Santa Hat Brownie Bites

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Santa Hat Brownies

Brownie (adapted from the Babycakes Brownie Recipe):
1 cup garfava flour
1/4 cup potato starch flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup honey (or cane sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder (I use a corn-free, Hain’s brand)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 + 2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquid measure)
2 eggs
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1/2 – 3/4 cups enjoy life chocolate chips
pinch of salt

325 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt)  in a medium size mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients as follows: 1/2 cup of the liquified coconut oil, vanilla, and water. Stir together until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a basting brush, use the remaining oil to grease mini muffin tins. Spoon each tin until they are about 3/4 of the way full.

In a preheated 325 degree oven, bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean and the edges are firm.  Let cool I the tins for 10-15 minutes.

For the Icing, I made a buttercream frosting using Organic Powdered sugar and Spectrum Shortening (palm shortening).

Add a ring of icing and then sit your Strawberry down in snugly. Fish off with a little squirt of icing that resembles the fluffy ball on Santa’s hat.

Merry Christmas To All…. and to ALL a …..delicious treat! :9

Santa Clause Is Coming to Class

Santa Clause Is Coming to Class
Who says healthy Food Can’t be Fun?!

This year, I have two school-goers. My second grader, and my kindergartener. If you follow my posts, you might have heard a little of my griping about pre-school last year. Last year proved to be QUITE busy for me, keeping up with the daily snack of Standard American sugar and gluten-filled fare. Don’t get me wrong, I am a total sucker for a cute theme-based treat, but powdered sugar donuts and food-dyed icing galore, and every single DAY…. well, I was creating our own versions of the theme food every single morning to send with my little healthy eater.

This year, I sent out my standard email to the room moms in both kids’ classrooms.  The room mom for my kindergartener replied right away and I was thrilled that she was understanding! She Said that her own son had allergies, so she would LOVE to hear more suggestions. Of course, I have tons of those up my sleeve :P. LOL! SO, I sent back a reply with a couple of crafty ideas and waited to hear back. Except that I never did. And then I got the sig up sheet for bringing Chex mix, Capri Suns, And the craft was going to be decorating a sugar cookie. Of course with your standard food-dyed toppings. Big sigh.

But then, my Christmas angel appeared! My second grader’s room-mom was BEYOND understanding, she was an angel! I will keep it short and simple: This was the very first class party in all of our years on our special diet that my Molly got to show up and have & do everything that every one else was getting to have & do! She made requirements for special gluten-free fare and only organics on the fruit. Honestly, an amazing would to understand to the limits that she did. And to create an environment that didn’t exclude a single soul! My appreciation was sky-high.

And, for the kindergarten party, I signed up to bring fruit (the only healthy time on the list) and I didn’t just bring ANY fruit tray 🙂 I guess I like to take my frustrations out creatively 😉 And so the Santa Scene Fruit Tray was created.

The tray: an 11×14 glass found in the framing section at the craft store

Santa’s Hat and Suit: Strawberries
Santa’s Beard: Bananas
Santa’s Nose: A Cherry
Santa’s Belt: Blueberries
Santa’s Buckle: Watermelon
The fuzz on Santa’s hat and the ball: Rice Whip whipped cream.
The tallest tree: Green Apples
The middle tree: Red Apples
The Smallest Tree: Orange Segments
Stars: Watermelon
Ornaments: Blueberries
Writing and Santa’s face details: Melted Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Some helpful tips:
*I soaked the apple and orange slices in lemon water
*I put the bananas on last (they lasted about 3 hours before they started browning too badly)
*I used a little rice while to outline the belt so that the outline of blueberries would stay I place. I also did this to secure a few of the edge strawberries just to keep everything in place.

Thankful Givings

g&gcoverI have been hard at work creating a DELICIOUS feast of Thanksgiving recipes that are entirely GRAIN & DAIRY free, and I really, really want to share them with you.

I share hundreds of recipes a year on my blog and on my Facebook groups, and I don’t do so to get rich. {chuckle}. I do it because it is my art, and like most artists, it is the craft that feeds my soul. It is my purpose, as small as that might seem to some. My “thing” is helping people eat food that works for them and not against them, and to do it in a delicious way!

So, when one of my very best friends in this world was given the opportunity to have her daughter (who has Autism) seen by one of the leading physicians for Autism in this country, arguably in the world, I immediately wanted to use my craft to help.

This Thanksgiving compilation was created for Ashlyn. For a small $10 donation {or more if you feel it in your heart}, this DELICIOUS grain free Thanksgiving cookbook can be yours.

Giving thanks for your generosity and hoping that each of these recipes will bless you and your family!

Some recipes included:
Grain Free Pumpkin Waffles
Grain Free “Corn-Bread” Dressing
Grain-Free Pecan Chocolate Chunk Pie
Maple Marshmallow topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Grain & Dairy-Free Green Bean Casserole
& more…..

You can make donations through Ashlyn’s fund page at http://www.gofundme.com/ashlynsrecovery

Or you can email me at kendra@greatertots.org for more details.

Sauerkraut & Kielbasa

Oktober Feast

This is by far one of my favorite meals that my mother passed down to me.  I honestly have no idea where this recipe originated from, But it is a favorite and it has transitioned wonderfully into my gluten-free, whole-food kitchen! I made a few changes to the original recipe, like making sure that our kielbasa is nitrite free and humanely raised without any hormones or additives and buying naturally fermented sauerkraut of making my own from scratch. I also add apple to mine, which my mom never did. But, for the most part,  it is the same meal & this remains a staple during the fall and winter at our house.

1 large jar naturally fermented sauerkraut (recipe below)
About 2 cups cubed organic potatoes (* FOR SCD use celery root/celeriac instead of potato)
1 large organic apple, cubed
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil 1 organic onion (small to medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Real Salt
1 package (4 links) Applegate Farms Pork Kielbasa* (or your favorite nitrite free kielbasa)*
1-2 cups filtered water

*For SCD, look for a kielbasa that is free of nitrites and has no sugar. You can find some here.

Heat oil in a large dutch-oven over medium heat.  Add in your onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add in the sauerkraut, potatoes, and apple pieces. Season with about a teaspoon of real salt and add in about 1 cup of water, stirring to combine all of the ingredients.
Cover and continue cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, adding more of the water of you need to. Recover  and continue cooking for 30-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Check on it about every 10 minutes to be sure more water isn’t needed.

This has always been one of my favorite fall one-pot dishes. Growing up, my mom always served this dish with steamed rye bread. Since Rye is not a gluten-free grain, try pairing this gluten-free meal with some Udi’s Millet & Chia bread.

Tip:  If you don’t eat pork, try the Applegate Farms Chicken & Apple Sausage instead.

Home-Made Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut

2 ½ pounds of cabbage; green, purple, or a combination of the two.
1 tablespoon Real Salt
1 quart-sized glass canning jar

Finely shred cabbage. Start by placing a couple of handfuls of the cabbage into your jar and sprinkle just a little of the Real Salt in. Using the back of a wooden spoon, pound your cabbage to release some of the juices. Continue with a couple of handfuls of cabbage and a sprinkle of salt, tamping each layer down and repeating over and over until your jar is filled.
Place the lid on loosely and let your jar rest for 30 minutes to an hour, allowing the juices to
come out of the cabbage and form a brine ( If you still need extra brine, mix ½ teaspoon of Real Salt to ½ Cup of filtered water. )
Open your lid and press down on the cabbage to see how much brine the cabbage made. There should be enough liquid to completely cover the cabbage, and you will want the cabbage to stay moist as it soaks up the liquid during the fermentation process.
Tightly screw on your lid. You will let the jar sit at room temperature for 3 weeks*. After 3 weeks, check your jar by opening the lid and checking to see if there are little bubbles on top. Re-lid and then place in the refrigerator to continue fermenting to your taste. You can eat it at this point, or let it sit for longer to let the flavor come out even more.
*Tips:  -You may have to gas (open the lid of) the jar occasionally as it ferments. If you press the top of the lid and it doesn’t give at all, simply open and reapply the lid.  -Do not use unfiltered tap water. Be sure it is filtered.

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 🙂

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! 🙂 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. 🙂  

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!