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No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!

March 24, 2017

This 10 minute prep, no cook, paleo granola is a little  bit sweet, a little bit salty, a fun crispy crunch, and big time kid approved!

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!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.

They sure do give you a run for your money, don’t they?!

You know…toddlers! While I’m nearing the end of a 7 year stint of having at least 1 toddler in the house, these little 1-3 year old people still have a way of completely throwing my day off with their “fascinating” requests, utter disregard for the concept of time, and sudden obsessions.

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!Which has everything to do with no cook, paleo granola, right?

Well of course it does! Because when the 3 year old has it in her mind that she just *has* to have yogurt and granola one afternoon, momma is out of the said granola, and there have been more than enough battles chosen for this particular day…you figure out a way to make some sort of granola pronto.

I initially had the thought of just crumbling up some crispy nuts  from the pantry, sprinkling a bit of coconut flake,  and drizzling a bit of raw honey…but then I had an idea!

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!All of the granola components without the cook time!

What if I did a quick “crumble” in the food processor (pulse!) of these components to make it really look like a granola mixture?! I decided to use dried fruit instead of the honey just in case it really did work and I wanted to easily store it away in a container. Bingo! After a few attempts at getting the right combo of dried fruit to nuts/seeds/coconut, we definitely had a winner…but did the toddler buy it???

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!She was all over it!

The dates provided the perfect, mild sweetness for a little one – and my taste buds are quite trained now so I don’t need things super sweet anymore. You can always add a drizzle of honey to the bowl if you need! She enjoyed her bowl of yogurt with fresh granola, and anyone with a toddler in the in their care knows that I am not exaggerating when I say the day was saved!

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!Notes about ingredients, swaps, and nutrients!

  • I used dates as the “sweet” for this granola. Dates are a fantastic source of essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, that we all need on a daily basis. I like the fiber component of using real fruit for sweetening things for little guys too! You could swap the dates for another dried fruit (like raisins or dried blueberries) to provide the “sticky” to hold the bits of granola together.
  • I really think that any nut and/or seed combo would work for this granola. My biggest suggestion would be to change things up every time you make it! Different nuts and seeds have different nutritional benefits – take advantage of the variety. I do like the ingredient profiles of chia and flax and have tended to keep those in the mix each time. Chia seed and flax seed are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which most of us could use more of! They are also a good source of protein and fiber.
  • I have also liked to pull out some of the nuts and use more coconut shreds. Coconut shreds have protein and fiber as well as iron and zinc! We aren’t huge coconut flavor fanatics here, but I like the texture and the dates cover up the coconut flavor! I understand that coconut has become problematic as an allergen for some with leaky gut going on. If that is the case, simply leave the coconut out and swap for another seed or nut.
  • If you are nut free, you can swap the nuts for pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and/or more coconut shreds!

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!Serving suggestions for everyone!

We have a bit of a split home as far as who tolerates dairy and who doesn’t, so I have a lot of serving ideas for you!

No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!

5.0 from 11 reviews
No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 10-12 dates, pitted and chopped (I think a couple cups of other dried fruit like raisins would work here, and probably wouldn't need the initial chopping!
  • 1 cup walnuts (I like to use soaked/dehyrated nuts for best digestion)
  • 1 cup pecans (I like to use soaked/dehyrated nuts for best digestion)
  • ½ cup chia seed
  • ½ cup flax seed meal
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ - ½ tsp sea salt (leave out if your nuts were salted)
  • {I get all of our nuts and seeds, as well as dates from Costco. I purchase coconut shreds in bulk at our local health food store.}
Instructions
  1. Put everything into the food processor. Mix with a spoon to combine everything evenly first.
  2. Pulse to combine into the texture you like (I have left the chunks bigger than what is pictured in this post as well and that is my favorite - my toddler prefers it smaller like what is pictured). Store the granola in an airtight container in the pantry up to 3 months.

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No Cook Paleo Granola :: 10 Minute Prep, Grain Free, & Protein Rich!

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Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!

February 4, 2017

Cleaner oil, quick blender batter, 5 easy ingredients…what’s not to love in these simple gluten free crackers?!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!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.

When the sun shines up north in January….

You drop everything and get outside! Literally!

A couple weekends ago, it felt like mid-spring around here and we ditched our winter coats and snow boots for hoodies and rainboots! (Unheard of for January in Michigan!!) I quickly dropped all of my kitchen plans that weekend, and I was so glad I had these gluten free crackers to fall back on for quick, warm bowls of soup and crackers after our outside excursions!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!Modern convenience…

Store bought crackers have really upped their game in the last handful of years, boasting organic labels and safer ingredients. And while many of them still use iffy oils, I have found myself leaning on them here and there in a pinch when life gets busy.

There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!Cheaper and cleaner.

But what if I showed you how to make a load of crackers for the pantry using a healthier oil in very little time, and for a fraction of the cost?! It is possible!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!#MomGoals

My biggest goal with this cracker project was to create something using as little ingredients as I could so it would be something I would actually want to do. When there is a counter full of ingredients, it just makes a project like making crackers every week less appealing. I wanted it to be something I could take 5-10 minutes on a food prep day to throw in the oven easily.

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!Fuss Free!

I also didn’t want it to be fussy. I have just about been there and done that with every cracker recipe on the planet. I have said before that I am not a baker…like not even close. I get zero joy out of figuring out batters and dough and trial and error-ing {usually lots of error-ing!}. I wanted a fuss free dough that rolled out easy so that, again, I would actually want to make these crackers!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!The perfect cracker texture

Crispy, light, and salty!

The texture and taste actually reminds me of Oyster crackers (that will take you back!)! They keep in a airtight container in the pantry for weeks without spoiling, and keep their crispy texture for whatever you are going to use them for.

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!Our favorite cracker uses!

Oh the possibilities!

  • Soup toppers and dunkers
  • Hummus or guacamole dippers (I don’t always have time to make my own hummus, and love the organic hummus at Costco if you are looking for one! I also like their organic guacamole in a pinch or if avocados are not available at a decent price – which definitely happens where I live! When looking at store bought, be sure you are looking at oils used as well as other added ingredients.)
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Nut butter, coconut butter, or cream cheese dippers

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!Soup ideas for your crackers!

Because I had to share with you my obsession over bone broth based soups! There are so many ways to make getting bone broth into the kids – especially when they get to stir in some yummy crackers to their soup!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!I truly hope these crackers are able to become an easy part of your prep day!

Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Gluten Free Crackers :: 5 Ingredient Blender Batter & Easy to Roll Out!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend (I pick mine up at Costco. I think other GF flour blends will work but you might have to play around with water amounts - start with less water and you can always add more if you need. I hear the Trader Joe GF flour blend is similar to the Namaste, but I don't have a TJ's near me to look - if someone wants to comment below if they try it, that would be helpful!)
  • ¼ cup avocado oil (I pick mine up at Costco. I think melted butter or coconut oil would work too)
  • ½ - 1 tsp sea salt (depending on how salty you like your crackers)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 cup water (again, if you are using a different GF flour blend I would start out with less and add more if it needs it just in case absorbency is different)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put all of the ingredients into your food processor and blend to combine until the dough comes together in a ball.
  3. Divide the dough between 2 Silpats (or 2 pieces of parchment paper). Lay plastic wrap over the top of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out as thin as you can make it fit the Silpat. Get a butter knife wet with water and make the crackers the size you want. A pizza cutter would work well here too.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt to the top of the crackers if you want, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes (I like to rotate the pans about halfway through). You can check them around the 10 minute mark in case our ovens run differently. After 15 minutes, turn the oven off BUT keep the crackers inside the oven for another 10 minutes or so to crisp up/dehydrate all the way. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.
  5. Store your crackers in an airtight container in the pantry.

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

December 2, 2016

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

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

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

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

He knows me too well – challenge accepted!

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

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

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

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

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

Sugar has a huge impact on the immune system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options

October 15, 2016

Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!

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.

Before we go into hibernation mode for the winter, we have a pretty amazing fall to enjoy around here!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!The air is finally turning, and the leaves around here are warming up the sky with beautiful autumn colors!

Surrounded by some of the most beautiful hiking paths in the country, we soak in every hiking path we can observing the falling leaves and active wildlife…and dodging autumn rain showers!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!Because we are outside almost as much as during the summer, I need some quicker snacks during the autumn too.

I love having my oven running during the fall to keep the chill out of the house, but I also have days were we just aren’t home at all, and I need quicker, grab and go things!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!

Have the kids pack this cinnamon pumpkin granola up in snack containers themselves for a hike or soccer game on the weekend, and you can also pack it up quick for their yogurt at school. It also makes for a great breakfast with a splash of raw milk or coconut milk on a Friday morning when we just feel like sleeping in a little longer!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!The girls have been devouring this cinnamon pumpkin granola, and I love that it is packed with a different variety of nourishment I can feel good about.

Lightly crispy with a variety of nuts and seeds, and sweetened only with raw honey and blackstrap molasses, this granola is a big mineral rich boost for busy kids that will stick with them. Both buckwheat and pumpkin seeds are mineral boosting powerhouses packed with manganese, magnesium, zinc, and folate to keep our organs functioning properly. Buckwheat is is also rich in B vitamins for energy, and pumpkin seeds are loaded with antioxidants.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!There are some grain free swaps in the recipe ingredients! Even if you aren’t grain free, it is nice to mix things up a bit!

