I always think it’s funny when babies/kiddos do something new, or seem really interested in something that you jump to the conclusion that ‘That’s it! They are going to be a _______.’
I do it with Misty all the time:
- He draws all over the BBQ with chalk… he must be going to be a famous artist, possibly in the medium of charcoal portraits.
- He strums the guitar and sings (Daaaa! Daaaa! Daaaaa! It’s a great song)… he’s a future rock star, for sure.
He’ll probably be an accountant or something equally as boring.
I wonder what I used to be fascinated with as a child… I bet no one ever thought, ‘She’s definitely going to be a hippie- who dropped out of uni- that cooks weird food- and hangs out at home all day with her child.’ Not so glamorous, but a lot of fun for sure.
It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m getting all reflective on this past year… and years of my past. I’m definitely a happier person, and I think this is because I’ve stopped trying to “define,” myself. What you do for a job, what possessions you hold, where you’ve been in the world – all these things are important, yes, but they do not make you the person you are.
I think there’s so much pressure on kids/young adults to know “what they want to be” (when they grow up) – it’s haunted me for years. I’m still not close to any discernible answer to this. As a kid, I would answer with occupations that I thought would impress the “grown ups” – a vet, a teacher etc, etc. Really I should have just answered with,
‘I want to be a good person, and I want to have fun.’
That kids, is what it is all about.
Oh, and good food…. these may LOOK like cardboard, but it is tasty cardboard that utilises almond pulp nonetheless.
Cinnamon, Oat and Raisin Crackers
(RAW, Vegan, wheat/soy/seed/refined sugar/corn free)
- 2C leftover almond pulp (I use leftovers from almond milk making, but you could try almond meal here, I would add maybe 2T water though)
- 1C pitted prunes
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1C oats*
- 1/2C finely chopped dark raisins (or any dried fruit)
- Process together prunes, almond pulp, salt, cinnamon and oats until a soft dough forms. It doesn’t matter f the oats stay a bit chunky – this is nice for texture.
- Stir through chopped raisins and either spread out onto non stick dehydrator sheets, or do what I do… smoosh out onto pieces of baking paper (about 2mm thickness – I have a weird circular dehydrator that calls for some creative techniques)
- Dehydrate 8-12 hours at 60 degrees C for a chewier texture or 15-20 hours for a crispier cracker style snack.
Viper liked these chewier, I like them crispier. Viper also liked them eaten with a square of milk chocolate on the top… he said it was like the ultimate “fruit and nut.” I enjoyed with mashed banana and tahini. Misty kind of chewed one and then threw it at Boosty. Bless.
My house is a haven for festering disease. We are all sick. My birthday is in 2 days, and the opportunity for grandparents-with-babysitting-skills to inhabit our environment has arisen. I must get better. These chances for a moment alone, without blessed child, happen Oh, maybe once every 3 months or so?
I’m using every trick under the sun to shift this cold/flu monstrosity (except the one that requires the use of a clove of garlic as a suppository… I’m not that desperate… yet). Anyway, Misty has decided he loves warm lemon and Manuka honey drinks, and I have been guzzling ridiculous amounts of ginger kombucha.
It’s also “cold” here (read: cannot wear thongs, socks are necessary) so when I purchased a bag of beetroot intended for juicing, it wasn’t so appealing. I wanted warm, creamy, comforting… and easy on the sore throat. I also fell over the hose (face plant ahoy!) and have a really sore and bruised knee (plus ego, thankfully nobody saw). I need some TLC in the form of a soup/stew/curry that is also pretty:
I always feel the need for spice in a big way when I’m feeling like this… tone it down if you are not a fan, but I say the spicier the better. This recipe is probably around a medium spice-heat factor.
Coconut Chana Dal Soup (with sweet potato and beets)
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/corn/refined sugar/grain free)
- 2C coconut milk (1 can)
- 2C water (omit 1/2C if you want a thicker curry instead of a soup) alternatively use veggie stock, but omit added salt.
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2t agave syrup (or honey)
- 1 medium brown onion
- 1C chopped raw beetroot
- 2C chopped raw sweet potato
- 1 + 1/2t sea salt… plus more to taste if you don’t use stock and have sodium issues like me.
