Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Green Antioxidant Smoothie

Smoothies have been my go-to lately.

I'm at the point in my pregnancy where one bite of food makes me full.  Like I-just-ate-at-the-buffet full.  I'm running out of room baby!

Obviously, I need to make sure I'm still eating.  There is never a lull for baby, and it's so important he is getting as much nutrition as possible.  For me, it is important to keep my nutrients up and protect my gut health in preparation for labor and delivery.

Smoothies are not new news.  This is a simple and easy way to get in nutrients for your body.  In addition, it invites a lot of variety, as there are many different ingredients that you can try in your smoothie.  I think it's important to highlight different ways to make your smoothies as nutrient and antioxidant-rich as possible to get the most bang for your drink!

This was the smoothie I made this morning:

This has been my favorite the last two weeks: organic chard, organic blueberries, organic strawberries, half a banana, organic kefir and a spoonful of organic coconut oil.  Antioxidant Note the coconut oil- I find that adding a spoonful of a fat-enriched ingredient to my smoothies, whether it is coconut oil, chia seeds, or flax, adds to the taste and texture of the smoothie.  In addition, I feel better knowing I'm getting quality fats in my diet that are not only helping my brain but baby's brain too!

Here are a list of items we routinely use in our smoothies and some ideas for you too!!  I highlight lower glycemic index fruits (sugar is inflammatory and many people have gut issues with fructose), veggies that go great in smoothies, fats and milk/protein bases.  It's so easy to cover so many variety of vitamins and minerals in one drink!  Even if you experiment and try something new, you really can't go wrong.  I find the easiest way to make a healthy, great tasting smoothies is to pick one ingredient from each category below to add into the smoothie, but you can always double up on fruits and veggies! :o)

Enjoy your smoothies!

Organic kefir
Raw Milk
Almond Milk (we prefer Blue Diamond because ingredients are free of "gums")
Coconut Milk
Organic Greek Yogurt
Coconut Water

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein 
Almond Butter 
Nuttzo Organic Seed and Nut Butter (this is one of my faves!!! has 7 nuts and seeds-find at WF)


Banana (I use half because of high glycemic index)
Strawberries (high in antioxidants- buying organic is a must with berries!)
Blueberries (high in antioxidants- buying organic is a must with berries!)
Raspberries (high in antioxidants- buying organic is a must with berries!)
Goji berries (high in antioxidants- buying organic is a must with berries!)
Pineapple (use less of because of high glycemic index)

Avocado (this tastes great in smoothies!)
Coconut Oil
Chia Seed

Gluten-free granola



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Healthy Lactation Cookie Dough Bites

I have had major chocolate issues these last two weeks.

Hormones?  Possibly.  And also because it's fun to blame everything on hormones.

But seriously, this chocolate business.  I wound up asking a few of my other preggo friends in their last trimester whether they also were going "chocolate" crazy.  Disorder confirmed.

Chocolate can be a great snack and sweet treat in moderation, but it is that much more rewarding to you and your body when you pick a healthy source.  This means avoiding chocolate made with soy, GMOs, and chemicals and preservatives, which have no business in your chocolate.  Of course, this is usually what you will find, but I find a great exception is Enjoy Life chips. These GMO, gluten, soy and dairy free chocolate chips have been a resident in our house for quite some time now, and if you ask anyone who routinely uses these chips what they think of them, they all love them!!

So speaking of chocolate.  I was determined to start making lactation cookies for some of my girlfriends who are due shortly with their babies- just like me!!  I have heard about these lactation cookies for some time now, but was wondering, what's all the fuss?

Lactation cookie recipes are known for their galactogogue content.  These substances increase milk supply, usually by increasing prolactin to initiate the breast milk let-down reflex or oxytocin to aid in breast milk ejection.

What foods support lactation? Oats, alfalfa, barley, flaxseed meal, brewer's yeast, almonds, papaya, ginger, and chickpeas just to name a few. What about herbal supplements?  Fenugreek, milk thistle, fennel, chaste berry, goat's rue, torbangun and shatavari are herbs with proven galactogogues.  Even the Journal of the American Pharmacist's Association (1) recognizes that these products, while not FDA regulated with pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and dosing, are widely used within the breast-feeding community, often with success.  The Journal of Applied Biosciences recognizes that botanical galactogogues have both chemical and antimicrobial properties, not only having benefits for lactation, but also helping new mothers with required nutrients, relief from constipation, and prevention of infection (2).

