Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good Advice for Mothers



What a great quote! There are so many things we can do that can make a difference in someone's life. 

Whether we are a mother, teacher, father, grandmother, grandfather, friend, daughter, son, sibling, etc. ... 
We can't be perfect but there are millions of ways to be good at what we do.. 


As the school year begins, I'd like to change the quote to say:

" There is no way to be a perfect teacher, but there are millions of ways to be a good one "

OR 

" There is no way to be a perfect student, but there are millions of ways to be a good one "




Shared on these blog carnivals: 

Wednesday
 Works For Me WednesdayReal Food WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWe Did It WednesdayPenny Pinching Party;  Passionately Artistic;  What I Whipped up Wednesday;  This Chick CooksYour Whims WednesdayShow and Tell Linking Party Wednesday;  ; Workshop Wednesday ;   Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days   Gluten Free Wednesday,, Welcome Wednesday,  Gluten Free Pantry  Healthy2day    Wed Simple Living Wednesday    My Pick Of The Week  Homestead RevivalWhole Lifestyle Recipe Swap The Recipe Box


Thursday
I Gotta Create Home and Garden Thursday  Raw Food Thursday



Friday
 Simply Sweet Home Friday’s Favorites ;Food on Fridays ;Foodie Friday  Diane's Foodie Friday  Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap ;Creation Corner, Friday’s Link Party ;Feature Yourself Friday ;Sweets This Week Friday ;Simply Delish ; ;It’s a Hodgepodge Friday   Frugal Friday  Fight Back Fridays Thankful for Food   Shabby Nest  Speckled Dog   Fantabulous Friday  Friday FoodAllergy-Friendly FridaNatural Mother's NetworkButter BelieverA Well Seasoned LifeSix Sister's StuffThe Sweet Details) Katherine Martinelli, Fitness Friday Sugar Bananas  My Romantic Home  Iron Violet Designs    Home Is Where My Story Begins  Food Friday   Real Food Freaks,  Wellness WeekendHealthy Vegan Fridays  Gluten Free Friday


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Monday, August 27, 2012

Key Lime Pudding ( vegan)


key lime pie
 Photo from Wagashi Manic.

I  came across this sensational vegan recipe for Key Lime "Pie "Dessert on a blog called Wagashi Manic which featured beautiful photos and many vegan desserts.

 I love finding healthy easy desserts that I can make quickly. It doesn't get much faster than this one because the entire 4 ingredient dessert is made in a blender. When finished,  you can just fill the blender with soapy water and blend until clean. 

The recipe is made using avocado, and it  tastes absolutely divine- no avocado taste!
 It took me less than 5 minutes to make it in my blender/ Vitamix from start to finish.

I was extremely pleased with the results. I've made  5 minute rich chocolaty avocado pudding in the blender before.  But I had no idea you could make so many variations of the pudding.

An avocado pudding is a great snack for kids.  Let's face it kids need to eat more nutritious snacks that actually provide vitamins and minerals for their growing bodies. Avocado is a healthy fat. Many doctors are now recommending to eat more  healthy fats  because good fats like Omerga 3's are very important for the health of our brains and bodies.

 Click here for my previous post about avocados and why you should eat them


Fresh Avocados and Lime for Key lime pudding
healthy vegan pudding made with avocado
Delicious and Healthy Pudding
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 
1 huge ripe avocado
1/5 cup coconut milk or almond milk
Juice and zest of 3 Key Limes  or 1 large lime ( organic) 
Pinch of salt 
5 tablespoons organic Grade B maple syrup 

Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in the blender or Vitamix. Pour into bowls and serve immediately or refrigerate.

This post May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals

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Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .


