Red, White & Blue Frozen Bananners

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I love recipes that the kids get to help with, and this one was perfect to include them on. We had lots of fun, and they helped come up with the idea for what was RED and BLUE and HEALTHY to use as “sprinkles” on our Nanner-Pops, too. Smartie pantses ;)!

I still want to perfect this dip, but it was definitely a hit with the kids, and it checked all of our allergy-friendly boxes here, so that is always a bonus!

First, prepare you toppings. We used some fresh organic strawberries, some fresh organic blueberries, and even some freeze-dried organic blueberries. Any nuts WOUDL be fabulous! Get creative!

Next, prepare your bananas by peeling, cutting in half, and skewering with kabob skewers, popsicle sticks, or I used cake pop stick that you can find at almost any craft store. Set aside.

Now, in a small saucepan {you will want one deep enough to be able to dip, or at least roll, the sauce 3-4 inches deep onto the bananas. IN the saucepan over medium heat, combine:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
&
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut butter (coconut manna)
&
3 tablespoons of honey

Once the coconut butter has melted down, add in:

6 tablespoons of coconut milk (or more if you feel like your sauce is still too thick)
&
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Stir together until smooth and then turn off your heat.  Now, simply dip your banners and set them onto a freezer-safe dish. Take a pinch of your topping of voice and sprinkle it onto the dip. Continue with all of your banners until done. Now, simply freeze until you are ready to enjoy! (we could only wait about 2 hours!).  Enjoy!

“Sugar” Cones {Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Cane-Sugar-Free, Paleo}

Bring on the CONES!

On this Memorial Day weekend, I really wanted to make something light and fun for the family. At first, I was thinking of some sort of ice-cream sandwich. Maybe blueberry and chocolate. Next, I was mulling over a cherry tart, but for some reason, that was still falling a bit flat. Finally, my imagination stopped on an old classic: a crispy, sweet, melt-on-your-tongue, SUGAR CONE. My mind was set, now I needed a gluten free, sugar free version of THAT to surprise the kids with. So, this is what I came up with.

I wanted to use a grain-free flour and I had some cashew meal in the pantry. I knew I wanted a flat, baked round that would be elastic enough to be rolled after baking without cracking, so tapioca flour seemed like the best choice for that. For a short ingredient list and a quick bake time, these will definitely be made again! I can’t wait to come up with all sorts of delicious ways to fill these!

Gluten-Free “Sugar” Cones
Makes 4 cones.

1/2 cup cashew meal (or almond meal would also work)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 heaping tablespoons of coconut sugar / coconut crystals
1 tablespoon coconut milk (or milk of choice)
1 large egg (preferably pasture-raised

Simply stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Pour out 4 equal rounds onto a greased, parchment lined, or to copy my efforts exactly, a Silpat-lined perforated baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon and/or a little tapping of the tray, thin out the batter rounds to be flat and thin (maybe 1/4 inch think).

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. The edges will be browned and the rounds still flimsy. Remove from the oven and very carefully, as they will still be hot to the touch, peel of your rounds and roll them into cones shapes. If you want, you can tie them for good measure like I did, but they do harden pretty quickly, so I would suggest having your system in place before you pull them out of the oven.

If you decide to try them, I would love to know what you decide to fill your with, too! Happy eating this Memorial Day Weekend, Canaries! Love, Kendra

Ours got filled tonight with some dairy-free black Forrest Ice Cream ~ so very delicious!!
Black Forrest Ice Cream Cone

Gluten-Free Eggplant Primavera Pasta Dinner {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

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One of the staples in my gluten-free kitchen, from the very beginning of my gluten-free days until now, is brown rice pasta. In the beginning, I used pastas quite often, not every day, but nearly. They were easy and were a gluten free meal that everyone in the house would eat and not complain about – which meant ONE meal for me to cook. That was always more appealing to me – the less work for me part. And the bonus was the happy faces part, for sure.

Adding to those positives, I began to get very creative in my “sneaky chef” ways with pasta sauces. We were on some supplements fro a while that I could easily hide into sauces for my non-pill-swallowing daughter. I could juice greens or carrots and stir them into the sauce after it cooled down a bit, adding a burst of phytonutrients into the kid’s bodies {this was super appealing to me!}. I could roast garlic and other veggies and blend them in my Vitamix with no complaints from the crowd. 

