Tag Archives: chia seeds

Fruit & Greens

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Fruit
Vegan
Vegan

Ever need more space in your kitchen? A cupcake plate stand is the perfect solution, and it even makes it more appealing to choose what you want to eat. We have been living off mostly what we can find in our kitchen or out in the garden. Unfortunately, we do not have a backyard full of fruit trees. We made a trip to the store and filled our trolley with fresh fruit as you can see. Yum! As some of the produce can be limited, we bought as much organic fruit as possible. We even found mangoes for under $3. With a much higher price tag, I could not resist buying at least 3 passionfruit. If you have been following me from the start or know me well, they are one of my favourite fruits. I was quite surprised to see them already coming into season, but at $39.99kg! Since our lovely lamb ate our other vine and our new one is still growing, I am uncertain if ours will even produce fruit this year. I hope that someone near me will kindly donate lots of passionfruit to us because I definitely cannot afford to keep buying this yummy fruit.

You might be wondering what the cauliflower photos are all about. It might seem a bit silly and really simple, but have you ever cut cauliflower in small pieces or tossed some in the food processor and mixed in hummus? If not, you should definitely try it. We love raw cauliflower and hummus, but this is just something a little bit different. Depending on the flavour hummus, there is a slight resemblance to Mac ‘n Cheese. Well, that might just be me. It has been a very long time since I had that, and I do not remember having it all that much, but I always seem to think of it when eating this. I usually use a spicy or capsicum hummus, but feel free to use any kind. Yum! Zaedyn likes to dip big pieces of raw cauliflower in hummus, but this is also a great alternative. If you have little ones and are worried about choking, you can process this a lot more than I did and then mix with hummus.

Another beautiful day in the sunshine! I heard Zaedyn and the lawnmower making their way down the steps as I grabbed our smoothie, and off he went. Lawnmowers seem to be one of the most important things in his life at the moment. He just loves them, and he will be the first to hear and tell you about them when a neighbour is mowing their lawn. Last weekend we bought a handmower which seems to be working really well and is much more eco-friendly than our other lawnmower. If only we could cover our entire yard with fruits and veggies! Even with the amount we eat, I am pretty sure I would have a lot to share seeing as we have a pretty big yard.

This is our third day of somewhat following the 40 Days of Smoothies e-book. As I have mentioned before, I never seem to follow recipes; not even my own. Why? Often I use what I have or prefer to use, and by the end I realise that I have actually changed or substituted a lot. However, I still am inspired by looking at a recipe. Anyways, if you have the e-book, my changes were cacao instead of cocoa powder, a mix of kale and spinach as we are running low on kale, LSA (linseed, sunflower, and almond) instead of flax meal, and some frozen banana instead of maple syrup. There was an extra addition of green today with avocado in our smoothie. Oh, and the photo on the right is just another little snack: avocado on organic sesame corn thins sprinkled with chia seeds for an extra boost.

Thank you to everyone voting for Arohanui Vegan Love for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms. If you haven’t already, please vote for us. I am pleased to hear that some of you are voting every day. Up until the 7th February, you can vote every 24 hours since your last vote. There are some other blogs listed well worth checking out, too!
Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

40 Days of Green Smoothies

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A HUGE thank you to Ally, from Made with Stars, for sending me my very own e-book copy of 40 days of Green Smoothies by Becky Striepe! I have been needing more green smoothie inspiration so this was perfect timing, and I am looking forward to experimenting with more greens. I will try to do my best going straight through 40 days unless we happen to be away somewhere that I cannot bring my mini blender, or I may always make minor adjustments to the recipes.

Quickly looking through, they are pretty simple smoothies which require ingredients that I already use or seem to have in my garden or pantry. I like the way that the weeks are set up requiring similar ingredients so if you do not have a garden, you do not have to stock up on a huge range of ingredients every week. Mangoes are going to be the hard one for me! I love mangoes, but we just cannot seem to get them cheap here. If anyone in New Zealand comes across some, let me know. I have never seen frozen mangoes here, and I don’t think I can afford to buy many at $5+ each. You might find me searching the shops for them :). I also don’t seem to find collard greens. I was thinking I might need to grow some as they make the perfect wrap!

Anyways, Zaedyn and I decided to make our first green smoothie from the book this afternoon. I just love how Zaedyn says, “Smoothie,” especially with so much excitement. We just used our mini blender which is why you see so many little bits of green kale, but you really do not notice when you are drinking it. We possibly could have added some more greens as the recipe called for 1-2 leaves, but since mine were small, I used about 4. I also didn’t have any ice in the freezer so I just added some more frozen raspberries. Zaedyn’s first response to raspberries is always, “Strawberry!” One day he will learn the difference. I still think that he is pretty clever. Green Smoothie #1: Banana, almond milk, chia seeds, frozen raspberries, and kale (ice if you have some). Blend and enjoy!

