Monday, June 4, 2012

Green Tea With Ginger Latté Cookies

It's been cold the last few days, here in Toronto. We want popsicles but are forced to have hot drinks - instead. We bought some organic green tea with ginger over the weekend, and decided to make green tea latté cookies with coconut milk! Yummy! It was quite a surprise to see that the coconut milk actually foamed a bit, and although we were tempted to drink the latté itself, we held off to put it in our new cookie recipe! (See recipe below) Enjoy!

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The Benefits Of Berries

Both blueberries and strawberries have high levels of antioxidants. They both contain anthocyanins, which help open blood vessels and allows for smoother blood flow throughout the body. They also contain vitamin C and manganese. Strawberries provide a higher amount of vitamin C than oranges, at 141% per cup! The antioxidants in blueberries have been known to protect the retina from oxygen damage and sun damage. You can learn more about their benefits here.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Robust Red Cabbage

Red cabbage has more nutritional benefits than green cabbage. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and is one of the most nutritious vegetables around. Today we began fermenting some red cabbage. A really quick and easy way to prepare vegetables for fermentation is to diffuse some salt water in a jar by shaking it and then pouring it into the vegetables that will be fermented (the vegetables should be sitting in a large mixing bowl once shredded or chopped). We then use our hands to mix the vegetables up (like tossing a salad) and make sure they are evenly salted. Finally, we start packing it into the jars tightly, using some device to push down. Very easy to do and effective. To learn about this process, click here. Tomorrow we will be fermenting some celery, garlic and onion!

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Brown Rice and Scallops On a Bed of Cabbage

Fermenting vegetables creates healthy bacteria that repairs the gut. 80% of our immune system is in our gut flora! About two weeks ago we began fermenting cabbage to create our own pro-biotics. Yesterday, we decided to crack open one of our jars and give it a taste test. It was amazing! We wanted to make kimchi with our scallops and rice dinner but didn't have all the ingredients required, so we just added some chilli pepper, garlic, onions and ginger to our cabbage. Very tasty! This had also been the first time we made scallops and they were a success! This one one of the healthiest dinners we've had and we felt very energized afterwards. Today we'll be fermenting more vegetables and will keep you posted on the results.
Below: Organic gluten free brown rice with shiitake mushrooms, onions and garlic and a side of scallops on a bed of fermented chilli cabbage... Yummy.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

'Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain'

Today was a chilly day lashed by rain and strong winds, here in Toronto. We started our night off with a warm cup of 'cliff hanger' americano. Once we got the cappuccino machine fired up, we decided to incorporate the green pea flour and bake Mocha and Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies. This is our latest gluten free dessert recipe with a rich texture and an abundance of flavor! (see recipe below) Enjoy!

Mocha and Peanut Butter Zucchini Brownies Recipe
Makes 8 pieces
∙ 1/2 cup of organic rice flour
∙ 3 tbsp of organic almond flour
∙ 3 tbsp of organic green pea flour
∙ 1 1/2 tbsp organic black chia seed powder 
∙ 1/4 cup of organic raw cacao powder
∙ 1/4 cup of organic shredded coconut
∙ 1/2 tbsp of organic vanilla bean powder (fresh vanilla beans are best)
∙ 1/2 tsp of baking soda (non GMO)
∙ 3 tbsp of organic coconut palm powder/sugar
∙ pinch of Himalayan salt
∙ 1/4 cup of organic shredded zucchini
∙ 2 tbsp of organic peanut butter
∙ 1 happy chicken egg (free run)
∙ 2 tbsp of organic coconut oil (melted)
∙ 1/4 cup of organic fair trade espresso

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix rice flour, almond flour, green pea flour, baking powder, black chia seed powder, pinch of sea salt, raw cacao powder, shredded coconut, vanilla powder, baking soda, coconut palm powder and salt. Mix ingredients well.
3. Add zucchini to dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add peanut butter to ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, mix egg, melted coconut oil and espresso. 
6. Add to dry mix. Mix well, will be slightly sticky.
7. Scoop out and place in a round flat 9" glass oven dish. 
8. Place in oven rack for 15-20 minutes or until edges are browned.
9. Remove from oven and let cool.
10. Once cooled, drizzle fresh honey for added sweetness (otherwise you may find the cocoa powder too strong in flavor).
11. Serve and enjoy

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Ice Cold

A refreshing ice cold smoothie made with organic strawberries, organic banana, organic apples and organic pre-soaked nuts. Read about the benefits of juicing here.

