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    • Breakfast Waffle Trifle (and it's Gluten-Free!)

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    •  4/30/2012 10:41:56 AM
    • I was in the mood to have breakfast for dinner.  But I still wanted to make sure it was a healthy meal (and not just a bunch of syrup poured on processed pancakes).  So I decided to create this yummy breakfast trifle.  Needless to say my kids loved it! 

      The recipe is quite simple.  To begin, start to make a batch of our delicious waffles.  This could be done earlier if you want because I had to put the waffles in the fridge to cool them down.  I didn't want them to be too warm in the trifle.  I also made 2 batches of the waffles because I have a family of 6.  You could probably get away with just one batch for a smaller family.

       

      Whole Grain Blender Waffles

       

      2 cups water
      4-8 dates chopped or 1 TBS concentrated apple juice
      1 cup quick oats
      ¼ cup millet or cornmeal
      ¼ cup flaxeed
      ¼ cup raw cashew nuts
      1 TBS cornstarch
      ½ tsp salt


      DIRECTIONS
      Preheat waffle iron (Belgium Waffle iron works great). Blend all ingredients for 1 minute or until smooth (high powered blender is needed i.e. Vita-mix).  Pour mixture into preheated waffle iron and close the lid.  Bake until steam stops rising and the waffle is golden brown and crisp (anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes).  

      While the waffles are cooking begin preparing the "Whipped Cream".

      "Whipped Cream" Topping

       

      1/2 cup  soy milk

      1/3 cup pure maple syrup

      12-14 oz Silken Tofu, drained

      1 tsp of pure vanilla extract (I just used the Costco brand)

      OPTIONAL: 2 TBS of "Ultra Gel" - I added this as a thickener, but don't worry if you don't have any, it won't change the taste. (I bought mine at a local Bosch Store).

      Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor until smooth.

       

       

      Begin assembling the trifle by ripping pieces of the waffle to create the first "layer" in your bowl.  Spread a portion of the whipped cream topping over the waffle pieces (I did a third of the topping because I wanted 3 layers).  Then top that layer with fresh or frozen (and thawed) fruit of your choice.  I used strawberries and of course mangoes (because they are my favorite).  Simply repeat these same steps until you have filled your dish.

       

      You could also turn this into more of a dessert dish by topping it with a bit of chocolate mousse.....mmmmm!

       

       

       

      Chocolate Mousse

      1 cup of semi-sweet choc chips (look for a brand that is dairy-free like Guittard or Ghiradelli)

      1/2 cup of Almond milk (I prefer the vanilla)

      12-14 oz Silken Tofu, drained

      1 TBS vanilla


      Melt the chocolate chips and then combine all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender.  Let it refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let it set up.

       

      :) Maintenance Mommy

       

       

       

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    • Raw Almond "Chocolate Chip" Cookies

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    •  4/23/2012 12:06:54 PM

    •  

      Well I thought I would give you another raw recipe today.  As I mentioned before I have been trying to focus on eating more raw foods in my diet. Thank-you ChoosingRaw for inspiring this recipe - this post is dedicated to you (isn't replication the greatest form of flattery :)

       

      I have also been making a lot of my own Almond milk lately (which is so super easy).  In fact, here's what I do.


      ALMOND MILK

      Soak 1 cup of raw almonds with 3 medjool dates, pits removed (I get them at Costco) overnight.

      The next morning, drain off the water and put the almonds/dates into a Vitamix.  Add 3 1/2 cups filtered water. Sometimes I add a packet of stevia and a little vanilla extract.  Turn the Vitamix on high for about 3 minutes.  Pour the milk into a nut milk bag.  Squeeze out all of the yummy fresh milk and refrigerate.  It will last for 3-4 days.

      You will then be left with some leftover pulp, and that is what you will use to make these raw cookies.

      If you do NOT want to make your own almond milk, you can make this recipe with ground up almonds too.


      Raw Almond Cacao Cookies


      1 cup almond milk pulp (OR 1 cup ground almonds)


      1/4 cup raw cacao nibs


      1 cup dried, unsweetened shredded coconut


      1/3 cup  maple syrup (which isn't raw so you could use raw honey or agave)


      1 pinch salt


      1 tsp good vanilla extract


      Simply blend all  of the ingredients together in a food processor until they form a dough. You can add a little water if the mixture is too thick.

       



       

       

      Line a dehydrator sheet with Teflex (or parchment papaer) and spoon the cookies onto the sheet. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 6 hours, or until they hold together well but are still a little soft.

       

       


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    • Sweet Surprise Truffles (..shhh..it's Sweet Potatoes)

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    •  4/16/2012 7:39:55 AM




    • I came across something like this on the internet around Valentines' Day and ever since then I have been dying to try them.

      My favorite days are when I am at home with my kids (and they are not fighting) and I get to spend the day hanging out in the kitchen creating fun things (especially if there is a little chocolate involved :)!

