Golden Milk Granola

During my long wait, waiting for baby to arrive I was trying to stay sane by creating recipes for postpartum.   I wanted to create healthy easy to grab recipes that would nourish me and help heal me from the inside out.  I was thinking about anti inflammatory spices and ingredients that could be made into a delicious easy breakfast.  Breakfast was the one food item I was slacking on when I was making my food stock pile and showing Carl how to cook.  For some reason he’s just terrible at making breakfast, especially oats?!  When you have to ask someone if they’ve ever eaten before, because you just can’t believe the weird taste they’ve created you know you’ve got to come up with a breakfast alternative fast.

What’s a quicker breakfast than granola? Maybe a frozen waffle! but that was a slippery slope into unhealthy eating that I’m just not willing to take, especially during these crucial healing times!

This healthy golden milk granola is a great anti inflammatory breakfast or just a quick grab and go snack.  Its a fast way to get all the benefits of warm golden milk.  This traditional Ayurveda beverage harnesses some of the most potent healing spices, while giving you an immunity boost.

TURMERIC BENEFITS

  1. Helps with pain management.  After delivering your baby, you will be surprised of all the muscles you worked during labour.
  2. Helps manage depression.  When all those hormones come flooding out of your body, most of us gets hit with a couple of baby blues.
  3. Anti inflammatory.
  4. Helps fight against cancer
  5. Helps with digestive complaints.

GINGER BENEFITS

  1. Helps with nausea and indigestion.
  2. Helps with digestion
  3. Boost your immune system.
  4. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
  5. Helps relieve pain.

CINNAMON BENEFITS

  1. High source of antioxidants.
  2. fights inflammation in the body.
  3. Protects your heart health.
  4. Fights diabetes
  5. Fights against infections and viruses.

FENNEL SEED  BENEFITS

  1. Increases breast milk production.
  2. Helps aid digestion.
  3. Relieves water retention.
  4. Relieves menstrual problems
  5. Protects against cancer.

Pair all those benefits with oats and you’ve got yourself a great anti inflammatory, lactation aiding, really yummy, super breakfast.

GOLDEN MILK GRANOLAserves 12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, salt and spices.

Stir to blend

Pour in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well to get the oats covered well.

Spread the granola out on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.  Stir halfway through.  I lower the heat a bit when I place the granola in the oven.  I’ve had a lot of burning granola issues.  Remember to keep checking on the granola so it doesn’t burn.  When you take it out it wont be as crisp as you would want it, but it will crisp up as it cools.

Allow to completely cool.  Stir in raisins and place in an airtight container.

 

 

 

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie bars

I’ve been on a complete pumpkin kick lately! I just want to make everything pumpkin-y.  Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin cupcakes, and of course these amazing pumpkin pie bars!  When I started making these I knew the gingery crust would pair perfectly with the smooth custardy goodness of the pumpkin filling, when I made the pumpkin filling and tried it, it actually took all the willpower a heavily pregnant woman could take not to just take the filling, go hide in the closet and just eat the entire bowl, that’s how good it is!

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I’m glad I didn’t waste all the filling on my instant gratification need and decided this needs to be bars, because WOWZA! I just can’t get enough of these things, the fact that I don’t have any left kind of makes me want to cry, call it pregnancy hormones or the real life truth that there are no pumpkin pie bars in my fridge, maybe its just a combination of both?  What ever it is, all I know is I need to make more. STAT!

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What makes these extra special? Is the fact that’s its sugar free and gluten free, you don’t  even need to feel guilty while binge eating these.  The coconut flour ginger crust reminds me of a graham cracker or gingersnap cookie, paired with the smooth pumpkin filling and just the perfect touch of coconut whipped cream with 1/2 tsp of cardamom added to the mix, you’re in for a whirlwind of yum!

GLUTEN FREE SUGAR FREE PUMPKIN PIE BARS  – 9 – 12 bars

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil ( at room temperature)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups puree
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup – Increase it if you want it sweeter
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum – optional its creates a firmer filling
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and a half tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, mix together the honey, coconut oil and spices, until creamy.  You can use a hand blender for this, I just used my trusty hand.

Fold in the coconut flour and mix until it forms a dough.

Press the dough evenly in a prepared pan and bake until slightly golden about 5 – 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling

Place everything in your blender and blend until well combined.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning to your preference.    Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread it around evenly.

Bake for 20 – 40 minutes or until the pie is firm but still jiggly.  Let cool and place in the fridge overnight to properly set.

Cut the pie bars, serve with a dollop of cardamom coconut whipped cream and enjoy your masterpiece!

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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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Iron Rich Gingerbread Overnight Oats – Breakfast of champions

I’ve got a confession to make…. I hated overnight oats the first couple of times I made it, but I’ve never actually been much of an oatmeal fan.   The texture of overnight oats just made me hate it so much, its just so chewy, like eating raw oats, but I really wanted to create a quick breakfast I could just throw together in a jar and forget about until morning.  So in came my trusty stick blender,  I decided to try roughly blending up the oats to create more of a smooth porridge instead of the chewy cold mess.  To my surprise it turned out amazingly,  definitely one of my favourite breakfasts that I’ve ever made, even Carl loves it and he’s not much of a breakfast guy.

I’ve been trying to get my nutrients from food instead of just supplementing the whole time, my blood work Iron levels actually came back great so obviously I’m doing something right.   Iron plays an important role in the body and helps carry oxygen around in the body.  During pregnancy you need twice the amount of Iron you would normally need, the reason Iron is so important for you during pregnancy, is because your body has to make twice the amount of blood for you to support your growing baby.   Helping you feel less tired during pregnancy and preventing your baby from being born to small or too early.

