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.