chamomile sun tea

chamomile

chamomile sun tea

chamomile sun tea

chamomile sun tea

chamomile sun tea

chamomiletea6

The sun is so bright these days and I’ve been inspired to make sun tea. Growing up in the South tea is in my blood. It was a huge part of my life and continues to be. I don’t put loads of sugar in it anymore but on these warm afternoons few things bring me more pleasure than kicking back with a cool glass of tea and just watching the world go by.

Sun tea could not be easier to make and this one features one of my favorite medicinal herbs, chamomile. I just wrote in detail about the benefits of chamomile for a new feature on the blog. To learn more hop on over here and check it out! I love how sweet this tea is and how clam it makes me feel. You can drink it cool or warm it up if you want to have a cup before bedtime.

I bought chamomile flowers from the farmers last weekend and couldn’t wait to make this tea. All you need are the flowers, water, a big jar, and an area that gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. I like to brew my tea anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on the herbs I am using.

There is much controversy about bacteria growing in jars when making sun tea. I’ve been making tea this way for almost 20 years and it’s never been a problem. I don’t recommend making sun tea with tap water though, that is where many of these bacteria/sun tea stories come from. Use filtered water and if you are concerned just boil the water and steep the fresh flowers in the water. Drain after brewing 10-15 minutes.

I added a bit of mint to my tea for an additional layer of flavor. It’s not necessary. I also brewed with with the stems to make things easier. Be sure to wash whatever herbs you are using well and also be sure that your sun tea jar is very clean.

 

Chamomile Sun Tea

serves 6

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 bunch fresh chamomile
  • Handful of fresh mint (optional)
  • Water to fill your sun tea vessel (enough to cover the flowers)

 

Method //

  1. Rinse chamomile well. Cut stems down enough so that the bunch fits into your container.
  2. Add the mint if using.
  3. Fill to the top with water making sure that the flowers are covered.
  4. Put the lid on the jar.
  5. Place in the sun to brew for 4-6 hours.
  6. Afterwards strain the tea.
  7. Serve warm or cool.
  8. Store leftover tea in an air tight container in the fridge for 5 days.

 

There you go! I can’t wait to hear what tea recipes you are coming up with this spring and summer. Have a wonderful weekend.

xoa

chamomile

chamomile

chamomile

I am happy to share that this post marks the first in my new series called ‘Medicine Cabinet’. Each month I will feature a medicinal herb and share recipes on how to prepare it. I’ve been working with herbs for quite some time and researching them a great deal.

I spent most most of my early life looking outside myself for answers. When I got sick I went to the doctor. When I didn’t know how to talk to my partner I got a therapist. At a certain point I realized that I needed to learn how to tune into myself and seek my own answers. Of course I still have teachers and practitioners that I work very closely with and don’t ever see that changing. What’s different today is that I am curious about how things work.

While studying holistic nutrition I went deep into the big food groups, fruits, veggies, beans, animals. I learned so much through reading, going to lectures, and experimenting on myself. I love knowing that beets for example strengthen the blood and for a person like me who runs cool and metabolizes food quickly I need root veggies to ground and nourish my body.

After years of studying and working directly with these foods I’m branching out. I’m getting really into expanding my knowledge base to create more recipes that clam and heal. This is an exciting new journey for me and I am thrilled to share it with you. I hope my posts give you interesting and useful tips for how to incorporate some of what I’m learning into your life. I totally get that we’re all busy and don’t have time to make our own everything. Trust me there just aren’t enough hours in the day to learn all the things, make all the recipes, see all the people. I hope that the you takeaway little bits that resonate for you and that inspire you to spend just a few more minutes with yourself each day.

 

Ok, so now on to one of my favorite daises, chamomile!

 

About //
The term chamomile refers to several daises in the Asteraceae family. The two most common types are German (marticaria recutita) and Roman (chamaemelum nobile). These two varieties are similar in appearance, fragrance, and taste. They are often used in the same way though their chemistry is a bit different. Only the flowers of the plant is used as they contain the essential oils.

Chamomile has long been a favorite flower of mine. I love the sweet aroma of this delicate little daisy. In Spanish it is called manzanilla which means “little apple”. I didn’t realize how much fresh chamomile smelled like apples until I learned that. Interestingly, in Germany it is referred to as alles zutruat, which translates to “capable of anything”.

