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Category: Treats

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Treats

Christmas sugar cookies are my absolute weakness! However, when I discovered that refined sugar was a sensitivity for me, I knew I had to find a good substitute. I love that this recipe is easy to make and has great ingredients. I love that this recipe is gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I don’t feel bad about indulging one bit!

The frosting is made with collagen, palm oil, and raw honey. My body loves it and just wants to gobble it up. Yes, part of that is because it tastes so sweet and delicious. The collagen offers great protein. The palm oil is a wonderful source of vitamin E, and the raw honey contains lots of B vitamins and enzymes. We even used natural food coloring.

Traditions

I love that I can still have my treats and share this tradition with the kids. Plus, I always want to provide the most nutrient dense options for growing kids, and I don’t really want to deal with a cranky kid that is coming off of a sugar crash.

Noah and I loved making these cookies together. This might be my favorite cooking adventure with him yet! We got so messy that Noah had to wash off in the sink I guess, and he is definitely a batter eater like his mama!

Watch Noah and I bake and decorate our cookies here!

Check out the original recipes here:

Our Gender Reveal for Speedy Thiede #2

Our Gender Reveal for Speedy Thiede #2

Our Family Celebration

Brendon and I found out the gender of “Speedy Thiede” at our 20 week ultrasound, and then, we planned a silly string fight for the kids the next day to reveal it to them. The silly string would either be blue or pink coming out of the guns. I really like the silly string option because it gave the kids a fun activity and took some of the focus on any mixed emotions about the gender (my step-daughter REALLY wanted a girl).

We had purchased a box of silly string with 12 canisters of silly string and 2 silly string guns. So, the kids were able to cover our yard with silly string and make silly string balls long after the blue or pink reveal. It was a ton of fun and not that terrible to clean up, especially since we did it in the yard.

It’s a Boy!

We are so excited that Noah will get a little buddy. The two will be sharing a room and will be two years apart. It should be a ton of fun. Of course, we already have all the boy stuff!

We are a very active, outdoorsy family so it really works for us. We are constantly biking, running, or doing something! I am looking forward to getting good at planning family Lego and Star Wars nights. Finally, my personality is more the throw my hair up and get messy. I am far from a girly girl. I don’t gravitate to shopping, doing elaborate makeup, or curling my hair. Those things aren’t bad, they just aren’t me. I do follow tutorials on how to do your hair in cute buns in a matter of minutes though :).

Plus, I can’t wait to cook for two hungry boys honestly. I know they are going to be active, growing, and human garbage disposals. Hopefully, this boy will be a good eater like Noah (eat pretty much everything). So, it will be fun to make new recipes for them, watch them enjoy their food, and know they are getting good nutrition to grow. It’s a good feeling as a mom.

The Menu of Our Gender Reveal

Brynn loves breakfast for dinner. So, we planned a menu around that for our gender reveal night, and I figured we had some fruit options that would make some easy blue and pink foods. We found out a few weeks ago that Brynn has a high egg  sensitivity so everything had to be egg free as well.

Egg-Free Blueberry Stuffed French Toast (Team Blue)

French Toast

Ingredients
  • Vegan French Toast Batter Mix from this recipe
  • Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread
  • Ghee or coconut oil for coating the pan
Directions
  1. In a blender, place the banana, milk, cinnamon, all-spice, and vanilla in a blender for the french toast batter. I personally chose full-fat coconut milk to make a nice thick batter.
  2. Pour the batter into a baking dish and dip the bread into the batter. Let it soak with both sides covered for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Heat your griddle to medium-low heat, and coat the pan with ghee or coconut oil. The banana french toast batter burns a lot easier than the regular egg batter. So, be careful.
  4. Place soaked pieces of bread on the griddle, and cook each side until you see a golden brown color.
  5. Pull the french toast off the griddle, and place it on a baking sheet to stay warm in the oven. The oven should be set to its lowest temperature (Mine is 170 F).

