Maple Marshmallows {the best cane-sugar-free S’MORE marshmallow ever!}

I have made marshmallows about a half a dozen times, and these were by far my favorite combination for s’mores! I have made them with beet sugar, with granulated maple sugar, with honey, with maple syrup , ad with a combination of maple & honey. Once or twice, I have gotten distracted and ended up with marshmallow blobs, like last year, when I salvaged them by making them into these Marshmallow Ghosts, which were still very tastey ūüôā

GhostMallows
GhostMallows

This year, I increased my gelatin amount in the hopes that they wouldn’t melt quite as quickly over the fire when we made our s’mores. I think they turned out wonderfully!

Maple Marshmallows
The recipe:

1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (I used Great Lakes orange bottle)

In a mixing bowl or the bowl for your stand mixer, dissolve your gelatin in the water ad set aside.

Before you begin cooking your sugar, grease & powder a 9 x 11 casserole with either palm shortening or coconut oil & dusted with arrowroot powder. (you could use powdered sugar, but the whole idea here is supposed to be creating a marshmallow that is free from cane-sugar).

In a medium / large pot, cook your sugar (the maple syrup) over medium to medium high eat until you reach 240 degrees (if you do not have a candy thermometer, this is the soft-ball-stage).

Be extremely careful not to get the hot sugar on your skin, carefully & slowly drizzle in your heated syrup into the gelatin, preferably while mixing (I like to use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment, on low to medium speed) Whip the mixture until you have the consistency of a marshmallow cream, not quite set to a full marshmallow stage.
You have to work fairly quickly, as the gelatin will start to set up pretty quickly. Pour the creamy marshmallow mixture into your greased & powdered casserole and spread out. I dust mine with another sprinkle of arrowroot and then place parchment paper on the top. Leave out for several hours, or overnight, to set up and dry. I cut mine into squares and served them up with festive ghost & skeleton picks. But, we also made them into delicious gluten-free s’mores!¬† These roasted up beautifully over our fire! Picture to come soon! ūüôā Happy S’moring!

Halloween Gummies

Skull & Cross Bones Gummies

We LOVE gummies at our house,¬†and I am, admittedly, building up quite a collection of molds!¬† The new additions so far to the Halloween molds are these cute little pumpkins and skull & cross-bones.¬† IN case you’ve missed previous gummy recipe posts, here is the formula again in 1,2,3:

Pumpkin gummies1 cup juice* (the pumpkins are blueberry, the skulls are grape)
2 tablespoons organic lemon or lime juice
3 tablespoons good quality gelatin (I use Great Lakes  in the orange or the red)

*For the most flavorful results, you will want a very concentrated flavor, so either select a juice variety that has a strong flavor, or boil the juice down to get to your 1 cup (for example, the apple cider bears that I make, I start with 1 1/2 cup of organic cider and I boil it down to 1 cup). Happy Gummy-Making!

Fluffy Pancakes {gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free}

Fluffy Grain free Pancakes

Next weekend, on his very special Halloween birthday, our littlest monster will be turning two. Scary!!!  Today, we decorate, so we have a big day of fun in store. That means we need a big, protein-packed breakfast to kick off the fun.

These little, golden, rounds of yumminess are very close to the “real-deal” pancakes, with the added benefit of a high protein count and a grain-free status. They check all the allergy-friendly¬†boxes at our house and were the perfect treat for my three little breakfast goblins this morning.¬† Honestly – the best texture on a gluten free pancake that I have been able to accomplish, ever!¬†I will¬†definitely pull this treat out of my trick bag again!

Fluffy Grain Free Pancakes

1 cup garfava flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Pinch of salt

Whisk together your dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until your batter is smooth.

When cooking your cakes, look for bubbles in the CENTER of your cake to indicate readiness to flip. If you undertook these, they will be gummy in the center.

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Enjoy with your favorite pancake topping!

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Elderberry Gummy Bears

Elderberry Gummy BearsI don’t know where you live, but here in North Texas, it went from summer to fall seemingly over night this past weekend! The winds came through, the cooler temperatures kissed our skin, and, unfortunately, the fall allergies rushed the field.

