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“Everything But The Kitchen Sink” Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!

April 13, 2017

“Everything but the kitchen sink” paleo breakfast cookies are filled with power packed protein, and satiating friendly fats, making it a great on the go, portable breakfast for anytime of the year!

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Did you know that the Easter bunny cooks at our house???

Yep! Every Easter since this momma had a gaggle of little ones racing around for Easter eggs every Easter morning! I remember the first Easter I realized that my plans for a beautiful, elaborate Easter morning breakfast were dashed with toddlers that cared more about Easter eggs and new crayons than eating…

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!A new tradition!

The following year I decided that I needed to have something similar to the quick, handheld breakfast I started doing on Christmas morning (something similar to these festive Christmas cranberry breakfast cookies!). A portable, quick breakfast that the girls could eat while hunting for eggs and reading their new books.

The night before Easter I was about to “nibble” on the carrots the girls left out for the Easter bunny when it hit me!

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!That silly ‘ol Easter bunny made the girls a fun breakfast cookie out of some of the carrots the girls left out for him!

That’s one talented bunny! But my kiddos thought it was the coolest thing in the world! And they got a nourishing breakfast starter to eat that kept blood sugars in check and made for happy moods.

Now that my oldest 2 have caught on to who the Easter bunny really is this year (whaaa!!!!), they still asked for their Easter bunny carrot cookies this year, and wanted to play along with their littlest sister who still thinks there’s a bunny baking in the kitchen!

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!Everything but the kitchen sink!

These breakfast cookies are loaded with so many fun surprises! Bits of walnut and chunks of sweet apple, tiny shreds of bright orange carrot, and raisins dotted throughout! There is a good mixture of a variety of flours so there is a good balance of protein, fat, and of course fantastic texture.

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!Streamlined cookie prep!

While the list of ingredients may look like a lot, remember this momma isn’t a huge fan of baking – I made the process super simple. And big time bonus! These cookies freeze up GREAT. Double up and into the freezer so you don’t even have to make them in the morning! In fact I love them right out of the freezer.

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!Ingredient notes and swaps

  • Egg free swaps like chia or flax eggs work great in this recipe! In fact, what is pictured in this post is using 2 chia eggs. It adds some extra omega 3’s and fiber to the cookie too! To make 1 chia or flax egg, blend 1 tablespoon of chia seed or flax seed into a “meal” and mix it with 3 tablespoons of water (so double this for the 2 “eggs” you need in the recipe). Let the seed/water mixture sit for 5 minutes to gel and then use your “eggs” in the recipe. I like to make my egg replacements before I even start the recipe so it is ready to go by the time I need them.
  • Nut free friends, I would sub sorghum flour, cassava flour, or other GF flour you like for the almond flour. I wouldn’t use the same amount – more like ¾ cup-ish since those flours are drier than almond flour. For the chopped walnuts, I would use ground up seeds that you can tolerate, or more coconut shreds.
  • Softened butter should swap for the coconut oil fine.
  • Maple syrup should swap for the honey fine if you have little guys that can’t have raw honey yet.
  • I think the recipe will work fine without the collagen. I used to make them without it a handful of years ago before I used to have it around, though the collagen sure does make the texture super soft. Maybe add a bit more tapioca if omitting the collagen. I love the added protein the collagen gives to the cookie as well.

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!

5.0 from 8 reviews
"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Paleo Breakfast Cookies! :: Dairy, Gluten, Grain, and Refined Sugar Free with Egg & Nut Free Options!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup softened coconut oil (I get that brand at Costco)
  • 3-4 TB raw honey (We get our raw honey from a local farmer, but this is a good brand too)
  • 2 eggs (Or 2 “chia eggs.” Plus 1 TB apple cider vinegar to puff the cookies up like eggs would do. Pictured in this post is the cookies made with chia eggs! It works great!)
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (I get that brand at Costco)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup grassfed collagen
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp almond extract (vanilla would work)
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I pulse them up in the food processor, but hand chopping would work too. I buy ours at Costco.)
  • ½ cup finely shredded carrots
  • ½ medium apple, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Blend the softened coconut oil and honey until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs or chia eggs and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. I start with a spoon and then finish it with my hands. The dough will feel dry at first, but I promise the moisture from the apples and carrots will make the cookies moist. You should be able to form cookie dough balls with the mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and put form your cookies on the baking sheet. I form a ball and then carefully flatten them on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool a good 10 minutes before handling so they set up. This batch makes about 1 dozen medium sized cookies.

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Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!

April 9, 2017

Creamy paleo coleslaw will become your quick & cool summertime veggie staple!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Spring is {finally!} in the air!

And everything is starting to wake up and perk up around these parts! Despite the really cold temperatures during spring break week, we made the best of our time off, enjoying one of our favorite spring stops! The butterfly gardens!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Less kitchen time is the name of my game…

With spring time also comes busier schedules. I need to get these little people out in that sunshine they have been so desperately lacking over the winter months, and let’s just be honest…I need it too! After being cooped up for months on end, I’m ready for more park time, beach sand, and bike riding!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Less kitchen time doesn’t have to mean compromising on real food

In the warmer months of the year, it is still important to keep the kids and myself fed well so we have energy to do what we want to do! It’s one of those work smarter, not harder things! And one of my work smarter not harder mottos is – bulk up!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Keep it simple and don’t over-complicate!

In the fall and winter, I bulk up on soups to pull from the freezer, and steamed veggies to scoop from a container in the fridge. In the summer, while we still drink a lot of veggie soup (Hello fresh summer tomatoes for the best fresh tomato soup!!), cooler veggie sides like veggie sticks, salads, and slaws rule the week. Fresh veggies are so easy to grab at farmer’s markets this time of year. They pack up for on the go so fast too!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Prep ahead once, eat all week long!

Cool veggie sides like veggie sticks, slaws, and salads make the perfect warm weather meal addition for busy families. Coleslaw is one of my favorites to prep for the whole week because the flavors just get better as the week goes on…if it lasts that long! You might be surprised at how much your kids take to creamy slaw salads. Because of their smaller, bite sized, shredded pieces, my toddlers took to slaws quicker than they took to big kid salads.

And have I mentioned how amazing coleslaw is on top of a grilled summer burger?!

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!Notes on ingredients and swaps!

This coleslaw makes enough for a family gathering, picnic, or BBQ, filling a medium sized serving bowl. This amount is also great for keeping in the fridge all week to scoop from just for your family. If you have a smaller family, you can half the recipe – my crew quite literally inhales this just shy of a week!

The dressing I use in this coleslaw is derived from my Paleo Egg & Dairy Free Mayo. You can use whatever clean mayo you like – here are some options for you! {Don’t forget to add the hint of heat in the recipe and the paprika – it takes the flavor over the edge amazing!}

Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Paleo Coleslaw :: Egg, Dairy, Gluten, and Soy Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ head purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • ½ head green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of your favorite clean ingredient mayo or homemade mayo (Amount depending on how creamy you like your coleslaw. Pictured here is about 1 ½ to 2 cups. I use this homemade egg & dairy free paleo mayo – it blends in the jar in just minutes! This is another great mayo we love too.)
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Optional ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne for a flavorful heat kick (or chipotle powder for a flavorful smokey heat kick – my personal favorite!)
  • Sea salt & Pepper to your taste
Instructions
  1. Put everything into a large mixing bowl and combine. Put the coleslaw in an airtight contiainer in the fridge to let the flavors marry for at least an hour before serving.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!

January 20, 2017

Lightening fast blender prep and the perfectly balanced chocolate chip cookie sweet treat for little ones!

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Snow day!

We have had a bit of an up and down winter so far as huge snow blizzards followed by melting 40 degree rains sure have us confused about whether it is winter or spring! We’ll take all the snow days we can get off school though as we enjoy the beauty of the snow and where we live!

15538319_1297656526971874_8433198165783478272_n(1)Snowmen, blanket tents, movies…and *naturally sweetened* chocolate chip cookies!

Snow days call for these chocolate chip cookies every time! But I also don’t need 3 kiddos bouncing off my walls all afternoon. This cookie base is sweetened with dates instead of processed sugar, and it is loaded with friendly fats and protein to keep blood sugars stable. The kids are happy because they get a special treat, and momma is happy because the possibility of a nap still exists 😉

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!Spur of the moment fast prep!

Because the kids get a snow day, but momma probably still has work from home to get done! These cookies have a super quick blender dough, and they can be on the tray ready to bake before the oven preheats. And because the kiddos are home from school on that snow day anyway, it makes a great project for even the littlest of hands to make.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!Some notes for my nut and egg free friends!

I have been making these cookies for years but have not tried subbing the eggs and nuts since we tolerate them fine and they provide great nutrition – I do think it can be done though if you have allergies and need to!

  • Nut free friends, I think you can sub another flour of your choosing. I would not use the full 2 cups called for with walnuts however as other flours are going to be dryer than oily nuts. Start with 1 cup of a flour of your choice and see how the dough feels.
  • Egg free friends, I am pretty sure 2 flax or chia eggs will work in this recipe. They might not puff up as much but it will provide a great bind and that baking powder will give a little rise to them.

{If you happen to try these cookies nut and/or egg free, please share with us in the comments what worked for you so that others that stop by and need an egg or nut free option may try!}

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!Freezer friendly tips

The grain free chocolate chip cookies as well as the uncooked dough freezes well too. They are perfect for last minute play dates, keeping at Grandma’s house so she can spoil the grandkids, or that pile of friends that end up at your house after school!

