Have you become acquainted with cassava yet? Well….I think it’s time. This incredible root, with way too many names (tapioca, manioc, yucca and CASSAVA) brings an amazing texture to the palate, and is quite nutritious too! Full of fiber, complex carbohydrates and vitamin C, cassava is a healthy whole food! Pairing carbohydrates with healthy fats like in this recipe- makes cassava cake a ‘balanced treat’, that will have less of an impact on blood sugar that simply sugary treats without fats.
Cassava is native to tropical climates like South America and South Asia. While picking up the frozen cassava at my local Asian food store, I ran into a Filipino women who told me that cassava cake is a “Filipino delicacy”, she was excited I knew about it, and how to make it. Now I will pass on this special treat to you. I learned it from a good friend of mine who is Chinese-American years ago, and we instantly fell in love with it. I have adapted it a bit to make it Paleo-friendly, and allow for a dairy free option.
The best part of this dessert, besides it being grain, dairy, soy, and nut free is, IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE!! This is my kind of cake folks. Easy-peasy. One bowl, one baking dish….and you’re done! The only downside is waiting for it to finish baking, because you won’t be able to handle how A-MAZING your house will smell!! Words can not describe the amazing texture of this cake- you just have to try it to experience its wonder!
2 packages shredded cassava (16 ounces each), thawed (can find at Asian food store)
1 C. coconut sugar (1.1/4 C if you’re really a sweet tooth)
1 can coconut milk (full-fat)
5 T. melted butter (or coconut oil works great for DF option)
1/4 t. real salt
1.5 t. real vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a 8X13 glass pan.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve with fresh fruit for an unbelievably tasty treat!
Lolli-pops, candies and treats seem impossible to avoid as a parent trying to feed your children health-giving foods– apparently that cute little face just screams “give me a lolli-pop!” to others. Well avoiding refined sugars as much as possible is an important strategy in supporting immune, musculoskeletal, hormone and overall health in our kids (as well as ourselves!). These stand in lolli-pops are a better alternative to high fructose corn syrup-laden-nasty-dye candy. Wrap them each individually in colored cellophane and you’ll be really impressive!
– Bag of dried mission figs
– 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (can use the allergen-free time like this brand )
– candy sticks (can get these from craft stores
Melt chocolate chips- Heat water in small sauce pan with a oven-safe bowl over it. Put chocolate chips in the bowl, the hot water underneath will gently melt chocolate chips without burning them.
Pull off stem of fig and push small stick half-way into fig.
Dip fig into melted chocolate to cover. Dry on parchment paper.
You’ll be amazed how tasty these chocolate covered figs are! Enjoy!
I love to create treats that are just as tasty- but much more healthy than the typical dessert. It is really fun. And fun to eat I might add. These little guys are super satisfying, and the mint addition makes them uniquely enjoyable. They are no-bake, raw, dairy and grain free.
- Combine all ingredients for brownie bites in food processor until a wet dough forms. (If it’s too wet, add more flour. Too dry, more coconut oil.)
- Roll into little 1 inch balls, freeze on plate to harden.
- Warm coconut oil just enough to melt it, adding in other chocolate coating ingredients until well combined.
- Dip cold brownie bites into chocolate drizzle, covering the entire ball.
- Place on parchment paper and re-freeze until hardened. Dip again to make a thick layer of chocolate. Store in fridge/freezer.
*For a quicker (less healthy option) you can melt store-bought chocolate chips and use that as your chocolate coating. This is the brand of chocolate chips we use.
1/2 tsp- 1 tsp mint extract
25 drops liquid stevia (1/4 C. maple syrup)
Pinch real salt
1 1/2 C. coconut milk (canned or homemade)
1 1/4 C. filtered water
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean (sliced and beans scraped out)
5 T. grass fed gelatin
Optional: Add a handful of chocolate chips for an extra special treat if you’re not concerned with keeping this low carb.
- Heat water, coconut milk and other ingredients (except for gelatin) in small pot until it begins to boil. Reduce to simmer.
- Whisk gelatin in briskly to liquid mixture and stir regularly until gelatin has dissolved (5-10 minutes).
- Poor into medium sized glass container and place in fridge to firm up for 3-4 hours. Keep in glass container and cut into squares. Store in fridge.
Who doesn’t love turtle? And turtle cheesecake is a whole other level of delight. This grain-free, refined sugar-free ‘Turtle Cheesecake Squares‘ are absolutely decadent. There are three steps to making them, but all it requires is a food processor and you’re golden. No turning that oven on for these. If you have never enjoyed the absolute silkiness of cashews as a ‘cream cheese’, here is your chance to be blown away. This dessert will wow any guest you entertain, little and big mouths alike.