Vegan Smoothie

Green Smoothie #1 from 40 Days of Green Smoothies

Looking ahead through the book, I noticed that I will be needing lots of kale. Good thing I bought some more to grow today. I noticed that I have been picking leaves off from what is already out in the garden, and new leaves keep appearing. I am just loving my garden this year. I also still have more kale seeds, but I couldn’t resist 3 for $10 plants. I could buy everything in the shop, but I decided to mix it up and buy one lot of kale, cauliflower, and a gourmet lettuce combo. Although seeds can be cheaper, it can be a good head start buying them already started. Our garden is going so well this year, that we really have worked out how to save money and time away from shopping. I would absolutely love to be fully sustainable or close to it all year round, so I can see our garden continuing to grow all of the time.

Vegan

Oh, and what I actually went there for was a compost container that we debated about buying the other day. I think it is the cutest little compost bin for under our sink. Yes, we are trying to save money, but this is something that we need. We have had our big compost bins for quite a few years now, and I cannot say that we have always had success. We even spent a bit more to buy an Earthmaker which does most of the work for you, but we were never in the right mindset to use it properly. I don’t like to pile leftovers into a plastic bag, but I have also been looking for a different alternative than just a plastic white bucket. I know you might think that we really didn’t need this, but I know it is going to make such a difference being easier to carry our scraps out to the compost, and I think it really is a great alternative to a plastic container. Zaedyn thinks it makes a pretty good drum, too! Our banana and de-stemmed kale from our smoothie were the first scraps into our new little compost container. What do you think?

Vegan Compost

Vegan Compost

In case you were wondering what the center photo is, this is what underneath the lid looks like. When we were going to buy it the other day, I questioned whether it would get smelly as there were holes in the top although it would help air it out. We are good at emptying it though so I figured that it possibly wouldn’t matter. Then today I realised that there is something sitting in the inside which I am assuming is a way to help circulate, yet not leave the compost container completely open. Aha, please let me know if I am wrong though! It would be quite funny to think that it was just part of the packaging, although I am pretty sure that this is not the case.

Vegan Compost

I know that I have mentioned this a few times, but if you have not looked at Ally’s blog Made of Stars, make sure you do. She shares awesome recipes every Monday and is currently working on an A-Z of Veganism series (up to G right now) which points out very interesting topics that you will want to read whether you are not vegan or not. Plus of course, topics on vegan parenting and vegan children. Thanks again, Ally. Zaedyn and I look forward to our green smoothies!

Gluten-Free Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Bikkies

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Vegan

Through doubling some of the ingredients and changing the flour mixture, I made a fluffier version of the Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Cookies. Yum! These are so soft and gooey straight out of the oven. Even after they have cooled, they are a nice texture, and it is hard not to keep eating them. We even found ourselves eating the cookie batter!

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Almond Butter Chocolate Bikkies

2 TBSP chia seeds mixed with 6 TBSP water
1/2 cup Olivani (or vegan butter)
1/2 cup homemade almond butter
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar (You can easily get away with not adding all of the sugars)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Himalayan Crystal Salt
1 cup organic oats, blended into a flour (gluten-free)
1 cup almonds blended into flour
1 cup gluten-free flour
chopped vegan dark chocolate

-Mix chia seeds and water, set aside.

-With mixer, beat Olivani & almond butter, then add sugars and chia seed.

-Add dry ingredients, fold in chocolate chips.

-Roll into balls and bake around 11 minutes at 180 C. Enjoy.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Smoothie a Day ~ November

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November

Smoothies are full of goodness! They are packed with lots of nutrients. Fruit, Veggies, and superfoods: there are endless ways to make a different smoothie every day. This actually made it extremely hard in choosing only 30 ideas, but I tried to choose a variety as well as a few that I know will be a bit more challenging. I also tried not to use too many ingredients that not everyone stocks in their pantry, but with only one ingredient listed you can feel free to get creative. I am going to be creating smoothies that I have never made before, and I look forward to seeing everyone else’s creativity.

If you are following us on Pinterest, there is a new Smoothies board which I will be adding lots of pins to as I come across them. I will post this photo so that you can re-pin. Please like and share this photo on Facebook as well so that as many people as possible can be involved in creating and drinking smoothies this month. Each day we welcome any way you wish to contribute whether it is a photo, recipe, or your thoughts. If you post a photo on our wall, you can re-share on your own. Thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to all of the smoothie bliss in November.

Roasted Vegetable Salad & Pumpkin Cookies

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fresh rosemary

Rosemary for coughing? I recently read somewhere that rosemary is a good herb to eat if you have a cough and had just been talking with a good friend about her beautifully fast growing rosemary plant. Zaedyn started coughing a bit yesterday. I was hoping it would not come to anything, but I thought I would get some rosemary to give him just in case.

