The BEST Gluten-free Pumpkin Brownies (GF, DF)

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I’m not sure about any of you but when Fall comes around, I am most definitely in my kitchen making anything and everything PUMPKIN and it makes me so, so happy. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin muffins, you know what I’m saying.

Since I am basically obsessed with the brownies (they are BY FAR my favorite sweet treat) - I figured “why not turn a classic childhood favorite into a classic childhood Fall favorite?!”

Enter these lovely, deliciously chewey Gluten-free Pumpkin Brownies.

I was attempting to turn my favorite flourless brownies into pumpkin flourless brownies but because of all the moisture I had it to add a little bit of gluten-free Cassava flour. Cassava flour has been my new recent addition to the pantry and I have really enjoyed baking with it so far. Coconut flour and I have not agreed so well in the past but cassava flour seems really easy to replace in many baking recipes.

Other than the pumpkin, I use almond butter and coconut oil to make these little guys perfectly moiste, the way any good brownie should be. Trust me, this comibnation is brownie perfection.

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So buckle your seatbelt get ready for the most delicious and moiste pumpkin brownies you will ever taste.

Don’t worry, the pumpkin doesn’t give them a weird flavor or anything. Actually, come to think of it, you can’t really even taste it at all.

Made with just a few simple gluten-free, dairy- free ingredients, you will most definitely make your kids happy and YOU will be happy too knowing that you fed your children a deliciously healthy guilt-free treat!

Here’s how to make these guys!

Makes 24-25 brownies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 8x8 square baking pans with parchment paper for easy brownie removal.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond butter, the eggs, the agave, the pumpkin puree and the coconut oil. Use an electric mixer or an electric hand blender to combine the ingredients well.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. The cassava flour, the baking powder, the sea salt and the cacao powder. Combine well.

  4. Once the dry ingredients are combined well, fold them into the wet ingredients and combine all the ingredients well using an electric mixer or hand blender.

  5. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir.

  6. Pour the batter into both pre-lined baking pans and use a spatula to flaten and spread out the batter evenly. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.

  7. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes or util they pass the toothpick test.

  8. Let the brownies set for 10 minutes before enjoying!

Made with love,

-Ashley

Dark Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins (GF, DF)

FYI: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links. What this means is that by buying through these links, Amazon gives me a small commission, paid by third parties, not by you. I only recommend products that I genuinely love. Thank you for supporting my page and all the hard work I pour into Helping Hands!

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With school just around the corner, I am back at it with the muffin recipe developing. I love showing my kids how baking can be healthy!

Even more, I LOVE involving them in the kitchen when I’m adding in all sorts of healthy things to their food so they can taste and see that good food can not only taste delicious but make you feel good too!

These Dark Chocolate Zucchini Banana Muffins are gluten-free, dairy free and make a great lunchtime packable or breakfast on-the-go type situation for busy school mornings.

The truth is, I used to have a love-hate relationship with baking. I have never been one to follow the rules, especially with cooking, so I got easily frustrated when I added a few too many scoops of this or that and the baking situation turned out to be a flop. But lately, with lots of practice and patience, I have been having more baking wins than flops and this one was a true winner on all levels in my book! My kids ate these for basically breakfast lunch and dinner for three days and qualified them as “after dinner dessert” too! Whichever meal you want to serve them at, they’ll do the job, trust me on that!

I started with a base of eggs, zucchini and some smashed banana and then for the flour I decided to do a mix between almond flour and buckwheat flour (anyone else find it wild that buckwheat flour is gluten-free?!). I added cacao to make them even more superfoody and some chocolate chips on top just to make it look more like a desert than a healthy veggie filled muffin. (But they are totally sweet enough inside to taste like a desert, anyway.)

They turned out so wonderfully moist and satisfying, they’ll definitely be getting a re-make around here, if you know what I mean. Get ready to see these guys in lots of lunchbox shots in the near future!

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I won’t make you babes wait any longer, here’s how I make these chocolately delights!

Ingredients:

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Makes: 18-20 muffins
Cook time:
20 minutes

Instructions:

  1. Line your muffin tin with muffin liners and set the oven for 350 degrees F.

  2. Shred your zucchini and make sure to use a towl or paper towl to squeeze out all the liquid.

  3. In a large mixing bowl add the eggs and beat them very well before adding the banana and zucchini and cinnamon. Smash your banana thoroughly with the back of a fork until bumps are removed.

  4. Add in the agave and ghee and then combine all the wet ingredients well.

  5. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients together - the buckwheat and almond flour, the baking soda and the cacao. Combine thoroughly.

