Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's Sunday, Get out and Play with your kids!

It's a beautiful day in the Okanagan! We started today with a new invention "Bran and Raisin Pancakes", Greg invented them in his mind, I executed them for him. Now we're taking turns going for our runs and my kids are playing downstairs. And I'm blogging and doing other work on the computer. As I scanned through my photos, I realized I miss my kids! And we're in the same house! My work can wait a little longer, it is Sunday and after a busy week it's time for some family fun.

You would think I'd have got the message last night when we were hiking in the forest. I kept saying to my three year old "Hurry, catch up to Daddy." and he was stopping, literally, to smell the flowers. It suddenly hit me...stop and smell the flowers! So we did. All of them. And the forest floor is covered in sunflowers and purple, orange, blue and white flowers that I don't know the name of. It was beautiful, and a special time to slowly wander through beautiful nature with my little boy.

So I'll leave you with my recipe for pancakes, then I'll go enjoy my kids. While they still want me to!

Bran and Raisin Pancakes:
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup bran
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, or more
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 "egg" ( I used Ener-G Egg Replacer, I bet an egg would work)
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp brown Sugar
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

Raisins- about a half cup.

Mix dry ingredints, add wet ingredients. Pour onto a hot griddle (medium) and sprinkle the tops with raisins. Cook on one side until they look dry and holey. Flip and cook on the other side about 5 minutes. Serve with Earth Balance and Maple Syrup or whatever other toppings you like. Ejnoy- then get out there and play!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Everything Coming Up Balls

I'm not sure if it's just the circles (and websites) I run in, but lately it seems everywhere I look there is a new recipe for a healthy ball. This must not be entirely a new thing- the 1986 edition of "The Well Fed Backpacker" has one of my favourite ball recipes of all time. This book was first published in 1976 and has a lot of other great information for people on epic hikes. I have found, as a mother, that epic trips to the playground with two hungry, growing boys, also lends itself to such nutrient rich recipes!

Molasses Marbles:

Mix Together: 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3/4 cup instant dry milk, 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ.

Roll into small balls (recipe makes about 2 dozen) and then roll in chopped nuts, sesame seeds, coconut or sunflower seeds.

It lends itself to all sorts of variations. I have made it with baby cereal or soy milk powder in place of the dry milk powder. You could use protein powder too. I use blackstrap molasses, so my kids get extra iron and calcium. I've added cinnamon and ginger. You could roll in cocoa powder if you don't mind messy fingers. Use almond butter or pumpkin seed butter for allergies. I could go on and on!!

Each ball has 3g of protein and is under 80 calories (79 to be exact!)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My own superfood cereal "to go"

We're in Vancouver this weekend, and there are a lot of fabulous places to eat, but we like our own breakfast to get a jump on the day. It also saves calories for a coffee while we're walking a great city. I decided to make an instant super food breakfast for myself. I mixed the following into a reusable airtight container:
1. A few scoops of chia seeds
2. A few scoops of hemp seeds
3. A scoop of raisins
4. A scoop of pumpkin seeds

In the morning I took a couple Tablespoons, added soy milk and organic strawberries, waited about 10 minutes and ate it before a gorgeous run on the sea wall. It was fantastic, filling and healthy! You could add whatever you want; flaxseed, dried cherries, oats, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds...whatever! And it's easy to pack a large amount. Try it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

By Special Request

A friend has asked me to give ideas for healthy kids snacks. So I'm thinking maybe I'll try to post a healthy recipe I love every week. If I get better at food photography, I'll even put pictures up.

Right now, I'm loving a date and pumpkin seed ball that I've adapted from Dreena Burton's book "Let them Eat Vegan!" It's a fantastic book, by the way.

Her recipe is called "Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls"- I've changed it a little. I've added more pumpkin seeds and taken out the chocolate chips, plus I roll them in coconut.

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp rolled oats
pinch sea salt
1 cup pitted dates (I soak them overnight, then drain them for easier blending)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A few scoops of shredded coconut for rolling.

Blend the seeds in a food processor until they are fine and crumbled. Add everything else, except the coconut and blend until a ball forms. Dreena describes it well, she says it will appear as though nothing is happening, and then it starts to become sticky. I was adding the chocolate chips at this point, but they are just as tasty without!

Roll into balls, I make about 18 balls, and roll the balls in coconut. Store in the fridge. These are perfect for school, before or after a workout etc. I've done a nutrient analysis on them, and they each contain about 85 calories, 15 g of carbohydrate and 3 grams of protein.

They are great, I would double or triple the recipe if your food processor is big enough. Sadly, mine isn't and lately we are making a batch every few days. My sweet friend tried one and said "You can make millions off of these!" I'd split it with Dreena, since it is almost exactly her recipe!Thanks for the inspiration!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thanks for the reminder, Easter Bunny.

We normally eat a pretty healthy diet around here. Yes, we eat desserts, and often, but they're made by me with whole grain flours, flax seeds, nuts, dates, less refined sugars and healthy fats. But we are not immune to the alluring ways of the Easter Bunny. The boys got a modest amount of Easter chocolates and jelly beans, they went to town Easter morning, and have sort of lost interest since then. Sadly, I haven't lost interest. Something about Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Whopper Eggs takes me back to my childhood, which was happy. I have been by those baskets several times a day, grabbing one or two of the treats. As I was running Tuesday afternoon, I noticed how hard every hill was. I was short of breath on the downhills! And my legs felt like lead weights. It happened quickly, and I'm back on track now. But it made me think of two things that I needed to share: 1. Healthy eating makes everything else easier, even if the prep takes a bit more time. 2. If you slip up on your path to healthier eating, shake it off and carry on. Thanks Easter Bunny, even dietitians need a reminder of why we do what we do!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Quick Easter Dinner!

It was such an amazing weekend here in Kelowna, we spent most of it outside. With no family here for Easter dinner, there was no pressure to whip up a tofu turkey and the elaborate new recipe we'd planned to try seemed like too much effort for such a beautiful day. We ended up making BBQ seitan lettuce wraps. I used a seitan lunch loaf I'd made ages ago, cubed it up and added to sauteed onions and garlic. Then I added a sauce of hoisin, soy sauce, mustard and a touch of agave. I let it all steam a bit and get nice and sticky. Then we spread it onto big, gorgeous red lettuce leaves from last weeks Urban Harvest delivery. I served it with a big salad of greens including kale- and a tahini dressing. It was amazing! Went really well with the Wild Horse Canyon Chardonnay- but I'm no expert. Happy Easter!!