Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Have a hankering for pumpkin in something other than pie? Or perhaps you have leftover pumpkin from making your pie? I've been serving these up to my Mama Mini Retreat, postpartum clients, co-workers, and friends all fall.

Three year olds love 'em. Grandparents love 'em. Let's bake!

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper liners.

Whisk together in a large bowl:

2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I love Bella Gluten Free products)

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ tsp salt

⅓ cup of sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

 

Whisk together in another bowl:

2 large eggs

1 cup almond milk or coconut milk

⅔ cup sugar or packed light brown sugar

¼ to ½ cup melted coconut oil (¼ cup if you are serving immediately, ½ cup if you are enjoying over a few days)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked, cold pumpkin if you are feeling ambitious)

(optional 1 cup chopped pecans or 2 teaspoons grated orange zest)

 

Add to the flour mixture and mix together with a few light strokes just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix, the batter should not be smooth. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool 2-3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

Vegan? Try flax eggs instead of regular eggs. I like the simple recipe on Minimalist Baker

Celebrating 7 Years at Faith Davis Massage & Yoga!

Celebrating 7 Years at Faith Davis Massage & Yoga!

When I started my massage practice I had no idea what would happen. Would it be a success? A failure? Would I even enjoy being a full time massage therapist? It’s hard to believe it’s already been seven years and I’m happy to report that I love it just as much (possibly even more!) than the day I opened my doors!

As I celebrate seven years in practice I am also announcing raising my rates (for only the second time since I opened). While many of you have experienced some of the changes this is a great opportunity for me to share with you the top five reasons why my rates will increase September 1st:

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One Deep Breath

I still remember one of the first times I sat down alone with the intention to meditate. I had recently returned from my first 200-hour yoga teacher training, a winter of slow living at a mountain ashram. I was just launching my massage therapy practice, working in Boulder, traveling to all of its suburbs, and reconnecting with old friends. Life was moving fast. Too fast. “I’m going to meditate every day,” I declared with the zeal of a true beginner. My intention was to force life to slow down. Six years later I can very honestly tell you I still haven’t gotten the hang of meditating every day. But: I no longer feel like life is speeding by me. What’s the secret?

 One deep breath.

Inhale...Exhale.

I take one deep breath as I wake up in the morning and one just before I fall asleep at night. I take one deep breath when I brew my coffee or tea, and one when I first step outside each morning. I take one deep breath when I’m in the midst of fun with friends, when I slow down on my yoga mat, when I experience the joy of meeting one of my client’s babies for the first time. I take one deep breath when someone cuts me off in traffic, when I have a pounding headache, when I feel overwhelmed or terribly sad. When life feels like it is flying by, I take one deep breath.

Taking these deep breaths offers a pause in my day. It offers one single moment to slowly notice how I feel. Sometimes I take a deep breath and simply ask: what do I need today? Sometimes I take a deep breath to remember to hold a particular feeling or moment in my heart. The beautiful thing about this practice is that it doesn’t require any extra time or equipment. No matter how busy you feel, how joyful or exhausted, how capable or helpless: anyone can take one deep breath.

 

This single breath in each moment of life reminds me there is time for my experience— happy or sad, joyous or heartbreaking. I don’t wish any moment away, and in this practice life stopped speeding by me and started flowing one breath at a time.

(This post was originally featured on the Mama'hood blog in January 2016.) 

 

Gratitude for the Kindness of Strangers (and Loved-Ones!)

“Mom, I’m going to make some tea,” I said to my mother, before realizing that both the tea and the mugs were out of my reach, and the kettle was too heavy for me to lift. Two days post-surgery on my parathyroid and I was getting a big lesson on how to ask for and receive help. As a postpartum doula I am usually on the other side of this equation. I remind my clients: no request is too big or too small. I offer help making meals, changing diapers, massaging away aches, and of course, brewing countless cups of tea. 

On this occasion of attempting to make tea, I had just awoken from a nap, lulled to sleep by the sound of my mother chopping vegetables for dinner (or perhaps for my next few dinners). I stirred honey into the cup of tea my mother made: stirring the honey was the only part I could do myself. I remembered just how hard it is to ask for help. Even when we really need it. It was my turn to ask and receive. 

Over the weeks that followed my surgery, I felt immense gratitude when someone brought by a meal, thoughtfully left snack and flowers on my doorstep, lifted or carried something for me, or offered to simply come keep me company on the couch. I couldn’t believe how often other people, sometimes total strangers, offered their assistance. 

This fall as we step toward Thanksgiving and our yearly celebration of gratitude for all we have, take a moment to pause and thank those who have helped you this year—those you asked and those who simply offered. You might find your circle of support is larger than you realized. 

Butternut Squash Kitchari

Fall is upon us and it is a time for cooking soups and stews. Kitchari is my favorite anytime foods and adding butternut squash, as in this recipe, makes it perfect for cool fall days and night. Kitchari can be eaten hot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner so I suggest making the full recipe. The mung dal adds protein, so no need to cook a meat on the side. (Side note: Golden mung dal or yellow split mung beans can be found at most Indian grocers or online at Banyan Botanicals. I haven't found a good substitute if you cannot find the dal.) Just before eating add shredded coconut, a squeeze of lemon or lime,  and some cilantro.

Ingredients: 

2 Tablespoons oil (I like ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 T fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 t. turmeric

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces (Low on time? Buy already peeled and chopped butternut squash or use frozen butternut squash. Add frozen same as fresh.)

1 cup golden mung dal, rinsed

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed

6 cups water (add more if you would like the kitchari to be softer or more soupy)

1 cup coconut milk

2 t. ground coriander

2T. lemon juice

2 t. salt

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (Feel free to be fancy and use just the leaves, or to chop and discard the end of the stems and then chop leaves and attached stems and add. Still delicious, but much quicker.)

 

Instructions:

1. In a large saucepan or pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes, (until onions are soft and golden). Add the fennel seeds, cumin, and turmeric and saute for 2 more minutes (until you smell the spices).

2. Add butternut squash, golden mung dal, rice, and water. Cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer over low heat for 45-60 minutes until the dal and rice are very soft and dissolving. Stir occasionally.

3. Stir in the coconut milk, coriander, lemon juice, and salt. Heat through.

4. Serve hot with fresh cilantro, shredded coconut, a squeeze of lemon or lime, and salt.

 

A note about cooking mung dal: You may notice some foaming when you cook the mung dal (and by that I mean you may notice some, or your pot may be overflowing with foam!). This is not a chemical. You do not need to throw out the dal or try to wash it again. It is the natural protective coating around the dal cooking and releasing. It is not harmful, but you may skim it from the top and toss it in the sink if you wish.