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Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

June 2, 2021

Naturally sweeten your favorite frozen treat with homemade date sweetened ice cream! You’ll never guess this ice cream is also dairy free, egg free, and gluten free too!

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar 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.

18 summers…

We get 18 summers with them. Sure, the kids don’t just disappear as soon as they turn 18, but for the most part, we get 18 summers with them under our care, and under our roof…and my goodness is that a wake up call when 2 out of your 3 kids is already halfway through those 18 years. Those baby and toddler summers…are exhausting to say the least. And I’m not going to be the veteran momma that says to the young moms, “oh just enjoy it – it goes by so fast!” Because, dear momma, I’ll call it like it is…babies are beautiful and amazing, but that season of life will suck every last ounce of energy from you, as wonderful as those sweet cherubs are! I cherished the girls as babies and toddlers…But THIS age! These in between ages were they aren’t quite off with friends everyday, and you don’t need to make it home for naptime…this is the sweet spot. And I’m so here for it all summer. I am determined to enjoy every last minute of the remaining 18 summers that we have, including extra beach days, last minute road trips, Lego villages spanning the length of my living room for a week…and saying yes to ice cream!

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Summer Ice Cream Sweetened with Whole Fruit!

Over the past 6 months I’ve been playing around with sweetening some of my recipes that need sweetening with whole fruit, and I made a goal to work on some new ice cream recipes for the summer. We live in Michigan, so dear friends, that means we get this super amazing 3 months of serious paradise weather. It truly doesn’t get any better than summer on Lake Michigan! Last year, we got into a bit of a “habit” of popping into the local ice cream shop for dairy free ice cream, and while I think the summer of 2020 totally deserved that, I really want to replace that habit with something a little better in choice. Will we pop into the ice cream shop this summer? You bet! But probably more like a couple times versus every other week. Our family is completely obsessed with this homemade, whole fruit, date sweetened ice cream, and it is such a fabulous swap for your summer ice cream!

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Looking at “natural sweeteners” in a new way

If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that earlier this year I read through the book Sugarproof Kids. The authors sent the book to me for review, and while I’ll be the first to admit that there is no way I know *everything* there is to know about sugar and feeding kids, I remember thinking there probably wasn’t too much in the book that would be “new” information to me. Sugar is still sugar, and it truly does effect so many things for kids, but reading through this book did make me re-think how I am “naturally” sweetening things. Learning about how even natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup attach to our taste receptors effecting the way our brain sees “sweet,” and spikes blood sugar similar to plain sugar was a really good reminder. I remember when the girls were very little, I used to sweeten everything from their oatmeal to their treats with whole fruits only. As they got older the ease and convenience of honey or syrup won me over, and I figured a little dash here and there each week won’t matter. There is nothing wrong with a drizzle of honey over oatmeal, or a little splash of syrup in a muffin recipe, but reminding myself that the fiber in whole fruits helps the sweet spike to blood sugar slow down…well let’s just say I’ve been challenging myself to use whole fruit to sweeten things where I can! I’ve even gone back to just blending fruit to stir into the girls’ oatmeal instead of a few slices of fruit and drizzles of honey. (The book Sugarproof Kids is really excellent – I do highly recommend it regardless of where you are in your real food journey. It is gentle and non-condemning enough for newer friends to whole foods, and clearly was a good read for even this seasoned real food writer!)

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

So let’s make some {date sweetened} ice cream!

Just a handful of simple pantry ingredients is all you need for this dairy free, egg free, gluten free ice cream recipe! I like to use simple canned coconut milk. And don’t skimp on the fat – get the full fat version of whatever can of coconut milk you can find. The kind of fat in coconut milk is so good for your children’s growing brains and ever changing hormones! I don’t mind using the kind that has a little guar gum in the ingredients because when it comes to making ice cream, I find it helps with a creamier texture. The basic cans of Thai Kitchen coconut milk are very budget friendly, and work well for ice cream making. If you have homemade coconut milk, or just plain coconut milk without any thing added in, that will still work too! And of course the star of the show – dates! These dried fruits are packed with natural sweetness and once you soak them a little bit in some water, they blend up super smooth into your ice cream mixture. It really is as simple as putting all of the ingredients into your blender and buzzing it all up until it’s smooth.

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

What’s with the nut/seed butter ingredient?

I have made…a lot of homemade ice cream since having kids in the house. Some batches have been great, and others…well let’s just say a rock hard block of coconut ice is no fun to scoop, and doesn’t really feel like real ice cream. A number of years ago I read about how adding a spoonful or 2 of nut butter to ice cream mixtures helps with texture, keeping the icy crystals at bay, and making the ice cream really scoop-able. If you are a nut free house, seed butters like sunbutter work great too! And if you are completely nut and seed free, simply leave this ingredient out – the dates and thick, full fat coconut milk do make a great texture too.

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

But how does “date sweetened ice cream” taste?!

If I’m gonna have ice cream, I want it to taste and feel just like ice cream! You know what I mean?! Dates have a very neutral sweetness, with a slight hint of warm caramel notes. Since dates are dried and packaged without any added sugar, you are truly just getting the sweetness from the whole fruit. With the added vanilla extract and splash of almond extract to the ice cream mixture, the ice cream really turns out tasting like vanilla ice cream. Stay tuned throughout the summer, as I have some plans to perfect a chocolate date sweetened ice cream, as well aswell you tell me! What is your favorite flavor?! Let me know in the comments below!

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

A note on ice cream makers

One of the greatest investments I’ve make for our kitchen is our ice cream maker! Store bought dairy free ice cream is so expensive. It surely works in a pinch, but over time that is a huge hit to anyone’s budget. And even if you aren’t dairy free, finding an ice cream with a stellar ingredient list is pretty tough. Especially if you want it to be lower in sugar without using questionable low calorie sweeteners. If the ice cream maker doesn’t fit in the budget this summer, be sure to add it to your birthday or Christmas list this year – you will not regret it! I did start out with a cheaper ice cream maker that worked well at first, but did eventually tucker out. We have had this nicer, middle of the road ice cream maker for about 7 years now and it still works like new.

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Gluten free ice cream cone options

If you are in the mood for a cone, there are a few different options out there now! This has not always been the case! In fact, you can find most of these gluten free ice cream cones right in the baking section of your local grocery store – usually by all of the ice cream toppings. This is the brand that our grocery store carries (it is a much better price at the store for me, by the way, so shop around). The ingredient list isn’t perfect, but we also don’t have cones every time we have ice cream – I save them for special days.

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free
Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Be sure that your ice cream maker’s freezer bowl has been chilling in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
  • Put the dates in a medium bowl with warm tap water enough to cover the dates. Let the dates soak about 5 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
  • Put the coconut milk, nut or seed butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, and sea salt in your high-powered blender. Drain the soaking dates, and add the dates to the blender as well.
  • Blend the ice cream mixture until smooth. I use the ice cream function of my high-powered blender, but you could use any setting as long as the mixture gets smooth. If you do not have a high-powered blender, a Magic Bullet style will help the dates get super smooth, or a food processor will with some extra time.
  • Pour the blended ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and process for 30- 40 minutes, or according to your ice cream manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream mixture will be thin at first and within 20 minutes get very thick! Transfer your churned ice cream to a freezer safe container and chill.

Notes

  • My ice cream maker holds 1.5 quarts. If you have a 2 quart ice cream maker, I think you could get away with doing a recipe and a half of this to get more out of it!
  • I get the big bags of Noor dates at Costco – do some shopping around grocery and online to get the best price!
  • I know the nut or seed butter ingredient is odd, but over the years I have found just that little scoop of nut butter really helps with homemade ice cream texture. It keeps it from getting icy and hard, and makes it super creamy. If you are nut free, use Sunbutter! If you can’t have nuts or seeds, simply leave this ingredient out – you will still get a great ice cream!
  • For my daughter’s birthday last week, I added a bit more almond extract to make the ice cream taste more like “cake batter” and after it churned I folded some naturally dyed sprinkles into the ice cream to make “cake batter ice cream!”
  • Stay tuned this summer for more ways to dress up this basic ice cream recipe! I have plans to perfect chocolate and strawberry for sure!
 
Homemade Date Sweetened Ice Cream :: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

More real food SUMMER recipes you might like ::

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Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

May 30, 2021

Celebrate a special birthday with this yummy gluten free vanilla cake with the BEST naturally flavored and naturally dyed strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

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.

She’s 12!

Ah, you guys. This kid! If you had asked me 12 years ago what age made me the most nervous about having to navigate in motherhood, I probably would have said those tween-y, teen sort of ages, ya know? Babies? I could do that. But 12 year old’s that have thoughts and opinions? I remember being in 6th grade, ya’ll. (And alllll the toddler moms remind the tween momma that toddlers have all kinds of thoughts and opinions…amiright?!) I am actually absolutely adoring this age. Chloe is thoughtful and kind. She really does make me stop and think in different ways, and she makes me a better person everyday. I think most adults would struggle with the kind of empathy and compassion she has, and I am so glad she made me a momma 12 years ago!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

Her favorite cake…and a last minute decision to blog it!

Chloe decided she wanted strawberry frosting this year, and while I’ve made this sort of cake before using freeze dried fruit, I’ve never blogged it! After I dressed this cake up on her birthday, I decided last minute to blog it for you…hence the reason why I don’t have all of the step by step instructions here that I typically do. I really hope you get a chance to try it though – the ingredients, and the steps are quite simple! Use the comment section below if you have specific questions!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

Beautiful presentation, simple ingredients!

Oh, it’s just so pretty! You’d think this cake was dyed with red 40, or some other sort of dye, but all I use is freeze dried strawberries! They used to be a lot harder to find, but most grocery stores and health food stores carry them now, and you can find them online too. I tend to pick them up at Trader Joe’s. It is a super fun splurge to have amazing color, and even better – the BEST flavor! This cake and the frosting are also all gluten free, dairy free, and nut free!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

The Method :: The Vanilla Cake

This is a simple vanilla cake, with big vanilla flavor. If you have a chance to use real vanilla bean, I would absolutely do that – it is my favorite. Extracts work well too. You’ll blend the wet ingredients for this cake, add the dry, and then divide the batter between 2 cake round pans to bake. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

The Method :: The Strawberry Frosting

Here’s the secret to this beautiful, absolutely delicious cake! The strawberry frosting! Freeze dried fruit packs a huge punch in a small package, and it doesn’t change the texture of the frosting like fresh or dried fruit does. There is zero extra moisture. If you used the same amount of fresh strawberries in this frosting as you do freeze dried, you’d have a big soupy mess. Fresh fruit is great to decorate the top with if you wish, or as a big bowl of fresh fruit on the side at the party, but for this cake, I promise you will be so glad you grabbed that bag of freeze dried strawberries. Simply buzz them up in a grinder or blender into a powder and cream them into the frosting! Be sure to check that your freeze dried strawberries don’t have any added sugar – some of them do and you really don’t need that!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

It was a big hit!

This was all that was left after the party! I didn’t have time to set up a big photoshoot to get a pretty inside shot – but I hope this does the trick for you to see what the inside of the cake looks like. The vanilla cake is fluffy and moist, and not overly sweet, and the star of the show is definitely that flavor packed strawberry frosting!

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

Ingredients

For Two 9-Inch Cake Rounds ::

For the Strawberry Frosting ::

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use palm shortening or butter to grease 2 – 9 inch cake rounds. Trace the bottom of your cake rounds on parchment paper, cut the rounds out, and place the fitted parchment paper rounds on the bottom of your greased cake pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, and eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with beaters until combined.
  • Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans, and bake for 40 minutes – the cake should “spring” back when you touch it, and a toothpick will come out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
  • When you are ready to frost, blend about 3/4 of the bag of freeze dried strawberries in a Magic Bullet type blender or coffee grinder until it becomes a fine powder. Set the rest of the freeze dried strawberries aside to crumble on the top of the cake later.
  • Blend the palm shortening, powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberry powder, coconut milk, and extracts until smooth. You can adjust the coconut milk depending on how thick or thin you like your frosting texture. I had wished I had added a bit more coconut milk to mine this time because it was a bit thicker – the strawberry powder adds another element of dry ingredient that soaks it up.
  • Crumble the remaining freeze dried strawberries to sprinkle over the top of the cake if you want for decoration!
Vanilla Cake With *The* Best Strawberry Frosting! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Naturally Flavored, & Naturally Dyed!

More real food birthday recipes you might like!

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Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

March 30, 2021

Pretty little bursts of berry sprinkled throughout *the best* gluten free scones, for a delicious breakfast upgrade!

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.

The first day of spring, and a new recipe to celebrate!

We welcomed the first days of spring last weekend with all the hiking, biking, and even Lake Michigan toe dipping! All that fresh spring air got us excited about the amazing produce that will be growing here shortly, and with Easter next weekend, I decided to grab some berries and try a new breakfast treat for our Easter brunch this Sunday!

A familiar scone base, with a sweet berry change up!

If you’ve been around these parts in the last year, you know that last spring I perfected a Funfetti Birthday Scone for my middle kiddo’s birthday! That scone base then became a Thanksgiving morning treat with warm fall spices and molasses in my Pumpkin Scones. So for this spring inspired version, I used pretty berries! I cannot wait to get our hands on fresh Michigan berries this summer and make them again!

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

The Method :: The Scone Dough

Scones can feel intimidating, especially with squishy berries in the mix, but I promise this is not fussy. A simple dry ingredient combination, and let the butter shine! Crumble the cold butter into your flour, and then mix in your buttermilk. (I left instructions for making your own buttermilk or coconut buttermilk, which will give these scones a fluffed up, soft texture on the inside.) Once your dough is moist with buttermilk, you’ll fold in the berries gently with a rubber scraper to start, and then I found using my hands was the easiest way to get it all to come together into a loose dough.Once you flour your counter, use your hands to gently form a disk, then use a rolling pin to gently roll the disk to about just over an inch. After cutting your disk into eighths, place the scones a baking tray to bake. You can brush the tops of your scones with more milk and sprinkle a bit of sugar to make for a crispy, top.

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones
Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones
Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

The Method :: The Lemon Glaze

We played around with this lemon glaze a lot! My husband and I enjoyed a good tablespoon of lemon juice, while the kids were more into just a couple teaspoons. It really depends on your palate, so I recommend starting out with a teaspoon and working up from there to your taste. Remember the glaze will be drizzled over very lightly sweetened scones, so the sweet lemon flavor will blend into the scone some too. Berries and fresh lemon – what’s not to love?!

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones
Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

Freezer friendly!

I popped this whole batch of scones in the freezer for Easter this weekend! After a few days, I took them out to see how they would thaw and feel, and they are perfect. That means you can bake ahead of time if you want. Or you could even get the dough ready and cut out into triangles, and freeze the dough triangles so that you can bake them fresh on the morning you want to eat them.

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

Berry Ideas

One of the things I am super pumped to hear from YOU is all of the great berry combos that you are able to make with these scones this summer! Please keep me posted on your favorites, and others will be able to try your favorite combinations. From blackberries and raspberries, to mulberries, blueberries, strawberries, and more!

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

Let’s talk about swaps

I am pretty sure most Gluten Free Flour blends will swap in the recipe fine. Scones are treats in my house, so I don’t worry about the protein content, or try to get extra special “healthy” flours into the dough, because I don’t serve them daily. This is meant to go with a brunch table for Easter, or for a special breakfast in the summer served with sausage and eggs. I do think if you are not gluten free, and want to use an all purpose flour, it should work ok. I also think that if you are dairy free, you could use a good quality palm shortening instead of the butter.

