Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Mousse

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Fall is all about pumpkins! Here is my quick and easy pumpkin mousse recipe 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 can of Native Forest brand Coconut Milk, refrigerated overnight

1/3 cup of Organic Pumpkin Puree

3 TBS Grade B Maple Syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon  +a little extra to sprinkle on top if so desired

 

Directions:

**Be sure to refrigerate the coconut milk over night**

1. Remove the thick cream layer from the top and place in a mixing bowl with vanilla. Whip with beaters on high speed until cream consistency.

2. Slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and continue to whip.

3. Fold in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

4. Scoop mixture into (4) small serving dishes, or (2) large.

5. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon or pumpkin spice on top.

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

Crispy Italian Paleo Cauliflower Poppers!

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paleo fried cauliflower poppers

Growing up my mom would make us fried cauliflower. She would dip it in egg, and Italian breadcrumbs…and then fry it. It was dreamy and delicious. I wanted to create a grain-free version of this with some yummy dipping sauces! These came out amazing! The kiddos devoured them as an after school snack. There are many ways they can be changed up.

I was just thinking these would be great coated in buffalo sauce, minus the Italian seasonings!  Play around with different variations. I will give you the recipe I did, but feel free to change it up to your preferences! At the end of this I will list variations.

It all starts with a big ole head of cauliflower!

cauliflower - take a bite

head of cauliflower

I chopped it up into 1-2 inch pieces:

chopped cauliflower

Then I used a pot with a steamer basket and cover. I steamed the cauliflower over med high heat until tender (approx 8-10 min)

steam the chopped cauliflower

I set the cauliflower aside to cool, and made the batter.

Ingredients for Italian fried:

2 eggs

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS dried parsley

1 TBS dried basil

1/2 cup of tapioca starch

1/2 cup of Tropical Traditions red virgin palm oil or unrefined coconut oil for frying

Directions:

Whisk the 2 eggs with some sea salt and pepper:

2 eggs, sea salt and pepper

Mix the seasoning in with the tapioca starch:

seasoning in tapioca starch

Warm the oil for frying over med-high in a frying pan (notice palm oil is red, hence giving the cauliflower a red hue):

oil for frying

Next dip the pieces of cauliflower in the egg, and then dredge them in the tapioca mix:

dip and dredge them

dip like this

dredge like this

Finally, fry the cauliflower in the oil flipping to brown on all sides:

fry that cauliflower

Finished cauliflower:

fried cauliflower fresh out of the frierfried cauliflower served

Dipping sauces:

This Paleo Ranch dressing that I created over the summer:

paleo ranch dressing

I also used marinara sauce:

marinara sauce

Happy Snacking!!!

mmm tasty

paleo fried cauliflower

Variations:

Instead of Italian, you could make Indian inspired fried cauliflower with turmeric and curry. You can also make “buffalo” style with red pepper and dip in buffalo sauce before serving! There are plenty of ways to play around with seasonings to put in the the tapioca!

 

 

try different dipping saucestry different variations

The Planetbox Shuttle!

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Want an easier way to pack real food when you are out and about? The Planetbox Shuttle is awesome!

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Planetbox now has a new snack tray called the “Shuttle!” I was very excited to try out this new smaller lunchbox because I love Joshua’s lunch tray from Planetbox.As many of my readers know, I share his lunches daily during the school year.

In this post I share a month of real food school lunches in his Planetbox.

Now that we are on summer vacation we are having some fun little outings and day trips. The Planetbox Shuttle is great for packing snacks and the case is adorable. It is smaller than the lunch tray and comes with this adorable carry case.

Yesterday I went to a coffeehouse to do some work on my blog.  However, all they offer for food are bagels, chips, baked goods, and breakfast sandwiches. So I packed up the shuttle with some good for myself:

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Now we are on summer vacation and we are out and about doing fun things several day per week! I have been bringing this along with us so the kids have something to munch on in the morning. This is an example of one of the snacks…apples with almond butter for dipping, and blueberries.

