My Grandma and Aunt always used to have the most delicious homemade jam at their houses growing up. I loved sleeping over and having it on toast in the morning. Is there anything better than homemade strawberry jam? Mmmmmmm. I’d been looking for a yummy clean eating recipe that didn’t use tons of sugar or pectin when I realized you could make quick and easy jam with chia seeds. How cool are chia seeds? They are so fun. We use this strawberry rhubarb chia jam on just about everything. Toast, mixed in yogurt, on top of ice cream, on waffles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Give it a go and see what you think!
2 stalks rhubarb, washed and chopped
1 lb strawberries, cleaned and chopped
½ C honey
½ C chia seeds
You could add a bit of fresh lemon juice if you wanted as well.
1. Place rhubarb, strawberries, and honey into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from stove.
2. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend ingredients together. Add in chia seeds. Stir and let cool a bit.
3. Scoop mixture into ball jars and seal tight. The chia seeds will absorb liquid as they sit in jars creating “jam”.
4. Keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Someone may need to send help. I’ve become a crazy juicing addict. Last week after a few failed attempts to juice from our blender with a nut bag. I decided to bite the bullet and order a juicer. Oh man! I was excited waiting for that package to arrive. We ordered a Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed juicer. It was love at first sight that’s for sure. After watching one too many food documentaries on Netflix, I jumped head first into a light juice cleanse these last 6 days since it’s arrived. Because I am training for a half marathon right now though, I didn’t feel comfortable going all juice all day. Instead I’ve been drinking 4 juices during the day and then having a hearty (but healthy and vegan) meal at dinner. Usually quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado and lots of veggies. I honestly have never felt better. It really made me feel so energized and goodness those juices are so tasty! I’ve found a ton of recipes online but also really like the “Reboot With Joe” by Joe Cross book. It has tons of good info about how to start juicing, recipes and information if you are thinking about doing a juice cleanse. Before I started I wondered “whats better, smoothies or juice?” I think the answer is both. Smoothies keep the whole fruit or veggie (so lots of good fiber) but they are so filing because of that. With juice you get a more concentrated amount of nutrients for the same amount of liquid as a smoothie. I also like that my juices lean more on the vegetable side with some fruit thrown in, where my smoothies always have more fruit in with some greens thrown in. Both are great. Just different.
The girls have been loving it too. Carrot, apple, ginger is a house favorite. I can not give Finley enough. She sucks it right back. We are heading out for the weekend and with a ton of produce still in the house and a family to feed on the road, I made 8 juices (4 kinds, 2 of each) to pack in the cooler and take with us. Here is what I made tonight…
We’ve still been eating pretty clean/whole foods only in our house. It’s more just our way of life now a days. Which is what I wanted anyway. I really don’t love fad diets, I’m much more a supporter of healthy food choices that last a life time. I was watching a food documentary the other day and the guy said something along the lines of “instead of thinking ‘I can’t have it’, we should be thinking ‘I can have it, but I don’t want it.'” It’s so simple but so true. I feel like when we try to diet, it’s so hard to stick with the mentality of deprivation. We get stuck on all the things we can’t have. That sucks and it will never last. Becoming more informed about my food choices and what each food I eat is doing to my body, has made it so much easier and rewarding to make healthy choices. I can see things like processed food and think “I can eat that if I want, but really I don’t want to”. Knowledge is power! School House Rock really knew what they were talking about. It’s been fun actually to find recipes to make sweets and bake goods that use better, whole ingredients. I made a chocolate pudding the other night from Sidesaddle Kitchen and oh man, it was good.
My other go to lady is Angela from Oh She Glows. If you are looking for a killer cookbook. HER’S.IS.IT!! Her blog is just as amazing. Her Rad Rainbow Raw Pad Thai is one of my favorites. I am telling you it is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I decided I had to share with you guys. I’ve had a julienne peeler for a few years now and have never known what it was. My mom had given it to me in my stocking and I thought it was just a crappy peeler because it never worked when I tried to use it on say, an apple. hahahaha. Doh! Then one day it clicked.
