Blackberry, Coconut Vegan Scone & Status Update: Nutrition Student, Teacher, Magazine Feature

by Julie on September 9, 2011

Sometimes I feel the need to pinch myself, especially today, as I sat in my very first class at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver, to be sure I’m not dreaming!  Honestly, I am blessed beyond belief to be a student at this amazing school where I will be nurtured, educated, and inspired by like minded instructors and fellow students.  I felt like a sponge, actually more like the super, super absorbent Sham Wow!!  I couldn’t get enough of the learning and conversation surrounding our class on Nutrition and the Environment.  My amazing instructor, Preet Marwaha, founder of Organic Lives offers wisdom from his 20 odd years of curiosity, experience and learning and teaching about how food affects our bodies and how we can seriously change our own health while inspiring others, in turn, helping our poor world over come the damage it is sustaining every single day.  As much doom and gloom that there is to discuss on the subject, there is sooo much hope.  I plan to be a big part of the hope and see change happen for the duration of my time on this planet.  As indulgent as this program seems since it is something I am so passionate about, I am thrilled that I will be so armed with the tools and the knowledge to forge ahead with a plan to share and inspire this alkaline lifestyle even further and broader with you and in other arenas.  I have to thank my husband and my family for being so supportive with this new journey and I trust that we will all grow from this experience as I will be away from home four days out of every week, missing them all very much indeed!

So there you have it, from interior designer to holistic nutritionist!  I’m excited to soon have this incredible knowledge embedded in my brain so that I can more easily write and share my thoughts as well as one day be certified to offer nutritional consulting for you.  I am thinking of posting highlights each week from my studies giving you the opportunity to learn and have interesting thoughts to ponder or share my recommended reading list.  What do you think?  Does this interest you to learn along side me?  Please leave me a comment below as I’d love hear your thoughts! I don’t know what to expect with my schedule and hope to fit this in as it would help me to retain my study notes better, so it could be a win win!  I also plan to continue to post a weekly recipe for you as I love to cook and I still have to eat so don’t worry that I won’t be here to inspire you.  I may ask for your forgiveness if I have a crazy week and can’t fit a photo shoot in but my intention is there.

As for these delicious looking and tasting scones you will need to get some black berries, quick, before the bears eat them all!  At least at our lake house we do have to rush as we have a resident bear family and they leave obvious evidence that they are preparing for winter by gorging on black berries.  Are they ready in your neighborhood or do you even have them growing wild near you? Here in BC the prickly brambles grown like weeds, often annoying tidy gardeners but they are so yummy if you can handle the unruly vines.  For those of you that can’t get black berries I also did them with raspberries for you and they are just as tasty!

Just be sure to choose organic berries as the pesticides used on conventional crops is wicked and is going to get worse with a new version being introduced that is 10x’s more deadly for human consumption all in an effort to save the O-zone-go figure huh?

This recipe is a kinda moist muffin type of scone that is best the day you bake them but can be reheated to regain the exterior crispiness.  Just be sure to chill them to keep the berries fresh for up to 3 days.  I’ve combined spelt flour with almond flour for a mealy texture, not unlike that of a corn bread.  It’s rather nice with the coconut undertone from the virgin coconut oil and dried coconut sprinkles and is vegan of course with very low sugar content.  This is the first baked treat that I have posted as I really believe in eating more of your special treats raw but I know, now and again, it’s kinda nice to have some healthier, cooked ideas.  Just don’t eat the whole batch, okay!!  It’s not exactly alkaline forming, but is much healthier than most recipes, so be sure to balance out your daily intake of acidic versus alkaline, 70-80% alkaline daily, when you indulge in a yummy baked treat, alright? You can juice an extra serving of green juice or have a double batch of green smoothie. That ought to do it!

Blackberry, Coconut and Dark Chocolate Scones
Yield: 6-7 Scones
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup non dairy dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp agave
1/4 cup raw apple sauce, *see note below
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp pure vanilla, alcohol free pref.
1 cup black berries, or raspberries
1/4 cup dried coconut, unsweetened finely shredded
Preheat oven to 385F
Combine dry ingredients, including chocolate chips, excluding coconut in a bowl and stir well.  Combine wet ingredients and stir well.  Spoon onto parchment lined baking sheet and then gently press blackberries into mixture cradling them in dough so that they will stay put.  Sprinkle with coconut and bake for 18-20 mins.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then place on wire rack to cool further.  These are best the same day, otherwise store in air tight container and chill. Warm gently in oven to refresh.  Enjoy:)
Note: for raw applesauce take one small peeled, cored and roughly chopped organic apple and process in food processor with a 2-3 tbsp filtered water until pureed.

Here’s the raspberry version that I must admit is equally as delicious as the blackberry recipe.  Honestly, you could do a lot with this recipe if it appeals to you by playing with the accent ingredients.  Add nuts or dried dates or say diced peaches in season with pecans.  Skip the chocolate if you’re not a chocolate person and with apple season here, try a touch of cinnamon and small diced apples.  Send me a snap shot if you play, I’d love to see your creation!!

I think I mentioned some time ago that I’ll be teaching a couple classes at The Creative Connection, which has snuck up on me so incredibly fast- wasn’t it just summer? Now I’m knee deep with commitments, it seems so long ago that I played and it was only last week!  But it’s all good stuff!  So early next week I’ll be heading to St. Paul, Minnesota for the TCC convention and will be meeting some very talented foodies; the ever famous farm girl, Mary Jane Butters-can’t wait to meet her, Author of Clean Start, Terry Walters, and Cristina Ferrare, Host of Big Bowl of Love on the Oprah network.  On the creative or handmade track; Holly Becker of Decor8 is a keynote speaker-can’t wait to see her again and catch up with her, my good friend Leslie of A Creative Mint and Leigh Stanley of Curly Girl Designs both attending to teach and or exhibit.  These are just a mere few of the many, many amazing guests that will be at the show.  So it will be action packed to say the least.

Inspiration will abound and I know I will return with a huge dose of creative energy and ambition after being surrounded by energetic, highly driven women following their creative passion.  Jo Packham, co-founder The Creative Connection Event, has become a dear friend and I look forward to participating in her 2nd annual event that is geared to be an enormously successful event.  Thank you Jo for inviting me to participate!

This opportunity to share my passion by teaching next week coincides with a 10 page feature in Jo Packham’s magazine, Where Women Cook.  Thank you kindly Jo, it’s a great honour to be part of the magazine, the layout is lovely.

You can find the magazine at Chapter’s, Barnes & Nobles, Costco and a variety of specialty book stores.  Here’s a sneak peek!

A ten page spread includes two yummy recipes that have not been posted on our blog.  This September 2011 issue is filled with amazing women, most of whom will be in attendance at The Creative Connection.  Each of us shares our story and shows off our creative cooking space while sharing innovative recipes.  It’s a brilliant magazine, one that you will keep!  Pick up your copy fast as it always sells out.

Phew, so that’s all the news and inspiration for now.  I’ll be back with an update on how the convention went, sharing some of the highlights.

I hope you have a wonderful week, enjoy September’s glorious sunshine and sunsets!  Our weather man says warm til the end of the month!  Yay!  I love warm Septembers, makes the fall leaves turn much prettier colours than when it rains.

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