Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raw Kale Avocado Salad



The Farmer's Market was bursting with luscious dark leafy greens on Saturday. I couldn't help but buy at least one bunch of every variety of kale! I made this raw kale salad tonight and my children devoured it. They are accustomed to eating many different types of greens, but for a child who isn't, below are a few tips.

Tips for adding more variety, vegetables, and greens to your child's diet:
  • Make sure your children are hungry and have not been snacking all afternoon or evening; hungry children are more likely to try and eat new foods.
  • Serve the new vegetable or salad first. This is especially true for a young child between 2 and 4 years of age.
  • Sit down as a family and talk about everything but the meal. Focusing on the food can lead to food battles. 
  • Suggest a "try-it-bite" for a child who seems really uncomfortable about trying something new. They may spit it out and that is okay. Sometimes it can take 10 "try-it-bites" over a series of weeks for a child to accept a new food. 
  • Start early! As soon as you have introduced citrus to your toddler's diet offer them a plate of this salad. A one year old won't digest much of it but will gain so much in the way of programming his or her taste buds to accept these types of foods. We put salad greens on our twin's plates by the time they were twelve months old and now they beg for salads at three years old! 
  • Young children learn how to eat and what to eat by watching the adults and caregivers around them. This starts from infancy on. 
My new cookbook as a large chapter devoted to raising healthy eaters, beginning from conception on. These are just a few of the tips on mealtimes with children. I know many of you keep asking when the new book will be available for pre-order. I expected that it would have been ready by now but it is not. I don't have the long focused hours now like I had with my first cookbook. Being pregnant and having four children makes it a little more challenging. It will be done when it is done, that is all I can say. It is close, the recipes are done, but I am still finishing up the content in the beginning. I am confident that you will love it though!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fish Tacos from Kauai



Tom and I returned home from Kauai yesterday. We had a wonderful vacation without children this time. They had plenty of fun at home with grandma though! This post is more than a recipe. In fact, after I learned more about mercury levels in Hawaiian fish, I debated posting this at all. But we all make mistakes, and I want to share what I have learned.

When we were packing for our trip I decided to bring a bag of each brown rice, quinoa, pink beans, and raw almonds. I also packed some almond butter, Herbamare, cumin, and our Vitamix. Food is much more expensive over there because everything needs to be shipped in. Relying on all of the local foods and the few things we packed, we were able to prepare amazing, nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while lessening our impact on the environment. There is a farmer's market everyday on the island. You just need to be sure that the farmers you buy from are using organic farming methods, as GMO's are prevalent in non-organic papaya crops in particular. Most of the meals we ate were vegan, and many were mostly raw or totally raw. One evening we went to the local fish market to purchase fish for tacos. We bought opah, commonly known as moonfish. It is a deepwater fish native to Hawaii. We made a lovely meal that we shared with a friend of fish tacos, quinoa salad, and for dessert a raw macadamia nut-papaya custard. Everything was local except for the corn tortillas, quinoa, cumin, and the coconut oil used for sautéing the fish.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Corn Muffins



We've been experiencing a rather cold, rainy spring here in the pacific northwest so the other night I made a big pot of vegetarian chili. It would not have been complete without a batch of warm corn muffins. Our family enjoyed these so much that I decided to share them with you. I needed to make another batch yesterday just so I could get some photos.

Ground golden flax seeds

The muffins are of course gluten-free, as well as egg-free, dairy-free, and xanthan-free....and still full of so much flavor! I also use flax meal to help bind them together instead of any gums, such as xanthan gum. I grind golden flax seeds in the dry container of my Vitamix but a coffee grinder works equally as well. Store any remaining ground seeds in a glass jar for up to a week in your refrigerator. I like to use golden flax seeds when making a lighter colored muffin or bread recipes but you could also use the darker variety if that is what you have on hand.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buckwheat Hazelnut Pancakes


If you have been following my blog for a while you'll know that I am a big fan of buckwheat. I buy the raw groats and then grind them myself in the dry container of my VitamixRaw Buckwheat Groats are soft and can also be easily ground in a coffee grinder if you don't happen to have a Vitamix. The resulting flour is very mild, creating tender, flavorful pancakes or baked goods. The buckwheat flour you find in the stores is made from roasted buckwheat groats, creating a very strong flavor, which most people don't like. Another thing about raw buckwheat is that it has its own binding power. You'll notice as you mix the batter together it becomes rather "stringy" much like a gluten flour. For this reason, it doesn't require any gums, although pancakes never do.

Buckwheat is not a grain, but rather a seed. It actually has compounds in it that help regulate blood sugar. For this reason it is a great flour to use if you are diabetic.

One of our children's favorite breakfast recipes is the Buckwheat Pancake recipe in my first book, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. A few months ago I began adding Hazelnut Meal to the batter to add extra protein and flavor (for this pregnant mama). I never measure, because if the first pancake doesn't turn out quite right you can easily adjust the batter. I finally nailed down the recipe to share with you, just in time for Mother's Day!