Harvesting Carrots?

Harvesting Carrots?
Click on the image to get these great healthy recipes!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Butter Tart Oatmeal Porridge-- No Added Oils, Whole Food Plant Strong

THE SWEET BUTTER TART COMPONENT

My husband and I both grew up in households where oatmeal was almost a daily occurrence on the breakfast menu.

 Once we got over our rebellion against eating it (the it's-good-for-you), as adults we have begun to eat it pretty regularly again. We love it.

 I also love sweet desserts-- cookies, cake, pie, tarts-- and have been experimenting to make healthier copy-cat recipes that can be incorporated into porridge-- for us, that's a win-win. For someone who likes desserts but is pretty "meh" about porridge, these dessert-ifications might just be the bump needed into the healthy habit of eating oatmeal.

 Just how healthy is oatmeal? A 30-gram serving of well-cooked Steel Cuts oats gives your body a balance of 66% carbohydrates, 17% protein, 7% fat and 11% fiber. Oats are also an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum, a very good source of phosphorus and a good source of copper, biotin, vitamin B1, magnesium, dietary fibre, chromium, and zinc. I had been convinced, via advertising, to take 4 capsules of beta glucans before breakfast-- guess what? Oats is one of the best sources of beta glucans, naturally occuring sugars (polysaccharides) that work to boost the immune system and lower blood sugar, as well as other amazing attributes, that make it perfect for people with heart disease or diabetes.


  INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 Delicious Soft Whole Dates, pitted (Medjool is super-yummy)
  • 1 C. Filtered Water
  • 1/4 C. Chia Seed
  • 1/4 C. Shredded Coconut
  • 3 T.  Maple Syrup
  • 1 C. Non-Dairy Milk

  • 1/4 C. Walnut Pieces
  • 3 T. Thompson Raisins
METHOD:
  1. Overnight, soak Whole Dates, chopped and pitted, in Filtered Water with Chia Seed
  2. In morning (or several hours later), Combine date-water-chia mixture in with Maple Syrup, Coconut and Non-dairy milk in a high speed blender (or whatever blender you have available) and blend all ingredients until smooth.
  3. Spoon sauce over bowls of yummy oatmeal porridge (Steel-Cut recommended-- you can get the "fast cook" variety at Costco).
  4. Add in walnuts and raisins as desired.
  5. Num num num
You might also be interested in these other delicious porridge recipes:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lemon-Coconut Oatmeal Porridge (Sugar-Free, No Poured Oils, Plant-Strong, Vegan)


Recently I was at a social function where I found myself hanging over the dessert table and "sampling" more than one delicious Lemon-Coconut Square.  In my opinion, these "dainties" (what sugar-y confections at "Teas" were called in my youth) are the creme-de-la-creme of the dessert table.  But.... as much as I enjoyed them, I felt like a huge fraud, since (1)I am working to lose inches and (2)I profess to be vegan.  The eggs, fat and sugar in these Lemon-Coconut Squares are not dangerous in moderation, but if you eat 3 squares/bars, you are taking in something like 30 g of fat (saturated and unsaturated), as well as 450 calories of energy.  So, I went searching for a recipe that would allow me to enjoy the essence of this lovely dessert, while being low in fat and calories, and higher in nutritional benefits.

Voila!  The Lemon-Coconut Porridge Recipe was born-- or REBORN maybe, in a vegan form.


Start by making a fabulous VEGAN LEMON CURD (i.e, no eggs)

INGREDIENTS (in your vitamix carafe, or other blender carafe):

  • 3 small organic lemons- will fill a measuring cup, chopped and seeded with skin still on (scrub up in advance)
  • 2 T. Organic Yellow Corn Flour/Starch (or Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Stevia Powder (I use Truvia) or other sweetener to your taste
  • 1 C. Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond, but Coconut would be delicious)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric (Optional: for the Yellow Color)
Blend Well.

Pour into a medium pot on the stove and whisk over medium high heat until the curd thickens (curdles?).  It happens VERY FAST so don't wander away, if at all possible.

Pour into small mason jars and let cool.

Spoon the yummy (but tart) Lemon Curd over a lovely bowl of steel cut oats and sprinkle on as much coconut shred (I use raw, organic) as you desire.  Eat.  Love.