Zaedyn tasted a fresh rosemary leaf, but ended up falling asleep before dinner was ready as he was too tired from a busy day. At least I ended up with this yummy roast vegetable salad with fresh rosemary for dinner. Lucky enough, there was heaps leftover which we were able to enjoy for lunch today. Zaedyn doesn’t seem to be coughing today, but I don’t think that I can put it down to the rosemary. At least I know what to use next time any of us have a cough. Has anyone else ever eaten rosemary as a natural remedy for coughing or tried rosemary oil?

I prefer to eat most vegetables raw and know that they are better for us that way, but there were a couple reasons that I decided to make this salad. When we were in Rarotonga in January, one of the restaurants made me a special meal one night which was a variety of roasted vegetables and hummus. It was so yummy, and I would have gone back again if we weren’t at the end of our trip. A few months ago, I decided to make my own creation with courgettes, pumpkin, onion, capsicum, kumara, and cashews over mixed greens with capsicum hummus. It was delicious! Zaedyn was pretty excited as well, however, he was only eating the hummus by the spoonful which he often likes to do. Also, I did not give him any cashews.

When thinking of how to use rosemary last night, I thought that this salad would be perfect. This time I made kumara with fresh rosemary, pumpkin, capsicum, and onion on top of spinach leaves. I could not decide which nuts to use so I ended up with a combination of cashews, walnuts, and pine nuts. Again, this was absolutely delicious.

Rosemary

About a week ago, I saw a photo of some pumpkin cookies from the Lunchbox Bunch. I really wanted to try them and actually ended up making my own version which is super yummy. Zaedyn and I made them today for David’s birthday with the extra pumpkin we cooked alongside our veggies last night. Our own pumpkin puree with yummy and healthy ingredients. I would definitely make these again.

chia seeds

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
~1 1/4 cups organic rolled oats
~3/4 cup rice flour
~1/2 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond)
~1/2 cup raw sugar *optional
~1 tsp cinnamon
~1 TBSP baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
~1/3 c water + 2 tsp chia seeds
~1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~1 cup homemade pumpkin puree
~1 tsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
~2 TBSP melted coconut oil

Mix wet into dry ingredients and add in:
~3/4 cup chopped walnuts
~1 cup chocolate

Dough can be chilled or cooked straight away for 12 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.

*Thank you to Healthy Happy Life for the idea to make pumpkin cookies and the basic recipe which I adjusted. Check out their site for some yummy looking recipes.

Rā whānau ki a koe, rā whānau ki a koe, rā whānau ki a David, rā whānau ki a koe!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear David, happy birthday to you!

Happy Birthday, David! Lots of love xxx

Edamame Dip Sprinkled with Chia Seeds

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garden

Fresh parsley we picked from our garden ~1/4 cup for our dip & the rest for our rāpeti, Kai

soybean

Bag of already shelled edamame soybeans cooked (Mama San in NZ is 454g) & don’t forget to save the liquid to help blend everything together

edamame dip

1 TBLS Organic Miso, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, clove of garlic

Freshly Squeezed Lemon

2 TBLS freshly squeezed lemon

Edamame Dip

Add above ingredients to blender with 3/4 cup cooking liquid, small avocado, 2 TBLS avocado oil, 1tsp Organic Tahini, Himalayan Crystal Salt, & dash of pepper (chili *optional)

Edamame

Edamame

Edamame Dip on rice crackers & sprinkled with black chia seeds

Edamame

Definitely recommend this dip. With a few modifications to the Pinterest Edamame dip, ours was a success. Zaedyn approved as you can see! Crackers or raw veggies hardly make it into his mouth when there is hummus or dip. He prefers to eat it with his hands or by the spoonful. He could not get enough of this yummy dip. Lucky the recipe makes quite a bit, otherwise there would not have been enough for me. After scooping out the rest from the blender, there is still heaps more for tomorrow. It is a lovely warm dip fresh out of the blender, but it tastes just as yummy when cold as well.

Modifications to original recipe:

~Our avocado was small so we used a whole one

~Avocado oil instead of olive oil

~1tsp Organic Tahini

~Himalayan Crystal Salt

~Chili spice instead of paste

~A bit more water

~Chia seeds instead of sesame

As we did not have any red chili paste, off to the store we went with our stylish organic hemp bag. Unfortunately we did not find any chili paste or chillies, but we managed to find a few other yummy things at the store. We decided to use both avocado and tahini as tahini would add a natural source of calcium. We did not have any black sesame seeds, but I figured that I already incorporated sesame seeds with the tahini so why not boost this yummy dip with more nutrition by sprinkling with chia seeds.

Chia seeds are nature’s complete superfood containing Omega 3 ALA, essential “good fat”, and dietary fibre.

Let me know if you make this yummy edamame dip. It is a great alternative to hummus and packed with natural superfoods. This recipe also allows for many changes of ingredients from what you can find in your garden or pantry. Enjoy!

Edamame

*Original Recipe from Scaling Back. Thanks for the idea to make this dip 🙂