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk or coconut buttermilk to make 1 cup of buttermilk, put 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, and fill with full fat milk or coconut milk to the 1 cup line. Stir together and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients together
  • 3 cups Namaste GF Flour Blend fluff the flour before measuring so it isn’t packed down
  • ¼ cup organic pure cane sugar plus a little more for sprinkling the tops of the scones if you wish
  • 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp zest from a lemon this is the zest from 1 small lemon
  • 8 oz cold butter 2 sticks, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups berries if using strawberries, be sure to cut them about the same size as any other berries in the scone so they mix uniformly.
  • 1/3 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp juice from the lemon you zested for the scone

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make your buttermilk first if you don’t have store-bought buttermilk.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cane sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and lemon zest
  • Use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the cold butter into the flour. You want to still be able to see small pieces of butter throughout. See the picture above for reference. I do not have a pastry cutter – I just use my hands!
  • Pour the buttermilk and vanilla extract into the flour/butter mixture and use a rubber scraper to mix. Add the berries to fold in gently. I use the rubber scraper to start, and finish with my hands gently.
  • Flour your counter, turn the dough out onto the floured surface, and gently make a disk with your hands. You can use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough to about 1 inch thick, and then use your hands again to shape the disk into a perfect circle.
  • Cut the disk into eighths, and place the triangles onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a light coating of milk or coconut milk, and sprinkle with a little sugar if you wish.
  • Bake the scones at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until the edges are golden. Cool the scones completely before icing.
  • To make the icing, whisk the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a small dish and drizzle over the tops of the cooled scones. The icing will dry and harden within about 20 minutes.

Notes

  • You can swap the lemon juice in the icing for coconut milk or regular milk/cream if you don’t want the extra lemon flavor.
  • If you want a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar, or decrease the amount of liquid in the glaze (lemon juice or coconut milk)
  • The scones freeze very well! Just cool completely, put the icing on and let it harden, and then freeze them in freezer bags.
Gluten Free Mixed Berry Scones

More real food recipes you might like!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine’s Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

January 20, 2021

Use these decadent gluten free chocolate cupcakes for everything from birthday, Valentine’s Day, and everything in between!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut 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.

Everyone needs a staple chocolate cupcake recipe in their back pocket!

And if you have tween and teen girlies in the house, it is an absolute must! This recipe is quite truly a few years in the making, as I have tried and tested it out every so often on holidays or birthdays. I can confidently say that this will become your very favorite, fool-proof chocolate cupcake on everything from birthdays to Valentine’s Day…and everything in between!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Let’s talk about this dairy free thing!

I’ve become such a huge fan of using palm shortening for creamy frostings since my need to be off dairy years ago. While I can tolerate butter now, I still tend to go back to the palm shortening for frostings – if you are dairy free I think you are going to be so relieved to find a replacement to still make a “buttercream!” If you tolerate butter, you can swap the palm shortening for unsalted butter, and swap the coconut milk for regular milk in the cupcake recipe.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

No gluten, nuts, or soy either!

Because I want you to be able to host a birthday party for your little one’s, dear momma! And we want safe cupcakes for those birthday treats at school – even the schools with nut free school zones, or kids that have celiac. I promise the texture of these cupcakes feel exactly like regular cake – kids that are not gluten free will never know!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Soft, fluffy, rich, and decadent!

These sweet little handfuls are everything you want in a chocolate cupcake. A few friends that have tested them out for me cannot even tell they are gluten and dairy free. So let’s just get right down to it! I’ll show you how the cupcakes are made, and then we’ll get to the fun part – dressing them up! I have so many ideas for you!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

The Method :: The Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcake batter is about as easy as it gets. A one-bowl wonder, chocolate cake batter is a simple mix of wet and dry that come together into a very rich, dark batter loaded with chocolatey goodness! Over the years I have become a huge fan of coffee to replace some of the liquid in chocolate cakes – you’ll never taste the coffee, but it does, in fact give the chocolate a richness and depth that you can’t achieve with plain water or milk. So a simple half and half mixture of coconut milk and brewed coffee make up my cake liquid. You can see the Notes section of the recipe card for swaps if you are sensitive to coffee. Once the chocolate cake batter is mixed, you’ll scoop the decadent mixture into your cupcake tin and bake.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

The Method :: The Chocolate Frosting

Once you cupcakes are cooled, you can blend the frosting ingredients until smooth. Adjust the amount of coconut milk to your frosting texture preference. Around these parts, we like our frosting rich and thick, so just a few tablespoons is enough! You can spread or pipe your frosting, and if you don’t have a fancy piping bag, simply snip the corner of a zip top freezer bag, and voila! You can pipe your frosting!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Let’s dress them up! :: BIRTHDAYS!

There is nothing like a chocolate cupcake to celebrate your birthday! While I’m perfectly giddy about a generous swirl of chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles for my birthday, if you have kiddos in the house, you’re sure to want to have these rainbow sprinkles on hand! I am also a huge fan of fun cupcake toppers using the theme of the birthday for my girls. For instance, we’ve done a beach birthday bash for my summer birthday sweetpea with these beach themed toppers! {HERE are the polka dot rainbow cupcake liners in the birthday cupcake images in this post!}

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Let’s dress them up! :: VALENTINE’S DAY!

Is it even Valentine’s Day without chocolate?! I think not! We are absolutely here for it in our house, and there are some great options for naturally dyed Valentine’s Day sprinkles now.

  • I used these Valentine’s Day sprinkles in the images for this post, or there is this option too.
  • I also happen to think that poking a little hole in the top of your baked cupcake, putting some strawberry jam in the middle, covering with frosting, and topping with a strawberry is the perfect heart day chocolate strawberry treat!
  • Another idea for your chocolate cupcakes on Valentine’s Day is using some freeze dried strawberries or raspberries blended into the frosting to give it a chocolate covered fruit flavor.
  • You could also skip the chocolate in the frosting and use the freeze dried strawberries or raspberries to make pink fruit flavored frosting.
  • {HERE are the cupcake liners used in the Valentine’s Day cupcake images!}
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Let’s dress them up! :: NEW YEAR’S EVE!

We rang in 2021 with the chocolate cupcakes pictured below that I posted to IG, and I truly couldn’t have thought of a better way to say good-bye to 2020! We sprinkled sugar crystals on the top – although I think the best adult way to make them would have been with flaked sea salt on the top! YUM!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

A cupcake for every occasion!

I can’t wait to see your chocolate cupcake creations this year! Be sure to tag on Insta or the Facebook, send emails or private messages, and comment below! Happy cupcake-ing to you!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Cupcakes :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

Ingredients

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CREAM FROSTING

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 dozen cupcake tins with paper liners.
  • Brew your coffee while you prepare the batter.
  • Mix the ACV and coconut milk to make coconut “buttermilk.” Put the eggs, olive oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut milk/ACV into a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and brewed coffee, and blend until smooth and combined.
  • Scoop the batter into your cupcake tins (you’ll fill 24 cupcakes around ¾ full of batter). Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Bake time depends on oven variations, and cupcake tin material/color (Darker pans will bake faster than lighter pans or silicone pans.) A toothpick should come out clean from the center and the middle should spring back to touch.
  • Cool the cupcakes in the pan for a few minutes before turning them out onto a wire cooling rack to cool.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Blend the frosting ingredients and frost to your liking.

Notes

  • If you tolerate dairy, you can swap the coconut milk for regular milk, and the palm shortening for unsalted butter.
  • If you are sensitive to coffee, you can swap the coffee for coconut milk or even just hot water (coffee is really just coffee infused water!). I had a friend trial the cupcakes with the coconut milk swap and the texture was great.
  • I have not tried this recipe with other GF flour blends. I think most will work, but if your blend does not have xanthan gum, you might want to add that for texture. I also have not tried the recipe with regular flour since I cannot have it. If you do try, let us know how you did in the comments!
  • This recipe only has 2 eggs, so I would imagine you could use egg replacer or flax egg if you are egg free. The cupcakes might not puff up as much, but it would bind ok with that! 
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes For Birthday, Valentine's Day, or any Occasion! :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free!

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

October 21, 2020

The most perfect buttery scones swirled with sweet pumpkin and warm fall spices!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

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.

Fall fun, and a new pumpkin breakfast treat!

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fall weekend for picking out pumpkins for Halloween! Pretty blue skies, and even a little warmth to the sun had my little Michigander kiddos peeling off their coats despite the crisp 50 degree air! The hayride was filled with anticipation, and when their eyes saw caught a glimpse of the pumpkin patch, you would have thought it was Christmas morning. These fields were packed! The girls will be working on carving their Halloween pumpkins this weekend, so I decided to work on a fun pumpkin scone recipe for them to savor this fun season!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

A birthday treat favorite with a fall twist!

Last spring we created what has become our household birthday breakfast tradition in these Funfetti Birthday Scones. I had a feeling I could use that recipe for just about any scone flavor, so this summer I played around with various summer berries with some successes that I’ll probably share next summer! I fell in love with the warm spices of pumpkin pie in these scones, and they are going to be so perfect for Halloween morning and Thanksgiving brunch!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

The Method :: The Pumpkin Scone Dough

I promise this scone batter is easy to work with and fuss free. Scones used to intimidate me because I’ve had numerous overly dry scones in my life! While the crispy, almost crunchy outside of a scone is a staple texture, one that falls apart in a crumble is not my idea of a great breakfast treat! These scones will gift you with a crispy outside and a super buttery, flaky inside – just perfect with your cup of coffee (or your favorite pumpkin spice latte!). Simply use a fork or pastry cutter to break up the butter into the dry ingredients, and then mix in the wet ingredients until a dough of cookie batter texture forms.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

The Method :: Rolling & Cutting the Pumpkin Scone Dough

Once you’ve kneaded your pumpkin scone dough, you can flour your rolling surface and create a disk. Roll your disk out to about 1 inch or so, and then make sure the edges are smooth using your hands to form it into a perfect circle. I like to use my pizza wheel to cut the disk into eighths.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze
Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

The Method :: Baking the Scones

Before you bake off your scones, you can sprinkle the tops with a bit of sugar if you are feeling sassy enough 🙂 You’ll want to completely cool your scones before moving on to the fun part – the brown sugar glaze!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

The Method :: The Brown Sugar Glaze

Once the scones have cooled, you’ll whisk the glaze ingredients in a small dish and then let the kids have at it with the drizzle! It doesn’t have to be perfect and they will feel so proud to make their own swirly glaze designs!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

How mild is the pumpkin pie spice?

Your home is going smell amazing while these scones are baking! If you love the aroma of pumpkin pie, you will be wanting to bake these off every weekend! I felt like the pumpkin pie spice flavor was very mild – in fact my non-pumpkin anything husband tried a slice of the scone and really liked it. That said you could swap the pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon if you think that might go over better.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

Tips and swaps for the Brown Sugar Glaze

While we simply adore the dark brown sugar flavor that a full teaspoon of molasses gives, I understand that some may find that strong. If you prefer a milder, light brown sugar taste, just use half of a teaspoon. I also think that the glaze would be amazing as a Cinnamon Glaze! Leave the molasses out and sprinkle in some cinnamon if you think your crew would love that! The glaze drizzles so nicely and then will harden on the scone within about 20 minutes.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

Freezer Friendly

Scones freeze so nicely! You can either freeze the scone dough, or you can bake the scones off and freeze them that way. I prefer to freeze them without the glaze, and then just glaze them when they thaw out, but you could glaze and freeze. This makes for a very nice make ahead breakfast or brunch idea for Thanksgiving – make the scones days in advance for your company, and you won’t have to bake them on Thanksgiving morning!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

Ingredients

For the Pumpkin Scones:

For the Brown Sugar Glaze:

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, molasses, vanilla, and vinegar until smooth. I use my 2 cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup so that I can just measure the coconut milk and pumpkin right in the cup, add the molasses and vinegar, and whisk. Set this mixture aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cane sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the cold butter into the flour. You want to still be able to see small pieces of butter throughout.
  • Pour the coconut milk/pumpkin mixture into the flour/butter mixture and use a rubber scraper to mix. I use the rubber scraper to start, and finish with my hands.
  • Flour your counter, and knead the dough a few times. Make a disk with your hands, roll the dough to about 1 inch thick, and then use your hands again to shape the disk into a perfect circle.
  • Cut the disk into eighths, and place the triangles onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. (At this point, you can brush the tops of the scones with a light coating of milk or coconut milk, and sprinkle with a little sugar if you wish.)
  • Bake the scones at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until the edges are golden. Cool the scones completely before drizzling the glaze on top.
  • To make the brown sugar glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, molasses, and milk in a small dish and drizzle over the tops of the cooled scones. The glaze will dry and harden within about 20 minutes.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

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Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

September 28, 2020

Chewy oatmeal raisin cookies with that perfect warm, sweet flavor and gluten, dairy, and nut free ingredients!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut 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.

Early fall colors, long hikes, and cookie treats!

This momma was born for the summer. Barefoot, sandy beach days, tan lines, and all the sunshine are totally my jam. But there is this little sweet spot when summer turns just ever so slightly into fall where we have this dance between cool, crisp mornings that quickly warm up into gorgeous 70 degree days. Add in little pops of leafy fall color, and the fact that most of the bugs are gone, and you could say early fall runs a very close second to my favorite season of the year. We take advantage of this little weather sweet spot for as many weekend hikes as we can, and sometimes packing an extra special cookie in our lunchboxes for the long hiking day is warranted!

Oatmeal raisin cookie nostalgia

Because we all grew up eating them out of Grandma’s cookie jar right?! I remember my Grandma had a little tin of cookies ranging from windmill cookies and crisp little chocolate chip cookies, to chewy oatmeal raisin. When the weather turns a bit cool, and I don’t mind having my oven on for a little bit, it’s fun to surprise the girls with a little cookie treat in our hiking day lunchboxes. These little oatmeal raisin cookies are as easy as can be to make, and they make a fun treat!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

Busy momma style cookie dough prep!

I made these cookies for the weekend during that little hour window of time that I usually have before picking the girls up from school on Friday. You can have the cookie dough done before the oven even pre-heats! The cookie dough is very fool-proof and easy to work with – the kids will love making these with you too! The oatmeal raisin cookie dough starts by creaming the wet ingredients before blending in the dry. It really does prep fast, and then you can stir in the raisins.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

To raisin or not to raisin?!

We absolutely raisin in this house – my kids adore them! But if your kids don’t love them, try swapping them out for a dried fruit that they do love. One of my girls likes these cookies the best with chopped figs! Dried apricots are lovely as well. And yes, I will totally give you permission to swap the dried fruit for chocolate chips if that’s how you like to roll!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

Chewy versus crunchy

I know this can be a very strong topic! People care about their cookie textures! I have the perfect texture baking time just for you! If you prefer a chewy oatmeal raisin cookie, you’ll bake your cookies around 12 minutes. For a crunchier version, simply add on a few minutes of cook time to your liking and they will crisp up!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

Healthier version, but still a treat!

I’m super proud to say that these cookies are safe for gluten and dairy free friends! If you are very sensitive to gluten, or have celiac, just be sure that your oats are certified gluten free. I also used half coconut sugar, and half regular organic sugar. Some of that purpose is because of the warm flavor that coconut sugar plus the touch of molasses gives to the cookie – it is like brown sugar! It also reduces the glycemic index a bit – coconut sugar is lower! That said, a cookie is still a cookie, and I’m not going to pretend that we should have one of these everyday. Just keep that in mind! They are fun, and certainly a better choice than most store bought versions.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

Freezer friendly

Because this recipe makes 16 large cookies, I tend to freeze what we don’t eat. That makes pulling out a fun “just because” treat on a Friday night that much easier! Or when you have “drop in” friends that visit, you can pull out a fun cookie to enjoy with them. Just cool the cookies completely, and pop them in a freezer bag. They thaw pretty quick, or you can put them in a warm oven to thaw and get warm.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with Silpat or unbleached parchment paper.
  • Cream the palm shortening, coconut sugar, sugar, molasses, and vanilla with hand beaters, and then add the eggs and blend until creamy.
  • Add the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and blend to combine. Add the raisins and use a spatula to combine evenly.
  • Roll 2-inch balls of cookie dough in your hand and place on the lined baking sheet. Press the dough into a disk with the palm of your hands, being sure to leave space around each cookie.
  • Bake the oatmeal raisin cookies at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown for a chewy cookie. For a crunchier texture, bake an extra 2-3 minutes. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. They will be soft at first and firm up as they cool.
  • The oatmeal raisin cookies will keep on the counter or pantry in an airtight container for 2 days before they start drying out too much. If you have some left after a day or so, I suggest freezing them to maintain their chewy texture and moisture. They can go into a freezer bag easily, and they thaw out fast at room temp, or you can put them in a warm oven.
Gluten Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Nut Free

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Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

June 16, 2020

Strawberry season just got a bit sweeter to enjoy with this easy prep, show stopping gluten free strawberry pie!

