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)
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.
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
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!
Ice cream is the beloved summer dessert of all, and homemade ice cream really brings it to a whole other level. Making cultured cream is a simple process, that creates a deliciously creamy probiotic dairy product that is virtually lactose-free. Culturing dairy is often a helpful way for people with dairy problems to digest it better. Freshly-picked plump summer cherries from the NY finger-lakes region makes this treat local, full of antioxidants and delicious!
1 C fresh/frozen cherries-chopped
1/2 C walnuts-chopped
3 C cultured cream/ or regular cream (divided)
1/2 C real maple syrup/honey
1 vanilla bean
1. Scrape vanilla beans from pod, cut pod into 4 pieces, putting beans and pod into small pan.
2. Add ½ C cream to the pan and bring to a simmer, mixing thoroughly.
3. Remove from heat and let steep for 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove vanilla pods, squeeze them into mixture and discard.
5. Put mixture into freezer for ½ hour to cool.
6. In a bowl stir together remaining cream, maple syrup and vanilla mixture.
7. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. My cuisinart takes about 20 minutes.
Spoon into a storage container and add the cherries and walnuts. Enjoy or freeze for firmer consistency.
I just tried a new recipe I found on ‘Keeper of the Home’ (GREAT blog!) and tweaked it to make it a lower-sugar version (since we are trying to lessen the amount of even whole-food sweeteners we’re eating) with a little different fruit. It turned out fabulous and I wanted to share it with you.
4 C whole-fat plain yogurt
¼ C maple syrup
2-3 servings of liquid stevia
1-2 mashed very ripe bananas
1 C blueberries, 1 C raspberries
- Stir together yogurt and sweeteners in medium bowl.
- Add to frozen ice cream maker bowl and turn on.
- Mash banana with fork in small bowl and add to ice cream maker.
- Chop fruit coarsely and add to ice cream maker.
- Process according to instructions, my cuisinart ice cream maker takes about 20 minutes.
This is a tasty snack or dessert you can make in 5-10 minutes- AND it has chocolate in it! What could be better than that? It is nutrient-dense, filling, delicious and has no added sugar. Whip this up for a friend, hubby, or just yourself…and use the extra to put into your popsicle molds for the kids!
Makes 3 large shakes
6 ice cubes
1 C plain yogurt
1 C frozen raspberries
1 C frozen strawberries
2 medium frozen bananas
1 ounce of chocolate baking squares
2 T coconut milk
Serving of stevia
½ C water
2 pastured egg yolks (optional)
- Boil water in small pot with bowl over it, adding chocolate and coconut milk to the bowl to melt it.
- Blend melted chocolate and the rest of the ingredients in blender until smooth. Enjoy!
(This is very creamy, if you want to omit either the egg yolks or the fruit being frozen, you could and it would still be perfectly creamy!)
Here is a “16 Summer Snack Round-Up” of some fantastic summer treat ideas! Thanks to the great bloggers who have crafted such yummy recipes to share with us. They are all grain-free, refined sugar free, lactose free and perfectly delicious! These recipes are GAPS/Paleo/Primal/WAPF friendly. Most importantly for us all is that they are all made with whole food ingredients and are full of nutrients and goodness! So be sure to relax and have fun this summer, but don’t under-prioritize what you put in your mouth- reward your bodies with some of these summer snacks!
1. FUDGE PUDDING POPSICLES from Mommypotamus
2. PERFECT SUMMER SALSA from RE-THINK SIMPLE
3. SUNFLOWER SESAME SEED CRACKERS
from Health Home Happiness
4. EASY PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LIMEADE from Mindful Mama
5. COCONUT FRUIT TRUFFLES from Mindful Mama
6. ELDERBERRY GUMMIES from Naturally Mindful
7. FERMENTED ORANGE JELLO from Oh Lardy!
8. CHOCOLATE COVERED BANANAS from My Cultured Palate
9. BUFFALO CHICKEN WING DIP from Mindful Mama
10. ORANGE CREAM CUPCAKES from Primally Inspired
11. CHEWY BANANA COOKIES from Mindful Mama
12. CRUNCHY CARROT SALAD from Mindful Mama
13. MINT CHOCOLATE CHUNK ICE CREAM from Mindful Mama
14. ZESTY LEMON COCONUT BALLS from Jule’s Fuel
15. CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY BITES
from A Joyful Mother
16. PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED AVOCADO from Ancestral Nutrition
There you have it! 16 Summer Snacks that are SUPER-healthy, and SUPER delicious. Be encouraged during the craziness of summer events, that with a little effort and planning you and your families can enjoy some really great summer snacks without sacrificing your health. I hope you enjoy these new recipe ideas!
♥ Mindful Mama
Shared with Well-fed Wednesday (The Well Fed Homestead blog)