This complete recipe was shared on Primally Inspired.
Turtle Cheesecake Squares
- 1/2 C. dates
- 1/4 C. unsweetened coconut
- 2/3 C. pecans (or any combo almonds/pecan/walnut)
- 1 T. coconut oil
- pinch salt
- 1 3/4 C. raw cashews (soaked first in water for 4 hours, drained)
- 1/3 C. coconut oil
- 1/3 C. raw cacoa/cocoa
- 1/3 C. + 2 T. maple syrup/honey
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 1/4 t. real salt
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 T. butter/ghee
- 2 T. maple syrup/honey
- 1 C. chopped pecans
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/4 t. real salt
- Combine all crust ingredient in food processor until fine crumbles.
- Brush tart pan (I used a 4x14 rectangle) with coconut oil and press crumble into pan evenly. Stick in freezer to harden.
- Put drained cashews with all other filling ingredients in food processor, mixing until very smooth.
- Heat topping ingredients on low on stovetop until bubbling and thickened (few minutes), stirring continually.
- Assemble by pouring filling into frozen crust and spreading caramel nuts over the top. Push nuts down gently into filling. Freeze for 3-4 hours until firm and ready. Enjoy! (Keep in freezer until serving)
Makes 8-10 candy bars, or dozens of chocolate squares
3/4 C. canned coconut milk
3/4 C. coconut oil
1/2 . raw cacoa powder (best to use raw here since these aren’t cooked)
1/2 C. coconut manna (or more coconut oil)
1/2 C. coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
1/4 C. maple syrup + splash of stevia to taste (or more maple syrup)
1 T. vanilla extract, 1/2 t. real salt
1/4 C. raisins/cherries, 1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional- but delicious- for chewy-crunchy factor)
- Gently melt coconut oil, manna and milk together over stove-top until liquid.
- Stir in other ingredients well and pour into small rectangular glass dish (or square dish). Top with additional coconut flakes.
- Freeze for 30 minutes until hardened. Once firm enough, cut into chocolate bars. Serve cold from the fridge. Can cut into small squares or ‘candy bars’.
If you have been around my site for anytime now you may notice that I have this strange compulsion to turn every recipe Italian. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood (well, 50% of my blood.) If I could eat foods with an Italian flare for the rest of my life, I would be a happy girl. I suppose I would miss Asian flavors, and Indian…then there’s Mexican cuisine…well nevermind, I don’t want to eat only Italian food, but the point is—Italian food contains some of the best flavor combinations ON EARTH. Tomatoes and basil? Are you kidding me. Garlic and juicy meat? Unbelievable.
Here, in my great love and tribute to incredible Italian flavor, is a chili makeover you won’t want to pass up. I was inspired by this recipe from The Freckled Foodie. This is a GAPS-friendly chili and Paleo if you omit the beans (which it really doesn’t need).
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
10-12 cups of crushed tomatoes
2 bell peppers (red and green)- chopped
1 onion- chopped
2 T. bacon fat
1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes
1.5 C soaked/cooked white beans (optional)
4 garlic cloves- minced
1 t.oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 t. basil, 1 t. thyme, dash cayenne pepper
3 T. fresh parsley
(opitional 1/2 c. broth for thinner chili)
- Brown pork and beef together in pan. Set aside.
- Saute garlic and onions in bacon fat in large pot until fragrant.
- Add in all of the ingredients and simmer on low for 2 hours. until fabulously delicious.
- Top with fresh parsley/basil and fresh parmesan.
2 pork chops- cooked and chopped into small pieces
2-3 C. homemade chicken/fish stock
1 lb. wide rice noodles ( I used this brand)
1 bunch of bok choy
1 inch knob fresh ginger- minced
5 green onions-minced
1 T. pork fat
1 juiced lime
coconut aminos/fermented soy sauce
real salt & pepper
- Soak rice noodles in really hot water for 20 minutes.
- Saute pork fat, ginger and green onions in large pan, adding 1 cup of stock to simmer.
- Add rice noodles and bok choy to simmer in liquid until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. S&P.
- Add more liquid as needed as the noodles will absorb it, creating a thick sauce.
- Take off heat and toss with coconut aminos, lime juice and sesame seeds.
