Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Healthy Eating

I hadn't intended my next post to be about food, but I just have to talk about these muffins.

See, I'm on a quest to feed my family more nutritious food. These muffins contain pureed carrot and pureed avocado. There is a richness to them that I wasn't expecting. They are moist, tender, and oh so very, very, good. And the fact that they contain carrot and avocado pleases me. Even picky Strong-Willed One loves these muffins. Basically, I took the Double Chocolate Muffin recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and modified it.  Here's the modified recipe:

          Chocolate Muffins

          1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
          1/2 cup granulated sugar
          1/3 cup packed brown sugar
          1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
          2 tsp baking powder
          1/4 tsp baking soda
          just under 1/2 tsp salt
          1/2 cup pureed carrots
          1/2 pureed avocado
          1/2 cup vegetable oil
          1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12 standard muffin cups or line with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine purees, oil and egg. Add wet mixture all at once to the flour mixture; stir just until moistened.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes; serve warm.

Next time I make these muffins, I'm going to substitute whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose and use applesauce in place of the oil. I don't like to make too many changes to a recipe the first time; it can be hard to know what went wrong.

I also made a Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake for dessert tonight. This is the first time I've made this cake, but I had it at Bible Study last week and couldn't believe that it's main ingredient was chick peas! We'll see tonight if mine turned out as well as my sister-in-law's did.

Since we're on the topic of food, let me show you what I've been eating for lunch/dinner the last few weeks.
Drinking green smoothies has really changed what I want to eat. I crave vegetables and don't really want the rice, potatoes or noodles that are usually a part of our dinners. A nice big salad made with romaine lettuce, green and orange peppers, cucumber, avocado, shredded carrots, shredded beet, grape tomatoes and diced chicken. The meat changes, based on what I've cooked for dinner and have left over.

On a completely different note, Little Guy got all excited when I pulled out the camera to take pictures of the food. So, of course, I took some pictures of him!

He's such a ham!

Monday, 16 April 2012


I said in my last post that I was going to get some video clips posted. It's taken me longer than I thought to get around to it, but here they are.

Little Guy loves bubbles.

Little Guy being entertained while at a restaurant.

This one is from Christmas. We'd given the girls mp3 players. What's so funny is that they were all excited before they even realized what they'd opened.

That's all I've got for now!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Picture Time!

It's been awhile since I've posted much about the kids and I know there are some people out there who would love to see some pictures.

We'll start with the day Little Guy found the bag of apples on the kitchen floor. He knew exactly what is was and what to do with it!

And last week when he found a cassette tape. It was pretty funny watching him, but it was my favorite Glad tape. Very sad about that.

This is Kiddlet and Little Guy this afternoon. The green on Kiddlet's face is from the green smoothie she'd just had; she tends to lick the cup clean.

These next few pictures are from this past Saturday when we went out for dinner. This is something we rarely do and the kids did great! (Sorry for the blurry picture; I was using my phone.)

Little Guy eating his ice cream sandwich.

Typical Kiddlet pose.

Typical Strong-Willed One.
That's all for tonight. I'll try to post some video clips tomorrow!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Green Smoothies

Last month I had the opportunity to visit a new library for about an hour. I love libraries and the opportunity to explore new books. This time I stumbled across the book Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. I've done a version of green smoothies a few years ago, mostly with spinach, yogurt, orange juice and frozen fruit, but it wasn't something that lasted. Buying the baby spinach was expensive (I hadn't found fully grown spinach at my grocery store), only Kiddlet and I drank them, and I didn't like them that much. But after reading this book, I thought I'd give them another try.

My first green smoothie was 3 weeks ago. The smoothie was made with kale, orange juice, bananas, and strawberries. It was good; I had it for lunch. Half way through the smoothie, it felt like I'd just been given an infusion of energy. I felt so good that afternoon! And for the first time in ages, I wasn't hungry at 3:00; I didn't feel hungry until 5:30. When I went grocery shopping 2 days later, I bought a bunch of greens and a large bag of frozen fruit. Now, I haven't managed to have a green smoothie every day, but most days I do. I make them with greens (kale, rapini or spinach) orange juice, bananas, an avocado and frozen fruit.

The whole thing has been really interesting. If I have a green smoothie for breakfast, I find a want a salad for lunch, apples or celery to snack on and I don't mind not having something sweet along with my coffee. When I do get hungry, it feels different than if I haven't had a green smoothie. It's what I call a clean hunger. My stomach rumbles and I'm definitely hungry, but it's not painful or accompanied by a blood sugar drop. When I skip having a green smoothie for a day, my energy levels sag, I have a low grade headache, I'm hungry more often and being hungry hurts! On the skipped days, I find myself reaching for processed foods and sweets to have with my coffee. If I miss two days in a row, watch out! I'm tired all day long, have a headache that won't go away, I'm irritable and my emotions are all over the place. I'm also finding that I only want a green smoothie for breakfast. The thought of any other kind of food makes my stomach churn.

I'm starting to wonder more about a raw food diet. Not enough at this point to consider trying it, but I think I want to look into it. I wonder if it would make a difference in my health or my kids' behavior. I know people who have made lifestyle changes in relation to how they eat and it's made a big difference for them. We'll see.

One thing if for sure, though. If I buy anymore produce them I am right now, I need a second refrigerator.