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’.
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
Flu season is almost here, and like always, there is urgency to PREVENT oneself from getting the flu.
Well a lot of people have ideas of the best way to do that…and I’m all for the ones that are natural, safe and have a history of working!
I got the great idea to make these from Sarah at The Winthrop Chronicles. Here is the original recipe. I wanted to try them for my kids, but I wanted to use homemade yogurt for all its benefits and elderberry for flu prevention…..There couldn’t be a more TASTY or EASY way to help prevent the flu this season!
ELDERBERRY for Flu Prevention
A versatile herb, black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has been known throughout the ages as a potent immune booster — tackling colds and influenza, heart disease and even cancer. Used for centuries as a folk remedy in North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa, modern science has begun to take notice of the exceptional healing properties of this berry. Jammed packed with organic pigments, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals, elderberry is an excellent addition to any herbal medicine chest.
YOGURT for Immune System Strengthening
Homemade yogurt is CHOCK full of beneficial bacteria that fortify the intestinal track from pathogens (viruses: flu) and toxins (among dozens of other benefits!). It offers nutrients in an easily usable form and is high in calcium, iodine, B-vitamins along with other trace minerals and vitamins. It is a great source of protein and fat, and if it’s from grass-fed cows it also offers high levels of beneficial omega-3 and CLA (anti-cancer). The fats and proteins present in yogurt are essential in building and maintaining a strong immune system, and the fat-soluble vitamins play an intricate role in immune function.
1 C. of homemade yogurt
2 T. elderberry syrup
Sweetener to taste (with honey, maple syrup or liquid stevia)
Stir ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour into a small zip-lock bag, cutting off the tinniest snip of the corner of the bag.
Squirt out small drops of yogurt onto parchment paper until yogurt is gone.
Freeze until solid.
Flip off parchment paper and store in container in freezer.
Eat quickly once out of freezer! These Anti-flu Poppers will melt if they are in warm little hands for too long!
This rich and super moist chocolate brownie cake with pumpkin and spices added gives this dessert a fun fall twist. The brownie cake will stretch to many visitors, as it easily serves 12-16 people. The ice cream is perfectly reminiscent of pumpkin pie with delicious creaminess to pair with the rich chocolate cake. Chocolate and pumpkin? Yes, I do believe this dessert proves hands down they are meant to be together!
¾ C pumpkin puree
1/3 C. coconut oil-softened
½ C. unsalted butter- softened
1 C. raw cacoa/cocao powder
2 C. almond flour
1 C. maple syrup/honey
1 t. baking soda
½ t. real salt
2 t. vanilla extract, ½ t. cinnamon, ½ t. ginger, ½ t. nutmeg
- Combine wet ingredients together in mixing bowl.
- Combine dry ingredients in bowl, and incorporate into wet ingredients in mixing bowl.
- Pour into greased 9X13 glass pan and bake on 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
2 cans of cold coconut milk
¾ C. pumpkin puree
½ C. maple syrup/honey
2 egg yolks (from pastured eggs)
Pinch of real salt
1 T. cinnamon, 2 t. vanilla extract, ½ t. nutmeg, ½ t. ginger, ¼ t. allspice
- Beat egg yolks and combine other ingredients in until smooth.
- Pour into ice cream maker and process according to instructions (mine takes about 20 minutes).
- Eat immediately over warm brownies or freeze for a couple of hours to allow ice cream to become harder.
Kids LOVE gummi candies….and I wonder why….they are a straight source of sugar right into their fragile bodies. Keeping my kids away from refined sugars, and limiting their natural sugar intake as well, I’ve found these gummi’s sweetened with stevia (naturally sweet herb) are a fun treat for them. I first got the idea to make jello with coconut milk from this recipe. Then that idea evolved into these sweet little orange gummis!
Since stevia is not a sugar in any way, it does not affect their blood sugar, which means it doesn’t lead to mood fluctuations either! Yay!! Their moods change ENOUGH, without the influence of wacky blood sugar, right?! You can use these cute little ice cube molds to make the orange slices, or if you want to make them in a jiffy you can simply pour the prepared gummi liquid into a medium size glass pan and proceed to let them harden in the fridge. Slice them in small gummi squares once hardened. You will get A LOT from this one recipe as it makes a large amount. I avoid recipes with small yield, as we just fly through stuff way too quick at this point in the game!! Enjoy these fun gummi candies for Halloween, summer parties or an ‘afternoon-I-want-something-special’ snack.
