Delectable, Light, Easy, Gluten Free Waffles

IMG_2203Waffles have been a family favorite forever! My traditional recipe started with whole wheat (wheat berries) and blended them with several other key ingredients to produce light fluffy waffles. Since I stopped eating wheat in August 2012 I haven’t indulged in waffles.

My daughter helped me discover that there is a wonderful way to make gluten-free waffles with rice and tapioca flours. I still don’t make them often (preferring my Chia Breakfast salad or a smoothie), but it is nice to spoil the grandchildren with waffles when they come to visit!

IMG_2201Heat up waffle iron and in a mixing bowl whisk together:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup kefir (or buttermilk, or milk with 1 Tbl  lemon)

Add:

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

Whisk all together. It should be bubbly, then Add

  • ± 1/2 cup coconut oil

(it seems like this might be an optional ingredient, but adds both nutritional and flavor. One time I forgot to add the coconut oil and the waffles turned out fine. I didn’t realize until much later that I had forgotten to add it!)

IMG_2202Add:

  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour

Mix just until thoroughly combined.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot waffle iron. Cook until the light changes colors (or follow the procedure for your particular brand of waffle maker).

This recipe will make approximately 8 waffles. I like to make all of them and freeze leftovers which can be heated in a toaster for a quick snack or breakfast.

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Chia Breakfast Salad

My regular preferred breakfast remains many variations of chia/kefir breakfast salad, but this is my goto recipe for waffles whenever there is an occasion for them!

_DSC7099Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

Morning Boost

IMG_1226I like to get a great start in the morning. I love to bounce out of bed and get ready to have the best day ever! I’ve been teaching people about the wonders of raw chocolate and other healthy superfoods and I always look for new ways to combine them together.

I’m not great at recipes, every time I make things they turn out slightly different. But this time, I wrote down everything as I was putting it into my morning bowl! The way I think about it is, ‘What veggies, fruits, superfood powders, nuts and seeds can I combine with my chia seeds and kefir for breakfast?’ Along the lines of “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food:”

Morning medicine bowl:

  • Chia seeds, 3 Tablespoons or so
  • Water to cover
  • Kefir, 1/2 Cup or so
  • Raw organic Maca powder, 1 Tablespoons
  • Raw organic Cacao powder, 2 Tablespoons
  • Turmeric 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt, several shakes
  • Cacao nibs
  • Goji berries
  • Blueberries (fresh from my friend), 1/2 cup or so
  • Fresh CiIantro, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Green Fresh Chili, from my friend’s garden

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  • Fresh Pineapple, chopped
  • Coconut flakes
  • Nuts & seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds
  • Honey, 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Micro green sprouts
  • Hemp seeds, 2 Tablespoons
  • [Avocado would have been a great addition]

Do you want to have the best day ever? Why not try throwing all the best ingredients you can find into a big bowl for your breakfast boost!

I usually end up with enough for my husband and I to have for two days [I’m still working on enticing my daughter to participate!]. Half of the mixture keeps well in the refrigerator for our breakfast (or lunch) tomorrow!

Basic Raw Chocolate

2 pieces

There are so many possible variations.  This is what I wrote down as I prepared the chocolate for my Health Talk:

Basic #1

  • ±1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • ±1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch or so of Himalayan Crystal salt

Mix well together.  Taste to see if you are satisfied with the sweetness.  Place into a glass dish and put into the refrigerator (or freezer if you are in a hurry!) until hard. Store in the refrigerator.

Basic #2

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • other nuts as you desire (almonds, cashews, pecans)
  • pinch Himalayan Crystal salt
  • 1 Tablespoon, approximately, lemon or orange zest

Mix well together.  Taste to see if you are satisfied with the sweetness.  Place into glass dish and put into the freezer until hard.

Chocolate Breakfast Salad

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This is not what I would have considered a great breakfast a few years ago, but it truly is a fantastic way to start the day.  You can make this recipe and share half with someone, or put half in a container for your breakfast tomorrow. Or, if you have a hectic day ahead, you can eat the whole bowl yourself! Like my mentor, Lee Haney says, eat for what you are going to do, not for what you have done.

  • 2 Tbl chia seeds
  • 1 Tbl goji  berries

Add a little spring water to cover.  The seeds will absorb the water and become more gelatinous while you add the other ingredients.

