Carrot, Ginger, Turmeric Soup


This cozy soup makes me all warm and fuzzy on those rare crisp fall days that happen in LA. Carrots are the perfect healing food when you’re starting to feel under-the-weather and turmeric has an arsenal of health benefits including it’s anti-inflammatory properties. But most importantly, it’s delicious and all of my kids love it! I freeze it in ice cube trays to have on hand for my 8-month-old Annabel. If you’re fortunate enough to have fresh turmeric, use 2 tbsp instead of the ground, and add it at the end with the ginger. Top with roasted chickpeas if you’re into a mediterranean twist. Enjoy!


2 lbs carrots
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 sweet potato
6 cups veggie broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
s & fresh cracked black pepper
Greek Yogurt, Cilantro, dill, parsley or roasted chickpeas for garnish

Bring to a boil the onions, carrots, sweet potato, turmeric and a pinch of salt in the veggie stock. Reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender. Put into a blender with the ginger. Serve in soup plates with a heavy dollop of greek yogurt and garnish with herbs, salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Roasted Squash Seeds

Roasted butternut squash seedsFall is my favorite season of the year.  I love the homemade cacao drinks, spiced apple cider, crispy cold air outside with a roaring fire inside and I love love love snacking on salty squash seeds.  For the longest time I only roasted pumpkin seeds until one day somebody told me to roast the seeds from the butternut squash I was making.  They have a similar flavor as pumpkin but dare I say, are slightly more delicious!  When I make butternut or acorn squash and pumpkin I always utilize the heat of the oven to toss the seeds in after and savor the results- warm, crispy, salty seeds!

What you need:

  • Squash seeds (don’t remove all the pulp, it adds amazing flavor!)
  • Coconut oil to lightly coat
  • Salt

For crispier seeds heat your oven to 325° F, for more tender seeds heat to 300°.  Lightly coat your seeds with a little coconut oil and salt liberally.  Bake about 15-30 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved.  It will depend on how plump your seeds are.  These taste best when served warm.  Enjoy!

Heavenly Pumpkin Bread

“Where’s the pumpkin bread?”  “It’s gone.”  “What?!  I haven’t had any yet!”  This is a frequent conversation in the Van Der Beek household.


Our dear friend Joanie surprised us with her glorious skill one day, baking!  At 11 years old she was already walking the neighborhoods selling her goods.  Later on she trained in Paris under a Le Cordon Bleu chef.  Her gluten and refined sugar free pumpkin bread is moist, flavorful, makes the house smell like a cozy fall afternoon AND is easy to make (James has made it with great success)!  Joanie is sharing her recipe with us as our first ever guest blogger. (Note: we use cup4cup flour when we make ours).

By: Joanie Cusack

Growing up, pumpkin bread was a fall staple in my house. I lived in Michigan, so the change of season brought along a drastic change in temperature, which we accompanied perfectly with pumpkin bread.  I believe that there is something very natural and healthy about the heartiness of fall/winter time eating. It’s okay to eat a little richer, denser foods and let yourself relax a little. Our body needs the change. Below is a one loaf pumpkin bread recipe that has been adapted to be gluten and refined sugar free.


  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin puree (you can either buy this in BPA free cans or in a box)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ water
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice or pumpkin pie spice

Process: Preheat oven to 350 and spray the inside of the bread pan with olive oil orcoconut oil spray. You can also use butter.

  1. In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) together and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat the two eggs with a fork until they are light in color and slightly foamy, add the water, oil, pumpkin, maple syrup and spices and mix with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients, at this time you may want to use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the batter, once it is well mixed – there will still be clumps and that’s okay – pour into the prepared pan. Drop the pan a couple of times on the counter to level off the batter and release any air bubbles.
  4. Cook, uncovered at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Don’t worry if towards the end of the baking time the top of the loaf starts to darken in color, that is normal. If it gets to be too dark you can always cover the top with tin foil.

The Healing Benefits of Palo Santo


My girlfriend, Lacey Mackey of Natureal Mom, discovered the healing and spiritual purpose of Palo Santo on a recent stay in Ojai.  The sweet woodsy aroma alone was enough to lure me into purchasing some sticks to burn myself (you can get them here).  They’re also known to cure a hangover and ward off mosquitos.  Perhaps the perfect way to recalibrate for fall, you can read about all the beautiful benefits here.