  • To freeze the dough, simply make up the dough, and roll it up into a log on some plastic wrap. Wrap the log of dough in the plastic wrap, and freeze. Then take the log of dough out, cut into cookie circles and pop them into the freezer bags. You can pull out however many cookies you want to bake when you want!
  • To freeze already baked cookies, bake off a batch or 2 of the cookies, let them cool, and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped cookies in a freezer bag. You can thaw at room temp or put frozen cookies onto a baking sheet into the oven – by the time the oven preheats to 350 the cookies should be thawed and warm.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!Healthier chocolate chip ideas…and some chocolate chip swaps!

Our local grocer carries a great local brand organic chocolate chip we like to use for these (If you are Mid-West local with a Meijer near you, the Meijer True Goodness Organic Chocolate Chips in the baking isle is what I am talking about!). The Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks {my fav!} is more widely available however, and is great, “healthier than Nestle” option too! I would also imagine that if you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes near you (lucky you!) there is probably something available there. Just really watch the ingredient list on the back!

If you have really little guys in the house, or your kids don’t tolerate chocolate, you can use dried cranberries, raisins, chopped dried apricots, or dried blueberries.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies :: Date Sweetened & Paleo Friendly!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts (I think almonds or pecans would work here too. I like to use soaked/dehydrated walnuts for best digestion)
  • 1½ cups tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup softened butter (I think softened coconut oil would work)
  • 2 eggs (If you are egg free I do think 2 flax or chia eggs would work - the cookies might not puff up as much but they will have the bind)
  • 5 dates, pitted (If your kids are used to things sweeter I would add an extra 1-2 dates as these are on the mildly sweet side which my kids are used to)
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I like to use the local organic brand our grocer carries or the Enjoy Life brand is great too)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the walnuts into a food processor and blend into a fine meal.
  3. Add everything else EXCEPT the chocolate chips and blend until the dough is well combined.
  4. Take the blade out and stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Roll your cookies and flatten them on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet (Makes about 1½ dozen large or 2 dozen small cookies) and bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Cool a few minutes before handling.

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Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!

December 17, 2016

Kids and adults alike can celebrate the holiday season with this bubbly, naturally probiotic rich fermented cranberry soda!

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I remember the year like it was yesterday…

My oldest was 2 1/2 and we were enjoying a delicious New Year’s dinner platter of raw cheeses, crackers, fruit, olives – the works! My husband and I had glasses of wine to ring in the new year and my toddler was all of a sudden not as excited about her glass of milk!

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!Listen…kids love to celebrate just as much as we do!

Creating amazing memories for them while they are little so that the smells, the people, the traditions, and the food have a warm, nostalgic feeling every time the holidays come around builds family pride and appreciation.

After that year we started making sure that the girls had something special to drink with us as we rang in the new year as a family! (They also love having these fun swing top bottles to make them feel like they have their own special drink!)

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!

Naturally fermented, bubbly cranberry soda became our New Year celebration tradition!

While some years I chose the easier route and served store bought Kombucha as I sleepily nursed newborns, or tended to crabby witching hour toddlers, we are now in a really cool season of kids that actually sleep through the night (most of the time!), and a couple of older kids that really love to help in the kitchen and truly appreciate real food.

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!Use real food to make real, bubbly soda!

All you need to make a traditionally fermented soda is a fermenting medium such as whey, a ginger bug, or brewed water kefir or kombucha, a little sugar for them to feed on to grow, and a really fun seasonal fruit to flavor it! You can choose whatever fermenting medium you wish, and the cranberries give this soda the most vibrant, beautiful red color you have ever seen! It is also helpful to have these grolsch/swing top type bottles to make your fermenting happen easily!

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!

A note on the sugar

The sugar in the recipe is for the probiotic bugs, not for you! While there is some sugar left behind, the amount is completely up to you! The longer you let the drink ferment, the less sugar there will be, as the bugs in the fermenting medium (the whey, ginger bug, or brewed water kefir or kombucha) eat up the sugar.

The beauty is in being able to taste it along the way. I check the bottles every couple days and decide when it’s done. It’s pretty cold up here so fermenting happens slow in the winter – if you are in a warmer climate I would recommend checking for taste daily.

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!Fermented drink newbies, this part is for you!

If you are new to fermenting drinks, don’t be intimidated! It is so easy!

If you are just starting out and don’t have a fermenting medium such as a ginger bug, water kefir grains, or a SCOBY for kombucha, simply strain off some whey from a container of quality yogurt and you’ll be good to go! Put a thin towel over a bowl, scoop a 32oz container of plain, whole milk yogurt into the towel, and then tie the towel up to a cupboard door handle. The whey will drip out into the bowl – you’ll need about 1 cup to make this drink recipe and that should take about an hour-ish to drip if you squeeze it a little. The leftover yogurt in the towel is essentially “Greek yogurt”, or, if you strain it completely, it is like cream cheese!

(If you are interested in getting into more fermenting, here is my full tutorial about getting into water kefir brewing, and I love these tutorials from The Nourished Kitchen on making and using a ginger bug, as well as how to brew kombucha.)

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!Happy New Year from my family to yours!

Have the kids help you bottle up something special to ring in the new year! The hands on time is pretty minimal – once it’s bottled it just needs some time to sit and work it’s bubble magic!

Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Fermented Cranberry Soda :: A naturally probiotic rich, kid friendly, real food soda!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2½ - 3 cups organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup whey, OR 1 cup ginger bug, OR 1-2 quarts brewed water kefir or kombucha
Instructions
  1. Put the cranberries, water, and sugar into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the cranberries soften and burst. You can use the back of your wooden spoon or a potato masher to squish them up.
  2. Pour the cranberry sugar mixture through a strainer over a gallon jar to strain the cranberry pulp from the sugary cranberry syrup using a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of your wooden spoon to push the liquid through the strainer, spreading the pulp around. The leftover pulp can be blended into a smoothie or stirred into yogurt or soaked oats.
  3. Let the cranberry syrup cool to lukewarm/room temp and then stir in your fermenting medium (The whey, ginger bug, or brewed water kefir or kombucha). If using the whey or ginger bug, you'll have to add water to top off the gallon jar leaving a couple inches of head space
  4. At this point, you can either put a tight lid on your jar to ferment, or transfer to swing top/grolsch style bottles to ferment. Leave the soda at room temp for a few days to a week, checking for taste daily. The rate of fermenting greatly depends on the environment in which you live. This time of year where I live the fermenting takes 7-10 days since it is so cold here (we do have heat but it is still quite cool - this week we were in the single digits for wind chills!). I leave the flip top bottles up in a high cupboard where the heat rises in the kitchen near my stove. I do find that my ferments finish up faster using the flip top bottles versus a jar with lid. A Pickle Pipe on your jars work just as good as flip top bottles in my experience too. (I love my Pickle Pipes!)
  5. Once your cranberry soda is the taste and amount of natural carbonation you like, transfer your jar or bottles to the fridge to slow down the fermenting. They will keep in the fridge 3-4 weeks.

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Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!

December 9, 2016

Festive cranberry baked pears are the perfect kid pleasing yet healthy treat for the holidays!

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!It just keeps getting better and better.

I have always enjoyed the holiday season, but every December that has rolled around since having kids in the house, things just feel a little more magical.

The first snowfall, Christmas jammies, the childlike awe over lighting up a tree, and the anticipation of Christmas Day….it’s enough to make you feel like a kid again yourself, and it has been so good for me to see Christmas through the eyes of little kids again!

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!Cranberry baked pears have become one of those Christmas traditions that our kids have grown to excitedly anticipate each year!

When it’s hard to settle in on Christmas Eve in anticipation for the next day’s events, making baked pears has become something to give the girls something hands on to do to “hold them over” while they wait for the fun day to come!

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!The beauty is in the simple prep!

One of the biggest reasons I started making baked pears on Christmas Eve was because it was something the kids could do almost 100% on their own! When you have so many other things going on such as family gatherings, or Christmas Eve services, or your own family traditions, it is nice to have a simple kitchen project that won’t make a huge mess, and that won’t take up a lot of time.

Line the kids up assembly line style and let them do it all themselves! Serve them up on special plates, flip that Christmas movie on, and let them enjoy a special tradition they will look forward to every year.

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!Simple and delicious, cranberry baked pears are also healthy!

Because who wants their kids hopped up on a bunch of sugar before bed anyway?! My husband and I love spending the evening on Christmas Eve wrapping presents together with glasses of wine and a movie! Baking the pears brings out an amazing burst of sweetness to the fruit, and pairing it with a fat like butter coated nuts keeps blood sugars happy. So while it feels like an indulgent treat, it won’t send blood sugars out of control right before bed.

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!A quick note for my nut free friends and those with older babies!

If you are nut free, you can use crushed seeds, or a mix of seeds and coconut shreds, or simply leave that part out! A seed based granola would work well here too. You can still drizzle some melted butter over the pears for a little fat.

One Christmas I had a 9 month old in the house that wasn’t consuming nuts yet and she gobbled hers right up without the nuts. If you have babies you can leave the cranberries and honey out and just serve them a baked pear drizzled in butter – they’ll be in heaven!

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!I hope to hear from you if you give this tradition a try with your little ones!

You can tag me on Instagram or Facebook – I’d love to see those sweet faces with their special pretty treats!