- 1/4t ground cinnamon
- 1/2t ground coriander
- 1/4t cumin
- 1/4t tumeric
- 1/4t mustard powder
- 1/2t garam marsala
- 1/4t white pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper (start with 1/16t if you are not a fan of heat)…. I used 1/4t
- Pinch chilli powder (same as above…. plus I used 1/8t as my chilli powder is blow your nose off HOT)
- 1C chana dal
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Soak the chana dal for about 2 hours.
- Dry toast cinnamon, coriander, cumin, tumeric, mustard powder and garam marsala in a fry pan until fragrant.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine toasted spices and all other ingredients except the chana dal.
- Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until beetroot and sweet potato are tender.
- Once it is (safely) cool blend in small batches until smooth.
- Return to saucepan with chana dal and simmer until they are tender…. about 30 minutes.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper, and more salt if you need it. A squeeze of lemon juice is nice too.
You can serve this as a soup with naan bread to dunk… traditionally as Viper will enjoy it : rice, pappadums, raita, mango chutney etc….
… or go “alternative” like me, and pour it over quinoa and roast pumpkin and top with avocado.
At least Misty is happy with his “toys”…and yes, I still have back up cans of chick peas as well as 10 tonnes of the dry stuff. You can never have enough. Here’s to the end of GNS (Glistening Nose Syndrome) and snot bubbles (Misty).
**I am submitting this recipe to Healthy Vegan Fridays**
I don’t think I can express my love of a good food processor enough. It’s the one kitchen appliance I NEED. I would take a food processor over a kettle, a toaster, a coffee machine (which I kind of do as ours died, plus Viper then smashed my plunger, and I really really hate to admit it, but I am as of this minute drinking evil evil horrible instant coffee… but it IS 4am and Misty wants to be awake). I would rather a food processor than a television.
It may seem excessive, but I actually use this piece of equipment at least 3 times a day. At least. It’s a worthy investment, and gives you so much more creative scope in the kitchen. I survived for 5 years with a thrift-store-stomper that probably rivalled me in years on this earth, so you don’t necessarily need to spend a ridiculous amount on one. There’s always those things you need in your kitchen… my list of essentials would be:
- One GOOD quality knife… you only need one decent one, the rest can be dull stumps of uselessness, but make sure you have one of a reasonable quality and a steel/stone/sharpener (and be shown how to use it).
- Decent salt and a pepper grinder for freshly ground black pepper. Do not buy pre-ground black pepper. Just don’t. Get a pepper grinder, and season fresh at the end of cooking. Invest in GOOD salt… I buy Celtic sea salt or the pink Himalayan stuff. Yes, it is pricier, but the flavour/trace minerals totally out weigh the ‘table’ variety. Ick.
- A pestle and mortar… I use mine daily – smashing up spices, pastes, grinding flax seed – they are great for doing small amounts of things; good for working out frustration too. You can get them cheap at Asian grocery stores.
So I got a recipe request from a pretty deserving lady… BuddyEE‘s Mama. If any Mama deserves a sweet (albeit healthy) chocolate treat in her life, plus a break from the kitchen, she does. MamaEE discovered a delicious raw chocolate snack bar …having not tried/heard of the original, I just kinda winged the whole thing – the end product is like a Larabar for you US + Canadian readers. Results? Approved by Misty, Viper, Lou AND MamaEE – a win for all involved.
- 1C pitted soft dates (packed in tightly to cup… 220g to be exact)
- 3/4C raw hazelnuts (the original used cashews, really though, any nut would work)
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/2C raw almond meal
- 3T cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1T agave syrup (or honey/brown rice syrup/maple)
- 1 + 1/2T coconut oil
- 3T dessicated coconut
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until a soft “dough” forms (it will seem crumbly, but will press together)
- I find the easiest way to shape this is to smoosh it between 2 sheets of baking paper, and roll it flat with a rolling pin. You can make this any thickness you like.
- Chill the whole thing on a chopping board in the fridge (it’s much easier to work with once it “sets”)
- Cut into bars/squares/whatever.
Now this is why I love a good food processor: healthy, delicious snacks in the whizz of a blade for a teeny fraction of what you’d pay at the shops.
Recipe requests? Anyone?
I know what makes Misty happy.
Lock him in the car and let him “drive.” Works a treat. I think if I let him, he would spend hours in there. He’s either going to be a race-car driver, or a graffiti artist/vandal as he found a tiny little piece of chalk in the car, and proceeded to tag the entire interior. Bless.
