Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding with Coconut Whip


Everything looks yummy in a mason jar. 

Forgive me for skipping out on my round up for June.  This summer has been going by altogether too fast.  More on that jazz later.  The biggest feature in our kitchen this summer has been the banana.  Because Oliver has developed a serious addiction to this mushy fruit, we have to keep a bunch on hand at all times.  This results in many of our dishes using bananas to keep from spoiling or overcrowding the freezer.

I’ve posted about the many benefits of chia seeds before, on this post, but until last week I had never made my own chia pudding.  I’ve seen recipes for it a dozen times, it always looked quick and easy, so why has this escaped me?  Not only is this recipe nutrient packed, but its sugar free, soy free, gluten free and pretty darn tasty.  The strange tapioca-like texture of the pudding pairs perfectly with the smooth coconut whip cream.  Both are sweetened just enough to not overwhelm your palate.

Chocolate Banana chia pudding with coconut whip


  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Dash of sea salt

  • 1 can coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

  • Fresh banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some chocolate chips for garnish (optional)


  1. Place almond milk, chia seeds, bananas, dates, raw cacao, vanilla and salt in blender and blend till all ingredients are smooth.
  2. Place in covered container in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the coconut whipped cream. Open the can of coconut milk carefully. scoop out the top layer of cream, while reserving the leftover coconut water for another recipe (smoothie perhaps). Place in bowl and add agave, vanilla, and shredded coconut. Whisk by hand or with hand mixer till fluffy. (Do not over whisk, or you will have soupy whip)
  4. After becoming super impatient, find some serving glasses or jars.
  5. Stack as a trifle alternating the chia pudding/coconut whip as desired. You can also just dollop some of the whip as you like.
  6. Garnish with fresh banana slices, chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.




Chia is also loaded with fiber, making this pudding also makes a great breakfast.  It is also so creamy that it satisfies any desire for dairy.  Im thinking ground up chia seeds may be the perfect binder for a raw banana cream pie.  Enjoy!



 Oliver gettin down with his banana filled mesh feeder at the Riverwest Co op

Sheboygan’s Culinary Car


JMKAC’s Culinary Car.

It’s almost finished! Well so I’m told. The John Michael Kohler arts center has teamed up with Nourish to create this amazing mobile car/truck/bus!  The creative minds behind this adventure are connecting the community through food and arts.  They will be using the truck to preform demonstrations on healthy eating, and help educate the public.  The big premiere will be at this weekends Mid Summer Festival of the Arts, this Saturday & Sunday, July 19th and 20th.  This festival features tons of local artists, workshops and live music throughout the day.

Vegpod has the honor of giving a food demo on board this magical bus at 3pm on Saturday.  Come hang out after the farmers market.  I will be walking through steps of those Raw stuffed tomatoes everyone loves, and giving out samples and the recipe.  Yahoo for community!

Banana Bread


Sheboygan Wisconsin is cold and rainy.  Its June, and I’m wearing socks.  I never wear socks, so it must be cold.  Aside from Zucchini bread, I like to make most of my other loaf breads in the fall.  The colder weather slowly trickles inside, and the warmth of running the oven for over an hour with the smells only seems fit for that time of year.

The fresh zucchini of the season won’t be around for another month, and my over ripe bananas needed to be used somehow.  Thus, Banana Bread.  Just hearing those two words makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.


Bananas have high levels of tryptophan, that stuff then turns into serotonin, which keeps your brain happy and keeps you more alert.  They are the most popular fruit in the US.  Did you know that the bananas we eat today are different from those 20 years ago?  I have heard that the strain of bananas we most commonly use, currently called the cavendish, is going extinct! But no need to stress.  Chances are our grandparents were eating a different type of banana, and we never even noticed the switch.

Banana Bread


  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup earth balance, at room temp
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well, but still a little chunky
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 8×4 bread pan with non stick cooking spray.
  3. Mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle.
  4. In one bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside
  5. In mixer, cream sugar and earth balance till light and fluffy. Mix in mashed bananas, almond milk, and vanilla.
  6. Gently stir in flour mixture to banana mixture.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  8. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
  9. Allow to slightly cool before removing from pan.


Around here, when we can’t find friends to help us finish the loaf within the first day, we will warm up a slice with some melted earth balance or coconut oil for breakfast.  Enjoy!


DIY Bug Spray

I don’t know where you live, but since the start of June, the mesquitos of Wisconsin have been out to get me!  Where did I wrong them?

Most of the common bug sprays are not safe for children and pets, and are in no way at all composed of natural ingredients.  I decided it was just another product I could easily make at home.  Check my post here for my DIY Laundry soap….life changing!


So quick and simple, here it is:

For a 12 oz. spray bottle, pour in 6oz. distilled water.

