Grain- Free Breakfast Cereal

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Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal and I get way too excited about throwing my feet on the floor and baking something healthy, warm and yummy for my family. Some days I have more time than others; this recipe is a great one when you are in a hurry as it can bake (and cause the house to smell soooo good) while you get ready to start your day.

3/4 to 1 cup Seed flour (I use ground sunflower, pumpkin and hemp seeds, but any sort of flour will do
5-6 large organic apples, preferably a sweet version
Small spoon of cinnamon
Raw honey to taste (optional)
Chopped almonds (optional)
Warmed coconut cream/milk (optional)

  1. Chop the apples into bite size pieces. Use a splash of water to make sure they are wet.
  2. Toss in the seed flour.
  3. Place in a baking pan and coat with cinnamon and chopped almonds.
  4. Bake at 180C for about 20-25 minutes, mixing once after about 15 minutes.
  5. Once pulled from the oven top with some warm coconut cream or milk and raw honey.

If you eat dairy this dish is really good with yogurt as well. Enjoy!

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Banana Cream Pie

I wanted to whip up a healthy homemade toddler snack for my daughter today, but didn’t have a lot of time. I noticed we had very little in the fridge to work with but I never let that stop me. Just brings out the creative side of me a bit more.

Rummaging through the cabinets didn’t bring any inspiration but then the bananas caught my eye. What about an old time favourite? Yes, it is time for banana cream pie. YAY!

I only used three ingredients in this recipe. You can even get by with two. If you are feeling fancy you can make all kinds of fun toppings with your toddler.

Super easy, quick as a flash, tastes divine and, MOST IMPORTANT, toddler approved!

 
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Ingredients:

2 large bananas
1/4 cup coconut cream (or you can use the cream layer that sits at the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk)
dash of sea salt
topping: sliced banana, toasted coconut, drizzled chocolate, caramel sauce (2 dates pureed with a pinch of hot water)

  1. Whip together the banana and cream in a blender and place in a silicone or non-stick muffin container.
  2. Garnish with toppings of your choice.
  3. Place in freezer to set for 15 minutes or the fridge for about an hour.

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Enjoy!

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Omega 3-6-9 milk, butter and flour. Vegan Friendly.

I am a BIG fan of omegas and prefer to eat these oils in food-form instead of a supplement. Our bodies make Omega 9, however we need to incorporate Omega 3 and Omega 6 into our diets. If we are generally low in Omegas it is a good idea to add Omega 9 foods to your diet as well.

An new issue of concern is that the trend to eat much more Omega 6 than Omega 3, which can really throw the body out of balance. For this reason, incorporating food with proper ratios of these fats is essential. The foods listed below offer preferable ratios of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (generally 1:1-1:5 of Omega 3:6).

Omega 3- flax, hemp seeds, avocado, leafy greens, cold-water fish
Omega 6- Flax, hemp, seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, borage oil
Omega 9- Pistachios, cashews, avocado, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts

Here are three GREAT methods for incorporating more omegas in your diet, using the same 3-4 products: milk, flour and butter.

3-6-9 MILK

#1) Buy a bag of each of the following: raw, organic pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds and cashews.
#2) Soak the cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds for half a day (about 7 hours) and drain the water.
#3) Throw the soaked cashews and hemp seeds in a blender with some water (1:3 ratio of nuts/seeds to water works well, but for creamier versions I use a 1:2 ratio). You can also add a spoon of maple syrup or raw unfiltered honey. Divine.

Use in  oatmeal, smoothies, lattes, whatever! So yummy.
Drink within 2 days.

Other milk combinations:

  • hemp, sunflower and cashew
  • avocado, pumpkin seeds, pecans
  • hemp seeds, flax, pistachio

I like to add a splash of cinnamon and raw honey to my milk.

3-6-9 FLOUR

This is the jackpot. You use the same recipe as above just without the soaking or water.

#1) Buy a bag of each of the following: raw, organic pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds. Cashews and macadamia nuts are optional, yet they add Omega 9.
#2) Throw in a blender and process until crumbly. I have a Vitamix which turns my nuts/seeds into dust. A blender or processor will work fine too, only you might have slightly larger “dust.”

I use this in place of flour in various recipes such as fruit cobbler (makes a perfect crumble topping)  kale chips, pancakes, cookies and granola bars.