1 medium zucchini, julienned or spiraled
2 large carrots, julienned
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Ingredients for dressing:
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup raw almond butter (or try peanut butter)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons water
2.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1. Cut up all vegetables. Add the zucchini, carrots, pepper, and cabbage into large bowl. Toss to combine.
2. Prepare the dressing. I just add all ingredients to a tupperware. Cover with a lid and shake. You could always use a food processor. Dressing does thicken as it sits.
3. Top bowls with non-gmo edamame, green onion, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds. Pour on dressing and enjoy! Hemp seeds are my jam. I love them so much.
Somedays just feel waaay too hot to eat meals. And being the never quite on top of things kind of Mom I find myself being most days, I don’t always have homemade smoothie popsicles waiting for the girls on these super hot days. Rowan loves frozen treats though. Every time we are at the grocery store she begs for the same Hello Kitty popsicles with all the fake coloring and 1000 ingredients. I just can’t bring myself to buy them. So the other day when it was like a billion degrees and Rowan was again asking for a cold treat, we decided to make our own frozen lemonade. It’s by no means a fancy or new concept, but it worked in a pinch! Plus! You know all the ingredients, you can control the amount of natural sweetener, it takes like 5 mins, you don’t have to plan ahead (other than having lemons on hand but we usually have them in the fridge) and Rowan loved it. It was a win in our household for parents and kids alike.
Zest and juice lemons. I used 4. Add a bunch of ice (around 2 cups) and a tad bit of water. Start off with 2 tbs of raw honey and blend. You can adjust more ice, water, honey or even lemons as you see fit. There is no exact science or recipe for this. Just go for it and add things as far as your tastes go. I also muddled a bit of mint and added it to mine. Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the girls and eating lately. So here goes… When Kev and I started eating clean, I wasn’t quite sure how it would play out with the girls. I don’t give them a lot of junk, but they do eat their fair share of cheddar bunnies, animal crackers, annie’s mac and cheese, etc. You know, the childhood staples. Organic or not even those items are processed and have quite a few ingredients. At first I thought I wasn’t going to worry about them as much. I was just going to feed them what was easy. Then I started feeling really convicted over it. If I didn’t want to eat processed food, why would I not care what they ate as well? All of a sudden “being easy” didn’t seem like a justifiable excuse anymore.
It’s been a slow road transitioning the girls, but I don’t think you should ever feel like it isn’t doable. Over the past 2 months I’ve slowly phased out all processed snacks from our house. It wasn’t a drastic change but as things got eaten, I just didn’t replace them. We ditched the eggos (even the vans ones), most cereal, those veggie sticks, pop chips (we make real popcorn), most crackers and carby snacks (brown rice cakes instead), etc… Actually, this change sort of started unintentionally about 6 months ago. Anyone have a kid that every 20 mins is asking for a snack? That is Rowan. I had decided that whenever she would ask for a snack, I would only give her options of fruit and veggies. If she wanted a snack that is what she could have. Sometimes she would say “yes” and sometimes it would be “no” but it was her choice.
Making that small change as far as snacks go helped set the tone for the rest of their meals. She loves almost all raw fruits and veggies and has no complaints when that’s what is offered to her. It’s what she asks for now. Honestly, my kids are picky too. I don’t have super kids by any means. So please don’t think “my kids would never eat like that”. It does take time, consistency and being a little strict at the beginning. I don’t make separate meals for them, I don’t let them choose something else to eat if they don’t like what I made for a meal. There are plenty of times during the day that I ask for their opinions over what food they eat. So at dinner I don’t feel bad about saying “this is it”. If they don’t eat it, they don’t eat it. It will be left out on the counter and later if they say they are hungry, their dinner is what they get. I don’t give in and give them snacks instead. I do take into consideration each kid though. I know Rowan doesn’t love when all her food is mixed. Say I was making a stir fry, I would just grab some of the veggies out and put them on the side next to the quinoa instead of mixing them up like I do for Kev and I.
