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’.
I don’t know about you, but anything that resembles “casserole”, well kind of frightens this real food mama. The list of nasty ingredients that gets throw into the typical american casserole is enough to make anyone sick.
This Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake is here and you don’t have to fear nasty ingredients. Actually, it is chock full of nutrient-dense foods that will fill your family’s tummies, PLUS it is still quick and easy to make!
If you haven’t gotten into the habit of cooking up a chicken in its broth every week, do consider doing so. Once the rich broth is made, and chicken has been set aside in the fridge, your main prep for so many tasty recipes is DONE! With the stock and chicken ready in my fridge, this dish took me about 30 minutes to throw together! With only 25 minutes of bake time, dinner was ready in one quick hour. Folks, THAT is the way I need to bring dinner to the table as a busy mama. Glad to share our tasty “Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake” that is both healthful and convenient for busy families.
2 C. cooked shredded chicken
1.5 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C. romano/parmesan cheese
2 small heads of broccoli- chopped small (uncooked)
1.5 C. dried rice
1 C. chicken broth (plus more to cook rice in)
2 T butter, 1 1/2 t.real salt and pepper, 1 t. basil
- Cook rice on stove-top (preferably in 2 C. broth and salt) until still a little hard.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9X13 glass dish in oven to coat.
- Beat eggs together in large bowl, then add in the rice, cheddar cheese, broccoli, chicken, fresh parsley, and S&P.
- Pour ingredients into greased casserole dish.
- Top with romano cheese and gently pour 1/2 C. chicken broth over casserole.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Half way through cooking time pour the rest of the chicken broth to keep moist, use more if needed. Top with fresh parsley.
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
2-3 C. cooked organic white rice (left over works great here!)
1 lb. ground pastured pork sausage
1 ½ C. shredded carrots
1 C. colored chopped bell peppers (or peas)
¼ C. chopped green onions
4 eggs (S&P)
3 T coconut oil, ½ t. dried ginger (or fresh), 3 T coconut aminos, ½ of a lemon/lime juice
Garnish: sprouts, cashews and green onions
- Cook sausage (S&P) on stovetop with carrots, peppers, onions and ginger.
- Heat up coconut oil in a separate large cast iron pan until very hot, pour into cooked rice and stir while its ‘frying’ in the oil for a few minutes.
- Make a donut shape of the rice around the perimeter of the pan, add beaten eggs in the center, stiring while they are scrambling on pan.
- As soon as eggs are scrambled add meat/veggie pan to rice and combine together.
- Once off heat stir in coconut aminos and lemon juice. Garnish with toppings.
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!
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
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.
Soup….nourishing, warming, filling and oh so satisfying. Made for ages and ages in all kinds of flavors and varieties, soup is truly a timeless nutrient-dense staple in kitchens around the world. As the weather gets chilly and the family stays inside the warmth of your home,nourish and fill them up with these 14 grain-free nutrient-dense fall soups.
1. Beef and Mushroom Soup from Meatified
2. Bubis Beet Borscht from Homemade Mommy
3. Low-Carb Chicken Dijon Noodle Soup from Living Low Carb
4. Hearty Ham and Navy Bean Soup from Natural Family Today
5. Italian Sausage, Clam and Veggie Soup from Mindful Mama
6. Creamy Lobster Bisque from Mindful Mama
7. Oyster Stew from They Call Me Oyster Girl
8. Faux Pho from Fearless Eating
8. Mexican Avocado Soup from Mindful Mama
9. Potato Cheddar Broccoli Soup from Cheeseslave
10. Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup from Mary Makes Dinner
11. Roasted Carrot and Mushroom Soup from Homemade Mommy
12. Spicy Chorizo Soup from Attainable Sustainable
13. Tomato Basil Soup with fried cheese from Nourishing Herbalist
14. Tuscan Chicken Soup from Living Low Carb
Featured on Simple Lives Thursday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Homestead Barn Hope, Natural Family Friday, Foodie Friday