Can't believe it's been so long since I posted pics. I'll add some in from O's 2nd birthday and other events soon!
Ophelia and Raleigh at Boo at the Zoo
Ophelia and Raleigh trick or treatin
Ophelia at her school's Halloween parade
WIth daddy the Wolfman and the Wormwood Scrubs Spooky Stag Night
Me attacked by birds...
Loco Luche Libre Lori
You must read this link to a NY Times article on travel to St. Louis. This guy basically did what I do on a weekly basis, hitting all of my regular favorite spots and neighborhoods. Incredible. I'm pretty sure I've been to every one of these places in the last month, if not the last week. Too cool.
Yet another reason why St. Louis is awesome, and I love to call it home. Keep hoping I don't have to leave...
Also, check out this website about why St. Louis is awesome.
Now that I'm off the Facebook and Twitter to focus on writing, I figure I'll update my blog a little more frequently with pics of Ophelia and other happenings. In the meantime, here's a blog post from Larissa, with some photos of O's visit to the farm!
The post also tells Larissa's good news (no cancer!) and not-so-good news (mild emphysema). We went down to ol' Belgrade to celebrate farm style!
Today I’m posting one of my favorite raw recipes: “grawnola.” I never eat granola because it usually has gluten in it. And, I’ve been drinking smoothies for breakfast for so long I hadn’t really thought about actually eating breakfast. But, I’m trying to get better about that too. Although my recent weight gain tells me maybe I should stick to smoothies. Anyway…this recipe is from Sarma Melngailis’ Raw Food Real World, and it is AMAZING. The orange zest and vanilla really add a flavor that’s better than any granola I’ve ever had. This recipe makes about 10 cups.
Cranberry Maple Granola
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 ½ cups date paste (I didn’t have this, so I blended real dates and a little bit of water, which I think is the same thing, and added some agave nectar to make up the difference)
½ cup maple syrup
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs orange zest
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
2 cups raw almonds, soaked 4 hours or more
3 cups raw pecans, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup dried cranberries
I soaked all the nuts together for 4 hours. You need to soak the raw nuts for a few reasons. 1) It gets the bitter coating off of raw nuts that protects them, 2) Soaking leads to sprouting, and sprouted nuts have more nutrients, 3) The nuts soak up water, making them a bit easier to work with. It seems like a pain, but it’s really not a big deal.
So, here’s what you do: In a food processor, grind the apple, date paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Grind until completely smooth. Or in my case, mostly smooth. Move this mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add the remaining sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds to the food processor. Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses. Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture, add the cranberries and combine well. I forgot to add the cranberries at this point, so I ended up placing them on the mixture in the dehydrator. That didn’t really work, so I basically just had sprinkled dried cranberries in every bowl.
Spread the granola mixture in a food dehydrator. I have a Nesco dehydrator, so there are a couple of thin mesh screens. I only had two of those, so I put the remaining mixture directly on the racks, but it turned out okay. The mixture is thick enough that it didn’t fall through the holes. Dehydrate at 115° for 6 to 8 hours. I set it before bed, and flip the granola in the morning when I wake up. After you flip the granola, continue dehydrating for another 8 – 12 hours, or until it’s crunchy. I think mine stayed in a total of about 20 hours. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can keep it for several weeks that way.
It looks like this:
Now you need something to pour over your delicious granola, but you don’t want milk, right? I make almond milk like it’s going out of style. But I like my almond milk fancy. So I make Cinnamon Banana Almond Milk, from an amalgamation of recipes from Raw Food Real Word and Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen.
Cinnamon Banana Almond Milk
Makes about 6 cups
1 cup raw, soaked almonds (can be pre-soaked. I keep a container of pre-soaked and dehydrated almonds in the fridge)
5 cups water
1 vanilla bean (can substitute vanilla extract)
½ cup dates (or ¼ cup agave nectar)
pinch of sea salt
Blend all of these ingredients. My current blender is small, so after I do this, I have to transfer some milk out, and do this next part in two batches. But, when I get my newer, bigger, better Vita-Mix, I won’t have to do that!
Next, add either 1 whole banana, or about a cup of frozen banana. Blend.
Add cinnamon to taste. I like a LOT of cinnamon. Blend.
Voila! Some people like to filter their nut milks through cheesecloth or nut milk bags to make it smooth. I don’t mind the bits of almond. I like the texture.
This will keep for about 4 -5 days in your fridge.
I like it with bananas, blueberries, and raspberries. But I didn’t have any raspberries when I took this photo:
And, now for gratuitous Ophelia photos…
Drinking my favorite green juice.
She likes it, she really likes it!
Today’s recipe is raw chocolate-banana cream pie with coconut-pecan crust. I made this a few weeks ago, from a recipe in Better Nutrition magazine, the free magazine they give you at Natural Way in Webster. I fed a slice to 6 people, and still have almost half left in my freezer. It’s been taste-approved by non-raw, non-vegan food lovers. And it’s so rich that a small slice takes care of all chocolate cravings, without the sugar to make you want more.
So, technically this serves 12. I used HALF of the recipe and served almost that many. Make sure your avocados are ripe, but not brown at all. Mine were a little brown and I used them anyway, but you can kind of taste that.
