Strawberry Amaranth Porridge

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 I (Britney) recently discovered that my body doesn’t like oats. I can’t tell you how much of a bummer this is. I mean, how do I give up oats? Granola? Granola bars? Oatmeal cookies? Yeah, I know. (Mom was sooo glad this was not her. You will still find oat recipes on this site from her. So don’t worry. You can still get your oat fix.)
Not to mention I love a good bowl of oatmeal in the mornings. What hot breakfast can you eat instead of oats? Is there anyone else out there that has an oat sensitivity and can feel my pain?
Luckily, this delicious amaranth porridge is a great substitute.
Amaranth is a grain you will love being acquainted with. It has a slightly nutty taste, is easily digestible, and has 3 times the fiber of wheat. It’s high in calcium, iron, lysine, and is totally gluten free. It has more protein than any other gluten-free grain, which makes it a great breakfast to start out your day with.
Britney

 

Strawberry Amaranth Porridge

1/3 cup of amaranth
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of almond milk or milk of your choice
1/2 cup of sliced up strawberries
2 teaspoons of honey or sweetener of your choice
Optional toppings: milk, cinnamon

Pour the amaranth into a sauce pan  on medium heat. Stir and let it heat up. You will start hearing it pop in a couple minutes. Stir until it is all toasted, for 2 or 3 minutes.

Pour in the water and let it come to a low boil. Then stir in the milk and honey. Turn on medium low heat and let it cook about 30 minutes until the liquid gets absorbed and it thickens.

Serve in bowl with milk and fruit on top of it.

Serves 1-2

 

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Blueberry Cream Smoothie



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What is your favorite way to get your fruit into your diet? My family loves fruit in any form, but sometimes we get to the end of the day and realize that we haven’t had as balanced of a diet that day as we meant to. When this happens, we often add a smoothie to our dinner. I have four little boys, and they are not easy eaters. My oldest is particularly picky (I honestly think his food sensitivities are genetic. From his dad’s side, of course. 🙂 But they all will eat smoothies. Except for the random exclusion of one because the color is too (insert adjective here). Or something. But in general everybody welcomes the smoothie.

This smoothie not only helps with fruit, but it adds a bit of veggies to your meal. If you’ve ever added spinach to a smoothie, you know that it tastes great. Spinach is sweet and light and has lots of amazing vitamins you won’t want to miss out on, like vitamins K, A, C, and B, and lots of valuable minerals. Popeye didn’t get strong off of it for nothing!

Besides dinner, this makes a great breakfast on a busy day. If you prepackage your ingredients in freezer bags, already sorted, in the morning you just have to dump the things in the blender. Spinach freezes well, so it can also be added to your prepared bags!

Britney


 

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon of chia

Directions
1. Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy its creamy and delicious flavor! (Yes, we had to make up another step because it’s so easy to make!)

Almond Butter Bites

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I love a quick, healthy snack, clean-eating snack. It can be so easy to grab something unhealthy when you are in a rush and hungry, but snacks like these help prevent that binge of unhealthiness. These treats are not only super easy to make, but they freeze well, making a cold snack, or even a quick after-dinner dessert when you just need that little bite of something sweet.

Here are some tips about healthy snacking:
1. Have something ready to go! Snacks like this will help you not fall into the temptation of a bag of potato chips or pack of cookies.
2. Keep healthy snacks at eye level in the fridge and cupboard. You often eat what you can see first. My grandparents often kept a bowl of carrots in the refrigerator the summer we lived at their house and I don’t remember eating as many carrots or enjoying them so much as I did then!
3. Fruit and veggies are best. Work on getting those into your diet first (and by diet I mean the foods you eat, not a regimen you follow for a short period of time).

Britney



Ingredients

2 tablespoons of chia
2 tablespoons of flax seeds
1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 cup of almond butter

Directions
1. Blend all the chia, flax and chips in the blender until all combined.
2. Then pour in the almond butter and blend until a creamy mixture. It will take some pulsing and stirring.
3. Roll the mixture into small balls or drop in dollops on non stick surface.
4. Place in the freezer to harden. I love to have them for a wonderful little snack when I need a yummy healthy treat. They could also make a healthy dessert.

