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Gluten Free Conscious Box

Are you ready for your FREE 3-month  subscription to Conscious Box?

If so,  join in the giveaway. . .

from Monday, April 15, 2013 – Monday, April 22, 2013 

TO SEE ENTRY RULES, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE

Not sure if you want a Conscious Box yet?  Keep reading . . .

I was so excited to receive in the mail my first GLUTEN FREE Conscious Box!  Remember when you were little and you use to get grab bags, just for the surprise of not knowing what’s in them?  This is the adult version! It’s like getting a monthly present to yourself in the mail, full of surprises!!!  And I LOVE surprises!!  (If you want to see what was in my box, scroll down to the bottom.)

So, what is a Conscious Box you might ask?

It is a gluten-free box filled with ethical and sustainable products.  There’s food, cleaners, spice rubs, etc.  Conscious Box says it all.  The company is conscious of where it sources its products and even ideas of how to reuse the box!

I really liked the cleverness of the box design.  When I opened it, the first card I read told me how I could reuse the box to grow a flower right through the hole.

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First Conscious Box Impressions – Growing Flower Through the Hole

How Does Conscious Box work?

(quoted from the Conscious Box website:) Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest alternatives for every aspect of your life and for every member of your family. Discover the best natural products, earn points for leaving feedback and reviews, and buy your favorites at incredible discounts!

      • Get a variety of unique pure & natural products every month!
    • From organic food to vegan beauty products, you’re sure to find new favorites!
    • Discover ethical and purpose-driven businesses of all sizes!
    • Get content on daily living tips, exciting monthly themes, and creative ways to use your box!
    • Easily earn points you can apply to full size products for unbeatable discounts!

Do I have to get a Conscious Box Every Month?

With Conscious Box, you can sign up for just 1 month, 3 months at a time, six months at a time, or yearly.  You can choose from a classic, vegan, or gluten-free box for $19.95/month (which includes free shipping).

If I Sign Up, is there a Discount?

You bet! 50% OFF discount for any Conscious Box subscription. Use code: LOVELIFE

Here’s what came in my box:

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Inside the Box

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More Inside the Box

If you already get it, tell me what you think!

Entry Rules:

For each rule you follow below and then comment on this blog post, your name will be added that many times in the drawing.   So, you have 4 possible ways to comment on this post below, allowing you to have your name in the drawing 4 possible times.

  1. Go to ConsciousBox.com and create a profile.  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this, and what find thing you might hope to be in your box.
  2. Go to www.facebook.com/ConsciousBox and like the page!  Make sure to leave a comment about Gluten Freedoms blog, so I know you were there.  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.
  3. Go to www.facebook.com/GlutenFreedoms and like the page!  Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.
  4. Sign up for Gluten Freedoms blog by going to www.glutenfreedoms.wordpress.com and looking on the right hand side where it says Follow Blog Via Email.  Write your email address and click follow. Then comment on this blog post below that you have done this.A winner will be chosen on April 22, 2013 to win a Free 3-month gluten-free Conscious Box subscription.

And don’t forget to sign up for your FREE 3-month subscription to Conscious Box.  Entry Rules above!

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Spinach Muffins

I was inspired by a friend, Elana, several years ago to find more creative ways to make vegetables for my little eater who was probably about 1.5 then. The name makes it sound a good deal more playful and interesting to a toddler. This recipe has inspired me to create others similar and for no other reason than it is soo simple and literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients.  I have used it as an appetizer.  It tastes just like a crustless Spanikopita.

Gluten-Free Spinach Muffins

Serving Size: about 24 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

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Spinach Muffin Ingredients

– 1 egg
– 1 box of 10 oz frozen spinach (or more) or any other veggie.  (If using fresh veggies, make sure you steam them for about 3 minutes first).
– 1/2 16 oz. container of cottage cheese (can substitute ricotta)
– 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but any kind is fine)
– 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
– 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Supplies:

– mini-muffin tin (you can use a bigger one, but I don’t know how many it will make)
– cooking spray
– mixing spoon
– bowl
– spatula

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease muffin pan REALLY well.  Because there is cheese in this, it sticks.  I’ve tried using muffin liners, but the cheese sticks to those, too, and makes them difficult to eat.
3. Mix all the above ingredients together.  (I often don’t measure and just eyeball everything).
4. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
5. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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Fresh Out-of-the-Oven Spinach Muffins

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My Daughter Posing with her Gluten-Free Jewel Pop

This is a quick and easy gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan snack.

Lemonade Popsicles

Ingredients:

– Fruit juice of any kind – we used lemonade aid, (but you can also reconstitute the frozen kind,too)

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Tovolo Jewel Pop Molds

Supplies:

– Popsicle molds or Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks
(We love our Tovolo Freezer Jewel Pop Molds, Set of 6, because they’re a perfect size and fit right on your finger!)

Directions:

1. Pour lemonade aid or fruit juice into molds*.
2. Put in freezer. The amount if time will depend on how large your Popsicles are.

