What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’ve always loved these weekly love list posts on other blogs, so I thought why not do one myself?
So, what I have been loving lately-

My new-to-me diaper bag! 10 bucks secondhand and never been used.  It is gorgeous and I am so glad I didnt cough up the 90 dollars for the only other diaper bag I have seen that I actually liked!
diaper bag

This Living Intentions raw granola.  Normally I don’t like storebought raw cereals and granolas because I am always dissapointed and think what a better job I could do myself.  Not so with this stuff.  So far I have had the Cacao Crunch and Hemp & Greens flavors, but am looking forward to trying the others.


photo from highvibe.com

Wild green juices.  At the risk of sounding redundant due to my other posts on juicing, I can’t get enough of this stuff.  Here in Northwest Louisiana, cleavers and chickweed are what is abundant at the moment, at least of the things that we recognize and have a relationship with.  And the juice- so easy.  Blend, strain and enjoy! Oh, and add coconut water for some crazy awesome hydration 😉
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Zumba- I went to my first Zumba class last night and I loved it.  I felt super ridiculous pretty much the whole time, but luckily instead of staying locked into feeling self-conscious, I recognized the feelings for what they were and for an opportunity to laugh at myself a little more than I usually do and let go and smile!  And I had fun!  So much in fact, that I stayed for the next class too!  Yay exercize that doesn’t suck!

Pine pollen!  Oh the abundance at the moment!  The trees here are a totally different species to those in Madrid and they are some high producers.  Dan has spent far less time this year than in the past and ended up with waay more.  He’s got about 3 liters of pine pollen tincturing at the moment and then a large jar of pine pollen powder.  I loooove it in blueberry/nut milk smoothies.  Who needs expensive protein powders when this is a far superior ancient food and free!
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Oh, and this little peapod of course.  She never, ever ceases to both amaze and delight me.  Thank you Amethyst Joy for choosing me to be your mommy!
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Light Cleanse and Weekend Happenings

I have been feeling really bad physically.  On one level, I have been feeling the remnants of the flu I had- just sort of low grade symptoms- headache, sore throat, tiredness, etc.  And then on another level I have been feeling really unhealthy in other ways- I feel so overweight and out of shape.  I also feel like I have been holding on to my baby body.  I guess being pregnant and giving birth and now mothering Amethyst has meant such a significant change in my life- how I live my day-to-day, who I fundamentally am as a person, what my priorities are that I just haven’t been able to let go of this belly.  But I feel like by shedding this extra weight I can return into myself a little.  In the yogic tradition, a new baby and mother share an aura for 40 days after the birth of the baby.  During this time, baby and mama are still connected as fundamentally as when baby was still in the womb- just that this connection is more energetic in nature.  Doing this cleanse has felt a little like I am taking some power back into my body.  As I am still (somewhat) breastfeeding my daughter, I decided to do a really light version of a cleanse.  Juicing and smoothies all day and then one meal and a light snack.

Saturday-

Wild green kuice- cleaver, apple, chickweed, lime
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Smoothie-frozen blueberries, mango, kale, coconut water, vitamineral green, sunwarrior protein powder, cashews, dates

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, fennel, ginger, kale stalks, lemons, limes

Smoothie- blueberry, mango, sunwarrior, avocado, dates, vitamineral green, pine pollen

Green juice- more of earlier green juice

Snack- some Hail Merry chocolate tarts- mint and almond butter flavors, shared with my Dad and hubby.  Also some little chococherry energy bite things from Hawaii.

meal- cucumber, shredded carrot, celery, lettuce, quinoa, roasted potato and beet in a raw Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce.

The sauce was awesome on this really hearty and filling yet light (if that totally contradictory description makes sense to anyone but me!) salad.

Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce

3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds, soaked 4 hours

juice of 2 lemon

pinch salt

2 date, soaked

1 dried chipotle pepper, soaked

1/4-1/2 c spring water, if needed

Add everything to blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Sunday was similar foodwise-

smoothie- blueberries, Sunwarrior, dates, rainbow chard and ice

smoothie- more blubes, Sunwarrior, cashews, dates, vitamineral green and cacao powder

juice- carrot, apple, celery, beet, cilantro

snack- Bearded Bros. Maca chocolate energy bar shared with hubby while having almond milk au laits at Rhino Coffee

juice- more of above root juice

meal- kelp noodles with spinach, grated carrots, pickles and Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce
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Also yesterday the hubby and I went to a sound healing session.  The woman used Tibetan singing bowls and a gong.  This was the first thing remotely like this that we have done since moving to Shreveport.  I fell asleep briefly during the session but have not been so relaxed in a reaaaaaaally long time.  I think it also helped shift me into a more positive headspace as well.  Dan enjoyed it as well and Amethyst was FINE with her grandparents while we were gone 🙂  Also, we were able to introduce ourselves to a few people and saw some other interesting looking people near to our age.  So, it at least gave us some hope for creating a nice life for ourselves during our time in Shreveport even if it is only temporary.