Most women make an adequate amount of breast milk, however, galactogogues can be most effective when combined with increased breastfeeding frequency and milk removal.  So why not give them a try?

I made these paleo, gluten free, dairy free, soy free lactation cookie dough bites recently and have gotten great feedback!!  No doubt, I expect to enjoy in my pregnancy and continue to share with others.  Besides being great for lactation purposes, the great omega-3s in this recipe make it a great snack for kids and adults alike.  Give them a try ;o)

Healthy Lactation Cookie Dough Bites (GF, DF, soy-free, GMO-free)(makes 2 dozen 1 in. balls)

1/2 cup almond meal (I used Trader Joe's brand, link on right to purchase)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (I used the rest of my Hodgson Mills but recommend Bob Mills brand)
1/2 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
1/2 cup organic coconut oil or grassed butter (use coconut oil to make DF; my batch used kerrygold)
1/3 cup organic coconut sugar  (could probably omit or consider trying 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp organic chia seeds
1 tbsp organic cocoa (could also try the superfood raw cacao powder!)
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
dash of himilayan sea salt
2 tbsp brewer's years (optional; I omitted because I have not concluded whether this ingredient is GF yet)

In a small bowl combine the flaxseed meal, almond meal, coconut sugar, sea salt and brewers yeast and mix.  Then melt your coconut oil or butter in a small pan over medium low heat, followed by adding the vanilla extract.  Pour the melted mix into the dry ingredients bowl and stir well.  Add the almond butter and enjoy life chocolate chips last, and mix it all up.  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or until it is hard enough to roll into balls.  Roll into 1 inch balls, and then refrigerate for an hour or so to harden.  Keep these refrigerated if not eating right away.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Super Vitamin Burgers!

Is the name intriguing?

I almost called it super hero. Or super power.  Had to get the super in there.  But what's so super?

Oh, let me tell you.  

This burger is like the unlikely burger.  Like the really unique kid in your art class who was ridiculously talented and lovely and still a nice person.

Ok, I might be exaggerating.  But this is one awesome, nutrient-packed, super delicious burger.  What is the secret ingredient?  Liver.

An unlikely ingredient.  And if you have ever had liver, you know this: a little bit goes a long way.

Honestly, I haven't been able to stomach or attempt eating liver since month 2 of my pregnancy.  Prior to pregnancy, I was just starting to try eating meat again, and I was eating beef for the first time since middle school.  I have been able to return to it here and there throughout pregnancy, but it is definitely not my "go-to" food.  However, in preparation for labor, delivery, and postpartum, I have made it highly desirable for me to get as much iron-rich foods life beef into my diet.  Why?

According to the Journal of Pregnancy (1), nutritional iron-deficiency anemia is the most common disorder in the world, with the prevalence in pregnant women in industrialized countries estimated to be close to 20%.  There is a significant increased demand for iron to develop the fetus and placenta in addition to supporting the mother's blood volume.  It is clear that pregnant women are subject to iron loss during and after delivery; in fact, the total iron loss associated with pregnancy and lactation is approximately 1000 mg.  Thus, the recommended daily dietary allowance for iron in pregnancy is 27 mg instead of 8 mg in the adult non pregnant-population.  Lactation requires a daily dietary allowance of 10 mg.

Enter: Liver.

Raw beef liver contains close to 30% of your daily value of iron; that's incredible!  Not to mention it is rich in B vitamins and minerals.  Just 3 oz alone provides vitamin A, B12 and riboflavin in an amount that exceeds the daily requirement for the average adult.  Don't forget about the iron content in beef either.  A typical 4 oz burger has 16% of the recommended daily allowance of iron.  Other high iron foods include clams, sunflower seeds, nuts, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens, and dark chocolate (thank goodness!).

What I love about this recipe is you can't really taste the liver.  You could even omit it if you want or add more in if you're a big fan.  For a liver wimp like myself, I just want a smidgen in there to help my body but to not make me give up on the cause.  Another great thing about this recipe is the veggies I snuck in: onions, zucchini, and chard to be exact.  There's some flexibility here, but it gives a nice crunch and flavor to your burger.

Give it a try and enjoy!

Super Vitamin Burgers (paleo, GF, DF, soy-free, AIP and Whole 30)

8 oz beef (we used local, grassfed, pasture raised)
3 oz liver  (we used local, grassfed, pasture raised); can omit if aversion to liver
1/2 small organic zucchini
1 leaf finely chopped organic red chard
1/4 finely chopped medium yellow onion
dash of black pepper
dash of himilayan sea salt
dash to teaspoon of garlic (anti-inflammatory!)
dash to teaspoon of basil (anti-inflammatory!)

