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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.

More real food recipes you might like ::

Feeding Babies Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips School Holidays

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.

More real food recipes you might like ::

Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats School Holidays

“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.

More Thanksgiving posts you might like ::

Simple & Quick DIY Whipped Cream

Homemade GF Stuffing

Quick Cranberry Sauce

5 Minute GF Bone Broth Gravy

GF Cornbread

"Busy Momma" Simple Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Dairy Free Peaches and Cream Sherbet :: No Ice Cream Maker Needed!

August 19, 2016

Fresh summer peaches meet rich coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit season!

Peaches & Cream Sherbet :: Fresh summer peaches meet rich and creamy coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit 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.

I saved the best for last!

I am actually totally and completely in back to school mode, but when my husband brought home a bushel of peaches from our favorite stone fruit farmer last week…well I just had to celebrate a little more summer!

Peaches & Cream Sherbet :: Fresh summer peaches meet rich and creamy coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit season!

There isn’t quite anything like peaches that have had a chance to ripen right on the tree.

They are so sweet and juicy, my older girls can down 2 or 3 of them without so much as a thought. And how could I say no to that knowing we won’t see fresh peaches again until next summer?! I have been able to snag enough to make some peach popsicles and smoothies, as well as peach coffee cake and blueberry peach crisp for a weekend treat.

Peaches & Cream Sherbet :: Fresh summer peaches meet rich and creamy coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit season!

But this! This peaches and cream sherbet has been the highlight of our peach season this year!

Peaches & Cream Sherbet :: Fresh summer peaches meet rich and creamy coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit season!

A frozen bowl of peaches and cream sherbet has been the perfect answer to our blazing humid hot August this year!

Peaches & Cream Sherbet :: Fresh summer peaches meet rich and creamy coconut cream for the sweetest end to the summer fruit season!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Dairy Free Peaches and Cream Sherbet
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 1½ cups coconut cream (I used my coconut milk and set it in the fridge to separate the cream. You can use the leftover coconut milk liquid in a smoothie or popsicle. Whole yogurt would work well if you want more of a frozen yogurt taste!)
  • 8 small/medium peaches, halved and pitted
  • 2-4 TB raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Everything into your high powered blender and blend until smooth. I used the ice cream blend function on my Blendtec.
  2. Pour the sherbet mixture into a container or a loaf pan and freeze over night. Alternatively, if you have an ice cream maker, you can churn it to freeze it faster - after churning in my ice cream maker for 30 minutes it was a bit like soft serve, and then it just needed a couple hours in the freezer. The sherbet does get hard when frozen completely. Simply set it out on the counter for about 30 minutes or so to soften it before serving.

More real food summer fruit recipes you might like!

Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

June 16, 2016

Simple prep and beautiful presentation! Strawberry rhubarb galettes are busy momma friendly and definitely kid approved!

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

It’s strawberry season in Michigan!

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

And early at that! We aren’t used to picking until the end of June, but with our mild winter they made an early arrival, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

We love the little farm family we pick from each year, and bring home about 30 pounds each year. It just doesn’t get any sweeter and juicier than right off the vine! I spent the day freezing the majority of the strawberries, we made some strawberry water kefir (here is a lacto-fermented version), and we have my biggest bowl filled to the brim to enjoy eating fresh through the next week or so!

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

I usually try to do one “sweet treat” with the strawberries, and my girls really (really!) wanted strawberry pie this year. It was such a hot, muggy morning of picking strawberries that I just didn’t have it in me to fuss with a fancy pie crust topper, and I really didn’t want to heat up the house for an hour while baking a pie…

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

Mini pies it is! This is not as fancy as they turned out looking – I promise! I am NOT…I repeat…I am NOT a baker. I simply don’t like all the fussiness of it and I don’t have the patience for it! I used my simple, no fail, pie crust and just folded up the sides.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

Imagine the look on the girls’ faces when they got to have a “whole” (mini) pie to themselves! And since it was so blazing hot that day – ice cold creamy raw ice cream was the perfect topper to these little pies.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!

A quick note on the galette filling! There ended up being a little more leftover than what I needed to fill my crusts. I possibly could have added more and risked some of it bubbling out (yum!), or you can use the leftover filling like I did – I poured extra over my ice cream 😉 We also used some of it for our breakfast oats the next day.