Today was also similar-

Green smoothie made by hubby but had mixed frozen fruits, spinach and pine pollen

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, cilantro, lemon, grapefruit

Wild greens- Cleaver and chickweed, grapefruit, lemon
juice makings:
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Chickweed juice

meal- Blue corn tacos with black beans, daiya vegan cheese, spinach and beet greens, grated carrot, guacamole, chickweed-cilantro pesto, and tomatillo salsa.  OMG so delicious were these!

Chickweed-Cilantro Pesto
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1/2 cup chickweed

1/2 cup cilantro

1/4 cup pine nuts

pinch salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

splash of good olive oil

Throw everything into food processor and pulse into slightly chunky paste.

Back to the old school…

…superfoods, that is!

 I wouldn’t say that I am one of those people obsessed with superfoods, making elixirs that end up costing something outrageous like 20 dollars per blenderful.  But on the other hand, I do think that they have their place in a conscious diet.  

Ideally, it would be amazing to get all of our nutrients and trace minerals from the produce that we eat, but we have to be realistic about the fact that our soil is seriously depleted of these necessary trace elements (yes, even in organic food!)

Another objection that people generally have to superfoods, and one that I understand and struggle with myself is the whole local foods being ideal vs. superfoods being sourced from across the globe.  Again, I think it is always best to balance idealism with a balance of pragmatism.  Absolutely, each geographic area on this planet has it’s own indigenous superfoods and it is not explicitly necessary to eat suma from Brazil, ashwaganda from India, goji berries from China, mesquite from Arizona and chaga from Russia if a person lives in Western Europe, for example.  Living in Spain, there is an ABUNDANCE of wild edibles and herbals, which to me should be considered superfoods.  My husband and I routinely collect nettles, purslane, chicory, rosemary, lavender, pine pollen  and more, depending on the season of course!

On the flip side of that, we DO live in a global society, however much we may dislike that fact.  That does have it’s advantages.  I absolutely adore the flavors of Thai food, and some of those ingredients are simply not local to me.  Does that mean that I shouldn’t enjoy it?  Of course not!  I think the same is true for superfoods, when they are sourced as ethically and sustainably as possible.  I truly believe that the world IS facing some massive structural changes, and that we will in our lifetimes undergo  radical changes to our lifestyle, necessarily resulting in a return to more local economies.  But for the moment, I think that we have been given a special gift in that we are able to pick and choose the most nutrient-dense and delicious foods from all over the globe.  

Anyway, my point in all of this (after much rambling!) is simply that recently, I have had an intense craving for the very first superfoods that I was introduced to years ago, but which have fallen into disuse in my kitchen- goji berries and maca.  Maybe it has something to do with my body craving specific nutrients, or maybe not, but all I know is that I HAD to have them!

So, I whipped a few things up!  These are what I am calling

Local vs. Global Superfood Truffle Balls

These balls are not especially sweet, so if you have a massive sweet tooth or are accustomed to sugary foods, then I would suggest adding in 2 tbsp. local honey or agave syrup.

  • 1 cup walnuts and 1 c hazelnuts ( or 2 cups whatever nuts are local to you- these are local to me)
  • 1 cup dried figs (or another dried fruit that is local to you)
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • 2 tbsp. carob powder (carob happens to be grown in Spain- if mesquite is more local to you, use that!)
  • 2 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. maca powder
  • 1 tsp. crystal manna powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup xylitol, for rolling balls in

Process nuts and dried fruit, then add everything else minus the cacao butter to the food processor and process again until fully incorporated.  It will still be quite crumbly.  Add cacao butter and process once more. Roll into balls with your hands, and then roll in xylitol to finish.

Ingredients assembled:

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Look at those gorgeous figs from the Alpujarran mountains:

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Finished product:

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Another recipe I made with the maca is my 

Super Curry Macamole

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. bee pollen
  • 1/4 tsp. crystal manna
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. maca powder
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. curry powder

Mush everything together in a bowl and enjoy!

