This little bowl of goodness pretty much sums up my philosophy on food + healthy eating!  First of all, I feel anything and everything we put into our bodies should have properties that bring us greater health. If not, what’s the point? Probably short-term satisfaction, which means it is usually at the expense of long-term gain. Therein lies so much information!  The next important factors I consider are taste + beauty!  When you take the time to prepare your food beautifully, it fuels self-love and floods your system with tons of positive energy + vibrations…….a plus for all of us! The reasons why this chia pudding sums up what I feel is important when it comes to health + nutrition is because every ingredient in it has power + purpose in building health within our bodies. Not only is this little bowl healthful, but it is beautiful + delicious.  I love having to research and dig for the not so common ingredients that seem like the more obscure they are, the greater their power! Then, combining them in ways that taste amazing and make a spectacular presentation! Sourcing ingredients, researching + bringing them all together in a gorgeous, tasty, practically medicinal meal is pure joy! This chia pudding encompasses all of that! I don’t come up with this all on my own, obviously! Some of my greatest inspiration comes from leaders in integrative + functional medicine, as well as, whole foods chefs.  One of my all-time favorites is Amy Chaplin at amychaplin.com. I would have never thought of the bee pollen + dried raspberry topping if it were not for her amazing cookbooks!  I was so excited about her newest cookbook that just came out a few months ago, that I accidentally ordered two! I was so surprised and a tiny bit embarrassed when the second one arrived, mostly for making a mistake in ordering the same book twice. But, I did my best to laugh it off, look at the reality of how much I had been anticipating the release of another Amy Chaplin cookbook and then savored how great it felt gifting it to a really special friend.  That took effort, but was so much better than beating myself up over it!

This stunning blue-green spirulina is disease fighting, immune strengthening + all around nature’s medicine without the harmful side-effects that are part of all man-made pharmaceuticals!  Our bodies know just how to utilize natural, whole foods to heal + strengthen for optimal health!  Some of the most exciting properties of blue-green spirulina is that it revs up the action of white blood cells and increases the action of our natural killer cells, while enhancing antibody function!  Wow + wow!  It contains ten times the beta carotene as carrots, and it’s rich in protein, iron + trace minerals!  Plus it’s a stunning shade of blue!

Even without the blue-green spirulina, this chia pudding makes for a powerful snack or breakfast, or even a stand in for a super healthy dessert!  Here’s why….before anything, I start with making a batch of homemade cashew milk, which I have a short video of how to make cashew milk here on my website.  Cashews are a great source of magnesium, which many of us are deficient in if we are among the masses who aren’t really thinking about how what they eat affects their body.  Also, healthy fats are nourishing to our systems and help to keep our bodies in good working order!  They are hydrating, feed our skin and support healthy heart function!  And, nut milks are a way better choice over the highly inflammatory cow’s milk!  Plus, cashew milk’s creaminess makes this chia pudding seem more like a fancy dessert than health food! Did you know chia seeds have five times the calcium of cow’s milk?! Yasss! They give us energy that lasts + they are anti-inflammatory which helps prevent illnesses and disease. And, amazingly, chia seeds are a complete protein!  It is no wonder the Aztec’s + Mayan’s regarded them as sacred!  We all should too!

Coconut manna is one of the other main ingredients in this chia pudding, even though there is just a small amount.  What is coconut manna, you may ask……it’s simply purèed whole coconut.  When cooking with whole foods, I’ve noticed even the smallest amount of an ingredient can have a huge impact on the nutrient values. The coconut not only ups the yumminess of this pudding, but it is also anti-inflammatory, fights bacteria, yeasts, viruses and super charges the liver’s detox powers, which fuels our energy stores in how it is metabolized in the liver!  

