Grain-Free Crepes

We LOVE these crepes! They are grain free and better than your traditional crepe if you ask me. You can make these savory or sweet. Add dairy or make it dairy free. The result is pure delight. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 10 crepes

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1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

4 eggs

1 1/2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or grass fed butter plus more for the pan

3-4  Tablespoons milk of choice

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Whisk all ingredients together.

Heat a crepe pan or skillet. Lightly oil pan with coconut oil or butter. Pour a small amount into the center of the pan. Twirl batter around. Flip and make sure both sides are cooked.

To make savory crepes: Add sauteed veggies and/or meat of choice/cheese

To make sweet crepes: Add applesauce or jam of choice, chocolate, etc.

The skies the limit…. Honestly, they come out so delicate and delicious every time.

Roll or fold up and enjoy!

Emma

Pickled Carrots

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Hello there! And Happy New Year! I have to admit it’s been a while. No excuses. Just busyness has gotten in the way. But this new year I am vowing to share more of my nourishing ways with you.

So to start of the new year, here is my favorite pickled carrot recipe. Simply put if there is one recipe I get asked about the most it’s this one!

So here you go! Enjoy!

1 bunch of carrots sliced to your desire
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves garlic smashed
4 peppercorns
sprinkle of mustard seeds
sprinkle of cumin seeds
sprinkle of coriander seeds
couple shavings of fresh ginger (optional)

Note: Could just use pickling spices if want that instead of above, just a different flavor. Oh, and splitting the carrots and adding half cauliflower and half carrots is super yummy too!

Now, you have a couple of options.

ONE: Put all ingredients in a jar. Fill with more water if needed so that veggies are submerged. Refrigerate overnight.

TWO: Put all ingredients in a jar except water, vinegar and salt. Bring those to a boil and then pour over carrots. Let cool and then refrigerate.

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Enjoy these super simple carrots! I know our family and our circle of friends do!

Be well, Emma

 

Why We Chose a Media Lite Diet for our Family

IMG_6516I remember right after our daughter was born my husband and myself were filled with so much bliss. We were so excited to be a family of three. Our lives were never going to be the same. This also meant that as we spent every second of the day with her we realized that TV might not be the best thing to have on around her. That is when we sat down together to talk about the bigger picture: How we wanted to raise our kids in relation to media and technology. The main issue that we were grappling with at the time was simply at what age do we want her to see TV and eventually play on our mobile devices, computers, etc.? She was a newborn, but we knew that she would grow quickly and have the potential to be exposed to so much at such an early age. Simply put, we needed to figure out what our stance on media was going to be for our family. Our decision. Wait on TV all together and go media lite.

Now to give you some background about me, as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara I helped conduct research for the National Television Violence Study. Before grad school I worked in the Communication Lab at UC Santa Barbara to help with other media studies that looked at sex in television and how children are portrayed in the news. I currently teach media literacy and interpersonal communication at Santa Barbara City College. So I am well aware of the positive and negative impacts media has on our society.

SOME RESEARCH WORTHY OF READING/VIEWING

The average child spends a lot of time consuming media messages on a daily basis. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics website on media and children, “Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.” For this reason, they recommend that parents supervise their children’s media consumption.

In a TED TALK about children and media consumption, Dimitri Christakis, Pediatrician and Director for the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development in Seattle Washington makes the following recommendations in regards to media and the young child:

  1. Early Childhood for children is critical for their development.

Because of this, Dr. Christakis finds that not all screen time is created equally. That educational TV can be beneficial.

  1. Children need more real time play, less fast paced media

Dr. Christakis points out that a child’s brain develops rapidly during their first years of life. Young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

According to commonsensemedia.org the media environment and behaviors of children eight and under have changed. Now more than ever they are growing up mobile. This especially becomes important when income level and mobile devices are at play. It seems that higher income families are more likely to show educational content on mobile devices than low-income kids do.

There is even research out there that suggests because Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions.

So, in a nutshell, kids spend a lot of time in front of media, not all media is created equal and some good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction is still valuable.

HOW WE BECAME MEDIA LITE

Now, first let me say that what we have decided for our family might not be for everyone. We have chosen to limit media by simply not having a TV in our household. However, we do have computers, an ipad and mobile devices and ouIMG_6625r kids definitely see images on these screens. We also consume other non-electronic media like books, magazines and newspapers. Sure, they occasionally might watch a surfing competition with their dad or “how to make a piecrust” on You Tube” with me, but we don’t make media a main part of the their daily diet. That is why I guess you could say our kids our consuming “media lite diet.”