Cranberry Baked Pears :: Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, and Gluten Free!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cranberry Baked Pears
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 pears
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 TB raw honey
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted (If you are dairy free, I have used avocado oil which works well too! Coconut oil will work but will leave a coconut flavor behind if you don't mind that!)
  • ⅓ - ½ cup nuts of choice, chopped (I used walnuts and pecans. I like to chop them by hand versus a food processor so they don't get too fine. If you are nut free you can use seeds, seeds and coconut shreds, or simply leave this part out!)
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Halve your pears and scoop the core out with a spoon leaving a little "bowl" for the cranberries. Arrange your pear halves on a baking sheet, flesh side up. (I like to slice the back of the pear on the rounded part of the skin so that the pear sits level and doesn't roll around on the pan.)
  3. Fill the middle of each pear half with cranberries (you'll get 3 or 4 in there depending on the size of the cranberries and the "bowl" you shaped). Drizzle raw honey over the cranberries to fill the bowl in. You can fit about a teaspoon in each half for older kids and back off on the amount if you have really little ones with sensitive taste palates yet. The cranberries are really tart so the honey is needed - you can leave the cranberries out for the really little ones around 1 year old and just do the baked pears without any honey! My babies loved it!
  4. Mix the melted butter and chopped nuts together in a small bowl, and the sprinkle over the tops of the pears. Finish with a sprinkling of cinnamon to your taste.
  5. Bake the pears at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the pears and cranberries are soft and the nuts are crispy.

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Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

December 2, 2016

The kids will enjoy the flavors of the holiday season with these fresh cranberry breakfast cookies, and mom will love that they are gluten and refined sugar free!

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo FriendlyProduct links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

The week before Thanksgiving, my husband came home with 2 of the biggest bags of cranberries I had ever seen!

“They were on sale” he says, “Have fun with them!”

He knows me too well – challenge accepted!

I used one of the bags for fresh cranberry sauce for all of the Thanksgiving gatherings we had in the following week, and then I set to work figuring out what to do with the rest.

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

The last thing we needed in our house was another dessert after a week of pumpkin pie slices and Thanksgiving indulging, so I knew I wanted to make something practical.

Something that I could actually use (that was also quick prep!), and that I could feel good about giving the girls to eat. The holidays can be a tough time to keep things healthy. I want my kids to enjoy the holiday season, but I also want to keep them healthy and robust so they can enjoy it all too!

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

Sugar has a huge impact on the immune system.

It feeds the viruses and bacteria in the body, and causes inflammation which makes the body have to work harder while it’s trying to “put the flames out”. Keeping the sugar down gives your kids the upper hand at staying well – especially this time of year when we are more cooped up inside and the bugs are passed easily.

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

Keeping the sugar down doesn’t have to be a drag though!

Blending dates into the batter gives the cookies a natural fruit sweetness, while adding a vitamin and mineral punch to the cookie. 5 dates spread amongst almost 2 dozen cookies is pretty low sugar – and they are mildly sweet for young palates (you can add an extra date or 2 if you have older kids used to sweeter food to ease them in). And I cannot tell you how amazing these fresh cranberry breakfast cookies make the house smell!

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

Pack a nourishing punch in a fun, holiday season breakfast!

We still have a pretty long month of school this December, and I want my kids full and focused for their morning of school work. We do breakfast cookies on Fridays, and while they are always super fun mornings, I have big goals for my breakfast cookies. I want them packed with fat and protein to fill them up!

These breakfast cookies are loaded with fat and protein from 2 different kinds of nuts, coconut shreds, grassfed collagen, and butter. We usually have a side of hard boiled eggs and glasses of raw milk to go with our Friday breakfast cookies! So YES, dear friends, there is a “method to my madness” when choosing a variety of ingredients for my breakfast cookies. These aren’t just a treat – this is part of a meal!

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo FriendlyEat some, freeze some!

These fresh cranberry breakfast cookies freeze up fantastic! I am planning on having them out on Christmas morning! While I love to make a big fancy breakfast on Christmas morning, my kids are just at an age where presents are more important than food! Having a plate of breakfast cookies out while they are opening gifts will keep the “hangries” away, and then you can have a nice brunch later in the morning.

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly

Blender Batter Fresh Cranberry Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts (I like to use soaked/dehydrated walnuts and pecans for best digestion)
  • 1½ cups tapioca flour
  • ⅓ cup grassfed collagen
  • ¼ cup coconut shreds
  • 3 eggs (If you are egg free, 3 flax eggs plus 1 TB apple cider vinegar will work as a replacement here for the binding and rising - they won't puff up quite as much as the eggs but they still work well!)
  • ¼ cup softened butter (If you are dairy free, use softened coconut oil
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract (vanilla extract works too)
  • 5 dates, pitted (I get medjool dates from Costco)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (I get mine at Costco)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the pecans and walnuts in your food processor and blend until made into a fine meal.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cranberries and blend to combine. It gets sticky, and you may have to scrape down the sides a couple times.
  4. Add the fresh cranberries and pulse/blend until the cranberries are the size pieces you want. You can alternatively chop them separately if you wish and fold them in, but I have found the food processor to do a fine job and it's quick!
  5. Scoop the batter onto silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, flattening them out a bit to the size cookie you want - the cookies will puff up but don't spread out much as they bake. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes before handling.

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“Busy Momma” Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

November 18, 2016

This gluten free, real food, easy pumpkin pie is something every busy momma will feel proud of!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieProduct links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

The “icing on the cake”.

The “cherry on top”.

The pie!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieThanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays of the year because it just doesn’t get any better than juicy turkey, buttery potatoes, amazing veggie sides…and the most delicious finish! Pie!

I call this my “busy momma pumpkin pie” because for the last few years that is exactly been my title – Busy Momma!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieWith 3 little ones hanging around, my kitchen is already pretty busy, and I want to be able to enjoy my Thanksgiving.

For me, that means less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying my family! So the name of my game is easy peasy pie crust that is no fuss and easily rolled out, because I am *not* a baker – it is just not my favorite thing to do!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieI also want a pie filling that takes minutes to make. YES I am totally giving you permission to use that can of pumpkin if you are in a season of “busy.” While I have definitely made my share of pies with homemade baked pumpkin, I have found the canned pumpkin tastes just as good and saves some time.

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieThe best of both worlds, this easy pumpkin pie is fast but will help you create nostalgic memories of amazing real food on Thanksgiving Day for your kids.

I remember feeling lost when I had my first baby and the holidays rolled around. I knew I wanted to feed her differently than from a box, but had no idea where to start. Luckily she was just an infant that first holiday season, and I made a decision to figure it all out by the next year!

It has been so worth it. It has been a labor of love to learn how to cook from scratch. The look on my kids’ faces when I tell them Thanksgiving is next week…well that is just the icing on the cake…or the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieThis easy pumpkin pie is everything you love about your favorite Thanksgiving dessert, without the junk!

No sweetened condensed milk here – and no fussing around with a homemade, DIY version of condensed milk (although those work wonderfully and are great! We are shooting for fast here though!). And I don’t know if you have ever looked at the ingredient list on those boxed pies from the freezer section at the grocery store, but a mile long list of preservatives, and fillers is not what I’m going for!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin PieHappy Thanksgiving to you, dear readers! I am truly thankful for you this season! Your community, questions, and conversation are a joy to me every day!

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

5.0 from 1 reviews
"Busy Momma" Easy Peasy Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Make the pie dough first. Put the flour, 2 TB of sugar, and butter into your food processor and pulse to combine evenly. Pour the water into the oil stream cup on the top of the food processor, and turn the processor on to blend in the slow stream of water. Keep the processor on until the dough gathers into a ball. It will take a good minute or 2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Take the dough out of the fridge to warm up a bit while you make the pumpkin pie filling. Simply put the rest of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and blend to combine.
  3. Use your warm hands to knead the dough a bit on a rice floured surface - the dough will become nice and soft as your hands warm it up. Using rice flour on your surface and rolling pin, roll the dough out to fit your pie plate, and fix the edges how you like.
  4. Pour the pie filling into the uncooked pie crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. The middle of the pie should not stick to an inserted butter knife although a little bit is ok - it will finish cooking while it cools on the counter.
  5. Let the pie cool to room temp on the counter and then refrigerate (this is a good one to make couple days in advance!). Serve slices of pie with homemade whipped cream.

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"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

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Smoky and Sweet Chicken and Pumpkin Corn Chowder

October 21, 2016

Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Apple picking, hayrides, fall color hikes, pumpkin carving, and costumes, oh my!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!

October has become such a busy month since having older kids in the house! I am such a summer girl, but over the last couple years, I have really grown to love all of the fun fall activities that October brings…as well as all of the warm meals that go along with it!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Daily bone broth is one of my simple, daily goals for keeping my crew of kids healthy all season, and sometimes we need a little soup change up!

Even though I am sure this will most certainly become an adult favorite in the home, I really wanted to bring up trying this soup with the kids too. I think you will be surprised at how little ones will like the smoky flavor of chipotle. It has a milder, more flavorful heat that tastes so good. Two of my babies really took to heat as little ones and never really skipped a beat.

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!So what about those littles that aren’t keen on spicy food?!

I have one of those! When she was really little I simply used less spicy heat, and then would add more heat to the plates my husband and I were eating from. It’s simple enough, and still trains the taste palate of your little one for a new meal. When it comes to something like soup or chili, I tend to season with the heat we like, and then “cool” her bowl down by stirring in sour cream or coconut milk/cream – it works SO good!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Creamy and comforting without the dairy! But what about that corn?!