Add 5 oz. with witch hazel.  (I like to use Thayers Aloe Vera blend)

Add in 10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops lavender oil, 10 drops eucalyptus oil, and 10 drops clove oil.

Give it a shake, spray and you’re set for the outdoors!


I did run out of clove oil, so I steeped a ‘tea’ of 1 cup distilled water with 2 Tablespoons of whole cloves, and 1 Tablespoon of dried peppermint. This solution would replace the water and clove oil. It smells great too!

Roundup : May 2014


Fish Creek, WI.

What a busy month!  Ever feel like vacation takes more out of you, and you need a vacation after vacation?  I’ll skip the sob story of how much non-stop fun we’ve been having and tell you in a more neatly compiled list.

Wisconsin-  So we’re back.  After a long baby-crying/mommy-crying car ride, we’ve arrived back in Sheboygan.  I did not pack as many sweaters or jeans as I should have, but the weather seems to be warming up, and it looks like I get another month of spring.  The farmers markets start June 7th, and I can’t wait to see familiar faces, and get back to cooking all day!  I am also excited to give Oliver some much needed Grandparent time!

Foraging-  Foraging is the concept of searching and harvesting wild food.  Of course what you find will always vary on where you live, and what season it is.  For a lovely Wisconsin spring day we hope to find fiddlehead ferns, asparagus, ramps, and morel mushrooms.  We scored a ton of ramps, which we are going to try to pickle the bulbs, and dehydrate the leaves.  Maybe we can launch a raw ramp ranch dressing at the farmers market!  Erik scored a couple stalks of asparagus which Oliver used as a new teething toy. If you’ve never tried to forage, I highly recommend it.  It is so much fun searching around, and you will discover things you never thought to pay attention to before.   Nature is so wonderful!  I have also been seeing a ton of beautiful recipes for tempura dandelions, as well as dandelion french toast.  So pretty.


Ramp crazed.

The end of my ‘no-poo’-  I was under the impression that everyone had heard of this by now.  To my surprise, almost no one I talked with about this understood what it meant!  A few months back, my hair started thinning after Oliver was born.  I knew it was coming, but I had no idea how much I would be losing.  For me, it was quite traumatic.  If you had just passed me on the street, I’m sure you wouldn’t notice.  I am not one to oversaturate any part of my body with too much product (even the organics) so I thought this was the perfect time to try out the no-poo method.

The no-poo theory consists of washing your hair with a baking soda solution, and rinsing with an apple cider vinegar solution.  Sounds so easy right?  I gave it a solid 3 months before I came crawling back to my Jason hair products.  I missed the lather, I missed the smell, and I felt as though it wasn’t aiding any of my hair thinning.  I was still wearing my hair back everyday.  So I quit.  I am still thinking about making my own shampoo.

Angel Olson-  If you have never listened to the sound of her voice, stop everything and watch the video below.  She reminds me a bit of Karen Dalton: unique voice, and very old-timey sounding.  I don’t know bout y’all but I am so so SO over the girly girl voice these days.  She has a new album out, and is touring at this very moment.  Major girl crush…. nuff said.

Eating Animals-  Another great book by Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals has been said to convert  long time vegetarians to vegan activists.  Not that yours truly needed any convincing, but every now and then it’s good to reassure your beliefs, and remember why you hold them so dear.  His perspective on how our culture regards certain animals with greater importance than others is unique and thought provoking; the same people who wouldn’t flinch at eating a burger would cringe at the thought of devouring their dog and vice versa.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, not just my fellow veg-heads.

51flAsKFoAL                     First-Teacher-NewCover-thumb-200x301-6

You Are Your Childs First Teacher-  I wish this book was longer.  Or rather I wished Rahima Dancy wrote a follow up into the teen years.  Its so great that every time I try to reference anything out of it, I end reading so much more than planned.  I grow closer to trying to raise Oliver in a modified Waldorf fashion, and this book goes over so many great natural techniques to develop with our children.  When I put the book down, I feel a little more assured of my parenting.

Indiana Jones-  To be more specific, we watched the first of the series, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  How in the world has my husband existed 30 years on this planet without seeing any Indie Jones movies!  I can’t say I know what it was that attracted me so much to them as a child.  Perhaps the tom-boy inside wanting to take down the bad guys while discovering historic relics.  Or maybe it was Harrison Ford.  George Lucas no doubt was ahead of his time.  It was great to see the action, the romance, and of course, laugh at the gory death scenes.  The classics never get old.


That was my month!  How was yours?

Roundup : April 2014


My new loom.

