Brendon, my husband and I, have a special place in our hearts for s’mores. For our honeymoon, we went to Hocking Hills National Park and stayed in a remote cabin. Each night, we made a campfire, cuddled in a blanket, and made s’mores.
Since coming back home, we have a bonfire at home and love making s’mores as an at home date. However, regular s’mores are full of sugar and my stomach doesn’t really like that.
So, I devised a recipe to have healthier s’mores so we can still enjoy our nights together or with the kids.
Fine the original recipe here.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons Golden Barrel Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon Golden Barrel Blackstrap Molasses
- 1 egg, room temperature or 1 gelatin egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Here is where I found the recipe.
- 1 cup filtered water, divided
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed powdered gelatin*
- 1 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Arrowroot starch or tapioca to coat the outsides of the marshmallows*
- chocolate bar sweetened with stevia (Lily’s chocolate bar)
- nut butter
- Put all ingredients except gelatin egg into the blender. If you are using a regular egg, just add it to the blender.
- To make gelatin egg, put 1 TBSP gelatin with 1 TBSP room temperature water in a bowl and mix until completely incorporated.
- Add 2 TBSP boiled water to the mixture and fully blend.
- Add the gelatin egg to the blender.
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment to 1/8-1/4 inch.
- Cut the crackers with a pizza cutter and poke holes in the crackers.
- Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes.
- Follow the instructions found here.
Putting Your S’more Together
- Set your oven to broil.
- Cut your marshmallows.
- Place two graham crackers on a baking sheet.
- Place one marshmallow on one of the graham crackers.
- Set a square of dark chocolate on the other graham cracker.
- Broil for 15-20 seconds.
- Sandwich your s’more together, and enjoy!
Where You Make the S’mores
- Camp out – make a bonfire
- Indoor S’mores – cook in the oven
Sometimes A Girl Just Needs a Cupcake
During the first trimester of my second pregnancy, I was craving sweets BAD! However, refined s0ugar reeks havoc on my stomach, and I know it is not good for my growing baby.
So, typical me went to Pinterest and found the “best” red velvet cupcake out there to modify. I didn’t go for a pre-formulated paleo recipe because I find coconut flour and almond flour don’t work the best for cupcakes. I love cassava flour because it is a 1:1 substitution, and my body was craving carbs! Plus, I find with low carb treats, it ends up being more calories for me, which isn’t helpful either.
I found a great recipe for the cake in which I substituted ingredients. Then, I decided to use the icing I had formulated for a paleo red velvet brownie recipe that I created.
- 2½ cups cassava flour
- 2 cups coconut sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups coconut oil or grass-fed butter
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 oz. red food coloring
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 8 ounces organic, grass-fed cream cheese
- 4 TBSP unsalted grass-fed butter, room temperature
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line 3 regular-size muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- In a medium bowl, place the cracked eggs and whisk until egg whites and yolks are blended.
- Add remaining liquid ingredients and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
- In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, place all dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Mix on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until mixture is completely incorporated.
- Fill batter 2/3rds up the prepared cupcake liners.
- Gently tap the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles from the batter.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a middle cupcake comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes rest 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Optional: If a cake is desired, this cake batter will make a three-layer 8-inch cake.
Mondays are breakfast for dinner. So, we did eggs with these cute pancake sausage muffins topped with some real maple syrup. Delicious and a kid hit! I made this recipe but substituted cassava flour and coconut sugar.
I loved being able to make these on Sunday night as we were getting ready for the week. Then, I had very little work to do at dinner time on Monday. Have I mentioned how much I try not to actually cook at dinner time? At that time, I always have at least one kid that wants my attention, I feel like I am still trying to get all my stuff in the door, and I want to spend time with my family. So, when it was dinner time, all I had to do was heat the muffins in the oven, while I quickly make some eggs and smoothie to go with them.
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked and cut into small pieces
- 3 cups full-fat coconut milk or full-fat milk of choice*
- 8 tablespoons white vinegar*
- 4 cups cassava flour
- 8 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 8 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
*Note: For the milk and vinegar, you can also substitute buttermilk or just use milk of choice and skip the vinegar.
- Cook your sausage in the oven or in a skillet. Once cooked, break it into crumbles. I baked patties in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes, and then, cut the patties into crumbles. I like this way because then I don’t have to watch a skillet.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Add the vinegar and milk together. Then, let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Add all ingredients into a blender except for the sausage.
- Blend ingredients until smooth.
- Remove the blade from the blender, and mix in the sausage crumbles until they are evenly incorporated.
- Fill silicon muffin cups or paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full with the batter.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately, or let them cool to store in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
Breakfast can be fun!
Breakfast by far is my favorite meal of the day. I love eating big breakfasts, and for the kids, I love doing special recipes or touches to their food to make it fun, especially on weekends.
