Oatmeal Banana Blueberry Lactation Muffins

 

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As a nursing mother myself, I’ve been hearing a lot about lactation cookies. Becoming quite intrigued with them, I began to research exactly what is in these magical treats.

Two of the most beneficial ingredients to increase milk supply are believed to be brewers yeast & oatmeal. I did notice however that many of these seemingly healthy cookie recipes  were loaded with sugar! Up to TWO cups of sugar! Plus a full cup of butter and white flour. That’s dessert, not a snack. If  you want dessert, find one of those recipes, but if you want a plant based muffin that can energize your body and provide your baby with much needed nutrients, give my muffin recipe a try.

 

Oatmeal is full of fiber and is a great vegan source of iron. Maternal anemia is shown to result in a lower milk supply, which may be why some women struggle to produce enough milk. Oatmeal is also thought to create a relaxing affect  causing the body to release oxytocin which may help with letdown.

Brewers Yeast is a galactagogue herb, (aka an herb that increases milk supply in nursing mothers), and is considered safe for breastfeeding. it’s a good source of iron, chromium and selenium along with several B vitamins.

Coconut oil  is not only believed to increase milk supply, but it also produces fattier & more nutritious breast milk, as it contains high levels of lauric acid.

I understand that busy moms struggle to find time for baking, but I assure you that these muffins take only minutes to prepare and you can whip them up in one bowl. I make them them twice a week and my ten year old goes crazy for them!

As always, I encourage you to use organic ingredients if possible, especially while breastfeeding. 

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas mashed

2 cups oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons brewers yeast

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 1/2 cups almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

powdered sugar optional

preheat oven ro 350 degrees

combine all ingredients except powdered sugar and pour into greased muffin pan.

Bake 25-30 min

sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired

makes 12-14 muffins

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Review Of “Raw Star Recipes” Organic Meals, Snacks & Desserts In 10 Minutes

Apparently the universe has been listening to my constant jibber jabber about my desire to incorporate more “fun” raw food recipes into my family’s life. We do eat lots of raw fruits & veggies, and gallons of homemade green smoothies, but nothing too exciting… I picked up a raw foods cookbook a few months back, but most of the recipes called for a dehydrator, which I have had sitting in my Amazon.com cart since last summer. Yeah, yeah, I’ll get around to buying it one of these days.


A couple of weeks ago a friendly, cookbook author & Eco Chef named Bryan Au contacted me, and asked if I would test out some recipes from his Award Winning cookbook “Raw Star Recipes”, and give my opinion. Of course I happily agreed since this was the extra little push I needed, to come out of my Vegan comfort zone and try something new.

Over the past week I have made Fruity “Tuna” Wraps, Carrot Ginger Soup, Energy Bars, Spinach Herb Dip, Chocolate Shakes & Cinnamon Donuts! And YES all of these recipes are completely RAW!!

I love the fact that Chef Bryan uses organic ingredients, most of which are completely whole & in their natural state. A majority of the recipes do not call for any appliances other than a blender. Each meal can be prepared in around 10 minutes and costs somewhere in the $10 range. This is music to this mom’s ears!

Energy Bars

I began my raw food adventure with “Energy Bars”. I combined nuts, seeds, dates, buckwheat groats & goji berries to create yummy & healthy snacks for my family. They were quick, easy & totally yummy! I will surely make these again soon!

Carrot Ginger Soup

My favorite recipe is the “Carrot Ginger Soup”. The zesty flavor of the fresh ginger combined with carrots & chickpea miso is incredible! I basically threw the ingredients into my Vitamix, and I had a healthy & delicious lunch for myself. This is a great soup that you can throw together quickly, that will wow your house guests!

Fruity "Tuna" Wraps

Fruity “Tuna” Wraps, was the first recipe from the book that I made for my husband. He is a huge hummus fan, but he doesn’t love cauliflower, which is a key ingredient. I knew that he would enjoy the texture, but I was not sure about the flavor. Surprisingly, blended with the walnuts, lemon, miso & spices, he didn’t even notice the cauliflower and he ate 4 wraps! I garnished them with yellow pepper & crunchy apple. So Good!

