Strawberry Einkorn Crumble

We have been following a wheat-free, largely plant-based diet for over ten years now, and anytime we made a treat, it was always gluten-free or paleo. When I heard about Einkorn flour, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try to see if it bothered me the way that traditional flour does. 

Einkorn is the original “staff-of-life” grain, the oldest variety of wheat and dates back to the beginning of time. Even more natural that sprouted grains, Einkorn wheat's natural genetic code and low gluten levels make it naturally compatible with the human body compared to the modern hybrid wheat of today. Modern-day wheat has been modified and hybridized, making it more resilient, but changing the way the wheat fibers grow. These modifications make the wheat stalks harder to break, but that in turn makes it hard to digest and creates inflammation in the digestive system. Einkorn grain is easier to digest, so nutrients are better absorbed.

Turns out that both my husband and I do great with Einkorn flour. No headaches, no bloating, no discomfort that traditional flour typically produces. Plus, it tastes great and is toddler-approved! We love this fresh and easy berry crumble with Einkorn flour. The simple ingredients that fit together perfectly and taste just like summer! Plus, it came together in matter of minutes with the help of a three year old.

Strawberry Einkorn Crumble:
{Recipe adapted from this one by Tastes Lovely.}

Berry Filling Ingredients:
4 cups frozen, organic strawberries or mixed berries, not thawed
1-2 T organic granulated sugar (to taste - we like a slight tartness to ours, so we do 1T)
3 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
3 drops Young Living lemon essential oil
A pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:
1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
Just under ½ cup organic brown sugar
6 T Young Living Einkorn flour (or GF flour or all-purpose flour)
4 T grass-fed butter, cold, cut into small cubes

How-to:
+ Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium size bowl, make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing to combine. Set aside.
+ In a separate medium size bowl, make the oat crumble, then use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it into the dry ingredients until evenly combined and crumbly.
+ Pour the berries into a pretty pie dish or a square baking dish, and top with the oat crumble.
+ Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

This would also be lovely with coconut whip on top! Simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down in the refrigerator overnight. Remove, flip right side up, and open. The cream will be on top, so scoop it out and whip it with 1T organic vanilla extract + 1/2-1T organic honey or agave to taste. Whip until it is light and fluffy. And feel free to substitute whatever frozen berries or other fruit you have on hand. This is a perfect, simple but show-stopping dessert for your Easter gatherings, Mother's Day, to take to a summer cookout or just because! 

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I loved oatmeal raisin cookies growing up (still do!), so when I asked my son what kind of cookies he wanted for his birthday and he told me 'let's maaaaake.... oatmeal and chocolate... and raisins!' I was all in! We turned on a little Judah + The Lion and got to baking. Elliot love to help stir the batter and pour in the ingredients, and I love having him in the kitchen with me. This recipe is so simple but oh so good and customizable. Raisins, walnuts, cranberries, chocolate, pecans....  whatever you want!

GF Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on size.)

You will need:
1/2 cup coconut oil
6T grassfed butter
1/2 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic fair trade sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups Gluten-Free rolled oats
2 cups total toppings: I used 1 cup raisins + 1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, coconut oil and sugars on medium until creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in the oats, then the raisins and chocolate.

Drop 1 tablespoonful of dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with olive or coconut oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Almond Butter Overnight Oats

 
 

One of the things I struggle with as far as diet is what to eat in the mornings. I love a good veggie scramble, chicken and vegetable soup, and even a morning salad, but sometimes I get a little burnt out and just the thought of eggs makes me queasy. I love making these overnight oats one or two mornings a week just to mix things up but still have a filling and healthy meal! Protein, healthy fat, fiber and carbs. Plus they are super portable! We make them whenever we are traveling and leaving really early, and if we're traveling on Sunday we will even eat them for lunch!

I also love that you can customize the flavors really easily. Coconut chia, chocolate almond butter, vanilla chai pecan... the options are endless! I am head over heels for the protein powder from Young Living, so my go-to combination is chocolate almond butter. 

 
 

To a small (4oz) mason jar add:
1/3 cup gluten-free oats
1T almond butter
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
Optional: 1T chia seeds
Optional: 1T cacao nibs
1/2T melted coconut oil
Just under 2/3 cup almond milk (I use Califia unsweetened)

Mix together well and store in the refrigerator overnight. Top with your favorites toppings (chopped fruit, cacao nibs, pecans, chia seeds, shredded coconut, a drizzle of raw honey if you want it a little sweeter) and hit the road! You can reheat this in the microwave or eat it out of the fridge. I typically set mine out on the counter for about 30 minutes before eating, or if I'm headed out the door, I just take it with me and eat it whenever!*

 
 

*Note: If you are using cow's milk to make this it does not sit well at room temperature, so pack a cold bag if you're taking it with you! 