Benefits //
It’s true that Chamomile is capable of anything. It has a long reputation for effectively treating anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, and stress. It has been used for ages to treat indigestion in children as it is very soothing to the digestive tract. Chamomile provides relief from headaches and allergies, stomachaches, and menstrual cramps. In Ayurvedic medicine chamomile is considered tridoshic, meaning it supports all three constitutions.

The essential oil of chamomile is often used in treating skin issues like dermatitis and eczema, psoriasis, and burns. It is   a favorite in skin creams as it can also heal pain and smooth the skin by reducing inflammation and irritation.

Making a simple tea with dry or fresh chamomile flowers is a great way to take care of yourself. Add 1 c. boiling water to 2 tsp died chamomile and let steep for 5-10 minutes. This tea is great to drink in the evenings to wind down after the day or help you fall asleep.

Because the flower oil is not very water soluble the potent medicine in diluted when making tea. This makes the tea ideal to drink on a regular basis as the effects are likely to be cumulative.

Buying  //
Chamomile flowers can be purchased fresh or dry. I pick up fresh chamomile from the farmers market and it is readily available Spring-early Fall in my area. The German plant variety grows tall and it’s what I buy at the farmers market, the Roman variety looks more like ground covering. Chamomile is also available as an essential oil.

Notes//
Since chamomile belongs to the aster family if you are allergic to ragweed be careful. It is also advised not to drink top much while pregnant as it can be too relaxing for the uterus.

wellness wednesdays: spring cleansing foods

nettles

We are fully into the spring season and it’s time to start cleaning! My view of cleaning is holistic, so while I’m going to focus on food today, know that it’s important to consider cleaning up all areas of our life.

With warmer upon us our bodies are ready to gently detoxify. One of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to do this is by consuming seasonal herbs and green vegetables. If you want to go on a juice fast or deep cleanse please do. For everyday wellness and aligning our bodies with the season, incorporate as many of the foods below as you can and you will be off to a great start.

Below I’ve listed 4 spring herbs and  4 spring vegetables.  Each one is a detox powerhouse and they can be eaten a variety of ways, raw, cooked, or made into a tea.

 

Cilantro is an amazing heavy metal detoxifier and supports digestive function. Add a handful to your next juice for a fresh taste and detox boost.

Dandelion. These bitter weeds are a digestive tonic that have been used for centuries as medicinal herbs. Dandelion consumption can improve the liver’s detoxification capabilities. Toss these bitters in your next salad or make tea with the roots and leaves.

Nettles, short for Stinging Nettles are one my favorite wild spring weeds. They are a blood builder, mild diuretic, and gently cleanses the body of metabolic waste material.

Parsley is a kidney cleansing herb that is known as a nerve stimulant. Parsley is excellent in juices and makes a delicious pesto.

Artichokes protect the liver which is one of the main organs we need to be focused on this season. Their high fiber content helps to scrub out our intestinal wall which improves digestion. Steaming and juicing are great ways to prepare these vegetables and soak in their nutrients.

Arugula is a peppery green is loaded with vitamins A and C. It’s warming qualities aid digestion and like other members of the cruciferous family it has many anticancer compounds. Arugula has a fun nickname, “salad rocket” because it’s lively flavor takes a boring salad to the next level taste and nutrition wise. Also, I’ve got a post devoted to this awesome veggie, you can learn even more about it!

Asparagus is a member of the lily family and is a great diuretic.  Very few vegetables contain inulin which the friendly bacteria in our digestive tract like to eat. Asparagus also balances insulin levels – amazing how healthy these green spears are! Eat asparagus raw in a soup or shave it for a yummy salad.

Watercress is closely related to cabbage and mustard greens. It has been used for ages as a blood cleanser. This incredible green has more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach. Enjoy this green in salads, be sure to wash well as it’s grown in water and needs extra cleaning.

 

What spring foods are you enjoying right now? How do you like to prepare them? I’d love to know! Have a great afternoon and see you back here soon.

xoa

// PS there are still a few spaces left for our upcoming Sugar Cleanse! We would love to have you.

mango chia pudding

mango chia pudding

mango chia pudding

mango chia pudding

We are loving this recipe right now. I made it twice last week and it didn’t last 24 hours in the fridge ;) I haven’t posted a chia pudding in a while and now that spring is here I figured it was time.