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Galettes :: Simple Prep, Gluten Free, & Honey Sweetened!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pie dough of choice (I use my gluten free pie dough recipe - 1 recipe. I add an extra TB or 2 of honey or sugar to the pie crust since this is a sweet recipe - that dough can be used for savory items so it is pretty neutral.)
  • 1¼ cups rhubarb, sliced
  • 1 TB water
  • 2 TB honey (we use a local raw source)
  • 2½ cups strawberries, sliced
  • 3 TB water
  • 3 TB honey
  • 4 TB GMO free cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 egg plus 1 TB of water for the egg wash
  • A brush of honey or a sprinkling of organic pure cane sugar for the outside of the crust if you wish.
Instructions
  1. Prepare the pie crust dough and place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
  2. Put the rhubarb, 1TB water, and 2 TB honey into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Lightly simmer the rhubarb mixture about 4 minutes, and set aside.
  3. Put the strawberries, 3 TB of water, 3TB honey, and cornstarch into the sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine just until the sauce thickens a bit - should take a couple minutes. Then turn off the heat and add in the rhubarb mixture and combine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and take out the chilled pie dough (should chill for about 30 minutes.)
  5. Roll out your dough on a floured surface (I use white rice flour), and use a large circle cutter to make your mini pie crust (I used the large circle lid from my collagen container). Put each pie crust onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Spoon some of the strawberry rhubarb filling into the middle of one of the pie crusts (not too much or you won't be able to fold in the sides - about a heaping TB). Fold the edges of the crust in however you wish - doesn't have to be fancy! Do this step with the rest of the mini pie crusts.
  7. Whisk the egg with a TB or so of water to make an egg wash. Brush this egg wash on the pie dough and then brush with honey, or sprinkle with pure cane sugar.
  8. After you have finished preparing the mini galettes, bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before handling.

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

More real food recipes you might like:
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Fermented Strawberry Soda
Strawberry Quinoa Granola
Honey Rhubarb Granola
Refined Sugar Free Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips School Holidays

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!

More real food recipes you might like:
Strawberry Butterfly Birthday Cake

cake
Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option
Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake
Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

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:

Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Strawberry Butterfly Birthday Cake

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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips School Holidays

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

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

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!

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 gelatin 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

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies
Chocolate Cake (Can be made cupcakes too!)

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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DIY Whipped Cream

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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!

More real food recipes you might like:
GF Gingerbread Cookies

16021352542_143d16d6bc_b
GF Thumbprint Cookies

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Simple & Quick Eggnog

15722389498_35237928d9_b
Winter Wassail

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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!

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

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blender Cookies
Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies

Tropical Blender Sorbet

Tropical Blender Sorbet :: Refined Sugar Free & Dairy Free

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!

More real food recipes you might like:
Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola

16506590686_35070ceaf9_z
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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!

More real food recipes you might like ::
Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake
Strawberry Birthday Cake

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Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

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!

More real food recipes you might like ::

Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

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The Perfect 1st Birthday Cupcake!

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free Options

Chocolate Ice Cream

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option

 

Occasional Treats Real Food Tips Summer Picnic Series

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free

August 8, 2015

Fresh, juicy peaches meet sweet plump blueberries and buttery, crispy topping for an end of summer treat that is *quick* to make and full of summer flavor!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeBefore we switch gears to back to school recipes I just had to share one more quick summer treat that is a must have to celebrate the end of summer with the kids this month!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeWhere I live, blueberries and peaches ripen for harvest within a week or two of each other. In fact this year, we picked blueberries on a Saturday and picked up our couple bushels of peaches that Monday!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeTalk about a load of fruit to work with! I love every minute. While I freeze a majority of all the fruit to use for yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies during the rest of the year (big money saver!), I do try to make a few special recipes using these fun summer fruits that we won’t see again until next year!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten FreeBlueberries and peaches really taste amazing together and this simple crisp is my kind of summer treat because it is simple and *quick*. It is a great way to use up the last few peaches and last bowl of blueberries going too ripe!

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free

Blueberry Peach Crisp :: Gluten Free
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toss together the blueberries, peach slices, lemon juice, vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar, and corn starch right in your 9 inch pie plate.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the white rice 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.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool for a bit before serving.

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

More real food recipes you might like:
Maple Vanilla Ice Cream

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GF Cherry Pie

14609304763_76bf816874_z
GF Apple Pie

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Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

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Occasional Treats Real Food Tips Snack Ideas

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!

July 11, 2015

That favorite summertime popsicle flavor with a real food (all fruit!) makeover! No corn syrup or dyes here! And the flavor is amazing!

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!I distinctly remember it. The box of popsicles would come out and I would somehow manage to talk my little sister into any other color besides the purple ones.

The grapesicles were my all time favorite…and like any kid in a family of 5, I had to make sure there was enough me! I definitely had the art of manipulation mastered at a young age.

