True Nature Travels Blog

Welcoming July 4th with so much excitement and gratitude! It’s such a great day to take the time to be outside, be with the ones we love, and celebrate our lives. We start to welcome the summer season, the warmth, the activities, and the foods that come in abundance at this time. This is a day to really celebrate our freedom, so wouldn’t it be nice to find that freedom from guilt with the food we end up eating on this special day?

 

Sometimes during holidays, we tend to go against the foods that work for our bodies and with that it tends to lead to guilt, obsession, mental fog, stomach aches, etc. and usually the next day we are left with deprivation in order to make up for that feeling of “guilt.” The day usually ends with exhaustion, some bloat, maybe some gas, a head ache, and there a perfectly joyful day of celebration turns into not the best night and usually not the best rest. I created this recipe with the thoughts of wanting to offer something that would be gentle to the gut, be completely enjoyable, and would give the taste buds their own show of fireworks.

These fritters are made with grounding vegetables that even someone with poor digestive fire can handle, nourishing spices, and cooling properties. Not to mention I paired them with a new cashew pesto that is absolutely divine. These would be a great pair with some baked vegetables, a summer salad with fresh organic herbs and vegetables, and some kind of delicious nourishing dessert. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful fourth of July. Enjoy!

Vegetable Fritters

(Makes 9-11 fritters)

1 small- medium sweet potato shredded

1 small zucchini shredded

Handful of kale finely chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped

¼ cup white medium cheddar shredded * nutritional yeast if cant do dairy

½ cup almond meal

1 stem rosemary finely chopped

¼ cup cilantro chopped

2-3 eggs *flax eggs if vegan 3-4 tbl flax 6/7 tbl water

Coconut Oil or Ghee for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

 

(For shredding the vegetables, you can use a large cheese grater.)

First start by shredding zucchini and then placing it in a bowl with 1 tsp of salt sprinkled on it for 10 minutes, set aside. In the meantime, prep the rest of the ingredients. Start to shred the peeled sweet potato, chop the kale, garlic, rosemary, cilantro, almond meal, and cheese and place in a large mixing bowl. If using egg or flax egg, mix in separate bowl first. Mix everything first with spatula or by hand then set aside. Going back to the zucchini, take a paper town and try to squeeze most the water out of it. Then add to the bowl, mix and then add the eggs. The batter should be sticky enough to where you can make a ball and it would stay together. Heat a non-stick pan that has some taller sides for the oil to create a little pool. I start with 2 tbls of oil. Depending on the size of the pan, start adding ¼ cup size balls of batter into the oil then tap them down gently with a spatula. Medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes before flipping gently to the other side. Once done, place on a plate with paper towel to let them dry out slightly. Repeat until the batter is fully gone. Note that if the batter is too dry, add more egg of flax egg. If it needs to bind more or to wet, add more flour.

Cashew Pesto

1 cup cashews unsalted and raw soaked for at least one hour

A handful of fresh arugula

1 very packed cup of basil

¼ of olive oil

half of a lime with the skin

Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • First soak the cashews for at least 1 hour, then strain and place into a high-speed blender. Add the remainder of ingredients and blend until completely smooth. If it’s to dry add more oil, if you want more basil I always say add more. If you want more citrus, add another ¼ of a lime.
  • Top with either freshly chopped basil or spirulina crunches which can be found at any health food market.

 

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

April 22, Earth Day, probably one of my favorite celebrations.

“The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. The earth is sacred and men and animals are but one part of it. Treat the earth with respect so that it lasts for centuries to come and is a place of wonder and beauty for our children.” ― Extract from Chief Seattle.

The earth blesses us with so much more than just beautiful land. It nourishes us from the sun to the moon to the earth below our feet that produces food for us to eat. We get our vitamins, our challenges, and our blessings from it. To be able to experience the world the way we do is beyond magnificent. How amazing it is to travel, to eat, to breath on this beautiful planet.

Unfortunately, there has been a disconnect with the human race and nature, not for all, but for a lot. We have started to take advantage of our power and the earth has started to see the effects from that greed. We can all play a part in the movement that has already started to do our best to support the change to help our planet. A big one is sustainable living which can be hard to do fully, especially in certain areas but what other small things can we still do to make an impact and be inspired by this way of living? A close friend of mine had a conversation about this and she had an amazing suggestion for this blog post. Create a recipe where the ingredients have to come from our local farmers markets. Limiting waste, over water use, and a support for the locals. What an amazing idea. This recipe is all products I got from my local farmers markets in Ventura, CA. It is very light, very grounding, and affordable as well as helpful to the planet herself. It is completely plant based, vegan, gluten free. It may seem like a lot of steps but every step takes about five minutes except for a soak and the baking of the butternut squash. I hope you enjoy and if you are interested in living a more sustainable, environmental lifestyle there are 100 of small ways you can. Podcasts, local outdoor stores, and online have plenty of ways to help you find out how you can help. Blessings to you and Pachamama for she is us and we are her. Happy Earth day everyone (every day is earth day).

