Watermelon Lemonade {no sugar}

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Ever notice that MELON and LEMON have all the same letters? Sounds like a perfect match to me!

Fresh watermelon juice was created by blending fresh seedless watermelon (cut from the rind) in my Vitamin blender. Once it was well blended, I strained it all through a fine-mesh nut-milk bag to get a smooth and grit/pulp-free juice.

watermelon juice strained
Strain blended watermelon through a fine-mesh bag to get roughly 2 cups.

Now comes the hard part. Okay, just kidding – now simply add in 1/4 cup of organic lemon juice. Yes, that’s it!¬† SO very refreshing and SO watermelony ūüôā¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† {watermelony? … Works for me!}

Once special touch that I did add to these cups of melon goodness is the flake-salted rim. Does this sound odd to anyone? My mom is a salt-lover. My daughter is also a salt-lover. Both of these girls-of-my-world seem to believe that watermelons and salt go hand in hand; one simply can’t happen without the other. So, I thought the perfect way to celebrate this combo was to do a salted rim. The salt I used was a pink Himalayan flake salt. I thought it was an interesting and fun addition, and it definitely got a thumbs up by my sweet girly.

Happy Weekend!

Watermelon Lemonade In The Grass

Red, White & Blue Gluten-Free Grilled “PB-J’s”

Red White & Blue holiday pails

These little pails of yumminess put HUGE smiles on my kids’ faces this Memorial Day weekend. This festive treat may have to make a second appearance for the 4th of July!!

easy-peasy: Some gluten – free bread, organic almond butter (or nutbutter of choice), coconut oil, fresh blueberries, and glutino gluten-free pretzels for the I food ingredients.

$1 bin red, white

& blue pails, picnic pattern basket liners or napkins, and 2/$1 mini flags for the presentation.
I simply grilled up some “PB-Js”, like you would any other grilled sandwich, except I used coconut on the grilling-side of the slices instead of butter, and inside, they got filled with Organic Almond Butter¬†& a delicious organic blueberry¬†fruit-only jelly. Once the¬†sammies were browned to perfection, I¬†transferred them to a cutting board and sliced them into 4 long rectangles.

Grilled "PB-J's"
The flags serve as the prefect skewers for a pattern of blueberries and gluten-free pretzels.

Blueberry & Pretzel Flags

 

Once everything was ready to be served, I simply lined each pail with the picnic-patterned basket liners, arranged the  sandwich sections sticking up out of the pail, and inserted the blueberry & pretzel-lined flag. There ya go! Easy gluten-free food fun perfect for any red, white & blue occasion!! Enjoy!

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

Rice Kissy Treats

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These puckered-up crowd pleasers perform amazing disappearing acts at our house! Try these and you will see why.

I use the same marshmallow recipe that I posted around Halloween-time, I just don’t fluff it all the way to marshmallow consistency. Instead, I whip it for about 2-3 minutes and then add in my rice cereal. It is a delicious, homemade version of those traditional rice cereal treats, without the added BHT or BHA.

Here is the recipe for these Rice¬†KISSY Treats 💋:

5 cups Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal (I honestly kind of eyeballed this, so add enough cereal to get the desired marshmallow to cereal ratio YOU like best.)

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons gelatin (prefereably from humainly-raised, grass-fed cows. I like this brand)

1 cup honey (or 1/2 honey and 1/2 maple syrup)

1/8 teaspoon real salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Coconut oil to grease your pan.

First things first, grease a large casserole dish or a baking sheet with a lip on it with coconut oil. I simply take some on a clean wash cloth and rub it onto the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the gelatin and water and let stand while I heating your honey (or honey and maple mixture).

In a saucepan, I bring to a low boil over medium heat the honey and salt. Let this heat to 240 {soft-ball stage}. I use a candy-thermometer, but you can always use the old-school method of dripping into ice cold water to see if a soft ball forms from your drip.

Carefully pour hot honey mixture in a steady stream into the bowl of gelatinized water. Add vanilla, beating on medium speed with hand mixer. {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}

Once¬†all of the honey mixture is incorporated,¬†commence¬†singing ‚ÄúWHIP IT!‚ÄĚ because you will be¬†whipping the ever-loving-yumminess out of¬†this bowl of sweet goo until you have a¬†bowl of fluffy marshmallow cream { 2-3 minutes}. [If you have ever made crispy treats before, you are looking for a constancy close to that of when the marshmallows and butter get melted down on the stove, maybe just a bit thicker.¬†]

As soon as you have the consistency you need, quickly pour in your rice cereal and stir together with a spatula to evenly incorporate the marshmallow. The marshmallow will cool quickly, so you kind of need to be speedy at this stage. Pour out into your greased dish and press everything down into the pan. Use a little coconut oil on your spatula if your are getting too much sticking.

For these KISSY treats, I simply used a lip-shaped cookie cutter to punch out my kisses. Mwah!  and I may have had a bit too much fun munching on the scrap pieces from around my shapes.

Happy KISSY treating!

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!

Flourless Cherry Sweetheart Cookies {Grain-Free & Paleo}

These were created with LOVE for the Valentine’s Bake Sale Boxes that got delivered last week. In keeping with my passion, I was thrilled to get to bake up some delicious treats for kiddos and families that¬†are¬†very particular¬†with their ingredient lists; and, better yet, I was able to raise a little money for a couple of charities that are local to me and to my heart. I know I keep saying this, but it really was the Best. Bake Sale. Ever.

Grain-Free Cherry Sweetheart Cookies

super- duper simple nut butter cookies turned into these:

Cherry Sweetheart Cookies
1 cup organic almond butter
1/3 cup organic raw honey
1 pastured chicken egg
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
10 + 24ish dried organic & unsulphered cherries
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees {fahrenheit}.

I find these are easiest to mix together in a food processor.  I hope you love how easy these are as much as I do!

In your food processor, combine the almond butter, honey, egg, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and 10 of the cherries. Pulse or mix on low spear until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. I used my #70 disher (or 1 tablespoon) spring disher. YOU can use a large spoon or even a tablespoon measuring spoon, but if you do not own a #70 disher, just hop onto Amazon and purchase one for your kitchen drawer. They are so great for cookies and mini muffins!

Spoon your¬†dough onto your parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. I have found that the amount of “spread” that these cookies get depends on the amount of oil in the nut butter. But, they always taste delicious!¬†¬† Now, take the remaining cherries one at a time and, using¬†a knife or the tip of your fingernail, make a small slit¬†in one of the edges and separate it, mimicking the shape of a heart. Press the¬†heart-shaped cherry into the center of each¬†dough mound.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 9 minutes. remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Refill your pan with the raining batter and repeat.

I get 24-28 cookies per batch. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container, that is IF they make it that far.
The cherries give each cookie a sweet and tart element, the fact that the entire batch only has 1/3 cup of honey as its sweetener, and the simple, throw-in-the-food-processor method here make these so very appealing to me as the chef of my household. And this basic recipe has endless possibilities! Chocolate chips are the obvious choice, yes, but I enjoy experimenting with less ordinary treasures.

Hope you Enjoy these as much as we did. <3
~Kendra

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 Рthe 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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Honey Caramel Popcorn Balls {Sugar-Free Caramel Corn}

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Oh, sweet Caramel.
Such a beautifully, buttery sweetness, melting on my tongue; oh my caramel, how I do love thee.

On our journey to sugar-free eating, I wondered if I would ever achieve quite the same delight I had always so loved in the flavor of caramel but in a healthier allergy-friendly version. I now wonder no more. This caramel popcorn is so delicious! And it is the perfect recipe as the holiday season commences. Perfect for the Halloween treat-table, or to gift for the holidays.

{dairy-free, sugar-free, additive-free, clean eating ingredients!   mmmm, mmmm, good}
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This caramel is simply made with honey instead of over-processed, highly-refined brown-cane-sugar. I molded mine into these kid-friendly popcorn balls and we so enjoy the treat. From our happy kitchen to yours, we hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

6 cups popped organic non-gmo popcorn
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 (generous) cup raw honey
1 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon real salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda***
1 teaspoon pure vanilla

***If making popcorn balls, OMIT the baking soda and add 1/4 cup of water to the liquid mixture.

Heat in a saucepan over medium-high heat the oil, honey & molasses ***(and 1/4 cup of water if you will be making popcorn BALLS as opposed to just caramel popcorn).

Bring to a boil , then turn heat down to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes without stirring.

Remove heat source and:
OPTION 1 for caramel corn: stir in the salt, baking soda***, and vanilla. The caramel will fluff and rise like a delicious science experiment.
Pour over the popped popcorn and stir to coat the popcorn as evenly as possible. Do this with a bit of finesse, as the caramel will be very hot!  Fold out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 250 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes

OPTION 2 for Popcorn Balls: stir in the salt and vanilla.
Pour over the popped popcorn and stir to coat the popcorn as evenly as possible. Do this with a bit of finesse, as the caramel will be very hot!
When the caramel corn has cooled enough to be comfortable to handle, form your popcorn balls. Let cool completely ~ if you can keep your hands off of them long enough!

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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!