Archive for August, 2017

Gluten-Free Blueberry Oat Muffins

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This summer has flown by in a speedy blur, its been good with multiple beach days, an afternoon at a friend’s lake house, yoga in the park, the eclipse, adventures both near and further a far (and another on the very near horizon). As a kid my summer’s seemed to extend through what felt like the most wonderful weeks of trips to the farm, camping at Mt Lassen and Big Sur, and trips to Lake Tahoe; the days and weeks felt long and time before returning to school felt like epic seasons of fun. Today summer’s feel like they end just as they start but the years too seem to speed by faster then I can even understand where May, June, July, and August have gone.

But as all of these weeks have continued to march by there is one thing that I did enjoy more then most other things this summer – blueberries. For me it felt like perhaps it was the summer of blueberries, they were so very sweet and delicious, the farmers market seemed to be adorned with the blue juicy jewels and every week I went back for more. I ate them – one, two, three just like Sal in the classic children’s book, as I walked home from the market; I ate them over yogurt, in pancakes, with chia pudding, in smoothies, in salads, any way I could. I am rather surprised I myself did not turn into a giant blueberry like Violet in Willy Wonka. On the last week that the market seemed to be filled with the plenitude of this summer’s blueberries I made what may be my favorite thing all summer, these-gluten free oat blueberry muffins.

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I have made my share of blueberry muffins over the years (some healthy, others less so) but I always felt like there was nothing to shout about, a little too sweet, not blueberry forward enough for me, and just lacking in the something special that would make me return and return to a recipe. But because I like blueberries and muffins I have never given up and kept looking and trying recipes. I found this recipe on Skinny taste and loved it! Its not too sweet, full of the blueberry flavor I love and somehow complimented by the oats, it walks the fine line of delicious and healthy. And I loved them! I made these gluten-free because I had some gluten-free flour left over from baking for a friend, but you could make these with regular flour and they would be just as delightful.

Another summer may be approaching its close but the long days and the memories will stay with me, plus I have a few of these muffins frozen for a nice fall day to recall the bounty of this summer and to relive the splendor of all of those blue beauties that I enjoyed.

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Gluten-Free Blueberry Oat Muffins from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups quick gluten free oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp coconut or canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
  • Place oats in a food processor or chopper and pulse a few times. (I didn’t have time for this step so I just soaked the oats directly and I liked it fine). Soak oats in milk for about 30 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, honey, apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites, oil and mix well.
  • In a third bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to combine.
  • Combine oats and milk with sugar, applesauce mixture and mix well.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries.
  • Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes.

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08 2017

Beauty All Around Me – Grand Canyon & Zion

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“ With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.”
~ Navajo Blessing

For all the many countries and parts of the world I have traveled to I have always been slightly remiss in not traveling around my own country of America. It was not for a lack of interest or curiosity but it always seemed so close and other places seemed so far and I figured someday I would get around to seeing my own back yard. I have driven cross country in a blurry rush just after 9/11 when planes were still grounded, I have seen cities from coast to coast and some in the great expanse of the center; but when my German or European friends would inquire about our countries wonders like the Grand Canyon or our National Parks I would have to humbly admit to never having been. That was of course until recently.

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I worked a job in Las Vegas last month and I had the idea to finally take the road trip to see the Grand Canyon, the trip happened to coincide with my father’s 70th birthday and I invited him to join me on the road trip. We decided to center our weekend trip around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and a trip to Zion National Park. For as many places as I have visited nothing could prepare me for the views of this weekend, for the enormity of vistas, for the wide land and majestic red monuments towering, the light and how it moved and changed and gave each view an entirely new appearance.

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We hiked along steep cliffs and over smooth and ancient red rock formations, we drove and sang to the radio, we learned more about Navajo culture and were reminded how rich and complicated (and often overlooked) our history in this country is. I was left speechless at the beauty all around me in Zion and felt inadequate in gratitude to nature and our National Parks. I promised myself I would return and that I would also try to explore more of the beautiful places (especially our other National Parks).

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I returned home to last week’s news out of Charlottesville and feel so sad that the news just seems to become more and more bleak if that could even be possible. Our country is large, it is diverse, it is beautiful, but it also holds a history that we need to address and admit to or we perpetuate it. We have some of the most beautiful nature I have ever seen but we risk losing it because we have learned to not look at it, or appreciate it, or recognize how important it is. We walk in beauty all around us but we threaten to destroy it ourselves. We must look and see the beauty that is around us and work to preserve it, but we must also call out and protest that which is not our proudest moments (both in history and today) and work to recognize and rectify the wrongs.

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I discovered walking beneath the red caverns of Zion and viewing the wild deer and goats that I need not travel so far from home to view beauty and wonder (although I will continue to travel as far as I can) because there is beauty before me, behind me, above me, below me, and all around me.

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08 2017