Thursday, April 26, 2012

Temple Cleaning

Spring is springing here in my part of the world! I am preparing the garden, just planted tomatoes, and am looking forward to months & months of summer fruit & vegetables. Other than the heat, I always feel more fabulous starting around the middle of May. It must be my diet?

 Here are two of my favorites, just to get your appetite wet:

 Kombucha!!! Now, you can go buy the little bottles of this fizzy wonder drink, but if you are like me, that will just not be enough and you will drink yourself into bancruptcy. What does a resourceful girl do? Make her own! I resisted this for quite some time, for some reason I had the notion that I could not make Kombucha the "right" way, and that I might poison myself :). Silly Girl......

Making your own Kombucha is so simple, and I love playing with the flavors. I make it with black tea, oolong tea, and green tea....each one giving me a different base. You can add different herbs & flavors after the initial steep (don't add it with your mother!), and give the Kombucha additional healing propoerties. My newest favorite: Black Tea Kombucha, steeped with Hibiscus flowers....Just yummy.

There are hundreds of Kombucha tutorials online, so I am not even going to confuse you with my way. If you want my simple way, you can message me, but I suggest you begin with the tested way. I like this site, Kombuchakamp. You can get supplies there...I use a big pickle jar, and received my first scoby from a friend. If you are local, you can get a scoby from MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :).

 My second favorite: Lentil Salad

I just LOVE lentils, but sadly, I may have to cut this from my diet. I have been looking at the "0+" diet, and lentils are on my AVOID list. I grew up with lentils, and resisted this recommendation. Well, actually, I resisted the lentils, and then decided to screw it and eat mounds of my tasty lentil salad. Big mistake. It does effect me, and not in a good way. I will share with you though, as this makes an excellent salad to take on trips, picnics...or as make ahead food. You can eat it plain, or get creative by putting it on rice, pasta, bread..It gets better after a day in the fridge.

 Soak lentils overnight with a tsp of baking soda. Drain, and cook until softish, about 20-30 minutes (you don't want them mushy) Drain. Season with salt, pepper, vinegar (apple is good, or balsamic...your taste),and olive oil. Add chopped tomoatoes, and LOTS of parsley. Really, overdo the parsley. It is good for you, and just tastes fantastic in this salad. Let stand a few hours or overnight in fridge. Voila! You may have to season again. Also, you can add red onions, and feta cheese, that tastes divine.

Enjoy! Much love, Heike

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Experiment successful! Banana Spelt Muffins.

Still in the beginning thrills of my "wheat-free" adventure.

I have had some definite kids are reluctant to taste my creations. This one turned out good.

I took a vegan recipe I found online, and tweaked it. Please excuse my "Simpler's method", but t works.

2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed ( I put overripe bananas in the freezer and thaw them for stuff like this. They look a bit, well, ick, but are fabulous for recipes)
3-4 large tablespoons of honey. I used a wildflower...stronger is probably better.
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tbsp applesauce. Okay, this is what I started with, as the recipe called for vegetable oil. In the end, I added more applesauce to make the mixture wetter and to a muffin consistancy.
1/3 cup maple syrup (did not add this...but you could)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (same for nuts. Did not have any, but think walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would be yummy too!)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. (This recipe barely made 9 muffins. Will have to play some more and see if I can make it to 12.)

Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the bananas, sugar, egg, applesauce and maple syrup in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients in gently, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle with some of the chopped pecans. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (they’ll look pretty dark, but they’re not burnt!) Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ok, so the muffins stick to the paper...but once you get them out, they taste really yummy. With butter :).