It is the best of times and the worst of times, this FALL, this AUTUMN! I absolutely love this season, but for some reason, it just does not love me back most of the time. I have definitely been feeling the effects and have some kiddos with some runny noses, too, so this morning, after I had my two school goers shuffled off to their school,  I decided to load up on artillery for the onslaught of the allergy season!

I started my morning by juicing some carrots, apples, and fresh ginger.

Then, I made some Elderberry Gummy Bears! If you haven’t read about the benefits of elderberry, they are abundant for this season. To list a few:

~ a very powerful antioxidant
~ anthocyanin levels make it anticarcinogenic
~ more vitamin C than oranges
~ antiviral
~high ORAC
~improves the coordination of the immune system

This article is worth the read and gives all the proper props to Elderberry!

Recipe:

1/2 cup Elderberry Concentrate
1/2 cup organic pomegranate juice
2 tablespoon organic lime juice
3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (I used Great Lakes, the orange bottle)

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan and then heat just to almost a boil/low boil and remove from heat. I like to let mine cool down for 5-10 minutes before transferring to my molds. Refrigerate until set.

You can use any silicone mold for these, or even a glass dish and then simply cut into squares. I found my bear molds on Amazon.com.

These are certainly the most expensive$ gummy bears I have ever made, but I know that my kiddos will be so happy to chomp these down, and I will be equally as happy knowing that they will be getting such great nutritional benefits from this healthful & protective treat.   ~Happy Fall~

Vanilla Pear Ice”Cream” {dairy-free, maple & fruit sweetened}

Vanilla Pear Ice "Cream"
Vanilla Pear Ice” Cream”
3 organic pears
1/2 cup cashew meal
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Blend in high powered blender (I have a Vitamix) until smooth and creamy. To freeze,¬†either use an ice cream¬†maker, or¬†transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze. ūüôā ¬†

Carrot Cake Bars with Dairy-Free “Cream Cheese” Frosting { grain-free, dairy-free, cane-sugar-free}

Carrot Cake Bars

 

I LOVE carrot cake! I tried to come up with a cross between a carrot cake and a “bar” that would be packed with protein & quick and easy to serve the kids for breakfast or an after-school snack {and one that wasn’t too sweet or sugary, but rather nourishing and delicious!}¬†Here is what we came up with:

Carrot Cake Bars:

1/2 cup cashews butter (you could use peanut, almond or even sunflower seed butter as well)
1/2 cup garfava bean flour
1 cup packed carrot shavings/fine shreds
1 tablespoon baking powder (I use Hain’s)
3 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup organic raisins

I made this batter in my food processor.  Simply shredded my carrots (about 5 small-medium sized organic carrots), then added the rest of my ingredients, adding the raisins in last and simply pulsing to incorporate.  Pour into a square baking dish (lightly greased). Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes.

For the Frosting:
I rinsed out my vitamix from the batter and added to it…
1 1/4 cup of almond meal
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon of honey
4 teaspoons of organic lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Blend the ingredients on high until you have a creamy, frosting-like texture. You can also use Stevia if you prefer this over the honey. Just pulse with your favorite combination of sweetness and tartness, and thickness as well. You can reduce the liquid or increase the nutmeal to get a thicker consistency. 

Enjoy!

 

Coconut Flour Quick Bread

COCONUT FLOUR QUICK BREAD
coconut bread
Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/4 cup + 1 T coconut oil liquified (and cooled so as not to cook the eggs)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions:
I did this in my blender, first adding the eggs and blending for 20-30 seconds. Then, I added in the other ingredients and blended another 20-30 seconds. I let it sit for a few minutes while the oven preheated so the batter could thicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease small loaf pan with coconut oil Рthe one I used was a glass corningware,  8 x 5. Bake for about 35 min. 

