Wowzas!! What a busy week and a half I've had. I know I have been saying that a lot lately but it's true. We had 2 big events last week for the Granola Girls and both went beautifully! Last week was a lot of prepping. I had to work a full work day as usual and then every night I would meet my mom at the commercial kitchen we bake our bars in and baked until we couldn't bake any more! We had to prepare 400 bar samples for the Fundy Food Festival this past Saturday. It went great! The coordinators did a really nice job this year and we had tons of positive feedback.
As you can see above, since it was a fancy event... we had to fancy up the bars a bit. We would put a bar on the plate, then drizzle dark chocolate on top and finish it off with a strawberry. I must say, it looked pretty cute! A lot of people were saying they were too pretty to eat LOL. All in all it was another great year and we would like to thank Margret @Opera Bistro and Tracy @UptownSaintJohn for inviting us.
As you all know, I love quinoa. Since I have been going vegatarian these days, I like to keep as much plant based protein in my diet and I find quinoa is a great solution. I always try to keep my eye's peeled for unique quinoa recipes but usually when it is any type of baked good, it just calls for the quinoa flour. So when I spotted these quinoa muffins using the actual grain, I was thrilled. It was inspired by the Martha Stewart recipe but I made many changes to almost veganize it. As you will see, I ended up keeping the 1 large egg option so they didnt turn out TOO different. You have to remember, I still have Sean to please and if something is too funky, he just won't eat it LOL.
Whole Wheat [Quinoa] Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 2 cups of cooked organic Quinoa (1 cup uncooked, rinsed)
- 1/4 cup Vegetable oil, such as grapeseed oil
- 1 cup Unbleached All Purpose flour
- 1 cup of Whole wheat Pastry flour
- 3/4 cup Organic Dark Brown Sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup Grain sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips (I use Sunspire)
- 3/4 cup Almond milk (or you could use skim milk)
- 1 large free range Egg
- 1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Ground flax
1) Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed on package. (1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water. Turn on high and set the timer for 10 mins. When 10 mins is up, turn heat off and let set for 5 minutes)
2) Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients; flour, brown sugar, baking powder, sea salt, ground flax, choc chips and then your 2 cups of cooked quinoa. ONLY use 2 cups of quinoa, if it cooked a bit more, store for other use.
3) In a small bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients; veg oil, almond milk, egg, and vanilla.
4) Then add your wet mixture with your dry mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over do it!
5) Place your batter into a greased muffins tin OR paperlined.
6) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean.
The thing I was most suprised about this recipe is how much you would never know there was quinoa in it. The texture was very nice and dense yet moist. Very delish and even Sean has been taking them in his lunches without knowing there is quinoa in them!! lol He hates quinoa! Shhhh
I hope you guys enjoy this one. I have a feeling it will be a favorite.
Have a great Wednesday!
LOts of love,
Happy short week you guys! Yahh I love these sort of weeks. However, it is going to be a very busy Granola Girl week even though it is short. Thursday, we will be having a table at the Irving Energy Health and Wellness Fair so if you are an Irving employee, please be sure to come out and support us! We will also be featured our new granola bar we just came out with along with our original.
My weekend was nice. We had a house guest as you can see below. It is so funny, because Bella and Lady get along so well. As I had mentioned before, Lady is my mom's dog and whenever she needs us to, we doggie sit. She is a nice little buddy to have around. Especially the days when Sean is working, so I have someone to take around with me. Actually, Lady and I both went to the Kingston Market on Saturday morning. It was nice to get there for the first time this season. Granola Girls will be there in June!!! :) Until then, we are waiting for the weather to warm up lol.
Lately, I have been in such an experimental breakfast mood. It's great trying out new things. Last week, I went to Costco to look around and see what organic foods they have. I read alot of blogs, a lot of American blogs at that. And I get so jealous seeing them buy tons of organic fruits, veggies, products, etc from Costco. Truthfully, we don't even have half of what the American costco's carry for organic products. Which is upsetting. So, I tried to do my part. I went to the customer service desk and put in a request and left my number in case they had questions regarding more details. I haven't received a call yet :( But hopefully soon we! But in the meantime, I did find a few things I didn't know was there. A huge container of all natural organic peanut butter as well as an organic cereal. It is called Nature's Path Heritage Ancient Grains Almond Granola Cereal and it consists of kamut khorasan wheat, spelt, quinoa and amaranth. For a box of 2 bags inside, it only cost $6.99. I have been addicted to it this week and I add a tbsp of Chia seeds, sliced strawberries and organic almond milk.