Actually, I think he just likes to “drive” anything… he attempted to drive a cane picnic basket today. What is it with little boys and vehicles? He definitely doesn’t get it from me… you know with my fear of tricky car manoeuvres and such.
He doesn’t dig dolls, but maybe that’s my fault, as I encouraged him to decorate ‘baby.’ Possibly where the inclination to graffiti came from too?
Misty has totally inherited my taste buds though… all he wants at the moment are bananas, and I’m not going to deny him any of that sweet goodness. Banana soft serve with cacao is a particular favourite, but I thought I’d try and entice him with some banana-sweet crackers that also feed my OCD habit of not.wasting.any.food.
I think I’ve found my favourite way to use up almond pulp (from making almond milk). It took a bit of experimenting, but I think I’ve got it…. Viper reckons these have an almost Anzac Biscuit thing going on… I reckon they taste a bit like caramelized bananas – either way they are yummy.
- 1 + 1/4C almond pulp (leftover from almond milk) or almond meal
- 1 ripe banana
- 1C pitted dates (approximately 12)
- 1/2C dessicated coconut
- 1/4C chia seeds
- 2C raw buckwheat groats
- 1/2t sea salt
- In a food processor, blend together almond pulp, dates, banana and salt.
- Transfer into a mixing bowl and stir through remaining ingredients… mix well.
- Let mix sit for about 15 minutes.
- Spread onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 65 degrees C for around 12 hours or until crunchy…. you could possibly try using your oven on it’s lowest setting with the door open for a few hours to achieve similar results if you don’t have a dehydrator. I don’t trust my oven to try though.
I’m not planning on having any more Misty’s any time soon. Maybe not even at all. Who knows? The rate us humans are destroying the earth, there may not be much of it left for future generations. I don’t want to think about it. There are a few things I want to remember though, when it comes to birthing and babes… here’s a few I’ve been meaning to jot down.
- No one can ever prepare you for the change having a child will bring to your life. No one or nothing. It’s just something you have to experience to understand. Basically things will never be the same. And that can be a strangely wonderful thing.
- Same goes for labour… you can’t understand it until you’ve done it.
- You DO get used to being sleep deprived. Somehow, you manage to soldier on. Your body adjusts, as does your mind.
- The buck stops with the Mama… yes I know these modern Dads are involved in every which way these days (gone are the times when Father was off playing 13 holes while Mother prettily popped out a rosy babe…. Ha) but no one knows her baby as a Mother does. Call it maternal instinct or natural mothering or intuition…. another thing you can’t explain, you just know.
- Advice/tips/shared experiences from others are all fantastic and appreciated but you need to determine what works for you and your child. Time, patience and going with your gut – that’s how I did it.
- Trust your instincts… I was never a very maternal person, but there seems to be a switch that just flicks when a screaming slimy creature, that you grew in your belly gets placed on your chest. Go with it.
- Establish a birth plan with your partner, discuss it, write it down, make copies and give them to your medical team. Just don’t expect things to go as planned… it’s nice to have ideas of how you would “like” things to go, but labour is a wild beast who will not be tamed or told how to behave.
- You will reach a point in labour where you think you cannot do it. You can, you will – the baby can’t stay in there forever…. whatever way it happens for you, that sucker is coming OUT (visualise me screaming at Viper ‘DRUUUUGS!’ Viper waving the birth plan in my face, and then me swearing at the birth plan). Shakes Fist At Birth Plan… maybe the name of my new band?
- If you manage to have a natural, drug-free birth, there is no greater high to experience. Man, if they could bottle those hormones that kick in after giving birth… I was high as a kite for about 2 weeks afterwards.
- The first three months with a newborn are the hardest. You will get through, and it gets better and better and better.
Anyway, there’s a few thought for you, whether you have experienced it for yourself, or have just been put off the idea altogether.
On the subject of birthing, babies and everything in between… I’ve been thinking about those who are cooking buns, nursing babes, and feeding little beasts (like me). Too much caffeine is generally a no no in these situations. I’m not speaking from experience here, I admit I did not really abstain from the naughty bean while pregnant… or breast feeding…. Misty ate a coffee bean off the floor the other day. Oh well.
Anyway, the following recipe is, I promise, the last in my apparent “Bean/Legume Appreciation Week” – you know when you just get a little fixated on something? Guilty. This recipe is very smooth in comparison to my Creamy Coconut Chai Spread… the following is definitely more of a dip/pudding than a spread. Plus, using carob it is caffeine free. Hurrah.