Spinach Herb Dip

Guacamole lovers will go crazy for this flavorful “Spinach Herb Dip”! Avocado blended with spinach, herbs & spices make for a delicious dip experience. I strongly recommend dipping and array of raw veggies. This may be the perfect way to get your kids to eat raw broccoli, it worked for me!

I was really excited to make raw “Donuts”! The recipe shows how to make cinnamon, chocolate & glazed varieties. I stuck with cinnamon, but I will be trying the other two very soon. I think I whipped these up in about 5 minutes and I made a new best friend along the way.. “Coconut Nectar”!! Have you ever tried this? It’s not quite as sweet as Agave, but much better for your body. I drizzled it over the flax & banana donuts, along with lots of cinnamon. I ate them for breakfast and had no guilt, because they were incredibly healthy and very,very, yummy!

Chocolate Shake

The last recipe that I made was a “Chocolate Shake”. It actually calls for carob powder, but you would never know it from the look on my kid’s faces after they took a sip! I never let it slip, that their creamy, delicious, chocolate shake, didn’t actually contain chocolate!! That was priceless!!

Eco Chef Bryan Au has created an amazing array of raw meals that will delight & entice your entire family. If your children are hesitant to eat raw foods, give this book a try. The health benefits of organic, uncooked, plant foods are practically endless, and all human beings will benefit from adding more raw foods to their diet. These recipes are good for our bodies, friendly to the planet and safe for kids to help prepare! 🙂

 Be a “Raw Star” and buy this book!!

Visit Bryan’s website at www.rawstarrecipes.com 

A Review Of “Happy Thanks Living” Coloring Zine

I have recently come across a sweet & informative coloring zine called “Happy Thanks Living”, created by children’s author, Nathalie VanBalen.

This 20 page black & white book is filled with adorable illustrations and cute poems for your child to enjoy. Pictures of Turkey friends, apple trees & yummy veggies will not only foster your child’s creativity, but also teach compassion & respect for the inquisitive birds that represent Thanksgiving.

If you would like to purchase a coloring zine for a child you love, visit www.thorathinks.com

Let’s teach our children that turkeys are friends! Not Food!

-zines cost $5 each (this includes shipping within the U.S.)
-20 pages, black and white, printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper
-bound with thread rather than staples for the safety of little ones
-coloring fun for people of all ages! 🙂

Feeding Your Vegan Baby

I was recently asked a question on “The Vegan Mom” FaceBook page, about feeding a Vegan infant. I am not a doctor, and honestly my family went Vegan when my youngest child was three years old. So, I don’t have much experience in this department. BUT, I plan to have one more child, so I have done lots and LOTS of reading and research on this subject!

This newly Vegan mom was concerned about what she should be feeding her 7 month old daughter, other than breast milk. She is not currently producing enough breast milk to completely nourish her baby. The mom is using formula to supplement her daughter’s diet, and wonders if this is the best thing to be doing for her child. The answer is yes, since babies less than 12 months old need to be drinking breast milk, formula, or both. Vegan parents should be feeding their child the best possible formula, and Vegan health educator “Christina Pirello” claims that “Babies Only Organic” brand formula is the best bet for Vegan infants. It is soy based and free of corn syrup and GMO’s.

After babies turn one, they can stop drinking breast milk or formula (although, many natural health professionals feel that breast feeding your baby until he turns two is best). At this point your child is ready to thrive on a well planned, plant based diet! What does this mean? A variety of fruits, veggies & whole grains! Introduce a colorful mix of organic foods slowly. See what your little one likes and does well with! Try to stay away from white breads, pasta & rice. Buy whole wheat & whole grain versions. Offer sweet potatoes more often than white ones. Also steer clear of too much sugar and processed foods. Feel free to let your little one try some non-dairy milks, such as almond or oat. Soymilk is okay, but make sure it is organic and free from GMO’s. Processed soy products are not recommended in large amounts. Try to stick with “traditional” soy, such as organic tofu, edamame, tempeh & miso.

You may want to add a vitamin supplement to your child’s diet, if you are concerned about the lack of any nutrients. But if your toddler is a good eater, and enjoys a well balanced Vegan diet, the only thing you need to be concerned with is B-12. The bacteria known as B-12 comes from the ground, and humans obtain it through meat, eggs, & other animal bi-products, probably from the dirt the animal ate. Since we wash our veggies so well, we don’t get this vital bacteria from a whole foods, Vegan diet. We must obtain B-12 from fortified foods & beverages or supplements.

