Nectarine Green Smoothie

I’ve been loving smoothies lately.  I make a large batch in the morning, and keep them on hand for those times Arren just refuse to be put down, which happen quite often.  Arren just loves his mommy’s bony arms.  During those times its extremely difficult to even try to make something to eat, and I’m still learning how to eat with one hand while holding a growing baby with a floppy head with the other, its not as easy as you would think!

Smoothies have become my go to meal replacement, I keep telling myself that it wont be like this for long and soon he wont need me as much anymore so right now I’m taking the cuddles when I can get them and just really enjoying this time.  These smoothies really give me that extra boost to be the best mother to him I can possibly be.

This is my go to smoothie recipe, the sweetness of the nectarines and the tangy-ness of the lemons make this a sweet and sour treat that I just can’t get enough of.  Filled with all that good for you ingredients that keep me going while breastfeeding, and squat bouncing with a baby.  The best workout I’ve ever had has been having a baby.  I’ve really started getting creative with my bounces,  Arren really enjoys all the strange bounces.  What can I say I apparently make them weird, but I make a damn delicious smoothie too!

NECTARINE GREEN SMOOTHIEserves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 soft nectarines, washed and chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 a small cucumber, washed and chopped
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced.  Depends how lemony you like it.
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1- 2 cup kale
  • 1 1/2 cups – 2 cups water
  • sweetener to taste
  • ice

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass and serve! Easy as that.

Chocolate Pregnancy Shake

Yes, I’m still pregnant and after a very positive midwife appointment I’m feeling really good again.  Baby is in a good position, I’m healthy, baby is not too big and the midwife and I both decided that baby should come when the baby is done developing and is ready to face the big scary world.  While I wait I’m just going to get enough sleep, meditate and go for walks until baby is ready to meet us.

I feel healthier than ever during this pregnancy, I’ve really been making a conscious effort to eat healthy, avoid anything that doesn’t  make me feel like the glowing pregnant woman I deserve to be and just give my baby the best food I can possibly give him/her.  I’ve mostly just been craving sweet delicious things this pregnancy, which has been strange for me, because I’m more of a savoury kind of gal, but I felt like a fruit junky and have had weird cravings for donuts and cake.  You don’t know how strong you are until you prove to yourself that you WONT touch that cake.  To keep my sugar cravings  in control, I came up with the most delicious medjool date chocolate shake, filled with good for you ingredients, protein and all those yummy dates that’s suppose to help shorten your labour,  whats not to love and I mean it just tastes so good.  Way better than the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had and that’s saying something, because this is the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had.

WHY EAT DATES DURING PREGNANCY

The number one reason should be that its really delicious! filled with nutrients, fibre (what every pregnant woman needs more of), a great source of potassium , iron, anti oxidants and helps regulate blood pressure.  It will also give you that energy boost you so desperately crave during pregnancy, but even with all those amazing benefits the best thing about dates for a pregnant lady is.

It will help shorten labour.  Yes, you read that right!  Women who ate 6 dates a day during their ninth month of pregnancy had good progression during labour.  They were also more dilated on arrival to hospital and laboured for 7 hours or less.  Dates have a compound in them that mimics the hormone oxytocin  which causes contractions.

Hopefully all my religious date eating pays of during labour.

CHOCOLATE PREGNANCY SHAKEserves 2

Ingredients

  • 4-6 medjool dates pitted
  • 2 large frozen banana, peeled and chopped before freezing.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 heaped tbsp protein powder
  • 2 -4 tbsp cocoa powder ( depends how chocolately you like it)
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds – optional
  • ice

Directions

Place everything in your blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and enjoy.

Healthy Date Squares (sugar free, gluten free, vegan)

Date squares are one of those recipes that make me think about my grandmother, she would always have date squares, fig bars and jam cookies at her house and as a snooty little kid, I always wondered what her deal was.  I mean where is the chocolate? why is she always shoving a jam like spread in all the sweet things and why can’t we just dip this in chocolate? I remember never wanting to try her “healthy” weird things, but when I got older I tried a date square and man oh man! did I love it! the sweetness of the dates with the buttery crust had my head spinning in a whirlwind of love.  Back in the day I classified that as me being healthy, and with such large quantities of sugar and butter, you know its really not that good for you.

As I’ve been trying to eat my large quantities of dates a day for an easier labour ( I’ll let you guys know if it works) I’ve gotten really tired of eating it in oats or smoothies.  I just started not being able to hit my date quota, so these little healthy date squares are my solution!  They are a tasty healthy treat filled with good for you ingredients, made with a small amount of sweetener in the crust, because come one guys! Dates are sweet enough! and coconut oil instead of butter.  its the perfect little grab and go snack that everyone will love.

