So I wanted to share my latest morning ritual because it has helped A LOT. I have very painful cycles where I cramp the ENTIRE cycle and my cycle lasts 7-8 days. Yup, 7-8. Anyways, my pain is so bad that I’ve gone to the hospital several times, and I would stay home from school (as a teen) or classes (in college) because I just couldn’t function. As an adult, it’s a little bit trickier to miss work, so I’ve been tinkering with remedies and of course, raspberry tea has saved my life in the pain department.
Anyways, I started back with drinking green smoothies for breakfast in place of having coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and I’ve really seen a difference. The biggest change for pain relief though, has come from me substituting brewed raspberry tea in place of my spring water when I make my smoothies. Raspberries and cherries really help alleviate cramps, at least mine, anyways, so I thought, why not combine my tea with my smoothie?
Here’s the recipe:
Add a handful of spinach + brewed, cooled raspberry tea.
I use the Alvita raspberry leaf tea brand. Their teas are all organic and taste good.
Blend that together first. Blending the greens first helps to make your green smoothies actually smooth so you’re not finding chunks of spinach or kale, etc. when you’re drinking.
Next, add any supplement–I switch between organic flax seed powder and organic hemp powder (hemp helps with your cycle too, btw). Sometimes I throw chia seeds in at the end. For this particular recipe, I used flax.
Then add your fruit and sweetener. I started using agave nectar this week and it tastes good. Not overpowering, but sweet. And it doesn’t give me that sugar high/crash like white sugar tends to do. I actually tried agave nectar before and thought it was disgusting so I think it’s the particular brand I’m using now that I like (Madhava organic light blue agave).
The fruit I used was all frozen: cherries, dark cherries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Note: the raspberry tea tends to make the mixture more of a “juice” consistency, so add ice if you want it to actually be a smoothie. I added like 5-6 ice cubes.
Trust me when I say this helps. My pain level has been between a 3-5 this week. Typically, I’m at an 8 or 9. And again, I typically feel that intense type of pain for the entire 7-8 days I have my cycle, so having any type of relief is so astonishingly awesome! The pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s significantly less and for that, I’m thankful.
Spring is in the air, I just feel it! The days are gradually getting longer and I am itching to start planting my garden. Unfortunately, I still have a couple of months for that to happen but it’s getting closer day by day.
When I think spring, I think of citrus flavors and scents. You know, that clean and refreshing aroma and taste! Lemons are pretty to look at arranged in a large bowl on your kitchen table; the scent is uplifting, and the taste will delight your taste buds.
I suggest making a batch this weekend!
Ingredients for batter:
1 cup organic unbleached all-purpose flour ½ cup organic pure cane sugar 1 T organic lemon rind 1 T organic poppy seeds ½ t baking soda 1 t organic and vegan pure vanilla extract 2 T organic lemon juice ½ cup organic coconut milk ¼ cup organic coconut oil, melted
Ingredients for filling:
2 cups organic powdered sugar ½ cup vegan butter 5 T organic lemon juice
Method for batter:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease one whoopie pie pan, set-aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, lemon rind, poppy seeds, and baking soda. Mix in the extract, lemon juice, coconut milk, and the coconut oil. Batter should be smooth and slightly thick.
Fill each whoopie well with 1 ½ tablespoons of batter. The batter should spread evenly into the well; if not, lightly tap the pan on the counter to distribute batter.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan. Remove and place on a wire rack to fully cool.
In the meantime, make the filling.
Method for filling:
Cream the powdered sugar and butter together using a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer. Add the lemon juice and continue to beat until you have a smooth consistency.
Spread a heaping tablespoon of filling on the flat side of one of the whoopie cakes. Then top with the domed side of another whoopee cake.
No matter on which side of the debate you stand there is something inherently wrong with a few multi-national corporations trying to buy control of our worlds seed supply. When saving your own seed from plants you grew makes you a lawbreaker I say that is the line in the sand.
They are engineering their seed to promote the industry wide use of chemical pesticides on the commercial farms under the guise of “helping” the farmer but this too is backfiring. Mother Nature can not be controlled. The very bugs they seek to control are evolving into new threats. What do I think when I see GMO? I see a red flag that says this ingredient/ vegetable has been drenched in chemicals from seed stage through growing and some (potatoes) during harvest. I see a product that is contributing to colony collapse disorder. If the bees go so do we.
Monsanto shareholders were given the opportunity at the latest annual meeting to vote on getting behind the GMO labeling effort. A mere 4% voted for the proposal.
I grow using organic methods and I do my best to use heirloom seed which I save for the next year. Does this mean I don’t grow a few hybrids? No, I do once in awhile. Hybrid does not mean GMO. You can be sure though when I do I buy only varieties not owned, patented or distributed by Monsanto, Seminis, et al supplied retailers. Those old time varieties your grandparents grew for years and years you buy from the big box stores Big Boy, Better Boy,etc. have been bought out and added to a corporate stable. No they are not GMO but why do a few companies feel the need to own it all?