Chia pudding is SO easy to make, it literally comes together in minutes. I prefer it once it has set overnight in the fridge but you don’t have to wait that long. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, essential fats, and calcium to boot! They look a little weird, but they don’t have any flavor which makes them versatile. Chia seeds (and powder) expand in water and works well as a thickening agent in smoothies and baked goods like my chia peach pancakes.

Mango is one of my favorite fruits. It’s high in sugar, like most fruit from the tropics and has many nutritional benefits. Mango is great for the skin as it is loaded with antioxidants. It also fights breast and colon cancers and has vision protecting properties.

If you have difficulty with tropical fruits you can sub a fruit of your choice in this recipe. Fresh or frozen will work here. If you use fresh fruit alter the amount of water for the mango portion, you won’t needs as much to get the blender. The consistency should be like a thick smoothie.

I opted for frozen mango and chose macadamia nuts to complement the flavor. This pudding makes a yummy breakfast or snack. We like to eat it in the afternoon best.

 

Mango Chia Pudding

serves 2

 

Ingredients //

  • 1 1/2 c. frozen mango
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. hemp milk (1 c. water blended with 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds, no need to strain)
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground vanilla
  • 1/2 c. raw macadamia nuts

 

Method //

  1. Blend the mango with 1 c. of water on high until you have a thick sauce. Add more water as needed by the 1/4 c. to get the blender going.
  2. Pour the mango sauce evenly into 2 glasses or bowls. Set in the fridge.
  3. Blend the hemp milk and two dates until smooth. Pour sweetened hemp milk into a small mixing bowl.
  4. Stir the hemp milk, chia seeds, and vanilla until it becomes a thick pudding. Stir constantly  for 3-4 minutes then let stand for about 10 minutes to thicken.
  5. Pour the chia mixture on top of the mango sauce in even portions.
  6. Allow to set for at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight.
  7. You can make a double batch and have snacks on hand for 4 days. Be sure to cover if you are storing over 1 day, it lasts 4 days in the fridge, covered.
  8. Serve with chopped nuts.

 

There you go! I can’t wait to hear the results. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

xoa

wellness wednesdays: get creative

oranges

duo1

panacota1

rhubarb1

duo2

spoons

eggs

cookies

I’m excited to be blogging today about a food styling and photography workshop I took over the weekend in Santa Barbara. I’ve been following the work of Leela Cyd for ages and am a huge fan of her gorgeous blog. As part of my personal wellness practice this year I committed to explore my creativity and dive a little deeper into photography.

So I’m a total nerd and LOVE classes, workshops, and programs. I just love learning especially when there is a hands on component. My parents had me in Montessori school until I was 11 and I’ve always been a person that learns much better by doing. This workshop was amazing. There were stations where we got to take turns styling and shooting different food scenes. Then we had time on our own to style and shoot. And the props! Omg, don’t even get me started. I didn’t even scratch the surface there.

Over the last year I’ve made more of an investment in my dishware and am getting more into the styling of the photographs. It’s a fun way to express myself and highlight my recipes. I’ve also been more into shooting food in it’s raw state – it’s just so colorful and gorgeous. Leela had these incredible shots of produce and she talked about shooting food in a natural way. That resonated with me a great deal.

Another thing I love about classes and workshops is the community aspect. I love what I do and am incredibly grateful everyday. I work alone often and it’s nice to connect with like-minded people and even people that are way different and learning from them. That is a big reason I love teaching groups as well, there is an energy when you come together for a set period of time that you don’t get alone. Lately I am realizing that I need a mix of community and solitude.

Now that I have all of these new tips and tools from Leela I am excited to start implementing them. I was so jazzed about it on Sunday I dragged Jason to a bunch of thrift stores on Sunday and came home with 8 spoons, a fork and 2 knives! They are in the dishwasher now and will be put to use very soon.

How are you getting in touch with your creativity these days? What are you exploring and learning? In what ways are you connecting with your artistic side and how is it going? I’d love to know.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday.

xoa

mung bean cakes with cilantro cream

mung bean cakes

mung bean cakes

mung bean cakes

mung bean cakes

Friday is here and it’s recipe time. I’ve been working on this one for weeks and it’s finally ready! As you know I’ve been sprouting a ton now that spring is here.  I love sprouts on my salads and blended into soups but I wanted to step outside the raw food arena and try something different.  Once you have the sprouts this recipe comes together quickly and makes a wonderful lunch or dinner.