Sigh.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. We had just spent the last week or so munching on a load of strawberries from our summer picking, and as I was cleaning out the fridge there it sat. That lonely little bag of grapes was totally forgotten about that week because we had so many in season strawberries to eat!

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!These grapes were getting just soft enough that they wouldn’t be great to eat on their own, but I hate waste – especially these grapes that I just love!

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!My first thought was smoothie, but I had a flashback to when I was a kid…could it really be as simple as blending up a bunch of grapes and I could have my favorite popsicle again?!

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!Turns out it really was that easy! And these were SO good! And this is as easy as it gets friends. No crazy corn syrups or dyes – this is the real deal. And look at the color!

Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!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.

My top popsicle mold picks! If you have tiny hands around the house, I highly recommend these smaller popsicle molds with easy grip handles. My toddler loves them, they are the perfect sized portions, and the handles are easy to hold for little hands. I also love my 10-pop popsicle mold. No plastic sticks to keep track of and wash, and I can stash away a load of them at a time so I don’t have to make popsicles every week.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Real Food *All Fruit* Grapesicles!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups grapes (or more - 4 cups made 6 popsicles for my popsicle mold)
  • Optional water to thin (I didn't use water but wish I had - they were almost too sweet for me being so concentrated. Taste the grape puree and see what you think - if your kids are used to popsicles from a store you might just leave them be!)
Instructions
  1. Puree the grapes in your blender. My high powered blender took care of the skins, but if you are using something other than a high powered blender you can either leave the bits of skin or strain them out.
  2. Freeze in your popsicle molds. I love my 10-pop popsicle mold for making a load at a time. I take them out after they freeze, wrap them up, and tuck them away in the freezer so the girls can self serve.

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

More real food recipes you might like:
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Drinks Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Fermented Strawberry Soda

July 11, 2015

The perfect summer drink for those fresh, ripe strawberries! This fermented strawberry soda is crisp & bubbly, strawberry sweet, and filled with nourishing, gut friendly probiotics!

Fermented Strawberry SodaA few weeks ago we visited our local strawberry U-Pick and loaded up 30 pounds of beautiful, bright red juicy strawberries!

It is always a bit of work tending to all those strawberries, but every year I never regret it. The girls always have a ball, and I can really tell they are starting to understand where their food is coming from.

Fermented Strawberry SodaPutting away about half of what we pick to the freezer to enjoy throughout the year is a big reward…and so is this amazing strawberry soda. It took about a week to ferment fully this year since it has been so cool, but it is always worth the wait.

Fermented Strawberry SodaThis is a great recipe to use up strawberries that are starting to get too mushy to eat. You can also pull out strawberries that you have already frozen to make the soda. The hands on time is super minimal, and there is no need to have water kefir grains if you don’t have them. Just some simple whey dripped from some yogurt to culture it is all I use.

Fermented Strawberry SodaWe don’t have “regular” soda around the house, so this is a big time treat for my girls – and I hope you can give it a try this summer. It sure puts a smile on the faces around here!

Fermented Strawberry SodaProduct 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 1 reviews
Fermented Strawberry Soda
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar
  • 7 cups of water
  • ½ cup whey ((Just scoop a container of plain whole yogurt into a dishtowel, tie it up onto a cupboard door and let it drip into a jar - the liquid dripped off is probiotic rich whey! The leftover yogurt in the towel is like Greek yogurt or cream cheese - yum! If you are dairy free you can use water kefir grains or a ginger bug.)
Instructions
  1. Put the strawberries, sugar, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Squish the strawberries in the pot (I use a potato masher), and pour the strawberry sugar water through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.
  3. Add the whey to the strawberry sugar water in the bowl and stir. Pour the soda mixture into flip top bottles and set in a warm area of your home.
  4. After a couple days you can open a bottle to check for taste and let the fermented gasses out so it doesn't build up too much. Fermentation can take anywhere from 3 days to a week. Our home has been quite unseasonably cool this month so it took mine more like a week. Move the bottles to the fridge once they are ready.

For more nourishing drink ideas you can follow my Drinks board on Pintrest!

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Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

June 10, 2015

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamSo I have this sweet little girl that just turned 6. The kid has been reading since the first month of kindergarten…and I mean reading *everything*. I can’t open an email next to her without hearing the whole thing in audio, or walk through a store without *every* sign being read.

And that includes the walk down the frozen isle that we take every so often to grab frozen veggies. They (ever so conveniently) have the ice cream in that isle as well, so every time we take that trip I get to hear every ice cream imaginable read to me.