If you are nut free, try swapping the pecans and walnuts for more seeds or even more oats or a different grain! Feel free to use the comments and I would be happy to walk you through any of that! Granola is very hard to mess up – very forgiving!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options :: Mineral rich cinnamon pumpkin granola is busy school day ready, and on the go for a fun filled autumn weekends!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Granola :: Gluten Free with Grain Free Options
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups oats (Not quick oats. If you are gluten free, be sure your bag says gluten free. If you are grain free, simply replace the 6 cups of oats with any combination of coconut shreds and/or coconut flour, and different variety of finely chopped nuts and seeds (brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.) I would NOT do all coconut flour or shreds however - it will be too dry. The coconut flour/shreds do not need to be soaked in the first step but any nuts or seeds do.)
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds, finely chopped (I get mine at Costco. I buzz all of the nuts and seeds in my food processor pretty fine)
  • 2 cups raw pecans, finely chopped (I get mine at Costco. I buzz all of the nuts and seeds in my food processor pretty fine)
  • 2 cups raw walnuts, finely chopped (I get mine at Costco. I buzz all of the nuts and seeds in my food processor pretty fine)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TB sea salt
  • 2 - 15oz cans of pumpkin (any homemade squash puree will work here if you have it!)
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted stove top (II get the linked large container at our Costco)
  • ½ - ¾ cup raw honey (you can taste your granola mixture for sweetness - I can get away with less but if you have older kids used to sweeter things you can bump it up a bit if you need!)
  • ¼ cup organic molasses (I get mine at Costco)
  • 1-2 TB cinnamon
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Put the oats, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl along with the lemon juice and sea salt. Fill the bowl with water just enough to be able to stir it all together in a sticky mixture. Do not over water because we won't be straining this mixture after it soaks - the more water you put in the more that has to dehydrate out! Cover your bowl with a towel, and leave your mixture to soak on the counter overnight or 8-10 hours. This soaking process decreases the phytic acid in the oats, nuts, and seeds making them digest the best, as well as making more of their nutrients available to absorb.
  2. After the soaking is done, put the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well to combine. You can taste your mixture for sweetness at this point too. I actually use my big stock pot for making the granola mixture as it is easier for stirring!
  3. Spread the granola mixture onto your dehydrator trays (this is the dehydrator I have!) and dehydrate at 125 degrees until the granola is dried out - this can take up to a day depending on how much water you used in the soaking process. You can dehydrate at a higher temp like 150 or 165 degrees which is what I choose to do often and that will take 8 hours or so - many dehydrator brands run differently on those temps so just keep an eye on them! Once the granola is dried out, you can crumble it into an airtight container and store in the pantry.

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Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, & Paleo Friendly!

September 1, 2016

Friendly fat and protein packed without refined sugar! Soft and sweet healthy apple cinnamon breakfast cookies are the perfect on the go breakfast or snack!

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

We are sending off summer with a bang this year!

The baby of the house just turned 3 (and, well, everything that goes along with being *3*!), my 5 year old ditched the training wheels on her bike like a pro, and my 7 year old is clearing out the garden and helping out a lot with harvest kitchen goals!

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!

I absolutely love summer where we live, but if I’m being honest I’m ready for a little fall!

We have heard news from local farmers that the apple harvest is very, very abundant this year, and that, dear friends makes us super happy! I am more than thrilled to take my crew to pick from their haul this year. We’ll be making baked applesauce for sure, but I also wanted a healthy breakfast I could add to our busy school mornings using the in season, budget friendly fruit!

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!

As my kids are getting bigger, it has become more of a priority in the house to have a breakfast rotation.

It helps school mornings run smoother and less rushed, and makes for less thinking that mom has to do so early in the morning. I think everyone agrees by now that a solid, nutrient dense breakfast gives kids the edge they need to stay focused in school – and it really can be done in a kid friendly tasting way!

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!

These apple cinnamon breakfast cookies are definitely going to be in the line up for rotating on Fridays – which is breakfast cookie day here!

By Friday I don’t usually want to think about anything! I love pulling breakfast cookies from the freezer Thursday night, cooking up some hard boiled eggs, and just setting up a self serve breakfast for Friday morning. These apple cinnamon breakfast cookies are soft and sweet without using any refined sugar. The warm cinnamon and sweet apples make the perfect breakfast, and the protein and fat will keep blood sugars stable until snack or lunchtime.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!

Happy start to the school year to you my friends!

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Healthy Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies :: Refined Sugar Free & Gluten Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the softened coconut oil and raw honey in a small mixing bowl and blend to combine until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and blend for a minute.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the apples and blend to combine, and then stir the chopped apples in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Form the size cookies you want into balls in then flatten onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-14 minutes. Let the cookies cool at least 10 minutes before handling.

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Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites

August 13, 2016

Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!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 just couldn’t let a summer season go by without a blueberry post!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!Blueberry season is such an abundant time of year where we live and the picking is always so good!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!With the baby of the family now at picking age instead of just along for the ride, her sisters were quick to show her the ropes by pointing out the biggest blue ones, promising her that those were the juiciest and sweetest!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!And boy did she learn quickly how to navigate those bushes!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!My oldest has really been a big help this season, and between 2 trips to the U-Pick field we brought home 60 pounds of blueberries to enjoy fresh and also store away for smoothies for the winter.

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!I had a big bowl of fresh blueberries in the fridge for weeks, and with peach season just beginning my girls were starting to lose their interest in those fresh berries for their fruit! I used a few cups of them for blueberry peach crisp, and then made these fun yogurt covered treats.

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!It was such a quick prep but it really made the girls smile and that is always worth it. An easy and fun hot summer afternoon treat that I could feel good about too!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!I am pretty sure these would work with just about any berry you are picking this season! It was a fun project for my big girls to help with on a rainy afternoon – kept their hands busy and occupied which is always a plus during the summer break!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites :: Quick, sweet little yogurt covered blueberry bites perfect for little hands!

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Greek style plain whole milk yogurt or coconut yogurt (if you have plain whole milk yogurt you can make it Greek style by straining it in a thin cloth for a few hours - the liquid strained off is whey you can use for soaking grains or adding to smoothies, and the thick yogurt behind is "Greek yogurt")
  • 3-4 TB grassfed collagen (optional)
  • 2 TB raw honey or pure maple syrup (optional - if you are trying this with toddlers I would definitely leave this out - the blueberries are sweet enough for those young taste palates!)
  • 1 - 1½ cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Mix the Greek yogurt, collagen, and honey in a bowl and fold in the blueberries.
  2. Scoop the yogurt covered blueberries out individually onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Transfer the sheet of yogurt covered blueberries to the freezer for at least an hour to freeze and then transfer the frozen yogurt covered blueberries to a freezer bag to store in the freezer.

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Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins

August 11, 2016

Protein and friendly fat packed, this isn’t just any banana bread! Perfect for a full and focused school morning!

Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins :: Protein and friendly fat packed, this isn't just any banana bread! Perfect for a full and focused school morning!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.

Is it just me or has this summer completely and utterly flown by?!

About mid-August I start getting antsy for school routines to start back up, and so I’ve been in my kitchen a little bit creating some recipes for you guys that will make those early school mornings run a little smoother.

Groan.

I know it, right?! I have really (really!) been enjoying my slower paced mornings the last couple months! We have still been eating nourishing, real food breakfasts, though I have to admit much later into the morning that we will be able to do come this fall.

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.While I have 2 elementary school aged kids in the house, I actually created this recipe with my toddler in mind.

We have to be on the road early to get to school on time, and there are plenty of mornings my toddler is just waking up as we are needing to head out the door. A portable, handheld breakfast she can munch on while we drop the big girls off is so nice to have around.

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.Protein and friendly fat loaded, these banana muffins aren’t just any banana bread.

I had some big ingredient goals with this banana muffin recipe to “make it count” for my toddler’s appetite, as well as satisfying my school aged kids to last for a full morning of concentrating at school.

  • Grassfed collagen not only gives the muffins a soft, bread like texture, it adds protein from a grassfed source. (Don’t forget to use your RGN reader discount GENERATION10 at checkout for 10% off!)
  • Almond flour is fat and protein loaded and makes baked goods soft and sweet.
  • Sorghum flour surprisingly has a nice protein count as well as giving a whole grain softness to the muffins.
  • Coconut flour is loaded with digestion friendly fiber as well as protein and fat.
  • And adding in coconut oil and pastured eggs for moisture and binding, these banana muffins are power packed for a busy morning at school and play!

Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins :: Protein and friendly fat packed, this isn't just any banana bread! Perfect for a full and focused school morning!Keeping kids focused for the morning is much easier when blood sugar is balanced as well.

In addition to a decent protein and fat content, I didn’t want to have to add anything extra to sweeten the muffins besides the fruit itself. My girls will eat their muffins with raw milk and hard boiled eggs, or with a green smoothie. It makes for a slow burning, long lasting breakfast that will hold them over until their next meal.

Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins :: Protein and friendly fat packed, this isn't just any banana bread! Perfect for a full and focused school morning!Tips & Tricks For Use!

  • Store leftovers in a freezer bag in the freezer. I find gluten and grain free items just stay more moist in when you freeze them right away. They will stay soft and moist for a day or so on the counter in an air tight container.
  • You can pull frozen muffins out to thaw counter top or pop them back in the oven (or a toaster oven) to thaw. I like to pull a bag of them out of the freezer before I go to bed at night so they are ready when we get up in the morning.
  • You can put a frozen muffin in the lunchbox in the morning and it will thaw by lunchtime! I have even put a frozen muffin in a snack container for morning snacktime and they are ready.
  • Spread butter or coconut butter on your muffins to bump up the nourishment even more. I serve these with a green smoothie or hard boiled eggs for a breakfast meal. They go well with a bowl of soup for lunch!

Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins :: Protein and friendly fat packed, this isn't just any banana bread! Perfect for a full and focused school morning!

Nutrient Dense Protein Banana Breakfast Muffins
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12 cup muffin tin with silicone muffin liners, or grease them with butter or coconut oil.
  2. Put the bananas and coconut oil into your food processor or blender and blend to combine.
  3. Add the eggs and blend for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to combine. You may have to scrape down the sides a bit. You can taste the batter here and add a splash or 2 of honey or maple syrup if your kids are used to sweeter things. I find the ripe bananas give them enough sweet for my crew.
  5. Pour the batter into a silicone lined muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Let the muffins cool 5-10 minutes before handling them.

More real food school breakfasts posts you might like:

Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin!

July 9, 2016

Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer’s best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

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.

Sooo…toddlers.

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

Here’s mine. She will be 3 at the end of August, and the last year has been a whirlwind of this little firecracker keeping me on my toes! There’s no telling this kid she is too little for this or that…she does it all!

She is also…busy.

While the food she does eat is pretty darn healthy compared to many 2 year olds, some days sitting for a whole meal just doesn’t happen. I like to keep snacking as nutrient dense as possible – kind of like spreading her meals out throughout the day is how it usually shakes out.

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

When we are having a busy, on the go day, homemade fruit snacks are a really nice, non-messy snack that travels well and is packed with protein to fill her up. This summer has been so nice to have fresh, in season fruit to make these yummy fruit snacks and she has been loving all the fun colors and flavors.

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

So, what is gelatin, really?

If you are thinking about those brightly colored packages of “Jell-O” in the store, you are right…sort of!

Gelatin is cooked collagen from the bones/connective tissues of animals. However, just like with all food, sourcing is important. While the sourcing of that store bought brand of gelatin is pretty sketchy, you can find sources of protein packed gelatin from grassfed animal sources.

I have been using Perfect Supplements brand of collagen for a year now, and am super excited that they came out with a gelatin supplement too! While we use collagen for many thing like adding protein and gut nourishment to green smoothies and soaked oats, grassfed gelatin (which is the cooked form of collagen) is useful for making puddings, custards, “jello”, and gummies because it gels so well.