HEALTHY DATE SQUARES16 squares

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats ( gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds ( I just add flax seeds to the rolled oats while blending it to give it a nice roughage kind of consistency)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp xantum gum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions

In a bowl add the dates, 1 tsp vanilla and boiling water.  Stir around until covered.  Let sit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ or 180 degrees C.

Add the oats, flax seeds, cinnamon  and salt to a food processor.   Process until you’ve reached the consistency of a wholewheat flour, not to flour like.

Add the sweetener, xantum gum, vanilla and coconut oil.  Pulse until it forms a dough.

Grease a pan.  Take 2/3 of the dough and press it tightly into the pan, making sure its nicely pressed.  Wipe down your processor and add the dates mixture,   Pulse until smooth.

Spread the date mixture over the oats mixture, spreading evenly.  Take the rest of the oat dough and spread it over the date mixture and keep pressing it down.

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Bake for 20 – 35 minutes or until lightly golden all over.  Remove from oven and let completely cool before cutting.  Serve.

Baked Pumpkin Custard (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan)

After finding out how easy it is to make pumpkin puree (even with the long wait for all the water to drip out) I’ve been on an insane everything MUST be pumpkin flavoured kick! and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, its the best time to be all pumpkin crazed.  My dark chocolate pumpkin bread was a bust, a very delicious pudding like bust, but these baked pumpkin custards were a great success! Sometimes you have to mess up one recipe to find an even yummier other recipe.

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Perfectly spiced and served in individual bowls, this dessert makes portion control so easy, but what makes it even more special is the fact that is sugar free, gluten free and vegan.  Its the perfect no guilt treat to serve for any holiday celebration, but don’t just serve it for the holidays.  Lets just build a pumpkin custard swimming pool and eat this dessert all the time! Yes, that seems like the only solution that will work.

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This recipe popped into my mind after I made the most amazing pumpkin pie filling for my pumpkin pie bars, its just so good that I could have been content with just eating the filling and calling the crust an unnecessary luxury.  Don’t get me wrong the crust is the best part of the pumpkin pie bars, but sometimes you just want a whole bowl of delicious, creamy pudding to get you through the baking process! So lets get custard making!

BAKED PUMPKIN CUSTARD serves 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup honey or liquid sweetener of choice – Depends how sweet you like it.
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup raisins – optional

Directions

Place everything except the raisins in your blend.  Blend until combined.  Taste and adjust to your preference.  Fold in raisins.

Pour mixture into four ramekins.

Pour boiling water into baking pan. 1 inch of water.  Place your ramekins inside the water bath.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Remove from bath.

Vegan Baked Pumpkin Custard

Serve hot or cold, with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.

 

 

Mung Bean Fritters with a Peach Chutney ( Gluten free, vegan, Sugar free, High Protein)

Mung beans, might sound like something completely new to most people, but they’ve actually been used in Ayurveda diets in India for centuries! Mung beans are considered a cherished food in ancient Indian practices, that’s been used as a medicine since 1 500 B.C.  These little green beans are filled with protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, for such a small bean they sure do pack a nutritional punch!  No wonder they are used as medicine.

When I think about Mung beans I think about the one time Carl and I were shopping in an Asian Supermarket somewhere, and without paying much attention to the floor, because who really looks at the floor in a grocer, I stepped on a ripped open bag of mung beans, I remember just really crushing them with my feet, I continued walking like nothing happen just to see Carl looking just as confused as I was, about what he just stepped on.  After a lot of giggling we continued on with our shopping, only to go back to that same section to see a worker scooping up all the mung beans, sealing it, reweighing it and putting it back on the shelf.  Since that day I only buy things that are really sealed and I really, really wash my rice and legumes!  Let that be a lesson to everyone! Unless you like the taste of shoe with your bean! Wash all your legumes like someone might have stepped on it somewhere!

These fritters don’t taste like dirty shoe, they taste amazing, unless of course you’re into the dirty shoe taste! Is quick to prepare after the soak! and is accompanied with the most amazing peach chutney!  The chutney compliments the spices of the fritters amazingly is sugar free, raw and will just make you want to dip everything you can find.  If you love Indian food you will love this recipe.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUNG BEANS

  1. Helps lower high blood pressure.
  2. Contains antioxidants that fight cancer development.
  3. Provides a high amount of Protein
  4. Can help prevent type 2 diabetes
  5. Boost Immunity and protect against viral infections
  6. High source of vitamins and minerals.  Mung beans are loaded with folate, magnesium, b vitamins, manganese, zinc and calcium.  That’s a whole lot of goodness in one small little bean.
  7. Helps with weight loss
  8. Can help decrease PMS symptoms.
  9. Easy to digest.

