Tag Archives: organic

Natural Beauty Products; make your own

Aloe Vera and Chamomile; both plants were grown in my garden which can be used for home-made products

The holidays are fast approaching, too fast if you ask me, it seems like yesterday it was the beginning of Spring and I was pottering around in the soil getting my garden ready.

I am not sure about you, but for me, the holidays bring a lot of angst, as I just never seem to organize my loved and appreciated ones gifts in time. It is always a last-minute rush to get everything in order by Christmas Eve; when Father Christmas comes down the Chimney!

One way around this is to make your own presents; I feel like something homemade is more sincere than buying something, as so much love and appreciation has gone into the final product. I really enjoy making my own products, even if I am quite the novice.

So how do I know what to do? Well I am glad you asked.

A year or so ago, I participated in one of Back Porch Soap Company founder, Marla Bosworth, workshops here in New York City titled Balms, Salves, Butters and Scrubs  which are held at Little Shop of Crafts throughout the year on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I found her class to be extremely helpful. Marla is a wonderful teacher who knows her stuff. She is patient, knowledgable and has a really cool vibe to her (bonus). I highly recommend taking a class of hers if you can, you will definitely walk away with a spring in your step.

I also read a lot of books; in particular A Green Guide to Natural Beauty by UK-based Karen Gilbert. The book has the most gorgeous photos and offers natural alternatives of like-commercial-products which have too much packaging, too much perfume and are too expensive for what they are. Can we just take it back to basics now already please!

Another book in my library is Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles. She offers 175 recipes on how to make your own organic shampoos, moisturizer, balms, cellulite soaks, scrubs and toners. Yes, I just said cellulite soaks!

2 Books for inspiration – A Green Guide to Natural Beauty and Organic Body Care Recipes

Have you ever stopped to wonder how many chemicals are contained in the products you put on your body?

There has been a huge focus on the downside of eating many foods of late, and I believe people are becoming more conscious of what we put into our bodies. But, what about the products we put on our body, which soak through our skin and into our cells. If you think about it, our body is still consuming it, just in a different way. This equals = just as dangerous. By making your own products you can control what goes into your cauldron ie no pesticide-sprayed or GMO ingredients.

Dried Chamomile Flowers (from my garden) has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb

With a little research and patience, creating your own beauty products can be an easy-peasy way to fulfill your creative needs, save some money or make some money, and put a BIG SMILE on a friend’s face.

Upcoming on the BLOG will be a tutorial on how to make a Whipped Body Butter recipe, just as soon as I get it right.
What about you; do you make your own beauty products. If so, do you feel like sharing your experiences?

Peace Love and Plants RULE the WORLD. Thanks for reading my blog.

Buddha Bowls are Back In Vogue

My version of the Buddha Bowl

One of my favorite things to make at the moment is a Roasted Vegetable Bowl also known as a “Scrap Bowl” or a “Buddha Bowl”. There are so many varieties of Buddha Bowls but generally speaking, one consists of 3 parts being a grain, vegetables and a sauce or seasoning on top. And, this is as far as it goes with rules!

So happy eating my Buddha Bowl

Everybody is going to have their own twist on a Buddha Bowl, as mostly the inspiration comes from opening your fridge to see what you have available. With this in mind, the possibilities are ENDLESS! Maybe you want to add avocado (which I love), or a boiled egg, some tofu or some spicy black beans. Hmm, I am just getting hungry writing all this down! This dish is also ideal to tailor to food allergies and restrictions such as being gluten-free, not eating animals or not being a fan of dairy products.

I know I write this with a lot with my recipes, but this is beyond easy to make, and one of the most adaptable and fun recipes ever.

Need a close, well today is your lucky day

To get you started on a creation of your very own, here is the recipe of the one that I made for lunch today.

Part 1  – Grain

  • Cook a cup of Quinoa and place to the side

Part 2  – Vegetables

  • Pre Heat over to 350F
  • Roughly chop 1 broccoli, 1 cauliflower, 1 whole onion, half a cup of peas, 2 cups of mini carrots and 3 cups of shiitake mushrooms
  • Place in a baking tray lined with olive oil and a small amount of sea salt to season
  • Roast for approximately 45 minutes or until desired consistency

Read More Willy B Mum

Tomato & Basil Hummus

MIles Storm helping me make, and then tucking in to the hummus!

This week I went to the Health Food Store with Miles Storm to buy some organic dry chickpeas. I had a great urge to make him hummus as he eats so much of it. Lately, I have been lazy and buying hummus at the supermarket for him. I feel bad about this as I know the Sabra Brand we always buy is made with GMO and non-organic ingredients. But, this mad-supermarket-hummus-buying is stopping right now. From here on in, it is homemade hummus for my family all the way!

