Saturday, February 22, 2014

Put the lime in the coconut... or not.

My Saturday night? Well it consisted of daddy playing with Graciella and mama feeling too exhausted from work to even move. I am t i r e d. And when I say tired, I mean tired.

Then I was kindly reminded that we had bought a fresh coconut at whole foods yesterday and that I promised to make coconut milk for our smoothies & cereal. Okay. Good thing it's pretty simple to do.

I'm sure we've all heard the raves over coconut this, coconut that. It truly is a super food. And we love coconut anything in this house. From oil, to shreds, to milk. I particularly love coconut milk for the creaminess it adds to our smoothies and all of the good fats it contains.

Fun fact: The fats in coconut milk are the same healthy fats found in human breast milk. How neat is that?

Here's what you'll need: 
A young coconut (young coconuts have the most water content which you'll be using all of. Their flesh is also softer)
A metal spoon for scraping - I used a large serving spoon.
A sharp chefs knife. Emphasis on sharp.
A blender. I have a ninja but I imagine any kind would work well for this milk.
A glass air tight container to store the milk in. I found mine at good will a few months back. Score.

I use this brand. It's sold at most health food stores in my area and some regular grocery stores as well. It has a lot of water inside, good soft flesh and isn't the hardest thing in the world to crack (but a close second... heh)

On to the milk making... *non human* :p

First: You're gonna want to shave off some of the outside flesh so you can get to the hard-as-rock part. Like this.

Second: Take hold of the coconut with one hand, and with the other hit it several times on all four sides hard. I mean with all your strength kind of hard. Whack that thing like a lumberjack on an old oak. Once you break through, you can stick the tip of the knife in, and press downward, pushing up on the coconut till the top pops off. A good young coconut should be full to the top with deliciously nutritious coconut water. Now, you can drink this by itself, and trust me - I'm always tempted. But right now, we're making milk. So toss all of it into the blender.

Third: Now, we're left with all that wonderful, healthy fat containing, creamy-butter-like textured white coconut flesh. Time to scrape all that goodness out! I find using the back of a metal spoon works well for me. Use the back to scrape all the way around and then pull out all that healthy good stuff.

Fourth: Toss that lovely coconut flesh into your blender with the coconut water and blend away. A few minutes should do it - till it looks creamy & smooth.

That here folks is how you make fresh, homemade, healthy & delicious coconut milk.

Store in your glass air tight container in the fridge. I'd say it lasts about a week or two, but it's always gone within a few days in my house. So who knows. ;)

Friday, February 14, 2014

 Happy Valentine's Day! 
Today I made a sweet little breakfast for the sweetest little girl in the whole wide world. We started off with some toddler friendly, healthy & 'clean' pancakes. I took one ripe banana, sprinkled in lots of cinnamon (we loooove cinnamon in this house) and mashed that all up with a fork. Throw in 2 eggs and beat well, but not till smooth - you still want it a little lumpy so they aren't too thin when you cook them. Simple, right? Pancakes don't get any easier than this!

After the pancakes were flipped and (taste tested of course. hehe) I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make them extra special. These are so delicious you don't even need syrup.

I also scrambled up an egg and let it cook out flat, so I could cut out hearts there as well. I may have enjoyed this mornings breakfast prep a little too much. :p

Add some already heart shaped fruit on the side and you've got yourself a nice and festive valentine's day breakfast. Both cute, fun and delicious! :)

Graciella approved. Mouthful after mouthful.

I hope you all have a LOVELY Friday!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Berry Delicious!

It's always a sad day when your baby doesn't feel well! It just breaks my heart to have her not feel her regular happy self. So like most mothers, I want her to feel better as quick as possible. I'm a firm believer in the power of eating healthy and using the FARM-acy as often as possible. ;)

So today's smoothy is packed full of BERRY DELICIOUS and nutritious fruits! Antioxidants for the immune system, potassium & electrolytes to rehydrate after having an upset tummy and plenty of iron & calcium to make it hearty (while still staying very light!)

I used up the last of our fresh blueberries yesterday morning (in our GREEN smoothy) so today we got to keep this fruity treat nice and cold with frozen blueberries. Just as delicious. Then we had frozen raspberries, fresh strawberries, a mix of baby spinach, baby kale and green chard. Sprinkled in our chia seeds and a nice serving of coconut water to help it blend together beautifully.

My poor sick sweetheart  approved and slurped down almost half of it all by herself.
Now that's how you get vitamins into a toddler! ;) WIN.

Hope everyone is having a HAPPY & HEALTHY Saturday!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wondefully GREEN!

Rogelio wanted my 'pancakes' for breakfast, but I wanted eggs... and of course you can't forget the green smoothy! Graciella eats like a bird. Nibble here nibble there, handful on the floor and in her hair. So not much makes it's way to my sweet pea's tummy. I started making these smoothies after receiving one of the best Christmas gift ever. My Ninja Blender. Graciella slurps up her fruits and veggies in these tasty smoothies and I am one happy mama. Even when she randomly grabs the straw making it splash out everywhere. :p I've been making them just about every single day and am happy to say that this healthy life style has landed me 16 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. Who could argue with that?!

Yesterday at whole foods I found their strawberries to be on sale, and they were HUGE. Lovely, sweet, GIANT strawberries in the dead of winter. Yes please!

