Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kalamata Olive Fig Tapenade Spread

It's thyme for some summer dips! And I'm not talking skinny-dipping! Summer is all about the dips, spreads, tapenades! When the heat rolls around, I skimp on turning on the oven and whip up something to dip!

Now when you say chips and dip, it might not sound like the healthiest item. However a nutritious dip paired with wholesome crackers and plenty of fresh veggies can equate to a delicious, light and healthy meal.

We like pizza hummus, creamy vegan spinach artichoke dip, roasted red pepper hummus, vegan tofu ranch spread, and even hibiscus ketchup (all recipes here on Sweet Roots). Today, we are going to explore a wonderful concoction bursting with flavor and great texture: Kalamata Olive Fig Tapenade Spread. (I say tapenade, my husband says spread so I went with both).

My daughter loves to go pick the herbs we need for dinner. There's a little thyme in this recipe but you're welcome to add more if a stronger flavor is desired!

Speaking of herb gardens... how is your garden, sweet reader? Did you plant anything particularly exciting? What's your favorite item to grow? I'm excited for my Echinacea. It took two summers to bloom but it's lovely and quite intriguing. The petals unfurl and then push the almost spiky orb-like center upwards. A gigantic, yellow butterfly visited the Echinacea this morning while I sat at the window, reading my bible study. In our character studies, the butterfly represents patience. Certainly, a character quality that is being refined in me. In my many earthly roles - wife, mother, sister, friend, blogger, photographer, etc. - I've found that everything is better if done on God's time and that requires patience. In the moment, it's hard to remember and easy to try to "fix things." However, Romans 8:28 reminds us "that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." When you're struggling for patience, remember God is King and He will work it all out in the end. When you're struggling for patience, have hope and trust that God will fulfill his promises. When you're struggling for patience, know that our help comes not from something man could conceive but the one that conceived man, the God that put the oceans into motion, that made our bodies out of dust. How great and glorious is HE!

It seems almost miniscule to go on talking about food but I wouldn't want you to leave this post without the recipe. And no matter how little, God can use it to glorify him too. Plus, it's delicious and a great spread on multigrain chips, BLTs, toast, crackers, carrots or any fresh veggies, grilled chicken and strangely radishes.

Kalamata Olive Fig Tapenade Spread
1 cup heaping Kalamata olives, drained
1 cup packed dried figs (used organic Calimyrna figs from Made in Nature)
Sprig of fresh lemon thyme, leaves removed from stalk (just use leaves)
3 TB olive oil
*optional 1/2 cup walnuts for additional protein

1. Blend everything in food processor (or high-speed blender on low) until desired consistency is reached. We like ours a little chunky!

And you might want to double this recipe! It goes quick!

Enjoy, sweet readers!

As always, I'm excited to share anything I'm devouring in literary form. Here is what I am reading currently:

and to my children:

 (A favorite library book)

And what I have in my amazon cart:
This delicious Tanka Fund Jerky (pack of 12) is free of hormones and nitrates. Under $6 (>$0.50 a piece) makes this portable snack a steal! And the flavor Turkey Buffalo Cranberry is enjoyed by all in our house. It's been great for camping, kids day camps, and errand days.
This Witch Hazel distillate is fragrance free and alcohol free. It cleans up breakouts and is soothing to bug bites. A must for our summer herbalist shelves! I buy this every couple months as a toner and it's one of the few items I buy repeatedly.
(This post contains affiliate links).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Moms Meet Kabrita Review

A lactation consultant once told me this analogy if breastmilk protein is the size of a baseball then goats milk is the size of a basketball then cow milk protein (casein) is the size of an exer-flex ball. Which do you think is the easiest to digest?

The smallest, right? Then the next smallest: goat. With this knowledge, we discover introducing goats milk first (before cows) when weaning can actually be beneficial for sensitive tummies. In general, goats milk is easier to digest than cow milk. However, cow milk drinkers may find the taste strange. Good quality goat milk can be delicious and refreshing.

In an effort to wean my 18 month old son, we started introducing raw goats milk into his diet. Then when Moms Meet offered for bloggers to review Kabrita, I jumped at the chance! 

My daughter was easy to wean (and enjoyed eating) but my son enjoyed his "mommy mil". It was a soothing, quiet ritual for him where we got one-on-one time together. He wasn't interested in eating solids at first. I was scared he wasn't getting what he needed (of course, us moms never worry, right?). In an effort to include extra nutrients, we tried a few things but stuck with goat milk (and fruit+veggie nutrient dense smoothies). It was hard at first. Weaning is no small feat so if you're having difficulty I want you to know you are not alone! Now he can go a couple weeks without having goat milk and enjoys eating. But in the moment, it was a challenge. It put my mind at ease that the goats milk was giving him extra nutrients and he was digesting it well! 

One day a package of goat milk formula and yogurt pouches showed up at my door.

My son thoroughly enjoyed the yogurt pouches. They were very flavorful but in a real, delicious way - not artificial tasting at all which  means a lot to this momma. The sugar content was a little higher than I desire but I felt okay if I split the feeding. Of course, he wanted to eat the whole thing in the moment he was eating it. There was usually 3 grams of protein which I appreciated. 
The formula was also good. Fairly fresh taste for formula and not overtly goaty. However, I was disappointed that lactose (different than milk protein) from cows was added. In fact, it was the number one ingredient. When I researched on their website it said that lactose in goat, cow or breast milk is molecularly the same. This information was new to me. I wondered if it is possible to make formula without lactose then? Interesting thoughts to ponder.

We will definitely be buying more Kabrita yogurt pouches as treats and special snacks. Or they would be perfect for camping or road trips! 

If you're interested in feeding your children goat milk products, definitely check out Kabrita

I received these products from Moms Meet in exchange for an honest review.

All this being said, I did not feed any of this to my daughter. She has an intolerance to casein in cow milk. There website said anyone with cow milk protein allergy should avoid their products and although she hasn't been diagnosed with CMPA,I didn't want to expose her to any discomfort.
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