Mini Crustless Pumpkin Pies (Gluten Free)

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Thanksgiving is coming up! Have you started making preparations? My siblings and I will not all be spending Thanksgiving day with my mom and dad, so my mom (Cherie) sent out an email today to all my siblings to plan a Thankful Feast this Sunday in lieu of Thanksgiving Day. We are all deciding what to bring and voting on her poll of turkey or salmon for dinner. Shocker, I know! Can we be less traditional? 🙂 We’ve had votes both ways, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I am voting salmon. I love turkey, but I LOVE my mom’s salmon. But back to dessert.

How do you feel about pie? It seems Thanksgiving and pie always have to go together, but not everyone loves pie as much as the next person. Is it the crusts? If that is your hangup, you will love this pumpkin number. No crust! And in the cutest mini pie form. Just delicious, healthy pumpkin goodness throughout, with a fresh coconut milk cream on top. How can pie be healthy? Well, I’m not exactly encouraging you to eat the whole batch–even healthier desserts can add up, but you won’t find white flour, gluten, or white flour anywhere in these babies. They are also dairy free. (And they are cute, little, muffin-sized babies.) And that’s better than any other Thanksgiving dessert you’ll find at the dinner table.

Gluten Free: Just a note on gluten free if you’re unfamiliar with cooking that way and are serving a guest. Make sure you buy oat flour that is specifically marked as gluten free. While oats never contain gluten, they are often processed with products that contain gluten, such as wheat. Save them a lot of pain and discomfort and get the stuff that hasn’t been cross contaminated!

Happy Thanksgiving back! (Two points for knowing that movie.)

Britney


 

Ingredients
1 cup of canned pumpkin
3/4 cup of oat flour (gluten-free)
1/2 cup of honey
1 eggs
3/4 cup of canned coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla
whipped coconut milk*

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Pour all the ingredients into a blender or bowl except for the whipped coconut milk.
3. Pulse in the blender until smooth. If you don’t use a blender, blend in a bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.
4. Pour into the muffin pan until about 1/4 or 1/2 inch from the top. The blender works perfect to pour it into the tin.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until a knife comes out clean when you stick it in the center of the pie.
6. Take out of the oven when done. I used a plastic knife to go around the edges of each pie. Scoop out gently. Place on cooling rack until cool.
7.  Just before serving put a dollop of cream on top of each pie if desired. They taste good plain, too. Enjoy. Refrigerate leftovers.

*To make whipped coconut milk, chill the coconut milk in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Then pour the milk into the blender and blend until whipped. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of sweetener.

 

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Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

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This soup is officially our favorite. We have made this so may times! This is one of my favorite soups to order at restaurants. I am so excited to be able to make roasted tomato soup at home, and to know what all the ingredients are in it. This is REAL FOOD!!! The soup has gone over well with my family and it is a nice healthy dinner. Serve it with a little bread and a nice green salad and you have a great meal. It has been fun to learn how to roast tomatoes too. It is very easy. Its like cooking spaghetti sauce–you can add your own touch to it. 🙂

This soup also makes a great freezer meal. Make extra and freeze it for a night when you don’t have time for all the tomato roasting. You’ll be glad you did!

Cherie


Ingredients
3 lbs Roma tomatoes (Little less or little more works too)
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons of salt
3/4 teaspoons of pepper
1 white onion, chopped (I just chopped in the blender)
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon of butter or vegan butter
1/8 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) can of roasted tomatoes whole or crushed (I used fire roasted. Yum!)
5 or 6 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
3 to 5 tablespoons of dried basil leaves
4 cups of water (add more if it is too thick)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss tomatoes that have been sliced in 1/4 pieces, into a bowl with olive oil 1 tablespoon of basil and a little salt and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet. Roast 45 minutes. Don’t let them burn.

2. In a large pot heat on medium heat, add onions, garlic, oil, butter, and red pepper flakes until golden brown. Add the canned tomatoes, spices, and water. Then add the oven roasted tomatoes too. Bring to boil and then simmer about 35 minutes or until thickened. The flavor gets better as it cooks. I put the large chunks of tomatoes and some liquid into a blender and pulse for a few seconds to make the texture of the soup more smooth.

