feel good pantry essentials — mama eats plants

To follow-up with the last post…sharing some more love and ideas!

Enjoy!

 

These are my essentials for a stocked pantry. I don’t meal plan much anymore, instead I have embraced intuitive eating (eating specifically what my body craves that day) and it feels so right. Before, I used to feel hemmed in to whatever I had planned that day to eat. If I ended up feeling like […]

via feel good pantry essentials — mama eats plants

9 tips for storing fruits & veggies (so they actually last all week) — Dietitian Andrea

 

After a long unexpected hiatus…I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful healthy summer, creating memories, having fun and sharing love where ever your travels led you.

With the beginning of the academic year for most, life becomes busier and more chaotic for some. As we look ahead to our busy weeks, I thought the following article is a great reminder to many of us.

Enjoy!

Do you start the week with the best of intentions to head to the farmer’s market or grocery store and buy, chop and prep all the produce? To get allll the nutrients from your fruits and veggies and radiate a healthy glow as you conquer the week?

via 9 tips for storing fruits & veggies (so they actually last all week) — Dietitian Andrea

Mango Lassi with Cardamom and Pistachio — MyYellowApron

You can sip on this Mango Lassi with Cardamom and Pistachio as a breakfast or Brunch or Lunch or Dinner. No Kidding. This can serve as either a protein packed delicious breakfast in the morning or a delicious dessert in a glass in the evenings. This world-famous drink is filled with probiotic from the Greek […]

via Mango Lassi with Cardamom and Pistachio — MyYellowApron

Crumby!

Recently, my son had to say “farewell” or “see you later” to one of his dearest friends who had been relocated here in a transient situation like many of  us.  Their dear teacher gave me permission to bring in some treats, with that….

IMG_8863

Thinking and thinking what to bring in???? Something easy to transport, something the kids will enjoy…cupcakes, no! Something simpler.  What did this little boy from Thailand truly enjoy, you ask?   None other than good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies.  Bingo!

With that I made a giant chocolate chip cookie in a pizza pan, served to the children like a slice of pizza!

Added a little hand-made message and voila, it felt genius but really just FUN!!!!

I used a classic chocolate chip recipe and filled the pizza pan with all the dough.  Cooking time varies based on you pizza pan, but approximately 20 minutes or until golden at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

What else can you tell your nine year old son when he is so sad…It is just CRUMBY to see your friend go!  and yes, you will miss him but thanks for technology and the sometimes “small” world where we live, you may cross paths again soon!

With that a BIG HUG….

 

 

 

With Love!

Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day like homemade sweet treats. This year, spread the love while getting the kids into the kitchen with one of these family-friendly Valentine’s Day recipes. From hand-rolling rich chocolate truffles to decorating sugar cookies, kids will feel proud of their creations and empowered in the kitchen. Plus, these […]

via Valentine’s Day Recipes to Make with the Kids — Williams-Sonoma Taste

Snack Time Blast Off…Energy!

IMG_0016

Cocoa Bombs

¾ cups coconut oil

2 large eggs

¼ cup Honey

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup unbleached sugar (if you like sweeter cookies add an extra ¼ cup of sugar)

3 cups of rolled oats

1 cup of unbleached White flour

½ cup of whole wheat flour

½ cup of unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 325 F °.

In a blender process the 3 cups of rolled oats, until you reach a consistency similar to flour. Add coconut oil, eggs, honey, vanilla and cinnamon, blend well. In a seperate bowl stir together sugar, cocoa, flour and baking soda. Add liquid from blender into bowl and mix either by hand or with a mixer until everthing is well combined. The cookie dough will be thick.

On a silicone mate or parchment paper drop 1 ½ inches of cookie dough about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes .

Makes approximately 36 cookies. Freeze and enjoy whenever you need a chocolatey wholesome snack.

 

Breakfast Fun…EASY!

If you are like me and your kids are still on holiday vacation, start their day with a little fun that’s simple.

Breakfast the first meal of the day, get them involved.  We typically make pancakes once per week.  Sometimes they are simple with just whole grain flour other times they may have fruit and chocolate chips in them.