Carob Banana Pudding:
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/seed/grain/corn/refined sugar free… toddler/baby friendly)
Makes 4 small serves
- 2C cooked chickpeas
- 1 ripe banana
- 2T carob powder (or cocoa if you are not a fan of carob)
- 1/4t sea salt (omit if you are using canned, salted chickpeas)
- 3T almond butter (tahini, peanut butter or coconut butter would all be delicious alternatives, but of course they will change the final result)
- 1t lemon juice
- 2T agave syrup/maple syrup OR honey*
- 1T milk (I used rice)
- Blend all ingredients together until super smooth.
If you soak and cook your own chickpeas (adding 1/4t bicarb to both the soaking water AND fresh cooking water) the results will be ridiculously smooth and mousse like.
A tip if you are making this for fussy toddlers… Misty is being one of those today. Blend up 1/4C of this with just over a cup of milk…. a delicious protein packed smoothie. If you make the smoothie directly after blending up the pudding, then you help “clean” the food processor.
I’ll be honest… I made almond butter, couldn’t be bothered scraping/wasting sweet almond butter, so then made this chickpea pudding to catch the last few tablespoons of that. Then I poured in milk to clean out the dregs of the pudding. Results = 3 delicious concoctions and less cleaning. Hooray.
I’ve actually completed the series of daily tasks that made up the Positive Psychology Project… I’m still processing all of the ideas/skills/tools that each task both introduced to me, and reminded me of. I’ll recap little bits and pieces as my brain regurgitates them… if you are interested in doing something positive for yourself, check out this lady’s blog/programmes.
Sometimes you just need to be reminded of a skill that you already possess. Sometimes you just need to work on and hone that skill.
Mindfulness is one of those things. If you get out of the habit of practising it, is slips away from you somewhat.
I’ve actually managed to start going to an actual yoga class, after 2 years of solid at-home-with-Misty-climbing-all-over-me-as-I-try-to-stay-in-crow practice. It makes a world of difference to have an hour just to myself to really focus on my breath and my body…. knowing that Misty is being well looked after in the creche (read: climbing all over somebody ELSE).
Yoga and mindfulness go hand in hand…. being aware of your body, mind and spirit as a whole – it’s the ultimate in both physical and mental exercise.
Yoga has been such a positive influence on my life… and not just as an “exercise.” If you fence yoga in as just something for your physical body, you are kind of missing the whole point. Yoga has made me be positively mindful of my body… it’s strengths, it’s limitations, what it can do, and what it can learn to do over time. As any Yogini will tell you, yoga is a journey… I have been practising for over 7 years, yet I still feel I am a beginner. A toddler, if you will – just like Misty I am finding my balance in the yoga realm… I get frustrated, elated, I fall over, I try again, I fall over – learning is a slow, yet rewarding process.
Both Misty and yoga have taught me flexibility in all facets of life. When there is not enough Creamy Coconut Chai Spread left for the both of us (and both of us hungry and wanting it) I call upon these skills. With the last 3/4C of yesterday’s concoction, we added in another cup load of cooked aduzki beans, 2T raw cacao, 1T raw lucuma, 5 medjool dates and a splash more coconut milk. Chocolate coconut chai spread/dip/pudding/thing? Why not?
The crackers were a thought-to-be-disaster… which came good in the end; utilising leftover almond pulp from milk-making, raw buckwheat, cinnamon and prunes. 8 hours in a dehydrator and we had appropriate vehicles for our new dippy- creation.
Surprisingly, Misty really loved these cracker. I’ll just have to start calling him Buckwheat Boy or something. I’ll get round to posting the recipe at some stage.
Today, I’m all about being mindful of those basic, small pleasures.
Sometimes it’s all about focusing on the simple things, and doing them properly. Breathing for example. Something that comes so naturally, yet none of us really do it correctly. How GOOD does deep breathing make you feel!? Enjoying the sensation of floating in the ocean. Feeling the sun on your face, the grass between your toes, crunching on a beautiful apple.
Focus, appreciate, enjoy, be thankful. So simple, yet do we do it often enough? I think not.
I’m really into beans. Oh and pulses, and legumes… anything in that category really.