This oatmeal is nutrients powerhouse filled with black strap molasses that contains nutrients, b vitamins and is filled with Iron.  Oats, which controls your blood pressure and releases energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer.  Chia seeds which contains omega 3’s, protein, fibre and calcium.  Ginger that will keep your nausea at bay.  Remember to eat this with vitamin c rich fruit so your body will absorb the iron better.

GINGERBREAD OVERNIGHT OATSserves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats, blended with a stick blender
  • 3/4 cup milk ( any milk you like)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black strap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 dates chopped

For serving

  • Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, yogurt and a vitamin c rich fruit

Directions

In a seal-able jar add the oats, milk chia seeds, black strap molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and dates.   Shake well or stir until everything is combined.  Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning open your jar to the wonderfulness that’s inside, if its a little bit thick add more milk.  I usually don’t sweeten it, but if you like a sweeter taste add sweetener of choice.  Scoop into bowl, add fruit, seeds, yogurt and enjoy! Easy as can be!

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an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Flower season is here!  During August and September the Western Cape is alive with the most beautiful flowers.  Fields of flowers!

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^^ Traffic jam! All because of this little guy, who was surprisingly fast.

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^^Happy to see all the flowers.

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^^ Standing in a field of wild flowers is amazing! Hence, the excited look on my face.

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^^ We decided to try the shipwreck hike….We never made it to the shipwreck..It started feeling horror movie-ish when we saw 3 dead seals, 1 dead penguin and a sand castle embellished with bones….

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^^ When people say they like long walks on the beach, I guess they’ve never been surrounded by so much dead.  Carl still looks good on these sandy white beach.

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^^ Baby skinny jeans, because if you’re not going to shove your baby into the cutest little skinny jeans ever created, what kind of parent are you? Baby skinnies from H&M.

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^^ We got our first set of cloth diapers, I also realised that I might be a nightmare.  My sister asked me what if I have a boy and I responded by telling her color does not define gender and my child will not grow up in a hateful environment, where inappropriate comments create a confusing environment.  She stopped speaking to me after that.

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^^ Walks on the beach.

Flower season has hit Cape town! This might be the most beautiful time to be in Cape town, all the wild flowers are popping out all over and we couldn’t wait to go check out the West coast nature reserve!  It was the most incredible experience ever being surrounded by so many colorful flowers, walking along deserted beaches and worrying that we were going to run out of petrol/gas! We forgot to fill the car up and the reserve was way bigger than we expected.  We started stocking up on baby things, like wet wipes, diaper liners, cloth diapers and all those wonderful things, we are starting to have quite a haul! 

This weekend was really exhausting and I feel like I’m still recovering from it, being out till 7 o clock at night is just crazy to us now! #oldpeopleproblems   How was your weekend?

Smoked Paprika Black Bean Burgers

Ever since making these black bean burgers I’ve been craving them nonstop, that’s how good these yummy little things are.  Surprisingly we had some burgers left the next day and  I decided to  crumble it into a kale salad,  let me tell you guys something it was like heaven in my mouth! They were even better the next day and they made my daily salad go from bleh salad, to Damn! That’s one great salad.

This recipe all started when I made red lentil fritters one night and couldn’t stop thinking that it would make the perfect add along to a veggie burger, with the memory in the back of my mind and two tins of black beans in my basket, I decided it was time to get experimenting.  The smoked paprika adds a little oomph to these burgers that will make you feel like you’ve just taken this burger right off the grill and if you forger the last couple of burger in the pan and its just a tad burned the feeling will intensify.  I decided to give a burger bun a skip and just have it just like that loaded with salad, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado with a perfect dill pickle sauce to take it over the edge, but feel free to enjoy it anyway you want.

SMOKED PAPRIKA BLACK BEAN BURGERS – serves 6

Black bean Burger

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup split red lentils, covered in water to soak for one hour.
  • 1 can black beans, drained and washed
  • 1/2 cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more if you want added spice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced

Directions

Drain the split red lentils and place in a food processor with the 2 cloves of garlic. Blend until coarsely blended.   In a bowl, mash the drained black beans and add all the spices.  Stir in the red lentils, onion and panko.

Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes.  Form the mixture into six patties.

In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of oil.  Add the patties and cook for 4 – 5 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides.

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Serve with sweet potato and butternut fries.

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl with a Ginger dressing

A love a good salad bowl, this one sure is filling and bursting with flavour.  Its also a snap to put together, and its a great way of getting rid of leftover rice.

Now I’m not a big fan of leftovers or rice, I actually might have a phobia towards rice, thanks to my Aunt, that always told me if I ate rice I would get big boobs.  For some reason this traumatized me for years.  Apparently not eating rice works too.  The leftovers thing, well I just don’t like having a lot of food clutter in my house, by food clutter, I mean ways of getting me to over eat and regret it, so I like to make perfect amounts of food, so I don’t pig out in a day.  So obviously rice is the one thing, that can clutter up my house and I won’t eat it, unless its jazzed up to be a delicious and easy sushi bowl.

This is a versatile recipe, that can be made to your taste.  I added avocado to my bowl, after I took a photo, and it made a delicious sushi buddy.

DECONSTRUCTED SUSHI BOWLserves 1 or how ever many you want to make.

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Ingredients

  • leftover brown rice
  • grated carrot
  • chopped cabbage
  • chopped cucumber
  • red pepper sliced
  • green pepper sliced
  • fried tofu
  • 1 nori sheet, chopped
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • flax seeds or sesame seeds – optional

Ginger dressing

ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

Place everything in a jar and shake until combined.

In a bowl add rice and arrange the vegetables on the top.  Sprinkle with sesame or flax seeds.  Pour over desired amount of dressing.  Serve Immediately.