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Banana Crème Brûlée

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When my  husband and I were dating, one of our favorite desserts to get and share was crème brûlée.  When we got married, we even registered for a little crème brûlée kit. Do you know how many times we actually made it? Once.  We made it one time in the five years we’ve been married.

Now, with this recipe, that will be changing! It still has the ultra rich custard-y base with the layer of caramelized sugar on top, but without the heavy cream, eggs, and sugar in the traditional version.  It still uses a little white sugar on top to make the crust though. 😉 I tried it with coconut sugar, and it lit on fire… so just use organic cane sugar if you want the crackly sugar crust.

Besides being healthier, there is no question that this is easier to make.  No separating eggs, no whisking, no water baths, no baking… I daresay it will be easier to make than it is to type crème brûlée.

You can even make it with the help of your child as a Father’s Day present, which is what we plan on doing! Maybe not the blow-torch part though…

This makes 4 servings, but considering how rich it is, you could certainly do smaller portions to make 6.

Combine macadamia nuts, bananas, coconut cream*, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt in food processor or high speed blender. Process until smooth.

Pour the custard into four ramekins.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.

Sprinkle sugar on top of the custard, and shake it gently from side to side for even distribution. Use a kitchen blow torch to start caramelizing until it is lightly browned. Keep working until the sugar is evenly browned and has formed a hard shell.

If desired, place back in the fridge to cool for 30-45 minutes, because it is traditional for creme brûlée to be served cold.  I always want to break into it immediately, so opt to pop it in the fridge for just about 5 minutes for the sugar to set.

*(I scrape the cream from the top of a can of this brand of coconut milk).

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Banana Crème Brûlée
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
 
A vegan version of creme brûlée using ripe bananas as a sweetener. Divine rich custard with hard caramelized sugar topping, but without the use of heavy cream, eggs, and sugar!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted macadamia nuts*
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup coconut cream**
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • large pinch salt
  • organic cane sugar (for topping)***
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except sugar in a food processor or high speed blender.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour the custard into four ramekins.
  4. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  5. Sprinkle sugar on top of the custard, and shake it gently from side to side for even distribution. Use a kitchen blow torch to start caramelizing until it is lightly browned. Keep working until the sugar is evenly browned and has formed a hard shell.
  6. If desired, place back in the fridge to cool for 30-45 minutes, because it is traditional for creme brûlée to be served cold. I always want to break into it immediately, so opt to pop it in the fridge for just about 5 minutes for the sugar to set.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
*I have tried making this with cashews, and they are a fine substitute if you don't have macadamia nuts
**I used a can of full fat coconut milk, and scraped the cream off of the top. (Trader Joe's makes coconut cream, but it has additional ingredients to preserve it, so I prefer to buy the full fat coconut milk in the can instead). You can save the rest of the can for another recipe or smoothies.
***Organic coconut sugar will not work here. I tried and lit it on fire. Learn from my mistake!!

 

Hope you love it!  And I’d love to hear from you!  Did you register for something that you had good intentions for, but never use? Do you have a father’s day treat recipe?  Share with me in the comments! 

DIY “Vitamin Water”

know I’m not the only one who used to think that VitaminWater was a healthy alternative to other beverages.  It was totally marketed as healthier, and even the name itself made it seem like a much better choice than a soda.  What was left out of the marketing claims was the massive amount of sugar (32 grams in one bottle!), which is more than the maximum amount of added sugar a woman should consume in a day (read more in this study).

Coca-cola (the parent company) was even sued by a nonprofit group, saying that the company made unwarranted health claims.  The company’s response? “No consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” Yeah, for real.  Read more about that, here.

My days of drinking anything besides filtered water are long gone!  I do enjoy tea, kombucha, and freshly made juice, like this one. The majority of the time though, I’m just drinking good ol’ PLAIN water!  Do I always drink enough water, though? It’s not easy for me while I’m constantly looking over my very active climber of a toddler.  I might start a glass, and then find that she put some of her avocado in there and swirled it around and then you won’t find me finishing it! Or, she just wants to play with it and I put it out of reach, and consequently, forget about it!

My husband tends to be the same way, except he isn’t often satisfied with plain water, he always wants “drinks.” Water is so crucial to your wellbeing though, we both notice that our bodies don’t work at their best if we aren’t drinking enough. Something that has helped him drink more water is this gift my sister got us! Bubbly water = more fun than regular water.

Know what’s even MORE FUN? And more delicious?

Do It Yourself Vitamin Water!