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However, it can also fit a small lunch (notice the adorable magnets that fit on the inside cover). This is grass-fed fed ground beef sauteed with garlic, portobello mushrooms, fresh basil, zucchini, and broccoli over lettuce, and strawberries.

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What do I love about Planetbox?

I love that it is small, compact and portion controlled.

I love that I do not have to clean several different containers, and wonder where matching lids went. Yes, it is an upfront cost. However, this is stainless steel and lasts for YEARS. It is dishwasher safe and very durable. You aren’t spending money on various plastic baggies, lunch bags, plastic containers, etc throughout the years. This is it-and it never gets lost. I plan on using Joshua’s Planetbox for him throughout his school years…yes, the same one!

I love that I can pack real food-it keeps you real and honest. You can see the different colors and make sure you are getting a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Over the summer I will be sharing various lunches and snacks that we pack up in our Planetbox containers for our day excursions!

Come Fall when school starts again look for  Joshua’s daily lunches on my facebook page!

Happy Summer Everyone 🙂

Kiddo “Snack” Ideas

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I frequently get asked for snack ideas so here is a list of some things I came up with.  One thing kids love is to eat their snacks with toothpicks-(once they are old enough to not stab each other). Also-if they are involved in the process of making their snacks, they find eating the snack more enjoyable!

 

Snack Ideas:

*hard boiled eggs-sliced with sea salt, quartered with sea salt, molded with egg molds (molds that shape the egg into a silly shake), sprinkled with, sea salt, pepper or different seasonings.

*”popcorn” cauliflower (a favorite with my kids)- Set oven to 400 Degrees. Cut up a head of cauliflower into small florets, spread onto a cookie sheet. Melt about 1/4 cup of coconut oil and drizzle over the cauliflower. Season with sea salt and pepper-my kids also like onion powder on it. Roast in the oven for approx 45 minutes to an hour stirring frequently-we like it golden brown all over. Put it in a big bowl and give everyone a fork or a toothpick

*Roasted Broccoli- Set oven to 375 cut up 1 or 2 heads of broccoli-spread on a cookie sheet-drizzle with 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper. Roast stirring frequently 15-20 minutes or until it starts to brown

*Kale Chips- Oven to 350 degrees chop Kale into chip sized pieces and spread on a cookie sheet. Melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil and drizzle all over kale. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven stirring frequently. These cook fast and can burn quickly. You want them crisp to touch and they just start browning.

*Apple wedges with almond butter for dipping

*avocado slices plain or sprinkled with sea salt

*Coconut flour muffins (I make these with the zest and juice of an orange added to the batter-they can be made with enjoy life chocolate chips as well)

*Chopped up veggies and fruits-my kids love sugar snap peas, cut up apples, cut up carrots etc…

*a whole carrot-sometimes they like to pretend they are a bunny and chomp on a whole big carrot.

*a bowl of berries

*crack open a fresh coconut-my 6 year old LOVES smashing the coconut (after we drain out the liquid of course)

*kerry gold grass-fed cheeses (for those who do dairy)

*applegate farms deli meats rolled up around a slice of avocado or rolled around some kerrygold cheese for those who do grass-fed dairy

*almonds or other nuts with the shells on for older kids (they enjoy sitting at the table and cracking them open)

*bacon and avocado sandwiches (bacon as the “bread” with a slice of avocado between 2 pieces of bacon)

*coconut milk smoothies

*banana “ice cream” take 1 frozen banana and put it in the blender with a tiny splash of almond milk, coconut cream, or coconut milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend and serve with spoons in a bowl. Or add more liquid to make a banana smoothie

*Blood Orange Coconut Balls

 

Feel free to add to this list in the comment sections, I would love to expand upon it!