Flavors of Mexico

On our last vacation, we vacationed in Mexico. It was so relaxing and beautiful I thought I would share some of our pictures with you. Enjoy!


cut up pineapple , grapes, and watermelon displayed in nice bowls
Fresh Fruit at Breakfast


colorful table setting in a Mexican restuarant
Festive Dinner Table Settings in Mexican Restaurant

beach scene in Cancun, Mexicao
La Playa ( the beach) 

a scene of the beach and palm trees in Mexico
Ahh!!!!! the beach


dried fruit mix in a white bowl
Dried Fruit and Nut Snack at the Daily  Buffet in our hotel

Mexican pottery that say mi casa su casa
Beautiful Pottery

small ramekins of cheesecake and blackberries
Tempting Desserts

                                
chocolate cream parfait in individual glasses on a buffet table
More tempting desserts


Waiter in traditional Mexican outfit in restaurant
Our Waiter

Mexican artwork of the sun
Mexican Art Work

Picture of white lillies in traditional mexican picture


picture of the beach with huts in mexico

Restaurant deck overlooking the ocean in Mexico

If you want to try some Mexican Reciipes, try my Mexican Guacamole or Chipolte Brownies
      
Mexcian Chipolte Brownies               Mexican Guacamole

May be shared on the following blog carnivals

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Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .
 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why I Eat Chia Seeds Everyday


chia seeds for chia pudding
chia seeds

I don't usually eat weird food ( ok , I admit sometimes I do ) 
I've known for a long time that chia seeds are good for you, but I never realized how good for you. These powerful little seeds are nature's wonders , and  can really be a very easy addition to your diet.

You can buy chia seeds in any health food store or online  Chia seeds

I  was visiting  The Wellness Warrior  where I read a post called 13 Awesome reasons to eat Chia seeds.

Chia seeds are true health givers, high in fiber,  nutrients, antioxidants (beats out the blueberry)and Omega 3's ( 8 times as much Omega 3 as in salmon). In addition, Chia seeds have a positive impact on helping maintain balanced blood sugar levels .

I especially think that reasons # 3, # 7 and # 12 could help everyone! Chia seeds are tasteless, so they are especially easy to add to foods , especially to boost the nutritional content for kids who tend to eat a lot of fast food !!

Do you ever get those little white bumpy pimples on the back of the arms or legs, the omega 3 in chia might help!


Chia seeds are not new; they have been around for a very long time. According to Wiki
"Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mintfamily, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds have always been part of their diets!
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor; this blog is for educational information only. Please check with your doctor before making any changes in your diet.

Here are  The Wellness Warriors 13  reasons:
1. These seeds are gluten free
2. They are extremely high in dietary fiber, helping digestion and healing digestion issues.
3. It is high in Omega 3 ALA, making it a super food for the brain and heart. Can you believe that Chia seeds have eight times more Omega 3 than salmon!
4. 20% of chia seeds are protein
5. The makeup of the protein is a complete protein that includes all 8 of the essential amino acids
6. Has a very high  antioxidant level  (It has a four times higher ORAC value than blueberries)
7. Chia contains five times more calcium than milk
8. Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges
9. It contains three times more iron than spinach
10. It contains twice the potassium content of banana
11. It is food that helps healthy skin, hair and nails
12. It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels 
13. Chia makes a great egg replacement. Just combine with water to form a gel, and add it to recipes that call for egg.

How do you eat chia seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny little seeds that when placed in liquids will create a gel like substance.  It makes a great pudding, it can be added to cereal or oatmeal, or added to a smoothie. I add them to my cooked oatmeal and then add some coconut milk as well. ( they do well in liquid)Actually, chia seeds do not have much of a taste so they can be added to anything. Soak them in a little water to allow them to expand. Add them after cooking to retain the nutrients.


how to make chia pudding
chia pudding
Chia Pudding
1/2 cup coconut milk ( or any milk of choice)
2 Tbsp chia seeds 
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon cinnamon or cocoa 
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional) ( I didn't add sweeteners)
optional addition: 
1/4 cup dry gluten free oats + 1/2 cup more coconut milk ( optional if you want it as a breakfast treat!) 
1/2 cup blueberries or any chopped fruit
Directions: 
Mix all ingredients, cover and wait about 1 hour refridgerated before eating or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Like Pudding try this fast and easy healthy recipe 
Best and Easiest healthy chocolate pudding you will ever eat- 
avocado chocolate pudding

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and do not make any medical claims for chia seeds. This information is for educational purposes only.  Please consult your doctor before adding any foods or making any changes to your diet.