Overall, feeding a Vegan baby or toddler is easy & rewarding! It is such a great feeling to know that you are offering your child the best nutrition our planet has to offer! You are setting your child up for a life of optimum health and compassion! People will question you, and even try to persuade you to feed your child animal products, but always stand your ground. Your child will thank you….. some day. 🙂

Vegan Kids & Bullying, Is It A problem?

Any child who is perceived as “different”, whether it be their appearance, the way they talk, the way they express themselves, what they eat, what they don’t eat.. may be at a higher risk for being bullied. We have been hearing about Gay youth in the media quite a bit lately, and the term “bullying” is being used a lot. I started thinking about Vegan kids, and wondering how common bullying is with them.

I have gathered some feedback from other parents of Vegan children, and what they had to say was a bit surprising!

Most parents feel that their children are perceived as “different”, but most school aged kids don’t seem to have much of a “problem” with their Vegan classmates. They might make comments here & there, or question them a lot, but “put downs” & “intimidating behavior” are not much of an issue.

I was happy to hear that a majority of Vegan children, for the most part, are treated fine by their peers. I know by my own experience, that my son feels completely comfortable with his Veganism at school. Truthfully, he has not had one major issue with another student.

So what is it that I find surprising?? Many Vegan children are being singled out & having their lifestyle criticized. But not by other children…. by adults!

Many parents claim that friends, family members & even teachers, have some major issues with their children consuming a plant based diet. And these grownups are not afraid to let kids know exactly how they feel!

So is it okay, that aunts, uncles, neighbors, coaches & teachers, may single out your Vegan child and tell him that Veganism is dangerous, stupid, crazy or unhealthy? What if they simply make fun of your child a little bit, or embarrass him? Or secretly offer him sausage, and promise not to tell his mom, like a woman did to my son?!?!

The answer is of course, NO. It’s not okay, for these people to interfere, put down, or embarrass our children, because they choose a healthy & compassionate lifestyle. But in this meat loving world, where we are told that kids NEED dairy to survive & be strong, it is bound to happen.

Needless to say, your children will also meet & be surrounded by many adults who will respect & support their decision to be Vegan. My son has such a wonderful group of people in his life, who give him constant praise, and brag about his Veganism. So when he is confronted by a grownup, who simply “doesn’t get it”, he stays strong & stands his ground (and yes, he turned down the sausage offer). 🙂

5 “Spooktacular” Trick or Treating Ideas For Vegan Families

The spooky, creepy, sugar induced evening is almost upon us, and children everywhere are planning for the family favorite holiday…. HALLOWEEN! The costumes have been purchased (or sewn by “supermoms”), the flashlights have been loaded with batteries, and the trick or treating routes have been planned. Families all over the country are ready…. but what about Vegan families?

I have gathered up 5 great ideas to share, and hopefully at least 1 of them will work for your little witches & vampires!

Idea # 5- Only except Vegan treats or non-food items. This was my original idea, seemed easy enough. I looked into Vegan candy options which included many hard candies, Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, Blow Pops & more. The downside is this can be time consuming at each home & stressful for the kids. So make sure you think this one out, before you make your kids promise to accept only Vegan treats.

Idea #4– Stay home & give out Vegan treats with the kids. This sounds boring, but if you live in a good trick or treating neighborhood, this can be a blast! The kids can dress up & do something fun & spooky for the neighborhood children.

Idea #3- Throw a family friendly Halloween Party instead of going out. This is a safe and FUN way to spend Halloween! Allow your guests to bring food & give them a list of Vegan treats or recipes. Bob for apples, have a costume contest, dance…. actually this sounds better than going door to door all evening!

Idea #2– Let your kids Trick or Treat their hearts out, and then trade their non-Vegan treats for Vegan treats (that you buy ahead of time). Donate the un-Vegan treats to co-workers or friends.

Idea #1- Let your kids Trick or Treat as usual & then BUY all of their non-Vegan candy from them (maybe some Vegan stuff too, since no sugar is good sugar), then let your children spend the money on a new toy! Donate the candy. How much you want to pay per candy is up to you! A mom posted this fabulous idea on “The Vegan Mom” Facebook Page a few years ago & it has worked well for my family on Halloween. My kids are excited to Trick or Treat with their pals, and can’t wait to hit Toys R Us the day after. I am just happy to not have a house full of “refined sugary garbage!!” 🙂

I wish you & your family a safe, fun & healthy Halloween!