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

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.

It’s strawberry picking season!

Strawberry season always makes its debut here in Michigan right around the Summer Solstice, so it always feels like the official start to summer to me! That first week or so of real warm summer temperatures in the beginning of June ripens those beautiful berries making them absolutely burst with sweet strawberry juice!

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

My strawberry picking crew, and a new fun treat!

We met up with friends on the first day of picking this year, and berries were so plentiful, making for very easy picking. The kids had a ball, the littles had strawberry juice all over their faces, and my older kids were asking for a strawberry treat when we got home! It’s been a while since I’ve made strawberry pie, so I decided that was definitely something we deserved to have on our menu this week! The girl were more than happy to help at the thought of strawberry pie for dessert!

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie
Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

Busy mommas…hear me out!

Dear momma, I know the last thing we have time for right now is a fancy pie crust! So I decided to show you how to make this special, simple little pie with a rustic galette style crust. If you have a favorite pie crust, you can use that, and if you don’t, you can use the one in the recipe card below. Instead of a fussy, fancy edge, you’ll simply be folding the crust edges right over the top of the pie filling – it is so easy!

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

Notes on the strawberry filling

This strawberry filling is about as simple as it gets. A little starch to soak up and thicken the strawberry juices, and a bit of sugar. I used 1/2 cup of sugar, but truly these strawberries were already like candy, so I think I could have even gotten away with just 1/4 cup. If you are using store bought berries, or your berries are out of season, you may want to stick with the 1/2 cup and even bump it up a little if needed. It is, after all, a pie! Such a special treat!

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

What if I don’t have the cast iron skillet?

I absolutely adore using my cast iron for pies, but if you don’t have one, you can use a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. I used a 10-inch cast iron for this pie for reference. You may want to watch the baking time a bit using a pie plate as different materials (cast iron versus a glass or metal pie plate) conduct heat differently.

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

Can I use other summer berries?

Absolutely! Use what is in season. My girls are already dreaming of blueberry season in July and raspberries for August. I think blackberries would be amazing as well. My oldest even made the connection, thinking out loud as we were making this pie, that we could definitely make this pie again with the rest of our summer berry picking! Smart kid 😉

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

FOR THE PIE CRUST ::

FOR THE STRAWBERRY PIE FILLING ::

  • 3 pints of strawberries about 7-8 cups after cutting (hulled and cut into halves if small berries, or quartered if larger)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • ½ – ¾ cup organic cane sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

Make the crust ::

  • Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse 5 times to mix. Add the butter, and blend until the butter is incorporated making little bits in the flour. Add the water to the drip cup on the lid of the food processor, and press blend until the dough comes together. This takes about a minute.
  • Wrap the pie crust dough in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  • Get the crust into the skillet ::
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Flour a counter surface with the Namaste flour or rice flour and roll out your dough. You’ll want to leave it wider than your 10-inch skillet so you have enough to fold over the top. Gently set the crust into your 10-inch skillet, and softly press it down the sides. Brush the bottom and sides of the crust with the beaten egg. This keeps the crust from getting soggy.

Make the filling and assemble the pie ::

  • Put the filling ingredients into a medium mixing bowl, gently mix, and pour the prepared strawberry filling into the crust.
  • Fold the edges of the pie over the filling, brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before cutting.
Gluten Free Strawberry Pie

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Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

April 28, 2020

Funfetti Birthday Scones make the perfect birthday breakfast for every kid (and adult too!)

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

Birthday girl!

We have a brand new *9* year old in the house this week! Claire is my full-of-energy middle kiddo! She adores all things animals, is an avid bird watcher, and will stump you with the most inquisitive questions! She is the reason I began drinking coffee daily, and she definitely keeps me on my toes. We are so excited to celebrate her birthday this week, and we decided we needed a new birthday breakfast tradition in our house!

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

A love affair with tea, and a fun new recipe to go with it!

My 3 girls love having herbal teas with their breakfasts in the morning, and what better breakfast accompaniment for their cup of tea than scones! A crispy, buttery outside, with a lightly sweet, and flaky-soft inside…it is the perfect match with a hot cup of tea or coffee. I took my favorite base scone recipe, dressed it up birthday style for the birthday girl this week, and a new birthday breakfast tradition was born! All 3 girls are now looking forward to their sprinkle filled Funfetti® inspired birthday scones when their birthday rolls around!

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

The Method :: The Scone Dough & Baking The Scones

Scones can feel intimidating, but truly it doesn’t get any easier. A simple dry ingredient combination, and let the butter shine! You’ll crumble the cold butter into your flour, and then mix in your buttermilk. I left instructions for making your own buttermilk or coconut buttermilk, which will give these scones a fluffed up, soft texture on the inside. Once your dough is moist with buttermilk, you’ll fold in your naturally dyed sprinkles, and then you are ready to knead the soft dough, and form your disk.

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

The Method :: Forming The Scones

Once you flour your counter, you can knead your dough a few times before you form your disk. You’ll notice flecks of butter throughout the dough, and that is exactly what you want. The hot oven will hit the cold butter and make for fantastic texture and yummy buttery flavor. The pretty light golden color of the scones will give away just how much butter you’ll be using for these special scones! Once you form your disk, use a rolling pin to roll the disk to about one inch, cut your disk into eighths, and place on a baking tray to bake. You can brush the tops of your scones with more milk and sprinkle a bit of sugar to make for a crispy, top.

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

The Method :: The Icing & Sprinkle Topping!

Once your scones have baked and cooled completely, you can drizzle a fun and simple icing on top if you wish. Of course this is optional, but we are celebrating a once a year birthday in the house, so we are most definitely enjoying it! The icing whisks in seconds before you drizzle over the top of the scones, and of course a fun sprinkling of some extra sprinkles is necessary for a proper birthday celebration. The sprinkles will stick to the icing and the icing will harden within about 20 minutes.

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

Where do I find naturally dyed sprinkles?

Most grocery stores and natural health food stores carry naturally dyed sprinkles these days, which is so convenient. I did however find this source of naturally dyed sprinkles for a fantastic price compared to our grocery stores though, and I wanted to share it with you! At just $0.57 per ounce, you can have a container of sprinkles all ready for every birthday in the house, and maybe a few holiday cookies too!

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

Are these birthday scones “healthy?”

Dear friends, I’ll be the first one to let you know that I will not, in fact, be serving these scones on a daily, or even weekly basis! These will be special occasion scones in my house. Birthdays are so special! While the Funfetti® scones aren’t inherently “bad,” they are a bit more of a carb overload than I typically care to serve for the first meal of the day. We will be serving the scones with a side of eggs and/or sausage to balance things out, and my younger kiddo will probably be getting half of one. They are certainly better than many store bought pastries, with a much simpler ingredient list, but these scones will not be an everyday breakfast in my house. This will make them even more special when birthdays arrive!

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

Can I freeze the scones?

I am happy to report that the scones freeze fantastic! I tucked this batch away in the freezer until my daughter’s birthday later in the week. I took one out yesterday to check on texture and taste, and they did great! This means that you can get a jump start on birthday planning when your kids’ birthdays come around, because we all know birthday weeks can be very busy! Just freeze the baked, cooled, and iced scones flat on a tray, then pop the frozen scones into a freezer bag until you are ready to use them.

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

Ingredient swap notes

I would imagine that most gluten free flour blends that include xanthan gum will work in this recipe. If your blend doesn’t include the xanthan, simply add a good teaspoon to the flour. I typically use honey or coconut sugar for more of a “on the regular” scone, but honey can to burn in baking sometimes, and coconut sugar would have changed the color of these scones more than I wanted – we want the sprinkles to shine! If you choose to swap for a more natural/healthier sugar like turbinado or coconut sugar, just plan on the color being darker. I also wanted to address the butter. If you are truly dairy free, and cannot have butter, I am quite sure that cold, organic palm shortening would work.

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make your buttermilk first if you don’t have store-bought buttermilk.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • Use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the cold butter into the flour. You want to still be able to see small pieces of butter throughout. See the picture above for reference. I do not have a pastry cutter – I just use my hands!
  • Pour the buttermilk and extracts into the flour/butter mixture and use a rubber scraper to mix. Add the sprinkles to fold in gently. I use the rubber scraper to start, and finish with my hands.
  • Flour your counter, and knead the dough a few times. Make a disk with your hands, roll the dough to about 1 inch thick, and then use your hands again to shape the disk into a perfect circle.
  • Cut the disk into eighths, and place the triangles onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a light coating of milk or coconut milk, and sprinkle with a little sugar if you wish.
  • Bake the scones at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until the edges are golden. Cool the scones completely before icing.
  • To make the icing, whisk the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp of milk in a small dish and drizzle over the tops of the cooled scones. Sprinkle the scones with extra sprinkles after drizzling the icing and it will stick to the icing! The icing will dry and harden within about 20 minutes.
Gluten Free Funfetti® Birthday Scones! :: Gluten, Egg, & Nut Free

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

April 6, 2020

These are the softest, fluffiest gluten free carrot cake cupcakes, perfect for any occasion!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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.

Signs of spring!

The snow is officially gone…the grass is slowly coming back to life with hints of green, and we can finally feel the warmth from that glorious sunshine in the sky! We couldn’t be more excited, and with the promise of spring, I decided to try out a new little carrot cake cupcake in the kitchen for our spring Easter celebration this year.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The Method :: The Cupcakes

These carrot cake cupcakes will be quite possibly the lightest, fluffiest cupcakes you’ve tasted! Instead of a rich, dense batter, I wanted a light and fluffy cake, and boy this batter didn’t disappoint! You’ll cream the wet ingredients before adding the dry ingredients and carrots, and the result is a fluffy, creamy cupcake batter that rises beautifully, springs back to your touch perfectly, and is so moist and flavorful.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The Method :: The Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting and carrot cake…it’s like peanut butter and jelly – they just go together! This thick, rich frosting has a mild cream cheese tang that goes perfectly with the sweet warmth of the carrot cake muffin. Simply cream the cream cheese ingredients and either spread or pipe the frosting onto your cooled cupcakes!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

How’s the “spice” for kid palates?

Traditional carrot cake does use those beautiful warm spices for the staple flavor you think of when you think of carrot cake. You can use just the cinnamon if you wish, but this version, as written is very mild on the nutmeg and cloves, so the kids will probably just feel like it tastes like a sweet cinnamon, or pumpkin cupcake. My 6 year old was calling these cinnamon muffins most of the day. If you like a stronger spice, start with what is here, and increase to your taste!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Make ahead, and freezer tips!

Because I wanted to get these cupcakes up for you well before Easter this weekend, I was able to test them out in the freezer for you! My cupcakes are neatly tucked away in the freezer, ready to thaw out to have after Sunday dinner. My suggestion would be to cool the cupcakes completely, and freeze them unfrosted. I did freeze a few frosted since they were ready from these photos, but you’ll have to freeze them solid before putting them in a freezer bag or container. It is much easier to just freeze the unfrosted cupcakes in a freezer bag, and then frost them quick before you serve them.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Add In Options!

From raisins to crushed walnuts, the sky is the limit, and everyone has their idea of what “makes” a carrot cake! These little cupcakes are a blank slate for you (my personal preference), so you can add all the little options you want! Crushed toasted walnuts sprinkled on the frosting makes a great addition, or you can mixed the crushed nuts into the batter with the carrots. Golden raisins would be pretty in the batter too!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the GF Carrot Cake Cupcakes ::

For the Cream Cheese Frosting ::

Instructions

For the GF Carrot Cake Cupcakes ::

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cup liners or silicone muffin liners.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of ACV into a small liquid measuring cup, and then add coconut milk until you hit the ½ cup mark. This is your buttermilk for the cupcakes. Set this a side to add later. You can also start melting your coconut oil here.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend the eggs and coconut sugar using hand beaters until smooth.
  • With the hand mixer still running, pour in the melted coconut oil and blend until smooth. Add the coconut milk/ACV mixture to the wet ingredients, and blend until combined.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, including the carrots, and use your hand mixer to blend on low until the batter is combined well.
  • Scoop the cupcake batter into your muffin pan, and bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 22 minutes, until the tops spring back to your touch, and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting ::

  • Blend all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth. When the cupcakes are cooled you can frost them how you wish!
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

December 15, 2019

Give your favorite fudgey gluten free brownies a holiday make-over with a hint of peppermint, and a festive candy cane sprinkle!

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

The countdown is ON!

…and boy is my crew READY! Just 5 more days of school to get through, and we cannot wait to get some baking done this weekend!

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

A fun favorite with a holiday twist!

Everyone loves a good brownie, and I couldn’t think of anything better than adding a hint of peppermint to the batter and a fun Christmas sprinkle of candy cane to the top! These fun peppermint brownies look fancy and special, but are just as easy as any pan of brownies to make!

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint Brownie Method

A pan of brownies is just about as easy as it gets. You’ll blend some melted coconut oil or butter into the wet ingredients, and then add the flours and cocoa powder. The batter is nice a shiny just like any other brownie batter. You’ll fold some chocolate chips into the fudgey stickiness and then spread it into your pan. Then the fun part! Grab the kids and let them pound on some candy canes to crush them up, and then they can sprinkle that and more chocolate chips onto the top of the brownie batter!

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Where do I find a better ingredient choice candy cane?

Well since my kiddos were little, I’ll definitely say the market is a much friendlier for finding naturally dyed candy canes! It is so worth skipping the Red 40 dyes that can cause hyper-activity and moodiness in many kids (and adults too!). You can find naturally dyed candy canes at just about every health food store. We don’t have big box health food stores closer than a 45 minute drive away, and even our little itty bitty health food store carries them! If you can’t find them where you live, you can Prime these naturally dyed candy canes! They ship super fast!

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

Flour swaps

I haven’t played around with this brownie recipe too much (we ended up with 4 pans of brownies as it was to get this recipe down! Ha!), but I do want to mention that if you are nut free, you can swap the almond flour for more Namaste GF Flour. They both work well. I also think that you could swap 2 flax “eggs” for the eggs if you are an egg free house hold as those seem to work well for brownies in my experience.

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

Freezer friendly!

OH yes! Because I ended up with 4 pans of brownies to get this recipe right, I did in fact freeze a bunch of these, and because I needed to make sure they tasted good out of the freezer, momma enjoyed one with a cup of coffee one afternoon, and they were SO good! Just perfect out of the freezer. So make them ahead of time if you need and freeze them up!

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8 inch square cake pan with coconut oil or palm shortening (or butter if you tolerate dairy).
  • Blend the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and eggs for 1 minute, and then blend the melted coconut oil in while the blenders are still going. I just hold the hand blender with one hand and pour with the other – you could use a stand mixer if you have one.
  • Add the peppermint extract, cocoa powder, Namaste flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt, and blend on low until just combined. Fold in ½ cup of chocolate chips. The batter is sticky and shiny.
  • Spread the brownie batter into the greased pan, and then sprinkle the 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate chips and the crushed candy canes on top. Tap the pan on the counter so the chocolate chips and candy canes on the top set into the batter (you could gently press your hand on the top too).
  • Bake the brownies in a 325 degree oven for 28 minutes, until a toothpick to the center comes out clean.