I’ve always been a fan of the chickpea… au naturale, baked, in hummus form, falafel – I’m not fussy. I used to buy can after can of these little gems, but for the past few months I’ve been religiously soaking, cooking (even sprouting). I’m not just sticking to the chickpeas either – adzuki, black turtle beans, black eyed peas, lentils, mung beans – there are so many varieties out there to play with.
Once you get into the habit, soaking and cooking is ridiculously easy, and CHEAP. Oh so cheap. Plus your recycling bin isn’t filled to the brim with cans that seem to entice Misty into playing with their sharp edges of doom. A tip that I have found awesome in cutting down the time involved in this process is adding 1/4t bicarb soda to your soaking beans, and then an additional 1/4t into the fresh cooking water with the beans. They get tender so much faster this way.
Again, this may seem like a weird recipe, but please trust me. I have experimented with chickpeas a lot…. example and example. Sweet chickpea/bean dips are pretty popular round the healthy living blog neighbourhood. Gena in particular has been creating some delicious sounding varieties of late. I made an adzuki bean/carob/coconut version the other day which Misty could not get enough of… today though I am creating something that involves a favourite spice blend.
Michia is a local Gold Coast gal creating the most amazing chai teas. Seriously, you can taste the love that is put into these spicy blends of pure deliciousness. I love the fact that her products are incredibly fresh… there’s nothing worse than dull stale spices. Star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves – individually vibrant; combining together for the most comforting cuppa of spiced joy. I never knew this, but apparently this traditional spice combination can help ease stomach bloating and digestive disorders – win and win. All ingredients are certified organic too.
Thanks so much Michia for the beautiful chai… I’m stoked it was the caffeine free version that I received as now Misty and I can enjoy together***
There is no attractive way to photograph these spreads either. Just so ya know.
Creamy Coconut Chai Spread
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/corn/nut/grain/refined sugar free)
- 1+1/2C cooked chickpeas
- 1C Chai infused coconut milk*
- 1/4t sea salt plus a pinch more
- 1t vanilla extract
- 3T coconut butter, softened (almond butter or tahini would also work here)
- 1/4C agave syrup (or honey/maple) or more to taste
- 2T coconut flour (oat flour would also work here… just whizz up whole oats in the food processor until it is super fine)
*I wanted the chai flavour really strong, so I gently heated the coconut milk (I used lite) and added the chai mix (2 generous teaspoons). I let it infuse overnight in the fridge.
- In a food processor, whizz together all ingredients… it won’t go super smooth due to the coconut flour, but make sure everything is mixed in and there are no huge chunks.
- Store in the fridge,
Serve on bread, with fruit slices… or just eat with a spoon. This is a particularly good recipe to make for toddlers who want to “feed” themselves as it isn’t too runny thanks to the coconut flour. Even if they are flapping around with a spoon in each fist, it tends to stay put for longer than other things I have tried. It is harder to get it out of hair, though, yes. It’s got a little bit of “chew” too thanks to the coconut flour (or oat flour if you use this option).
Misty and I enjoyed breakfast “tasting plates” with fruit slices and a baked coconut- oat loaf as vehicles for this sweet, spicy spread which also sneaks in some protein. Combining this spread with a whole grain bread or similar will provide you with an awesomely complete meal… healthy fats, protein, carbs, fibre – what more could you want?
***Although I received this Chai free of charge as a prize, the opinions expressed are my own; I just wanted to write a shout out for a local gal making a fantastic product.
I’m sorry, but this post is not going to be vegan-friendly.
I can’t change the fact that the rest of my household (including Boosty) eats and enjoys meat. I’m definitely not one to force my beliefs on any one else… diet is such a personal choice, and people that get on soap boxes and start shouting at my head about morality really get on my nerves.
This post is about meat. I’m sorry.
It may appeal to the thriftster in you though… I thought I’d showcase one of my penny pinching tricks. How to get my whole family fed on organic, free range chicken (and then some) for a pittance. It may take a little time and effort, but the spoils are worth it (or so I’m told).
Today I scored some chicken pieces – drums, thighs, wings, bone in, skin on. Not attractive, but cheap.
A good, sharp knife is crucial, as is some basic knife skills (common sense) – I don’t want to be responsibile for missing digits. I salvage as much “good” meat off the bones as possible (sans skin and gristle) – this is for the boys. The rest, bones included, goes into a saucepan for Boosty. Meat close to the bone is always more flavourful, nutrient dense, and a lot more forgiving when it comes to cooking… the extra fat content ensures it doesn’t dry out as quickly.