Butternut Squash Collard Wrap with Dill Cashew Cream (serves 2-4)

1 Butternut Squash (roasted, will only need half)

4 medium-small Collard Greens

Half of one Carrot (medium)

Half of one Leek

1 inch of grated Ginger

¼ lemon

½ Jalapeno

4 small leafs of Dinosaur Kale

Small handful of micro green sprouts (whatever kind you like)

1 Golden Beet

1 cup Cashews (soaked for at least one hour)

¼ cup fresh Dill

1 cup Filtered water

½ lemon with peel

Salt to taste

-First thing first cut your butternut squash into a half and scrape out seeds and the strings, put on a tray and cook at 415 until golden brown., Usually 45- 60 mins

-Soak cashews in a bowl or jar with filtered water for same time squash is baking and cooling.

– Chop leaks and sauté in either ghee or coconut oil for about 5 minutes until golden like they are in the picture. Once done set aside

– Peel carrots with a peeler then start to use the peeler to shred the carrots like pictured, set aside

– Peel the beet and then cut in half. Take the half and cut the domed parts off so you can cut into tiny rectangular slivers. Place in bowl with carrots

– De-core the jalapeno then chop to finely pieces and set aside

– De-stem kale, chop set aside

-Take grated ginger and sauté it with the carrots and beets for about 5-7 minutes until they are soft. Add a pinch of salt and set aside

-Once squash is cooled, peal as well as you can and then cut into cubes. Start to sauté the jalapenos in coconut oil or ghee and then after about two minutes or so add the squash with a splash of water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low for three minutes. Use a smasher and start to smash it together, add a pinch or two of salt and squeeze lemon into it, cook for another three or four minutes. Set aside

-Drain Cashews and place in blender with water, dill, and entire lemon. Add some salt and blend until completely smooth. If desired, add the rest of the jalapeno in there

–Now time for the collard greens. Fill a pot with enough water that the collard green can lay in. Carefully and slowly deveining the big vine on the back of the green. There are videos online if need help! Bring water to boil and place one green at a time in there for about 30 seconds, use tongs to move it around gently and to take it out. Place on a cutting board and repeat with the rest.

  • Start to fill the leafs with the ingredients in the order you wish, try not to over stuff them. I would go with the big vine line.
  • Now smash it down more and start to roll like a burrito. Nice and slow. Once on its belly, split in half with a knife. Serve how you wish with sauce on the side. Enjoy!
    Since its earth day, here are some photos from some of my favorite photographers sharing their eye on this world.

    (@hikersbay)
    (Kea mowat)
    (andreas wagner)
    (@jasonkphotos)
    (@jasonkphotos)

    About the Cook:

    Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

     

True Nature Travels Blog

Spring is dynamic, sexy, and magical. We start to shed the cold, dark, and wet Winter and start to enter the pulsation of life as things start to blossom and spring into action. We start to follow the natural ways of Nature but sometimes the transition isn’t as easy as nature makes it look. Humans have a hard time with gracefully transitioning from feeling sluggish and heavy, similar to a cranky bear that just got woken up. Spring is a place where we come from the cranky bear and start to become more of this vibrant young cub that is excited for action! So how do we do this in a way that we can feel stable, grounded, graceful, and feeling that spring groove? There are many ways in the Ayurvedic traditions and one is through food.

It is important to understand the kapha dosha and how to bring it to balance. When out of balance we can feel dull, sluggish, mentally tired and even depressed. The lust for life seems to be in far reach. When in balance we can feel strong, stable, composed and grounded. We feel like wonder woman or superman. Your prescription for spring is to find a rhythm and routine that help you gradually lighten up mentally, physically and emotionally without disturbing the virtues of kapha. Eat lighter foods, add certain herbs into your diet, practice yoga and meditation, and find a gratitude or devotional practice. Start to get the brain to notice the small lighter things, the simple things, instead of overwhelming it with too much, again making you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Spring is a very inspiring season. Everything starts to bloom and the animals are out to play. There is beauty all around us. We must find a routine that makes us feel the beauty we see in the world. Stick with the changes you start to make, even if its small. Find true commitment because you are worth the vibrancy. Create space for yourself, make more time for your commitments instead of spreading yourself thin for everyone and everything else. When eating, stay light and In between raw and cooked. When practicing asana, stay with doing more heated postures that work with the pelvis and legs since that is more of our earthy and watery parts of the body. Find your breath and use some stillness to re ground and to feel the prana, the life force flowing through your body. Deep breaths, remember, create space and build heat. Get the body moving and think about a butterfly, how do you become one instead of the sleepy bear. Keep it simple, feel your grove, and start to blossom.

