Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bye Bye Seasonal Produce

With the exception of the produce that I've frozen away in my freezer I will be saying goodbye to the following produce until its next season:

Lettuce......after eating a salad each night this past summer it won't be hard to go without this one for the next couple of months. However I am usually guilty of buying organic romaine once in awhile during the winter months.

Strawberries.......this isn't hard because the containers that are shipped in from California during the winter months don't even SMELL like real strawberrries.....they are tasteless. A waste of money in my opinion. If I crave strawberries for my daily smoothie, I will buy the odd bag of frozen strawberries. They are a bit better then the fresh ones....but not much better. know, I can not remember the last time I bought a tomato in the grocery store? It has to be years! I get mine all summer long from the farmers markets and we just do without throughout the winter. I guess we get our fix of tomato cravings from tomato sauce.

Grapes.....once the stores stop selling the USA grapes and start selling the south american ones, I quit buying grapes until next summer.

Watermelon.......I don't recall ever seeing a watermelon for sale in the middle of February in my city anyways.

Peaches, nectarines, plums, pears......we buy and eat large quantities of these fruit while in season so we don't miss them during the winter.

Besides the obvious distance out of season produce has to travel to get to us we stopped buying the above produce during the winter because the stuff just doesn't taste good! When you get spoiled by eating it fresh and at its juiciest - why settle for anything less???!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Harvest

Well, hello!! I don't expect anyone to be reading this blog since I've become so delinquent in my posts. The kids were out of school for the summer so spending time with them outdoors has been my top priority. But, they are back in school full time now and I've been busy with doing some fall food storage.

I took a bunch of pictures to post here - some of my freezer and storage closet full of food, some canning pictures, etc etc. but for some reason I can not upload them today. This computer just isn't cooperating. So, you'll have to settle for a pictureless post. Sorry :(

So, what have I been up to???

1. I put together an 'emergency tote' with enough supplies for 72 hours - supplies that would be needed in case we are without power and/or water. I followed the guidelines as set out at . I purchased a practical kit from that has first aid supplies, wind up radio, etc etc. to go in my tote of food, water, blankets, etc.
2. I've been filling our freezer with food from our weekly CSA box. (which sadly came to an end last Saturday) (sniff, sniff) Any food we didn't eat up each week got put in the freezer for the winter months. For example, we always got a ton of spinach and swiss chard. And even though I eat some of that every day in my daily green smoothie there was always plenty left each week. So I froze the leftovers. Volia - I've got enough spinach and swiss chard for at least 6 months worth of smoothies.
3. Other items in my freezer for the winter months include: beets (i peeled and cut into chunks for the smoothies), kale (from my container garden), blueberries (locally picked), green peppers (that I've already diced up), green beans, broccoli (which I didn't get enough of and will be finished in about 2 months) and strawberries. Actually, I finished the last bag of strawberries last week. Sadly we only picked 6 3 litre baskets and never got back to the field to pick anymore . So those baskets only lasted from July-October. Note to self: PICK MORE STRAWBERRIES. I completely missed out on raspberries this year.
4. I stocked up a small broom closet with enough food for about 3 months. As sales arise I will try to build up an even bigger food supply. Some of the items in this closet are: tomato sauces, noodles, bags of rice, dried beans, locally made saurkraut, local honey, a big bag of flour and enough potatoes to get us through to Christmas - maybe even longer. If they don't sprout on me.
5. I canned chili sauce and my hubbie canned pickles. That is the only canning I did this year.
6. I dried the herbs from my container garden in my bedroom closet - on trays. (oregano, dill, and sage) Then I crushed the herbs and put into glass jars.
7. Along with a 3 month supply of food, I also stocked up on personal care items: toliet paper, soaps (locally made), razors, shampoos, etc. I cleared off a shelf in our linen closet and made room for all these items.
8. I made the switch to reusuable menstral pads and am loving them. I got a kit from You can get any info you like from that website.

