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:

Monday, August 28, 2017

If You Got a Cancer Diagnosis, What Would You Do?

A cancer diagnosis can be a little too much to swallow at the moment it is delivered.
So, you go to the doctor to get something like a mole checked out-- you think maybe you will have it frozen off, like your friend Bea suggested.  The next minute you hear: 
“Hmm... this doesn't look good.  I'd like to schedule an appointment for a biopsy.”
And next, your well-intentioned doctor begins blasting you with descriptions of treatments and protocols (whatever protocols are?) that you must listen carefully to, and do right away.  Your head feels like it might explode.
How you proceed can mean the difference between life and death...
Chris Wark understands this all too well.
In December 2003 (just two days before Christmas!), when he was just 26 years old, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
It was definitely NOT the Christmas present Chris was expecting, and he was immediately rushed into the cancer treatment system, but a decision he made a few weeks later changed everything and saved his life. 
And he states that one decision was absolutely the hardest decision he’s ever made…
So what was his hardest decision?
Let Chris tell you in his own words, right here.  Watch the video; Click Here.

Discover Chris’s powerful journey back to health and learn about how you can start your own healing journey with his amazing free online course; Click Here.  It could, quite literally, save your life.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Instant Pot and Aquafaba, Two of My Recent Pleasure Journeys....

I haven't posted for a while so this post will be a bit of a catch-up.  
The Dessert Table at our Neighbourhood ECLIPSE PARTY on Monday August 21st.                                                         Note the 3-legged guest in shorts... I think this eclipsed the Eclipse (non-Totality) for our neighbourhood.

We had a long visit with our charming granddaughters this summer-- almost a month!  They are home again and waiting to go to school and start all those Fall activities that kids look forward to.

Yanks ago (maybe 5 or 6 years ago) I purchased an electric pressure cooker called an Instant Pot.  Well, I have used it a few times, but not with the results I envisioned, and it lived for a long time in a back room off the pantry.  By and by, I had read enough stories about the amazing things that people have been cooking at the speed of love, mostly through Jill McKeever's facebook page Plant-Based Lifestyle Support  , and I actually took the time from there to read and watch videos that show how to properly use the Instant Pot to support our desire to eat an organic and nutritious Low Fat Plant-Based diet.  As the Fall-Winter unfolds, I fully intend to post many of the delicious recipes on this site, so stay connected, okay?

And I discovered the beauties of Bean Brine, otherwise known as Aquafaba!  More to come... (HINT: it's a Vegan Cook's Latest Miracle Find for Subbing an Animal Food)

 I joined TOPS a few months ago (June) and have also been incorporating their tips into my new healthier lifestyle.  I have lost about 15 pounds eating a the low-fat vegan way.  I really appreciate that I am not compelled to (1)subscribe to a particular way of eating that I do not agree with and (2)am not compelled to buy pricey brand-name packaged foods at the weigh-in meetings (Tuesdays, 11am PDT, 4660 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, BC).  We have a teeny group at this point, but that allows for small group encouragement and friendship-building, key components for overcoming blocks and fears that prevent changes from happening.  Our facilitator, Carole Tilley, is awesome.

Below is a meme I made up to demo the simplicity of cooking perfect brown rice in my Instant Pot.
The perfect recipe for cooking brown rice to fast and easy perfection with the perfect electric pressure cooker 
Read like a CEO

 I hope to develop a number of these 'I-pot meme recipes' to tweet at /healthiacynthia.  Join me there!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Good Summer Morning Chia Pudding

Here is a fast and easy Chia Pudding that is perfect for breakfast (or as dessert, etc etc etc).  Chia pudd fans will know what I mean...
 
 .                               .
The Recipe is pretty simple.  You can vary it as you like, but this combination is a winner at our home and I think we will continue to use this as a standard for a simple breakfast pudding.