NEW for Halloween 2014~ SO Delicious ‘Pumpkin Spice’ and ‘Candy Corn’  Coconut Ice-Cream Bars. These treats are sure to please all of your little ghosts & goblins! www.sodelicious.com

so-delicious-collage

Corporate Agriculture, Polluted Water & The Future Well Being Of Our Children

First off, I would like to wish all of my readers a very happy “Blog Action Day 2010”. Today thousands of bloggers of all different types, are writing about one common subject…. WATER. One might think, “water”….. what would thousands of bloggers write about… “WATER”???? It’s wet, we drink it, we bathe in it, it fills our oceans… what more can you say?

A LOT!

In the United States, over half of our water is used to raise animals for food, according to the Audubon Society. The EPA reports that all of the nation’s industries combined, do not pollute our water sources nearly as much as Factory Farms alone. A U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture states that livestock produces 130 times more urine & feces than the United States human population. Factory Farming produces more than 500 million tons of animal waste each year, which includes antibiotics, ammonia, fertilizers, hormones and countless dangerous chemicals. This waste ends up polluting our ground water, lakes, rivers and streams. The Sierra Club reports, “America’s drinking water, rivers, and lakes are at risk from giant, corporate owned factory farms….. waste leaks into our rivers and streams, fouling our air, contaminating our drinking water, and spreading disease.”  We currently have a 7,700 square mile “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi River flows into it, due to agriculture runoff. The EPA states that in the United States, 40% of rivers, lakes and coastal waters are so contaminated that they are unfit for humans to fish in, swim in or drink.

If one thinks that our water problem in the United States is cause for concern, it is nothing compared to what is happening in other parts of the world. Not to mention, what is still to come.

Is it surprising to learn that more people on this planet own a cell phone, than have access to a toilet? How about that THOUSANDS of people die every day, due to a lack of clean water? The World Health Organization reports that 3.575 million people die each year due to water related disease, and 1.4 million of these people are children. UNICEF reports that Dirrahoea is the second leading cause of death among children under five globally & kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Dirrahoea is largely due to lack of safe drinking water, sanitation & hygiene. Children in poor environments who lack clean drinking water, often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies at one time and millions of children spend hours each day, trying to collect water from distant & often polluted sources, states the 2006 United Nations Human Development Report.

These statistics are foreseen to become worse into the not so distant future. The future well being of ALL children are at risk for lack of clean drinking water, as our world population increases. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has stated that food production would have to increase globally by 70% by the year 2050, as the world population is estimated to reach over 9 billion! And impacts from factory farming will increase substantially.

Livestock now uses 30% of the earths entire land surface, according to the FAO. The USDA states, 80% of the agricultural land in this country is used for raising livestock. If my math is correct, that seems to leave only 20% of our nations agricultural land devoted to plants, meant for human consumption. Time magazine reports that 70% of the grains and cereals grown in the U.S. are fed to livestock. Unfortunately, most animal feed gets wasted and only a small amount of the plant protein is converted to flesh. Animals must consume many times more calories, from plant foods, than they give back in the form of meat.

In my mind, this seems like a lot of wasted land, which could be used for growing plant foods, that would feed countless more human beings. Many feel, that if the entire world came to this conclusion, and became Vegan, we would actually be able to feed every person on this planet. We could also clean up our polluted water and save millions of lives each year.

This past June, The United Nations issued a statement, urging humanity to make a shift towards a Vegan diet, in order to protect the future well being of our planet and people. “Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.” The report also stated “A global shift towards a Vegan diet, is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst impacts of climate change.”

As a Vegan mother, raising a Vegan family, it bothers me that more people don’t understand how obvious it is, that we have no choice, but to shift away from an animal based diet. It is absolutely vital, that we begin to live off the land, and not the creatures who we share the land with. My children deserve to live a long and healthy life, without fear from water scarcity and waterborne disease. Your children deserve the same. Every child on the planet deserves this. Don’t you agree?

A really smart man once said “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Albert Einstein

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