Thursday, November 21, 2013

Caleb's Corner: Got Hemp Milk?

A few weeks ago a mother of a 12 month old who was recently diagnosed with dairy and nut allergies asked me about milk alternatives.   Caleb is allergic to dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, rye and barley (The Alternative Child).  When he was six months old after consuming my breast milk, soy and dairy formulas, we found out that his little body didn't like any of it!

Most infants consume milk as their main source of nutrition.  To find out that your baby cannot have the "normal" fare is overwhelming.  We began to investigate and almond milk wasn't even an option.  Some allergists say that if a person has an allergy or intolerance to nuts they may also have adverse reactions if seeds are consumed.  For Caleb, thankfully this was not the case.  Seeds in general are packed with nutrition and are great additions to any diet.  Hemp seed milk in particular, is a staple in our home.  I sometimes make pumpkin seed milk and have supplemented the hemp seed milk with coconut products for a caloric boost.

Hemp seeds

If you or your child has allergies to nuts, soy and dairy try seed milk.  They are rich in nutrients and can be used in all sorts of dishes just like you would dairy milk.

How we use hemp seed milk:
1. To make macaroni and cheese (the vegan version)
2. To make mashed potatoes
3. In smoothies
4. For chia pudding
5. I personally like to add it to my chai and nettle tea
6. With cold cereal

How do you make seed milk:
1. add seeds to blender
2. add water
3. blend until smooth
Note: you can add any other ingredient you wish such as dates, honey or vanilla

Fresh glass of hemp seed milk

Whole Dairy Milk vs Seed Milk: 
The table below shows a comparison between whole milk and hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut milk.  You can see that the negative nutrients (saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium are higher in whole milk).  The positive nutrients are in abundance in the seed alternatives which makes them a great alternative.

Although the caloric content for most seeds are high,  once diluted with water and other seeds you can get a very balanced nutritional profile. Plus...I like to's the good calories.  I'd rather consume healthy nutrient dense high calorie foods than empty calories like potato chips cookies and sweet pastries.
Nutritional Comparison of Whole Milk vs.  plant based milk
Nutritional Data
Whole Milk
Hemp Seeds
Pumpkin/Squash Seeds
Coconut Milk
Total Fat (g)
Saturated Fat (g)
Cholesterol (g)
Sodium (mg)
Total Carbs (g)
Dietary Fiber (g)
Sugar (g)
Protein (g)
Vitamin A (%)
Vitamin C (%)
Calcium (%)
Iron (%)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Communty Supported Agriculture (CSA) - Week 3

It is week three of our CSA journey.  Everything we've received so far as been awesome!  I will admit, I'm a bit intimidated by some of the veggies....I'm not sure what to do with them! Here is what we got this week:
  • white potato
  • butternut squash
  • unknown yellow squash
  • purple kale
  • green cabbage
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • parsnips
  • beets
  • white cauliflower

CSA pickup #3
This week we've made: vegetable Udon soup, stir fry, pumpkin/split pea soup, and Pumpkin Delight.

Tomorrow morning the juicer is getting fired up!!

Peace and blessings!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Food Journey: Pumpkin Delight Smoothie

I'm squashing disease  by utilizing my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pumpkin!  First time making a smoothie out of pumpkin and it was DELICIOUS!  

Pumpkin Delight Smoothie:
2 cups of pumpkin (raw or steamed) - I actually used 1 cup of each
2 cups of hemp seed milk
Honey (sweetened to taste)
1/2 cup coconut butter/manna
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice blend
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of ginger powder

Again...please free style this recipe to suit your taste buds. You can use dates instead of honey, almond milk instead of hemp seed milk, etc. 

Pumpkin parts!

Pumpkin Delight

Has any one else tried pumpkin in a smoothie?

Peace and blessings

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hair Journey: Tress Update #9

It's been 9 or 10 months since I've had a hair cut! My hair is growing nicely, but in the back of my mind, I feel like it should be longer by now.  It seems twice as thick as before...and I'm loving my extended Flo Fro!

Extended Flo Fro - front view

Extended Flo Fro - side view

The return of the Fungus:
Unfortunately I dropped the ball on my apple cider vinegar treatments to help thwart my fungus friends......and It's baaa-aaaack! So I'm back on the program.  This fungus fight is a long term initiative.  Gotta stay on it...or it comes back! 

What I'm using on my hair:
I decided to take a break on the wash and go since I was having a hard time finding products that provided the curls I liked....remember the weird  Jheri curl look?? LOL! I've stuck to just using plain shea butter for my hair and tea tree and rosemary oils for my scalp. 

How I've been styling my hair:
Lately I've resorted to twist outs, chunky afro and head wraps.

The Chunky fro

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Food Journey: Squash Disease!

Hi Folks! Another winter treat is abundant now:  SQUASH...AKA...the pumpkin.  This vegetable is so rich in fiber, vitamin A and yummy goodness make sure it's a part of your winter diet.  Just like with most fruits and veggies, there are quite a few types of squash.  Each has a unique, but similar texture and flavor profile.

Squash: Butternut, Queensland Bue, Acorn and Pumpkin

Here are 6 facts about the squash:
1.  Squash is extremely low in fat and sodium.  Because of this it's great for your arteries and heart!

2.  The pulp of this colorful veggie can neutralize excess stomach acid because of the abundance of alkalizing mineral salts. So if you are riddled with some squash!

3. The fiber can help with constipation by acting as a mild laxative. 

4. Because of the high vitamin A content it can help with vision disorders like cataracts.

5. Like most real food squash can help prevent cancer since it's riddled with vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber three of the most effective anti-cancer fighting agents.

