Sunday, August 4, 2013

How to make No Sugar or Low Sugar Blueberry Jam

In this video tutorial I walks you through step-by-step how to make low sugar blueberry jam.  The pectin I use is called Pomona's Universal Pectin and it allows you to even make a no sugar (!) jam recipe.  We love this recipe and I have made multiple batches using blueberries and strawberries. The jam is amazing and sets up nicely!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pumpkin Coco-Carrot Muffins

The kids and I created a new recipe today and it is healthy & delicious! We're calling them our Pumpkin Coco-Carrot Muffins!

In the past few years we have been adopting a more organic, whole food diet and learning more about traditionally prepared foods.  I love to cook and bake and even more than that I love to eat! So, I'm always playing around with ingredients to make nutritious dishes my family will enjoy. These muffins are the result of one of my experiments. 

They were quite simple to make so let's jump into the recipe!

If you want to see how my kids help me make these check out the step by step video tutorial I created for this recipe HERE. 

Since I came up with this recipe myself I am listing the exact ingredients I used to get this great result in hopes that will help you recreate them in your home! Feel free to experiment, substitute and replace some ingredients.  I'm a big believer of experimenting in the kitchen. 

Inside of muffin. Moist, airy and soft... oh, and delicious!

Here is the step-by-step video recipe:

• 1/2 cup coconut flour {I use this kind}
• 1/2 cup oat flour {I ground up organic rolled oats in my Vitamix}
• 1/2 cup sprouted whole wheat flour {I make my own but you can get it here}
• 1 teaspoon baking powder {aluminum free- get it here}
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg {I used freshly ground}
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• pinch of sea salt {I use pink himalayan sea salt- get it here}
• 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup [so, a little less than 2/3 cup] of organic evaporated sugar cane juice {get it here}

• 1 duck egg {I used one of our homegrown, free range Peking duck eggs, if you can't get duck eggs try 1 L or XL chicken egg}
• 1/2 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract {get it here}
• 1/3 cup extra virgin organic coconut oil {I use this kind}
• 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree {we grew our own see post HERE}
• 1 1/2 cups organic coconut milk {I use this kind}
• 1/2 cup shredded organic carrots {I used almost two carrots to get this amount}
• 1/2 chopped organic raw almonds{get it here} (or can also use other nut of your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350º F (or 180º C). Line two 12 muffin baking pans with paper liners.
2. In a bowl mix together all dry ingredients until everything is evenly combined.
3. In a separate bowl whisk egg by itself for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add remaining wet ingredients to egg. 
5. Add the dry ingredients into wet ingredients bowl and mix together just to combine.  I use a hand mixer and only mixed for about 10 seconds until everything was combined. Don't over mix.
6. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup.  I use one scoop per muffin but this will depend on the size of your ice cream scoop.  You can also just use a few tablespoons in each one.
7. Sprinkle chopped almonds on each muffin. You can also use other chopped nuts you like.
8. Bake in 350º F (180º C) oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden around egdes and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I set my timer for 17 minutes to check on them and they needed an additional 5 minutes before they were done. 

Yields: 18-24 muffins depending on how big your scoops in each liner are. I got 23 muffins from this recipe with my ice cream scoop.


If you give his recipe a try I would love to hear about it below!

My Pumpkin Coco-Carrot Muffins coming out the oven. YUM!
They are the perfect size for kids and adult portion control! YUMMY!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bento Box Lunches for Kids

My 3.5 yo son started a summer day camp this week.  I have to pack him a lunch each day so a few weeks ago I started researching my options. I knew I wanted stainless steel because it's sturdier, healthier and overall more environmentally friendly than plastic. I found a few different options and finally settled on this one:

It's a LunchBots Trio.  They also have an Uno, Duo and Quad.  Each one has the number of separate compartments reflected in its name. I decided on a Trio for my son. I am so glad I did! We love this little box!

I will admit when I first got it I was a little skeptical because it's so small. I was wondering how all the pictures I'd seen online could be real. Surely this little box couldn't hold all that food. I was soooooo wrong! Here are the first 4 bento box lunches I've ever made for my kid so you can see how much it holds.
Bento #1: garlic & kale rice, chicken with homemade BBQ sauce, tomatoes, roasted sweet potato slices and organic blue corn tortilla chips

Bento #2: sauteed green beans, veggie meatballs (this recipe), sliced almonds, cheese, and tomatoes.

Bento #3: steamed broccoli, tostones {twice fried plantain slices} cooked in duck fat, ketchup, cheese and kiwi

Bento #4: garlic & herb roasted potatoes, bakes whole wheat spaghetti & meatballs, kiwi, banana, tomatoes
I've been posting these pics daily on my Facebook page and have received a great response. I'm glad I can inspire others to cook healthier meals for their kids just by sharing a few pictures.