  • 2 Tbl hemp hearts/seeds
  • 1 Tbl Maca powder
  • 1 Tbl cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl cacao nibs
  • ±1/3 – 1 cup kefir
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tbl coconut
  • honey
  • coconut oil
  • fresh ginger, chopped

That is the basic, then add any or all of the following that you happen to have on hand, as much organic as possible. I keep a basket in the pantry with my “superfood” breakfast ingredients to make it easy. Then I have “spice cupboard” additions, refrigerator additions and freezer additions.

  • ±1 Tbl frozen blueberries
  • ½ frozen bananas, chopped small
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • pecans, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, preferably soaked and chopped
  • twist of Himalayan crystal salt
  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • fresh turmeric chopped
  • fresh jalapeños chopped
  • cilantro chopped
  • cucumber chopped
  • apple chopped
  • pineapple chopped
  • fresh lemon with some of the rind, no seeds
  • any other dried or fresh fruit you have

I have given measurements as a guideline, but you can vary the quantities according to your taste, or leave some out. If it seems too dry, add more kefir or water. Use whatever you have and whatever you like from the list. There is a lot of room for variety. Use any nuts, seeds, fruits you have available.  I also purposely limit the amount of fruit and LOVE having the celery for the crunch, goodness and detox benefits!

This is fast, easy, delicious and nutritious! I usually make 6 or 7 x 200 g servings. I put them in individual containers in the refrigerator and have a wonderful fast food breakfast for a couple of days!

So far my husband, 2 sons, one daughter-in-law and a few special friends have enjoyed my specialty breakfast. The rest of the family isn’t quite so adventurous!

Becky Isaac 11 monthsAuthor: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living.

 

Amazingly Healthy Brownies!

IMG_1115I’ve been wanting to make a recipe like this FOREVER! I’ve read a lot of different recipes, debated the ingredient list in my mind, stalled out and done nothing!

Finally, motivated by the fact that it was Mother’s Day and I could splurge in a healthy way, I dived in.

My daughter had shown me a similar recipe a couple of weeks ago by a British healthy foodie, but her recipe called for 2 cups of coconut sugar. Firstly, I have no coconut sugar on hand. Secondly, that is WAY TOO MUCH for me to feel good about using.

I asked my daughter to read me the list of ingredients used by healthy foodie for her avocado chocolate brownies, and I modified it radically to fit into my ideals for health indulgence. Before I give you the recipe I want to encourage you to make this well in advance of the time you would like to eat it.  I wanted to eat it right away, but the texture and experience was about a 3 out of 10. However, after it spent the night in the refrigerator, it is a 9 out of 10.  So be warned, it looks good and you will want to eat it immediately, but you will be rewarded by WAITING! You also might want to hide it from other family members who don’t have as much self-control as you!

Avocado Coconut Oil Brownies 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup or so coconut oil (it was very soft because the inside temperature was warmish)
  • 6 blended dates
  • 1 cup or so of honey (I think it was a bit less, but I don’t measure because I don’t want to waste the ingredients!)
  • a couple of turns of Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup almond flour (approximately)
  • 1 cup cacao powder (again, approximate! If you add it 1/4 cup at a time you can see the desired darkness you like)
  • ¾ avocado mashed (that was all I had on hand. Feel free to use more!)
  • ¾ cup whole pecans (add after well mixed)

I whisked it together in a bowl until it was well blended, then put it into a glass baking dish and baked it at 350 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and then put into the refrigerator (or freezer if you want a faster result). Wait until cold for the best results!

While these are probably the best brownies you can make – the coconut oil, avocado, eggs, and nuts are all good for you – they should be still considered a treat because of the potential of raising the blood sugar!  However, I confess I did have them (and nothing else) for supper on Mother’s Day and for lunch the following day!

Please fee free to modify as you desire, and please, let me know your results!

Breakfast to Go

IMG_0928We all love fast food.  Many times we NEED fast food.  We have a deadline, a place to be, an important reason to be there, but not enough time for eating our healthy breakfast.

