WATERMELON + LIME POPSICLES

Watermelon Popsickles

July is National Watermelon Month and I have been wanting to make these for a while, so this is an opportune time for a nice, juicy popsicle! I had a sweet, ripe watermelon and wanted to add a little zing to it, so I added a fresh lime. You could also add a couple drops of lime essential oil to really bring out the lime flavor!

Watermelon doesn’t just taste good, it also has some great health benefits! This delicious fruit contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. It’s about 92 percent water, so it is a great way to stay hydrated. Watermelon also contains Vitamins A, B6 and C, magnesium and potassium. The lime helps digestion, blood sugar levels, constipation and even heart disease!

This was an easy treat to make so you shouldn’t spend too much time in the kitchen. And it’s kid-approved so it makes a great healthful treat.

Ingredients:

4 cups of ripe watermelon

1 lime

Dash of sea salt

2 drops of lime essential oil (optional)

Preparation:

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and puree. Pour into the popsicle containers and freeze overnight. Enjoy this cool, refreshing treat the next day!

 

MOIST + DELICIOUS APPLE CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I wanted to make a special coffee cake to compliment the great coffee with an event I was hosting. I had an Open House to display my different gift ideas with essential oils. I love creating a cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere in my home for guests. What better way than to brew some fresh coffee and bake something in the oven.

The coffee is from Restore Coffee Roasters, my church’s coffee shop in the mall. You can find them here. Our coffee shop was created to help fund and support many organizations through our church. And I may be a bit biased, but I think our coffee is better than Starbuck’s 🙂

This cake turned out fantastic! It was moist and delicious! The cinnamon and sweetness was juuuuust right! I will be keeping this recipe as one of my go-to dessert or breakfast cakes. I can’t take full credit for this recipe. It was adapted from the recipe from WellPlated by Erin. You can find the original recipe here. I used gluten-free flour and substituted the buttermilk with full-fat canned coconut milk, the sugar with pure maple syrup and coconut sugar, added pure cinnamon essential oil to add some depth to the flavor and nixed the sugar glaze. This cake was sweet enough without the glaze.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose baking flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 Tbs. grass-fed butter, softened (I love Kerry’s)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 drops pure cinnamon essential oil* (I only recommend a certain brand for consumption)

1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk

2 organic red delicious apples, peeled and diced

For the topping:

3/4 cup organic old fashioned rolled oats (not instant!)

1/3 cup of organic coconut palm sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbs grass-fed butter

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I used a nonstick pie pan from LeCreuset. Grease your pie pan if it isn’t non-stick. You can also use a spring form pan. Grease it then line it parchment paper and grease it again.

Prepare the cake: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sea salt, baking soda, all spice and nutmeg.

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, cream together the maple syrup and butter. I used an electric hand mixer to give it a more fluffy consistency, since I didn’t use sugar. Stir in the cinnamon essential oil then add the egg and vanilla, mix well. (Note: drop the cinnamon onto a stainless steel spoon before adding, to avoid too many drops in your mixture.)

I followed Erin’s instructions in blending the dry and wet ingredients. I figured there must be a science to it, so why mess with perfection? Take a 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and add to the butter mixture and blend well. Next, add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of coconut milk and blend again. Add the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the mixture.

Stir in the apples and mix well. Pour into the pie or cake pan.

Prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, salt and chopped nuts. Mix in melted butter. Sprinkle over the cake. Bake for about 40 minutes. Cake is down when it is lightly brown and a knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Take out and let cool for about 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen before cutting.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE BLISS!

20150626_105019

My little man is under the weather today, so I wanted to make him a yummy, nutrition-packed breakfast. Chocolate is a superfood in our home. Not the processed candy bar in the check out chocolate, but pure cacao. Cacao contains antioxidants and flavanols. Antioxidants help our body fight against free radical damage and flavanols are beneficial phytonutrients, linked to helping support circulation. I also added hemp and chia seed for protein and banana and avocado for pure creaminess! Enjoy this decadent smoothie for breakfast or even dessert. We did!

Ingredients

1 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut water

1 small frozen banana

1/2 avocado

3 tbs. raw honey

2 tbs. cacao powder

2 tbs. organic peanut butter

2 tbs. chia seeds

1 tbs. hemp protein powder

1 tbs. cacao nibs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Ice (about 10 cubes)

Preparation:

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender, except for the cacao nibs. I add frozen ingredients last for better blending. Blend until smooth and creamy. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top. Makes 2 nice size servings!

BANANA CHERRY WITH A BING! ICE CREAM

Banana Cherry Icecream 2

Our family loves ice cream. It’s a food we crave, but we don’t keep it in the house for fear of a late night binge. How often do you walk down the ice cream aisle and think, “How about a treat for my family? They would be soooo excited if I came home with this!” And then your conscience starts the familiar conversation about how ice cream is not a healthful food choice but you are trying desperately to justify this purchase. And if it’s on sale, then this conversation could last a little longer.

