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Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus

Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

It’s time to get back to routines, back to school, back to nourishing lunches! If you haven’t set any goals, a good one is to make sure your kids are being nourished every single day at every meal.

It may sound daunting, but it’s not. Real food is actually quite simple. Want a snack? Have a pear. Have some pepper slices. Simple.

Want to know what else is simple?

My grain and nut free mineral rich hummus!

It’s so simple my kids can make it themselves. Just a few ingredients tossed in the blender. Done in less than five minutes.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

If you want to avoid using canned beans, the easiest way to cook chickpeas is in your Instant Pot!

But what makes it mineral rich?

In addition to the usual chickpeas and oil, I like to add pumpkin seeds. They are loaded with zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin E!

The seeds are ground right into the hummus, so you’d never know they’re there. But they really boost the nutrition. You could also use sunflower seeds and/or hemp seeds to vary the minerals.Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Allergy Friendly Hummus

I like to keep my hummus very allergy friendly. No grains, nuts, dairy, eggs, soy or corn. Veggies with hummus is my go-to dish to bring to a family gathering. I have kids with allergies and a niece and nephew with allergies. So I try to make sure I bring something everyone can (and will!) eat.

My kids will eat hummus by the spoonful. I like to keep some on hand for easy snacks and lunch additions. If I have pepper and cucumber slices prepared, my three year old will grab a pile with the whole container of hummus and start dipping away.

This year make nourishing food a priority. But don’t stress yourself. Keep it simple with easy foods like fruits, veggies and my five minute grain and nut free mineral rich hummus. You never know, it might just be the trick to turn your kids into raw veggie lovers!

Are your kids adventurous eaters? They might like my pesto hummus!Grain and nut free mineral rich hummus makes the perfect snack or lunch box addition. This is will soon become a kid favorite for dipping veggies!

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus
Serves 10
A simple, mineral rich dip for veggies or crackers.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (cooked, boxed or canned), drained, liquid reserved
  2. 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  3. 6 Tbsp. bean liquid or water
  4. 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (or sunflower or hemp)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. dillweed (optional)
  9. 1/4 tsp. desiccated liver (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth. Add extra liquid/water if needed.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate (up to one week) until ready to serve.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

When it comes to holiday entertaining (for a crowd or just for my own family) I have two requirements:

  1. Nutritious
  2. Simple

I’ve learned how to host a crowd without stress and still serve real food. The big stuff is easy – meat, potatoes, veggies, etc. But I tend to neglect the little things like breakfast, dessert and fruit sides.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Three-in-One Recipe

Today I’m sharing my solution for all three!

Candy cane mason jar fruit salads work for breakfast, dessert or a simple side dish.

Start with whole milk Stonyfield yogurt that you strain to make it really thick. We like to use the vanilla, but you could use plain to make it without any added sugar. The strained vanilla yogurt is a simple alternative to whipped cream that has probiotics! My kids could not get enough of it! And I always have quarts of Stonyfield yogurt on hand. Actually I usually have about four or five in my fridge because we eat it so often.

I add our own fruit, sweeteners and other add-ins (like kettle corn granola and chia seeds) to the plain, whole milk organic yogurt for an easy breakfasts a couple times a week. That way I know we’re eating good quality food! I love that Stonyfield is all organic and is committed to using quality ingredients.

And if you’re concerned about sugar content, Stonyfield has less sugar than other brands.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you like your yogurt/cream really thick (like I do!) you can even use strained Greek yogurt for the fruit salads. But it would be a bit on the tart side. The strained yogurt works perfectly for these fruit salads so the fruit does not sink into the yogurt. You can really see those layers!Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Fruit Stripes

Once strained, simply layer the yogurt with your favorite festive fruits. We use pomegranate seeds, kiwi, raspberries and grapes. Taylor it to your tastes and the look you like. Little kids might not be keen on pomegranate seeds. While adults might like a mix with everything. My toddler enjoyed a combination of raspberries and green grapes. But my big kids loved the pomegranate seeds and kiwi.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

I make a variety and let everyone choose what they like. I keep some all green and some all red and some I mix. They look so festive! Like a candy cane in a jar.

