Candy-like Hemp Date Balls

My Celiac daughter has been amazing with adjusting her diet since learning about this 4 years ago. I feel like it is my mission, sometimes, to show her that life is possible and extraordinary, when you make it so. Never give up and don’t stop believing!

I created this recipe out of necessity, as we are constantly looking for healthy, safe and delicious snacks to make life as a paleo kid more fun and travel friendly.

Recipe

2 cups of pitted dates

1/2 cup of organic hemp

1/8 cup toasted almonds

1/8 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

In your food processor, combine hemp and dates until one big ball forms. Toast almonds and grind into course almond meal. Combine with coconut and cinnamon in a shallow dish. As long as it is well mixed, spoon about 1/2 tbsp into a sticky ball. Roll in the almond meal and coconut mixture and then into a small ball. I store in a sealed container in the fridge to keep fresh.

It should make approximately 30 balls. Enjoy!

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Added Benefit From Farmers Market

Today was the first time in 2 weeks that my local farmers market (Symons Valley Ranch) was back from the Christmas holidays.

I have been so eager to go back and I realized how dependent I have become on the fresh, local,  organic meats and vegetables. I usually make this short trip every weekend, to get my family the best products from some of the best local farmers and ranchers around.

I felt a fair bit of urgency because I usually have a stock of good meats and veggies to last a week or so, but with the holidays, I had to restock!

After making my purchases and visiting with Irm, Greg, Patty, Sharon and all the other vendors that I see on a regular basis, I made my discovery of the added benefit…

Making relationships/friends with the people that provide the majority of our fresh food is really a big deal! I now know how and where our meats all come from. I get to order special cuts from one of these producers. I have created relationships with friends of friends to get grass fed beef and wonderful healthy pork products from a lady and her connection to a farm in northern Alberta. Wow!

This is so much more than just grocery shopping at the faceless, nameless conglomerates that we flock to for super deals. This feels like it is the way that getting “food” is supposed to be!

We(meaning me)have lost our connection to our food.

When you experience the difference and you want to know all the steps that it takes for your food to get to the plates of you loved ones, it really matters.

I realized that the local producers and friends that I have created really care and when you are face to face, they can’t help but feel satisfaction from making the world a bit better.

I am so grateful to the organizers, local producers, friends of friends and of course the earth and all that you give us!

Support your local producers and experience a much enriched life.

 

Top 5 Benefits of Himalayan Salt

December 22, 2014 by  Bruno

Salt is great for seasoning your food, but did you know certain varieties of the mineral can provide far more benefits than just flavor?

Himalayan crystal salt is more than ordinary table salt. It’s all natural, with no anti-caking agents or fillers. Dr Edward Group III DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM writes:

Himalayan Crystal Salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. This form of salt has also been maturing over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure, creating an environment of zero exposure to toxins and impurities.

Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb.

There are many claimed benefits of Himalayan crystal salt, such as reducing the signs of aging, stronger bones, and improved sinus health. Although there is little clinical research available,  there is science and an abundance of testimonials touting the long list of health benefits. I’ve pulled together the top five benefits of this pink salt, along with some additional information.

TOP 5 BENEFITS OF HIMALAYAN CRYSTAL SALT

  1. Prevention of allergy symptoms and improved air quality
  2. Increased serotonin levels to aid in healthy sleep patterns
  3. Improved energy and mood
  4. Decreased blood pressure
  5. Supported immune system, respiratory function, and vascular health

In the two clinical research studies about Himalayan crystal salt, test subjects who consumed Himalayan salt saw significant improvements in their respiratory healthy, sleep habits, energy, concentration, and more. Here are the findings of a 2001 medical study conducted by the University of Graz:

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Subjects who drank water with our Original Himalayan Crystal Salt® sole added saw significant positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue, and nervous system functions. Patients also reported increases in quality of sleep, energy, and concentration levels, brain activity, weight loss, enhanced consciousness, and noticeable hair and nail growth.

According to Dr. Oz, the potassium levels in this crystal salt also aids in lowering blood pressure. This is a huge benefit, considering sodium consumption is typically associated with hypertension.

