Waking up & Pancakes!

Good Morning!

Did you feel your feet hit the ground this morning?

I know that most mornings, at the first stir of my two pups, I’m up and at ’em without even paying attention to the movements of my body or giving myself the chance to feel what is happening inside and outside my body. I just take off!

I have been making an effort to try to give myself that extra second to rise in the morning. To stretch out my limbs while still laying down. To notice my eyes blinking open after a night with them closed. To feel, really feel, the four corners of my feet hit the ground when I hang them off the side of my bed. When I do this, it makes a difference in the flow of my day. I hope that by blogging about this and throwing it out there into the universe the awareness of this will only deepen for me and I can start to make this an every morning practice.

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Now that you have let your body wake up properly, lets get cookin’! Breakfast! I have two different pancake recipes that I can’t wait to share with you!

The first pancake recipe is for sweet potato pancakes that were inspired by almondsandavocados.com. I made a few changes, but for the most part it is the same.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 small sweet potato, cubed and steamed (you’ll need one cup out of this)

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil

2-3 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1 cup flour (whichever you prefer)

2 tablespoon almond flour (optional; I made my own by just processing a handful of almonds)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil and steam the sweet potatoes for 7-8 minutes, until tender. When finished, pour softened cubes into a bowl and mash up with a fork or spoon. Measure out 1 cup of the mashed sweet potatoes.

2. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat.

3. Blend the cup of mashed sweet potato, almond milk, maple syrup, and coconut oil in blender or by hand works, too. Mix until smooth. Add the flour, almond flour (optional), baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and blend until combined. Allow the mixture to sit and thicken a bit and then mix again. The batter should be thick but pourable. Add more flour if too thin.

4. Pour the batter onto the heated pan/skillet. When some bubbles have formed and the batter begins to brown on the edges, then flip and cook until the bottom has browned. Repeat until no more  batter is left.

5. Serve with your favorite toppings. In my picture I used the few extra sweet potato cubes I had left over for my topping, along with a few sprinkles of cinnamon, unsweetened shredded coconut, and some drizzles of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

The second pancake recipe I found was from one of my favorite bloggers out there, celineeatsavocados.com. She is just fantastic! I love the energy her blogs bring into my life! ūüôā

I give you Green Pancakes!

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They are healthy, simple, and GREEN!

You will need:

3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 ripe banana

1-2 handfuls of uncooked spinach

1 cup of flour (of your choice)

Prep:

1. Blend together spinach and apple sauce. Then add banana.

2. Pour mixture into bowl and add the flour, mixing together.

3. Heat up a non-stick skillet and add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil.

4. Pour batter, into the pancake size that you desire, onto the skillet once it is heated up. Flip after the edges start to brown. Once the edges and each side are a little browned, then you can serve.

5. Add any topping your little tummy desires! In my photo I just sprinkled some powdered sugar on top and used a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

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And last but not least, I give you a final pancake recipe that I have used before, which is more comparable to a traditional pancake. For this next one I used a pre-made gluten free pancake mix and added some extra love!

Gluten Free Vegan Chia Seed Pancakes

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I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancake mix. I made the pancakes according to the pancake mix package, with some adjustments. Instead of the egg that it calls for on the packaging, I substituted a flag egg (1 tbsp of ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water. Mix and let combination gel up.) Then for the milk that the mix called for, I substituted almond milk. Then I added 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds. I combined all the ingredients until batter consistency formed. I heated a little oil on a non stick pan/skillet and poured the batter to my pancake size preference. I let the pancake brown a little on the edges and each side before serving. Then, I topped with fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup on top. Don’t forget to chew slow, taste ever bite, and enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Ringin’ in the Summer

Hello, Summer! So happy to have run into you again!

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When I think of summer, I think of playing. I think of sunshine, picnics, camping, family reunions, swimming, water balloon fights, sprinklers, the smell of fresh cut green grass, the ice cream truck music that rolls around the neighborhoods, vacations, sunsets, lightening bugs, lemonade, fireworks, sleeping in, staying up late, four wheeling, sleepovers, marshmallow roasting, the smell of barbecues, flowers blooming, bright colored clothes, and fruit, lots and lots of fruit! Which is why I decided to kick off the summer, and maybe create a sweet treat on Father’s Day, with some summer quenching fruit recipes!