3-6-9 BUTTER

Just follow the recipe for flour but blend for an extra 1-2 minutes or longer. If you don’t have a vitamix or high powered blender you might have to add a spoonful of some sort of oil to get things moving. Coconut or flax or hemp oils are good options.

You can use this butter to make oatmeal bars (just add some oats and raw honey and you have the most delicious snack). My toddler LOVES them. Also great on pancakes, muffins, crackers, or my favourite option- straight out of the jar. Naughty, naughty me.

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Cheesy kale chips

   
Ok people. These are amazing. I’m serious. And the good thing is that they are so easy! It’s not just that I struggle with paying $10  for a small bag of these, which I do, the real motivation here is that I enjoy making and feeding my family nourishing, homemade food. Honestly, it makes my heart sing. 

This recipe is easy, quick and fun for the kids to make. The best part is that my daughter cannot get enough of these chips. In fact, she is eating them for dinner. And this says a lot as tonight we are having gluten free pizza, which she has totally abandoned. 

Here is the nutritional lowdown:

  • Kale is loaded with vitamins A, C and K. I baked this batch so the vitamin C is probably nil (you can use a dehydrator or bake on low heat to preserve).
  • Sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds are full of magnesium, zinc, protein, iron and omegas 3 and 6.
  • Coconut oil supports the immune system, digestion and the endocrine system. 
  • Lemon juice alkalises the body.
  • Sea salt contains 60 trace minerals which regulates and hydrates he body. My Chinese doctor always says that sea salt contains the memory of the earth and that only a minuscule pinch has amazing healing properties. 

 
Cheesy Kale chips

One bag of fresh kale, washed and torn into pieces half the size of an iPhone or smaller.

Two lemons, juiced

1/3 cup ground sunflower, pumpkin and hemp seeds

Small drizzle of coconut oil

Sea salt

1) Massage coconut oil and lemon juice into kale until soft.

2) Massage in seed meal and sea salt until well coated.

3. Lay on baking sheet, separating the leaves so they don’t overlap too much.

4. Bake at 150C for about 25 minutes. (Fluffing once after 15-20 minutes.)

Enjoy!! 

Why I have gone missing!

Hi friends! I wanted to check in and share why I have gone MIA the last two months. 

So, I have been preparing for a preconception conference I am holding here in Hong Kong next month and have gotten swept away in all the details. For those of you that want to check out the site it is called Before My Baby, and is about preparing for parenthood. 

That being said not one day passes that I don’t look at my meals and think, “I have got to photograph and share this.” Meals are therapeutic on so many levels and I feel guided to share the ease in healthy cooking with others. I remember when I was in my twenties and had no idea how easy it was to make food from scratch. I would buy every mix available so I just had to add hot water. Today I find it easier to throw a few whole ingredients in a bowl, give them a sir and then put them in the oven- it really can be that easy. 

Here are the pancakes I just made for breakfast-only a cup of ground up GF oats, a third cup of chia seeds and a splash of water. I cooked them with coconut oil and topped with raw unfiltered honey, and berries. Maple syrup or coconut sugar  work too if you are vegan. So divine the whole family ate them, every last bite.   

 

Halva Cookie Bites

 

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These beauties taste like melomakarona, which are traditional Greek Christmas cookies. They are so darn delicious…. If you cannot locate halva, try rolling your cookies in crushed nuts or seeds. I prefer to use cashews as they are creamy.

1.5 cups GF oats
2 TBSPs oil (cold pressed olive or coconut oil are my favorites)
2 TBSP tahini
2 TBSP raw honey
Splash of vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon

Garnish:
Handful  of orange chocolate (I used stevia sweetened)
Handful of halva (I used honey sweetened)

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Roll into balls. If too dry add a bit more tahini.
  3. Melt chocolate over medium heat. Set aside.
  4. Crush halva into crumbles on a plate.
  5. Roll balls in chocolate.
  6. Roll balls in halva crumbles.
  7. Set in fridge for one hour.

Happy Summer!!!

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

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I make these as a mini cupcake and sprinkle with fresh strawberries for added color and flavor. A great dairy-free way to make a delicious, creamy frosting. Try using different nut butters and flavor extracts to create your own version.

