Straining Milk Kefir Video

I just made a homespun video to show you how easy it is to strain out your milk kefir grains. This must be done after every batch of kefir so that you can make another batch! The kefir grains will multiply over time so that you will be able to share the joys of kefir making with your friends.

I’ve posted other information on kefir, including some of my favorite recipes:

I prefer to use local jersey raw milk because there are many benefits. Recently I have learned that one of the benefits is that it contains GCMAF. Do some research on the benefits!

Many people who have been diagnosed with CDif or other serious intestinal infections are looking for kefir. You can become a source of kefir grains as you spread the wonder of kefir!

Let me know if you have questions about kefir!

Becky Hastings, a wife, mom, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus, health promoter, breastfeeding counsellor helping moms for 22+ years, and someone who seeks to research, understand and share truth so people can make wise choices in our crazy mixed up, deceived world! Sometimes I share recipes and homespun teaching videos.

 

 

Granola – How to Make Your Own

Standing in the cereal aisle of any major food store can be an overwhelming perplexing experience, especially for those of us who aim to choose healthy non-chemical laden food for our families. There are many ‘natural’ cereals to choose from, so we begin reading the labels. What do we find?

soy, canola oil, other unhealthy oils, non-pronounceable ingredients, lots of sugar, preservatives.

Finding healthy granola seems easy – until you start reading the labels. What is the answer? Is there a brand I can trust?  If you finally find a mostly natural granola with a short list of mostly acceptable ingredients, when you look at the price, and work out how many servings it will give your family, you find another long pause as you consider the economics and your budget. Such is the stress of grocery shopping with health and economy in mind.

Making your own ‘fast foods’ for breakfast can be extremely easy, very satisfying, and by far your healthiest option. If you have children, you are BUSY, but one of your best time-saving resources will one day be your children! Teach your children to make this recipe for the whole family.

I’ve written the following recipe in three versions: small, medium and large to make it easy to double or triple the recipe depending on your need.

Some notes about the ingredients:

  • In order to ensure that we are not consuming large amounts of glyphosate (from Roundup) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND choosing organic options for all ingredients. Buying organic also sends a message to retailers, suppliers, growers, etc. that we want healthy food without harmful chemicals. Eventually, if enough people vote with their wallets, price reductions and increased availability will follow.
  • Local, raw honey is the healthiest sweetener, but if you have a large family and a small budget, you may opt to choose organic sugar. Honey is generally considered to be sweeter, so you may need slightly more sugar to reach your desired sweetness.
  • The addition of water (of course non-fluoridated, pure water is the ONLY option you would ingest, how to find it is the topic of another blog) to the liquid ingredients stretches the recipe to make it go further, but you can reduce the amount of water and increase the healthy oils and sweetener for a more indulgent granola.
GRANOLA from the Hastings Family Kitchen
SMALL MEDIUM LARGE
½ – ¾ cup 1 – 1 ½ cup 1 ½ – 2 ¼ cup Honey (or slightly more organic brown sugar)
2/3 cup 1 1/3 cup 2 cups Coconut oil, butter or a combination
2/3 cup 1 1/3 cup 2 cups Water
1 Tablespoon 1 ½ T 2 T Molasses
½ teaspoon 1 tsp 1 ½ tsp Vanilla
Combine these ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves fully. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla.
In a huge bowl combine:
1 box (500 g) 2 boxes (1 kg) 3 boxes (1.5 kg) Oats
1 tsp 1 ½ tsp 2 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch Pinch + Pinch ++ Salt
½ cup 1 cup 1 ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut such as Bob’s Red Mill
Optional:

Seeds: hemp hearts, sunflower, pumpkin, and/or sesame. You can also add dried fruit like raisins, and/or any nuts you like. You can add them either before or after cooking, but raisins are usually nicer to add after. I don’t add any raisins or nuts because of different individual preferences (ie some family members complain!). Add nuts and raisins to individual servings, as desired.

METHOD:

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients well. Pour the liquid mixture over and stir thoroughly. Distribute into deep baking trays – 1, 2 or 3 depending on the recipe size you have used. Bake at 350 F for 20 – 30 minutes, but stir thoroughly every 10 minutes and check for even browning. After approximately 30 minutes, stir and turn the oven off, but leave the pans in the oven to cool and for the granola to dry (as long as it looks like it is not burning).

Once the granola is cool and thoroughly dry, break apart and store in airtight containers.   If you make more than you can use in a couple of weeks, store part of it in the freezer.

Enjoy!

