Mung Bean Sprouts (how to grow them)

Mung Beans

A few weeks ago my kids and I drove back to my hometown of Grand Falls, NB.  Although it was spring, it certainly didn’t feel like it there.  The snow banks were high enough that my parents could barely see their neighbour’s house.  Inside their lovely home, my mom had been growing some little mung bean sprouts.  It was nice to see something green (that we could eat) growing inside despite the fact that it was so cold outside.  The mung beans only take a few days to sprout and were ready to eat when we got there.  My oldest son David who is 7 grabbed a handful and before I knew it had eaten the whole jar.  They taste like peas from the garden so he ate them right up.  My mom then proceeded to show me how easy they are to grow.sprouts boys2

We tried a few batches at home to get the hang of it and I then went in to David’s grade 2 class at school this week to do an experiment with them.  I decided to show the kids how to grow their own at school and then to bring materials home to be able to show their parents how easy it is.  The class has 22 kids so I brought in 6 Mason jars and divided the kids up into groups of 3-4 kids. My goal was to have at least some of the kids be brave enough to taste the sprouts prior to getting started.  I had my niece walk around and give each child a spoonful.  Before I even turned around, my jar of sprouts was gone and every single kid tried them and liked them, in fact some of them loved it.  I love using peer pressure in a positive way with kids, works every time!

My strategy here is to get the kids to show their parents what they did and by doing so increasing the likelihood of them eating it.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the more they are involved in the process of getting the food on their plate, the more likely they are to eat it.

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Here are the simple steps to growing your own mung beans in your kitchen:

  1. Buy the sprouts you want to grow from your local health food store.  I got mine from the bulk section at Organic Earth but Sobeys and maybe even Superstore have them in their organic sections.  You will see an assortment of them and they can all be grown using the same jar and same methods, some of them just require a little more time to yield a batch.A. Vogel sprouts jar

2. Once you have your beans, you can either purchase a jar for sprouting for about $10 with the lid to strain the sprouts daily.  You can also use a Mason jar as we did and get a   plastic lid (I got mine from Michael’s and just cut it out to fit on the Mason jar lid).

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3.  The beans need to be rinsed to get any residue off them and then soaked overnight.

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4.  In the morning you tip the container and strain them.  Add some more water and rinse them again before straining it completely.  Repeat this step once again at night.

5.  You will start to see little tails sprouting from the beans.  Once the green cover is completely off the bean (this usually takes 2-4 days) they are ready to eat.  My oldest son didn’t even allow them to get completely sprouted before consuming my first couple of batches.

6.  Enjoy!  You can keep them in the refrigerator for a few weeks and sprinkle them on salads or just snack on them on their own.  Start soaking another batch right away so you always have some fresh!

Paleo Carrot Bread/Muffins

IMG_0993When I left for errands yesterday, Jason and the 3 boys surprised me with their productivity.  They juiced a lot and used the fiber from the juice to make this lovely carrot bread.  It is delicious and relatively simple to make.  As a family we almost ate the whole loaf in one sitting.  Jason found the recipe at http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/coconut-flour-carrot-muffins-gaps-legal and modified it slightly.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  •  1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 5-6 drops of stevia drops
  • 2 TBSP vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups carrots shredded (Jason used the pulp from the carrots he juiced)
  • 1/2 c raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with liners, or grease with coconut oil.
  2. Combine the eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla in a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  3. Add in the salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Sprinkle the coconut flour over the mixture and then whisk into the batter.
  4. Mix well so that there aren’t any clumps.
  5. Fold in the shredded carrots and raisins or cranberries.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Getting the kids involved- juicing with their daddy

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One of the biggest challenges as a parent once we know what types of food are healthy for us is getting our kids to eat them as well.

  • The number one thing in our house is getting them involved in the food preparation.  Whether it’s getting them to take something out of the refrigerator or the pantry, cracking an egg, stirring, pushing buttons on the machines.  Do what you can to get them involved in the process and this will yield big dividends.
  • I bought our boys some plastic knives used to cut up lettuce.  I often have them chop up some veggies before a meal.  As soon as they get involved in the chopping process and they are hungry for their meal, they usually ask if they can have some of the food they are chopping.  This is perfect, mission accomplished. My rule with them is unlimited veggies any time of day.  They still ask permission but I always say yes because the more vegetables they eat, the less hungry they are for less nutrient dense foods.