If you can’t eat corn (remember corn is a grain – so if you are grain free listen up!), I have a couple of swaps for you! I think the best swap is using either chopped or “riced” cauliflower. You can cook it right alongside the potatoes if they are chopped, and if it is “riced”, simply add it in when you put the garlic in since it doesn’t need a long cook time. I also have tried diced sweet potato and think that works well (add this right in with the potatoes).

That secret step of blending up half the soup before putting in the chicken is what gives the soup it’s creamy texture! No dairy or flour needed!

Smoky & Sweet Chicken & Pumpkin Corn Chowder :: Creamy and comforting meets the savory heat of chipotle in this sweet and smoky chicken and pumpkin corn chowder!Take advantage of those sweet little pie pumpkins over the next couple months and make that broth super creamy and sweet!

Flavorful soups are the a fun way to make nourishing bone broth a part of everyday. Mineral rich seasonal veggies not only bump up the mineral profile but can also bring amazing flavor and make a daily bowl of soup more interesting and fun!

That secret step of blending up half the soup before putting in the chicken is what gives the soup it's creamy texture! No dairy or flour needed!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Smoky and Sweet Chicken and Pumpkin Corn Chowder
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • ¼ cup friendly fat to cook in such as butter, avocado oil, lard, or coconut oil (I happen to love this soup with a good TB of the friendly fat coming from bacon grease - it gives it a really great flavor!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 medium/large yellow potatoes, small cube or diced (smaller is best if serving to kids but if you like bigger chunks go for it!)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1½ quarts bone broth (if you want a much thicker broth you could use just 1 quart)
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder (this leaves a mild, kid friendly smoky heat - if you prefer it spicier (like I do!) you can add a full teaspoon or just add more to the serving in your bowl. Sour cream or coconut milk can tame the heat for little ones if you want to go that route too!)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (use leftovers from roasting a whole chicken, doing a slow cooker whole chicken, or Instant Pottting a whole chicken!)
  • 2 cups frozen organic corn (I get mine at Costco)
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your whole pumpkin in a baking dish, and roast at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Slice the pumpkin in half to cool, scoop out the seeds, and puree in a food processor or blender. (You could skip this step entirely and use a can of pumpkin if you are stretched for time! Keep in mind canned pumpkin is typically other squash so it is darker orange in color and will just give the soup a different color - it will still be pretty and so delicious though!)
  2. While you are waiting for your pumpkin to cool, start your soup. Melt your friendly fat in a large soup pot and add the onion, potatoes, and carrot with a big pinch of sea salt and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  4. Add the broth, pumpkin puree, and chipotle powder, and stir to combine. Bring to a low simmer and then turn the heat off or down to low. Scoop out about half of the soup to a medium mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender (or scoop the soup into a blender to blend) until smooth.
  5. Return the blended portion of the soup back to the soup pot, add the chicken and corn, and bring to a low simmer for a 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach to wilt in, and then sea salt and pepper the soup to your taste.
  6. Again, for the little ones in the house, you can add sour cream or coconut milk to their bowl to tame any heat. You can also puree the soup entirely for little ones that are funny about "chunks" in their soup.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta With Sage and Thyme Meatballs

October 5, 2016

Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It’s time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Autumn has really allowed us to ease into cooler weather this year with unseasonably warm temperatures (for Michigan!), and I think I am ready for a little fall!

I won’t spend a much time taunting you with explaining much about this drool worthy dinner, but I did want to give you a few swaps and examples for how to use the roasted garlic pumpkin cream sauce, as well as some swaps for the pasta if you are a home that can’t do that! I want everyone to be able to enjoy this dish!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Roasted pumpkin and garlic sauce

This sauce….oh the creaminess and flavor! You can’t get the depth of roasted flavor from canned pumpkin or a powdered garlic…I promise you will be blown away if you just use the good stuff!

It will quickly become a family favorite which is why I want to offer a few swaps for those that need it! First, if you are a dairy free home, I have made this with all coconut milk and it is so amazing. I am not a huge fan of things tasting like coconut, and I think the roasted pumpkin and garlic take over the flavor of the dish very well. I also have done half coconut milk and half water and it is still really amazing.

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season!

Pumpkin Pasta!

I use the Tinkyada brand rice noodles pretty exclusively for pasta needs in our house, but use whatever you have on hand or like to use. If you are a grain free home, or pasta isn’t in the house, this cream sauce is good on….just about everything! You can make veggie noodles with your spirilizer such as sweet potato noodles or “zoodles” with zucchini. Or you can make a big veggie stir fry and mix the meatballs in along with the cream sauce. Whatever you can swing…try it! This sauce is just decadent!

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! A note on the meatballs!

The egg in the meatballs is for binding, so if you are an egg free home simply use a gelatin or flax egg and you should be just fine. I think tapioca flour would be a good swap if you are grain free.

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta with Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::Grab the wool socks and put a log on the fireplace! It's time to cozy up to some cool weather comfort food like roasted pumpkin and garlic pasta and enjoy the season! Dear friends, this is how we welcome in fall around here! Happy autumn season to you!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta With Sage and Thyme Meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • For The Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Pasta ::
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 4 TB butter, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, leave them whole and unpeeled to roast
  • ¾ cup whole milk or coconut milk (you can adjust this depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce)
  • ¼ cup whole sour cream (or more coconut milk)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ - ¾ lb cooked pasta of choice (I use the Tinkyada GF rice noodles)
  • For The Sage & Thyme Meatballs ::
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3 TB white rice flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Start with roasting the pumpkin and garlic. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves flesh side up on a baking sheet, and spread 2 TB of butter over the flesh of the pumpkins, then sprinkle sea salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes until the flesh is soft. Put the garlic cloves on the baking sheet for the last 15-20 minutes to roast as well.
  2. While the pumpkins are roasting, you can make the meatballs. Put all of the meatball ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine. Roll the meatball mixture into small, 2 inch meatballs and place on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can bake the meatballs along with the pumpkin at 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (I like to put them in the same time as I put the garlic in).
  3. Once the pumpkins and garlic are done roasting and cool enough to touch, scoop the flesh of the pumpkin into a food processor or blender and squeeze the roasted garlic in. Blend the pumpkin and garlic until smooth.
  4. Put the pumpkin and garlic puree into a sauce pan along with 2 TB of butter and the milk and warm to a low simmer. Whisk until smooth (you can add more liquid here if you wish for a thinner sauce). Turn off the heat and whisk in the sour cream, and then sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss the cooked pasta with the roasted pumpkin and garlic cream sauce and top with your sage & thyme meatballs. Garnish with sage and parsley.

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Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked Oatmeal On The Go!

September 24, 2016

Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Whew has this first month of school flown by!

We are definitely in the school swing and the big girls are loving being back in the classroom. My 3 year old has surprisingly adjusted to solo mornings with momma too! (Though perhaps not surprisingly since she is that go with the flow 3rd born!)

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!Since our mornings are quite early, sometimes my toddler isn’t quite out of bed before it is to head out the door for school drop off.

And sometimes toys are way more interesting than breakfast right when she gets up! Having a portable breakfast has been important for some of our school days. We have been keeping protein banana muffins, healthy apple breakfast cookies, and baked oatmeal cups on hand in the freezer for those slower toddler mornings, and they have been working out great, both for my busy toddler, and for my growing school aged girls.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!

These pumpkin spice baked oatmeal cups have also been a fun seasonal breakfast for my older girls getting excited for all things pumpkin, Halloween, and Thanksgiving!

The baked oatmeal cups freeze up great and make 2 dozen at a time. We made some for breakfast this week, and I’m freezing half of them to save for a nourishing, but fun pumpkin breakfast on Halloween morning.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!Start their day out nutrient dense so they are ready for a full morning of playing and learning!

Round out your baked oatmeal cup breakfast with fried eggs (or hard boiled eggs if you are needing portable and on the go!), and raw milk or coconut milk. You could have a baked oatmeal cup with a cup of whole yogurt or some sausage if you can’t have eggs.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked oatmeal to go! Pumpkin spice style and kid approved for a busy fall day!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups :: Baked Oatmeal On The Go!
Author: 
 
Makes 2 dozen Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups
Ingredients
  • 5 cups oats (Not quick oats! If you are gluten free be sure your oats say gluten free or there might be trace amounts of gluten there)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups walnuts & pecans, chopped fine (I use the food processor to chop them fast! I use soaked/dehydrated "crispy" nuts for best digestion. IF YOU ARE NUT FREE you can use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or even shredded coconut.)
  • 1 - 15oz can pumpkin
  • 2 eggs (I think flax eggs will work here if you are egg free)
  • ⅓ cup avocado oil (or melted butter or coconut oil)
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup (This sounds like a lot but remember this makes 2 dozen - I think they are on the mildly sweet side so if you have kids used to sweeter things you could add a bit more - taste the mixture for yourself!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • (alternative to the individual cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, you could use your favorite pumpkin pie spice bend - say maybe 1-2 TB of pumpkin pie spice)
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to make the baked oatmeal cups, put the oats and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it soak overnight 8-10 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the oats making the grain more digestible.
  2. After the oats are done soaking, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and put the oats in a strainer to drain off any excess water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Put the remainder of the ingredients into the medium mixing bowl, add the drained oats, and combine with a wooden spoon.
  4. Scoop the oat batter into a muffin tin (I line mine with silicone muffin cups but I think greasing them with butter would be fine), and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The recipe makes 24 baked oatmeal cups.