Since in my opinion it is not time to put the sugariest fruits into the diet again yet I wanted to create a smoothie that would help with the lightness we need to obtain during this transition. It mostly consists of super foods and my favorite protein powder called Tropeaka. Tropeaka is a brand from Australia and they use no cane sugar like most proteins do. They are filled with complete amino acids, 3 powerful plant based proteins, doesn’t cause bloating, and filled with antioxidants. Its vegan, gluten free, soy free, and definitely non gmo. If you haven’t checked this brand out I highly suggest them. They have things from energy boots, to protein, to alkaline greens. If you want to add this protein, use my friend Sitaras code so you can get 15 percent off your first order! How is that not exciting?! Here is the code and the recipe for you beautiful humans! Transition smoothly and happy spring. Until next time <3

“Sitarabird15”

Groovy Superfood

2 servings

1 can coconut milk with full fat and fat included into blender

2 tbl chia seeds

2 tbl lean protein from TROPEAKA I used vanilla for this one

2 tbl maca powder

1 tbl bee pollen

2 tbl goji berries

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cardamom

1 tbl honey (2 if you want sweeter)

¼-1/2 cup filtered water

Optional* handful of spinach and ¼ avocado

-Put everything into high speed blender and blend till fully smooth. Save the rest for later or share with a friend! Enjoy

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with a love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of Lifepeople achieve their true authenticity and move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge of Holistic Living. Chelsea is currently teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock-climbing gyms, creating a cookbook, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting local workshops, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers, you can go to her website, Thegrainsoflife.com, or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

“1 Corinthians 13, verse 4 – 7: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Valentine’s day, I used to not understand this “holiday.” I would always think it was made for couples to share gifts and a nice candle lit dinner. More materialistic and just a flat-out day for romance. As time went on, I realized that it’s really more than that. Yes sure, it’s more of a Hallmark holiday but I believe it could be a truly eye-opening day. It’s a day where no matter where we are, who we are, or what we look/ believe in, we celebrate LOVE. Love for our peers, our earth, our animals, family, friends, lovers, kids, being able to breath, smell, touch, feel, live, and most importantly we celebrate the love for OURSELVES. That’s the kicker. Loving ourselves. I don’t mean in a self-centered, the entire world should look at me kind of love. I am talking about loving you to the core of your being, knowing who you are, where you are going, the accomplishments you’ve done… loving YOU, all of you even your flaws. How can we truly love anything or hate anything about someone else unless it’s inside of us first? Loving ourselves for all we are is so important on so many levels. It effects our life and how we view love, non-attachment, and freedom. We start to accept others for what they are because we accept ourselves for what we are. We know we are worth loving, helping us form healthy partnerships and friendships. We are worth a day to celebrate the love for life. This is a day to recognize all the good in people, all the LOVE in people over the shadow or hate. Judgments leave, forgiveness is shared, laughter is lived, we celebrate!

So for valentines day, don’t worry about if you have a romantic partner or not because you definitely don’t need to be in a relationship to celebrate this day of love because you know matter what have that with either yourself or the ones around you. You can be with family, friends, maybe hanging with the pups. How often do we actually carve the time out of our busy days to just treat our dang self- or to just have a good time treating the ones we love in our lives? When we feel good and nourished and loved, we raise our vibrational field. We become magnets of love, sharing it with the people around us.

Now when I think of a special night for me and my hunny, or with my girlfriends, mom, or just alone with myself and my dogs, I think of a night with candles, wine, a bubble bath with oils, and most of all, a chocolate cake! Following a delicious dinner but of course…possibly a glazed salmon or a pasta dish.. Somewhere in that last sentence was the word chocolate. CHOCOLATE CAKE. A favorite dessert of mine, just the simplicity of it is just so darn good. I came across a recipe from Elavegan.com for a Zucchini based Chocolate Cake with Sweet Potato Chocolate frosting. Thought I was dreaming for a second. Now I can actually say when I eat an entire cake to myself I am getting my fiber too? Ha. Only half kidding about the whole cake thing.

So, I am going to share the recipe I found and give my little twist on it for you all. What better way of sharing love than baking together and eating delicious, moist, chocolate cake? I hope you all have a fantastic day celebrating love and don’t forget to treat yourself too! It all starts with self-love anyways am I right? Maybe wake up with a self-body massage with some sesame oil, possibly a bath at some point, go for a nice walk, do something you love and write down the traits and accomplishments you are proud of. You are an amazing person, you deserve it.

This cake is Gluten free, dairy free, oil free, and Vegan.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (oven 375 degrees)

Drys:

1 ½ cup brown rice flour

1 cup coconut sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 tbl flaxseeds ground

¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut dried

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

Wets:

2 cups lightly packed grated zucchini (this gets folded in last with the dries and wets)

1 1/3 cup light coconut milk canned

4 tbl maple syrup

Directions

  • Put the dry ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Mix all the wets together in a bowl except for the Zucchini
  • Fold the dry and the liquid together until almost combined and then fold in the Zucchini
  • Pour into one cake pan separate evenly into two cake pans that are lined with parchment paper and oiled with coconut oil or coconut oil spray.
  • Bake for 36-40 mins until the center is firm
  • Let it cool completely

Now you do not have to separate it if you want to just have a single layer cake, that’s only if you want to have two layers of frosting. She suggests cutting the cake in half but I tried that and it fell apart… it is way to moist. So, either go with a one layer or separate into two so it’s more efficient.

Frosting:

2 sweet potatoes boiled and peeled

1 cup of seed butter of choice (I used raw almond)

1/3 cup maple syrup

6 tbls cocoa powder

1/8 cup of light canned coconut milk

½ tbls vanilla

pinch of salt

*if you have any dried chamomile or rose teas I suggest adding them in or on top for decoration

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and fluffy. Slather the cake in any way you wish and enjoy!

Raspberry simple sauce:

juice of one lemon, save the zest for on top of the cake.