It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me AND will travel well? Chia porridge to go.  I wrote about chia porridge previously, this is an expansion. Choose your favorite flavors and personalize it!  The great thing about Chia porridge is that the chia seeds need about 15 minutes of soaking to expand, so it can travel with you and get better on the way! I made this chia porridge to go for my husband to take with him for his early morning appointment:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover
  • 1/2 Cup or so of homemade kefir
  • 1/4 Cup hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • nuts, raisins, seeds
  • 1/2 Tbl honey
  • chopped pear
  • chopped strawberry

For those who are more hard-core you could add a few veggies (celery, cucumber, kale) and omit some fruit.  Others might want to top their chia porridge with homemade granola or add different fruits. The hemp gives you the energy and will sustain you so you don’t feel hungry.  The chia is a great source of omega 3s. The maca powder is optional, but gives a great boost. We’re all at different stages of our journey, but I think most people will be able to find some way to modify this concept in a way they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, you could always have a bowl of chia porridge for lunch!

Other chia ideas here

and here

Chocolate Binge

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G U I L T   F R E E ! ! !

You know the adage, if it sounds too good to be true then it is probably….

But, not in this instance!  Truly this chocolate is good for you!  It will stem your cravings, it will feed your brain, it will send great messages to your metabolism, it might even help you lose weight!  I take no responsibility, but urge you to do your own experimentation!

A lady in front of me at the local grocery store yesterday semi-apologized for hoisting three enormous boxes of a popular beverage aka, canned liquid poison (one of many toxic-liquid-evils widely marketed around the world by those who have a taste for death) onto the check-out conveyor belt.  “One of my few vices,” she said.  Out of the blue, because I had not tried to offer any health education AT ALL – ask my daughter.  I sometimes want to, but in this case I hadn’t even gotten that far.  Then, as she was leaving she says in a very friendly way to the cashier, “But you have to watch chocolate because it makes your clothes shrink!”  I’m sure you’ve heard that before.  It took me awhile, and then I thought out loud “Not raw chocolate!  If you eat raw chocolate your clothes get baggy.  In fact, you might even need to buy new clothes because you may drop a size or two!”  At least, that’s what happened to me!

IMG_0914So here is yet another way to roll up the raw chocolate, courtesy of my client who liked my ideas and then experimented a bit more!

  1. Coconut Oil,
  2. Organic Peanut Butter
  3. Honey
  4. Raw Cacao Powder

Just four ingredients.  Each one has a smaller amount.  So if you start with 2 huge spoons of coconut oil, add 2 spoons of peanut butter, one spoon of honey.  Mix the first three ingredients completely, then add 2 huge spoons of cacao powder, or add the amount to give you the darkness you desire.  The ratio will probably be just less cacao powder to the combined amount of coconut oil and peanut butter. Experiment with the ratios until you get it just like you like it! You could even add more ingredients, but I’m trying to keep it really simple!

Mix or stir well.

Refrigerate briefly to help it get itself together (depends on the temperature in your kitchen).

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Roll out onto a plate (pre-cool the plate in the freezer in warm weather) like a snake, or roll into balls.

Refrigerate or freeze to harden.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer and have a slice when you are craving a treat!

Hide all evidence, or else the next time you have a craving you are going to find your family has completely consumed it!  But hey, it’s good for them too!  So I guess it’s time to make some more!

More raw chocolate ideas here and here and here…  Just for a taste!

I’m on a chocolate journey!  Where has your chocolate journey taken you?

 

 

Healthy Snack

nuts

We all know that Snack Attack feeling!

My friend shared this great idea with me.  Whenever you feel hungry – like you want some sort of a sweet treat, mix together equal parts:

  • goji berries
  • cocoa nibs
  • raisins
  • Brazilian nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

in a big glass jar, shake and grab a handful – or two (maximum is two!)  And your cravings will be gone!

I’m sure you could try different ingredients, like walnuts (brain food), cashews, almonds, coconut flakes, cranberries, whole cacao beans, etc.  But since my friend is such a great researcher, I think she might have specific reasons for each of her selections!

I like to do a mix something like this for my husband to keep in his briefcase so he’s not tempted to have processed food snacks at the office!  It’s also great to have a mix like this on long road trips. If I’m driving I always like a constant supply of snacks to help me keep awake and paying attention!

 

Basic Granola

IMG_0898Easy, delicious, nutritious, must be more economical than buying the best you can buy in the store, but I confess I have not done a cost analysis!

