recipe

Happy Spring & Meyer Lemon Pudding

Spring has sprung and our bodies are ready for fresh lighter foods and more movement. It can be a difficult transition at times since we’ve been moving slow for so long, but our bodies actually thrive when we can adapt to the seasons.

This is a time of shedding what doesn't serve us (physically, mentally, emotionally) and become a fresher, lighter, and more powerful version of ourselves. 

I personally like to ease my body into Spring by freshening up my meals with a bit of raw foods, start with a few room-temp smoothies, and snacking on fresh fruit. I also like to start taking my movement outside more. I feel this helps my body adapt to the change better instead of going all in.

This pudding was one of the first Spring treats I made and enjoyed in the sun. May you have an easeful and inspiring transition. 

meyer lemon pudding raspberries

Ingredients

1 can full-fat BPA free coconut milk

½ cup filtered water

4 Tablespoons chia seeds (I used white chia seeds but any color works)

Zest and juice of 1 large meyer lemon

2 Tablespoons maple syrup, more to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup raspberries, mashed with a fork, for garnish

 

Procedure

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except raspberries. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Pour into pretty glasses and top with mashed raspberries.

 

meyer lemon pudding with raspberries

Carrot & Zuchinni Fritters

My best recipes mostly turn out to be the ones I throw together last minute and without much preparation. I love creating simple and delicious meals that anyone can re-create. 

This one is a weeknight favorite in the summer when carrots and zucchini are vibrant and abundant.

Enjoy these fritters on their own (they are filling) or with a side salad or vegetables. 

Ingredients

2 medium-large carrots, shredded (by hand or in a food processor)

2 zucchinis (or 1 zucchini and 1 summer squash), shredded

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup oat or almond flour

2 eggs, whisked together in a small bowl

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of red chili flakes

To cook fritters:

2+ Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

Procedure

  1. Place shredded vegetables over a paper towel for a moment and pat down some of their water. Transfer to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, except coconut oil. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Note: make sure to lightly whisk eggs in a separate bowl first. 
  2. With your hands, form patties with mixture. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add patties and cook on first side until lightly browned (30 sec-2 min depending on heat and pan). Flip and cook on the other side until browned as well. Continue until all mixture is used up. Note: You may need to add more coconut oil throughout cooking so patties don't stick to the pan. 
  3. Serve fritters with your favorite dressing or sauce. I love topping them with pesto (You can find some great pesto dressings/sauces in my summer Ebook). 

Makes ~6 large fritters

Happy Cooking! 

Scrumptious Berry Crumble {Gluten-Free}

Isn't berry season the best season ever?!

Some of nature's best candy, in my opinion. 

I've noticed that every year for the past 3 years, this is the first dessert I make with berries when they come around. It's just too good and simple not to.

Goes extra well with some creamy coconut ice cream. 

Indulge without guilt with this gluten-free and refined sugar-free dessert. 

 

Ingredients

Berry Layer:

3 1/2 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

1 Tablespoon coconut sugar

 

Crumble Layer:

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 teaspoons goji extract powder

1 teaspoon lucuma

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean or vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

3/4 cup ghee/clarified butter, diced

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. To make berry layer: Toss berries with coconut sugar in a medium-size bowl and place in your baking dish. 
  3. To make crumble: Place all ingredients, except ghee, in a large bowl and combine well. Add ghee and press down with fork or pastry cutter to cut ghee into smaller pieces and blend into the mixture. 
  4. Spread out crumble evenly over berries. 
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until berries are soft and crumble is browned (not burnt). 

Recipe and Photos by Giovanna Garcia

 

Mushroom Latte - Post-Holiday Immune Boost

The holidays are a fun time with loved ones and a much needed break for most. It's also possible that our immune system can weaken during this time due to over-indulging, emotions, and perhaps letting go of our normal self-care practices

I can say for myself that it's been an emotional time (with full moon in effect also) and my body has responded quickly and feels weaker. It's making me slow down and actually take a look at all that's arising and needs to be worked out. 

Health is so much more than just what we put into our body. Emotions, environment, and thoughts are just as important to our well-being. Although I have kept my holistic way of eating while I've been traveling and taking time off from work, I am needing to bump up my natural medicinal remedies (along with being still and looking inward) to keep my immune system strong. 

My go-to the past few days has been this super creamy and delicious mushroom latte (because you all know I love mushrooms and chocolate!), which the whole family loved too.

This morning, I partially enjoyed this latte outside while it was snowing! Sadly, it didn't stick, but it was beautiful to watch. 

Ingredients

2 cups hot spring water or tea

1 teaspoon Mushroom Immunity blend (find here)

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon mucuna pruriens powder

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until creamy and frothy. 