      The best part of these is that they are relatively "healthy" (as far as treats go) and my kids loved them!


      Sweet Surprise Truffles


      1 cup sweet potatoes*

      1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (I used unrefined, but refined would work well too if you don't like as much of a coconut flavor)

      3 Tbs Arrowroot Starch (cornstarch would work fine too)

      1 tsp Vanilla extract

      1/4 cup maple syrup or agave

      1/4 cup oat flour (simply put 1/4 cup rolled oats into a blender or food processor

      1/4 cup palm sugar or other sweetener (you can read more about sweeteners HERE)

      1/2 cup Almond milk or other dairy alternative

      1/2 tsp sea salt

      1 cup chocolate of your choice, melted (I used 60% dark chocolate)


      In a food processor, combine the sweet potatoes, starch, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup.  Blend until smooth.

       

      In a small sauce pan, combine the oat flour, palm sugar, milk and salt.  Cook over medium heat until it bubbles and then simmer over low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens (which won't take long).

       

      Add the hot mixture directly into the the food processor and blend until smooth.

       

      (Optional, I also added about 1/4 cup of Almond pulp that I had leftover from making the Almond Milk)

      The mixture will still be fairly runny.

       

      *We had baked sweet potatoes/yams for dinner the night before.  I usually make a few extras and just store them still wrapped in their tin foil in the fridge.  For this recipe I cut a large on in half and scooped out 1 cup of the flesh.

       




      Scoop out about 1 TBS onto wax paper and put in the freezer for 20 minutes or until the filling is firm enough to roll into balls.




      Remove from the freezer, and using your hands, roll each "lump" into a ball shaped form.

      Then return to the freezer for at least one hour.




      Then dip each ball into the melted chocolate.  The frozen filling will help the chocolate set up quite quickly.

      Refrigerate whatever doesn't get eaten immediately :)

      Enjoy!



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    • iPhone Apps

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    •  4/14/2012 5:32:43 PM
    •  

      I am getting ready to go to New York city and I was searching the web for some apps that might make it a bit easier to find the type of food that I want to eat.  Anyway, just thought I would share a few.


      From VegNews.com

      Vegan smartphone apps are booming, blending convenience with the best of veg life.

      There are literally thousands of products and services available to make your veg-life easier—cookbooks, websites, magazines (ahem)—but what rivals them all for simplicity’s sake is the smartphone app. Since the iPhone boom, scads of apps have hit the market, many oriented toward a cruelty-free lifestyle. We’ve scrolled through and handpicked a list of 10 that bring the best of the veg experience into the palm of your hand. The next time you’re stressing about what to make for dinner or are feeling uneasy about mysterious ingredients, don’t worry—there’s an app to cover it.

      For the iPhone

      Veggie Passport ($0.99)
      With Veggie Passport, your veganism will never be lost in translation. Use Veggie Passport to translate your request for a vegan meal when in foreign countries or to communicate your veganism in other languages.

      Vegan Recipe Finder ($2.99)
      From VegWeb comes Vegan Recipe Finder, bringing its collection of more than 15,000 user-submitted recipes—and counting—to your iPhone. Make breakfast, lunch, and dinner a breeze, as this app includes grocery lists and a recipe box for on-the-go chefs.

      Vegan Steven (Free)
      Vegan Steven seeks out the vegan hotspots in your neighborhood, with clues to vegan discounts all over your city. For tips on where to go and where to avoid, Vegan Steven includes ratings and reviews.

       

      I also like:

      i Vegetarian V (free)

       

      iVegetarian is the best vegetarian restaurant guide on iPhone bar none. It's free with a nimble, ergonomic interface: good for the mind, body, soul and pocket. Meat is often transported across long distances and requires refrigeration along the way. Scholars have thus suggested that eating vegetarian contributes to a more sustainable world. If you are looking for vegetarian, vegan, nutrition, health, diet, sustainable, eco, earth, natural, organic, get this app.

       

      Happy Cow VeginOut Guide ($2.99) — This amazing app is a vegetarian’s dream for finding vegetarian restaurants in more than 90 countries or at your current location.  (I think I might buy this one)

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    • Sun-dried Tomato Cashew Cheese and Veggie Nut "Bread"- RAW!!!

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    •  4/9/2012 6:30:23 PM
    •  

      As I mentioned in my last post I have started to delve a little deeper into the raw food world.  I simply wanted to get more living enzymes into my diet.

      I have been completely inspired by one of my favorite food bloggers, ChoosingRaw.com (okay to be honest she is the ONLY food blogger that I currently follow :).  The recipe for this veggie nut bread was inspired by her cinnamon raisin bread (her instructions were so good I even borrowed some of them here - hope that's okay Gena).  It was so fun for me to get into my kitchen and create some delicious raw food.  It was even more fun for me to have my Mom come and visit and absolutely love what I had created - love you Mom!

