Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Baked Sweet Potato with Broccoli and Cashew Ceese Sauce (vegan, healthier twist on classic baked potato)

A classic favorite with a nutritious (and vegan) spin.

Fall is always rich with color - the changing leaves, the Autumn sunsets, and the seemingly endless supply of squash and sweet potatoes.

Seriously, what's a prettier orange than the inside of a steamed sweet potato? If there is, I haven't seen it. This kind of vibrancy demonstrates a range of nutrients.

I wrote a haiku in demonstration:
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes orange
Broccoli green (vegan) cheese covered
I like comfort food.
...so it's not perfect but I never claimed to be a poet.

One evening (more like every evening) I needed something that was less than 30 minutes to make. Quick. Nutritious. Effortless.

... so I microwaved my sweet potatoes. *gasp* call out the nutrional police!
But it did only take 16ish minutes to make this. I'd much rather have this quick food than fast food.
Baked Sweet Potato with Steamed Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
Sweet Potatoes
Cashew Cheese Sauce, recipe below
Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 for an hour or until cooked. Alternatively, you can also use your slow cooker or microwave to cook the sweet potatoes.
Steam the broccoli.
Meanwhile, make cheese sauce.

Cashew Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup cashews
2 cups broth
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 TB amino acids (sub coconut aminos and punch of salt for paleo version)
2 large carrots
1 TB chia seeds
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of nutmeg, optional
1. Heat the broth over the stove.
2. Blend all ingredients in blender.
3. Pour over baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Do you like my plate? We went to a local pottery painting place! It was very fun and I love getting to eat off something we helped create!

Monday, November 9, 2015

DIY Foaming Hand Soap (Easy and Money-saving)

Have you ever seen how much good quality hand soap costs? We have all bought it but have you really looked at the cost? A necessary evil, no?

I was determined not to buy hand soap again. I reused foaming hand soap bottles until finally, I fell upon these great bottles (thank you, InterDesign!). The trick is the bottle here. These special bottles ensure that you never have to buy hand soap again. They come in chrome, white, nickel, black and bronze (pictured below). 
This is like DIY foaming hand soap for dummies super savvy thrifters. The bottle has two lines on it. First to fill with soap and then to fill with distilled or filtered water. Essential oils (I prefer citrus, tea tree and clove) are a great addition and are naturally antibacterial.
All you need:
A Foaming Hand Soap Bottle (found here )
Dr. Bronners Castile Soap (citrus is nice for bathroom and kitchen)
Distilled or Filtered Water
Essential Oils (optional)

Fill the first line with castile soap. Fill to second line with water. Shake gently. And use!

The result is a great foaming hand soap without a lot of waste.


Move over triclosan! Make room for Essential Oils! According to Sophie Uliano in her book Gorgeously Green , triclosan, the chemical used in most antibacterial products, is carcinogenic and can weaken your immune system. It also can cause birth defects and fertility issues (p 21). Lavender, Tea Tree, and Lemongrass are all effective antibacterials. I buy Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils.
Mountain Rose Herbs


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Harvest inspired Sweet Potato and Chocolate Pudding Parfait (vegan, gluten-free)

Perfect for Halloween!

Vegan and refined sugar free! Full of good fats and beta carotene! What else can you expect from a dessert? Plus, it makes for such a pretty presentation.

Oh, did I mention the main ingredients are a vegetable and a fruit (because avocados are technically fruits)? That's right. The orange layer is made from sweet potatoes (very similar to my Sweet Potato Frosting) and the chocolate layer is made from avocados.

To make this, you'll need a food processor or high-speed blender ( I used my trusty Vitamix).

Sweet Potato and Chocolate Pudding Parfait
Orange Sweet Potato Pudding
1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened (I used So Delicious brand)
2 sweet potatoes, steamed and still warm
2 tsp arrowroot starch
1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup and omit vanilla stevia)
1/4 cup coconut oil
10-15 drops Vanilla Creme Stevia (I used Sweet Leaf brand)

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
3 avocados
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 TB maple syrup
10-15 drops Vanilla Creme Stevia
Pinch of Salt
6 TB raw cacao powder (I used Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder )

Blend all ingredients in blender. Start small with the stevia and add more drops as you go. Refrigerate separately since the sweet potato layer will be warm.

