Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Samhain!

For this special time of the year, I will quote Judith Berger's book "Herbal Rituals":

"Once upon a time, Halloween, All Soul's Day, and the Day of the Dead were considered a three-day month that stood apart from the rest of the year. Freeing the passage of three sunrises and sunsets from the written calendar added to the otherworldly feel of this triad of days. Indeed, unbound from the predictable, calendric rhythm, these three days inspired devotion to the unknowable and invisible, the chaotic and surprising.
Using these three days to pause and immerse ourselves in timelessness and not-knowing, can perhaps begin to expand our palette of responses to the unknown, replacing our fear with wonder as we bravely acquaint ourselves with the floating cycle of the void. Pausing exists in the most basic rhythms of nature.
As we come to the end of a single yearly cycle, it is fitting that we dwell, even if only briefly, in the void between one year and the next, letting the full body of the year sink in before we step outside to greet yet another cycle of the earth's journey around the sun..."

Blessings to all as we say goodbye to the past year & all that were, and welcome the new year with its mysteries and wonderful possibilities ;).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nut & Grain Milk Books...

I recommend these 3 helpful books for those who wish to make their own non-dairy milks:

  • "Milk Recipes from Nuts & Seeds" by Edith V. Edwards

A basic book for the purist, includes gluten free grains (such as millet, quinoa and rice) too. For each nut/seed/grain, there is a Nutritional Analysis. The book also includes recipes for Fruit & Nut Pulp Spreads as well as Nut & Seed Pulp Loaves and Patties.

  • "Not Milk...Nut Milks!" by Candia Lea Cole

This book is more of a gourmet recipe book with 40 different recipes (no grains in this one) including hints, tips, health benefits and nutritional tidbits. You'll find mouth watering recipes such as "Sweet Pear and Pine Nut Milk", "Apple Ginger Almond Milk" and "Caramel Date Pecan Milk" just to name a few...

  • "Laits et Yaourts Végétaux Faits Maison" by Anne Brunner

This book is in French and I don't think it's been translated in English. The title means "Homemade non-dairy milks and yogurts" using nuts, grains and seeds raw, cooked, as flours/farinas, as nut butters and even as instant drinks. Recipes also explain how to make non-dairy cheeses, creams, mock fromage blanc and whipped cream. A good part of the book's recipes involves soy products and how to make them (milk, yogurt, tofu...). Other recipes include spreads, desserts, smoothies and sorbets/ice creams.

Have fun, enjoy and be healthy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

...And Grain Milk A Few Hours Later

I had some leftover cooked millet which I didn't know what to do with so I figured I might as well try making some milk with it (see my post below).
Conclusion: it works and should work with other grains too; keeping the same ratio: 1/2 cup cooked grains, 2 cups water (I use boiling water) and 1 tbsp natural sweetener. The trick is to puree the grains with a little water first, before adding the rest of the water. Otherwise the milk will turn out like flavored colored water...
Yet I prefer nut milks overall: they have a stronger taste and a nice consistency (though they tend to separate a little...especially the sunflower milk). Grain milks (they also tend to separate) taste more bland (which is probably better for cooking/baking) and have a little floury aftertaste & texture.

Nut Milk Story...

I've been experimenting with a few nuts and seeds for homemade non-dairy milks. Some work well, some don't...But it's mostly a matter of taste!

I liked:
  • Almond Milk
  • Hazelnut Milk
  • Sunflower Milk (Sunflower seeds are nutritious and are known to be beneficial to sick people as well as people recovering from an illness)
  • Pine Nut Milk (It tastes wild! Straight from the woods with piny undertones...It's an acquired taste.)

I didn't like:

  • Pistachio Nut Milk (I think pistachios would work better as a nut butter)

Was just OK:

  • Chestnut Milk (Made with chestnut flour. I love chestnuts but it wasn't the best suited medium for them...I might have more luck with cooked chestnuts)

I still have a few nuts and seeds to try...

Now regarding grain milks, I haven't been very successful so far: I've tried whole & raw, flours, farinas, rolled flakes...They just come out plain tasting and watery. Maybe I should try cooking the grains first, then blending with water as mentioned on Gluten A Go Go.

