Butternut Squash + Bone Marrow Applesauce for Moms and Babes (Paleo, Gluten-free, Whole-30, Kid-friendly)

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In terms of nutritionally dense foods for growing healthy brains and bones in kids and babies, I would put bone marrow right up there at the top of the list along with all the veggies, liver and bone broth. It is not only a fabulous source of heme iron (easily absorbed), but also an incredible source of healthy fat (at a whopping 97% fat ratio), good for satiating hungry tummies, nourishing a growing brain and keeping blood sugar levels stable. It’s also full of essential amino acids that literally help to grow strong teeth, hair, bones, skin, muscles and help with energy production.

Growing brains (and all brains, for that matter) need and thrive off of fat. Fat is what makes up the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which is what allows nerve cells to fire and send messages (to think, talk, process and do).

If you know me at all, you know I’ve had a long love relationship with bone marrow ever since I first tasted it at some trendy restaurant on the streets of Manhattan. What’s not to love? It tastes like the butter of heaven, after all! Spread it on crackers or some warm bread with some honey and you’re pretty much good to go!

After loving it for its incredible taste, I was so intrigued by it and I had to know everything about it. Learning how it was actually an incredibly nutrient dense food, according to the Weston A. Price foundation, made me fall even more in love. The Weston A. Price foundation touts bone marrow as an extremely nourishing food, found in almost every traditional culture around the globe. Contrary to the western world, where we eat mostly muscle meat, traditional cultures have long valued and cooked the entire animal, including the organs and bones and marrow and mostly feed the muscle meat (which has the least amount of vitamins/minerals) to the dogs.

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Ok, enough fat and nutrition talk.  Let’s talk about this glorious food recipe discovery, Butternut Squash + Bone Marrow Apple Sauce! 

You need this in your life, trust me on this one.

It has it all in my book.  Sweet AND savory AND a fruit, a veggie and a healthy source of fat and iron.  You literally couldn’t make a more healthy dessert for you and your little people if you ask me.  A great food for babies and kids of all ages and also a great snack for anyone who is on the Whole30 diet. 

It is It is literally SO easy to make you won’t believe it!  Heres how to make it.
**Affiliate links below.

Ingredients:

  • 5 beef marrow bones (organic/grass-fed bones are important)

  • 5-6 apples (skin removed)

  • 1/2 butternut squash (cubed)

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar

  • a pinch of lemon juice

  • 1 tsp ghee

  • 2 tsp agave (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Add marrow bones to a pan and roast for about 15 minutes or when it begins to bubble around the edges.

  3. When its finished roasting, scoop out the marrow with a butterknife.

  4. In a crockpot or Instapot, add the marrow and all the other ingredients.

  5. For a crockpot cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.  In the Instapot, set on high pressure for 10 minutes.

  6. When it is finished, use an immersion blender to combine all the ingredients and enjoy!  Feel free to add extra agave if you want to sweeten it up a bit more.

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-Ashley

Soft + Chewy Ginger Cinnamon Christmas Cookies (Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly)

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If you’re looking for a SUPER simple healthiesh gluten-free cookie recipe that you can make with your kiddos, look no further! These were seriously the easiest cookie recipe ever, despite the “cooking with kids” part, that’s always a bit challenging.

These little guys are loaded with natural sugar from coconut, some healthy omega’s from grass-fed butter and some healthy fats and protein from the almond flour.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re still cookies! But just a not-have-to-worry-about-food-dyes-and-preservatives type of Christmas cookies.

Being the health-freak that I am, I cringe when my kids are offered cookies and cupcakes loaded with colored frosting on top. Why? You may ask. Because of the food-dyes. Food-dyes like red 40, blue 1 and yellow 5 + 6 have been linked to behavior problems, ADHD, cancer and food-allergies. So yeah, I avoid them like the plague around here. My son has enough boy energy as it is to fill his tummy with that junk.

Personally, I think its healthy to teach kids at a young age what is healthy and what’s not for your body. We openly talk about food dyes in our house and why we don’t eat things that are brightly colored, unless we know its organic or without chemicals.

Ok, back to the cookies. They were so fluffy and chewy and the PERFECT texture for the kiddos to help cut out with the cookie cutters.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/2 stick room temperature grass-fed butter or ghee

  • 2 cups almond flour

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Beat the eggs until fluffy and add the vanilla and the butter and combine well with a mixer.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger and baking powder and cream of tartar.  Stir and combine well. 

  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and combine well.

  5. The cream of tartar should help the dough bind into a pizza like dough.  If you’re is still sticky, you can sprinkle a tad more until it forms one cohesive unit.

  6. Pour the dough onto the parchment paper and coat your hands in a little bit of almond flour to keep your hands from sticking to the dough. 