  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Allow the mixture about 3 minutes to sit (to allow the ingredients to react with each other) before pouring the batter into the muffin tins.

  7. Add batter a little more than halfway full into each muffin tin and sprinkle the chocolate chips right on top.

  8. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 16 minutes or until the top begins to slightly brown. You will need to make two separate batches.

-Enjoy!

Made with love,
-Ashley

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Flourless Almond Butter, Oatmeal, Pumpkin Seed & Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan)

Any of the products on this page may be an affiliate link. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within a specific amount of time, I get a small commission. The commission is paid by third parties, not by you. I only recommend products that I genuinely love. Thank you for your support!

I’m not sure about you, but I love a good peanut-butter cookie. I just love the taste of anything with peanut butter in general (I could eat it by the spoonful) but I especially am addicted to the peanut butter and chocolate combination. I’m sure you may have figured that out by now already, considering I’m always sharing combos of these two on the blog.

Take a look at my 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars or my Chocolate Chia Sunflower Seed Cups and you’ll see how deep this affinity for this combo runs around here.

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Ironically, I don’t really buy a lot of peanut butter though (at all really.). I use mostly almond butter or sunflower seed butter. Almonds and sunflower seeds provide a much more robust nutritional profile than peanuts do and taste just as yummy so that’s the real reason why I use those two in all of my recipes vs. peanut butter.

Pumpkin seeds have more nutrients in them like iron, zinc and magnesium, just to name a few.

You can add these healthier nut butters to sprouted bread, oatmeal, muffins or throw them into a delicious cookie recipe, like I did here! Nut butters make a great fat and protein source and help to keep you full due to their high fat content.

Dietary fat from foods signals the release of the satiating hormone, leptin, which signals to our brains that we are full.

Fat is your friend people! Chocolate too, chocolate is your friend too.

So I added some nut butter, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips to my favorite Gluten-free oatmeal and made a cookie that your kids will keep asking for!

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Anyhow, I won’t make you wait any longer for this deliciously simple and addicting cookie recipe. You and the kids are going to love them!

Makes: 17 cookies
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural almond butter

  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 tbsp agave

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats (I use this brand)

  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (a few extra to sprinkle on top)

Directions:

  1. Set oven for 350 degrees.

  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, agave and almond butter. Combine well.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, baking soda, coconut sugar and pumpkin seeds (save a few pumpkin seeds to garnish the tops with.) Take care to combine the baking soda well so that the cookies rise the way they should.

  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine well. Fold in the chocolate chips and give it a good stir.

  6. Make small 2-inch dough balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared parchment paper.

  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the bottom just begins to crip (you want the top to stay moist). They will need to set for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

-Ashley

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No Bake Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Gf, Kid-friendly)

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If you’ve hung around my site for any length of time, you know by now I’m a chocolate fiend. I add chocolate or cacao powder to pretty much everything, including even my morning smoothie.

But something you might not know is that as a child I was obsessed with Reese’s peanut butter cups (and still am, frankly). I’d say I’m pretty much obsessed with the idea of mixing chocolate and peanut butter together. I mean how much better can life possibly get than enjoying these two amazing things as a combo?!

What I’m not obsessed with, however, is the ingredient list on just one those those little Reese’s peanut butter cups. Just to name one shady ingredient on this childhood favorite, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (like palm oil) contain trans fats, which are not only particularly bad for your heart health, but are also known for causing inflammation in the body and interfere with the metabolic processes at a cellular level.

Ok, I’ll try to not go all preachy on you. To sum it up, if you read an ingredient list that includes partially hydrogenated oils, avoid that product at all costs.

And why eat something so bad for you when you can easily make something that tastes just as good, if not better AND is actually good for you?!

Its a no brainer in my book. I’m on a mission to teach my kids the joys of eating and enjoying healthy sweets but just making them in a way that nourishes our bodies.

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So I’ve made several different versions of these, including my Healthier Chia Peanut Butter Cups, but nothing has turned out quite as ridiculously satisfying of my chocolate peanut butter cravings as these No-Bake Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

Oh and did I mention they’re not bake? They are so easy to make, 10-15 minutes from start to finish and include only a handful of wholesome ingredients.

And yes, your children will be as obsessed with them as you are. Try them out, guys, you deserve this mama!

Here’s how to make them.