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Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party!

June 1, 2016

A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

My sweet side kick little momma turned 7 last week! Seven feels so much older to me for some reason! Chloe has the biggest, most caring heart of anyone I have ever met. Anyone that has crossed her path has experienced her kindness, and I am so proud to call her mine. Chloe is pretty much my right hand around here, taking on kitchen help when I need it, and tending to her sisters when my hands are busy – including the best diaper changer in town – she gets my 2 year old to lay still better than I do!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

This year Chloe asked for an ice cream sundae party! She wanted her and her friends to be able to make their own sundaes themselves, and I couldn’t have thought of a better idea.

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

This was, honestly, hands down the easiest “prep ahead party” I have ever thrown.

I made the vanilla ice cream the week before the party and it hung out in the freezer until party day. I made the sauce toppings the night before in less than an hour including clean up, storing the sauce in the fridge over night.

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

The only thing I had to do the day of the party was whip the whipped cream in just minutes, and open the dye free sprinkles we used! I had so many other topping ideas you could add in as well – chopped nuts and berries would be fun! I wanted cherries for the top but they just aren’t in season here yet!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

I scooped the ice cream into these adorable polka dot ice cream cups about an hour before the party and stored them on trays in the freezer. It was SO nice to just pull the trays out at the party and not have to spend time scooping for everyone. The girls all got to decorate their ice cream at the same time and it was a riot to see what they picked!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

Here are the recipes for the sauces we used. We had some leftovers which I used for various things. We used the leftover strawberry sauce for waffles the next day as well as leftover ice cream the next day. I froze the leftover chocolate sauce and caramel to use for sundaes later this summer – what a fun hot day treat!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

(Makes about 1 quart)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups organic pure cane sugar
1 cup raw cacao
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 TB butter

Everything into a sauce pan and using a whisk stir over medium heat until everything melts and combines.
Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes and then take the sauce off the heat. Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge until use. You can re-heat if you like your sauce warm. This also freezes well.

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

(Makes about 1 quart)
2 cups organic cane sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup whole cream (I think coconut cream would work here)
1 tsp sea salt

Warm the sugar in a sauce pan until it melts – takes about 5 minutes. Stir off and on so it doesn’t burn.
When the sugar completely melts, stir in the butter to melt, and then slowly add in the cream stirring continuously.
Add the sea salt and bring the sauce to a simmer for a couple minutes while stirring. Take the sauce off the heat and store in an airtight jar or container until use – you can warm the sauce through again if you like it warm. The caramel is pretty thick when cold so you will at least want to bring it to room temp or somewhat warm before serving. This also freezes well for long term storage.

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

(makes a little over a quart of sauce)
3 lbs fresh or frozen strawberries
1/3-1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 TB arrowroot, GMO free cornstarch, or tapioca for thickening (you can leave this out if you wish)

Everything into a sauce pan and warm over medium heat squishing the strawberries with a potato masher or fork along the way.
Bring to a simmer and if you are using fresh fruit you may need to add a few splashes of water (frozen strawberries have enough moisture). Simmer about 5 minutes until the fruit breaks down.
Add the arrowroot to whisk in. Simmer another few minutes.
Take the sauce off the heat – at this point you can leave it as is, or puree through if you like a smooth sauce. Store the sauce in an airtight jar or container in the fridge until use. This also freezes well.

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

Here is a handy list of items and recipes used for our ice cream sundae party!

Make Your Own REAL FOOD Ice Cream Sundae Party! :: A fun make your own ice cream sundae party without the artificial dyes and using all real food ingredients!

For more real food treat ideas, you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

May 5, 2016

Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

We celebrated a brand new *5* year old in the house last week!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

Our spunky little Claire Joy was born 5 years ago and I don’t think my house has stopped moving since 🙂 This kid is constantly on the go, thinking all the time, has the most inquisitive questions, and really keeps me on my toes. My extremely laid back husband somehow thinks I may be getting a dose of my own medicine most days 🙂

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

We were so excited to celebrate Claire with family, and this year she asked for chocolate chip cake!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

Over the last handful of years having multiple birthdays in the house, I have really gotten used to gluten free cake making and this cake is nice and moist, really flavorful, and very easy to make…if you have been following me for very long you know that my least favorite kitchen tasks revolve around baking so I tend to lean toward the no fuss route when it comes to cakes.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!This was a really fun cake to make and it really made Claire smile – we started with a cup of chocolate chips for the batter and she ended up wanting to dump the whole bag in! I rolled with it and it really was yummy! We served the cake with homemade maple vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and it was just perfect!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake! :: Celebrate the happiest of birthdays with gluten free, allergen friendly chocolate chip cake!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Butter two 8 inch cake pan rounds, and fit parchment paper to the bottom of each pan sticking to the butter.
  2. Blend the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, sugar, butter, vinegar, vanilla extract, and almond extract) in a large mixing bowl for a couple minutes until well combined.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (the dry ingredients) EXCEPT the chocolate chips right into the bowl, and blend to combine until creamy. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter with a spoon.
  4. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans evenly and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let the cakes cool about 20 minutes before taking them out to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
  5. Once the cakes are cooled completely, you can frost them. Just blend the vanilla bean frosting ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined and frost your cake how you want, and then decorate with chocolate chips.

For more real food treat ideas, you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:

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Gluten Free Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

February 6, 2016

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these special sugar cookie hearts with naturally dyed frosting!

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Happy Valentine’s week to you!

I did the volunteer thing for the classroom Valentine’s Day treat this year, so I figured what better way to get *all* these cookies done…than with a couple sweet little 6 year olds?!

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

Little kids and cookie decorating!

Chloe got to invite a friend over to decorate these cute little hearts and these girls are just too fun. The giggles were endless, and the cookies turned out so great.

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

This is my go-to gluten free sugar cookie cut out recipe – it is so easy to work with!

I am not much of a baker and don’t really like to mess around with fussy recipes. This dough is very forgiving and very nice to work with – especially for a gluten free dough. I found this little heart cookie cutter that is perfect for a class treat – not oversized and not too tiny.

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

Natural *beautiful* color!

We used freeze dried raspberries for the great Valentine’s Day frosting color, and left a handful of them frosted white in case any of the little guys in class were afraid of pink 😉 Freeze dried strawberries would work for that pretty color if you want too!

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

The frosting is just delicious!

Soft and sweet with amazing raspberry flavor – and that color! So pretty! Completely free of artificial dyes – because I don’t know about you, but if I were a school teacher I don’t think I would want my classroom all hopped up on Red 40 for the afternoon! I also think swapping the butter for cream cheese would make a delicious, tangy raspberry cream cheese frosting.

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

And since my kitchen was full of little girls for the afternoon, we of course had to break out the sparkly sprinkles!

You can get naturally dyed sugar sprinkles and they are so fun to keep on hand for holidays! There are so many to choose from!

Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies With Naturally Dyed Frosting

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gluten Free Valentine's Day Sugar Cookie Hearts With Naturally Dyed Frosting
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE COOKIES:
  • 1 cup softened butter (if you are dairy free, you can use palm shortening)
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar (could use sucanat but the color will come out darker)
  • 1 egg (if you are egg free you can use a http://www.perfectsupplements.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PS-Gelatin&Click=71301 egg or flax egg or 2)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (Do NOT leave this out – it helps the cookies rise. You will have a melted mess without it...I have the mess to prove it! It also makes rolling out the dough so much easier.)
  • FOR THE RASPBERRY FROSTING
  • 3 TB blended freeze dried raspberries (Just put them into a blender and blend into powder. I used about ¾ of a 1.2oz bag of freeze dried raspberries. You can add the rest if you want a deeper color. I blended the whole bag and am keeping the leftover powder in an airtight container for another time.)
  • 2 cups organic powdered cane sugar
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 3-4 TB milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and blend.
  3. Add the flours and xanthan gum. Mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge, and let it come to room temp for about 30 minutes.
  6. Lay out some parchment paper on the counter and flour it with white rice flour. Flour your hands and use the warmth of your hands to gently knead the dough, and then roll out the dough. (Use white rice flour on the rolling pin and parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking)
  7. Cut out your hearts and bake on a silpat (or parchment paper) lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.
  8. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating. To make the frosting, just blend the frosting ingredients until smooth. You can add more milk if you wish for a thinner, more royal icing type of frosting.

For more real food treat ideas you can follow my Treat Ideas Board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies

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Chocolate Cake (Can be made cupcakes too!)

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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips School Holidays

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!

December 11, 2015

Easy to work with gluten free cut out cookie dough will have soft and sweet sugar cookies ready in no time perfect for decorating!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

What a fun time of the year to get in the kitchen and do something fun with the kids!