For her Oat Milk, she suggests using: "1/2 cup of cooked certified gluten free oats, 1 Tb agave syrup and 2 cups of water. Dump the oats into your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then add the agave syrup and pulse. Pour in the water and pulse to blend. Be careful not to pulse too long as the water might/will leak out from under the lid of your food processor and onto the counter. Store oat milk in the refrigerator. "

Note that non-dairy milks can be kept up to 3 days in the fridge...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Spirit of Fall Incense

>SPIRIT OF FALL is a new incense in the Spirit of the Season with a blend of wildcrafted frankincense, wildcrafted cedar leaves and organic seasonal herbs & flowers...It smells wonderful and is a great incense for purification, protection and blessings!

>SPIRIT OF FALL (Esprit de l'Automne) est un nouvel encens imprégné de l'énergie de cette saison avec un mélange d'oliban, de feuilles de cèdre ainsi que des plantes et fleurs biologiques et de saison...Cet encens sent merveilleusement bon et est indiqué pour purifier, protéger et bénir!

Paleo Mock Cocoa / Faux Chocolat Chaud

The recipe emerged from a delicious mistake...I was trying to make a chestnut cream from scratch for breakfast ;).

Cette recette est née d'une délicieuse erreur...Je voulais préparer une crème de chataîgne pour le petit déjeuner.

You'll need:
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp chestnut flour (depending on how thick you like your beverage) / 1 à 1 càs et demie de farine de chataîgne (selon l'épaisseur desirée du breuvage)
  • 1 cup of nut milk (I used homemade almond milk) / 250 ml de lait végétal d'oléagineux (j'ai utilisé du lait d'amande fait maison)
  • Optional: a natural sweetener such a maple syrup, honey or agave syrup / Un sucrant naturel comme le sirop d'érable, le miel ou le sirop d'agave

>In a saucepan, toast the chestnut flour slightly. Little by little, whisk in the nut milk. Allow the mixture to boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, until desired thickness is reached. Strain the beverage (there might be some lumps).

Since chestnut flour has a natural sweetness (and some chocolatey undertones), I recommend you only add some sweetener if necessary and in a small amount. Your mock hot chocolate is ready! Enjoy ;).

Serving: 1 mug/ Pour 1 tasse.

>Dans une casserole, mettre la farine de chataîgne a toaster légèrement. Petit à petit, ajouter en fouettant le lait végétal. Faire bouillir la mixture puis laisser reduire à petit feu jusqu'à l'obtention de l'épaisseur desirée. Filtrer le breuvage (il peut y avoir des grumeaux).

Etant donné que la farine de chataîgne est naturellement douce (et avec un petit arrière-goût de chocolat), je recommande de n'ajouter un sucrant que si nécessaire et en petite quantité. Votre faux chocolat chaud est prêt a être dégusté ;).

A Belated Thank You...

...To Docwitch from Dark Side of the Broom for giving me an award.

I didn't know what it meant and what the rules were.

As to naming 7 other blogs, the choice will be very tough...

Mushroom Update...

I started my Portobello Kit on September 22nd and the mushrooms are growing nicely. I'm about to have my first harvest already! You'll notice on the picture that the mushrooms look a little cracked. I believe it has to do with the warm & dry weather we've been having lately, no matter how moist I've kept the mushroom bed.

J'ai commencé mon kit de champignons Portobello le 22 septembre et les champignons ont deja bien poussés. Je suis sur le point d'avoir ma première récolte! Sur la photo, vous pouvez constater que les champignons sont un peu craquelés. Je pense que c'est à cause du temps chaud et sec que nous avons eu récemment, malgré le fait d'avoir maintenu le lit des champignons humide.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Magic Pumpkin Face Mask / Masque à la Citrouille

I love pumpkins! I've always found them both fascinating and mysterious. This new seasonal face mask is an ode to pumpkin and natural beauty.