Spring is an ideal time of year to cleanse the body. One way we can do that is by eating more spices which amp up our digestion.  Another way to support the natural detox process is to consume foods that are easy to digest. Mung beans tend to be easier on our digestive tract than other beans and once sprouted contain even more digestive enzymes and nutrients. The more we support our digestive tract with clean, seasonal foods, the more we shed what has been accumulating from the winter months.

This recipe is perfect for transitioning into spring. The mung beans support digestion, the spices heat the body which promotes circulation, turmeric supports detoxification and is anti-inflammatory, cilantro is a heavy metal detoxifier, and the avocado gives our body the healthy fat it needs for optimal function. These mung bean cakes are so good for us and they are delicious to boot ;)

I tested the recipe by baking and frying the mung bean cakes. I prefer them lightly fried in coconut oil, it helps to seal in the moisture and gives them a nice crunch. Baking works well but they were a little dry for my taste.

A quick note about the recipe – there isn’t much holding these cakes together aside from the ingredients themselves. That is one reason I love this recipe so much, but it is fragile. Form the cakes gently and take extra care when flipping them in the skillet. I actually used 2 spatulas to get them to flip without breaking. You can always make them into small rounds and cook them for less time. Also be sure to use plenty of oil to keep them from sticking ;)

 

Mung Bean Cakes with Cilantro Cream

serves 4

 

Ingredients //

For the cream sauce:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 3-4 Tbsp. water
  • 1 c. packed cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the cakes:

  • 2 c. mung bean sprouts
  • 1 large handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 c. hummus
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • A few twists of fresh ground pepper
  • Coconut oil

 

 

Method //

  1. Make the sauce first. Put the avocado water, lime juice, and 3 Tbsp. water into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process well. If it’s not getting smooth add more water by the tablespoon. Adjust for seasonings.
  3. Scoop sauce into a glass container and set aside.
  4. Add the all of the mung bean cake ingredients to the food processor. Pulse until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl 2 times during processing.
  5. Heat enough coconut oil to evenly coat your skillet.
  6. While the skillet warms, form the mung bean mixture into cakes. I made 4 large ones, you could make them smaller and get 8-10.
  7. When the skillet is warmed up to a medium-low setting fry the cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  8. Serve cakes with fresh salad and a dollop of the cream sauce. Garnish with extra sprouts if desired.
  9. Left over cream sauce and cakes will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

There you go! I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe. I came up to Ventura for the weekend to hang with Jason and attend a food styling/food photography workshop tomorrow in Santa Barbara! OMG. I’m beyond excited for the workshop. I can’t wait to meet other food bloggers and learn some tricks. I’ll post a recap on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend.

xoa

10 reasons I love to sprout

sprouts3

Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start. I’ve been working all day and it has been wonderful. A few weeks ago I took on a new yoga client on Monday mornings. Starting the week teaching yoga is such a delight. I can’t think of a better way to center myself and ease into the work week ;)

Several years ago I went on an adventure to a health center Puerto Rico. Little did I know how much that trip would change my life. I stayed for 2 full weeks and became certified in the Living Foods Lifestyle. That was my official introduction to healthy raw foods and I’ve loved them ever since. That trip had lasting and profound effects on the way I think about health, food, and holistic nutrition. I also cleansed deeper than I ever had before and began an intense year of healing.

That year I lived in 2 countries and 7 cities. It was intense to say the least! I carried my blender and sprout bags with me everywhere. Having healthy eating habits in place was instrumental in my self-care. I know I would not have been able to begin that phase of my healing journey without healthy food and sprouts were a huge part of that.

So, sprouts……I love them! They are super easy to make and this is an ideal season to start sprouting. Growing up the only sprout I ever ate was alfalfa. I loved them stuffed into whole wheat pita halves with tuna salad. It wasn’t until my 20′s that I bought a sprouting jar and started soaking and sprouting seeds. Watching the seeds come to life in my kitchen was amazing. I never felt so connected to food before.