I have made granola for my family for years.  With five children it was one of the most obvious healthy economical things I could do.  I loved a recipe I got from the Tightwad Gazette.  Also, since I never bought cereal for them because of all the yuck ingredients, I had to have something to give them for breakfast!  (I confess, before my enlightenment, I went through a long phase where I did buy corn flakes, but only corn flakes.  They would have corn flakes with granola on top!)

When my first two boys were small I only purchased fruit flavored yogurts.  I had one friend who had a toddler who happily ate plain yogurt and I thought she was a freak!  Now I only buy plain yogurt – and have been for years and everyone in the family enjoys combining their own breakfasts with plain yogurt, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, seeds and granola. I am now  making my own kefir so soon I can stop buying large factory produced yogurt!

Since entering my current ultra health (aka crazy) phase I have stopped eating wheat and then removed oats and I feel SO MUCH BETTER that I have never wanted to eat them.  My family, however, still enjoys granola so I have been buying the best organic brands I could find and wincing with every expensive purchase!  I have been contemplating making my own and wondering how to incorporate coconut oil, which is also part of my ultra healthy phase.  Recently my friend shared this great simple granola recipe and I admire her a lot, so I was inspired to start making granola again – immediately!!  This is what I did, including some slight modifications, because it is impossible for me to follow a recipe!

In a saucepan melt over very low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon:

  • 1/2 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 Cup honey

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Because I hate wasting ingredients in measuring cups, I just eyeballed the amounts straight into the pan!  I weighed the pan first, then weighed it while adding the ingredients to give me an idea if I had it right!

I just melted it until it was able to mix thoroughly, then I added 1 tsp vanilla.

IMG_0897In a bowl, mix the following dry ingredients:

  • 4 Cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • a few turns of Himalayan crystal salt

Pour mixed coconut oil mixture into dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.  I baked it in a roasting pan for 10 minutes on 400 degrees F, then turned the oven off, stirred the granola and put it back into the hot oven for another 10 minutes.   after you have achieved the brown color you are looking for, be sure to stir the granola one last time to prevent it from cooling and sticking to the pan!  Next time I think I will go for a lower slower cooking.  The mixture got a bit too brown, and I remembered it’s always better to cook low and slow!

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There was a delicious smell in the house while it was baking and the test taste was great!

I can tell that I might be experimenting often with this recipe!  You can eat granola plain as a snack, with yogurt, fruit and nuts, or sprinkle on top of your Chia Porridge! The family is sure to love it! And I may even incorporate a bit of oats into my crazy hectic nutritional plan!

This recipe made 32 ounces of wonderful granola.  I’ll try to work out a costing, but I’m pretty sure it is a lot more economical and better than what you can buy!  And it is filled with love for those you love!

Super Breakfast

Chia porridgeI’m not sure if that picture looks really really appetizing, but it is delicious AND amazingly nutritious!  My friend Simela motivated me to experiment even more with

the idea of “Chia Porridge”

I decided to have Chia Porridge for lunch.  It is super easy to make.  But you and the kids might prefer to have it for breakfast! I’m giving you the quantities for one serving, to make more just use a bit more of everything!

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • water to cover the seeds

Allow the chia seeds to sit for 10-15 minutes and they will soak up the water and become gelatinous!  So do that first while you are collecting all the other ingredients and chopping whatever you like.  Or, make yourself a cup of tea!

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cacao powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
  • raisins
  • cacao nibs
  • honey
  • yogurt, kefir or nut milk of your choice

I also added cashews, almonds, frozen blueberries, 1 chopped frozen strawberry, 1/2 chopped banana, dried coconut, goji berries, hemp seed and chopped celery (you can never get enough celery and I love crunchy things – and I was having this for lunch, and they do put celery in a Waldorf salad!).

IMG_0900Here is a breakfast version I made for my husband: chia, goji, water, cinnamon, cacao, macs, honey, chopped apple, 2 chopped strawberries, blueberries, coconut, hemp, yogurt, kefir and a tad of homemade granola.

So, get creative and try it!  Stock your kitchen with healthy nutritiously dense items and then dream up new ways of combining them!  Let me know what you discovery in your experimentation!