Both the kids love the cassava flour pancakes that I have made from the PaleoHacks blog. However, after making the recipe a few times, I modified it by adding some more honey and some vanilla. Kids are used to a slighter sweeter pancakes so I thought that worked well.
Then, I saw a cute photo on Pinterest of how to decorate breakfast toast to make it bear toast. I thought, I could do that with pancakes! I have made them for the kids a few times, and they think they are soo cool! Every time Noah sees them, he says” BEAR! BEAR!!” Brynn loves these bear pancakes at the local dinner, but those are full of sugar. So, I love having this special treat I can make at home to give her the same feeling with healthier ingredients and spending less money.
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 T honey
- ¾ cup cassava flour
- ½ t baking soda
- ¼ t salt
- 2 TBSP honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Add all ingredients to the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Coat the pan with coconut oil well.
- Heat the griddle or pan to medium heat or 350 F.
- For the ears, use a TBSP measuring spoon. Fill the spoon with batter, and pour the contents onto the griddle in a circle. For each bear pancake, you will need two ears.
- For the face, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Fill the cup with batter, and pour the contents onto the griddle in a circle.
- Flip when bubbles pop. The ears will cook very fast.
- When the pancakes are done cut off any rough edges with kitchen scissors to make the circles more round if necessary.
- Place the pancakes onto a plate. The ears will go above the face.
- Slice a banana.
- Add one slice of banana on top of each ear, and add one in the middle of the face as the nose area.
- Add blueberries for the eyes and nose.
- When adding the blueberries dip one side in the nut butter to have it stick without having a visible amount of gloppy nut butter.
This Meal is a Kid Pleaser!
In the early months of Brendon and my marriage, I had a mission to find new dishes that Brynn would eat. At the time, she really just ate mac and cheese, egg sandwiches, alfredo, and peanut butter. I am sure that in reality there were a few other things, but it felt really limited. I was frustrated with how picky she was.
So, I went to Pinterest and set out to try new recipes with her to eventually find at least a handful that she would eat. One night we tried a recipe for sloppy joe cornbread casserole, and she gobbled it down quick! Since then, it has been one of her favorite foods. Here is the original recipe.
However, once I moved to more of a real food diet, especially aiming for low gluten and refined sugar free, this recipe wasn’t making the cut in my meal planning. I felt bad because Brynn loved it so much. So, I set out to make a paleo friendly version that I could feel good about.
Now, since this is a more labor intensive recipe than the original that involves a box mix and a can of sauce, I decided it was essential to batch cook it and freeze a few to make it worth the effort. That way I can cook once and have 4+ dinners. Otherwise, I was not going to be serving this for dinner on a regular basis. Even a food lover like me doesn’t have a ton of time to be stuck in the kitchen!
Thankfully, I made this revised, healthier version, and she ate it with the same excitement as usual without the processed ingredients. YAY!
1. Paleo Sloppy Joe Sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup Paleo Whole30 Ketchup, or ketchup of choice (ideally refined sugar-free)
- 1 TBSP coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Optional: Kids may want it sweeter so I would add some honey once you give it a taste test
Note: I removed some of the veggies from the original paleo sloppy joe sauce recipe I found to make it more friendly for picky eaters
2. 1-1.5 lb pasture-raised ground chicken, turkey, or beef
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 TBSP coconut sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream (grass-fed)
- 1/4 whole milk (or milk of choice)
- 2 TBSP honey
- 4 TBSP melted grass-fed butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together in a blender.
- Brown the ground meat in a pan on medium heat with butter or coconut oil to coat the pan.
- Pour the sauce into the pan with the meat, and stir to heat through. This should take 1-2 minutes.
- Place the meat mixture in a 9 by 11 pan.
- Mix the cornbread ingredients together.
- Pour the cornbread batter over the meat mixture. Spread it with a spatula to evenly coat the top.
- Bake in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes.
- Check the middle of the cornbread to make sure it is fully cooked by sticking a toothpick into it. If the toothpick comes out clean, then it is done.
- You can either serve immediately, or you can make several at one time, let them cool, and freeze covered to reheat for quick weeknight meals.
We made the original recipe of this maple bacon breakfast pie on our honeymoon in Hocking Hills State Park. We rented a cabin for the week and cooked all our own food. It was so fun, and we loved this pie. It has been a recipe we love going back to for the taste and the memories.
Changing It Up
However, once our family started eating more real food, paleo, gluten-free, I didn’t want to use a regular store bought crust, and the gluten-free crusts in the store didn’t seem like great options either. Plus, all the store bought crusts fell apart rather easily.
So, I went on the hunt for an EASY paleo pie crust that would stay together and taste great. The cassava flour crust recipe I found stayed together really well and was delicious, especially when I used the bacon fat to brush the crust instead of an egg wash. I also added pepper instead of the cinnamon in the original recipe since this is a savory dish. I definitely recommend using this crust recipe though. I love cassava flour!
