This Easy Chia Seed Jam is a wonderful way to preserve the fresh fruit of the season and enjoy delicious homemade jam without artificial colors and flavors or an ungodly amount of sugar. It’s a breeze to make, ready in about 15 minutes, plus there is no canning equipment necessary and you can control the level of sweetness leaving out refined sugar and instead using natural sweeteners like honey, maple or any other alternative you choose (or leave it out altogether and go al naturale).
Best part, this simple chia seed jam formula works with nearly any fruit you’d like, so go with the best the current season has to offer and get creative. Try strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc. Experiment with blending various fruits and if you really want to have some fun, add in vanilla bean, fresh herbs or spices, rosemary, basil, fresh mint, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger – the flavor combos are endless, really.
Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
I always feel very divided when planning the Thanksgiving menu. Mostly I want a classic, traditional menu (obviously with some changes made to accommodate my diet and the diet of any of my guests, if I am hosting) but every year I like to mix it up a little with at least one dish, bringing in unexpected flavors or a new method of preparation. As part of my continued partnership with Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker, and in conceptualizing a holiday recipe using it, I knew it was the perfect tool for creating the best cranberry sauce this holiday season has ever seen. This here cranberry sauce was born to be the star of the show, rather than the unloved side that so many know it to be.
I asked over on Snapchat a while back, what holiday recipes people wanted help with. There was an abundance of requests for stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving. Particularly grain-free stuffing recipes.
I have several other stuffing recipes here in the archives if you are looking for other renditions:
This particular recipe is a holiday classic, the perfect stuffing – moist in the middle and crisp on the top. For me, this is exactly the stuffing I grew up eating, but rather than white bread so many of us can’t have or even the overly process gluten-free stuff, this is made with a super quick, homemade (nut-free) grain-free bread, that you can throw together ahead of time.
This Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Butter is the perfect way to celebrate the season’s most abundant fruit, but this isn’t your mamma’s apple butter. With a rich, honey sweetened caramel mixed right in, you’ll find notes of rich, caramely goodness paired with the traditional spicy and tart apple butter.
We are home and still getting settled after our whirlwind trip to Europe. It was absolutely glorious, incredible, magical and so inspiring. I came home with a heart full of memories, sore feet from so very many miles of exploring and a head full of ideas for recipes inspired by all of our delicious meals. While the jet lag has been a bit brutal (8 hours time difference is no joke), what has been an even greater challenge is getting back into it all. Not the work, my usual healthy eating or my daily fitness routine, I jumped right back into all of those – they are so important to my mental well-being and were sorely missed in those 10 days away. Rather, I again found myself plagued by something interesting upon my return, something that seems to happen nearly every time I step away for an extended period of time. The much needed break from the internet, the constant connection and the need to check in across the various platforms throughout the day, it all obviously disappears when I am off adventuring. It helps that with international travel we were limited in our data usage, and of course the time difference plays a role, as well, but being busy and present, this perfect combination renders the vast, never-ending virtual world essentially non-existent to me and I love it. I often look forward to that aspect of vacation as much as I do the travel itself.
Sometimes it’s the un-recipes, the simple, uncomplicated eats that are the most coveted around here. With fall being a hustling and bustling time, I know we all struggle to slow down, to hit pause even and enjoy the best of the season, but it’s so important. Fall will be over before we know it and we will be in the thick of the holidays. I don’t want to rush it. I want to enjoy every bit(e) of it.
While I have no issues with embracing pumpkin-everything this time of year, I also find that apples don’t get nearly enough of the autumnal love! Probably my most favorite of all the fruits, apples are impeccable this time of year and a source of so many great nutrients, including vitamins A & C and various minerals including lots of potassium, and a solid showing of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. They are high in fiber and apple pectin has detoxifying qualities, making it used often in cleansing formulas. Apples are a sweet mini-multivitamin of sorts, bringing a little bit of everything. I always recommend apples that are organic and unsprayed, as most conventional apples are heavily sprayed with pesticides.
With the start of fall just mere days away, I am reveling at the thought of my favorite season of eating! Fall food is pure comfort, to me. Squash, potatoes, apples, pears, pumpkins, cranberries and all the other goodness. I just can’t get enough.
