Healthy Sour Blueberry Gummy Snacks

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Alright, I’m about to make me your best friend by sharing the recipe for these amazing gummies with you!  These things are amazing for kids and adults alike, because

  1. If you’re a parent, and your kids like fruit snacks, but you don’t like the unrecognizable ingredients that a lot of fruit snacks contain, then these are your answer!
  2. These puppies contain gelatin, and hence they contain collagen!!!  This makes these things almost like a supplement that is good for hair, skin, nails, joints, sleep quality, and gut health…just to name a few!

Okay, so first off, gelatin! Gelatin contains loads of collagen, and you know how bone broth is like one of the healthiest things you can put in your body?  Well, collagen is the part of bone broth that gives it all of its health benefits!  So, these snacks that are made up of gelatin have the same health benefits as bone broth, and they are much easier to make than bone broth. Thus, if you ever don’t have time to make bone broth, you can use these guys as a temporary substitute to get those collagen benefits!

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Yeah, so see how awesome these things are for you?!?  It’s important to use a gelatin that is from pasture-raised, grass-fed, and non-GMO! I use Vital Protiens, but there are a lot of good brands out there!

Okay, next up – PERFECT kid’s snack!  Kids LOVE fruit snacks, but you know how the boxes of fruit snacks usually say things like “all-natural” and “contains real fruit”, but then you flip the box over, and the ingredients are full of forms of sugar and some questionable ingredients? Well, these guys taste just like fruit snacks, but all of the ingredients, and there’s only 4 of them, are great for you, and you are guaranteed that they do, in fact, contain real fruit, because you will be the one putting it in there!

Are you sold yet? If not, here’s a few more things:

  • These contain blueberries, which means they have the health benefits of blueberries, such as loads of antioxidants, good for vision, good for heart health, and fights depression.
  • These seriously only take about 10 minutes to throw together, and they set pretty quickly in the fridge in about 30-60 minutes.
  • If the idea of “sour” fruit snacks turns you off, you can easily replace the lemon juice in this recipe with another juice, such as apple juice, blueberry juice, etc. You can even use water if you would like!
  • Ummmm…most importantly, GAWSH, these are delicious!!!

Okay, to the recipe we go!

HEALTHY SOUR BLUEBERRY GUMMY SNACKS

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (or some other liquid, such as juice or water)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 5 Tbsp. gelatin

Directions:

1.) Place the lemon juice and the frozen blueberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries become soft and tender (about 3 minutes or so). Add the honey, and continue to heat until the blueberries have started to cook down or dissolve forming a compote (about 5 minutes or so).

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2.) Remove from heat, and use a whisk to stir vigorously while slowly sprinkling in the gelatin. Do this slowly to avoid clumps. After all the gelatin has been added, continue to whisk vigorously for another minute.

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3.) Pour the mixture into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.

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4.) Pour the mixture into a pan that has an area anywhere from 40 square inches to 70 square inches. I used a bread pan, and it worked great.

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5.) Chill in the fridge until completely set (about 30 – 60 minutes). Use a knife to cut into bite size pieces in any shape you want.

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6.) Use a spatula to remove the gummies and transfer them to a plate or air-tight container.

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These will keep in the fridge for up to a week, but you can also pack them in a lunch and they will hold fine out of the fridge until lunchtime.

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Seriously, did we just become best friends? YUP! Enjoy! 🙂

Raspberry Almond Oatmeal Bars

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Well, I wasn’t sure if I should list these yummies under breakfast foods, snacks, or sweets/desserts – they can certainly serve as all three, and the fact that they can serve as a dessert should tell you how delicious they are!  These babies are fantastic for you, and the taste…people, the taste…I can’t even.  They are SO yummy!  I made a batch of these on a Sunday, and then ate them for breakfast throughout the week – made for an excellent week! 🙂

The two main ingredients in these that give them most of their flavor are raspberries and almonds – two awesomely good for you foods!  Both of them provide numerous health benefits!

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Some of the other ingredients in this are healthy foods such as bananas, cinnamon, and oats, all providing their own health benefits as well.  As you can see, these are seriously fantastic for you regardless of if you eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or dessert!  Alright, I’ll get on with it – to the recipe we go!

RASPBERRY ALMOND OATMEAL BARS

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup dry roasted almonds (no salt)
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 bananas

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line an 8 x 11 inch baking dish with parchment paper.  Lightly brush coconut oil over the parchment paper and dish sides.

2.) Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and process on high until completely combined.  Transfer the crust to the prepared baking dish and use your hands to spread out evenly over the bottom of the dish, forming a crust.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

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3.) While the crust is baking, put all of the topping ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. After the 10 minutes are up, take the crust out of the oven and top with the toppings.  Spread out evenly over the crust.  Place back in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 21 minutes.

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4.) Take out of the oven and allow to cool in the dish for a minimum of 10 minutes.  Use a knife to gently cut out bars.

