Sunday, February 8, 2015

Favorite Kid-Friendly Dips

The best way to get a kid to eat something is to make it bit-size and give them a dipping sauce. The trick is to consider the dip an important source of nutrition too. Avoid added sugar, additives, and processed oils! Some of our favorite dips:
1. Ranch Dip (Dairy free and made with olive oil) -
2. Herb Gravy (Nourishing Bone Broth!) -
3. All natural Nut or Seed Butter
4. Fruit Dip (No added sugar/dairy free) -
5. Fermented Ketchup - (Probiotic Boost!) -…/
6. Salad Girl Dressings -
7. Guacamole - You can make it yourself, but I usually buy Organic Wholly Guacamole
My kids have this set of mini bowls and plates from IKEA, and the bowls have became their dipping bowls. They are the perfect size! -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Apple, Carrot Cake

We celebrated my daughter's 5th birthday today with friends and family.  She needed a cake that was grain, dairy, and sugar free, and she requested that it be an apple, carrot cake.  I used this Paleo Carrot Cake recipe as my starting point and made a few adaptations to make it work for her party. 

1 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
12 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 1/8 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups shredded apples (about 2 apples)

I peeled and roughly chopped the carrots and apples, and then I shredded them in my food processor attachment for my Ninja Mega Kitchen System.  Mix all the ingredients together saving the carrot/apple mixture and coconut flour for last.  For cupcakes, I baked these for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

For icing, I made this recipe for Salted Raw Carmel Dip.  Typically, I make this to serve as a sweet dip with apple slices for a special treat for the kids, but I thought that the flavors would go well with the carrot cake too.  It was a hit!  The kids, and especially the all important birthday girl, loved it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sloppy Joes (GAPS and Paleo friendly)

Sloppy Joe's are a kid favorite at my house.  I have to admit that I grew up eating Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce and served it to my own kids.  What's wrong with Manwich, right? Unfortunately, it is not GAPS legal for a couple of reasons.  First, it contains high fructose corn syrup.  Second, it is sold in a BPA lined can. 

So what's a mom to do?  Find a recipe and make it herself.

Here's the basic recipe that I use:
GAPS Legal Sloppy Joes

My kids love this!  Although the first time that I made it, they picked around the peppers.  The next time I made it I made the sauce separate from the ground beef so that I could puree it before adding it to the beef.  Worked like a charm!  I saute the onions, peppers, and garlic with ghee in a skillet.  Then I mix this mixture along with the other ingredients for the sauce into a food processor to puree it.  Then I just brown my ground beef in the same pan and stir in the add the sauce once the meat is cooked thoroughly.  No more chunks and kid approved!  I typically serve this with these Coconut Flour Biscuits or Paleo Sandwich Rounds and a green vegetable.  In order to avoid BPA, I made this recipe with Bionature Strained Tomatoes which is sold in a glass jar.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easy Dairy and Sugar Free Pudding

What kid doesn't love the creamy texture and sweet taste of pudding?  Here's a healthy alternative with an added superfood kick to make both mom and kids happy.  This pudding uses coconut milk (or you can substitute any milk alternative) instead of dairy, banana as a natural sweetener, and chia seeds as a thickener and nutritional boost.  Chia seeds are a great way to sneak in more omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein into your kids diets.  Check out these 10 Reasons to add Chia Seeds to your diet.

I started with this recipe for 3-Ingrediant Banana Pudding and simply added 1T of cocoa powder to please chocolate lovers.  The cocoa powder also does a good job of concealing the chia seeds from any little food detectives just looking for a reason to refuse to try it.  Garnish it with some fresh fruit, and you have a great kid pleasing snack.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Eat a Rainbow

It wasn't too long ago that I had a family full of picky eaters who ate very few vegetables.  All three of my children have symptoms of sensory processing disorder which is simply difficulty integrating sensory signals.  It manifests itself in different ways in each child, but the one thing that they all had in common was food aversions related to texture.  As a result, they all had a limited diet.  I knew in my heart that we needed to make radical changes in our diet to heal, but I have to admit that it was a bit scary to think about taking away all of their beloved carbs that filled their tummies each day.  The first few days were tough, and there was lots of whining and tears.  Yes, many of the tears came from me as I struggled to stay the course with their diet changes.  However, something almost miraculous began to happen about the third day.  The kids began to happily eat large quantities of nourishing soup!  When we moved to a new stage of the diet, they were excited to try new foods.  Flash forward to today, and the kids are now eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.  My teenager confided in me that he now "loves to eat" and "enjoys his food".  In the past, I often struggled to get him to eat enough calories.  My daughter even called herself a "broccoli monster" last night because she was going to eat up all the broccoli before anybody else got any.  My little guy always loved fruit, but he never ate much else before the diet change.  In fact, he had difficulty chewing and frequently choked on food.  Now he's starting to eat crunchy, raw vegetables for the first time.

Our new family goal has been to focus on eating more variety of fruits and vegetables each day.  I have been talking to the little kids about eating a rainbow of colors each day, and we frequently discuss what colors we have eaten so far in a day and what if any colors we still need to get.  Yesterday, the kids wanted to create a food rainbow for lunch.  They had so much fun picking out what food to use for each color and creating their rainbows to eat.  In fact, they were so excited about it that they took a picture of themselves with their creations to share for show-and-tell at school to tell their friends all about eating a rainbow of colors.  Here's a great handout from the Whole Foods Foundation with great ideas and recipes to teach this concept to kids. I also found the following books and products for kids to help reinforce their learning.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Simple Beef Stew (GAPS)

One of the main components of the GAPS diet is nourishing bone broths, so soups and stews are a large part of our diet.  These are simple and delicious!  Our weekly Green Bean Delivery organic produce bin had multicolored carrots this week which made this stew not only tasty but also colorful.  Becoming a member of an online produce delivery service is a convenient way to get your organic produce.  My kids love opening up the bins and discovering what surprises we have to try.  This simple stew was made with homemade beef stock.  Here's a great video tutorial on How To Make Meat Stock if you need a little bit of guidance to get started.  I added some leftover roast, chopped carrots, fresh green beans, and chopped onion to the stock and cooked them for about 20 minutes until the vegetables were tender.  Then I just seasoned with some salt and pepper before serving.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

GAPS No-Bake Cookies

It's easy to focus on all of the things that we can't eat, but I try to get the kids to focus instead on all of the things that we can eat.  We don't eat packaged candy and other sweets, but we CAN have many wonderful homemade treats that the kids love and appreciate now.  One of their favorites are these GAPS friendly No-bake Cookies.  I based my recipe for these cookies off of this Whole Food No Bake Cookie recipe.  These don't last long at my house.  As you can see, a little cookie thief snatched one before I could even get a picture.

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
5T cocoa powder
1/2 cup Organic Sunbutter (Regular Sunbutter has added sugar!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut flakes (Make sure you use unsweetened!)

Melt honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder together over medium heat.  Remove from heat and stir in Sunbutter and vanilla.  Once mixed well, stir in the coconut flakes.  Place by tablespoons on waxed paper and put them in the freezer for a few minutes to set up.