Hummus is definitely one of my Son’s most favorite foods, which is fantastic as chickpeas (AKA Garbanzo Beans) are high in protein – to be actual a cup of cooked chickpeas contains almost 12 grams of protein! They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber, and antioxidants – Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

As it is still quite hot here in the Northern Hemisphere we have a ton of tomatoes and basil growing in our garden. With this in mind, I thought why not make a hummus with them as as an addition to the chickpeas. Well, it turned out really well and I am happy to share it with you on the BLOG today!

This recipe is so simple, and using raw chickpeas and making hummus from scratch, you eliminate the ton of salt which is usually added to the canned varieties available at supermarkets.

Additionally, this is a fantastic activity to do with your Little One at home. My little boy loves to help me out in the kitchen already becoming a keen Chef in the making. Go Miles Storm Go!

Ingredients for the hummus – chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, sea salt

What You Need

  • 4 cups cooked organic chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of organic sesame tahini
  • 1/4 of cup organic lemon juice
  • 1 cup of small organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of organic olive-oil
  • 8 organic garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh organic basil leaves
  • A couple of organic bay leaves
  • Sea Salt to taste

Read More Willy B Mum

Make your very own Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

Have you looked at the ingredients in a jar of commercial processed tomato sauce lately?

All food that is processed has preservatives added to it to keep a long shelf life, and let’s not forget that most jarred tomato sauces are also heavy-handed with unnecessary amounts of sugar, salt and oils. Call me crazy but I just do not see the point of adding sugar to a tomato sauce? One also has to consider whether the ingredients used are sprayed with chemicals/pesticides and are in fact Genetically Modified Organisms -GMO’s.

That is a lot to consider for one little small jar of supermarket bought tomato sauce?

Thankfully, as we love tomatoes, my husband grows a lot of lot of them during the Summer Months. We eat as many as we can as they grow, but we do always have an abundance. Not wanting them to go to waste we like to can some for the winter months, and make our own tomato sauces. We do a few different varieties of sauces and the one I am highlighting today is Roasted Tomato.

It is so nice to always have fresh made tomato sauce in the refrigerator, especially made from ingredients which we know to be safe in quantity and quality.

A tomato pasta sauce can be as simple as 6 ingredients – tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, olive oil & sea salt.

What You Need

  • 12 San Marzano Tomatoes (cut in half long ways)
  • 3 Beefsteak Tomatoes (cut in to pieces of similar size to the San Marzano tomatoes)
  • Full Head of Garlic (peeled of skin)
  • 2 Sprigs of Oregano (remove leaves from stem)
  • 3 Small White Onions (cut lengthways into thin slices)
  • A quarter of cup of Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste

Read More Willy B Mum

Super Awesome Vegan/Vegetarian Lunch Options for Little Ones!

The most popular posts that I put up on the Willy B Mum Facebook Page are the pictures of Miles Storm’s lunches that I make for him. So today, I am dedicating my writing to highlighting a group of those plate creations.

I do often get compliments on how healthy the lunches are that I put together for my Son. Some people are even in disbelief as to how I came up with such combinations. To me, it is quite normal and all that I know to do for him. However, I guess to others trying or starting out with a vegetarian/vegan diet, it can be confusing and frustrating to navigate through, especially if having eaten meat most of one’s life. And, I understand that, as once upon a time I ate meat and I did not have a Son.

Since my husband and I became parents almost 3 years ago now, we have really stepped up our game in the food department. The majority of the food we consume is organic and Non-GMO. We also try to buy local and seasonal food. During the summer months we grow our own produce including tomatoes, kale, beans, watermelon and eggplants. Not to mention, we cook nearly everything ourselves so we can control and know exactly what is going into our family meals.

In my opinion, the divided plates (that you see in the photos) are a genius concept as it gives children a variety of options as to what they want to eat and really leaves the eating experience up to them. You may also notice that all the foods can be eaten with the hands. My toddler is very much into eating this way, so all the food choices, for this stage of his life, reflect that.

Please enjoy the photos below, I hope that they are inspirational in helping to create some lovely healthy vegetarian/vegan options for your Little One’s lunches.

Maybe you can send some suggestions my way too, as I am always looking to add to Miles Storm’s menu!

Thanks for reading my BLOG!