Instantpot Coconut Milk Greek Yogurt

One of the things I have been wanting to do is to find a good substitute for yogurt in my diet. Even grass-fed dairy often leaves me feeling congested and inflamed, so coconut milk is a staple for me. The almond and coconut milk based products at the store are laden with fillers, thickeners and usually a lot of sugar, so I'm really excited to have found a simple and delicious option for dairy-free yogurt! All you need are a few pantry staples and an Instant Pot, aka my favorite appliance. 

Recipe adapted from Danielle Walker's Diary Free Yogurt Recipe.
You will need:
+ 2 cans organic coconut cream or coconut milk*
+ 50,000 IU probiotic (I use 3 Life9 probiotic capsules)
+ 2T grass-fed gelatin (required to thicken)
+ 2T raw organic honey
+ 3-4 half pint jars and lids
*Using coconut milk will result is a thinner consistency. Still delicious, just not as thick as using coconut cream. 

How-to:
1. Pour the coconut cream into your Instant Pot liner, press "Yogurt", then "Adjust". This will bring it to a boil. I have to do this step twice to get the coconut milk/cream hot eough. When the readout switches to "Yogurt", remove the liner and turn off the Instant Pot.
2. Let the coconut cream cool until the temperature drops to below 110F. Once the coconut milk is the right temperature, whisk in the honey and the probiotic a little at a time until the mixture is smooth.
3. Press the "Yogurt" button and adjust the time to 8 hours. You can process longer for a tangier yogurt taste if you wish.
4. After the 8 hours have passed, whisk in the gelatin while the coconut cream is still warm. Add a little at a time to prevent clumping.
5. Pour the yogurt into the jars leaving room for any desired toppings. Put on the lid and refrigerate for 4-6 hours so that the yogurt will set to a thick geek style yogurt.
6. Mix well and add fresh fruit, a drizzle of raw honey or your favorite granola before serving. You can also use this as a substitute in recipes that call for sour cream or dairy-based yogurts! Store in the fridge and keep for up to 2 weeks, although mine never makes it that long. #delicious

We love to top ours with organic blueberries, a drop of cinnamon bark oil and/or some Einkorn granola. You could easily keep it Whole30 compliant with just some fresh fruit. (The honey in the recipe gets used up by the bacteria so technically this recipe has no added sugar.) This is a great grab and go breakfast or snack since it's super portable, pretty low carb but high fat (good, plant-based fat!) so it keeps you going strong! Just don't forget to pack your spoon!

 Adorable tee via  Citizen Beach Apparel . See more on  Instagram !

Adorable tee via Citizen Beach Apparel. See more on Instagram!

Banana Almond Butter Protein Muffins

These simple but delicious muffins are a staple in our house! They are perfect for days with a full schedule, make great toddler snacks and are portable for outdoor adventures all while packing a pretty great nutritional punch. Healthy fats and protein to keep you full with the natural sweetness of bananas. Elliot loves to help me make these, so we do them in batches and freeze them for later use! I like to heat ours a little in the toaster oven before we eat them, and they are wonderful with a little dab of grass-fed butter! 

Ingredients:
3-4 ripe organic bananas, mashed
1/4 cup almond butter (we love this one!)
1/2 cup organic greek yogurt or sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup honey (or to taste, sometimes I omit this if bananas are very ripe)
Optional: 1-2 drops cinnamon bark vitality essential oil
2 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together all wet ingredients except the banana, then fold in the mashed banana. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, then fill muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool. Freeze for up to six months! 

To freeze, place muffins in a freezer container and separate the layers with some parchment paper. To thaw, simply remove desired amount of muffins from the freezer, place in a glass tupperware and refrigerate overnight. Reheat (or don't!) and enjoy!

No Bake Energy Bites

Time for some real talk. As much as I love to cook, and as important as eating whole, healthy foods is to me, sometimes I just don't eat lunch. (Working on it!)I know it's terrible, but the reality is that by the time I make breakfast, clean that up, make a snack, wash a few more dishes, then make lunch for E, I'm kind of done. A lot of times I'll make a superfood protein smoothie, but if I am running out the door, I'll also grab a couple of these energy bites! They are packed with good ingredients that can help fuel you even in the midst of chaos.

These are also great toddler or kid snacks! They are super portable, healthy and filling, and you can customize the recipe very easily to everyone's favorite ingredients. We love to take these on picnics, hiking and camping for a quick snack. Plus, it's fun to get in the kitchen with the little one and let them help pick out flavor combinations and help stir up the ingredients!