It’s an easy way to up the health factor of your water.  If I’m drinking the water just a couple hours after I made it, I will eat the fruit too!  If I let it sit in the fridge to really infuse and let the flavors develop (and it’s been a day or two), I throw the fruit in the compost.

You can use almost any combination of fruit, veg, and herbs.  You tend to know what flavors may work together, like classic “spa water,” being cucumber and lemon infused water.  Feel free to remember back to the teas or storebought beverages you used to buy and use those as inspiration too.  I used to love Strawberry Kiwi Snapple (I’m sure now it would be way too sickly sweet for me to drink even more than a tiny sip!), so I made DIY Strawberry Kiwi Vitamin Water.

Because mint is growing like crazy throughout our garden and yard, I found that it goes with nearly everything:

  • Cucumber + lemon + mint
  • Pineapple + mint (One of my very favorites! So refreshing)
  • Berries + mint (any combination of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or all!)
  • Watermelon + mint

 

Fresh or frozen fruit? Doesn’t matter!  I just use what I have. Frozen organic berries tend to be cheaper than fresh unless it’s the peak of berry season here in Central New York.

Sliced or whole fruit? Once again this doesn’t matter too much! Obviously you will slice your citrus, but for berries, I throw them in whole if I’m using frozen, but slice them up if I’m using fresh.

What about an infuser water bottle? Sure, you could use one. I prefer just throwing everything in a mason jar.  If I want to travel on the go with my Vitamin Water, I will pour it into my favorite water bottle.

 

vitaminwater

Need more suggestions to get started? See the recipes for the infusions from the picture, below!

  • Mango Lime
  • Pineapple Mint
  • Basil Lemon
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Raspberry Lemon and Rosemary

Instructions:

Wash and slice produce.
Combine ingredients in a large glass bottle.
Fill bottle with filtered water, agitate, and let sit at least 5 min and up to 48 hours in the fridge. For citrus peel containing water avoid soaking for more than 24 hours as the peel can make the water taste bitter.

 

Do you drink enough water? What are some of your tips and tricks to stay hydrated? Tell me about it in the comments section!

 

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

Healthy

My toddler is all about snacks! While she does sit down at the table for meals with us, some days I think she eats more in snacks than she does at meal times. Because we are giving her real, whole foods, I don’t limit her when she asks for food.

My go-to is just plain fruit and veggies.

pears

For vegetables, right now she loves slices of bell pepper.  She used to love cherry tomatoes cut in half (right now, she doesn’t), and cucumbers. She also loves gnawing on carrot and celery sticks, which I am comfortable giving her because she has so many teeth and has never choked (I think in part due to the way we introduced solid foods). We also went through a phase where she loved frozen peas!  What is simpler than getting a bag out of the freezer and pouring some peas in a cup?

frozen peas

Have a kiddo who doesn’t want “plain” vegetables?  Make it fun!  What about the old classic… ants on a log! Spread some peanut butter on celery sticks and use raisins as the “ants.” If you have a child who wants to help you make them, even better!  Our favorite around here is “red ants” on a log… almond butter + goji berries!

ants on a log

We also dip veggie sticks in guacamole or salsa.  If you don’t want to make your own, there are a lot of very “clean” brands. With salsa, we check the ingredients to make sure there isn’t added sugar.

salsa and guac

I don’t think there is a fruit that my daughter doesn’t like.  What is great about fruit, is that it is the ultimate “fast food.”  With the exception of some, like pineapple or pomegranates that take a little work to prepare, how easy is it to eat fruit? To just peel a banana? My daughter also loves peeling her own fruit, especially those little clementines.  That is half the fun for her! She also sometimes enjoys biting into the whole fruit, like a pear or apple.  If you are lucky, an apple can keep them entertained for quite some time! Another favorite is dates. If you are feeling fancy, you can stuff them with goat cheese and herbs, or perhaps slightly more kid-friendly, sunflower butter .  Most of the time we eat them plain, or take 2 to-go in a little container.

dates

Have a child who likes to dip? Try apple slices with my easy almond maple caramel!

Our whole family, including our toddler, loves snack balls.  You can make them by combining dates and any kind of nuts you have on hand, and add whatever else you feel like, such as dried fruits, oats, chocolate chips in a food processor.  Then roll into balls and stick in the fridge or freezer. Want a recipe to follow? Try these Spirulina Snack Balls.

spirulina snack balls

In the mood to have some messy play and snack time combined, which of course is so much fun for little ones? Try making chia pudding! It is such a different texture, they may love squishing it in their hands, “painting” the table, or it might be good practice using a spoon!  There are tons of chia seed pudding recipes out there, like this Banana Macaroon Chia Pudding.