Easy Gluten Free Tapioca Rolls {Pao De Queijo}

These little pop-up rolls are always fun for us. I have to admit, I posted them last year on my Facebook group and got some not-so-positive feedback. I have tried them time and time again since, and all I can say is ” TO EACH HIS OWN!” ūüôā We still love them here. So, I hope that you get a kick out of these super easy favorites for our family.
Gluten Free Tapioca Rolls

The first idea for this recipe came from a Brazilian restaurant by us. We were penalty surprised to fin out that the little cheesy rolls they brought to the table were gluten free! Bonus!¬† So, in just a couple of questions, I found out that they use yucca and that these little chewy golden puffs were called “Pao De Queijo”.¬† When I make them in my house, I put cheese in half of the batch and leave cheese out of the other half for my gluten & dairy-free girl. She would pop one in her mouth all day log if I let her. But I don’t ūüėČ In fact, we only do breads like these on occasion.

 

Just five ingredients:

1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup oil (I have used avocado oil and coconut oil and both work)
2/3 cup milk (I use almond milk, usually)
1 teaspoon Real Salt
1/2 cup grated cheese (mild, like a raw white cheddar, a queso fresco, or I have even used a Swiss)

You can mix this together in a blender or, I typically just use a mixing bowl and a whisk, mixing first my flour and salt together in the bowl and then adding my wet ingredients and mixing until smooth with a wire whisk. The batter will be very runny.

Pour into mini-muffin tins and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 16-20 minutes. The kids love to watch them puff up. They become a crusted over on the outside and kid of hollow on the inside for the ones without cheese. The are chewy and just simple.

I hope you enjoy this easy gf recipe!

~Eat happy

25 Super Easy Gluten-Free Lunchbox Ideas that DON’T include Ants-On-A-Log :)

When Back-To-School ads start up, some moms start planning out outfits, and¬†some start sorting out school supplies. In our house, this mom’s¬†brain goes straight to the box ~ the LUNCHBOX! I am constantly considering how to send interesting foods to school with my kiddos, lunches that will make them SO excited about eating lunch that they will forget all about what the majority of their classmates are sitting down to {less than ideal school lunches of empty calories, lacking nutritional value,¬†and a lot¬†of allergens that we must avoid}.¬†

I put together 25 quick and easy ideas this morning. I hope these can inspire you to get creative with your lunch box options as you send your students off to the lunchroom this year.

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1. Apples with Nutbutter or Seedbutter: Sliced apples can be soaked in lemon water, or in water with a drop of lemon or lime essential oil (food grade & organic preferably). Pair this with a small container of almond butter or, our favorite is Cashew Butter. There are a few companies that even offer small single serving pouches that are great to pack in a lunch box. For all-natural varieties, try Justin’s or Barney Butter. If you want an organic, raw variety and are willing to spend a little extra money, look for the Artisana brand.
Apple & Nutbutter

2. Gluten Free Pretzels and Mustard for dipping
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3. Mama Chia Pouches, or your own homemade chia pudding.
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4. Spring Rolls. I love to make these rice paper spring rolls. I can fit ALL sorts of raw veggies into them. I like to quickly blend some frozen mango, a little lemon or lime juice, and a little avocado oil to make a quick dipping sauce, too!  The rice paper can be found at most grocery stores on the ethnic isle. Give yourself some practice time, but I know you will be able to roll a spring roll in no time!
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5. Ham or Prosciutto wrapped pears or apples. Yummy!
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6. Lunchmeat Pinwheels. Roll with cheese, or, if you are dairy free, you can use hummus and veggies and roll them up into your favorite nitrite free lunch meat. Serve as is, or slice into little bite-sized pinwheels.

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7. Gluten Free Bread (toasted optional) or Organic Rice Cakes topped with Nut or Seed Butter. We like to vary these. Sometimes we top with fruit and almost always our mix of cinnamon and organic granulated coconut sugar.
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8. Bento pressed rice. These are just fun and cute and kids love them! You can find some fun bento molds and cutters on amazon.
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9. Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps –¬†Perfect for leftover chicken. I use homemade mayo or even hummus as a dressing and send in lettuce wraps.

