Monday, January 25, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Here's a recipe my mom and I tried for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies! They are gluten and dairy free and SUPER DUPER delicious!!!
We found this one in Babycakes: The Cookbook...which is an amazing cookbook from the Babycakes bakery in New York (and just recently opened in Los Angeles!!!). For more info, click here.

1 Cup Coconut Oil
1 1/4 Cups Evaporate Cane Juice
1/3 Cup homemade or store bought unsweetened applesauce
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free all purpose baking flour
1/4 Cup Flax Meal
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Xantham Gum
1 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
Mix together oil, evaporated cane juice, applesauce, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. In another bowl whisk together flour, flax meal, baking soda and xantham gum. Using a rubber spatula, carefully add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine until a dough is formed then gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly mixed.
Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheets, space 1 inch apart. Gently press each with the heel of your hand.
Bake cookies on center rack for 14 minutes; rotating sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. Finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.
Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cookies in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

Organic vs. Non-Organic

Let's face it...often if you say organic to a budget savvy shopper they instantly think “more expensive”, which can be true. So, how do you save and still get many of the benefits of buying organic fruits and veggies? By knowing which fruits and vegetables retain the most pesticide residue and which retain almost none.
It's always good advice to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them; but for the fruits and veggis on our “Always Organic” list even washing isn't enough to protect yourself from the dangerous residual pesticides, which can leech into the actual food itself.

"Always Organic": In testing these fruits and vegetables showed the most pesticide residue and should therefore always be purchased organic.

-Sweet Bell Peppers
-Imported Grapes

“Non Organic”: In testing, these fruits and vegetables showed little to no pesticide residue and therefore are pretty safe to go Non-organic if you want.

-Sweet Corn
-Sweet Peas

For more detailed information on pesticides and organics you can visit

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pie...without "sugar", dairy or wheat!

Can it be done?!?! Yes it can folks...we made this little treat for Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was a hit! Topped with fresh Cashew whipped cream! Yum Yum!



1-1/2 cups almond flour
3 tablespoons coconut oil or non dairy butter
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Mix ingredients, and flatten the dough into a round disk between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently roll out the dough to an 11 inch round.

2. Put the dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate till firm.

3. Invert it onto a pie pan and press in place.

4. Bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees F. (this might need adjusting if using coconut) until light brown in color.

5. Cool, then fill.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

3 eggs

¾ cup of sugar (you can substitute with Stevia***see conversion chart at bottom for amount)

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves

pinch of salt

2 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree

Blend 1 1/2 cup of soy or rice milk with 1/2 cup of melted dairy free margarine or oil (we like extra light olive oil for cooking)

Preheat the oven to 375

Beat the eggs with the sugar (or sub) then add the spices and salt. Stir in the pumpkin puree and then the "milk and oil" mixture. Warm the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch. Do not boil

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Pour this mixture into the crust and bake 30 to 40 mins, until the mixture shakes like Jell-O but is still quite moist. Coll on a rack and serve warm or at room

Sugar amount

Equivalent Stevia powdered extract

Equivalent Stevia liquid concentrate

1 cup

1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

1/4 teaspoon

6 to 9 drops

1 teaspoon

A pinch to 1/16 teaspoon

2 to 4 drops

The ABC's of Luminous Living

Always love yourself
-Love yourself unconditionally before you can truly love others.
-It's all about the diaphragm people! Be sure to breathe deeply everyday!
-It's as simple as sharing a smile with a stranger; but as essential as the air we breathe. As the Dalai Lama once said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
"D" (The Vitamin)
-Most of us are Vitamin D deficient...all it takes is 15 minutes a day in the sun (before noon or after 2 p.m.) with no sunscreen, to get your daily dose.
-We are made up of energy. It is the essence of our beings and an important role in our health and well being.
-It's actually good for you. Depending on the type of fat, there are some that are "essential" to our diets.
-IT IS A GLUE!!! Get it out of your diet! (We won't's can be tricky, did you know there is gluten in many french fries?)
-Do we really need to explain this one? I mean, who doesn't want to be happy?
Inner Balance
-If our bodies/minds/spirits are a little wobbly it can make our lives a little off kilter as well
Juice and Tea
-Homemade juices (the kind without added sugar and preservatives) and a variety of green, white and herbal teas do wonderful things for your body, taste great and are a whole lot healthier than soda!
-"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia
-Love is the universal force that binds us together (not the mushy romantic soppy movie kind; the universal "love they fellow man" kind). It is essential to love, in order to practice kindness, compassion and caring in order to be happy.
-You should have one every day! (just kidding...) Seriously though...get out there and MOVE!!! Walking, stretching, yoga, running, jumping, dancing; whatever you fancy, just be sure and move a little everyday!
-If it's created in a might not be the best thing for you. Try using the gifts mother nature has already given us.
-Would you like a little apple with your fly spray? What goes on your food can end up in your tummy...steer clear of the chemicals.
-The Breath of Life...the art of Yoga Breathing.
Quiet time and Meditation
-With all the chaos in modern day life; it's important to even take just 15 minutes a day to recenter and recharge.
-Respect for yourself and others.
Sugar (and it's alternatives)
-Stay away from the refined stuff (give evaporated cane juice a go)...and for a sweet kick without going the traditional sugar route, try looking into Agave, Stevia, and Xylitol.
-Trust is one of the pillars of healthy relationships. Relationships that can add value and beauty to our lives.
Underlying Causes
-Dig deeper!!! When it comes to your health, finding the causes behind symptoms can be more beneficial than just treating the symptoms.
-You know those things your mom insisted you eat before leaving the table. They actually are pretty yummy and there's all kinds to choose from. Try roasting them, making a fresh salad, or even eating them raw. Veggies are your friend!
Whole Foods
-The less processing, packaging, and preservatives the better! Try making things from scratch...your body will be much happier!
-Get out there and live life!!! That's what it's all about!
-Exercise for the body, mind, and spirit!
-Let's all get enlightened!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is Luminous Living?

When we are born, our life energy shines from within us like a brilliant light. Babies are born with the innate knowledge of how to best nurture that light; through deep diaphragm breathing, sleeping as their bodies need it, expressing emotions as they feel them, eating as their bodies tell them to, etc. etc. etc. As we grow and learn from society around us, we begin to forget that initial wisdom and can do things that begin to dim our inner light. Every time we drink a soda or eat junk food, skip breakfast, neglect to exercise, or engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices that light gets dimmer. Luminous living is about making the healthy choices in life that repair damage done, to bring back light that was lost and be the brightest we can be. It's about eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining balance in spirit and emotion. Luminous living is about making our lights shine their very brightest.