Another fun texture is jello.  I won’t buy the jello packets from the store, so I make these Healthy Gelatin Jigglers, which are just as easy to make as those packets. The first time I made them, I had to give them away to other kids at a play date because my daughter didn’t care for them.  Now, she can’t get enough!  I hardly ever add sweetener, as they already taste plenty sweet.

Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. I am okay with giving Caterina nuts, but this, again, will depend on your comfort level with how your child chews and swallows.  If you are unsure, try seeds instead! Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are great, and my daughter requests them often. She also likes eating hemp seeds out of a little cup with a spoon, but I have to be prepared to sweep the floor afterward!  Dried fruit is not something I like to give all the time because it sticks in the teeth, but she sure enjoys goji berries, raisins, mulberries, etc. Another fun activity for toddlers is “make your own” trail mix. My mom has a bunch of antique mason jars filled up with different nuts and fruit right at Caterina’s level (which to me, screams disaster… like the all the jars getting knocked over and jagged glass everywhere).  So far, no disasters, and C loves taking a little of each and putting it in her own jar, cup, or baggie.

trail mix

Have a kid who likes granola bars? What about making your own healthy granola bars!

Hummus.  I never remember eating hummus growing up, but man, pretty much all the parents I know who give their child hummus say their kid can eat it by the bucketful!

Related: chickpeas. You can make your own crunchy chickpea snack by drizzling with olive oil, sprinkling with salt and/or spices, and roasting for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. No time for that? Simply open a can! My daughter will eat chickpeas right out of her snack cup, nothing on them. Feel free to mix it up and use other types of beans too (pictured below are homemade pinto beans).

pinto beans

Another easy snack is a smoothie.  Since I make one nearly every day for myself, it is no more trouble to pour her some of mine, or make a little extra.  When she was young and we were introducing foods slowly, I would start with just the ingredients I knew she could have, blend it up and pour it in one of her smoothie pouches and then add a bunch of other ingredients and blend it again for myself.

smoothie

Crackers are great too, but Kevin and I are particular about what type of crackers we give.  We want them to actually have some good nutrition.  The Endurance Crackers by Oh She Glows fit that bill, plus they are easy to make and delicious. If we want store bought, we go for Mary’s Gone Crackers or Go Raw Sprouted Cookies (pictured on smoothie bowl, above).

Summer is almost here!  As it gets warmer, I’m sure we’ll be making more popsicles!  Popsicle molds are relatively easy to come by, I’ve seen them in Wegmans and Marshall’s lately, but of course they are available online, too. It is so easy to just blend up some fruit and water or coconut water, pour into the molds and freeze! Recipe coming soon. 😉  Or, BANANA ICE CREAM!  Click here for classic banana ice cream (with optional chocolate shell topping), or go wild with adding your favorite mix-ins!


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Air popped popcorn is great for munching on.  To make it more exciting, I like putting salt and spices on it, or this recipe for more of a treat.  My daughter likes it plain jane, though! She likes pressing the button and watching it pop, too.

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More Tips: 

Mix up your serving dishes! Do you have different colored and sized bowls and plates to up the fun factor? (Did you notice that the frozen peas, above, were in a reused scoop from a protein powder?)

What about a muffin tin? This was fantastic for my daughter when she was younger.  It probably would be at this age too… note to self to try it again! The more colors and textures the better!

muffin tin snacks

Bring your kids with you when you buy food, whether at the market or the store. Let them pick out what they want!  If they pick it out, you bet they are going to try it when they get home!

Picking out tomatoes at the farmer’s market:

market tomatoes

Picking out a new fruit from the store (pitaya):

dragonfruit

Better yet, pick your own or grow your own food!  Right now, we only have herbs, but Caterina loves to pick and eat a piece of mint, basil, or chives. Looking forward to this summer when we (hopefully) have a prosperous garden!

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Now, I’d love to hear from you!  What are your favorite toddler/kid snacks? Leave me a comment! 

 

 

Mango Lime Creamer

How was your Mother’s Day?! I feel like I truly have the best of both worlds, having my mom around, and being a mom, myself.  At the same time, I am painfully aware of how hard this is for some of my friends, who have lost their mom, a child, or miscarried.  It makes me even more grateful for what I have and makes it easier to try to enjoy every moment, even when things don’t go as perfectly as you expect them to.