She knows why we make our own ice cream. She knows where to find the ingredients on the label, and even knows that many of the ingredients on those labels are chemicals. But let’s be real. She’s a kid! Swirl ice cream anything will sound so amazing to any kid her age.

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamSo one day she read “caramel swirl” ice cream, and I said yes.

Let’s make it. Let me show you how to make real caramel instead of fake. Let’s use our real cream at home and use real ingredients so not only will it be skipping out on the chemicals, but it will taste…amazing.

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamCreamy, salty, sweet…it doesn’t get much better than real, homemade caramel!

And swirl it into fresh spring and summer churned cream? Well I’ll leave it at that because I know you much be drooling by this point.

We make ice cream about once a month in the summer and it’s a fun occasional treat to celebrate the warm weather and enjoy the fresh cream from our local farmer. I stress the “occasional” because this particular ice cream recipe is a bit heavier on the sugar than my other ice cream recipes because of the caramel – but we definitely don’t have it every day, and a small scoop is really all you need.

I hope this will bring a smile of *yes* to your kids faces this summer 🙂 It sure did mine!

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamProduct 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.

I just have a simple ice cream maker that I have had for literally years – it works so great and I love it! I do however have my eye on this larger ice cream maker so I can make birthday party sized volume in one shot instead of 2 batches.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Caramel Swirl Ice Cream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • CARAMEL SWIRL ::
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar (this also works with honey - I make this probably once a year so I just use sugar for this one and call it good)
  • 6 TB softened butter
  • ½ cup whole cream
  • ½ tsp sea salt (If you want a more "salted caramel" flavor double this - it is really good!)
  • ICE CREAM ::
  • 3 cups whole cream (Preferably raw. Avoid ultra-pasteurized)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (raw honey works well too)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB vodka (This is optional but keeps the ice cream from freezing rock hard in the freezer. If you choose to leave it out, just be sure to set your ice cream on the counter to soften a bit before scooping.)
Instructions
  1. MAKE THE CARAMEL AND COOL :: Warm the sugar in a small sauce pan until it melts - takes about 4-5 minutes. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn and it will start melting. When the sugar completely melts stir in the butter. Then drizzle in the cream a little at a time while stirring. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes while you stir. Turn the heat off, and transfer to a container into the fridge to cool while you make the ice cream.
  2. MAKE THE ICE CREAM :: Blend the ice cream ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and let it rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Give the ice cream a stir, and process in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes.
  3. SWIRL THE CARAMEL INTO THE ICE CREAM :: Once the ice cream is done churning, place half of the ice cream into a container, then add ¼ t o ½ of the caramel in and swirl it through with a chop stick or the hard end of a paint brush. Put the other half of the ice cream in the container along with more caramel and swirl that in. Depending on how much caramel you like in your ice cream you can use the whole caramel batch for swirling, or save some to drizzle on top (or for your coffee in the morning!)

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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option

June 9, 2015

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free OptionSometimes you just need a little chocolate in your life, yes?

Now if you have known me personally for any length of time, you know that I’m a vanilla girl when it comes to ice cream.

Boring?

Maybe, but *not* when you make it as insane delicious homemade vanilla!

I was never a chocolate ice cream fan but I don’t think I ever had it done the right way! Store bought chocolate ice cream doesn’t even compare to homemade when it’s done the right way. I think you can say that about most recipes – when you use real, fresh ingredients you are just going to have a more superior finish.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free OptionI’ve been working on my ingredients and ratios for this chocolate ice cream over the last few summers, and last year at my daughter’s birthday, her request for chocolate birthday cake and chocolate ice cream was my push to make it just right. When you are feeding others you want it to be perfect!

I really fell in love with this chocolate ice cream, and since my husband and I decided we needed a little chocolate in our lives a couple weeks ago, it seemed the perfect time to share this rich, creamy piece of chocolate heaven with all of you!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free OptionProduct 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.

I just have a simple ice cream maker that I have had for literally years – it works so great and I love it! I do however have my eye on this larger ice cream maker so I can make birthday party sized volume in one shot instead of 2 batches.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole cream (Preferably raw. At least not ultra-pasteurized. If you are dairy free use coconut milk.)
  • ¾ cup raw cacao
  • ½ cup raw honey (I get mine from a local farmer, but if you don't have access THIS is a good brand)
  • ½ tsp sea salt (if you want a "salted chocolate" feel add another ¼ tsp or so!)
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 TB vodka (This is optional but keeps the ice cream from freezing rock hard. If you choose to leave it out, just put the ice cream on the counter for a while before trying to scoop and serve.)
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and let it rest and marry flavors in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. Stir the ice cream mixture, transfer to the ice cream maker, and process according to your manufacturer's instructions. My ice cream maker churns for 30 minutes.
  3. Store your churned ice cream in the freezer.