To save money, calories, and endless conversations with myself as I go shopping, I created a quick and clean eating version of banana cherry ice cream. You can add different things to this recipe such as peaches, blue berries, strawberries, or even cacao to make a yummy chocolate version. You can add chopped nuts as a topping to give it more texture. Have your kids help you make this recipe. They may have some great suggestions on what to add to this family friendly dessert.

Ingredients:

4 frozen ripe bananas

1 cup of frozen organic cherries (I got mine from Costco)

4 ounces of coconut milk

Preparation:

Add the milk, bananas and cherries into a high-powered blender in this order. I use a Blendtec. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may want to try a food processor. Mix until it forms a thick, smooth consistency. I had to run my blender about 4 times on the ice cream cycle and stir up the mixture in between cycles. Don’t be quick to add a liquid to get it to mix. This will turn it into a milk shake or smoothie! You can freeze it for about 30 minutes to give it a more firm texture. My family couldn’t wait that long 🙂

Banana Cherry Ice Cream Blended

Gluten-Free Apple Pie Crisp

Gluten-Free Apple Pie Crisp

Ahhhh, the smell of the holidays are in the air. This is my favorite time of year when family and friends come together more often. We slow down to spend time with our loved ones and really think about why we are thankful. Why don’t we do that more often? Why does it have to be a holiday to really focus on gratitude? Maybe that will be something I will focus on in the coming new year.

So I will start with you. I am so thankful for my readers and new friends I have made through blogging and sharing with like-minded people, who want to make a difference in other family’s lives. It is such a privilege being a little part of your world through my nutrition blog. And for that time in your life, I am grateful. I pray that you have a blessed  holiday full of love and joy. And for anyone who finding it harder this time of year due to the loss of a loved one or other challenges, I am praying for you and know that God loves you and may He comfort you in your time of need.

To contribute to my family’s Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, I am making desserts. So, if you haven’t found that apple pie recipe to really hit the spot for tomorrow, check out my gluten-free apple pie crisp. I wanted to keep it gluten-free so I used a gluten-free pie crust mix by Moon Rabbit Foods. I must say, it tastes pretty good for a mix in a bag!

Ingredients:

Filling:

7 Jonagold organic apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)

Juice of 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed

1 1/2 tsp. of apple pie spice

1 Tbs. arrowroot powder

2 Tbs. raw honey

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup almond meal

1/4 cup coconut butter

2 Tbs. raw honey

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Pie Crust:

Moon Rabbit Foods pie crust mix

4 ounces of organic butter, cut into small cubes

3 tbs. cold water

Preparations:

Prepare pie crust as directed and place in fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Core, peel and slice the apples and place in a large bowl, add lemon juice, spice, arrowroot powder, honey and vanilla. Mix well and set aside.

In a small bowl, add the topping ingredients in the order listed above. Mix well with a pastry blender until it looks like crumbly.

Take out pie crust and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper. You will thank me later 🙂 Place in your pie pan, then add apple mix and sprinkle crumble over the top.

Cover lightly with tin foil and bake on 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake for 45 minutes. for about the last 15 minutes of the baking time, remove the tin foil so the top can brown.

Bon Appetite!

I would love to hear what favorite Thanksgiving recipes you share with your friends and family!

Harvest Apple Butter

Harvest Apple Butter

Every year in the fall, my heart pines for the crisp cool breeze, the beautiful and vibrant colors of fall leaves, and the smell of sweet cinnamon spiced comfort foods. Since I live in South Florida, for now I can only get the comfort foods. So to celebrate our version of fall, my son and I whipped up some delicious, clean-eating harvest apple butter! We had so much fun mixing up the ingredients and savored the fragrant smell of apples and cinnamon in the air. So we hope this brings a little genuine “fall” into your home.

Harvest Apple Butter

6 organic honey crisp or gala apples

2 organic Bartlett pears

1/2 cup of filtered water

1 Tbs. of pure maple syrup

1 Tbs. of coconut butter (also called manna)

1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. of freshly grated ginger

Preparation:

Peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks. Peel and cut the pears into small chunks. Add fruit, water, cinnamon, and ginger to a medium sauce pan and cook on medium-high heat for about 1 hour. Stir mixture several times during this simmer process so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add syrup and coconut butter, mix well and let cook another 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and mash up the fruit with a wooden spoon. If you desire a smoother consistency, you can blend in a food processor or blender. We preferred our recipe chunky.

You can eat this like apple sauce (like we did), or use it on pancakes or waffles for a clean-eating meal, with yogurt or even some homemade ice cream. Oh it really is so yummy!

Bon appetite!

Harvest Apple Butter 2