Friday, July 26, 2013

Berry Coconut Smoothie

We are in the middle of a dairy-free trial elimination, and the kids wanted smoothies for breakfast this morning.  Oh what to do?  Get creative!  I had some leftover coconut milk on hand that I had purchased for another recipe.  It has a higher, fat content and thicker consistency than regular milk, so I thought that it might work to replace the milk and yogurt combination that I typically use for smoothies.  I just blended up 2 cups of coconut milk, about a cup of frozen mixed berries, three tablespoons of ground flax, and a bit of honey. Success!  The kids loved it!  My daughter was also thrilled that it was purple like her shirt.  Shh!  Don't tell them that the smoothies had flax in them.  It a adds a great nutritional boost since it is high in  Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fiber.  Check out the many benefits of flaxseed.

Just a side note about the dairy elimination trial if your curious...
I have been reading Cure Your Child with Food: The Hidden Connection Between Nutrition and Childhood Ailments by Kelly Dorfman.  My youngest frequently has a runny nose and both kids are still touchy and irritable some days, so I'm trying to figure out what is remaining in their diet that might be irritating them.  Dairy intolerance and/or allergies can be related to congestion and eczema, so we are taking out the dairy for a couple weeks to see if we see any changes.  If you are struggling with chronic health and/or behavior issues with your kids, I highly recommend this book.  Dorfam guides you through case studies of families that she has worked with to find nutritional solutions to common childhood illnesses and concerns.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Banana Icecream

This delicious icecream has exactly one ingredient:  frozen bananas.  No milk, gluten, or added sugar!  So maybe it's not exactly icecream, but it does have the same creamy texture.  If you haven't tried it, then you'll be amazed.  All you have to do is freeze some very ripe, peeled bananas.  I typically just break them in half and put them in ziploc bags to freeze.  Then you just blend up the frozen banana, and you'll have a naturally sweet, yummy treat.  I actually use the Yonanas Ice Cream Treat Maker to make it, but I think that it will work fairly well in a blender or food processor too.  One trick that I have found that makes this work a little bit better is to thaw the banana just a little bit before blending it.  My kids are typically anxiously awaiting their treat, so I just pop my ziploc bag in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften up the bananas first.  You can also add other frozen fruit and/or toppings to create new flavors.  My kids like to add some frozen strawberries or maybe a little bit of chocolate syrup.  Each frozen banana makes a small, child-size serving. When I made this for my kids last night, my 4 year-old daughter squealed with delight.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Flag Cake (Gluten, Dairy and Dye Free)

My daughter wanted to make a flag cake to celebrate the 4th today, and we needed to make something gluten and dairy free.  I also recently purchased some coconut oil to experiment with in the kitchen, so I decided to incorporate the coconut oil into our cake.  We all love chocolate, so that decision was easy.  We made a Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake and substituted coconut oil for the butter.  The mix is designed for a smaller 9x9 pan, but it worked fine to make a thinner cake in a larger 9x12 glass baking dish.  You could also use two cake mixes if you prefer a thicker cake or need more servings.  We topped the cake with coconut icing.  I used the icing recipe from these Fluffy Coconut Cupcakes.  Then we used blueberries and sliced strawberries to decorate.  Voila!  Simple, allergy friendly cake.