Ingredients (Peanut Butter Layer)

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2 cups creamy organic peanut butter, I use this brand
1 tablespoon agave
1 cup almond flour, I use this brand
1 cup coconut sugar
2 scoops of collagen powder (optional) I use this brand

Ingredients (Chocolate Layer)

1/3 cup coconut oil
1 + 1/2 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
1 + 1/2 tbsp agave

Serves: Makes about 12-15 bars
Time: 15 minutes

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 glass baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the peanut butter layer ingredients and combine well.

  3. Spread the peanut butter layer evenly in the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.

  4. Heat the coconut oil in a stainless steel saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, add the agave and chocolate chips and stir quickly, being careful not to overheat or burn.

  5. Pour the chocolate mixture atop the peanut butter layer and then spread evenly with a spatula.

-Made with love, Ashley


Superman Spinach + Superfood Muffins (GF, DF, Kid-friendly)

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If I am being completely honest with you guys, I have tried this recipe about 762 times before finally getting it right. The thing about baking is that you have to be very precise and there’s a science behind it all (which, I am still learning by the way.) My point is that I don’t like being precise, I like to add it random superfoods here and there (just like I do with cooking) and unfortunately that’s just not how baking works (hence the 762 tries).

So when I finally got these green superfood muffins right, I did the biggest victory dance of all time.

Sure, I could have just used someone else’s green muffin recipe and called it a day. But I’m extremely picky and very persistent. I didn’t want just a regular green muffin recipe (I have tried many of those too!) I wanted one that was packed with nutrients for my littles.

That’s why I added spinach, flax seed, seed butter and barley grass (just to name a few of the add-ins).

“What the heck even is barley grass and why would you add them to muffins?”, one might ask. Oh don’t you worry guys, I will fill you in. Barley grass contains vitamins A and C, as well as B vitamins and minerals iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also contains contains 20 amino acids, including 8 of the essential amino acids that body can't produce itself.

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Enough already about the arduous recipe developing story behind these little guys.

Just trust me on that they are delicious, your kids will love them and you will feel as victorious as I did for feeding your kids spinach and barely grass for breakfast!

Here’s how I made them.

Makes: 17-18 muffins
Time: 35 minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats (gluten free)

  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp barley powder (optional)

  • 2 bananas (very ripe)

  • 2 eggs (room temperature)

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2-3 handfuls of spinach

  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup agave

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter

  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Instructions:

  1. Set oven for 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a high speed blender, blend up the oats until they are a nice fine powder. Add in the flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon and barley powder and mix together. Pour the dry ingredients out of the blender into a separate bowl.

  3. Now add the wet ingredients to the blender. The eggs, almond milk, vanilla, agave, sunflower butter, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and spinach. Blend until smooth.

  4. Add back in all the dry ingredients. Blend until smooth.

  5. Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes (if you can) before pouring them into the muffin tins. This helps the apple cider vinegar and baking powder to mix and react together so that the muffins will rise more nicely.

  6. Pour each muffin tin about 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes (or until they begin to slightly brown around the edges).

Enjoy!

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Ready for Summer 5-Ingredient Mango Papaya Popsicles

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As the end of the school year approaches, I ca’t help but get excited for summertime.  No more early morning rushing, late night lunchbox packing, shlepping kids in the car all day, etc etc etc.  To say the least, I am ready for this school year to be over. 

It’s also so ridiculously hot already here in Miami that I am resorting to pool days and home-made popsicles pretty much on the daily.  This easy as pie mango-papaya popsicle recipe only has 5 ingredients and will help your kiddos stay cool in that blazing summer heat! They also make after-dinner treats nutritious and delicious!

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I always look at deserts, especially something as easy as popsicles, as another way to add in a little nutrition. Who ever said desert can’t be healthy anyway?! I want to teach my kids that sweets can be both good and good for you and I want to teach them the difference between something made with real food ingredients and something fake that was made in a lab.

These popsicles are high in vitamin C, have a dose of healthy fat and as a kicker papaya is great for boosting digestion, something we could all use a bit more of after dinner.

Speaking of digestive health, did you know papayas are chalk-full of digestive enzymes that help us to break down our food and turn it into energy (so much so, that they use papaya to make digestive enzyme supplements)? They also have known benefits for liver health, hormone balance, healthy skin and are full of antioxidants. It really is one of my favorite fruits for those reasons but also because I just find them very refreshing.

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Ok enough already about my love for papayas…. Here’s the easy recipe for these delicious summer-time treats I’m sure your kids will love!