1 cup raw pecans
½ cup soft Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 2 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
4 medium avocados, very ripe
½ cup raw, unfiltered honey (I didn’t have enough, so I subbed agave nectar for most of the honey)
¼ cup maple syrup
4 Tbs coconut oil, slightly softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup natural cocoa powder, raw if possible
2 medium bananas, very ripe
16 raw pecan halves
1. Lightly coat bottom and sides of 8-inch glass pie pan with coconut oil. Set aside. I only had a 9.5 inch pie pan, and was able to fill it with half the recipe by spreading the crust pretty thin. It just didn’t go up the sides of the pan much.
2. To make crust: combine pecans, dates, and 1 cup coconut flakes in blender; process until mixture is crumbly. Add half of cacao nibs, and pulse until mixture starts to form ball. Press mixture into pie pan to form crust, and place in freezer to chill.
3. To make filling: Halve avocados, remove pit, and scoop out flesh. Combine avocado flesh, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa powder, and bananas in food processor. Process until very smooth and creamy, occasionally scraping sides of food processor with rubber spatula; add up to 1/3 cup warm water 1 Tbs at a time, if necessary, to thin.
4. Transfer filling to crust, smoothing top. Scatter remaining 2 Tbs coconut flakes and cacao nibs on top of pie. Arrange pecan halves around outside of pie. Chill 1 hour (or until firm) before serving.
I don’t go by recipes when it comes to things like sprinkling chocolate on something. So I probably put a lot more cacao nibs in the crust and on top. They’re delicious. Definitely let the pie chill for a bit, and store it in the freezer. Like I said, I’ve kept mine in the freezer for about two weeks and it’s still good.
Here’re some pics:
Back in January, the same weekend as Mandy's shower, Patty had us over so her sister Julie could work her Shaklee magic. By the way, Vivix is RAD. I highly recommend it. But, it was a chance for Mary's girls and Maddie to hang out with Ophelia. I wish Viv and Isabella (and Mary, of course) lived here so they could see her more often. Anyway, all these gorgeous girls are blond as can be, and totally adorable. See for yourselves:
It’s a party when the pants come off and the snacks come out.
Can I have some, Grandma Morrow?
Benny thinks the vitamins help him read.
Trying to get better about posting. I've got some O photos from the last two months, and I thought I'd start sharing some gluten-free, vegan, and raw recipes. I've slowly gone vegan over the last 6 months or so. I just wanted to eat healthier, and was inspired by several old longtime-vegan friends I saw recently who either hadn't aged a bit, or aged really beautifully. Over the years I've really cut out a lot of processed and refined foods that just don't make any sense to eat. This was just the next step.
Since I can't have gluten, that makes vegan a little harder. I don't really eat soy because it isn't good for people with thyroid problems (and it's super GMO'd), and what's left? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, chocolate, and coffee. Oh, and tortilla chips. I will never give up tortilla chips. I figured I'd try to eat as much raw food as I can. So, here I am, sharing some of the amazing recipes I've found over the last few months.
I'm thinking I'll make you read the recipes before getting to the cute kid photos, 'cause I'm mean like that.
Today's recipe is for a really great green juice I've been making. I found the concoction on The Lunchbox Bunch, a fantastic vegan food blog that features pretty simple food recipes and the best food photos I've seen around.
She has a Green Juicing 101 blog that you can find here.
I've tried a few of the juices, but so far this is my favorite:
Sweet Garden Greens
vegan, serves two --> I drink it all myself, personally.
3-4 ounces green chard juice
*About 3 medium leaves
1 extra large bosc pear OR 1 1/2 medium pears
1 orange, peeled
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled
1 lime, peeled
1. Wash your ingredients well.
2. Peel the rind off your lime and orange - discard. Slice your fruit.
3. Juice your chad greens, orange, lime, pear and ginger.
4. Serve immediately.
My Sweet Garden Greens Juice:
I don't get the "buzz" that people talk about getting from drinking green juices, but it makes me feel really good, hydrated (a.k.a. makes me pee a lot), and I actually crave these now.
I've also been saving the pulp from my juicing and making cookies out of it. Yes, that's right, cookies. I took the pulp from this juice and stuck it in the food processor just to mince some of the bigger chunks of pear and greens. In a bowl I mixed it with some raw almond butter, almond meal, and agave nectar. I didn't measure any of it, but just went by the feel. Once it's mixed up really well and seems like really fibrous "dough," take hunks of it and make flat cookie shapes. Put them in the dehydrator at 115 degrees for about 12 hours.
With the ginger and lime from the juice, these came out pretty tangy and good! I took some to work and tried them out on guinea pigs. Everyone who tried one liked it, and one co-worker who is a diabetic said that if I got the recipe just right and added some more protein, he'd eat it as an energy/protein bar. So now I've been saving up juice pulp to do just that. I'll let you know how it goes.
And now for photos!
Today's photos are from my dear friend Mandy's baby shower in early January. Her baby girl is due in April. She came in from Texas, her sister came in from NYC, and others (like Mary) came from KC and beyond. We had a great time at her mom's house, and the spread was ridiculous. I made gluten-free, vegan, no refined sugar cupcakes. I'll share that recipe one of these days.
Patty and Ophelia
More sweet sisters! But I think they're actually conspiring about something...
Proud future grandma and impeccable host
“Rustic with angels” theme
The full Flickr photostream is here.