Now, years later, my kids’ taste buds have become more acclimated to larger textures and more complex flavors, so I have a lot of fun coming up with combinations for topping our Organic Brown Rice pasta on pasta night, and it always feels like a treat since we eat far fewer pasta meals than we used to. Hope you enjoy tonight’s primavera recipe!

Gluten-Free Eggplant Primavera

1 small-medium organic eggplant, medium dice
6 organic Roma tomatoes, small dice
1/4 – 1/2 organic onion, fine dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped?
Sliced green and black olives, I used 6 of each
1/2-1 cup fresh chopped organic basil
3-4 tablespoons organic olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta {my favorite two brands are Tinkyada and Jovial}

Start boiling your water for the pasta.

As you bring your water to a boil, prepare your sauce by first chopping all of your fresh, organic produce. Heat the oil  over medium high heat in the largest skillet you have. Add the onions, garlic, eggplant and salt and pepper to the pan. Brown the eggplant a bit, stirring everything as you sauté.

Check your pasta water and go ahead and drop your pasta in if you have a rolling boil.

Once the eggplant has cooked down a bit in your skillet, and the onion and garlic have softened, add in your tomatoes and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil at the end and toss everything together.

Strain the pasta once it is cooked to your liking. Serve the chunky primavera sauce over your pasta, add another pinch of your fresh basil, and enjoy!  Easy Peasy Gluten Freesy!  {And the perfect meal for any meatless Monday}.

Happy Pasta Night, Canaries!
~Kendra

Grain Free Green Pancakes

Luckily, you have stumbled upon this awesome recipe!!

Green Pancakes

thus is such a fun recipe to make with kids. You can watch, like a science experiment, as your brown pancakes turn green before your very eyes. {Or at least keep checking back on them, they usually take between 30 and 60 minutes to get good and green}. This was a really fun recipe for this weekends St. patty’s Day theme. Enjoy the fun, and get creative with green toppings! PISTACHIOS, KIWI, etc. I am going to whip up a little coconut cream with some vanilla stevia and a little liquid chlorophyll for a green whipped cream! I get so exctied about FUN FOOD ~ and green pancakes definitely hit that mark.

Recipe is as follows:

Preheat oven to 35 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, combine:

1/2 cup sunflower butter (Like Sunbutter) TO MAKE THEM GREEN, YOU MUST USE SUNFLOWER BUTTER

1/2 cup apple or pear sauce ( preferably organic)

2 large eggs (preferably pastures)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Yes, that’s it! 🙂  Simply mix all of your ingredients together with a wire whisk. Pour out 4 cakes per baking sheet in 1/4-1/3 cup portions.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave on your baking sheets. These will end up cooling down a bit as you wait, but for us, the excitement over watching those cakes turn green well outweighed the fact that they weren’t eating hot food. If you prefer to serve them hot, you can simply stick them into a toaster oven or back into your oven that may still be warm from the baking process just to warm them a bit.

Enjoy.

 

 

“Brown-Sugar” Frosting {Paleo, GF, CF, EF, Cane-Sugar-Free}

This Brown Sugar Frosting tasted to me like a special-diet-friendly version of when you take a bite of molassessy brown-sugar mixed with some butter. It was very, very easy and it was a great, stable version of icing that would hold up for our bake-sale boxes.

Most buttercream icings are simply 3 ingredients, butter {your fat}, about 4 cups of powdered sugar {your sweet}, and a tiny amount of milk {liquid} — and sometimes an extract for flavor. So, using that equation, I came up with this alternative:

1/2 cup spectrum organic palm shortening
1 cup organic coconut crystals / coconut sugar
1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk of choice

First, I measured out my 1 cup of coconut crystals and put that into my Vitamix. I blended the crystals into a super-fine “powdered sugar”. Of course, the color is more consistent with a brown sugar, you won’t get a powdery white like the traditional powdered sugar.

With my hand held mixer, I mixed the shortening until creamy and then gradually added the powdered coconut sugar into the mix. About half way through the powdered sugar, I added about a tablespoon of coconut milk and then the remaining powdered coconut sugar. The result looked like this:
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Raspberry Beret Macaroons {Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, SCD-Legal}

If you like a classic coconut Macaroon, you will love these subtly sweet nuggets. These were created for the Valentine’s Day bake-sale boxes we did to raise money for a couple of local Autism non-profits that we know and love. They are light not overly sweet with the delicious tang of raspberry. So yummy!