 

Thoughts On Feeding Our Children With Love

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As parents we want to nurture our children-keep them healthy and strong. We want to shape their taste buds so they crave the foods that nurture their bodies. However, from day one we are undermined and that can shake our confidence and make us second guess our choices.

When I wouldn’t give my 1 year old ice cream at a party I was told “you don’t want him to feel deprived” and when I wouldn’t buy him a sugar covered blueberry muffin I had a friend tell me that he will go off to college and binge on junk food if I don’t let him have it now. Seriously?! It can be very overwhelming. On top of that we are busy, rushed, and believe that we don’t have the time to commit to our children’s nutrition. Our understanding of what real food is has shifted and what we think of as food really isn’t. “Snacks” as we know them come in a package with colors and health claims such as “heart healthy” “made with whole grain” or “100 calories”. Our Children get use to having snacks that come in a package or a box. We buy into this marketing-It says it is healthy so therefore it must be. We associate “treats” and packaged snacks with love and happiness. So if you don’t give it to your kids you may feel guilty-like you are somehow depriving them. That is NOT the truth! We are very much addicted to processed foods and refined grains. Food does not equal happiness or love (wish I could underline that 3 times). The saddest thing to me is the lack of confidence that we have in ourselves to make healthy choices for our children. We constantly look to medical professionals and books to answer all of our questions. However, the Doctor and the Author do not know your child like you do. We have lost trust in our instincts and ourselves. We don’t believe that we can do it, and that to me is very disheartening.

Our children are bombarded with mixed messages about food on a daily basis. The messages are everywhere-and come from TV, magazines, family, friends, stores, packaging. They even discuss “nutrition” with students at school, even though I don’t agree at all with what they try to teach them. We don’t want our children to have a bad relationship with food. Yet images and voices are everywhere and it can be overwhelming. As moms we judge each other constantly-“so and so won’t give her son food options and only offers what she cooks!” “So and so gives her son way too many options and now he is so picky”

So how do we feed our children with love and confidence so that they may grow to have a healthy relationship with/understanding of food? This is the bottom line-it is what we all want to do.

Here are some tips that I think may be helpful:

* Don’t listen to the peanut gallery. Remember the saying “water off a duck’s back”…let it roll off. Ignore nay sayers. Change the subject. Do not try to convince people why you choose what you choose (unless they ask and really want to learn from you). You will not change their mind. You are the best parent for your child. You were chosen to be their parent for a reason, and you know what is best for them. You know their personality-no book, other family member, or stranger knows your child like you do. If you didn’t ask someone for his or her opinion, kindly change the subject. You do not owe ANYONE an explanation for your choices. You know your child best of all. We all know the people who feel the need to judge you do so because they have insecurities within themselves.

* Feed your child with love and respect. Food is meant to nourish us, and it can be pleasurable as well. However, I think the best way to show love is to feed your children foods that you know are nourishing their body. Feed them real, whole foods. Not because a TV commercial, family member, or a package said so…we fall for marketing big-time. Marketing is all about sales and the health claims are false. Feed it to them because you know it is real food. It’s challenging, but take it one day at a time. I’m still learning as I go. They do learn to trust their body and how different foods make them feel inside. This past generation put a great deal of pressure on children to “finish everything on your plate” and fed into the “good eater/bad eater” mentality. You cannot force feed a child-that is just plain old wrong. Teach them to listen to their own body. Don’t guilt them with “what? You don’t like my cooking?” “Why aren’t you eating this?” etc. Don’t hover over and watch them eat. Don’t tell them how proud you are of them if they eat their food. A child is not good or bad for eating or not eating. This creates guilt, fear and uncertainty around food. Children learn to feel the sensation of fullness and stop eating when they are full. They actually learn to trust their own body. Make the experience of trying new things pleasurable and calm. You can ask what they thought of certain foods-but don’t get upset with them if they do not like it. It can take SEVERAL attempts for a child to actually decide they like something.