I have such fond memories of decorating sugar cookies as a family when I grew up, and years ago when I had my first toddler in the house just learning about the wonder of the season, I just knew I wanted to give her those same memories.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!This is the cut out cookie recipe I have been making for the last few holiday seasons. I really love how easy the dough is to work with – remember I am *not* a baker and it is not my favorite kitchen thing to do (well other than the memories!). The hint of vanilla with just a slight warm cinnamon really makes these cookies so special.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!Tips For Making & Decorating Cut Out Cookies With Kids

1. Take it one step at a time. In fact I highly recommend with really little ones not to do everything all in one day. Since the dough has to chill, and cookies have to cool before decorating, there is a lot of nice time to break up so the kids don’t feel like they are waiting “forever”. This year I made the dough with all 3 girls, and then at my 2 year old’s nap time we rolled out the chilled dough to bake with my 4 and 6 year olds. I then put the cookies into the freezer until the following weekend when we had enough time to frost them. They definitely can be done all in one day – just have some other things planned during the dough chilling and cookie cooling wait times such as decorating Christmas cards for grandparents, watching a holiday movie, or other holiday kitchen recipes!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!2. Show them how to do the task first. Whether pouring flour, cracking an egg, using a cookie cutter, or frosting a cookie, show them an example first. This is specifically helpful with the decorating. While I want them to decorate them how they wish, I like to show them how much frosting is appropriate for spreading 😉

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!3. Use small amounts of dough for the ones that want to try rolling it out. Listen, I am just as much of a perfectionist as anyone else – it can be hard for me to stay back and let them learn how to roll dough out nicely! I have learned that letting the dough warm up so it feels a little more pliable like a play-doh but not so warm that it squishes, and using smaller amounts makes it easier for them to roll it out neatly. This is the first year that I didn’t have to help my oldest at all – and she is 6 and works in the kitchen a lot with me. Be patient but it does come – and they will forever remember you trusting them enough to let them do it.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!4. Set out easy to manage decorating ingredients. If the sprinkles, for instance, come in a big bottle with no shaker top, either put them in a old shaker container, or put a small amount on a plate or bowl that they can pinch and sprinkle onto the cookies. If using dried fruit or chopped nuts use little bowls that they can scoop from. My 4 and 6 year olds manage a regular butter knife for spreading just fine, but as toddlers we used these smaller spreading knives.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!5. Realize attention span grows with age 🙂 This is the first year my girls did all the decorating themselves. As toddlers the attention lasts about 1 or 2 cookies in before they want to eat one and are done. Embrace that age and just roll with it! Eventually they will turn 6 and you will have no cookies to decorate for yourself! Even at age 2 or 3 those memories are beginning to build and they will cherish that you spent time with them to do something so fun.

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!Ok! So onto the cookies! Be sure to scroll through the natural decorating ideas at the bottom of the recipe!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE COOKIES:
  • 1 cup softened butter (if you are dairy free, you can use palm shortening)
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar (could use sucanat but the color will come out darker)
  • 1 egg (if you are egg free you can use a gelatin egg or flax egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (Do not leave this out – it helps the cookies rise. You will have a melted mess without it...I have the mess to prove it! It also makes rolling out the dough so much easier.)
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 1 cup organic powdered cane sugar
  • 2 TB softened butter
  • 1-2 TB milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, and blend.
  3. Add the flours and xanthan gum. Mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge, and let it come to room temp for about 30 minutes.
  6. Lay out some parchment paper on the counter and flour it with white rice flour. Flour your hands and use the warmth of your hands to gently knead the dough, and then roll out the dough. (Use white rice flour on the rolling pin and parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking)
  7. Cut out your shapes and bake on a silpat (or parchment paper) lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
  8. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating. To make the frosting, just blend the frosting ingredients until smooth. You can add more milk if you wish for a thinner, more royal icing type of frosting.

And then of course there is the decorating! Here are some ideas and tips!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!

  • I’ve been using these naturally dyed sugar sprinkles for the last few years and I just love how easy they are. We make a the simple white frosting and the sprinkles brighten them right up!
  • That same brand has not only the naturally dyed sugar sprinkles, but snowflakes, “jimmies” shapes, and I also found this brand of natural colored confetti sprinkles!
  • When I had really little ones – as in I only had toddlers in the house, we used dried fruit and/or crumbled nuts for decorating. You can even just bake raisins, apricots, or cranberries right into the cookie and skip the frosting all together if you want – which is what I often did for my toddlers. They are just happy to get a cookie – they won’t even miss the frosting 🙂
  • I like these naturally colored, organic candy canes – you can crush them up and sprinkle on top!
  • Shave some fair trade dark chocolate to sprinkle on top, or use these allergen friendly mini chocolate chips.
  • This is a great DIY natural food dye you can make up ahead of time if you have the time – I have tried all the colors and they really work well!

Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs :: Plus Natural Decorating Ideas and Tips On Making Cookies With Kids!If you tolerate gluten, you must check out these great sugar cookies from my friend Kristin at Live Simply  using Einkorn wheat flour!

To find more real food treat ideas, you can follow my Treat Ideas Board on Pintrest!

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Cranberry Orange Granola

November 4, 2015

Sweet orange vanilla infused granola decorated with festive cranberries makes a fun breakfast cereal bowl, or topping for a yogurt snack!

Cranberry Orange Granola

We have the most beautiful fall so far! We were spoiled with unseasonably warm 70 degree temperatures this week, and I couldn’t help but open the windows and soak in as much sun warmth as I could, knowing that in just a few short weeks we will be shoveling snow instead of raking up leaves!

Cranberry Orange Granola

With the holidays around the corner, my husband brought home this huge bag of fresh cranberries from Costco one day thinking we could get a head start on shopping for Thanksgiving. I don’t think we could ever eat a Costco sized bag portion of cranberry sauce, so I was excited to play with some new recipes to use up those pretty cranberries.

Cranberry Orange Granola

Since we have had a fairly busy fall so far, I thought we could use some quick morning breakfasts with some granola that also doubles as a great yogurt topper for school snacktime or toddler snacks.

Cranberry Orange Granola

This granola turned out so pretty and festive I’m actually storing it away to pack into some mason jars for teacher gifts!

Cranberry Orange Granola

5.0 from 4 reviews
Cranberry Orange Granola
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 10 cups oats
  • 4 cups raw pumpkin seeds, (raw sunflower seeds would work too)
  • 4 cups raw pecans (raw walnuts or raw almonds
  • would work too. I get all of these nuts in the linked Kirkland brand at Costco)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 TB sea salt
  • 4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup avocado oil (melted butter or coconut oil would work too)
  • Juice and zest of 5 oranges
  • ½ cup raw honey (pure maple syrup or organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar would work too)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ cups dried cranberries (I get fresh and dried cranberries at Costco - the linked dried brand is what I get at Costco)
Instructions
  1. Pulse the pumpkin seeds and pecans in a food processor to the sized bits you want in your granola (you could chop with a knife too). I keep mine on the smaller side since I have little ones eating it - you can leave bigger chunks if you prefer.
  2. Put the oats, chopped nuts and seeds, the lemon juice, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl and fill with water until it just covers the mixture. Set the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen to soak for 8 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the grain, nut, and seeds for better digestion. It also makes their nutrients more available to absorb.
  3. After soaking, put the oat, nut, and seed mixture in a strainer to drain while you put the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl or stockpot to mix. Add the drained oat/nut/seed mixture and combine the entire granola mixture well.
  4. Spread the granola mixture over your dehydrator trays (I use this one) and dehydrate at 135 degrees 8-12 hours until dry. You could bake this in the oven at 250 degrees for an hour or so just stir the mixture every half hour to ensure it gets completely dried out.

For more real food breakfast ideas, you can follow my Breakfast Ideas board on Pinterest!

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5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!

November 2, 2015

You are no more than 5 minutes away from a delicious, velvety gravy made with nourishing bone broth for everything from meatball night to that Thanksgiving turkey!

5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!This my friends is the icing on the cake….well, the gravy on the turkey (or chicken, or meatballs!). There is just something about the gravy that makes the meal feel complete!

5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!It doesn’t have to be rocket science either. Making gravy for meatball night on a busy weekday, or that big Thanksgiving day turkey won’t take you more than 5 minutes.

5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!I like to make my gravy while my roasted chicken or turkey is resting right out of the oven. You can use bone broth from the freezer or the meat stock from the pan. The beauty of this recipe is that even if you wanting to make it for meatballs and gravy night, you don’t need pan drippings. Any jar of bone broth in your freezer can become a sauce pan of gravy! And bonus! The gravy freezes very well so anything leftover won’t go to waste!

5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 3 reviews
5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB butter
  • 2-3 TB white rice flour OR if you are grain free use tapioca flour (the amount is dependent on how thick you like your gravy - you can start out low and always add more in the end if you want it thicker. If the gravy turns out thicker than you want you can always thin it out with more broth or even water)
  • 1 pint bone broth OR juices from the pan (Called meat stock. You can use a combo of both if you wish.)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste (I don't season my bone broth so I pretty heavily season the salt here)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the flour, and stir with a whisk to combine.
  2. Add the bone broth and thyme and bring to a simmer stirring with your whisk occasionally until it thickens.
  3. Season salt and pepper to taste and serve. This will refrigerate and reheat stovetop well (up to 4 days in advance), or you can freeze it for months.

For more real food dinner ideas, you can check out my Dinner Ideas board on Pintrest!

More real food recipes you might like:
Homemade Gluten Free Stuffing
Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken
How Make A Simple Beef Roast

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup for any Casserole!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

November 2, 2015

The perfect sweet and tart side to compliment that Thanksgiving day turkey – in about 10 minutes of cook time!

Homemade Cranberry SauceBesides the gravy…cranberry sauce is just about the perfect complement to that Thanksgiving turkey!

Even as a kid I used to take a little bit of the cranberry sauce with a bit of turkey and it was just heaven together! Sweet, salty, tart, and delicious all in one bite!