Notes

  • If you are nut free, swap the almond flour for more Namaste.
  • If you are egg free, I think flax eggs will work nicely in this recipe. The brownies may not puff up as much but they will bind well and might even be chewier.
Gluten Free Peppermint Brownies

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Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

June 28, 2019

You’ll be blown away at the flavor of these pineapple watermelon popsicles – no added sugar needed and allergen friendly!

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar 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.

A leftover bowl of fruit, and sweet summer bliss

How is it possible that we have already been out of school 3 weeks?! I also stepped away from this space to help my crew settle into summer routine, and I missed you all too for that long! We’ve been enjoying every ounce of the sunshine, local parks, and all of our favorite Lake Michigan beaches! Of course those long summer days sometimes lead to forgotten bowls of fruit, and we have been cooling off with super fun blends of fruit popsicles most days of the week to use it all up.

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

A new household favorite fruit blend!

Hands down one of our favorites has been watermelon and pineapple! Who knew?! There was a stretch of a couple weeks where our grocery store had them on sale as buy 1, get 1 one free (!), and that kind of summer bounty definitely calls for a frozen treat!

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

All of the flavor without adding sugar!

Because truly it doesn’t get any sweeter than a fresh pineapple, and when you are using watermelon as the “liquid” for blending, it gets even sweeter. So these popsicles are literally all fruit based – go ahead and pop these out of the freezer every time that ice cream truck rolls around! The kids will be so geeked, and you can feel good about not loading them up on food dye and high fructose corn syrup filled pops from the ice cream truck.

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!
Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

Just 2 ingredients and a loaded freezer

No fuss is the name of my game in the summer. I want to be outside playing and soaking the sunshine as much as I can. Whenever I can fill up my 10-pop popsicle mold with leftover fruit, I’m filling my freezer. Just a quick blend and pour and it’s done. I have a little shelf in my freezer during the summer dedicated to popsicles, which also allows my kiddos to serve themselves…#winning!

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

Let’s talk about popsicle molds!

I’ve had my 10-pop popsicle mold ever since I realized how quickly 3 kids can go through popsicles – 3 kids times 5-7 days a week…you do the math! I have had this 10-pop mold for a while now, and love it. Grab a box of wooden craft sticks super cheap, and you’re set. If you have older kids, or a gaggle of kids that gather at your house during the summer, you’ll want to grab that one! There are so many fun popsicle mold shapes though – sit down with the kids and pick something out that works for you!

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!
Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

A few notes on your TODDLERS!

While I love my big, 10-pop popsicle mold, I DO, however, remember those days of having smaller children, and that 10-pop popsicle mold makes big kid sized popsicles. Mini popsicle molds are a lifesaver with toddlers and older babies because there is less waste and dripping. I had these mini popsicle molds with the easy to hold handles – they were so nice when I had little ones! I also found these teething pop molds that are even smaller – perfect for older babies.

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!
One of MY babies with a mini popsicle! So nice for teething babies and little hands! (This recipe is in THIS POST and makes more like “smoothie popsicles”)

Freezer stocking tips

Remember that whole shelf just for the popsicles trick I mentioned earlier?! That whole kids serving themselves thing?? Stock up different flavors (see the bottom of this post for a whole list of flavors!), making a bunch of popsicles here and there throughout the week! Once the pops are frozen, run the popsicle mold under a little warm water to ease them out, and then wrap them up in plastic wrap (or beeswax wrap if you prefer to use that). They stay individually wrapped this way, and easy for the kids to grab.

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

Raising independent kitchen helpers (if you only read 1 thing in this post – read this!!!)

One quick note before we get to the recipe! Early on in this mom gig, I spent a lot of time talking about getting your kids in the kitchen. I remember, more than anything, thinking that the result would be that the girls would remember that time spent together, and that they would hopefully pick up a few kitchen skills that I never had along the way. But as my older girls have reached the ages of 10 and 8 years old, there are days that I am in awe of just how much they are capable of. Your 10 year olds can have popsicle making on their chore chart, dear momma. <—Read that part again! What a fun “chore” to have responsibility of! One less thing off your plate, and this fun task feels less like a drag while still building independence in your kids. And YES include the clean up as part of that chore. If you have little ones, start small. Let them help you put the fruit in the blender and push the button. Let them wash up the counter. Putting the wooden sticks in the popsicle mold will absolutely take longer, but it will not only help them feel useful, it is great fine motor work!

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!
Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups watermelon rind removed, and cubed
  • 3 cups pineapple rind removed, and cubed
  • Optional raw honey or other sweetener of choice to sweeten to taste if needed (I haven’t been sweetening these for my kids, but if you have kids that are used to really sweet popsicles, you might want to add a few tablespoons. I made one batch with raw honey that was delicious.)

Instructions

  • Blend the fruit (and honey if using itogether to puree completely. I use the “juicing” button on my Blendtec, but just blending it through smooth on a regular blender works too.
  • Pour the pureed fruit into your popsicle mold. If your blender blended high speed enough to make some fruit “foam” form at the top, you can spoon that off, and add more fruit puree. Put the tops/sticks onto your popsicle mold, and freeze overnight.

Notes

  • This recipe fits my 10-pop popsicle mold perfectly. If you are going to make this for more of a mini popsicle mold (or these super cool, small “teething pop molds” for your little ones, you could cut the recipe in half or even quarter it.
  • I like to run the popsicle mold under the hot water tap for just a few seconds to loosen them from the mold when pulling the frozen popsicles out.
Pineapple Watermelon Popsicles :: Allergen Friendly & Refined Sugar Free!

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Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

May 24, 2019

Fluffy, silky sweet honey cake with a starburst of tart rhubarb!

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Spring’s first garden harvest, and celebrating a decade of my first spring baby…

I almost choked on my coffee as I just typed that. A decade? How can that possibly be? Ten years ago, Chloe made me a momma, and literally nothing will change my life quite like that day did. I truly know of no other person in my life with a heart like this kid – if you’ve ever crossed her path you know that you leave a better person every time. My sweet first born just happens to adore the rhubarb in our backyard that always seems to be ready to harvest right around her birthday. Last year we made creamy rhubarb ice cream (topped with rhubarb sauce!), and the year before that rhubarb water kefir soda. This year, we decided to celebrate her 10th birthday with a special cake swirled with sweet local raw honey, and decorated with a sunburst of rhubarb at the top!

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake
Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Fresh picked

Whether you pick the rhubarb right out of the backyard, or the local farmer’s market, be sure to snag a few stalks with a super bright pinkish red hue to make the sunburst at the top of your cake really stand out. Rhubarb color can vary even from the same plant with some stalks boasting a bright green fading into pinks and reds, and others standing out with an almost shocking red color. The rhubarb’s lip puckering tartness is tamed with baking, and when married with a sweet, raw honey, the flavor is reminiscent of sweet tarts, and almost that kettle cooked caramel flavor.

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake
Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Some notes about the honey

If you’ve never tasted a local honey from the area where you live, I would absolutely encourage you to visit your farmer’s market and ask for some samples. I love visiting new places and getting a taste of what the honey bees in that area are picking up. This cake will take on a hint of whatever honey you choose, so be sure to use one that you enjoy the flavor of. If too many flower notes are overwhelming to you, choose something lighter. If you love that flowery essence, by all means infuse this cake with that!

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Achieving a fluffy honey cake

Because I wanted that gorgeous honey to really shine with the rhubarb, I knew there was potential to make this cake dense by the weight of the honey. My first few attempts were, although tasty, a bit on the dense side. Gluten free baking has a way of hefting the weight of baked goods too, so I had that going against me as well. I decided to try a trick that I use in my gluten free waffles – whipping the egg whites to a whipped cream consistency. It worked beautifully, and the result is a light and airy honey cake where you can actually taste hints of honey swirled throughout!

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake
Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Fun garnishing ideas

We opted for the dramatic powdered sugar look for this cake, though a few of my cake attempts were drizzled with raw honey for a really pretty sheen added to the top. We chose the powdered sugar to celebrate Chloe’s birthday, and she adored dusting the top of her cake with that.

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Rhubarb placing tricks

I played around with multiple arrangements of the pretty rhubarb stalks on the top of my cake attempts. My biggest recommendation would be to slice the stalks for the top of the cake thin the long way. If you have thick rhubarb stalks you make even have to do more than that. Putting thick stalks up on the top makes the top a bit soggy in my opinion and those thick stalks can get a fibrous texture. Slicing the rhubarb thin allowed for easier decorating, a really sharp looking finish, and just the right tart rhubarb flavor to the top that cuts into ever sweet honey cake bite!

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake
Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 10-inch springform pan or 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
  • Put the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Put the egg whites into a small mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Set the egg whites aside.
  • Add the olive oil, honey, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and almond extract to the egg yolks, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt to the wet ingredients and combine with a spatula – some lumps of flour are ok. When the batter is combined well, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until just combined.
  • Smooth half of the cake batter into your springform pan, and sprinkle the cubed rhubarb over the top evenly. Smooth the other half of the cake batter over the top of the sprinkled rhubarb.
  • Arrange the stalks of rhubarb on the top of your cake how you like. I recommend halving or quartering your stalks of rhubarb length-wise, depending on the thickness of the stalks. If you leave them as is they get mushy and hard to manage/arrange in the pan. Making them thinner baked up prettier and the slices cut nicely. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and springs back to touch.
  • After the cake cools 10 minutes in the pan, you can turn it out to a cooling rack to cool completely. You can garnish the top with a drizzle of raw honey or dusting of organic powdered cane sugar when it is cooled.
Gluten Free Rhubarb Honey Cake

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Gluten Free Valentine’s Day Brownie Cookie Cut-Outs

February 1, 2019

The possibilities are endless with your favorite brownie flavors in an easy to work with gluten free cookie cut-out dough!

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.

Friday nights, little girls, Valentine’s Day excitement…and chocolate!

It’s just a match made in heaven right?! I decided to start working on this little brownie cookie concept the week before we had a house full of girls over to play after school, and the timing was just perfect! You just can’t do Valentine’s Day with a gaggle of girls without chocolate, and these cookies were just so fun!

A cookie dough you actually want to work with!

I’m all about fuss-free when it comes to sweet treat baking. I know it can be fun to get all fancy with 100 different steps and a really cool finish, but most of the time, I prefer an easy to deal with dessert, and this cookie dough is so lovely. You can knead it and roll it out multiple times without getting dense or crumbly, and the cut-outs don’t break. Just 8 ingredients is definitely my kind of recipe too!

The perfect texture!

Ok, so I know people can be really (really!) funny about their brownie textures! There’s those cake texture people, fudgy texture, and there’s just something about that brownie “chew!” These cookies are definitely more of a “cookie” feel, but you can tailor your finish the way you like! Less cook time and they will be nice and soft – it still feels like a cookie, but if you like a cake-like brownie, this one is for you. And if you go a bit longer on the cook time, you will get this amazing light crisp to the outside with a great “chew” to the inside. SO good!

Fun topping ideas!

Because it’s Valentine’s day right?! While the cookies are seriously amazing and perfect as is, you could certainly give the tops a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Just put some powdered sugar in a sift, and dust the tops. You could also make an icing if you prefer. Leave it plain white, or you can see how we dyed these great Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with naturally dyed pink frosting here.

Freezer friendly!

YES these have been freezing great, dear momma! You know what that means? Oh yes…make that second batch while you have the kitchen counter a mess, and freeze that extra set just for your afternoon coffee 😉 They are super yummy right out of the freezer. It also means you can make these up way ahead of time and be ready for that Valentine’s Day school party!

Cookie Cutter options!

We typically use a medium sized heart cut-out for my aged girls. I have this set of heart cut-outs, and you can even make the cookies “sandwich” style by cutting out smaller ones inside the bigger ones to make them like “Linzer” style cookies with frosting in the middle. When my girls were smaller, more toddler ages, I had these fantastic small cookie cutters. That way they still feel like they are getting a WHOLE cookie, or even 2, versus you cuttting a big one in half, and they are smaller so they aren’t getting a portion that isn’t appropriate for their size. The smaller cutters are also perfect for classroom parties where there are going to be multiple treats and the kids don’t need a huge cookie.

Swaps and tips

  • I am pretty sure organic palm shortening will swap for the butter if you are dairy free
  • I have a feeling coconut sugar will swap for the organic cane sugar if you want to try keeping the glycemic index lower. Coconut sugar will darken the cookie a bit more, and will change the flavor a bit – coconut sugar has a warmer, molasses flavor. I would not lower the sugar amount anymore than it is, or the texture will be off. These are cookies, after all, and it is a once a year treat. The recipe makes at least 2 dozen cookies so it’s pretty spread out – and you can always make them smaller for your little guys! See the above section for ideas on how to make that happen.
  • I’m sure other GF flour blends will swap for the Namaste. I am not sure how to swap a whole wheat or Einkorn as we cannot have gluten. If you give that a try, let us know in the comments how you swapped for it, so others who can have gluten can know how to do it!
Print Recipe
5 from 23 votes

Valentine’s Day Brownie Cookies

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer, and then add the eggs and vanilla. Blend until creamy and well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, and blend to combine the dough. Scrape the bowl down, turn the dough out and form into a disk. Wrap the dough or cover it in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  • When you are ready to cut out your cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss some of the GF flour blend onto a clean surface, and roll out your dough – just like sugar cookies, only I made mine just slightly thicker – you can see in the pictures above. Put the cut-out cookies onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick you made your cookies, and how you want the texture to be. I’ve done about 6 batches with varying times – if you go lower time, they will be softer but still hold together well like a cookie, and if you go a little longer, they will be slightly crisp/firmer on the outside with some “chew” to the brownie inside – they are still soft this way, but it is a different feel. The cookies do firm up once they cool a bit. Cool on the tray for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool. You can leave the cookies as is, dust powdered sugar over the top, or frost with icing when they are cooled completely.

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How To Make Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

December 12, 2018

Learn how to make gluten free shortbread cookies, perfect for everything from your afternoon cup of tea to your holiday cookie plate!

It all began with a cup of tea and a book…

When my oldest was just a toddler, were reading a story (and in my sleepy momma stupor I cannot for the life of me remember which story, for her sister who is just 22 months younger than her was just a baby…and she gets the award for the toughest newborn sleeper in the house…). Anyway, this sweet story had a mouse or some sort of animal that was enjoying a cup of tea and cookies, and my little one thought that was just the bees knees…and from that day forward reminded me {daily} how we must try this tea and cookies deal.

My toddlers’ favorite “butter cookie”

For purposes of the SEO gods of Google, I’ve named these adorable cookies shortbread cookies because that is really what they are. But when Chloe was making them with me for the first few times and saw the big chunk of butter that was used to make them, she declared them “butter cookies” and from there forward, whenever she had a craving for tea and cookies she would ask for these amazing “butter cookies”…from the mouth of babes, right?!

Simple ingredients for busy motherhood

I couldn’t have asked for a simpler cookie to make than this cookie that my kids grew to ask for whenever they wanted a special treat to have with a cup of tea. Motherhood has a way of forcing the hand at time management, and with only 3 ingredients, shortbread cookies were able to find their way into my schedule easily – because let’s face it…momma kinda wanted a little cookie to go with her cup of coffee in the afternoon every once and a while too. 😉

Blender dough?! Yes please!

While a hand-held blender will work just fine for this recipe, I typically find myself just dumping it all into my food processor. In just a few minutes the dough is ready to roll out, and by the time the oven pre-heats the cookies are on the tray ready to go. This shortbread cookie dough is so very soft and easy to work with. You can re-roll it out easily to get every last little bit of it used up for your cookies too.

Shortbread cookie cutters

For years I just used a small mason jelly jar to make round circle shortbreads – this works just fine. While I do love the fancy scalloped edge of my cookie cutter, the mason jar is nostalgic for me because it is the way my girls ate them as little ones. If you want to get technical, and also have a better shortbread for dipping, the scalloped rectangle shortbread cookie cutter is the traditional way to shape these cookies.