This is so much fun! I will admit... I look forward to packing his lunch every night. He helps me pack it and gets to choose what he wants in it.  Sometimes they aren't as balanced as I would like but it's all fresh, homemade and organic so I will let him get away with some stuff every once in a while.

I also love the mini cupcake silicone liners to help keep the foods separate. These are the ones I ordered:

Some online resources I really enjoyed while learning about bento lunches are:

Do you pack bento style lunches for yourself, kids, or partner?

Click HERE to get your own LunchBots. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

3 Easy Lemonade Recipes

It's June in Florida and that mean blueberry picking time! My kids LOOOOVE blueberries in anything.  But one of their favorite ways is in their lemonade.  A refreshing drink that is a much better alternative to store-bought juice boxes.

In this video I show you how I make my plain lemonade recipe and then two additional variations with blueberries and fresh mint. I also share tips on getting your kids involved in the kitchen. You'll even get to see my kids helping me make the lemonade!

My kids helping me squeeze lemons- Jonathan, 3.5 yrs and Allie, 20 months.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Meatless Meatballs!

We're not vegetarians but I love to try all kinds of new recipes.  So, when I cam across Chef John's meatless meatball recipe on YouTube I just had to try it! To watch his recipe click HERE.

my veggie meatballs out of the oven
 To get them equally sized I used a small cookie scoop.
Dinner is served! Veggie meatballs with organic whole wheat spaghetti. Yummmm!
These meatless meatballs are beyond yummy! They taste like they have meat in them and the texture is just perfect! My hubby and the kids enjoyed it and I have plans to make a large batch and freeze some for quick weeknight dinners.

Let me know if you give it a try and any changes you make to it!

Online Bread Making Class

Online Cheese Making Class

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Make Rock Cakes

For my second video in the Invade London special going on on YouTube I had my 2 yr old help me make some yummy traditional British snacks called rock cakes.  They are called rock cakes because they kinda look like .... well,  rocks.

My recipe varies a bit from traditional recipes but they are just as yummy! It all comes together in one bowl and there is no fancy way to scoop them out. I just use a spoon and drop globs of it on my baking sheet. It's a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.

Click HERE to watch the video recipe now... or you can view it below if you are reading this post on my blog.

I love pins!

My ingredients vary a bit from the traditional recipes you may see elsewhere online so this video recipe is for me to share with you how I make my version of rock cakes.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of double acting baking POWDER... not baking soda
1 stick of butter (4 ounces)
1/4 cup of sugar
pinch of salt (added to flour mixture)
3/4 cup of mix-ins (dried berries, chocolate chips, nuts.. whatever you want)
1 egg
2-4 Tablespoons of milk (I use almond milk, but any milk will work

Preheat oven to 400º F or 200ºC. Add 1 stick of butter to a bowl and let it come to room temperature. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and then add to the butter.  Combine with two forks until you get a mealy mixture of broken up chunks of butter fully coated with flour. Add sugar and mix-ins and stir to combine.  Then add one egg and stir to combine.  Now add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time while mixing to combine the batter into a somewhat sticky dough.  Take a spoon and dollop  spoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie or baking sheet. 

Bake in a PREHEATED oven at 400º F or 200º C for 12-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them because every oven is different.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant

Our Spring/Summer garden is off and running!  I'm growing this fabulous heirloom variety of eggplant called Listada de Gandia. It's from Spain and it is growing beautifully in our Florida soil.

 Isn't it amazing?
They are white with streaks of a rich plum purple color. I've never really cared for eggplant flavor or texture but these are soooo yummy! If you're thinking I must be lying...let's just say, my 2 yr old and 8 month old love it too!

After I picked all these the other day I had to come up with something for dinner and decided on stuffing them.  They were A-MA-ZING and the hubby requested I make these again.  They were a hit in my house and I hope this recipe will inspire you to head to your local farmer's market and support some organic growers of eggplant because nothing compares to a homegrown and local veggies!

Super easy to make... here goes:

1. Drizzle 1 tablespoon on olive oil in a saucepan and brown about 1 lb of ground meat (This is optional. I used ground beef)
2. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until meat is fully cooked and onions are soft.
3. Add any other veggies of your choice to meat mixture at this time- I used tomatoes from the garden.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Wash and slice about 4-5 eggplants lengthwise in half.
6. Use a spoon and scoop out the center and reserve.  Don't go to far with the spoon because you don't want to break through the skin.
7. Chop up what you scooped out of the eggplant into 1/2" cubes and add to meat mixture.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add salt, pepper, cumin powder to taste.
9. Scoop meat mixture into eggplant boats and bake on a flat baking pan at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
10. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
TIP- I like to slice a sliver off the bottom of the eggplant boats so they sit flat on my baking pan without rolling around. 

I love pins!