As our children age (our daughter is now seven and we have a son who is four) I imagine we will introduce more and more media as we see fit for them developmentally. But right now, we feel good with their limited consumption.

As a parent who is concerned about media’s impact on our children and our society, here are some tips (inspired by the American Academy of Pediatrics) that can help families become media lite:

  1. Limit Screen time

When your kids are exposed to media, be mindful of how much time they are spending daily on the screen and what they are viewing. Not all media is created equall. Think about what is best for you and your family. Make a plan for what your minimum and maximum time allowed would be and what content is appropriate. Educational? Entertainment? News?

  1. Teach Media Literacy

When viewing media, watch it with your kids so that you can help guide your kid’s media experience. Parents can put questionable content into context and teach kids about media literacy.IMG_6670

  1. Make books and other non-electronic forms of media a priority

Make sure to take the time to turn off the TV, put down the mobile device, etc. and just enjoy the art of storytelling through books, magazines, newspapers and even board games with your children. Create zones in your house that are technology free.

  1. Get kids outside in nature

Nature allows kids to experience all of their senses. So get them outside to play and use their imagination on a daily basis, especially if screen time is a normal part of their daily life.

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Onward, Emma

No-bake granola bars: healthy and low sugar

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Inspiration called on me to make a batch of granola bars, or rather, inspiration + a hungry child on an early-morning dog walk. Racking my brain for ingredients, we encountered a yummy bar at our local coffee shop and attempted to replicate it, with no added sugar. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever used cocoa butter in a recipe and it won’t be the last! The result: deliciousness.

Makes about 12 – 1″ pieces

1. In a food processor, process:

1/2c of peanuts (mine happened to be roasted and unsalted)

1/2c of dried cherries

1/4-1/2c of oats

1/4c of:

chia seeds

sesame seeds

2. In a slow drizzle while the processor is on, add:

1/4c of coconut oil

1/4c of cocoa butter (I got wafers from Mountain Rose Herbs)

1/4c of buckwheat flour

3. Pour mix into a medium sized bowl and stir in 1/4-1/2c chocolate chips (67% dark chocolate)

4. Transfer mixture to parchment paper lined dish and refrigerate

5. Remove after hardened and cut into 12 pieces

6. Consume.

 

Reflections: Next time I will probably double the recipe. The sweetness of the bar is unimposing and just enough to satisfy – thanks to the cherries and chocolate chips. No syrup or honey needed!

-Kristin

My Fav Sauce: Chimichuri!

photo-7I love sauces! They really dress up whatever is on your plate! One of the sauces that I just have to have on hand these days is my chimichuri sauce! I love it on grilled veggies, meats and even as a dipping sauce for my homemade sourdough bread. The possibilities are endless. I recently made a quinoa, sauteed veggie bowl and topped it with a poached egg and this chimichuri sauce. The outcome. So good!

Traditional chimichuri sauce recipes use a combination of parsley and cilantro, mixed with olive oil, white wine vinegar and some other spices and sea salt. I prefer to use cilantro without the parsley and really enjoy the flavor of balsamic vinegar. So here is my version of this yummy green sauce! Enjoy! Emma

Ingredients:

1 bunch cilantro
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsalmic vinegar
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
a pinch or more of red pepper flakes

Method:

Place cilantro and garlic in food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and vinegar. Pulse for a couple of seconds. Add oil and pulse a little more until a sauce forms. Keep in fridge. It won’t last too long though….

-Emma

Chocolate almond cookies

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Are you as much of a chocolate lover as I am? I’m talking about the real chocolate, the dark stuff. Don’t get me wrong, milk chocolate has its place too – just not in my mouth. Why? Too much sugar intake for me = canker sores (not to be confused with cold sores – very different). In the last year, I’ve learned that my daughter also gets canker sores from too much sugar. How do I define too much sugar? This is surely individual but, to give you an idea, most recently my little one had one (or two) frosted homemade green tea cookie(s) and a McConnell’s ice cream cone within the same week resulting in a canker sore. If you’ve ever had a canker sore then you know the misery I speak of.

Needless to say, this canker sore trigger has led me to modify many a’ recipe, particularly in desserts. In my trial and error process, I’ve found that 1/4c of sweetener (typically maple syrup for us) is really all that’s needed in a dessert, particularly when you’re also using fruit somewhere in the recipe. I’m still shocked every time I stumble across a recipe that calls for just as much sugar as flour, and there are many out there.

Now, on to the scrumptious cookies because I can feel your anticipation. A couple of years ago, I began making my own almond milk. All of you nut-milkers out there know that something’s gotta be done with the leftover pulp. Hence, chocolate almond cookies.

