Monday, September 18, 2017

Golden Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy free,)


I went on a walk this morning it couldn't have been more beautiful. It was so invigorating. I love going on walks. Hope your week is starting off great too.

It is that wonderful time of year when everyone starts buying pumpkin and baking wonderful bakes goods. These were sooo good. I loved eating two muffins at a time. I love pumpkin! I hope you do too.

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg or flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, whisk together set aside for 15 min.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 gluten free oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped up dark chocolate chips (Vegan chips if desired)

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease muffin cups.
2. Blend together in blender pumpkin, oil, egg and vanilla. blend until smooth.
3. Pour in dry ingredients into the blender, flour, cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Pulse until just combined. (You could also stir it in with a spoon.)
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Scoop into greased muffin pans. Place in preheated oven. Bake for 15 min or until done.
6. Cool on wire rack.
7. Store leftovers in airtight container. Store in fridge or freezer.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Healthy No Bake Brownies (Gluten Free)


It is so wonderful to enjoy this time of year. I am hanging on to the warm weather as long as I can. There are still a lot of beautiful flowers too. I love warm weather. I love to go on morning walks and take it all in. I exercise as much for my mental health as my physical health. It is so healing. It gives me time to ponder and get things sorted out in my head. I also have done some meditation. I know I have a daughter and son that really like meditation. I want to do that more.

It is wonderful to be able to create little snacks that taste really good and are healthy at the same time. These are taster approved my daughter ate one and then came back for a second one. :) Winner!

They whip up fast and you can make extra for later. You can make them with gluten free oat flour if you are eating gluten free.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of oat flour*(Gluten free)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground chia (Optional)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips chopped up*
3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons coconut oil

Directions  (makes about 10 brownies)

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, chia* and chips. 
2. Blend together in blender almond butter, honey, vanilla and oil until all creamy.  Mix into dry ingredients until all combined. 
3. Scoop into balls with a cookie scooper or with spoon. I rolled them into smooth balls with my hands. Delish!
4. Left overs can be stored in an air tight container and store in fridge or freezer.


*I just blend up old fashioned gluten free oatmeal in the blender until it turns to powder.
*I put the chocolate chips in the blender for a couple seconds to break them into smaller pieces.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

5 Tips that Will Make or Break School Lunches



For us, school is starting next week. And I will, for the first time, have two children taking lunches to school. While I am excited to get back in to the schedule that school provides, I'm not as excited about making lunches every. single. day. I thought I'd revisit our book The Mix and Match Lunchbox and give you 5 tips that make or break having a healthy, easy lunch for your kiddos.

1. Plan Ahead


You know how this works with dinnertime. If you plan what dinner is earlier in the day, dinner happens. If you don't, you end up throwing together whatever you have. And sometimes that works better than others.

A planning page in The Mix and Match Lunchbox


The same thing goes for school lunches. If you sit down on Saturday or Sunday and make a small menu, then you know what to buy. You'll see if there are things you can or should make ahead of time.

2. Think about the Parts of Lunch


We like to do this with a simple formula:

Whole Grain + Protein + Fruit + Veggie




This makes lunch so customizable! And if you make a list of items for each section, your child can even make lunch themselves. For a younger child, you might make a PBJ the whole grain and protein, while for an older child, you might need a separate protein to keep them full for school.

But if you fill this formula, you have a complete, healthy lunch! I would also include water and, on special occasions, a treat.


3. Make Recipes Ahead



It can be hard to have everything on hand for a good lunch. But if you make one thing ahead of time in bulk and freeze in individual bags, it makes it that much simpler on a busy morning when you have less than five minutes to make lunches. We like muffins, smoothies, homemade granola bars, quiches, and boiled eggs.


4. Get the Kids to Help


Is this all your job? Well, kind of. But it doesn't have to be. What can the kids do? Can they have a say in the planning? (With guidelines, of course.) Can you assign your budding cook a make-ahead recipe? Or just keep a list of things in each healthy section (grain, protein, fruit, and veggie) and let them pick from bins of each category.

The truth with kids is, if they pick it, they will be more likely to eat it.

Yogurt and mix-ins are always a hit at our house.

5. Make it Fun!


For some parents this might include cutting food into cute little shapes. If that's you, than go for it! I feel good when I slip in a little note. This could be a compliment, a love note, or a joke or fun fact.

But cute supplies go a long way. Consider a pack of food picks, some cookie cutters, or bright silicone cupcake liners.Those could be just the trick for adding some happiness to your child's lunch!


Extra Credit :)


Do you need more help to get your lunches going? Check out our book The Mix and Match Lunchbox book or the Mix and Match app for over 27,000 delicious lunch combinations!



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Gluten-free)



I have a great thing for you to make with all of your zucchini.There is something wonderful about the combination of zucchini and chocolate combined. I love how soft and delicious these are. I put some extras in the freezer in zip locks. It was so wonderful to take them out of the freezer and heat them up and enjoy a yummy snack. Every since I made them last weekend I have been wanting to make them again. So Good!!! They always have zucchini in the store.
Cherie


Ingredients
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup of oil (I used grapeseed oil)
2/3 cup of honey
2 eggs
2 cups of grated zucchini
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons quinoa flour (You could replace w/  a different wholegrain flour)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped up



Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl beat together vanilla, oil, honey, eggs, and zucchini. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl pour in all the dry ingredients and stir with a wire whisk. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Combine the two mixtures together into one bowl. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour into greased muffin pan. Place in preheated oven. Bake about 15 minutes or until done.
5. Cool a few minutes and then take out of the muffin pan and cool on cooling rack.
* You could put in a square pan or bread pan instead. You will just have to watch the cooking time a little closer. Remove when done.
Makes 12 muffins

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Delicious Zucchini(Bread) Waffles (Gluten Free)


It is a wonderful idea to find ways to add vegetables to the foods you make. My daughter was talking to me about the idea of starting at breakfast and adding the vegetables to what you are making. Great way to start your day. So I did that today and they were delicious. I have always loved zucchini bread this is a great way to capture the flavor with out all the sugar. 

You can either use gluten free flour or whole grain. I tried both and they worked great. I have a Cusinart waffle maker that makes them crispy on the outside and soft inside. Yum!!!


Ingredients

1 cup gluten free flour * or whole grain flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 egg
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Tablespoons of coconut sugar or other sweetener
1 cup grated zucchini
2 Tablespoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of chia * optional

Directions serves 2-3

1. Preheat waffle iron and spray with non stick cooking spray.

2. Pour all the ingredients into the bowl and stir just until all mixed.

3. Pour on to hot waffle iron and bake to desired doneness.

4. Take out and enjoy. I have frozen the leftovers and put in toaster when I was ready to eat them. I love them with apricot jam.

* I used gluten free Namaste flour.