In this very toxic world, we all desperately need assistance with our detoxification pathways.. Medication, pollution, dirty meat, pesticides, unclean water, chemical foods, stress….in this modern society, even when living a more ‘natural lifestyle’, the list of daily toxins goes on and on and on and on and on……
Avoiding these toxins is the first line of defense, if they aren’t in your body, you don’t have to detox them!! While avoidance of all toxins is literally not possible, the second very important line of defense is supporting the detoxification pathways in your body through good food.
REAL FOOD is a great source of detox support! This smoothie is JAM-packed with nutrient-dense foods that aid the detox processes in the body. Kids will enjoy the tasty flavors and bright purple color of this detox-smoothie recipe!
1 C frozen blueberries
1 C. homemade yogurt (or coconut milk for dairy free)
1 C. packed spinach
1 inch knob fresh ginger (take skin off)
1/2 C. fresh pineapple
1 banana (frozen is best)
2 pastured egg yolks (optional)
1/2 lemon’s juice
splash water, stevia, vanilla extract
dash cinnamon, nutmeg
- Throw all ingredients into good quality blender (I use this one).
- Blend until completely smooth. Serve cold or freeze in individual cups for future breakfast meals.
The popularity of fermented/cultured foods have made their way back to the spotlight for many modern families eating real-food nutrient dense diets. The health benefits of fermented foods are well documented, and many modern people are missing out greatly from their vast benefits. Fermented foods are teeming with probiotics (healthy bacteria), contain detoxifing agents, aid in digestion, and multiply the amount of nutrients in various foods. (Here is an article on probiotics and how lots of details on how to make a variety of kinds!)
You can take a oral probiotic to receive some of these benefits, but food sources of probiotics far surpass the amounts found in supplements and the freshness only available through food.
Fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and fermented veggies (such as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi) should ideally be eaten on a daily basis.
Now when life is going *as planned* this is not a difficult thing to accomplish, but as we ALL know life gets crazy sometimes and the demands of a real-food kitchen can catch up to you quickly! Here is a way I have found to continue getting cultured veggies into our diet, while cutting a few steps. What you are doing here is simply buying a jar of REAL cultured pickles (this will NOT work for plain store-bought pickles) from a local health food store or online…. eating the pickles and when you are done using the jar and liquid left in it to RE-DO another batch of cultured pickles. Hows that great bang-for-your-buck!? They are tasty and a quick thing you can do to provide your family’s bodies with a really vital health food.
5 baby cucumbers- sliced into rounds
1 T. liquid whey (optional, if you don’t use add 1 more tsp of salt)
1 t. real salt
dill- dried or fresh
Finished bottle of store-bought cultured pickles (like these ones)
After you finish your jar of store-bought cultured pickles, DON’T EMPTY the juices!
1. Slice your cucumbers and put them in the jar/juices.
2. Add liquid whey and salt and a little extra dill to top it off.
3. Leave on counter for 2-3 days until it tastes like a dill pickle. Don’t wait too long because they will get too soft.
Overwhelmed by your kitchen duties? Read here for some helpful tips!
Are you familiar with the magical powers of cashews?
O, you’re not? Let me introduce you to your new best friend.
Raw cashews have a SERIOUS CREAMINESS factor going on.
Since creating my new favorite desserts, Turtle Cheesecake and Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Cheesecake, I have become amazed with the unique ability of these little suckers.
I wanted to take this obsession a little further and make hot cacoa with cashews. After reviewing several recipes I have adapted this one here from ‘The Gentle Chef’ site, and I think I have my masterpiece.
On top of the marvelous drink that comes from just one cup of cashews, you can whip up this super yummy cashew cookies recipe with the leftover cashew pulp!
THAT is way too exciting for this frugal, real-food-loving kinda mama.
Make the cashew milk hot cacoa first, then use the pulp for the cookie recipe below.
Two tasty treats for the price of one!
Sounds like my kind of winter delight!
Hot Cacoa: (makes 1 quart)
1 C. raw cashews
4 C. filtered water
¼ C. raw cacoa powder (more if you want really dark hot cacoa)
¼ C. maple syrup/honey (adjust for your biggest sweet tooth)
2 t. real vanilla extract
½ t. real salt
- Soak raw cashews in warm water for 6-8 hours.
- Rinse cashews and put in blender with 4 cups of new water.
- Blend for 3 minutes on high.
- Strain milk through a nut bag or cheese cloth, squeezing pulp dry and catching milk in bowl below.
- Set aside cashew pulp for cookie recipe below.