*NOTE: If using Dixie cups and Popsicle sticks, you might want to place a piece of aluminum foil over the cup, make a small hole in the center for the stick, and put the stick through the hole. That way, the stick will not fall over.

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soothing smoothie supreme

So, if you read my previous post, you’ll understand why I’ve been so MIA.  In order to help re-boost my immune system and get foods in it that my stomach will tolerate, I came up with the Soothing Breakfast Smoothie, which can always be eaten at any time of day!

Since the antibiotics and stomach virus, dairy has been giving my stomach lots of trouble.  I was nervous a fruit smoothie would never have the right constitution and flavor without dairy, but had to give it a try any way.  I chose to add GROUND chia seeds to add to the mix as a thickener.  Chia seeds when wet become gelatinous, absorbing the water and creating almost a bubble around the seed.  This doesn’t actually happen in the smoothie, but it’s why when in your stomach, it helps you to feel full and allows the body to digest more slowly.

Below are several sections about the benefits of the ingredients I used.  Feel free to skip to the ingredient section below.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber.  The chia seeds I use from TruRoots have 6 grams of fiber for every tablespoon.  That’s almost 1/4 of your daily fiber intake since the recommended about is 25 grams!

I became obsessed with chia seeds after reading Born to Run by Chris McDougall.   In the book, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico would blend maize and chia seeds on their ultra runs (like 100+ miles) through the desert for sustained energy.  Chia seeds were first used by the Aztec and Maya cultures and ground into flour and also used as fuel for stamina and to help maintain energy.

According to Web MD:

“Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.”

According to Andrew Weil, M.D.:

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants (making them able to be stored for extended periods without becoming rancid), fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

For more nutritional information on Chia seeds, you can check here.

Berries

I also chose to use several different fruits, especially berries, which are high in fiber to help aid in a bit of constipation, which I’m sure we all get from time to time.  I swear, this DELICIOUS concoction has helped keep me quite regular.

Bee Pollen*

Ok, a bit of a correction on bee pollen.  My friend, Adam Schreiber, an urban bee keeper, who has just stepped down from being a 2 year president of the Philadelphia Bee Keepers Guild, explained to me what bee pollen really is.  Clearly, there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there on the web!  If you want to read more about Adam’s crazy soirees with the bees, check out his wonderful blog timebeeing.blogspot.com

According to Adam: The bees collect the pollen, mix it with a little nectar from the flower, [since] (they don’t typically have access to honey as they are out foraging), and pack it in their pollen baskets to carry back to the hive.  Once at the hive, they unload the pollen balls into cells and in those cells then mix a little honey in to make “bee bread” (GF of course!).  They don’t turn the pollen into honey; the nectar gets turned into honey in a separate process.  They keep the pollen separate in its own cells.  Basically the pollen is their protein source and the nectar/honey is their carbs.

It  extremely nutritive, and adds a delicious sweet crunch to the smoothies.

According to a chemical analysis from the Enviro Bee Products Distributors:
(below is taken almost verbatim directly from their website)

It is also high In B complex and vitamins C, D, E and Lecithin. Bee pollen contains over 50 % more protein than beef, yet its fat content is very low.

Vitamins: Provitamin A, B-1 Thiamin, B-2 Riboflavin, B-3 Nancin, B-5, B-6 Pyridoxine, B-12 (cyanocobalamine), Pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, F, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H, Vitamin K, Vitamin PP, Folic Acid, Choline, Inositol, Rutin.

Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Boron, Silica, and Titanium.

Other: Amino Acid, Carbohydrates, Fatty Acids, Enzymes & Co-Enzymes, Fats.

* Note that there seems to be mixed reviews about bee pollen in pregnancy, suggesting that you contact your doctor before ingesting.  It can also cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is suggested to eat a few pollen balls at a time and build up.

Soothing Breakfast Smoothie

Serving Size: about 1 cup blended

Ingredients:

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Smoothie Ingredients

1/2 cup of pineapple juice (but any liquid will work)1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used pineapple)
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used strawberry)
(sometimes I add another berry here like raspberry or blueberry and you can play with the amounts)
1/2 banana
1-2 TBSP raw honey
1-2 TBSP ground chia or flax seeds (I use chia)
1 TBSP bee pollen (optional)

Directions:

I first put in the liquid, then the fruit, then the honey, and chia seeds and blend together using my immersion blender.  Once it’s all blended together, I stir in the bee pollen for extra crunch and flavor.

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Step 1: Laying Fruit

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Step 2: Immersion Blending

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Finished Soothing Breakfast Smoothie

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Traveling Trail Mix

If you’re about to travel for any of the upcoming holidays, this is an easy traveling snack to through together.

In any kind of container, mix a hand full of the following ingredients.  Feel free to tell me other foods you like in your trail mix!
– Nature’s Path GF Whole O’s
– Corn Chex
– Eden Organic or Ocean Spray Cranberries
– Raisins
– Happy Baby Green Puffs
– Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
– Snyder’s GF pretzels
– Optional: Nuts of any kind

Dried Cranberries, OrganicNewman's Own Organics Raisins

Enjoy Life Semi-sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
Snyder's Of Hanover Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks

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