01/10/2013 7:00 am
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier? Do you wish getting a healthy meal on the table for your family was easier – less stressful – and you could save time and money too?
Well, I have some great news for you! All of these wishes can become reality with a simple process called Mastering Meal Planning! I am truly passionate about meal planning because I know firsthand that it’s truly an empowering tool that really helps women and families to take charge of their health and to save time, money and stress in the kitchen as well!
And in addition to teaching meal planning on my website (and via classes throughout Orange County), I also provide weekly Whole Food Meal Plans and meal planning resources too. All of these are completely free because I want everyone to experience the benefits that come from Mastering Meal Planning!
So why not get started today? All it takes is about one hour or less of planning time each week to be able to enjoy having everything ready to go to create healthy homemade meals all week long! My easy-to-follow Meal Planning Resources are all available to you for free, and I’m happy to answer your questions as well!
With just a little planning, you can save so much time the rest of the week (as well as money), and most important, keep you and your family on track with your healthy eating goals!
Happy Meal Planning, Kelly
01/07/2013 11:09 am
Do you love Kombucha? Or are you curious about what in the world it is?
Then, I’d like to cordially invite you to my free Kombucha 101 class this Saturday, January 12 at 10am at Whole Foods Market, Laguna Niguel. Learn how easy and fun it is to brew your own delicious, healthy Kombucha for far less than purchasing name brand varieties. My step-by-step live demo shows you how easy it is to grow a Scoby (mother culture) and walks you through a proven, easy process for brewing perfect Kombucha every time. Presentation also includes how to naturally flavor your bucha using a simple second ferment.
To RSVP, please visit The Nourishing Home on Facebook, or email Whole Foods Market Laguna Niguel at: SP.LGN.Marketing@WholeFoods.com.
What is Kombucha? And why is it so good for you?
Kombucha is a living health drink that tastes somewhat similar to sparkling apple cider. It’s thought to have originated in the Far East, most likely China, and has been consumed there for at least two thousand years. The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality.”
Kombucha has many health claims associated with it, but it’s positive effects on health and well-being are best explained by the detoxifying effect it has on the body, as well as the many beneficial probiotics, enzymes and nutrients (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids).
So if you’d like to learn more about this ancient health elixir, or area already in love with Kombucha and want to learn how to make it yourself at home, then you won’t want to miss this FREE class at Whole Foods Market Laguna Niguel.
Many blessings to you for a healthy and happy New Year! Kelly
12/31/2012 11:13 am
As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to end the year with a look back at some of my most popular posts of 2012. So if you’re curious to see what the Top Reader Favorites are at The Nourishing Home, I cordially invite you to pop on over for look!
After all, there’s no better way to start the New Year off right than to incorporate some delicious and nutritious new Whole Food Recipes into your weekly menus!
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my passion for whole food cooking with even more friends in OC like you!
Wishing you a blessed and healthy New Year, Kelly
12/18/2012 8:57 am
One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is to make Healthy Homemade Gifts-n-a-Jar. And the wonderful thing is, they’re as much fun to make together, as they are to give to others! Simply layer the ingredients of a favorite recipe in a jar, then add a festive ribbon and tag, and there you have it – a thoughtful gift made with love.
There are certainly a ton of gifts-in-a-jar recipes out there, but unfortunately, many rely on unhealthy ingredients. So I thought it would be fun to invite you over for a peek at a few of my gift-giving favorites with the hope that this may help you to create some Healthy Homemade Gifts-n-a-Jar of your own!
Wishing you and your family for a very blessed Christmas, Kelly
12/14/2012 8:00 am
Christmastime is a wonderful time to share the gift of homemade wholesome treats! So I thought it would be super fun to share with you all a special Christmas Cookie Parade of temptingly tasty treats that no one will suspect are chock-full of wholesome ingredients!
As you’ve probably noticed, one of my favorite missions is to transform those refined food recipes that most of us grew up with into delicious whole food versions that satisfy the most discriminating sweet tooth, without compromising good nutrition!
So this fun and festive Christmas Cookie Parade features lots of familiar favorites that have been “magically” transformed (with lots of love and care) into healthier whole food versions. And best of all, each recipe has been thoroughly taste-tested and has received the “persnickety sweet tooth seal of approval” from kids and adults alike! Just further proving the fact that real food really is delicious!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Kelly
11/15/2012 1:00 am
Painting ©Norman Rockwell, 1943
Whether you’re planning Thanksgiving dinner for your immediate family, or for a larger gathering of extended family and friends, formulating a plan of action beforehand will help you to relax and enjoy the special occasion, rather than it becoming a source of stress.
P.S. Creating “a plan” may sound formal and boring, but effective dinner party planning doesn’t have to include spreadsheets and timelines. A simple pad and paper is all it takes to create a plan of action that will help you seamless execute a wonderful holiday dinner celebration – one that’s just as enjoyable for you, as well as your family and friends!