(pictured served on organic red chard leaves with organic dijon mustard for condiment)

If you are feeling really ambitious about liver, visit My Recipes section or to see how to make liver pate.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Top 3 Books I've Read While Pregnant


I don't have tons of extra time to read.  Between work and school and life, my bookworm passions have been set aside most of pregnancy.  My nerd outlet has been confined.

With a few exceptions.  I found that What to Expect When You're Expecting and other preggo prep books were helpful to a certain extent, but more basic.  What were the real things that mattered to me?  Hot topics for every pregnant woman and mom: my nutrition, my labor and delivery, and vaccinations.

WHOA I better slow down.  I know how much just mentioning the word "vaccinations" gets people riled up and positioning for World War III.  That's why I won't be giving my opinion on this blog (though you are welcome to message or email me to ask what I think and why).  I really won't be giving too many opinions on anything for that matter.  Rather, I would like to show you which pregnancy reads I have found most valuable, informative and inspirational in my pregnancy.  So much so, that I will continue to refer to them and use them as resources after my baby boy is born.

Let's get started.  I provide what I learned and then a quick review.

#1: The Vaccine Book by Dr Robert Sears

Better get the hard stuff over with it.  Interestingly, Dr Sears is pro-vaccine, which many people might not gather from the title of the book.  However, what makes this book super awesome is it gives individuals and parents the facts they need to make informed decisions when it comes to vaccinations. Whodathunkit?

Dr Sears has an excellent and organized approach.  Each childhood vaccination is discussed in depth, including how each vaccine is made, its ingredients, which brands and types are safest, each vaccine's side effects and safety profile, and how to recognize, treat and prevent vaccine side effects.  In addition, he discusses how common, rare or serious each disease is (ex. diphtheria, tetanus, chickenpox), how to tailor your child's shot schedule to minimize risks and and satisfy state requirements, advice on adult vaccines, and a thorough evidence-based list of articles and references for one to do more exploration and research.  A chapter is dedicated to discussing vaccine research, as well as criticisms and positives about the research.

I cannot emphasize enough how important this book has been to us.  I think it is so very important to be able to defend your decisions about what you believe is best for your child in any and every circumstance and to be able to back it up with credited and unbiased research.  Unfortunately, I think many people get viewed for being on a "bandwagon" when it comes to their opinion because that's exactly what they are on.  What an opportunity to really know, trust, and believe in the decisions you make and be in agreement with your spouse.

Easy read, short chapters, long book.  Easy to reference later.  Would get most recent edition as even Dr Sears acknowledges many things change in the medical world and with vaccinations, even over a
short time.

#2: The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon and Thomas Cowan

Somebody recommended this book to me and I have no idea who (#pregnancybrain). But thank you! I was already familiar with the author, Sally Fallon, who has done much nutritional work surrounding the research done by Weston Price.  I'm a big fan.

My favorite thing about this read?  This book highlights a nutrient-dense diet prior to conception and continuing through pregnancy, breastfeeding and the period of growth.  In addition, there are multiple appendixes in the end with recipes for mama and baby to help heal the body following delivery and get baby the best nutrition.  Another bonus of this read is it highlights homeopathic remedies and treatments for common infant symptoms (being respectful still of medicine), such as colds, fevers and congestion.  Not to say I would do every little thing this book says, and I can't say I agree with everything proposed by this book.  However, I certainly appreciate having the information, the resource, and another perspective.  Knowledge is power.

Easy read, straight-forward, opinionated at times.  Great reference, great recipes.  If you are not familiar with the Paleo diet or Weston Price, this read might make your head spin.  But it might not be bad thing!

#3: Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize

Wow, this book has knocked my socks off.  Not because I know anything about childbirth...yet.  But because this book pretty much revolutionized my view of labor and delivery

I believe there is much power in words.  What we speak over ourselves, what we invite in our conversations... it can bring life or death.  Many people have preconceptions about labor. Why? Because all movies and most people talk about about is how hell-wrenching-beyond-anguishing it is.  But should we choose to live in that fear or should we make the experience our own?

That is exactly what this book taught me: what God's promises for conception, pregnancy, and delivery are and how to use scripture and faith principles to prepare for your childbirth.  It has chapters with confessions and prayers for a supernatural conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and all circumstances surrounding each stage.