3. You can add more spice if you prefer. Serve or freeze for later.

Serves 8

Banana Snack Cake

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I had some really really over ripe bananas today. My two children that were here said I should make them into banana bread. I thought that was a great idea. It is rainy here today. It felt like a great day to bake. I was very happy how it turned out. Reducing the banana liquid adds a lot of flavor to the bread. You don’t need a lot of other sweetener. It was moist and delicious. This could be made into a bread or cake. Yum!

Ingredients
4 bananas
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2  cup of honey
2 cups of spelt or whole grain flour of your choice
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease pan with non stick oil.
2. Peel all the bananas place in small sauce pan add the water and bring to a low boil and let boil about 5 minutes.  Take out and put bananas in a strainer over a saucepan. Stir and mash the bananas to get out the liquid. It should be about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup in the bowl. I got a 3/4 of a cup. Turn on to med heat. Reduce until it cooks down to 1/4 of a cup of liquid. The goal is to have a concentrated liquid, that will add a lot of flavor to the cake. 🙂
3. Stir the 1/4 of a cup of liquid to bananas. Mash the bananas till they are all mashed. You could use a masher. I used the back of a plastic spoon. Then add honey, eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Beat together, and set aside.
4. In another bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
5. Stir the flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined.
6. Pour into greased square stoneware pan for 30 to 45 minutes. Till toothpick comes out clean.
7.  I rubbed a little coconut oil on top when it came out of the oven. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and serve.

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Nourishing Protein Bars


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I finished one of my boy’s Halloween costumes last night, just in time for his preschool program this morning. He is being a good old-fashioned mummy, which is refreshing to me after all the comercialized super heros and princesses. My 2-year-old is being a generic superhero, and my 7-year-old is being “The King of the Doggies,” a costume of his own creation.

Does anyone else feel like Halloween starts months of candy? I try to avoid having candy in my house most of the time (though with school-aged kids this is getting harder), but with Halloween and Christmas and Valentines and Easter I feel like we have a constant barrage of candy until late spring. What do you do to deal with the candy onslaught with kids? I need some suggestions!

Here’s a great recipe for helping you not eat the candy, even if it’s always in your house. The protein helps you be full so your not as munchy. These babies taste gourmet! You know those expensive protein bars you can buy at health food stores? Here is a great alternative recipe that will cost you half the price and be free of the preservatives that most other bars have. And they are delicious. If they were not so filling, I would be eating a lot more! They help curb a candy appetite.

Britney


 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of almonds
4 tablespoons of honey
1 cup of unsweetened coconut (available at health food stores)
1/2 cup of dried fruit (we used dried cherries, but it should also work with cranberries or dates)
2 tablespoons of chia

1 T coconut oil

Directions

1. Chop nuts in food processor, or blender then add remaining ingredients and chop them all together.

2. Press mixture into greased bread pan. Let set in the fridge to harden.  Cut into bars.  Prepackage in snack-sized bags for a quick, take-along snack. Store in the fridge.

3. You could also form them into balls if you don’t want to make bars.

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A Note about Raw Foods

When foods aren’t cooked and processed, more of the health benefits remain. And that fact makes me feel even better about the healthiness of this treat!

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins (Gluten Free)

 

 

 

 

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There is something wonderful about the combination of zucchini and chocolate combined. I love how soft and delicious these are. I put some extras in the freezer in ziplocks. It was so wonderful to take them out of the freezer and heat them up and enjoy a yummy snack. Every since I made them last weekend I have been wanting to make them again. So Good!!! They always have zucchini in the store.

Cherie


 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/3 cup of oil (I used grapeseed oil)

2/3 cup of honey

2 eggs

2 cups of grated zucchini

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons quinoa flour (You could replace w/  a different wholegrain flour)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped up

 

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl beat together vanilla, oil, honey, eggs, and zucchini. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl pour in all the dry ingredients and stir with a wire whisk. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Combine the two mixtures together into one bowl. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour into greased muffin pan. Place in preheated oven. Bake about 15 minutes or until done.
5. Cool a few minutes and then take out of the muffin pan and cool on cooling rack.

* You could put in a square pan or bread pan instead. You will just have to watch the cooking time a little closer. Remove when done.

Makes 12 muffins