Why you should soak your legumes? when you soak your beans overnight and rinse them well, it makes them easier to digest and takes away the gassy element that beans sometimes gives you.  It also helps remove phytic acid that can cause tooth decay.

MUNG BEAN FRITTERS – 18 fritters

Mung Bean Fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mung beans soaked in enough water to cover it overnight
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup chard or kale leaves
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

Directions

Blend the soaked and rinsed well mung beans with the water, garlic,cumin seed and kale, until it looks like a smooth pancake batter.  Add more water if it needs to be a little less thick.

Stir in the coriander, turmeric, ginger, carrot, zucchini, green onions and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat some coconut oil, in a large skillet over medium high heat and spoon the mixture onto the hot skillet, I try to get them to be all nice and flat by smoothing them out at this stage.  Cook about 3 – 4 at a time.  Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Continue until the batter is done.

PEACH CHUTNEY

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Ingredients

  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 1 tsp raisins
  • 1 tsp goji berries – optional, or just add more raisins
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ground cardamom
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch coriander
  • fresh cilantro

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until blended together, but not completely smooth.  Taste and adjust spices.  Serve on top of the fritters.  YUM!

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Immunity Boosting Vitamin C Tonic – No Juicer required

No matter where you are on this beautiful planet right now the seasons are changing! and with the changing seasons a whole bunch of the sniffles seem to be right behind it.  I pride myself on getting sick as little as possible and being able to jump back really fast when I do get sick, I like a good one day of wondering if I’m getting sick or not and waking up feeling as good as new.  I also try not to take a lot of medication, not just because I’m pregnant at the moment, but in general, so when I really, really need to use medication my body will probably have some sort of freak out wondering what this foreign stuff is all about.  I’ve always just tried to prevent sickness, by following a good diet (with minimum gluten), exercise, practice good hygiene and drinking immunity boosting tonics.  When I feel my throat starting to hurt I make an amazingly delicious, super lickable healing paste, that takes away any throat tickles in a jiffy, but enough about the paste this blog post is about my immunity boosting tonic!

This tonic doesn’t require a juicer, but if you’re lucky enough to have a juicer, by all means use it! Filled with good for you ingredients that will give you’re body the extra fighting strength it needs to kick the sniffles right to the curb.

BENEFITS OF ORANGES

  1. Oranges fight against viral infections.
  2. Immune booster: with all that vitamin c, it gives you immune system the boost it needs.
  3. Fights inflammation
  4. Slows ageing: just an added bonus of oranges that’s got nothing to do with boosting your immunity, but everything to do with vanity!

Benefits Of Lemons

  1. Excellent source of Vitamin C; an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies.
  2. Balances the PH levels in your body.
  3. Flushes out toxins in your body.
  4. Its a great source of citric acid, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Benefits of Carrots

  1. Helps boost immune system;When it comes to strengthening your immune system vitamin A plays a vital part (along with vitamin D) and carrots are filled with good old vitamin A
  2. Helps prevent infection.
  3. Cleanses the body; Vitamin A assists the body in flushing out toxins and reduces bile from forming in the liver.

Benefits of Ginger

  1. Anti Inflammatory – Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance that’s a powerful anti inflammatory and filled with antioxidants.
  2. Prevents Nausea.
  3. Reduces muscle pain and soreness.
  4. Helps fight infections.

Benefits of Turmeric

  1. Anti inflammatory.
  2. Manages Pain.
  3. Boost Immunity.

Now with all those benefits don’t you just want to take a sip of this tonic!  I grated my carrot before hand as I don’t have a great blender at the moment, and used a little strainer over my glass to strain out the pulp and control how much pulp I wanted in my tonic.  Its all up to you, like I said if you have a juicer feel free to use it you will probably have a way more juicy tonic than mine, if using a juicer I would suggest to go easier on the water.

IMMUNITY BOOSTING VITAMIN C TONICserves 2 small glasses or 1 and a bit bigger glasses

Immunity Boosting Tonic no juicer required

Ingredients

  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1/2 large lemon, washed well I blend it with the rind.
  • 1 large carrot, washed and grated
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup of water or add a little more if using the strainer method.

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a blender a blend until smooth.

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Place a strainer over your glass or a bowl and pour the liquid in.  I used a spoon to push through as much of the liquid as I could.  Give it a stir, add ice and enjoy.  Feel free to sweeten it with honey or maple syrup if you want, I drank it just as is.

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