Well, hello there. My intention for this week’s Tasty Tuesday was to talk ALLLLL about my unbelievable Elevation trip with lululemon (which I can not wait to share with you next week) and post a super yummy smoothie inspired by a vegan restaurant I ate at when we were in Asheville. BUT… When I woke up today, I found myself on the floor in a cold sweat for about 2 hours (along with some other details I won’t bore you with).

I did not have much of an appetite today or a lot of energy, so this was how Ayurvedic Apple Awesomeness was born. It settled my stomach and made me feel so much better 🙂

It’s simple. Easy. And of course, tasty!

xo, Becky

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Ayurvedic Apple Awesomeness
Serves 3-4
{Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo}

WHAT:
4 peeled and cubed apples
6 dates minced (trust me on this – they are not minced in the pictures)
1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup water

{Toppings Optional}
oats, slivered almonds, granola – or use as a topping on your oatmeal

HOW:
Add oil to large pan on medium low heat.
Add apples, dates, spices and water. Stir then cover. (Bring heat to low and let simmer for 15-25 minutes (depending on how cooked you like your apples). Uncover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Serve in a bowl and top with oats, slivered almonds or your favorite granola! Easy Peezy.

#TastyTuesday: Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

I don’t know about you, but the full moon last week got me feeling all sorts of wacko! I know I am really off when EVERYTHING stresses me out, even the things that don’t normally bother me and I can’t seem to get back on track or make important decisions. When this is present, it’s time to Smudge. What the heck is Smudging?! Great question. Smudging is one of the best ways to release negativity, clear the energy in your field, and help you start anew. If you’re feeling stuck, negative, sluggish, or even depressed, it may be due to some stagnant energy in your field. Your field can include your emotional, energetic, mental, spiritual or physical body, and your environment—whether it’s your home, office, or other physical space. Stagnant or negative energy can have extremely harmful effects on your mental and physical state and is even believed to manifest into things like a lack of happiness and success as well as pain and disease. Um, no thanks!
How do I Smudge?
1. I like to use Sage. Sage represents the earth element and when burned, the smoke from it represents the air.
2. A shell. To hold and burn the plants. The shell represents the water element.
3. Matches or a lighter. These represent the fire element.
4. Feather. This represents the air element.
5. Drum(s) or sacred drumming music, which represent the beat of the heart. I personally like to play any of the following from spotify:
WAH!
Krishna Das – Breath Album

Clear your space of clutter and mess and open up windows and curtains and allow for clean air to enter. Light your sage (or other herbs) on fire and then fan the smoke with your feather around your body and anyone/anything else in your space. Once finished, you can leave the bowl in a safe place and let it burn, filling the room with fragrant smoke. Treat any leftover ashes with intention. A proper way to dispose of them is to take them outdoors and leave them on the earth. Focus intently on what it is you want to accomplish for your smudging ritual or ceremony. Visualize it cleansing you, your home, your workplace, etc. of all the negative energies or entities that are unwanted.

A Native Prayer:
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

I can not even express how much this special ritual creates such a clearing and brings me clarity. I feel like myself again. I would love to hear about your smudging experiences too!

Now onto all things delicious.

xo, Becky

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PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES BARS
{vegan / gluten free}
Serves 8-12

WHAT:
Bottom Layer
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons cacao NOT cocao

Top Layer
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil

HOW
1. Add walnuts to food processor and blend until fine. Add the rest of the top layer ingredients and blend until well mixed.
2. Add to a bread pan lined with parchment paper and press down until it covers the bottom of pan.
3. Add all top layer ingredients to food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour top layer over bottom layer. Spread out evenly and place in freezer to set for 1-2 hours.
5. Cut up into squares and serve immediately. Store in fridge or freezer in air tight container.
6. Enjoy!

#TastyTuesday: Homemade Almond Milk

Hello! Happy Tasty Tuesday. Today is Almond Milk. One of my house hold staples. I used to buy Almond Milk from the store, but after reading about all the extra junk that is added in, I decided to figure out how to make it on my own. It really is not that hard, and once you do it regularly, it becomes habit. There is nothing tastier than home made milk. It’s delish. This is my favorite way to make it and I hope you like it too! Of course it is VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE and PALEO.

ALMOND MILK:
Serves 4

WHAT:
1 cup soaked almonds
5 cups water
4-6 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of sea salt
*Optional Add In’s: matcha, cinnamon, maca, maple syrup, strawberries, spinach……
Nut Bag
Blender
Large Bowl

HOW:
Add everything to high power blender. Place nut bag in large bowl, pour milk into nut bag. Squeeze all the liquid out until left with almond pulp. I then pour the milk back into the blender and add in whatever else you like. Store in mason jars for up to 4 days in fridge. YUM! xo Becky

#TastyTuesdays: Dark Chocolate Mousse (gluten free, paleo)

WHAT:
1 can organic coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
​4 egg yokes
2-4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz dark chocolate