The following are a few videos Jason did while I was away doing errands, he certainly got them all involved and they were loving it…so cute!

 

 

 

 

The Everything Cookie (www.StaceyDeering.com)

The Everything Cookies2

Made these today for the boys and some neighbourhood kids playing outside.  They were a hit and quite easy to make.  What I love is that they also make a big batch (32 cookies).  I had a few substitutions to make which worked out just fine.  The original recipe comes from www.StaceyDeering.com She is a holistic nutritionist in Calgary and friends with a colleague of mine who also lives there.  Enjoy!

These were my substitutions from  her original recipe which can be found here http://www.staceydeering.com/everything-cookies/

  1. Instead of 1/2 cup of applesauce I chopped up an apple and left the peeling on and threw it in with the rest of the ingredients (it then turned in to applesauce)
  2. I didn’t chop the pumpkin seeds, I just put them in as they were and they too became chopped in the food processor
  3. I didn’t have any raisins so I sprinkled some xylitol (natural sugar substitute) over the mixture instead
  4. I used a regular egg instead of the chia egg

Paleo Brownies

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My sister made me this recipe as my birthday cake this year.  It was just the perfect amount of sweet and chocolate taste I wanted.  My kids loved it too.  No one will every guess the magic ingredient.  They are also nut free so can be brought to school as a treat for the kids in my sons’ classes…on my to do list:).  Found the recipe at EatDrinkPaleo and have tweaked it ever so slightly so here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium raw sweet potato, peeled and grated (2 to 2 1/2 cups of shredded sweet potato)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of raw honey, melted if not soft enough
  • generous 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 heaped Tbsp of gluten free baking powder
  • ½ Tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
  2. Using a food processor with the attachment to grate the sweet potato or using a hand grater, grate one medium sweet potato.
  3. Combine the grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla extract, raw honey, and coconut oil in the food processor or mixing bowl.  Stir together until mixture is well blended.
  4. In another small bowl, stir together baking powder, baking soda (yes the amounts are correct, that’s a lot of baking soda and powder for a small recipe but it works), cocoa powder and coconut flour.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the well blended wet ingredients and combine until mixture is consistent throughout.
  6. Pour the mixture into a pan that is greased with butter or lined with parchment paper.  This is an important step as it will stick to the pan, I prefer parchment paper.
  7. Bake the brownie for about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
  9. This is not a necessary step but you can add dark chocolate chips as a topping when it is warm so they can melt like frosting for added sweetness.  I used 76% dark chocolate chips (bought them at The Superstore for all you Canadians), the darker the better.

Gluten Free Pizza (grain-free)

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This is one of the best pizza crusts I’ve ever had, period.  My sister found it on pinterest and it was such an easy recipe I decided to try it.  With only 7 ingredients, it can be made relatively quickly.  You can find the original recipe on this site.  She did a fantastic job creating this recipe and I just couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ghee, grass-fed butter or extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the fat of choice, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and then stir in the garlic and tapioca flour. Combine it well. (The consistency of this mixture gets a little gooey and you may feel like you’ve done something wrong, you haven’t).  Set this mixture aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the eggs, combine them well and then add the coconut flour.  Knead the dough until it comes together nicely.
  5. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You can spread it out thinly making sure there are no gaps in the crust.
  6. Now place it in the oven for approximately 35 minutes.

Toppings:

  • tomato sauce- spread a thin, even layer over the entire cooked crust
  • 6-8 slices of bacon (preferably a nitrite free brand), cook them in your frying pan until desired crispiness is achieved.
  • 1/2 large onion (we chopped it up and caramelized it in the bacon grease).
  • 2-3 peppers chopped into thin pieces (whatever colours you have in your fridge will work great).  We added them in to the bacon grease along with the onion and just cooked them for a few minutes until they were a little soft.
  • 2 cups of shredded goat cheese mozzarella (I get mine at Sobeys).  Spread this on top of all the ingredients.
  • The original directions say to place the oven on broil and leave the pizza in for about 8 minutes.  I was afraid to burn the ingredients so took it out sooner around 4 minutes.  Watch it closely so as not to burn the ingredients but you can be the judge of what you want it to look like.
  • Enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sauce pan, combine the fat of choice, water and salt and bring to a boil.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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We have tried many different pancake recipes over the years.  So far I have to say this is our favorite.  It is easy to make, healthy and the kids love them.

