Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Pumpkin Granola

Here is a granola recipe perfect for fall! Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Serves 6
2 ½ C. rolled oats (gluten free oats in needed)
¼. Ground flax seeds
¼ C. finely chopped pecans
¼ C. pepitas (small pumpkin seeds)
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/3 C. pure maple syrup
1/3 C. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 T. coconut oil, melted
½ t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 300.
Blend the oats, nuts and ground flax seeds together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, canned pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla and spices until well blended.
Stir in oat mixture. Place the mixture on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crispy and golden brown, not burnt. Stir twice during baking to avoid burning. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. (This makes one tray of granola. Double if you are serving a larger crowd)

Gluten Free Fall Apple Crisp

I made this crisp to take to Somae last week for one of the mentor's birthdays. I loved how it turned out and think it will be a great addition to our Thanksgiving this year, especially considering that it is made out of whole foods!
Fall Apple Crisp:
Apple Filling:
7 medium sized apples
drizzle of grade b maple syrup on top o the apples (probably 1-2 T. worth)
1/2 T. arrowroot powder
1/2 small lemon, squeezed over apples
sprinkle of cinnamon over the apples
dash of sea salt
2 C. old fashioned oats
1 C. almond flour
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/4 C. coconut sugar
1/3 C. grade B maple syrup
6 T. coconut oil (melted)
dash of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Peel and very thinly slice apples. Layer in a 9x13 glass dish.
3. Drizzle maple syrup, add arrowroot powder, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon on the apples, sprinkle cinnamon lightly over all the apples and add a dash of salt.
4. Mix the apples until coated.
5. In a separate bowl, mix oats, almond flour, cinnamon, coconut sugar, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and sea salt.
6. Spoon topping over the apples and bake for 45 minutes at 375 or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft.
7. Best served warm with fresh whipped cream (use a hand mixer to whip the whipping cream and once set, drizzle in a little maple syrup to sweeten)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #4

This week was super busy, but lunches went great. I feel like we are really on a roll now. Nothing to exciting and new ideas, because the kids really just want repeats of everything they have already had.
Now that our 4th week is over, I am pretty sure that they have figured out their favorites: pizza lunchables, uncrustables sandwiches, like the one below, leftover tacos and whole wheat banana bread with a frozen smoothie.

Now that we have finished our fourth week, I will keep posting periodic lunches, those that are new and worked with the girls, lots of tips and things we do to stay healthy, whole foods dinners, treats and I will post our weekly schedule and how we allow for moderation with treats and dinner out one night a week.

Here is the rundown for the week:

Today was salad, as requested by both girls. They LOVED it last week. They had romaine lettuce, chopped carrots and cucumbers and shredded chicken. They had two poppy seed muffins from the freezer. Recipe I posted earlier on week #1 HERE and a small container of honey crisp apples.

They loved this and containers came home almost completely empty. One mini  muffin would have been enough.
Whole Wheat uncrustable with natural peanut butter and raw honey, honey crisp apples, cucumbers and carrots and some popcorn. I will admit I was in a hurry and used popcorn from a microwave bag....which isn't a whole food because of the additives...but that was actually the last bag in my house. Now we will only be able to make our usual air popped.
This crimper is the best and my girls LOVE eating a sandwich this way. I think it was the best thing pampered chef has made. It keeps the peanut butter and honey in. They are getting more and more willing to eat veggies and I LOVE THAT!
Today was leftovers from dinner last night. I made tacos with ground turkey (recipe below) and I made a double batch, which I will do from now on so that we can all take leftovers the next day. The girls had warmed meat in their thermos, with re fried beans (not pictures), whole wheat flax tortilla and shredded lettuce.
This is their new favorite lunch. They ate everything and they said it was enough to fill them up. I did heat up the tortilla before school and wrapped it in foil.
Today was were all in a hurry, so it was nice to be able to use things from the freezer. The girls had fresh apples (we have 40 pounds of honey crisp to use), blackberries, frozen smoothie, more about that on the first week HERE and a frozen slice of banana bread from 100 Days of Real Food HERE
Everything was gone after school except a few bites of bread.
The girls really liked today's lunch cause it was different and something we haven't done before. They had thin Triscuits (only 3 ingredients), natural turkey in squares, string cheese, pickles and a whole wheat cupcake, recipe below.
They LOVED THIS! It was fun and different and they liked having something sweet.
New Recipes This Week:
Ground Turkey Tacos
(This makes a double recipe, which could probably serve12)
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 packaged ground turkey (each were just over a pound)
1 can black beans, drained
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne
2 T. cumin
seal salt to taste...maybe 1 t.
1 small can, 6 oz.  tomato sauce
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1. In a large pan, saute green and red pepper, onion and garlic in 2 T. olive oil over medium heat.
2. Once onions are translucent, add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add beans, spices and tomatoes sauce.
4. Cook until well seasoned and bubbly.
5. Stir in cilantro and turn off heat.
We serve ours with: whole wheat tortillas, shredded romaine, some cheese, sour cream, home made salsas and avocado slices.