For this particular activity I chose a simple recipe as follows:

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of white unbleached flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1 cup of  2 % milk or almond milk

2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

Mix all dry ingredients.  Make a well in the middle and add all the liquids.  Stir until smooth.  Let rest a few minutes.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan.  Pour about a 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Cook until golden brown.  Set aside.

Grab some cookie cutters and whatever toppings your kids love chocolate hazelnut spread, jams, honey, peanut butter…you get the idea.

Let them cut away their shapes.  Top and even sandwich them together for great morning activity to start the day out.   Our kids help with the entire process but if you want to limit the mess have the stacks ready to go for when they wake up–Surprise!

The remaining scraps do not go to waste, they become breakfast!

 

Stars!

 

 

Winter Simplicity…Spruce Up!

After a bit of a hiatus…I am back.

Something fun and easy you can do with your kids.  Maybe “spruce” up your house or brighten someone’s day.

It is my opinion that fresh flowers or greenery always brighten up a space.  If you are also like me, well, I am trying to cut corners and expenses.  Buying fresh flowers, or cultivating them from your garden or a friend’s is not always feasible especially in different places on the globe.

Do you know that spruce or evergreen tree in your yard?  It is a great option to make a simple arrangement and enjoy it’s natural scent.

Try the following:

1 glass vase, recycled glass bottle or an unmatched old glass from your kitchen

Several pine cones, rocks, fabric scraps ( I found felt to work great) or sticks (whatever you find lying around outside or inside for that matter)

Depending on the size of your vase/cup fresh cut spruce or pine (anything green) different lengths to arrange

Place the objects either pinecones, rocks, small pieces of sticks in the bottom of the vase/glass so it is about a 2/3 full.  Arrange your fresh cut limbs.  The objects you placed in the bottom will hold up your branches.  I added water to keep these alive a bit longer.

Voile…easy and inexpensive!

Check out this simple holiday design for more ideas….

IMG_8216 2

Other ideas using scraps of felt and a stick from the yard.

IMG_8217 2

Random glass with stones.

 

Healthy Ice Cream recipe video — WANDER the WORLD

https://videopress.com/embed/hr36KfaO?hd=0

Summer is here, and that means many delicious flavours of ice cream in overload! From chocolate chip to peanut butter-jelly and from blueberry sorbet to strawberry cheesecake, choice in abundance! But as much as I love ice cream, a healthy lifestyle and body means a lot to me as well.

via Healthy Ice Cream recipe video — WANDER the WORLD

Enjoy Summer with 10 Tasty Summer Recipes! — foodwasteaced

Its almost summer! You know what that means- tons of parties, picnics, and traveling! Let us prepare you for the sunny season with our top ten summer recipes. With everything from savory fish tacos to tart berry sorbet, we’ve got you covered with your ultimate summer menu whether you’re relaxing by the pool or partying with friends all summer long.

via Enjoy Summer with 10 Tasty Summer Recipes! — foodwasteaced

Expiring Fresh Fruit

Papaya and Mango…YUM!

After a busy weekend of fun.  I looked at my counter and yes, there they were looking back at me… very ripe mangos and papaya.  This fruit is delicious in its peak, but after that not so tasty fresh anymore.  Having you found yourself in this exact situation?  Don’t waste it!

After washfullsizeoutput_12f1ing the fruit and removing the skin and seeds, I took all the meat of the fruits and chopped them roughly.  They were than placed into a sauce pan to cook down slowly until thickened with no residual water remaining in the pan from the fruit.  Pureed in a blender and presto, fresh jam with no added sugar.   The beauty of most fruits is that they have so much natural sweetness and rich flavor when cooked down in a very ripe state.

I am storing in the refrigerator to use on anything from toast to rice cakes to crackers or as a natural sweetener in baked goods in place of applesauce.   You may also freeze if you are not into the process of canning and your refrigerator is overfull at the moment.

Don’t worry, you can do this with any combination of fruits you choose and have available to you at your spot on the globe.  We just happen to be in a tropical fruit paradise and eating it up.  YUMMY!

 

 

 

Great Basket Ideas…It’s Not Too Late!