My awesome husband made us a huge delicious brunch, and then Mom, Caterina, and I went off to the play gym for some fun with Caterina, while he cleaned up. Thanks Kevin, you’re the best!

At brunch, I tried out a second version of a recipe I’m testing, a healthy and vegan version of crème brulee. It was a hit (how could something with caramelized sugar not be), but I think it could use some additional tweaking still! Stay tuned. 😉

In the meantime, this smoothie recipe is incredible! It is my absolute favorite, right now.  I think it would be perfect for a “beginner” green smoothie, as it doesn’t taste “green,” at all, despite the addition of spinach, and the smoothie’s vibrant green color. The mango, banana, and cashews make it super creamy, while the limes add an amazing freshness.  The addition of vanilla and almond extracts reminds me a little of an “Orange Julius” that I used to get at the mall when I was a kid. The dates add that extra sweetness, to compensate for the sour of the lime, but if you don’t have dates, I think you will still find it sweet enough if you have to omit them!

 

Toddlers love this smoothie too, if you can’t tell by the green face 😉 Which is why I usually give her smoothies in these reusable pouches… really helps with the mess!


Mango Lime Creamer
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
 
Sweet and creamy green smoothie, and you can't taste the greens, making it perfect for anyone shy about trying green smoothies!
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 4 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup spinach (tightly packed)
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup water (more if necessary, to help with blending)
Instructions
  1. Cut one lime in half, and place one whole half in the blender, peel and all!* Juice the other one and a half limes into the blender.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Blend until smooth.
Notes
*If you do not have a powerful blender, you may want to just use the lime juice.

 

I would love to hear from you!  How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? What is your favorite smoothie at the moment? Share with me in the comments!

Easy Almond Maple Caramel

This almost doesn’t seem like it should be a recipe, it is so easy to make.  I’ve been having this with an apple for dessert almost every night for the past couple weeks though, so why wouldn’t I post about it?

 

Usually, I just throw the four ingredients (raw almond butter,pure maple syrupvanilla extract , salt ) in a small bowl and stir.  This time, I measured (I know how most people like exact quantities when following a recipe) and for whatever reason, it tasted better than ever before! My husband said, “why would anyone need to buy caramel from the store if you can have this!”

 

The name of it was almost a doozy too, I was so excited about it once I decided to put it on the blog. It comes together in ONE minute.  It has FOUR ingredients. It’s VEGAN. It’s SALTY and sweet! Also, it’s SINGLE SERVE so you don’t have to worry about eating too much, or the remainder going bad in the back of your fridge.

So how about, for a name… Easy One Minute Single Serve Vegan Almond Maple Salted Caramel?

I have to check myself, sometimes. 😉

Easy Almond Maple Caramel, it is!


Easy Almond Maple Caramel
 
Author:
Serves: 1 serving
 
Delicious vegan salted caramel, made with only four ingredients. And comes together in just about one minute!
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. almond butter (I used raw almond butter)
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • scant ⅛ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl vigorously until combined.
  2. Chill for an hour if a slightly thicker consistency is desired.
  3. Enjoy as a dip for fruit!
Notes
We like "salted caramel," so the ⅛ tsp is great. If you prefer sweeter without the saltiness, just omit the salt or add a small pinch.

 

Whether you follow the recipe to a T or just note the ingredients and throw them in a bowl without measuring (my usual), I hope you try this out and let me know what you think!

I’d love to hear from YOU! Do you have an easy, healthy, quick dessert recipe?  Leave me a comment!

 

 

 

 

Spirulina Snack Balls

Buying in bulk is one of my new favorite things!  I joined a lovely local group that does bulk buys and saves our family a little money. Note to self: Don’t get carried away and order bulk spirulina.

Kevin and I love trying new foods, especially “superfoods,” after we read about the benefits!  Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, was no exception.  It contains many beneficial nutrients, and is rich in protein, even higher protein content per weight than red meat!  In fact, it is so nutritionally dense that NASA is researching the benefits of incorporating spirulina into the diets of the astronauts! Read more about the spirulina’s history and benefits by reading this article by Dr. Mercola.

Then, why the heck haven’t I used up our spirulina as the expiration date is growing ever closer? Um, well, because…. it tastes like pond scum. 😉 To be fair, I did say it was a blue-green algae. My husband actually really likes the taste in smoothies, and can enjoy a smoothie with a couple teaspoons of spirulina in it, while I can get it down, but not love it. 🙂 Oddly enough, I will eat (and even like) the SeaSnax I buy for my daughter, and Kevin can’t stand even the smell of those.  Go figure!