INNOBABY – Din Din Divided Bus Plate
Buy It HERE
BPA, Phthalate, PVC & Lead Free
Costs from $17.99
We bought ours at Mini Jake in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn NY

Feta Cheese with Raw Almonds, Roasted Broccoli, Home Made Tomato Sauce, Blueberries with Strawberries and Gluten-Free Pasta

Cage Free Hard Boiled Egg, Kiwi Fruit, Grilled Corn Niblets, Carrots with Guacamole and Gluten-Free Pasta with home-made tomato sauce

Edamame, Feta Cheese, Raw Almond Butter for dipping, Vegemite with Olive Oil on Gluten-Free toast and Sliced Pears

Hard Boiled Cage-Free egg, Sliced Purple Grapes, Baked Miso Tofu (RECIPE HERE), Carrots with hummus and Baked Cauliflower with Broccoli

Kinderville – Bigger Bites Divided Plate Read More Willy B Mum

Early Summer Vegan Plate via YoginiCuisine

Eating vegan, meaning you do not eat any animal flesh or by products, does not have to mean “eating rabbit food” with a piece of carrot for breakfast and a piece of celery for lunch. On the contrary, eating a plant-based diet can be an eye-opening array of tastes and textures which can help to prolong life by reducing your chance of developing such ailments as diabetes, heart disease and cancer – TRUE Story!

Personally, I like to call myself a try-hard-vegan because in my heart-of-hearts I really do hope to eat as a strict vegan one day. But, for now, I eat seafood, the occasional piece of cheese and sometimes eggs. However, I have not eaten animals for 25 years purely because I love animals so much and can just not stomach the thought of eating a furry friend.

I think that I could probably become a Vegan easier if I was able to coordinate a constant array of dishes at each meal time. Unfortunately, this is something I constantly struggle with. I mean, I know how to make a salad, or a vegetable soup or a Veggie burger with dressings but I lack the skills to make a proper meal with a variety of options. So weird though, that for my Son I can whip things up in a jiffy but for me it is like the “lights are on but nobody is home”.

My girlfriend, mother, yoga teacher and sustainable food nut, Sarah Willis AKA YoginiCuisine, graciously put together this posting for me this week of an appetizing vegan meal with a small tasting of different foods.

Sarah calls this the “Early Summer Vegan Plate ” as beginning of the season Radishes, Garlic Scapes, Scallions, Lettuce and Beetroot are all in abundance.

Guacamole with scant diced Red Onion, Pressure Cooked Beetroot, Sliced White & Red Radishes, Torn Green Leaves – All served with a Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

MENU

  • Guacamole with scant Diced Red Onion
  • Beetroot (American for Beets) either canned, roasted, boiled or pressure-cooked
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Sliced White & Red Radishes
  • Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing (see below for recipe)

**To reduce consuming toxins/pesticides I suggest only using organic or low-spray ingredients

Partial Ingredients to create this fine dish – Garlic Scapes, Red Onion, Scallions, Raw Cashews, Avocado, Lemon, Beetroot and Oregano

Ingredients AMAZING Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

  • Garlic Scapes chopped fine
  • 1 bunch Scallions Whites and Greens chopped
  • 3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon strained
  • 1 cup Water
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Read More Willy B Mum

Roasted Cauliflower Soup garnished with Kalamata Olives

First step – Cauliflower, Onion, Rosemary and Garlic into the oven to roast

I love cauliflower, it is absolutely one of my favorite foods on the planet. I love it roasted, as a salad and mashed just like potatoes. I have always wondered about making it as a base for a soup and this week while on the Treehugger Website I saw a recipe for “Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Aged Cheddar” and it got me thinking…..

The thing is, the recipe on TreeHugger calls for dairy products and I am not a fan of eating any animal products in my diet if I can help it. My Son also develops eczema when he has cow milk or cheese, and because of this, my husband and I stopped giving either to him a long time ago.

So, I decided to create a non-animal-product twist that is better suited to my family needs by using unsweetened coconut milk and a vegan cheese substitute instead. For my first go at it, it turned out really delicious, and because of the thick consistency can easily be substituted as a pasta sauce or even as a dip (like hummus) with veggie chips or raw carrots.

Total cooking time with preparation is around 2.5 hours and serves 4 generous adult servings.

Cauliflower has many health benefits including being a great food to eat if pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Cauliflower is full of folate B9 which protects from birth defects and low birth weight in babies.

It is also high in important B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine, can aid in weight loss and has been proven to considerably help prevent certain kinds of cancer like prostate, breast and colon.

This is just to start, there are also many other positives about eating cauliflower like aiding the body with digestion, supporting in anti-inflammatory issues like arthritis and being chock-a-block in antioxidants.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 whole organic cauliflower, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium organic onion, cut into small chunks
  • 15 whole organic garlic cloves
  • Small handle of fresh rosemary leaves (remove main stem)
  • 4 tablespoons of organic olive oil
  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (I used GO Veggie!™ Mozzarella Style Shreds)
  • 2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (easy on the salt)
  • Sliced organic Kalamata olives to use as a garnish

Read More Willy B Mum

Inspirational Vibes – Little Duck Organics

Inspiration – A divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.