1 cup of raspberries

2 tbls maple syrup

  • Put all in blender and blend till smooth! Who doesn’t like raspberries and chocolate

About the Author

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with a love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity and move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge of Holistic Living. Chelsea is currently teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock-climbing gyms, creating a cookbook, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting local workshops, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers, you can go to her website, Thegrainsoflife.com, or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

True Nature Travels Blog

Happy new blessings everyone! I don’t know about all of you but this year I am already feeling energized, relaxed, and ready to steer the reins of my manifestations! 2017 was a bit rocky and challenging for me personally. A lot of things got thrown my way to really test my strength and courage as a human and an independent woman. Starting new transitions I found can definitely be a challenge especially when internally/ physically we aren’t feeling the best. It could be over work with mal nutrition; too much food that is difficult to digest, making the digestive fires just burnt out from trying to hard; or maybe there isn’t enough “me time,” being made so the body starts to fight back. One thing I am devoting to is really taking care of me this year and studying more Ayurveda to do so. In the ancient tradition from India, which is over 5000 years old, it can definitely be overwhelming to first start learning about but in the end, you find how rewarding it is. It’s all about self-love and to nourish the body in many different ways to keep our mental state and physical state in a harmonious balance. One important thing in Ayurveda is food. Food is more than yummy goodness, it is medicine.

Now if you read my last post of food and color, you’ll recall me talking a little bit about eating with the seasons. During different seasons, we experience different weather which leads to certain foods being grown organically and some little veggies take a nice break. It’s important to eat the foods that are naturally given to us in these times so that the digestive fires can easily break the food down, since during the winter our fires are weaker naturally. Poor digestion can lead to an unhappy gut and when the gut isn’t happy then so are we!

An important thing to remember if your new year’s resolution was to get healthy and lose weight, the normal gig for a lot of people during a new transitional period, it’s important to do it correctly and naturally, finding a life style instead finding diets and shake plans that leave the body feeling dissatisfied, hungry, and can lead to poor skin and mentality. So, let’s start with the GUT!

The gut is known to be our “second brain” and when it’s not happy, we aren’t either. When the gut is being overworked and contains bacteria, we can start to experience some health issues as well as mental. Anxiety, depression, constipation, bloating, pain,etc. So, the key to health is to nourish, feel, and naturally detox with foods that are easy to digest and will supply energy. If you want to read more about the gut and brain connection then just go to your web browser and simply type in “Gut and Brain connection.” You’ll find tons of truly fascinating articles!

January, we still are in winter so we want warmth. Cozy days and nights, surrounded by our own company or the company of our pets and loved ones. How could these kinds of days get any better? Adding food to the mix like always, that’s how. Something during the winter that Ayurveda likes to promote is Dal. It can be ordered at almost any restaurant in India and in the States. What we will always find is that each place does it differently, adding their own authentic taste. Now, it’s your turn! Dal is comfort food at its finest as well as nourishing and balancing. For those who study Ayurveda now, this recipe is good for balancing vata and pitta. I’m not going to dive into explaining the doshas or each one specifically in this post, but I can another time. For those interested, there are mini tests online you can try to see what you are as well as learn more about what doshas are in general. The dal I created is good for vegan, gluten intolerant people, and meat eaters, paleo lovers. I do use Ghee in my version so if that isn’t in your lifestyle, simply just use coconut oil. The unique hints to this dal is the lime and fennel. The aroma will make you want to just cozy up by the fire, and the food itself will leave  your body feeling happy and ready for some play or relaxation time. Hope you all enjoy. Happy first month of 2018!

Dal

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils or yellow split pea

3 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp or more of salt

3 cups water (add more if needed. Can use up to 6)

2 cups vegetable stock

Handful of kale chopped

2 stalks of bok choy chopped

½ large sweet potato chopped

1 tbl miso (optional)

2 inch of kombu (Optional but suggested)

1 tbl ghee (more if desired) *can use coconut oil instead

Lime for garnish

Directions

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, put in half of the ghee and all of spices and stir for about a minute. Then add the lentils or split peas with the rest of the ghee and stir for another minute or two. Add in water, stock, and kombu. Bring to boil. Immediately decrease heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft. Stir occasionally to make sure no lentils stick to pan. Add the veggies, sweet potato, and kombu. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until most of liquid is gone, stirring occasionally.

To serve you can serve as is with a bread of choice, on a bed of brown basmati rice or quinoa. Choice is yours! Salt and pepper to taste.

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with a love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of Lifepeople achieve their true authenticity and move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge of Holistic Living. Chelsea is currently teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock-climbing gyms, creating a cookbook, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting local workshops, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers, you can go to her website, Thegrainsoflife.com, or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

True Nature Travels Blog

Here is a topic that I haven’t really shared much about and, for some reason, it always gets intensified for me around the fall and winter. There is something special about eating colors that you crave. We have seven chakras (wheels) in our bodies. These are points where energy flows through. Now, when they are out of balance, it could lead to illnesses, emotional imbalances, and physical difficulties. It’s important to understand what each chakra represents and how we can keep our energy flowing freely. This is a topic I will write about another time!