Whole Wheat Cupcakes
(inspired from Eat Good 4 Life HERE)
2 cups white wheat, whole wheat flour
1/2 C. raw sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil or 1/4 cup butter
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add the dry. once well mixed, put in little cupcake tins, with liners.
2. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350. I filled mine to the top, so mine only made 24 cupcakes.
 In a bowl, combine 8 oz cream cheese and 1/4 C. soft butter with a hand mixer.
Add in 3 C. powdered raw sugar. I just put my raw sugar crystals in the blender and it made great powdered sugar.
We also added 1 t. vanilla and 2 T. cocoa powder for chocolate.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Healthy Lunches Week #3

This last week was a short week for us because of fall break and my kids didn't have school on Thursday and Friday. We decided to get out of town and went south to St. George for a warm weekend. It was nice to get away and let the kids swim, catch frogs, hike the red rocks and enjoy staying up late.

The kids have been having so much fun with lunches. My 7 year old still has to ask me everyday what is for school lunch...she just needs to make sure she isn't missing out on too much...and most days she is excited with her home lunch vs. what the school is offering. A few times she would rather have school lunch, but agrees to it anyway!

Monday was salads for both girls with red grapes and 100% whole wheat bread. Recipe was under last weeks post HERE. Their salads had chopped romaine, cucumber triangles, carrot slices and some natural turkey slices (they are now selling at Costco). I forgot to put dressing in their lunch, so they just used some light ranch they got from the teacher lounge at school. My girls thought they were so cool that the principal let them go in there to get dressing for their salad. Teachers were impressed that they would actually eat that!
Soo.... not gonna criticize about the ranch! 
 Lunches came back mostly empty. Both girls didn't eat a full slice of bread and left some lettuce and carrots at the bottom of their container.

Tuesday was a breakfast burrito day. I make these often for breakfast before school, but they just had smoothies, so we decided to make breakfast wraps for lunch. Whole wheat flax tortilla (from Costco) with 1.5 scrambled eggs and a little cheese. We rolled it up and wrapped it in foil.
 This is what it looks like all wrapped up in their lunch with orange slices and their favorite.....Honeycrisp apple slices.
 Lunches came back mostly empty. Fruit was ALL gone from both girls and one daughter only ate 1/2 her burrito because she had less time to eat lunch.

The girls requested an uncrustable again. We used the circle crimper from pampered chef. They had natural peanut butter and raw honey in theirs with 100% whole wheat bread. They also had fresh pineapple and strawberries. 
They LOVE these sandwiches because they both told me that the honey doesn't fall out. They ate all their fruit and said they were full.

Since the week was short, I thought I would show a few breakfasts that we rotate through regularly:

Whole Wheat Waffles
This is the waffle recipe my mom came up with when I was younger. We ate waffles every Sunday after church and they were always whole wheat. It is Victoria's (9) favorite. We make a double batch and keep them in the freezer for mornings we are in a hurry.

Plug in waffle iron to heat up.

