Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinner Table Talk

Do you eat dinner together as a family? It's one of the most brilliant ways to connect in this sometimes crazy world. Here's a little something from our dinner table talk. Mostly we did this when our kids were small, but we still do it when everyone is home from time to time. Choose one question and go around the table giving everyone a chance to answer. It's good for everyone to be given a voice and a chance to share.

  • What are you grateful for?
  • Choose someone in the family and give that person a compliment (everyone gives and everyone receives)
  • If you could wish for anything in the world, what would it be? Name at least one thing that you personally want (in addition to world peace!).
  • Share something you learned today.
  • Do you know why you got the  name you have? (This is a chance for parents to tell the story and learn what names mean.)
  • Go around the table and give each person a blessing.
If you have ideas to add, please do! (Just use the comments section.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yummiest Smoothie Recipe

This is a refreshing, filling, healthy, raw, smoothie you can make with a blender. 

It takes a little bit of planning if you want it thick and frothy and cold because you need peeled, sliced (or broken up by hand) ripe bananas frozen in advance. I buy bananas in big bunches so that we can eat some and I always have a ready supply frozen in a big zipper baggie. Here's the recipe:

1/8-1/4 cup raw, shelled cashews or sunflower seeds per person (or serving) or a combo of both.
1-2 pitted Medjoul dates per serving
1 teaspoon of carob or cocoa powder per serving (when I make a full blender full, I use two heaping tablespoons)
frozen banana pieces

This is the part of the process that will get you the creamiest texture:

In the blender put the sunflower seeds with enough water to generously cover them. Blend on high for a bit. Add the dates and carob powder and blend again until there are not chunks of dates, probably less than a minute depending on the power of your blender. You can really use any kind of date. If you have hard dates, soak them first and use the soak water for the shake because it will be sweet. Adjust the amount of dates you use to make it sweeter if you like. They are so good for you anyway!

Slowly add the banana pieces, about 2 small bananas per serving. Adding the ingredients in this order has given me the smoothest of smoothies. This seems to really amaze people (even the chocolate lovers have loved the carob!).

I am using less cocoa powder since I saw the documentary "The Dark Side of Chocolate."
There is only one brand that I'm absolutely certain of as free trade and that's Holy Cacao which is a very small company (so far). Cocoa powder is very bitter. Carob powder is actually sweet in comparison.

To your health!
Let me know how you like this or if you do something different and love it.

Aunt Laya