There are many ways to heal these energy points, and one is the food we eat. Amazing, right? Ever hear the phrase, “eat the rainbow.” There is some truth there, especially with the dark colors. The colors we crave in the fall and winter really make sense with what the seasons bring us. Do you ever find yourself wanting things in contrast and dark tones of reds, greens, and oranges? Red- Root Chakra; Green- Heart Chakra; Orange- Sacral Chakra. These are very important sections of the body that are urged to be in balance for optimal mental and physical health. When it comes to the season of exploring the outdoors and that of hibernation, these are parts of ourselves we really get to learn.

I’m not saying that we can fully heal ourselves by the colors we choose to eat, but we can certainly help the healing begin. Colors that we crave usually have a correlation to what is going on inside of us that needs our attention.

Apple Crumble Recipe

In my opinion, everything starts with food. And before the food, it’s the seasons. Each season brings its own produce and in Ayurveda, it’s very important to eat what is naturally brought to us at these times. Subconsciously, the energy inside and our digestive fires long for natures gifts. Our body breaks down food differently with every season. In spring, we want more berries and salads. In the Summer, we want cooling foods that keep us energized for long periods of time. In the Fall and Winter, we want warming foods, things that need to be cooked more and fruit that is naturally made with the strength of the sun in these times.

Now before I go off topic, I want to share about the craving of mostly red and green foods. Red has to do with our root, which is our survival, so anything from work to housing situations. Green has to do with our hearts; acceptance, love in all aspects of our lives. When both of these are out of balance, they can bring a sense of self-loss which tends to come around generally with the more gloomy seasons. It’s important to know where we stand in this world, our world, and to see everything through love, beginning with ourselves. The time we live in currently has a very strong effect on people’s stability and self-worth. It makes us want more than what we have, physically, materialistically, and even professionally. We get pulled away from our native way of being and disconnect from the person we are born to be. That is why the winter is so beautiful (well, one of the many reasons).

Apple Crumble Recipe Vegan, Gluten Free

Winter has a way of forcing us to hibernate, face ourselves, and give that time of devotion and self-care to really form a relationship with who we may have drifted away from over the more warm and active seasons. It’s very important to have our Root and Hearts in balance. Our devotions to our life count on it. Healing these parts can help with depression, anxiety, and mood swings. The whole key is to start noticing more of what the body is trying to tell us. There are always signs if we want to listen.

I wanted to make something for everyone that was helpful for this season. Red, browns, warming flavors, and with foods that are easier to digest in the cooler temperatures. The cozy smells of the warm cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with the sweetness of the apples and maple will make you feel right at home. This recipe was meant for Fall and Winter. The natural sugars in the recipe will help the body balance so you don’t feel the crash like you would with normal sugars. Also, did you know that having protein (plant or animal) in our diets can help fight mood swings, depression, crankiness, and moodiness? Luckily this recipe has it all. Why not give this a try this holiday season?! The Apple Crumble is made for everyone; vegan, gluten free, carnivores all welcome!

Dive into the season with a new way of connecting with your body and with your food. Try and go for the colors you crave. Go for the foods that are naturally apart of the earth during these times, and learn new ways of nourishing your body and energy.

Stay cozy this winter!

 

Vegan, Gluten Free Apple Crumble Recipe

Vegan, Gluten Free Apple Crumble Recipe

Crust and Topping

Apple Crumble

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups almond flour

• 1 1/2 cups almond flour

• 1 cup gf rolled oats

• 2/4 maple syrup

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 7-9 tbl solid coconut oil

• 2 tbl almonds sliced (optional)

Directions

  • Add drys together in a bowl and whisk until combined (leave out almonds)
  • Add in maple, massage with hands, then add the coconut oil and massage till it resembles coarse crumbs and can form when pressed
  • Remove at least 1/2 cup of the mixture for the topping and then press the dough evenly into the bottom of a tart pan with removable bottom
  • Add filling, then pour the remaining crumbs on top with sliced almonds
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and crust is light brown.
  • At around 30 minutes, add some foil loosely on top of the pie to help prevent from browning too much.
  • Let it cool completely before you serve.

Filling

Ingredients

• 4 apples (large) that are locally grown at this time

• juice and zest of one large lemon

• 1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple

• 3 tbl of a homemade gf all-purpose blend or store bought (email me for my all-purpose recipe)

• 1 tbl cinnamon

• 2 tsp nutmeg

• 1 tsp cloves

• 2 tsp vanilla

• zest of 1 orange

Directions

  • Chop the apples, pealing is optional.
  • Place everything in a large bowl and let it sit for a few minutes while you preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  • Scrape everything into the crust and then cook as directed above.
  • Make sure when you fill the tart, you don’t go to high about the pan itself.
  • Keep the extra apples for the topping!

Toppings

Cranberry Apple Sauce

If there were any apples left, put them into a non-stick saucepan with 3/4 cup of fresh cranberries and 1/4 cup of maples syrup.

  • Add 2 tbl of fresh orange juice.
  • Heat all together on medium to high heat until it starts to thicken together.
  • If you have an intense stove, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • Keep the topping for when you are going to serve the tart.