Chia seeds can be bought in most health food stores, Whole Foods store, or ordered easily  and maybe less expensive  on Amazon  Chia seeds
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jicama And Mint Salad plus 6 Other Great Salad Ideas



jicama, mint, raw corn, tomato, radish, grated carrot, fresh basil, radish, raisins, red onion., etc.
Scroll down for recipe
I love summer salads that include lots of farm fresh produce!

Despite a brutally hot summer, I just realized that I have not been frequenting the farmers market and taking advantage of all the fresh summer produce the past two weeks. 

I went through my blog posts from last summer. I was really into creating some interesting salads that used lots of  the localfarm fresh produce and my backyard herbs. 


Doesn't this look wonderful?


How about fresh corn? 
I love corn cut right off the cob ; it's so sweet
and tender just the way it is; 
I never cook it, and I add it to lots of salads!



Here are some of my favorite summer salads from last year re-visited -  

Looking for some summer menu ideas? 
Why not try one of these super salads this week?
jicama, mint, raw corn, tomato, radish, grated carrot, fresh basil, radish, raisins, red onion., etc.
Jicama Rainbow Salad With Mint    
Read how Jicama is great for weight loss 

Choose one of these super salads for lunch or dinner this week

Arugula and Cashew salad  ( pungent and peppery)

Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing  ( light and lemony)

 Red Endive & Cucumber salad  ( Very colorful )

Jicama Rainbow Salad With Mint  ( Reader's favorite)

Jersey Corn and Tomato salad  ( My summer favorite)

French Potato salad ( no mayo)

Black Bean and Fresh Corn salad ( A light but filling meal)

My Cherry tomato plant



My colorful summer flowers


Avocados are wonderful in any salad like  traditional guacamole 
When it's hot, make salads!

Today's Gluten Free Tip: 
Sept 23, 2012 - Philadelphia, Pa - Don't miss Annual Gluten Free Extravaganza Appetite for Awareness


May be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals
Like my recipes? I post lots more ; Follow me on Pinterest Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

Please leave a comment so I can be  introduced to your blog . I will visit you and  I usually follow on G+, Twitter, and Pinterest. I would love if you followed me as well Follow me as well : Gluten Free A-Z  and Twitter .

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Raw Chipotle Chocolate Brownies



What a recipe! It's a fabulous spicy brownie that is gluten free, vegan, raw, and a little hot! But,  you can leave out the chipotle powder, and it will still be delicious without any heat! ( I tried it both ways)

If you follow my blog, you know that every month I participate in a blogger's recipe exchange group called the Secret Recipe Club.

Secret Recipe Club'

As a participant, I am assigned another member's blog . My job is to select and make one of her recipes and post it on my blog .  I don't bake much ,so I was a little intimidated when my August assignment was  Betchacanteatjustone which is a blog dedicated to sweet treats from Katie's Kitchen. Katie posts many fabulous dessert recipes and even features a gluten free section .

After drooling over at least ten of Katie's recipes,  I finally decided to try her chipotle chocolate brownies. The recipe is sugar free and is made with  dried dates, nuts and figs. The best part was that it did not require any baking, so I didn't even have to turn on my oven ( Great for summer). I couldn't wait to try it.

1. It literally took me 5 minutes to process the ingredients in my food processor.
2. It took me about 2 minutes to press the mixture into a pan. ( I might have made mine too thin)
3. It took about 1 minute to make the icing and 1 minute to spread it on the brownies
4. Refrigerate overnight!

To sum it up:
Prep Time: 9 minutes + overnight refrigeration, and you have yourself  one heck of a healthy chocolaty treat!

I wasn't disappointed ! The recipe is unique , but really delicious ! In addition, this brownie  meets my standards for all real food ingredients.

***If you leave out the chipotle powder, it could  be a great choice for kids because the dried fruit gives the brownie its sweetness without processed sugars . In addition, the brownies are gluten free, grain free and egg free, making it a perfect dessert for those concerned about allergies.

Later, I rolled the dough into little logs and I thought they tasted just like a tootsie roll!!