Easy read, short book. I read it in an afternoon.  Now I read the prayers daily. Great reference for anyone trying to conceive, in pregnancy or preparing for childbirth.

I feel like this book should literally be wrapped in gold, it is that precious to me. Big thanks to my doula who recommended and encouraged me to read this.  I am looking forward to my own pregnancy story, no matter what happens.  I am so excited for what God has done for me already and what He will continue to do for me in this new experience.  It is in his hands, and I choose not to have fear but to have faith.

Happy reading!



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate.

I don't love quinoa.

Together though, this pair works out.  Yesterday, I experimented using quinoa for baking to create and a nutty, sweet, nutritious treat.  My husband loves quinoa, but I find I need to put it into burgers and other recipes to enjoy it more.  As I have talked about on the blog before, quinoa is an awesome complete protein that is loaded with manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, iron, potassium, zinc and B vitamins.  Not to mention, this grain contains heart-healthy fatty acids, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and obesity.

What I love about this recipe is it literally take 15 minutes to make from start to finish.  It's a great family friendly recipe, and one that I would feel comfortable putting in my child's lunchbox.  I specifically utilize Enjoy Life chocolate chips, as they are dairy, soy, and gluten free, and help this recipe maintain free of those common allergens.

This recipe is great for breakfast, a snack or dessert.  Give it a try, and enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 1 dozen)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup gluten free granola (or you can use gluten free oats)
1/3 cup almond butter
1 tbsp organic honey
3 tspn water
1/3 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grind the quinoa and granola in a high speed food processor or blender.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips.  If mixture is too dry, you can add some dates or more water in tspn amounts until the mix is moist and holds together.  Then add the chocolate chips and mix them in evenly.  Roll the mix in mini balls (1 inch) and set on greased cookie sheet. for 10-12 minutes until they get crunchy and light brown color on the outside.  



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Kale Banana "Green" Pancakes

Vegetables for breakfast??!! The horror!!

On our trip back from St. Augustine, my husband Ray and I were reminiscing about those oh-so-good-but-incredibly-bad cereals from growing up.  Remember cookie crisp, rice krispy treats, french toast crunch, and oreo o's??  Do they still sell that stuff?  Oh, don't forget the other fun treats: munchkins, cinnamon buns, and dare I say it....pop tarts!

Breakfast can go either way folks.  Nutritious or sacrilegious.  It can be hard to come up with ideas. Honestly, breakfast can get boring.  Between smoothies and eggs, smoothies and eggs, I get bored too.  Going gluten-free, it's easy to miss simple breakfast staples, like pancakes, waffles and french toast.  Are there alternatives?

Fortunately, yes. And what's even better, is you can start your veggie tally first thing in the morning too without feeling like your abandoning tradition.  Sneaking veggies into smoothies is a great and easy way to start...but, what about in pancakes?

I have been on a kale kick lately.  Partially because I was generously given a whole lotta kale from an organic community co-op recently, and I don't like seeing organic food go to waste.  Also, because I am determined to find ways to up my veggie count, as well as my calcium and iron in pregnancy. Truly though, can kale taste good for breakfast?

This took me a couple tries folks.  No snap-your-fingers-easy-victory.  But finally I got it done!  Green pancakes.  Dr Seuss would be proud.

It doesn't matter which kale you use for your pancakes, but mine was winter or russian red.  As I've talked about on the blog in the past, kale is a major superfood, containing powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.  It's rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, copper, manganese, and Vitamin A- what a great way to start your day!!  The sometimes bitter taste of kale is knocked out in this recipe by a sweet banana.

Here's my recipe.  Totally family friendly.  Enjoy!

Kale Banana "Green" Pancakes (serves two)

2 bananas
4 eggs
1 tspn vanilla
2 cups fresh kale (can also substitute spinach here)
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tspn cinnamon
dash of Himilayan sea salt (click link to right to buy!)
Optional add ins: chocolate chips, coconut, protein powder, flax seed, chia seed)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix till frothy and combined well.  Pour onto greased skillet on medium heat and flip when top of pancake is beginning to look dry.  Quantity will depend on how big you want your pancakes!

Top it off with some yummy kerrygold butter and honey!



Friday, April 17, 2015

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

I find a lot of people think that when you go gluten free that you are giving up bread.

Not necessarily.

It's all about ingredients and substitutes.  I tell you, once you get use to not having bread, it seems simple to live without.  But every once in a while, I get a craving!