 I’ve decided that I would start a roundup of all my favorite things/happenings/interests of the past month.  Sort of a what-I’m-into-these-days kind of thing for each month.  So much is happening that I want to share, but who wants to read an entire blog post on my new obsessions with wall tapestries?  (Well, I would, but that’s beside the point) Here goes:

Wall Tapestries–  I’ve been loving my new rigid heddle loom my hubby got me for Christmas.  I started seeing these mini woven wall hangings online and wanted to try one out on my loom.  I believe they are usually made on frame looms, but I figured I could make it work on my rigid heddle.  I bought some odd textured yarn from the fabric store and gave it a shot.  I must say I’m quite pleased!  It’s sort of 70’s boho sheik, but if you know anything about me, then you’ll know it’s right up my alley!  I will post some pictures of my first wall hangings soon.


These lovely pieces are made by Justine Ashbee.  I am becoming slightly obsessed with her work.

Game Of Thrones-  Yup.  It’s happened.  I knew something had to fill the place of ‘The Walking Dead’, and G.O.T. has been awesome!  So much action, great character development, and the story behind it all intrigues me. We’ve finished season 1, and are going to see how long we can hold off before starting season 2.  Erik has become a slight fanatic as well, which makes both our early mornings unbearable.  I also just found out that Peter Dinklage (who plays Tyrion Lannister), is a vegan!

The General Store-  Has anyone been here?  Am I preaching to the choir?  I follow one of the women, Hannah Henderson on Instagram, who co-runs this amazing shop in Venice Beach CA.  I am lucky not to live out there anymore, or I fear I’d have no money left to eat!  Everything they sell seems delicately hand picked.

DSC_0280_grandeTriangle cutting boards….drool.

Blind PilotThis love affair has been going on for quite sometime.  I think with the coming of spring, Blind Pilot tunes are such a nice fit.  All of their albums are quite good, but lately their iTunes live show has been in repeat in my kitchen.

Stencils-  Another old obsession, but since our little one has been growing leaps and bounds, we had to craft up another array of onesies.  I even made a special 13 pointed lightening bolt (homage to the grateful dead).  So much fun.  I will attempt to make these shirts next week for some special people.  In case you were wondering how I have perfected the skill of stenciling, check out my post here.

imagesShop Midnight Rider.

Food- March is always a transitional month for vegetables.  I am so thankful that winter has ended in Maryland.  As far as food here, we’ve been enjoying asparagus, fiddle head ferns, lots of sweet potatoes, and lots of greens, with the pairings of heartier meals such as loafs and stews.  I am still awaiting rhubarb, which I think should be peaking sometime soon. I have also been working at perfecting my chocolate chip recipe (I am close!) which has resulted in late night cookie feasts….no one’s complaining.


 Perfecting perfect.

Books-  The babe and I have been trying out our yoga moves together with Baby Om.  So far when we get going its been nothing but laughs.  Though that makes it a little hard for me to take it serious.  I’ve also been skipping through pages of The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Sears.  Its completely been mind blowing!  As a person who has spent the last 13 years of her life checking ingredient labels, learning about the preservatives in each vaccine has been slightly disturbing.


This cover pose, the child’s flying pose, is by far Olivers favorite!

That concludes my month!  Till next.

Raw Nut Mylk


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As a mostly full time, stay at home mom, the perks of making all of my own food seems endless.  I don’t just mean making breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I’m talking about making my own ingredients.

I suppose before the new family addition, it was difficult to see how I would find the time to manifest doing anything.  And of course some days it still is (like this blog for example!)  But as Oliver’s duration of sleep at night gets a little longer, and the naps are plentiful, I am happily enjoying the time I have to stray away from the ‘processed’ food we were eating.

I’d like to think that my diet is as healthy as it can be.  I eat an entirely plant based diet, mostly organic, full of whole grains and legumes.  But there were a couple things hanging over my head that I knew could be eliminated.  For example, why was I not making my own almond milk?  I had already dived into making my own yogurt, and vegan-naise, so why still buy the processed nut milks?  Once my lovely vitamix came into my life, I had no excuse.

So here goes:  My raw almond mylk recipe (plain, chocolate, and strawberry versions as well!)

Raw Nut Mylk


  • 1 cup raw almonds, or any other nut
  • 4 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 Tbl. agave (optional)
  • pinch celtic salt
  • 1/2 tea. vanilla
  • To make chocolate or strawberry mylk, you will need 2-3 Tbl. raw cacao, or 4 frozen strawberries)


  1. Soak raw almonds in warm water with a pinch of salt for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain water, then rinse.
  3. Place almonds and filtered water in blender. Turn on high for about 2 minutes.
  4. Using a nut milk bag, place bag over a large bowl or carafe. Pour in almond mylk.
  5. Gently twist the top of bag (so not to lose any!) and start to work out the liquid leaving behind the nut pulp.
  6. Return mylk back to the blender and add remaining ingredients (Add cacao or strawberries here.)
  7. Blend on low just to incorporate, unless you are adding in the frozen strawberies- then blend on high.