Freezer friendly!

In fact, these little shortbread cookies are my favorite right out of the freezer. Which just so happens to mean that you can stash them away for those afternoons when all of the planets align making all the babes decide to take a nap at the same time…make your favorite brew and enjoy a cookie. Or for those times when you decide to take the school friends last minute and you want to win a few cool mom points for having fun cookies to enjoy after school.

 A blank slate

Shortbread cookie recipes are pretty endless as far as the possibilities to dress things up. This no-fuss momma just tends to keep them on the simple side with just a splash of almond extract or a dusting of real vanilla bean (my favorite). But you can dip them in chocolate and sprinkle with candy cane for the holidays (we LOVE these naturally dyed candy canes!), or fold in lavender or rose petals for a special valentine’s day treat. This basic shortbread recipe is fool-proof and has been a staple year after year in our oven!

Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

How To Make Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Learn how to make gluten-free shortbread cookies, perfect for everything from your afternoon cup of tea to your holiday cookie plate!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free shortbread recipe, how to make gluten-free shortbread
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with Silpat.
  • Put the softened butter and powdered sugar into your food processor and blend to cream them. You could alternatively use a hand-held blender.
  • Add the flour to the food processor, and blend to combine until the dough gathers. You could use a hand mixer for this part too.
  • Turn the dough out onto a flour dusted counter top to roll out. You could use more Namaste flour blend or even just some white rice flour which is super inexpensive. You can use a generous amount of rice flour or Namaste to dust the surface and your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to your desired thickness and cut out the shapes you want. Traditional shortbreads are about ¼ inch in thickness.
  • Place the cut cookies onto a Silpat lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are just starting to become golden brown. The time will depend on how thick you made your cookies. The cookies in the images of this post take about 15 minutes. Cool for a couple minutes on the tray, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you want to dust your cookies with powdered sugar, it is best to do this while the cookies are warm so it sticks best.
  • Store your cooled cookies in an airtight container, or freeze them for long term storage.

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Gluten Free Dutch Apple Pie :: Plus Tips For Including Your Kids While Making It!

December 1, 2018

Learn how to make a simple and delicious gluten free Dutch apple pie with the kids!

It all started with a little extra time on our hands during Thanksgiving prep day…

Extra time?! With 3 kids in the house? I know, I know, it sounds unheard of, but we started some of the Thanksgiving dishes earlier in the week, so that day before Thanksgiving was pretty flexible. We had already put the pumpkin pie into the oven, and since we were planning on Grandma and Grandpa over for this year’s meal, we decided another pie was definitely warranted (it just isn’t worth all the pie making fuss if you don’t have leftovers to go with your coffee the next day, amiright?!).

No fuss apple pie, and a little West Michigan history

It’s really no secret how deeply rooted the Dutch history is along the coast of West Michigan. We live less than an hour away from literally Holland, Michigan, most of our friends have last names that are a mile long starting with either Vander- or Van-, and we spend first week of every May enjoying Tulip Time celebrations everywhere we look! I actually have 0% Dutch blood running through my veins, but I was born and bred here and have enjoyed learning the culture and traditions. I am definitely not a Dutch history expert, but Dutch apple pie is certainly a staple here, and I absolutely love how low fuss it is to make…you all know baking is not my favorite of things to do.

Ideas for how to include your kids in the process

Because if you can swing it, making them a part of your kitchen happenings when you can is so worth it. Confidence, pride, and ownership…priceless. Truthfully I didn’t know how much of this pie I wanted to make them a part of – I am really fussy about how thin those apples are for apple pie, and we had already done quite a bit in the kitchen together. They ended up being right there from the first apple peel to the last sprinkle of the crumble topping, and I’ve got some tips for you!

  • Let them help with the crust! The dough is super forgiving from start to finish. Let the littles press the button the food processor and your bigs and measure the ingredients out. My oldest is able to roll a pie crust out, and with a little help get it into a pie plate. My older girls like crimping the crust too!
  • Let them peel! If you have a fancy apple peeler, fantastic! I have never had one, and have found that a simple Y-peeler works just fine. You’ll really only need to peel 5 or 6 apples so goes quick. You can start apple peeling as young as 2 years old. I have found Y-peelers to work the best for them. (Add one to your Christmas list for your littles! Pop it in a sweet little apron – makes a great gift!). My oldest can effectively use a regular peeler now, but Y-peelers are easier to use for littles. ALSO, don’t cut the apples right away – just let them peel all of the apples first so the insides don’t brown once cut.
  • Let them cut! Use an apple slicer to get it going, and then your older children or you can make those bigger slices thinner. My 7 and 9 year olds were able to help me with the thin slicing this year and they did better than I expected.
  • Let them measure and mix the filling! My 7 year old did this part by herself. The ingredients are so simple, and when you use a larger mixing bowl, there will be less mess. Show them first how to fold the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon gently so they don’t get crushed, and then let them try.
  • Let them sprinkle the crumble topping! This is the fun part! They all enjoyed doing this, and the topping is one of the beauties in a Dutch Apple Pie – lattice tops can be fussy and time consuming to make with little kids let alone as an adult. The crumble topping can be done all by themselves.

What makes it a Dutch Apple Pie?

A buttery pie crust, and a sweet crumble topping instead of pie crust topping is key. Some traditional Dutch apple pies have added golden raisins.  It is usually really deep with filling as well – I love the layers and layers of thin apple slices. I have seen the crumble toppings made from anything from walnuts to flour, and we enjoy using flour the best. Usually brown sugar is mixed in with the crumble topping. Since I don’t keep brown sugar around the house (we just don’t use it that often, and it always ends up hard as a rock in my pantry), a mix of sugar and molasses do the trick for this topping – that is all brown sugar is anyway! I like the lightly warm taste of a lighter brown sugar, but you can add more molasses if you like it richer.

Let’s talk about pie plates…

My love affair with pies has more to do with getting to use pretty pie plates versus the actual making of the pie. Well, that and the delicious fillings! It is a small investment for that feeling you get when you pull them out of that very top pantry cupboard you barely use all year. I spend at least a few minutes envisioning the pie in each of my pies before choosing the lucky one. Here are some of my favoirites – treat yourself to one!

  • If you like a classic, clean line look to a pie plate, these are more your style.
  • If your style is more vintage, take a gander at these gorgeous pieces – I’m swooning!
  • I found some really pretty holiday pie plates that I definitely planning on adding to my collection!
  • I do love a good glass pie plate as well and get a lot of use out of them.

Make ahead options

Pie making always feels daunting to me, possibly because baking really isn’t my favorite. There’s so many pieces to the puzzle, but if you break it down, you can make it feel like less steps. You can make the pie crust days in advance, and even get it into the pie plate in advance. This can be a nice jump start to any holiday meal when you can’t prep anything else. You can also prep the crumble topping days in advance. Just pop the topping into an airtight container and stash it away in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

How do I serve Dutch Apple Pie?

You mean other than with a big mug of hot coffee the next morning for breakfast?! Ahem…For Thanksgiving, we used the thick and fluffy whipped cream we made for the pumpkin pie, but a big scoop of vanilla ice cream is my favorite!

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Gluten Free Dutch Apple Pie

Learn how to make a simple and delicious gluten-free Dutch apple pie with the kids!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dutch apple pie recipe, gluten-free Dutch apple pie, gluten-free Dutch apple pie recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

CRUST ::

CRUMBLE TOPPING ::

FILLING ::

Instructions

MAKE THE CRUST ::

  • Put the flour, sugar, and cold butter into your food processor, and pulse until the butter is pea-sized bits. Add water to the oil stream cup at the top of your food processor and blend to combine until the dough comes together – this takes about 30 seconds to a minute so be patient. Gather the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes – you can make this days ahead of time if you wish as well.

MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING ::

  • Put all of the crumb topping ingredients into a small mixing bowl and either use your fingers or a pastry cutter to combine – there should be small bits of butter crumbs throughout. Put the crumb topping into the fridge until you are ready to use it.

ROLL OUT THE CRUST ::

  • When the crust has refrigerated long enough, roll it out and place it into your pie plate, crimping or designing the edges however you like. You can pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees at this point too.

MAKE THE FILLING ::

  • Put all of the apple filling ingredients into a medium mixing bowl, stir to combine, and pour into your uncooked pie crust.
  • Sprinkle your crumble topping over the apple pie filling, and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Cool for an hour before slicing. Top with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

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Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes :: Ghost Cupcake Treat PLUS Other Halloween Cupcake Decorating Ideas!

October 6, 2018

These gluten free Halloween cupcakes will be the hit of Halloween night! Make them ghost cupcake treats or other Halloween characters with these fun ideas!

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.

Age 9 has not been as “scary” as I thought it was going to be…

You know…when your sweet baby goes from all things little girl to occasionally throwing in some “tween” mannerisms, it can really throw you for a loop! As with all things “first born child,” I was not prepared for age 9, but honestly I’m finding this mom gig getting sweeter by the day. Nine year old’s are so fun to chat with – like real conversations. Not just discussions about their 4th favorite color, or why they have to wear socks today like you do with toddlers and little guys. Like real life stuff – friendships, passions, and real books. Oh sure, she is still completely and utterly obsessed with unicorns, fairy tales, and pretend play {we’ll hang onto that as long as we possibly can!}, but I’m really loving this age. And this age LOVES to bake – and still shows her little girl side when she gets to bite into a fun treat for Halloween 😉

Let’s chat about being a “real food mom” on Halloween…

Because we all come from different stages of our real food journey. Some of us have true food allergies or health crisis situations where Halloween treats are going to have to take a back seat for a year or more. Others are literally on day 1 of trying to get processed food out of the house and just want to celebrate the way they always have. And yet others are pretty in between. Last year, I went out on the line and admitted that I’ve been the “lame” Halloween mom before that kept all the fun away simply to avoid the junk food. I’ve learned that honestly, kids just want to have a fun day to dress up and run around – in other words, be kids. And I would highly recommend hopping over to this post to learn about how I’ve made fun Halloween traditions for our kids that include some treats without compromising my standards on GMO’s, processed food, food dyes, etc.

Halloween treats for toddlers versus tweens…

There is a really big difference here. When your little guys are tiny, they are not going to know any differently if they get a fun fruit parfait made of Halloween colors and a sticker, or they get a real cupcake. Keep them in that fruit parfait space as long as you can, but as your little guys turn into big kids, let’s turn it up a notch. Toddlers don’t understand that you can’t have cupcakes everyday of the year – and they will let you know that with their meltdown the next day when they can’t have another one. Big kids can comprehend this concept, and so letting them indulge in a fun treat like this on Halloween is so work the look on their face!

Gluten AND Dairy Free!

Woot! This cupcake recipe is one that I’ve been using for the girls’ birthdays for the last 2 years, and I’ve never blogged it! I did change up the flavors a bit to make them “fall flavored” with maple, but the texture and taste of these cupcakes is so out of this world, you’ll never go back. You can see how they turned out for my daughter’s Tinkerbell Party and Unicorn Party linked here. We also did Hatchimals Party for my youngest this August using it! You won’t believe the texture even though they are gluten free. It also just so happens that palm shortening makes THE best frosting. While I still love me some buttercream, you really won’t miss the dairy when you try this palm shortening based frosting. Filled with friendly fats, and a gorgeous “ghostly white” color, they make the perfect goulish look for your Halloween night!

Other ideas for dressing up your cupcakes for Halloween!

  • We LOVE these Halloween plant based natural food dyes – we made fun pumpkin shaped sugar cookies with the orange and black last year! You could color the frosting with the orange food dye, and then make the face with the black.
  • If you use that same Halloween plant based natural food dye, you can split your frosting into orange, purple, and black and make swirl frosting on the top. Just put the 3 colors into the piping bag as separately as you can, and then as they come out of the tip, they will swirl together! You can see how my daughter’s Unicorn cupcakes for her birthday turned out using this technique here.
  • You could make a “Candy Corn” frosting top using those same Halloween plant based natural food dyes. Just make divide the frosting into 3 bowls leaving one white, and coloring the other 2 with the orange and yellow. You can stack the frosting with 3 different piping bags to make a candy corn look.

Tips for the classroom {and for littles!}

  • I thought the full-sized cupcakes with the frosting done like it is makes a huge cupcake for littles, or for a classroom party. For little guys, or classroom treats, I would highly recommend doing these cupcakes into mini cupcakes using a mini muffin pan! You can get the same cool parchment paper wrappers in the mini size too. I think you will have to pull the baking time down – maybe check them around the 10-15 minute mark.
  • If you have really little guys at home, not only can you make them into mini cupcake form, you could also just spread the frosting and put the chocolate chips on top so the frosting isn’t piled so high. The big kids think that is pretty amazing, but little ones won’t know any differently!

Ingredient notes

  • I’m pretty sure most gluten free flour blends will work to swap for the Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend – I hear the Trader Joe’s brand is very similar to it.
  • Be careful on the maple extracts – a lot of them have junky ingredients. The one linked here is fine, or just use vanilla extract if you can’t find a good one. The maple syrup in the cupcake will make it taste like maple too.
  • Butter can be swapped for the palm shortening in the frosting, but the frosting will not be as white to look like a ghost since butter is yellow. It does work though!

Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Gluten-Free Halloween Cupcakes

These gluten-free Halloween cupcakes will be the hit of Halloween night! Make them ghost cupcake treats or other Halloween characters with these fun ideas!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free cupcake recipe, gluten-free Halloween cupcakes, Halloween cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES ::

FOR THE FROSTING ::

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with parchment paper cupcake liners. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but it does work doubled too, so you can double for 24.
  • In a 4 cup Pyrex liquid measuring bowl OR in a medium mixing bowl combine oil, maple syrup, sugar, and eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with beaters until combined.
  • Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, and bake for 20-22 minutes – the cupcake should “spring” back when you touch it, and a toothpick will come out clean. Check the cupcakes at the 18 minute mark just in case our ovens run differently.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. When you are ready to frost, blend the frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and fill your piping bag, and frost your cupcakes. Use the mini chocolate chips for the ghost eyes and mouth!

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How To Make Berry Ice Cream Using Any Summer Berry! :: Dairy Free & Egg Free Too!

June 27, 2018

Make memories picking summer berries with the kids, and learn how to make berry ice cream using your summer picks!

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.

Summer picking time!

This perfect growing climate for berries along the shores of Lake Michigan house some of the coolest U-Pick farms around, and picking has become something my girls look forward to every season. They know what month is what for every berry, and they each have favorites! We went out to pick strawberries last week! My older girls are getting to the age where doing these fun things with friends coming along is important to them, and goodness the girl giggles were so fun! I’ll protect the privacy of the girls’ friends and share an old picture instead of our recent trip – this is one of my favorites of my older girls picking strawberries as toddlers – such fun!

Turn any summer berry into ice cream!

Yep, you heard that right! Whatever berries are in season where you live right now can be churned into a fun summer treat the kids will never forget. YOU get to control the ingredients and sugar, which means it really is something fun to enjoy more than once a summer. And just about any kid will get excited about that!

Lots {and lots!} of practice!

It has been so many years since I made my first batch of ice cream. Over the years, this has become my go-to framework for any ice cream flavor with fruit really. While our focus is summer berries here, you could swap in summer stone fruits like cherries and peaches as well.

What’s with the gelatin?

It’s all about the scoop-ability and texture! I’ve tried all the things when it comes to a scoop-able, creamy ice cream from egg yolks to tapioca starch. While egg yolks are probably my favorite creamy add-in to ice cream, so many people (including myself) don’t tolerate chicken eggs. I’ve found the small sprinkle of gelatin to give the ice cream a great creamy texture as well as make it easier to scoop. I use this grass-fed gelatin, but you really could use whatever gelatin you have on hand – just really watch the ingredients.

Let’s talk about the milk!