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

What are the benefits of grassfed collagen/gelatin?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and plays a key role in numerous bodily functions!

  • Improve Skin Health
  • Promote Younger, Firmer Skin
  • Support Joint Health
  • Improve Gut Function and Digestion
  • Keep Excess Inflammation in Check
  • Build and Restore Muscle
  • Support a Healthy Metabolism
  • Keep Appetite In Check
  • Promote Healthy Brain Function
  • Promote Deeper Sleep

Why Perfect Supplements Gelatin?

Sourcing does in fact matter, and while I don’t promote a lot of products on my blog, I do feel confident promoting Perfect Supplements!

  • 100% Beef Gelatin (Collagen Protein)
  • Sourced exclusively From Brazilian Pasture Raised (Grass Fed) Cows
  • 100% Natural and Pesticide and Hormone Free
  • Non-GMO
  • Lactose & Dairy Free
  • 98% Protein and 0 Carbs and 0 Fat Per Serving
  • Lab Tested With Proof of Purity
  • Backed By 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Silver Level Green America Certified Business
  • No Fillers of Flow Agents – Just Pure Collagen Protein

Not only does Perfect Supplements meet all of my health, safety, and sourcing standards…they meet my budget and that is huge in being able to get this supplement into my family regularly. You can’t find a price like this anywhere else (figure the price per gram if you want to compare apples to apples).

PLUS! I want to share my RGN Perfect Supplements savings code with you too! Just enter GENERATION10 in at check-out and receive an extra 10% off your order!

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

I hope you get a chance to try out your new gelatin on some fresh summer fruit this season!

Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin! :: Freshly picked and full of flavor! Summer's best fruit turned kid favorite fruit snacks loaded with protein!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Summer Fruit Snacks With Protein Rich Grassfed Gelatin!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Cherry Fruit Snacks ::
  • 1½ cups cherries, pitted
  • 2 TB water
  • 2 TB grassfed gelatin
  • (warm soluble)
  • Optional 1-2 TB raw honey if needed - ours were fresh picked in season and so sweet - no need for extra!
  • Peach Fruit Snacks ::
  • 1½ cups peaches, pitted and coarsely sliced
  • 2 TB water
  • 2 TB grassfed gelatin
  • Optional 1-2 TB raw honey if needed - ours were not quite in season yet and did need a little extra.
Instructions
  1. Put the cherries in a small sauce pan with the water and bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Put the warm cherries and juices into a blender, add the gelatin and blend to combine until smooth. Taste the mixture for honey if needed.
  3. Pour the cherry gelatin mixture into your mold and place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. I find they pop out of silicone molds easiest when they are slightly frozen. You can let them gel on the counter (depending on the size of your mold it will take about an hour, or in the fridge it takes about 30 minutes or so.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the peaches.

More Collagen/Gelatin Rich Recipes You Might Like!

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Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option

July 8, 2016

Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

Cherry season in Michigan snuck up on us this year!

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

Typically right around the 4th of July holiday or shortly after for our area, the milder winter and, according to the cherry farmer, less heavy spring rains and no frost damage brought a huge summer bounty about a week early this year.

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

I couldn’t be more happy for our local farmers who will be enjoying a very good harvest this year, and it really makes my heart happy to support our farm families around here. Last year, my youngest was still just along for the ride in my back carrier, but this year she had zero hesitation scaling those cherry ladders to fill up her bucket!

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

Of course my big girls, now seasoned cherry pickers, enjoyed every minute too!

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

It was such a good cherry season this year, so we brought home quite a haul to preserve.

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

Sixty pounds is more than we usually pick, though it will definitely go to good use for the year. I froze more than half of it for using in green smoothies, soaked oats, and fruit on the bottom yogurt packed up for school. We have my biggest bowl filled to the brim to eat fresh for the next week, and we made a few treats like cherry popsicles (literally just blended up cherries frozen into my favorite 10-pop mold!), and cherry pie.

I wanted to dehydrate to preserve some of it though because 60 pounds is a lot of cherries to use up!

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

I decided to see how fresh cherries would do drying out with some granola, and not only am I completely in love with how the color turned out (!!), it is so delicious. Sweet dried cherries and crispy, nutty clusters make the perfect muggy morning breakfast with a cold splash of raw milk.

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

A few ideas to for your yummy granola!

  • In a bowl like cereal with a splash of raw milk or coconut milk and a hard boiled egg
  • Used as a yogurt or coconut milk yogurt topper
  • Trail mix addition
  • Dry granola clusters packed as a quick on the go snack

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

This turned out to be such a great way for me to preserve all those cherries that I plan on making another batch changing up the kinds of nuts this time for variety.

Nourishing Cherry Granola :: Gluten & Refined Sugar Free With Grain Free Option :: Cherry granola makes the perfect hot summer morning breakfast to cool down with, and a delicious nourishing snack for on the go!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Nourishing Cherry Granola
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups rolled oats (if you are grain free use a combo of any finely chopped raw nuts or seeds you wish to make the 4 cups)
  • 2 cups raw walnuts, finely chopped (I buzzed them up in the food processor)
  • 2 cups raw pecans, finely chopped (I buzzed them up in the food processor)
  • 1 TB sea salt for soaking
  • Juice of 1 lemon for soaking (leave this out if you are not using the oats
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups coconut flour
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 TB almond extract (vanilla extract would work too)
  • ½ cup raw honey (pure maple syrup would work too)
  • 6 cups fresh cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped (I did a quick few pulses in the food processor. If you don't have access to fresh cherries you could use about 2 cups or so of dried cherries - they just won't be as mixed up with the juices into the granola.)
Instructions
  1. Place the oats, walnuts, pecans, sea salt, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and fill with water to cover. Set the mixture on the counter 8-10 hours to soak. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the grain and nuts making them easier on the gut for digestion and making more of their nutrients available to absorb. If you are omitting the oats, simply replace with different finely chopped seeds or nuts and soak in the salt water.
  2. After the oats and nuts have soaked, set them in a colander in the sink to drain while you prepare the rest of the granola mixture. Put the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl (I actually use my stock pot to make mixing easiest!), along with the drained oat/nut mixture and stir to combine well.
  3. Scoop and spread the granola mixture onto your dehydrator traysand dehydrate at 135 degrees for 8-12 hours or 160 degrees for about 6 hours. You can check the granola periodically because every dehydrator brand can run temps differently. Also keep in mind the thicker you spread the granola the longer it will take to dehydrate.
  4. When the granola is done drying out, let it cool about 30 minutes and then break it up into the size pieces you want into airtight storage. I store my granola in the pantry. We like to serve granola with raw milk or coconut milk and hard boiled eggs on the side. It also makes a great yogurt or coconut yogurt topper or trail mix addition!

More real food granola recipes you might like!
Simple Cinnamon Granola

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Strawberry Quinoa Granola

Strawberry Quinoa Granola
Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola

overhead
Honey Rhubarb Granola

Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar Free
Cranberry Orange Granola

Cranberry Orange Granola

Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

June 24, 2016

A simple “mix and match” lunch plan to help you and the kids pack fun and healthy, real food lunches!

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

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 originally planned on this post for the middle of August to get everyone’s wheels turning toward back to school, but get this….

Kids totally need to eat in the summer too 🙂

Right?!

And I don’t know about you, but I spend almost as much time packing up lunches in the summer as I do during the school year for everything from park picnics and beach days, to zoo trips and friend visits.

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

So one of my goals for this post is for it to be universal.

An all year plan for lunch packing that is evergreen from the first day of school through the last day of summer – without getting boring.

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

And as always, my number 1 goal in lunch packing is to make every bite count. Nutrient dense and nourishing to fill up busy, on the grow bodies and brains.

So let’s make this fun! Sit down with the kids and let them do some mixing and matching for their lunch! I’ve left an outline here so you can have some links to recipe ideas, and here is a printable PDF for you to print out and use together as a family. You can laminate it and use dry erase markers for the kids to mark off what they like, or you can mark off the choices they have to pick from for the week based on what is in season right now and what you have grocery shopped for.Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

main meal

Pick ONE of these:

  • Coconut butter and jam or raw honey sandwich, roll ups using wraps, or leftover waffles
  • Nut butter or seed butter and jam or raw honey sandwich, roll ups using wraps, or leftover waffles
  • Tuna salad (or could use canned salmon) – can serve this as a sandwich, wrap, pita, in a bell pepper cup, or as a dip with crackers or veggie sticks.
  • Egg salad – can serve this as a sandwich, wrap, pita, in a bell pepper cup, or as a dip with crackers or veggie sticks.
  • Chicken salad – can serve this as a sandwich, wrap, in a bell pepper cup, or as a dip with crackers or veggie sticks.
  • Hummus and veggies wrapped in a pita, wrap, or with crackers.

OR Pick TWO of these:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Breakfast cookies (Here are a few to stash away in the freezer! Lemon Breakfast Cookie, Molasses Protein
  • Breakfast Cookie, The Ultimate Breakfast Cookie)
  • Guacamole & crackers or tortilla chips
  • Yogurt with granola (Here are some easy homemade granola that stashes away in the pantry well: Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola, Simple Cinnamon Granola, Strawberry Quinoa Granola)
  • Granola chunks or easy trail mix with raw cheese or coconut flakes or coconut butter. For trail mix I just take a handful of whatever nuts/seeds I have on hand and mix it up with raisins or other dried fruit. You can add a TB of Enjoy Life chocolate chips if you have older kids that are used to “typical” trailmixes.
  • Olives (not a “main meal” but goes well with any of the options in this section as an added real food fat)
  • Avocado (not a “main meal” but goes well with any of the options in this section as an added real food fat)

veggie

Pick as many as you like to fill the veggie section of your lunch container!

  • Carrot sticks or rounds (rainbow carrots are fun too!)
  • Celery sticks
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Cucumber rounds or sticks
  • Radish slices
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini sticks
  • Sugar peas
  • Bell peppers of all colors

Dip Options to add real fats for nourishment and digestive aide for the veggies

  • 5 Minute Ranch
  • Cream Cheese
  • Hummus
  • Sour Cream
  • Herbed Olive Oil (just whisk sea salt and herbs into the oil)
  • Coconut butter
  • Olives (not a dip but a great fat that goes well with veggies)
  • Raw Cheese (not a dip but a great fat that goes well with veggies)

Other veggie sides to try!

