It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Talk about your ultimate take-you-back-to-the-good-ol-days-of-being-a-kid. Nothing quite compares to a pb&j sandwich. Even as an adult, pb&j’s often make the list of favorite foods of all time. Unfortunately for me, peanuts are so not Paleo.

Neither is bread.

Or sugar, of which there is a ton in jelly.

Bummer.

Did I mention I have a 4 year old? Who just started school, with a bunch of other 3-6 year old’s, whose parents totally pack pb&j’s in their lunches? Yeah. You see where this is going.

I’m not a total control freak about what my kiddo eats. We get ice cream occasionally. We eat pizza once in a while. I even let him have cake at birthday parties. However, I do totally limit what we keep in our household based on it’s level of nutrition. Which means being fairly picky about what he eats at lunch every day of the school week. 

Thus we have The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Dilemma. I mean, do I really want my child to miss out on that quintessential piece of childhood? That sticky, gooey deliciousness melting in your mouth? I’d be a bad parent if I said yes. Plus, he reeeeaaallllyyyyyy wants pb&j in his lunch.

So. we struck a deal. Monday through Thursday I pack his lunch with my choice of food items. Usually meat left over from the night before, some pastured cheese or a handful of nuts, a veggie and a fruit. Then on Friday it’s celebration time, cause he gets a big, fat, pb&j waiting for him inside his lunch box. 

Oh come on. Like you really thought there was going to be your run of the mill pb&j in there. No sir, no ma’am. Not from this mama. 

First there is the issue of bread. Even ‘whole grain’ bread is processed all to hell and has a bajillion additives like xantham gum. I opted for sprouted grain bread. I usually buy Ezekial for this but you have to keep it frozen, and frozen brad does not a delicious sandwich make. So we opted for Silver MIlls Sprouted Bakery. I got the kind with flax. The only peservative use is citric acid, which I’m more or less ok with. I don’t like the fact that they add extra gluten but I guess you take the bad with the good.

Next up, peanut butter. Of all three pb&j ingredients, this was the least of my concerns. Along the Paleo/Primal nutrition guidelines I really take the least offense at legumes. Because seriously, I feel like the positives they offer pretty much outweigh the negatives, as long as they aren’t consumed daily. Also, peanut butter is the shit. So I bought fresh ground peanut butter from our local Natural Grocers. Ingredients: peanuts. No really, that’s all. Just ground up into a butter peanuts.

Now onto the jelly. My kid is a Sugar Monster. He’s like a crack head, but worse, because he’s 4 and sugar is legal. Anytime he has too much sugar, whether it be of the refined variety or simply too many grapes, it inevitably leads to a meltdown of epic proportions. Some people think I’m too strict about his sugar consumption but hey, if you want to pump my baby full of sugar, how about you stick around and deal with the aftermath, because it is not pretty!

But I digress. Jelly- my favorite is strawberry. My mom always made homemade strawberry jelly when I was growing up, and we’ve made it together almost every summer since I’ve been an adult. But even homemade strawberry jelly is loaded with sugar. I’m not a fan of Stevia or any other artificial sweetener, so I went with honey. 1 bag of frozen strawberries and about a quarter cup of honey, boiled together in a pot for about 20 minutes and then cooled gave me about a half mason jar of strawberry jelly. 

Just to make sure it was still delicious, I totally made myself a pb&j for lunch. Delicious and clean eating!

And so, I leave you with this. I hope my kiddo sings it when he opens up his lunch today.

 

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Clean Eating- Part 1

Humor me for a moment.

I want you to picture the cleanest, freshest piece of food you can imagine. The most unprocessed, untouched by human hands piece of food you can conjure. What is it? A tomato maybe, or a cucumber? A squash, a carrot? I’m hoping you’re picturing a fruit or veggie of some sort. Now, where does it come from? If you said the store, please know that I am currently crying little tears for you. The tomatoes there come from Mexico, even in the summer when plenty of tomatoes are being grown right here in Oklahoma. If you said your local farmer’s market, you’re a little closer. If you said your own garden, you have hit the big money!!!!

Not really, I don’t have any cash prizes. But, you’re totally on my level. I know, I know, It’s barely March. But last year I started a garden late, and had to spend big money (the real kind) on plants that had already been sprouted and grown large enough to put in the ground.

So this year I’m all sorts of organized (kinda) and I’m starting all my plants from lil’ baby seeds. Lil’ baby seeds are a bajillion times cheaper than plants. I really really really think everyone should go out this weekend and start their own lil’ baby seeds a growing.