French Toast Filling

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 8 oz organic cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. Measure ingredients, and add them to a food processor or mixer.
  2. Pulse the mixture until it is mixed together, but try and maintain some texture of the blueberries (unless you would like a smooth consistency).
  3. Take one piece of the french toast, and cover it with a thick layer of the filling. Then, place another piece of french toast on top. Serve warm.

Strawberry Banana Smoothies (Team Pink)

Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 dates
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 TBSP collagen protein powder
Directions
  1. Measure, and add ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend the mixture until smooth.
  3. Taste a little with a spoon to see if you need to modify the flavors.
  4. Check to see if you like the thickness of the smoothie.
  5. Pour into glasses with blue and pink straws.
Paleo Baked Sour Cream Donuts

Paleo Baked Sour Cream Donuts

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.

Healthy Donuts?!?!

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.

Donut Ingredients:

  • 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

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 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

Makes 6-8

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease donut pan with coconut oil or butter.
  2. Mix the sour cream, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, & coconut sugar in a mixing bowl or blender.
  3. Add cassava flour, baking soda, salt, & nutmeg (optional) & stir together.
  4. 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.
  5. For the glaze, melt the butter. In a small bowl, combine the honey, butter, milk and vanilla. The glaze should be thin.
  6. 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. 🙂

Healthy, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free First Birthday Cake (Weston A Price/Paleo)

Healthy, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free First Birthday Cake (Weston A Price/Paleo)

Carrot Cake with Creamy Frosting

frostedcarrotcake

One great thing about using a carrot cake recipe is that the cake will be similar to many of the foods they have already eaten in purees or chunks. Also, the carrots help provide structure to a cake without gluten and does not need as much sweetness. This cake is make with all natural, organic ingredients that make first birthday smash cake healthy, nutritious, and delicious.

Watch me make the cake!

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake

  • 3 mini Springform cake pans
  • 4 carrots (roughly chopped)

    cakecooling

  • 2 TBSP grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Creamy Frosting

  • frosting spatula
  • 1/4 cup grass fed butter (or ghee or you could double the coconut oil to make it all the way dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 pitted dates or
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350◦F.

2. Blend ingredients of the cake in the blender until the dates and carrots are completely broken up.

3. Grease round cake pans using coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Pour the batter evenly among the 3 pans. My pans were 4 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Make sure to level the tops using a spatula.

4. Bake for 40 minutes. The tops should have gained a golden brown color.

5. Remove from the oven. Release the cakes from the springform pan, and set on a rack to cool.

6. For the icing, slightly melt the coconut oil and butter.

7. Put the dates, butter, and coconut oil in the blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes until the dates are completely broken up.

8. Put other icing ingredients in a blender, and blend all together. Mix and store in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes before the cake will be iced.

9. When the cakes are cool, you need to level the top of each cake.

Tip: If you do not have a cake leveler, try kneeling down on the floor so you are eye level with the cake and using a serrated knife, cut off the excess cake to level it. Start with the least amount to cut off that you can in case you need to continue to level it out.

12. Place some icing on the plate that the cake with go on so that it acts as glue for the cake. It should be very easy to spread. If not, let it come to room temperature for a little longer.

13. Ice the top of bottom layer thinly. Set second layer on top. Ice it thinly. Do the same with the third layer.

14.Proceed in icing down the sides of the cake until it is covered.

15. Smooth the icing and decorate.

 

For more ideas for healthy, easy family meals, subscribe for my FREE two week meal plan!
For ideas of how to feed your child nutrient dense food, check out my E-Book, A Recipe for a Healthy Baby.

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6 Ways to Eat 6 Dates a Day in Pregnancy and Why You Should

6 Ways to Eat 6 Dates a Day in Pregnancy and Why You Should

20160705_211508A study out of Jordan found that women who ate 6 dates a day in their last month of pregnancy had shorter, easier labors. Research has also found that dates have an oxytocin effect on the uterus to help tone it. Dates also have great nutritional benefits. Dates contain iron, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Dates are one of my favorite sweeteners for desserts due to their nutritional benefits, and their natural sugars provide great energy without spiking blood sugar in the same way as refined sugar.