My New Breakfast Pie Recipe
- 2 cups whole milk (or full-fat coconut milk)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded grass-fed cheddar cheese
- 3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups cooked shredded potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 cup Otto’s Natural Cassava Flour
- 2 T arrowroot flour + additional for dusting
- ¼ t black pepper
- ¼+ t Redmond Real Salt
- ½ c grass fed butter, let set at room temp for about 10 minutes, cut into about 1″ pieces
- 1 lg egg, whisked
- ¼ – ½ c room temp water (this will vary)
- 1 lg egg, whisked in separate bowl for egg wash
- 2 sheets of parchment paper
- Start by getting the crust baking. Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Mix together, cassava flour, arrowroot, pepper & salt.
- Add small cubes of butter to the mixer, and blend.
- Add egg to the mixer, and blend.
- Pour water in, and blend. Start slow and add until it is moist but not super sticky.
- Lay down parchment paper. Dust with some arrowroot starch. Place your dough in the center and flatten. Then, dust the dough with arrowroot startch. Place the other piece of parchment paper on top and slowly begin to roll out the dough into a large circle.
- Place the dough circle in the 9″ pie pan and press down.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes.
- While crust is baking, cook the three slices of bacon for the pie.
- Once the crust has cooked for 10 minutes, pull it out and baste it with the bacon grease from the pan. Pull out the bacon from the pan once cooked.
- Bake it for another 10-12 minutes.
- Dice your 3 pieces of bacon into small cubes.
- Peel and shred your potatoes. Put them into a hand towel and squeeze the extra liquid out of them. Then, cook them in the pan that you cooked your bacon in.
- Add the eggs, milk, bacon, cheese, salt, potatoes and pepper to a bowl.
- Mix the filling ingredients well.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust, and bake for 40 minutes. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet to prevent filling from spilling into the oven.
- Pull the pie out of the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 450 F.
- Then, place the 10 slices of bacon in a lattice onto the top of the pie.
- Brush the top with maple syrup.
- Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil.
- Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the bacon is cooked.
Tip: I love to make these the night before for quick breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. You can even make a few and freeze for the future. These make great food gifts for new moms or families.
Bone Broth Does the Body Good
Bone broth has come back to the forefront of nutritional news lately with all its health benefits. I make it on and off, but I recently got motivated to start making it again. Being 14 weeks pregnant, I have noticed some aches in my legs and feet, especially when running. I have a standing desk this time, but I have also noticed that I needed to start using my compression socks earlier in pregnancy while running because of the soreness. I have also noticed just more inflammation per say this time when I eat certain foods or stress.
Maybe I am just more aware of my body this time, I don’t know. I am probably just more sensitive to small shifts in how I feel and my health. Overall, I have felt way better this pregnancy physically, so I can’t really complain. Brendon has also had some joint pain because we are both training for a half marathon in September.
Plus, looking ahead, I am due in January. That is PRIME sickness season in our house. Without fail, Brynn seems to get a major cold in early to mid-January, and I really don’t want to deal with that for several reasons. I don’t want anyone getting sick in general, but I don’t want it to spread to me or the baby. Plus, dealing with her (or any kid) while sick is super stressful, and I want to try and reduce my stress as much as possible during that time. I don’t want any stress to delay my labor (any pregnant woman knows at that point you want that baby OUT!).
Benefits of Bone Broth
- Gut health
- Packed with zinc and other vitamins and minerals
My Predicament with Bone Broth
Previously, I have made batches of bone broth and not used the whole thing. To be honest, I don’t really enjoy drinking a cup of bone broth every day, and it is extremely filling. Plus, being on the go, sometimes it is hard to remember. So, sometimes half the batch gets wasted.
This time though, I have a plan. I am going to make batches to store and freeze it in small portions. Then, I can cook with it or drink it whenever I want. I figure as long as I am getting some into my families diet at regular intervals that is doing pretty well. Hopefully, by boosting our consumption even a little bit, it can help our bodies and immunity for the next 6 months (and beyond).
- 3 lb grass-fed bones
- 3 stalks celery
- 3 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- Roughly chop celery, carrots, and onion. Cover the bottom of the crock pot with them.
- Place bones in crock pot on top of vegetables.
- Fill the crock pot with water to cover the bones.
- Add apple cider vinegar and seasonings.
- Set crock pot on low for 24-48 hours.
- Place portions of cooled bone broth into pouch bags/breastmilk bags.
- Freeze flat.
- Remove from freeze and defrost as needed.
Ways to Add Bone Broth to Your Diet
- Mix in mashed potatoes
- Cook rice and cous cous with it
- Drink it
- Bone broth protein powders
Scrambling for Time in the Morning for Breakfast?
