Monday, May 11, 2015

Taking Time to Garden, Teach and Enjoy Life

Spring is here and it has been beautiful.  The weather has been so lovely and the outside is beckoning me all the time ;)  It has been hard for me to stay inside, making meals, house chores and spending time on the computer are not high on the priority list.
 
 The girls and I have been preparing the garden and have been planting some early vegetables and flowers.  It is definitely a labour of love.  I am enjoying listening to them plan out their gardens, seek out worms and get good and dirty.

Last fall we doubled the size of the garden.  I am not sure if that was too ambitious but I am looking forward to trying a larger variety of vegetables and flowers. I am also learning more about how to pair certain vegetables together.  Here is a wonderful link about companion gardening.  So alas, as we plan and plant, you may notice some longer breaks in my blogging as spend more time outside.  Hope you are able to do the same.

Here are a few photos to share of my beautiful little helpers.





Monday, May 04, 2015

Lemon Coconut Zucchini Bread (Dairy, Gluten and Refined Sugar Free)

I am still trying to use up the last of my frozen shredded zucchini from the summer.  Zucchini bread is definitely a great way to enjoy this vegetable.  It adds some nutrients and really helps keep in the moisture.  The lemon is a great accompaniment to the zucchini to give some extra flavour.
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 tapioca starch
  • 1/2 sorghum
  • 1/2 chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon psyllium husk or 1 teaspoon guar gum


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine lemon juice, zest, essential oil, grapeseed oil, honey, vanilla and zucchini.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flours, starch, baking powder, soda, salt, psyllium husk/guar gum.
  4. Combine and wet and dry ingredients and stir just until combined, don't over mix.
  5. Pour into prepared dish.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peppermint Oil - Fever Relief, Headaches and More

My youngest came home today with a low grade fever.  The first thing I grab is the my peppermint oil.  It is also the first thing I grab when I feel a headache coming on.  We have had amazing results with using peppermint.  It will reduce a fever very quickly.  Yes, I do know that fevers are a good thing as they are the bodies way of fighting off infections.  Did you know peppermint itself also helps fight off infections.  Here are a few of its uses.

Common Uses for Peppermint Oil:
  • Anti fungal and Antibacterial
  • Respiratory relief (colds, sinuses)
  • Reduce fever and flu 
  • Increase alertness
  • Alleviate stomach upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Relieve headaches/migraines
  • Promotes oral health
  • Asthma
  • Cold Sores


Application:

Topically: 1 drop:1 tsp carrier oil for feet, back of neck, chest or head for colds, fever and headaches.  Apply to area of concern or to reflex points.
Inhale:
breathe in bottle for alertness
Diffuse: add drops to a cold-air diffuser


We have been using doTERRA essential oils as I believe in the quality if their oils.  Do ensure you are using pure essential oils, that don't have added synthetic oils, as these could really harm your body. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Coconut Breakfast Bars (Dairy, Gluten, Grain and Refined Sugar Free)

I can't take ownership for this delicious recipe, it comes from Sylvie Roy at Momma Young at Home. These bars were easy to make and worked well for breakfast or a snack.  I only made a slight alteration to the recipe but adding an extra banana, a little oil and used walnuts instead of pecans, only because that is what I had at home.
 Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened milk (coconut, almond, cashew)
  • ½ teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and 8 x 8 dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl blend eggs, oil, bananas, vanilla, milk and honey.
  3. Sift in the coconut flour and then add the shredded coconut
  4. Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over top.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center is cooked.



Friday, April 17, 2015

Baked Falafel (Dairy, Gluten and Egg Free)

Okay so traditional falafels are fried, however I do prefer them baked, a little less oil in the diet and of course I can put it in the oven and leave them while I make something else.  I am also thinking of multi-tasking ;)
These falafels are full of flavour.  We enjoy them with a large salad and some creamy dressing.
 Ingredients (makes approximately 8-10 balls)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1-2 clove garlic depending on taste
  • 3-4 sprigs chives or 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cayenne pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind into a thick meal or dough.  Set in fridge for an hour to bring combine the flavours. (Optional)
  3. Roll into ball and flatten a little.  Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for 30 minutes flipping once in between.