I start by gathering together the ingredients and a wide-mouth Mason Jar with a lid.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/4 C. Chia Seed
  • 1/4 C. Liquid Honey (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tspn. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 C. Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Strawberries and Blueberries (or other fruit/berry combinations) as you like
THE METHOD

  1. Put all the above ingredients (in order) into a quart-size Mason Jar
  2. Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly mixed, paying attention to bottom sticky seeds
  3. Put lid on jar and place in fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours.)
  4. Scoop pudding into small bowls or small jars (1/2 pint) and serve



I'm not sure why the 
Mason Jar method
works so well, but it certainly 
seems to do the trick...
The whole glom melds
together and there are
no big lumps if you take
the time to do a thorough
whisking at the start of
the recipe.

Enjoy!!






Here are some other chia pudding recipes you might want to try:
Mango-Orange Chia Pudding Parfait


Blackberry-Orange-Avo-Goji Chia Pudding Parfait

Chocolate-Avo-Banana Chia Pudding Parfait

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Non-Churn Vegan Mango Black 'n' Blue Berry Ice Cream, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free

Well, it is hot summer and my grandies are coming to stay for a while!!  Is there any better excuse to make ice cream?

 I will make a lot of ice cream.  It will be vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no other animal products- ha) and gluten-free.  It will contain something out of our garden.  It will be sweet but low on common sugars, sugar-less if possible.  It will be relatively low-fat meaning that I won't be using nut purees as the primary base and will likely opt out of using full-fat coconut milk, yummy as it is.  Most of all, it must be creamy and absolutely delicious.... here is the first attempt at the above.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 C. Almond or other non-Dairy Milk
2 1/2 C. Frozen Mango Chunks (I buy the organic brand at Costco)
1 T. Arrowroot Powder (or Tapioca Starch or Oat Starch)
1 T. Vanilla (in Alcohol)
2 T. Maple Syrup
1 very ripe avocado
Berry syrup or Jam, your choice (I used blackberry jam made with stevia)

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT THE JAM/SYRUP in your blender carafe.  I use a Vitamix, but if you have a less powerful blender, do in smaller batches.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy
  3. Pour into muffin tins-- either 6 or 12.  I used a silicon muffin pan with extra-large cups and only filled up 6.  Silicon is great because after freezing the ice cream just pops out.  But with the metal tins you just have to sit them in some warm water in your sink for a few minutes for them to pop out as well!
  4. Freeze the Blend for about 3+ hours or overnight.  Needs to be firm.
  5. Use about 2/3 of the muffin-cup-blender pucks first, just mushing them and mashing them in the blender until they transform into an ice cream-textured mass.... and they WILL.  Don't overblend them into a smoothie (although, you might well enjoy that as well)
  6. Pour into a pan (with a lid) and smooth out
  7. Step 2: Blend the remaining pucks with about 1/2 to 1 C. of Berry syrup or Jam, with the same consistency as the ice cream blend above (#5)
  8. Spread the Berry Blend over the Mango blend and put lid on pan and refrigerate again for an hour+

Enjoy as you would any ordinary tasty frozen treat... I'm guessing my grandies will want ice cream cones, so that is why we tried ours out on.  It also makes a yummy pancake dressing.

You might also like the following other vegan ice cream recipes (I know we do!):

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Tribute from Alyza to her Mother...


My Mom
She has a large shaped heart 
in a pint sized body.
She has a warm smile on a cold day.
She is a hard worker with soft hands.
She laughs at my jokes and 
cries when I'm hurt.
She's tattooed in my heart and
 in my thoughts forever.
I love my mom.
©Alyza2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cranberry-Orange-Chia Muffin Recipe, Vegan, Whole Food, Delicious!

Cranberry-Orange-Chia Muffin Recipe

Back in the day when people arrived at your door with baked muffins (does that happen any more?) I remember replicating a delectable recipe for orange-date muffins that involved cutting up a whole orange-- skin and all-- and putting it in my blender with those dates that came in hard little blocks from the Co-op, and of course, sugar, eggs, raisins, and oil and probably milk.

I got a craving for that fruity, yummy muffin.  I wondered if such a recipe existed for a vegan, oil free muffin with similar ingredients and taste.  Well, I did find a similar yummy-looking muffin recipe from the Vegan Richa blog, and made a few adjustments to get some of the "old" longed-for texture and taste in the recipe below.  See what you think!