Homemade Cranberry SauceI did grow up on the canned cranberries, and a number of years ago I decided I wanted to learn how to make “real” cranberry sauce. Because let’s face it…our ancestors would not have been busting out the can of cranberry sauce at their big meal!

I thought I would miss the “jello” texture of the canned cranberries, but…oh! Was I wrong! This was even better! Fresh cranberries are so delicious – not a fake, high fructose corn syrup jello, but there is a depth of flavor to using real cranberries.

Homemade Cranberry SauceMaking homemade cranberry sauce doesn’t get any easier. Just a quick cook on the stovetop and this Thanksgiving side dish can be prepped days ahead of the big meal. This is the batch I make for our large family Thanksgiving gathering – it makes a lot. If you have a smaller gathering definitely half this.

Homemade Cranberry SauceProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups fresh cranberries (I get the large bags at Costco - if you are using the smaller 12oz bags from a grocer you will need 2 bags)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar (I get our organic sugar in bulk at Costco.)
  • ¾ cup raw honey (You can swap more sugar for this if you want to leave it out. I get my raw honey from a local farmer in bulk but this is a good brand too.)
Instructions
  1. Put the cranberries, water, and sugar into a large, high walled skillet, or soup pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Low simmer the cranberry mixture, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. You will hear the cranberries start to pop and you can squish some of them with the back of your wooden spoon if you like. The mixture will start to thicken after about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the honey to the cranberry sauce, combine, and turn the heat off. The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

For more real food dinner ideas you can check out my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
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Thanksgiving Stuffing
Bone Broth Gravy

5 Minute Bone Broth Gravy :: Gluten & Grain Free Options!
Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken


Gluten Free Pie Crust For ANY Pie!


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Homemade Thanksgiving Stuffing

October 31, 2015

All the sage herbed flavors of Thanksgiving in a real food stuffing for your big meal!

Thanksgiving StuffingIt was my favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner besides the pumpkin pie at the end.

As a kid we grew up on that little red box of stuffing at our huge, extended family meals. I have been told stories of one of my Grandmas using toasted bread to make stuffing a long time ago, but as the times changed and those fancy *very convenient* boxes of faster food became available, it just became the thing to do.

I had never had “traditional” stuffing – I grew upon that stovetop, red box version…

…and I loved it.

There I said it. I seriously loved that totally processed, crazy ingredient list box of stuffing, and when I made the real food switch years ago I set out to learn how to make a stuffing that I could still enjoy at the holidays. I have been making this real food version for over 6 years now – the same age as my oldest daughter.

You see, when I had her everything changed.

Remember those amazing memories I had of my childhood Thanksgiving meals? I wanted her to have that. I wanted her to remember that every year toward the end of November we get to eat the most amazing meal of the year.

Thanksgiving StuffingFood is meant to be enjoyed my friends! I am not about to take away those comforting, delicious meals that bring joy to our faces, warmth to the belly, and memories that last forever. One of my greatest joys in the last year or so is that my oldest is finally getting it. She remembers Thanksgiving meals from the year before now. She remembers Grandpa carving that huge bird, Grandma stirring that big pot of mashed potatoes, and savoring every last bite of the pumpkin pie. And while I was getting this dish prepared to photograph she practically drooled as I served it remembering she hadn’t had stuffing since last year. THAT, sweet friends, is what I want!

Thanksgiving StuffingCome November I want my family to start craving that amazing once a year meal that we all get to share!

You really can make Thanksgiving meal staples without processed food. Let’s start with stuffing!

Whether you like to stuff the bird with your stuffing, or like to serve it in a pan, this recipe will work for you! Grab a loaf of your favorite gluten free bread – we splurge on Sami’s bread for our Thanksgiving stuffing. It has the cleanest ingredient list of the gluten free breads that I know of at least in my area. You can also use homemade sourdough, or this gluten free cornbread works great too!

Thanksgiving StuffingThat herby, soupy, broth simmers on the stove and fills the air with sage, and then soaks into your day old bread to make the most delicious baked side dish to go with your meal.

Thanksgiving StuffingHere are a few of my tips for getting this dish done for Thanksgiving. If your bread is fresh or freshly made, you will need about 24 hours for it to dry out to make it feel like day old bread. I like to tear it up onto a sheet tray and I just leave it out in my bedroom (so that little hands don’t steal pieces!) for a day. If you make the herbed broth beforehand, all you have to do is mix it in with the bread the morning of Thanksgiving! Very quick.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

5.0 from 3 reviews
Thanksgiving Stuffing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 TB friendly fat to cook in (butter, coconut oil, lard)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 quart bone broth
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 loaf (about 12 cups torn up) stale/dried out gluten free bread or sourdough of choice (this gluten free cornbread works well too! Make a double batch if you plan on using it for this recipe)
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion and celery in the friendly fat for about 5-7 minutes. Add a few pinches of salt to bring out their juices and sweeten.
  2. Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning/saltiness and add as needed. It should taste like a salty herbed soup.
  4. Put the bread, egg, and broth mixture in a large mixing bowl and combine well.
  5. Pour the bread mixture in the buttered 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Bake COVERED for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
  7. Uncover the baking dish and bake another 25-30 minutes.

For more real food dinner ideas you can follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
Keep your eyes out in the next couple weeks for your Thanksgiving Bone Broth Gravy to go with your turkey and mashed potatoes, as well as a great honey sweetened real cranberry sauce!
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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Homemade Honey Sweetened Caramel Corn

October 24, 2015

All the sweet and salty taste you love about caramel corn using real ingredients and zero refined sugar!

Homemade Honey Sweetened Caramel CornIt’s about that time of year again isn’t it?!

We get through those first couple of months of school and then bam!

Everything from halloween or harvest parties, to Thanksgiving and holiday parties have our kids in a frenzy of festivities…and all the sugar to go along with it.

Unfortunately this is also about the time of year we get less fresh air and less circulating of fresh air indoors, and that coupled with more sugar in our bodies can make for weakened immune systems. I love to celebrate all of the fun fall and winter holidays that come with the end of a calendar year, but I also understand that even with a pretty clean diet and great supplements, even the healthiest kid can become run down when cold bugs have sugar to feast on more frequently.

I don’t, however, want to take the fun out of every holiday!

Homemade Honey Sweetened Caramel CornFood was most definitely made to be enjoyed – and I absolutely believe that. While I still have very little ones at home, I feel pretty responsible for what goes into their bodies at this crucial growing age, so when the holidays come around, we do the fun food in a real food way. This halloween we decided on caramel corn for our special treat! We played around with the ingredients this weekend, and boy was it delicious!

Homemade Honey Sweetened Caramel CornProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Honey Sweetened Caramel Corn
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ½ cup non-GMO popping corn (Our local grocer sells non-GMO popping corn which is where I got ours)
  • ¼-1/2 tsp sea salt to your taste
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, turn off the heat, and then add the raw honey to melt in. Set aside while you make the popcorn.
  2. Pop your popcorn in a simple air popper or stovetop, and put into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour half the melted butter and honey into the popped popcorn, toss to coat, and then pour the last half of the butter/honey mixture to toss and coat.
  4. Sea salt your caramel corn to your taste and toss to coat. You can serve this warm right away, or you can put the caramel corn in the fridge or freezer to harden up a little to feel like the crispier candy shell that caramel corn usually has!

For more real food treat ideas you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Stuffed Pumpkin

October 17, 2015

These sweet little pie pumpkins are dressed up savory with grassfed beef and vegetables, and then and hit with the sweet warmth of cinnamon.

Stuffed PumpkinThis is such a cozy time of year.

I’ll admit that I am totally a summer girl – I love my sunshine, bare feet, and beach days. But I don’t care how much you love summer, you just can’t get more gorgeous than autumn in Michigan!

Stuffed PumpkinThe weather is still warm enough to enjoy playing outside, but there is enough chill in the air to make the house cozy and comfortable by turning the oven on in the evening for dinner.

Stuffed PumpkinThis is a great time of year to take advantage of delicious seasonal pumpkins at your farmer’s markets and grocery stores.

Pie pumpkins (sometimes labeled sugar pumpkins) are not just for sweet desserts! They make a really delicious squash side for dinner, and if you have never had savory pumpkin before you are really in for a treat! These little stuffed pumpkins have a hint of cinnamon to give it a slight sweet warmth, and the kids are really going to have fun eating these! They make a fun, nourishing meal before trick or treating!

Stuffed PumpkinDon’t be intimidated by its fancy look – this is definitely do-able on a weeknight too! Make the stir fry “stuffing” part the night before (or early morning), and just store it away – then it just needs to be stuffed into the pumpkin after the squash roasts – super quick hands on time. You can also have the kids scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin while you do other things! Quick throw the pumpkin in the oven when you get home from school or work and do homework with the kids, finish up emails, etc.