I am pleased with the amount of food I accumulated thoughout the summer. We did better then last year so it's an improvement. Obviously if I had gotten enough to last us till May that would be even better....but baby steps. I focused on getting the things we eat the most of. Like the spinach as I can not get that organic here in the winter months. I can never find saurkraut that is fresh either - the stuff at the grocery store is full of sulfites. So having a few big jars in the closet is great for us.
With all the scary talk on the news about rising food costs, food shortages, food storage it got me to thinking that I had better get my family prepared. So I took the steps this past summer to build up a food supply - it may not be huge, but its a start. As we go along we are learning!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Belated Canada Day!!

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post! shheeeze......but in my own defence we've been hanging outside for the most part.

One of these days I will take some photos of the CSA box we've been getting each week. I've been practically giddy each time picking it up. ha ha For the past three weeks we've enjoyed - all organic - spinach, swiss chard, green onions, rhubarb, garlic scapes, and salad greens. We don't always get through all the spinach each week so i've been putting some in the freezer for our winter green smoothies. The kale in my 'container' garden has been growing up nicely - we've already enjoyed some - I ended up planting some more in hopes of keeping it going into the winter - but we'll see how that goes.

Yesterday we spent some of the day picking strawberries. We picked 6 3litre start us off. I've set aside one of the baskets to eat over the next couple of days and the rest are going in the freezer for the winter months. I love popping them into smoothies or having on breakfast cereal. I imagine I'll have to go back this coming wknd and pick some more. Last year in our experimental stage of food storage I realized that I did not freeze enough berries. We eat our freezer supply by Christmas. Soooooo, I'm making sure I put enough away this year. I decided to 'hoard' the foods that I can not get here in the winter. For example, I have not once seen organic kale in our grocery stores here. So I've been growing it in hopes to have enough to get us through the winter. Same thing with the strawberries - the ones you get here all winter long are shipped in from California (which if you do the math from California to Ontario, Canada is quite the trek for a container of strawberries). They do not taste like a strawberry at all and they are completely white in the centre of them....making them devoid of any nutrition in my mind. Hence the strawberry picking yesterday for our freezer storage so we get ripe, juicy strawberries all year long.

Another thing I've been doing (instead of blogging lately) is yoga. I signed up for a two week intensive yoga class that is each morning from 6:30 am to 7:30 am OUTSIDE! If you have never practiced yoga outside please do so! It is exhilirating! I love it. I also do a weekly yoga class indoors too.

I'll try my best to keep up a regular blog but its so much fun outdoors right now...... please do not hate me if another month goes by before you hear from me again!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My new juicer!!

I finally replaced my juicer! I've mentioned in the past that my present juicer is garbage - I wasn't getting a whole lot of juice out of the fruits/veggies. It was a cheap Wallmart variety that I actually got for free a few years ago because I cashed in some Airmiles for it. Anywho, this new baby is an Omega 8005 model. It will even juice wheatgrass! I can make nut butters with it - ice creams - nut milks - and use it as a food processor. After using it a few times this past wknd I realize I definately got my moneys worth! It is super quiet (unlike my old one), easy to clean and assemble. I have only juiced with it - I have not tried out its other functions yet.

Another thing I snagged this wknd were two Raw cookbooks; Rawvolution by Matt Amsdsen and Raw Food/Real World by Matthew Kenney. I've already read both books cover to cover and look forward to trying out some of the recipes this week. I think I will start with a dessert.......:)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A raw food dinner.

Let me start by saying that I have NO photography skills whatsoever. ha ha But I figure a post is alot better with some pictures - even if they aren't so skillfully taken.

Now I don't have a picture of the actual dinner served on our plates (forgot -sorry!) but what I have here are the leftovers in different bowls to show you.

For dinner last night I made Spicy Thai Wraps (actual wrap not shown), with a sweet mango dipping sauce, (the yellow stuff in the small bowl) a side of "rice" (in bowl beside mango sauce) and sweet avocado chocolate pudding (not shown here - see previous post for pic).

