Monday, April 21, 2014

Cottage Cheese Smoothies

Somehow this has never occurred to me before, but you can use cottage cheese instead of yogurt in smoothies! Huge boost in protein without reverting to protein powder.

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup milk (raw)
spoonful of coconut oil (flaxseed oil works too)
big handful of spinach
1/2 banana (optional)

Blend it. And that's it. It's my new favorite lunch. And yes, the pictured smoothie was from today's lunch and it totally had a big handful of spinach in it. You just can't tell cause the purple blueberries really cover up any trace of green.

Food Principles for Health and Frugality

Guest Post!  So, my sister is being awesome and letting me pirate her blog... I recently did a food presentation and wanted to post info here for all those lovely ladies and gents who attended.  Disclaimer: Some of this information is repeated elsewhere in this blog! 

Essential Food Principles for Health and Frugality

Number One: Food is Spiritually Significant

Many religions have food laws; Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Bahai, Jainism, Rastafarianism, Sikhism, and of course Mormonism.  There's something directly connective between our spiritual receptiveness and the way we care for our bodies.  Our bodies are a gift and we have the responsibility  to care for them as such.  The good news is that with stewardship comes divine assistance to overcome weaknesses and triumph over addiction.  (see Ether 12:27).  

Number Two: Eat Like a Peasant

Since when have poor and fat become synonymous conditions?  Only in America!  Poor nutritional food is readily available and has become extremely cost effective.  In order to live healthily and frugally, we MUST adopt the food traditions of lower classes in other cultures and look to our own past for the pre-industrialized fare of the poor.  

Peasant food:
  • Home Made
  • Whole Grains
  • Legumes
  • Soups 
  • Stews
  • Produce
  • Little Meat
  • Few Sweets
  • No Waste

 Food Sourcing Ideas (Long Island):

Number Three: The Candle Principle

Three years ago I gave up sugar for Lent and I haven't looked back since.  That is amazing, considering I have been a sugar addict my entire life, and never was able to be completed abstinent from the stuff for more than a month.

About a year in, I had an illuminating conversation with a friend who was struggling with her own sugar addiction.  She had been sugar free for two months, but it seemed her craving were getting more intense all the time.  We tossed some ideas back and forth, but I realized I no longer really had any experience with sugar cravings.  When she asked me to explain myself I said, "I see off-limit food like I see candles.  Aesthetically pleasing, aromatic, but inedible.  Not something it would be rational to eat." 

I hope to never experience the ill-effects of sugar again, and so I don't plan to re-introduce sugar into my life again.  That is not to say that everyone needs to live to this extreme (although I think we should all honestly assess our intake), but there may be foods in your life that it would be okay for you never to eat again.  Treat those foods like candles, and you won't be afraid of them anymore.

The Skinny on Sugar...

  • Barley malt
  • dextrin, dextrose 
  • fructo-oligosaccharides
  •  glucose
  •  sucrose 
  • polydextrose 
  • diastase, diastatic malt 
  • ethyl maltol 
  • maltodextrin, maltose
  • mannitol 
  • xanthan gum (fermented glucose or sucrose) 
  • high fructose corn syrup. 
Sound familiar? Read: Sugar.

Why Switching to Diet Doesn't Work...

“putting something on the sweet receptors of the tongue tells the brain that something sweet is coming and to get ready by producing hormones such as insulin…(but) they do not act as sugar does and do not balance your insulin. As a result, you end up with excess insulin in your body, so you end up eating more food...This whole pattern disrupts your appetite control system in serious ways (UM pg 99).” – Dr. Hyman


  Benefits and Uses of Natural Sweeteners

Pure Maple Syrup
-sweeter than honey
-does not seize at cold temperatures
Raw Local Honey
-Seasonal Allergy Relief
Medjool Dates
-soak overnight and blend in food processor

Over Ripe Bananas
-Smoothies, Banana Froyo

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

My sister sent me a birthday party in a bag (candles, streamers, cards...) so I had to actually make some cake and have a party :)

These vanilla cupcakes were perfect - just as advertised. I whipped some cream until stiff and added powdered sugar until (more) stiff. Topped them with raspberries. Done.