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Grilled Green Pea Egg Sandwich

Green pea flour is a high protein flour that is gluten free. We recently purchased this flour and tried it out for the first time to make bread. There were many ingredients added to our recipe because we were unsure of how it would taste. Our organic green pea bread recipe included organic rice flour, organic walnuts (pre-soaked), organic shredded coconut, organic coconut flour, organic black chia seed powder, organic hemp seeds, organic quick oats, water and happy chicken eggs. The results were tasty! Next time we will try a dessert recipe with the flour. (see bread recipe below)

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vitamin Kale

Dehydrated foods are easy to digest and rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. When sealed properly, dehydrated foods can have a very long shelf life! We're going to be dehydrating and fermenting a lot of food so we can always have some at hand that will be rich with enzymes and not spoil and go to waste. Today we made some kale chips to snack on - very tasty and easy to dehydrate! We also added some to our mashed potatoes during dinner. Kale is high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin K is a key nutrient for helping regulate our body's inflammatory process.

Don't forget to hydrate yourself accordingly when eating dehydrated foods!

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'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'

The elements abundant in seaweeds include iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, zinc, copper, chloride, sulfur, phosphorous, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, selenium, bromine, arsenic, iron, and fluorine. Alaria seaweed contains 770% iodine in a 1/3 cup serving. When our bodies have a sufficient amount of iodine, it doesn't take on the radioactive iodine that is present in the environment. It is only when our bodies lack iodine that it takes in radioactive iodine and causes a deficiency or toxicity in our bodies (disease). Most places around the world, including here in Ontario, have nuclear powers stations. It was important for us to consider more seaweeds in our diet, so we made our own soup recipe incorporating some alaria seaweed.
Below: Simple to make organic Alaria seaweed and leek soup with hemp seeds. This was one of the tastiest soups we ever made and simple to cook in just 10 minutes!
Ingredients: Homemade chicken broth* (you can use vegetable broth), organic leeks, organic garlic, organic red onion, organic Alaria and organic hemp seeds. Add salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy!

* We use homemade chicken broth made from happy drug free chicken carcass with organic leeks, organic onion, organic garlic, organic thyme, sea salt and organic pepper.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cookies And A Cat

Part of living sustainably is making the most out of the food you have and when possible, storing it for later use. Last week we made an upside down pineapple cake. There was some left over pineapple and we decided to freeze it and save it for muffins. Today we were preparing to make pineapple muffins but we realized we had run out of eggs, so we decided on pineapple and shredded coconut cookies instead. The recipe was simple and similar to the oats and shredded coconut cookies recipe. Pineapple in baked goods adds richness to the texture. The cookies were yummy!

Above: A picture of our beautiful cat that was worth sharing.

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Long Awaited Asparagus

We are doing research to start planning for our indoor and outdoor gardens, on our property. In considering what we would grow, we thought of many vegetables including asparagus. Asparagus is frequently added to our daily meals. Asparagus contains anti-inflammatory nutrients such as flavonoids quercetin, rutin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. It provides a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium. If you are interested in growing your own asparagus, as we are, it is important to know that it takes 3 years to harvest from the time a crown is planted! This was something that we didn't know. It might be best to buy a 1 year old crown/plant from a nursery or garden center, so you don't have to wait an extra year before harvesting. You can learn more about growing and harvesting asparagus here.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mucho Mocha