As I mentioned in my mung bean post yesterday, sprouting is easy. And my sprouted buckwheat post shows you the way I am currently sprouting at home. I’m going to share 10 reasons I love to sprout and you can decide for yourself if you want to give it a try ;) Just so it’s clear in my 10 reasons I’m talking about sprouting beans, nuts, and seeds. I’ll give you a list at the end of what can be sprouted.

 

10 Reasons I Love To Sprout

  1. Soaking releases enzyme inhibitors which prevent the seed from growing. Soaking is the first step in sprouting and it is crucial. Soaking starts the sprouting process removing enzyme inhibitors which keep our bodies from absorbing the full spectrum of nutrients.
  2. Sprouting increases the amount of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Lentils for example are much higher in vitamin C when sprouted. Enzyme rich foods are easier to digest and that gives our body a break from having to produce nearly as many enzymes to digest the food. This makes digestion much more efficient.
  3. The protein in sprouts is also more bio-available and more digestible. When we consume a great deal of concentrated protein it can clog our system and store as fat which in turn leaches calcium. This is not ideal. Soaking and sprouting actually increases protein – amazing!
  4. Sprouting beans, nuts and seeds makes them for alkaline forming in the body. The more alkaline foods we eat the better. This helps to reduce inflammation which is a precursor to nearly every major disease.
  5. Sprouting salad seeds like alfalfa produces chlorophyll which is a powerful cleanser. Chlorophyll is very similar to hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
  6. Sprouts helps to break down complex sugars in beans for example which is great for folks that have issues processing beans.
  7. Sprouts can be very energizing as they are so easy to digest. When we consume foods that are gentle on the digestive system our energy is not as taxed and we usually don’t feel tired after eating.
  8. Sprouting connects you to nature. This is huge for those of us that live in big, busy cities. We don’t always have time or space to garden. Setting up a couple of sprouting jars in the kitchen is a wonderful way to be involved in the growing process. It’s so fun. For real.
  9. Sprouting does not require the time and commitment of a garden. It’s an simple and quick process. You can have results in days.
  10. You can sprout year round and it is very affordable.

 

It is very important to rinse spouts well and not let them rot. They can go rancid quickly, especially in warm weather. So keep an eye on them. Some health practitioners recommend not eating large quantities of beans and sprouted pseudo grains (buckwheat, quinoa) raw. Personally  eat raw sprouted buckwheat 1 x per week and beans almost daily in warm months. My body does well with them. If you notice irritation or have issues cook your sprouts. It will decrease the nutritional profile but they will still be easier to digest and have loads of nutrients.

As far as grasses and salad sprouts go, they are generally safe to eat daily. Just pay attention to your body and learn what works and doesn’t work for you. There is not one right way to go about it.

All beans, nuts, and seeds have different soak and sprout times. I am working on a chart for you, please hold tight! In the mean time I will share with you what I commonly sprout. Note, nuts and some seeds will not sprout but will benefit a great deal from soaking for many of the reasons I listed.

 

Beans:

  • Adzuki: soak 12 hours, harvest at 1/2-1 inch
  • Chickpeas: soak 12 hours, harvest 1/2 inch
  • Lentils: soak 8-12 hours, harvest at 1/4-3/4 inches
  • Mung: soak 8-12 hours, harvest at 1/2- 1 1/2 inches

Nuts:

  • Almonds, soak 24-48 hours
  • Cashews, soak 8 hours
  • Macadamia, soak 8 hours
  • Walnuts, soak 24 hours

Seeds:

  • Alfafa: soak 4-6 hours, harvest 1- 1 1/5 inches
  • Buckwheat Groats: soak 12 hours, harvest at 1/2 inch
  • Clover: soak 4-6 hours, harvest at 1 – 1 1/2 inches
  • Pumpkin: soak 8 hours
  • Quinoa: soak 8 hours
  • Sesame: soak 8 hours
  • Sunflower: soak 8 hours

 

There you have it! That should get you started. I’ll be posting more about soaking and sprouting in the future so stay tuned.   Have you sprouted? I’d love to hear your experiences and favorite methods. Leave a comment and let me know.

Have a wonderful day.

xoa

Source: // Much of my material came from my Living Foods Lifestyle Workbook.

mung bean sprouts

mung bean sprouts

mung bean sprouts

mung bean sprouts

SPROUT TIME! YAY! Aren’t they cute? We’ve been eating a lighter fare lately and homemade sprouts are an excellent addition to a healthy spring diet.