5 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Dinner Celebrations
1. Keep It Simple! From meal planning to decorations, keeping it simple takes a lot of stress out of the equation. Unless you’ve planned ahead (both budget and time wise), it’s best to opt for a simple, but elegant centerpiece and simple table settings.
And the same olds true for menu planning, stick with a simple menu that you’re comfortable preparing. (In other words, now is not the time to experiment with a complicated new recipe.)
Even as an accomplished home chef, I don’t get too adventurous when it comes to holiday dinners – check out my simple, tried-n-true Thanksgiving Day Menu and you’ll see what I mean. Remember, the true joy of the holiday is to enjoy fellowship with your family and friends – and that can be hard to do if you become overwhelmed in the process.
2. Create a Schedule! Once you’ve decided on the menu, review the recipes and time required to prepare each. Then, make a schedule outlining each task that needs to get done in order to have the meal come together on time and smoothly.
Your schedule can include things like the day you need to begin defrosting the turkey, and what time you’ll need to place it in the oven, as well as scheduling a prep day(s) as outlined below. (P.S. Don’t forget to plan ahead for a simple breakfast and lunch on the day of your dinner party, so you can reserve your time and energy for preparing for the dinner. Leftovers are a perfect, stress-free alternative.)
3. Prep Ahead! Trying to get everything done on the big day with family eager to eat, and guests knocking at your door, is a recipe for serious stress! Instead, pace yourself. Think about what you can prepare in advance and add these tasks to your schedule.
Ideas for prepping ahead include: Making pies or desserts a day or two beforehand, precutting veggies for stuffing or other recipes, preparing side dishes a day ahead so they’re ready to go right into the oven, etc.
Having a stress-free dinner party is truly so much easier when you create a game plan and prep ahead, so you have as little to do on the big day as possible.
4. Early to Bed, Early to Rise! Don’t underestimate the value of getting a good night’s sleep before the big day! This will give your mind and body the rest they need to tackle the day ahead with a positive attitude and energy level.
Then, get up early, so you have time to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee, and pray and meditate on God’s will for you to be a good host. Then review your game plan for the day and get started!
5. Ask for Help! Plan to get your family and guests involved. In fact, most people want to help, rather than just standing around while you attempt to do everything yourself.
Simple tasks that you can have people help you with include: greeting guests at the door, offering guests a beverage or appetizer, and helping to place food into serving dishes and place onto the table.
My hope is that the tips above will help you to host a wonderful holiday dinner celebration that centers on enjoying an amazing time of fellowship and fun with your family and friends! Wishing you and yours a very blessed and stress-free holiday season!
Happy Thanksgiving, Kelly
11/01/2012 1:00 am
One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of pumpkins! From pies and pancakes, to breads, bars and more, baking with pumpkin is always a tasty and aromatic treat!
And not only is pumpkin delicious, it’s highly nutritious too! Pumpkins are high in fiber, yet low in calories. They’re a rich source of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, and a good source of B vitamins. Pumpkins also provide important minerals like calcium and potassium.
So break out the pumpkin puree and enjoy the many wonders of this bright orange gourd. I invite you to join me in celebrating with a fun and festive Pumpkin Recipe Parade. Below are a few of my favorites. And if you’ve got a favorite healthy whole food pumpkin recipe to share, please feel free to share a link in the comments below. I can’t wait to check out your wholesome pumpkin recipes!
• Pumpkin Spice Cake(GF)
• Pumpkin Swirl Bars(GF)
• Whole Grain Pumpkin Bread
• Pumpkin Pie Muffins(GF)
• Pumpkin-y Pancakes(GF)
Have a Blessed and Happy Fall, Kelly
10/22/2012 1:31 am
Each year, Compass Bible Church hosts a free, annual Halloween-alternative event called “FALL FEST.” This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, October 31 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine from 5–9pm. Each year, thousands of OC residents and families enjoy this free community event sponsored by the Aliso Viejo-based church.
Yes, the event does have candy, and lots of it. And although candy (and fast food) are far from nourishing, there is something truly nourishing that I know every family will benefit from – lots of family FUN!
That’s because Fall Fest features more than 50 rides and attractions, with age-appropriate games and rides for children set-up in two separate areas – one for younger children and the other for elementary-age students. The area for young children features pony rides, face painting, bounce houses and game booths, while the older game section features a giant slide, rock climbing wall, laser tag, ferris wheel, and more! Fall Fest also features a live concert with nationally known Christian artist, Rob Biagi. For more information and directions, visit http://www.ocfallfest.com.
So for all of you whole food purists out there like me, simply dine at home, and then head on over to Fall Fest for a ton of family FUN! It’s definitely a festive fall event you won’t want to miss! Hope to see you there!
Happy Fall Blessings, Kelly
10/18/2012 1:00 am
Thanks to Johnny Appleseed, apples are one of the most popular fruits in the U.S. In fact, today, there are more than 2,500 varieties, making it easy to find an apple to tickle just about anyone’s fancy!