I’ve been trying to incorporate spirulina into our diet more creatively (and deliciously), and with these snack balls, I did it!!

They are so simple to make, too.

Just combine cashews, dates, coconut, spirulina, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor.

Process past the “crumbly phase,” like this…

…Until it forms a large mass, like this:

Then, you just roll into balls, and set them in the freezer to chill.

spirulina snack balls

Store in the freezer or fridge, and enjoy!

Note: Since I am so sensitive to the taste of spirulina, I made these several times, starting with just 1/4 tsp in a whole batch of balls.  I think the 1 tsp is quite nice, without really tasting it, but if you don’t mind the flavor, feel free to increase the quantity!

 

Spirulina Snack Balls
 
Author:
Serves: 12 balls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • ¾ cup dates, pitted (about 8 large medjool dates)
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process past the "crumbly phase," until a large mass forms.
  3. Use about 1 tbsp. of dough and form into balls.
  4. Place in freezer to chill, for at least one hour.
  5. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
If you like the taste of spirulina, try increasing the amount in the balls!

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you!  Do you like spirulina? What is your favorite superfood?

 

 

Spiced Pear Overnight Oats

“Busy” is an understatement lately!  I think mostly because of my husband’s long hours with a long drive most days of the week.  Trying to stay positive, although I sometimes get bitter that we moved here for this new job, and he is commuting at least three days a week back to where we came from. It is supposed to just be short term, but so far we don’t have an end-date for the commuting. Seriously, I applaud the single parents out there, as I am getting a taste of it.  Many days I am the sole caregiver, from the time Caterina wakes up in the morning until she goes to bed at night. Shout-out single parents,  you rock!!

Food quality is extremely important to me though, so despite these challenges recently, you won’t see me at any fast-food drive-thrus! One way to make breakfast really easy, is “overnight oats!”  They are exactly like they sound. 😉  Just mix everything together the night before, and eat in the morning.  For the sake of simplicity, I eat it cold, as does my husband, when I send him on the road with a jar. If you prefer a hot breakfast, feel free to gently heat it on the stovetop though. The possibilities are endless too, as you play around with different fruit, spices, and sweeteners.

This pear spice flavor is so delicious!  Another tip to make breakfast on-the-go a breeze, pack your overnight oats in an almost-empty nut butter jar!

You NEED to try overnight oats if you have busy mornings or just want to make life a little easier!  Faster and cheaper and WAY healthier than the drive-thru!

Mix all ingredients in jar.  Refrigerate overnight.  Boom, done. Enjoy in the morning with nuts or extra fruit if desired.

*I recommend doubling or quadrupling the recipe so you have breakfast for a couple of days.*

Spiced Pear Overnight Oats
 
Author:
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ pear, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 date, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup cashew milk (or milk of choice)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp cloves
  • ⅛ tsp ginger
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • almonds or walnuts (for topping, optional)
  • extra fruit (for topping, optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a jar or bowl, except toppings.
  2. Shake or stir well to combine.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Enjoy!
Notes
I recommend doubling this recipe so you have two jars. Barely any more work, and you get two breakfasts out of it!

 

I’d love to hear from you!  Have you tried overnight oats?  Or, what is your favorite quick or on-the-go breakfast? Leave me a comment!

 

 

Coconoatmeal

This family has been loving oatmeal lately.  We’ve had it on the stovetop, baked like a casserole, as overnight oats in jars, and just boiling some hot water and adding oats along with a bunch of toppings.  I was surprised (although shouldn’t have been) when we were all out, because we bought in bulk, and had more than I thought we would use for a long time.  Nope, all gone!  No hidden jars in the back of the pantry with extra oats.

Enter: Coconut oatmeal.  But there aren’t any oats… so coco-no-oat-meal.  Coconoatmeal!  I crack myself up.

Basically, I used unsweetened shredded coconut and coconut milk as the base, then added in other superfoods to thicken it, like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, and grass-fed gelatin.

 

The result is a delicious hot breakfast porridge, getting a bit of a natural sweetness from the coconut, coconut milk, and vanilla extract.  Paleo-friendly because the base isn’t a grain, and vegan friends, you can just leave out the gelatin.  It doesn’t have any sweetener, so we topped ours with a good amount of really ripe, juicy, sweet pineapple.  Feel free to top with any fresh, frozen, or dried fruit you have on hand, or mix in a little maple syrup if you desire something sweet.

