Hi Friends! It has been a very long time since I have posted anything new on this blog and I apologize for the silence. Our family had quite the summer due to a lost pregnancy followed by a scary accident in the kitchen. Needless to say, I will never be creating or cutting an ice cream cake ever again. In fact, I am pretty sure that I will never be allowed to touch anything sharper than a butter knife in the near future.
And I am perfectly okay with that.
As long as I am permitted to operate my vitamix, life will go on.
Luckily, one of our favorite snacks doesn’t require anything sharper than a butter knife… and it is super easy to make. My six-year-old has claimed bragging rights to this snack because his creations always taste better than mine. And that my friends, is motherhood victory at it’s very best.
So, let’s get cooking!
Cinnamon Almond Butter Banana Rice Cakes
- Rice cakes (organic when possible)
- Almond butter
Slice banana into thin round wedges and set aside. Carefully spread a thick layer of almond butter on top of a rice cake. Top with bananas and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Rice cakes never tastes so good.
Life is always worth celebrating… especially when jars of strawberry-apple butter are in the refrigerator.
Strawberry Apple Butter
12 medium apples, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
4-5 cups washed and pureed strawberries
1 tsp. liquid stevia
Toss apples, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, strawberry puree, and stevia into an oversized crock pot. Bake on medium to high heat (for approximately four hours) until apples are soft. Transfer apples and strawberries in small batches into a blender or vitamix. Blend until smooth. Store jam in the freezer or refrigerator in mason jars or specific freezer containers. Tip: Leave 4-6 inches of air space at the top of containers that will be placed in the freezer.
This recipe is obviously designed for cookies, but I rarely take the time to scoop individual cookies. Cookies are often prepared as a pie or brownie at my house… blame it on the wild three boys I am in the process of raising. The other day I was brushing my teeth when I heard a lower pantry door clank followed by a running toddler. I quickly dropped my toothbrush in the sink and ran to find the toddler chasing his older brothers with my kitchen mixer.
I imagine that individual cookies would be amazing with this recipe if your lifestyle permits.
As for me? I am sticking with the cookie pie version.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup organic butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Combine almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a second bowl, mix together melted butter, vanilla, and maplup/agave nectar. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
Pour cookie dough into a well-greased pie pan… or form 1/2 to 1-inch balls and press onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 12-18 minutes for a cookie pie and 7-10 minutes for cookies.
Cool and serve.
Strawberries – trimmed and cut into chunks.
Dried unsweetened coconut
1-2 handfuls raw cashews
1-2 handfuls dates
1 tsp. vanilla
1 -2 teaspoons coconut oils
water to cover cashews
Combine strawberries, blueberries, and coconut in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine cashews, dates, vanilla, coconut oil, and 1/4 cup water into vitamix. Slowly turn vitamix to variable ten using the tamper to help blend if necessary. The final consistency should be similar to yogurt – add additional water to obtain that consistancy as needed. If you add too much, simply add additional cashews.
Place a scoop or two of cashew cream on top of a bowl filled with strawberries, blueberries, and dried coconut. Stir and enjoy!
Berry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
A mixture of blueberries and strawberries
Spinach (3-4 cups)
Handful of sliced almonds
Feta cheese (vegans – omit cheese)
4 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons mustard (sugar-free)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Stir together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a dressing container. Shake/mix until smooth. Pour over a bed of greens with berries, feta cheese, and sliced almonds.
I am not a morning person… but I am quickly learning to be one. When I married my husband eight years ago, it never occurred to me that his “morning-ness” would inevitably transfer to our three boys. Needless to say, this girl-who-loves-to-sleep-in rarely stays in bed past 6:30 am.
Every once in a while, I do stay in bed. And while I sleep, the little boys have a daddy-date with Lego’s, Car Ramps, and Nerf Guns. Daddy-date-mornings are incredibly awesome. Saturday morning I was awoken at 8:30 am by one excited dad who begged me to get out of bed quickly before the destroying-18-month-old had a chance to demolish his latest creations.
Stumbling out of bed, I discovered that my house had been invaded with pirate Lego ships.
Lego ships with pirates and cannons and planks.
Carefully swimming through shark infested oceans (my kitchen floor), I whipped up a batch of my favorite Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie. When the treasured smoothie was securely poured into cups, I set sail with my boys and landed on a desert island where I enjoyed my breakfast smoothie. Simple moments like this are the true treasures found in life.
Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie
1 handful raw cashews
2-3 Tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
1 very ripe banana
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Dash of salt
1-2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 handful of spinach
1-2 cups water
1. Remove pit from avocado and scoop fruit from it’s shell.
2. Place all of the ingredients in your high-powered-blender (I love my Vitamix – it works perfectly in recipes like this). Blend ingredients until smooth. Add additional water if needed to create the consistency you desire.
1 cup organic almond butter
1/4 cup organic pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Organic sprinkles (optional)
and Apples… lots of them.
Stir together almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Carefully cut apples into wedges. Enjoy with apple wedges and a burst of sprinkles. It is not unusual for our family to consume ten apples when combined with this delicious dip. I do not always add a full 1/4 cup maple syrup when we enjoy this dip… sometimes only add a tablespoon or two. This recipe is incredibly flexible, so play around with the quantities.
Peanut butter can be used in substitution of the almond butter, but be careful… While peanut butter is extremely delicious, peanuts contain arachidonic acid that can promote inflammation, causing further harm to injuries, already inflamed tissues, and constipation/irritable bowel.
I was referred to this YouTube video by a friend, and I fell in love. This girl is absolutely adorable, and the argument she makes about the benefits of organic foods is irresistible.