  • Salads with quick homemade dressings (try some of these!) Can add hard boiled egg or nuts/seeds to the salad too!
  • Ferments such as pickles, sauerkraut, dilly beans, or fermented carrots. Either homemade or check out Bubbies brand at your health food store if you are just getting started!
  • Beet Slaw
  • Coleslaw
  • Summer cucumber chunks with cherry tomatoes and olive oil with sea salt
  • Peas from the freezer thaw out by lunch time – drizzle olive oil and sea salt
  • Cucumber “Sandwiches” using cream cheese in between rounds
  • “Ants On A Log” (celery sticks with nut, seed, or coconut butter down the middle and dried fruit sticking to the butter!)

fruit

  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc)
  • Grapes
  • Apples (if cutting them, put cinnamon on the flesh to keep them from browning)
  • Pears (use the same cinnamon trick as the apples!)
  • Orange slices
  • Cherries
  • Peaches/Nectarines
  • Melon/watermelon slices or chunks
  • Mango chunks
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Banana (best kept in the peel so they don’t brown)
  • Dates, Larabars, or homemade Larabars (I count larabars as more of a fruit even though there are nuts mixed in as they are mostly composed of the dates)

Planetbox 5

A few of my favorite Bento Box style lunch gear!

Our school lunch staple has been the PlanetBox. We are going on our 3rd year of this box and it still looks brand new. Occasionally I will get inquiries about what I think of the cost, and, in my book, buying one lunchbox that lasts for years on end when being used day after day, is a huge budget saver! We use the “Launch” style, though they have a few different layouts depending on how you like to pack up!

I really love our LunchBots containers as well. The Uno, Duo, & Trio are a great sizes for toddlers and little kids, and we are going on our 3rd year of them holding up just like brand new. During the fall and winter months of school, my daughter takes along soup or dinner leftovers 2-3 times per week requiring the use of a thermos. On those days a thermos of soup and a LunchBots container of the extras makes for perfect packing. The also have larger sizes for the bigger kids and teens too!

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

A quick note on packable drinks!

Water is our staple, though we do drink a lot of kid friendly nettle infusions as well all year long. Herbal tea infusions can be a great way for kids to hydrate and load up on missing minerals from a busy morning. Adding a squeeze of lemon is always a nice idea if your kids like that!

We have used these Kid Basix Safe Sporter cups for the last 5 years – including the last 2 years of daily school. The spouts are finally starting to look a little worn after 5 years of daily use so I think they have been a good buy especially for toddlers and little kids in early elementary who maybe won’t handle an open water cup as well for on the go situations. This year I decided to invest in an “older kid” water bottle and we went with these Eco Vessessl for Kids for both my 2nd grader and I think my new Kindergartener will do fine with these without spilling. My toddler (2 years old) drinks out of open cups perfectly, but doesn’t manage a bigger, open bottle like this without help.

Ok! Keep me posted on those lunches! You can follow my Instagram hashtag #rgnschoollunches for more packable lunch ideas too!

Oh! And don’t forget your free mix and match printable!

Mix & Match Real Food Packable Bento Box Lunch Ideas :: PLUS! A free mix & match printable for you!

 

 

Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks

February 13, 2016

School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with school snack time.

On the one hand, a school morning is really long for those little guys in preschool and early elementary school. Most of them have breakfast quite early and to make it from 7:30am until noon or so without eating is a long time to go without re-fueling. Even if those little ones are eating a nice nutrient dense breakfast, going 5 hours without eating isn’t going to work for growing bodies.

On the other hand…I have had my share of bringing home a preschooler that hardly eats their noon time lunch because they had a school time snack.

So in the last few years of having little ones in preschool and early elementary school, I have come up with a happy medium method to snack time that keeps the kids fueled to make it through the morning, as well as nourish them with something you can feel good about.

My goal in feeding little kids has always been “make every bite count”.

Every meal and snack has a purpose. That might seem “deep” for talking about food. But those little tummies don’t always hold very much. Filling them up on something unsubstantial like fish crackers isn’t doing them any growth good. Think about those rapidly growing brains, their synapses, and also a child’s rapidly growing body. Fueling the brain with friendly fats as well as the body with some carbohydrate energy is vital to keep happy moods and balanced systems.

So what about the provided school snack?

Most preschools and some elementary schools provide a snack and I just pack my own. There will be different rules at different schools, but I have found that being as non-threatening and non-confrontational as possible, as well as “kindly confident” has worked for me.

Between my 2 oldest girls, I have now been through 4 different preschool systems, 1 elementary school, and a handful of church situations. All of the school and church systems have a provided a snack, and none of them have had a problem with me packing my daughter’s snacks. We have had a couple of years of a room with severe peanut allergy as well as egg and gluten that can’t even be in the same room. In those cases you just adjust the snacks to the allergens and I have always been fine. In the severe peanut allergy case I gave a list of snacks I would be packing to the mom and we talked about the ingredient lists and that was that. A little extra work but do able.

In my opinion it was better than having my daughter fed fish crackers or Fruit Loops (yes this is actually a routine snack given!) every preschool morning.

But what about the time?!

Hear me on this one…I make 3 meals a day. Barely. Usually at least one of those 3 meals of the day is leftovers that are warmed through. Honestly I don’t have time to be making elaborate and fancy little snacks every school day. I want quick prep and easily packable. So these have been my go-to packable snacks that are also fast prep and nutrient dense – that is quite a tall order and it really is do-able!

A note on the snack types and portion sizes…

These snack ideas are meant to be your inspiration. To get the wheels turning. If you eat differently in your family change things up! And fix the portion sizes to your kids appetites. Every kid is so different, and different from every other kid that age. Older kids may need more than what is pictured here, and early preschoolers might need less. Do what works for your little one.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

My favorite snack time packing gear!

Quick, portable, NON SPILL, and easy for little hands to manage is my goals. Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • Small stainless steel containers with lids. I have these square containers and round containers that work well.
  • Condiment containers for dips. The LunchBots condiment containers fits well in the 2 containers above. They will also grow with your child and be able to be used for elementary school lunches as they fit in just about any bento box.
  • LunchBots “Rounds” containers for yogurt or otherwise liquid-y snacks. This is another one that will grow with your child as I use them weekly for my oldest daughter’s school lunches for yogurt, applesauce, etc.
  • I also really like the PlanetBox “Shuttle” snack container, which is a little on the big side for these small snacks, but I use them ALL the time in the spring and summer for packing snacks for all 3 of my girls and even some smaller lunches.

Ok! Onto some details for those snacks!


Cucumbers and Cream Cheese or Raw Cheese: These are fun to make little sandwiches with or just eat side by side.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!
Olives and a Date: Olives are a great source of fat and dates of energy and minerals. It is a really great, light snack and one my girls ask for often.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Celery with Nut or Seed Butter: Just check for the tree nut allergies in the room – most kiddos with the tree nut allergies can have SunButter (sunflower seed butter) in the room. If they cannot have the seed butter in the room either, then we like to use coconut butter (sometimes called coconut manna) on the celery instead.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt: I love these little “Rounds” containers– I use them for snacks for my preschooler, and also in lunches for my oldest. They fit the perfect amount of yogurt and you can top it with fruit from the freezer or your own granola. We do this snack often. Add a drizzle of raw honey or pure maple syrup if your kids are used to the typical sweetness of commercial fruit on the bottom yogurt cups.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Crackers with Guacamole or Hummus: I usually make these quick plantain crackers every weekend that work well for this – they are so crispy and delicious. But there is nothing wrong with getting a quality non-junky cracker from the store like the Mary’s Gone Crackers. My kids like this kid friendly guacamole, and I make hummus occasionally. I think store bought is fine too in a pinch by the way.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Crispy Nuts or Seeds & Dried Fruit Trailmix: Do roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds if there is a nut allergy in the room. If nuts and seeds are not allowed in the room do coconut flakes or toasted coconut chips and dried fruit!

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Veggies & 5 Minute Ranch: Some of our favorites are carrot sticks, sugar pea pods, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Hard Boiled Egg & Cherry Tomatoes: You can keep a stash of hard boiled eggs for the week in the fridge to pull from quick. This is a favorite of both of my girls!

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Raw Cheese & Fruit: Some of our favorite fruits for quick packing snacks are orange slices, berries, and grapes. I like to peel oranges or cut anything that needs to be cut because usually snack time is pretty short and little ones don’t have much time to fuss with that.

9 Packable Nutrient Dense School Snacks :: School snack time can be both nourishing and quick prep with these great packable snack ideas!

Ok! So hopefully that gets your wheels turning! What are some of your favorite preschool and early elementary school snacks to pack?

For more real food snack ideas, you can follow my Snack Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:

6 School Lunches Besides PB&J

6 School Lunch Ideas *Besides* Peanut Butter & Jelly :: Plus a PlanetBox Review!

How To Find The Right School Lunch Gear for Your Family!

School Lunch Gear Resource Guide :: A detailed brand comparison so you can find out what works with how YOU pack lunches!

DIY Chocolate Chip “Larabar” Copycat

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!)

Molasses Protein Snack Bars

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free

Batch Up Meals Breakfast Ideas Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Protein Packed Molasses Breakfast Cookies

January 29, 2016

Soft, light weight, and packed with naturally sourced protein, these molasses protein breakfast cookies are the perfect on the go breakfast for busy mornings!

Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie

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.

Whew! Has this been a whirlwind of a first half of the school year or what?!

I feel like it was just last week that we were standing under our big magnolia tree taking the first day of school pictures in our shorts! We are now well into the school year, bundled up in sweaters and snow gear, and I feel like we really fell into a great morning routine this year.

Not only are my kids a year older (Read: less dependent on me for dressing, teeth brushed, babies not needing to be nursed, etc), but this now seasoned school momma has learned the art of a school morning breakfast schedule…and I love it.

Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie

I have never been much of a meal planner – I still don’t follow a menu for lunches and dinners, but I definitely have breakfast in a rotation for school mornings and it makes it run so much smoother.

Fridays are breakfast cookie days for a couple of reasons!

Frankly by Friday I want to sleep in a little. (Is that selfish?!)

I love it. I have a stash of breakfast cookies in the freezer and all I have to do is take them out to thaw on Thursday night before I go to bed, and in the morning I set out a plate of cookies, hard boiled eggs, and a jug of raw milk and my 6 and 4 year olds can serve themselves – my 2 year old can even handle most of it herself.

Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie

I also love breakfast cookie day for Friday because they are easy to eat.

By Friday my 2 and 4 year old’s have kind of had it for the week. They sometimes end up sleeping in because *this* momma doesn’t wake sleeping kiddos unless absolutely necessary! Breakfast cookies and hard boiled eggs can go right out the door for school drop off super easy.

I have been rotating my freezer breakfast cookie stash between my Ultimate Breakfast Cookie, Lemon Breakfast Cookies, and earlier this winter I created these molasses based breakfast cookies. I am really excited about sharing this recipe with you – it has a totally different base than the other cookies, as well as my new secret addition to all of my breakfast cookies – gut healing, protein packed grassfed collagen!

Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie

The amount of collagen took me a while to get down, but these cookies are packed with collagen without feeling heavy or “gelatinous”. They are super light and soft and taste amazing. If you love molasses like we do you can use more molasses versus the honey. This recipe is light on the molasses flavor as it can be strong for some people, but molasses is a fantastic sweetener of choice because it is loaded with minerals.

Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie

I even recommend adding some gingerbread spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to make it feel like a gingerbread cookie! So good! Another option would be to make smaller cookies for on the go snacks or lunchbox additions.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Molasses Protein Breakfast Cookie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put everything into a medium mixing bowl and blend until smooth. The batter is thick but not stiff like a cookie dough.
  3. Spoon the batter onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

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

More real food recipes you might like:
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Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!
The Ultimate Breakfast Cookie

13038610953_5f6b1d290c_z
Lemon Breakfast Cookies

Lemon Breakfast Cookies :: Gluten, Nut & Refined Sugar Free With Grain/Egg/Dairy Free Options
Molasses Protein Snack Bars

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free

Breakfast Ideas Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips Snack Ideas

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

November 13, 2015

Your one stop tutorial for all things green smoothies for kids! Any flavor and nutrient packed for growing brains and bodies!

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For 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?” I was compensated products for my time and Perfect Supplements is providing the giveaway prize. Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Simplicity.

I literally thrive off of it these days. As my kids get bigger the “busy” has changed from the survival mode of the newborn season of life to the “busy” that comes along with one set of kids in school and preschool, and still another in the (very) busy toddler season.

In an effort to streamline healthy, real food meals in my house, I have been working on making sure I’m not, in fact, in the kitchen all day.

I have one kid in school all day that needs certain things packed, another kid in preschool half time that needs snacks packed and quicker morning breakfasts (*not* a morning person that one!), and still another in toddler season that needs all of her meals at home – but gets to tag along on all of the “taxi” driving I do all day.

Especially for my younger two girls, green smoothies have become my staple on certain busier days of the week, as well as my back up when my planned cooking doesn’t happen. Smoothies used to completely intimidate me because of all the various different recipes.

Have you ever been in the presence of a hungry 2 year old?!

“Just a minute” doesn’t work with them. They want something to eat *now*.

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

I needed a smoothie framework to pull from when it came to smoothies.

I didn’t have time to pull up this flavor or that. I knew the nutrient dense components I always wanted to have included, so I figured out how to make *any* flavor green smoothie with all the same base and use whatever fruit or flavor I have in house or whatever is in season. Simple, right?

So what are my nutrient dense components and why?

Rapidly growing children require nutrient dense food at every meal. Period.

Empty calories or “filler” snacks to “hold them over” until the next meal don’t fly in my book. Even if this smoothie is to be a small snack, my motto of “make every bite count” still is in the back of my mind.


FRIENDLY FAT

Anything from raw milk, kefir, coconut milk, or yogurt for the liquid base of the smoothie along with an additional fatty add-in such as raw pastured egg yolk, coconut oil, or avocado oil. Coconut oil will change the flavor, though my kids like coconut and don’t mind it. Avocado oil is tasteless!


VITAMINS & MINERALS

All of the components from the “friendly fat” category provide vitamins and minerals, but children do benefit from vegetable mineral sources. Lightly steamed greens such as spinach or kale provide a gentle vegetable mineral source. (Lightly cooking the greens takes the oxalate level down. Greens should be eaten with friendly fat for better digestion and vitamin absorption which is covered in the friendly fat portion of the smoothie). You can keep a container of steamed greens in the fridge, or use blanched/frozen greens to make smoothie prep run quick.


QUALITY PROTEIN

Anything from a scoop of nut butter to a pastured egg yolk counts, though I am a huge fan of using grassfed collagen in my smoothies. It is a simple, real food protein source that I can get into my kids that doesn’t make the taste change, and it doesn’t compromise my real food standards like other protein powders would. I love and use Perfect Supplements grassfed collagen in my house. It provides a great protein source, is tasteless, and collagen is also great for gut lining integrity just like bone broth! Win win!


From there you can flavor your smoothie however you want!

We U-Pick seasonal fruit every summer from berries to peaches that I keep in the freezer, and when that runs out I rely on the organic frozen fruit at Costco. We also love to occasionally make vanilla or raw cacao smoothies like a milk shake! I also keep a bag of frozen bananas – you know the ones that start going too ripe before you can eat them off the counter? Yep! Just peel them, toss them into a freezer bag, and use them when you want!

Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!

This is the serving that I make for my 3 girls, ages 6, 4, and 2 to split. You can half if making for less servings, or double if you are making it for older kids with bigger appetites.

5.0 from 6 reviews
Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole raw milk, kefir, yogurt, or coconut milk
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (If the kids will need it on the sweeter side, be sure part of this is a frozen banana)
  • ⅓ cup or so steamed spinach or kale
  • 2 TB grassfed cold soluble collagen
  • 3 pastured egg yolks OR 1½ TB avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp raw honey (If you have a baby under age 1 that will be sipping on this, use pure maple syrup or just leave it out - trust me, their young palates won't miss it!)
Instructions
  1. Everything in your blender, puree until smooth, and serve. After using a regular blender for years, I do want to mention that there is a huge difference in smoothness using a high powered blender like a BlendTec or Vitamix - they are a great investment to put on your birthday or holiday wishlist!

A couple of tips!

  • Try a straw with the little ones like baby and toddler, and if they aren’t quite catching on yet, you can serve it with a spoon or medicine syringe – our local pharmacy gives out nice big medicine syringes for free! I love our shorter, stainless steel straws that are perfect for smaller cups, and these re-useable straws have fun patterns.
  • I tend to keep any smoothies for my babies from 6-18 months mostly mango/papaya and banana. Raw berries, apples, cherries, and peaches that are typical fruit for smoothies have high pectin which can be tough on young digestive systems (which is why these fruits are recommended to be cooked for babies). Mango, papaya, and bananas don’t have the high pectin so they work well. I get organic frozen mango at Costco.
  • Serving cup suggestions. I have just plain not gotten into plastic cups. It might be the Montessori momma in me but you would be surprised at how a young baby/toddler can use a regular/glass open cup. I adore my small, small, 8oz jelly jars from Ball to use for all drinking – they are for canning jelly but they are the perfect size for little hands and great serving size for small smoothies. My big girls drink from pint mason jars.
  • To make a raw cacao milkshake smoothie, instead of the 2 cups of fruit, use 1 or 2 whole frozen banana (or more if they are small) along with a 2-3 tablespoons of raw cacao – which is loaded with antioxidants and minerals by the way!
  • To make a vanilla milkshake smoothie, instead of the 2 cups of fruit, use 1 or 2 whole frozen banana (or more if they are small) along with 1 1/2  tablespoons of vanilla extract.
  • Freeze leftovers in small popsicle molds or little paper cups with a straw or popsicle stick for a great snack or teething aide.

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Nutrient Dense Green Smoothies For Kids!


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Batch Up Meals Breakfast Ideas Holiday Recipes Real Food Tips School Holidays Snack Ideas

Cranberry Orange Granola

November 4, 2015

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

Cranberry Orange Granola

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

Cranberry Orange Granola

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

Cranberry Orange Granola

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

Cranberry Orange Granola

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

Cranberry Orange Granola

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

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

More real food recipes you might like:

Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola

16506590686_35070ceaf9_z

Strawberry Quinoa Granola

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School Morning Breakfast Menu Routines

Our School Morning Breakfast Menu & A *FREE* Printable Menu For YOU!

Simple Cinnamon Granola

16191599854_87f2a07e67_z

Feeding Babies Lunch Ideas Real Food Tips school lunches Snack Ideas

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!

September 26, 2015

The perfect crispy bite sized crackers for little hands! Perfect for crumbling in a bowl of soup, or stacking with some cheese for snacktime!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!Two year olds.

Need I say more?

Well I probably should because mentioning the world of a 2 year old can mean so many different things. Random household objects scattered in the strangest places of the home. Meltdowns over “broken” bananas. Complete and utter joy over noticing a butterfly…

But today we are going to talk about 2 year olds and eating. Age 2 can be a tough age in the meal world. Some because I think our expectations for what a meal should be at this age are unrealistic. While 2 year olds still need nutrient dense food choices, their appetites do drop off a little at this age. They just plain don’t need as much as what you probably would expect they would – at least not every day. Two year olds will eat like a teenage boy one day and the next have no more than a cup of milk and a banana and be perfectly fine.

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!Two year olds are also B.U.S.Y. 🙂 Expecting a 2 year old to sit for a full meal to your standards just might not be realistic until they are closer to age 3 or 4 in my experience. So my experience has been smaller, more frequent meals just work better at this busy age.

My goal is always – make every bite count.

If my two year olds are going to eat 5-6 times per day, I’m going to make sure most of those are “mini meals”. Instead of snacking toddlers on empty calories of fishy crackers and the little O’s cereal, you are going to find these little guys will do better eating some friendly fats with a little bit of carbohydrate. Their blood sugars will be more stable making less volatile little people, they will be satiated longer, and their brain and growing bodies will be nourished to grow.

One of my go-to on the go “mini meals” for my 2 year old who has to sit in the car for a loooong time during drop offs for my elementary school kiddo and my preschooler, are these plantain crackers with some sort of fat – sometimes raw cheese or butter, sometimes chunks of avocado, other times some olives. The point is, it is a quick “mini meal” that I can throw in a little cup or bowl that my 2 year old can handle herself while in the car for these taxi driving trips to drop off or pick up her sisters.

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!And bonus! The big kids love them too.

A quick handful into my 1st grader’s lunchbox (See my Instagram hashtagging #rgnschoollunches to see how I pack them!), or into a little container with a hard boiled egg for my 4 year old’s preschool snack, and that is as quick as it gets!

I have been working on these plantain crackers for… a while. My problem was always an end result that was soggy or chewy instead of crispy like a cracker. How did I master the cooking method? Go figure…by accident!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!One day, my 2 year old was having a particularly “2 year old day” and getting her ready to leave for school pick up took longer than expected. I had some plantain crackers in the oven for a while, and before we left for school pick up I turned off the oven, and just left the crackers in there because I knew they didn’t look “done” yet. When we got home a half hour later, they were perfectly crisp and NOT over cooked! It was like that extra time in the oven with the heat turned off almost dehydrated them the rest of the way. I have been making them this way over the last month to test my theory out and they have come out perfect every time!

Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I hope your little 2 year old treasures enjoy them 😉

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

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crispy Plantain Crackers :: Great for toddlers, kids, and adults! Gluten, Egg, Nut, & Dairy Free!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large plantains (If your plantains are smaller use 4. My plantains have been yellow using this recipe - I think if you use green plantains you will need more moisture somewhere in the recipe - either some water or more plantain.)
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp each of onion and garlic powders (Optional)
  • Sea salt to sprinkle the top of the crackers
Instructions
  1. Everything into your food processor and blend until smooth. You will have to scrape down the sides once or twice.
  2. Spread the batter onto 2 large jellyroll pans that are lined with Silpat or parchment paper (I have tested both liners and both work). Spread it as thin as you can - this is really important so that they cook even and don't come out soft/chewy. Pay attention to the middle making sure there isn't too much there - push the batter all the way to the edges. It spreads easily with a spatula. Sometimes if my bananas are on the bigger side and I have too much batter I will get a third sheet out - you just want to make the batter on the sheets thin. You can see the thickness in the crackers on my images in this post.
  3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes and then use a pizza roller or a butter knife to score the sheets into cracker shapes.
  4. Put the sheets back in the oven and bake another 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees. If you see any browning around the edges move to the next step.
  5. Turn the oven OFF while keeping the sheets of crackers IN the oven to dehydrate the rest of the way about 20-30 minutes minimum. I have left them in there for an hour or so if I am out and about running errands without any issues or burning because the oven is off.
  6. Let the crackers cool a few minutes before handling - they crisp up even more after they cool. Store the crackers in an airtight container and eat within 2 weeks.

For more real food snack ideas, you can check out my Snack Ideas board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:

Tuna Salad For All Ages

Energy Bars

Guacamole

Fresh Tomato Soup

14343512918_9451ba85c1_z

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

 

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Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie Created To Promote Focus, Attention, & Mineral Balancing in Children!

September 19, 2015

This delicious, *kid approved* smoothie nourishes attention, focus, and mineral balancing in children who need it the most!

Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie Created To Promote Focus, Attention, & Mineral Balancing in Children!

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.

Note from Renee :: I am so honored to introduce Lydia Shatney guest posting this week! Lyida is an NTP with a background in working with families to naturally work through adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorder, chemical and metal toxicity, and childhood diagnoses like ADD/ADHD. I was blown away when I heard how she helped her son work through ADD-like behaviors using very non-invasive, natural means. I asked her if she would be willing to share her story with you on the blog, and I hope her story resonates with you.

My heart is truly to see this post go viral with sharing because our kids are so worth it – this can be done without more chemical medications!

Welcome to RGN Lydia! We are so happy to have you! (Be sure to check out Lydia’s blog too, Divine Health From The Inside Out!)

I am a mom of four boys and also a nutritional therapist, and by using hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), along with my past studies through the Nutritional Therapy Association, I was able to better understand my youngest son’s hyper and volatile behaviors and create a plan to help him. Through his hair analysis I was able to see that he was in an extremely fast rate of oxidation. Meaning both his adrenals and thyroid were working on overdrive due to lacking sedative minerals (like calcium, magnesium and zinc) and extremely elevated sodium and potassium.

Kids in this pattern would be consider hyperkinetic or likely labeled with AD/HD.

To set the stage a bit, when I was pregnant with him, I went through the most difficult season of my life. The most stress EVER, and the first 2 years (while breastfeeding) of his life were just as stressful. I was already depleted when I conceived him – and my magnesium was probably quite low (I had numerous health issues that correlate with magnesium deficiency most of my life). Mineral deficiency in mom is carried to her unborn children.

In kindergarten he had a lot of behavioral issues in school – 1st grade was a nightmare. So bad that it took several adults to manage him on a daily basis we then had to get him an IEP and move him to a different school. (first of all, I think that the first grade curriculum and structure is ridiculous in it’s expectations of boys but that is another story – he was clearly volatile). We switched him to a small school with a behavioral program where he had to go through an evaluation with the school psychiatrist.

The school psychiatrist clearly told me she did not think he had AD/HD or any diagnosable issue. Yet, she still recommended I get him on meds to better ‘manage’ his behaviors.

I firmly said NO.

It wasn’t until he began his 2nd grade year that I ran an HTMA on him. When I got the results back – I was shocked. I grieved a bit and was really softened to the why behind his struggles and then I was relieved. I now knew what he needed.

His pattern was a severely hyperkinetic one – sky high tissue sodium and potassium and extremely low tissue calcium, magnesium and zinc, elevated manganese and aluminum, very low copper. His ratios were scary extreme to me at the time because I was new to it. BUT it gave me hope anyway and a plan of action -something which I really did not have up until then.

You see even though I was an already practicing NTP (nutritional therapy practitioner) and had plenty of knowledge about health – I had no idea what HIS biochemistry even looked like. I had run blood tests and allergy panels and saw some improvements with our efforts to that end -but nothing like I got from the HTMA.

Here are some of the behaviors he had:

  • Extreme volatility – fly off the handle rage – cursing -not able to calm down without physically assisting him out of a room into a place where he could finish his melt downs.
  • trouble sleeping through the night or going to bed on his own
  • poor social skills, he could not be trusted around peers without supervision (it was difficult for him to make friends or have play dates)
  • refusal to write/writing was a huge labor
  • challenge to read -would give up and throw fits out of embarrassment.
  • would come home from school and throw his back pack down and throw fits about how terrible school was.
  • non-stop movement (literally bounced off the walls)
  • EXTREME appetite/voracious was never satiated
  • eczema
  • severe bed wetting – through a pull up and a bed mat
  • extremely loose bowels that were whitish gray
  • numerous sensory issues, including extreme fear of stickers
  • verbal issues – fast utterances and a slight lisp and also he would say a sentence then repeat himself not out loud but with his lips

Within 2 weeks he started calming down a bit with the new supplements and the changes in his diet – I could tell.

He was just a sweet kid in a minerally depleted body.

I’m happy to report that ALL of the above is now gone. He is still active and still eats a fair bit but nothing compared to before.

Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie Created To Promote Focus, Attention, & Mineral Balancing in Children!Kids in this fast oxidation pattern need a lot of fat in their diet, so I use this chocolate banana mineral smoothie as way to get more fat in to him. Cocoa powder has minerals in it and we manage to avoid adding any additional sugar because the bananas are sweet. Thankfully, he loves smoothies and these go a long way to keeping him full, keeping my budget in check and also are a great way to get the bulk of his supplements into him.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie Created To Promote Focus, Attention, & Mineral Balancing in Children!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 TB organic cacao powder
  • 1-2 scoops grassfed collagen
  • 1 capsule Mega SporeBiotic or whatever probiotics you may be using (Optional. Note from Renee :: The MegaSpore is only available through a practitioner like Lydia.)
  • 1 - 1½ cups of whole fresh milk or coconut milk (or whatever 'milk' you tolerate -even water would work or coconut water)
  • 1-2 TB fat (Coconut oil or raw egg yolks. Optional but good for fast oxidizers, or kids with AD/HD patterns)
  • ¼ cup of cooked frozen chopped kale
  • vanilla stevia drops to taste (Optional)
  • pinch sea salt
  • ½ tsp. camu camu or other whole food c powder (THIS SOURCE and THIS SOURCE are good options)
Instructions
  1. Throw all ingredients into your blender or Vitamix.
  2. Blend for 2 minutes on high speed. This makes one large serving that Christian has right away as maybe his first breakfast or a snack and then we make 2 popsicles for him to have later as a snack, since he eats probably 6 times a day.

Approximate Mineral Content of this smoothie (makes 2 servings):

  • Calcium: 410 mg
  • Magnesium:  140 mg (+ 24 ionic magnesium)
  • Sodium:  112 mg
  • Potassium:  1590 mg
  • Iron:  2.5
  • Copper:  .4 mg
  • Zinc:  2.1 mg
  • Manganese :  1.3 mg
  • Chromium : 100 mcg added from ionic chromium drops)
  • Selenium:  13.3 mcg
  • Phosphorous:  320 mg

(Note from Renee :: Lydia also shared with me that she adds in the rest of his supplements that are specific to his mineral needs. Since every child’s nutritional/mineral needs are different, it is very important not to just add any supplements without working with a professional like Lydia who can look at exactly what your child’s body needs! You can start working with Lydia to get your child’s specific mineral levels and needs by clicking through this link.)

Ok! Back to Lydia!

I share Christian’s story very openly because I know there are other kids out there that have similar struggles and parents don’t always know what to do or how to help them. A child with this kind of behavior can put a huge strain on the family. And often the only recommended help is therapy or medication.

It does not have to be like this.

It used to hurt my heart so much because he was ‘that kid’ in public – the kid that everyone stared at and thought ‘what is his deal?’

This is why I do what I do – I started learning HTMA to help my family and it indeed has. We all are on a game plan and I test my boys every 2-4 months. It is not EASY but it’s it worth the effort above and beyond the work it takes.

Kids respond well to mineral balancing – and it does not take as many supplements or time to help them feel better!

For more information about mineral balancing and hair tissue mineral analysis, you can start the conversation with Lydia HERE!

Chocolate Banana Power Smoothie Created To Promote Focus, Attention, & Mineral Balancing in Children!Note from Renee :: While thankfully my kiddos at home don’t display ADD-like behaviors, children do tend to run on the faster metabolism side, and in one of my kids especially there is a noticeable change in mood when her blood sugar is low. Kids really do need more fat in their diet to be stable, so I have been using this smoothie over the last week for the girls as an afternoon snack. 1 recipe is enough for all 3 of them (my kids are younger – this is 2 servings for older kids), and they really do love the flavor!

unnamedLydia is a Nutritional Therapist and a single mom of four fabulous boys, on a mission to share her passion for whole, healthy, real foods with the world! She enjoys living life one day at a time, from the inside out! Lydia believes that health is a choice, a right and a gift that we cannot take for granted, and in this day and age, unfortunately, must fight for!

Lydia started Divine Health From the Inside Out to log her journey with food and evolving food philosophies, along with her own personalized recipes. Along the way shifting over to a more traditional, real foods way of eating and incorporating the most natural, organic, nature intended foods possible. Thus ultimately leading to a more nourishing way of life!

You can find Lydia on Facebook and Twitter. Lydia offers Hair Mineral Analysis to help with healing.

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Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C Supplements

September 5, 2015

Vitamin C is an amazing immune system booster to fight colds, flu, & even adrenal fatigue – but are you taking the right kind?

Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C SupplementsDisclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I claiming to be one. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat anyone. Links are affiliates and help to keep the information on this blog free. Please know that I never recommend a product or service that I wouldn’t use on my own family.

We are in a constant state of learning aren’t we?

I think I have learned more in my years after schooling and college than I ever did in formal education. It’s always good to be learning, reading, and growing.

Especially with regards to optimal health, it is really important to stay on top of things. I recently started working with a nutritional therapist for some adrenal issues I have had since having my last baby, and we had a really great conversation about vitamin C.

My NTP really opened my eyes to not only the importance of using the right source of vitamin C, but also that how we handle the vitamin C makes a difference.

Because, listen, I don’t mind doing the supplementing thing – I get it. I get that our soils (and therefore our food supply) is severely deficient in many vitamins. But I don’t want to supplement with something that is just as deficient as our food supply because it isn’t sourced right, or properly handled so the vitamin is destroyed.

Nobody wants to waste their money, and it isn’t doing anyone’s health any good to be taking a supplement that you think is doing you some good when it really isn’t.

So here’s the deal. Vitamin C is pretty amazing!

An immune system equipped with properly sourced and handled vitamin C can do amazing things with colds, flu, and other immune system crashers like adrenal fatigue.

Unfortunately vitamin C in many supplements on the market today are sourced with ascorbic acid instead of whole food. Using a whole food source is obviously always a better route, and in this case specifically, vitamin C is so much more complex than just ascorbic acid. There are actually dangerous downsides to taking just ascorbic acid based vitamin C (See this podcast for more details! So fascinating!).

Vitamin C is also very delicate.

Heat destroys it.

Prolonged air exposure destroys it.

Light destroys it.

So while this amazing vitamin we know we need is super powerful, it is pretty useless when it is not in it’s natural form, and has not been handled or packaged properly. My NTP said to think about it this way…our traditional ancestors would have foraged their berries and then dried them to save in dark storage. This would have kept the integrity of the nutrients – specifically the vitamin C – in the fruit.

So why not just eat an orange?

You guys know by now I am all about whole foods. My kids absolutely eat oranges, and other whole fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. But unfortunately our soils are so depleted there is no way we could eat as many oranges as it would take to get what we need. In fact my NPT told me that the whole food source of vitamin C in Camu Camu is 300 times the amount of vitamin C than American oranges.

So how about a whole food sourced vitamin C supplement that is properly prepared and packaged! Win-win! Since vitamin C is heat sensitive, it is important that the whole food source is dried out instead of heated to maintain the vitamin properties. And then packaged in a capsule and dark bottle to reduce light and air so as much of the C as possible is maintained.

We have been taking this whole food sourced vitamin C since well before school started, and it feels really good to know for sure that the C is intact, and doing some good!

My big girls swallow the capsules, and my 2 year old will take the powder from the capsule on her tongue.

…but sometimes it is just fun to have it in a different form!

Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C SupplementsWe made some Vitamin C gummies to kick off the school year – and made them in a way that still protects the properties of the vitamin C! I am so excited to share this method with you!

Anytime you heat vitamin C, that C is destroyed.

So instead of cooking a vitamin C rich food like citrus oranges or lemons and destroying the vitamin C, we’re going to use whatever fruit you have around, warm up for the gelatin to work, and then we’ll add in our whole food sourced vitamin C off the heat to give it an immune boosting punch! I am keeping my vitamin C gummies in an airtight container in the fridge to further maintain the properties of the vitamin C.

This recipe allows YOU to decide how much vitamin C goes into each gummy so you can know for sure how much you are giving the kids. You can pack a full dose into one gummy, or spread out the vitamin C so they can have a 3 or 4 gummies at a time. Since kids come in different shapes and sizes, and with different nutritional needs, you can dose the vitamin C how their needs fall. I very highly recommend working with an NTP like Lydia that can see the nutritional needs of your kids from a very specific professional viewpoint.

What a fun way to build up the kid’s immune systems while they navigate the first couple months of back to school germs!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C Supplements
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Warm up the fruit and water in a small sauce pan until everything is thawed and comes to a slight bubble.
  2. Put the warmed fruit and water into your food processor or blender along with the gelatin and blend to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture in your gummy molds and dose out how much of the vitamin C you want in each mold. Use a small spoon to mix the C powder into the gummy mixture.
  4. You can put the mold in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 30 minutes to set the gummies. Once you pop the gummies out, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to maintain the properties of the vitamin C.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!) *PLUS* An Amazing Deal From MightyNest!

August 6, 2015

5 minutes. No cooking. Major money saving! You can make Larabar’s classic chocolate chip cookie Larabar right at home!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!)This post is sponsored by MightyNest. I received the lunch gear pictured in the post as compensation for my time, however please know I only post products/services I would use on my own family.

I’ve been giving myself a little kick in the pants toward get moving toward back to school.

Sigh. I seriously love summer. But I also seriously love school routine!

So we are clinging to the last few weeks of summer, getting in as many beach days as we can…and here and there easing ourselves back into school mode.

I have a fun, *quick* little snack recipe to share with you today for your back to school lunch packing…and also a pretty amazing deal from MightyNest to pack up your snack in!

So let’s talk about this awesome MightyNest deal!

Did you know that the average sized family goes through 500 plastic baggies every year??? MightyNest wants to make quality re-useable bags from Lunchskins available to everyone, so they are offering Raising Generation Nourished readers 2 Lunchskin reusable bags (one snack sized and one sandwich sized) for just $5 (this would regularly be $16.90 plus 5.95 shipping!) through MightyFix!

A $22.85 value for $5! YES please!

If you’re interested in creating a healthy homelife, the MightyFix is for you. Here’s how it works:

  • For $10/month MightyNest will send you a full-sized, eco-friendly product (with a $10 retail value or more!) every month that makes it easier to live more mindfully and make healthy choices.
  • Before your MightyFix ships, place as many additional orders as you want from MightyNest.com to hitch a ride with your Fix, and it ALL SHIPS FREE.
  • As always, 15% goes back to the school of your choice!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!)The MightyFix is a smart way to start making small changes at home.

Plus, it’s pretty hard to pass up FREE SHIPPING on any orders you add to your MightyFix every month! Hint: Get back-to-school essentials like lunch gear shipped FREE.

MightyNest has a great selection of back to school *must have* lunch packing essentials. These are some great must-haves for waste free lunch packing!

GET YOUR LUNCHSKINS FOR $5 SHIPPED!

MightyNest is offering Raising Generation Nourished readers a $5 off coupon for their first MightyFix order! Your first MightyFix will be just 5 bucks shipped! These quality re-useable bags will last your family for years and cost less than what you are paying even in half a year of plastic baggies to throw away!

Enter your email in the widget below and your $5 coupon will be emailed to you for your first MightyFix!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!)

Here’s my take on the classic chocolate chip cookie fruit and nut bar from Larabar – feel free to use whatever nuts you have on hand! Classic Larabars use cashews – I like the taste of pecans better but use whatever you have! This batch will make at least 12 bars so you can stash them away in the freezer! They will go from freezer to lunchbox super quick.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fruit & Nut Bar (Compare to Larabar!) *PLUS* An Amazing Deal From MightyNest!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Medjool dates (Our local grocer carries this brand)
  • 3 cups pecans (I soak and dehydrate mine to reduce phytic acid)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (this is optional but makes it taste really good! Do NOT use vanilla extract - the end produce will be too wet/slimy - I even tried adding coconut flour to dry it up and that didn't work! Only vanilla bean if you want the vanilla added)
  • ⅓ - ½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Everything EXCEPT the chocolate chips into your food processor (I think a blender would work too) and blend to combine. (It should press together when you push on the mixture).
  2. Add the chocolate chips and pulse to combine, or just mix them into the mixture by hand.
  3. Press the mixture into a small baking dish lined with parchment paper. Put it into the fridge to firm up so cutting is easier. You can cut them right away if you want - they really are ready to eat right away! I freeze them cut into bars so they pop into the lunchbox super easy.

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Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins

August 1, 2015

A delicious on the go breakfast using nourishing buckwheat and loaded up with sweet, juice blueberries!

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsLast weekend we enjoyed harvest season for Michigan blueberries! There is just something about the climate here (or ridiculous winters?!) that makes for some of the best blueberry growing in the nation right here along Lake Michigan.

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsEvery year we go picking the second to last weekend in July at a sweet family’s farm just a 7 minute drive from our home. My oldest is getting even more helpful as the years go by – and it was fun to have a brand new toddler on hand this year to show where the berries grow.

Blueberry Buckwheat Muffins

DSC_0041

Last year I showed you how we used our blueberries for jam, and while I still made some jam this year, I didn’t make quite as much as usual. I have more of a need this year to just keep them around to eat fresh for the next 2 weeks, and freeze the rest for smoothies, oatmeal add-ins, and yogurt for school lunches.

I did want to make some blueberry muffins to store away for quick pull out breakfasts, and I decided that instead of triple batching my usual GF blueberry muffins for the freezer, that this year I wanted to have more variety in ingredients. So I made one batch of my regular ones, and this is a brand new recipe!

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsBlueberries and buckwheat are a match made in heaven, so these muffins really turned out well! We make blueberry buckwheat pancakes the weekend after picking so I thought muffins wouldn’t be too difficult to figure out!

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsBuckwheat is actually a seed and has a bit of a “nutty” flavor – it worked really well with these muffins – they were so soft too!

Blueberry Buckwheat MuffinsProduct 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 Buckwheat Muffins
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 2 lemons (Or a couple TB of real whey, ¼ cup or so of whole yogurt, or a couple TB of apple cider vinegar - these are soaking mediums)
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup (Or more - taste the batter to sweeten to your family's preference - Keep in mind this batch makes 2 dozen muffins - so while ½ cup seems like a lot it is really spread out!)
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to make the muffins, put the buckwheat flour, water, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl, combine, and let it sit in a warm spot in your kitchen overnight 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the flour so it is easier on the gut, and also makes the nutrients in the buckwheat more available to absorb into the body.
  2. The next morning, add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries into the bowl, and blend with hand beaters to combine.
  3. Fold in the blueberries.
  4. Scoop the batter into silicone muffin cups or a buttered muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool before handling them.

For more real food breakfast ideas, follow my Breakfast Ideas Board on Pinterest!

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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!

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Strawberry Quinoa Granola

July 4, 2015

Crispy, crunchy and swirled with sweet strawberries! This is one granola that I dare to put up against any boxed cereal in taste!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaLast weekend we celebrated strawberry season in Michigan!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaI don’t know that Michigan is the first place that people think of when they think of berry season, but in all actuality, it is a great climate for many berry growers – especially strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. We grow raspberries in our backyard with the greatest of ease – there is something about the lakeshore climate that is just perfect for growing summer berries is what I have been told!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaAnd after the winters we have to endure, I would say being rewarded with some of the sweetest strawberries you have ever tasted is definitely due!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaThis year I kept things pretty simple and very useful with our 30 pound load. No fancy desserts for me this year – I need functional to keep my sanity right now!

I froze the majority of it for smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal during the school year. I kept a few pounds in the fridge for us to eat this week. And I poured some pureed strawberries into my popsicle molds to stash away for this summer.

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaStrawberry granola was on my functional uses for my strawberries as well. Granola is nice for cool summer breakfasts – and don’t even think I’m not already thinking about those first weeks of school coming up at the end of August! Granola makes a great breakfast for busy mornings too!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaLast year I created this grain free strawberry granola for my friend Jessica over at Delicious Obsessions – and it went FAST! The girls loved it – as did my husband and I. This year I decided to try some different ingredients to switch things up. It isn’t grain free this time, but the grains and flours I chose had specific purpose – nutrient dense and filling!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaThe girls have been sneaking handfuls here and there over the last week and it really turned out so good!
If you can’t or don’t have access to raw milk for pouring or whole yogurt, you can use coconut milk or coconut yogurt!

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaGranola also packs up great for school lunches – the kids can sprinkle it into a cup of yogurt or just eat it by the handful. I frequently pack a handful of granola for a snack for my preschoolers school snacktime.

Strawberry Quinoa GranolaA quick note on dehydrators! I have a simple, middle of the road dehydrator and I really love it – it gets the job done very well! I have quite a few extra trays that I stack up and I can do pretty large batches. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can oven dry or oven bake – there are instructions for this in the recipe below!

Strawberry Quinoa Granola
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups oats (not quick oats! If you are gluten free be sure your oats say gluten free on them likeTHESE)
  • 2 cups quinoa (I get the linked brand at Costco - the regular color or the red quinoawork fine - I used the red this time!)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup melted friendly fat (butter, coconut oil, avocado oil)
  • ⅓ cup raw honey (If your kids are used to a much sweeter cereal go ahead and double this. I get mine from a local farmer. If you don't have access THIS is a good brand.)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups strawberries, chopped. (I didn't take the time to slice them nicely - I just pulsed them in my food processor!)
Instructions
  1. Put the oats, quinoa, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add water to cover the grains, combine, and let the mixture soak 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down phytic acid in the grain, makes it easier to digest, and makes the nutrients more available to absorb!
  2. After the grains have soaked, drain the liquid and return to the mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.
  3. Spread onto your dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 135 degrees overnight (Or over the course of a day. I tend to soak during the day and dehydrate overnight). If you are using an oven you can set your oven at the lowest heat and stir throughout the day - or you can go at a higher temp and bake it off, again stirring often until it dries out.
  4. Once the granola is dried out you can crumble it into containers for storage.

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

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Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles

June 27, 2015

It’s summer, and those kids play hard! Restock their electrolytes naturally with refreshing bursts of cool lemon in every bite!

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesI am really excited to share with you guys my summertime answer to long, hot summer afternoons!

Long gone are the days of the afternoon nap for 2 of my girls, and while we do a version of “quiet time” for a short while – it is just that at ages 6 and 4…a short while 😉 These 2 play hard and busy most of the afternoon.

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.

I’m not a huge fan of afternoon snacks since they seem to ruin dinner appetites for my kids, so these lemon electrolyte popsicles are enough to give them a quick energy boost, but light enough not to ruin their next meal!

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesA quick energy and mineral shot from some local, raw honey, and electrolyte balancing boost from real sea salt is all you need for refreshing the system in the heat of the summer. And in a much more natural way compared to store bought electrolyte drinks or snacks. Lemon not only tastes amazing, but it nourishes the body with real vitamin C and cleansing properties.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesThese are also perfect for the kids when they get sick. You can even keep a stash of them away in the freezer for those illnesses that pop up out of nowhere so you are prepared. Similar to my quick, shake up homemade electrolyte drink, these popsicles can help keep kids hydrated and balanced while ill and not eating much.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesProduct 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 love my 10-pop popsicle mold! I seriously love it! I can make a big batch all at once, wrap them up and store them away in the freezer for when I need them! The girls can help themselves that way too!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice & zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 TB raw honey (I get mine from a local farmer. Ask around at farmer's markets to find some - if you don't have access THIS is a good brand.
  • ¼ - ½ tsp real sea salt (per your taste)
Instructions
  1. Blend everything up and pour into your popsicle molds. This amount fills up my 10-pop popsicle mold.
  2. Freeze the popsicles and serve!

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Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg Free

June 20, 2015

Warm, sweet, and rich all in a little bar that packs a big nourishment punch with minerals and protein – this molasses snack bar is perfect for busy days and on the go snacks!

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeSo we’ve got the first couple weeks of summer break under our belt, and I *think* we are finally ready for some action!

We definitely were in need of a routine break – so the first couple weeks off school we literally did nothing 🙂 And I loved every minute! We have hung out in the sun, had a couple of mornings at the park, and just enjoyed being home with nothing to do! Ha!

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeI am definitely all about summer being more laid back in routine and schedule, but we do balance that with some staple summer things like weekly trips to the beach down the road, our zoo pass, the splash pad in town, park days, library days, and of course all the summer fruit picking we have available in the area we live in!

And with all the go go go of some of those summer days, comes hungrier kids!

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeLast week I could tell my girls were getting a little bored with the same on the go type snacks I had been packing for zoo outtings or the beach and decided to try making something new.

My goal in these molasses protein bars was:

  • Quick and simple (not a load of ingredients and can be mixed up quick)
  • Pack up easily for travel
  • Use different ingredients than the other bars I have in the freezer to give the gut variety
  • Loaded with nourishment from minerals and some protein/fat to hold busy girls over until lunchtime or the next meal.

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeMy usual energy bars and granola bars are a staple in my freezer that all 3 girls really love. It is a good thing to rotate ingredients/food around in the diet though. And this is not only to be kind to our guts with variety, but also to create broad taste palates in our kids – meaning they don’t get used to just one food all the time.

Quinoa is actually not a huge favorite in our home (I usually end up making a quinoa bake instead of eating it just plain!) – so don’t let that ingredient scare you if the kids aren’t big fans! It does provide a nice, difference source of protein and carbohydrate so it is great way to change things up.

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeThe buckwheat gives a nutty flavor without the nuts. We handle nuts fine in the house but I don’t think they need to be eaten everyday if we want to keep our tummies happy.

The molasses has a great mineral content, and the rich warm flavor is so yummy! You can definitely swap this for all raw honey but I would give it a try to change things up!

Molasses Protein Snack Bars :: Gluten, Dairy, Nut, & Egg FreeJust a quick note on the batch size! This makes a whole sheet pan (large jellyroll pan) worth of bars – I think I cut up about 20. So the measurements seem big because it is a big batch! I like it that way so I don’t have to make them all the time! If you don’t want to store that many in the freezer, you can half the recipe and bake it in at 9×13 dish, which I also tried and it worked out great.

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

5.0 from 3 reviews
Molasses Protein Snack Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quinoa (I get the linked brand at Costco)
  • 4 cups buckwheat flour (I get mine in bulk at our health food store)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds (I get mine in bulk at our health food store)
  • 1 cup avocado oil (I get mine at Costco)
  • ¾ cup organic molasses (Sometimes our Costco has this brand otherwise I get it on Amazon)
  • ¼ cup raw honey (If you want it sweeter you can double this. I get mine from a local farmer. If you do not have local access THIS is a good brand.)
  • 2 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Put the quinoa, buckwheat flour, lemon juice, and water in a large mixing bowl, combine, and soak overnight or 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid and helps the grain and seed digest better on the gut - it also makes their nutrients more available to absorb!
  2. After the mixture soaks, add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine, and spread out on a silpat or parchment paper lined large jellyroll pan.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, cool, and cut into bar size you want.

For more snack ideas, check out my Snack Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar Free

June 13, 2015

Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar FreeOne last fun recipe to use up that rhubarb, ok!?

My rhubarb just seems never ending this year – which I love! Usually rhubarb is thought of to use in desserts and other treats. We have a lot of fun enjoying our strawberry rhubarb creamsicles every May! But since I like to keep treats at a minimum with growing kids in the house, I usually try to come up with something different, but useful to use it up.

Last week the baby had me by the hand toddling around the yard and I noticed my rhubarb definitely wasn’t done producing like I thought it was! We picked the last handful together and I decided to make it a part of breakfast that week.

Granola seemed logical for the time of year, as we are headed into warm, muggy mornings here in the next few weeks. I love using granola cereals on those mornings so I’m not turning the stovetop on!

Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar FreeI keep simple cinnamon granola stashed in the fridge for those mornings I don’t want to cook, and also this grain free granola to change things up a bit.

I know that rhubarb is often thought of paired with strawberries, but one of my favorite flavor profiles is actually honey and rhubarb. We get the most beautiful raw honey packed with amazing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, & antioxidants from a local farmer and the flavor is so amazing. And this mineral rich, sweet raw honey mixed up with tart rhubarb is a delicious start to your morning meal! Oh! And you can sub sour apples if you don’t have access to rhubarb!

Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar FreeI would recommend using honey that you wouldn’t mind taking right off the spoon as you will taste it in the cereal. There are some local honeys around here with much stronger floral undertones that I don’t care for so just be sure you pick something you love!

We like to splash on raw milk or coconut milk and I usually have hard boiled pastured eggs on hand to serve alongside. It is a great summertime breakfast! It also works well to top yogurt or coconut yogurt!

Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar FreeProduct 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 the cook method! I love my simple dehydrator! You can use your dehydrator if you have one, and if you don’t, just bake it in the oven stirring every so often so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. See the recipe below for details.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Honey Rhubarb Granola :: Gluten, Egg, & Refined Sugar Free
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups oats (Not quick oats. If you are gluten free be sure they say gluten free oats like THESE)
  • 3 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped (I just buzzed mine up quick in the food processor. If you don't have access to rhubarb try a similar flavor like green apples!
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup raw honey (I get mine from a local farmer. Check your farmer's markets and ask for deals for buying in bulk - I buy it by the 5 pounds. THIS is a good brand if you don't have any near you)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Put the oats, water, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl, combine, and set in a warm area over night or 8-12 hours. Strain off the water.
  2. While the oats are straining put the rest of the ingredients in your large mixing bowl, add in the strained oats, and stir to combine.
  3. Spread out on your dehydrator and dry out at 110 degrees 8-10 hours . When it is done break it apart into storage containers or freezer bags. I like to keep grains cool so they keep better so I store mine in the fridge or freezer especially if it is the summer. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can bake it in your oven around 300 degrees for an hour, just stir it around every so often so the bottom doesn't burn.

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