Thinking about this season soup comes to mind quite often. Soup is one of my favorite things and while I know gazpachos and chilled soups are a thing, they aren’t the same. I love a good, steamy, cozy bowl or mug of comforting soup and by the time summer is wrapping up, it’s about all I can think about.
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, yet somehow water is still THE most common nutritional deficiency in our culture. Good news is, it’s a super simple one to remedy! There are plenty of varying formulas from all different sources in regards to how much water to consume, but it’s best to know that whatever formula you subscribe to, just like the nutrition from food and the dietary guides that we each subscribe to, we are highly bio-individualistic beings and there is no one definitive firm answer out there. Listen to your body and pay attention to what works for you.
As a guideline, I recommend to my clients that they shoot for half your body weight in ounces every day. For example if you weight 150lbs, shoot for 75 ounces of water daily, taking into account the need to rehydrate additionally for the consumption of diuretics like coffee, tea, fruit juices, alcohol and sodas or excessive perspiration. I also subscribe to the idea that we don’t want to be consuming too much more than 100 ounces of water daily, as too much water can also have negative affects, like diluting/flushing our electrolytes and causing mineral imbalances.
The best practice to follow is to slowly and mindfully sip on high quality filtered water throughout the day, all day, every day. Drink water before you start feeling thirsty – as thirst is a sure sign you are already on your way to dehydration.
Did you know that every single cell in the human body needs water to function properly? Much like the plants in your garden, your cells, too, can perk up immediately upon watering. It’s that simple.
“Chronic cellular dehydration of the body is the primary etiology of painful degenerative disease.” – Dr F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
What Roles Does Water Play in the Body?
Water Helps Your Body with the Following:
- Improves oxygen delivery to cells
- Transports nutrients
- Enables cellular hydration
- Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
- Cushions bones and joints
- Absorbing shocks to joints and organs
- Regulates body temperature
- Removes wastes
- Flushes toxins
- Prevents tissues from sticking
- Lubricates joints
- Improves cell-to-cell communications
- Maintains normal electrical properties of cells
- Empowers the body’s natural healing process
Excerpt from “Water the Ultimate Cure”
Tips for Drinking More Water:
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning (I prefer mine warm with a little lemon).
- Carry a dedicated bottle or container with you are all times, at work, at home, even if you are just out running a few errands.
- Use an app on your mobile phone to track your water intake or simply set an alert on your phone to remind you.
- Choose water at restaurants instead of other beverages. not only will you save on calories while simultaneously hydrating yourself, but it also saves money.
- When you are hungry, start with a glass of water before you reach for the snack. sometimes feelings of hunger are actually your body telling you that it’s thirsty. it may just curb the cravings.
- Drink before you eat. 16 ounces 30 minutes before every meal can actually keep you from over indulging. make this a regular practice and you might even find yourself losing weight.
- Infuse and flavor your water.
BONUS: Add a pinch of high quality sea salt to your water, it adds trace minerals and helps to balance electrolytes
Today, I am sharing with you one of my very favorite ways to stay hydrated…
INFUSED SPA WATER!
Infused water is not only a tasty way to stay hydrated but it is nutritional, healthy, fresh and all-natural!
How-to Make Infused Spa Water at Home:
Removing my trip to Mexico last week and that day I had too many margaritas at lunch, this lady does very little drinking these days. My body just doesn’t love it. I enjoy a glass of wine now and again, don’t get me wrong. That being said, 1) I am all about balance and enjoy the holidays and 2) it just wouldn’t be the holidays without a signature cocktail for Tasty Yummies.
One of my all-time favorite winter and holiday indulgences is a steamy hot mug of mulled wine. However, living in California, a toasty mug of booze isn’t always what the weather gods have in mind, so I decided to get crafty and combine my summertime favorite, sangria, with the wintery, holiday flavors of mulled wine.
There is something about the fall and the winter and the cooler weather they bring, that not only elicits those feelings of cozy comfort, for me it also brings a desire to gather and share nourishing food, with others. With the holidays on the horizon, this love of community and connection is strong and needed, in these darker, cooler months ahead.