Also, for a darker chocolate layer, you can add more cacao powder but we enjoyed this as is - a milkier chocolate.


I really like the Navitas brand. It's a lighter, realer tasting cacao than what you normally buy in the grocery store. You can purchase Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder here. There is even a 25% off coupon to clip on Amazon!

Are you dressing up for Halloween? And what's your costume?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Organic India Tulsi Tea Review #Momsmeet

When the temperature starts to drop outside, I like to warm up with a hot cup of tea. Whether it be a spicy and creamy Chai or a wonderful herbaceous  (it's the equivalent of bodacious-ness in herb speak) infusion. I want a cup of liquid so hot, it would warm even Scrooge's rickety, old bones.

So when there was a chance through Mom's Meet to review Organic India Tulsi tea, I jumped! When I got the box in the mail, I quite literally squealed like a little piglet. It felt like Christmas! (I guess you know what I want for Christmas... she said unabashedly).

I received seven boxes of tea to review! Seven! Of which I will describe later in the post! I also received psyllium husk! Which is amazing for gluten-free and egg-free bakers (like this granola bread) and basically makes you poop like Superman... if he did poop. Who knows because he's not human, right?

I immediately heated up the stove and put the kettle on because honey, time was a waisting.
And then I rubbed my hands together while I devised a recipe made with psyllium... a scone worthy of all the holy basil tea. Check out these Revolutionary Cranberry Orange Scones here.
Before we begin, let's talk a little about Tulsi.
Tulsi is a wonderful adaptogen herb, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress. It can create an overall sense of wellbeing and restore balance. The antioxidants in Tulsi help protect against free radicals and strengthen the immune system. It can help the body more efficiently use oxygen and support respiratory health. It's also anti-inflammatory and aids liver function.
Organic India's Tulsi tea includes three varieties of Tulsi leaves: Rama, Vana, and Krishna. Combined, they are powerhouse of taste and antioxidants!
And you can save 20% by using code kiwi20 and purchasing from Organic India's website. And go give them a like on facebook.
I enjoyed all the teas that Organic India sent - they each could be categorized in herbal, floral or fruity notes. After some research, I found that Organic India also creates a few chai tulsi teas. I'm looking forward to purchasing that at the store because chai teas happen to be a favorite.

Here are the flavors I tried (I starred the ones I would definitely buy again):
Original - wonderfully herbaceous with a little bit of basil spice *
Red Mango - a rooibos base with red mango flavor *
          I love red tea so I enjoyed this one immensely. The fruity mango mixed with the basil             
          was a perfect combo in my book.
Pomegranate green - nice green tea + fruit flavor but my least favorite, strong in tannin
Sweet Rose - nice floral (but not overly strong) notes + a tea I'd want to drink with my grandma *
Raspberry Peach - fruity and fun, my daughter  liked this one the most
Peppermint - very subtle mint flavor (I like it strong) but combined nicely with the herby spice of
Honey Chamomile - my favorite, very great soothing honey and chamomile taste *

Overall, I was very impressed with selection. Tulsi has really impressed as an herb and I enjoyed learning about it through Organic India.
I hope you enjoy your cup of tea today! And don't forget to check out Organic India!
Big Blue Eyes wanted to take a picture of me holding the tea. Of course, I smiled! Even though I'm sans make-up.
I received these products for free, in exchange for my review, from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

Revolutionary Cranberry Orange Sunflower seeds Scones Baking with Organic India Psyllium Husk #momsmeet

These revolutionary scones are free of flour! No cutting butter into these! They are rich and rustic, studded with sunflower seeds.

And the best part? They dirty one dish and are super easy to mix together... because I'd rather eat scones then clean up after them.
Full of healthy fats and fiber, these babies will power up your morning.
To make these, you will need a secret ingredient which we call Psyllium Husk by Organic India. Using this helps the batter stick together. Psyllium Husk is available from Organic India and right now, you can use code kiwi20 for 20% off your purchase.