Ingredients:

Raw Chipotle Chocolate Brownies as posted on Betchacanteatjustone makes 16 2 inch brownies recipe originally from RAWMAZING
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup dried figs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey (you may not need to add this, it depends on how sticky your dates are)
Topping
Directions:
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground.
Add the salt, cocoa and spices and pulse until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the figs and dates and process until everything is combined, add the vanilla.  At this point the mixture should stick together when gently pressed.  You can decide here if the honey is necessary. 
Press the mixture into an 8 X 8″ pan and chill.
To make the topping:
whisk together all of the ingredients and pour onto brownie.  Chill for about an hour until cutting into yummy squares.
Step by Step directions

Grind nuts till fine

Add spices and process; add figs

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cranberry Carrot Corn Muffins

Gluten Free Cranberry Carrot Corn Muffins

 I am always on the lookout for fast and easy gluten free baking recipes that  use " normal" ingredients.

Personally, I shy away from recipes with with a long list of ingredients that are hard to find .

I found a recipe for cranberry corn muffins on the, Wheatless and Meatless Blog .  I played around with the basic recipe and changed it to suit my needs.

I purchase my corn flour from a quaint little Mexican grocery store in New Hope, Pa. It sells authentic Mexican corn flour for a very nominal price. My corn meal is from the local supermarket.

The recipe only takes about 5 minutes to assemble and just 15 minutes to bake.
It can be whipped up anytime you are in the mood for nice warm sweet healthy muffins.

Corn meal adds variety and nutrients to a gluten free diet.

Carrot and Raisin Corn Muffins
Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups of corn flour
1/2 cup of corn meal
1 tsp  baking powder ( aluminum free)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raw grated carrots, squeeze out liquid
1/2 cup of raisins or dried cranberries
2 eggs
1 cup of vanilla coconut milk  ( sold cold in the supermarket in the refrigerator case with the milk. soy milk, almond milk etc.)
(or use 1 regular cup milk, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp of GF vanilla)
Full 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil.

Directions:
Mix all dry ingredients  in a large bowl.
corn flour, corn meal, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl, then add raisins.
Wet and dry ingredients

In a small bowl beat eggs, coconut milk, ( milk, honey & GF vanilla) melted butter or oil, then add grated carrots

Add wet mixture gradually to dry mixture and stir until smooth.
Put into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until top and bottom are browned.
Corn muffins tend to be dry, so warm them up before eating and enjoy them with some creamy butter or jam...




                               
Gluten Free Tip of the Day- Are oats gluten free?
Although oats should be gluten free, oats may cross contaminate with near by wheat  fields when growing thus making it not gluten free. However, you can buy certified gluten free oats that have been grown in secluded areas. They are available in most health food stores and  you can still enjoy oatmeal, oatmeal cookies etc. Read more about oats and gluten free 
also try these great oat recipes to add variety and nutrients to your gluten free diet
Refrigerator  Berry Breakfast Oatmeal    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies ( no sugar)



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tired and Run Down? Start juicing for energy!



                              
                                            

Green smoothies are great but if you are feeling tired and run down, you might want to consider using a juicer to make vegetable green juice. 

Why I Juice instead of Making Smoothies 
Smoothies and juicing are entirely different. Smoothies are blended vegetables or fruit that retain the fiber in the drink. Although very healthy, they also can be taxing on the digestive system. Juicing made with a juice extracting machine ( a juicer)  removes the fiber and bulk leaving you a clear light liquid making the nourishment instantly available for a tired body!  In addition, fresh juice can help rid your body of unwanted toxins.
Pin It  In a world where we are bombarded with toxins, subjected to processed foods, and living with stress, juicing can provide some much needed remedy. 

Juicing makes it Easy to Absorb Nutrients for those with Digestive Issues

If you are feeling tired and run down, this one addition of a daily green vegetable juice to your daily diet may make a big improvement in the way you feel. If you have Celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, have IBS, or any other digestive issues, you may not be absorbing all of the nutrients from the foods you eat. The nutrients in juicing are almost 100% absorbable.

# 1 reason people give up on juicing: The clean- up!!
If you like to juice but find the clean up too messy- Follow my 6 minute way to juice
I've been juicing for years, and I find that I can make a healthy glass of vegetable juice in about 6 minutes from start to clean up. I clean up the second I finish juicing and use my water sprayer. Everything comes right off and most of the parts of the juicer can go in the dishwasher. Isn't six minutes a small investment of my time to receive the daily health benefits I get from fresh juice. 