- Add remaining hot cacoa ingredients to blender, mix well. (Can store in fridge for a couple of days )
- To drink warm, simply place in pan on stovetop, heating on low for just a few minutes. If it’s too hot for your finger to touch, it is not longer ‘raw’. Enjoy with cashew cookie recipe below!
1 C. cashew pulp (leftover from cashew milk recipe above)
1 C. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ripe banana
2 T real maple syrup
3 T golden raisins (optional)
1/4 t. baking soda, ½ t. real salt, 1 t. real vanilla extract
- Combine ingredients in food processor until well combined. Stir in raisins.
- Form small-medium drop cookies on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
- Bake for approx 20 minutes in 325 degree oven, until firming and browning. (Decrease heat to 300 degrees if they brown too quickly).
- Let cool. Makes 12 medium delicious cookies.
I don’t know about you but I can’t stand making grain-free cookie recipes that yield 8-12 cookies….c’mon! If i’m going to go through the process of making homemade cookies, i’d like them to last more than 30 minutes please.
This batch will yield a lot (3 dozen medium cookies), and they are dense, chocolaty and satisfying! LOADED of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates—-THIS is the way to eat a treat folks.
1 C. coconut flour
1/2 C. raw cacoa
3/4 C. real maple syrup/honey
6 T. butter/coconut oil- melted
1/2 C. cashew/almond butter
1/2 t. real salt, 1 t. baking soda (aluminum free), 1/2 T. vanilla extract
3/4 C. chopped hazelnuts (properly prepared)
3/4 C. raisins/currants/cherries
1/2 C. large coconut shreds
1. Beat ingredients together (except nuts, raisins and coconut shreds) in electric mixer.
2. Stir in the chunk factor ingredients listed in #1. Let mixture sit on counter for 5-10 minutes.
3. Grease cookie sheets with coconut oil and drop cookie dough onto sheets in drop-cookie style.
4. Bake on 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes until still soft but no longer wet. Cool to harden.
Shared on Natural Family Friday, Holistic Squid
This is a dairy-free, very healthy version of the beloved ‘mint-chocolate-chip’ ice cream flavor. And ‘FLAVOR’ is all that was! Take a peek at the ingredient list next time on your favorite version of mint-chocolate-chip…not much real mint or real chocolate…and a whole lot of other nasties they add in to make it ‘taste good’! I created this into an ice-cream cake for my daughters 4th birthday, inspired by Kelley at The Nourishing Home.
RECIPE- Ice Cream:
2 cans full fat coconut milk (chilled in fridge beforehand)
1/4 C raw honey & 1/4 C maple syrup (1/2 C sweetener total)
4 pastured egg yolks*
1 t real vanilla extract
1.5 real peppermint extract
chocolate chunks/shavings/chips (I use a variation of homemade chocolate like this recipe)
- Blend all ingredients, besides chocolate, in blender until smooth.
- Pour into frozen ice cream maker and process according to instructions (mine takes about 20 minutes).
- After processing, stir in chocolate, and place in freezer until formed to consistency desired.
RECIPE- Brownie: (adapted this recipe from Grain-Free Foodie)
1 C honey OR maple syrup
1/2 C butter
2/3 C coconut oil
1 1/2 T vanilla
2 C almond flour
Just under 1 C cocoa
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t real salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Beat butter and honey together in mixer, then add the rest of the wet ingredients.
- Incorporate dry ingredients into mixing bowl.
- Pour into greased 9X13 glass pan. Bake for 20 minutes (gooey)-25 minutes (cakey) depending on how you like your brownies.
- (If making ice-cream cake; cool brownies in pan, then in freezer until it’s a harder surface. Then add frozen ice cream to the top of the brownies. Smooth out ice cream to a nice layer on the brownies. Freeze again together until firm. Take out 10 minutes before serving to soften enough to cut ‘ice cream cake pieces’!
– We buy eggs from very healthy pastured chickens and feel completely comfortable eating them raw, you could omit the egg yolks, but the ice cream will not be quite as creamy.
-Depending on how hot it is out, and how your ice cream maker works, the ice cream could be thick enough straight from the maker, otherwise we usually eat it a couple hours after it has been in the freezer and has firmed up more.
-If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could put this in a shallow 9X13 pyrex and freeze 3-4 hours until ice cream consistency.
-If you really want this green like the conventional recipe, you could throw a handful or 2 of raw spinach/avocado into the blender. You shouldn’t be able to taste it, while getting the famous green flavor- naturally!