours.. if it freezes hard, like ice cream, just leave out for 5 minutes before eating (of course you could have key lime pudding instead of freezing, but chill first for best taste.

If you love this and want to make it for a potluck, grab a spring form pan (smallish), double/triple the recipe and top with shredded coconut for looks, and taste- coconut loves lime- you know.. put da lime in da coconut?

Nutritional Info (according to Spark recipes)
233g Calories
14g Fat
525mg Potassium
276. g Carbs
8g Fiber
18.2 g Sugar
4.4g Protein
and bunches of vitamins and minerals's top Key Lime Pie recipe (at 6 servings:
324 calories per serving
13.4 g of bad fat (versus healthy avocado/coconut oil-good fat)
37 g of sugar!

Friday, June 17, 2011

5-Minute Raw Slaw Sandwich

Need an idea for using up random veggies in your produce drawer? You could play around with this recipe. I was going to make a whole batch of basic red pepper hummus for lunch today, but in an attempt to use up some veggie odds and ends, I threw in the last piece of a cut zucchini and just pulsed in the food processor until I had a chunky, colorful spread! It can definitely be chopped chunkier with a knife instead. This recipe is for one sandwich serving (or multiple flax crackers).

Chunky Veggie Spread:
1/4 Red Pepper
1/4 Medium Zucchini
1/4 Garlic Clove
1/2 Tsp Tahini
Dash of Cumin
Pinch of Salt

Festive and delicious, red, green & white with a little kick for your taste buds! I topped mine with sprouted quinoa and baby beet greens (thinnings from my garden), mache lettuce cuttings and dill. Experiment! Great on raw, dehydrated bread, regular bread, pita, crackers etc. etc.
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