Maple Almond Glaze

  • Place 3 tbl Raw Almond butter or homemade almond butter, 2 tbl maple syrup, and 1 tbl coconut oil in a saucepan
  • Heat everything in the saucepan until combined, stirring halfway through.
  • Drizzle on top of everything when ready to serve. Make sure it is cooled down first

Happy Holidays!

Vegan Dessert Recipe

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with a love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help Chelsea Shapouri, The Grains of Lifepeople achieve their true authenticity and move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge of Holistic Living. Chelsea is currently teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock-climbing gyms, creating a cookbook, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting local workshops, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers, you can go to her website, Thegrainsoflife.com, or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

True Nature Travels Blog

I don’t know about you but I truly love this Holiday. Not even so much for the true history of it but for the present history of what it’s become. The fact that this holiday brings families and friends together to laugh, eat, and have an amazing time as well as being grateful for our lives, communities, and our earth. Sharing stories, enjoying the company of one another, energy exchanges with foods and gratitude filled hearts…How can this time not be cherished?

I remember as a child how much fun Thanksgiving would be and how excited my cousins and I would get. The food, the amount of people at the table or in the house in general, all the laughing and playing that would occur, and most importantly all the eating! Growing up, as we moved closer to my dad and his family, well our Thanksgivings would get even bigger! Now, more in my adult years, not much has changed except for well, food allergies and preferences and being able to host my own “Friendsgivings.” A lot of people in our present day have food allergies or chose to eat a certain way for their beliefs, the way it makes them feel, etc., (myself included) so when this time of the year comes, sometimes it can draw some times of unhappy bellies and steer us away from the health. When I first started eating Gluten Free around 7 years ago, I remember how I would long to eat certain things at the table, most importantly pies and that delicious smelling stuffing. Eventually, I started to bake and make my own pies from scratch but because I never really remembered what the stuffing would taste like, I never had the urge to remake it. Around last year, when I tried a GF stuffing for the first time in years, I realized how delicious is was with the rest of my food and since then, I’ve wanted to remake my own healthier version and something everyone, not just the healthy eaters, would enjoy.

This stuffing I am about to share with you will help make the dinner table this year and will warm the hearts of those with allergies or preferences, making it so no one has to stay to a “label” and can just eat! The stuffing base is a easy grain free cornbread, not to sweet and not to dry. The rest is with onions, leaks, celery, and tons of herbs. Make sure you give yourself some time to make this as well as prep other items while things are baking! Let’s bring Thanksgiving back to the community and sharing with all, no matter what their “label” may be and give big thanks to our earth, Pacha-mama for all that she supplies for us to eat. I hope you all have a safe and happy happy holiday this season. If you make this stuffing, don’t forget to take a photo of it and share it with me via email or via Instagram (#thegrainsoflife) so I can see all the ways it has turned out! Get creative with how you present this at dinner, remember, we first eat with our eyes!

Vegan, Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe

The entire recipe serves 4-6 *(can easily be doubled)

Vegan, Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe

Cornbread 

1 cup Cornmeal

1/2 cup Almond meal

1/2 cup Cashews (soaked for at least an hour)

1/2 cup Coconut Milk

1/3- 1/2 cup Maple syrup

1/2 cup white Cheese of choice (vegan also)

1/4 cup Coconut oil

1.2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

3 stems fresh chopped Rosemary

Directions

  • Set oven at 350 degrees.
  • Mix drys flours, baking powder, salt, rosemary, and flax\with a whisk then set aside. Blend the cashews with the coconut oil, then milk and maple syrup in a high speed blender, then pour into the dry mixture and stir till almost combined. Then fold in the cheese and combine. Grease a casserole dish with coconut oil or the spray, then pour batter inside of the dish. Spread till even then bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and a tooth pick would come out clean if inserted in the middle.
  • Set aside to cool, then cut into tiny squares and transfer into a bowl. 

Filling

4 stalks of celery

1/2 cup parsley

1 large sweet onion

1/2 head of purple cabbage

4 stalks kale chopped small

1 leek

1 tsp basil

1 tsp thyme

5 sage leaves chopped

4 sticks of rosemary chopped

1 tsp salt

1 cup vegetable broth

12 oz or a little less o=f cranberries or pomegranates

1/4 cup maple syrup

Oil, ghee, or vegan butter for frying

Directions

  • I usually use a cast iron skillet, but you can use what ever pan of your choice. Start by heating all the herbs in the oil or butter of your choice, be careful it doesn’t burn. Then add another tbl of oil or butter and add the onions and leeks. Medium heat until they become translucent. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir, let it cook for about five minutes then add the broth and let it cook until pretty much all of the broth is gone.
  • While that’s cooking, fill a baking dish with either pomegranates or cranberries, then add the maple syrup and juice from half a lemon or orange. Bake until it starts to boil and then remove and let it cool.
  • Transfer the veggie mix into a bowl with the bread and mix slightly. Then place back in the casserole dish, add the cranberries or pomegranates and bake again for another 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. If you want a more dry stuffing, leave for another ten or so but turn the oven down to 200 degrees.
  • Let it cool before you serve

Can be served stuffed in butternut squash, zucchini boats, or just as its own! 

About the Cook: 

chelsea-grains-of-lifeChelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.