Let me know about your experiments in making your own granola! I have written about other breakfast ideas such as Chia Breakfast and Waffles.

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate seeker of Jesus, truth and health. Most of my writing is aimed at helping young families find health and joy through making wise choices. Sometimes I share recipes!

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Gooey Treats

There are so many wonderful things about making and eating your own raw chocolate creations. NO GUILT about eating your creations might top the list. Because the ingredients are good – and good for you, there is no need to feel guilty! You can also tailor any recipe to exactly the taste you love.

Feel free to modify the recipe I created after seeing something similar.

The ingredients.

I use local raw honey because it is good in so many ways and makes the top 10 Superfood list by David Wolfe. You can adjust the amount if you prefer it more or less sweet. I avoid sugar as much as possible and I don’t like to substitute with sugar substitutes, even the ‘natural’ ones.

I use fresh ground ‘peanut only’ peanut butter, avoiding the processed brands which add other ingredients like sugar or oils.

Salt always means Himalayan salt because it comes with other minerals.

I soak the walnuts (when I remember) for a few minutes – up to 24 hours – because it gives them a nice texture, and reduces phytates making them even more beneficial. Walnuts provide nutrients to improve brain function and are a good choice to add to your snacks.

Toasting your raw coconut is easy and adds a boost to the taste. I make sure my coconut has no added sugar. I enjoy buying Bob’s Red Mill coconut flakes because Bob’s is employee owned and I want them to succeed! To toast your coconut, simply place it in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it gets a beautiful golden brown color. Be sure to transfer it to a new bowl immediately since it can scorch quickly!

I use raw milk (the creamy top layer is best!) because that is what I have, but any milk will work.

Coconut oil (extra virgin organic) is also excellent for your brain and most of us need to eat more good fats. Contrary to the popular philosophy that dominated US culture for years, fats make you feel satisfied and you end up eating less.

Raw cacao powder has so many benefits with the mineral content and off the charts ORAC scores. Do some research – eating raw chocolate is a good daily habit! Making your own ensures you know exactly what you are eating.

Here’s what you do, prepare a coconut mixture, which will go on the bottom and the top. Prepare the chocolate mixture for the center.

Coconut layer

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 cups toasted coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (soak in water first – if you remember!)
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Melt butter and coconut oil gently, add honey, molasses and salt, stir until well combined. Add coconut and walnut and stir thoroughly. Put 2/3 of the mixture into a pan (line with parchment paper). Place in the refrigerator to harden.

Chocolate layer

  • ½ Cup coconut oil
  • ½ Cup peanut butter
  • ½ Cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ Cup milk (almond, coconut, or dairy)

Melt coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey just enough to combine thoroughly. Add salt and milk and stir well. Pour over hardened coconut mixture and spread around gently. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 coconut mixture on the top. Put in the refrigerator to harden.

It doesn’t take too long to harden, then you can cut into squares and arrange on a tray or place into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. The bars will melt if left out for too long, and they might be a little bit crumbly so be sure to eat with a plate or napkin underneath.

Enjoy – guilt free! Satisfying, delicious, nutritious!

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, and passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. From time to time Becky shares easy recipes that can help you have a healthier life!

 

Make Your Own Easy Milk Kefir

I just made a quick video to show how easy it is to make your own milk kefir! I’ve been making my own milk kefir for around 3 years. When I started it was a bit of a daunting procedure, but I’ve figured out how to make it easy and delicious. In this under 3 minute video I share some great tips and insight I’ve discovered. This is the real me. Not too much make-up, and just a normal kitchen. My daughter helped me by recording, but we only had one take!

Adding probiotics to our diet has a lot of immune boosting benefits. Here are some of my recipes that contain kefir:

Chia Breakfast Salad
GF Waffles
The Best Curry You Ever Made
GF Banana Bread

If you’d like some dried kefir grains, I have a limited supply, but am happy to send them to you for the cost of postage.

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings is a wife, mother, grandmother, and passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. From time to time Becky shares easy recipes that can help you have a healthier life!

 

What dose of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C offers excellent protection and treatment for babies and children against common infections. Knowing this information helps parents make wise choices regarding commonly recommended preventative measures, such as vaccines. There are many known side effects from vaccines and many medical professionals who question the effectiveness of vaccines. Knowing which infections your child may be exposed to, and how you can treat them naturally and effectively at home using vitamin C will help you make a fully informed choice regarding vaccines. We all want safe healthy children. We need to thoroughly understand the risk of any and all treatments recommended for our children.