And regardless of which variety you choose, be assured that research shows that eating an apple a day can truly help to “keep the doctor away.” That’s because apples are full of healthy nutrients such as vitamin A, iron and calcium, as well as other important antioxidants that help to protect against disease and combat free radicals. Additionally, the phytonutrients and fiber in apples helps to promote digestive health and contributes to lowering blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
Of course, eating a fresh-picked, raw apple is certainly the best way to take advantage of all its health benefits. (For an extra special treat, I like to pair raw apple slices with a healthy dip like my sweet-n-nutty mock “caramel” apple dip recipe below.) However, for those of you who love cooked apples – don’t worry – many of the nutritional benefits are still retained even when they’re cooked.
So, why not arrange a fun family outing to go apple picking at a nearby orchard. Or simply pick up a crate of organic apples at your local farmer’s market. And if you’re wondering what to do with all of those crisp, fresh apples, below just a few of my family’s favorite raw and cooked apple recipes perfect for celebrating the bounty of the season:
• Healthy “Caramel” Apple Dip (see recipe below)
• Hot Apple Crisp
• Turkey & Apple Quesadillas
• Apple-Carrot Coleslaw
• Strawberry-Apple Salad
• Crockpot Applesauce
• Apple Pie Breakfast Porridge
Healthy “Caramel” Apple Dip
This creamy dip has subtle caramel undertones due to the dates and maple syrup. But its unique nut-buttery flavor comes from soaked raw cashews. It’s hard not to “double-dip!” Enjoy!
1 cup raw cashews
10 whole medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or raw milk)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup (dark grade B is best)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4-6 organic apples, cored and sliced
Cover the raw cashews with room temp water and allow them to soak for *two hours. At the same, place the whole, pitted dates into a separate bowl, cover with water and allow them to soak for two hours as well.
Once soaking time is completed, drain the cashews and dates. Add them, along with the remaining ingredients, to a blender or Vita-Mix. Blend on medium-high until completely smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired thickness is reached.
Place the dip into a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with fresh sliced apples. Yum!
*By increasing the soaking time for raw nuts to 7-8 hours, you can significantly reduce the hard to digest enzyme called phytic acid. For information about phytic acid, and the benefits of removing it via soaking and sprouting, check out “How to Soak for Optimal Nutrition.”
10/01/2012 1:00 am
Welcome to the first edition of Simply Nourishing! I’m excited to join the bloggin’ team here at OC Family to share with you my passion for healthy whole food cooking! And what better time of year than the Fall to share delicious and wholesome real food recipes.
When it comes to fall, pumpkin is definitely one of our favorite fall flavors! That’s why we’re just nuts about this easy whole grain recipe, which captures the moist, delicious flavor of pumpkin, while providing a good amount of nutrients from healthy whole food ingredients.
Following a Real Food Lifestyle is all about enjoying natural whole food ingredients rather than refined or processed foods such as refined flours, sugars and other highly processed ingredients.
By using all-natural, unrefined sweeteners combined with whole grains (or healthy GF flours) and other whole food ingredients, you can achieve a delicious baked good, while adding a significant boost of nutrition.
If you’d like to learn the secret to whole food baking, please join me for my Healthy Holiday Baking class at Whole Foods Market, Laguna Niguel on October 30. I’ll be sharing my tips for using healthy all-natural sweeteners to create delicious and nutritious holiday baked goods that your friends and family will love!
Perfect Pumpkin Bread
2 cups organic whole spelt flour (or organic whole wheat flour)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup plain organic whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup organic raisins
1/3 cup chopped crispy walnut pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×5-inch loaf pan. (Non-stick Tip: Coconut oil works great in keeping bread from sticking to the pan, but you can also use olive oil or butter.)
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the pumpkin puree and melted butter. Then, mix in the eggs, water, yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla, until well blended.
4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and blend until combined. Next, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the raisins and nuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan making sure to leave at least one-inch from top of batter to top of pan to allow room for bread to rise during bake time.
6. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, lower oven temp to 325 degrees and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, until bread is a rich brown color and a knife inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. (It should have a smudged look to it, but not thick batter attached to it.)
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan.
8. Using a knife, gently loosen the bread from the sides of the loaf pan and place a large plate over the top of the pan. Then, invert it to turn bread out upside down onto the plate. Then simply use your hands to gently lift the bread and turn it right side up onto the plate. Allow it to finish cooling before slicing, if you can wait that long. Enjoy!
Recipe Variation: For an extra sweet treat, keep the walnuts, but substitute the raisins with fair-trade 65% or higher dark chocolate chips to create a moist and decadent Chocolatey-Pumpkin Bread. Yum! Also, if you enjoy the traditional practice of soaking your grains for optional nutrition, please check out my Nuts-for-Pumpkin Bread recipe for details.
Happy Fall! Blessings, Kelly at The Nourishing Home