A Touch of Spring Fever

May 4, 2010


I have finally caught some Spring fever. The weather here in Colorado has been cold, windy and even snowy at times over the past few weeks. The return of the grey, and the absence of any real growth was starting to take it’s toll on my sense of the season.

Although the nasty weather comes roaring back in tomorrow morning, and stays with us into the weekend, we took advantage yesterday of a 70 degree day and warm sunshine to enjoy our first afternoon tea out of doors.

Afternoon tea is huge in our family. It started with my mother, who took me to tea anywhere she could find, and made it one of the most special occasions of my childhood. It keeps going with my boys, who think of tea time as an hour to relax, tell me about their day, and just take a step back from the hard work of playtime.

In honor of our first tea shared under our favorite tree, we hung a special banner that arrived yesterday from my very talented friend Camille, from Camille Creates. This banner seemed perfect to hang from our nearest tree, and will always be brought out to decorate for these moments.

The first outdoor tea needed something really special to enjoy. The boys were clamoring for scones with rhubarb jam, but since the sun was not expected, I didn’t have any made (note to self, be better prepared for moments like these).

I remembered a recipe that I had just seen over on Audra’s site for Sesame fudge. The ingredients were simple, and the result seemed heavenly, except that I did not have sesame seeds in the house. I did, however, have sunflower seeds. With a little tweaking, we enjoyed the most incredible raw fudge I have ever tasted. If you make this recipe, or Audra’s original, be sure to make enough because this one goes fast.

Raw Sunflower Seed Fudge

1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Sunbutter (crunchy)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flax seed meal (Audra uses wheat germ here. Being gluten free, I substituted flax seed meal)
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix everything together by hand, place onto a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log. Cover and allow to chill in the fridge.

Thank you Audra for your original recipe. I will be sure to have sesame seeds in the house from now on :)


Of course, I should note that although we gathered for tea, we actually ended up with a bit of a twist with what went into the cups. Green tea smoothies were the drink of choice, and a super fun way to kick-off our outdoor afternoons.

The Green Smoothie Challenge has opened my eyes to so much when it comes to raw food living, and I am very grateful to Suzanne for all of her hard work. I am actually proud of myself for really sticking to this challenge, simply to be able to see the difference that it has made for us. We have enjoyed a smoothie together every morning, and Joel and I have come to love them so much that we normally share a second batch in the afternoons (I have not pushed that one as much as with my kids, they are normally done with one).

There are so many recipes that are out there, and I have loved hearing and seeing about what everyone enjoys. For us, the favorite green has been spinach, and blueberries are a must. I have a base set of ingredients that always go in, and then I try to mix up our greens and fruit to keep it interesting.

Green Tea Smoothie

1 cup cooled green tea
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 green apple chopped, skin on
1 cup fresh broccoli sprouts
1 cup strawberries
3 cups spinach
5 spearmint leaves, chopped
Ice

Base ingredients (optional)

Spirulina
Omega Oil (Like Udo’s 3-6-9 blend)
Ground flax meal or hemp seeds
Liquid probiotic

Blend together, and enjoy!


Even though we are not past the frost free date here, I was still ecstatic when a friend dropped off a May Day gift of herbs from a farm in Longmont on Saturday. I LOVE growing herbs, and I normally have them all over our yard to pick and enjoy. Mint, basil, thyme, etc. bring me much happiness to grow, and just feeling the dirt in my hands as I planted them was all that I needed to remind me that Spring is here, no matter how hard King Winter kicks his feet in protest.

Have a wonderful day friends

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy May 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hooray that spring has truly arrived for you!
We are having what I suppose is 'normal' variable spring weather–cool days, and then hot days. Except the hot days are getting into the 90's….I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

That fudge sounds so delicious, we will have to try it! I adore 'no bake' recipes.

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AdirondackMama May 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

that fudge looks so yummy. I have asked Fran to make me a table to sit at in the yard, I love the idea of picnics on something other than a blanket.

Our weather is so similar here, it must be the mountains.

XO, Jules

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Kara @Simple Kids May 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

What a lovely Tea Time! :-)

We have smoothies every day, but just a green smoothie one day a week … we're working on moving that number up, tho. Smoothies have been a good way to give the kids a taste for things they don't think they like (and, okay, sometimes they help the grown-ups in my house, too)

Have a wonderful day!

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AG Ambroult May 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm

using green tea in a green smoothie is an excellent idea. I'm trying it today, so thanks! I feel the same way about the challenge, and I'm quite curious about raw foods now. Funny, Nicola just mentioned her banner from Camille yesterday! I'm going to have to head on over to Camille Creates. :)

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Sarah Jane May 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Cool tea tradition. And so glad you got outside. We've been smoothie-ing it up here, too. Yum. Thanks for sending the warm weather here for a day!

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Joy May 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

The fudge looks delicious! I'm glad you enjoyed your brief touch of spring. I hope it's back soon to stay.