Focusing on Boosty food for a tick – yes, I do cook Boosty her food. It’s actually not that crazy a thing to do. Premium dog food is a) expensive and b) pretty crap. The majority of a lot of store bought dog food is gluten, wheat…. where’s the MEAT!?! (Ha, asks the vegan Mama).
I figure if I’m going to be cooking chicken for the boys, I may as well utilise the bits that would otherwise be chucked for Boosty. If a poor little chick had to die, well then I’m not going to let it’s death go to waste (if that makes sense?)
Now, in true Fridge Scrapings style, into Boosty’s saucepan goes all sorts of vegetable odds and ends… I like to always include pumpkin seeds as apparently they can help keep parasites at bay. Today it was cauliflower, onion, pumpkin, potato, zucchini. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer, simmer, simmer (about an hour).
Back to the human-food…. you are welcome to use any chicken here, if you are not as kinfe-happy as me, chicken breast is fine .
Chicken, Cheese and Veggie Patties
(Toddler and man approved… makes 9 medium sized patties)
- 1C organic, free range chicken, chopped into chunks
- 1 + 1/2C chopped pumpkin pieces (uncooked) sweet potato or potato would be good too
- 1/2C grated cheddar cheese (packed down into cup measure)
- 1/2t sea salt (plus any seasoning you like… chilli flakes, curry powder, pepper, get creative)
- 2T wholemeal self raising flour*
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked with a fork
- Olive or coconut oil for frying
*You could sub in any flour here, plus 1/4t baking powder. Chickpea, brown rice or buckwheat flours would all be great gluten free options. Otherwise a commercial gluten free self raising flour would work a treat.
- In a food processor, whizz together everything except the egg and flour.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add flour and egg.
- I cook these in batches of 3, using about 1T oil per batch. Heat oil in a fry pan, dollop spoonfuls of batter in, and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown and crispy.
- Pat off any excess oil with a paper towel, and cool slightly on a wire rack.
Misty ate 5 in one sitting. Yummo. Viper ate the rest and then wanted more.
Back to Boosty’s food – after simmering until all the meat has fallen off the bones I strain the juices into containers.
Chicken and veggie juice (stock) for future meals… about 5 Cups worth, not too shabby. Chuck it in the freezer for super flavourful meaty meals.
Once I have picked out the big bones, Boosty’s meal is mixed with a few cups of white rice that was cooked in a bit of the leftover chicken stock. Lucky Boosty.
I’m definitely not on the “I’m-a-vegan-so-my-pets-will-be-vegan” band wagon.
Vegan, veggie-head, meat lover… whatever works for ya.
I didn’t want to advertise the fact that I was home alone (albeit protected by the ferocious Boosty, Ha) but Viper has been overseas for the past week, which made my teething toddler troubles all the more harder to bear. His return today has been so wonderful, it actually feels like the whole household has just breathed a sigh of relief… Boosty has calmed down and is not tearing up the front lawn every time a leaf blows past. It’s weird, it’s like both Misty and Boosty knew something was not quite right, and were both unsettled by the missing Viper.
I seriously take my hat off to single parents. You deserve medals, or gallons of chocolate and wine.
Viper spent a bit of time away last year too, when Misty was younger, so I wasn’t too concerned about him being away for just over a week. Let me tell you, looking after a little baby on your own is NOTHING compared to a toddler. My oh My. I’m shattered.
I can’t thank you all enough for your lovely, supportive comments. Sometimes just knowing you are not the only one going through a certain situation is enough of a boost to get you though.
I like sprouting things… I like waking up life from hibernation. Chickpeas are my favourite things to sprout, as they are easy. The smaller-sproutables annoy me, as I tend to lose half of them down the plug hole in the rinsing/draining phase. Sprouted dehydrated buckwheat groats are one of my favourite things… but by the time I do the jar-juggle, get them onto a sheet and into my-not-so-ideal dehydrator there are probably 16 groats left. Boo.
One day I’ll have a big fancy dehydrator without a whopping great hole-thing through the middle of it. Shelves are indeed a fantastic invention. Or maybe just a proper sprouting jar? Hmmm.
