Monthly Archives: May 2014
As we have tried to go more natural in our eating and living habits, we have been experimenting more with the ingredients in our food. In our quest to add variety to the grains we eat, we bought a grain mill and several different organic whole grains like einkorn, emmer, barley, and buckwheat. It has been an adventure to substitute the grains for traditional wheat flours in recipes. Sometimes we experience success and sometimes not.
One success I am quite proud of is my vegan buckwheat pancake recipe. I knew people made pancakes with buckwheat but I didn’t realize how tasty they are until I had some. Yum, yum, yum! We first used a traditional recipe that called for eggs, milk, and whole wheat flour. The flavor was good but they were spongy, a little too spongy for my preference. Plus, since I’m trying to eat a diet that excludes dairy and eggs, I knew I needed a recipe that left those ingredients out. So I created my own.
In my recipe, I decided to use unbleached white flour to lighten up the pancakes a bit. It works nicely, but soon I plan to try a lighter whole grain flour like barley and see how it turns out. Another note, I use mostly organic ingredients. Here is the recipe that is working for me right now:
Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes
1/2 c buckwheat flour
1/2 c unbleached white flour
1 T light brown sugar, packed
1 T black chia seeds
2 t non-aluminum baking powder, heaping
2 t egg replacer powder
Mix dry ingredients and then add:
1-1 1/4 c light almond milk
1 T grape seed oil
Stir until you have a moist batter. Then pour batter by about 1/3 or 1/4 cup into a hot skillet. Flip when you see bubbles coming to the surface and the edges of the pancake are no longer shiny.
Pancakes are traditionally topped with a butter-like spread and maple syrup. Though that is delicious, my favorite way to eat pancakes is with a thin coating of a nut or seed butter and unsweetened applesauce. Or, make a fruit/berry sauce to top the cakes. That’s also really good.
I’m still looking for other things to make with buckwheat, so if you have any ideas, let me know.
Little Bear’s nickname was selected for a couple of reasons: 1. It sounds cute and cuddly just like she is now; 2. For her first few weeks, she had a roar that could wake the nations.
Next week Little Bear is four months old. I can’t believe it and have already shed many a tear knowing my baby is growing up so fast and changing even faster. How can it seem like she was just born yet my heart has known her forever?
Over the past couple of weeks, Little Bear has become cuddly. Previously she really didn’t like to be confined—whether by a blanket or by arms. Now, she likes to snuggle, and that does this mommy’s heart good.
Little Bear has also learned that she has feet. Her hands were her primary interest for a while. She would gaze at her hands and move her fingers for what seemed like hours. Now, she is constantly kicking her legs up so she can look at her feet. But that isn’t the best part. She makes this delighted sound nearly every time she sees her toes.
Another new thing she has discovered is her voice. She shrieks and squeals and makes all kinds of noises. Some days I wonder if I should have nicknamed her “Flipper” because she sounds just like a dolphin!
I keep trying to capture all of this fun and excitement on video, but am mostly unsuccessful. This Little Bear will clam up as soon as she sees the camera—just like her smiles fade when she sees Mommy with the DSLR again. And I don’t even use a flash!
So, more and more I find myself succumbing to her little siren songs. She draws me in and I can’t pull myself away. I am inebriated with love and sinking in the ocean of ecstasy when in her presence. And I’m trying to remember every second.
For those who found a way to balance communicating and cuddling with their little one(s) with doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming and meal prep and work and the million other things that must be done, please let me know how you did it.
Here’s a confession: our tub gets gross and fast. You see, we have hard water which leaves this white mineral deposit all over. It also acts like a magnet for soap residue. It seems like in no time, you can write “wash me” on the tub wall. Yuck.
I have tried all kinds of chemically based cleaners which promise immediate and lasting results. They get the job done, but the results don’t last long. Plus, I have to breathe all those stinky products as I scrub, scrub, scrub.
One day, as I was browsing the Angel Baby Earth Mama website, I found a recipe for non-toxic scrubby cleanser. It uses Castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. When the Angel Baby shampoo/body wash I ordered arrived, I was eager to try out the scrub recipe.
This creamy cleanser is so simple to make and it smells delicious! I did use three drops of Tea Tree oil and three drops of orange essential oil. That combined with the orange-vanilla scent of the Earth Mama Castile soap is heavenly. Mmmmmm!
The true test came when I attacked that nasty white film stubbornly clinging to the sides of the bathtub. Using a bit of the cleanser and a plastic scrubber pad, I went at it. After I rinsed the tub and allowed it to dry, I found the natural cleanser worked just as well as those stinky, chemical-laden cleansers. Plus, it has been nearly a week and the white film has not yet begun to return. I would call that a success!
I’m keeping the remaining household scrub in a sealed container in the bathroom so I can scrub out the shower easily every week. And the surprising thing is I’m actually excited about it.
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