1.Pair dates with chocolate

Ingredients:20160705_205051

  • 2 squares of dark chocolate (chose a chocolate sweetened with stevia)
  • 6 dates

Directions:

  1. Eat dates in their whole form with 2 squares of chocolate. OR
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for intervals of 30 seconds until it is fully melted.
  3. Dip your dates into the chocolate.
  4. Eat right away, while the dates are still warm, or refrigerate the dates

I like to keep the chocolate in the freezer or I would melt some and drizzle it over the dates.

2. Pair dates with nut butter

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 2 tsp nut butter of choice (almond, cashew, sunflower seed, macadamia nut)

Directions:

  1. Cut a slit in one side of the date and open like a book.
  2. Use a knife to smear a very thin layer of nut butter onto each date.
  3. Sandwich the sides of the date back together.

3. Blend in a smoothie

blueberrysmoothie

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/2 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2-1 cup water or coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed collagen (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place water and dates into a blender. Blend for one minute to break up the dates completely.
  2. Add the other fruit to the blender, and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour into your favorite glass!

4. Date Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed gelatin
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (separate 1 tsp for blending)

Directions:

  1. Place dates and 1 tsp coconut milk in a food processor. Blend until the dates are smooth.
  2. Add the gelatin to the rest of the coconut milk. Let bloom for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk gel to the food processor, and blend until incorporated.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls or squares.
  5. As a bonus step you can roll them in shredded coconut or dip them in melted chocolate.

5. Date Caramel over yogurt, sliced bananas, or sliced apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • coconut milk (1/2 tsp for a thick caramel, 2 TBSP for a thinner drizzle)

Directions:

  1. Blend the dates and coconut milk in the food processor.
  2. Move the mixture to a saucepan, and heat until warm and gooey.

6. Date and Nut Bars

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/4 cup cashews

Directions:

  1. Add the dates and cashews to the food processor. Pulse until incorporated but you can still see chunks of dates and nuts.
  2. Press until cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
  3. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

For ideas of how to feed your child nutrient dense food, check out my E-Book, A Recipe for a Healthy Baby.

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Handling Halloween for Healthy Kids

Handling Halloween for Healthy Kids

Halloween Can Be a Sugary Struggle

This year, I wanted to do Halloween differently. After seeing how food was so nourishing for Noah and reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price, I didn’t feel comfortable participating in trick-o-treating in the traditional fashion by passing out candy to kids.

Food is medicine and nutrients, and I couldn’t pretend that eating nutrient poor calories and processed ingredients should be the norm. Even if kids go around to tens of houses getting candy, I couldn’t stand by my principles by purchasing and giving a displacing, nutrient lacking, poor food like candy. I was convicted that I have to support nutrient dense foods and health, especially for children.

Healthier Halloween Options

So, I went to the store on a hunt for a better option. I saw packages of nuts and healthy trail mixes that seemed like good options, but I landed on these fruit strips.

fruitstrips

These are made from 100% fruit and fruit juices, are organic and non-gmo. I saw some organic candy options at the store, but I still wasn’t a fan of those because they still contained cane sugar, sugar syrups, and some had artificial colors. Another benefit of these fruit strips is they still look and taste like candy. You can find them on Thrive Market at a discounted price.

The Battle

I would be willing to bet parents will watch their kids dump out their candy bags, see the fruit strips, and be thankful there is something in there that they don’t have to feel bad about their kid having. I say this because right when a kid gets home from trick-o-treating, these are a few of the slightly stressful family dynamics that might happen:

  1. Kids want to eat the candy right away and want as much as they can.
  2. Parents have to hold their kids back and manage the candy and may feel like their kids are too focused on that
  3. Parents might be stressed about eating more of the candy themselves than they want
  4. Parents may want to get rid of some of the candy by throwing it away, giving it to co-workers, etc.