If you have access to quality, grass-fed raw dairy and your family tolerates that, go for it! We have been a dairy free house for a while now, and my kids never skipped a beat switching from raw cream to full fat coconut milk – it is so creamy and delicious! I am not a coconut flavor fan, and I do not taste the coconut if you are wondering.

Summer memory making

There was a point earlier this month, where I mentioned to the girls that we might be too busy this month to pick strawberries. I didn’t think much of saying it because it wasn’t like we were just sitting around – we truly had a lot of other fun things going on! The visual drop on all 3 girls’ faces made me take a step back! I couldn’t believe how much these yearly visits meant to them – even my 9 year old. Now, I realize 9 year old girls can be dramatic, but she really did mean what she said when she declared it just wasn’t going to be summer without going strawberry picking! Momma, if you have littles at home, it is so worth starting those memories now! And momma with those older kiddos, make a slice of time for some picking – even if it’s just for a few pounds to make something fun in the kitchen!

Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

How To Make Berry Ice Cream Using Any Summer Berry!

Make memories picking summer berries with the kids, and learn how to make berry ice cream using your summer picks!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy-free ice cream recipe, homemade berry ice cream, how to make berry ice cream
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups berries hulled and halved if strawberries. If blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc you can just measure them out un-cut.
  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk divided
  • 2-4 tbsp raw honey to taste and depending on sweetness of the berries. Start out low – you can always add more
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp quality gelatin

Instructions

  • Put the berries and 1 cup of the coconut milk in a sauce pan, bring to a simmer, and mash the berries a bit. Simmer for 2 minutes, and then turn the heat off.
  • Put the honey, vanilla, and sea salt in the bottom of your blender. Pour the hot berry/coconut milk mixture into the blender, sprinkle the gelatin on top, and then blend for 20 seconds until smooth.
  • Pour the remaining 1 cup of coconut milk into a medium mixing bowl, and then pour the hot berry/cream mixture from the blender into the bowl. Stir to combine, and set in the fridge until cold – this could be overnight etc.
  • Once the berry ice cream mixture is cold, you can pour it into your ice cream maker to churn according to your manufacturer’s instructions. I use this ice cream maker, and it takes about 20 minutes to churn. You can serve it “soft serve style” right out of the ice cream maker, or you can pour the churned ice cream into a lidded container to freezer further in the freezer. If you freeze it completely, you’ll want to set the ice cream on the counter for about 5-10 minutes for easy scooping.

More real food berry recipes you might like ::

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Paleo Chocolate Nut Butter Tart :: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Egg Free

February 17, 2018

This easy prep chocolate nut butter tart is rich and decadent using all real food ingredients!

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.

A season for everything, and grace for everyone…

Every once and a while, it gets to me. The winter. It’s so long here, and while I truly do love the 4 seasons of living in Michigan, getting through the winter “blah’s” takes some practice. First, I’ve learned this is not the time of year for crash diets. Eating real, nourishing, nutrient dense food not only keeps my body from getting sick, it also keeps my brain from being starved and going crazy while we wait for a little sunshine. I wait for that sunshine energy to fuel any spring cleansing, and save winter time for enjoying rest and fueling.

A little grace…and a piece of pie

Second, I’ve learned to have a little grace. I’ve found that when I allow my body to rest a bit more during the winter, spring and summer can run at full force, loaded with energy. There’s a season for everything. And during a season of rest, it is totally cool to settle in with a cup of coffee and a slice of your favorite treat. Food was meant to be enjoyed. It was meant to nourish your soul, not just your stomach. And while we enjoy every nourishing meal to the fullest every day, putting some love into a special treat to share with your family can nourish your sense of joy even on the darkest winter day.

Rich and indulgent real food

Of course, you can make these treats with real ingredients too! I won’t pretend that a little maple syrup isn’t still sugar. Sugar is still sugar. It isn’t something we have every day. But a special Valentine’ Day treat was definitely in the cards for us this year, and we used some simple real food ingredients to create a decadent treat that filled us with joy, and didn’t leave our tummies feeling crummy because of processed ingredients.

Fancy presentation…minimal fuss!

Because this momma doesn’t have time for that! And while we’re on that note, I’m also not a baker. Those of you who have been around long enough know that baking is just not my thing. This chocolate nut butter tart may have pretty layers, but it is anything but finicky to work with. The crust will take you about 10 minutes to prep, and the other 2 layers will be 5 minutes or less! Promise that even my non baker readers are going to love this one!

Tart pan versus pie

Originally, this recipe started out in one of my pie plates. I made it half dozen times since then, until I found a tart pan on sale last month 😉 I love the presentation that the tart pan gives, so that is how I’ve prepared it for this post (and the removable bottom makes the presentation SO much easier!). That said, the recipe below is based on my pie plates, and I had some crust leftover when I made it in the tart pan. So the recipe fits in a pie plate if that is what you have, or if you happen to have a tart pan, just know that you will only use about ¾ of the crust. I also had some chocolate left (which made for really yummy chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine’s day!). I think mini tarts in muffin tin or mini tart pan would be adorable too!

Ingredient notes

  • Let’s start with the crust. You really can use any crust recipe. This crust is nutty, and sweet, and goes so well with the chocolate nut butter flavors. I have not tried other ingredient swaps for this crust, so you’ll have to play around with that yourself. If you really can’t have the nuts, or another ingredient in the crust, here is my gluten free crust recipe you can use instead.
  • For the nut butter filling, I do think that sunflower seed butter would swap for the nut butter if there is a nut allergy. Sunflower seed butter always tastes like peanut butter to me anyway, so I think it would work!

A little grace, and a piece of pie

Deep breath momma. Winter with littles can feel closed in. Bundle the babes up, stick them in the snow for a few minutes, and then have some grace. Come on back inside, settle them with some toys, and warm up with your favorite hot cup and a slice of some chocolate nut butter tart. We’ll make it to spring soon! Cheers!

Print Recipe
5 from 25 votes

Paleo Chocolate Nut Butter Tart

This easy prep chocolate nut butter tart is rich and decadent using all real food ingredients!
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Paleo chocolate nut butter tart, Paleo chocolate nut butter tart recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST ::

FOR THE NUT BUTTER LAYER ::

  • 1 cup nut butter of choice you can combine different nut butters to make the 1 cup too
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup if your nut butter is already sweetened, you may not need this
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt if your nut butter is salted, I would leave this out or halve it

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER ::

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put the flours, coconut shreds, and sea salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to combine – the crust looks dry, but it presses into the pan well, so don’t add more liquid!
  • Press the blended crust into a 9-inch tart pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Place the crust in the freezer to speed up the cooling off process (Or you can make the crust ahead of time).
  • While the crust is cooling off, you can make the nut butter layer. Put the nut butter layer ingredients into a small sauce pan and warm through over medium heat until everything is melted together and smooth. When the crust is fully cooled off, you can pour this nut butter layer into the crust. Put the tart pan back into the freezer for 1 hour to set the nut butter later.
  • Once the nut butter layer is set, make the chocolate layer. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a small sauce pan, turn the heat off, and add the chocolate chips. Let the chocolate sit in the hot milk for one minute, and then whisk it in until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the nut butter layer in the tart pan, and place the tart pan back into the freezer to fully set.
  • Garnish your chocolate nut butter tart with flaked sea salt if you desire. You can store your tart in the fridge. It cuts well at room temp, fridge temp, and frozen, so you can serve it at whatever temperature you prefer.

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Paleo Cinnamon Snowflake Christmas Cookies Using Coconut Sugar :: Grain, Gluten, Dairy, & Egg Free

November 25, 2017

Celebrate the season without the sugar overload and make these festive and fun Paleo cinnamon snowflake cookies!

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.

The first snow…

My little winter babes are still anticipating the first measurable snow approaching the first week of December, peeking their little nose at the windows each morning to see if today is the day! I seriously have no idea where they get it from {self proclaimed beach bum here…}, but growing up here my whole life, I do have to say that there is just something magical about that first snowfall!

Bringing a little snowfall to our kitchen!

So while we await fresh powder to play in outside, I decided to bring a little snowfall to the inside! These sweet little powdery snowflake cookies made the girls completely giddy, and I loved that my oldest could make the entire recipe on her own. Sure the littles in the house loved helping here and there. But there is just something about this age 8…bam! She is not one of the “littles” anymore…she is genuinely a huge help in the kitchen, and so mature it blows me away!

Ownership…

And while we are on that note…man, oh man. Do I ever get it. It takes a little extra time to let them help in the kitchen, doesn’t it? This “Type A” and “go go go” personality momma has really had to learn how to step back and let my kids do their thing. Especially this age. Ownership means the world to them. Being able to edify them in front of their family or peers that *they* made the cookies does amazing things for their confidence.

And that whole “life skills” thing is pretty important too. Believe me. Growing up in a microwave generation and having to teach myself to cook in my 20’s has given me a new appreciation for making sure this generation knows how to make themselves some food. Get your kiddos into the kitchen this holiday season and help them start mastering those kitchen skills – start somewhere!

The holiday sugar trap…

It’s a tough one, isn’t it? I have worked on this balance for years now, and feel like I’ve come up with some happy mediums so that we can both enjoy the fun of the holiday, but also stay healthy and well so that we can actually attend all of the parties and have some fun. Sugar does, after all, feed those sick bugs in our bodies, so party after party, and holiday event after event can really wreck havoc on little ones especially.

{You can read more tips on keeping kids healthy during the holiday season in this super important post!}

A game changing combo!

These cinnamon snowflake cookies are not only super adorable, but they make a much healthier choice for a sweet treat when your kiddos have been “sugar-ed out” and you still have some holiday parties to attend! The nut flour keeping the starches down, coupled with the lower glycemic coconut sugar, make for a winning combination to keep blood sugars at bay.

Ok, fine…coconut sugar…so, how does it taste???

So good! There is a warm, almost light molasses flavor to coconut sugar, so it really gives these cookies in particular a gingerbread cookie flavor with the added cinnamon. It is so festive! I’ve switched to coconut sugar almost exclusively in some of my baking and my family really enjoys the flavor.

Kid friendly serving sizes

Make ‘em small and super cute, dear momma! They won’t know any differently! Here are some super cute mini cookie cutters you can use to make at least 2 dozen cookies (I made over 30 with mine). So instead of having to break apart a huge cookie for your 4 year old, and they feel slighted for only getting half a cookie, they get to have a whole one! Or even 2!

A note on the powdered sugar…

If you have super little ones at home and no bigs…I’d just leave it off 😉 They really don’t know any differently, and the cookies taste amazing without it! If you have some older kiddos at home like I do…I’m telling ya…the illusion of these looking snow dusted with the powdered sugar is SO worth the look on their faces! Do it up! Grab an organic/non-GMO sourced powdered cane sugar, and let them shake it on. Just watch those sweet faces light up!

Ingredient notes

Five batches in, and I was able to at least narrow this one down to gluten, dairy, and egg free! I know, I know, my dear nut free friends! Sigh. I didn’t get to trying these with a seed meal – I really think a sunflower seed type deal just might work. Blend it up into a “flour” and give it a go! And please comment below if you tried it so others who need to be nut free may try. I feel like I worked out the rest of the common allergens like dairy, gluten, and egg though!

If you don’t have access to coconut sugar, then organic cane sugar will work fine. I also think that soaked, blended dates might work. I think honey or maple syrup will be too runny/sticky, but you could give it a try.

Print Recipe
5 from 24 votes

Paleo Cinnamon Snowflake Christmas Cookies Using Coconut Sugar

Celebrate the season without the sugar overload and make these festive and fun Paleo cinnamon snowflake cookies!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon sugar cookies, gluten-free sugar cookie recipe
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Put all of the ingredients into a medium mixing bowl, and blend to combine. The dough should press together well. It shouldn’t be tacky or wet though. From here, you can either roll them right out, or refrigerate the dough until you are ready to roll it out. I have done both, and rolling out is easy both ways – I feel like the cut-outs came out of the cookie cutter a little easier when the dough was chilled.
  • To roll the dough out, you can either use parchment paper, or dust the counter with Cassava Flour. I have done both and they both work well. Roll out the dough, cut the snowflakes out, and place them on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. I found that dipping my little cookie cutter into a bowl of olive oil made the cookies slide off the cutter easiest. Or dip in some cassava flour to flour it before cutting.
  • Bake the snowflakes at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. You can dust the cookies with the organic powdered cane sugar at this point. After they cool a couple minutes on the baking sheet, move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

More real food Christmas ideas you might like!

 

Batch Up Meals Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips School Holidays Snack Ideas

How To Make Sprouted Candied Nuts & Seeds :: Sprouted For Better Digestion & Nourishment :: Made With Real Food Sweeteners & No Junk!

October 28, 2017

Learn how to make candied nuts and seeds for the holidays the real food way! Sprouted for better digestion and using better sweeteners without the junk!

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. 

Harvest parties, Thanksgiving, & Holidays….oh my!

The next few months are sure to bring on party after party and gatherings almost weekly! I wanted to share with you a staple party snack I keep in my back pocket (technically just stashed away in my cupboard!) all holiday season, to make the holidays a bit less stressful, and still yummy real food. Keeping a stash of candied crispy nuts in my pantry ensures that I always have something to pass around when invited to last minute events that don’t leave me with enough time to cook, or where I’m not expected to bring a large dish to pass.

An “evergreen” holiday treat for everyone!

Whether its a snack bowl out on trick-or-treat night, the appetizer table at Thanksgiving, or the big holiday party at home or the office, candied pecans, walnuts, almonds, or any type of mixed nuts or seeds are always a hit. And there are always those present at these events that will be thankful to have a healthier, more protein rich treat to snack on versus the starchy cookies and candies hanging around.

My special real food ingredients, and some notes on sprouting!

Because you really can make a few little swaps and techniques to make these holiday nuts easier on digestion, more nutritious, less processed – and still taste amazing!

  • Soaking/Sprouting :: I leave directions for both in the instructions. Soaking takes the phytic acid levels down so the nuts and seeds are easier on digestion. It takes just 7 hours of hands free time to soak (think over-night while you are sleeping!), so it really isn’t an inconvenience. If you have the time to take an extra day or 2, I recommend sprouting your nuts and seeds! It sounds intimidating, but it is really so simple. After soaking, you simply drain the water and let the nuts and seeds sit in the bowl until they start to sprout a little “tail” over the next 24-36 hours. It is a little extra time, yes, but super hands free, and so special! If you make big double and triple batches of these candied sprouted nuts, you can keep them stashed away for quick grab and go party snacks.
  • Dehydrating under 150 degrees :: Dehydrating versus baking or roasting maintains the integrity of the nut and seed oils. It is just a healthier way to consume them!
  • Coconut Sugar :: Instead of corn syrup or even “regular” white sugar, I always swap for coconut sugar. The glycemic index is lower which keeps blood sugars happier. It is an easy swap, and since coconut sugar has become more mainstream, you can find it even in regular grocery stores.
  • Molasses :: I once tried a candied almond recipe at a party that just really “wow-ed” me. I remembered thinking there was just something different about this recipe and ended up tracking down the guest that made them to ask what their secret was. It was brown sugar! Technically, brown sugar is just sugar mixed with a bit of molasses, so I’ve got the ratios down in my recipe to make a sort of “coconut sugar brown sugar,” and the warmth of the flavor will blow you away!

Special hints of flavor options

Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit! Most people are pretty used to the typical sweet, candied nuts, but adding special aromas or spicy hits will make your recipe really special.