If I want to leave out the chocolate I will often times substitute pecans, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or any other ingredients that sound tasty!

Recipe adapted from this one by Gimme Some Oven:
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2/3 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup Justin's almond butter
1/2 cup organic flax seed (whole or ground to your preference)
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Just under 1/4 cup raw, organic honey
1 T organic chia seeds
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
2 T organic coconut oil
Optional: 1 scoop Young Living Vanilla Spice protein powder

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.

1. To make individual balls, cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes. This allows the mixture to stick together better! Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. OR

2. To make bars, press mixture into a parchment-lined brownie dish and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Remove and cut into bars!

Other combination ideas:
+ Trail mix: 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 1/4 cup pistachios + 1/2 cup chopped almonds
+ Fall favorite: 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/2 cup diced dried apricots

Our Favorite (and Simple!) Kale Salad

Kale is one of my absolute most favorite foods and one that I love to incorporate into salads, especially now that I know the trick of the trade - salt! Plus, this is the easiest recipe ever. Use it stand alone or add some embellishments, but either way it is incredibly delicious and comes together quickly! Kale is probably the best superfood out there... plus I think it might be my love language.

You will need:
1 large bunch organic kale
1/2 tsp sea salt
Organic, unrefined olive oil
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Organic dijon mustard
Raw honey

First rinse the kale well and remove all the ribs, then give it a rough chop. Throw it into a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. The salt helps to cut the bitterness of the kale and wilts it just slightly. Then (just go with me here!) pick up handfuls of kale and massage the salt into the leaves for about 30 seconds, until the kale turns a dark green. If you'd like add some toasted nuts, crumbled goat cheese cheese and/or chopped fruits and veggies.

Next, make the dressing. I love a simple mix of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and honey with a little salt and pepper. I do a 1:1 mixture of oil and vinegar, 1T dijon and 1/2T honey, but you can add or subtract according to your taste! If you have time, let the salad marinate for ten minutes before serving.

This is our go-to side dish, the base for many of our brown bag lunches, and one of Elliot's favorite finger foods! 

Nutrition Tips 05: A Day in the Life of Food

Since we talked about nutrition quite a bit in the last post, I thought it would be fun to have a peek into my daily life with the new nutrition plan. Honestly, these new guidelines are a lot like the way that I used to eat, just with a focus on getting enough protein, healthy fats, and calories. I've heard countless trainers, dietitians and physicians talk about how women aren't eating the right things and simply aren't eating enough. When we don't have enough calories and good fats (think avocado, coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil), our bodies can't make hormones, which can cause abdominal weight gain, mood instability, and inability to loose those excess pounds. Yikes. (Find more about that stuff here and here. These are two of my favorite references sites, so poke around if you want to learn more!)

One thing that has really upped our vegetable game and given us some variety is joining a CSA! It's fun to get new things every week and super cost-effective since we get a large box of organic produce for $35! This summer's crop has us eating lots of greens and summer salads! 

For me, a nutrition plan HAS to be simple and sustainable, otherwise it's just another source of stress in my life. Luckily, I find this pretty simple for the most part, so hoping to make it easy for you too! Here are a few guidelines that I follow to make sure that I'm getting all the things my body needs:

+ Eat four times a day: for me this looks like three dedicated, balanced meals a day with a protein smoothie in the afternoons (ideally after a work out of some sort!).

+ Eat within one hour of waking: this one is tough for me since I often don't want anything to eat in the mornings, but I'm working on it! If I know I have a super early morning, I'll make a batch of overnight oats with a little protein powder thrown in. 

+ Have a plan: If I have even a loose idea of what I'll be eating for lunch, I am much more successful with actually eating. Since I've been primarily working from home (more on that in the next post!), it's become very easy for me to just skip lunch. Which is quite possible the worst thing I could do! Snacking on carrots and hummus does NOT count as a lunch, so if I know that I'' be eating a salad or leftovers that day, I more apt to actually do it. 

+ Prep (a little) on the weekends: Now that I'm at home during the week I don't prep as much as I used to, but even making a batch of chicken salad and chopping up fresh veggies for egg scrambles and salads makes cooking during the week so much easier! Plus, it makes me feel like less effort is involved ;) (because, life with a toddler!).

Okay, so here's a typical day for me!

6:30 am: wake up, drink some water (sometimes with lemon oil for liver support), have a small mug of warm homemade chicken broth (see the benefits of bone broth here), then a cup of black coffee. Drink a total of 8 ounces of water during this time.