Check out these super cute and easy Easter baskets that you can make really anytime of the year and customize for anyone.

 

Why spend money on expensive store Easter baskets when you can create your own fabulous designs? Stuck for ideas? Lucky for you, Good Housekeeping has a selection of baskets for everyone on the Bunny’s list! Easter Baskets

via Easter Basket Ideas — A Life of Simple Joy

Ripe and Ready….Mission Banana!

How many times have you found yourself with too many over ripe bananas to eat?  Good timing this time.  You may have guests over the Spring/Easter vacation staying with you or you may want to prepare ahead for a Sunday brunch, these bananas are not going in the freezer for smoothies this time.

I have derived a quick, easy, sugar and yes, fat free muffin or bread if you prefer, just adjust baking times accordingly.  Take a look below and try this new one fresh out of the kitchen today!

Anytime you try one of the recipes please do not forget to share the love by passing it along and any feedback you have for me is always welcome.  Happy Baking….


img_4808.jpg

Honey Choco Chip Banana Muffins

4 small, Ripe Bananas

2 Eggs

¾ cup Honey

½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 cup White Whole Wheat High Protein Flour (or any other whole grain or wheat flour you choose)

1 cup White Unbleached Flour

1/3 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

In a large bowl place ripe bananas and mash with fork. Add eggs, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and mix at médium speed until a smooth consistency is achieved.  Add flour, one cup at a time at low speed when well combined stir in chocolate chips.   Spoon batter (or use an ice cream scooper) into a lightly sprayed or lined cupcake pan for approximately 18 minutes or until golden.  I filled the cupcake liners only half way to make medium sized muffins.  Makes approximately 24 medium muffins.

More Carrots!

 

More Carrots!  Growing up, this brightly colored, happy veggie reminds me of Spring.  Even today, I really enjoy the simplicity of eating carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter as when we were kids.   The other ingredient in the recipe below that reminds me of  the season upon us is white chocolate.   Feeling overly creative recently,  I starting mixing keeping my friends who are gluten intolerant at heart.  The end result…

Gluten Free Nutty Carrot Treats

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups Garbanzo/Fava Gluten Free Flou

2 cups Rolled Oats

2 Eggs

½ cup Natural Peanut Butter, or your preference of seed/nut butter

½ cup Raw Unbleached Sugar

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

½ cup Honey

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup Grated Carrots

½ cup of White Chocolate Chips or Raisins

In a blender grind the rolled oats until they are the consistency you like and place in a large mixing bowl with flour and baking soda. Whisk all dry ingredients together. In the same blender add eggs, peanut butter, honey, sugar and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Add grated carrots and continue to blend until smooth.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.  Spread mixture onto a parchment or silicone lined 9” x 13” pan for best results.

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for approximately 18-20 minutes. Cool and cut into bars or squares. Makes approximately 36 squares.

Store in the freezer for a quick snack for lunches or after school or on your way to work in the morning.

Tasty observation… I took a few out of the freezer for a snack and noticed they seemed more flavorful and moister.

Carrot Honey Mini Cakes-Popability!

Local carrots.  Giant, sweet in flavor and colorful.  

 

Since we are so fortunate to have an abundance of produce in our area of the world, it is extra convenient to incorporate into our diets creatively.   The recipe below is easy to make ahead and freeze for a quick snack any time of day. Great for little hands that enjoy mini cakes with a healthy twist.  “Popability” for adults, easy to pop in your mouth and eat on the run.  After baking and cooling, I typically place 2-3 mini cakes in a plastic snack bag (or small containers) and place in a larger freezer container so they are ready to go.   A prepackaged snack.  

Carrot Honey Mini Cakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup of Coconut Oil

2/3 cup of Honey

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 cup of Finely Shredded Carrots

1 cup of Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup Non-Bromated/Bleached White Flour

In a large bowl beat oil, honey, eggs, vanilla and spices. Stir in carrot.   Add all dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Do not over mix. Spray your mini cupcake pans with oil or organic cooking spray. If you have small cupcake liners that would be even better to eliminate any extra clean up.   Spoon the batter into each cupcake cup until approximately ¾ full.  Makes approximately 36 mini cakes.