Vitamin C taken in a daily dose for health, three times a day, protects from illness and provides many benefits. A much higher dose is needed upon first noticing any symptoms of illness in order to resolve the infection quickly.

There are several doctors who recommend high dose vitamin C, but have slightly differing target amounts. You can decide what you want to do for yourself and your family.

Important notes:

  • Vitamin C is the best broad-spectrum antibiotic, antihistamine, antitoxic, and antiviral substance there is. It is safe, effective, and inexpensive.
  • Quantity (enough) and frequency of dose are the keys to successfully using vitamin C therapy. The goal is to maintain high levels in the blood. When treating illness, the more frequently you can give the doses the better.
  • 1 gram = 1000 mg.
  • Sodium ascorbate powder is a good form of vitamin C because it is non acidic to the stomach. Ascorbic acid powder can also be used. Powdered forms are the most economical and can easily be mixed with a small amount of water or juice and swallowed. Many prefer to buy brands that are not made in China and do not use GMOs.
  • You cannot ‘overdose’ on vitamin C or get dependent on it. When the body has reached saturation, it simply excretes the extra in urine and bowel.

Pediatrician Lendon H. Smith, MD recommends 3 g per day for pregnant women for benefits to the woman, the birth, and the baby. For baby he recommends 100 mg per day per month of age (6 mo 600 mg, one year old 1 g, two-year old 2 g, etc). A daily dose of 2 – 5 g for a lifetime is recommended for everyone.

Dr Klenner recommended daily doses of 10-15 g from the age of ten through adult for preventative maintenance. Children should have their age in grams up the age of 10 (i.e. a one year old 1 g per day, a five-year old, 5 g per day).

If any symptoms of illness occur, increase the dose.

Dr Andrew Saul: “Take enough vitamin C to be symptom free, whatever that amount may be. In order for vitamin C to act as an antiviral, antibiotic, antitoxin, or antihistamine, you need a huge amount. Expect to use as much a 1 g of vitamin C per pound of baby. You may very well get a cure with less, but not a lot less. What works is what works.” Bowel tolerance indicates saturation of vitamin C. When bowel tolerance occurs, the bowel will empty quickly. Continue to give vitamin C, but decrease the quantity slightly.

How do I get a baby or child to take so much vitamin C?

Add powdered sodium ascorbate to a small amount of water or juice so they will drink it all. During illness, set a timer and offer every hour or every half hour. If you are desperate and the child is refusing, add sugar to the water. Rather give baby the vitamin C with a little sugar, then not get them to take the vitamin C at all. Babies older than one year can have honey mixed in the water instead of sugar. Some babies will tolerate a little vitamin C powder directly on their tongue, followed by water or breast.

“You can either use enough, or have a sick child.” Dr Andrew Saul

“Does the cost of daily doses of vitamin C bother you? The average baby uses around 6,000 diapers before toilet training. You might just as well have a healthy baby as a dry baby!” Dr Andrew Saul

“My baby is still sick. The dose needs to be higher. Shooting beans at a charging rhinoceros is not likely to influence the outcome!” Dr Andrew Saul

Dr Klenner’s therapeutic dose is 350 mg of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight per day in divided doses. Roughly represented in this chart:

For serious viral illness Dr Klenner actually used as much as four times these amounts, administered by injection. For more severe symptoms, you can give more orally, up to bowel tolerance.

If you are facing a serious infection in a child, here is an idea of how you might proceed in order to get rid of it quickly:

Give 1g (1/4 tsp) vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate per year of age in a little juice all at once. A little more is better than a little less in this instance. Wait for 2 hours.

At 2 hours you should get a bowel tolerance response consisting of a very explosive bowel movement – complete with wind and very runny poop. If this doesn’t happen by 2 hours, give another 1g per year of age per hour until it does. I am willing to bet this will produce the goods in 2 hours, but if the patient is really sick, vitamin C levels might be low, and it might take a bit more to reach bowel tolerance response point (BTR).[1]

When BTR is reached, symptoms should subside and patient should feel better in a very short time, depending on the severity of the illness. If symptoms continue, continue to give sodium ascorbate frequently but below the bowel tolerance level.

After symptoms subside, continue to give a healing dose, or slightly more. That is, the child’s age in grams (up to 5 – 10 grams per day) spread over 3 times a day.

Vitamin C, given in high enough doses, given frequently enough, is one of the most powerful antidotes to both viral and bacterial infections. When parents understand how to use vitamin C at the first sign of illness for babies and children, they will no longer fear the ‘dreaded childhood infections’ and will be able to confidently investigate the risks of any infection versus the known risk of vaccine injury.