Here’s what you’ll need:
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  • Garden soil for veggies and flowers (preferably organic) I bought the huge bag because I’m going to end up using it later anyway
  • Seeds- we got a variety of veggies and flowers
  • Something to start your seeds in- we used egg cartons because they’re biodegradable and they’ll basically compost into the soil
  • A dirt scooper (aka my 1/4 measuring cup)
  • A Sharpie (or any writing utensil of your choice)
  • One incredibly adorable helper (perhaps not totally necessary but definitely encouraged)
  • Cookie sheets or something to protect the surface where the seeds will reside (not pictured)

Have your adorable helper lay the egg cartons out ever so carefully.

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Fill the egg cartons about halfway with your soil. Make sure you press the soil down a bit.

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Line your seed packets up in some semblance of organization. We basically grouped our veggies with veggies and flowers with flowers. Keep in mind you likely will not use all of the seeds in your packets, so if you want more tomatoes, leave more egg carton spots for tomatoes (or beets or watermelons or marigolds…you get the point).

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Take the seed packets from your first carton, and going one packet at a time, place 3-5 seeds in each egg carton.

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Bigger seeds get less per egg spot, smaller get more. It’s not rocket science, don’t worry too incredibly much about the number of seeds per spot.

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Before you move on to the next egg carton, label the seeds you just planted!!!!!

Unless you want to play the “what is this plant?” game for the next few months, this is a fairly important step. When these eventually go in the ground you’ll want to remember to label them again, but I’ll remind you about that when the time comes. For now, just mark it on the egg carton.

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I know my labeling system is all sorts of fancy schmancy so feel free to improvise as you see fit.

After you have planted and labeled all the seeds, take a second to admire your handy work.

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Make sure to save your seed packets, even if they’re empty. They have instructions as to where you will want to put the plants once they’re big enough and how much sunlight they like.

At this point your adorable little helper may have decided that his monster trucks are much more interesting than adding dirt a second time, so go ahead and cover the seeds with more soil. Fill the carton so that there is soil all the way to the edges of the carton, with dirt in the crevices between each little egg holder. We want these seeds to learn to share from an early age, right?

Place the egg cartons carefully on the cookie sheets. Commandeer the top shelf of your adorable helper’s bookshelf and move said bookshelf in front of your helper’s bedroom window, thus causing complete room rearrangement.

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When your little helper discovers an empty corner in his room, he’ll totally want to carefully arrange all of his shoes. (Now we know the real reason behind this, huh?)

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Now you can sit back and watch the lil’ seeds turn into lil’ sprouts! I mean obviously there’s a little work involved, you know that whole watering the seeds thing. And perhaps rotating the cartons every couple of days so they get even sunlight.

I’ll add more posts about how the seeds are growing as they continue their journey towards my backyard and eventually our bellies!!!

In My Free Time…and Lemon Pie

Non. Stop. Weekend. I wanted to blog about everything that went on but it was such a whirlwind of beautiful weather and family time that I hardly had a second to think about pulling the computer out. That's a good thing, right?! The weather has cooled off again and I'm inside (doing homework....).

A few weeks ago my step mom gave me a bike that a friend had given her. It was WAY to big for my stepmom (she's all of about 5'2") but fit me at 5"6" just right. I try to use it as much as possible, not only to get in some sunshine and exercise but to stay out of the car. We invested in a bike trailer (bets $90 we've spent in a while!) so I use the bike to take our little guy with me grocery shopping and on errands nearby. Local, a farm-to-table restaurant near us was having their one year anniversary on the same day as mine and my beloved's one year, so we celebrated with a bike ride to Local, unlimited bouncing in the bounce houses for our wee one, and dinner for all. Local has this ridiculously forward-thinking (for Oklahoma) attitude, and they have a spot for kids inside called Localville, which is pretty much a super-decked-out-with-awesome-toys "daycare". You basically drop your kiddo at Localville and they watch, entertain, and feed your child while you eat.

Saturday was a gorgeous day as well so after I got my yoga on in the AM we packed up the boyfriend's truck and headed to OKC. First stop was the St. Patrick's Day parade (which, truth be told, was kind of lame) in Bricktown, then off to Lake Hefner for more bike riding! I'd packed a snack-lunch (our favorite) of turkey, pepperoni, avocado, grape tomatoes,apples, almond butter, a grapefruit, and some dried papaya and banana chips. After we ate we biked halfway around the lake to some soccer goals where OF COURSE we stopped and the boys made about 800 goals for me. We finished the loop around the lake with a stop at the playground, and if you live in the OKC area and haven't experienced the coolness of the playground at Lake Hefner, you are missing out big time! By the time we gotb ack to the truck my quads were quivering (try pulling a bike trailer with that lake wind blowing into it like it's a damn parachute!!!) and we were all pretty exhausted. Finished off Saturday with a stop at Whole Foods where I got a sweet deal on some sweet Tom's.Image

Sunday was FREEZING so I spent most of my morning building Lincoln Logs with the little. The boyfriend has accused me on more than one occasion of liking the Lincoln Logs more than the little does, and don't tell either of them this, but I'm in agreement. Image

After we'd exhausted our architectural creativity, we started some seedlings. You can read about that in the post after this one!