 

Coconoatmeal
 
Author:
Cuisine: Breakfast porridge
Serves: 2 servings
 
A warm, satisfying breakfast alternative to oatmeal.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups homemade coconut milk (storebought would work fine too)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp. hempseeds
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. gelatin*
  • fresh fruit (for serving)
  • maple syrup for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix gelatin in pot with 2-3 tbsp. milk and mix with a spatula until a smooth paste is formed. (This step helps prevent clumping)
  2. Add coconut milk and vanilla.
  3. Mix well and turn on heat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, except fresh fruit.
  5. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let thicken/cool for another 5 minutes.
  7. Top with fruit and optional maple syrup.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
*Omit for vegan porridge option

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you!  Ever run out of a staple ingredient, have to sub something else, and have it TOTALLY work out? Leave me a comment!!

Healthy Pink Heart Pancakes

Do you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a sweet homemade breakfast treat for your sweetie or your kiddos? These pink heart pancakes are perfect!

I used the recipe for my allergy-friendly blueberry pancakes, except subbed in raspberries to make them pink/red in color, and I added an extra mashed banana to the batter to sweeten them just a little more and thicken them up a bit.

We made it easy on ourselves by using these heart molds but you could certainly try to shape the hearts free-hand, or round pink pancakes are still festive!

I love this recipe.  It takes a little time to make them all, especially if you have to grind up the oats (we keep some oat flour pre-made now), but they are totally worth it.  Gluten free, dairy free (except for the pat of butter on our stack for the picture), egg free, nut free.  NOT free from flavor!  These are so delicious!

You actually don’t even need maple syrup for these, my daughter just had a leftover plain one as a snack.


Healthy Pink Heart Pancakes
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup oat flour (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 large dash cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed from frozen raspberries
Instructions
  1. Mash banana with a fork until smooth or if you have an electric hand mixer it makes it really easy
  2. Mix banana with all ingredients and stir well, this is where using an electric mixer will help to blend in the raspberries and make the batter pink
  3. Let batter sit about 5 minutes to thicken
  4. Pour about ¼ cup of batter on skillet greased with coconut oil (using heart mold if desired)
  5. Flip after bubbles appear and edges start to brown
  6. Cook for another minute or two on other side
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

Are you planning a romantic meal or on making a fun sweet treat for Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear from you!  

Sweet and Salty Cashew Popcorn

Talk to my college roommates, and they will tell you it’s not an exaggeration when I say I used to eat microwave popcorn every single day.  After dinner we’d all settle in to study and they’d hear the popping of my “extra butter” bag of popcorn.

When I made a drastic change in the foods I was eating, I switched to eating fresh, natural and unprocessed foods, which automatically cut out most corn.  Cornstarch, corn syrup, and corn oil, are in just about every processed food product, and corn is one of the most genetically modified foods, which has its own issues.  Not to mention the ingredients besides the corn… some companies (cough, PopSecret, cough) are still using trans fats, and others hide ingredients by writing “natural and artificial flavors.”  I mean, what is that??

My days of daily microwave popcorn are long gone, and I won’t eat it at all now, especially after I heard of cases of “Popcorn Lung,” like this man who was awarded over 7 million dollars in a lawsuit. I do include corn in my diet occasionally, like when we receive farm fresh ears of corn from our CSA, or adding organic frozen corn kernels to salsa, or in popping my own organic corn kernels.

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I buy this organic yellow popcorn and use this Nostalgia Electrics Popcorn Maker, but you could certainly just use a pot, with a little oil, and pop the kernels that way! Or use already-popped store-bought organic popcorn.

I hope you make this right away, it is so delicious it won’t last long!  It doesn’t in our house 🙂

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Sweet and Salty Cashew Popcorn
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • ½ cups chopped cashews (toasted if desired)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup salted cashew butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • extra sea salt, optional, for topping
Instructions
  1. Mix cashews with popped popcorn in large bowl.
  2. In small saucepan, heat honey until boiling.
  3. Stir in cashew butter and mix until uniform, continue stirring for an additional minute.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Pour liquid mixture over popcorn mixture.
  6. Mix with a spatula to evenly coat the popcorn/nut mixture.
  7. Spread out on a baking sheet to cool in the fridge for a couple hours so it hardens up a bit.
  8. The final product is sticky, salty, sweet and irresistible!

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What’s your favorite way to eat popcorn?  I’d love to hear from you, leave me a comment!