Judith Geher & My Favourite Gluten-Free Homemade Staples
Just finished watching the final instalment of Gossip Girl (I’ve been a fan on and off since the beginning), and can’t help but applaud a great ending episode to the series. Both pleasing and instructive to the watcher, the heartwarming conclusion nearly brought me to tears (sap, I know). The big reveal of who she was, the strategy behind why that said person became her (I refuse to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it), and the glimpse into the prosperous future each character gets after all the ups and downs, is a lesson in itself. So easily do we always look for the easy way out, drifting through life in search of that unflawed perfection. The truth is though, it is the very flaws and acceptance of them that create the beauty and meaning. While they may be haunting to live through first hand, they are the real fairytale.
We put so much emphasis on where we’re supposed to be in relation to others around us. School, money, relationships, families, possessions… even skill and love. It’s a never-ending, heartbreaking rule to live by – one no one can really live up to if they’re really putting their most authentic self out there. Making decisions based on comfort and acceptance robs us of our true calling… sometimes seemingly impossible to figure out on our own. I, however, genuinely believe in signs, and certain circumstances finding you – plucking you out of your confusion and giving you direction and empowerment. Of course, making your own luck is a huge factor as to how far you’ll go with it thereafter, but I have a hard time imagining someone not jumping on the opportunity when it’s exactly what they’ve been waiting for. I speak a lot about creating yourself on my blog, and while I sometimes feel like I’m regurgitating the same old lines, I stand by the notion that you can break down any barrier that presents itself. Realists would call me a fool, but if they really knew better (and understood the power they themselves possess), they may feel differently when it comes to transcending class, money, religion, and countries. Nothing is an instant miracle, and sometimes one change passes several generations without resolution or advancement. What are we all really here for though? To exist in our own selfish pleasures and desires? I’d like to think we are all here to contribute in some way… no action mere or obsolete. At the end of the day, the only things we need are air, food, exercise, health, a comfortable home, love, and the resources to sustain all of these things. Anything else is an add. Sheer novelty. Instead of looking outside for inspiration, often we use the foreign to distract ourselves. There is something beautiful about creating something with the time you’ve been given here. Putting love into the little things you do. Taking care of the ones around you. Adventuring with the small things that bring warmth and insight.
I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries and videos on celebrated, passionate people from all walks of life. Physicists, rock climbers, business tycoons, scientists… individuals who give their entire life to contributing to a very specific skill. I can’t take my eyes off them… their excitement when they talk about their chosen subject, their acclaim, the simplicity of their days (and surprisingly, their demeanour). I don’t think there is anything more incredible than the person who can sit down and focus for fifteen hours a day, greedily anticipating more research and work/practice. Many have a natural gift and curiosity for their craft, but much of their success (recognized or not), is sheer discipline mixed with a considerable understanding that nothing can progress without the work. One of my favourite philosophical sayings is “consistency is the rarest human quality”. I may understand this more than many, procrastination being something I’ve never really been able to shake since a kid.
In light of leaving drops of your personal touch in everything you do, prepare for a few of my favourite foolproof (uber clean) recipes. Sometimes the best outlet to fuel the creative mind is a little manual food labour, and let’s face it – what’s an easier way of pampering yourself and others than with amazing, guilt-free eats? Productivity comes in so many forms, why shut down completely when taking time off? Enjoy the process (these are my at home staples)…
Gluten, Pectin & Refined Sugar-Free Insanely Simple (and fresh!) Blueberry Jam
My man is gluten intolerant. Sugar makes him pay with horrible reactions. Of course he loves sweets and bread more than anything… so how do we dodge the bullet without the sometimes strange (and often insanely pricey) substitutes out there? Amazing sites like Simply Gluten Free (recipe taken, used, and loved from site). I’ve grown to love the many alternatives they offer, fully understanding the severity of food allergies and limited options! At home, we inhale this recipe every morning (good luck making it last a month)!
2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed (I use a vegetable and fruit wash to get any pesticides off)
¾ cup agave nectar
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
“Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mash the berries with a potato masher or back of a spoon (not too much though! You want more jam than liquid gel). Lower the heat so that the mixture continues to boil gently. Continue to cook uncovered, for 20 -25 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Cool to room temperature, the jam will gel as it cools. Store in clean containers in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year. Makes 2 cups of jam (sometimes more… I like to prep aprox 3 small jars when I set out on my jam ventures).”
Gluten-Free Casein-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe (taken, practiced, and perfected from Gluten-Free Goddess)
These cookies have won over the hearts of everyone whose ever tasted them (seriously… the man eats them by the batch). I feel kind of bad saying it, but the difference I now taste in a regular oatmeal raisin cookie is significant. There is something so bland about the regular flour-filled version. Celiac or not, these crunch but chewy treats make the cut (and are amazing with tea when you first wake up)…
Combine in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy:
2/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (I use coconut oil as a substitute)
1 1/2 cups organic brown sugar (raw cane sugar works well too)
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract (splurge on the Madagascar kind… leave the artificial versions on the shelf)
2 tablespoons agave or honey (I’m an agave fan)
In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (you can get these flours at your local health food store/select chain grocery stores. I’ve been building up my collection for a while now… some of them take time to find, and go out of stock quickly! My suggestion: when you spot it, buy it and stash it – pricey to build up your collection at first, but they last and are definitely worth it):
1/2 cup brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1/2 cup oat flour (one of the hardest flours to find – I get mine from a bulk store)
1/2 cup potato or tapioca starch
1/4 cup vanilla rice protein powder (you can get this at the health food store – and even make shakes with it after!)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (guar gum is slightly easier to find… start with this if you’re struggling with your hunt)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beating to combine.
Next up, making my own bath and beauty supplies! Stay tuned…
P.S. Love these expressive portraits? Get hooked on Canadian artist Judith Geher’s inspiring eye…Posted under artwork, fashionista finds, inspiration, Uncategorized by Robyn