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10. Gluten-Free Tortilla Wraps – Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Tortillas work well here at our house. There are also potato tortillas, corn tortillas, or venture out and make your own, like these cauliflower pita wraps!
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11. Yogurt & Berries
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12. Meatballs РWe do meatballs in our thermos often! You can send them just alone, or put some rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes in the bottom. Kids love a hot meal at lunch.
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13. Fresh Fruit and/or Nuts – Need I say More?
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14. Gluten Free Pasta Salad – I like to use a organic brown rice pasta, like Tinkyada brand or Jovial brand. Great for leftover pasta, you can dress with a vinaigrette, like one of our favorites by Annie’s Naturals called Papaya Poppy-Seed, or you can use a high-quality or homemade mayo, or even hummus. Be sure to add lots of fresh veggies. Olives are a favorite here, too!
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15. Organic Rice Crackers sandwiched with nutbutter or seed butter
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16. Yogurt with Granola – We are Dairy, Soy, and one of us is Coconut Free, so this Almond-Milk based yogurt by So Delicious is a great option for us!
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17. Hard Boiled Eggs : serve them any way you like them. We do them plain, we do them deviled, and we do them “Greek”, with the yolk removed and replaced with hummus! You can even replace the¬†yolk with guacamole, although I find that avocados don’t always last well all the way until lunchtime, so we save our avocado-eating for home where we can serve them up fresh. ūüôā

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18. Veggies & Hummus – we love the individual size organic hummus from Costco. They are really friendly on the budget, too. Serve with any raw veggies you like! My kids really like sweet peppers, blanched green beans, carrots, even black olives!
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19. Gluten Free Garlic Bread Sticks with Pizza Dip РThis can be as simple as taking your favorite brand of GF bread  {or your homemade cauliflower pita), rubbing it with butter or coconut oil, sprinkling with garlic, and toasting. Cut into strips, & serve with a side of Organic Pizza or Pasta Sauce. If you really want to get fancy, wrap the bread sticks with nitrite free lunch meat or pepperoni, too!
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20. Oatmeal in a thermos – who says you can’t send breakfast for lunch?! My daughter loves oatmeal, ANY time of day! {¬†Or really porridge of any kind }. We do a thermos of oatmeal sometimes, and then¬†I send a small container of dairy-free milk and some great healthy toppings for her to create her own lunch¬†masterpiece with.

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21. Nitrite Free Pepperoni or Salami
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22. Skewered Chicken & Pineapple – another great way to use leftover chicken!
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23. Thermos of leftovers – I could create another 25-log list on JUST the leftovers I have sent in a thermos to school! I love a good crock pot meal that leaves enough leftovers for the next school day! Meatloaf, soups, stews, roasts, pulled pork, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut sugar and pecans, sauerkraut and hot dogs, beans, beanie weenies… ANYTHING!
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24. This kind of goes¬†along with the previous, but there are lots of store-bought soups that go great in your thermos as well. One of my daughter’s favorites is Pacific Foods’ Lentil¬†Soup. For gluten-free options, check the¬†labels and try to avoid anything with a rue or with¬†regular pasta. For dairy free, be sure you check the bottom of the ingredients list for the words CONTAINS: MILK or check highlighted ingredients inside the list.
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25. Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers –¬†For some reason,¬†anything skewered become more appealing to kids! This is one of my son’s favorite combinations. We look for organic, preferably raw mozzarella when we can find it. For my dairy-free kiddo, we just do veggies and leave off the cheese. We love raw cauliflower in our house.
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Best of luck getting your little ones off to a healthy school-lunch start this school year! Share you successful lunch box stories with us! And share your ideas if you have them, too! I would love to hear the healthy ways you are navigating the lunchroom!  ~Happy Lunchboxing~

Strawberry Lemon Avocado Tarts {no bake, grain free, honey & fruit sweetened}

Lemon Avocado tarts

I saw this delicious looking post on Instagram for these avocado tarts, and I thought I would put my own spin on them. They were definitely a treat both to our plates AND our palates. Look at these gorgeous pops of color!

For the “Crust”:
I cup almond meal
1/2 cup pitted dates
2 Tablespoons boiling water (careful!)
Zest of 1 lemon

For the Filling:
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup raw honey
Zest of 1 lemon

For the TOPPING: I did half with fresh kiwi & half with crushed Freeze-Dried Organic Strawberries. The strawberry variety was my favorite! So yummy, and so healthful! Hope you enjoy!