Enjoy and Stay Healthy! 

Guilt-Free Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

'Tis the season for all the indulgent (and healthy) things! 

Yes, this time of year we are presented with treats everywhere we go, but I like to always find a way to bring in some nourishment into the mix. For me, it starts with completely erasing the story of healthy needing to be boring and indulgent needing to be 'bad for you.'

The quality of ingredients is key when making anything healthy yet still indulgent. When we use organic and unrefined ingredients, our body actually knows how to process them and there is no inflammation or sluggishness involved. You truly can have your cake and eat it too. 

I've been making these cookies for the past month for clients, friends, and events. They're a hit and super easy to make. Give them a try at your holiday gatherings coming up. 

Ingredients

Oat cookie base:

2 cups oat flour (blend gluten-free oats to make flour)

¼ cup coconut flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

⅓ cup coconut palm sugar

⅛ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 organic egg

⅓ cup melted coconut oil

2-3 Tablespoons water or almond milk, as needed

 

Fruit Jam Filling:

1 pound fresh cranberries (or fruit of choice)

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Melted organic dark chocolate to drizzle over baked cookies. Get some superfood chocolate here or make your own

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. To make cookie base: In a small bowl, mix flours, baking soda, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, egg water or almond milk, and vanilla. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and whisk to combine well. Add enough liquid until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten out slightly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use finger to make a dent in the middle of the cookie.

  3. To make jam: Place cranberries in a medium saucepan along with maple syrup and lemon juice. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries start popping and become soft like a puree. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking.

  4. Add fruit jam to center of cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottom of cookies is lightly browned.

  5. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Place cookies on a parchment lined flat surface such as a cutting board or baking sheet. Drizzle with melted chocolate as much as you want. Place in refrigerator for a few minutes, until chocolate is firm. Remove from fridge and enjoy. Note: If you want to eat them while still warm, skip putting them in the fridge and enjoy with the chocolate melted over cookies. 

Makes ~20 cookies

 

 

 

Roasted Acorn Squash with Herb Dressing

Winter squashe might be one of my favorite things about the fall. Aren't they just so delicious?

You can't ever go wrong with a baked squash of any kind. This recipe here is a simple go-to of mine that takes little preparation and packs a lot of flavor. 

What's best about winter squash varieties is that they are super nutritious. They are high in antioxidants (hence their bright color), contain fiber, and have good amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Squash is meant to be comforting on all levels for this time of year. Get cooking! 

 

Ingredients

Roasted Acorn Squash:

1 acorn squash

1-2 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted, enough to coat squash

Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

 

Herb Dressing:

½ cup parsley, finely chopped

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

¼ cup basil, finely chopped

½ - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover herbs

Juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Pinch of chili flakes, to taste

 

giosquash_5.jpg

Procedure

To cook squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut squash in half from top to bottom. Scrape out seeds with a spoon and save (you can toast them or blend in smoothies). Cut into ¾-inch thick half moons.
  3. Toss squash with coconut oil, sea salt, and black pepper on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Spread out evenly and bake for about 30 minutes, turning at 15 minutes, until squash is soft in the middle.

To make dressing:

  1. Place finely chopped herbs in a small bowl.
  2. Add olive oil slowly while whisking. Add enough olive oil to cover and create a dressing-like consistency that can be poured.
  3. Season with lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, and chili flakes until you reach desired taste.
  4. Serve cooked squash and drizzle herb dressing over it.

Serves 2-3

This recipe was created for Oh My Drifter and photographed by the lovely Micaela

Creamy Sleep Tonic

One of the most important keys to health is rest. Quality rest and sleep. We live in a fast-paced society where we think we can go forever and don't need to sleep because we have too many other more important things to do.

Perhaps we can get away with it for a short period, but with time, we get worn out and don't function as efficiently as we want.

Personally, I like to tell myself that I can go without a lot of rest and sleep sometimes, but I know that is not true. I've learned that staying up until the very late hours of the night doing work is not very efficient. It takes me twice as long to accomplish a task and the lack of sleep causes me to feel more stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, and simply ungrounded.

Not allowing ourselves to rest can play a huge toll on the body, which leads to inflammation, lower immune system, and disease. Lack of rest and sleep is also a common factor to not being able to lose weight.

That said, It’s often hard to slow down and even fall asleep at night since we are so stimulated by technology, lights, and mind chatter. It is very helpful to have a night routine that creates ease, peace, and relaxation before bed.