Earlier this month I hosted Gather, a women’s retreat here in Southern California. Beyond teaching yoga every morning, I also had the wonderful pleasure of preparing all of the delicious, seasonally-inspired food for all of the meals we shared together. Mostly vegetarian and exclusively gluten-free, the meals highlighted light, comfort food, the flavors of the fall and as always when I am cooking, nutrient-rich, whole foods. Read the rest of this entry »
While this fall has been one of the busiest I can recall, I have also been fortunate to be traveling a ton, living life to it’s fullest and doing my best to enjoy each and every moment. While visiting San Diego county a few weeks ago, in the adorable town of Julian, my husband, Mark, and I were walking the Main Street of this quaint old gold mining town. Julian is an enigma of Southern California, experiencing all 4 seasons, even including snow in the winter. It’s unlike any other place I have been out here. It was an instant love-connection for this east coast girl.
We went at the start of the fall season and autumn was already in the air. Crisp cool breezes, chilly nights, the leaves of many of the trees already changing color and the sweet scent of apple pie in the air. This town doesn’t mess around when it comes to apples. After the gold rush was over, the pioneers remained in Julian, as they began farming the rich land. While many crops were planted and animals raised, apples seemed to be their new “gold”. To this day, during apple season, you will find fruit stands filled with fresh organic apples, locally pressed real apple cider and pies galore. Oh the pies! Quite literally, Main Street in Julian is filled with the aroma of this spiced comfort food.
As we strolled the tiny Main Street, Mark was seeking out what he deemed to be “the perfect slice”. I am pretty sure we walked into every single bakery and he looked on as if he was making a major investment purchase. Only a few city blocks long, Main Street had near 10 bakeries, all specializing in their version of this American classic. I was convinced, being gluten-free, I would only be experiencing this as an observer, enjoying the smells and the smile on my husband’s pie-loving face. But alas, I found one amazing bakery, tucked away a bit off the beaten path, Apple Alley Bakery. The only bakery in ALL of Julian offering gluten-free pies. I opted for the Apple Boysenberry Crumb Pie and as soon as my slice was gone, I wanted more.
I have a very serious question for all of you… how in the heck is September almost over? Actually, make that two questions, I also want to know where the summer has gone? The Autumnal Equinox is just two days away and I honestly feel like summer just began. It probably doesn’t help that it has been a very busy summer and I have been traveling for most of this month. 12 days in a row were spent away from my home as I explored Maine, visited my family in New York, then returned home to quickly leave a mere 12 hours later, to visit a ranch and explore the adorable small town, Julian, CA.
I always find the end of September and the start of October to be a highly charged time for me, with lots of energetic shifts. Not only is change in the air with the start of a new season, but the fall equinox celebrates the equality of light and dark. As the sun shines directly on the equator, we experience (nearly) equal hours of daylight and darkness, all across the world! How cool is that? Because of this, the shift into fall focuses our energies on balance and as a libra, this equanimity is vital to my very existence. I thrive in the balance and I find myself at my best, most aware and most creative at this time.
Over the past few weeks I have had many reminders, presenting themselves in many different forms, to “honor yourself”. It’s easy in the busy time of summer to get lost in a sea of plans, to constantly be honoring promises to others and to fill the long days with socially-charged commitments. Summer is so focused on putting ourselves and our creations out into the world, feeding them and encouraging their flourishing growth in all the light surrounding us. I find as we transition toward darker days, the need to pause, to go within and to harvest our creations from these previous months. This time of rebalancing of our lives is the best for shifing our focus toward honoring our self. Armed with this knowledge of this time, the readings, reminders and messages, I have been able to focus on my energy inward these past few weeks. I have started to give myself the room to honor me and it has given me the space to see much more clearly.
Beyond this balance and the start of this energetic shift, with this new season I also very much enjoy the very literal harvest taking place, of the foods we eat and are creating. Apples and winter squashes, warming spices, stews, soups and baked goods. After our trip to Julian, CA at the end of last week, a town known for it’s apples, I was feeling inspired to create an apple pie with the beautiful apples we brought back. I planned to create a grain-free pie reminiscent of the slice of delicious gluten-free Apple Boysenberry Crumb Pie I had from a small bakery off Main Street. As I finished the last few bites of this pie, I dreamt of filling my own kitchen with the spicy, comforting aroma that filled this tiny little gold-mining town. Sadly, mother nature had other plans for me with her 100 degree summertime-like temperatures. While I really wanted to create this pie to share with you, I couldn’t imagine turning my oven on and slaving over peeling apples and rolling out dough. I chose to instead create another recipe, honoring the swing season. This special, but brief time where summer and fall meet.