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Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free Option

June 6, 2015

Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free OptionMy friends it is finally here! I know that by the end of August we’ll all be ready for the kids to head back to the school routine…but this momma is *ready* for a school routine break for a couple months!

My kids had their last day of school last week, so on the last school night of the year, we celebrated the start to our summer with fudgsicles, and a late summertime bedtime of course!

Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free OptionWe live just a few minutes from some beautiful beaches, so my little beach babies really (really!) look forward to summertime. While they were sad to leave their friends and amazing teachers, the promise of long, warm summer days (and fudgy, rich frozen treats!) definitely made up for it.

These fudgsicles are certainly more of an “occasional treat” in our house versus our nourishing staple summer popsicles we make most weeks of the summer, but these rich and creamy fudgsicles are actually loaded with nourishing friendly fats for growing kids, and even some protein! They make for a fun alternative to an ice cream truck on hot summer days or special summer activities.

Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free OptionDon’t be afraid of the avocado ingredient either 🙂 I promise even those that don’t care for avos will never taste it (my husband and I are proof!), and it gives the most amazing creamy texture that you are looking for in a fudgesicle. I have tried making them with all fresh cream but it just gets whipped too light in texture and while it tastes great, it just doesn’t freeze well at all.

I can’t wait to hear about your summer plans! Let me know if you give these fun fudgesicles a try this summer!

Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free Option
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.

A couple of notes on popsicle molds! I am loving my 10-pop popsicle mold! With 3 kids now eating popsicles every time I make them, it is so nice to make a load of them at once! I take them out of the mold and stash them away wrapped up in the freezer so that if that ice cream truck rolls by on a whim or we just need a fudgy afternoon treat while we run through the sprinkler, we can grab them quick! We still have our star pop mold that is wonderful, and I do still make toddler pops with these smaller molds that are really nice for my littlest to hold!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Rich & Creamy Fudgsicles :: Refined Sugar Free With Dairy Free Option
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole milk (Grass-fed raw preferable. Recommended avoid ultra-pasteurized. If you are dairy free use coconut milk!)
  • 1 small/medium avocado, pitted (If you avo is very large just use half.)
  • ½ cup unsweetened raw cacao (if you want a darker chocolate flavor use ¾ cup)
  • ⅓ cup cold-soluable grassfed collagen
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup raw honey (Start with ¼ cup and taste test it for sweet to your taste. I get mine from a local farmer - you can ask around at your markets for local! If you don't have access this raw honey is a good brand.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Everything into a blender to combine until smooth.
  2. Pour into your popsicle molds and freeze. Makes 8-10 popsicles in my 10-pop popsicle mold (it is dependent on how big the avocado was.)

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

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Strawberry Rhubarb Creamsicles

May 25, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb CreamsiclesWe picked rhubarb out of the garden last week and that means only one thing around our home…

Strawberry Rhubarb Creamsicles…Summer is just around the corner!

Strawberry Rhubarb Creamsicles

Rhubarb is such a trusty garden perennial that we really look forward to every May. The bright green and red stalks bring such joy to my girls because they are the first thing out of the garden – and they *love* them. So much that they eat them right out of the garden – makes my lips pucker just thinking about it!

Strawberry Rhubarb CreamsiclesLuckily these hardy plants produce quite an abundance so I’m usually able to sneak a handful of stalks for a once a year treat that is so amazing!

Strawberry Rhubarb CreamsiclesStrawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven. We won’t be able to pick strawberries for another few weeks, but every year I keep a couple cups from our freezer stash from the previous year just to make these creamsicles during the first long weekend of the season – strawberries picked at the height of the season are so sweet and you can’t beat the strawberry flavor!

Strawberry Rhubarb CreamsiclesMy strawberry to rhubarb ratio cuts some of the tart of the rhubarb but there is still a bite to them 😉 Which is perfect when you swirl in fluffy fresh whipped cream – every bite has the perfect amount of sweet and tart and all 3 of my girls now inhaled theirs this weekend!

Strawberry Rhubarb CreamsiclesProduct 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.

My newest purchase this year has been this 10 popsicle mold! I am in heaven! With 3 kids now eating popsicles everytime I make them, it is so nice to make a load of them at once! We still have our star pop mold that is wonderful, and I do still make toddler pops with these smaller molds that are really nice for my littlest to hold!