We wrapped up the weekend with some indoor soccer for the boyfriend! He finally found a team that needed a player, which he's only been trying to join one for oh 6 months or so. The little informed me 5 or 60 times that he wanted to play on their team "reeeeaalllll baaaaddddd mom" in addition to needing shin guards. The little's soccer season doesn't start until the end of April and hes 3. I'm fairly certain shin guards aren't necessary but I'm almost 100% sure he will have them anyway. After soccer we chowed on a mouthwatering roast that the boyfriend had popped into the crockpot. It had an out of this world coffee-cocoa-chipotle rub on it. If I had the recipe, I'd certainly give it to you! Roast followed by Paleo lemon pie and we were all off to bed. The lemon pie recipe I can give to you! I used the topping recipe from the lemon bars on civilizedcavemancooking.com and the crust from paleoaholic's coconut chocolate pie. Here you go:

Pie filling:

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice (8 lemons) (I used Meyers lemons, and only had to use 4 to get one cup of juice)

Crust:

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp ghee
  • 11 ounces (about 6 cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar

This crust recipe will make either one super thick crust or two regular ish crusts. I opted to make two crusts and filled the other one with the chocolate filling recipe on paleoaholic, then froze the chocolate pie. Don't judge me, we like pie around here!

Hot Damn I’m in a Headstand!

Those were the words I uttered (hollered) when I pulled my knees to my chest and pushed my feet into the air all on my own for the first time. Appropriately so, because I was in hot yoga. Hot damn, indeed. Since then I feel the need to do headstands at any given opportunity. I was working on (the very inkling of a thought of beginning) handstands with my mentor on Friday and so of course we took the opportunity to snap a photo of my leaning tower of headstand. I didn’t realize i leaned until I looked at the picture, but whatever people, it’s progress! Check it out.

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Ignore my demon eyes, I just want ya’ll to know I can do a headstand.

Onto more delicious things, like muffins.

When I went Paleo I had this idea that I was never going to eat baked goods again. Ha! All I’ve really done is perfected Paleo baking.

No, not really. Because my muffins the other day were a pancake recipe gone wrong. I was out of bananas, so I used pumpkin puree instead. Should work, right? Yes, unless you accidentally add an extra tablespoon of coconut flour, and then realize you have no coconut milk. EFF!!! So I sat, looking forlornly at my much too thick pancake batter, wondering what the hell we were going to eat for breakfast. Then it dawned on me. Muffin batter is really just thick pancake batter that rises, right? So I added some baking soda and put that batter in my super-see-duper awesome silicon muffin pans. Is it still a pan if it’s silicon? Hmmm.

This is what came out.Image

What the yum.

This is what went in ’em.

  • 1/3 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • a bunch of cinnamon (depending on how much you love cinnamon, up to a tablespoon)
  • pinch nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins

Mix together everything but raisins, I used my hand mixer. Fold in raisins. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil or use muffin cups. Divide evenly into muffin tin. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Image

When the tiny peaks are starting to brown like in the pic above, they’re done.

Know what I did next? Threw some grassfed butter on that bad boy and gobbled it up. Ok maybe I gobbled three up. Details, whatev.

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So this morning, I’d agreed to sub a yoga class at 8 am. WHY DO I CONTINUE TO SAY YES TO EARLY CLASSES?!?!?! Thus, no time for bacon frittatas. We had fresh blueberries and my kiddo had mentioned blueberry muffins, so I figured I’d see how well it worked with a banana and blueberries instead of pumpkin and raisins. And it was DELICIOUS. Duh. Here’s what went into these:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a bunch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of blueberries

Same as with the pumpkin muffins, mix it all together sans blueberries. Fold in the blueberries, and put them into greased muffin tins (or use paper muffin cups). Bake at 375 for ten or so minutes. I should have made a double batch of these.

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The fresh blueberries really made the difference.

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Next time i’m thinking some coffee and chocolate chunks will be appropriate mix ins!