Somehow – slowly – I have become THAT girl. AND just a step or two behind me is my husband. We are the neighbours who HARVEST their dandelion heads to bake cookies, who refuse to water – ever – and instead let the grass die then plant clover instead. We use salvaged items to DIY our home renovations, and build play structures in the yard. We grow greens vertically in the basement. We sprout beans and seeds in the windows. We wash our clothes with soap berries and essential oils and clean the house with vinegar…on and on it goes. Friends are always a little sceptical of my baking because they know it is likely made with cauliflower, or beans, or some other nutrient rich item in disguise! LOL
I grew up in the city. I think of myself as a modern city girl. But the truth is over the years we have been shaped by shifting priorities and the needs of our children (and planet). We have morphed. My husband and I have decided to embrace this new identity. We used to call our selves “Team Tabernooche” (the Franco – Ontarian goof balls) now we call ourselves “The Urban Hippies”.
The areas I feel I have the most to share are Green home and Baking. So if you feel curious – follow along 🙂 – and PLEASE DO! I love feedback and conversation.
(Want a little more of the story? Read below)
OH HOW I LOVE TO BAKE!
I can not describe the feeling. When I step into my kitchen it is like an invisible shield forms around me. We could host a rodeo in the living room and I wouldn’t mind at all. It is a lot like gardening for me. It creates a sense of closeness to my mother and grandmother that I take great delight in. I recall sweet childhood moments and rainy days in the kitchen. But there is more to it than that. Unlike gardening, I’m pretty good at it! Creating a little morsel and then handing it to someone and watching them light up gives me the same kind of pleasure you get watching a child light up when you have picked JUST the right gift. SHARED JOY...magic.
THANK GOD I LOVE TO BAKE!
My children are the pickiest little toots on the planet! My 9 year old in particular has a lot of texture aversion, and colour, and basically anything new lol. Being on medications that dull his appetite doesn’t help. Nor does the fact that I am a BAKER – not a cook! We eat healthy, but variety is LOW and we tend to miss out in the fruit and veggie category (sound familiar to any parents out there?)
When my son was young he went through a bout of iron deficiency anemia. That lead us to phase one. I started baking with beans, making chocolate spreads out of seeds and dates etc. We looked for iron fortified favourite foods and got him back on track. But it wasn’t until a little later that we hit full throttle.
When Trystan was starting down the path toward ADHD diagnosis we ran the gauntlet of alternative ideas and solutions. Nutrition is a hot topic and of course we were advised to try gluten and dairy free. I clutched my heart and tried not to faint, “Ummm….my kid has eaten peanut butter toast every day of his LIFE. Pretty sure it’s the only reason he has survived this long!” I was really stressed. Then came the cost. I honestly sat in my car and had a mini panic attack the first time I bought gluten free bread at 8 bucks a loaf! And I was VERY agitated when I read the ingredients and realised that in addition to gluten this bread was also missing pretty much all food value. GRRrrrr…..
YOGI BREATHS and BABY STEPS
I took a few deep breaths. I told myself to slow down and just start looking for some recipes that I could make for my kids that would be gluten free and healthy. I figured we could build from a few successes and slowly phase out the crappy stuff. We muddled along, failing in the world of bread for a while, and then stumbled onto pancakes. From pancakes to muffins and from there the flame was lit! Once gluten was under control I decided it was time to become a kitchen NINJA. I started sneaking everything I could think of into everything I made..beets, cauliflower, carrot, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin on and on it went! Just about the only thing you can’t hide in baked goods is broccoli (workin’ on it! ;). From the flame grew the fire. I started playing with gluten free flour options, eliminating the fillers like rice flour and making it a game to pack in as much iron and protein rich content as I could. It’s a bit of an obsession. And all the while a journey of love.
THE PAY OFF
Handing my sons a muffin knowing it is jam packed with goodness gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction beyond words. When I make them “pancake sandwiches” for lunch, they think I’m mother of the year…and I FEEL like her, knowing that what they are getting in those little morsels is more than some people will get in their entire meal! Every moment that I spend baking my boys are my centre. I am mindful of their likes, dislikes and needs. Time spent for them is second only to time spent WITH them. SO I BAKE.
I call my creations Little Love Bites. Because it’s cute, and catchy and they are truly made with love.
In this blog I will share successes, failures and recipes. You may even get a few surprises as I slowly branch into the world of COOKING (eeepppp!!)
We have always been an environmentally conscious family. As time has gone on I have learned more, seen more and with that I have become determined to DO more and consume FAR LESS!! We have approached our steps toward green living with the same strategy as food. Small changes, choices and experiments every day to shrink our foot prints on the earth. I feel this is the greatest gift we can give our children, on SO many levels.
In these pages I will share the successes and shenanigans of environmental DIY!!