Happy summer to you!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Rhubarb Creamsicles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups rhubarb, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen, no need to chop)
  • 3 TB water
  • Optional 2-3 TB raw honey for the rhubarb/strawberry mixture if you don't like a real tart bite (I don't usually add this in but if your kids might be sensitive to tart go for it!)
  • ½ cup whole cream (Raw preferable, and preferable not ultra pasteurized, or if you are dairy free use coconut cream.)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Put the rhubarb, strawberries, and water in a small sauce pan and bring the heat up to medium/high. Use a potato masher to squish the strawberries and their juices out. Keep the mixture at a low simmer until the rhubarb is softened - shouldn't be any more than 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the cooked strawberry rhubarb mixture into a blender and puree – taste test and if it is too tart you can add a couple TB of raw honey. Transfer the puree to the freezer to chill for a quick half hour.
  3. Once the strawberry rhubarb mixture is cooled, whip the cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract for about 2 minutes to make whipped cream.
  4. Fold the whipped cream gently into the strawberry rhubarb mixture, and pour into popsicle molds to freeze. I like to use a spoon to scoop the popsicle mixture into the molds since it is on the thicker side from the whipped cream.
  5. This recipe makes about 10 popsicles for my 10-pop mold

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Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!

May 23, 2015

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!That moment you became a momma…

Do you remember it?

For me it started even before she was born. After the first few weeks of letting it sink in that I was pregnant with her, my heart truly became a momma.

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!

Six years ago this week Chloe was born and my life forever changed. She has made me a better person. She makes me think. She reminds me of true unconditional love. I think I mess up something just about every day, and she wakes up every morning with a hug only she can give and says “I love you momma”.

She is the reason for this spark of passion that grew in my momma bear heart to see the kids of this generation grow up without the junk food that mine did. This little love shares my foodie passion and she asked for a carrot cake this year for her birthday! She saw some brightly colored carrot cakes at the grocery store one day, pointed at one and said “I want THAT for my birthday cake!”

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!My heart actually leaped for joy because carrot cake and cream cheese frosting just happen to be my favorite cake combos. I was pretty excited for her party!

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!

I wasn’t, however, excited about using orange food dye to make carrots on her cake. And with our busy schedules lately I just didn’t think I would have the time to make orange food dye *and* have the creative steady hand to pipe them on the cake. I decided on some simple cake toppers, and boy where these a hit! She planted her very own “carrot patch garden” on her cake!

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!We also threw some carrot shreds on the dehydrator for the sides.

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!One of Chloe’s cousins has a severe egg allergy, so our parties have to be completely egg free – and while the first couple years of figuring this out had me totally nervous, I have learned that baking egg free really isn’t that tough! I used 4 “flax eggs” in this cake recipe, and the flax seeds went well with this kind of cake. If you prefer to use another egg replacement like gelatin eggs or egg replacer go for it! And if you can tolerate eggs 3-4 large eggs should do the trick!

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!So how did it turn out? SO moist without being dense – and the flavor was way better than I was thinking it would be! Very warm and lightly sweet, and while I really enjoy those warm spices, they were so overpowering that it threw kids’ palates off. I think you can definitely get away with less “sweet” in the cake and the frosting if your kids aren’t used to sweets – I know my girls would have still loved it since they aren’t used to sweet things.

Make sure you check out the cream cheese ice cream we had with our cake! It is so good!

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!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.

Carrot Cake :: Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dye Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • CARROT CAKE ::
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 lb carrots, shredded (I used the shred disk on my food processor, but a hand shredder works too!)
  • 4 flax eggs (Or other egg replacement. To make 4 flax eggs whisk ¼ cup flaxseed mealwith ¾ cup water and put in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so - I make the flax eggs before I start anything so that by the time I am done putting the dry ingredients together etc, they are ready to use! If you can tolerate eggs 3-4 eggs should work instead!)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup avocado oil (Olive oil would work if that is what you have. Coconut oil might give too much coconut flavor to the cake just fyi.)
  • 2 TB apple cider vinegar (don't leave this out! It reacts with the baking powder and soda to help with the rise since there are no eggs! You won't taste it - I promise!)
  • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING ::
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups organic cane POWDERED sugar (I did end up making another half batch of the frosting so that I could make the decorations on top - you can get away with the one batch if you don't like a lot of frosting on your cake.)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together.
  2. In a separate bowl (or in your food processor like I did!) blend together the flax eggs, sugar, maple syrup, avocado oil, and apple cider vinegar for about 30 seconds to a minute until frothy.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and carrot shreds to the bowl of dry ingredients and fold together to combine.
  4. Bake in 9 inch cake pans at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, and then remove from the pans to completely cool before frosting.
  5. To make the cream cheese frosting, put all of the frosting ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and beat with hand beaters until smooth.