GF Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

½ cup coconut flour
½ TSP baking powder*
½ TSP baking soda*
½ TSP salt
2 TBSP coconut oil
4 organic free-range eggs
¼ cup honey, maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
¾ cup fruit-sweetened strawberry jam (or ripe strawberry puree)
1 TBSP vanilla

Frosting:
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup coconut cream
2-3 TBSP maple syrup or raw honey
½ TSP vanilla
Dash sea salt

  1. Preheat oven at 350F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  4. Spoon into a greased muffin tin and bake for 16-20 minutes.
  5. While baking prepare frosting and refrigerate.
  6. When muffins are ready, pull from oven and cool.
  7. Once cool, top with frosting.

 

*I tend to leave out baking powder and baking soda and the results are generally the same. Sometimes I add in a spoon of chia seeds in place of baking soda/powder.  

Yeast-Free Buns

For those of you that like bread but prefer to avoid the gluten and yeast, this might just be your new favourite recipe. Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, just like a good ‘ol bakery bun. Make sure your agar agar is of good quality, otherwise you will be working with a highly-bleached product. 

Both my daughter and I follow a low-gluten diet. A good task as both of us showed positive for gluten-intolerance in recent allergy testing. For me, avoiding gluten has helped me to heal from Hashimoto’s. For my daughter, avoiding gluten has kept her focused on eating higher nutrient foods. I also prefer to avoid yeast and to make my own bread using agar agar, baking powder, chia seeds or eggs. I also make my own sourdough using airborne “yeast,” which means I simply let the bread ferment at room temperature for a few days.

Since I still want to enjoy “bread,” if not every day at least from time to time, I came up with this recipe. Now we enjoy warm toast with melted butter and fresh jam- a taste that stands in a league of its own.

2 heaping cups of flour (I used only brown rice, but prefer to mix with one other gluten free flour, like oat or millet)
1/4 cup agar agar
2/3 cup hot water (give or take)
Large pinch of sea salt
Garnish: sunflower seeds, coconut oil or butter

  1. Mix flour and agar agar in a bowl.
  2. Add in about 1/4 cup hot water. This will cause the agar agar to gelatinise.
  3. Knead together flour with hands for about 4-5 minutes, making sure dough is soft enough to form a ball but not sticky enough to stick to your fingers.
  4. Roll into a ball and let it sit for about 3 hours in a warm, draft free area.
  5. Roll into balls and top with sunflower seeds and oil/butter.
  6. Bake at 400F for about 10-12 minutes.

These are best eaten warm right out of the oven. As we are in Mykonos, I topped my bread with fresh homemade goat cheese and local honey.
Enjoy!

Vegan Cherry Cobbler Muffins

I made these on a whim. Had a craving for something warm, gooey and chewy and boy did they hit the SPOT!

Since it is cherry season it is easy to find cherries here in Greece and they are so delicious. I love that, unlike most fruits,  cherries are a “warm” fruit. This means that if you have a colder constitution, cherries are a great fruit source for you.

I just found out that both my daughter and I have egg sensitivities, mainly to the whites, so I have been making more vegan-based recipes, which is my culinary background. Chia or flax seeds are a great binding agent, as well as baking powder, agar agar and even bananas. I love using chia seeds as they are loaded with good stuff, including calcium, zinc, and antioxidants. Toddler approved, as my daughter ate these up!

1/3 coconut butter, coconut oil or coconut cream
1/3 cup water
1 cup GF oats, ground
handful of cherries, de-pitted
2 TBSP pine nuts
1 TBSP chia seeds
1/4 TSP vanilla stevia (or 2 TBSP honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice)
Dash of cardamom and sea salt

Garnish:
Pine nuts

 

  1. If using coconut butter, thin over hot water until runny.
  2. Mix butter, water and oats.
  3. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour into muffin cups or a greased muffin tin.
  5. Top with a sprinkle of pine nuts.
  6. Bake at 200C for about 15 minutes.

Makes about 6 muffins.

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Happy baby smoothie 

My daughter is a big fan of this smoothie! Tart, yet sweet and such a beautiful colour. A great way to nourish her little, itty- bitty body.
1/2 dragon fruit (I used the the red variety)
1 small handful of raspberries
1 golden kiwi
1 TBSP coconut oil
Additional water to reach desired consistency

  1. Blend and top with fresh berries.