The thai wraps consisted of a filling (upper right hand corner) made from almond butter, napa cabbage, amongst other ingredients. The recipe said to wrap the filling in chard leaves, but I chose romaine leaves instead. I did not find them spicy at all - my kids found them sour (I can't imagine how).

The mango sauce for dipping was awesome. The recipes for the thai filling, the "rice" and the mango sauce is here. I will definately make them again. It was very simple to whip up.

The 'rice' was cauliflower and cashews whized around in the FP. (food processor) It actually had the consistency of a sticky white rice - but obviously not the flavour. The kids eat ALOT of it. Once again - it was simple to make - I just had to remember to soak the cashews for the day.

I mentioned in my previous post loving the sweet avocado chocolate pudding - so I made another batch. It is very rich, so we added a few raspberries to our servings - and kept the serving very small.

What made me giddy about sitting down to this meal was its presentation. The green leaves stuffed with a sauce, a yellow dipping sauce on the side and a ball of "sticky rice". I felt like we were eating gourmet for the night. The raw meal had lots of colour and we weren't left feeling uncomfortably full afterwards. (as some carb loaded vegan meals tend to do) And the meal left us satisfied for 3 hours....then it was time for a bedtime snack. There was no more preparation in this particular meal then any cooked vegan meal I make.

I made a couple of other things for tonight's dinner. Pictured in the upper left corner is some Moist Chocolate Brownies. I also whipped up some salsa to go with a Walnut "Meat" taco salad. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I will have to keep experimenting with different raw meals in hopes of finding a weeks worth that the kids love. The kids are always good sports and will try everything and eat most of it even if they don't prefer it. I eventually found vegan (cooked) meals that the kids liked and we tend to rotate that stuff. The hubbie however, has never liked ANY vegan meal. He likes his meat, cheese and dairy and no amount of recipe testing has ever changed that in 8 years of marriage. He did not like last night's meal - and I didn't expect him too. Like usual, he ate the entire plate's worth of food but grimaced and gagged the whole time. Like WTF!! He never complains or makes comments - so I appreciate that I suppose. Anyways, we have found a happy balance because he eats breakfast and lunch in restaurants 5 days a week for work (thankfully not on our tab) so he is kept happy eating what he wants at those meals.

Off of food and onto organic cotton. Pictured here is my new organic cotton duvet cover!! I found it at a store in Oakville, Ontario. Shipping was free and it arrived promptly. I have a wool blanket that my parents had for years and did not want anymore - so I put that inside the duvet cover and it works beautifully!

So now I have a complete bed of organic cotton sheets and blankets. Once the pillows are groddy they will be replaced with organic ones AND I hope to have an organic mattress someday - but this bed is only 6 years old - so that won't be anytime soon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tree planting is where I have been.

I can't believe I haven't posted since April. Geeze. We've been tree planting around here! Here are my sons and I getting dirty.
I've been dabbling in the world of Raw eats. Trying out some recipes. Seeing if I would consider converting from vegan to Raw vegan. Well, it's soooo tempting. There are alot of good raw treats out there. The only pic I've taken so far is this chocolate pudding. The recipe is at The Raw Goddess's blog. I was skeptical about making it as the main ingredient is avocado....but AWESOME! It was rich, and thick, and just plain yummy. The pic does not do it justice. I thought of taking the pic after I had dug in. ha ha

As well as eating raw goodies, we've been doing a bit of gardening. I've got our herbs in pots so far. We've still had a bit of frost some mornings, so I haven't put anything (except the kale and beets) outside yet. The kale and beets we started from seeds. The herbs I bought already started.

For mother's day the kids and I made some fruit bouquets. I got the idea from Rawdorable's blog as she got a bouquet of fruit for her birthday. It was not hard to make and we'll definately do that again!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

11th Hour DVD

We just finished watching the 11th Hour. It is produced and narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio. I loved it!! You can watch the trailer for it at and see for yourself why it's a must see. Also, you can visit for more solutions on what you can do as an individual or as a community to help save our precious planet.