I loved this on some red pepper flax crackers I made:

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That is it for now!  I have to go pack for this weekend, as I am going on a retreat for the end of my Kundalini Yoga teacher training.  We are going to be learning about Ayurvedic cooking among other things, so hopefully I will be able to come back with some new inspiration on Monday!  I made the truffles to take along, so hopefully they will be well received 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xx

Witchery

It has been a long time since I last posted.  I guess it is because food just became less of a priority for me, and I lost my inspiration, I suppose.  The wild food challenge went wonderfully and has continued because we love it.  It isn’t really a challenge anymore, but life.  We also have gained the confidence to go from strictly edible plants into the realm of medicinal plants as well.

Dan came home from his bike ride the other day super excited because he found a patch of St. Johns Wort.

photo from folkremediesforyou.com

I made it into a tincture for when winter comes around again.

New Passions

It’s been a while – I think like 3 weeks since my last post.  Honestly, I think it is because as soon as I committed myself to that raw food challenge I lost inspiration and energy for it all.  It’s quite strange, I sort of let go of my expectations and the idea of disciplining myself into doing something that I don’t really want to do and honestly, I feel good.

Why?  I think it is because I am incorporating MUCH more wild greens into my diet. So, here is my new challenge to myself.  One that I came up with for myself, NOT one that someone else started and I just kind of jumped on board with.

With this challenge, I am not going to be 100% raw.  Mainly because some wild edibles really need to be cooked first.  I could limit myself to those that don’t need cooking, but I am trying to really open myself to the possibilities of this and get to know as many plants as possible growing in my area.

Today, so far I have had a delicious green juice with apples, pears, lemons, cucumber and nettle

For lunch, on the menu is acedera with potato and beet. (clearly not a raw dish)

Acedera is a group of plants that used to be eaten traditionally in the Madrid area.  They are all in the Rumex or dock family  The particular one that we are eating today is called Rumex pulcher and locally referred to as romanza. In English, it is called Fiddle dock

It is honestly not exceptionally great eating as it has a high oxalic acid, but in small doses is absolutely fine.  It is still much better to eat it cooked, although it does not need to be cooked in various changes of water like some wild plants. It grows in abundance here, so we thought we would give it a go.

Rumex Pulcher- image from wikipedia

Wild Plants

For a while now, I have been interested in wild foods.  I´ve put dandelion greens into my smoothies, clover into my salads, and even foraged a few wild hazelnuts and almonds.  Recently though, we have been stepping it up here and gorging ourselves on information 🙂

I can safely recognize about 15 different edible plants now in my local area, and that list is growing daily it seems.  My husband is actually much more adept than I am!  I still have a really hard time differentiating between chicory and dandelion when they are out of flower.  Good thing they are both edible!!

The plant I want to talk about today is Stinging Nettle.  This plant has very quickly become a household favorite.  It is very nutritious, high in iron and vitamins C and A, but most importantly very delicious!

This is a plant that most people recognize, if for no other reason than to stay away from it.  At first, it does have a nasty sting.  You do quickly get used to it though and it is actually medicinal.  Tea made from nettle leaves is cleansing and detoxifying, especially to the blood. Stinging nettle therapy, or urtication, is simply getting stung by the nettles.  It has been used with success in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.  Shockingly, it even helps in the treatment of depression.  When you are stung by a nettle, the prick is actually the nettle injecting chemicals into your body including *serotonin* !  These are just a few of its myriad of uses. What an amazing plant.

Here is a dehydrator tray full of nettles ready to be dried.

The best part of the plant to use are the young shoots or just the tops of larger plants.  These are more tender and less bitter.  Here is a nettle soup recipe that we made up last night.

*Note: This is not a raw recipe.  Wild foods, in my opinion, are such an important part of our diets that we should do whatever we can to get them into our bodies.  Even cooked, the benefits are so worthwhile.  I feel the same way about seaweed, too!

Nettle Soup

1 onion

5 cups nettles

1 c swiss chard  (or any other mild green)

1.5 c hazelnut milk (or any other nut milk)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh thyme

2 tbsp fresh parsley

salt and pepper

First, slice onions and sautee in a heavy pan in olive oil until they are lightly caramelized, about 15 min.  Set aside.  While onions are cooking, add nettles and chard to large cooking pot with enough water to cover.  Simmer on low heat for about 10 min.  They will reduce in size greatly.

Transfer onions, greens, nut milk, thyme, and about a cup of the nettle cooking broth to a blender.  Being very careful not to burn yourself, blend until smooth, then add  parsley and pulse until incorporated but not pureed.  You can either return it to the pot to reheat or enjoy it immediately.