In a bowl, add:
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. oil
2 C. buttermilk
Whisk together and add:
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
Let sit for a minute and bubble up. Then add
1 3/4 C. whole wheat flour (I use fresh ground white wheat)

This makes between 3-4 waffles in my big 4 square waffle maker. For this recipe, I do not use a Belgium waffle maker, I use a flat one. You can find them at the thrift store for really cheap. 

Green Smoothie with Banana Bread

We like Blue Bonnet Chocolate Whey Protein Powder from grass fed cows and sweetened with stevia. We buy it HERE

In a blender, add
1 C. almond milk
1-2 frozen bananas (we keep in slices)
1/2 C. ice
2 handfuls of spinach
Blend the above and then add:
2 Scoops protein powder.
This is enough for my kids and a little for me if I am in a hurry.

The banana bread is from 100 Days of Real Food. The link is HERE
I did make these changes: 
I added 4 bananas instead of 3, 6 oz. natural vanilla yogurt instead of 1/4 C. plain yogurt, and added these spices: 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves and 1/8 t. ginger. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We love FALL...and I LOVE Pumpkin Muffins

This is our third fall since moving to Utah. Growing up in San Diego, I didn't really get to experience the kind of fall that many other parts of the United States. Our kids LOVE the fall and we make a point to experience it as much as possible. Our kids are also outside kids, so it is really nice to take a break on a Sunday afternoon and get outside. Also...we are lucky that we have a canyon in our back yard and this is only 10 minutes away!
 Tyler, Victoria and Jocelyn
My kids actually do like eachother....once in a while

 Tyler, Victoria, David and Jocelyn
 Vicotira and I

Feeling and seeing the fall weather got me in the mood for something pumpkin. I came up with these muffins and they are great. None of my kids are pumpkin fans, so they haven't tried them...but I sure did!

Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins
In a bowl, mix the following:
1 3/4-2 C. almond flour (add a little more if it is too wet)
3/4 C. canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. coconut oil
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
Mix all together and put in muffin tins. I think I made 15. Bake at 350 until set (about 20-25 minutes)
I froze them so they are quick to grab on the go.

Healthy Lunches Week #2

I have to say that last week was a success. The kids really liked the lunches and weren't even sad when they ate their homemade pizza instead of the pizza served at school.
Both my girls just wanted pizza every day this week, but I knew that wouldn't be interesting for a blog post and eventually they would get tired of it, so I limited their homemade pizza consumption to just one day this week. Here is the run down:

Monday was their FAVORITE from last week. Whole wheat pizza crust wedges from the freezer. Recipe from HERE. I actually used Costco Sauce. They have a new Kirtland brand that is natural and only has 5 or 6 ingredients in it, so I keep that on hand when I don't have any homemade sauce. They also have cucumber slices, APPLEGATE natural pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.
 Review: This is their favorite lunch to date! They say its even better than the store bought pizza lunchable.
Victoria requested a Panini because she saw them somewhere. We don't have a panini maker, so we stopped by the thrift store and bought a small George Foreman Grill for 4$. It was the perfect size for one sandwich. Her sandwich has 100% whole wheat bread, with a little butter on the outside, scrambled egg (I cooked three eggs for both girls. Mix three eggs in a bowl with a little water and scramble with a fork. Put in a hot greased pan and let sit, once the eggs are getting firm, cut in half and flip both sections over. That way you have flat eggs that will stay in the sandwich). She also requested a little cheese and avocado. I then flattened the sandwich with my hand and we put it in the grill for a few minutes. We wrapped it in foil before going in her lunch. She also had natural applesauce with cinnamon and one almond snickerdoodle, from HERE. (The only thing I did different for the cookie is roll it in both cinnamon and a little raw sugar before baking).
 Tuesday: The makeshift panini was a HUGE hit as well as the almond flour snickerdoodle. One of my girls said the cookie tasted different then what she's used to, but it was still gone!