Can you see the chia seeds floating in there? I love chia seeds... and did you know in just 1 tbsp there is a whopping 5g of fiber!!! Wow, what a powerful little seed. And I am still staying away from meat and dairy these days, hence the almond milk. Truthfully, I don't taste much of a difference and with the great taste of the cereal and strawberries, it makes the perfect combination. If you do want to try an almond milk, it is best to stick with the unsweetened original variety.
Well, have a great Tuesday! I will be back this week with a new recipe to share.
Oh and I was very glad to see how much you guys enjoyed my beauty products post :)
I am going to cuddle with Sean and watch The Bachelorette!!
Lots of Love,
Today I thought I would show you guys some natural products I use on a daily basis that are for your outer bodies instead of a recipe. Yes! What we put into our bodies is VERY important, but we should also really think about what toxins we should be eliminating on the outside. It's stuff you wouldnt even think about!
Before I got into this lifestyle, I never would have thought twice about picking up my toothpaste at Walmart when I was out. But one day, I was brushing my teeth and my eyes focused on the tube. That's when I noticed the words "DO NOT SWALLOW". I couldn't believe it. A product we clean our mouth with at least twice a day is all of a sudden not ok to swallow. This definitely made me think and that same day I made a trip to The Feel Good Store (www.thefeelgoodstore.ca) to talk to Anne. She pointed me in the direction of a Green Beaver product she carries and I havent looked back since. It has the same flavor and effects as a regular toothpaste, but with no toxins and is fluoride free.
Next up! Deodorant. Again, this is something I have never second guessed before. I use it on a daily basis and as soon as I run out, I pick up a new stick at my closest drug store. Over the past couple years, I heard whispers that the "anti-perspirant" that is readily available to us is not good for you at all. It clogs your pores so you DON'T sweat at all. Which we all know is not good. When your body sweats, it is trying to get rid of toxins. By blocking that, you are keeping those toxins in. The turning point for me was seeing the video that Naturally For Life (www.naturallyforlife.com) uploaded onto their facebook page one day (Video below). Terri Ann mentioned that this is a big cause of breast cancer... which made complete sense to me! So, on the spot I bought this Tea Tree Aluminium Free deoderant stick and I love it. I want to mention what Teri Ann said to me though! For the first 2 weeks or so... your body will be flushing all the toxins out. SO don't be alarmed if you are sweating more than normal or a slight smell of BO. It will go away, I promise. It is worth it!
Shampoo & Conditioner... so over the last couple years something weird started happening to my hair. I have always had very thin fine hair but it grew very long. However, due to bad hair products, dyes, crappy shampoo's and conditioners, it literally broke off and without going for a haircut... my hair was shorter one day. It was so weird and I hated it. I finally realized I needed to start treating it with the best out there to help it grow. I started with Aveda products. I have to give them a big applause because that is what got me on the right path. It helped reconstruct my hair and repair it with quinoa protein. Yup! I not only eat it but it also goes in my hair! lol But Aveda is verrrry expensive. I used it for a few months and then came across this L'oreal product with natural botanicals, SULPHATE FREE, and reconstructs your hair. It was the closest "affordable" product to Aveda I could find and it is really working great. The one thing you want to find in a shampoo and conditioner is sulphate free. Also, be kind to your hair when it is wet. This is when it is most fragile.
Dry brushing. This was a new concept to me. I had never heard of it before but when I read a post on EdiblePerspective's blog one day, she explained the benefits. Dry brushing is something you do daily right before you get into the shower. It actually helps with circulation and really detoxifies your skin. Some even say it helps with those "cellulite" areas. I will let you read Ashley's post and get the full description http://edibleperspective.com/2011/01/you-ask-i-answer-swimming-dry-brushing/ ... I got this one at Lawtons actually for about 10$.
And finally, soap! Not only do I look for a natural product but also a local one! This soap (as well as the deoderant) are both local... which makes me feel better about my carbon footprint. I love this soap. I get it at The Feel Good Store also and Anne carries many different scents. My favorite! Chocolate Mint.... yum!
Well, I hope this was just as good as any recipe. I thought it would be neat to show you guys how a clean lifestyle goes even beyond your food. We are fortunate to have stores like Feel Good store and Naturally for life that carries a whole bunch of items like these. Just talk to both Anne or Terri Ann and they would be happy to answer any questions I'm sure. Or feel free to post questions here and i will do my best!
Lots of love,
Fancy meeting you here!
Sorry I have been a bit slack these days guys. My regular laptop is on the fritz and the new [old] laptop I am using was having problems being compatible with uploading my photos. But I got something rigged so I can get it going again.