6. The seeds are high in zinc, Vitamin E, iron, linoleic acid and protien.  Squash seeds also contain vermifuge which can fight parasites and worms.

Preparing the squash: does this mean eat nothing but pumpkin pie this holiday season???? NO! You can try to roast it, bake it, put it in stews and soups and puree it for smoothies.

Normally I use the acorn, butternut and green pumpkin (not pictured) for soups.  In the near future I'm going to try and make smoothies from the abundance of squash we have right now. In the past I've baked the acorn squash.....but didn't season it well so I'll have to try again.

I'm a sweet potato pie kind of woman, but maybe...just maybe pumpkin pie can be on the menu this Thanksgiving.

Squash/Pumpkin seeds:

I love love love pumpkin seeds  (pepitas)!!  I make milk from them, add them to chia pudding,  put them on salads and in my homemade trail mix.

Since they are so nutritious you can't go wrong with incorporating them into your diet.

Squash/Pumpkin seeds

How do you like to prepare squash/pumpkin?

Peace and blessings!

References for this post:
The Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power - Volume 2 - Dr. Pamplona -Roger

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Multi-purpose Chinese Apple

Hi Folks! Chinese apples.....AKA...POMEGRANATES are back in season and can be found in most grocery stores now.  My husband loves them and more recently I've grown to enjoy the fruit as well.  This fruit has so many benefits, eating one will serve many purposes and nourish many areas of your body. 
Chinese Apple...aka..Pomegranate

1. The pomegranate is originally from the near east.  It is grown in Iran, Turkey, Mediterranean countries, Brazil and California.
2.  Arab people promoted the cultivation of this fruit, giving it royal symbolism.
3. King Solomon compared the cheeks of his beloved to the pomegranate 3,000 years ago.

8 Health benefits:
1. Rich in vitamins - C, E, B6, B1, B2 and niacin
2. High in antioxidants - anthocyanins are the reddish or bluish pigments that act as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory substances in the digestive tract.  They can also effect the ageing process and have anti-caner properties.
3. Can alkalize the body.
4. Can help protect the arteries from aging/clogging (arteriosclerosis) due to vitamins C and E.
5. The levels of potassium allow this fruit to combat high blood pressure.
6. Can help fight anemia due to it's high iron content.  It can enrich and nourish the blood.
7. The white casing that covers the seeds and walls contain a substance called vermifuge that helps eliminate intestinal parasites.
8. It's a great morning snack and a good alternative to sugary foods.

Whew! Those 8 benefits alone should make everyone run out buy some pomegranates!
Plus when you get a REALLY good one....woooo wee! The rich, juicy flavor is amazing!

How to eat the Pomegranate:
I "release" the seeds from the casing/walls and chew everything up! Some will just suck the juice from the seeds and spit the seeds out...that's too much work for me! Others I know will eat everything but the skin (the walls, seeds and white casing).  The walls are too bitter for me.

How I like to eat the Pomegranate...

How do you eat the pomegranate?

Peace and blessings!

1. The Encyclopedia of Food and Their Healing Power - Volume 2 - Dr. Pamplona Roger

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Juice Journey: Winter Greens!

Hi the winter season gets in to full swing, it's important to keep the flow of green juices going.  Green vegetables provide oxygen to your body. They also boost your immune system and keep your body full of vitamins and minerals that help fight nasty bacteria and viruses that like to show up this time of year.  As the trees turn the magnificent yellows, oranges and reds that are so pleasing to the eye...the green things start to disappear.  Make sure they don't disappear from your diet!

Keep green juice around using winter greens such as green leaf lettuce, chard, kale, broccoli and cabbage.

This juice is called Winter Green Juice:

Here is the simple recipe:
Yellow and green apples  (4 - 5)
Green leaf lettuce (1 bunch)
Kale (not shown) (1 bunch)

Drink up and drink green this winter!!! :)

Share your favorite green juice recipe with me!

Peace and blessings!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saving Money....Saving the Earth - Community Supported Agriculture

Hi Folks! 

I've been silent for a few weeks.  No the liver detox did not wipe me out (Liver Onions and Divas), but a two week cold virus did. Plus Caleb got the bug and I've been in quarantine -- I mean cooped up in the house for 5 days straight!! Can you say stir crazy!

Well this post is all about sharing the Community Supported Agriculture love - aka CSA.

I joined one this fall and I am SO excited!!!!!!!!!!!  First of all I will be saving approximately $500 over the next 7 weeks on my grocery bill.  Second of all it's good to give back and keep small farmers alive.  Did I say that everything is ORGANIC and FRESH????

So here is the bounty from the first week:

Pumpkin, garlic, beets, tomatoes, sweet potatoes (white and orange), leek, spinach, chard, turnips, green leaf lettuce, cabbage (unknown variety), radish
I've been charged with making great dishes with all of these wonderful veggies...but I've never prepared turnips, radishes or I'm going to need some help.

Here are some meals I started with: 

Yellow split pea soup with garlic and spinach

Vegetable soup with awesome Asian inspired broth and thin rice noodles.  Broth contained: vegetable stock, miso, soy sauce, honey, red pepper, coconut oil, lime, ginger, garlic) CSA veggies used: unknown cabbage, spinach.  Other veggies used: carrots, green onions

 Other items I made this week (not pictured) were:
  • green juice with (kale, chard, dandelion greens, green apples, ginger and lime)
  • salad with unknown cabbage, chard, kale, green apples, carrots, sprouts, dill, green onion (dressing: garlic, olive oil, salt, lime, honey)
  • pasta using  the CSA tomatoes and garlic

I'm just hoping we won't let any of this good food go to waste.  Neighbors beware! We're gonna come a knocking if the bounty begins to overflow! :)

Any good turnip, radish and leek recipes out there???

Peace and blessings!