Before a baby is two years old, the CDC says they need 36 vaccines against 14 different infections, delivered via 24 needles, and containing 91 different antigens. I encourage all parents to investigate which shots are being offered to you and why.

Further educate and inform yourself on the benefits and effectiveness of Vitamin C therapy by watching and reading:

  1. Vitamin C Basics by Suzanne Humphries, MD, Internist and Nephrologist. https://youtu.be/JFT5rdwrNV0
  2. The Vitamin Cure For Infant and Toddler Health Problems by Ralph Campbell, MD and Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D.
  3. Dr Klenner’s Clinical Gide to the Use of Vitamin C by Lendon H. Smith, MD (1988). Dr Klenner explored using Vitamin C in high doses for a huge variety of illnesses/conditions. His primary mode of delivering the vitamin C was through injection. http://www.whale.to/a/smith_b.html
  4. The Healing Factor, by Irwin Stone, MD, available in an electronic version http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone/

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

[1] For more info on taking Vitamin C to bowel tolerance point, especially for treating chronic illness, and finding your own ‘saturation point’  http://beyondhealth.com/media/wysiwyg/kadro/articles/VitC-Bowel-Tolerance.pdf

 

Make Your Own Tomato Soup

Since we try to eat clean, organic, non-processed foods, there aren’t too many restaurants we frequent in our town that majors on the franchise model. But, I do have a confession: I love Panera Bread’s tomato soup. It’s a little expensive for a bowl, and I don’t eat the bread, but occasionally I indulge myself. Many times I considered trying to match their recipe, but last week, after having a significant molar pulled, I really needed some soup! So I finally attempted it, and was delighted with the result.

For the same price as a bowl of tomato soup from Panera, I can make a huge pot. Not only is it delicious and economical, it is also quick and easy. I encourage you to give it a try. As always with my cooking, I use a great deal of flexibility. I have made it two times and both times were different, but still great.

I added jalapeño and cayenne pepper just because I enjoy hot flavors and they are both really beneficial for healing and the immune system. You can leave them out to have a milder flavour. See notes at the end on optional ingredients to add.

  • 2 Tablespoons oil suitable for heating (avocado, coconut, or butter)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 – 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ( I used Simple Truth Organic)
  • Either one 25 oz jar of your favorite tomato pasta sauce (I used Simple Truth Organic Tomato Basil) OR another 28 oz can of diced tomatoes.
  • 1 cup chicken stock (the 2nd time I used beef stock)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil, or 5 leaves fresh
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne (red) pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (or more) half and half, cream, or milk

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in your preferred oil until translucent. Add jalapeño, if you like the heat. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the half and half. Bring to a boil. Allow the pot to simmer on low with the top off for about 15 minutes, then add the half and half, milk or cream and allow to heat through. Use an immersion blender or transfer all (or part) to a regular blender. Serve with whatever you enjoy. It’s great plain, but it was also really good sprinkled with cheese!

Optional variations: For an additional nutrition boost, the second time I made it, I added 4 carrots to the above recipe. When it was put through the blender, there was no obvious indication of carrots, except that it may have been a little thicker – and the beta carotene content was boosted!

[Edit: I just made this again on 29 March 2017 and included about 1 1/2 cups of butternut squash cut into cubes, a handful of leafy green beet tops, 1 whole peeled fresh tomato (because it was very ripe and needed a place to be useful) and 3/4 inch of fresh turmeric root! I only added the turmeric at the blending stage, so it wasn’t cooked. Because the butternut is sweet, I omitted the honey. It was great!]

I’m sure it will be easy to freeze and reheat, but I didn’t have enough left over to try!

DSC_0062Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus, seeker of truth and health. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the very real dangers threatening the health and freedom of today’s parents, providing information to navigate towards joyful family living!  Posted 31 January 2017

 

 

GF Banana Bread

img_3536In August 2012 I decided to do a 21 day sugar fast. I’d been doing various similar fasts for a couple of years. Sometimes I would fast from sugar AND coffee (tough). This time I added bread/wheat to my fast. It was remarkable how after about 2 days of eating no wheat products how much better I felt. I never thought I had a problem or any sensitivity to wheat, but cutting it out left my gut/digestion feeling so good and I had so much energy, that even after 21 days I decided I could live without wheat forever! If you had told me that I would make this decision, I wouldn’t have believed you because I really enjoy baked items. But that short fast cured my addiction and I no longer felt compelled to devour bread, doughnuts or cake!