Raspberry Beret Macaroons
Raspberry Beret Macaroons

1/2 cup raw organic honey
3 cups unsweetened coconut
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 Tablespoons crushed freeze-dried organic raspberries
1/2 cup coconut milk
Juice + Zest of 1 large organic lemon
1 white from a pastured chicken egg
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees {Fahrenheit}

First, in a Vitamix or your blender, pulverize the dried coconut for about 1 minutes until you have super-fine shreds.
Dump into a large mixing bowl and add in the wet ingredients {coconut milk & lemon juice & zest} and mix just to combine.

Next, in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix your egg white and pinch of salt until soft peeks form {a couple of minutes}. Take the egg whites over to the shredded coconut mixture and fold them in lightly. Sprinkle the coconut flour and crushed dried raspberry into the bowl and lightly fold again, just until well combined.

Now, with a #70 tablespoon scooper {I use this SO often, if you don’t have one your kitchen is missing a wonderful family member, hop on over to amazon and order one!}, fill the scoop tightly, pull it up against the side of the bowl to pack in the mixture.  Pull the trigger and dump out onto an unbleached-parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue filling up your tray.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes. I rotated my tray half-way through, a habit I got into after coking my way through the BabyCakes cookbook. After 2o minutes, my macaroons were getting slightly brown on the edges, so I removed and transferred the entire sheet of parchment to a wire rack to cool.

For the Valentine’s Bake-Sale boxes, I mixed a little of the powder from the freeze dried raspberries into a tiny bit of this lemon glaze, turning it perfectly pink and raspberry flavored. Using a zip-top sandwich bag with the tip snipped off, I drizzled the glaze lightly over the macaroons for a finishing touch. Mwah!

GhostMallows {Sugar-less Marshmallows}

GhostMallows
GhostMallows
Honey marshmallows with coconut cinnamon pie spice sugar
Honey marshmallows with coconut cinnamon pie spice sugar

Hooray! It’s Halloween ~ one of my very favorite days of the year. It has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. But now, it has even more meaning to me. Last year on this spooky & fanciful holiday, our third little ‘punkin’ decided that he wanted Halloween as his birthday. I will remember that day forever. It was a peaceful morning, and by no means unexpected, since we were one day shy of 42 weeks and had been expecting an arrival “any day now” for many, many, many days. I awoke at about 6 in the morning feeling unmistakeable contractions that came about every 5 minutes. I rang my mom to start heading over to be here for our older two. By the time she arrived just a little over an hour later, I could barely talk or walk through each crashing wave of contraction.

This was a very special birth for me because we had chosen a more intimate setting at a birth center with a midwife. After two hospital births, I was anticipating an unforgettable and triumphant experience, and I got just that. Things went quickly and, even though the midwife never made it to our birth, I feel like the experience happened just as it was meant to. Even with a very quick turn of events that led to 4 very large calendar-style paramedics rushing into my little quaint birth center room, an ambulance ride downtown to the children’s hospital, an almost immediate intubation, and a week-long stay at NICU. Just in case you were wondering: no, going straight to NICU 3 hours after having a baby and having to experience your postpartum “rest” on a hard sofa in the corner of the room  for a week is NOT ideal.  All things considered, I still look back on that day with a very warm glow in my heart. It was the best morning of my life. Honestly & hands down. My little Halloween pumpkin is one year old today. {typed with a pouty face}

Our family and a few friends will be here on Saturday for a birthday celebration, so I am starting early in preparation, making lots of FUN Halloween treats for my sugar-free kids. Last Easter, I made marshmallows from beet-sugar and brown-rice-syrup, and the kids absolutely LOVED them. On this eve of Halloween, I whipped up a batch of spooky Halloween mallows, partially to try again with a sugarless marshmallow recipe (with an unrefined sweetener), and also because my son’s preschool is handing out orange (food-dyed orange) pumpkin marshmallows as a fun Halloween snack today. Now, my little punkin’ will have a clean and allergy-friendly version of food-love to enjoy.

These sticky sweets are going to be perfect for my treat-table for Saturday’s festivities, especially piped out into these fun ghost shapes, I got nothing but giggles from my peanut gallery when they saw them. My daughter especially appreciates the silliness of these GhostMallows, and has been talking to them since she got home from school.  Hope you enjoy these as Ghost Mallows or as plain ol’ squares. It is definitely a recipe for the “keeper” bin.