True Nature Travels Blog

Fall into new beginnings. Fall into action. Fall in love. Fall into yourself. Fall, fall, fall. When this season comes around I get inspired more than ever. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the colors that are around, the crispy air… I can’t exactly put my finger on it but why try to label a good thing here. This is a season to ground and plant some roots. Half hibernation and half outside exploration. Time to gather with family and friends, share food and stories, laughter and love. I wanted to create an item that was inspired by fall, meaning Pumpkin! If you are a Trader Joes shopper than you know how popular it is, with the 68 items that have pumpkin in them!

Not everyone is a fan though, mostly meaning with baked pumpkin pie. It’s something I’ve noticed people love or absolutely hate. I figured, well if they don’t like baked pumpkin maybe, just maybe they would like a raw one… I tried this on a few people including my boyfriend who absolutely hates baked pumpkin pie. He tried the raw, vegan, gluten free pumpkin pie and couldn’t get enough of it. This is a unique flavor combination that will really impress your guests and even yourself. You’ll look at your piece while enjoying every bite and acknowledging, “hey! I made that!” There is a combination of two different nuts in the crust and an addition of dried coconut giving it a sweet, salty, and buttery flavor. The filling is paired with spice, vanilla, pumpkin, and banana leaving people wondering the ingredients with every bite. I’m telling you, this is worth a try. What are you waiting for? The time is now to go explore, hibernate, create, and eat your heart out. Happy Fall everyone!

Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, and Paleo-friendly

Crust

2/3 cup Pecans

1/3 cup Almonds

¾ cup Coconut flakes unsweetened

20 small Dates or 13 Medjool dates de-pitted

2 tbl Coconut oil melted

1 tsp Maca powder

¼ tsp salt

2 tbl filtered water (maybe more depending on how many dates and on the nuts)

Directions 

Line a 9-inch pie pan with parchment. I spray the bottom of the pan with a coconut oil spray so the parchment can stick. Also, cut the parchment into a circle but make sure some little shows over the top so you can use that to help you remove the pie. Place the nuts in a food processor with an S blade and blend till it resembled flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and add the water till it starts to stick together. Try to not over water though it will come out too mushy. Transfer the crust to the pie pan and spread out until it covers the whole bottom and then some. Start to use your fingers to form your crust, adjust to the height you desire. Sometimes this can be a few moments to do so just put on some African Jazz and get jiggy with it!

Put in the freezer once done while you make filling.

Filling 

¾ cup pure Pumpkin pure or fresh Pumpkin

2 large ripe Bananas

½ cup Coconut oil melted

4 tsp Pumpkin Spice (I use the one from trader joes)

10 dates (small) or 5 Medjool

1 tsp Vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

Directions

No need to wash the food processor. Add the ingredients all together and blend until smooth. There may be a few chunks of dates left but that’s ok! Remove the crust from freezer and slowly pour the filling into the shell. Once it hits the rim stop pouring, you may have a little bit of left overs. Smooth out the top with a spoon then store in freezer for a couple hours, letting it set. When you want to serve, remove from the freezer, let it sit out for 10-15 minutes the remove and serve! I added zest of an orange and lemon. Gave it a little zing!

Enjoy!

 

Meet the Chef! 

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Ventura, California, is an entrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people. 

True Nature Travels Blog

Ah Fall, where the colors change, there’s a bit of a chill in the air, the sun isn’t so strong, and we start to welcome back the foods of comfort and warmth. We start to enter a season that welcomes half of hibernation and half of exploring. t’s a time to get inspired and put all your manifestations into play. The weather is nice enough to want to go outside and adventure during the day, and at evening, the weather becomes more chill bringing people inside to connect on a more intimate level without so many distractions going on. The season brings so much gathering of family and friends even without bringing Halloween and Thanksgiving into play. It’s a very playful season in my opinion, and playful in a way of creativity and outside joy with loved ones. Who doesn’t like to go explore during the day and then come back to some hot coco, apple crumble and laughter? Now I know that this season and the one after, Winter, can bring some unhealthy options. So why not take those options and get playful with the ingredients, change them up a little bit just like we change with every season that surrounds us.  It’s only fair right? I don’t know about you, but when it starts to get a little bit chilly I always crave pie and cobblers. I’m not much of an apple fan but when it comes to a crisp, well, I can’t seem to keep my spoon out of the cookie jar.

This apple crumble recipe has a few options to play with and all are Gluten free and Vegan! You can keep it baked or keep it half-baked and half raw. I created a crust for the bottom that is all nut based so you can use that on top instead of the oats if you are trying to stay away from grains just make sure to cook the filling for a few minutes until apples are soft. There is also the option of doing it without the crust and only doing it with the apple base and oats on top. This recipe is light enough to have during the day and at night without feeling sluggish, full, and sleepy. So, let’s dive in shall we!

Nutty Apple Crumble

Vegan/ Gluten Free

Serves 4-6

Crust / Raw topping- double if it’s for a topping

. 6 dates

. 1 cup pecan pieces

. 2 tbl vegan butter melted

  • Turn the oven to 350. Put the pecans in the blender first and blend just till it’s into a flour like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it starts to form together.
  • For the crust, transfer into a 9” pan or a smaller one with the shape of your choice and line it with parchment paper. Start to add the crust to the lined pan and start to spread. I wet my hands for this part which helped spread the bottom. It may seem like it won’t spread but trust me, it will! Use your hands and maybe get your kids or partner involved. Now just set that aside. If you want this for the topping, double the recipe and then just set it aside once its blended. 