Psyllium husk is an interesting ingredient. It makes you poop like Superman - soaks up water in your gut and increases bowel movement. It's great for digestive health; it can help get things moving but doesn't create flatulence!

This soaking and sticking characteristic of psyllium husk helps these scones to stick together. For another recipe using psyllium, check out my Granola Bread. The great thing about these scones is a lot of ingredients are interchangeable (besides psyllium husk and chia seeds). You can use loosely chopped walnuts or more coconut for sunflower seeds, exchange craisins for figs or raisins, add cinnamon or nutmeg, and use coconut milk instead of orange juice.
The batter needs to sit at least two hours so I suggest mixing them the night before then forming them in the morning (it's easier than playdough!) before you bake.

These scones are part of a review that Moms Meet, find out more here and Organic India sponsored. I'll be reviewing the tea in the next blog post.

Meanwhile enjoy these! Sweet eating, my friends.

Revolutionary Cranberry Orange Sunflower Seed Scones
1 cup oats
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 TB whole psyllium husk
3 TB sunflower seed oil
3 TB maple syrup
1/3 cup craisins
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Orange zest

1. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl.
2. Mix in orange juice with a spatula until the dough starts to stick together and you can form a ball (some it may be a little loose).
3. Let sit at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Bake at 350 degrees on parchment covered tray for 20 minutes then flip for another 15 or until edges start to brown.

These scones are part of a review that Moms Meet and Organic India sponsored. I received this psyllium husk for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Learning about the Night Sky and Chocolate Night bark

This last year, I've been doing Motherhood On A Dime's God's Little Explorers preschooler program with my four year old. We've really enjoyed it. It's flexible and easy to add or change if need be. Big Blue Eyes loves that we read a story from the bible each week (the weekly plan centers around that as well) and she particularly enjoys the songs. I love the addition of chore ideas (learning to fold laundry, sweep the floor, etc.).

This idea stems from U is for Up in the Sky. It's week 27 in the God's Little Explorers program.

Big Blue Eyes really enjoyed the pinpricking constellation idea and then drew with a white crayon to connect her constellations (picture below). We also checked out Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer! from the library and did some nighttime sight-seeing.
We used to have a preschool/kitchen book but I was not pleased with the ingredients in most of the recipes so I was trying to come up healthy alternatives or just starting from scratch. When I was trying to think of a "whole food" alternative to making constellations or an edible night sky, I received Sarah Britton's cookbook My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season in the mail. I was flipping through it and I found a recipe for what she deems "Night Sky." I was sold!

Her recipe is a wonderful totally-from-scratch chocolate bar recipe so please buy the book so you can try it her way (plus you'll get to enjoy all her other amazing recipes). Here, I've substituted chocolate chips for an easier alternative for Moms and children. Then I laid out the "Star and Moons" toppings in little glass bowls for Big Blue Eyes to decorate the bark with. She had lots of fun and was excited to enjoy her Night Sky treat! This would also be a great gift idea for children to help make.

I know I mention "healthy alternatives" and here I am showing you how to make chocolate bark. Shame on me! This is, of course, a treat. But a fun one!


Night Sky Chocolate Bark
3 cups chocolate chips (Enjoy Life semi-sweet and Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate are both dairy-free)
Large tablespoon coconut oil
Star and Moon toppings:
Bee Pollen
Rose hips (dried)
Coconut flakes
Pink sea salt
Goji Berries
Chopped Nuts and Seeds
Dried Blueberries
Freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries

1. In a double bowler, melt chocolate chips and large tablespoon coconut oil.
2. Once melted, spread chocolate on a parchment paper-lined tray.
3. Sprinkle with star and moon toppings.
4. Let cool in refridgerator then cut and enjoy.

All the toppings can be found at your local natural grocery store, amazon, and Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite place.

I'd really encourage you to buy her Sarah Britton's cookbook. I usually steal borrow my mom's cookbooks but this one I knew I needed my own copy.

And if you are looking for a homeschool program, make sure to check out Motherhood On A Dime's God's Little Explorers preschooler program. I plan to do that program with my next child when he is old enough. For now, I am planning Big Blue Eyes' kindergarten year. Excited and pumped for a new year of homeschooling!
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