Today was fruit skewers. We used fresh pineapple and cantaloupe, sliced cucumbers and carrots and shredded chicken mixed with a little olive oil mayo wrapped in a whole wheat flax tortilla (from Costco). The girls also requested a raw cookie ball (that I keep in the freezer). That is wrapped in wax paper by the fruit. You can find the raw cookie ball recipe HERE.
 Review: Too much fruit for the girls, but they ate all their veggies and loved the chicken roll-up. My girls love the raw cookie balls and Jocelyn (7) even asked to take one to her teacher at school... 

Today was leftover Dairy-Free Cheezy Broccoli Soup. You can find the recipe HERE on my blog. I heated it up and put it in the girls thermos containers so it would stay warm. They also had a frozen smoothie. You can read about them on my first lunch post HERE. and whole wheat bread. My bread recipe is at the bottom of this post.
 Review: Only one of the girls really loves this soup and the other is not a soup fan, but they both love the bread and frozen smoothie.

Today, the girls had a frozen smoothie (in the red container. Read Thursdays lunch to get the details), orange slices, celery with natural peanut butter and dried cranberries and 2 slices whole wheat banana bread from 100 Days of Real Food HERE. I make this two loaves at a time and freeze it in half slices once cooled. That way they can grab it whenever they want, especially on a morning we are running late. It works great in the toaster. I did make a few changes to the recipes: I added 4 bananas instead of 3, 6 oz. natural vanilla yogurt instead of 1/4 C. plain yogurt, and added these spices: 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves and 1/8 t. ginger. YUMMY!
 Review: This was too much food for both the girls. They only ate one (1/2 slice) of the bread and didn't finish all their oranges. They loved the celery with craisens and peanut butter and my older daughter only ate half her smoothie.

 Overall, this was a successful week and most all their food was consumed. I also don't worry too much about cramming veggies at lunch, because we always have them with dinner and they drink a green smoothie after school.

Gramy's Whole Wheat Bread
(This recipe is from my Gramy Su. It is half her french bread recipe and half her loaf recipe)
In a small cup, combine:
 1/4 C. warm water with 2 T. active yeast and 1 T. honey.
Let sit for 10 minutes until bubly.
In your mixer, add:
2 1/2 C. warm water
1/3 C. oil (I did use vegetable oil, cause that is what I have..I will try it with coconut oil next)
1/3 C. honey
3 C. white wheat flour (I grind mine fresh, but there are places you can buy white wheat instead of red wheat flour)
Once blended with your mixer, add in yeast water mixer.
Mix again and add:
1 T. sea salt
2 more C. white wheat flour
With mixer on, add enough flour slowly until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl...maybe 2 or 2 cups more.  When you can touch it without feeling too sticky, then your dough is ready.
Put oil on your hands and take dough out of mixer. Shape it in a ball and put in a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel for an hour or until doubled.
Once dough has doubled, divide in two equal pieces and press into a rectangle on separate baking sheets.
Roll each rectangles from one side to the other and tuck the ends under. Should look like a french bread roll. Cover each baking sheet with a clean towel and leave until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on a rack.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yummy Dairy-Free Ice Cream

I have wanted to find a "healthy" ice cream recipe that I could make and share with people that can't have dairy. I have had requests for it before and tonight was a great find! I found a recipe on DelightedMomma.com called "Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream." You can find the recipe HERE and once I saw the picture and ingredient list, I knew I had to make it. It is super simple and here is my version of the directions:

In a bowl, add about 20 frozen strawberries. (I like frozen because of the extra juice they give once thawed). If they are super large, use a few less. Let them sit out and thaw enough to mash. Once mashed, add them to the following mixture:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I like the Sprouts Brand from Sprouts)
The juice of 1 medium-sized lime
2-3 T. honey (I think we were between those two)
2 T. vanilla
Once you add the strawberries, mix and add to your ice cream maker. I add mine once the maker is on and turning. It was done in 20 minutes and everyone LOVED it except my 4 year old. He ate about 5 bites and then went off to play.

 Jocelyn wanted to make sure I got a picture with her mouth open...so here it is!

Pretty and Light Pink!

Next time, I am going to try key lime ice cream with whole wheat graham cracker crumbs. YUM!