Product Review: Ninja Master Prep Pro.

Full disclosure: I am not getting paid to write this. However, I didn’t purchase this product either, I got it for free.

That said, here’s how I got this set:
Hubby has been working for HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) for 10 years now, so they sent him a little plaque and a, well, a prize. The website given had a list of tons of shiny toys, but none of them interested him so he told me to get whatever I wanted. After much debate – practical me wouldn’t let me get anything I wouldn’t use, and all the things I would use were cheaper – I settled on the Ninja Master Prep Pro set. Our blenders had both broken last year, so I needed a new one and it seemed like this would be a good choice.

I’m glad I chose it. The two things I dislike about it are that the pitchers are not glass, and the lids have a large lip on the inside that steals some of whatever you’re blending. I mean, it’s really difficult to get any of the stuff out unless you’re rinsing it (I’m stingy, I can’t let any of my smoothie go to waste!).

The things I really like are the ease of cleaning (everything is dishwasher safe); the blades come out easily, so no more murdering spatulas trying to get the stuff at the bottom of the blender; the motor is compact, so no more lugging a giant blender base onto my counter; there are multiple blades on top of one another, so the blending is more uniform.

I used the little processing bowl to grind avocado pits today and it worked like a charm. I had a very even texture when I was finished. On a similar note, I used it to grind coffee for a french press and I was equally impressed with the consistency with which it ground the beans. This blender is also great for making coconut milk!

All-in-all I’m satisfied with this product: it would have been well worth the cost, which is not terribly expensive to begin with.

Sick-o.

Well, we did not escape this monster spring unscathed: all of us are sick right now.

It was a perfect storm of antibiotics, needing to rest my water kefir grains and running out of elderberry syrup. Hamling needed a round of antibiotics for a blister that was migrating down his finger toward his hand. I still have no idea what happened to his poor finger, but he really did need the antibiotics. Right after the antibiotics he got pink eye, then a cold. Then I got the cold, then Hamlette got the cold, and now Hubby has the cold.
As an aside: breast milk really does resolve pink eye. In case anyone was wondering.

I’ve been sick for 14 days now, ya’ll. This sucks. I’ve said it before, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the tail end of it now. At least, my throat isn’t sore anymore.

So today I thought I’d write about all the things I do to help myself through a cold. It’s much better to prevent it from happening, but sometimes – despite my best efforts – it happens anyway.

  1. Elderberry syrup.
    This is the recipe I use. This is kid-approved: Hamling asks me for “medicine” almost every day. I usually give/take one shot glass a day, but when we’re sick I up that to 2 for the kids and 3-4 for me.
  2. Honey and turmeric.
    I take a mixture of equal parts honey and turmeric, a dash of fresh cracked black pepper, ginger and cinnamon. This helps with inflammation and is pretty awesome for sore throats.
  3. Throat Coat tea with honey.
    I use this sparingly because I’m nursing. Depending on what area of my throat is sore, sometimes I’ll just gargle it rather than drinking it.
  4. Elderberry tea with honey, coconut oil and gelatin.
    I don’t always add the gelatin, but the coconut oil gives a nice energy boost if I’m having a rough day.
  5. Netti pot with some sort of probiotic (or Alkalol).
    This sounds weird, but it really does help. I was breaking open a capsule of probiotcs into my netti pot water (in addition to the salt). I ran out of those and used breast milk in the last two netti pots. It still weirds me out (the breast milk) but it was really helpful. If both of those suggestions are too strange (I don’t blame you) you can use Alkalol: it feels awesome! Be sure to use either distilled water, or water you’ve boiled for a few minutes for your netti pot.
  6. Lots of rest.
    Sometimes this means popping a movie or two on for Hamling. I’ve made my peace with that.
  7. Salt water gargles in the a.m.
    I gargle warm salt water after I’ve finished oil pulling in the morning. It helps clean out all the post-nasal drip gunk from the night before.
  8. Lots of bone broth.
    Bone broth is pretty delicious just warmed up, seasoned a bit with oregano, in a mug. If you disagree, try making more soups or cooking your savory grains in it.
  9. Skin brushing.
    Skin brushing is supposed to help move/drain the lymph system. All I know is that I feel better after I do it. Usually I’ll brush before my hot bath.
  10. Hot Himalayan salt bath before bed.
    I also add vitamin C. I run the water as hot as I can stand (think hot tub hot) and soak for as long as it takes me to watch an episode of anime; usually 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of ads. Be sure to rinse off after so that the salt and vitamin C don’t hang out on your skin all night.

I think that’s it.

What do you do when you’re sick?

Breakfast Treat.

I was always intimidated by crepes. I thought they would be really finicky, or otherwise difficult to make. It turns out I was wrong, they’re actually not that difficult.

I was also intimidated by the thought of cooking crepes in a cast iron skillet. Again, I was wrong: the crepes didn’t stick at all. I did use a little bit of coconut oil, but not every time, just after every two or three crepes.IMG_0871

I have to say, I waited too long to try making crepes. They are so good! I’m really glad I found this recipe in the Natural Grocers paper they give out at the checkout. I did modify it because I’m not a fan of protein powder.

I know this is said a lot, but just in case you’re not sure: buckwheat is gluten free.

Buckwheat Blueberry Crepes

  • Servings: 6 (12 crepes)
  • Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
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Crepes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon sucanat
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil, plus additional for skillet

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Combine wet ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Warm a small amount of oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet on medium-low heat. Add about 1/3 cup of crepe batter, tilting skillet so that the bottom is evenly coated. Cook until the crepe releases from the pan, about 1 minute. Flip and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  5. Place the crepe onto a plate while making another.
  6. Fill the crepes with desired fillings.

Blueberry “Sauce”
Enough to fill and top 3 crepes

1 small bag frozen blueberries

  1. Place frozen blueberries in a small pan and heat on medium heat until the liquid begins to bubble. Turn heat to low and let sit while cooking crepes.

Custard Filling
Makes enough to fill 12 crepes

3 egg yolks
3 cups non dairy milk of choice (or a mix of two milks)
1/4 cup sucanat
1/3 cup nonGMO cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla

  1. Place a glass storage container into a bath of ice water. Do not submerge, the idea is to have the glass be cold when the custard is poured in.
  2. Mix egg yolks and milk.
  3. Mix sugar, starch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture to make a smooth paste, then mix in the remaining milk mixture.
  4. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 20-25 minutes. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour into the glass storage container, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla. Put the lid onto the container and place in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour.

Note: I make the custard the night before to make things a bit easier.