I hope as more of us continue to participate in Halloween in healthier ways, we can find more nourishing ways to celebrate our cultures traditions instead of perpetuating our health problems.

Halloween Exchange Game

As our kids get older, here is my idea of how I would like to handle trick-o-treating in our house. First I think it is important to have kids participate in trick-o-treating and not feel like they are missing out. When kids feel like they are deprived, they typically end up rebelling in some way or compensating by eating a ton of junk food at friends houses, hiding food, or having eating issues later in life. So, my kids will go trick-o-treating, sort through their candy, and decide what their favorites are to have as treats. Giving kids control and choices is very important in these situations! This enhances the idea of not feeling deprived.

Then, the following incentives for giving up the candy will be offered. The pieces of candy they hand into us will be exchanged for prizes. This is similar to going to an arcade and still incentivizes the children to get as much candy as they can.

  • 5 pieces = $1
  • 20 pieces = special movie night of choice including meal/snacks (our options are healthy alternatives to junk food like homemade ice cream sweetened with dates)
  • 50 pieces = special outing of choice or going to the store and picking a toy/game/etc.

In any holiday situation, we all have the opportunity to deviate from the conventional to make healthier choices for our families, while still participating in the fun and make memories. Just use a little creativity, and you may find that your memories become even more special!

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Best Cheap, Romantic Date Idea: Date Night In with Some Bulletproof “Get Some” Custard

Best Cheap, Romantic Date Idea: Date Night In with Some Bulletproof “Get Some” Custard

This past weekend, Brendon and I used our Saturday date night to go to Whole Foods, purchase some amazing ingredients, and make a delicious meal of some recipes we have been wanting to try. We like this because we still spend less than going out to dinner and have fun in the kitchen together. It is a cheap date idea and actually allows us more time to be romantic. We made beef tartare, baked asparagus with shallots, and Bulletproof “get some” ice cream for dessert (but as a custard since we don’t have an ice cream maker yet). Dave’s claim in the video I linked below is that within an hour of eating this dessert, the high quality fats send a signal to your body that says something like, “Your body now has everything required to go try and make a baby so why don’t you go do that”. And what’s more romantic on a date that making and eating ice cream together!

Here is the recipe we used for the beef tartare. It was so delicious, fun, and cheap to make a meal ourselves.

beeftartar

For dessert, we followed the Bulletproof Diet recipe and made some modifications that have been provided in the forums and by Dave. You can find the original recipe here.

This is what we did:

  • 4 whole eggs (pastured of course)
  • 4 yolks (in addition to the whole eggs above)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 10 drops of lime juice
  • 7 TBSP grass-fed butter (melted)
  • 7 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 TBSP + 2 tsp Brain Octane Oilbulletproofcustard
  • 5.5 TBSP honey
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed gelatin
  • 1/3 cup organic chocolate powder
  1. Put everything in the blender except the water and gelatin.
  2. To room temperature water, add the gelatin, whisk it in, and let it bloom for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the water/gelatin to the blender and mixed everything together.
  4. Pour it in dishes.
  5. Place in the fridge to harden.
  6. EAT!!

We loved it, and I will say I got a ‘food high’ from it. I usually get some tingles from foods like raw grass-fed cheese or other foods high in fat soluble vitamins or healthy fats. It is like my body is getting excited about receiving something it was craving. Between pregnancy and breastfeeding, I am sure I have developed a slight essential fatty acid deficiency. Maybe this is what Dave was talking about. Either way we had lots of fun on our date night.

20160706_224531Update – We have made this dessert in ice cream form many times since the initial trial. It is now one of our favorites and so easy to make by throwing everything in the blender and then in the ice cream maker. However, for a food photography shoot I did on July 6th, I made it without the chocolate and as a custard again. I think I finally felt what Dave was talking about. I literally felt high, tingly, and an overwhelming level of energy late at night. It was incredible. I am not sure what was different about this time (maybe leaving out the chocolate for me?), but I am going to look more into this.

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