1 T. vanilla extract
½ t. natural orange flavor
Pinch real salt
1 ½ t. liquid stevia (every brand varies in sweetness, so add this ‘to taste’)
8 T. grassfed gelatin
1 can coconut milk
1 ½ C. water
Natural orange food coloring to desired color
orange ice cube tray molds
- Heat water and coconut milk over low heat until simmering.
- Continue on low heat, slowly adding in each tablespoon of gelatin, whisking the entire time.
- Add remaining ingredients and whisk until any clumps of gelatin are gone.
- Pour into molds, and pour remaining liquid into 8X8 glass pan.
- Put in fridge until solid. Gummis should pop out easily once hardened.
*You could replace the water with freshly squeezed orange juice and omit the natural food color.
Orange Gummi Squares
Here we have your very own grain-free cake pop, caramel-apple-style. Caramel apple ‘cake’ pops are quick, delicious, and a super fun fall treat for kids to enjoy, without all the garbage. You would never believe this incredible, maple-rich caramel could possibly be healthy….oh but it is. Enjoy giving these treats out this fall, without guilt or hours in the kitchen….
BEWARE: there may be sticky fingers.
3 large apples, peeled (softer apples work better)
½ C. real maple syrup
6 T. unsalted butter
2 t. real vanilla extract
1 T. water
2 T. coconut flour
¼ t. real salt
Topping ideas: finely chopped pecans, shredded coconut, freeze-dried fruit, chocolate nibs
- With a melon scooper, firmly scoop out apple balls, making them as round as possible.
- Stick cake pop stick into mini apples. Roll in coconut flour. Set aside.
- Add maple syrup, water and salt to pan on stove top over medium heat. Once simmering, turn to low heat for 5 minutes. Stirring frequently.
- Add butter and cook for 7 more minutes on low, stirring frequently. Add vanilla extract. (caramel should be nice and thick now)
- Quickly pour melted caramel into glass cup and gently dip apple pops into bowl of caramel. (Work quick before the caramel begins to harden, if it does simply reheat until thin enough to dip in).
- Roll in toppings, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let harden. Enjoy!
Wow, do I ever love fall!! Living in South Carolina for the past 6 years, and now being in upstate NY, I can REALLY embrace the beautiful rolling hills bursting with vibrant fall colors! It truly just takes my breath away. I also LOVE pumpkin desserts! They are such an important part of fall really feeling like ‘fall’. This month marks 1 year that my family has been eating grain-free (GAPS diet), and I thought it was time for a new pumpkin dessert. Here is what my little dessert-obsessed mind came up with, and my family is very pleased with the result. It is a refined sugar-free, dairy free and grain free delicious dessert. This is GAPS-friendly, paleo/primal/vegan and just good old whole food-diet friendly! The maple syrup and spices really pair well with the pumpkin, and the added chocolate swirl tops it off to be one of this seasons favorite pumpkin desserts!
1 C. nuts, combo of 1/3 C almonds and 2/3 C pecans (or all of either)
1/2 C. raisins
1/2 C. shredded coconut
pinch of real salt
1 C. raw cashews– soaked for 3 hours and drained
1/3 C. pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
1/2 C. coconut oil
1/3 C. coconut butter (OR 1/2 C. extra of cashews)
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. real vanilla extract
1/3 C. maple syrup + 2 T
2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1/4 t. ginger, 1/4 t. real salt
2 T. coconut oil
2 T. raw cacoa
1 T. maple syrup
pinch of real salt
- In your food processor, combine crust ingredients until fine and crumbly. Press into greased square pan to make about 1/4 inch thickness. Freeze to harden.
- Next, put all of the filling ingredients into food processor to make a very smooth creamy filling (let process for 5 minutes). Pour onto crust and spread out evenly.
- Mix topping ingredients together to form chocolate shell, melting together if coconut oil is solid. Gently pour liquid chocolate drizzle around bars in an uneven manner. Take a toothpick to spread chocolate around making swirly patterns as possible.
- Put in freezer for a couple of hours to harden throughout. Cut into bars and serve frozen.
*Honey can replace the maple syrup.