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice :: Not just for that latte or pie! This makes Halloween trick-or-treating parties so fun for snacking with your pumpkin spice lattes for the adults and warm apple cider for the kids!
  • Cayenne :: This is certainly optional when serving to little kids, but if you are attending an adult party, go for this one! Just a small pinch gives a flavorful heat that goes so well with the sweet and salty flecked candy shell.
  • Orange Zest :: My personal favorite! I think it just brings a happy, bright aroma to the bowl, and it leaves people asking “what is that in there?” – in a really good way! Serve with warm mugs of Winter Wassail – it compliments it so well!
  • Vanilla :: I have mixed vanilla bean to the coconut sugar mixture once before to serve with chilled mugs of real food eggnog, and it was SO good! Very special!
  • Cacao :: Dust in a few teaspoons of raw cacao for a chocolate flavor! So good! Serve with warm mugs of hot buttered raw cacao hot cocoa (recipe is in my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings!) – it compliments it so well!
  • Honey or Maple flavor :: You can swap out the coconut sugar for raw honey or pure maple syrup for a different sweet flavor too!
  • Cinnamon :: Swap the pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon if that is more your flavor preference!

Notes for nut free friends or party guests

My kiddos actually prefer candied seeds to nuts, so don’t be afraid to try out a seed mix even if you aren’t nut free! If you have party guests that have true nut allergies, just be sure you don’t dehydrate the seeds and nuts together in the same batch – do everything separate, and make sure the tools are all washed up real good in between. In fact some can’t even be in the same room as the nuts, so if you know this ahead of time, just stick to a seed mix and leave any nuts out. The seeds are just as festive and taste amazing.

I prefer a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds but there are so many things you can do. Adding chia seeds will make more “clusters” – almost like a candied seed “bark” and those just feel so special!

Notes for egg free friends or party guests

I would love to hear from my egg free readers how this works out, but I would imagine that a flax egg – or really just half of a flax egg – would work out just fine here. The egg white combines with the coconut sugar to create the candied coating. I have seen recipes where you combine water and the sugar and bring to a boil until a thick candy coating is made. Let us know in the comments if you have tried this – I would love to make this post a great resource for friends that need to make these allergy swaps.

A quick note about dehydrating/cook methods

Do not. I repeat do NOT, not make these just because you don’t have a dehydrator 🙂 YES dehydrating nuts and seeds below 150 degrees maintains the integrity of the nut oils and nutrients, but I would rather you make these in your oven than not make them at all, and buy crummy ingredient holiday nuts at the store. If you make them in the oven, just be sure to stir them around so they dry out evenly – it is more hands on than using a dehydrator, but it works.

If it happens to fit on your birthday or holiday wishlist, I get SO much use out of my dehydrator, and have had it for years. It is a great investment. If you want to make homemade granola for breakfast and snacks much easier with less hands on time, homemade jerky, and other dehydrated goods, you will not regret it. I have this “middle of the road” dehydrator, though I will definitely be spending the money when mine finally gives out to get a more quality dehydrator. Mine is 6 years old now and does not maintain the heated temperature as evenly (it’s tuckering out!), so I’ll be investing in a more quality dehydrator soon.

Print Recipe
5 from 17 votes

How To Make Sprouted Candied Nuts and Seeds

Learn how to make candied nuts and seeds for the holidays the real food way! Sprouted for better digestion and using better sweeteners without the junk!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soak12 hrs
Total Time35 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied nuts, sprouted nuts
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds of choice
  • 2 tsp sea salt for soaking
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice See above section for different flavoring options to swap here from vanilla and cacao to cinnamon!
  • Zest of 1 orange Optional if you enjoy the citrus aroma and a hint of citrus to the nuts/seeds
  • Up to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper Optional only if you want some heat to your mixture – I’d leave this out if serving to kids – I make a separate batch with some heat just for the adults because it’s so yummy!
  • Sea salt to sprinkle over top to your preference

Instructions

  • Put the raw nuts/seeds into a medium mixing bowl with 2 tsp sea salt and fill the bowl with water to cover the nuts/seeds. Stir the mixture around to dissolve the sea salt, and then cover with a towel. Let the soaking nuts/seeds sit on the counter 7-12 hours to soak. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the nuts/seeds making them easier on digestion. You could also sprout your nuts/seeds if you have the time to take that process further for more nutrient availability. After 12 hours of soaking, drain the water, cover with a towel, and let the nuts/seeds sit on the counter for 24-36 hours until you see a little sprout of a tail. Rinse and drain the nuts/seeds a couple times a day during this sprouting time.
  • After soaking (or sprouting) your nuts/seeds, drain the water. Whisk the egg white, coconut sugar, and pumpkin pie spice (and cayenne if using it) in a small mixing bowl, and then put the drained nuts/seeds in. Stir the nuts/seeds with the coconut sugar mixture to coat evenly.
  • Spread your coconut sugar coated nuts/seeds over a dehydrator tray (or baking sheet if using an oven). If you are dehydrating the nuts/seeds, you can dehydrate under 150 degrees to keep the nutrients and oils stable in the nuts/seeds. This will take around 12-24 hours depending how high you set your temp – I do about 135 degrees and it takes about 12 or so hours (this is the dehydrator I use.). If you are using an oven, you can bake at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes to an hour. Stir them around once or twice while baking to make sure they dry out all the way.
  • Store your crispy candied nuts and seeds in an airtight container in the pantry.

More real food recipes you might like ::

 

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

Healthy Halloween Tips and Ideas :: Healthier trick-or-treating ideas {that won’t get you tee-peed!}, family Halloween traditions, & healthy classroom party ideas!

September 23, 2017

Celebrate Halloween and keep your “crunchy momma” status with these super fun, {not lame} healthy Halloween tips and ideas for home and school!

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’m going to just cut to the chase, let the cat out of the bag…you get the idea…

It’s not my favorite holiday.

You know…Halloween. Sure, it’s super fun to dress up little kids like fuzzy ducks, silly clowns, and glittery butterflies, but really, I’m in this whole autumn thing for that Thanksgiving turkey!

And yet…

…the kids nearly jump out of their skin for this holiday, and so we roll with it. I’ve spent the greater part of the last 8 ½ years of this motherhood journey navigating just how to approach the sugar crazed holiday, and I feel like I’ve come up with a happy medium that works for our family.

My middle kiddo making pumpkin pasta before trick or treating!

Did you hear that key phrase?

I’ve found what works for *our* family. It won’t be the same for every family, but I’m hoping my list is super comprehensive and will at least give you a bit of empowerment to start making your *own* family traditions to make the holiday special for your kids, without compromising your real food standards.

Because that’s really what it’s all about, right?

The fun, right!?

Listen, I may be one of those ____(insert your choice of terms to describe health conscience moms…crunchy, holistic, green…) mommas, but I don’t want my kids to feel like the odd duck. Sure they may pack bone broth loaded soup for school lunches, but I also pack an occasional PBJ. And yes, for the most part treats are just saved for birthdays and holidays, but we have the occasional Friday night pizza or weekend celebratory cookies.

It’s called balance…

And that balance is crucial to making sure your kiddos don’t buck back against you when it comes to fun things like Halloween. Trust me…I’ve done the whole skipping trick or treating to avoid the candy thing. I thought since I would be having them dump the candy anyway, why bother!

Instead, what I had was a disappointed 6 year old who knew about trick or treating from her friends at school, and all she wanted to do was dress up and have some fun. Not every kid will come to this conclusion, but she would have been just as happy to dump the candy just for the chance to dress up and have some fun! Don’t take that away from them!

Our family Halloween traditions!

Again, every family is different, and there is no one right way to do this Halloween thing. I hope everyone reads that part carefully – my way isn’t the highway, but I’m hoping you can get a few ideas to help, and learn from my mistakes!

  1. We carve pumpkins, dress up, and do the trick-or-treating thing. My kids are still at the ages where this is super cool to them, and they don’t even care that the rule is dumping the candy in the trash afterward. They seriously just want to dress up and have fun!
  2. We swap their trick-or-treat candy for a special treat that they get to make with momma. We do something different every year, and the kids get to pick. We’ve made caramel corn, candy apples, tootsie rolls, and sugar cookies made into pumpkins (I use this recipe using a pumpkin cutter and then use naturally dyed orange sprinkles over white frosting!). They get to enjoy their special treat after trick-or-treating – period. Not the next day or the weekend after. Even if it’s a school night, they are staying up and having fun. Don’t be the party pooper mom. Yep I said it – and I get to say it cuz I’ve been there and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Live a little 😉
  3. I hand out candy. Well, honey sticks to be exact. I went years without handing out candy because I just couldn’t stand the thought of handing out GMO filled candy to innocent little kids. I couldn’t afford the expensive organic chocolate candy for everyone, so I just didn’t hand anything out. I can’t remember where I got the honey stick idea, but we are going on our 3rd year of handing them out, and it is a compromise I feel good about. Kids get something sweet, and I feel good about the quality.
  4. As far as school Halloween parties go, our school doesn’t celebrate Halloween in the traditional way, so I have zero experience there. They do some crafts, and make applesauce! (The kids love this by the way – let them peel and chop, and then slow cooker or Instant pot the applesauce!) If you have kiddos at a school that does the whole Halloween party fiasco, please leave us some comments below on how you handle the school parties so we may learn from you!

I absolutely cherish this picture of my oldest making the caramel for caramel apples and her sisters watching! That is what this is all about! (Recipe for the caramel apples from Nourished Kitchen is below!)

A quick note on my thoughts about babies & toddlers…

Take those babies and toddlers to the pumpkin patch! Do fun arts and crafts with pumpkin seeds, orange paint, and pumpkin cutters in play-doh!

My philosophy on the babies and toddlers with candy is…do *you* want to explain to a 1 or 2 year old why we don’t have candy every day of the year? They just don’t have the capacity to reason why this isn’t a good idea like a 4 year old on up would. I kept my babies and toddlers with a fun snack of fruit salad with simple whipped cream, or simple fruit leathers (I love the idea of this winter squash fruit leather – perfect for toddlers!), or cut up fruit in a fun mini cookie cutter for Halloween shapes.

They don’t know any better, dear momma. You’ll be so glad you did the next day when you don’t have to explain why we don’t have chocolate everyday to a 2 year old who doesn’t know how to understand that. It just isn’t fair to them.

That said…when it comes to older siblings in the house, let them have some fun. I admit my third born had her first piece of candy much younger than my oldest who was at least 4 before she had hers. However,  I definitely didn’t feel like going through the meltdown process at ages 1 or 2 when she wanted *more*, so she was just in bed when my oldest kiddos had their special treat.

Again, this philosophy isn’t set in stone. It is my opinion, and my thought process. You do you dear momma, but at least this gives you some food for thought! 

Onto the ideas!

SO! I wanted to comprise a list of ideas that will help you through Halloween with your {ahem} crunchy momma label 🙂 Pick and choose what works for you, and pass by what doesn’t. Read through it with your older kids and make some new family traditions together!

Trick-Or-Treat Hand-Out Treats:

Let’s face it…an apple or box of raisins is just not something special to a kid over the age of 3! Lighten up and try some of these fun, safer ideas that will make the kids smile! Please note the prices per candy, and maybe you could do the more cost effective ones for the masses of trick-or-treaters, and save the pricier ones for those smaller, at home parties or classroom parties if candy is allowed.

{PLEASE keep in mind that Amazon prices can fluctuate. I broke the price down per candy for your convenience, and the price here reflects what Amazon had the price at during the time of this post publishing.}

Treat Alternatives:

Let’s face it…kids probably have enough pencils, and the gross plastic fake Halloween teeth will just get tossed in the garbage. Here are some fun, non candy ideas for the kids that stop by that can’t have candy!

{These aren’t really my thing, but I do think that for the little guys that come around, some parents might be thankful to get something like a sticker that isn’t full of sugar. I’m pretty sure you will want to have the candy from above on hand for older kids. PLEASE keep in mind that Amazon prices can fluctuate. I broke the price down per toy for your convenience, and the price here reflects what Amazon had the price at during the time of this post publishing}

  • Stickers (2 cents per sticker. Obviously, you can find stickers just about anywhere! Shop around! I thought these were cute for the Halloween holiday!)
  • Temporary Tattoos (6 cents per tattoo. Obviously, you can find temporary tattoos just about anywhere! Shop around! I thought these were cute for the Halloween holiday!)
  • Stampers (18 cents per stamper. Obviously, you can find stampers just about anywhere! Shop around! I thought these were cute for the Halloween holiday!)
  • Glow Sticks (6 cents per glow stick.)
  • Bouncy Balls (13 cents per bouncy ball)

Homemade Treats The Family Can Make Together:

Make sure you use the comments to tell us your family Halloween treat traditions! I would love to add to this list!

Honey Caramel Apples (This is the recipe we use every year!)

Honey Sweetened Caramel Corn

Gluten Free Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte {Because Mom & Dad need it! Leave the coffee out for the kiddie cups!}

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

Spider Cupcakes

Candy Corn Panna Cotta

Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges

Paleo Ghost Truffles

Sweet, Spicy, & Salty Pumpkin Seeds

Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

Fresh Figs With Cheese & Walnuts

Chocolate Covered Apples

Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits

Pumpkin Gummies

Cinnamon Maple Nut Butter Apples

Honey Nut Popcorn

Healthy Family Halloween Dinner Ideas {Kids will actually eat before trick-or-treating!}

Traditions That Will Make Halloween Super Special!

Make sure you use the comments to tell us your family traditions! I would love to add to this list!

  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Play Halloween themed Pictionary
  • Pumpkin seed counting contest
  • Make your own personal pizzas (2 recipes above in the Halloween Dinner section!)
  • Watch a movie
  • Play board games
  • Play Halloween themed Charades
  • Have a scavenger hunt
  • Have a spa night

Fruit Based Treats For Classroom Parties (Or at home for those toddler treats!)

Applesauce Making (Have the kids peel & chop, then slow cooker or Instant pot it in class!)

Halloween Monster Mouths

Fruit Bat Snack Bags

Monster Fruit Cups

Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip

Frozen Boo-Nana Pops (I’d use greek yogurt!)

Halloween Green Yogurt Fruit Dip & Spooky Fruit Snacks (I’d skip the nutella or make your own)

Healthy Halloween Orange Pumpkins

 

Ghost Berries (I’d use organic white chocolate or even dip in Greek yogurt and freeze.)

Orange Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Cups

Candy Corn Fruit Pops

Spiders On A Log

Fruit Gummy Worms

Treat Alternatives For Classroom Parties

Think games and crafts! The focus at classroom parties doesn’t always have to be on the food. If they kids are having fun, and get a break from normal classroom routine, that is all they care about.

Please note there are probably a zillion Halloween crafts and games! I tried searching for things that could be done in the classroom easily and affordably. If you are a teacher or parent that have some fun classroom craft ideas, please drop them in the comments below and I’ll add to the list as we need!

CRAFTS FOR THE CLASSROOM {OR LITTLE ONES AT HOME!}:

Halloween Spider Craft

Halloween Rock Monsters

Monster Corner Bookmarks

Pine Cone Spiders

Yarn Pumpkins

Pumpkin Apple Stamps

Paper Plate Mummy Lacing Craft

Craft Stick Spider Webs

Build A Monster (This link has a free printable!)

Paper Plate Black Cat

GAMES & ACTIVITIES FOR THE CLASSROOM:

  • Carve a pumpkin and have a estimating contest on the amount of pumpkin seeds
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds!
  • Peel & chop apples and slow cooker or Instant Pot applesauce right in class! If you have access to an oven at school like our school does, you can have older kids do a baked applesauce which will make the whole school smell amazing!
  • Make play-doh with a fun fall scent or slime in class
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Science experiments
  • Bingo (this link has a free Bingo printable!)
  • (I had a harder time finding games! If you are a teacher with some fun Halloween games, please comment!)

SO! We want to hear from YOU!

Let’s make this the most comprehensive, “crunchy momma” guide to a {not lame} FUN Halloween! List out what you do in the comments! If you are a Switch Witch family, a big party family, or you do something totally different, we want to hear it!

 

Holiday Recipes Occasional Treats Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Gluten Free Rustic Skillet Peach Pie

August 26, 2017

An easy prep gluten free skillet peach pie with buttery, flaky crust and sweet juicy peach filling!