Here are a few things I do:

  1. Shut off electronics at least 20 minutes before getting in bed

  2. Read a good book or journal

  3. Apply some lavender essential oil on my hands, neck, and nose or light some incense

  4. Drink a hot cup of herbal tea or sleep tonic that I’m sharing below

This routine is still challenging at times, but I do my best because I know that getting good sleep makes me feel refreshed and happier in my life.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup coconut milk (Homemade or Organic BPA-free canned coconut milk)

cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 inch fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons raw honey, to taste

Procedure

  1. If using cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods: Add all ingredients to a small pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer with lid on for 15-20 minutes. Strain into mug and enjoy.
  2. If using powdered spices: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pot and bring to a simmer to heat up. Pour into mug and enjoy. 
  3. Garnish with cinnamon, optional. 

Serves 1-2

ote: You can substitute almond milk for coconut milk but the healthy fats in coconut will aid relaxation more than lower fat content. 

Sweet dreams! 

Chocolate Dipped Persimmon Bars

If you haven't noticed by now, dessert is one of my favorite things to make (and perhaps eat). I love creating treats that are indulgent but also provide nourishment and satisfaction. I believe that dessert is one of the best ways to connect with others and build stronger relationships. Because who doesn't love dessert? 

I had the pleasure of spending a day creating treats with my amazing friend, Julia Corbett. She has a beautiful blog where she shares inspiration and recipes for Dessert Medicine (Yes, that exists!).

This recipe was specifically created to share in Dessert Medicine. Julia and I made magic in the kitchen and then played at the park while we enjoyed these delicious bars. Hop on over to her blog to get inspired and see pictures of the process: http://www.dessertmedicine.com/blog/2015/10/30/dessert-maker-giovanna-garcia. I also share how I personally get inspired to create healthy desserts and why I created my superfood chocolate bars.

 Photo by  Julia Corbett

Photo by Julia Corbett

Ingredients

4 Fuyu persimmons, chopped

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup dried figs

1/3 cup goji berries

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 Tablespoons lucuma powder

1 teaspoon he shou wu powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Sea salt, to taste

4 Superfood chocolate bars, melted

 

Procedure

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

2. Place chopped persimmons in a baking dish and toss with coconut oil, cinnamon, cardamom, and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until soft. 

3. In a food processor, combine baked persimmons along with remaining ingredients (except chocolate). Process until mixture sticks together when pressed with fingers. 

4. Line a dish or baking tin with parchment paper and press mixture down to flatten into desired thickness. Place in the freezer while you melt your chocolate. Melt chocolate on a double boiler. 

5. Remove dish from freezer and cut mixture into bars. Dip each bar into melted chocolate and place on a  parchment-lined plate or baking sheet. Once finished with all bars, place back in freezer until chocolate firms up. 

6. Remove from freezer and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Makes ~10 bars

 

Buckwheat Noodle Stir-Fry

I'm all about making healthy food taste amazing while spending little time in the kitchen. I have to say I do a pretty good job at it and love sharing that with you so you too can eat healthy on-the-go. 

As you know, I am a personal chef and prepare weekly meals for my clients. When I cook for private clients, I get to make more elaborate and time-consuming dishes, which challenges me in many ways that I love. 

But when I get home from cooking for 5 hours, all I want to do is eat good food and put my feet up. So I've mastered the art of making quick meals for myself with whatever I have in the fridge without jepordizing my health. 

So much can be done with fresh produce and staple ingredients. It just takes a bit of patience with yourself and some mental relaxation to get the creative juices flowing. 

I encourage you to get creative - really, anything goes! If it tastes good, you've mastered cooking. It's meant to be fun. Play with your food, friends. 

This recipe here is one of those easy and very tasty recipes I threw together last week. Enjoy!

Ingredients

12 ounces gluten-free buckwheat (soba) noodles

1 Tablespoon toasted unrefined sesame oil (or extra virgin coconut oil)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 white onion, sliced

1 cup brussels sprouts, halved

1 cup wild mushrooms, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

Splash of coconut aminos or tamari, to taste

Handful spinach

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Juice of 1/2 lime

Pinch of dried chili flakes

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish

Procedure

  1. Cook buckwheat noodles according to package. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil in pot or large bowl. 
  2. In a pan, heat sesame oil on medium heat. Add garlic and onion, season with a pinch of sea salt and cook for a minute or so. Add brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and bell peppers and continue cooking until tender. Add coconut aminos and spinach and sauté until spinach has wilted. Season with sea salt, black pepper, lime juice, and chili flakes. Taste and adjust to your liking. 
  3. Add vegetables to cooked noodles and toss to combine well. Taste and adjust with lime juice and sea salt if needed. 
  4. Serve and garnish with sesame seeds. 

Serves 4