Mung beans are one of my favorite beans this time of year. For most of us they are easy to digest and are considered a cleansing, cooling food in Ayurvedic nutrition. This coming week I will post all the details about why sprouting is amazing, what to sprout, and a food spotlight on mung beans. I just wanted to get this recipe up asap as I promised it and I know from email a few of you are waiting for it!

I made a ton of sprouts for all the recipe creation this week. If 8 c. is too much, start with 1/2 c. or 1 c. dried beans. You can also sprout them even longer like what you’ve probably had in a spring roll or Chinese dish. Unless I need longer ones for a recipe I keep the tails short. Be sure to rinse the green skins off of the sprouts when you are finished sprouting them, this makes them easier to digest.

These sprouts are great on salads, on top of soups, and in any dish that calls for mung beans. You can steam them and serve with your favorite veggies. They are also an wonderful addition to stir-frys. As you can see I have loads of them so keep your eyes out for recipes using these crunchy sprouts this week. I’ve got some delicious plans in the works just for you, cooked ones too ;)

I like to sprout in jars as I prefer to sprout in large quantities. Jars are clean and easy. I use these sprout screens, they work well. I know they are a bit $$, I can tell you I’ve had mine for almost 3 years. I don’t have any affiliation with this company either! I have sprouted in mesh bags and that works too but in my current kitchen it’s not the best. What methods have you tried?

 

Mung Bean Sprouts

makes approx. 8 cups

 

Ingredients //

  • 2 c. dried mung beans
  • 6 c. water

 

Method //

  1. Look over the beans carefully and discard any that don’t look good.
  2. Rinse beans in a strainer several times.
  3. Pour beans into a clean jar.
  4. Cover with water.
  5. Let soak overnight.
  6. Drain the water and rinse in 2-3 changes of water. With the jar and sprout screen this is so easy. Just run the water through the screen to cover the beans, swirl around well and drain.
  7. Place jar on an incline so that all the water will drain (a dish rack works well for this).
  8. Beans will start to sprout in 1-2 days depending on how warm it is. Rinse in 2-3 changes of water every 6-8 hours until sprout is desired length. Generally the rule of thumb is the tail should be 2 x the size of the bean.
  9. Once the sprouts are finished rinse and drain one last time.
  10. Store them in the fridge to prevent them from continuing to sprout. They should last 5 days.

There you have it! Super easy right? I know sprouting can seem daunting at first but trust me, once you try it you will see how easy it is. Nothing beats the freshness of growing them in your own kitchen. This is great for kids too ;)

Wishing you a wonderful evening.

xoa

banana buckwheat rounds

banana buckwheat rounds

bananabuckwheat2

banana buckwheat rounds

banana buckwheat rounds

banana buckwheat rounds

Happy Friday! Hope you are having a wonderful week. Spring officially arrived yesterday and the sun is nowhere to be seen today. I don’t mind though. We’re so blessed to have countless sunny days that I welcome the clouds ;)

Just last week I started eating bananas again after taking a break from them since last fall. I’m not anti-banana or anything but I periodically take breaks from foods. It’s a great way to get out of eating ruts and challenge myself to eat more locally. One day I’ll grow my own bananas…..this is seriously a dream of mine.

If you have followed my recipes for a while you know that my desserts and sweets are all pretty healthy, with the exception of those vegan chocolate chip cookies and my gluten free sugar cookies (yes they have sugar and yes I am leading a sugar cleanse!) but come on……we all need a few killer vegan recipes like that to have on hand. They are a huge hit when visiting family back east ;) Well these banana buckwheat arounds are SO healthy and amazing. It’s fun to create sweet treats that I feel good eating. It’s a win win.

I went back and forth about what to call them because of their size. You could easily shape them into smaller spheres, making them more like actual cookies. They almost have a muffin texture but the buckwheat gives them a bit of crunch. I went a little wild with these and they turned out yummy! Isn’t it wonderful when that happens? Jason has already eaten 3 and I totally trust him.

Warning: they do taste like hippie food. It’s the buckwheat, such an earthy flavor. I used sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat in my recipe. Read this post on the health benefits and learn how to sprout it. If buckwheat isn’t your thing just double the amount of oats in the recipe. Easy. I went minimal with this recipe, feel free to add spices, other nuts, seeds, dried fruit.

