Have you ever started a book and felt an immediate sense of kinship with the author?
This was my experience within the first few pages of Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons. I just adore Megan Gordon‘s writing, and her recipes are so up my alley. I’ve been cooking from the book for a few months now, so it’s time I tell you about it! I’m also going to share one of the recipes that I’ve been enjoying from the book: Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.
Whole-Grain Mornings is chock full of health-promoting, seasonally inspired recipes. Megan is a whiz with granola (she actually owns a company called Marge: it’s seriously the best granola I’ve ever tasted) and you’ll be happy to know she shares a few takes on granola in this book. But the book goes way beyond granola: Megan also shares recipes for things like nut milks, yogurt, fried rice, and numerous condiments and egg dishes. And while it is a breakfast cookbook, I don’t really think there’s a reason to limit the recipes to morning consumption only.
I have made the Smoked Salmon Crème Fraîche Tart, the Whole-Grain Pancake Mix, and the Whole-Grain Gingerbread (I photographed them all because I wasn’t quite sure which recipe I would end up posting here). They were all delicious…
…as was this Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.
Muesli isn’t something I make very often…I usually do go for granola instead. But this muesli is briefly toasted, so it’s actually similar to granola (though with far less oil, and with very little added sweetener). I was drawn to this recipe because of the coconut and dried mango…these lend a tropical “vibe” that’s more than welcome this time of year! It’s been so snowy and cold this winter: if I can’t be on the beach, I am going to fantasize about being on the beach, and the ingredients in this muesli help a lot.
Muesli is usually soaked for a short while or overnight (in milk, nut milk, juice or another liquid). Soaking grains does have some potential benefits which Megan mentions in her book (and which I discuss in my book, as well), but soaking doesn’t work that well in this case due to the toasted nature of this muesli. As for serving it, Megan likes to eat her muesli with thinned yogurt; I prefer mine with (raw) milk.
Last month I announced that I’ve partnered with the folks from MightyNest, an online store specializing in natural, non-toxic products for the kitchen and home, on a series of giveaways: I am so excited about this partnership!
Valentine’s Day is behind us and I am betting you doled out lots of love to others this month, but have you been showing yourself kindness lately? I wrote about being kind to yourself in my book, and I am going to excerpt that chapter here in this post. You will also find a giveaway for some items that are perfect for the theme of self-care in this post :)
Many of us are unnecessarily hard on ourselves on a daily basis. We don’t treat ourselves with respect or compassion. I personally have a history of being quite unkind to myself because my “inner voice” used to engage in overwhelmingly negative banter. Do you have an inner voice that’s overly critical, too? If the answer is yes, it can be life changing when you start to train your inner monologue to be kind instead of harsh.
What does it mean to be kind to yourself, exactly? Well for starters, being kind to yourself means not judging yourself harshly for not being perfect. It also means not holding yourself to impossibly high standards. And it means putting an end to comparing yourself to others and to beating yourself up for making a mistake, or for not being good enough at something. Being kind to yourself means being your own cheerleader. When you are consistently kind to yourself, you don’t need others to validate your efforts and boost your self-confidence, because you can do those things for yourself.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Glad in conjunction with their #SAVEITSUNDAY program. With #SAVEITSUNDAY, Glad hopes to educate the public about the consequences of food waste, and I am proud they’ve asked me to be a part of the program. I am being compensated to share my #SAVEITSUNDAY experiences; all opinions are 100% my own.
I am a really big fan of fresh juice. I don’t drink it every day or anything (nor do I engage in juice fasting), but I’m always happy when I do get the juicer out to make a nourishing drink. I enjoy all sorts of fruit and vegetable combinations (depending on what I happen to have in the refrigerator): I even included a chapter on fresh juice in my book.
Carrots and beets are both root vegetables and they are both quite sturdy (meaning: they keep extremely well). It is because of this sturdiness that I wanted to highlight them this month, since my #SAVEITSUNDAY posts are all about being mindful of “loving food more to waste it less”.
Carrots and beets can last for up to a month if you store them correctly: it’s best to keep them unpeeled (remove the tops if they are part of a bunch) in the refrigerator. The folks at Glad recommend placing the unpeeled carrots and/or beets in a large plastic bag (such as a zipper quart or gallon-size bag) and squeezing as much air as possible out of the bag when sealing. They’ll then do best in the crisper drawer. (To learn more about the best ways to prepare and store your produce, please visit Glad’s Food Storage Protection Pointers.)
It’s Valentine’s Day…why not make fresh vegetable juice for yourself or someone you love? Not just today, but any day? It’s an excellent way to bump up the amount of raw foods in your diet and each glass is extremely nutrient dense. Plus, this juice has such a lovely hue thanks to the inclusion of beet.
What about all the pulp, though…the fibrous by-product of juicing? We don’t want to waste that, right? Well, The Kitchn’s got you covered with 7 ideas for its use, Vegetarian Times has 20 suggestions for using pulp, and here’s a whole Pinterest board dedicated to not wasting the pulp when you juice.
Last year, many of us went “gaga” over Ball’s limited edition blue canning jars. Well, I have great news: Ball has added spring green jars to their Heritage Collection, and they’ve offered to give a box of a them to one of my readers! This green canning jars giveaway also includes a set of their brand new BPA-free green lids :)
I own SO many glass jars: I have them in every shape and size imaginable. We drink out of them, plus of course they’re great for water-bath canning and for making lacto-fermented foods.
(Pictured here are the jars filled with my Spicy Lacto-fermented Pickles, the recipe for which can be found in my book One Simple Change.)
I also use them for storing many of the ingredients that I keep in my cupboards (such as dried beans, grains, nuts and seeds). Like the blue ones, these green jars are so pretty, and make a truly lovely addition to your home. Also like the blue jars, these are a limited edition. So, if you don’t win the giveaway, don’t wait too long to buy yourself some of these jars. They come in both pint and quart size…you can pick the size you prefer should you win the giveaway.
To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. Please leave a comment on this post as your mandatory entry; for additional optional entries, you may sign up for my mailing list, follow Ball Canning on Pinterest and “like” Healthy Green Kitchen on Facebook. Thanks and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you’ve been reading my site for some time, you likely know that I do not label the way I eat. I don’t follow any particular diet or identify with any particular eating strategy. I eat whole/real/nourishing foods the majority of the time but I also eat things that don’t fit these descriptors when I want them…I don’t exclude anything from my diet unless I don’t like it. This moderation approach works really, really well for me.
Recently my friend/writer extraordinaire Peter Barrett interviewed me about my book for a local publication called The Chronogram. He really captured what I am about- he called the piece The Moderator!- and I could not be more pleased with the article. I encourage you to read it here.
In other news, January was a rough month. It was cold and filled with a lot of bad news. I am hoping for warmer, happier days in February, and these Meyer Lemon Ricotta Bars symbolize that hope.
If super tart is what you seek in a lemon dessert, these may not be for you (try these lemon bars instead). Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons and the ricotta cheese “mellows” these bars, so they won’t make you pucker up. They are bursting with lovely citrus flavor, though; you can find the recipe I used for inspiration over on food52. (The easy crust recipe comes from One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.)
There is sugar in this recipe and as Peter wrote in the Chronogram article, my stance on sugar has really softened in recent years. Though I wrote in my book that it is best avoided, I currently eat sweet foods, such as these lemon bars, without any guilt or worry. Do I eat 5 of them at a time on an empty stomach? No. I cut them very small and eat one or two at a time after a meal. This is moderation in action. You can find my current thoughts on sugar in this post, if you’d like more clarification on this topic.
I sure hope your February is as lovely as these Lemon Ricotta Bars :)