       

      Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew Cheese

       

      1 cup cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours

      juice from 1 lemon

      2 garlic cloves

      2 green onions

      1/2 tsp salt

      1/2 cup nutritional yeast

      3 TBS sun-dried tomatoes (I use the ones from Costco)

      2 TBS parsley

       

       

       

      Cashews are very easy to soak, simply put them in a small bowl and cover them generously with water.  After about an hour or 2 drain off the water and combine all of the ingredients into a food processor.  Continue to pulse until the mixture becomes creamy.  This may require you to stop the machine and scrape the sides down a few times.  When the "cheese" is creamy you can serve it as is, or put it into a container to chill in the fridge for a little while.  I decided to divide it into sections of my "over-sized-ice-cube-tray" and allow it to set overnight.

       

       

       

       

      I am pretty sure that I need to give up wheat for a little while.  I get completely bloated and it triggers an "addictive" response in me that is embarrassing. It spikes my blood sugar level and I am certain to crave sugar after I've eaten it (even when it is my homemade whole wheat bread).  I have been doing even more research about what we call "wheat" today (which is quite different than the wheat of our grandparents).  Anyway, I will be sure to write more about that another time.  In the meantime, I thought I would give it a go at making a wheat-free raw "bread".  It was deliciously successful and something I will definitely make again~!

       

       

       

      Veggie Nut Bread

      2 cups almonds

      1/2 cup sunflower seeds

      1/2 cup walnuts

      1/4 tsp salt

      2 heaping tsp cinnamon

      1/2 cup flax meal

      1 zucchini

      2 carrots

      1  green apple

      1/2 cup raisins

      3 Tbsp agave nectar


      1) Grind almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Dump the contents into a large mixing bowl, add the flax meal, and set aside.

       

      2) Shred the carrots, zucchini and apple (skin and all).  I used my handy-dandy SaladMaster machine.

       

      3) Add all the shredded veggies to the mixing bowl with the spices and the ground nuts/seeds. Add the agave, and mix well with your hands. It should be pretty moist.  You can add a few tablespoons of water if necessary.

       

      4) Return everything to your food processor, and pulse it till the veggies are a little more broken down and the raisins are all chopped up. You certainly don’t have to do this last step–you could leave the mix much coarser–but I liked the relative smoothness and even texture that re-processing gave the bread.

       

      5) Spread the mix onto two dehydrator sheets fitted with Teflex sheets. It should be just shy of 1/4 inch thick, and very even. I only have one Teflex sheet, so I spread one onto parchment paper and it worked great.

       

       

       

       

      6) Dehydrate at 115 degrees Farenheit for about 4-5 hours or so. Flip the dough, score it into squares or rectangles, and dehydrate on the other side for another 4-5 hours. Depending on the temperature of your home and the moistness of your dough, this may take more or less time. I pulled mine out of the dehydrator when it was nice and crispy, but you can also easily choose to leave it a little more flexible.

       

      7) Break into pieces, and enjoy!

       

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    • 60 Minutes Special - Is Sugar Toxic?

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    •  4/3/2012 6:47:33 PM
    •  

      Just saw this on 60 minutes.  Pretty interesting stuff.  I do wish they wouldn't classify all sugar together (i.e. the white stuff with honey and maple syrup etc) but definitely worth watching.

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    • Cheesy Kale Chips

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    •  4/1/2012 9:05:35 PM
    • Well I have finally decided to delve into the raw world a little bit more.  I just got a dehydrator and I am so excited to start creating!  I got the Excalibur 3500.  I have a good friend that also has one and we decided to each make something and bring it to the other person.  She brought me these amazing cheesy kale chips that she found on www.http://prideandvegudice.com.  I made Vegetable Nut "bread" and Sun-Dried tomato Cashew Cheese.  I'll post the recipe next week (I'll post a teaser photo at the bottom of the page :)

       

       

      1 bunch curly kale
      1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours)
      1 red bell pepper, deseeded
      Juice of half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
      1/2 cup nutritional yeast
      1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

       

      Remove the toughest parts of the kale stems (save them for a green smoothie, green juice, or add them to a stir-fry!), and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

      Place kale pieces in a large bowl (you want enough room so that you can mix the coating in later without having to deal with leaves falling out of the bowl!)

       

      To make the cheesy coating: combine soaked cashews, bell pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (nooch), and sea salt in a blender or food processor (a high-speed blender like the Vitamix is best), and run for a minute or two until smooth.

       

      Add the cheesy coating to your bowl of kale and massage it in with your hands. Don’t worry too much about uneven distribution, as the big globs taste delicious in the final product!

       

      For raw kale chips (my method of choice, as they will retain the nutrients and enzymes of all the healthful ingredients!): place on dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 degrees until crispy. The time will vary, but make sure ALL the moisture is gone and they are genuinely crunchy.

       

      Alternatively (if you don’t have a dehydrator), spread kale pieces on parchment paper on baking trays, and bake at 200 degrees until crispy, about 45 minutes (but again, all that matters is that they MUST be crunchy).

       

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