Consuming Himalayan salt is not the only way to reap the benefits, a Himalayan crystal salt lamp will also do the trick. It consists of a large piece of salt crystal, a light, and usually a wooden base. They let off a beautiful ambient glow, but the lamp also omits negative ions as moisture evaporates from the warmed crystal. These negatively charged ions aid in cleaning the air, improving mood, and reducing allergy symptoms. According to WebMd, once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.

Full list of Sources:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/himalayan-crystal-salt-benefits/
http://www.ionicsalts.com/science.htm
http://www.himalayancrystalsalt.com/clinical-research.html
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/two-alternative-medicine-secrets
http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes

 

http://www.mamavation.com/2014/12/top-5-benefits-of-himalayan-crystal-salt.html

HaVabar recipe. Date, hemp, pumpkin seed, cranberry.

The recipe for the HaVa bar was a long time coming. My girls really like the bars that I make and I have been trying many variations. This recipe came out of trial and error.

I am assuming that you will be using the best ingredients that you can, for your family. I choose to use mostly organic for all my recipes.

It is simple and tasty. Not too expensive, but chock-full of healthy things. This is the first time putting this recipe out, so I may update as it evolves.

Ingredients:

2 cups of good quality dates

1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of hemp seeds

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup of unsweetened cranberries

3 tablespoons of almond butter

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Proccess:

Put the dates and pumpkin seeds in food processor and pulse until they are a paste like consistancy.

Add in hemp, coconut, chia and mix together. It should start to ball up. Now add in honey, almond butter, cinnamon and cranberries and pulse until well mixed. You may have to use a scraper or spoon to get mixture back into the blades and continue until well mixed.

Place in something like a 9X9 pan and then store in freezer. Cut up and keep in freezer.

These are excellent snack items and keep well. They don’t last long in my house and are fairly easy to make.

 

 

 

 

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Monsanto Story, Not Really Evil

The other day I was driving along and was thinking about how Monsanto thought up the evil, disease making crap that they have convinced most world powers to purchase and feed to their citizens. I’m not convinced that it was as deliberately orchestrated, as we always think. What I came up with is my vision of a group of Monsanteurs and a brainstorming session:

Ok. So we have to come up with a way to sell all this excess crap we have left over, rotting in the yard. No one will take it away and we can’t just dump it in the rivers anymore. After that Anniston thing, we have got this big target on our backs.

After WWII we have all this left over poison and it is just sitting there killing all the grass and stuff.

Ya. The grounds keeper says that it is seeping in and around the trees. He says that it is killing everything around there. It sounds kind of bad, because he said that some birds have died in that area as well. We have to do something about it!

Why won’t anyone take it away? Will that disposal company we used to use not come and pick it up?

They said that it is too dangerous and they don’t want to be responsible for this stuff that we made. They claim it is too toxic to dispose it safely. Pffft!

Why don’t we sell this to farmers to kill the weeds in their fields if it is killing all the weeds and grass in our yard?

Well, if it kills all the weeds and grass, won’t it also kill the crops that they are selling??

Thinking….

What if we tried that new thing that R & D was working on?

You know…make the crops so that the weed killer, stuff we want to sell, doesn’t kill the crops, just the weeds??

Yeah! That way we can get them coming and  going! We can sell the seeds and the poison to kill everything else!

Well that is so good! Is there any chance that people will get sick from putting this into food?

Who cares. Let’s just pay some scientist friends to write papers that say it is safe. We have lots of friends in government that will help us get these things worked out.

We can hire some of those politicians to work here and help us get stuff passed.

Ya. Ya.

If we do this stuff, we can sell our chemicals and seeds to everyone! Do you realize, that if we can pull this off, we will OWN food! That is just crazy. We have to do this!

 

 

That is how I imagined it kind of went. Sad but truish.

Don’t Wait Until You Get Sick

I want to make sure this is clear.

This is just my thoughts and opinion.

I have seen, first hand, how food can heal and change lives. I have also strung together stories from strangers and family members and realized through our dietary needs, that if you eat crap, your body will treat you like crap.

