A Chance of Sunshine

The Thoughts and Table of a Modern Granola Girl

Best Nut Milk Bag! February 23, 2010

Filed under: Raw Food,Uncategorized — achanceofsunshine @ 2:05 am

Straining almond milk


 I think I’ve found the best nut milk bag: good design, great price ($8.88), and free shipping! If you don’t already make your nut milk at home, it’s amazing to see how much you can save by doing it yourself. Plus, it couldn’t be easier…and there’s absolutely no waste! If you buy your nuts in bulk, you have no packaging to recycle or throw away. Plus, you can use the nut pulp from the strained milk for baking. It’s really good in crackers, brownies, and rich chocolate cakes, and it’s a popular ingredient in raw food preparations. It’s ok to use it wet, or dehydrate it for really easy storage. After I dehydrate the pulp, I put it through the food processor until it’s fine. Wet nut pulp will keep about 3 days in the fridge, or months in the freezer. Cafe Janae, a blog I found recently, has a few nice recipes for nut pulp to get started with. Anyway, here’s the link to the nut milk bag.  The website, Elaina Love’s Pure Joy Planet, has a lot of fun stuff beside nut bags to browse while you’re there.  


Nut milk pulp going into the dehydrator


My lovely girl with nut milk flour


Favorite shake! Brazil nut milk, cacao nibs, frozen banana, and vanilla.


Something’s Fishy… February 21, 2010

Filed under: Raw Food — achanceofsunshine @ 11:08 pm

Tuna-ish Salad ready to be rolled!


  I used to love tuna. Since concerns about the fishing industry and heavy metals in the flesh of the fish itself prompted me to stop eating it, I’ve made many versions of tuna-y filling/salad to fill the void. This version is raw, and loaded with good stuff from the almonds. Almonds are the only nut that alkalizes your blood (all other nuts are acid forming in our bodies). Even just the skins of almonds contain 20 antioxidant flavonoids and the nut is a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E. They’re rich in maganese (1/4 cup provides 45% of your RDA) and potassium, and contain calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, copper and tryptophan. There’s 25% of your RDA of magnesium in a 1/4 cup. Proven to help prevent diabetes and heart disease, it also appears that they lower LDL cholesterol and help you maintain a healthy weight. Almonds are also a source of fiber and protein, with 1/4 cup of the nut containing 7.5 grams (a typical egg has about 5.5). Almonds are best if you consume them raw, so this “tuna” salad is a great way to eat them. To healthy bodies and healthy oceans. 🙂   

Tuna-ish Salad  

3 big green onions
4 stalks celery (about 2 cups)  

1 c. almonds (preferably soaked to denature the enzyme inhibitors)
1 c. sunflower seeds (ditto on the soaking, if you have time. Put the seeds and nuts in the same bowl and soak 4-6 hours and rinse thoroughly.)
A handful of parsley (I like a lot, so maybe more if you like it too)
Juice of 1 big lemon 1 clove garlic
1/4 t wasabi powder
1/2 T dulse flakes
1 T nutritional yeast
2 T shoyu or tamari 
pinch of oregano    

Chop the green onions and celery and put them in a large mixing bowl. Place the nuts and seeds in a food processor and pulse a bit to break up the nuts/seeds. Add all remaining ingredients to food processor. Process until everything comes together in a pate’-like consistency. Empty the nut mixture into the bowl of green onions and celery and mix it all together. Taste for seasoning and add S and P if you want. Try on sprouted bread, crackers, on lettuce, or in a romaine or collard wrap, as shown here:    

Rolling burrito-style




Duh. February 16, 2010

Filed under: Raw Food — achanceofsunshine @ 8:04 pm
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I know, I know. Anybody can put together a fruit salad; you definitely don’t need a recipe. However, they’re so beautiful (and one of my favorite breakfasts) and maybe you’ll find some inspiration to get creative as I post pictures of them. Cause you really should be making and eating more of these. They’re pretty delicious. Today’s fruit salad:

Green apple


Valentine Hearts February 14, 2010

Filed under: cookies,Party Food — achanceofsunshine @ 6:35 am
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This is my grandma Marcella’s recipe for Valentine’s Day heart cookies, and they’re my most adored Valentine’s Day tradition. She died when I was 9 months old, and I love the way I feel so connected to her and grounded in my roots when I make these. Before I roll the dough out, I always end up just staring at it for a second, resting my hands on it and imagining her making the very same cookies years ago. It’s kinda magical. Plus, they’re just delicious — delicate oat flavor, with a light crispy crunch. I usually frost them with pink icing (as tradition dictates) but they’re so good plain that I just left them happily ungilded this year. However, I must say the pink icing is adorable, so if you wish just mix a little icing sugar with any kind of milk (dairy or not; I prefer coconut milk creamer) until it’s right for frosting with. I like to use beet juice to turn it pink, but you probably don’t have any of that, so you can always use the natural red food coloring that’s stocked in larger natural foods stores. Honestly though, if you don’t have a juicer, it’s easy enough to procure the few drops of juice that you need for this purpose by squeezing grated beet in some cheesecloth. Or use conventional red food coloring. I won’t tell anybody.

Valentine’s Day Hearts
To make these vegan, use an Ener-G “egg” and Earth Balance. You’ll also have to use more non-dairy milk — about 1/4 cup.