We use 76% dark chocolate chips as they are healthier and the perfect sweetness for the breakfast pancake.

We also use avocado oil to grease the pan.  It is a healthy fat and safe for heating at high temperatures.  We buy ours from Costco.

You just want to make sure your frying pan or griddle is nice and warm before you put your first pancake.  It is important to turn the temperature down when you put the pancakes on as they might burn.  They are quite easy to turn if your pan is nice and warm.

You can find the recipe at Against All Grain.

Enjoy!

My 4 minute workout

IMG_0720As a busy mom of 3 young boys, chiropractor, and co-owner of our practice with my husband, some days can get a little hectic.

Health (as those who know me well already know) is my highest value.  We tend to always make room for things that are highest on our values, no matter how busy we are.  I believe people can perform the best in their lives when they feel their best.  Since exercise and proper movement of the body is an essential nutrient for the brain, I make an effort to incorporate some type of exercise into my daily routine.  I try to teach my clients, especially moms, that it is not selfish to take the time to do this.  We must begin to replace the word ‘selfish’ (which has a negative connotation) with ‘self-care’ (sounds a lot more positive).  Everyone around me benefits when I am in a better mood.  On days when I feel tired, lethargic, and short-tempered with my kids, I can totally reverse that 100% of the time with exercise.  The most difficult thing about exercise is getting started.  Some days are much harder than others.

IMG_0719IMG_0724Last year my husband was reading a book called ‘The 4 Hour Body’.  One of the concepts he learned was a different type of exercise training I had never heard about called Tabata Training.  He decided to put it to the test to train for a 10km road race.  My husband is a great athlete but running has never been his thing.  I rarely ever saw him training for the race and yet he surprised us both when he finished the race much more quickly and feeling much better than he thought he could. IMG_0725

I decided to give this training a try myself because I too am looking for the most effective type of training in the shortest amount of time. I have just completed my second 10 km road race this year and I must say am thoroughly surprised at how good my body felt with what seemed like a very small time investment.  I typically run 2-3 times/week mostly on my treadmill doing 4 minute workouts which consist of 8 x 20sec sprints with 10sec rests between each sprint.  This workout is a total of 4 minutes.  I usually do a 5 minute warm-up when I run as well to get my body ready for the sprints.  If you’re interested you can click on Tabata Training and learn a lot about the different types of workouts you can do in a shorter amount of time but at a higher intensity.IMG_0727

In my mind telling myself to get out the door for a 4-10 minute workout is far easier than preparing my mind or carving out the time for a longer workout.IMG_0731

The point I am most trying to get across is that sometimes we put off working out because we think it takes too much time or we need the perfect spot to do it.  More than anything we just need to get out there and move and if it’s a brisk walk, fantastic!  Today, I needed to get out and for 10 minutes I went behind my house and did some hill sprints.  When I got to the top I did some push-ups on a little bridge off the path.  The kids often come with me and watch the baby in the stroller as I’m doing my little intervals.  Sometimes they join me but the important thing is that I am teaching them how much healthier and stronger I feel when I carve out time to take care of my body, self-care is key!!!  IMG_0736

Caramel Sauce (great to dip apples)

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This is a 3 minute caramel sauce my sister found on pinterest through the Betty Rawker website.  It is quick and easy to make with the kids.  Such a great treat this time of year with the abundance of delicious Nova Scotia apples around.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP almond butter
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup (adjust this amount to the sweetness you like. Start with 1 TBSP and work your way up!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl, one that can be placed over boiling water in a saucepan.  Stir the mixture together until it has all melted and blended well.
  2. Use as a dipping sauce for apples and even as a syrup to put over pancakes.

Lemon Almond Biscotti

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These are a wonderful recipe from Elana’s Pantry that Jason discovered a while back.  They are much easier to make than you probably think, at least much simpler than I thought.  Go ahead and give this delightful treat a try and dip it in your favorite hot beverage.

We’ve made it both ways using her original recipe but we’ve also made it cutting back on the sweetness a little and they are still good.  Just try cutting back on the syrup/honey or even maple syrup (whatever sweetener you use) by about half if you’d like.

Enjoy!