I am just a dad, husband and a fed up consumer that realizes that we have been led astray by large corporations that want to sell their products. Enough of that!

Sickness and decay is not normal. Health and vitality is our default setting. Just because we are aging, we don’t have to fall apart.

Alarming Health Trends

I am begging you to not wait until you or someone you love gets ill, sick, cancer or dies before making diet and lifestyle changes. We all know that we should eat better.

I have found many great examples of people healing themselves and turning their life around with the power of good, healthy food choices.

We all know the saying “you are what you eat”, but when you are addicted to processed, easy food, it is hard to make that commitment.

I wish that I would have understood this much earlier. My parents did their job and taught me the common sense things like, eating meals as a family and teaching your children to cook. I put the blame on our weak, paid-for government and the large corporations that truly run our country. Apparently health doesn’t bring in enough revenue.

Please make your family’s health priority and choose to pay more now for good healthy foods.

How did our priorities get so screwed up?

Why is it, we are so eager to spend so much money on fancy cars, posh homes and then cheap out by trying to save money on our food?

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Should that not be our priority or at least high on the list of importance??

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I realize, first hand, how hard these changes are to make. Believe me, when I say that there has been very few days where I am not wondering, “what am I going to make for the next 3 meals?”. It does get better, but I have made that commitment, that we are never going back to a life of easy or cheap food. I have heard someone say that “you pay the farmer/grocer now or pay the doctors later”.

I urge you to start where you can today! Make better choices and balance your life.

  • Support local farmer’s markets and start a garden.
  • Cook!
  • Teach your children to cook.
  • Don’t give up or give in.

Be healthy and love life.

Mini Pumpkin Tart Paleo GF

Last year for Thanksgiving, I was new to the Paleo diet and wanted my daughter to get that pumpkin pie that she asked me for, so I did! Danielle Walker and her wonderful recipe saved the day and everyone said they loved it.

This year, I am working and won’t be able to be there but still wanted to do something and had seen a recipe for mini pumpkin tarts. It sounded and looked so good that I had to try it.

Despite having very little time (I am feeling confident enough now) I took the leap and went all in!

Now that I have been cooking this way for awhile it seemed pretty easy.

I found that this tart recipe made double the amount, for me. I would suggest that you keep wetting your fingers, to keep from sticking to the pie shell as you are pressing it into the muffin cups.  I was unsure how thick I had to leave the crust for this time and will know better for next. It does raise up a bit, so I would press it a bit thinner than I originally thought it should be.

Next time, I would like to use fresh pumpkins to make up the filling, but this time I used the canned version.

This recipe turned out really good. I am very proud and I am still waiting to hear how the family liked it. Cross my fingers that they like it as much as I did!!

Be healthy and enjoy today.

AUTHOR: Beth – Tasty Yummies

SERVES: 12 mini tarts

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (see my post on how to make your own, canned will also do)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a dash of sea salt

Whipped Coconut Cream

  •  1 can organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (use more or less or none at all, or whatever your favorite sweetener is)*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

*Maple can be substituted 1:1 for honey if you follow SCD

Instructions:

Shells

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners (you could also use greased mini tart pans).
  2. In a large bowl, add all of the crust ingredients and mix very well. Really get your hands in there to get it all together and work it into a nice dough.
  3. Add the crust mixture to the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cup using your knuckles, going up the sides a tad bit.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tarts and serve. (Many times I make the tart shells the night before and keep them in the fridge until I am ready to serve)

Filling

  1. Drain the cashews and add them to your food processor and give them a whirl by themselves for a bit, to break them up and start turning them into a paste of sorts.
  2. Once the cashews are broken up add in the maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil, process that a bit more until it is a smooth and creamy paste.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

Whipped Coconut Cream:

  1. Make sure that your can of coconut milk is well chilled. I recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight. Open the can of coconut milk carefully, keeping it level. There will be a firm, waxy layer of coconut cream that solidified on top. Carefully scoop this off into a chilled glass bowl. Keep the leftover coconut water, it is great for smoothies.
  2. Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks.
  3. Mix in your maple syrup and vanilla, if you are using.
  4. Place the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until you are ready to use. This may be more than what you need for all 12 tarts, depending on how much you put on top, but that’s ok, it keeps for several days, covered in the fridge.