  7. Knead and roll the dough until its one flat rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.

  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or just until the top begins to fluff and the bottom barely begins to brown (you don’t want the bottom to get too crispy)

  9. Set on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes until it’s ready to cut the dough with cookie cutters.

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Enjoy!



-Ashley

No-Bake Pumpkin Sunflower Butter Treats (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Paleo)

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As you guys likely already know by now, I’m pretty obsessed with trying to incorporate pumpkin in EVERYTHING when it turns into fall. I’m also always trying to make healthier versions of everything for me and my kiddos to have around the house for healthy yummy snacks.

The other main criteria for me, with two young kids around is that it must be EASY.

These No-Bake Pumpkin Sunflower Treats definitely fit the mold for that criteria! They are literally SO ridiculously easy, you and your toddler can totally make them together in under 10 minutes.

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Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients

1 cup Sunflower butter (or nut butter of choice)
2 tbsp agave
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp vanilla
1 + 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Melt all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) on low heat and stir until well combined.

2. Spread mixture onto parchment paper evenly, sprinkle chocolate chips and freeze for three hours before breaking it into pieces and enjoying for a midday healthy sweet!

Chia Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten-free, Paleo)

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Well, its October, and even if that doesn’t necessarily mean cool weather here in Miami, it still means my husband will be watching endless hours of football on weekends and I will be baking Pumpkin flavored everything, obviously!

Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, you name it, I’m determined to try to make a healthier version of whatever it is.

My criteria for healthy in our household means cutting out the flour and fast acting sugars and carbohydrates and replacing them with blood sugar stabilizing proteins and fats.

I was searching Pinterest for a pumpkin muffin recipe that met those criteria but couldn’t find the right one, so I decided to make my own version. I was so excited about how wonderful they turned out that I just had to share them with you all.

These sweet Chia Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins are the perfect breakfast on-the-go or a healthy midday snack and they are super kid friendly. Not only are they moist and delicious, they are packed full of protein and blood-stabilizing healthy fats/omega-3’s from the almonds, chia seeds and eggs.

They are quick and easy to whip up, coming together in only a few minutes! What are you waiting for?? Get your baking mitt on and get in the kitchen!

Here’s how to make them!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, mashed

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 2 tbsp honey or agave

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 2 cups almond flour

  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 3 tsp teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Line muffin tin and set oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Smash a ripe banana in a large mixing bowl with a fork.

  3. Add in the eggs and beat and combine well.

  4. Add all the other wet ingredients: vanilla, honey/agave, coconut oil and pumpkin purée. Mix and combine well.

  5. Toss in the remaining dry ingredients, making sure to distribute the baking powder evenly. Combine well.

  6. Pour mixture into muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full.

  7. Bake for 25-30 mins at 350 degrees or until the edges began to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.

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-Ashley

Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Bread - Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

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Eating gluten-free doesn't have to be boring!  You can still have delicious treats, they just won't send you into a sugar coma! 

I get asked a lot by people what I eat since I avoid gluten,  dairy and pretty much most forms of fast-acting carbs (other than fruits.)

 My answer is that, as long as you don't mind spending some extra time in the kitchen, and can get creative with real, whole foods, the possibilities are truly endless! I mean, in a day and age where you can find more than 20 recepies on pinterest for cheesecake made out of CASHEWS, the sky is the limit people! 

The kids... okay I was craving blueberry muffins this morning for breakfast and since I was fresh out of cupcake liners, I decided to make a blueberry breakfast bread instead.  It was so moist and delicious, it definitely hit the spot.  The kids both gobbled up at least two or three pieces without batting an eye.  The best part about it was, since these are made from real food ingredients and have adequate fiber, healthy fats and protein (from the eggs and almonds), they somewhat resembled a balanced meal.

If you’ve had bad experiences in the past with gluten free bread recipes that turn out too dry, that won’t be the case with this one.  Holy moly this bread is so good, you guys! I am already planning on working it into the weekly routine and next time I am planning on adding a bit of lemon flavor too!  

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

3 eggs
5 dates
1/2 cup ghee (or coconut oil)
1 1/2 almond flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp agave
3 tsp arrowroot powder
1 cup wild frozen blueberries
pinch of salt


Instructions:


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a meatloaf/bread pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the eggs with a hand blender until fluffy.
  3. In a food processor, puree the dates, ghee and agave until smooth. Add to the eggs.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, except the blueberries.  Mix thoroughly, until combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries but don't over stir them.
  6. Pour mixture into pan atop parchment paper.  Sprinkle a few blueberries on top.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  8. Enjoy!
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-Ashley

Good Fats Chewey Granola Bars (kid-approved, gluten-free, paleo, vegan)

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Getting good brain foods into kids diets (Hello, Omega-3;s) does not have to be complicated! I made these delicious chewey granola bars on a whim and they took less than 10 minutes to throw together.