These hearty rounds are great for breakfast with your favorite green juice or smoothie. They also make wonderful snacks and are great to take on your upcoming hike or picnic. Just don’t leave them in a hot car for too long ;) Have fun making them!

 

 

 

Buckwheat Banana Rounds

makes 9

 

Ingredients //

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp. ground vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 c. goji berries
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp. cacao nibs
  • 1 c. sprouted & dehydrated buckwheat
  • 1 c. gluten free rolled oats

 

Method //

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  • Mash the bananas well in a medium sized mixing bowl. You want the mixture as smooth as possible. I started with a fork and then switched to my immersion blender to make it smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla, salt, berries, walnuts, and cacao nibs. Stir until combined.
  • Next add the buckwheat and oats. Stir until all of the grains are coated in the banana mixture.
  • Form into 9 rounds, approx. 1/4 c. in size. Press the mixture together well in your hands and place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. You want them to hold together but not burn. I baked mine for 19 minutes.
  • Serve warm with your favorite green juice/smoothie.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this recipe!

I’ll be back tomorrow posting about spouted mung beans. YAY! Also, there is still room in my upcoming Sugar Cleanse. It’s going to be awesome.

Wishing you a wonderful afternoon.

xoa

spring equinox celebration

spring equinox altar

spring equinox altar

spring salad

spring salad

Good afternoon loves. I hope this finds you well. I am very happy that today is the first day of Spring. To celebrate the equinox I took some time to myself today to reflect and meditate. Lately I have been getting into creating these little altars as a way to deepen my connection to myself, the earth, and my intentions. For the equinox I put together an altar that has significant meaning and has been giving me clarity on what I want to develop this season.

The longer I am on my wellness journey the more I see the importance of paying attention to the seasons. Growing up there was a natural rhythm to the seasons. I lived in a city with distinct seasons and there we certain things we did when it was summer like outdoor BBQs, road trips, camping. As a kid I loved summer best as I didn’t have to go to school and there were endless hours to explore and play outdoors.

It’s interesting to me that in many ways I have been trying to reconnect with the spirit of those easy, breezy days. I think I was around 8 or 9 when I discovered how cruel the world can be and that families fall apart. I spent many years in my youth just wanting to check out of life. I poured myself into art because it was one of the only outlets I had for survival.

Fast forward and I’m often pondering how to move beyond a good 15 years of my life. As I meditate on this it is becoming clear that it’s isn’t necessary. What is important is to stay in today and honor where I am. To honor myself and the season change I pulled together some of my favorite things.

Typically an altar will have 4 elements, Earth, Air, Water, Fire. I took care to choose each item, this is also important. Having a clear space and a purpose for the altar is also key. There are many ways to arrange an altar, right now I’m going with what feels right, making it an intuitive process. I don’t believe there is a wrong way to do it ;)

For my altar I used shells that I picked up on the beach in front of Jason’s home. We always find lots of these shells and they make lovely containers for all sorts of objects. The shells also represent the ‘water’ aspect of the altar. In the center of the altar I set up a few of my favorite crystals that were given to me by a dear friend. Each of these crystals has been a major player in my meditation practice.

Inside the shells I put (in clockwise order) fresh cilantro, worry dolls, mala beads, soaked pumpkin seeds, sage I picked in Ojai. The sage is burning, hence the smoky photos.

Cilantro: signifies the cleansing aspect of Spring. Cilantro is a powerful detoxifying herb and this is the season to eat it in abundance.

Worry dolls: my grandmother gave me my first worry dolls when I was a young girl. I told them my troubles at night and slept with them under my pillow. Ever since I have had a group of worry dolls in my life.

Mala beads: I use these to chant sacred mantras daily. More on this practice soon ;)

Soaked pumpkin seeds: seeds are a signifier of Spring. I’ve been meditating on the kinds of seeds I want to plant this year in every area of my life.

Sun dried sage: sage is a wonderful clearing herb. Jason ans I gathered this sage the first time I went to visit him in Ventura. It was such a precious time in our relationship – we met about a month before the Spring equinox and my life has never been the same.

In addition to making this altar I did a long meditation and ate a lot of bright, raw foods to keep my mind awake and energy high. It has been such a beautiful, peaceful afternoon. I’m wishing you all a happy Spring and hope you carve out some time to set and intention for this season.

xoa