Control the food supply
Control the world
PS: yes, I am aware potatoes are not GMO as of yet but conventionally grown commercial potatoes receive three doses of chemicals during their growing season. Once at planting, once during growth and again at harvest.
Let’s kick of the week with a cute little painting I did “Lemon Drop” 🍋🐝Monday’s may be my least favourite day of the week but paintings bees is one of my favs! 😁🖌💖 I also want to show you this painting with a little message about conservation. 🌍 Bees are in danger of disappearing but we need to protect them! 😯 I buy organic food but here’s something I read that I want to try to help them even more! 📖 Buy organic clover seeds, find a patch of dirt and throw the seeds on it and then repeat on the next patch of dirt. 🌱 I’m going to try it! 😁 My city could use more clovers how about your 😘☘
Cilantro is a great easy to care for herb to add to your garden. Like all herbs they thrive when they are picked regularly and they grow fast. Cilantro wants to bolt after temperatures reach 75°+ (fahrenheit), never fear, because after going to flower they then become Coriander seed which is a common kitchen spice. Collect and store them for cooking or you can let the plant reseed itself, it will continue to come back as long as the conditions are right!
One of the most rewarding things about composting the vegetable scraps of what we eat is seeing the volunteer plants sprout up the next season. Random seeds from squash, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes and melons go into our compost bin and stay happy and viable until the rich compost mixture gets forked into our soil the following spring.
This year we had heirloom tomatoes, butternut, and acorn squash thriving in our raised beds – none had been deliberately planted. We’ve enjoyed them so much, they’ve been added to our garden lineup for 2018.
This stuffed squash was so amazingly good, I fixed it two nights in a row! The squash was tender and sweet, which perfectly complemented the savory cheese and sausage. Sautéed onions, mushrooms, a little celery, diced apple, and a big handful of chopped parsley from the garden added to the complexity. I added some sage to the seasonings, so the meal reminded me of Thanksgiving.
I wanted to top the squash with grated mozzarella, but only had sliced provolone on hand. I loved the way the slivered cheese made for such a graphic look, and the provolone added a nice tang to the final dish.
Make ahead note – I added some precooked leftover rice which was great, but you could probably substitute fresh bread crumbs.
Acorn squash stuffed with sausage, cheese, apples, and herbs – makes four generous servings.
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper
½ pound pork sausage
½ of a medium onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
¼ pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 tart apple, cored and diced (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 cup leftover cooked rice
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon rubbed sage
Grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush melted butter on each squash half. Season with salt and pepper, and place cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake squash until tender, about 30 minutes. (Depending on the size of the squash, they might take longer to bake. They’re done if they’re soft.)
Meanwhile, brown the sausage and break it up as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper. Drain sausage, reserving fat, and place cooked sausage in a mixing bowl.
In reserved fat over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid, and liquid has evaporated. Add garlic, and cook another two minutes. Add apple, and cook two more minutes. Put mixture in bowl with sausage.
Stir together stuffing mixture with rice, Parmesan cheese, sage, and parsley. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Stuff cavities of squash with mixture and top with grated cheese. Bake squash until filling is piping hot and cheese topping has melted and has browned, about 25 minutes. Serve.
Last year I bought some melons at my local farmers market in San Francisco. They were about the size of a softball, had light green fruit, and were the sweetest melons I’ve ever tasted. I have no idea what kind they were, but I saved some of the seeds, we’ve planted them and I’m really hoping they make it in the garden. Fingers crossed for sweet melon goodness come August/September from Opa’s Garden!
I thought a bee themed painting of mine would be perfect for #throwbackthursday this week! 🐝This little lady is “The Beekeeper.” I painted her in 2013 for my “Spilled Milk” Exhibition with an important message in mind about being conscious of our impact on the environment 🌎 so I wanted to share her and my motivation behind creating her! 😄 Because of our actions, Honeybees, and other pollinators, are being negatively affected. 😔 If we’re not careful, we’ll lose our natural world and all we’ll have left of it will be imitations like The Beekeeper’s white porcelain stag. 🦌 I think we all have the potential to help the environment so we should try our best to make a difference! 🌎💚 Besides planting seeds, buying organic, and recycling, what are some ways you lovelies like to try to help the environment and make it a more friendly place for our fuzzy little bee friends? 🤔 I’d love to start a conversation about this so we can learn from each other so please share all your suggestions in the comments below! 😊💖
Today I found 3 metal letter files and a ton of old file folders lurking in Art-Soc waiting to be thrown out, so I carted them to the office to start a multi-functional seed bank for the Rooftop Garden and friends.
The letter files are now lined up on the bookshelf of one of the desks, and labeled for every 2 weeks of the approximate Maryland growing season; this adds up to a 30-week system, with seeds in each slot for the time action (seeding in greenhouse, direct sowing outside, moving transplants, etc.) needs to be taken on them.
The file folders are now an alphabetized & categorized bank of extra seeds for veggies, fruit, flowers and herbs.