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Given that strawberries are in season, they are not only gorgeous right now, but they have all kinds of crazy-cool benefits that I found out from my¬†Healing With Whole Foods¬†book, by Paul Pitchford. Strawberries are¬†cooling in thermal nature quality and they are satisfying for the functioning of the spleen and pancreas. They saturate the lungs and promote the production of body fluids. Strawberries are full of groovy nourishing properties, like silicon and vitamin C, that are beneficial for the restoration of connective tissues and arteries throughout the body. And just a little fun fact, if you would like to add some extra oomph to your teeth and gums and remove the yuckies (a.k.a. tartar), then slice a strawberry in half and rub the inside of the berry on and all around your teeth and gums. Leave the berry-goodness on your teeth and gums for 45 mins and then rinse out with some warm water. I feel that these little red goddesses get a bad rep for being on the “dirty dozen” list, but with some extra care in the rinse cycle, these babies can add some special sweetness to your insides!

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Now for some more strawberry fun, I bring out some recipes.

My first recipe was inspired by almondsandavocados.com.

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I give you Fruit Pizza with a scrumptious quinoa crust and a sweet avocado sauce that tastes like frosting! (No really, I may just use it to top off cupcakes one day, it was that delightful!)

Fruit Pizza

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup quinoa, soaked at least 8 hours then drained & rinsed

1/4-1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 small or 1/2 large avocado

2 tablespoons water

juice from half a lime or lemon

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Fresh fruit toppings of your choice

Quinoa Crust:

Soak quinoa for AT LEAST 8 hours. This disgruntled me a little because I was ready to eat the fruit pizza yesterday when I first saw the picture of it. But, this step is important for the crust to set up just right. Then, its all a breeze. After soaking, add the quinoa, 1/4 cup water,  1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until a pancake-like batter substance forms. You want it to be on the thicker side. Then pour onto a pan on the stove top in olive oil over medium heat. Allow to cook approximately for 5-10 minutes until the edges are brown and crisp. Flip. Repeat on the second side. You will end up with a big pancake.

After making the crust up, you can start right away with the avocado sauce or place the crust in the fridge, which is what I did, until later when you are ready to serve. Once you create the avocado sauce, you will want to serve right away. Keep all this in mind.

Sweet Avocado Cream Sauce:

Process avocado, 2 tablespoons of water, lemon/lime juice, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Spread onto the quinoa crust. Be sure to revert back to childhood and lick the remaining avocado cream left behind on the food processor edges. I know I did!

Lastly, decorate your pizza! Get funky with it, too! You can use whatever your big heart desires! I used strawberries, of course, green apples, mango, and then a kiwi slice in the very center. Then I sprinkled unsweetened coconut flakes all around and served! So fresssshhh!

This is the best pizza I have ever indulged in and I didn’t have that carb-cheese hang over afterwards! It sent me to the moon it was so taste bud-quenchingly-awesome, just like my picture below that was snapped in San Francisco last summer!

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My second strawberry-goodness recipe that I have on here is just as lovely as the first.

I used chia-seeds and almond milk to form a pudding-like texture and then I just added the fruit. Ahhh, simplicity sounds so sweet to my ears…and belly!

If you have not checked out chia seeds, well then, I strongly encourage you to. They are the next best thing after glitter! Matter of fact, I give you permission to stop right now and make a trip to the store for these little wonders. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Chia seeds can be used in ANYTHING! You can add them in salads, pasta dishes, desserts, and even just a plane glass of water. Not only do they possess flexibility, but they have great health benefits. Ah-MAZ-ing!

Next to good old flax seed, chia seeds are considered to have the highest source of omega-3 fatty acids. And for your food history lesson, you must know that they were introduced by the Southwest American Indians. They would consume the seeds for energy during their strength competitions. Eat up and power up!

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This little treat can be great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert after dinner.

Chia-Seed Pudding:

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1 cup of almond milk for 15 minutes. Then let the mixture settle for 15 mins. Do this for like 3 times, the whisking & settling, because the chia seeds gel up and this helps in the formation of the pudding. Then put pudding in the fridge to chill for a little bit, or eat right away. I like it chilled. Once you are ready to eat, then add your toppings of choice. In this photo I did banana slices, strawberries, and unsweetened coconut flakes.

You can add flavor to this chia seed pudding, too. I have added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon before. I have added carob powder (or cocoa). I have also tried added a little vanilla extract. Whatever you do, have fun with it!

Remember, its summer now! Ring the new season in by engaging in an activity that will let your body know that the seasons are changing! This is important to do for mind, body, and spirit! Buy a new outfit, clean our your closet, paint your toes a bright summery color, chase a butterfly, dance the hokey-pokey, take a bath, bite into a watermelon, or pick some flowers and breathe in their sweet fragrance. Whatever you do, smile a lot!

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Shout out to my daddy on Father’s Day! I love you and my soul bows to yours. Thank you for always being my hero, my teacher, and my biggest fan! I love ¬†you.

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Light & Love,
Amanda