I admit I have had the occasional cookie or cinnamon roll when my daughter has made them. But by and large I have avoided most wheat containing foods since August 2012. I didn’t immediately rush to find gluten-free flours and replacement recipes. I just stopped eating muffins, cake, bread, etc. I truly feel so much better that it is easy to find other food choices that satisfy.

However, recently I have been hankering for banana bread. Maybe it’s because of the Christmas season. Maybe because I had a lot of ripe bananas. So after nearly 4 1/2 years of gluten-free living I have experimented with baking my first GF banana bread!

I reduced the sugar to 1/3 of a cup, so it’s not exactly sugar-free – but it is LOW sugar! I usually write my recipes in steps so that it is really easy to follow – that is the way I wrote them for my children to learn to cook. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill because they have a great ethos and are employee owned, but other than the GF flour, you could probably substitute other brands. Also, if you don’t have the Arrowroot, you could just try  cups of Bob’s GF Flour.

GF Banana Bread

In a bowl combine together:

  • 1 and  ¾ cups Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (organic)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda (Bob’s)
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½-1 cup pecans from my friends Al & Mary at Pearson Farm (I used whole pecans, but it makes it challenging to cut into slices, so next time I will probably chop them).

I combined the following in my Vita-Mix, but if you don’t have a blender, or food processor, just use what you have to mash the bananas and mix with the other ‘wet’ ingredients.

  • 2 eggs (organic)
  • 3 very large ripe bananas (organic)
  • ½ cup butter melted (organic)
  • 3 Tbl milk kefir (or milk, or water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined with a wooden spoon. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter (I used glass), pour batter in. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan.

Seriously, I have probably made hundreds of regular banana breads in my 34+ career as a mother of five children. This GF loaf came out of the pan better than anything I’ve ever made. It was so good I had to take a picture of the bottom!

img_3535

This is my second GF recipe. My first is GF SF waffles. They are light and fluffy and really easy to make. I don’t indulge in them often, but enjoy making them for children and grandchildren.

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety. As a diversion, she sometimes posts recipes!

Chia Breakfast

img_3352

A refrigerator stocked with six portions of Chia Breakfast! What a great way to start the day!

We 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. Chia is a great plant based source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and is extremely versatile.

img_3350It is time to think differently.  What can I make that is fast, nutritious, good for me, AND will travel well? Chia breakfast to go.  The following is more of a guide than a recipe – personalise this process and make it your own! My quantities are only rough estimates – I very rarely measure anything!

Foundation ingredients:

  • Chia seeds (about 1/2 T per serving)
  • Water to cover
  • Homemade kefir or plain yogurt (±1/3 Cup per serving)
  • Nuts
Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

Chopped fresh ginger, jalapeño pepper, and turmeric

  • Goji Berries, Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Seeds, sunflower or pumpkin
  • Honey
  • Fruit, chopped (apple, pear, pineapple)
  • Berries, fresh or frozen (cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Veggies, chopped especially celery, cucumber, or kale. Celery is a great to add because it naturally helps pull metals from the body i.e. ‘detox’ and I love the crunch it provides!
  • Ginger, chopped fresh
Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

Optional ingredients, adjust to taste:

  • Cinnamon (boosts metabolism)
  • Salt (Himalayan for mineral boost)
  • Turmeric (fresh is available, great anti-inflammatory)
  • Jalapeño pepper, fresh, chopped (anti viral)
  • Coconut, fresh or large flake
  • Coconut oil (A great brain boost, stir in fast after you add the veggies, so it doesn’t clump!)
  • Hemp seeds (also known as Hemp Hearts)
  • 1 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbl raw maca powder
  • Flax seeds, ground (not too much)

For those who are more hard-core focus on more veggies (celery, cucumber, kale), more superfoods and less fruit. Adding hemp can be expensive, but it provides a great energy source. 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 so that they can enjoy it.  If you decide to have eggs for breakfast, or want to do “intermittent fasting”, you could always save your chia breakfast for lunch!

img_3349If it seems like a lot of effort, remember, you are preparing breakfast for several days in advance. I like to organise my breakfast ingredients into three categories: refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This helps me streamline the preparation process.

