zippy lemonade pops

I love my lemonade strong (tart & sweet) and that means my frozen lemonade needs to be stronger (don't you find with popsicles, unless they are flavoured strong, you can't taste anything?). We treat ourselves frequently to these. So much flavour and super quenching in the heat. But no sugar, yay!

The moulds I use are from superstore and cost $2. They work ok, but you could use anything you have, or make your own.

Yield: 7 popsicles (around 2 cups of liquid)

Ingredients
4 organic lemons, juiced
zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp liquid stevia (use up to 1/2 tsp if you like it really sweet--I like to maintain some tartness)
11/2 cup plus 2 tbsp coconut water

Instructions
Mix all ingredients in a pour and pour into popsicle moulds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

What's your favourite popsicle?

Raw chocolate cheesecake

It's been too hot to do much, especially turn on the oven. But treats are important and no-bake treats are some of my favourite kinds. This cheesecake turns out creamy and mousse-like. The citrus gives it a little tang that tastes like cream cheese.

Yield: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
Chocolate base
1/2 cup raw walnuts
6-10 drops liquid stevia (or powdered stevia or use a little honey)
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake topping
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder or pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp fresh lemon or orange juice
1/4 cup honey or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup almond milk


Instructions:
Base: In a food processor combine walnuts, stevia, cocoa powder and salt. It should look mealy and stick together when pressed. Put mixture into a small baking dish (I use a small glass storage container, the serving size is smallish but it's rich and filling). Press mixture firmly into the dish with your fingers or spatula.  

Topping: Drain cashews, place in food processor or powerful blender and blend on high until almost smooth. Add cacao, and vanilla and mix. Add sweetener. If coconut oil is solid, gently warm it then add it to the mixture and continue blending on high until you have a smooth consistency. 

Top the base with the topping and cool in the fridge or freezer until firm. 

Serve with fresh berries or berry puree (combine fresh or frozen berries with a little honey and blend until smooth). 


Manna mania (guilt-free bread)

Ok, the mania is baking bread when it's 36 degrees out. This takes a little pre-planning. It's a spouted bread and you'll need about 2 1/2-3 days. You are not doing much during those days. Very little in fact. Just hope it's a cooler day when you need to bake yours.

Yes, I agree, this bread looks a little non-traditional in the traditional sense of bread. But in fact, it's super old style bread (look it up, it's in the bible!).
I've been making my own non-sprouted bread for over a year now, a simple recipe I adapted from kingauthorflour.com. I updated it lately to include organic rye, whole wheat and unbleached white. It's delicious and slices beautifully but I haven't been eating it myself for several months. Just felt like it was too heavy once Spring arrived. But I still want something to spread almond butter on or sliced avocado and coconut oil. You know? Sometimes I want some dense chewy carbs. And I think I've found a guilt free bread that tastes fantastic and is super healthy.  

To be honest, I'm new to manna (this is my second loaf ever). I've tried commercial 'sprouted' bread loaves and this is nothing like those. But I think many have only a percentage of sprouted grain rather than the whole loaf like this one. The results for me are a nutty, chewy and sweet loaf. Super, super yum.

Btw, the pics are not great, I know. Went outside to get better lighting. I'm sure my neighbours think I'm different.
Day 1 on right. Day 3 morning before being used. 

How to make 100% sprouted grain bread

Ingredients

2 cups organic wheat berries (I used the red variety as that's all the store had)
Water
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Pour wheat berries into a large mason jar and cover with something that will let water drain. I used a piece of fishnet stocking. Fill jar with water, cover with your cloth and let set for at least 8 hours or overnight.  
  • After 8 hours (or overnight), drain water. Let sit for 12 hours then fill with water and drain. Repeat this every 12 hours for about 2 or 3 days. I started this batch on Sunday night and was baking the bread this morning (Wednesday). Taste a sprout or 2, they should be slightly sweet. You can put them in the fridge if ready to use, but use them up soon or they'll start to turn bitter. 
  • After a couple days you'll have some lovely sprouts. The sprout tail should be at least as long or longer than the berry itself. 
  • Using a food processor, process all the sprouted wheat berries until they form a thick dough-like paste. I have a fairly small processer so I divided the amount into 2 to process. Before processing, add 1tsp of salt if you would like (I added 1/2 tsp to each of my 2 processing batches). 
  • Dump the dough on to a lined baking sheet (use a silpat or parchment paper). Using well oiled hands, shape the dough into a loaf. Keep the height of the loaf to under 1.5 inches. If it's too thick it won't dehydrate properly. 
  • Bake at 225 for 3 hours. A golden browned crust should form. 
  • Allow to cool for several hours before slicing.
It is sooo good. I ate a few slices before I realized I hadn't taken a pic yet! I comes out a couple slices larger.

My favourite. Generous spread of coconut oil with sliced ripe avocado and a dusting of herbamare.  

Another plus, it's super filling. A generous slice for breakfast spread with almond butter or the coconut oil/ avocado fills me up for a solid 4 hours. I hope you give it a try.

Gwyneth Paltrow's bummer bars

I've been wanting to try these for ages. The name is odd but how many granola bars or fruit and nutty granola bars or chewy spice bars can you have?...With a name like bummer, they must offer something different right?....Gwen sucked me in (and thankfully so-these are delicious!!).

Yield: 12 bars
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
A pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good-quality maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1/2 cup chopped prunes or apricots
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a brownie pan (we use a 9 x 11 inch dish that's 2 inches high) with parchment paper or line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and pour the mixture into the brownie pan, or evenly divide it among the muffin cups.  Pack the mixture down with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 1/2 hour, or until the bars have firmed up and are golden brown.  Let cool before removing from the pan or muffin cups.  If you used a brownie pan, use the parchment to lift the bar out of the pan, and cut into rectangles.  Serve right away or store in an airtight container.


Ok, that was Gwen, this is me. I used quick oats instead of quinoa and chopped dried figs for the fruit. 

The recipe says you can 'serve right away', but I found that while, yes, you could, they didn't properly 'set' for about an hour. They are a little sweet (especially when you eat 4 at once) but I presume that's what's holding them together so I didn't do my usual cut the sugar in half thing. But still, Craig and I basically ate the whole pan in one evening. These are very good bars: stay together and crispy/chewy.

Like these? I tried more from Gwen a couple weeks ago: 5-spice and yam muffins. So far she's 2 for 2. I might even think about getting the cookbook one of these days. 

Before and after fence project & garden tour

Ah summer. Second year of garden growing. How are things going you wonder? Last time we looked, there wasn't much to see. But now? Lettuce, lots of herbs. Especially mint. Three kinds! I think I'll dry it for tea. 
Marigolds help with bugs. The petals are edible and look beautiful on salad.
The good: growing potatoes and zucchini for first time and things seem to be going well.
The bad: beets are super tiny and tomatoes have taken on blight. I think it's fungus from the damp last month. The leaves are spotty, turning brown and dying, drat.  Last year I had another problem with tomatoes.
And much to my extreme pleasure, a fence! Privacy is a good thing. The other thing was the worst fence ever and slapped together, obviously. Did it even look like a fence? Come on.
Next project started: refurbishing/hole filling. Yep, that's tape and it's been there all winter.
 What's happening around your place?
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