From My Kitchen to Yours: A Couple Recipes from this last week

MORNING GLORY MUFFINS (adapted from King Arthur Flour morning glory recipe)

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Premium Whole Wheat Flour (Bob’s Red Mill also makes a whole wheat pastry flour that I think would work well for this as well-but I have yet to try it out)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar (turbinado) OR you could omit the sugar altogether and use 3/4 to 1 cup honey(depending on how sweet you like your muffins)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (or you can grate if you like the apple to blend better, I like mine chunkier)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if desired-I didn’t use them because I didn’t have them)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line muffin tins with baking papers.

2) In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe.

3) In a large bowl (or in your Kitchenaid mixer, if you have one), whisk together the flour, sugar/honey, baking soda, spices, and salt.

4) Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds or wheat germ.

5) Make a well in the middle of your mix, and add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange juice.  (One note with coconut oil: it solidifies at pretty close to room temperature, so heat it prior to adding it into the mix, and stir vigorously while adding it to prevent it from clumping due to cooler ingredients.)

6) Stir until evenly moistened.

7) Drain the raisins and stir them in.

8) Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan (they’ll be full almost to the top; that’s OK).

9) Bake the muffins for 25 to 28 minutes, until they’re nicely domed.

10) Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack.  From there, you can enjoy them immediately or freeze for later!

Yield: 18 muffins.

I was totally going to take a picture of these, but they were gone before I had the chance!  (Taliyah even said, “Mom, every time you make muffins, make THESE kind of muffins.”  So there you have it-4 stars from the muffin expert.)

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 CHOCOLATE BANANA CUPS:  Recipe found at MyWholeFoodLife.com, link below: http://mywholefoodlife.com/2014/02/21/3-ingredient-banana-cups/ V photo The girls and I had a great time making (and eating) these together!!  We also used the My Whole Food Life recipe for the chocolate, and it turned out awesome.  (This is assuming that you like coconut.  If you DON’T like coconut, then I would not recommend this chocolate recipe to you!) tphoto

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God loves “Real” Food (here’s why…)

real food

God loves real food. There, I said it.  And I stand by what I said.  Let me explain myself, for those of you who are currently scratching their heads and wondering, What is she talking about this time.  By God, I mean, well, God.  Creator of the universe.  By real food, I mean…food in it’s most natural state.  Food produced and naturally found in nature, NOT produced in a lab somewhere. Why does He love real food?  The most obvious reason would be for the simple fact that He made it!

You see, real food was what God made for people to eat.  Duh, you might be saying right about now.  But the thing is, we don’t.  We’ve gotten away from eating real, honest-to-goodness food.  Don’t believe me?  Walk around a grocery store (almost any grocery store will do) and read the ingredients label.  Chances are what you find will NOT be natural ingredients, but things like THIAMINE MONONITRATE.  Thiamine what?  Now I don’t know about you, but I have never heard about a thiamine mononitrate tree.  I’m pretty certain that one does not exist.  So it’s fairly safe to say that thiamine mononitrate is an ingredient existing outside of nature.  The other thing you will find is sugar, in levels far beyond what is healthy or recommended.

Let us examine the ingredient label for Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Bars, which are supposed to be a “healthy” snack.

nutrigrain

Filling (High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Strawberry Puree Concentrate, Glycerin, Sugar, Water, Sodium Alginate, Modified Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Citrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Methylcellulose, Caramel Color, Malic Acid, Red No. 40), Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Whole Wheat Flour, Sunflower and/or Soybean Oil with TBHQ for Freshness, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Contains Two Percent or Less of Honey, Dextrose, Calcium Carbonate, Soluble Corn Fiber, Nonfat Dry Milk, Wheat Bran, Salt, Cellulose, Potassium Bicarbonate (Leavening), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mono- and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Gluten, Niacinamide, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Carrageenan, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Guar Gum, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid.

When listed individually, are these ingredients you want to be consuming?  Would you let your kids eat anything on that list?  How many times can you find SUGAR listed on the ingredients list?  (Here’s a clue…the first couple ingredients are actually sugar, and if you look carefully you’ll find sugar hidden under different names throughout.)  You may also note Kellogg’s use of an artificial dye-Red No. 40.  Raise your hand if you pledge never to eat another Nutrigrain bar for the rest of your life…I know I have mine raised.