Simple.  If you have a toddler hanging around, this is a terrific recipe to let them help.  Lailah, my 3 year old roommate, loves dancing and counting with me as we wait for the almonds to blend.  She also enjoys “milking” the almonds, and being the first to chug some  of the finished product, making sure we made it correctly.  So fun!


You also don’t need to discard the pulp!  I keep it in a mason jar in the fridge and stir a couple spoonfuls into my steel cut oatmeal in the mornings.  Protein boost!

Long ago I gave up soy milk, and switched to only buying soy products that were free of GMO’s and organic.  But as of a week ago, I gave up soy.  As a tofu scramble loving vegan, it was a hard thing to do!  And I’ve started to realize how much soy plays the partner to corn.  Soy lecithin is such a sneaky ingredient! Next on my list will be attempts at a vegan butter.  I’m so thankful earth balance has a soy free butter.

photo 2

My pre babe DIY month

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My entire 10 months of awaiting Oliver was filled with random happenings.  Aside from working full time at Field to Fork and the farmers markets, we packed up our whole house, put 90% of our belongings in storage, and moved to the east coast.  Once we were settled in,I had about a month to dilly dally; and find another low key job that would allow me to stay off my feet, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.  After finding the two perfect jobs, I finally started to get my nesting on!

I feel as though I am a natural nester.  I love my home.  Since most of our belongings are still in storage I’ve had to turn our bedroom into my little nest.  Our space is pretty limited, but we make the most of it.

I knew we wanted to use cloth diapers from the start.  Now because I’d be washing a batch of dirty diapers every morning, why wouldn’t I use cloth wipes?  I first cut up a pair of old flannel pajama pants, then got some hand me down flannel fabric scraps.  After cutting up square after square, it was sew time!  Finished product:


And voila!  Cute, soft on your bum, cloth wipes!  Here is a link to a tutorial.  And whats even better, is my homemade bum spray!  My solution is made up of Dr. Bronners unscented baby soap, sunflower oil, lavender, calendula, and camomile oils, along with a couple drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Erik and I recently drove back to Wisconsin for Christmas break.  On the road, we knew it would be hard to wash our diapers, so we used the Seventh Generation and Naty brand of disposables.  We also used an organic disposable wipe.  Oliver had a rash by day 2.  As soon as we arrived in WI we switched back to our Soft Bums and cloth wipes. The rash disappeared.
Side note:  Soft Bums are made in the USA.  Whoot whoot!

My next project stemed from realizing how much paper work comes with a baby!  I know we’ve always had papers that needed some organizing, so I decided to bring home a file cabinet from work and modge podge it. My roommate had this great copy of an extremely old dictionary, and that worked perfectly.


It turned out awesome.  Nice and neutral, and so easy to do. I now feel super organized!  

The next thing I knew I had to make was a mobile.  At the start of fall we had been collecting numerous varieties of leaves.  The fall here felt like it only ended at the start of December so we had plenty of time to collect the best of the colors.  We dried and flattened them in books, then I laminated them.  My original plan was to hang the leaves from some roughed up looking sticks, but my roommate got me on this gods eye kick.  So I decided to make a massive Gods eye using 3 sticks, and then hang the leaves from there.


Some of those leaves look pre-historic!

 I think it turned out awesome!  It does seem a little over the top, but as Oliver starts to see lines and patterns more clearly, he loves the reflection the laminate gives when it hits the sunlight from the window.  And I love the idea of us capturing the Autumn of his birth.  It was such a happy time for us!

The last project we accomplished was our onesies.  I am so proud of these onesies.  I also can’t stress how EASY they we to make.  I am still amazed I never thought to try this technique before.  I mean Freezer paper?!?  I’m not even sure I know how to use freezer paper for its intended purpose.  I now have all these crazy ideas for shirts, pillow cases, cloth napkins, a cool pair of high top chucks, you name it!  And just think of all the possible gift options!  Here is a link to the tutorial as well as the print out templates.  She also writes about bleaching techniques which I’ll have to try next.

20140104-114848.jpgMy little lotus.

The only sad thing, as I was warned of this, was how quick he’s grown out of them.  Erik and I still try to squeeze him into our favorites, but my how time is flying!  I sadly already have a box saved for future children, should there be any.

As for the projects I didn’t get to finish:  Cloth napkins and Cold pressed soap.  I purchased everything to make a camomile bar soap as Christmas presents, then discovered you have to let the soap sit for at least 4 weeks to allow excess water to drain.  I knew they wouldn’t be done in time, so I will have to shoot for Valentines presents.

When little Ollie arrived of course there was a million more things I wished I had gotten done.  But thats a thing of the past.  I’m now trying to teach myself to just allow things to go.  Who cares if I don’t sweep?  Who cares if the laundry sits there another day?  The only job I have right now is being a mom to this little nugget we brought into this crazy world.  And its the most important job I’ve ever had!