I know I do. I have to get breakfast together for 4 people, make sure everyone is ready for the day, and get out the door for my currently 40 minute commute. Some days, it is a blur.
I love having quick options for breakfasts, especially ones that kids will gobble up! I have had to find and make recipes that I can make big batches of and freeze in portions. Then, in the morning I can pull out a few muffins, pancakes, or waffles, and we are good to go!
Kids Need Options That They Will Actually Eat (and Eat Quickly)!
I know this sounds silly to say, but in my house, it is necessary to remember EVERY DAY! My step-daughter is a picky and particular eater. Even her favorite foods need to be made the right way, at the right temperature, etc. She is not a kid that I could get away with giving eggs to every morning. She needs variety, foods she can and WILL eat quickly (have I mentioned the whole “little time in the morning” thing?), and flavors she enjoys (she tends to like sweeter options in the morning).
It may seem like a whole new level of work to deal with that level of high-maintenance, and trust me, it has been. But, I have developed strategies and options that make it not that way, and I know she is not the only kid out there like this, especially for kids transitioning from a SAD diet to a real food diet. It can be tough!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
I love that I can easily make a batch of these muffins on a weeknight or weekend morning (when I would already be making breakfast anyway). I can even double the batch, and store the rest. It makes mornings during the week so easy. Plus, the banana and chocolate flavors are a huge hit! Muffins are great too if you sometimes have to have your kids eat/or finish their breakfast in the car.
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ⅔ cup pitted dates
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 pasture-raised egg
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips (Lily’s brand)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking
powder, baking soda and sea salt.
- Melt the coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the dates, banana, coconut oil, coconut milk and vanilla.
- Blend until the dates completely grind up. This may take a few minutes. Then, add in the egg, and blend to combine.
- Blend the wet ingredients into dry until just moistened.
- Remove the blade, and stir in the chocolate chips.
- Portion the batter out into a cupcake tin.
- Bake for 22-26 minutes.
- Store in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to use.
- For breakfast, take 2-3 muffins out of the freezer, stick them on a plate, and pop them in a microwave for 45 seconds or in the oven at 170°F until they are defrosted. They are super delicious when warm!
Sometimes You Have to Give Into Your Cravings, Right?
I have had a serious craving for sour cream donuts lately! In my area in Michigan, we have a yummy donut company, Quality Dairy. I had been thinking about those donuts for a few weeks, but I was not willing to just go get one, eat it, and then feel crummy. Even though it is more work to figure out a recipe, get the ingredients, and make the treat, I never regret the extra effort.
And let’s be real here, donuts are still treats. However, with real food ingredients, I am acting eating nutrients and my stomach won’t hate me later.
So, here’s what I did. I found a great sour cream donut recipe on Pinterest. I used this recipe as a start, and then substituted ingredients to make it healthier.
- ½ cup organic, grass-fed sour cream
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup powdered monk fruit
- 1 cup cassava flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup
- 4 Tbsp milk of choice (i used almond milk)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease donut pan with coconut oil or butter.
- Mix the sour cream, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, & coconut sugar in a mixing bowl or blender.
- Add cassava flour, baking soda, salt, & nutmeg (optional) & stir together.
- Fill donut pan with batter & bake for 12-16 minutes. The tops should be soft & the sides should be golden brown. Remove from oven & let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
- For the glaze, melt the butter. In a small bowl, combine the honey, butter, milk and vanilla. The glaze should be thin.
- Dip the donuts in the glaze when they are slightly cooled, flipping them over so both sides get covered. Dry on a cooling rack. I placed some parchment paper under the rack to catch the extra glaze.
I love eating the donuts when they are still a little warm and the glaze is fresh, still dripping off of them. 🙂
Pizza is my weakness! What about you?
I love pizza! It really is my favorite food, and as a runner, I loved having it after long runs. However, after switching to a real food diet, getting take out pizza wasn’t happening anymore. I eat mostly gluten-free and try to keep my family that way. But, let’s be honest, sometimes gluten-free recipes aren’t good.
Then, I found this recipe.
It tastes great, and it makes two pizzas, which is great for a family.
We topped it with bacon, broccoli, pesto, and tomato. Noah, Brendon, and I loved it! It tasted a lot to me like the pizza you make when you use one of those dough packets you can get at the grocery store.
Here is the recipe for the dough.
I definitely recommend putting oil on your hands to shape the dough on your baking sheets. I started out not having oil on them, and it just wasn’t working well.
I think it is great that the recipe makes two because for a family with various tastes you can make one that should please everyone. Plus, it doesn’t taste gluten-free! It tastes like a typical pizza that even the pickiest eater would love! I love that it bakes well and doesn’t seem like it would be very likely to be screwed up.
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