Turn on the oven to 350

1/2c salted butter

1/4c maple syrup (or any sweetener, really)

1 egg

1/2tsp vanilla

2/3c rice flour

3/4c almond pulp (from about one cup of soaked almonds)

2tbs ground chia seeds

3tbs cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2c dark chocolate chips

Cream the butter and the sweetener. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Next, throw in the rice flour and almond pulp for a thickening batter. Mix in ground chia seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder, Finally, toss in your chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, scoop and arrange cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Use the back of your spoon to flatten the cookie just a bit. Bake for about 15mins until the edges of the cookie begin to harden and the inside is still soft. Fully cool on the counter top. And, try not to eat them all in one seating. I find that freezing them as soon as they cool helps deter me.

Bon appetit!

-Kristin

Vegan? Paleo? Gluten Free? Have you shopped THRIVE MARKET?

Thrive_FB_BannerHello Ambitionista Readers!

If you haven’t heard about Thrive Market yet then let me introduce you. I was turned onto it a couple of weeks ago myself when they partnered with our children’s school! That is the reason I am sharing this deal right now with you!

Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online store offering the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. They carry over 2,500 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from over 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to your door at 25-50% off retail prices. Their mission is to make health living easy, affordable, and accessible for every American family.

This is why I wanted to share this deal with all of you! Essentially, they are offering a 2 year membership to benefit the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara for $60 (half off) and all proceeds benefit our gem of a school. Again, I have the membership and I love it! Wholesale prices on all sorts of things and shipped right to your door! Who could ask for anything more?! Right?!

See below for all of the details!

Thrive Market is partnering with the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara to reward those who support our school! They are generously gifting a free 2-year membership to the first 100 supporters to donate $60 or more to WSSB. The regular 2-year membership price is $120, but you can receive one as a gift if you donate as little as half of that amount to our school! Send this link to all your family and friends.

It is easy to sign up:

1. Go to the Thrive Supports WSSB Donation page and donate $60 or more.

2. You will be sent an email directing you to claim your Free membership.

3. Shop Thrive Market for organic and natural products at 25-50% off and get them delivered to your doorstep for free on orders over $49!

Remember, this is only available to first 100 supporters!
Happy Shopping! Emma

Vegan Caesar Salad Reinvented

photo-7Maybe it’s because the weather has been unseasonably warm this year in Santa Barbara. Maybe it’s because I love salads. Maybe it’s because my husband’s favorite salad is a Caesar salad. I am in LOVE with this Caesar Salad Reinvention!

I use to make a Caesar salad and dressing that just included olive oil and lemon juice without the anchovies or egg yolk and then sprinkled the salad with parmesan cheese.  However, recently I have been on a nutritional yeast kick! It has such a yummy cheesy flavor and you can’t beat it’s nutritional punch! It is chock full of stress reducing B vitamins. Can’t we all use a little less stress in our lives?!? In our family we sprinkle the yummy goodness over broccoli, eggs, quinoa, kale chips and even popcorn. In fact, Food 52’s recent post, “Nutritional Yeast: Better Than Cheese” by Posie Harwood highlights some of the ways we use nutritional yeast in our family.

So back to the salad. Here is what I have come up with! Enjoy! Emma

Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

water to thin

Salad:

2 to 3 heads of romaine lettuce

1 large avocado, diced

1/4 cup capers, drained (optional)

generous sprinkle of hemp seeds

generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup bread croutons (cut up bread of choice and saute it in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)

OR

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chickpea croutons (saute cooked or canned chickpeas in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or jar with a lid and either blend or shake well until blended.

For the salad, combine lettuce, avocado and capers if using. Next toss with the dressing and sprinkle with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and croutons of choice.

The Village

I recently discovered The Village Magazine through a friend of mine, who is a member of my attachment parenting group, Mamatoto Santa Barbara. After browsing the magazine’s site, I became quite intrigued and begin to realize how much the magazine and its mission resonates with who I’ve become since the beginning of motherhood.

Have you ever missed the community you never had? Have you ever wished you lived in closer proximity to your loved ones, and I mean closer as in a literal stone’s throw? I have – often. It may have something to do with losing my mom a few years before my daughter was born, with whom I shared a wonderfully deep relationship. Or maybe it’s due to the intense camraderie I feel towards other mothers of all ages since having my own. Regardless, after stumbling upon this post, I feel the need to share. Here is my favorite Journal post from The Village so far – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

-Kristin

…BUT FOR TODAY

March 16, 2015

Every day I go about my life: drive my children to and fro, make breakfast, lunch and dinner, and change my baby’s diapers in my four-walled house,  while the world buzzes around me,  busy and fast. My little plays on the floor and I watch him pluck toy after toy out of the large box in the corner of the room, and although my life is rich with many things, I think about you because I miss the village.