Every ingredient in this pudding has specific properties to fight free-radicals, inflammation and other things that cause disease but just as important, these ingredients strengthen our immunity, create health + nourish our bodies in a way only pure, whole foods as close to their natural source in nature can.  To add to the beauty and potency, my favorite topping is bee pollen + crushed dried raspberries!  Another is  toasted pecans + bananas! The possibilities are endless!   I hope you will try it! The recipe is here cashew chia pudding  You may even consider it your favorite non-dessert, dessert of all time!!  xxo!

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Breakfast cookie bliss?!  It sounds a little crazy to hear the words breakfast and cookie in the same sentence, right?  But, in fact, it is not!  It is so smart!  I’ll admit, most of us may love the idea of cookies for breakfast, but then we hear our voice of reason whisper; “you can’t have that” and the idea gets banished before the first bite!  Not any more…..these breakfast cookies, you can have and feel energized, happy and satisfied until lunchtime arrives.

Early morning before school is typically a pretty rushed time and a bit stressful all around the world.  Parents are trying to get their children to eat something that will allow them to concentrate on their schoolwork for a few hours, get dressed and make it to school on time.  The catch is finding something to feed them that they will like and will carry them all the way to lunch. There are more than enough unhealthy breakfast options available which may only get them through a couple hours of school before they are hungry and having a tough time concentrating.  Then, there are very few healthy options which are also quick, portable and tasty.  That’s where these breakfast cookies come in!  You can make the dough whenever it is convenient for you, bake the cookies the night before or that morning if you have twenty extra minutes to spare.  These breakfast cookies can be slipped into a wax paper bag or folded in a paper napkin and eaten on the front steps while waiting for the school bus or in the car on the way to school……and sometimes at the kitchen table with a cold glass of milk when things have just gone right and everyone has a little extra time.  This works for busy and rushed adults too!

 There is one caveat though.  My kiddos have a tough time with the raspberries, so I make half of the batch without rolling the dough in freeze-dried raspberries for them.  I feel like my boy’s palates have reverted back to their less mature selves…hopefully, it is just a teenager phase!  Since this recipe is the sprouted oat and chocolate chip cookie recipe found in one of my earlier posts, it is super adaptable to really picky eaters and those desiring something a bit more gourmet.  

Hop on over to my recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies here; https://greensgirlnutrition.com/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies/ make a batch and then roll each ball of dough in a bowl of crushed up freeze-dried raspberries.  I found Natierra organic raspberries https://tinyurl.com/yyutod7t  or Amazon or at Whole Foods Market.  Since they are freeze-dried, they are nutrient-packed, crazy yum + amazing in granola, salads, muffins and pretty much any where you would love to add raspberries.  I hope you love them! xxo!  

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This is probably my most favorite thing to make and have on hand at all times because it elevates any meal to gourmet status almost instantly with minimal effort. With an abundance of home grown tomatoes from our CSA delivery, I almost cannot resist preparing them without this pesto.  It’s like wow, all of these incredible flavors bursting in your mouth…….a treat for the mind as well as the body.  All it takes is a generous cup of basil, another cup of arugula, zest from one lemon, one clove of garlic and three tablespoons of toasted nuts, a little salt and squeeze of lemon juice.  Oh, and the best olive oil you can get your hands on.  So simple, it’s hard to believe such complexity of flavor can come from just these few ingredients.  

To make it, toast your favorite nuts in the oven or a dry skillet first until they begin to turn a shade darker and you smell their yummy, toasty aroma.  Allow the nuts to cool while you gather the other ingredients.  Toss washed basil and arugula into the bowl of a food processor, zest a lemon over it, roughly chop a clove of garlic and toss it in too.  Have a quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil ready to go.  Add a bit of salt and squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and follow with the cooled nuts.  Put the top on and give it a whir.  Now, pour the olive oil into the top opening of the food processor with it running.  You might need to stop it and scrape down the sides a couple of times, but keep going until everything is tiny in size and uniform.  Pack it in a beautiful little glass jar!  It will keep in the fridge for a week, but I promise it won’t last that long!  Enjoy!  xxo! 