HOW:
In pot, add coconut milk and cinnamon stick. Bring to boil. Cover, turn off heat and sit for 10 minutes. Strain out cinnamon stick. Place back in pot, add vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together 4 egg yokes. Add 1 cup of hot milk SLOWLY to eggs {a little at a time} so that they don’t scramble. Then add into the large pot of milk. Turn heat to medium and whisk for about 15 minutes until thickens. Add in chocolate and maple syrup. Stir until smooth. Pour into small glass ramekins and place in fridge for 4-6 hours. Top with chopped chocolate and eat your heart out!

xo Becky

#TastyTuesdays: scrumptious summer salad

WHAT:
{serves 4}
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cucumber chopped
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 heaping handfuls of green beans cut in 1/2
4 sliced radishes
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped (roasted) almonds
1/4 cup feta – Optional

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lemon
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste

HOW:
– Chop veggies. Add to bowl, except green beans.
– In a pot, bring water to a boil or simmer, add green beans for 1 minute. Drain and immediately add to ice water.
– Add blanched green beans to bowl of veggies.
– Mix in dill and dressing. Stir.
– Top with almonds and feta (optional). YUM!

#TastyTuesday: Thai Peanut Kale Salad

THAI PEANUT KALE SALAD (Vegan & Gluten Free)
WHAT:
Salad
1 bunch kale (stemmed and chopped)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup peanuts
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Dressing
1/4 cup sesame seed oil
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 lime juiced
1″ minced ginger
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

HOW:
– Add chopped kale in a large bowl. Place to side.
– Make dressing. Add everything into a small mixing bowl. Whisk together.
– Pour half of the dressing on kale and massage for about 2 minutes.
– Top salad with remainder of ingredients. Drizzle more dressing on top if you desire or save for later. (I used the rest of the dressing to marinate my husbands chicken).

#TastyTuesday: Coconutty Icecream

http://www.gobeyondcapacity.com/tasty-tuesdays/coconutty-icecream

I often get asked if I like ice cream. Um, DUH! But, there is a price to pay when I eat dairy. ( I won’t bore you with details) I also don’t like to buy it from the store because of all the additives/preservatives. So here I am. It took me a few tries to get it right, but when my husband and all the kiddos I had over this weekend give me the stamp of approval, I decided to post it!

WHAT:
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 can coconut milk
1 cup soaked cashews ( 6+ hours)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2- 1 cup of maple syrup ( depending on how sweet you like it)
dash of sea salt

TOPPINGS:
enjoy life chocolate chips, fruit, cookies etc.

HOW:
– In high powered blender, add everything but toppings and blend for 1-2 minutes on high.
– Add into your ice-cream maker until it gets to the consistency you like it. Add in the toppings at the very end or leave plain and add when serving.

#TastyTuesday: MUSHROOMTASTIC TACOS

This is such an easy and inexpensive meal that is QUICK! I eat this at least once per week. It is great for lunch OR dinner. It’s Vegan and Gluten Free!

WHAT:
serves 4
3 cups chopped portabello mushrooms
1 cup chopped purple cabbage
12-16 corn tortillas ( I use trader joes brand)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 lime juiced
1 avocado
Chopped cilantro
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

HOW:
*Add chopped cabbage, maple syrup, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl and stir. Set to side.
*Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms. Saute for about 6 minutes. Then sprinkle garlic powder and cayenne ( to your liking and turn off heat.
*In another large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil to each taco and brush to lightly coat taco. Add to skillet over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Remove tacos and fill. First add a slice of avocado, then add a large spoon full of mushrooms and top with a teaspoon of cabbage mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. YUM.

#TASTYTUESDAY: TOM KHA GAI

WHAT:
1/2 can coconut milk
2 limes
4 cups veggie stalk
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1″ diced ginger
4 lime leaves
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup chives
1 tspn red pepper flakes
1 cup jasmine rice
sea salt to taste
​***option to add shrimp or chicken****​

​STEP 1 : Chop veggies & cook rice.
STEP 2: In a large pot, add veggie stalk, coconut milk, lime leaves and ginger. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove lime leaves.
STEP 3: Add 2 juiced limes, peppers, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Sprinkle red pepper flakes in soup and simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes.
STEP 4: Add rice to bottom of serving bowl and add soup. Top with cilantro, chives and salt to taste. YUM!

#TASTYTUESDAY: MATCHA TEA ALMOND MILK

WHAT:
1 teaspoon Matcha Tea Powder
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1 cup soaked raw almonds ( I soak them for 4 hours)
4-6 pitted dates
1 handful spinach
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups of water
a blender
a nut milk bag

HOW:
– Add everything to blender and blend on high for about 2 minutes.
– Pour everything into a nut milk bag inside a large bowl.
– Squeeze out all of the milk
– Pour the liquid into mason jars and store in fridge up to 4 days.