INGREDIENTS: 


  • 1 C.+ 2 T. organic seedless Orange Juice and Pulp
  • Peel from 1/2 organic Orange
  • 4 T. Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 C. Sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla (I didn't have Vanilla, but did have Orange Extract)

  • 1 1/4 C. Flour (I used organic Spelt)
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 T. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt (I subbed 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast Flakes)
  • 1/2 C. fresh Cranberries (or Frozen, or could use other tart berry of choice)

METHOD:

  1. Peel 2 nice organic Naval, Seedless Oranges and segment into the blender.  Blend up and measure out the required amount (above).  Drink the rest, or set aside for someone else.
  2. Combine peel from 1/2 of an orange and the Orange Juice and blend until smooth.
  3. Add in the Chia seed and let it hydrate for about 15+ minutes in the Juice
  4. Line a muffin tin (smaller cups) with paper cup liners or pull out  a Silicone set for super-quick clean-up and no muffin liners needed.
  5. Set the oven to preheat at 375F (190C)
  6. Blend together orange juice mix, chia seeds, sugar and vanilla
  7. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and blend until smooth. Throw in cranberries briefly at the end-- they do not have to be pureed-- you could just mix them in before pouring mix into the cups.
  8. Pour or spoon batter into cups to make 8 - 12 muffins (depending on size of cups)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes, although baking times vary for different stoves and altitudes.  Check for doneness at 20 minutes.
  10. Set on counter in pan to cool for about 5 minutes, and then remove to cool more on a rack (about another 20-30 minutes).

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Yummy Chocolate-Avocado-Chia-Banana Pudding Parfait (Vegan, Whole Food, Plant-Based)

Chocolate-Avocado-Chia-Banana Pudding Parfait

Spent some time in the garden prepping the soil for planting and needed a bit of a treat for the hard dirty work (ha) so decided to try this lovely chocolate chia pudding recipe.  Then, to amp it up a little for people who love banana cream-chocolate parfait or pie, I decided to add a few layers of really ripe banana.  Hope you like it as much as I do!

Makes about 4 Parfaits

INGREDIENTS:

4 T. Chia Seeds
1 C. Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
Flesh of 2 Ripe Avocados
4 T. Organic Cocoa Powder (or Raw Cacao Powder)
4-6 T. Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Ripe Organic Banana

METHOD:

  1. Assemble ingredients and measure out in advance (or, if less OCD than I, skip this step)
  2. Stir chia seeds and almond milk together in the canister of your blender. Let sit 20 minutes.
  3. Add other ingredients (except the Banana) and blend until silky smooth
  4. Layer Banana and chocolate-chia pudding and garnish with fruit, nuts, or lemon balm (or other mint) leaves.
  5. Eat or chill in fridge for a couple of hours.







Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vegan Spring Frittata

 
This "vegan frittata" is a take-off on the Persian egg dish often called "koko sabzi" and
baked up for the New Year (March 20th or thereabouts).  The lovely green fresh herbs really celebrate Spring!  I have used some traditional ingredients (the herbs) and some non-traditional ingredients (umeboshi plum vinegar, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and of course, the tofu.)  I think of this as a World Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. Organic Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 C. Organic Fresh Chives, finely chopped
  • 2 C. Organic Fresh Dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Tamari
  • 1/4 C. Plum Vinegar
  • 2 pkgs. Extra Firm Organic Tofu
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 1/2 C. Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tsp. mixed Kosher Salt and Black Pepper 
  • 1 T. Garlic Powder or 1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F/177C   - Cover the bottom of a casserole pan with parchment paper
  • Saute the Herbs in a small amount of filtered water until limp in a large pan
  • Add in the Tamari, Salt and Pepper
  • Blend together in a Food Processor (or use a potato masher by hand): Tofu, Plum Vinegar, Almond Milk, Nutritional Yeast, and Garlic.
  • Pour the Tofu Mixture into the large pan with the Herbs and mix well over low heat just until all ingredients are well combined
  • CAREFULLY pour the entire content of the pan into the casserole and Bake at 350 degrees for abut 35-40 minute

Friday, March 24, 2017

Organic Granny's Older Granddaughter Blogs Here....

