Matilda’s Beet Popsicles

Beet it. Just beet it. No one wants to be defeated!

Beets are incredibly nutritionally sound.  Whether you enjoy them steamed, roasted, shredded, or juiced, you will benefit from them.  High in potassium, magnesium, A, B, and C, beets are a great staple to add to your diet. For women in particular, they help with maintaining iron, and folic acid levels.  Both the beet and the beet greens are beneficial for helping reduce cancer cells, used as a natural energy source, and even said to be a source for increasing your immune system.

While preparing meals for my family, I try to think ahead and determine how I can use every bit of an item.  So much gets thrown away in most homes and restaurants; things that can provide substance and another meal.

So when I blanched some beets the other evening, I saved the brilliant red water for two reasons. One, as a refreshing iced drink on the 90 degree 4th of July afternoon, and to also prepare beet based popsicles for my kiddos.  My youngest, Matilda, helped to prepare these.  I’m a huge advocate of allowing children to help prepare meals, and snacks so they become more interested in food and take part in creating something delicious that they want to taste just out of being proud they were able to get creative making it.

Matilda and her sisters devoured these, exclaiming “These are SO good!”

Matilda’s Beet Popsicles:

2 cups blanched beet juice water, chilled

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 heaping cup of fresh blueberries

2 bananas

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

6 leaves peppermint

1/8 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth. Transfer into popsicle makers, and then freeze overnight.

 

 

 

 

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Salad Challenge

I dearly believe that children watch you, learn from you, and mimic you.  With that said, I want to be a great influence for them. Some days, my patience wears thin as I feel tired and worn out, but I strive to be an image for them that I hope will create great thinkers, adventurers, cooks, friends, and generally good people.

Meals are an important part of physical performance.  Being sensitive to my body chemistry, I can feel when I’ve had too much salt, sugar, bread, not enough water,  & not enough sleep.  Being that today marks a year since our move, I figured I’d give myself a challenge.  I already eat really well, mostly cook from scratch, extremely limit processed food items, and drink ample water each day.  Since watching FedUp, I’ve cut down heavily on the amount of sugar I was allowing; which quite honestly was not too shabby anyways…but I am trying to abide by the recommended 25 grams/day. So, what does that mean?  I figured my challenge was to have a salad a day for a month, with the aim to go longer once I hit that mark.

Having an organic garden within 30 steps from our place, this is completely feasible.  My mom is great at getting my children to taste things they would otherwise turn their nose up; if it were me suggesting it.  It’s pretty funny that kids will listen to grandparents over parents sometimes. I’m thrilled that my own parents create an environment of curiosity. They now regularly partake dandelions flowers, nasturtiums, violets, fennel fronds, alpine strawberries, arugula, uncooked green beans, sweet peas, etc. They pretty much eat their body weight in the fresh food from these 6 acres. They are always full of chagrin when they’ve spent time with my mom in the garden and are eager beavers to get busy making their own salad. There are so many salads one can make: bean salad, fruit salad, green salad, etc. Hopefully, my children will join me on my salad challenge.  Will you?

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Today’s Salad: swiss chard, arugula, nasturtiums greens/flowers, quinoa, fennel fronds, dried cranberries, avocado, & toasted pine nuts dressed with home-made Honey-Dijon dressing.

Chilled Beet Salad

We left for Washington State on July 5th; just shy of a year ago.  It has been a bittersweet experience.  We miss our friends so incredibly much, and think of them daily.  Their companionship, conversation, laughter, shoulder to cry on, ideas to bounce back and forth, and their genuineness is something that cannot be replaced.

Our recent journey back to CA was incredible.  This recipe makes me think of one of my besties, Brianne Wells.  It was at her house, prior to her son’s birthday party, that I was asked to prepare this.  I love everything about it.  Thank you Brianne for this recipe.

I will miss gathering this year, as we have done for the last 14 years or so, to celebrate our favorite holiday alongside you and your family.  Cheers!  I’ll be eating this beet salad on Saturday, and be thinking of you guys.

Ingredients:

6 large beets or 5 1/2 cups of medium diced beets

1 cup dill pickles, mince

1/2 cup “mayo”

1/4 cup pickle juice

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dried dill

1 tsp. sea salt or to taste

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

Steam diced beets until tender. Set aside and allow to cool.  In a mixing bowl, prepare “dressing” by combining pickles, mayo, pickle juice, garlic, dill, sea salt, and black pepper.  Whisk well.  Add the dressing to the steamed beets, and mix well.  Allow to chill for two hours.

 

 

 

Blueberry Bundt Cake

 A plethora of summer fruit at my fingertips lead me down this path…. Blueberry Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. flax meal
  • 8 Tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 2 cups organic blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

  2. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening, flax meal, sour cream, almond extract, and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Fold wet into dry.

  3. In a bowl, toss blueberries with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan or a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.

  4. Bake bundt cake at 350 for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.