Here are some more porridge recipes you will also love:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Orange-Oatmeal Walnut-Date Brownies... Vegan, No Poured Oils


These are yummy, and compared to other brownies, pretty healthy.

Here are the list of Ingredients:

1 C.     Pitted Medjool Dates
3/4 C.  Hot Water
1 C.      Rolled Oats
1/2 C.   Walnut Pieces
1/2 C.   Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
3 T.       Maple Syrup
2 tsp.    Orange Extract (or Vanilla if you wish)
Pinch    Sea Salt

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Pour hot water over the dates and let them sit in a bowl for about 10 minutes
  3. Drain the water off and then blend up the dates in a food processor, scraping down as you go
  4. Add oatmeal, walnuts, cocoa, baking powder, maple syrup, and sea salt.
  5. Process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as you go.
  6. In an 8"x8" pan, cover bottom with parchment paper and press in brownies
  7. Bake 20 minutes
  8. Let cool, and then cut into 16 pieces
  9. You may store the brownies for up to 5 days in the fridge (in an airtight container)
Using the information at FitnessPal.com, I calculate that each brownie has about 175 calories... AND a whopping 13g of fibre!!

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You might also like this recipe: Decadent chocolate cookies with the mystery ingredient that could blow the top off cookie-baking #vegan #glutenfree

Monday, October 23, 2017

Champorado-- Filippino Chocolate Sticky Rice made in the Instant Pot

So, this summer when our little Fil-Can granddaughters visited we went out and bought a ton of rice-- brown rice, brown Basmati, Jasmine rice, and plain old white rice.  While potatoes and beans are our starches of choice, our grandies prefer rice.  However, this year they didn't seem to want to eat it as quite as often, even though the Instant Pot delivers it in a lovely, highly digestible and delicious form.

So, this is to say that we have a LOT of rice left in our pantry.  I have been using it up in stews, for burrito filler, etc., but today I ran across a recipe for Champorado, a Filippino sticky rice chocolate pudding, and I thought, hey, I've got these ingredients in spades!

And I have an opportunity to see if I can make it fast and easy in the Instant Pot.

So.....

Measure out the following:

INGREDIENTS:

2 C. Rice, clean and soak it   (I used plain white rice, but glutinous rice is what is traditionally used)

3 C. Water

1/2 C. Cocoa

1/2 C.- 1 C.  Brown Sugar (or Coconut Sugar, what I used)

3 C. Coconut Milk (your choice if you want to use the canned, thick stuff or the drinkable coconut milk-- or any other non-dairy milk, for that matter)

1/2 C. Chocolate Chips

METHOD:


  1. Stir first 4 ingredients together the Instant Pot, and cook as you would rice.  I set the Instant Pot on the Rice Setting, then Manually add 15 minutes to the 10 minutes=25 minutes.  
  2. When the rice is cooked and has vented for 15 minutes, I remove the lid and scrape the pudding into another bowl or pot. To that I add the Coconut milk.  I do a taste test and may add in a little more milk or sugar or water.
  3. Scoop into bowls and add a small handful of chocolate chips to "garnish"
ENJOY!

Get your high-end Smart Bluetooth Instant Pot by clicking above.  You can do just about any type of cooking (including sauté) and you can do it faster with less inconvenience.... even do your cooking from work on your smart phone...hehehe.... just need to put the ingredients together before you leave for work.

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
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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!
The right questions could save your life!
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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.  

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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…
One thing that Chris suggests to help you make important choices is to know what to ask the Onacologist(s) that you visit.  Click below to get the Questions that you will want to ask:



Looking for different varieties of GF #glutenfree pasta besides rice? Here are some great ideas for yummy GF spaghetti dinners http://ow.ly/vtUH30kOV06#vegan #plantstrong



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

(Puree fresh ripe mango with a little orange juice and sweetener,
and build like a
parfait with the chia pudding)















Blackberry-Orange-Avo-Goji Chia Pudding Parfait

Chocolate-Avo-Banana Chia Pudding Parfait


3 Fun Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton, Alberta

3 Fun Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton, Alberta
Visit Fort Edmonton Park & A Review of Other Things You Can Do With Kids & Grandkids In Edmonton,Alberta (CLICK above)