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 10-12 minutes or until golden. 

 

 

 

Gluten & Sugar Free White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Gluten & Sugar Free White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

Ingredients

2/3 cup of Coconut Oil

1/3 cup of Honey

2 large Eggs

2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1 ½ cups Rolled Oats

1 ½ cups of Garbanzo and Fava Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

¾ cup of Dried Cranberries, chopped (or your preferred dried fruit)

¾ cup of White Chocolate Chunks or Chips, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In the blender pulse the chocolate and cranberries together to chop them into smaller pieces that are easier to disrtubute in the batter. In a seperate bowl mix oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla. Mix the rolled oats with the liquid, add baking soda and flour combining thoroughly. Finally add your chopped dried fruit and chocolate. Use a parchment lined, 9”x13” pan to bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until Golden. Cool completely in pan before cutting.  Makes approximately 48 small squares, but they can be easily cut into bars and stored in freezer. Portable and crispy.

One problem, I can’t stop eating them with my coffee!

 

 

 

Pure Love Granola Bars

 

Pure Love Granola Bars

Pure Love Granola Bars are made with whole grains and kiss of chocolate to leave you satisfied.  They are gluten free and nut free.  Super excited for you to give it a try, your family will be glad you did.

Ingredients

4 cups of rolled oats

3/4 cups of unsalted, ground sunflower seeds 

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup of  milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark whichever is your preference) 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup of honey

1/4 cup of coconut oil

Instructions

In a large microwave proof bowl or on the stove top (which I prefer) add honey, coconut oil, vanilla and warm up so they are a nice thin consistency for about a couple minutes on medium heat.  If using a microwave start with 30 seconds, depending of the strength of your oven.  Leave the pot on the warm burner stir in chia seeds, ground sunflower seeds, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and finally add the rolled oats.  When everything is blended nicely add the chocolate chips and stir until they are completely melted coating all the other ingredients.

Pour mixture onto a 9×13″ cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread evenly with the back of a rubber spatula.  After the mixture is spread evenly cover with a sheet of wax paper, use a rolling pin to smooth it out.  Remove wax paper and bake for approximately 15 minutes  or until dark golden on the edges at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Leave in pan to cool for 30 minutes before cutting into bars.  Makes approximately 30 bars.  

Note

For small hands, I sometimes cut into small squares, but be creative.  Store them in the freezer for freshness.  Great snack for both kids and adults!

 

 

 

 

Perspective

With an  insatiable thirst for adventure and travel, the one thing that has always grounded me is the love for cooking.  The kitchen is where many of my fondest memories were shared with my Mamma, Armida.

The kitchen is where we  (she) created magical foods.  I say magical  based on the amount of friends and family fed not to mention the unbelievable quality that came out of my Mamma’s kitchen.  She always used the best ingredients.  Her dedication and attention to detail were seen in her natural talent, it was a gift.

However, it is not only the food, but the conversations had while prepping, washing and cooking that resonate in my heart.  You can not recreate what is gone, but carry those fond memories with you and share the passion ingrained in you without ever having known it was there all along.

It is for the smiles that cooking, eating and sharing bring to whoever and wherever you are in the world that I have created this blog.  I want to share the LOVE!

Sending Halloween Greetings….Sharing the Love through Great Recipes!

Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween with these Healthy Halloween Recipes. Find recipes like; Ghost Meringue Cookies,Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes, and Candy Corn Granola Bars. Fid these frightfully delicious recipes and more all at the EatingWell website. The EatingWell site is stocked with delicious and healthy recipes for all occasions or everyday meals. Check it out […]

via Healthy Halloween Recipes — My Meals are on Wheels

Sharing is Caring….

When we went plastic-free, we cut store-bought snacks. Those processed foods come packaged in plastic in one way or another—either in plastic bags, or in plastic bags tucked inside cardboard boxes or individually wrapped in plastic and then stuffed into yet more plastic bags. So we started making more snacks from scratch—stovetop popcorn, crackers, dips […]

via Roasted Chickpeas — The Zero-Waste Chef