Date Paste and Sugar

Date-Prune-Raisin Paste

If you didn’t already know, refined sugars are not that good for you. Even consuming syrups like maple, agave or simple sweeteners can take a toll when your trying to go sugar free. Most vegans rely on fruit sweeteners to keep things sweet and I am going to share my baking experience with dried fruit paste as a filling and a sweetener.

You can make your own date paste by blending dates up in a blender or food processor and adding things such as water or milk a dash of salt and maybe some vanilla or lemon juice to make it to your taste. I personally like to make my date paste stretched by also adding raisins, cut up prunes and prune juice instead of water or milk. Some people cook the dates down, like a dried fruit compote, or simply just jar it up after blending it. Date paste can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Here are some great recipes for date paste; http://www.veggiesdontbite.com/2014/02/01/date-paste-goodbye-refined-sugar/

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/date-paste/

Dates raisins and prunes are excellent for bowels and elimination. We use our date paste at least once a week in cooking to ensure elimination for everyone in the family. We like to change up our recipes for how we use it and I like to have a jar in the fridge always.

If you don’t have sugar and or don’t want to use sugar in baking, you can eliminate the wet parts of the paste and grind up dried dates until you have a sugar like consistency and you can replace regular white sugar or even brown sugar with date sugar instead.

Here is how you can make date sugar:

http://www.thekitchenwhisperer.net/tag/make-your-own-date-sugar/

Date paste can also be used for cake and cookie making, when you go to cream the butter and sugar for batter replace sugar with date paste and or date sugar and whip up like you would regularly

Here are some examples of my different date-prune bars and how we have creatively used date paste.

prune date filled cookies
prune date filled cookies
date paste pinwheels
date paste pinwheels
applesauce date oat bars
applesauce date oat bars

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How to survive being a Mom

If there is one thing I wish I had when my son was born is a book on how to be a good mother, learning as I go I wanted to share some tips I have learned to keep my sanity, hope they help, its quite a learning experience being a mom. =)
1. Prepare coffee the night before: their is no better satisfaction after whatever life brings you with a child then having fresh hot coffee when they wake you up at 6 am. So have your percolator, machine or French press ready because the moment you wake up, its go-juice time. Same goes for tea or Yerba mate if you roll that way, get it ready. And if you have a machine on a timer that makes it ready for you in the am, I envy you.
2. Your shower is your sanctuary: The moment that curtain closes, you better start meditating because is the quietest moments of your day.( that is if you get to shower alone.) Put the shower fan on and your at a spa far away at the beach in another country, drowning out the sounds of your home. Don’t let the mommy anxiety get to you, we all know that dad and child could potentially burn the house down and make a colossal mess for you to clean whilst your meditating in the shower, but most Likely they are not and all is well and you are fine to relax, so do it.
3. Do your dishes: Ain’t nothing like waking up to a clean kitchen, if all you do is take your garbage out and do your dishes before bed every night, you will thank me. And it will feel better each time you wake up and have to start cooking while your half asleep waiting for coffee to brew, because your kitchen is clean.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan,: the more you prepare the better you’ll be. Preparing a outing bag for a child really helps even after they graduate from diapers, my son takes at least 1 toy and book everywhere to stay entertained. Planning food is essential with children, plan they will snack, so buy snacks for the month. Planning your meals and dividing bulk packages of meat is essential for feeding a growing child and a great way not to go crazy. Being a mom is 80% planning and 20 % having fun while doing it.
5. Save for the future: Save $ by cutting coupons, find store coupons and manufacture coupons and save even more. Shop seasonal sales and even subscribe to sale emails online, you can save a lot of money. Shop the discounted day old section at stores and bakeries and more importantly you can save $ by buying bulk and buying ingredients not food. Save all your recyclables, egg cartons, milk jugs and toilet paper rolls all come in handy when you have a child.
6.Get creative: You cannot be a great mom without using a whole lot of creativity and imagination. How to convince a 4 yr old to clean his room? Get creative. How to occupy him while you have guests over? Get creative. Got a whole lot of veggies to cook? Get creative. Rainy day everyone’s sick and nothing to do? Get creative. Activity books and kids game books really help to get things started.
7.Have a dream desk: the biggest thing us mothers tend to do is get lost in our families and always self sacrificing for our families happiness, security or comfort. A dream desk is where you shelter your individuality, for me its my art desk, for others I could just be a nook in the house, where your inner creative child to be safe and grow to be a stronger woman. Without the “safe” place we cannot grow and be stronger for our families and be a better MoM. Nurture your self, keep your individuality safe and be confident in asserting your amazing uniqueness. Your dream desk should help to give you that confidence.
8.Know your role: I don’t mean to sound so old school But as a mother we should have responsibilities to our family and shouldn’t break them to try and be more ourselves. Their is a fine line between being a confident role model mother and being a confident single childless woman. We need to have respect for ourselves. For people to respect us, we need to respect ourselves. Dancing all night in clubs is given up when your a mother, you have a ‘role’ and you should want respect, you made another human and are raising it to be a respectful one, right?! Respect thyself, so know your role.
9.Never stop dancing: I know what I said in the last one. Dancing in clubs is unacceptable, But blasting music all day for 5 years and dancing with your toddler around the house before they go to school is perfectly fine, in fact its encouraged. Don’t smother your own happiness, dance with your children.
10.Keep your romance alive: Last but not least, love your man. If you have one. They gave your children and do what you can to keep things brewing in between diaper changes. I know its hard But seeing a happy mommy and daddy is better then the opposite.
Oh and prepare to get dirty, your in for one messy bumpy ride.. have fun.