Thursday, April 29, 2010

Upping the ante

So a few weeks ago I stumbled over this blog called Green and Crunchy and it was so inspiring. She is a super-healthy vegan home-schooling Mom to five little ones and she got me fired up about healthy eating!

I've been working on a small kitchen redo to give me more storage and counter space (I'll unveil before and after pics when it's done in a few weeks) and I'm using the smidge of extra space to implement some things I learned on her site.

Mostly, I'm working way more raw nuts and seeds into their diet, as well as flax (oil and seeds), wheat germ, goji berries, coconut milk, cacao powder, and a few other healthy add-ins, sometimes sneakily. Both boys have gotten a bit pickier, and initially balked when I started sprinkling "toppings" on top of everything I gave them. They're used to it now, but I'm still in the habit of using a small coffee-grinder to grind up an assortment of walnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds into a powder and mixing it into whatever I can. It's fantastic!

So, a few meals from recent days:

From the upper-left: pickles (Nate's on a pickle kick right now), broccoli sauteed in canola oil with Soyaki on top, an apple salad with peanut butter and my nuts-and-seeds powder mixed in, banana-sushi (tortilla spread with pb, sprinkled with flax seeds, wheat germ, and cacao powder for a chocolate kick), and some leftover mac & cheese with the nuts-and-seeds powder mixed in and sunflower seeds visibly sprinkled over the top.

From the upper left: pear slices, a teeny-tiny pickle, sweet potatoes coated with flax and canola oils and minced garlic then baked, an "earth ball" (recipe below) and goji berries, tortollini covered in EVOO and some cheese sauce with the nuts-and-seeds mixture in and some sunflower seeds visibly sprinkled on top. These boys don't know how good they have it.
So, earth balls! Recipe here at Green and Crunchy. I made our first batch a few days ago and, frankly, it was a little much for me. Weird texture. But Stewart and Nate both loved them, and Jack finally tried one tonight and liked it as well! So that recipe is a keeper, and I'm thrilled.

I made ours with 3/4 cup raw almonds and 1/4 cup raw walnuts in the food processor until powdered, then added in a cup (combined) of mejdool dates and dried apricots. Once it was sticky enough to stay together, while it was still processing, I added in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and vegan chocolate chips.

I'm looking forward to making this again and trying out different combinations! The freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joes are calling my name...

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