Last week was great. I really buckled down like I promised on Monday and ate very clean and worked out every morning. Its so funny because it makes such a big difference not only physically but also mentally when you change your eating habits back to your normal [clean] ways. You wonder why you ever went off the track to begin with. But it happens, and we have all been there! My tip to you... is that if you ever have an off meal, drink as MUCH water as you can for the rest of the day. It helps flush out the toxins and gets you back to normal in no time.
I will share some photos with you this week of some meals I was having last week. Some amazing big salads, lots of quinoa, beans and bunches of fruit! For today, I thought I would share with you a yummy dessert/breakfasty dish. It is a vegan strawberry apple crisp. Yummy! And if you make the homemade banana ice cream I posted a few weeks ago to go with it... you will get lots of smiling faces :)
- 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup organic Sucanat (or organic cane sugar)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup raw almonds, processed until chunky
- 1/2 cup organic rolled oats
- 1/4 cup Sucanat (or organic cane sugar)
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Inspired by: OhSheGlows
1) Preheat oven to 400F and grease a 1.4L casserole dish. Peel and chop the apples and slice the strawberries. Place in a medium bowl along with all the rest of the filling ingredients and stir. Miz well.
2) In a food processor, place the almonds into the bowl and process until chunky. Add the rest of the ingredients for the topping and pulse just for a few seconds until just mixed. Do not over over mix. Pour half of this mixture into the apple mixture and stir.
3) Pour the apple mixture into the casserole dish and then sprinkle on the remaining almond topping on top of the filling.
4) COVER with tin foil with poked holes for 40 mins at 400F. Allow to cool for 10 mins before serving.
Speaking of apples!! If you are ever feeling like something sweet, and you don't want to munch on chocolate or something else unclean... here is the perfect solution for you! Apple slices and natural almond OR peanut butter. Sooo satisfying and its the perfect little snack. Just thought I would pass along this treat :)
Have a fabulous Monday!!
Lots of love,
Happy Monday Everyone!
How was your weekend? Mine was very nice. I spent it relaxing with my hunny which was nice since we don't usually both have weekends off. I have been in a bit of a "workout rut" though. I guess I am just like everyone else and do go through them. I just read an interesting post about "ruts" on OhSheGlows blog that I found quite interesting. So, I didn't manage to get my morning workouts in at all this past week which I am very upset about. BUT that just means this coming week will be that much more active with as many workouts I can get in each day. So wish me luck! Is there any tips you guys can offer for when you are in a workout rut? Please feel free to share with us.
So I have come across some interesting news and wanted to share with you. In the past few months, I have been reading and researching a lot about becoming a Vegan. Like I said last week, I have basically become a vegetarian and have slowly been taking steps to becoming a vegan... but not 100%. I always had oatmeal for breakfast, and then in the past 6 months I have been having my Yogurt breakfast which is very healthy and nutiritious. Slowly more and more though in the past 6 months, I was noticing my skin was breaking out quite a bit. I was never understanding why though. Then, about 2 weeks ago I started a new breakfast routine that I am about to share with you. As you will see, it does not have dairy in it (like the yogurt did) and it is so weird... in just 2 weeks I have noticed such a difference in my skin. It is so clear now and it just feels so much nicer. I still didn't put two and two together until this weekend when I realized that it is quite possible that there is a link between my not eating as much dairy every morning and my clear skin. In the book I just recently read, "The Kind Diet", Alicia Silverstone has a whole chapter dedicated to Dairy and how your body benefits from not comsuming it. I know it is weird to think of dairy as a negative but after reading her arguments, it really makes sense.
Dr Oz actually just had a show this past week about Diet Changes to Lower Disease Risk. It basically outlined a vegan diet and proved that eliminaing things like animal protein, dairy and processed foods will reduce your risk of disease. If you would like to view the videos uploaded on the Dr. Oz website, click here.
ANYWAYS... lol That was my speal for the day. Just some interesting things I have come across that I wanted to share with you. Now.. onto the Breakfast of Champions recipe I promised you. I came across this from the Eat Clean Diet and modified it alittle bit. Here goes...
Breakfast of Champions Porridge
- 1 cup organic quinoa, uncooked
- 1 cup organic rolled oats
- 1/4 sea salt
- 3 cups of water
- 1/2 chopped cranberries OR dates, chopped
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp ground flax
- 1Tbsp chia seeds
1) Place first four ingredients in a pot with a lid. Covered, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add remaining 6 ingredients and mix.
2) Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered.
I serve mine for breakfast with sliced banana, strawberries and a few chopped walnuts.
This breakfast is the perfect mix since it provides the protein from the quinoa and the fiber from the oats. Then the fruit offers up the perfect balance. It is also very convenient because this makes up a big batch and I keep it in the fridge in a large glass container and just heat up my servings as I need them. YUM!!
Have a great Monday morning!!
Lots of love,