I wrote about my previous Chia Breakfast variations here and here and here

Thanksgiving 2015Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

decadent-chocolate-cake-quinoaThis recipe is based on quinoa and is amazingly moist. My friend, Simela, says it works equally well using millet. While I generally try to avoid sugar, this recipe with the quinoa, butter, coconut milk, coconut oil, and eggs, makes it lean towards the more healthy of decadent chocolate treats! My presentation skills are not high in my skill set, but I thought the picture looked quite appealing! I imagine adding some blueberries or other berries on top would increase the appeal.

cake-cherry-sliceThis recipe is quick and easy to make if you have a blender. I’m not sure what the results would be without a blender. I used my Vita-mix, and since I was using such a powerful blender, I decided to try something I’d never seen before in a cake recipe. You know how it says, “whole eggs”? Well, I washed my farm fresh eggs bought directly from a local farmer, and put the WHOLE eggs into the Vita-mix! So, my cake has the additional benefit of calcium and probably a few other necessary minerals! We can all use more minerals!

cake-eggsMy cake is based on inspiration from my friend, Simela, and the explanation found here. Of course, I can never follow recipes exactly, so here is what I did:

Combine in blender:

  • 4 whole (I literally used whole clean eggs in my Vita-mix! I blended them on high until no crunchy noises were heard!) If you don’t have a Vita-mix, or aren’t into consuming egg shells, just crack and use the 4 eggs as normal!

Then I added the following ingredients and blended again.

  • 1/3 Cup raw milk (from my local dairy farmer)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used sprouted organic)
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter (I never use a microwave to melt butter – unlike some people who bake in my kitchen. I always melt slowly over low heat)
  • 1/4 Cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla

In a separate bowl I combined:

  • 1 Cup Hershey’s dark cocoa (I often use raw cacao, but when you are going to be cooking, there is little point in using raw cacao which is more expensive)
  • 1 Cup organic brown sugar (because that is what I found in my pantry. My friend Simela, always uses honey – just less than a cup – in hers. I think I will try honey next time.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder (I left out the baking soda/bicarb because it ALWAYS seems to give baking a bad taste)
  • Himalayan salt, several turns, probably around 1 tsp, but life is too short to measure exactly.

I poured the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stirred to mix thoroughly. I lined 2 pans with parchment paper and divided the batter between them. The batter was a bit stiff and I spread it around and popped them straight into a 350 degree (180 Celsius) oven and baked for 25 minutes.

It works best to prepare the icing BEFORE. But I neglected to read that part – or at least digest that information enough to put it into practice! I did however, put the can of coconut milk into the refrigerator the day before, so it was nice and cold, which is important.

ICING:

  • I melted one whole 12 oz (340 g) bag of Private Selection 43% Cacao semi sweet chocolate chips. I’m sure a variety of chocolate would work, for me the darker the better.
  • I opened the can carefully and scooped out all the thick part of the coconut milk. It was about 1/2 of the can and added it to the chocolate once it was melted. You can taste it at this point to see if you want to add more coconut milk, depending on the darkness/sweetness of your chosen chocolate. I stirred everything together, then allowed it to cool on the counter, then in the refrigerator.
  • After it was cold, I whipped it for about 45 seconds.

Putting it all together:

cake-insideAfter the cake cooled I put it carefully on a plate with the bottom side up, smothered it with 1/2 of the icing, added the 2nd cake bottom side up, and smothered it with the remaining icing. I put the whole thing in the refrigerator to get cold.

I did have a piece for breakfast desert. It is satisfying, without leaving you craving more – a good place to be!

Thanksgiving 2015

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies. As a member of a Vaccine Safety Education Coalition, Becky writes and speaks on the topic of vaccine safety.

3rd Prize Chili

Red potOrganic 3 Bean Chili Con Cashew (Vegetarian)

This is my variation of an original recipe known as Chili Con Cashew by Kathryn J. Canfield, in Whole Foods for the Whole Family, published by La Leche League International. All the ingredients are organic, if they were available. This chili won 3rd place in a local chili cook off.

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. each basil and oregano
  • ±1 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • ±1 tsp. curry powder (can’t get enough of those spices!)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder (great anti-inflammatory food; add to everything!)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or less
  • a few dashes of black and cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 42 ounces chopped/crushed tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry red wine

Salute garlic and all vegetables (except tomatoes) in the coconut oil in a saucepan for several minutes. Add all the spices (except the bay leaf) and stir.

Stove Top Method: Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for ±2 hours.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Method: Dump the contents of the saucepan and all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5+ hours. In order not to waste any of your spicy flavor, add some of the tomato liquid to the saucepan, stir and pour into the crock pot.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, corn bread, or WHATEVER YOU LIKE! It is also great as leftovers and can even be eaten cold!

ENJOY!

Becky Hastings