So our smoothy of the day of course needed to have strawberries.


4 Giant strawberries, handful of fresh blueberries, 2 ripe banana's and 2 handfuls of mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale & green chard today)

Then comes the mixers. We use this Siggi's probiotic drinkable yogurt in vanilla. I really enjoy all of the siggi's brand yogurts, but this is my favorite for smoothies. It's creamy and delicious and great for your tummy's health. I didn't have any almond milk today 'cause I was lazy and didn't make any yet this week. So we went to the next best thing. Super Natural brand cream top organic whole milk. Non-homoginized = all the good fats aren't destroyed. Organic & hormone free = healthy milk from healthy cows. Then of course we have to have our Chia seeds! Full of fiber, omega fatty acid's and the list just goes on and on for how great these things are for you! We have these in every single smoothy.

Look at all that goodness!

Can't forget the ice! I love my drinks ICE COLD.

For the main course we have scrambled 'green' eggs. Pastured eggs, spinach, kale, green & red peppers, broccoli, celery and sliced avocado on top. For my gluten free pancakes I throw 2 ripe banana's in the baby bullet/food processor with cinnamon, vanilla extract, walnuts (or pecans, whichever I have on hand) flax seeds, hemp seeds (totally optional) and a few eggs. (2 eggs for each banana usually works best) I never really do any measuring, but they always come out delicious! Sometimes I even add some rolled oats to the mix!

What are some of your favorite healthy go-to breakfast's for your family? I'd love to hear about them! :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Well hello there little blog that I have neglected so. It's been a while. Do you even remember who I am? Life's been crazy. I'm sure you understand. Lets get reacquainted and become friends again. I'd like to share my life with you, once more.

My baby doesn't look so much like a baby anymore. Her hair is longer and starting to curl. Her eyes are wider and curious about everything they see. Her voice is stronger and she chats all day long. Her little leg rolls are disappearing with each new step she takes. She's becoming a toddler right before my very eyes and it's heartbreaking. Who knew a year could pass so quickly. Who knew a baby is only a baby for such a short while. Though I will always mourn this first year of her life, I am filled with joy and excitement for what is yet to come. My precious precious baby, you'll always be my baby. No matter your age.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A whole year

It's been a whole year. A whole year since I first laid eyes upon your tiny squirming body. Your little legs and arms waving around.. as if to say 'hi mom, I'm alive. I'm alive inside you. You've given me life'.

It all felt so much more REAL in that moment. My eyes filled with joyous tears and my heart skipped a beat. You WERE alive. You were moving. Your heart was beating. You were THERE.

I have loved you from the very first positive line on that little white stick and I could have never imagined how much my love for you could grow. I love you so much more today than I ever have loved anything in my entire life... but I know tomorrow I will love you even more than I do now. You're my precious baby girl. The love of my life. The light at the end of the tunnel, and the GRACE that God has sent down to me.

My dearest Graciella, you mean the world to me. Oh how I love you so.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4 Months!

I must have drifted off at some point because I opened my eyes one morning and my itty bitty 6.10lbs newborn was 16.12 pounder! I'm officially the mama of a four month old. FOUR MONTH OLD. Crazy. Where do the days go? Where oh where do they go? I've tried to find them. Searched the whole house. Still no clue.. But they are gone and this mama is emotional when it comes to realizing so many days have left us. But I'm not going to cry! I won't cry! Okay.. maybe just a few tears. She's growing so fast! I love every day with her and each and every day that she grows and learns and wonders, she just gets to be more fun to take care of. Seriously. I love being a mama so much, and Gracie truly is the perfect baby to me.

I bought some pj's at a garage sale today. Ya know, the cute zip up the front footie pajama's that are fuzzy and soft and just adorable as all get out - well, I couldn't buy 9 month because that's what she's in now - crazy I know. So I had to get the next size up. 12 MONTHS?! That can't be. Please tell me that's a mistake! They look HUGE. She'll never be that big, right? I couldn't believe it. How can my baby grow up on me like this?! I don't care what the tag says. She'll always be my little baby. Always always always.

Only a cuddle sesh could cure this heartache, today.

She's started sitting up this past month, without any help! She can't stay like this for long, but it's still a very big milestone for her! She has also found her feed and I can't keep her tiny fingers off her tiny toes. Love it.

We've made the switch to cloth diapers. I love them so much. You can't deny this cuteness.

She hasn't rolled over yet.. but she tries! It's just.. she gets distracted and gives up half way. Either that or her thighs are a little heavy. ;) I just wanna pinch them. How could you not wanna pinch them?

We are going strong into our 4th month of breastfeeding. Yes, all those cute adorable rolls are the result of only mama's milk. Can you believe it? So proud of us for making it this far with no end in sight. No solids in our immediate future. I've decided to wait till after her half birthday. Which of course is going to be a celebration! I've already got the whole day planned out..!

Since her 2 month appointment she's gained a little over 4 lbs and grown 3 inches. So I'm assuming that's where the term 'growing like a weed' comes from. She's also begun to really teeth now. You can find a stream of drool rolling down her cute little chin at any given time during the day. Her collar is never dry anymore. And those fingers! They really only leave her mouth to nurse. Or shove a toy in there. Poor little lady. I can only imagine. So glad we don't remember the pain of teeth breaking through.

Now, to wrap things up.. some more baby cuteness for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!