Raw Vegetables contain valuable enzymes
Because raw fruits or vegetables provide valuable enzymes, its better to drink your juice right away while the enzymes are still active.
                         
                                  


Here's Why I juice: 
  • Fresh juice provides antioxidants, vitamins, minerals. enzymes and detoxifiers that only raw vegetables can provide
  • The minerals and vitamins in fresh juice are very easily absorbed and digested
  • Fresh juice can help increase energy instantly
  • Fresh juice can help boost your immune system
  • Fresh juice provides powerful antioxidants that nourish and protect the cells
  • Fresh juice can help rid the body of toxins that we are exposed to from the environment
When I'm drinking a glass of freshly made vegetable juice, it tastes so pure and feels so healthy.

Why juicing in a juice extractor is far superior to anything juice you can buy in the store. 

Frozen, bottled, packaged or canned juice has been heated and processed. 
This process not only destroys vitamins and minerals, but also destroys many of the enzymes that are needed to aid digestion. Some of the most health giving juices come from juicing vegetables like cucumber, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, celery, parsley or carrots but only when you drink it immediately after it's been juiced. 




How to Make Fresh Juice


There are many juicing machines available on the market that make fresh juice in a matter of minutes.
  • Step 1:  Buy an electric juice extracting machine like a Breville or a Braun

     Juicing extracting machines are available on amazon -  juice extractors
    Prices range from around $50-$300; you can get a decent juicer for about $79-$99
    ( Also check out yard sales; many people get juicers as gifts and try them once or never even open the box. I got a brand new one at a yard sale for $10 from someone who never used it)

  • Step 2:  Read the consumer reviews below each machine before purchasing  a juicer 

  • Once you have a machine,  follow the manufacturer's instructions and make fresh life giving  juice in just minutes

Why I always juice some healthy greens like romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens or celery.

I always use organic carrots as my main base and add romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery, 1/2 organic apple. This combination is rich in beta carotene and chlorophyll.

Green juice is not for those that are not accustomed to eating greens. In the beginning you may want to stick to a milder drink of carrots, cucumber, apple, and a little romaine. Dark greens like dandelion greens, collard greens, and kale can be very pungent, so go easy in the beginning. 
You can also add a clove of fresh garlic or ginger if you are under the weather.

A chlorophyll rich drink with carrots, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, and apple.

If you are new to juicing, Here is a good juice: 
start out with 3-4 large organic carrots, 1 small organic apple, 2 stalks romaine lettuce in the beginning. As you become accustomed to juicing greens, add dandelion greens, kale or parsley.


Detoxify the Blood Stream with Dark Greens: 
Dark leafy greens contain the pigment chlorophyll, which gives greens their dark green color. This pigment absorbs energy from the sun during photosynthesis and is a wonderful cleanser to help detoxify toxins out of our system. 

With Less Toxins, it is easier to lose fat stores

Because the body holds onto excess fat in an effort to defend itself against toxins, it makes sense that the more dark leafy greens you consume to eliminate toxins, the less fat your body will need to accumulate for protection. 

Boost the Immune System: 

Dark leafy greens provide potent antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. 

Amino acids: 


The amino acids in greens are the very building blocks needed for the body to make protein, which of course is needed to build strong muscle. 

Aids Digestion: 


Greens also stimulate enzyme production which is needed for proper digestion of foods. If you digest your foods properly, this may help eliminate bloat, puffiness and even allergies related to improper digestion of foods. When you are bloated, puffy and have allergies, you tend to hold onto water weight. 
Start your day with a glass of fresh juice and flood your body with easy to absorb nutrients
                                            A link to a variety of  juice extractors


There are many good books on juicing that might be helpful to find recipes and the specific health benefits of certain vegetables, Here are some suggestions:
Books on Juicing  - This is a full list of books, e-books, and kindle books available online.

Here are some highly rated books to get started.
The Everything Juicing Book

Your Comprehensive Green Juicing Guide

Juicing Life Guide Benefits

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. This website is for educational purposes only. Consult your physician before making any changes in your diet.



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