Filling:

. 6 tbl lemon juice

. 6 apples

. 2/4 cup coconut sugar (if you want sweater, then add one more ¼ cup)

. 1/3 cup vegan butter melted

. 2 tbl cinnamon

. 2 tbl arrowroot powder or potato starch

. 1 tsp sea salt

. 1 tbl nutmeg

. option of adding 3 chopped dates into the mix

  • Start by chopping up the apples and then placing them in a large bowl. Keep the skin on unless you want to remove it, your preference.
  • Melt the butter and add the cinnamon and nutmeg into it. Then let cool for a moment and pour into the bowl with the apples.
  • Add the sugar, the arrowroot powder, salt. Then juice the lemons and add into the mixture. I used about 6 small lemons because I like an extra zing. Mix by hand to make sure it gets blended correctly, if you want to add extra cinnamon or nutmeg I welcome that. You can never have enough spice!
  • Place the mixture into a large pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes until apples start to get soft and a “stew” starts to create. Set aside

Topping:

. ¾ cup rolled gluten free oats. 

. ¼ cup coconut sugar

. ¼ cup Gluten free all-purpose flour

. 1 tbl cinnamon

. 1 tbl nutmeg

. 2 tbl coconut oil melted

  • Mix everything in a bowl and set aside 

Now place the apple mixture into the lined parchment pan with out without the crust. Add the oat topping mixture and then bake for about 45-50 mins, or until the oats start to turn more golden.

If you are using the nut crust as the topping, just cook the apples for 35 more minutes in the oven then add the topping after its made.

ENJOY!

 

 

chelsea-grains-of-lifeAbout the AuthorChelsea Shapouri, currently in Southern California, is an entrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people. 

True Nature Travels Blog

Hike with Barefoot Bar

Take a Hike with the Barefoot Bar

Adventure; an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity; engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

The summer and “Indian Summer” have so much to offer us with the outdoors. The sun is out, waters are warmer, family and friends are free from school and the ones that work make time to travel. It’s a time to explore, connect with new people, go camping, travel, hike, surf, find hidden gems, collect wild herbs and feathers… I could go on forever with this one.

During the colder and rainy seasons, we have the chance to hibernate a little more; craft, read, dive into ourselves and learn some new internal things. Then Spring comes and we start to literally spring into action with that new creativity and knowledge. Now, Summer, the time to put it all in full throttle. Exploring and adventure are not strangers during this time of the year.

Along with all this activity we must make sure to take care of our feet and most of all our nutrition. Keeping the body fueled and healthy is a must. Since a lot of the exploring comes with not being able to really cook or have a cooler, I wanted to make something easy to take on the go. I do love energy bars but I have become extremely picky due to the ingredients and lack of true live nutrition that they have. So, I decided to make my own! Now, this is just the beginning of this beauty, I’ll be making other flavors and will be using different nut butters so make sure to keep your eyes out for that. This bar is not only delicious, but filled with protein, antioxidants, and carbs to keep you fueled for a while. I give to you, the Barefoot Bar.

The Barefoot Bar

Recipe for the Barefoot Bar 

Ingredients

  • 5 Medjool Dates (Pitted)
  • ½ cup Peanuts (Chopped)
  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa Flakes (you can use oats if you would like but quinoa will be lighter)
  • 3 Tbl Honey (Most people use brown rice syrup to make bars, if you would rather then please do)
  • 2 Tbl Maple
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • ¼ cup Raw Nibs, Dark Chocolate or Vegan    Chocolate
  • ¼ cup Dried Berries (optional)

Directions

  1. Turn oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment
  2. Mix together the Quinoa and Peanuts and heat for 10 minutes then remove and let cool
  3. In a food processor, add the dates, peanut butter, and honey- blend till dates are smooth
  4. In a bowl, mix in the rest of ingredients (I use my hands for this part) *If the mixture isn’t sticking together well you can add more maple syrup one tablespoon at a time 
  5. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment and then pour the mixture in the pan. Spread out and push down until it seems pretty even.
  6. Put in freezer and let it chill for an hour or more.
  7. Take out and cut into 9 squares, or whatever size you want! Keep cool until you take them on your adventure.
  8. Enjoy!

About the Cook

Chelsea Shapouri, currently in Southern California, is an chelsea-grains-of-lifeentrepreneur with the love for holistic health, yoga/meditation, herbal medicine, travel, and the outdoors. Her aim is to help people achieve their true authenticity, move away from stress and into balance using her knowledge with Holistic Living. Chelsea currently is teaching “Yoga Medicine” at local studios and indoor rock climbing gyms, creating a cook book, taking photos with her favorite companions, hosting workshops locally, and enjoying the ocean and trails on her days off. To learn more about her mission and offers you can go to her website; Thegrainsoflife.com or email her at; thegrainsoflife@yahoo.com. Join the team to spread this awareness of happiness as well as taking care of our earth and people.