Today in the Mall a little girl came over to Grandma
when she was going to take a picture of us and
asked if we wanted her Mom to take our picture.
  So cute! L: Grandpa, Alyza (Me)
(Organic) Grandma and Angelika.
Hello my name is Alyza and I am 11 years old. I have a sister named Angelika, two parents, 3 grandparents and we have two cats named Ginger and Aiyansh. Ginger is a short-haired blonde-orange tabby cat and Aiyansh is a short-haired grey tuxedo cat. We got our two kittens about a year ago.

This week has been great-- my grandparents came to visit us on our Spring Break.

Today was fun but a little sad because when we went to the mall to buy me a pair of shoes (white Adidas court shoes with black stripes) we couldn't find a pair in my size, although we looked in about 6 or 7 stores. We also made a trip to a different Mall to get a Roblox gift card for my sister, but they were out of stock for the $10 ones!

For now, I will wrap it up.








Happy Puppy Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Veggie Tofu Stroganoff - Vegan, Gluten-Free

This Veggie Tofu Stroganoff really hits the vegan spot on a sunny, snow-y day-- or for a summer supper-- well, for anytime, really!


Oh, Mama, this is soooo delicious! Here are the ingredients (with suggestions for subs):

  INGREDIENTS FOR 4-6 PEOPLE/ VEGGIE TOFU STROGANOFF

  • Extra Firm Organic Non-GMO Tofu Block (16 ounces/ 450 g)
  • 3 T. Organic Soy Sauce (Tamari) (could be GlutenFree)
  • 1 Organic Garlic Clove, Minced or Grated
  • 1 T. Vegetable Oil (or 1/4 C. Water if on Oil-Free Diet)
  • 2 C. Chopped Red Onions
  • 1 Large Bunch of Fresh Organic Chard, Stems Chopped Separate/Leaves Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Hungarian Smoked Paprika (or ground mild Chipotle)
  • 2 C. Peeled and Sliced Carrots
  • 2 C. Mushrooms, Cleaned and Sliced (I used Baby Bella)
  • 1/2 C. Dilute Apple Cider Vinegar (about 1/3 Vinegar/ 2/3Water) or 1/2 C. Dry Red Wine
  • 1 1/2 C. Organic Tomato/Basalmic Pasta Sauce (Good deals at Walmart & Costco)
  • 1- 2 C. Organic Quinoa (I used the Mixed Colors)
  • 1/2 C. to 1 Cup Almond Sour Cream (or can use a store-bought variety-- but not so much fun!)

METHOD:

  1. Soak the Almonds for the Almond Sour Cream the night before and prepare sometime before the preparation o the Stroganoff.  Give yourself an hour+ to prepare the stroganoff for the night's meal.
  2. Cut the Tofu Block horizontally in 3 equal size layers and then cut the block vertically into 27 cubes (3X3 show up on the top of the block and with the other 2 layers=27 cubes)
  3. Toss Tofu Cubes in blend of Soya Sauce (Tamari) and Minced or Grated Garlic.  Coat well.  Set aside and stir occasionally while prepping other veggies.
  4. Warm the Oil in a large Soup Pot on the stove.  Add the Onions, the Chopped Chard Stems and the Salt.  StRir for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in Paprika or Chipotle and Sliced Carrots.  Cover and Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the Mushrooms and Apple Cider Dilution (or Wine); Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add Tomato Sauce and Chard Leaves.  Cover and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until everything is tender and fragrant. (5-10 minutes)
  8. Add the Tofu Cubes in their Tarmari-Garlic marinade and simmer for 2-3 minutes.


20 Minutes before serving, cook Quinoa according to package directions (I generally cook 1 Cup Quinoa in 2 Cups Water-- Bring it to a boil and then turn down to LOW heat, cover, and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent.


Plate by putting a layer of fluffy Quinoa, followed by the serving of Stroganoff, and topping with the Almond Sour Cream.  My husband likes a sprinkling of Chipotle on his Sour Cream.

Enjoy!