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Just from the pictures, you can see how yummy this stuff is!  It will last in the fridge for up to a week, and it will last in the freezer for up to two weeks, so you can also make these ahead of time and not have to worry about breakfasts for the week (major plus)!  Anyway, their ready to go at this point, so dig in!

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SO YUMMY!  Enjoy! 🙂

Perfectly Poached Eggs

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I’ve finally nailed down a process for poaching eggs that results in perfectly poached eggs every single time! I am CRAZY about eggs! Scrambled, boiled, fried, poached…you name it, I LOVE it!  Which is a good thing, because eggs have TONS of great health benefits!

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Of course, you can overdo a good thing, so it’s best to limit eggs to a 6 per week maximum for women and and 8 per week maximum for men.  But if you’re staying within these limits, then you are reaping some huge benefits from these tasty little guys!

Now, back to this poaching process.  It took me a while to figure it out, but what I’ve found is that if you oil the pan first, and then add a bit of apple cider vinegar and sea salt before sliding the eggs into the pan, it somehow makes those eggs come out perfect every. single. time!  So, let’s get to it!

PERFECTLY POACHED EGGS

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • olive oil spray

Directions:

1.) Spray a small sauce pan with olive oil spray, then fill 3/4 of the way full with water.  Place over medium/high heat, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low/medium, so the water is at a simmer, add the apple cider vinegar and sea salt, and then place a large spoon in the pan.

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2.) Crack your eggs into a small bowl, then use the bowl to gently slide the eggs into the simmering pan over the spoon. Do NOT stir or mix or anything like that.

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3.) Carefully remove the spoon, and place a cover on the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes.

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4.) Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water.

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5.) Transfer to a plate or on top of some veggies, and season as desired.

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PERFECT!  Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Quinoa

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Guys!  I recently realized that I haven’t made anything containing quinoa in it in quite a while!  How could I have neglected this power packed superfood???  I mean, seriously, this stuff is so good for you…it’s gluten free…it’s packed with nutrition…and it lends itself in so many ways to both savory and sweet dishes!

 

 

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Don’t worry (I know you were, don’t deny it!), I remedied the situation quickly with breakfast this morning by making this super easy and super nutritious, tasty apple cinnamon raisin breakfast quinoa!  Er-mer-gerd, this stuff is amazing.  It felt like it was just pure apple cinnamony goodness melting in my mouth!  Seriously, so yummy!

Because of the add-ins, this makes for a great complete breakfast with plenty of protein, healthy fats, carbs, and of course, NUTRITION!!!  I also love this breakfast, because it kept me feeling satisfied right up until lunchtime, which is sometimes a feat in my case just because I love food so much!  Plus, the cinnamon gave me a little pep in my step to start my day!  I love this stuff!  It also makes a great substitute for oatmeal, so if you have sensitivities to oats, then this stuff is perfect for you.  However, even if you don’t have a sensitivity to oats, you will LOVE this stuff!

APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN BREAKFAST QUINOA

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 apple, cored and peeled (I used honey crisp, but you can use any kind)
  • 1/4 dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1-2 tsp. raw honey

Directions

1.) Place the prepared apple, quinoa, and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed the water, and the apples are tender.

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2.) Remove from heat, and add the cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts to the pan.

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3.) Stir to combine, and transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with the honey and serve.

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Dig in!  You know you want to!  Enjoy! 🙂

Anti-inflammatory Chai Spiced Almond Milk

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Guys, I am not a happy camper right now. I seem to be in the middle of a big fat flare up of my SI joint, and that always makes me grumpy, because I can’t be active when this thing flares up. Me and resting have a love/hate relationship. I love it when I’m able to be active and a good rest after a nice long hike or jog feels fantastic. I hate it when I’m forced to do it. Sooooo…at least one good thing is coming out of this, and that is that I realized I’ve never shared my anti-inflammatory chai-spiced almond milk recipe with you all!

This is my go to anytime I have a flare up, because it’s great for reducing inflammation, and it feels like your drinking a super yummy treat! The anti-inflammatory properties come from the spices in there: turmeric, ginger powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. All of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties (especially turmeric), but on top of that, they all have a tremendous amount of other health benefits as well! Check out these pins for each of these four spices explaining these benefits!

TURMERIC

turmeric

GROUND GINGER

ginger

CINNAMON

cinnamon

NUTMEG

nutmeg

Guys, seriously, there’s too many health benefits to even count, and you get all of these in this anti-inflammatory milk! On top of all that, it also contains coconut oil, which is known to reduce inflammation and joint pain, among its gazillion other health benefits. So, yeah, this stuff is pretty awesome, and honestly, even if I’m not in a flare up, I like to make a batch of this stuff to have on hand, because it is sooooooo yummy!