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In an effort to help my twin sister who has to assemble four lunches for her children every school day, I came up with three of the most nutritious options for trail mixes I could think of, taking into consideration each of their preferences. Two of the girls love fruit, so I mixed nuts, fruit and the chocolate chips for them.  Her only boy likes straight forward and simple.   So, for him, I did almonds, peanuts and chocolate chips.  Girl number three wanted everything but the fruit. Easy!  I will do anything for these kiddos….I call them the fantastic four and I am the very proud founder of their official fan club!

I started this little experiment with raw nuts from the bulk section of Whole Foods.  I also picked up some dried papaya, pineapple, wild blueberries and cranberries.  Oh, and dark chocolate chips!   All of the nuts went onto two large pans and into the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the nuts toasted, I sliced the papaya and pineapple into little pieces and set them aside.  Then, after the nuts were toasted and cooled I started assembly. Tons of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants without all of the added and probably rancid oils present in most packaged trail mixes and packaged nuts!   Read more

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I most always have homemade cashew milk on hand, so this comes together quickly with only an hour or two needed to chill.  Cashew milk takes just minutes to make, but you could also use coconut milk or any favorite milk you prefer.  Just try it…..I promise you will love it!

1    quart of homemade cashew milk
1    vanilla bean pod
5    Medjool dates, pitted
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
2   T coconut manna
pinch of sea salt
1/2 C chia seeds
extra vanilla bean pod or extract if you prefer a stronger vanilla flavor.

In a blender, combine the cashew milk or fav milk of your choice, everything you can scrape out of the inside of a vanilla bean pod, the pitted dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut manna and sea salt.  Blend for about a minute or until all ingredients are completely incorporated into the milk.  Pour into a large bowl and add the chia seeds.  Give a good stir and let sit for ten mintes.  Stir again, cover and chill for one to two hours. 

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2    C  old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5 C  brown rice crispy cereal
1.5 C  raw sunflower seeds (toasted)_
1/4 C  brown rice syrup
1/2 C  grade B maple syrup
3         egg whites
1    C  sprouted brown rice flour or oat flour
2/3 C  peanut butter or sunflower seed butter
1/4 C  coconut oil, melted
           pinch of salt for the chocolate sauce
4   T  coconut oil, melted
2   T  grade B maple syrup
3   T  powdered cacao

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare a 9 X 9 baking pan with parchment paper to ensure easy removal from the pan when the bars have finished baking.  

Combine the coconut oil, peanut or sunflower butter, brown rice syrup and maple syrup in a small pan and heat just until the ingredients have melted and are evenly blended. Let cool for a few minutes.

Combine the brown rice crispy cereal, toasted sunflower seeds, egg whites, flour and salt in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.  

Pour the melted oil, peanut or sunflower seed butter and syrup’s over the cereal mixture and stir until mixed.  Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish and press firmly down all over which will help the bars keep their shape when cooled.  Bake until just barely golden, about 35-40 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, cut into bar shapes and carefully remove from baking dish with the help of the parchment paper.  Wrap in wax paper and store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator, but most of all…Enjoy! xxo!!!   

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This is so easy and fast to pull together even on super hectic mornings!  My boys prefer Brown Cow full fat vanilla yogurt.  I find adults prefer a non-fat or low-fat greek yogurt.

1     C   yogurt, divided
1/2  C   sliced, fresh strawberries
1/2  C   fresh blueberries
1/2  C   homemade granola 
honey

Spoon 1/2 of the yogurt in the bottom of a small bowl or even better a short, wide weck glass jar.  Layer strawberries and blueberries over the yogurt.  Follow with the the rest of the yogurt, leaving a couple of tablespoons of yogurt for the finishing touch.  Add the rest of the strawberries and blueberries….make it pretty!  Then the rest of the yogurt and the homemade granola.  Drizzle with a small amount of honey for a little extra sweetness if using unflavored yogurt.  Bliss!

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