Anyway, I LOVE chickpeas… I love them too much. When I love them too frequently, they do not return my affections. Sprouting-wise they are a breeze as their size makes them much less fiddly. Sprouting actually makes them more digestible, and they keep me fuller for longer for some reason? Win and win.
I thought I would share the photo above to illustrate how strange my taste buds are. Here we have raw shredded brussel sprouts, sprouted chickpeas, this relish, green peas, and a “Salad Cream” made from cooked blended black turtle beans, Savoury Seasoning, raw garlic, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper.
Weird… but delicious (to me).
Below is something that is hopefully delicious for all….I’ve been making variations of these for years. Actually I think something close(ish) to this was my first foray into making healthy treats – the start of a beautiful relationship with my food processor. I’ve listed a few substitutions for this recipe – I have heard a few of you aren’t all that keen on dates (!) I admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of those shrivelled up little nuggets that come in the packet from the supermarket – try medjool ones, you won’t be disappointed. Otherwise use prunes and raisins. I’ve kept this super simple… but feel free to add nuts/seeds whatever you like.
Carob Coconut Bites:
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/seed/nut/grain/corn/soy/refined sugar free)
- 1C pitted prunes
- 1/2C dark raisins (or pitted dates)
- 2 T carob powder (or cocoa)
- 1t vanilla extract
- *Optional 1-2T of a liquid sweetener eg honey, maple syrup, agave – I didn’t add this but if you have a raging sweet tooth then feel free.
- 1/2t sea salt
- 3/4t lemon juice
- Coconut Butter (I used the raw version here) or dessicated coconut for coating.
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor.. it will form a large sticky ball.
- Wet hands and roll into balls – whatever size you like.
- If I am coating in coconut butter I like to do mini-balls, as the coconut butter gives a little crunch and texture. It’s easiest if you roll the balls, let them harden in the freezer, and then coat with coconut butter (softened). Place them back in the freezer – they are brilliant as frozen treats! These remind me of those yoghurt covered raisins.
- If I roll in dessicated coconut I will usually pop a whole walnut (or any nut) in the middle of the ball, and make them slightly larger.
Today has not been easy.
I’m beginning to realise that babies are easy compared to toddlers… I miss all those naps Misty used to have.
Misty is fast becoming a little dude, and let me tell you, he does not shy away from asserting himself. It’s challenging to say the least.
My focus and brain function is pretty limited – I had multiple kitchen failures today which always leaves me feeling depleted. I tried to make some sort of raw creamy lime cake which ended up looking similar to the content of one of Misty’s nappies. I also played around with a cinnamon body butter, and ended up burning myself and making a huge curdled weird smelling mess. I then procrastinated for the 134th time over ordering a wedding dress, and didn’t do it – again. Then Misty woke up before I had a chance to clean my disaster of a kitchen, so I have been behind with everything today. A messy house always makes me feel scattered.
My house is always messy.
Me and Misty actually spent half of the day in the car “driving” – it was the only place he was happy.
The recipe below was one from a few days ago… I sure am glad I have a stash of this to munch on when I get a chance. I went with Brazil nuts instead of the usual cashew characters that generally feature in such raw treats. Selenium is a useful thing.
My oh my – I guess you never realise what your parents did for you, until you are a parent yourself.
- 1/2C almond meal
- 8 large dried apricots (plump and juicy unadulterated ones please, not those little dried up sulphur-laden things).
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1T ground cinnamon
- Blend all ingredients together until the mix resembles a fine crumb.
- Push firmly into a cheesecake pan/silicone cupcake moulds/lined baking tray or whatever you like to use.
- 1C soaked Brazil nuts (cover with water and soak overnight… drain)
- 1/2C sugar free apricot preserves (I am a huge St Dalfour’s fan)
- 3t lemon juice
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/3C coconut oil
- 1t vanilla extract
- 2T extra apricot jam.
- Blend all ingredients except the apricot jam until sily and smooth – scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Spread the crust with extra apricot jam, for a little sweet sandwich-ing goodness.
- Spoon cream on top and freeze for a few hours.
- Transfer to the fridge and let it soften a little before serving. Cut into bars, slices or squares.
I’m wondering what type of wine would go with this? I think I will need a big one while trawling the internet for toddler taming tips… that’s IF Misty goes to sleep tonight. Wish me luck.
*EDIT to add – I am submitting this to Healthy Vegan Fridays*