Friday, June 29, 2012

Look what I bought!

After seeing some juice recipes on pinterest this week, I decided we needed a juicer. This one just happened to be on sale, $40 off, woohoo! 

I made orange juice right away! And it was, oh so...FRESH!  

If I had other fruits and vegetables in the fridge, I would have juiced those too, but we desperately need to do a grocery.  I can't wait to experiment with different juice combinations! :D 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carrot Spice Balls

I just recently discovered energy balls and I am in LOVE with this snack! They are easy to make. They don't require baking and taste better cold, great for summer. They are Healthy (yup that's "Healthy" with a capital H), loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and protein, which make for a great pick me up snack in the middle of the afternoon. They make fantastic snacks for kids since they taste like a cookie BUT are actually good for you :D

Have I convinced you yet?

I wanted to make an energy ball with carrots in them since my boy LOVES raw carrots. I love anything containing cinnamon, so my boy and I whipped these carrot spice balls up this afternoon! Actually I whipped them up, while my boy whipped coconut flakes all over the kitchen floor :S 

Carrot Spice Balls

1 organic carrot
3/4 cup pecans or almonds
1/2 cup GF oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


1. Process carrot and nuts in a food processor until ground.
2. Add oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and pulse for a few seconds until it combines.
3. Add raisins, sunflower seed butter, and maple syrup. Blend until it all sticks together. If you find it's too wet, add a bit more oats. 

4. Time to roll! You can do this with your hands or what I like to do is scoop it with an ice scream scoop (around a tablespoon) and gently shape ball with my palm up against it. 
5. Roll balls in coconut flakes until covered.
6. Store in fridge or freezer.  We like to eat them right out of the freezer :D

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Simple Gluten Free Pancakes

I always had digestive problems growing up. I just thought it was the way my body worked and there was really nothing I could do about it. When I left home and started university, my digestive problems just seemed to get worse. After several years, I finally saw a specialist, who told me I was fine and all I needed was to eat more fiber. So I did just that, filled up on whole wheat, bran, metamucil, you name it, if it was high in fiber and bran, I ate it! My problems got WAY worse. I started waking up in the middle of the night bent over with horrible pains. I didn't understand. I was filling up on fiber, drinking water, doing just what the specialist told me to do. Why was it getting worse? I gave up.

Time passed and I started a co-op placement, and got along really well with one of my coworkers. We had alot in common, especially our interest in healthy eating. She came in to work one day and told me her naturopath had suggested she try a wheat free diet, and she encouraged me to give it a try as well.  I went and bought some wheat free and gluten free foods to last me a week.  Within a few days, ALL of my symptoms were gone. The cramps, the digestive issues, the fogginess, the lightheaded feelings, were GONE. I could not believe it. I remember thinking well that was simple!  Yeah, the no more bread, cookies, and muffins was sad, but I was just relieved that I had a solution!

It's been over 5 years now. I would be lying if I said I haven't touched wheat or gluten since. While I was pregnant, I noticed it didn't bother me as much, so I indulged probably more often than I should have. But now that I'm not pregnant, it doesn't take long for me to feel unwell after eating it. So I've been avoiding it as much as I can. I know for sure that I feel better when I do not eat it.

It was hard at first, but I got used to it. I can still have bread, cookies, and muffins just made with different ingredients. I find alternatives, and I have more energy to do it because I feel GREAT...well, as long as my kids sleep ;)

bet know alot of people are walking around not realizing that they can feel 100 times better just by eliminating gluten from their diets. Or some people do realize that gluten doesn't cooperate with them but they just don't know how to get started on a gluten free lifestyle.

There are SO many resources out there now. Gluten Free Goddess is my favourite.  Her recipes are fantastic and she has a very  informative page on How to Go Gluten Free.

Pancakes are a great starting point into gluten free baking. They're simple (a.k.a don't need a million different types of flours that some GF recipes call for) and if you screw them up, just add more maple syrup :D

Simple Gluten Free Pancakes

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar or xylitol
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups coconut milk or rice milk
1 egg
3 tbsp oil

Vegan margarine
Maple Syrup
Hemp seeds

1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
2. Add in milk, egg, and oil and mix. Add in more milk if the batter is too thick.
3. Melt a spoonful of vegan margarine in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto skillet, and spread batter into a round. 
5. Cook for a couple minutes until bubbles form and start to bust, then flip. 
Apparently flipping pancakes while holding a baby takes practice...
That's Better :)
6. Cook another couple minutes or until browned.
While I waited I tried to figure out what baby Dee's eyes will turn out to be. What do you think?
7. Top with vegan margarine, fruit, hemp seeds, and of course, pure maple syrup! 

I told my boy I made him a yummy pancake WITH syrup and he said "no, I want a carrot".  A veggie you want, a veggie you will get :D 
I think he was pretending to be a bunny.
As for Baby Dee, she was happy with eating her hand. Yeah that's right, she eats her hand like royalty! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quinoa Mandarin Salad

It is SO hot today, unbelievably hot! Since the hubby is an electrician on construction sites, he got off early because of the heat. To stay cool, we decided to take the kids for a swim this afternoon. It was baby Dee's second time at the pool. She is such a water baby, she smiled and cooed, and just chillaxed in my arms while we cooled off in the pool.

Dinner tonight was also refreshing. I had a craving for a mandarin salad my Mom always makes. I was also craving me some Quinoa. The result:

Quinoa Mandarin Salad

1 cup parsley
2 green onions, finely diced
1/2 cup  canned mandarin orange slices
4 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup slivered almonds
dash of salt and pepper


1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 packet (1/2 tsp) stevia

  1. Finely dice parsley. I did this in a mini food processor but it can be done by hand.
  2. Mix green onions, parsley, and mandarin slices in a large bowl.

  1. Make your dressing by whisking all ingredients together. Pour over parsley mix, and stir.
  2. Add quinoa and almonds, and toss until combined. 
  3. Serve with a dash of salt and pepper.

Definitely refreshing :D 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Go-to Green Smoothie

YAY first post :)

I've been getting back into green smoothies lately. I first started making them, ohhh maybe 5 years ago. Wow time goes fast!  I would bring one into work every morning and I'd get alot of disgusted looks from co-workers as I sipped it down.  Yeah, they may not look pretty appetizing, but I swear it IS possible to make them pretty tasty!   

Go-to Green Smoothie

1 cup Kale  (you can use other greens such as spinach or even lettuce)
1 cup coconut milk or rice milk
1 frozen banana
2/3 cup frozen blueberries (or any frozen berries)

Optional Add-ins:

1/2 scoop vegetarian protein powder, I use Precision Vanilla Vegetarian Protein
sweetener to taste -  Xylitol, stevia, maple syrup, agave, or honey 

I use a magic bullet to make my smoothies, although in my dreams I make them with a Vitamix blender, gotta start saving for that! Because the magic bullet is a bit small to fit all the ingredients in at once, I do it in steps:
  1.  First blend the Kale and coconut milk
  2. Add the banana and frozen blueberries.  Blend. 
  3. Add more coconut milk if it's not smooth enough.  
  4. Add the protein powder and sweetener and blend again! Done!
If you have a larger blender, just throw all the ingredients in and blend. 

 My almost three year old drank the entire smoothie! Can't be THAT bad ;)