Friday, April 27, 2012

Creamy Hazelnut Brussel Soup + Link Loves

This week started of gorgeously sun-drenched and warm and ended in frothy gray days and perpetual rain with a smell that made me want to move to Ireland. Fresh Dew perfume anyone? Yes, please!

Spring Sings by Mary Banducci I also wanted to give a shout out to Apple Brides! The tasting, mingling, and speaker at Nectar Tasting Room was exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for setting that up! And thank you to Alisa Lewis from the Attic for inviting me.

I know it's a little late (or early) to be talking about brussel sprouts but I had a bag of them in my freezer and am trying to eat up what we have. It's a delicious and simple recipe that contains five ingredients. Recipe below.

Some Friday Link Love first...

I have discovered Mavis's blog One Hundred Dollars A Month. She is witty and smart, particularly about gardening! This blog is all about how she feeds her family under $100 a month and I've appreciated all her posts.
I have wanted in the past to create seed tape as gifts. She has a great post on it. I love the idea of gardening for kids. There just doesn't seem anything better. I'm thinking it would be just as easy to make this gluten-free, anyone like a recipe? If so I will concoct one.
But above all, there is a picture tutorial for a Vertical Recycled Pallet Garden! I pinned this. I so want to do this now I just have to find a HT stamped pallet garden in good shape that no one wants. Any ideas?

Mavis pointed me to A Slow Year and Freegans. Isn't this awesome? It's all about foraging for food.

Edible Beauty by Mary Banducci And this last link, I love Vegetarian Times Magazine (available on Amazon). It's been so helpful in our journey to eat less meat and be dairy-free (includes lots of vegan options). I really appreciate this link about eating Flowers... It's a list you can print off and file away in your cookbook for future use. Can you just dream of the options? I'm thinking of some definite gourmet treats and salads I will be making with some of these edible beauties!

Also a really cool freebie - Ebook "Healthy Recipes for your Nutritional Type" by Dr. Mercola is available for download. You can print it off or save it on your computer. Do you know if you have a carb-type, protein-type, or mixed type metabolism? Found via Hip2Save.

Now for the recipe... This is super easy and very comforting. The miso and hazelnuts provide a creamy base for the brussel sprouts. There is not broth needed but would be just as delicious with. I like to drink this in cups with a boiled egg for breakfast. It's also delicious with toast for a mid-day meal.

Creamy Hazelnut Brussel Soup by Mary Banducci Creamy Hazelnut Brussel Soup
1 package frozen Brussel Sprouts
1/2 c hazelnuts (or nuts of your choice)
2 T white miso (rice and soybean = gluten free)
2 cloves of garlic
Salt + Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
2. Toss brussels in oil. Roast for 10 minutes.
3. Add hazelnuts and garlic. Roast additional 10 minutes, tossing halfway.
4. Blend with 2 cups water (or more depending on preferred consistency) and miso.
5. Top with salt + Pepper. Enjoy!

Costco carrying Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend

Word on the street is Costco is now carrying Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend. It's about $11 for two 48 oz packs. I have yet to go to the store to check it out myself. This little number is free of over nine allergens.
Gluten Free Crackers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by Mary Banducci 2 I've used these in my Vegan "Cheesy" Crackers.
I also use it all the time to make gluten-free bread in my bread machine. This is a recipe developed by my husband's Granny! And it's absolutely delicious!
On facebook, I found a link to a recipe for gluten-free pop tarts using a already mixed flour blend. Another fun use for Namaste Foods Perfect Flour blend! (This recipe includes both a gluten-free and a non gluten-free).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mommy Monday: Nourishing Calendula Infusion

This weekend was just gorgeous.

Examining Clovers by Mary Banducci Amaressa and I played outside as much as we could (which reminds me, I need to make sunscreen because I'm running out).

Ressa could spend all her time outside if she could. She is very adventurous.

We found a bunch of clovers and she wanted to sniff them all. Maybe she thought they would smell like flowers? I wander what goes on in her mind.

So for Mommy Monday, I wanted to offer a nourishing infusion/tea that is beneficial for both babies and their mommies. This helps add extra nutrition!
Nourishing Calendula Tea by Mary Banducci 3
Nourishing Calendula Tea by Mary Banducci Calendula is super soothing. It is antibacterial and antimicrobial. It helps to increase to increase the immune system. Calendula (like so many tonic herbs) is particularly helpful for digestion, it helps prevent and soothe symptoms from ulcers. But most of all, it is very nutritious. It contains large amounts of beta carotene. Nourishing Calendula Tea by Mary Banducci 4 Nettle leaf contains antihistamines, helpful with spring allergies and hay fever. It's rich in iron and calcium. It also contains silicon and magnesium, making it great for children who are growing.