Sometimes, I find the hardest thing about having restrictions on my diet is the uncontrollable cravings for a dish that is simply off-limits. Try as you might to quiet them, but I can promise you your Pinterest feed and Instagram feed will be filled with that very food, for days on end, mocking you until you either give in or find an alternative! (Not that I know from personal experience, or anything) Regardless of retraining your brain to look at food differently to cater those thoughts to your current needs, oftentimes we just can’t help those random hankerings. We are, after all, human.
I find this breakfast porridge to be the perfect stand-in for traditional oatmeal, while still being free of grains, dairy, nuts and seeds. It’s warm, comforting and creamy and the texture is spot on. I tend to alway have a spaghetti squash on hand, so if I cook one up for dinner the night before, I will save half to make this breakfast the next morning.
I have said it several times before but it seriously cannot be said enough, the community of passionate people I have met in the blogging world is one of greatest, if not THE best, perks of keeping a blog. What a beautiful gift to be surrounded, even if only virtually, with people that constantly inspire and excite you. I have had the distinct pleasure of connecting with many beautiful, passion-filled people sharing their love and their life with the world.
I am not even sure the first time I connected with Kris Orborne of 80Twenty, but she is one of those people the minute you see her site and connect with her words online, you can feel her genuineness and you know instantly she is the real deal. Kris’ site is very much in line with my eating and cooking style. A focus on whole, nourishing foods that are in season, 80Twenty also celebrates the balance in life, the good and the good for you!
I am super excited to be over on 80Twenty today, sharing this incredible, simple, seasonal hash inspired by the beautiful organic produce I received from local farmers this week in my organic produce box from Beachgreens. This Celeriac, Sweet Potato and Apple Hash is hearty and comforting and could seriously work at any meal. Great as a side or make it the main event by serving with eggs or another protein of your choice.
I am totally aware that I am coming in down to the wire with this recipe. Thanksgiving is just a few short days away and maybe some of you have had your menu’s planned for days or even weeks, but I am not quite that put together. I am serving dinner to somewhere between 7 and 10 people on Thursday and I am still working on what I plan to serve.
With my weekends being consumed by yoga teacher training and trying to maintain a social life amidst a busy work schedule plus making time for my own yoga practice and personal training sessions, life has been feeling a tad hectic, as of late. My saving grace has been our CSA boxes that get delivered every Wednesday. Most weeks I plan our meals based on what shows up in that box, so I always know that we will be eating healthy and well, no matter how busy life gets.
This stuffing was born on a day that a new CSA box showed up and I still had a couple things from the previous week’s box. So, it’s partially a recipe created with Thanksgiving in mind and partially and more simply, a fridge/pantry cleaning recipe. After getting some beautiful butternut squash, leeks and apples, plus some gorgeous collard greens, I was finding myself inspired to create a dish that used all of them.
This fun version of a classic bread stuffing is so easy to throw together and it is just full of so many incredible comforting flavors. The best part of this recipe is how versatile it is. You can use whatever your favorite bread is, try kale instead of collard greens and you could even add meat, if that’s your preference.
I created a super quick and easy to make grain-free bread to make this stuffing with, I kinda impressed myself with how simple it is to make and how perfectly it works in this recipe! What more could you ask for on a busy holiday?
Though I tend to do very little imbibing these days, I do enjoy it now and again for special occasions. With the official start of the holidays upon us, I was on a mission to come up with a drink that could become the cocktail of the season. I have been working feverishly on the plans and the menu for our Thanksgiving feast this year and this seasonal appropriate libation will be perfect for our Friendsgiving get-together.
Sangria is the perfect cocktail for entertaining, so really it’d be great for any celebration. You can make a large batch a day ahead of time, let all of the flavors infuse with one another and as guests arrive, serve chilled with some fresh bubbles on top.
This healthy, fall-inspired Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, is the perfect way to enjoy all of the many amazing flavors of the season in one flavor-packed healthy salad. It is light enough to not leave you heavy and weighed down, but also hearty enough to be a meal on it’s own. This makes 2 large meal sized servings or 4 side salad-sized servings. I like to make this salad and dress the servings individually so I can enjoy the leftovers later. This was the perfect lunch during a long day of yoga teacher training, a few weeks back.
