Sunday, September 20, 2009

Harvest Time! Pumpkin-Apple Bread Recipe

Pumpkin-Apple Bread Recipe (Gluten and Dairy Free)

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar (organic cane sugar, sucanat, or sugar-replacement such as honey)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1/2 cup olive (or canola) oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 medium-large apple (I used golden supreme)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (see below to make your own puree)
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, ground flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and xanthum gum.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together remaining oil and eggs. Add unsweetened pumpkin puree and water. Add flour mixture to batter and mix until well-blended. Stir in the walnuts and apples. Put mixture in loaf pans (1 small and 1 large).
  3. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (time for large pan) or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Pumpkin Puree

1 small pie pumpkin
food processor, blender, etc.
sturdy serrated knife
cutting board
larger microwavable bowl with cover (or cover bowl with plate)

Cut pumpkin in half and remove stem, seeds, and insides. Cut into quarters, put in large bowl, and add a couple inches of water. Cover and microwave for 10 minutes. Check to see if soft. Continue to microwave until pumpkin is soft and is easily removed from skin. Remove pumpkin from skin, put in food processor, and puree.

*Note: you can also bake pumpkin in oven or steam until soft.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

For the Love of Chai

I have been feverishly working over the past year or so to perfect a chai recipe. I think I will always be messing with it - that's what makes it so fun - but here is what I have so far. Enjoy!

Tina's Chai Latte

3 1/2 c. water
16 green cardomom pods
5 whole allspice
12 whole black peppercorns
4 - 6 slices of fresh ginger, diced (more or less to taste)
3 tsp. cinnamon flakes
4 whole cloves
Dash of grated nutmeg
Dash or two of cayenne pepper
4 tsp. molasses (more or less to taste)
6 tsp. loose black tea
Milk of choice
Drop of two of agave nectar (optional)

1. Put water and spices in saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
3. Add molasses and bring back to boil.
4. Turn off heat and add black tea. Allow to brew for 3 - 5 minutes.
5. Strain tea and pour into individual cups about 2/3 full.
6. Add milk (steamed or try iced).

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Friday, August 28, 2009

What is your Top Ten List?

Right now I am reading Jonny Bowden's The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Throughout the book Jonny has asked some of the top experts in nutrition to give of list of what they consider their top ten foods. This doesn't mean what they RECOMMEND to their patients or clients but rather what THEY ACTUALLY EAT. I have always been curious about such a list or lists. Here is what I have found:

(12) blueberries and salmon
(7) spinach
(6) eggs, nuts, and broccoli
(5) strawberries, raspberries, beans / lentils, and sea vegetables
(4) grass-fed beef, kale / chard, blackberries, extra virgin olive oil, pomegranates and/or juice
(3) ground flaxseed, apples, almonds, steel-cut oats, avocado, green tea, onions, bean / seed sprouts, and yogurt
(2) whey, brown rice, chicken, peppers, tomatoes, coffee, garlic, sardines, coconut oil, vegetables (mix), and sweet potatoes
(1) cranberry juice, lemons, spaghetti squash, jjicama, peanut butter, organic cream, red lentil sprouts, mango, egg whites, turkey, walnuts, arugula, grapes, almond butter, buckwheat, black beans, kiwifruit, mung beans, pineapple, kimchi, baby greens, mushrooms, asparagus, brewer’s yeast, celery root, wild game, buffalo, alcohol, and water

Do you agree? Disagree?

I began to think about my top ten list. What would it look like? What would it include? Am I really eating as well as I had hoped? Well, here is what I have come up with:


Wild Alaskan Salmon


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Berries (including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Ground Flaxseed Meal

Pure Water

Kale / Chard

Brown Rice

Beans (black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, etc.) / Lentils

I based this list on not only what I believe to be important in my diet but also on what I actually eat on a regular basis.

Do you agree? Disagree?

Write your own list. What did you come up with?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am listening to the MarsHill “Worship in Every Direction” CD this morning and the song “Enchanted” came on. Whenever I hear that song, over and over again, my eyes are opened to what the world has to hold – how we have been so blessed by the earth around us. Describing our world as enchanted makes it so mysterious and wonderful and good. I want to be out in that kind of world, I want to take care of that kind of world, I want to truly LIVE in that kind of world. I begin to wonder, what would our day look like if everything around us became “enchanted”? How would our actions and thoughts change? Would we complain less? Would we worry less? Would we be okay with status quo? OR, would we take on the world’s enchantment and become enchanted to those around us? Is our view of the earth directly tied with our view of God? With others view of us and, thru us, God? Are we leaning in closer to see it? Are we DARING to breathe it in?

“Much of nature seemed to be an excited repetition. Like that of an excited schoolmaster saying the same thing over and over again. The grass seemed signaling to me with all its fingers at once. The crowded stars seemed bent upon being understood. The sun would make me see him if he rose a thousand times. The recurrences of the universe rose to the maddening rhythm of an incantation. And I began to see an idea. In short, I had always believed the world involved a magic. Now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician. And this pointed a profound emotion present in the self-conscious. This world of ours has some purpose. And if there is a purpose, there is a person. I had always felt life first as a story. And if there is a story, there is a storyteller.”

This is the kind of world I want to live in…..that of a story filled with all of the magic we search for as a child, and long for as an adult. May we be awakened to this world. May we find the magic that lives in every blade of grass and watch the sun rise with new expectation. May we see the miracles of this world and be unable to stop ourselves from squealing in delight. May we catch our breaths each day at the beauty we find and may we never forget the storyteller behind it all.

God, give us new eyes to see…..may we be free.