The cupcakes were nice and dense like a Sprinkles-style cupcake - but not overly sweet. They had a nice tang from the vinegar and baking soda, but were sweet enough to not be confused with breakfast muffins. The light, fluffy whipped cream frosting balanced it out really well.

I love whipping cream frosting with raspberries and white cake because my Grandmother used to make that for dessert on Sundays when the berries from their backyard were in season. I'm not generally a huge fan of cake but I could never get enough of my Grandma's dessert.

And now that these have all been eaten, I'm on my way to the kitchen to make some banana muffins... (recipe here)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful Turkey

I'm alive!!! case you were wondering. Also, we moved to Texas. And the baby is now crawling! Sheesh. Anyway, this is the thankful turkey craft we did this morning. It was very fun. It may become a tradition.

You can go here for actual instructions if you'd like. It's just a toilet paper roll glued onto two bowls that are glued together. Then you glue toothpicks between two papers for the feathers and stick them in the back of the turkey.

You can't see the other side of the bowl but the Monkey did the front and the Boy did the back. And then I spent 5 solid minutes sweeping all the little papers off the floor. Seriously, crafts are messy.

It was fun though. We started the turkey off with like 10 feathers and I have a bunch more we can add to it every day until Thanksgiving. Or whenever I remember. It was a good handwriting practice project and they had fun with the glitter glue on the feathers. Plus the gratitude part, of course.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Simple Frozen Yogurt

In my head, I'd like to be eliminating sugar in my diet. I'm totally not there yet in practice though. And I'm giving myself until I've had a full week of sleeping thru the night from my baby before I start trying in earnest. But in the meantime, I'm experimenting a bit. And this one was a success. For me and the kids anyway, V didn't really like it. He thought it was too tangy. 

1 container Nancy's whole milk plain yogurt
1 dropper full squirt of vanilla stevia
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and smashed with juice

Mix together. Turn on ice cream maker. Pour in. Process until frozen (mine took 20 minutes). Eat immediately. 

Notes: I did put the small amount of leftovers in the freezer and they froze solid - not like ice cream you can pull out and eat from the carton. It was still delicious when I gave it time to thaw before eating, but the texture was definitely better fresh. I don't think I can fix that with an amateur ice cream machine. Plus, this was easy enough, I don't mind making it fresh when I'm having a craving.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Wildflour Bakery Style

One of our favorite things about Boise are the "Coop Cookies". They're really cookies from the Wildflour Bakery in Boise but we buy them at the Boise Coop or at Whole Foods. They are so delicious. And it's adorable to see the Boy with a cookie the size of his face.

No, he doesn't eat the whole thing. Anyway, I attempted to make up a copy cat recipe today using my previous favorite oatmeal raisin recipe and the ingredients list on the pkg we bought today and I must say, they are close. Very close. If you're in town, you should go get the originals, but if not, these will do.

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
4 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins

Cream sugars and butter. Add eggs. Mix just until blended. Add baking soda, powder, salt and flours. Mix. Food process coconut and oats for about 10 seconds - just enough to keep a few of the oats still whole. Add to bowl and mix. Stir in raisins. Form into 18 large cookie balls (or 3oz each). Flatten balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 275' for 25 minutes, or until done. Cool on rack. If you don't have a rack, wait a few minutes after they come out and then turn upside down to cool.

Notes: To be closer to the original, they need more salt. I'd go up to 1 1/2 tsp salt and maybe take down the baking soda to 1 tsp. The originals have a bit more brown color in the cookie as well so you may try 300' for 20 minutes. Personally, I like the less salty version and the lack of color didn't bother me so I'll keep it as is. I used sweetened coconut cause I was trying to use it up but I also have unsweetened that I am interested in trying out later. It has a finer texture so I wouldn't bother food processing it.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Cottage Cheese Cream

This was one of V's go to treats on his diet. I really like it too. It's super simple to make, healthy and delicious!

32 oz cottage cheese
15 oz cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vanilla stevia

Whip cream. Fold in cottage cheese and flavorings. Serve over berries and top with pecans, if desired.

Note: the fat in the dairy makes the usual stevia aftertaste non-existent.