Why does mankind feel the need to mess with the perfect food source that God created specifically for us?  We arrogantly assume that we can perfect something that is already perfect.  Our society is so consumed with losing weight that we’ve invented “foods”* that are “low-fat”, “no-fat” and “low-calorie”. We’ve largely gotten away from eating fruits and vegetables, or when we do we think we need to sweeten them up.  (Which is laughable, as fruit has naturally occurring sugar.)  So why, then, are Americans fatter than ever?

overweight

In my weight-loss journey, I have tried many a diet.  And diets don’t work. Oh, don’t get me wrong-they do for a time.  Weight watchers was fabulous and I dropped about 30 lbs, but then gained it all back and more with my subsequent pregnancy.  If you really want to lose weight, and keep it off-you need to make a change that is sustainable.  Something that not only works now, but will continue to work five years from now.

You know what I did?  I prayed about it.  Yes, I prayed about losing weight.  I asked God to help me do it His way, because my way clearly wasn’t working (as is typically the case).  It was after one of these prayers that I stumbled upon the book 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake (she also conveniently maintains a website under the same name, 100daysofrealfood.com).  I was intrigued by the concept: cutting out overly-processed, artificial foods, and making everything myself from whole food ingredients.  And then my brain made the connection.  It made sense.  Eating naturally-occurring foods made by God to be in the body God designed me to have.  Duh.  It took me 33 years to figure this out (which is most likely because I am stubborn and had tried to do things my way up to this point-had I simply asked God sooner, I could have avoided much of the trial and error that led me to this point).

100days

And you know what else?  It’s working. I’ve lost weight.  A considerable amount, and I’m not done yet.  Even more exciting is all this new-found energy.  I feel great!  It’s like if your body was a car, and you’d been filling it up with the cheap gas for years.  Then one day you switch to premium, and wow!  You notice how much better your car is running and how many more miles per gallon you’re getting.  Cars run better on better fuel.  So do bodies.

Once again, God to the rescue, solving my life problems.  Maybe next time I could just remember to ask for guidance a little bit sooner…

 

*I use the term “food” for lack of a better term.

So WHY raining orange peels, you may ask…

Well, it reminds me of my daughter, Viviana.  This girl is hilarious.  She is also an orange addict.  The kid can go through a 5 lb bag of Cuties in 2 days.  No joke.  Did I mention she’s only 2 years old?  There are literally orange peels “decorating” our entire house.  Orange peels on the carpet, orange peels on the baby’s toys, orange peels in the sock drawer-you get the point.  Orange peels.  While I suppose this could be annoying (with 3 kids I have long ago accustomed myself to the random clutter found around the house)-I find it a great reminder of the things that matter in life: family, faith, and good, wholesome FOOD.  And wouldn’t you know it, that’s what this blog is all about!

moustaches

Guess which one is the orange eater?

 

I could write about my kids and hubby all day long.  Seriously.  But you might get tired of hearing about that-which is why this blog also encompasses two other things I’m passionate about: food and faith.

FOOD:  I have recently switched over to a whole-foods diet.  No more highly processed foods.  No more refined sugars.  Just good old-fashioned REAL food.  Since I am the one that largely does the cooking in our house, this means that my entire family’s eating style has undergone a change recently as well (much to my hubby’s chagrin-he’s coming around, though).  So you may occasionally see posts for new recipe tries and fails, and what we’re eating these days.

FAITH: I am totally, madly in love with the Big Guy upstairs.  As such, you will probably here about Him a time or two.  (I mean, how can you LOVE someone or something and not incessantly talk about them?  Impossible, I say.)  From new faith A-HA moments to daily struggles to anything in betweeen…I could potentially ramble on about any (or all) of it.

So there you have it-me in a nutshell.  (I’ve always found that a random expression…what does being in a nutshell have to do with summarizing yourself…but I digress.)  I look forward to spending time together with YOU (used in the universal sense).