That happened a couple weeks ago.  I'm always trying to find great recipes to include my husband in on too, as he does gluten free (99% of the time!) and loves carbs and sandwiches.  Finding substitutes for him and ones that are family-friendly and good for entertaining are important to use so as to not feel like being gluten-free is such a sacrifice.

Say hello to my gluten-free sandwich bread.  I have made many of these "breads" before, but this recipe 100% sticks out in taste and simplicity. My husband likes it even better than wheat bread!! I have snagged a couple slices here and there and have added some honey and kerrygold butter for a delicious snack.

Important to remember: if you are used to make gluten free breads, you will know that they usually don't rise as high and can be pretty dense due to no gluten.  I found that because this recipe includes tapioca flour, I was able to get the lightest and fluffiest consistency.  The bread still comes out smaller than typical sandwich bread, but you could use a smaller loaf pan to get a higher rise or double and triple the ingredients to get a bigger loaf as I have.

What's tapioca flour? It's a starchy white flour that has a slight sweet favor to it.  It comes from the South American cassava plant and helps to bind gluten free recipes and improve the texture of baked goods.  It's extremely smooth, which makes it great as a thickener for sauces, pies and soups.  In addition, it can be used as a corn starch substitute.

Note this recipe includes a hint of kerrygold butter, so if you are very sensitive to dairy, use caution.  Otherwise, I utilize almond meal instead of flour to get a nutty texture for the bread and to utilize more affordable ingredients.


Gluten Free Sandwich Bread (quantities are to make loaf size pictured below)

1 cup almond meal (I use trader joes organic brand! click link to right)
1 cup tapioca flour (I use Bob Mills- click link to right)
4 organic eggs
2 tbsp Kerrygold Butter (you may also use palm shortening)
2 tbsp organic honey (you can use more/less to taste)
2 tspn baking powder
dash of himilayan sea salt (click link to right)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the almond meal, tapioca flour, baking powder and dash of sea salt.  Add in eggs (well-whipped), honey, and Kerrygold. Mix to combine.  Place mixture in well-greased round molds or in a loaf pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool, and serve.  Can store in bread box or fridge.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DIY Chemical Free Laundry Detergent- Only 3 Ingredients!

My relationship with laundry is about to get more serious.  Reminder not needed- I know I will be doing lots of loads of laundry in the weeks, months and years to come!  Living in Florida with constant heat, sweating and swimming, the number of loads skyrockets.

It has been important to me for years to make our own laundry detergent. The cost savings is nothing to be cross about.  On average, homemade laundry detergent costs maybe 2 cents per load, compared to over 20 cents for big name brands like Tide, Method and Seventh Generation.  

What is disappointing looking at these "natural" and "chemical-free" brands, is that most aren't.  I was surprised to find in selecting a detergent for baby that Seventh generation, Method, and Ecover detergent brands all contain sodium-lauryl-sulfate (SLS), which has potential health hazards of reproductive and developmental toxicity, and tissue damage that could result in chronic brain, heart and lung damage.  How do we know this?  Because SLS has been found in tissues of these organs, so we know it accumulates in the body.  It can also affect the immune system and irritate the skin.  Not to mention its involvement in toothpaste, where it can cause damage to tissues in the mouth, ulcers in the mouth and gum disease.  SLS has been listed in multiple studies as "toxic or harmful," "a human irritant with strong evidence,"and an "environmental toxin." Here are some more articles about SLS:

Being on the chemical free cleaning journey for the past year, it was important to me with baby coming to have a DIY laundry detergent on hand that was not only chemical-free, but simple, affordable, and not-to-mention effective.  

Say hello to my DIY laundry detergent recipe.  It only has 3 ingredients plus water.  My husband was a huge help in this, as always, doing the heavy bucket lifting and bending that my full term baby bump sometimes prevents me from doing.  No reason to use two separate detergents for baby and adults folks if it's chemical free as long as baby's skin is tolerating it.  Try it out! 