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Cream Cheese Ice Cream

May 23, 2015

Cream Cheese Ice CreamWhy yes I’m posting *another* ice cream recipe!

First of all it’s raw dairy season for us around here! We have a fresh, abundant supply every week during the spring & summer months and we enjoy making ice cream with some of it once or twice a month!

Cream Cheese Ice CreamAnd second! We are celebrating my other spring baby this week! Her party was this weekend, and I can’t think of a better ice cream to go with her carrot cake request than cream cheese ice cream.

This is actually my all time favorite ice cream that I make, and I think you are going to just about fall over at how creamy and wonderful it is. Simply swapping out some of the cream for cream cheese gives that amazing tang to the rest of the cream, and it really feels like you are eating frozen cheesecake, which I big fluffy heart love 🙂

Cream Cheese Ice CreamIf you have access to a quality organic cream cheese at a store near you go for it! I do that on occasion, but I really love dripping off my own “cream cheese” using whole plain yogurt.

Cream Cheese Ice CreamJust dump the yogurt in a cheesecloth or tea towel and let the whey drip into a jar for about 12-18 hours. You can use the whey in the jar for soaking oatmeal, or any other flour for your baking. You can also add it to a smoothie for a real whey protein boost. The cream cheese left in the cheesecloth or tea towel is so delicious and is perfect in this ice cream, to spread on a cucumber slice, or eat by the spoonful…ahem… 🙂

Cream Cheese Ice CreamBack to the ice cream! While I think the ice cream is simply amazing on it’s own, you can bump up the cheesecake feeling with macerated strawberries drizzled over top, or a sprinkle of cinnamon! Keep me posted if you end up giving it a try this summer – it really is one of my most favorite things!

A quick note to my dairy free friends! I have not tried it before, but I think dripping off some coconut yogurt to make cream cheese from your coconut yogurt might work to swap for the regular cream cheese in the recipe. And you can use coconut milk instead of the regular cream just like any ice cream swap for making it dairy free – let me know if you try it out!

Cream Cheese Ice CreamProduct 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.

I just have a simple ice cream maker that I have had for literally years – it works so great and I love it! I do however have my eye on this larger ice cream maker so I can make birthday party sized volume in one shot instead of 2 batches.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (You can either drip off some yogurt for leftover cream cheese or use an organic store bought)
  • 2 cups organic whole cream (Raw preferable. Or preferably not ultra-pasteurized. We get ours locally.)
  • 2 TB of tapioca flour OR 2-3 pastured egg yolks if you can handle eggs.
  • 3 TB pure maple syrup (I get mine locally - Costco carries some as well)
  • 2 TB organic pure cane sugar (You could sub more maple syrup or even raw honey for this if you want unrefined sugar. I get my organic cane sugar from Costco.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB organic vodka (this is optional but keeps the ice cream from getting rock hard in the freezer. If you choose to leave it out, just leave the ice cream at room temp for a bit before trying to scoop and serve.)
Instructions
  1. Put the softened cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl and beat with hand beaters until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, combine with the hand beaters, and place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and marry the flavors together.
  3. After chilling for 30 minutes, add the ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer your ice cream to a container and into the freezer to store!

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Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free Option

Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free Option

May 3, 2015

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free OptionI have one of those kids that has her mind made up.

You know the type. She decides she wants something and she won’t let you forget about it until it happens. I have *no* idea who she gets this from…ahem…but each of my 3 kids is so different from the other, and this kid just has this driven focus on her ideas that you just can’t change!

Soooo…last year after we went blueberry picking, she decided that for her birthday next year she wanted a blueberry cake with blueberry ice cream. And she has reminded me of this desire every week since last summer 🙂

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free OptionSince we live in blueberry country, I literally have a shelf full of 60-70 pounds of frozen blueberries to play with all year, so I was excited to pull out the last bag from our picking last summer to make her birthday wishes come true.

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free OptionI decided I didn’t want a full on blueberry ice cream since we were also having blueberry cupcakes at her party, and thought adding a “pie filling” type swirl would do the trick. She was thrilled – and it turned out really delicious!

You can’t go wrong with fresh, whole cream and real blueberries swirled together! It was pretty amazing!

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free OptionProduct 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.