My Magic Pumpkin Face Mask is 100% natural & hand blended with pumpkin powder, rhassoul clay as well as whole milk powder. All the ingredients I use are pure, nothing has been added. This is a very gentle, soothing and softening mask. (For more infos about the skin/health benefits, see my listing).

J'adore les citrouilles et autres cucurbitacées! Je les ai toujours trouvées à la fois fascinantes et mystérieuses. Ce nouveau masque saisonnier est une ode à la citrouille et à la beauté naturelle.

Mon Magic Pumpkin Face Mask (Masque à la Citrouille Magique) est 100% naturel et preparé de manière artisanale avec de la citrouille en poudre, du rhassoul et du lait entier en poudre. Tous les ingrédients utilisés sont purs, rien n'a été ajouté. C'est un masque doux, léger et agréable qui laisse la peau douce et radieuse.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

GF Almond Bread

I just tried the Simple Bread recipe from Elana's Pantry, using blanched almond flour and a few eggs. The loaf is small and nutritious but also dense and a little heavy on the stomach.
Though it tastes good, it is not something I'll bake too often because it is rich and let's face it: almonds and nuts in general are a little pricey (especially organic ones).
You can save some money by grinding your own nut meals/flours though. I am still willing to give it a try with other nuts like hazelnuts. And maybe add a teaspoon of oil, because the bread is a little dry.
The recipe also requires 3 eggs for a small 6 x 3 in. loaf...If you wanted to bake a regular size loaf, you'd need about 5 cups of almond flour and 6 eggs!
A luxury loaf it is ;)!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Crème Dessert / Dessert Cream

I have adapted and translated this recipe from Eva Claire Pasquier's book "Recettes Gourmandes Pour Personnes Sensibles" (she calls this dessert "Crème Patissière Légère").

For 3 ramequins, you'll need:

  • 1 1/4 cup of non dairy or nut milk (I used homemade almond milk) / Environ 250ml de lait végétal (J'ai utilisé du lait d'amande fait maison)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice flour or cream of rice / 1 càs et demie de farine de riz ou de crème de riz

  • 1 tbsp almond or hazelnut butter / 1 càs de purée d'amandes ou de noisettes

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / 1 càc d'extrait de vanille

  • 1 or 2 tbsp maple syrup /1 ou 2 càs de sirop d'érable

In a pan, pour the rice flour with the cold milk, the vanilla and the maple syrup. Turn the stovetop on medium heat and stir/wisk until the mix starts getting thicker. Then remove the pan from the stovetop and let it cool a little. Stir in the almond or hazelnut butter then it's ready to serve.

It's a quick and tasty dessert to prepare. If you like you cream a little thick, use cream of rice rather than rice four. You can enjoy this dessert warm or cold, alone or along with cookies, some cakes or even some fruits. Feel free to experiment with different milks and nut butters. I think using chestnut flour instead of rice flour would give an interesting result...

Verser la farine de riz avec le lait froid, la vanille et le sirop d'érable dans une casserole. Faire chauffer et mélanger sans cesse sur feux doux jusqu'à épaississement. Retirer du feu et laisser un peu refroidir. Ajouter la purée d'amandes ou de noisettes en mélangeant bien. C'est prêt!

C'est une délicieuse recette, facile à préparer. Si vous aimez votre crème un peu épaisse, je vous suggère d'utiliser la crème de riz plutôt que la farine de riz. Vous pouvez déguster ce dessert chaud ou froid, seul ou accompagné de biscuits, gâteaux ou même de fruits. Je vous invite à expérimenter avec differents laits végétaux et purées d'oleagineux. Je pense qu'il serait intéressant d'utiliser de la farine de chataîgne à la place de la farine de riz...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Celebrate the Goddess through Magic

"Do you believe in magic? You should, for magic is simply the act of bringing your dreams into reality. By clearly visualizing what you wish for, you add the magical power of your intention and your will to the bubbling brew of creation.
Magic is all around in this season of the Crone Goddess - she lends Her ancient powers of wisdom, perspective, experience and endurance to help you transform. Release what no longer serves you, and reach out for the life you truly wish to live.
When you believe, you make it all real."

From SageWoman 2008 Calendar


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