Assembling the Tarts:

    1. Remove the paper liner off of the tart shells. Top each of the tart shells with a spoonful of the pumpkin filling and a dollop of whipped coconut cream, sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Tasty Yummies

Full Recipe

 

 

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“You Might Not Be Getting All the Nutrients You Need, Eating That Way”

“You must have healthy grains as part of your diet.”

Do you hear this sentiment from friends and family?

Our society has been brainwashed into believing bull-caca!

If you are like me, you don’t believe “conventional” wisdom as far as you can throw it!

You may feel like you are swimming upstream sometimes, trying to keep you and your family healthy while government, relatives, and big business try to feed you loads of crap they call food!

When we tell people that we only eat fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, seeds and nuts, their immediate response is, “….what do you eat then?”

Many will wonder (because they are programmed the same way we were), how we are able to sustain our children on a diet without “whole grains?”

Some brave souls may even ask, “But what about all the healthy fibres that they are missing out on?”

I am here to tell you, you are not alone if you are getting these questions.

If you are maybe wondering yourself, then hopefully I can help you, and shed some light on this murky subject.

We didn’t get a choice when our daughter was in pain and the typical gluten free diet wasn’t the final answer. We had to hit the drawing board once again. This was the second time in less than 2 years that we had to redefine our diet, and pore through endless websites and books to try to find a solution that none of our doctors could give us.

We made a bold decision to take these things out of our diet, out of sheer desperation. We didn’t have answers, so we had to go for it and pray to God that this might fix what continued to give our daughter the excruciating discomfort, with no name.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can survive, nay, thrive!

We are essentially following the Paleo diet, but I resist saying that because I feel it is more of a dissection of the food pyramid, or a back-to-basics-plan. I also know that people have a preconceived image of someone on a Paleo diet.

Here are the reasons that I follow the diet and want my family to learn how to do the same:

  • My full time job involves dealing with many chronically sick people, some are quite young (and I don’t want to end up that way)
  • After dealing with our immediate family diet needs, I started to look back on other family members and their ailments
  • I truly believe that health and longevity starts in your mind. If you believe you are healthy, you are.
  • Falling apart as we age is not supposed to happen at the rate that we have become accustomed to
  • The rates of autoimmune diseases, cancers, allergies and general sickness continues to go up despite advances in medicine (Cancer cases to rise 57%, Autoimmune disease on the rise, Food allergies on the rise)

I find that health is personal and people have to stand up for their beliefs. When you make changes as drastic as this, you are always going to have someone or something challenging you. You have be firm in your belief and remember it is YOUR health.

Dining out, family engagements, parties, holidays are all different and can be challenging. I suggest joining a group of like-minded people or some sort of Paleo community, as it helps to have people to share your thoughts with.

Stay healthy!

Article from the famous Mark Sisson:Why Grains Are Unhealthy

Doctor Reverses Multiple Sclerosis in 9 Months by Eating These Foods

What is the Paleo Diet by Robb Wolf

 

Best McFree Chicken Nuggets. GF, DF

You know that if you are limited to eating healthy, home made meals, you will do anything to help make life tastier and happier for your kids!

When I saw this recipe from Danielle Walker, I knew right then, that I was “all in”! The next day I hit the grocery store(like I do everyday)but I was on a mission to get these made. I wanted to be that amazing Dad that recreated McNuggets at home!

I picked up the best chicken thighs that I could get and headed for my kitchen. Little did I realize that this recipe would put my Vitamix to the ultimate test as well as the chef. Woops!

I didn’t think that I needed to get ground chicken and I was already “all in”, so I had to McGyver this into submission. I am that guy!