Rooibos tea is delicious and naturally caffeine-free. Rooibos has over fifty times more antioxidants than green tea. It is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin C. It has a naturally sweet taste so children love it! Nourishing Calendula Tea by Mary Banducci 5 It is always important to watch your child when introducing a new food or herb. Watch for a rash on the skin or around the mouth. If this happens, contact your doctor and do not feed the child that food again.

You can find all these ingredients at your local natural health food store or Mountain Rose Herbs.
Nourishing Calendula Infusion

1 tsp dried nettles
1 tsp rooibos tea
1 tsp dried calendula petals

1. Boil water and pour over herbs. Steep 12-15 minutes for all benefits.
2. Drain and serve.
I recommend just serving your child a teaspoon the first time. Afterwards, you can give them a couple teaspoons. Mix with water or serve plain. Nourishing Calendula Tea by Mary Banducci 2 *And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history.

Strawberry and Date Chickpea Blondies

Originally this idea started off as a cake but it was so dense (which I prefer), it could only be blondies. And they sound weird but they are so delicious!
Strawberry Date Chickpea Blondies by Mary Banducci 2 I saw an interesting article in Martha Stewart's Food Everyday (I believe Jan/Feb issue) about substituting some of the baking ingredients in desserts. There was a vanilla cupcake that used white beans and a gingerbread that used pumpkin puree. Of course, I'm not new to the substituting. I grew up on black bean brownies (almost ten years ago my Mom started making them, before they were blog-popular) and I loved the flaky tops the black beans provided plus they included protein and nutrients not obtained in normal brownies. The last couple times I've made gingerbread, I actually use mostly applesauce instead of oil and grated an additional apple in (recipe will come soon).

I love the idea of having my cake and enjoying it too. Sneaking vegetables in "non-vegetable" dishes has kind of been an obsession. I've made sweet potato macaroni and cheese for Amaressa and I (dairy and gluten free) and ever since I can remember following recipes (which I've never really done in the first place), I always subsituted applesauce or fruit puree for half the oil in baking.

Back to not following recipes... I believe I'm like my father in this way. He always had this "We could do that" mentality in the kitchen to anything. Whole garlic in our morning pancakes? Good for you Dad, because it turns out we didn't have any vampire boyfriends, let alone any boyfriends at all. I remember one of us girls requesting cookie batter for our birthday party instead of cake. I'm pretty sure Dad just wung it with this one. And guess what? It tasted great! That didn't always happen. I remember a couple weird concoctions that I ate politely but mostly my Dad's attitude in the kitchen was upbeat, optimistic, and cookbook-less. To this day, I see or eat something I like and I think I can do that.

On the other hand, my Mom's kitchen was full of cookbooks. She read them like I read novels, devouring every line. When I was thirteen, I just didn't understand. I loved words but measured out for a recipe? I needed pictures to accompany these recipes otherwise I was lost. I didn't have the aptitude to combine these complex flavors and understand the plot, the chemistry and the relationship of food.

And I never really did until these last couple of years, particularly this last year when I gave up dairy (and mostly gluten). Now I read cookbooks like a novel. I can understand how the sweetness of pineapple will complement the salty of soy sauce. How mushrooms taste like earthy butter, sauteed in a little olive oil. How the zest of lime can brighten a coconut caramel... Now I'm salivating.
Now where am I all headed with this?

That I like to throw things together. I'm diligent in scouring recipes like my mother but I take creative, carefree guesses like my father. (Now don't get me wrong. My mother is very creative and has thrown a couple recipes together that are to die for.... I just need you to go along with my at the moment).

So here I am going back to the article I found in Martha Stewart food.... and I thought why couldn't I make a cake (turned out blondie) that was completely using garbanzo beans. Instead of having it be a subsitute I wanted it to be VIP (very important player). I didn't want to add a ton of extra flours or sugars. I wanted something simple, delicious, and nutritious.... along with being dairy, gluten, refined sugar and nut free (I have a reader whose husband can't eat any nuts so I wanted to create something nut free).

I looked around my pinterest boards for inspiration.And found a delicious chickpea chocolate chip cookie pie from Chocolate Covered Katie found via Wit & Whistle. Katie is a vegan who, like me, loves to have nutritious desserts. So this recipe inspired my recipe... Hers used brown sugar and I was looking for something cane sugar free. I used a mixture of dates and strawberries instead of sugar and applesauce.

Strawberry Date Chickpea Blondies by Mary Banducci This is absolutely delicious plain or with whipped coconut cream (originally posted here, below I make it with honey).