Makes 10-12 popsicles
Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large papaya (seeds removed)

  • 1 medium mango

  • juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tbsp raw honey (not for kids under the age of 1)

  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (alternatively you can use kefir or full fat yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Remove the seeds and scoop out the fruit into a high speed blender with a spoon.  Add all the other ingredients and blend until smooth (add additional coconut milk if needed)

  2. Pour into popsicle molds and wait 4-5 hours until completely frozen.

Made with love,

Ashley

 

Chocolate Chia Sunflower Seed Cups - the healthier version of Peanut Butter Cups (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Any of the products on this page may be an affiliate link.  If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within a specific amount of time, I get a small commission.  The commission is paid by third parties, not by you.  I only recommend products that I genuinely love.  Thank you for your support! 

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Is it a crime that all I want to do for Mother’s Day is to sit alone in silence and horde all my chocolate peanut butter cups?? I’m sort of jk but not really.  We had a fun adventurous day at the beach and farmers market yesterday and now all I want to do is eat, rest, and do absolutely nothing.

if only doing nothing was an option as a mom.  Dang. 

Anyhow, if you watched my on my IG stories make a blooper in flip flopping the recipe ingredients for these bad boys, you can see now why I needed to update the recipe for them ASAP. Pouring the chocolate first and then adding in the seed butter layer made them EVEN MORE DELICIOUS than before and I didn’t think that was possible.

These are seriously the bomb- not only do they taste exactly like your favorite childhood Halloween candy but they are pumped full of nutrition and antioxidant power too.  Oh, did I mention they’re only made with 5 ingredients?

They’re so healthy you won’t mind feeding them to the kiddos too (if you’re willing to share.)

Here’s how to make these new and improved delicious chocolate treats:

I used these awesome reusable silicone cupcake liners to make these guys.  They also double as lunch-box food dividers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 dark chocolate candy bars, chopped into smaller chunks (I look for 70% or more cacao and these Alter Eco chocolate bars are my favorite organic brand)

  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (alternatively you could use peanut butter or almond butter)

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

  • 2-3 tbsp agave, depending on desired sweetness level

  • 1 scoop of collagen hydrolysate (this is my favorite brand) - this step is also optional but just adds some extra protein

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Instructions:

  1. Line a muffin tin with the silicone cupcake liners. (if you don’t have them, you can use parchment paper liners or coat the pan with oil but they won’t be as easy to remove)

  2. In a stainless steel pot, melt 2 tbsp coconut oil over medium low heat. Add in the chocolate bar chunks and stir with a whisk or fork until it turns into a thin consistency.

  3. Pour the chocolate + oil mixture evenly into each muffin tin.

  4. Sprinkle the chia seeds on top.

  5. Clean the steel pot and add the remaining tbsp of coconut oil to pan over low heat.

  6. In the pot - mix together agave, sunflower butter and collagen until its slightly thin.

  7. Pour 1 heaping tsp of the sunflower butter mixture to each chocolate muffin tin, right in the center. Swirl the tops of them with the back of a spoon and sprinkle any remaining chia seeds on top.

  8. Place in freezer for about 3 hours or until fully frozen.




    Enjoy!!

    -Ashley


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Healthy Gluten-free Peach Cobbler (Gluten + Dairy free)

Any of the products on this page may be an affiliate link.  If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within a specific amount of time, I get a small commission.  The commission is paid by third parties, not by you.  I only recommend products that I genuinely love.  Thank you for your support! 

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I love teaching my kids that sweets don’t necessarily have to be vilified as the bad guys but they sweets can be both delicious and healthy too!

This Gluten-free Peach Cobbler can double as both dessert and breakfast the next day because it’s that healthy)

We had a bunch of tiny peaches from our surprise peach tree (true story - we didn’t know it was a peach tree until they started falling ) so we turned it into this yummy dish right here!

Here’s how to make it!


Ingredients:

Peach layer:

2 cups peaches
1/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup agave


Crust layer:

1 1/2 cup gluten-free oats (we use Bob’s Red Mill quick-cooking gluten free oats)
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp agave
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: splash of vanilla


Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Heat all the peach layer ingredients in a stainless steel pot over medium low heat for about 5 minutes- stir and combine well.

  3. Layer a ceramic baking dish with the peach layer.

  4. Combine all the crust ingredients well and then sprinkle them on top.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the crust begins to turn slightly brown.

-Ashley

Chocolate Avocado Mousse (Dairy-free, Vegan)

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If you’re anything like me and you are a huge fan of chocolate pudding or mousse, this little guy has got your name written all over it. I’m literally sitting on my couch eating it right now thinking why didn’t I think of this sooner!?! Midday chocolate is essential in my household.