You can enjoy it warm or cold, and if you make a big batch at once, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. If you do it this way, you can also reheat it after its been stored in the fridge if you prefer it warm. I like it both ways, depending on the weather outside (cold weather = warm and cozy, hot weather = cold and soothing).

One last thing! I use almond milk in this recipe, but you can replace that with coconut milk, regular milk, or you can even make this using tea or just plain water. Since most of the anti-inflammatory benefits come from the spices and coconut oil, the liquid you use to make it (barring some sugary or chemically laden drink) doesn’t make a difference.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY CHAI SPICED ALMOND MILK

Ingredients: makes 3-4 servings

  • 3 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • dash of black pepper (this is completely optional, and I don’t usually add it, but it can help with absorption of the other spices – however, if you’re sensitive to pepper, like me, it’s perfectly fine to leave it out)
  • raw honey or stevia to taste (I usually use stevia to keep it completely sugar free, also, you can use no sweetener at all if you would like)

Directions:

1.) In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the almond milk and coconut oil over medium heat. Add the spices and sweetener, and use a spoon or whisk to stir and combine completely while continuing to heat the mixture over medium heat.

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2.) Once the mixture is combined completely, the coconut oil is completely melted (if it was in solid form when you added it), and it has reached your desired temperature, remove it from the heat, and transfer to a cup.

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YUMMERS, and YAY to a more natural remedy for pain relief! Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts, and Greens Breakfast Skillet

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Oh my gosh!  Best start to my day EVER, and I’m going to share the two things that made it so great with you in hopes that it will give you a great start to your day too!  First, I started off with some time with Papa.  My daily devotional was all about Ephesians 2:19-22.

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What an awesome reminder, hey?  So, second, after that, I proceeded to make the most delicious breakfast skillet ever!  I threw together a hodge podge of veggies, and then fried a couple eggs over them to make a delicious veggie and egg skillet!  Wowsers!  It turned out so so yummy!  So, let’s get to it!

SWEET POTATO, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, AND GREENS BREAKFAST SKILLET

Ingredients – Makes 2 Servings

  • 1 large sweet potato, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and quartered
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 4 cups Mixed greens
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Granules
  • 2 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt
  • 2-4 eggs
  • Sea salt and Pepper

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the prepared sweet potato and brussels sprouts on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.  Season with 1/4 tsp. garlic granules and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees.

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2.) When the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts have about 10 minutes left, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender.  Add the greens and cook till wilted (about 1-2 minutes).

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3.) Add the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.  Remove from heat and add the yogurt.  Stir to combine and coat completely. Transfer to plates and set aside.

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4.) Place the same pan you just emptied over medium heat.  Add the eggs and cook on one side for 1-2 minutes.  Use a spatula to flip the egg without breaking the yolk, and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.  Place the eggs on top of the veggies on the plates.

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5.) Season with sea salt and pepper.

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And there you go!  Hope you have a great day!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Biscuits

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I am sooooooo excited about this recipe!  The other day, I was craving biscuits – something that most would assume are a no-no if you are following a gluten-free diet.  Well, we all know what I think when it comes to someone telling me I can’t have something if I’m gluten-free…challenge accepted.

I went on Pinterest and found the following pin which links to a recipe for biscuits that are made with regular glutenous flour and sugar and all those things that I don’t eat!

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From there, I just got creative with some substitutes and omissions from this recipe to come up with an AWESOME recipe for gluten free biscuits made using coconut flour!  They turned out perfectly!  Fluffy, melts in your mouth perfectly!

You can totally enjoy these alone, or you can top them with whatever you would like.  They are perfect for making biscuits and gravy, or for making egg biscuit breakfast sandwiches.  They are so versatile – seriously!  I ate two of them right out of the oven and topped one with a pat of butter and some honey.

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I topped the other with some of my homemade walnut butter.

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Both were delicious!  I have a feeling these are going to become a regular occurrence in our household now!

GLUTEN FREE COCONUT FLOUR BISCUITS

Ingredients (makes 4 small biscuits:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid form)
  • 2 eggs at room temperature (very important they are at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk at room temperature (once again, the temperature is important here)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut flour and coconut oil in a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine until a crumbly batter forms.

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2.) Add the eggs and the almond milk, and stir to combine (this is where it is important that the eggs and almond milk are at room temperature – if they are cold, they will harden the coconut oil in the mixture creating major lumps). Add the baking soda and sea salt, and knead with your hands to mix completely and form a lump of batter.

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3.) Divide the batter into four equal-sized parts, and roll each part into a ball.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly on each creating the shape you would like the biscuit to be.

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4.) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 19 minutes, give or take a minute.

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5.) Transfer to a plate or bowl to serve as is, or use a sharp knife to gently cut the biscuits in half and top with desired toppings.

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YAY!!!  Gluten free flaky soft delicious biscuits!!!  Enjoy! 🙂