A quick note on ice cream makers! I have a super simple ice cream maker that works so well. You really don’t have to overspend on one unless you want to. It is a nice investment for your kitchen, and I have had mine for over 6 years now and it still runs perfect (and it gets a work out in the summer!). I do have this larger ice cream maker on my wish list so I can make birthday party amounts of ice cream without doing it in batches/shifts though 😉

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream :: Dairy Free Option
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • BLUEBERRY SWIRL:
  • 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 TB water
  • 2 TB tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup raw honey or pure cane sugar (if your blueberries are on the sour side you may want to add more – ours were from our summer picking picked at the peak of the season so they were very sweet!)
  • ICE CREAM:
  • 2 cups organic whole cream (Preferably raw. Or preferably not ultra pasteurized. If you are dairy free you can use whole coconut milk.)
  • 1 cup organic whole milk (Preferably raw. Or preferably not ultra pasteurized. If you are dairy free you can use whole coconut milk.)
  • ⅓ cup organic pure cane sugar (Raw honey or pure maple syrup works too)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 3 TB tapioca flour (If you tolerate eggs, you could use a few egg yolks instead for creaminess!)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB organic vodka (This is optional and the ice cream will be fine without it – but it does keep the ice cream from getting rock hard in the freezer. If you choose to leave it out you can just leave the ice cream on the counter for a bit before scooping.)
Instructions
  1. Make the swirl. Put the blueberries, water, and tapioca in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once everything is warmed through and thickened, turn the heat off and add the raw honey. If you are using pure cane sugar you can put it in right along with the berries so it can cook/dissolve. Set the berry mixture aside.
  2. Make the ice cream. Put all the ice cream ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and blend with hand beaters to combine. Put the ice cream mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes, stir through, and then process in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Mine goes for 30 minutes. I have a very simple ice cream maker and it works great - no need for fancy equipment if you can't do it!
  3. Transfer the processed ice cream to a container with a lid, and fold in the blueberry mixture.
  4. Freeze the ice cream

Looking for more frozen treat ideas? Check out my Treat Ideas board on Pinterest!

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Occasional Treats Real Food Tips

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free Options

May 3, 2015

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsFour years ago last week our house lit up with the most joyful baby you will ever meet. I have videos of Claire smiling with her whole body from as early as 4 weeks and she can put a smile on just about anyone’s face. She is smart as a whip…and definitely has her own mind 😉

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsLast year after we did our summer blueberry picking, she decided she wanted a blueberry birthday party – and she has reminded me of this *every* week since then. Since there is rarely a time that she changes her mind on anything, I have been thinking about how I was going to pull off a blueberry birthday party since about August!Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsWe made a strawberry birthday cake for one of my daughters last year, so I dressed that recipe up with blueberries instead, and thought cream cheese frosting would be perfect. These cupcakes turned out really moist and had a fun deep blue color to them!

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsAnd since it’s not a birthday party without homemade ice cream in our house, we made blueberry swirl ice cream to go with our blueberry cupcakes, and I had one very happy 4 year old on my hands!

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsA quick note for all my allergen alert friends! This recipe is gluten, egg, and nut free and can be made dairy free very easily! I have a nephew with severe egg allergy so that is why all of our birthday items have to be completely egg free – I want everyone at the part to have fun! If you are dairy free, the cake part is completely dairy free as is, and instead of cream cheese frosting you can make either buttercream frosting following the frosting in THIS recipe and swap coconut cream for the butter. OR you can make whipped cream using coconut cream using THIS recipe!

Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free w/ Dairy Free OptionsProduct 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 1 reviews
Blueberry Birthday Cupcakes!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES ::
  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1¾ cups of organic pure cane sugar (this is the one I use and I get mine at Costco)
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or coconut milk
  • 1 cup pureed blueberries
  • ½ cup of avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 TB of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TB of vanilla
  • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING ::
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup softened cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups organic powdered pure cane sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend the milk, blueberry puree, oil, vanilla, and vinegar with hand beaters. Do not leave out the vinegar – I know it is a weird ingredient but it reacts with the baking soda to help with the rise since we aren’t using eggs!
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine.
  4. Scoop the batter into silicone muffin cups lined muffin tins (should make 2 dozen). You can use buttered muffin tins or paper muffin liners if you wish. I will be honest in saying that my experience has been that I get a better rise and finished product using silicone muffin cups with gluten free baking - they are so inexpensive and a great investment for your kitchen baking!
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Check them around the 20 minute mark in case our ovens run differently.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then take the cupcakes out of the silicone liners and let them cool completely before frosting.
  7. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled you can make your frosting. Just put all the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and beat with hand beaters until smooth. Top each frosted cupcake with a blueberry!
  8. And since I usually get the question - this is the cupcake stand I use that you see in the pictures 😉

For more birthday treat fun you can check out my Treat Ideas board on Pintrest!

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