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. 

This little sweat pea…can I tell you about her?!

My baby turned 4 this week, and while I’m happily waving good-bye to the *unique* toddler years in my house for good (whoop!), I’m still kinda like…whaaaaa! My baby is not a baby anymore!

Caitlyn teaches me peace. She teaches me trust. And she teaches me how to unconditionally love anyone. In perfect third kid style, this sweet baby goes with the flow, no matter what that flow may be. Schedule changes? No problem! New experiences? Awesome! She plans on everyone being her friend the minute she walks into a room, and is the coolest kid to play with. She makes everyone feel special.

When you have *2* August birthdays in the house…

You have peach pie!

My husband just so happens to have a birthday just 2 days before Cait (I was miserably 42 weeks pregnant, and while I said my entire pregnancy I didn’t want them having the same birthday, I would have given just about anything to have her that day! Ha!). I have always wanted to do something summer fruity for Cait’s birthday since there is such an abundance of summer goodies during her birthday month, and this year, I got my wish!

That whole busy schedule thing…

Having a birthday at the end of August also means things are really busy doing all the back to school preparations. So we made lots of special time last weekend with family to celebrate Cait’s birthday early while everyone was still in summer mode. That way everyone could enjoy and celebrate her!

I also wanted to celebrate on her actual birthday though, and decided to have her pick a summer fruit to make something special with…

Summer peaches meet easy peasy skillet crust!

Peaches are totally her jam this summer, so I had a feeling that is what she would pick. I was perfectly giddy that she did, and before I started in making this super easy peach crisp, I had a second thought and really wanted to make peach pie.

The time to fuss with a fancy pie crust just wasn’t going to work with the weekend ahead, and I was just thrilled with how this more rustic (read…less fussy!) crust worked.

Buttery, flaky, no-fuss crust!

I played around with my “perfect gluten free pie crust” recipe a bit, trying to make it work for the skillet. I didn’t want to wait around for dough chilling, and just by chance I happened to change the ratios of the flour, butter, and water to get a dough that rolled out easily right out of the food processor.

This momma is definitely a “non” baker – not my favorite thing to do in the kitchen, and this crust was super easy to work with. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it rolls out. And because we are talking “rustic” – it doesn’t have to have perfectly neat little edges! Yeah!

A note on peach types

Different peaches have different levels of juiciness and acid which affects sweetness. There are dozens of peach varieties – our local peach farmer carries at least 6 or so. That said, you can fuss around with the sweetness to your taste. I picked up the very last of a white flesh variety called blushing star – they have a really pretty white flesh with streaks of almost pink. They are super sweet and quite juicy.

Our peaches were very ripe – almost too ripe. Because of that, I used a good ½ cup of flour to make sure it didn’t get too runny in the middle – if I were to make it again, I would use a bit less – 1/3 cup, or maybe even ¼ cup. I like to have a little bit more messy juiciness to my pie! The “sweet” was right on to our palates for the peaches we had. If your kids are used to sweeter pies, I would go for more like ½ cup of the sugar.

Topping options!

While the peach skillet pie certainly shines on it’s own, everything is better with a little topping, right?! Here are some great, easy, real food ideas!

New to skillet cooking?

For years I was pretty petrified of screwing up a skillet – so I never used one. In the last few years I have been almost exclusively using my cast iron skillet because it is so easy to use! Go figure! I follow these instructions from The Kitchn for seasoning my cast iron and keeping it super non slip. The pie slices slid right out. If you are in the market for a cast iron skillet (what a great gift idea for this year!), this is the one I use. They are so affordable, and last forever!

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Gluten Free Rustic Skillet Peach Pie

An easy prep gluten-free skillet peach pie with buttery, flaky crust and sweet juicy peach filling!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free peach pie recipe, gluten-free skillet pie, skillet peach pie recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

FILLING ::

CRUST ::

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Make the filling ::

  • Put the filling ingredients into a medium mixing bowl, gently mix, and set aside.

Make the crust ::

  • Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse 5 times to mix. Add the palm shortening (or butter), and blend until the palm shortening (or butter) is incorporated making little bits in the flour. Add the water to the drip cup on the lid of the food processor, and press blend until the dough comes together. This takes about a minute.

Get the crust into the skillet ::

  • Flour a counter surface with the Namaste flour or rice flour and roll out your dough. You’ll want to leave it wider than your skillet so you have enough to fold over the top. Gently set the crust into the skillet, and softly press it down the sides. Brush the bottom and sides of the crust with the beaten egg. This keeps the crust from getting soggy.

Assemble the pie ::

  • Pour the prepared peach filling into the crust, and fold the edges of the pie over the filling. Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. You can put a few pats of butter over the top of peach filling too.
  • Bake the pie at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.

More real food peach recipes you might like!

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Paleo Plátanos Calados :: Stewed Spiced Ripe Plantains

August 23, 2017

Plátanos Calados are a creamy and sweet fall spiced glazed plantain treat that everyone in the family will love!

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 received a promotional copy of Latin American Paleo Cooking for review purposes for this post.

September is approaching, and fall is right around the corner!

We are moving into full blown back to school mode! My older 2 girls are getting antsy to get back to their friends and the daily routine of the classroom, and my youngest is beyond ready for her preschool year! With the anticipation of getting back into the classroom, my oldest 2 were having a particularly “bored” day, and I decided to have a little “school” here at home…

A little taste of Latin American culture

My little Montessorians are used to studying world maps all the time in school, and they were thrilled at the chance to learn more about a unique part of the world we call Latin America! My dear friend, Amanda, from The Curious Coconut just happened to send us her brand new cookbook, Latin American Paleo Cooking that week, and it was the perfect opportunity for the girls to brush up on their map skills, as well as learn about a unique, and very special culture.

A whole new cookbook experience!

I was prepared for Latin American Paleo Cooking to have super fun, gorgeous recipes knowing Amanda (which it totally does!), but what I wasn’t anticipating was the added cultural learning I was going to glean from the cookbook – and that dear friends, is priceless.

My older girls poured over the delicious recipes “ooo-ing” and “ahhh-ing” over the stewed meats, pretty folded little empanadas, and of course luscious sweet treats. My oldest noticed the flags with each recipe indicating what country in Latin America the recipes were from, and was soon glued to the computer maps trying to find the countries. We talked about the people from these countries, their heritage, what the weather is like in these tropical regions, as well as what kind of food grows there. It was a great learning opportunity!

Latin American Paleo Cooking Features and Stats!

Here’s the low down on this amazing book!

  • The cookbook has over 80 traditional recipes made Paleo and as authentic as possible, with over 90% being AIP or easily adaptable
  • All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free; all but 1 are egg-free. 2 recipes use white rice BUT there are grain-free options for both of those.
  • The countries represented include: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Brazil, each marked with that country’s flag for easy reference. Some recipes are so ubiquitous that they cannot be attributed to a single country, and are designated as pan-Latin.
  • Platos de la Familia (Family Dinners) includes recipes meant to feed a crowd, and many of these recipes are great for batch cooking.
  • Comida Fiesta! (Party Food!) includes Paleo versions of Latin recipes that people get ridiculously excited about, like pupusas, pandebono (“cheese” buns), empanadas, arepas, plantain sandwiches, and more.
  • Rapido y Facil (Quick and Easy) includes recipes that are, like the name says, quick and easy to prepare. Some are still great for batch cooking, too, extra bonus!
  • Accompañantes (Sides) includes many ways to enjoy tropical starches like yuca, malanga, boniato, and plantains PLUS both a starchy and non-starchy rice replacement AND starchy and non-starchy BEANS replacement!
  • Un Poco Dulce (A Little Sweet) is a short but delicious desserts chapter
  • Lo Esencials (The Essentials) includes cooking bases, sauces, marinades, condiments, broths, and more, which are used throughout the book and can be the launching point for readers to get creative with numerous uses! Of note is the QUESO BLANCO recipe that is unlike any other “cheese” recipe I have seen in the Paleo/AIP community. It melts and stretches like mozzarella!
  • While over 80 recipes are written, this book comes with numerous suggestions and options to create dozens of other recipes using different combinations of meats/fillings/breads/pastry shells/condiments/marinades. It is written to empower the reader to try new combinations!

Fall spices meet tropical fruit!

One of the recipes the girls kept coming back to was the stewed and spiced Plátanos Calados, meaning “drenched/soaked plantains.” This recipe originates in Colombia, and showcases sweet plantains glazed in warm and sweet spices we typically associate with the fall. Think pumpkin spice meets caramelized bananas…it is truly a match made in heaven.

A word about adventurous taste palates…and some veteran momma wisdom

Those of you who have been around here long enough know that I am a huge fan of exposing kids to the tastes of YOUR unique home. As far as our house goes at least, there is no such thing as “kid food” and “adult food” – all food is kid food. It’s family food. Starting these kiddos out young with the tastes and flavors of your home, and different cultures sets them up to be excited about trying new food. Those kids will never bat an eye at new things on their plate when they have been given the opportunity to have a wide variety of flavors and textures instead of being boxed into just “kid food.”

So while this recipe certainly is super fun (who doesn’t love sweet, creamy glazed fruit?!), there are other recipes in this book that I am absolutely planning on making that I have no idea what they will taste like! And you know what? The girls are biting at the bit for me to make something new! I promise you that getting little ones started out eating a wide variety of flavors, tastes, and textures will reward you with the same adventurous eaters I enjoy every day.

This picture right here below, is that of pure and utter foodie kid joy!

A quick note on some additions I made!

Amanda just knows me way to well! She mentioned to me that because I love “making every bite count” when it comes to feeding little kids, that possibly swapping some of the water for nutrient dense, fatty coconut milk might be a good idea to bump up the nutrition. I was all about that. So I swapped 1/3 cup of the water for coconut milk and it was delicious. I think you could even swap more, if not the whole 1 cup. We weren’t sure if the glaze would get too thick using all coconut milk but I think there is some room for more than the 1/3 cup that I did.

I also backed off the sweet a little bit. My kids’ palates aren’t real used to super sweet, and I had a feeling this would almost be more sweet than they would enjoy. They thoroughly enjoyed every bite of these Plátanos Calados with half the coconut sugar. The caramelized ripe plantains were more than enough sweet for them. If you have really little guys in the house, I would definitely recommend doing this. If you have older kiddos in the house used to sweeter desserts, the ¼ cup will definitely please them – I made a half batch just for myself with the full amount and was in absolute heaven eating it with my café con leche 😉

When you start thinking pumpkin spice this fall, put Plátanos Calados on the menu for a quick and delicious sweet treat!

Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Plátanos Calados :: Stewed Spiced Ripe Plantains

Plátanos Calados are a creamy and sweet fall spiced glazed plantain treat that everyone in the family will love!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: glazed plantains, glazed platain recipe, platanos calados
Servings: 2 -4 servings
Author: Reprinted with permission from Latin American Paleo Cooking by Amanda Torres with Milagros Torres, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 235 ml water
  • ¼ cup 60 g coconut sugaror grated panela sugar
  • 1 tsp 2 g ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp aniseeds
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml coconut oil
  • 2 large very ripe (mostly black) plantains, peeled and cut into 4 pieces

Instructions

  • In a small pot, combine all the ingredients, except the plantains, and stir well.
  • Add the plantains and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 to minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the plantains are cooked throughout and tender.
  • Serve with a generous portion of sauce and enjoy!
  • AIP compliant: Omit the aniseeds and optionally replace with 1/2 teaspoon of ground mace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pectin Free Cherry Jam :: Honey Sweetened Too!

July 7, 2017

Preserve the best of cherry season with delicious cherry jam, perfect for all of your jam topping dreams!

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.

It’s no secret…

We love cherry season! Cherry picking has become one of the summer activities my older girls look forward to all year, and my youngest is really starting to get the hang of this whole cherry picking thing too 😉

A short but sweet season!

Only about a week or so long, we try to get right in there as soon as we hear word of those cherries being ready to pick, because before you know it – they are gone! This year, we had a late spring frost that damaged a lot of the cherry blossoms, but thankfully some were salvaged and we have been enjoying every juicy {messy!} bite of the 60 pounds we picked.

Novice cherry jam maker…

As many years as we have been picking cherries, I have never made cherry jam! I usually pick one fruit from the summer to make jam with, and this year I decided cherries were the lucky ones! I was so thankful that despite the frost this spring we were still able to pick, and I really wanted to do something special with them.

Since our cherry picking was literally the day before the 4th of July holiday, I didn’t have time to get to the store to buy the pectin for jam making I like…(If you are really loving jam making season, THIS is the safe, preservative free pectin I like to use!)

…So a pectin free trial run happened…

…and while my first batch was a bit runny (made a great syrup for pancakes!), we loved the result once I got it right! Since making the first trial, I have made 3 batches of this jam, and really nailed a great consistency for all your jam topping dreams, as well as the perfect amount of sweet and cherry flavor.

A note on the “sweet” and types of cherries

I have made a couple batches of this jam with our favorite local raw honey, and 1 batch with organic cane sugar to be sure it worked, and to get the amount right. For those of you who don’t have access to a good raw honey that tastes really light and delicious, the organic cane sugar is your best bet at a good jam. If your raw honey is too floral, dark, and rich, it will overpower the cherry flavor, and you don’t want that in this kind of recipe – the cherries are SO good!

Be sure to taste your jam before jarring it up. We all have different sweet palates, and your cherries might have a different level of sweetness. If you are using sour cherries you will probably have to double the sweet. Ours were sweet cherries that were perfectly ripe – almost over ripe and were very sweet.

Storage!

In my house, homemade jam is a treat, so I just don’t make a ton of it anymore. Jam for run of the mill use like PBJ’s for school are reserved for a cost effective organic brand from Costco – 3 mouths to feed, times 3 sandwiches, a few times per week equals a lot of jam! I reserve our homemade jam for a treat to top weekend pancakes, or to stir into yogurt, or to swirl into homemade ice cream!

That said, you can batch up and store this jam however you wish. I am just keeping mine in the fridge – it will go that fast!  Since I made some extra batches to prepare for this post, I’ll be giving some away as gifts, and I stored the extra in the freezer as freezer jam. If you like to can, you can water bath can the jars and just be sure to check the seal the next day to make sure it took. If they are good to go, you can pantry store them, and if you get one that doesn’t seal right just freeze it.

Recipe size and jar storeage

This recipe makes enough jam for four 8oz jelly jars. I happen to think this style is much cuter for gift giving by the way! You could also use eight 4oz jelly jars which also make wonderful gifts, or are great for storage when you don’t want to pull out a larger jar of jam. I freeze my jam for 24 hours, and then put the lids on to prevent the jars from breaking.

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Pectin Free Cherry Jam

Preserve the best of cherry season with delicious cherry jam, perfect for all of your jam topping dreams!
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: honey sweetened jam recipe, jam without pectin, pectin free cherry jam
Servings: 2 pints
Author: Renee - www.raisinggenerationnourished.com

Ingredients

  • 8 cups sweet cherries pitted (you can use sour cherries, but will have to adjust the honey/sweet to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1 large lemon about ¼ cup juice
  • ¾ cup raw honey organic pure cane sugar will work too. Be sure you enjoy the taste of your honey – pick a light color honey – if it is very floral in taste it will cover up the cherry flavor. If you can’t find one you love, I’d suggest using organic cane sugar!
  • 2 tsp almond extract optional but so good!

Instructions

  • Put the cherries and water in a pot and bring to a simmer. Use a potato masher or spoon to squish the cherries while it simmers for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the lemon, honey, and almond extract and bring to a constant, rolling boil until it thickens, and you can feel it thicker to stir, about 20-25 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking and scorching. You will see the jam thicken up toward the 20 minute mark, looking more viscous. You can jar it up and put it in the fridge or freezer, or water bath can it at this point! Recipe makes 4 of these 8oz jelly jars.

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