Stuffed Pumpkin

4.8 from 6 reviews
Stuffed Pumpkin
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pie pumpkins, halved and seeds scooped out
  • 1½ cups cooked, shredded roast beef (ground beef works too - I like to use leftovers from a roast beef dinner the night before!)
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small head cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked long grain white rice (cooked quinoa would work, or if you are grain free just leave the grain out or use cauliflower rice)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup raw cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Place the halved pumpkins flesh side up on a baking sheet, butter the flesh, and then salt and pepper the flesh. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 50 minutes.
  2. While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the filling (the filling only takes about 20 minutes to make so you can either make it ahead of time or make it a half hour into roasting the squash so they are done at the same time). Start by melting a few TB of butter (or bacon grease makes this taste amazing!) in a pan and add the onion and cabbage with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook on medium/high heat for 15 minutes or so until the cabbage cooks down, softens, and sweetens.
  3. Add the garlic, spinach, beef, and cinnamon cook about 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  4. Add the cooked rice, combine, and then taste the mixture for sea salt and pepper and season to your taste.
  5. Stuff the middle of the roasted pumpkin with the cooked cabbage and beef filling. Really stuff it all in there. Sprinkle cheese over the top, and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

For more real food dinner ideas follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple Crisp

October 8, 2015

Enjoy a fresh apple treat with no more than 10 minutes of hands on time!

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple CrispI almost completely forgot to write about apple season this fall! I blogged so many of our favorite apple recipes last year, that I sort of thought I had all of my bases covered, but the Michigander in me just couldn’t go through an apple season without a least one apple post!

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple CrispWe headed out to pick apples a few weeks ago and it was like summer! The weather has definitely turned more like fall in the last couple weeks, so looking through these pictures of the girls in their short sleeves seems so crazy to me!

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple CrispMy youngest just turned 2 and there is just something about this age that makes these trips so fun. To see their eyes light up at all the apples on the trees – it’s like they finally “get it”! Caitlyn two fisted her apples the entire trip and enjoyed running up and down the rows of trees.

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple CrispThis is a particularly busy fall for me as I navigate a busy school and preschool schedule with lots of driving. I don’t have a lot of time for fun kitchen projects like making apple pie, so this year when the girls asked me if we could make a treat with the apples, we decided on making apple crisp to save on the time thing!

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple CrispNo more than 10 minutes to get everything into this pie plate and you are hands-free from there! No peeling necessary – and this apple crisp not only is as beautiful as an apple pie…it tastes just as amazing.

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple Crisp

You can use whatever apples you have around  – let the kids help too! My toddler loved putting the apple slices in the pie plate, my 4 year old mixed up the crumble topping, and my 6 year old pretty much ran the show reading my recipe, measuring, and even doing some slicing!

Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple Crisp

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple, Quick & Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toss together the apple slices, lemon juice, vanilla extract, 3-4 TB sugar, and tapioca starch right in your 9 inch pie plate.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the white rice flour, almond flour, butter, maple syrup, and ¼ cup sugar using a spatula - don't combine until super smooth - the point is for it to be a bit crumbly. Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the top of the fruit mixture in the pie plate, and then sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool for a bit before handling.

For more real food desserts, you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

October 3, 2015

Welcome the fall and winter with this mild and buttery acorn squash filled with a flavorful, herbed stuffing and topped with melty cheese!

Stuffed Acorn SquashThe air around here sure is getting crisper!

I have a bit of a hard time letting go of summer, but if I’m going to be honest, I really enjoy the fall where we live. There is nothing like living somewhere surrounded by so many trees that paint the sky with fall colors come October. And the cooler air gives me a great excuse to flip the oven on come dinner time for these sweet little stuffed squashes!

This is the time of year to start stockpiling those winter squashes.

They are so (so!) cheap, and make for a very nourishing but frugal meal. Stuffed squash is a weekly menu item in my house come September and October through a good majority of the winter. These little acorn squashes last weeks on the counter, or in a cool dry area for a good month or so! When I see the in season pricing, I load up!

Stuffed Acorn SquashAcorn squash is a nice one to start out with serving kids because the flesh is very mild in flavor and just picks up the taste of the butter you smear all over it! You can stuff it with your favorite cooked veggies and meat, top with fun, melty cheese, and it’s a perfect frugal, seasonal, family meal!

Stuffed Acorn SquashDon’t be intimidated by its fancy look – this is definitely do-able on a weeknight too!

Make the stir fry “stuffing” part the night before (or early morning), and just store it away – then just needs to be stuffed into the squash after the squash roasts – super quick hands on time. You can also have the kids scoop the seeds out of the squash while you do other things! Quick throw the squash in the oven when you get home from school or work and do homework with the kids, finish up emails, etc.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium acorn squash or 2 small, halved and seeds scooped out
  • ½ lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup cooked long grain white rice (cooked quinoa would work, or if you are grain free just leave the grain out or use cauliflower rice)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 cup raw cheese, grated
  • 2-3 TB blanched almond flour (if you are nut free you can use bread crumbs or just leave it out)
Instructions
  1. Place the halved acorn squashes flesh side up on a baking sheet, butter the flesh, and then salt and pepper the flesh. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 50 minutes.
  2. While the squash is roasting, cook the filling (the filling only takes about 20 minutes to make so you can either make it ahead of time or make it a half hour into roasting the squash so they are done at the same time). Start by browning the ground beef. Make sure you season the beef with salt and pepper while it cooks. Set the beef aside. Leave the fat behind in the pan.
  3. Melt a few TB of butter (or bacon grease makes this taste amazing!) in the pan and add the onion with a big pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, chopped kale and seasoning cook about 5 minutes until the kale is softened.
  5. Stir in the cooked beef and cooked rice to combine.
  6. Stuff the middle of the roasted squash with the cooked kale and beef filling. Really stuff it all in there. Sprinkle cheese over the top, then the almond flour. Put little pats of butter over the top of the almond flour topping to brown it up while it cooks.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the top.

For more real food dinner ideas follow my Dinner Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies

August 29, 2015

Rich chocolate cookie loaded up with sweet chocolate chunks!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender CookiesI just really needed to sneak this post in here this week!

Ever have one of those weeks where seriously…everything does *not* go as planned? Like every single thing on my list to do last week got changed, altered, or completely canned.

So it also just happened to be the week my dear husband *and* the baby of the family have birthdays. We already had celebrated with a party for the baby a couple weeks back, but I had planned on making a small batch of cupcakes to celebrate the 2 birthdays that are only 2 days apart.

I cannot think of a more chaotic day I have had all summer than that day that I planned to make those cupcakes, and long story short I found myself at 4:00pm feeling pretty crummy that my birthday hubby and baby weren’t going to have much more than a happy birthday squash for their dinner that night!

Wait! Cookies!

I can do cookies right?! Those are fast!

But a recipe! I need a recipe!

I don’t ever make cookies…I needed something to follow!

No time!

Just throw in what you have to go from there!

What can go wrong with chocolate, right?!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies

It just happens to be that anything chocolate my husband will pretty much be head over heels for so I figured how bad could they turn out!

They were SO good! I literally threw everything into my food processor, blended it up, scooped it out and 10 minutes later we had super chocolate-y cookies to celebrate with that night!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender CookiesProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract into your food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chunks into the food processor and blend to combine completely.
  3. Add the chocolate chunks and pulse to combine.
  4. Scoop the dough onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Push the dough down into about the shape you want as these won't spread out much - they will puff up a bit. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool a few minutes before handling.

For more real food treat ideas check out my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake

August 15, 2015

Have the happiest birthday with soft and moist vanilla bean flecked cake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting!

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeSweet baby Caitlyn turns 2 years old this month! In fact this weekend was my actual due date with her, and of course all 3 of my kids taught me the philosophy of a “due month” to the max and this little one arrived 2 weeks later 😉 Caitlyn is my sweet rainbow baby, surprising us with joy in a season of life that I could barely pick myself up to go on. Her name, Caitlyn Faith means pure, trusting faith, and every day that I was pregnant with her, her name gave me confidence things would be ok.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeCaitlyn is a third baby to the core, super laid back, goes with the flow in our big kid schedules, and always has a smile on her face. I kind of feel like I blinked and she turned two, and I find myself staring at her sweet baby curls savoring every moment of her ending babyhood.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeWe celebrated Caitlyn’s birthday this weekend since her actual birthday falls just before school starts. I found some beautiful vanilla beans at a local shop and decided they were perfect for cake! There’s really nothing like using real vanilla bean in your baking. Those little flecks of vanilla bean pack an amazing vanilla flavor profile!

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeI kept things super simple since I am not even close to a baker – and even further away from a cake decorator! I think the elegant simplicity of vanilla beans worked well with my keep it simple theme. This cake really would be perfect for an occasion and any age big or small.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake And, oh the flavor! And the texture! Super soft and moist with a real vanilla flavor!

So here’s to the “terrific two’s!” I’m in for a *busy* year so I might just go celebrate making it this far with an extra slice of cake tonight 😉

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • VANILLA BEAN CAKE ::
  • ¾ cup whole milk (or coconut milk)
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • 1½ cups organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar (I know this is a strange ingredient - but it helps with the rise - don't leave it out! I promise it won't make it taste bad!)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (If you do not use the vanilla bean, use 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1½ cups brown rice flour
  • ⅔ cup potato starch
  • ⅓ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING::
  • 2 cups softened butter
  • 3½ cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 TB whole milk or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Butter two 8 inch cake pan rounds, and fit parchment paper to the bottom of each pan sticking to the butter.
  2. Blend the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, sugar, butter, vinegar, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and almond extract) in a large mixing bowl for a couple minutes until well combined.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (the dry ingredients) right into the bowl, and blend to combine until creamy.
  4. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans evenly and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let the cakes cool about 20 minutes before taking them out to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
  5. Once the cakes are cooled completely, you can frost them. Just blend the vanilla bean frosting ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined and frost your cake how you want.

For more real food treat ideas you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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