Naive and excited to make, I threw all 2 lbs of thighs right into the ‘ol Vitamix and hit the ON switch. It chewed up pretty good for about 30 seconds and then just stopped. (I thought these things were indestructible??) After calling the company and getting put on hold, I realized it just needed a rest during the GRINDING OF THE CHICKEN! (It turns out that you might need to grind the chicken in smaller batches)

Well, I was so excited to make these and I thought, if I’m going to go the trouble of making these, I should just make a bunch.  I had at least a double batch, cause I made close to 80 nuggets.

When I do a recipe, I use it as a guide for the most part and wing it from there.(makes life a little exciting)

I only used dark meat and it turned out great. I also only used the flours that I had on hand. I used almond and coconut flour for the batter. My batter was a lot thicker than I thought it would be, but it worked out really well even though it didn’t look like it was going to.

This is a bit of work, but totally worth it. My whole family, nearly gave me a standing ovation at supper! They all loved them, so much! Both girls wanted them for lunch the next day.

I hope you give it a go. It really is nice to have an old favorite, but in a healthy way:)

Stay healthy!

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AUTHOR: Danielle Walker – AgainstAllGrain.com

SERVES: 20 nuggets

CUISINE: Kids

PREP TIME: 25 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic palm shortening, lard, tallow or duck fat for frying
  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat chicken (preferably organic and if possible pastured)
  • 1/2 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Batter

*note these will likely work without the egg for egg-free, but will probably be less crispy. 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Bring the oil to 350°F then reduce the heat on the stove to keep a constant temperature. The oil should be about 2-inches high in the pot.
  2. Combine the chicken, chicken stock, 3/4 teaspoon salt, ground mustard, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  3. In a shallow and wide dish, whisk together the bean flour, arrowroot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and baking powder. Add the egg and sparking water and stir until just combined and smooth.
  4. Roll small portions of the meat mixture between your palms to create a nugget shape, then dip them in the batter. Shake off the excess batter and place them in the hot oil, working in batches of 6-8 nuggets. Cook on each side 3 to 4 minutes, until the batter has puffed up and is golden brown.
  5. Remove the nuggets with a mesh skimmer and place them on a rack lined with a paper towel to cool. Continue working in batches until you have finished the meat and batter.

Alternatively – these nuggets can be baked all at once, but they do not get nearly as crispy as they do when fried. After dipping the chicken in the batter and shaking off the excess liquid, place them on a baking sheet and baked for 16 minutes at 400°F.

To Freeze and Reheat

Cool the nuggets completely then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer them to an airtight container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 400°F for or 12 minutes or 8 minutes on convection.

Best Chicken Nuggets, Danielle Walker

Review Caesar Salad from Hot for Food Blog

I saw this really cute couple on the news the other day talking about their love of food and had to look up the website to check it out. As promised, their blog was sexy and sleek and the recipes sounded phenomenal. The caesar salad caught my eye, as the dressing that I found recently is dairy free and good, but I was looking for phenomenal!

Needless to say, I had to try it. Once I thought I had the ingredients and was needing some dressing, I flew through my kitchen, looking for all the tools needed.

I quickly realized that my cashews needed 3 hours of soaking and when you are feeding a family and in a hurry, 3 hours just won’t do. I got the water boiling and pour that over the cashews. Whew! That should do the job.

I’m interested but not looking for vegan recipes, so I made my salads with lots of meat. This recipe looks delish!

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My salad was kale, sunflower sprouts, organic baby cucumbers,  organic cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, salami and bacon.

caesar dressing ingredients (16 oz of dressing):

3/4 C raw cashews (soaked for a min. of 3 hrs)

3/4 C water

1 bulb of roasted garlic (approx. 7-9 cloves. Feel free to do more/less depending on your taste)

1 pitted medjool date

1 tsp lemon zest

1 lemon, juiced

3 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground pepper

Drain the soaked cashews and rinse with more water until it runs clear. Place all the ingredients in a vita-mix or high powered blender and mix on high until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving on your salad.

I felt like a hack, making this dressing. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t do it exactly as the recipe says, but boy was I happy with the results!!

I love, love this dressing so much! Thank you!

Dairy Free Vegan Caesar Salad