* There is no need to offer several different meals to a child-or make them exactly what they want for each meal. In my opinion, that does create a “peanut butter sandwich” everyday kind of eater. They do not yet fully understand what is healthy for their body. I’ve had several people ask me how do you get your children to eat these healthy foods? I choose to be firm, yet flexible. My boys are use to getting what is offered at each meal. If they are hungry, they will eat something from the healthy choices on their plate. There just aren’t other meal options. With that said, they get several different choices on their plate (and I try to include something I know they enjoy)-healthy meats, veggies and fruits to choose from. Now when they have an excess of processed foods (like say at a birthday party) they tend to get a bellyache and say, “why did you let me have that?” Kids adjust and learn to find healthy foods palatable. Trust that they will.

* Stick to your guns, yet pick your battles. This is the hardest part of raising children-outside influences. I have the hardest time with this over everything else. Birthday parties. Public schools. Family. I have this conversation frequently with my friends. Everyone has a different opinion on this. Some choose to avoid these types of outings all together. Some take their children but pack their own food. I personally do not agree with the amount of processed “food” that we as a culture feel is okay to give our children. You go to a “play place” (ie: bowling alley, bounce place, birthday party place) that says no food or drink allowed, yet all they serve is food cooked in rancid vegetable oils, processed junk, and soda. However, I know my children cannot live in a bubble. I have to believe that if the foundation for healthy eating is created at home, they will continue to eat that way in the future. We don’t have much of that stuff in my house, and they know that. We do, however, let them eat food provided at friend’s houses, birthday parties, and when we visit family. I do speak up if I feel uncomfortable. For example-I am opposed to my children having soda. That is me listening to my gut, and knowing something is not right. Don’t ever feel bullied into someone feeding your child something that you do not feel okay with.

* One of the things I was recently discussing with a friend are the mixed messages children today are receiving such as processed food advertisements everywhere; yet at the same time everyone focusing on the obesity epidemic, dieting, and healthy eating. That must be so overwhelming and difficult for children to process. It is for me as an adult. I try to teach my children about real food, and knowing exactly where their food came from. I want them to understand how animals are treated, how to grow food, what GMO’s are…who monsanto is. My hope is that they will be educated about food, but not overwhelmed and stressed about it. Instead of placing the focus on healthy eating, diets and nutrition, I shift the focus to a basic understanding of what is real food, and what is not. I will build upon that, as they get bigger. We plan to visit the farm where we get our meat from this Spring when the babies are born.

* Whatever you decide to do, be confident with your decisions-Your children know when you are not. They can read you just as well as you can read them. If you let them have something you really don’t feel good about, let it go. You let them have it, now move on. Don’t give it to them and then get stressed about it in front of them. They are counting on you to guide them confidently.

If you are accustomed to feeding your child processed foods then take baby steps and go easy on yourself. Slowly start transitioning to more and more homemade foods and shift away from the inner aisles of the grocery store.  Think outside the box (literally). Believe that you can feed your children real food, and you are not wrong, crazy, or overly strict for doing so! My next post will be all about real food snack ideas for kiddos 🙂

 

 

 

 

* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor or a Dietician. All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

Brownie Truffle Bites

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After making the blood orange snack balls I wanted to experiment with cacao and make a truffle type snack. I came up with these brownie bites. They have the texture and taste of a chocolate truffle-everyone enjoyed them!

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1 cup of walnuts

1 TBS coconut flour

2 TBS coconut oil

2 TBS raw creamy honey

1 tsp bourbon vanilla

2 TBS  cacao powder (I used nativas naturals brand)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 teeny pinch of sea salt

optional but delicious: zest from 1 orange (if you like chocolate and orange together)

Directions:

pulse everything together in a food processor-

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Roll into small 1 inch balls-they are oily but firm up once you refrigerate them.

*you can roll the balls in shredded coconut or in some cacao powder.

refrigerate to firm them up,

Enjoy!