Lately, this is one of my most favorite ways to enjoy raw kale and I find even those not super crazy about the superfood green, absolutely love it in salad like this. The key is to massage the kale to get rid of the toughness and the bitterness. Yup, I said “massage”! No, you don’t have to whisper sweet nothings to it or buy it dinner first, just a good ‘ol fashioned no-strings-attached massage.
I have said it once and I will say it again, apples do not get nearly enough love in the fall. It’s all – pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Apples are the red-
headedskinned step-child of the autumn.
Life has been a tad busy as of late, so that has meant that baking has been totally out of the question. Beside that fact, it’s been so summer-like in Southern California that turning the oven on sounds quite miserable. In an effort to enjoy the amazing spiced flavors of a homemade fall apple pie or crisp, I decided to simply take some of the many beautiful apples we had from our farmer, the market and our own yard and make some yummy, healthy, cinnamon apple chips.
This simple tutorial works great with a dehydrator, but if you don’t have one, you can even make these in the oven. Easy. The best part about these cinnamon-dusted apple chips is how the whole house ends up smelling like you have an apple pie baking, the entire time they are dehydrating.
After a week in Western New York, I am in a fall mood! We we hit up the The Great Pumpkin Farm and went to the Mayer Brothers Apple Cider Mill, and I tried to enjoy as much fall food and flavors as I could in this short trip home. There truly is nothing like fall on the east coast.
Apple cider from the east coast, is probably one of my favorite things in the whole wide world! Sadly, I have yet to find anything quite like it, in our new home! I have found some OK ones in Southern California – but there really is no substitute. While it isn’t as good as the ones in Buffalo, I grabbed some decent cider a few weeks ago at a local market and was inspired to create this fall cocktail, featuring some of my favorite local kombucha – Fine Feathers Kombucha!
I realize that this is less a recipe and more simply, instructions. It is after all – just toast. So let’s just consider this a how-to on making some of the tastiest, most kick-ass toast you will ever eat. Trust me.
I know we are all aware and obsessed with avocado toast, but let’s branch out a bit, shall we? As someone that doesn’t care much for simple toast and jam, I say we all need to put more things on our toast.
These days it is rare I eat toast or really, have any bread in the house, even. I tend to avoid grains much of the time, but on a rare occasion I want a little something of comfort and something easy – Hello there toast! Toast is another one of those things that I have a weird emotional tie to, it always reminds me on my grandmother, my Yia Yia. Her kitchen would always smell of slightly burnt toast and tea. I can’t ever help but think of her whenever the smell of toast is wafting through the air, so there is always a sense of comfort around that crispy, browned, morning goodness!
Your farmer brings you a bunch of Asian pears and apples, I mean really, what else is there to do with them then soak them in some booze? OK, yeh, I know, predictable – another blog post that I start out talking about my CSA. Snore! But, to be honest, every single week that box of goodies that shows up on my doorstep, delivered by my farmer himself, and it inspires me and my cooking in so many ways. Every Wednesday, I feel like I am on a game show, where a mystery box shows up and I have to get creative with whatever I am given.
Sure I could have just eaten the apples and pears straight up, but where is the fun in that? Plus, I have to assume if I am getting apples and pears in my weekly box, other folks are too, and they might want some fun ideas on how to prepare them. It doesn’t get much more fun than these Red Wine Poached Apples and Pears with Cinnamon Whipped Coconut Cream.
A friend of ours, John, works in the “wine biz” up in LA. What he exactly does, I am not 100% totally sure, but what I am sure of is that he gave me a huge case of some really nice wines the last time I saw him – so he is A-OK in my book. These days I don’t do a ton of drinking, if we have guests or it’s a special occasion, maybe, but generally I drink very little at home. But, cooking with wine, that’s far more my speed.
This post is part of my restricted diet series on the Free People Blog BLDG 25
Since my daily yoga practice is as important to me as the food I eat, I try to plan ahead with my meals, to make getting to the studio as easy as possible. Lately I have been enjoying daily 6am vinyasa flow classes, so that means getting to bed at a reasonable time and being up at 5am. I don’t eat before I practice yoga, but the minute I come home and walk through the front door I am starving – so I love easy, simple, quick, and healthy breakfast options.