DIY Chemical Free Laundry Detergent

  • 1 cup Dr. Bronner's pure castile liquid soap (I used lavender scent!)**
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt (why salt? it acts as mild abrasive and cleaning booster to help remove stains and prevent colors from bleeding)



**Special Note: There has been some concern as of recent of lavender oil being a potential hormone disruptor.  Nothing is yet conclusive, however, you could substitute Dr Bronner's Lavender with the citrus blend if you have concerns! Here's two great recent articles and

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Creamed Kale Recipe- Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegan

It's no lie. I love creamy things, and I love kale.  I've blogged about kale and its nutrients before- that veggie isn't playing around! But I love finding ways to sneak in greens into my diet and recipes...probably good practice for mommyhood right? :o)  Here's the link to my last kale creation:

I'm 38 weeks pregnant now and so blessed to continue to feel healthy and strong.  I can't help but think diet is just one of the many things that contributes to that.  I'm far from perfect, but I try my best!  A goal of mine right now is to be as proactive as possible with my diet as I prepare to breastfeed.  My goal is to breastfeed for at least one year, and I want to be as nutritionally prepared as possible to achieve that.

Of course, there is the possibility, for one reason or another and possibly related to previous health issues, that I would not be able to breastfeed.  I pray daily that is not the case, but I also trust God is in control and has a plan.  He has equipped me for all life's journeys and challenges so I must trust in that :o)

I plan on making my son his baby food, so I was excited to make this creation and know that this is something he can enjoy some day too! This recipe is not only fully loaded with kale, it incorporates garlic, which is healthy for the immune system and has wonderful antioxidants.  It is also a dairy free recipe and uses full fat coconut milk to achieve a creamy and nutritious base.  This dish can be served as a dip for veggies, as a warm creamy soup, or as a sauce/marinade for meats.

Check it out and enjoy!

Creamed Kale- Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegan

2 bunches organic kale
2 tbsp butter (I use kerrygold)
1 small white onion minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup full fat coconut milk (I use Arroy-D carton
Himilayan sea salt to taste

Place kale in large pot and set on high heat for 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the minced onion.  Cook until translucent (4-5 min) and then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another 2 minutes.  At this point, remove kale from heat and drain and dry as much as possible.  Add kale and coconut milk to heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with sea salt and remove from heat.  Can now serve as is or process in a food processor to achieve the texture you desire.



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Healthy Protein Bites

Whoa nelly.  In between intense episodes of pelvic pressure yesterday (almost 37 weeks!) what else would I be up to then trying out a new recipe! ;o) Nesting phase, right?

I have been so busy with school, trying to finish up a class before Jace comes (before my next one starts end of April!), that I have been slacking in posting some of my new recipes. I. CANNOT. WAIT. till maternity leave when not only I can enjoy time with my son, but I can share more of my passion: health and food!

I have been trying to fine tune my diet beyond restricting gluten and soy to start prepping for breastfeeding.  What an opportunity to start baby's immune system in the right direction!  I pray daily that I will be able to breastfeed, and my goal is one year.  I have recently sought out more information and gained interest in regards to candida, it's role in the gut, the immune system, and how it affects our guts and the babe's gut.  I don't feel competent enough in the topic yet to offer an opinion, BUT I do agree that eliminating sugars, high glycemic index products, and poor quality carbohydrates is a great place to start.  Finding whole foods and a variety of them to get into the diet is so important and worthwhile.

I have become quite the snacker the last few weeks.  I will eat and get so full, and then not much later I'm hungry again. What's the deal?  I hear this gets crazy with breastfeeding. I like to eat so challenge accepted ;o) But I love having small and simple, easy-to-grab snacks that I know are nutrient dense and can satisfy some occasional cravings.

My gluten free, vegan protein bites do just that.  I love how simple they are to make and how just one bite gives you a nice jolt.  Easy to make and even easier to eat.  Give them a try!

Healthy Protein Bites (made 9 bites- can double recipe to make more!)
1/4 cup raw vegan chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life brand- same as my prenatals- best one I have found on the market!)
2 tbsp organic coconut flour
2 tbsp organic almond meal
2 tbsp carob powder
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 tspn organic vanilla extract (I use frontier brand!)
Raw dark chocolate topping (optional)

Add the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Add almond milk 1/4 cup at a time and mix. Add the rest of the milk and vanilla in the bowl and continue to mix.  If you would like to thicken more you can add an additional tbsp coconut flour.  You should be able to mold into ball/bar shape.  Place on parchment paper and put in fridge for a few minutes to cool and harden.  You can eat them right then or you can add a chocolate topping and then refrigerate again.  I had a small bit leftover of a raw organic unsweetened dark chocolate bar from my local CROP juice store that I melted and added a tiny bit to each bite to give it an extra hint of sweet.  But they are still good without it!  Enjoy :o)

Olly wants to try some protein bites too! :o)