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Josie May 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I love afternoon tea! Its a dying tradition. Here in England you get very posh hotels who do afternoon tea for non-residents in their dining rooms. Do you get that over there? Its always beautiful, tiny sandwhiches on elegant plates and scones with cream and jam, then pretty little cakes almost always on tiered china stands, and usually involving doilies somewhere along the way.
I'm gluten free as well so usually can't eat a thing, but its almost worth it just for the tea in delicate china cups, and the experience.

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Ivy/Anna May 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I was feeling in a bit of a funk, so I knew I needed to come read whatever you'd put up today. Thanks. Your pictures and words have helped. I've been loving the green smoothie challenge too, but hadn't thought of trying to make one with green tea. Yum!

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Meryl May 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I love the idea of taking a break for afternoon tea–happy Spring!

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Lynnette May 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

We will have to try some raw fudge. Thanks for posting the link and your version. We are working on getting a vita-mix for our daily green smoothie.

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heirloomseasons May 4, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Dear Heather, Thanks for thinking of me this weekend, at least the snow is melted away, a bit of green grasses growing, dandelions blooming, but not much else! We have yet to reach 70 degrees, or two sunny days in a row… Soon, sun, warmth, please! Sorry, but goodness, this has gone on long enough. So glad you got to enjoy some beautiful days! Thanks for sharing your herb happiness!

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Dena Clinger May 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Winter keeps getting in the way of Spring here too. I'm glad you found a break in the weather to get outside! I'm excited to try this fudge recipe!

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Kelly May 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm

We have tea time in the afternoon too. Not always actual tea but a time to sit and connect and slow down (and eat).

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patty-jean May 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm

ooooo – what a great green smoothie recipe – love the brocc. sprout addition! It is a little cool here, but we are looking forward to tea's outdoors too.

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Chelsea May 4, 2010 at 7:11 pm

oh yum. I think I may be making some of these to take with us on our trip east… +Chelsea

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Nina - Tabiboo May 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

That fudge sounds delicious, naughty, but delicious.

I love the banner and it's purpose in your family – we were discussing with the children yesterday 'what' food reminds you of home…pancakes, waffles, chocolate cookies and hot chocolate were amongst some of the many, but for me growing up it would have to be tea time taken at five'ish' with my grandparents sat in there little cottage in the countryside feasting on freshly baked ham and homemade sandwiches……tea time is good.

Have a lovely week Heather,

Nina xxxxxx

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clarice May 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Fudge and smoothie both sound delish. Thank you. Clarice

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Courtney May 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Yum! Thank you for this recipe and pointing us in the green smoothie direction. We've been doing them everyday and I think it has made a huge difference for us – even though wealready eat a lot of greens. Green smoothies are so easy – to make, clean up an digest!

We tried some home-grown broccoli sprouts in ours and I wasn't a huge fan – but I am also wondering if I let my broccoli sprouts grow too long? Do you grow yours? Do you rinse them in warm or cool water? Anyway,

Thank you for this recipe. I am very excited to try it!

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Brooke May 4, 2010 at 11:02 pm

You always have the best food pictures! That fudge will have to be made soon… but what is Sunbutter? Is it like Peanutbutter? I have been loving the green smoothie challenge too… I haven't been adding the extras yet, but plan to. You seem to have a handle on them.
Thank you for checking out my space too! I love sharing with you (and the others!). and thanks for the inspiration.

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Dani May 4, 2010 at 11:20 pm

The recipe for the fudge was in one word – amazing! So quick and my son and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon snack.
Thanks!

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samthehamsmom May 5, 2010 at 1:12 am

The Pansy picture is AMAZING! omg and that fudge…must..make…now…!

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5orangepotatoes May 5, 2010 at 3:00 am

I think raw food definitely has its place in the diet, but I also believe that some veggies need to be cooked a little to bring out the full health impact; just like tea needs a little bit of heat. I tried the raw food diet when I was in my late 20's and it didn't mesh well with me. However, raw fits into my diet, and my girls' diets, everyday usually in the form of smoothies or a fresh salad.

The fudge looks so yummy! I was herb shopping today actually. Rosemary is one of my favorites, always takes away tension in my head, and it tastes so yummy with breads and potatoes!

Glad to see your days warming up a bit!
lisa

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jessica May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

Spring fever is definitely in full swing! I haven't bought my herbs yet but I think this weekend is the time. I love your green smoothie recipe–it looks so yummy. I really enjoyed the challenge as well. I found green smoothies a perfect fit for my afternoon writing time (for work!). Writing reports is so much easier with a smoothie in hand. That sunbutter fudge looks tasty- you guys turned me onto sunbutter and I think it is the tastiest butter there is.

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Valarie May 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Looks like such a wonderful and relaxing tradition. I will absolutely have to give the sesame fudge a try. We all love sesame here. What a great way to enjoy a smoothie in a tea cup. Very Fun. Enjoy your good weather while you have it. Cheers.

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lovely world May 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

We just set out our outdoor table and chairs, but haven't used them yet. A cup of tea (or green smoothie) in the sunshine sounds just right. Thanks for pushing me out that door!

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deb May 12, 2010 at 1:46 am

Smoothies are pretty much an everyday thing here too. Love green smoothies! Not only do they taste awesome but they are so good for you too… what's not to love?! That fudge looks divine… :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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