Strawberry and Date Chickpea Blondies
1 can chickpea/ garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
4 + 2 Huge Strawberries (use more if they are normal sized) *
3 T coconut butter (coconut oil, which might stick together more)
1/2 cup gluten free oats (or quinoa flakes = more protein)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 + 3 large medjool dates, pitted

* UPDATE: You can use one cup thawed frozen strawberies.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In food processor, process all ingredients except 2 extra strawberries and 3 extra dates.
3. After blended well (might look somewhat grainy or you can process for super smooth texture), add extra strawberries and dates. Pulse lightly until the food processor chops and incorporates them into batter (you should see little bits of the dates and strawberries).
3. Bake for 30 minutes in round pie pan or square 8" pan.
4. Let cool atleast ten minutes for cutting. Enjoy plain or with whipped coconut cream.
Whipped Coconut Cream by Mary Banducci Whipped Coconut Cream
1 can coconut milk, refridgerated
2-3 T honey or agave

1. Seperate the thick cream of the coconut milk from the water. Just add the cream to mixing bowl.
2. Mix on high speed until frothy peaks form.
3. Add honey or agave until incorporated.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Updates + Link Love

Hello you all,

I hope you had a wonderful week.

Paul and I got back from Seattle Sunday and jumped right into being busy.

Tuesday I had a lovely photoshoot with some local mommas at the Attic. We munched on delicious salads (including my zesty quinoa salad) and beautiful chicken avocado sandwiches followed up by some gorgeous desserts.
Chairs at Table by Mary Banducci I recently finished the Hunger Games trilogy, thanks to a friend who loaned me the third and final book. I have yet to see the movie but am looking forward to it possibly this week. To tide me over, I found a couple lovely Hunger Games Inspiration Photoshoots. I originally saw this one on facebook, and tried googling it a couple of days later. Lo and behold, did I realize there were a lot more out there.

My favorite was photographed by Anthony Barlich Photography and featured on Elizabeth Ann Designs. I love that it included a red dress! It seemed more to match the first book than the rest of the photoshoots.

I also loved this simple, lovely one by Amber Glanville, a local wedding photographer.

There is also this one on Style Me Pretty and this one on Wedding Chicks (is her hair real? Wishing mine was thick and beautiful like that).

(I originally wanted to photograph my own spin on this awesome book but am glad I didn't since there are so many other albeit beautiful photoshoots out there).

However if you would like to see a beautiful shoot photographed by yours truly, check out my Snow White Inspired Photoshoot on Apple Bride Blog. Snow White 2-4
I'm also excited to share with you some headshots that the lovely ladies who own Easy Dreamer Photography and Rebecca Hollis Photography were gracious enough to photograph this week. (I have yet to see them but will keep you updated). It was such a great time meeting some other vendors in the wedding business. I had my hair done by Camille and make-up done by Katie K.

It was also very inspiring. All these ladies (including the lovey Alisa Lewis)are so full of passion for the wedding industry and have wonderful projects that they have been working on and it encouraged me to dig up some of my own ideas I've put on hold (I'll share these with you later - which reminds me that I should reorganize this blog).

I hope you all have a wonderful, inspired weekend!

Free Gardening Kindle Book

Hi y'all! I'll be posting recipes and seattle photos later this week. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Crocus in Springtime by Mary Banducci I'm planning on growing more of my own produce and vegetables this summer and was happy to have found this book for free kindle download! Get it fast before they change the price!

The Everything Grow You Own Vegetables Book: Your Complete Guide to planting, tending, and harvesting vegetables by Catherine Abbott.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mommy Monday: Coconut Baby Butt Balm

Welcome to the newest addition to Sweet Roots: Mommy Monday!
Mommy Monday by Mary Banducci at Sweet Roots Every other week, I will be providing a tip to herbifying your kids. (Herbifying is a sort of spoonerism - a common Maryism). Actually all tips won't be herbifying, they'll be natural, gentle DIY tips to making your life as a Mommy easier (and toxin free).

This week is a coconut baby butt balm. I've been hard-pressed to find a product that doesn't contain a lot of chemical preservatives and works. I've tried Shea Moisture's Diaper Ointment but it does nothing for the redness on a baby's bottom (but it does work great for dry skin). Burt's Bees sells a decent diaper ointment. But why buy an $8 tube when you can make yours for considerably less? This is super easy and smells great. Plus you know exactly what goes in it! Love and coconut oil (I really badly want to insert smiley face here but I won't stoop to it)!

This is a really thick balm but it goes on easy.

All these ingredients you probably already have (except for the frankincense) in your kitchen. Although optional, frankincense powder is a wonderful addition to this because it's anti-inflammatory. This is great to calm that red little bottom. It is also antifungal and antibiotic.
You can subsitute grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil for the apricot kernel oil. For any children under 6 months, do not use any essential oil save lavender and chamomile.