7:30 or 8:00 am: two egg scramble with backyard squash or zucchini cooked in coconut oil + 1/2 of an Aidells chicken sausage + a piece of gluten-free toast with grass-fed butter and low-sugar organic jam OR a handful of organic blueberries. *Working on getting this meal in within an hour of waking! This is the tough part for me! Also working on making sure it is high-protein per my doctor's recommendations to reduce fatigue. 

12:00 pm: mixed greens salad + chicken salad with 1-2T olive oil and balsamic as dressing + a few carrots & hummus OR leftovers from the previous night's dinner (vegetable & beef spaghetti + zoodles) 

2:00 pm: post-workout protein smoothie with 1/2 frozen organic banana + a large handful organic spinach + 2T organic coconut oil + a little almond butter (about 1T?) + Califia unsweetened almond milk + 1 drop of peppermint oil + 1 scoop grass-fed protein powder. I just started a new adrenal-friendly workout program with a friend, more on that soon! 

6:30 pm: bunless burgers (grass-fed beef) with homemade pickles, Primal Kitchen mayo and ginger chili sauce + sweet potato wedges + homemade coleslaw OR roasted chicken with potatoes & carrots + a spinach salad with olive oil and balsamic dressing OR smoked chicken + roasted asparagus & okra + tomatoes & cucumbers mixed with olive oil, balsamic + a drop of dill oil + a tiny bit of black rice. More meal ideas coming soon! 

 

So there you go! I'll be sharing some more tips and tricks and favorite recipes along the way as we navigate through this. I hope that some of these help you with your nutrition plan as well! When all else fails, focus on quality protein (grass-fed, pastured), healthy fats (avocado, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil), and as much organic as possible. Be well friends! 

 

Healthy Holiday: Five Tips

In this season of parties, treats and homemade goodies, it is often difficult to think about healthy choices, when in fact this is probably the most crucial time of year to make sure we feed our bodies appropriately. It is more the onslaught of refined sugars that dispose us to colds than it is the cold weather. But I digress. I believe that life is about balance, so here are a few of my tips for having a healthy holiday without feeling like you're missing out. 

1. If you're attending an event with no healthy, whole food choices, eat a vegetable and nutrient-dense dinner before you go. Think quality protein, some good fat & lot of vegetables. That way you will be full and satisfied and less likely to make poor decisions on an empty stomach.

2. Decide in advance if you are going to allow yourself a treat, and limit yourself to that treat only.*  We eat really clean 99% of the time, but we allow for kicking up our heels and indulging a bit as well. So if I know my mom is making her award-winning homemade peach ice cream, I make sure I'm feeding my body lots of nutritious things before I head over. I know I'll have a little bowl, and I limit myself to just that. (NOTE: For me specifically, any indulgences are gluten-free. I know that gluten causes me bad headaches, and even the best pumpkin pie just isn't worth it.)

3. Instead of adding sugary, flavored creamer to your coffee, choose whole milk or, even better, drink it black, especially if it is paired with a slice of pie. Also, don't drink caffeine after noon. If you opt for coffee in the afternoon, make sure to choose decaf.

4. Walk it off. Take a walk before a meal, a party, or at the beginning of the day. Take a walk when you get home from a gathering. Especially take a walk if you over-indulged. It will not only help you physically, but it will improve your mental state and lower glucose levels. Make it a tradition to have a family walk on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Do some yoga, pilates, a barre class, a met con, just do something! Whatever and whenever you do it, just get out there and move! 

5. Don't forget about sleep. Especially this time of year when our schedules get hectic, make sure to get good rest. Choose a dark, cool environment and comfortable clothes. Bonus points for waking up without an alarm. We try to allow ourselves this at least on the weekends, but even that little bit of extra rest can do wonders for your body + mind!

Here's to a healthy + happy holiday!


*Disclaimer: I don't think this approach works for everyone. For some people it is better to completely forgo any indulgences. The whole thing about food is that it is a very individualized process, and you have to know yourself and what works best for you.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two days away. This fall as simply flown by, and I am really looking forward to some time with my people. There are countless things in my life for which I am grateful, and I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday! 

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A few of my favorite things, Thanksgiving edition:

+ This table. Foraged branches + berries? Enough said. 

+ We stopped using scented candles a long time ago and rely on our essential oils for making our home smell nice. Also love these smudge sticks via Gardenista. You can even put a few drops of oils on pinecones or other kindling for a fragrant + uplifting fire.

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+ A great roundup of paleo and whole foods recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner. Specifically, this sweet potato casserole

+ Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday indulgence, but the traditional recipe leaves me feeling less than stellar. I am making this maple-walnut pumpkin pie for the first time this year, and it sounds so amazing!