coconut mango snow cones (in preparation for summer!)

2 May

saturday the weather was warm. okay, hot and we were all getting grouchy because that kind of weather takes some getting used to. anyway around 3 o’clock i decided that we all needed a nice cool snack. i had been tossing this one around my head for a few weeks and was ready to try it out.

coconut mango snowcone

frozen coconut water, i used approximately two ice cube trays for the four of us. i prefer to crack my own young coconuts which i buy at the asian market in a case of 12.
2 or 3 ripe ataulfo mangoes, i’m sure any kind would work
3-4 tbs coconut sugar
water, as needed to thin mango puree

blend the mango and coconut sugar in food processor until a smooth puree. add water if it needs to be thinner. i think i added approximately 2 tbs of water.

you can put the coconut water cubes into a blender to crush or do as i did and crush it in a plastic bag with a heavy object. it wasn’t as fine as shaved ice but it did the trick.

put ice in bowls and top with sauce. enjoy

popped amaranth

18 Apr


this is a great substitute for store bought cold cereal. when i first tried popping amaranth i failed miserably but i kept trying and now it’s one of my favorite things to make for breakfast. some helpful hints i can share are: use a small stainless steal sauce pan, have a lid handy, only pop a small amount at a time, preheat your pan slowly for several minutes. a sauce pan works best because of the high sides i use a glass lid which helps to see what’s going on. if you crowd the pan not all the grains will pop. a little patience and you’ll have a delicious breakfast waiting for you in the morning.

popped cocoa amaranth

1 cup amaranth this will serve 4 people with leftovers to make a snack with.
1/4 cup cocoa powder – more or less to taste i never measure
pinch of salt

to pop the amaranth heat your pan slowly to a medium high heat. i usually turn it on and wait 10 minutes. pop 1/2 TBS to 1 TBS at a time. once the amaranth is in the pan cover and count to 5 or just listen for the popping to slow down. give it a shake and dump into a bowl. repeat until all amaranth is popped. *i usually burn the first batch, just dump it in the trash and keep going. when all amaranth is popped mix well with other ingredients and cover until breakfast. i usually make the night before.

in the morning serve and add sweetener of choice such as honey, agave, coconut sugar. top with milk and enjoy.

hungarian potato casserole

11 Nov

hungarian potato casserole with steamed broccoli or spinach, this is eli’s favorite dinner. the boy will eat half a 9×13 pan of it! it also works great as lunch the next day……if there are any leftovers. i’ve gotten in the habit of scooping out just enough for his lunch before serving dinner. this is a great meal for a cool fall evening, like a warm hug on your belly. 🙂 there are many variations of this online and i just kind of developed a recipe that we like.

hungarian potato casserole

about 4 large russet potatoes, more or less depending on how much you want to make
3 or 4 boiled eggs
1 1/2-2 cups homemade yogurt (or thick store bought), sour cream, or cashew sour cream
6-8 oz of salami slices (use as much as you want)
salt, to taste i use about 1 1/2 tsp
hungarian sweet paprika, to taste i use about 2 tsp

preheat to 350°
peel and slice potatoes thinly, slice boiled eggs, mix salt and paprika together. grease a 9×13 casserole dish and start layering. potatoes first, sprinkle with paprika salt mixture, yogurt, eggs, salami, potatoes, paprika, yogurt, eggs, salami, until all used up.
place in oven for around 45 mins or until potatoes are done and starting to brown on top. i always start checking around 45 mins may take longer depending on how thick you cut the potatoes and how many were used.

cinnamon apples and fruit at the bottom yogurt

25 Sep

this year, on top of bringing lunch every day, eli needs to bring a snack with him to school. a small, filling, non-messy, healthy, portable snack. hm……

my recipes for the last year or so have been dairy free. after a lot of research and mental struggle we decided to try raw milk over the summer. eli had no reaction to it!! hurray!! 3 month and no signs of eczema, no stomach or digestive issues, it’s been great. as i googled raw milk, i learned that different cows produce different protiens (a1 or a2) and many people can not digest a1 well. i am not a scientist and i can not explain it i just know that from our own personal experience eli can digest milk from a2 guernsey cows. if you are interested in local raw milk check out this site.
now, on to the snacks……..

cinnamon apples

fruit at the bottom yogurt

for an after school snack the other day i made cinnamon apples.
slice 2 apples (one for each kid)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp coconut sugar (i’m certain any sugar would work)

fruit at the bottom yogurt
with any leftovers finely chop and put in small tupperware (if you don’t have leftovers you could just make some cinnamon apples just for this)
in the morning top the apples with plain yogurt. i use homemade yogurt with the raw milk. it’s super easy to make, no yogurt maker required.

this is also delicious with berries. i put frozen berries in the tupperware and top with yogurt by snack time they’ve thawed. my son does not like his yogurt sweet but you could add some honey or agave to sweeten it a bit.

summer squash quick bread

22 Aug

well, summer break is over and i think everyone here had a good time. the kids had friends over almost everyday, we had a friend visit from germany, there was lots of swimming, popsicle and ice-cream eating, we joined a produce co-op, planted a garden (eli’s favorite thing, i think) and made lots of origami when it was just too hot to go outside. as much as i’m going to miss eli, i am glad to be getting back into a routine. i also know that the start of school means cooler temperatures are just around the corner.  it’s been ridiculously hot and dry this summer.

summer squash quick bread

2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 medium sized summer squash (zucchini or yellow), grate on small holes of box grater. i lay mine in a clean dish towel and wring out the liquids
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. coconut sugar (this bread is not very sweet, if you like it sweet add more sugar)
1/4 tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. millet flour
3/4 c. tapioca starch or starch of choice
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon, opt.
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. walnuts, opt.