We dusted off our cappuccino machine and decided to have a mocha night! Mocha can be served hot or cold. It was a hot day so we made an ice mocha with homemade rice milk (use coconut milk for best results). For dessert we made a gluten free Mocha Brownie Cake made with organic raw cacao powder and decaf espresso from Kicking Horse. Kicking horse is Canada's #1 organic fair trade coffee. Our favorite kind (since we switched to decaf) is 'cliff hanger decaf espresso' coffee. Both the ice mocha and mocha cake were rich in flavor. The mocha espresso cake was topped off with a raw cacao and shredded coconut frosting made with honey and avocados. Mmmmmmmm.... tasty! 

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'I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.'

Quote by E.E. Cummings
It is important to conserve an ecological balance with nature in order for us all to survive. Birds are a major part of our ecosystem. They control bugs and insects as well as pollinate flowers. When we study birds, we learn more about nature and the environmental dangers in our area. Contribute to local wildlife conservation by creating a wildlife habitat in your own backyard! Click here to read about this fun project!
Below: red winged black bird, female northern cardinal, downy woodpecker, common grackle and American robin.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

'Nature's way is simple and easy, but men prefer what is intricate and artificial.'

Quote by Lao Tzu.
It has been 32 days since we planted our beautiful organic cherry tomato plants! We are excited to see they are growing healthy so far. We are also eager to try them for cooking, we have 16 tomato plants and 14 basil herbs growing.
Below: Two of our tomato plants and some pics from the park. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oats and Shredded Coconut Cookies

In celebration of our 100th post, we would like to share our latest healthy cookie recipe! Organic quick oats from Milanaise are a healthy inexpensive treat that's used for oatmeal, but can be incorporated in multiple recipes, including baking. We decided to make oats and shredded coconut cookies with homemade rice milk. The results were delicious! (see recipe below) Don't forget to check out some of our 'best of 100 posts' on health and sustainability. Enjoy!

Oats and Shredded Coconut Cookies Recipe
Makes 10 cookies
∙ 1/2 cup of organic gluten free rice flour
∙ 1/2 tsp of organic baking soda
∙ 1/2 cup of organic shredded coconut
∙ 2 heaping tbsp of organic quick oats
∙ 2 tbsp of organic coconut flour
∙ 2 tbsp organic quinoa flour 
∙ 1 1/2 tbsp of organic black chia seed powder
∙ pinch of sea salt
∙ 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil (melted)
∙ 1 1/2 tbsp of honey (or other sweetener such as coconut palm powder/sugar)
∙ 1/4 cup of organic rice milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients first. (Mix well) Set aside.
3. Mix coconut oil, honey and rice milk in a small mixing bowl. Then add to dry ingredients.
4. Mix all ingredients well until crumbly. 
5. Using your hands, knead the dough inside the bowl and create 10 small balls.
6. Place each ball down on parchment paper and press down to form cookies. 
7. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
8. Remove from oven and let cool.
9. Serve and enjoy! 

Rice Milk Recipe
∙ 1 1/2 cups of brown rice (1 cup of pre-soaked brown rice 24 hours)*
∙ 4-6 cups of spring water (for boiling)**
∙ additional spring water (for blending)
∙ 1 tbsp sea salt
∙ 1 tbsp of honey

1. Add water, salt, honey and pre-soaked rice to a medium pot and bring to a boil. 
2. Once boiled, simmer at medium heat for about 2-4 hours or until rice has a rice pudding texture.
3. Add rice, in parts, with the same amount of water as rice, to a blender and blend.
4. Strain each batch of blended rice to a container/mixing bowl (using a mesh strainer).
5. Once all rice has been blended and strained in parts, strain rice milk a second time.
6. Pour rice milk into a glass jug and store in fridge for up to 7 days. Enjoy and good luck!

*1 cup of brown rice after soaking will give you 1 1/2 cups of rice.   
**You may have to try this recipe a couple times to get the flavor and consistency you like.

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