Today, I had a chat with Zak Normandin who is the brainchild CEO, of one of my favorite under-4-foot snack companies, Little Duck Organics. Zak is a Daddy of 3 who in the year 2010 started making healthy fruit snacks in his basement, driven by the fact that he could not find anything that he felt was suitable to feed his children (I know that feeling).

To me, this is INSPIRATION. Zak had an idea, which he followed through with and now, thankfully like-minded parents bringing up Little Tackers (Australian for infants) have a choice to safely buy a packaged good that is… WAIT FOR IT …certified organic, no-sugar-added, Non‐GMO, gluten free, 100% real fruit snacks!!! Wowzer. I know this is a BIG mouthful, but you have to read it all so you get the whole scope on how awesome it is. Let it sink in a while… It is hard to come by.

All I can say is, thank goodness for the day young Zak walked down those basement stairs!! Because now LDO is a reckoning force in the supermarket aisles.

Little Duck Organic HQ is based in Brooklyn, and I am so happy they are here. Besides being one of Willy B Mum’s biggest fans, they are always so encouraging and ready to help out the community in any way they can, and I have to say that is a rarity.

Not to mention Miles Storm loves their snacks, actually obsessed might be a better word? As an example – on his first day at school, a few weeks back, he was insistent that he take a packet of “Duck Duck” with him. And, as a chain reaction, his school (which was only serving cheesy goldfish snacks) now also have LDO as a healthier option. I am also very proud to say that my Son is not into chocolate, nor soda, nor chips BUT try take away his fruit snacks and you will have a fight on your hands!!

Little Duck Organics is launching a new super-amazing product in Whole Foods this month called “Mighty Oats” which Zak talks about in our little video shoot. Want the inside scoop, watch it here!

Miles Storm and I, on the roof of Little Duck Organics HQ today

VIDEO OF WILLY B MUM INTERVIEWING ZAK, CEO OF LITTLE DUCK ORGANICS

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A Farmers Markets is a wealth of knowledge for Little Ones

My family really enjoy our Sunday trips to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, upstate NY, where we spend every weekend. Miles Storm especially loves the experience, having visited the market with us since he was born, it is something he gets very excited about.  This past weekend he particularly enjoyed tasting some of the produce. First he tried zucchini, then he tried apples and lastly he tried carrots. It was hilarious to watch, people were in stitches laughing at his antics.

Children can learn a lot from a Farmers Market, it is abound with endless knowledge, it is also a super-fun outing and a wonderful learning opportunity. Here’s why.

Identifying Different Foods

Attending a fun outdoor market and pointing out different foods to your children can lead to further discussion about all kinds of wonderful things like what meals you can make with that food, what color the food is, how to spell the name of the food, what time of the year the food grows, the health benefits of eating the food etc. Knowledge is power, and a child being familiar with the natural foods around them can only encourage healthy eating habits.

Different Seasons Produce Different Foods

Tomatoes in April, Blueberries in November – I do not think so. Different seasons and weather patterns produce different foods, and a Farmers Market is an exact reflection of this. Children who make regular visits will learn about the natural availability of foods, compared to what is purchasable in the supermarket all year around. Learning about this at a young age can help to establish the important practice of buying local seasonal food when possible, thus ensuring that there will continue to be farms in our communities providing future generations with nourishing, flavorful, and abundant goods.

Meet Your Local Farmer Read More Willy B Mum

Strawberry, Spinach, Toasted Cashew Nut & Avocado Salad Yummy!

We always have so much produce in our refrigerator at home, and although my family eats an abundance of fruits and vegetables it is, at times, challenging to eat everything before it goes bad.

This afternoon for lunch I decided to take the ingredients we had available and turn it in to an awesome healthy salad. The strawberry puree dressing was something I have never done before, and I am really happy with the way my experiment turned out.

It is another quick, easy, healthy vegan meal. And, I love that!

YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 ripe organic avocado
  • 2 cups of organic hulled and cut-in-half organic strawberries
  • 6 ounces of organic spinach
  • Half a cup of raw organic cashew nuts toasted
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

RECIPE

  • First start by making the dressing by blending in food processor sea salt, pepper, olive oil, red vine vinegar and half a cup of strawberries
  • Combine avocado, remaining strawberries, spinach, toasted cashew nuts in a bowl and pour in dressing. Toss, and mix thoroughly.
  • Enjoy!

Read More Willy B Mum