I spent last weekend doing yoga and more yoga at Wanderlust Festival Austin. I took classes from rockstar yogis, like Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Janet Stone and MC Yogi. We posed, we flowed, we flew, we laughed, we danced and we had a blast. And since we were in Austin, we ate some pretty good food too.
I’ve been a busy little foodie yoga girl lately. Busy in life, busy on my mat and busy in the kitchen. Last weekend, while I was playing at a local lake, I stumbled upon a banana tree. Right here in Houston. I didn’t even know they grew here. The bananas were so cute. Little tiny things with thin skins. And they were really, really sweet and reminded me of banana cream pie. So guess what I decided to make this week?
Driving around Santa Fe and Taos last week we saw several roadside tents selling piñons. Being the curious foodie that I am, we had to stop and check it out. Piñons are pine nuts that come from a slow growing pine that is the state tree of New Mexico. And the bag we bought just outside of Taos contained the best pine nuts I’d ever had. They were so fresh and buttery. Oh my.
I’m happy as a clam just snacking on these babies, but I thought I’d use them in a recipe. I had made blue corn pancakes over the weekend and thought I’d try making vegan muffins. The first batch I made were, well, terrible. Really heavy and not very tasty. The recipe that I’m sharing with you is adapted from Vegetarian Times and it’s so good. I made a little jam to go with it, but you could use any jam from the farmers market or your local store.
My kids are teenagers (my youngest turns 13 tomorrow!) and they very rarely go to the grocery store with me. It doesn’t seem that long ago when they were ALWAYS with me. One in the shopping cart and one glued to my hip. I remember the few times I’d shop by myself and it felt like such a luxury.
Well every now and then I can talk one of them into joining me on a trip to the store. Now it’s a gift to spend that kind of time with them. Funny the way it is. Anyway, recently Eli and I were checking out the produce area and he asked if we could get some organic plums. Hmmmmm…YES!!! They were the best plums ever and I decided to play with a few sorbet ideas.
Heather is one of my YTT classmates and she brought these delicious treats to share with our group. I warn you now, these are a little addictive. Very hard to have just one. And it’s crazy, but they really taste like oatmeal raisin cookie dough, but are made with super healthy ingredients like cashews, hemp seeds and shredded coconut.
So I stopped by my local farmers market yesterday afternoon and somehow got totally inspired to make this. It started when I walked by the blueberry guy. There was no way I was leaving without some of those babies. Then I spent a long time talking with the lavender guy. He had some tomato samples sprinkled with this amazing lavender seasoning…oh my.
When I saw this cute little tin of culinary lavender, I knew I wanted to pair the blueberries and lavender in some way. I’ve actually never put these two things together, but they seem like a natural flavor combination. Think I will probably be playing around with this idea some more.
Peaches are ripe and ready here in Texas. And I’m lucky enough to have a yoga friend with two peach trees in her backyard — one yellow and one white. They are absolutely beautiful. Full of sweet, fragrant fruit.
My friend, Nicki, has lots of fruit trees in her yard and keeps a wonderful raised garden on the side of her house. She grows things like romaine lettuce, arugula, mint, tomatoes, kale, swiss chard. For her meals and snacks, she just walks outside and picks a few things. I’m in awe of her.
How is it even remotely possible that I have been writing this blog for nearly six months and I am just now posting a granola recipe? I mean come on…yoga + granola…it just sort of goes. Don’t ya think?
I love having homemade granola in the house. It’s so easy to make and the variations are endless. The inspiration for this recipe came from a recent trip to my local health food/homeopathic store called the Natural Kitchen. Such a cool little shop. I’m amazed by how much they pack into this tiny little storefront. But I always seem to find exactly what I need whenever I stop in.
Think of this as a little gift to yourself. A healthy snack that you can take with you when you’re on the run and need a little pick-me-up. Great for before or after yoga or any activity for that matter. Nice for kids lunches, too.
In yoga, prana is life energy that is connected to our breath. In Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar says, “Prana means breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy or strength. It also connotes the soul as opposed to the body.” So it’s probably some kind of blasphemy to call this recipe “prana bars,” but if Mr. Iyengar tasted these, I bet he’d forgive me.
The recipe could not be any easier. Throw healthy stuff in a food processor. Shape the mixture into bars — that’s pretty much it.
Every year I make chocolate-covered strawberries for my boys for Valentine’s Day. This is a tradition that really shouldn’t be messed with. Chocolate + Strawberries = Love. But I thought it might be fun to add a little something this year, so I made this to-die-for chocolate pudding. It’s super easy and vegan!
I got a little crazy with the whole coconut thing and used coconut palm sugar, coconut milk and coconut oil in this recipe. The result is actually a subtle hint of coconut which is a perfect compliment to the chocolate.
First combine coconut sugar (or brown sugar) with cornstarch in a saucepan. Then gradually add non-dairy milk, your choice, I used coconut milk. Heat over medium heat and whisk constantly. This smells really good, kind of like caramel.