Monday, October 16, 2017

Oat-Whole Wheat Carrot Cake - No Poured Oils, Plant Strong, Egg- and Dairy-Free


Here is maybe the best Carrot Cake (read: virtuously low-fat, sweet, many-textured, moist and tasty to the max) that I have ever baked.  What a bonus that it is healthy!!  I found it so moist, sweeet and flavourful that I believed a frosting would have ruined it... but feel free to go for the traditional (vegan?) cream cheese frosting if you so desire.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup pitted, chopped dates (I used Medjool- you could use raisins, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

METHOD:
  1. Assemble tools and ingredients (measured already).  You will need a food processor, a grater (or a blender, what I used), a whisk or mixing spoon, 2 large bowls, a 9" square pan covered in parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Preheat the Oven to 325F/165 C
  3. In food processor, chop oats and walnuts until coarsely ground.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt and coconut.  Stir in the oats and walnuts.
  5. In the other bowl, (or in the blender caraffe), mix together the grated carrots and maple syrup and vanilla. (I skip the "grate carrot" step this way-- just blend them altogether).  
  6. Add the wet ingredients (including the dates or raisins, etc.) to the dry ingredients and stir until well-blended.
  7. Pour batter in pan and bake for about 1 hour.
Cool completely and cut into squares.

Each square should be under 200 calories, 6 g. fat, and 4 g. protein.  

This recipe is adapted from a recipe by WholeFoodsMarket.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Princess... A Brief Essay by Angelika, Age 9, Summer of 2017

This essay was written, along with various sketches, in the Summer of 2017 when our granddaughters, Alyza and Angelika, spent four weeks with us.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dark Cherry Chocolate Smoothie Approved by Dr. Michael Greger


Dark. Cherry. Chocolate. Smoothie.  This morning the news (and my heart) is full of the sadness and fear of all number of disasters: Hurricane Irma and clan, wildfires burning up large chunks of the world, an 8+ rated earthquake in Mexico.  Yesterday we attended a memorial service for our neighbour's 22-year old grandson who died in a car accident across the world in Western Australia.  On our walk this morning we prayed for Facebook friends in Florida, our dear friend's mom who is somewhere between Florida and Boston, and others in distress.  Meanwhile...

in an overcast but mild-weathered, quiet, somber but peaceful Comox Valley tucked away on idyllic Vancouver Island North, on a Sunday morning, we feel grateful and blessed to be spared, at least for now, of the devastation that we see happening livestream.  We have an assortment of fresh harvest foods-- from our garden and elsewhere-- and a supply of frozen organic fruit, etc.  We are experiencing abundance and I do feel a little like this post says "Let them eat cake" by so saying.  I have no doubt that there will be a time when we too will be "without" (food, comfort, relief from extreme disaster).  What can we do now? Pray.  Help out (donate monies through reliable, on-the-ground agencies such as the Red Cross and ADRA Canada).  Be responsive to those in our family and friend circles and community who are suffering and need help and emotional support.  And...
just getting on with life in as healthy a manner as we have at our disposal.  If you have the chance to enjoy a really delicious AND extremely healthy smoothie today, I want to refer you to this one by Dr. Michael Greger: the ingredients are a little pricey, granted, but not out-of-this-world expensive like some supplements and drugs are... I buy dark sweet frozen cherries (organic) at Costco and a bag that costs around $12 makes about a dozen 8-oz. smoothies.  Other ingredients include Fairtrade dark cocoa (organic), frozen organic bananas, flax seed, and water.  Dr. Greger uses date sugar.  I haven't used any sweetener but can see where the date sugar would amp up the whole delight of the experience.  This is a healthy drink for anyone who is experiencing heart problems.  There are no added fats to clog up the arteries, and the cocoa apparently opens them up more.  Find out all about the recipe and about the health benefits of the ingredients HERE  May you be blessed in your day!
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Blackberry Bliss Kombucha Hack, A Really Refreshing, Revitalizing Drink



My husband has us trying a week-long campaign to see if taking a shot of ACV (apple cider vinegar with the "mother"*) in our water 3X a day will provide us with the health benefits that are "proven" in medical literature:

  • Weight Loss
  • Lowered Blood Sugar and Insulin Sensitivity after Eating High Carb Meals
Since we are eating a plant-based, whole food, low fat way, it is helpful to see if the diet can be additionally boosted by the addition of Apple Cider Vinegar.

And I want to continue dropping pounds (I weigh in with TOPS weekly) eating the healthy foods that I do.  

We have enjoyed a rather hot summer from mid-July until now, so cold filtered water with ACV (1 teaspoon to start, 3X a day) is a refreshing event.  



A friend of mine had a drink and commented, "Tastes like kombucha."  She said it with a bit of a twinkle since she knew that I really do love the commercial kombucha.  I'm not horrified by the tartness of ACV (and I do know people who gag even smelling it) but I sometimes find it a bit of a sour jolt to my system.  

The comment about kombucha got me thinking, "Aha, I could maybe experiment with some of the fruit and berries that is dropping to the ground all around me" (we grow berries and fruit in our yard and this is definitely harvest time for many prolific varieties, such as our cultivated blackberries).  


But, it seems that I have come late to the table, so to speak.  The Internet is groaning with ACV-laced fruit (and veggie) drinks.  Today I will make a Blackberry Bliss Hack but in days to come I hope to use a number of ideas from Cyberland to make the ACV-drink project even more healthy and a lot tastier~ so, stay tuned!

BLACKBERRY BLISS KOMBUCHA HACK

Ice Cubes, Stevia, The Blender Mix of Fruit and Water (Ingredient Missing from the pic: Apple Cider Vinegar)


Sieve out the Pips... Alas, into the compost this will go! 

Here is the Recipe for Blackberry Bliss Kombucha Hack
  • 2 C. juicy fresh Blackberries, cultivated or wild
  • 2 C. filtered or distilled Water (or add "sparkling" water after sieving crushed berries)
  • 1 tsp. to 1 T. for individual glasses, of ACV (Braggs or other unrefined ACV with "the mother")
  • Stevia (1 small packet or 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Ice cubes
METHOD
  1. Blenderize Blackberries and Water
  2. Pour the blend through a fine sieve or a Juicer Bag into a bowl or large measuring cup
  3. Agitate/stir with a wooden spoon to get as much fluid through, leaving behind a mound of pips
  4. Let the mix sit for a while so that more fluid separates (or you can pour once more through a sieve to remove some of the 'foam')
  5. Add ice cubes (optional) to the bottom of a glass or jar and pour in the Juice.
  6. |Add 1 tsp. - 1 T. of ACV to each container of juice
  7. Add 1 small packet of Stevia (or other sweetener, to taste)
  8. Add more filtered/distilled water if desired
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY: