Desserts · Vegetarian

Healthy Homemade Candy (raw or baked fruit rolls)

Easy Homemade Candy
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Growing up I had this aunt, who was a “health-nut”, she was always talking to me about health, chemicals, pesticides, and the importance of eating healthy foods. All I ever did was roll my eyes and think she was annoying, I had never been exposed to that way of thinking at home and I just assumed that if something was sold for human consumption, then it must be safe. Today I have become her! I am making homemade candy for my daughter for  Halloween! I have become the mother I used to make fun of.

The birth of my daughter, Lilah, changed my life completely; having a little person’s health depend almost entirely on my choices gave me a different perspective on life, food, chemicals, sustainability, and pollution. She is now 3 ½ years old and has never had sugar yet, for parties and festivities I always bring her own cupcakes, cookies and candy and she is perfectly content and excited about her treats. Will that change as she gets older? I keep asking myself the same question…She is gluten intolerant so she may never be able to have the cake with bright-colored frosting that is served at most parties. I guess we will worry about crossing that bridge later, for now I’ll just enjoy watching her face light up every time she sees this candy.

These are actually just mini fruit leathers rolled up and wrapped in candy wrappers, they are very easy to make, affordable, fool-proof and kids just love them.

You start by blending a bunch of fruit, depending on what type of blender you have, you may need to add a little bit of water or juice to get rid of all the chunks. But keep in mind that the more moisture you add to this the longer it will take to dry out. I prefer to make this in a dehydrator but an oven works as well

You can really just make this with just about any fruit but I will give you a few ideas of what to put in them, you can also use baby food instead.

Strawberry
1 1/2 lbs of strawberries
6 dates (optional)
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice to prevent them from darkening (optional)

Tropical
1 mango
2 bananas
1 cup of pineapple chunks
1 kiwi
1-2 tbsp of lemon juice (optional)

Blueberry banana (pictured)
2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
2 fresh or dried bananas
1 apple
4 dates (optional)

Instructions for using a dehydrator:

  • Blend all the fruit until smooth.
  •  Strain (optional)
  • Spread the puree onto silicon or Paraflexx sheets or parchment paper.
  • Using a spatula or the back of a spoon spread the fruit forming an even thin layer about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick, pound the tray on the counter to help the fruit spread evenly.
  • Put the tray in the dehydrator and heat at 140 F for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 110 and dehydrate for about 10 to 12 hours or until the mixture is set (time varies depending on the thickness of the layer of fruit puree).
  •  Let the leather cool off, carefully peel off from the tray and cut into strips.
  •  Roll the strips and wrap in candy wrapper, parchment paper, foil or any colorful paper or plastic.

Instructions for using an oven:

  • Blend all the fruit until smooth.
  • Strain (optional).
  • Spread the puree onto silicon sheets or parchment paper and set over a cookie sheet.
  • Using a spatula or the back of a spoon spread the fruit forming an even thin layer about 1/8 to ¼ inch, pound the tray on the counter to help the fruit spread evenly.
  • Put the tray in the oven at and heat at 150 F for about 4-6 hours or until the mixture is set (time varies depending on the thickness of the layer of fruit puree).
  •  Let the leather cool off, carefully peel off from the tray and cut into strips.
  • Roll the strips and wrap in candy wrapper, parchment paper, foil or any colorful paper or plastic.

Optional step: to reduce the baking time, you can heat the fruit puree on the stove top in a saucepan for about 15 to minutes before spreading the puree onto the baking sheets.

Desserts · Vegetarian

Mama D’s Baked Apples

Paleo Baked Apples
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Ashlee M., this dairy-free custard filled baked apples recipe is for you!  I got an e-mail yesterday morning from my midwife’s assistant asking for apple recipes and I realized that I only have one apple recipe on my blog…ONE! I definitely need to put a lot more recipes on my site, I hardly have any salads, or sauces, or soups and not even a single broccoli recipe. When I started the blog five and a half months ago I was a little worried about running out of recipes, now I realized that there just aren’t enough days to make all the things I have in mind, so don’t worry I have recipes for years to come.

This baked apple delight might make you re-think the way you look at dessert, you don’t really need cake, or cupcakes, or cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth, a simple fruit would do if you prepare it right. Other ideas to fruit based desserts are baked pears, grilled pineapple, or my apple-fig crisp.

By the way… Mama D is the name my husband calls me, especially when he is asking for food.

Ingredients:

4 large apples
2/3 cups of full fat coconut milk, canned or homemade
2 eggs
4 tbsp of walnut halves
8 tsp of raisins or dry cranberries
1-2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Sweetener to taste ( I used 1 tbsp of raw honey)

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Using a small knife remove the stem and top part of the apple cores
  • Using a sharp  spoon, or melon baller scoop the seeds and some of the inside of the apples Paleo Baked Apples
  • Place the inside of the apples in a blender (I even kept the seeds) along with the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sweetener, and coconut milk and blend until smooth.
  • Place the apples in a baking dish
  • Put 1 tbsp of walnuts and 2 tsp of raisins or dry cranberries inside each apple.
  • Fill each apple with the blended custard mixture
  • Bake for about an hour or until the apple is soft
  • Serve warmGluten-Free Custard Filled Baked Apples Recipes
Health Tips · Personal Care · Vegetarian

Homemade Deodorant

// Recipe for Homemade Deodorant
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Yes, I have been called a hippy a few times before! This recipe for a homemade deodorant probably earned me that title, but let me tell you that this deodorant works even better than the store-bought ones and just to put it to the test before I shared it with you guys, my skeptical husband applied it to one underarm right before his soccer game, and not the other, and then had me “guess” which one was which. Let’s just say it was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. The results were nothing short of amazing!

There are so many concerns with commercial antiperspirants and deodorants, cancer being one of the biggest ones. Among them breast cancer, mainly because the underarm is very close to the breast tissue and also because many ingredients in deodorants are estrogenic compounds.  One of estrogen’s roles in the body is to promote the growth of breast tissue, so an excess could lead to cancerous overgrowth. Aluminum is used as an antiperspirant to plug sweat ducts; it has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease but is also known to be estrogenic. Parabens are also estrogenic compounds commonly found in deodorants and may act as hormone disruptors in the body.

Some deodorants also contain Triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient that, when combined with water, will form chloroform, a probable carcinogen.

Propylene glycol was originally developed as an anti-freeze but it is now added to deodorants to keep them from drying out. It is a neurotoxin known to cause contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. In propylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS, workers are urged to avoid skin contact with the toxic chemical as it may cause eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal irritation and discomfort, headache, nausea, vomiting, and central nervous depression.

This homemade deodorant is made with only 3 ingredients that I normally use for cooking: coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda

Why does it work?
Coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial and baking soda is a natural deodorizer

Ingredients:

¼ cup of  baking soda
¼ cup of arrowroot powder or corn starch
¼ cup of coconut oil
a few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Preparation:

  • In a small saucepan gently heat the coconut oil until melted.
  • Remove from heat
  • Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until smooth
  • Transfer to a small container and keep in your medicine cabinet or wait for it to cool down and solidify and scoop it into an empty deodorant container*

*If you are putting it into a deodorant container, you may have to keep it in the refrigerator during the summer months as it will melt easily

For a travel sized homemade deodorant, fill an empty lip balm container with the mixture.

Breakfast · Vegetarian

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Flour
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These fluffy paleo pumpkin pancakes are packed with pumpkin puree and fall spices. With Halloween just around the corner, pumpkins are readily available and a great option due to their  nutritional content and versatility.  The number of Paleo-friendly foods we can make with pumpkin as the main ingredient is astounding, and with a bit of creativity and kitchen-based experimentation, the sky is the limit! You can also substitute the pumpkin puree for butternut squash to make this breakfast treat all year round.

Pancakes are my daughter’s favorite breakfast, she asks for them almost every day(the rest of the days she asks for paleo breakfast porridge. Have you tried it?), but I don’t like eating the same thing over and over so I’ve had to get a little creative with pancakes. So far I’ve made chocolate pancakes, almond pancakes, coconut pancakes, chocolate chips, lemon, blueberry, sweet potato, banana, apple, plantain. What other type of pancakes have you made?

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour
4 eggs
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of pumpkin spice
A pinch of ground clove
A pinch of nutmeg
½ cup of pumpkin puree
½ tsp of baking soda
4 pitted deglet dates
1 tsp of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tsp of coconut oil, plus more for greasing the skillet

Preparation:

  • Using a blender combine all the ingredients until the dates are completely dissolved
  • Heat a skillet to medium
  • Add about one tsp of coconut oil and spread evenly across the bottom of the skillet
  • Pour about 2 tbsp of the pancake batter onto the hot skillet to make the pancakes
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Wait for the top of the pancake to start bubbling and turn
  • Continue to cook until the middle of the pancake is fully cooked
  • Serve them as is or top with maple syrup or date paste

Makes about 10-12

Tips:
Keep the pancakes small so that they are easy to turn.
Keep the heat at low because these pancakes burn easily.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Hair Treatment – 16 oz

 

Drinks · Vegetarian

Blended Lemonade or Limeade

Blended Lemonade or Limeade Recipe
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When life gives you lemons…make blended lemonade! Unfortunately, squeezing all those lemons is oftentimes impractical. For a lot of busy families taking the time to prepare healthy homemade meals takes precedence over making fresh lemonade. But did you know that you can blend it? Yes, you can blend the entire lemon or lime with water and your sweetener of choice. I call it blended lemonade! You don’t need a fancy extra powerful blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtech, any blender will do.

What does it taste like? Like regular lemonade with a stronger lemon taste. And although it sounds like it will taste too bitter, the secret is to not over blend it.

Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkalizing of foods and help push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4. They are also known to help with insomnia, weight loss, detoxification, and nausea. Besides being very high in vitamin C and antioxidants, citrus peels have many other benefits. Research points to them as being able to help prevent diabetes and lower cholesterol. Citrus peels are also effective in fighting off several types of bacteria and viruses. This means citrus peels can help your body fight off infections, making you less vulnerable to illness. By using this method you not only get more nutrients and save time, but also will need fewer lemons. All you need is one lime or small lemon per 2 cups of water.

Ingredients:

2 limes or small lemons
1 quart of water
Sweetener of choice, I used raw honey.

Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in the blender
  • Run blender for a few seconds, you want the lemon or lime peels to be chopped into small chunks (about ¼ inch sized). If you over-blend it your lemonade will be bitter
  • Strain and serve over ice

Makes 4 cups

For other drink ideas click here

Sources:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/155590-citrus-peel-benefits/
http://www.budwigcenter.com/blog/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-raw-lemon-juice/
http://www.ehow.com/list_7271681_citrus-peel-benefits.html

 

Breakfast · Desserts · Vegetarian

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes (or Muffins)

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
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These grain-free pumpkin pie cupcakes are a hybrid between pumpkin pie filling and a muffin so they are extra moist.  If you would like a dryer version just cut down on the amount of pumpkin puree. I am also providing two different frosting recipes, the first one is a fast and easy cream cheese frosting and the second one is made with coconut milk and coconut oil.  It is delicious as well but a little bit more time-consuming, as it requires you to start the frosting the day before.

I made these for my daughter’s best friend’s 3rd birthday, along with some coconut flour chocolate cupcakes.  I usually bring my daughter her own cupcakes to every party.  I keep them in the freezer and just thaw one out a few hours before the event, but this time since the birthday girl also has a gluten intolerance, all the kids in the party were eating gluten-free. As people are becoming more and more aware about the negative effects of wheat maybe someday gluten-free will be the norm. Does that sound possible or just too good to be true?

Ingredients:

1 ½  cup of almond flour
1 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
2 tbsp of coconut oil
3 eggs
1 cup of chopped walnuts(optional)
Dates to taste, I used  ¾ cups
2 tsp of cinnamon powder
2 tsp of pumpkin spice
¼ tsp of ground cloves (optional)
2 tsp of baking soda
Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Using food processor combine all the ingredients except for the walnuts, until the dates are completely ground. If you are using a blender instead, blend the eggs with the dates, baking soda, pumpkin puree, and dates together, transfer mix to a bowl and incorporate the rest of the ingredients by hand.
  • Mix in the walnuts by hand
  • Pour the batter into greased or paper lined muffin molds, remember that almond flour does not raise as much as wheat flour so fill the molds until almost the top
  • Bake muffins for 35 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out dry.

Frosting #1

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup of cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp of lemon juice
3/4 cup of raw honey

Preparation:

  • Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth and frost cake

Frosting #2

Ingredients:

1 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of full fat coconut milk, canned or homemade
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
5 tsp of arrowroot powder
4 tbsp of raw honey.

Preparation:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the vanilla, arrowroot, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring  constantly.
  • Melt in the coconut oil and remove from heat.
  • Once the mixture is at room temperature, mix in the honey using an electric mixer or immersion blender (coconut milk and oil      will still separate at this point).
  • Refrigerate overnight or for several hours until it hardens
  • Whisk again using an electric mixer or immersion blender until it has a  consistency similar to whipped cream
  • Frost cupcakes

Sprinkle the top with cinnamon (optional)

Makes 8-10 muffins

Salads · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Kohlrabi Slaw

Kohlrabi Greens Recipe (Kohlrabi Slaw)
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What happens when a cabbage and a broccoli get married? A kohlrabi!!! A delicious root vegetable that is very rich in vitamin C, just one cup of it has over 100% of your vitamin C daily requirement. The leaves are also edible so I decided to combine both the vegetable and the greens into this Kohlrabi slaw.

Kohlrabi recipe

I stumbled upon this root at my local supermarket and I was very intrigued by it. I love trying new things and I had never seen it before. Without a clue on how to prepare it, I went ahead and bought a few of them.  I was very excited about my new-found rare and exotic vegetable…  I posted a picture of them on Facebook thinking that people were going to be puzzled about it.  To my surprise, I realized that this is a common vegetable in some other areas of the country. I learned a lot about them and I was surprised to find out that people would rather eat this raw, so I kept them raw yet sautéed the greens.

Ingredients:

3 medium kohlrabi julienned
3 kohlrabi greens, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 carrots, shredded or julienned
¼ tsp of cumin
¼ cup of lemon juice
¼ cup of olive oil
¾ tsp of raw honey
1 tbsp of coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Using a mandolin slicer or a knife julienne the kohlrabi and carrots
  • Set in a large salad bowl
  • In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the kohlrabi green, minced fresh garlic, cumin and salt with the coconut oil until tender and remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, raw honey, salt and pepper
  • Combine everything together and serve.

 

Serves 4-6
This recipe holds great for a day or 2

Desserts · Vegetarian

Pumpkin puree and roasted pumpkin seeds

// How to make canned pumpkin puree
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Are you ready for pumpkin season? It’s barely October 1st and I am already baking my third pumpkin of the season, I have been making pumpkin puree smoothies, pumpkin butter, pumpkin puree cupcakes, pumpkin almond flour pancakes, pumpkin puree ice cream.

I typically cut my pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, place it face down on a baking pan and bake at 400 F until soft.  This year however I’m trying a different method and I am liking it much better, I am roasting a whole pumpkin without cutting it. It renders an easier to work, softer puree and it’s pretty much fool-proof.  You can bake it for a very long time and it won’t dry out. Having a 3-year-old that talks to me until I can no longer hear my own thoughts and an almost 9 month old I need fool-proof recipes.

Ingredients:

1 whole pumpkin, I prefer to use Sugar Pie Pumpkins, as they are a little bit dryer, sweeter, they have a thinner skin and are just easier to work with that the regular Cinderella or Jack-O-Lantern types. Sugar pie pumpkins are rounder and smaller (only about 8 inches in diameter)

Preparation:

  • Using a sharp knife make a couple of incisions at the top of the pumpkin.
  • Place the whole pumpkin of a baking dish.
  • Bake at 400 F for 45 to 90 minutes or until soft (Preheating isn’t really required. Time varies depending on the size of the pumpkin
  • Wait for the pumpkin to cool off a bit and cut in half
  • Scoop out the seeds and set aside.
  • Peel the pumpkin and place the flesh in a food processor.
  • Blend until the puree is smooth.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

For a longer shelf life, place 1 cup of puree in Ziploc bags and freeze

Roasted Pumpkin Seed

Ingredients:

Pumpkin seeds
Melted coconut oil
Salt, cinnamon, garlic powder, lemon juice, cayenne pepper or desired spices My favorite mix is salt, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 300 F
  • Remove the flesh and strings from the seeds
  • Spread the seeds onto a cookie sheet, forming a single layer
  • Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes turning at least once, or until all sides are golden brown (I like them a little bit on the dark brown side and I eat the entire seed, hull and all.)

Organic Herbal Breath Spray – 1-oz

Desserts · Vegetarian

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
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I know that strawberry rhubarb pie is more of a summer dish, but Lilah, my 3-year-old, checked out a book called “Pinkalicious” from the public library.  It’s about a little girl who turns pink from eating too many pink cupcakes.  Now, she keeps asking for pink and red cakes so I have been making lots of stuff with strawberries and raspberries.  She is also asking me to make her a healthy pink bubble gum… Now that is a challenge!

This was her first time trying any kind of pie and was also my first attempt at making anything with rhubarb except for adding them to smoothies. I’ve recently learned that rhubarb is one of the lowest calorie vegetables; 100 g of this vegetable has only 21 calories while being rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, K, and B complexes.

Strawberries are another nutrient dense food. Did you know that one cup of strawberries contains 136% of the RDA of vitamin C? Whenever I think of vitamin C, oranges always come to mind but never strawberries…They also have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to help whiten teeth

For the Crust


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of walnuts
1 cup of almond flour
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 egg
6 dates
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Preparation:
-Preheat oven to 350
-In a food processor blend all ingredients together, except the egg, until a flour is formed.
-Add the egg and pulse in until is well mixed
-Using your hands press this mixture onto the bottom and sides of a pie mold, forming an even layer
-Bake for 10-12 minutes

For the filling

Ingredients:
1 lb of sliced strawberries
2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
1 cup of pitted dates
4 tbsp of arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Preparation:
-Using a blender or food processor, blend dates, arrowroot powder, and 1/2 cup of strawberries until smooth.
-Transfer mixture to a bowl; mix in the rest of the ingredients.
-Pour into the pie crust and bake for 45 to 55 minutes at 350 or until the rhubarb is soft, if the top of the pie starts to look too dry, sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of orange juice on top
-Chill and serve
-Add whipped cream or  dairy-free vanilla frosting (optional)

Desserts · Vegetarian

Cardamom Roasted Figs Over Vanilla Dairy-Free Ice Cream.

Cardamom roasted figs
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For those of you who are still requesting more fig recipes, I hope you enjoy this roasted fig sauce! The cardamom really adds flavor to this dessert, but if you are not a cardamom fan feel free to omit it or replace it with cinnamon or a pinch of ground cloves

This is my very first ice cream recipe. I know it comes a little bit late since summer is already over. I am not sure why it took me so long to get an ice cream maker. This is my new favorite appliance, it is so easy to use and all I can think about is a wide variety of new ice cream recipes.

This is a very basic ice cream and I made 2 versions of it; one using canned coconut milk and one using homemade coconut milk (see recipe here http://www.edibleharmony.com/coconut-milk/).

Ingredients for the Roasted Figs:

1 lb of figs
2 tbsp of raw honey
1 tbsp of lemon
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 -2 tbsp of red wine or water
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1/8 tsp of cardamom

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Remove the stems and cut the figs in half or into wedges.
  • Combine all ingredients together in an oven-safe dish.
  • Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft (cooking times varies depending on the size of the figs).
  • Serve over vanilla ice cream or yogurt

Ingredients for the dairy-free ice cream using canned coconut milk

28 ounces of BPA free Organic canned coconut milk
Raw honey to taste (I used about ½ cup)
2 tbsp of vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Combine all the ingredients together and follow your ice cream maker instructions

Ingredients for the ice cream using homemade coconut milk

28 ounces of homemade coconut milk
Raw honey to taste
2 tbsp of vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp of arrowroot powder

Preparation:

  • Dissolve the arrowroot powder in a half a cup of coconut milk.
  • Bring the rest of the coconut milk to a boil
  • Add the dissolved arrowroot powder and continue to boil for 2-5 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Remove from heat
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients and allow mixture to cool down to room temperature
  • Pour mix into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions