Intuition and a butternut squash recipe

I don’t like getting sucked into the social media hole..you know you start scrolling and just get carried away..or even worse you start searching for something and you get carried away at all the search suggestions instead and forget what you were even searching for. In the midst of the search you start looking and you start getting sucked into the lives of people you barely know. By the time you snap back and look at your own surrounding…you may think..man I lead a mundane and boring life…lol.

I’ve had to remind myself lately that NO….what I see is not real but a glimpse of what people want me to see. We get carried away trying to become people that we are not. We start thinking we need to look a certain way in order to fit into what society terms as beautiful. You let other people determine what self-care is for you or what you need to strive for. You let everyone else determine for you what joy should look like, what motherhood should be, what travel goals you should be aiming for. As you soak other people’s lives in, do you ever take the moment to ask yourself what joy should look like for yourself? for your family? what are your thoughts on self care? We have become so accustomed to other people, “experts” telling us the way in which we should live, eat, socialize…there is a book and expert for anything you may be interested in. But do you know that for a vast majority of matters, only you are the master. You determine for yourself what kind of life you want to live and how you want to live. You get to determine how you want to eat. Just because experts tell you a new fad is the way right way to eat, does not mean you have to follow it, because guess what, it may work for them but not for you.

My point is this, its okay to look at other people, admire them , research but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and what works for you. No one is the expert when it comes to you except you. I can suggest as I’m about to, that you go ahead and add butternut squash, but what if you have an aversion to it? will you still eat it? Ultimately when it comes to food, eat what feels good for your body. Make the right decisions based on what works for you and the research that you conduct. Essentially learn yourself and become an expert on you.

I have had to learn to follow my own intuition and listen to my body when it comes to what I eat. For instance when it comes to potatoes I love them, but I don’t eat as much as I used to. I swapped this vegetable with sweet potatoes and butternut squash which at first I hated but now love. Winter squash are richer in nutrients than summer squashes, Winter squash include acorn, butternut, spaghetti. the flowers, fruits and seeds are all edible.

Health benefits of butternut squash

  • Supports healthy vision, bones and cells.
  • Prevents constipation as they are high in insoluble fiber. they are rich in iron, potassium, zinc and other minerals.
  • Helps in lowering cholesterol as it contains insoluble fiber which helps to reduce the bad cholesterol by carrying it out of the body before it can be absorbed into the bloods stream.
  • Aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

Tips for preparing butternut squash

  1. Bake or steam winter squash instead of boiling to retain vitamin C and other nutrients
  2. It can be substituted for pumpkin in pies
  3. Select firm squash with unblemished skin or rind
  4. Buy butternut squash with long necks and smaller bottoms. The neck contains more flesh and is easier to cut that the bottom.
  5. Store for several months in a cool dark place. Do not refrigerate because temperatures below 40*F speed deterioration.

Butternut squash for me is a win all the time> I love baking the, as its quick and easy and also making soup. I made a delicious soup this week for the family. It is such a great meal for fighting inflammation because guess what I included in it…ginger. This is how you can make it.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash

Carrots

Salt for taste

Paprika

Cayenne

Coconut Oil

Leek

Coconut Milk

Directions

Peel the butternut squash and dice them into cubes. Coat the cut up butternut squash with oil, paprika and salt.

Next slice the carrots of the outer layers and slice them lengthwise. Coat the cut the carrots with oil, paprika and salt. Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Slice the leeks into small pieces and coat them with oil and salt. Drizzle them on top of the carrots and roast them separately from the butter nut squash.Place them in a baking tray and set aside.

Now place both trays in the oven and roast them for about 20-25 minutes or until they are ready at 350*.

Once the food is ready, leave some roasted leeks on the side for garnishing as well as some butternut squash.. Use a food processor to blend the carrots/leeks and remainder of the butternut squash together. Add a dash of coconut milk to give it a creamy consistency. At this point you may also add a dash of salt and cayenne.

Serve and enjoy!

 

butternut squash soup

Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Breakfast Day 1 – Chia blueberry and banana pancakes

One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.

The founder discussed  the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face.  Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.

As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.

I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.

We are going to start off with Chia blueberry and banana pancakes. Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. these pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds,  boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.

Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch

Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.

Buy or make your own chia seeds or flaxseedsthis will serve as an egg replacer.You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.

Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store.

 

Pancake Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 cup oat flour

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk

Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings

Bluberry Jam

Banana

Crushed Almonds

Honey or coconut sugar

1Tbsp. of lemon juice

1/3 cup of water

Directions

To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter

Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.

To make the chia jam

Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.

Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries  and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.

Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.