These bad boys are packed with protein and healthy fats and contain a ton of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc  and iron.  As a benefit to mom, these ingredients are all supportive of healthy hormonal balancing and adrenal gland health (coconuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds).

They are delicious by themselves to throw in your bag for soccer practice.  They are even better for a quick no-fuss toddler breakfast!  You can crunch them up to make your own cereal or throw them atop of some yogurt for a parfait.  

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**affiliate links contained below

Ingredients:

5-6 dates (pre-soaked overnight)
1/2 cup coconut shreds
3/4 cup almond butter (I use this brand by MaraNatha)
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup sliced almonds (pre-soaked overnight)
1/4 cup agave or honey

Instructions:

  1. Set oven for 350 degrees.

  2. Place soaked dates in a blender or emulsifier (alternatively, you can hand smash them with a fork)

  3. In a large bowl, combine almond butter, honey and dates well.

  4. Add all the other ingredients and combine well.

  5. Place the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smash it flat using your hands (warning, you are going to get very sticky!) Flatten until it’s abkut 1/2 inch thick or less if you want it to be more crispy.

  6. Drizzle with honey (optional)

  7. Bake for about 7-8 minutes (you don't want them to get too crispy at the bottom so keep an eye so they don't burn!)

  8. Let them cool for 10 minutes and then cut them into squares.


 

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Enjoy!

-Ashley

5-Ingredient Super-food Sunflower Seed Butter Cups (Nut-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

**affiliate links contained below

**affiliate links contained below

I am not sure if you all out there have tried sunflower seed butter as an alternative to peanut butter but if you haven't, you need to ASAP.  This stuff is addicting as heck and tastes like a dream.  Not only is it delicious but it's also A LOT healthier compared to conventional peanut butter.  Sunflower seeds are naturally high in vitamin E, vitamin Bs, selenium, thiamine, magnesium and copper and phosphorus.  They are great for cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and and they also have been given credit for having antioxidant powers.

I came up with these E A S Y, no bake, Reese's peanut butter cup copy cats using 5 healthy ingredients and they are the best.  Now I can run to them when I’m having a sweets craving and not feel guilty.  The kids love them too!

The other ingredients are bone broth protein powder (click here to learn more about the benefits of bone broth), chia seeds (high in omega-3 fatty acids), dark chocolate and agave nectar for sweetening.

You have to try them! They're so easy and so so good.

E N J O Y!

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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients (minus the chocolate) in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Put cupcake liners in a muffin tin + pour batter into each cup (1 heaping teaspoon or more if you want them to be thicker)
  3. Smooth the batter flat with the back of a spoon (you can add oil so it wont stick)
  4. Melt your dark chocolate bar by adding some coconut oil over medium heat and then slowly stirring chocolate in until smooth.
  5. Pour the chocolate a top the batter.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
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-Ashley

No-Bake Almond Butter Chocolate-chip Granola Bars (Kid friendly, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free)

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I have been on the hunt for a healthier version of the store bought peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars without all the gluten and yucky food additives.  I really wanted something healthy and sweet and also was looking for an pack-able kid-snack for when I’m out in public and my kids are getting H A N G R Y. 

After leaving the grocery store empty handed, and not wanting to venture out to Whole Foods, I decided I would give it a go on my own.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing these turned out on my first try.  They were a hit with my kids and the husband too, who sometimes thinks my healthy sweets are not as good as the real thing.   My kids called them "cookies" and I just went with it.

I love having healthy snacks around the house for the kids obviously but also for myself when I am having sugar cravings and feel like I just might smash down an entire bag of my sons animal crackers. 

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These are absurdly simple, no bake required and have only 5 ingredients you probably have in your cupboard. 

Sunflower seeds and dark chocolate boost the nutritional value of these little granola bars and give them a deliciously chewy texture with just the right amount of crunch. They are packed with a little sweetness, fiber and some great sources of protein and fats.

So what are you waiting for? Go make these bars ASAP.

(**Affiliate links below) 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic gluten free oats, I use these

  • 1/3 + 1 tsp cup organic agave (can substitute with maple syrup)

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 3 tablespoons almond butter/peanut butter, this is my favorite brand

  • 1/3 cup organic sunflower seeds

  • pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor, pulse until semi-smooth texture but don’t mash it completely, still leave some seeds and chips intact.

  3. Place the ingredients into parchment paper, mash it down with your fingers until you form an even layer.

  4. Cover & freeze for 4-5 hours.

    5. Cut and serve.