I tried these with maple syrup last week and they didn’t turn out as well as they did today, so this is definitely the recipe I will stick with for future batches.

1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons gelatin (prefereably from humainly-raised, grass-fed cows. I like this brand)**
1/2 cup honey (or 1 full cup if using all honey and no maple)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon real salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

** FOR FULL SQUARES INSTEAD OF PIPING GHOSTS, DOUBLE THE GELATIN AND WATER – SO 3 Tablespoons GELATIN & 2/3 CUPS WATER**

In a large mixing bowl, I stirred together the gelatin, water, and vanilla and let stand while I heated my sweeteners. {I used a hand mixer, but you can use a stand mixer, too, if you prefer that. I like the hands on of making things like these. Its kind of like baker’s therapy for me, so simply use the mixing bowl here that goes with your stand mixer}

In a saucepan, I brought to a boil over medium-high heat my honey, maple syrup, and salt. I let the sugars heat to 240 {soft-ball stage}. I use a candy-thermomter, but you can always use the old-school method of dripping into ice cold water.

I carefully poured my hot honey mixture in a steady stream into my bowl of gelatin and water mixture, beating on medium speed with my hand mixer.

Once all of the honey mixture is incorporated, commence singing “WHIP IT!” because you will be whipping the ever-loving-yumminess out of this bowl of sweet goo until you have a cloud of fluffy marshmallow {about 10 minutes}.

[When a problem comes along….YOU MUST WHIP IT!]

Now – the SKY is the LIMIT with this marshmallow fluff!

Note: You will need some sort of powder substance to help with handling the complete and utter stickiness of the situation these marshmallows will create. Its a good problem to have, trust me.
What I used was my fall cinnamon-pie-spice-“sugar” mixture {which is just my cinnamon and coconut sugar recipe with pumpkin pie spice added in}.
You can use cinnamon, or if you feel like splurging on a bit of cane sugar here since you used honey in your recipe, powdered sugar can be used.

I sprinkled my powdered cinnamon-pie-spice-“sugar” generously on a sheet pan and rolled out half of the fluff. I spread with a spatula I had greased up with some coconut oil. These are now little squares of marshmallow.

Then, I transferred the remainder of the fluff into a zip-top bag and a cut about a half inch wide corner off. To pipe these little GhostMallows, start piping a pretty wide base and pull up. Hard to describe the technique, but you will get the feel of it after your first one or two; and the beauty of these little spooks is in the uniqueness of each little ghost. I used two ENJOY LIFE CHOCOLATE CHIPS for my eyes, but you can certainly keep with the sugar-free theme and try cutting a raisin in half for two eyes, or using a small slice of date.  Whatever you choose, you most definitely should play with your food!!

The mallow that I had spread out into a sheet, I used a few ways:
First, I chopped half of it into squares. Easy to pop in your moth or stick in a cup of cocoa squares. Yum!

Second, I took the remaining half and spread a layer of cashew butter on top. Then, I rolled the sheet of mallow, carefully and stickily, up into a “log” and sliced about 1/2 inch wide slices. You can see these at the back of a couple of the pictures here. they were delicious too!

Third, I needed an icing for the tops of the little sweet pumpkin muffins I made for Finlay’s birthday, so I melted a couple of squares of these marshmallows onto the top of the muffin and it was the perfect, sticky, sugarless topping.

See, the sky is really the limit. So play away, canaries!!
~Happy Ghostmallow Making~

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Apple Cider Gummy Bears

Apple Cider Gummy Bears

2 cups organic Apple Cider
3 Tablespoons Gelatin

Simmer the cider down to 1 cup liquid. Thoroughly mix in your gelatin until there are no more lumps.
Let cool almost to room temperature and pour into molds.  I found these molds here.

Also, see the cherry bears for another flavor option. These are super fun and very yummy! It can also be a fun vessel for vitamins or probiotics. Happy Eating!

* I added extra cinnamon to the cider just for more fall flavor. So yummy!

Scared Of The Dark Cherry Gummy Bears

scaredofdarkgummy

I’m not quite sure when Halloween became synonomous with massive quantities of food-dyes and high-fructose-corn syrup, but I don’t have to tell you that these are not the healthiest selections for our kids. The last thing you want to read, I’m sure, is another study about how dangerous some of theses  chemical food colorings can be (or why many other countries don’t allow them into their foods), or how high fructose corn syrup will get your child closer to diabetes by the day.

I know this is a major sugar-buzz-kill for so many parents. They escape into the “one day out of the year won’t hurt them” mentality, and they may be perfectly right (at least a percentage of them). As a family who already battles a neurological disorder, I have made a choice to remove all chemical additives from our diet, so most of the store bought “goodies”, we simply walk past as if they are a piece of store furniture,  When I happen upon a circumstance where I have to admit to the layman that…

“We Don’t Eat Candy.”
or
“My Kids Are Allergic To Sugar”

…I undoubtedly get a look that, if I could freeze-frame the moment, would most appropriately be marked with a scribbled thought bubble and a big. red. question-mark.  Then comes the pity. Its really kind of comical at this point. Do I dare tell them the real kicker? That even if they weren’t allergic I wouldn’t give them sugar. {{{(gasp!)}}}

Huh?
Huh?

I assure you, though, that I AM NO PARTY POOPER!  My kids have fun stuff. Almost daily! And holidays are just a creative person’s dream because they provide a theme, a canvas for creation.   Halloween is no exception.

The past few Halloweens, I have ordered some really great candies from our go-to allergy-friendly candy shoppe, Natural Candy Store. But even here, it is tough to find candies that aren’t made with sugar.  So, it has been my mission this year to create some great home made candies and treats (adding more by the day) to make our Halloween celebration SCARY FUN this year!

These Gummy Bears will be PERFECT.

Three Littel Bears


SCARED OF THE DARK CHERRY GUMMY BEARS (also, see below the Valentine’s Version)

1/2 cup black cherry concentrate*
1/2 cup pure water
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons gelatin**

*You can find this in the supplements section of most health food grocers, or simply order online from a source like amazon or vitacost.
**For the healthiest option, try a brand of gelatin that is from grass-fed cows. I use the Great lakes Brand {the red or orange can, not green}.


Directions:

In a bowl or measuring cup, combine all the liquids.

In a saucepan over medium heat, I started with about half of the liquid mixture and all of the gelatin and whisked together while the pan was heating. When I had a sort of paste, I added the remaining liquid in and continued to whisk until the gelatin was completely dissolved.

I turned off the heat and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, just to cool.

The next step is where the fun comes in! I added powdered probiotic at this stage and then poured into my molds. You do not have to add anything at this point, but the sky is the limit if you want to make these “gummy-vites”.

Pour into your mold or desired dish. Refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).
I used these fantastic bear ice cube trays. I first saw them on one of my favorite blogger’s sites (Elana Amsterdam’s Elana’s Pantry) and marked them as a MUST HAVE!! She had done some other great bear flavors, as have many other bloggers, so this is by no means a new recipe. They are a healthy take on the old “Knox-Blox” recipe (A favorite of our Papa’s … hopefully we can pass these off as the knox-blox he loves so dearly and save him from himself! :))    I found the bear molds here.

The existential Gummy Bear

As you can see, there is much fun to be had with these gummy bears. PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!

When Halloween night comes this year, I will be making a batch of these “Sacred Of The Dark Cherry” bears, and also an Apple Cider version. Yummy!!

~Happy Halloween Eats~

For Valentine’s Day, I ordered these cute little heart-shaped molds and we had a blast making Very Cherry (with cherry-pomegranate juice) and Very Berry (with Cherry & Raspberry Juice) Gummy Hearts. <3 <3 <3

Very Berry Gummies

Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins

paleopumpkinmuffins7

Baking this morning with my very own “admiral underpants”. There’s really nothing like an underoo-clad 4 year old to make your baking experience a delight. With slow-but-steady little four-year-old-sized fingers, he carefully pulled apart each little mini-muffin liner and placed them into the muffin pan. My mommy-hands hovered above, pressing the scooper lever to fill each of his liners. Soon, we were ready to bake, and a short time later, we shared some pretty big smiles as we devoured 3 muffins each. Memories officially made.

PALEO / GRAIN-FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS

First, we preheated our oven to 325 degrees f.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic peanut butter
3 eggs, pastured-raised
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons organic lemon juice

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In a mixing bowl, we lovingly combined these grain-less ingredients, spooned them into our lined mini muffin cups, and placed in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

paleopumpkinmuffins6<

Perfect, golden, fluffy, yummy, grain-free pumpkin muffins were ours for the tasting!

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Happiness.

paleopumpkinmuffins4