preheat to 350

mix the bananas, oil, coconut sugar, almond extract and eggs in a bowl. in a separate bowl  sift the dry ingredients together. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix. fold in zucchini, walnuts and chocolate chips.

line a bread pan with parchment paper. bake bread for 50 minutes and then test to see if done. if not bake 10 more minutes or until done.

ninja cupcakes and mint sugar

3 Jul

eli turned 7….i can’t believe it. it seems just yesterday i was holding him in my arms, well i still do only he’s a bit bigger and he gets a little embarrassed. heh. anyway, he requested mint ninja cupcakes this year for his celebration. it was an easy request to fill. i wasn’t sure how to make the mint flavor, i have mint extract but i also have a garden overflowing with mint.

chocolate mint

i decided to flavor my sugar with mint from the garden. i made my regular cupcake recipe and replaced the sugar with mint flavored sugar. simple and delicious. we’ve been cutting down on our sugar intake lately but since this was a special occasion i made an exception and boy was i glad i did.

mint sugar

1 cup sugar of choice
a really large handful of chocolate mint, between 1/4 to 1/2 cup mint leaves, unpacked

place in food processor and pulse until mint is incorporated with sugar. don’t pulse too much……you’ll end up with mint flavored powdered sugar.

roasted soy beans a.k.a chiko nuts

13 Jun

i’ve had this bag of soy beans sitting in the cupboard staring me down for months now. i tried to make soy milk once, it won’t happen again. the past few weeks i’ve been trying to come up with snacks the kids like that aren’t sweet and i got to thinking about roasted nuts, beans and seeds which led me to soynuts. i turned to google, my favorite place to look for all things unknown, and found a few recipes and they all said to soak overnight and roast. super simple and the kids were delighted to have ‘tiny chiko nuts’ for snack today.

roasted soy beans

1 cup soy beans, picked through, washed and soaked over night
1 tbs oil, i used sunflower oil
1 tbs arizona dreaming spice mix from penzey’s or tbs seasoning of choice
salt to taste

mix everything in a bowl and then spread beans onto pan in single layer. roast for 45mins to 1hr stirring every 15mins. when the beans start to look golden turn off temperature and leave them in the oven to cool.

long life noodles

10 Jun

there is nothing more satisfying to us on a hot summer day than a bowl of noodles. eli found this recipe in the back of a book we had borrowed from the library and wanted to try it. the book was called ‘the story of noodles‘, a story about three boys from china who invent noodles. we love noodles so this book was a big hit and the kids couldn’t wait to try the different methods of eating noodles, cutting the grass, sucking the worm and eating a drumstick. the recipe in the book was pretty good but, next time i will thin the sauce a little more. the best part is that you don’t have to cook anything other than the noodles!

long life noodles

brown rice vermicelli (or pasta of choice) cooked according to package directions
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of peanut butter (or almond)
1/2 cup coconut milk, or more to thin
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs soy sauce, gf

place all ingredients into your food processor and blend until smooth, set aside.

the book recommends roasted nuts and dried cranberries, i had neither at home so here is what we used.
shredded cabbage
shredded carrots
shredded collard greens (from our garden, YAY!)
cilantro (also from garden)
sliced green onions
and eli wanted raisins

mix noodles with the sauce and serve. let everyone garnish their own bowl of noodles.


8 Jun

somehow i let the end of the school year slip right past me. eh…c’est la vie. our summertime plans include swimming, sprinklers, friends, birthdays, and cooking up lots of yummy treats. the tomatoes pictured above were knocked off the plant during a storm. i couldn’t let them go to waste so we made fried green tomatoes. they were pretty tasty. another tasty summer treat we made was this cantaloupe granita.

one last thing……check out our garden visitor. eli named him toadoro, funny guy. he is our garden troll that brings us good luck and good food.

cantaloupe granita

1/2 a large cantaloupe
1 banana
2-3 tbs honey
1/2 a can of sparkling water (i used blue sky lime flavored)

blend the cantaloupe, banana  and honey in a blender until liquefied. pour into the tupperware or glass dish you will be using to freeze the granita in. slowly add the sparkling water and stir. freeze and stir every 30 minutes or so. the more you stir the better.

fruit salad and cinnamon chips

21 Apr

this is one of eli’s favorite lunch box treats. i say treat because i don’t make it very often since it contains more sugar than i like to put in his lunch. this past year i have been reducing his sugar intake, including fruit and other unrefined sugars, and have noticed a big difference in his skin, digestion and behavior. eli who used to be known as “sugar tooth” now tells me on occasion that things are too sweet. he’s also developing more sophisticated taste buds and is willing to try things he never would have in the past. i don’t know if this is related to reducing his sugar intake but it all happened around the same time.
i usually pack this with some protein like boiled eggs (another favorite) or some lunch meat and chopped veggies. now that spring has arrived and there is an abundance of fresh fruit this is a perfectly simple packed lunch.

fruit salad

be creative, i used:
cut the fruit small for easy dipping. you can also add fresh herbs, mint is our favorite. or add a spicy pepper to make it more of a salsa.

cinnamon chips

corn tortillas, amount depends on how many people you are serving
coconut oil, to coat the tortillas
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar of choice

mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. cut the tortillas in 4ths and put in bowl or on a cookie sheet. toss gently with coconut oil. lay on cookie sheet in single layer then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. bake for 10 minutes and then check to see if they are crisp enough if not try five more minutes. watch them carefully so they don’t burn.