Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vitamin Kale

Dehydrated foods are easy to digest and rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. When sealed properly, dehydrated foods can have a very long shelf life! We're going to be dehydrating and fermenting a lot of food so we can always have some at hand that will be rich with enzymes and not spoil and go to waste. Today we made some kale chips to snack on - very tasty and easy to dehydrate! We also added some to our mashed potatoes during dinner. Kale is high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin K is a key nutrient for helping regulate our body's inflammatory process.

Don't forget to hydrate yourself accordingly when eating dehydrated foods!

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'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'

The elements abundant in seaweeds include iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, zinc, copper, chloride, sulfur, phosphorous, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, selenium, bromine, arsenic, iron, and fluorine. Alaria seaweed contains 770% iodine in a 1/3 cup serving. When our bodies have a sufficient amount of iodine, it doesn't take on the radioactive iodine that is present in the environment. It is only when our bodies lack iodine that it takes in radioactive iodine and causes a deficiency or toxicity in our bodies (disease). Most places around the world, including here in Ontario, have nuclear powers stations. It was important for us to consider more seaweeds in our diet, so we made our own soup recipe incorporating some alaria seaweed.
Below: Simple to make organic Alaria seaweed and leek soup with hemp seeds. This was one of the tastiest soups we ever made and simple to cook in just 10 minutes!
Ingredients: Homemade chicken broth* (you can use vegetable broth), organic leeks, organic garlic, organic red onion, organic Alaria and organic hemp seeds. Add salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy!

* We use homemade chicken broth made from happy drug free chicken carcass with organic leeks, organic onion, organic garlic, organic thyme, sea salt and organic pepper.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cookies And A Cat

Part of living sustainably is making the most out of the food you have and when possible, storing it for later use. Last week we made an upside down pineapple cake. There was some left over pineapple and we decided to freeze it and save it for muffins. Today we were preparing to make pineapple muffins but we realized we had run out of eggs, so we decided on pineapple and shredded coconut cookies instead. The recipe was simple and similar to the oats and shredded coconut cookies recipe. Pineapple in baked goods adds richness to the texture. The cookies were yummy!

Above: A picture of our beautiful cat that was worth sharing.

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Long Awaited Asparagus

We are doing research to start planning for our indoor and outdoor gardens, on our property. In considering what we would grow, we thought of many vegetables including asparagus. Asparagus is frequently added to our daily meals. Asparagus contains anti-inflammatory nutrients such as flavonoids quercetin, rutin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. It provides a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium. If you are interested in growing your own asparagus, as we are, it is important to know that it takes 3 years to harvest from the time a crown is planted! This was something that we didn't know. It might be best to buy a 1 year old crown/plant from a nursery or garden center, so you don't have to wait an extra year before harvesting. You can learn more about growing and harvesting asparagus here.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mucho Mocha

We dusted off our cappuccino machine and decided to have a mocha night! Mocha can be served hot or cold. It was a hot day so we made an ice mocha with homemade rice milk (use coconut milk for best results). For dessert we made a gluten free Mocha Brownie Cake made with organic raw cacao powder and decaf espresso from Kicking Horse. Kicking horse is Canada's #1 organic fair trade coffee. Our favorite kind (since we switched to decaf) is 'cliff hanger decaf espresso' coffee. Both the ice mocha and mocha cake were rich in flavor. The mocha espresso cake was topped off with a raw cacao and shredded coconut frosting made with honey and avocados. Mmmmmmmm.... tasty! 

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'I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.'

Quote by E.E. Cummings
It is important to conserve an ecological balance with nature in order for us all to survive. Birds are a major part of our ecosystem. They control bugs and insects as well as pollinate flowers. When we study birds, we learn more about nature and the environmental dangers in our area. Contribute to local wildlife conservation by creating a wildlife habitat in your own backyard! Click here to read about this fun project!
Below: red winged black bird, female northern cardinal, downy woodpecker, common grackle and American robin.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

'Nature's way is simple and easy, but men prefer what is intricate and artificial.'

Quote by Lao Tzu.
It has been 32 days since we planted our beautiful organic cherry tomato plants! We are excited to see they are growing healthy so far. We are also eager to try them for cooking, we have 16 tomato plants and 14 basil herbs growing.
Below: Two of our tomato plants and some pics from the park. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oats and Shredded Coconut Cookies

In celebration of our 100th post, we would like to share our latest healthy cookie recipe! Organic quick oats from Milanaise are a healthy inexpensive treat that's used for oatmeal, but can be incorporated in multiple recipes, including baking. We decided to make oats and shredded coconut cookies with homemade rice milk. The results were delicious! (see recipe below) Don't forget to check out some of our 'best of 100 posts' on health and sustainability. Enjoy!

Oats and Shredded Coconut Cookies Recipe
Makes 10 cookies
∙ 1/2 cup of organic gluten free rice flour
∙ 1/2 tsp of organic baking soda
∙ 1/2 cup of organic shredded coconut
∙ 2 heaping tbsp of organic quick oats
∙ 2 tbsp of organic coconut flour
∙ 2 tbsp organic quinoa flour 
∙ 1 1/2 tbsp of organic black chia seed powder
∙ pinch of sea salt
∙ 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil (melted)
∙ 1 1/2 tbsp of honey (or other sweetener such as coconut palm powder/sugar)
∙ 1/4 cup of organic rice milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients first. (Mix well) Set aside.
3. Mix coconut oil, honey and rice milk in a small mixing bowl. Then add to dry ingredients.
4. Mix all ingredients well until crumbly. 
5. Using your hands, knead the dough inside the bowl and create 10 small balls.
6. Place each ball down on parchment paper and press down to form cookies. 
7. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
8. Remove from oven and let cool.
9. Serve and enjoy! 

Rice Milk Recipe
∙ 1 1/2 cups of brown rice (1 cup of pre-soaked brown rice 24 hours)*
∙ 4-6 cups of spring water (for boiling)**
∙ additional spring water (for blending)
∙ 1 tbsp sea salt
∙ 1 tbsp of honey

1. Add water, salt, honey and pre-soaked rice to a medium pot and bring to a boil. 
2. Once boiled, simmer at medium heat for about 2-4 hours or until rice has a rice pudding texture.
3. Add rice, in parts, with the same amount of water as rice, to a blender and blend.
4. Strain each batch of blended rice to a container/mixing bowl (using a mesh strainer).
5. Once all rice has been blended and strained in parts, strain rice milk a second time.
6. Pour rice milk into a glass jug and store in fridge for up to 7 days. Enjoy and good luck!

*1 cup of brown rice after soaking will give you 1 1/2 cups of rice.   
**You may have to try this recipe a couple times to get the flavor and consistency you like.

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A Bowl Of Energy

Oatmeal with fruits and nuts is a quick breakfast idea when you don't have time to cook in the morning. Fruits and nuts provide additional health benefits needed to energize your morning! You can also use rice milk instead of water for more nutrition and flavor!
Below: Organic homemade rice milk with quick oats and topped with strawberries, blueberries, honey and (pre-soaked) almonds. Yummy!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Double Decker Veggie Burger

The nutrients in eggplant include fiber, manganese, potassium, folate, vitamin k, copper, vitamin B6, Vitamin C and magnesium. Lentils are a great source of B vitamins. B vitamins are important for the healthy function of the nervous, digestive and immune systems. 
Below: A double decker organic eggplant and lentil veggie burger with organic red onion, garlic, cumin and a happy free range chicken egg! MMMMmmmmm... tasty and very filling!

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Creating Pro-biotics

Fermenting vegetables creates healthy bacteria for the immune system! You can read information about this from our previous post on understanding 'allergies'. Fermentation not only creates good bacteria but it also provides a variety of foods which you can incorporate into your daily meals. It is important to have pro-biotics after the use of antibiotics, although antibiotics should be avoided at all costs! 
Last weekend we decided to begin fermenting cabbage. To do this, we soaked raw cabbage in salt water and then packed it tightly in a jar. We saved some cabbage leaves at the start to cover the top of the cabbage, once it was full, in order to pack it in real tight. We then filled in any gaps that were left behind, with water. In 1- 2 weeks the process should be complete. We will be experimenting with more vegetables once we get the results of the cabbage and will keep you posted.

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Herb Garden Permaculture

The spiral herb garden is beautiful in design and has the ability to save water and attract pollinators. The herb spiral is edged with a dry-stacked stone wall, which gets taller as it spirals toward the garden's center. 

In Cleveland’s Midtown Urban Farm, a spiral garden is overseen by Milene Benedict, the Farm site manager. She says the garden typically requires little watering because of it's smart design. The plants are placed according to their needs, for example, plants that need full sun go at the top or on the south side of the spiral. Plants such as cilantro that rapidly to produce flowers, go on the east side where they’re shaded from the hot afternoon sun.

We're going to be applying this design to an outdoor garden on our property. Click here to learn how to build a spiral garden. If you have more information, please share.

photo by Ed Suba Jr. and taken from

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Apricot Muffins

Apricots contain vitamin A which promotes good vision and is a powerful antioxidant. We received an extra order of apricots during one of our organic home deliveries and decided to dice some up and store them in the freezer for later use. Fruits provide vitamins and nutrients and can add sweetness to your baked goods!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Raw Cacao Treat

Energize yourself with a raw cacao and avocado pudding dessert that you can make in 2 minutes! Simply hand blend an avocado, raw cacao powder and some raw honey. Throw in some nuts and peanut or almond butter for additional health benefits and richer flavor. Avocados contain nutrients such as potassium and are rich in vitamins A, C, and E ! Raw cacao powder is high in antioxidants which help stimulate/detoxify the pineal gland. Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, calcium and iron. Almonds contain many vitamins and nutrients including vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. Yummy! *If you can't have honey, try a fruit sweetener instead.

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Happy Eggs On A Cabbage Casserole

Eggs go great at any time of the day. We had a shredded cabbage casserole for dinner and we topped it off with some happy eggs. The results were yummy! Cabbage has an excellent source of vitamin C and is high in antioxidants! See post below to learn about happy eggs.

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A Perfect Poach

Free range chicken eggs come from happy chickens that are not raised in unhealthy environments and are drug-free. Eggs contain protein, vitamin D and all 9 essential amino acids.
Below: A pair of perfectly poached eggs with homemade tomato sauce, topped with shredded spinach and sprinkled with hemp seeds! Mmmmmm... very tasty!

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