Grace and Peace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spring Vegetarian Stir-Fry

This past week I've been doing a 10 day elimination detox. The great thing was, I could have any vegetable almost all of the days. I came up with this green veggie (local and/or organic) spring stir-fry recipe that is delicious! I'm posting it so I don't forget what I did :)

Spring Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Olive Oil
Large bunch of kale
Large head of broccoli
1 Ib. of asparagus (appx.)
1 medium onion (I prefer sweet)
6 cloves chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers
1 tsp. ground ginger or 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
ground sea salt and pepper to taste
(I couldn't have tofu or nuts at this point in the detox but both would be great additions)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up asparagus into 1" pieces and broccoli into small chunks. Mix both vegetables with olive oil and 3 cloves of chopped garlic in glass bowl. Spread on cookie sheet, shaking pan to get them even. Roast for about 20 - 25 minutes or until vegetables start to brown.
While veggies are roasting, cut kale into 2" long pieces. In wok or large frying pan, heat other 3 cloves of garlic with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Mix in kale and saute until deep green and tender. Add ginger and pepper flakes and saute for another minute or two.
Remove roasting veggies from oven and add to kale mixture. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on bed of organic brown rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


From time to time I come across a recipe that I have to share with the world because it is so delicious and nutritious.

Recipe from Johnny Bowden's 150 Healthiest Meals on Earth [with my own adjustments].

1 1/4 cups pitted dates (about 10 ounces)
9 T. (1/3c. plus 1/4c.) high-quality cacoa or cocoa powder or carob
1/4 c. macadamia nut oil or coconut oil
1/2 c. garbanzo or black beans [can also do half and half], rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked)
4 organic, pasture-raised eggs or egg substitute
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure dates into a liquid measuring cup and pour hot water to the 1 1/2 cup line, turning dates over with your hands until the water reaches all of the dates. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour off 1/4 cup of the liquid in the dates and process the rest in a blender or food processor until it forms a smooth paste. Put the date paste into a large bowl and add the cacao or cocoa powder, oil, and agave nectar, mixing well. Combine the beans and eggs in a blender or food processor and process until very smooth. Add the garbanzo mixture to the date mixture, stirring well to combine. Add the baking powder and cinnamon, stirring to combine, and pour the batter into a 9-inch, nonstick pan or pie dish (if using glass, grease lightly with oil or Natucol). Bake for 45 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes, cut and serve. Store remainder in refrigerator. Yields 12 brownies.

I personally like mine really cold with coconut icecream.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Story of Stuff

This is an incredible, easy to understand look at what goes on in the creation of our stuff - definitely a MUST WATCH:

"Twinkie Tax"

Check out these articles on taxing junk food:\

It seems like 20 states have passed the bill and 11 states are still considering, however I can't find if Michigan is one of those states. Let me know if you figure it out!

What To Eat

Right now I'm reading What to Eat by Luise Light. It has been an interesting book becuase Luise worked for the USDA while a new pyramid was being designed. She was actually hired for that purpose and documents her experience - the politics that go into it. It's unbelievable that schools are giving funding for foods based on the current pyramid set by the USDA and lobbyists' for different (processed) food companies are the real brains (or money) behind the pyramid. Not only are our kids getting sub-par, kind of-sort of food (if you can call it food) but their gym, art, music, etc. are suffering - obesity is on the rise, we're teaching to test not to work and live, and food allergies / diseases are skyrocketing. The future generation(s) have a lot stacked against them.....I don't agree with everything Light says in her book but it is a great starting point and worth reading.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The Holland Farmer's Market opens this Saturday - a day I've been waiting for since last November. They have a new website: that details each of the products available along with the different farms. Knowing where and how our food is grown is critically important. The farmer's market always gets me excited about my own garden and although, I may not have one this year (life happens), I am already preparing for next season. I've begun looking at Seed Saver's Exchange ( for various organic and heirloom variety. I am stunned at how many tomatoes there are and vast arays of garlic. Check out their online catalog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Notes from Elson

Notes from Staying Healthy with Nutrition (by Elson Haas):

"The poor nations...are literally starving from deficiency diseases while we are overconsuming junk and dying from diseases of affluence."

Eating is not only an issue of survival or enjoyment, for us it may be a more than that. We live in an affluent country and how we buy, sell, and exploit becomes a very moral issue. Our overconsumption is killing men, women, and children.

"Most of us need to develop and maintain a lifelong exercise plan that blends with our more sedentary work lifestyles. This should include a natural seasonal variance that ideally coincides with the cycles of light and darkness in our area. The activity should be outdoors and energy expending during the warmer, lighter months; energy-gathering exercise, such as yoga, done indoors is best in the colder, darker times."

What does it look like to define our exercise and diet around seasons?

"At about 6 months of age, cattle are commonly injected with slow-release pellets of estrogen, which can speed up growth and add 40 to 50 pounds by the time of slaughter."

Our consumption of meat has gone up drastically. Our weight as a population has gone up drastically. Anyone else see a parallel here?

Ask the following questions when deciding eating habits:

1. Who is eating? We ALL need to experience the art of food preparation so that we can ultimately nourish ourselves and others.

2. With whom are we eating? Creating a peaceful setting around food preparation and food consumption is a vital part of the nutrition process.

3. What is being eaten? A balanced diet is all we need. What this is may actually vary person to person (based on our individual needs, cultural background, current knowledge and tastes, food availability, and expense).

4. When do we eat? The first rule of eating is to only eat when TRULY hungry. The message of hunger tells us the body has digested and used the last food we consumed and is now ready for more. Many people experience more emotional and psychological hunger than the physical feeling.

5. Where we eat? Pick one or two places to consume food, usually one indoors and the other out. Eating outdoors, especially in a natural setting, can contribute to the relaxation and enjoyment of the meal.

6. Why eat? We should basically eat to nourish our being.

7. How we eat? Eat slowly and chew food completely. The digestive process begins in the mouth.