I buy my Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil through vitacost. They currently have a deal if you spend $25 worth of vitacost products, you get free shipping. One 54 oz tub of coconut oil is just over $20 so you could buy two and use a $10 discount they give you for signing up through this link. And you can refer your friends for more discount! I also get a discount every time you sign up and buy through that link which helps support this blog. So thank you!

By the way, do you like my new labels? Apothecary Mary. That's me!
coconut baby butt balm by Mary Banducci Coconut Baby Butt Balm
3 T coconut oil
1 T apricot kernel oil
1 t baking soda
1/2 t frankincense powder (optional)
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
Ingredients for Coconut Baby Butt Balm by Mary Banducci at Sweet Roots
1. In double boiler (for this I used a small glass measuring cup that I held over a small boiling pot), melt coconut oil.
2. Pour into sterilized container.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir immediately.
4. Refridgerate until solid. Remove.
5. Swip a little on a clean baby bottom to prevent rashes, itchiness, and redness.

Fennel Tea for Overindulgence

Fennel has an antispasmodic effect that relaxes the muscles of the stomach. Bloating, flatulence and stomach upsets can benefit from this herb. It can be combined with mint and caraway seeds.

Fennel Tea by Mary Banducci An infusion (herbal tea) of fennel can also help prevent future overeating. Its licoricy taste has long been used as an appetite suppressant.

When Amaressa had colic (we later found out it was trouble pains from me eating dairy and nursing her), I would give her a teaspoon of fennel tea. Sometimes I'd give her an organic washcloth soaked in the infusion to suck on or a syringe. She liked the taste and it seemed to give her relief, whether it was just relief from crying because she liked the new experience or enjoying the taste or whether it actually helped her digestion - I don't know. I couldn't really ask her.
I do know fennel seeds have helped me considerably. Lately, dairy and gluten have been culprits of bloating, skin congestion, and a general feeling of fatigue. I do not indulge in them often, usually sticking to holidays. Always after, I make myself a cup of fennel tea.
Fennel Tea by Mary Banducci 2 I usually just pluck a small handful to a big cup of steaming water and then sip the licorice-smelling concoction, chewing on the seeds when they float to the top. You can feel free to drain yours if you don't like floaters but you won't get the full benefit from the seeds.
Been eating garlic? This is also an incredible breath freshener! It's great after any meal.
Alright ladies and gents, get that fennel out of your spice cupboard and get drinking.
Watch out nursing mothers, fennel has been known to increase milk supply. Just a heads up.
Fennel Infusion
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 c boiling water

1. Infuse seeds for at least ten minutes (cover cup with a plate if you like yours steaming hot).
2. Enjoy! (Drain for floater-less tea)

I buy my fennel seeds and other herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!
There is a giveaway still available. Something sweet from Sweet Roots! Delicious Namaste Brownie Mix! Just go here and comment, after you follow the blog (look to side bar). Fennel Tea by Mary Banducci 3
*And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sweet Giveaway and some Link Love

Happy Friday!
How do you like the new look? A little more refreshing!
Fudgy Namaste Brownies with Strawberries by Mary Banducci We have a sweet giveaway today!
(I apologize for the pixely image above. It seems I saved it at a very low quality. Will post a replacement tomorrow).

One lucky reader will win a Namaste Brownie Mix. This mix is gluten, dairy, nut, soy, corn, potato, casein, and egg free (if you decide not to use eggs, try chia seeds for a delicious alternative). Daphne, the creator of Namaste Foods, concocted a wonderful dark brownie that is so fudgy and irresistible.
Namaste Brownie Mix by MAry Banducci Rules to Win this Prize:
1. Must follow the blog.
2. Leave a comment letting us know you did & what you like on your brownies!

Must comment before 12pm Tuesday Night. I will announce the winner on Wednesday.

I used coconut milk instead of water and coconut oil in place of oil. These are so rich with strawberries and a little coconut cream. Enjoy! And in light of the Hunger Games, "May the odds be ever in your favor."

Here is a little link love for the weekend...
My friend Alisa Lewis from Alisa Lewis Event Design and the Attic has a write-up about her in the newest Northwest Mama Magazine. She inspires!
Mommy Wars by Christine? She's Weird. - Makes me feel blessed I'm a SAHM (most of the time).

Sparkling Lavender Lemon Tea by Alisa Lewis over at Dandelions on the Wall. - the photography is by yours truly.
I love sprouting and I wanted to actually grow pea shoots... Guess what I found? Garlicky Pea Shoots by the Yellow House

I wish you a wonderful Easter this weekend. May your day be full of God's love and joy. Jesus has risen! Let us rejoice with our families.
Do you have anything special planned this weekend? A Bite of Brownie and Strawberry by Mary Banducci
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