You wouldn’t believe it if I told you it was made with all wholesome ingredients and you could eat it until your heart was content without feeling the least bit guilty!

Made with organic cacao and lots of avocados to round out the blood sugar spikes with some health fat (fat helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels) you really can’t go wrong with this easy and delicious weeknight treat.

Here are the details on how to make it. It only takes 5 minutes!!

**Affiliate links below.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 semi-soft hass avocados

  • 1/3 cup organic cacao (this is the brand I am loving lately)

  • 1/3 cup agave + honey mix

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup water or coconut milk

  • optional: a scoop of collagen peptides

Instructions:

  1. Add the liquid to the bottom of a high speed blender or food processor first.

  2. Then add in all of your other ingredients.

  3. Combine on medium to high speed until you reach a pudding consistency.

  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

-Made with love, Ashley

If you make this kitchen favorite of mine, comment below and tell me what you think!

Any of the products on this page may be an affiliate link.  If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase within a specific amount of time, I get a small commission.  The commission is paid by third parties, not by you.  I only recommend products that I genuinely love.  Thank you for your support! 

Chocolate Lovers Dream Flour-less Real Foods Brownies (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo)

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve had chocolate on the mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one day dreaming about chocolate this week.

Since giving up gluten, I’ve had to find different ways to still enjoy childhood classics (like brownies) and usually it involves baking with almond flour or coconut flour. It’s been a fun learning experience for both me and my kiddos to learn that they can still enjoy cookies and cakes and brownies BUT that some of them have healthier ingredients in them to make our bodies grow strong, while others taste great but make us feel kinda crappy afterwards.

But this time, quite by accident actually, I omitted the flour all together and the result were these deliciously moist and chocolaty real-food brownies. While they do have some sugar in them, they aren’t going to make you have a crazy sugar crash afterwards because the healthy fats and protein in them help to regulate blood sugar levels.

I used coconut oil and sunflower butter to keep the moisture factor on point and used real organic cacao and dark chocolate chips to give it that over-the-top chocolaty flavor.

I love that these brownies are a) made with only a few real-food ingredients b) only take a few minutes to throw together and c) you might just have most of these ingredients laying around your house somewhere.

Who’s ready for the recipe for these bad boys??

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Instructions:

**I’ve linked my favorite brands as affiliate links contained below

Ingredients:

  • 2 + 1/2 tbsp cacao

  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)

  • 1/2 cup agave

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet)

  • 1 heaping cup of sunflower butter (or any nut butter of your choice)

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees and line a glass or ceramic brownie pan (with ledges) with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the other wet ingredients: coconut oil, agave and the nut butter. Combine well.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda and cacao.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.

  5. Add the chocolate chips.

  6. The mixture will be rather moist. Use a spatula to scrape it out of the bowl and into the ceramic pan and spread evenly.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick can be removed with minimal residue. Let cool for about 10 minutes out of the pan before serving.

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-Ashley

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Milk (Vegan, Dairy-free, Paleo)

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Whether you’re dairy free, vegan or paleo, I think we can all agree that chocolate milk is a glorious thing and that this childhood favorite needs to be recreated A.S.A.P.

Allow me to just take a minute to praise the wonderful cashew for bringing its wonderful creamy and satiating flavor that also packs quite the nutritious punch.  You can make almost any dairy-free favorite, including nacho cheese, with these glorious little life giving nuts. 

Honestly, what’s not to love?  They’re full of protein and healthy fats and they keep your blood sugar stable, just for beginners.

Your littles will be asking for this Chocolate milk on the daily.  And it wont really be a problem because you’ll be requiring it daily too at this point.  And it only takes a few tiny steps to make, so can we really consider this a problem after all?  More like a solution to the problem of not being able to drink chocolate milk since giving up dairy. 

Should I talk about the reasons you should give up conventional dairy? Nah, I won’t get all ranty on you guys today, you’re off the hook.

Just be sure to buy the big tub of organic cashews at costco.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cashews (preferably organic)

  • 3 cups filtered water

  • 2 dates

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tsp agave/maple syrup

  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

Instructions:

  1. Soak 1 cup of cashews + 2 dates in a large cup of filtered water overnight.

  2. The next day, drain and rinse the cashews and dates.

  3. Add the soaked cashews, dates, vanilla, agave, cacao and water to a high speed blender until consistency is thin. 

  4. If you’re storing this in the fridge, just be sure to shake it first to combine. 

  5. Enjoy!

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-Ashley

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!

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.