BENEFITS OF MATCHA TEA:
What is Matcha?
Matcha or maccha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder. It is a natural, organic green tea which has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. The Buddhist monks honored matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Originating in China in 9th century, matcha was used as drug for curing various ailments. However, its word somehow got elapsed in China. It was only after the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan realized its true potential at the end of twelfth century, the perfection in the cultivation of matcha picked up. Matcha is still scarcely grown accounting for just 0.6% of total tea yield.
Matcha is prepared from a high-quality shade-grown leaf known as tencha. The tea bushes are sheltered to avoid the exposure of direct sunlight which reduces the pace of photosynthesis and slows down the growth of the plants. This provides the leaves with a darker shade of green and stimulates the production of chlorophylland amino acids.
Harvesting of matcha is done by hand to ensure selection of youngest and smallest leaves for the finest quality tea. Unlike other green teas, leaves used for matcha are briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation and preserve its flavor and nutritional content. This is followed by ultra-fine milling of the tencha leaves by using granite stone mills resulting in a beautiful green powder which is the raw material for matcha tea. After being prized in Japan for scores of years, recently matcha has been gaining recognition in the western world attributing to its unique flavor and remarkable therapeutic qualities.

Nutritional Value of Matcha
Matcha is a time-honored beverage which is source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. Presence of amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
Health Benefits of MatchaHealth benefits of matcha tea for medical conditions have been discussed as under:

Stronger immune system: As mentioned above, matcha contains various antioxidants, polyphenols, EGCG, L-theanine which collectively contribute in boosting the immune defense of the body and helps provide protection against various antigens.

Antioxidant power: Matcha stores a wealth of natural antioxidants and polyphenols. A research study assessing the antioxidant power of matcha tea has revealed that as compared to other green teas matcha has the highest amount of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an extremely healthful component with numerous benefits. These antioxidants seek out for the oxygen free radicals and neutralize their harmful effects thereby, protecting the body from the occurrence of disorders or inflammations associated with the oxidative stress.

Type-2 diabetes: Matcha tea may prove valuable for maintaining healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals. Antioxidant rich matcha tea aids in reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose content in the diabetic individuals. An investigative research conducted on diabetic subjects administered with matcha tea has shown that matcha exerts inhibitory action against the renal and hepatic damage by restraining the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in the kidneys.

Cardiovascular health: Another valuable action exerted by epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in match is the maintenance of cardiovascular health. Richness of this component in matcha tea makes it a potent potion to keep cholesterol levels low. A research study has suggested that EGCG helps in reducing the accumulation of lipids and promotes autophagy in the vascular endothelial cells.

Energy enhancer: Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine not to be mistaken with the one present in the regular coffee. This unique form caffeine known as theophylline sustains the energy levels without any adverse effects. The slow release of energy due to theophylline helps in supporting the functionality of adrenal glands and maintains optimum hormonal levels.

Detoxification: Chlorophyll present in matcha tea accentuates its effectiveness in cleansing process of the body. Chlorophyll is an excellent detoxifier which helps in cleansing the blood. It aids in maintaining the alkalinity of blood and tissues. Chlorophyll also helps in preventing the association of harmful toxins with colon walls and flushes them out of the body.

Mental alertness and calming effect: Matcha tea works wonderfully well in providing a calming effect to the body. L-theanine, a unique amino acid present in matcha green tea possesses anti-anxiolytic properties and which assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves encourage relaxation and induce a profound feeling of mental clarity and more alert state of mind just as is imparted by the yoga techniques. A study conducted on theanine suggests that theanine acts as neurotransmitter which exerts calming effect on the brain without causing any drowsiness. This soothing effect provided by matcha helped the Buddhist monks in maintaining deep concentration during their meditation sessions and was the main reason behind its popularity. Another study has revealed the anti-stress effects of theanine present in matcha which assists in reducing the physiological and psychological stress responses by inhibiting the neuron excitation.

Protection from infections: As stated above, matcha tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is also effective in fighting against various bacterial, viral and fungal infections. An investigative research has suggested that EGCG binds to the lipid membrane and exerts inhibitory action against growth of various important human pathogens including influenza A virus, hepatitis B and C virus, herpes virus, adenovirus Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast.

Protection against HIV: Epigallocatechin present in matcha is also efficient in the prevention of HIV. Along with this, consumption of matcha tea may also help in protecting the brain of HIV patients. This defensive act attributes to the penetration power of epigallocatechin through the blood brain barriers which is not feasible for the commercially available anti-retroviral drugs.

Gastrointestinal health: Match tea is useful for treating gastrointestinal disorders. A research study conducted in this field has revealed that consumption of matcha stimulates the fecal excretion and helps the body to get rid of harmful chemicals and toxins.

Cancer prevention: Matcha assists in the prevention of cancer attributing to the presence of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has chemopreventive properties. Multiple studies have shown that polyphenols present in matcha tea prevents the proliferation of malignant cancerous cells, promotes induction of apoptosis and assists in the reducing the risk of developing various cancers including bladder cancer and colorectal cancer. EGCG exerts inhibitory activities and works against the progression of human breast and prostate tumors as well.
Culinary usage: Apart from healthy gains, matcha is widely popular as an ingredient in a range of food items. Matcha is used to add flavor to a variety of western-style confectionary items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice-creams. Recently, a number of famous cafes in North America and around have introduced matcha based drinks such as smoothies, milk shakes, lattes and alcoholic beverages.

SOURCE: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/matcha-tea.html​