I miss the village that I never had. The one with mothers doing the washing side by side, clucking and laughing hysterically, tired in body but quick in spirit. We’d know each other so well: annoying one another from time to time, but never staying mad long, because the truth is, we need each other.

The children would wake up early, as they tend to, and run outside, finding each other amongst the tall trees. They’d disappear into the field and forest for a day of play as we’d start our sacred work. We’d knead bread side by side, the littles at our feet, breasts, on our backs and in our arms. It would be impossible to tell whose children belonged to whom — we’d all attend to the group of toddling wee ones, check on the deeply breathing babies, wave little hands off of our floured table, pinch cheeks and kiss boo-boos.

The days would be full of conversation as we expertly flexed a muscle that has since gone weak: the art of listening. Quiet empathy in lieu of passive judgement, and when called for, gentle, sincere advice. In our village, our members are our estate,  and we build them up.

We’d laugh — too much and never enough at the same time. Whether it be stifled giggles overflowing out of covered mouths like a pot of water bubbling over or donkey brays loud enough to wake the children, we’d be skilled at finding the joy in the mundane.

We’d cry — never alone, but shoulder to shoulder over unborn children gone too soon,  or men who’d changed their minds. We’d stitch back the frayed edges of each other’s lives the best we could, wiping the tears off of each other’s cheeks. If any of us became lost in the darkness, we’d journey into the depths of her heart and pull her body back to shore.

When mealtime came, we’d set the food out on long tables and the children would eat happily and hungrily, as they tend to when in the company of other small people. They’d talk about their adventures and, to their exaggerated disappointment, we’d make them take the younger children this time to teach them what we already know: we exist for each other.

When one of us was feeling sick or needed extra rest from a long night up with a child, we’d swoop in and tend to her children as we would our own, and for as long as necessary — no need to even ask. She would drift off to a healing sleep with full confidence. We’d want her to be well because we’d know that we’re only as strong as our weakest member — and not only that, we’d love her, not with the sappy love of greeting cards, but with an appreciative love that has full knowledge of how her colors add to our patchwork.

You’d know me,  and I’d know you. I’d know your children, and you’d know mine. Not just on a surface level — favorite foods, games and such — but real, true knowledge of the soul that flickers behind their eyes. I’d trust them in your arms just as much as I’d trust them in mine. They’d respect you,  and heed your “no.”

As our children grew up and out, and our skin went paper thin, we’d keep making bread, sharing it with tea, stories of beautiful grandchildren, and how things used to be.

I miss that village of mothers that I’ve never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone’s throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones.

What gives me hope is,  as I look at you from across the park with your own child in tow playing in her own corner of the sandbox, I can tell from your curious glance and shy smile that you miss it, too.

Maybe we’ll have it again. But for today, I’ll invite you and your little one over for tea, and maybe bread.

-Anonymous

Raw Buckwheat Peanut Butter Treats

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I love to create foods that are packed with nutritious things and can be eaten on the go. These fit that bill!

In a recent podcast from KCRW’s Good Food, host Evan Kleiman interviewed Alice Merdich about her latest book Flavor Flours. In the interview Alice spoke about oat, buckwheat and cheasnut flour to name a few. I was intrigued.

Now, I love the idea of using buckwheat to bake with but I also love to create raw food. I also remember having tasted a raw buckwheat ball at our local Whole Foods. It used buckwheat groats as a base and then all sorts of other yummy things were added in, especially chocolate. So I thought how great would it be to create a no bake, completely raw treat with buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds and of course some cocoa nibs (granted these aren’t super chocolatey so if you wanted more chocolate you might even try adding some raw cocoa powder). I’ve also been on a peanut butter kick lately so I also included this as a main ingredient. If you didn’t want peanut butter you could omit and perhaps just add another tablespoon or two of coconut oil to get a dough like consistency.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw buckwheat

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup currents

1/8 cup sesame seeds

1/8 cup cocoa nibs

1/8 cup raw hemp seeds

3/4 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil

one organic vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

Directions:

Place first nine ingredients (buckwheat through hemp seeds) in food processor. Pulse until completely ground up. Add peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla bean and sea salt. Pulse some more until a thick dough like consistency. Roll into balls.

Enjoy! Emma

p.s. These are great as is but I have also been just crumbling the treat on my homemade coconut kefir and it’s great that way too!

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These traveling treats were a hit with my son Liam and his buddies!