I am not above bribery either. If she eats all her dinner she can have dessert afterwards. Which is usually a popsicle, sorbet, or something else we have made from scratch. Popsicles are great. I blend a whole bunch of fruit, flax or chia seeds and freeze in these push pop tubes. They girls love them. I have the Oh She Glows cookbook and I love the almond butter cookies in there. We make those on special nights.
Some days the girls eat like champs and some days it’s frustrating for sure. My saving grace is smoothies. The girls LOVE them. I blend all kinds of fruits, veggies (mostly shredded carrots or beets), hemp seeds, flax, chia seeds, loads of greens and they slurp them right up. Sometimes I want to point and yell “gotcha!”. Finley especially. That girl can not get enough smoothie. A good trick to remember is citrus cuts the taste of greens. Zest or/and juice limes or oranges into your smoothies.
Homemade whole wheat waffles- we love this recipe! (make a ton and freeze in individual portions)
Scramble eggs with spinach and cheese
Rolled oats with grade b maple syrup, cinnamon and fruit
Yogurt with, raw honey, rhubarb chia jam
Apple and PB sandwiches
cut up fruit
veggies and hummus (hummus is so easy to make yourself!)
grilled cheese- we get loaf bread from a local bakery and cheese from the farmers market
Note: When we are out at friends I am more lenient with what they eat. I would never be disrespectful and turn something away. The girls may eat what is being served. We do go out for ice cream and they get mac and cheese every wednesday night when our babysitter comes over for our foster care class. Soooo don’t worry that they aren’t getting treats. There is always a birthday, special holiday or something that involves sugary treats.
Even small changes are great! Maybe just start being more mindful about the number of ingredients (and what ingredients) are in what you’re buying. Follow along on instagram for lots of ideas! @jenloveskev #jenloveskeveats
After getting tons of questions about what I’ve been eating this month (and lots of jokes about twigs and berries), I decided I would start a series called “Clean Eats”. I hope to share some yummy, clean (nothing processed), and filling recipes you can easily make at home. Last fall Panera had a limited time Squash soup. Oh man! It was so yummy. I am assuming it was high in calories with cream and sugar. It sure was delicious though. Since I stated this cleanse, I have been craving some sort of warm “comfort food”. I decided to try my hand at making my own squash soup that would fit into the restrictions of the cleanse. This soup is hands down one of the best things I have ever tasted. It is so yummy! I have made it every week for the past 4 weeks. If the cold weather keeps sticking around here in the northeast, you can safely assuming I will keep cooking this soup. I made some homemade tortilla chips as well for something to dip in the soup. Super easy!
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 large apple, peeled and diced (i’ve used a few types of red apples as well as a granny smith one time too)
1/2 onion, diced (I used a purple onion, yellow would work well too)
2 cups water
2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Spread out butternut squash on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. I sort of use my hands to toss them around to coat evenly.
3. Roast in oven for about 30 mins.
4. While butternut squash is roasting, add coconut oil to a large pot and heat on medium-high heat. Add onion, apples and curry powder. Stir to mix and sauté together for about 10 mins, or until soft.
5. Add water and almond milk
6. When roasting is done, add butternut squash to mixture. Stir to combine. Add salt.
7. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy and mixed well. I am sure a blender or food processor could handle this step as well.
8. Serve topped with some fresh parsley and pepitas.
For the tortilla chips:
We used Ezekiel tortillas (found in freezer section). We love this brand because their breads are made with only whole ingredients and use sprouted grains.
1. Cut into triangles. Line on a baking sheet. Dust with a bit of salt and spices of your choice. I usually add a bit of chili powder and cumin.
2. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 mins
I think Rowan has taken notice to all the cooking going on around here lately. She has been wanting to help a lot and asking to bake or “make soup” almost everyday. I love having her help out. We got these awesome (awesome!) foam blocks/step stools that the girls can’t seem to get enough of. They are the perfect height for Rowan to reach the counter, and the most fun toy in the house right now. I wish we had a whole toy room full of bObles. Thanks ModernMini!
^^ Rowan making “soup”. This game entertains her for like an hour. I just give her a ton of little dishes with random ingredients and of course some pink water and she cooks it all up into a very yummy soup.