3/4 c. butter (see note for vegan option)
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg (or egg replacer)
1 t vanilla
2 T dairy or non-dairy milk (different for vegan option. See note.)
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c quick oats (or just pulse regular oats in the blender to break into smaller pieces)

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream the butter or EB and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg or replacer and vanilla. Beat another minute or two until light. Beat in milk. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. (You can be proper and sift the dry ingredients together first, but sometimes I don’t. Nothing bad ever happens as a result!) Gather the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm. (If you chill this dough for much more than an hour, you might have to let it warm a few minutes on the counter so that you can roll it out with ease.)

Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease lightly. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 2 inch hearts (or whatever the heavens you want!) and transfer the cut-outs to the prepared sheet. Save and re-roll the scraps. (Fill one cookie sheet, and while it’s baking fill the second and place it in the refrigerator until the first sheet finishes baking. If you only have one sheet, NEVER refill a hot or warm cookie sheet with unbaked cookies. Simply rinse the outside bottom of the cookie sheet with cold water, and it will instantly be cool enough to use again.) Bake for about 12 minutes (check after 10) until delicately browned. Cool or racks. Frost or decorate as desired…or not.

Don’t forget to make these with lots and lots of love. ♥


Savory Onion Flatbread

Filed under: Raw Food — achanceofsunshine @ 5:35 am
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Recently a friend gave me a whole bunch of onions. And when life gives you onions, you make flatbread.

This is one of my favorite raw breads/crackers. This flatbread originated from Cafe Gratitude’s “I Am Original” onion bread. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry this in an oven on the lowest temperature with the door barely propped open.

Savory Onion Flatbread
Makes one 13 x 13 inch square. Recipe multiplies easily.

1 1/4 pounds sweet or yellow onions
1/2 c ground sunflower seeds (grind with a coffee grinder reserved for grinding spices and seeds)
1/2 c ground golden flax seeds
a handful whole sunflower seeds or sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 c olive oil
3 T shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari

Chop onions small in a food processor. Dump into mixing bowl, add other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Smooth onto Teflex or parchment lined dehydrator trays, using wet hands or a offset spatula. Spread batter about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate at 145 for an hour or two, then turn temperature to 115 and continue until the flatbread is dry but chewy, or dry and crispy, as you like it. Store in an airtight container. ♥


Veggie Jambalaya February 8, 2010

Filed under: Party Food — achanceofsunshine @ 9:33 pm
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I brought vegetarian jambalaya to a super bowl party yesterday, on a request. I didn’t have a recipe, but I thought I had an idea of what goes in it. Saying that, this could be no where near authentic (if not only because it’s vegan!) but it sure was tasty. Sorry there’s no pic. My camera’s battery is dead, and I couldn’t bear to post another camera phone picture! It’s a shame too, because the colors in this dish are so beautiful, especially while you are cooking the veggies all together on the stove top.

Veggie jambalaya
Serves 12

Leave the veggies nice and chunky when you chop them.

1 T coconut oil (or other oil that is good for heating)
1 red onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
6 oz baby carrots (half of a small package)
8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 each red, green, and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons about half an inch thick
5 roma tomatoes, chunked
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely or pressed
2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1 1/2 t (or a little more if you love it) smoked paprika
1/2 t cayenne pepper (this amount makes it mildly spicy. Amp it up if you want it really hot.)
black pepper and salt to taste (2 t salt is where I started)
2 bay leaves
5 cups vegetable stock
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 -2 1/2 cups medium or long grain brown rice (truthfully, I forgot to measure this. I used half of a 28 oz bag, which is about 2 1/2 cups.) The lesser amount will yeild a saucier stew.
chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 400.

Melt the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot (one that has a lid) over medium high heat, and add the onions. Sprinkle with a little salt. Then, as you chop the veggies down the list, add them in order to the pot. Stir, chop, and add to the pot, turning the heat down to medium after a few minutes. After all the veggies are in the pot, add the spices and herbs. Whisk 1 cup of the broth together with the tomato paste, and add it along with the remaining 4 cups of broth, to the veggies in the pot. Turn the heat up and bring everything to a boil, and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until the rice is tender, and everything is saucy and delicious. Scoop into bowls, and garnish with the parsley.

It’s mardi gras in your tummy. ♥


No Small Thing! February 6, 2010

Filed under: jewelry — achanceofsunshine @ 6:59 am
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Forest green glass and silver pendant


Slice of blue agate "Martin" necklace


There’s a unique company in Portland called Small Things Designs which does the loveliest things with hand cut silver. The necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets are sweet and feminine without sacrificing substance.  As I was browsing the online store, I noticed there’s a sister site called Stone and Honey. I am completely enchanted by the agate designs — they’re so breathtaking; it’s amazing that God created these beautiful colors to occur in nature. I love the unadorned agate and raw amethyst necklaces, but there are some really pretty agate pieces that have cut gold accents, too. They’re very creative and the work is so delicate. I think I’m drawn to these pieces because my grandpa had raw amethyst as a lawn ornament (!), and I definitely remember being fascinated with agate as a child. My mom had some funky handmade jewelry from the 70’s that these designs bring to mind as well. So, lots of warm fuzzy memories. And the pieces aren’t at crazy prices; they’re within dreaming range, and that’s enough for me right now. ♥ 

Available online and in retailers across the US.