How to Save Time

Best of all? You can make them ahead of time for a super easy breakfast or dessert. Don’t want to interrupt opening Christmas presents to make breakfast? Make these fruit salads the night before and munch while you unwrap. Or prep them before your guests arrive for a super easy dessert.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

If you’re really busy you can skip the last step and simply turn breakfast into a candy cane parfait buffet. Set out all the ingredients and let everyone assemble their own! Add granola, chia seeds and nuts for a complete meal. This works very well for a big crowd.

Kids Can Cook Too!

I really love that my kids can actually make these on their own. They’ve been learning to cook for two years now through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. So they are proficient with knives and many other kitchen tools. I could give them all the supplies and let them prepare the fruit salads as a fun project. Then I’m free to work on the main meals.

Interested in teaching your kids how to cook? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse HERE!

Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Coffee with Dessert?

Whether serving mason jar fruit salads for breakfast or dessert, a cup of coffee is an excellent accompaniment for the adults. If you like coffee that is. Me? I’ve never been a coffee drinker. But my husband and in-laws are! Whenever my in-laws come visit I have no drink to offer them with dessert. My brother and sister-in-law actually bring their own! They know I never serve any.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Thanks to Krups I now have a great coffee maker! And I can finally learn how to make some decent coffee. No more embarrassed hostess here.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Cutest Candy Canes

Now let’s be honest, the real reason we all want to make these mason jar fruit salads is simply because they are so stinkin’ cute! Seriously. Who wouldn’t want one? My kids were sad I hadn’t made two for each of them. I guess next time I know to make a huge batch. They could be easy grab ‘n’ go snacks or great additions to school lunches. Use seasonal fruit to change it up throughout the year.

Festive and nutritious holiday dishes don’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple and fun with these fresh, fruity candy cane mason jar fruit salads. They are sure to be a family favorite.Looking for that perfect Christmas breakfast or dessert? This adorable and easy candy cane mason jar fruit salad is great for both kids and adults!

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad
Yields 6
A simple, holiday fruit salad that works for breakfast, dessert or a side dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups Stonyfield whole milk vanilla yogurt (or plain or Greek)
  2. Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  3. 2 kiwis
  4. Medium bunch of red and/or green grapes
  5. 2 cups raspberries or strawberries
  6. (Optional) 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Strain the yogurt in cheesecloth for one hour. Hang it over a bowl to get as much whey out as you can.
  2. While the yogurt is straining chop/seed the fruit into bite-size pieces.
  3. Layer the fruit and yogurt in 1/2-pint mason jars, small glass bowls or festive dishes.
  4. Top with chia seeds or more fruit.
Notes
  1. The fruit salads can be made with all red fruit, all green fruit or a combination.
  2. Older kids can help prepare the fruit and layer the salads.
  3. This makes 6 - 8 1/2-pint mason jars, depending on the ratio of fruit to yogurt you like.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

I don’t know about about you but when June rolls around I am so ready to get my salad on! I actually love eating salads year round. But something about the warm, summer weather makes me crave salad.

And when it comes to dressing I am not a traditional girl. Ranch? No thanks. Italian? Blech. I used to always eat honey mustard (I even have over four versions of it on the blog!!), but when I had to give up mustard for two years I lost that taste too.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

My New Favorite

These days my salad dressing usually contains desiccated liver, fermented kale or aquatic greens…or all three if I’m really feeling the need to boost nutrients.

But there is one thing I always love on my salads – pesto! I usually make a really mild and simple version of pesto with peas (super kid friendly!!!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Taylor Farms organic salad mixes. I went right for the baby spinach and popped it in the blender with olive oil, Stonyfield whole milk yogurt and seasoning. Amazing!

I served it with dinner on a bed of Taylor Farms mixed spring greens. The family loved it! My six-year old still isn’t a fan of lettuce salads. So he had cucumber, avocado and parmesan cheese topped with the creamy spinach pesto.  He sure was happy with his salad – and even asked for it again the next day!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Kid-Friendly Greens

Creamy spinach pesto is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. It does not taste like eating spinach (my son will vouch for that!). Plus it is combined with healthy fats like whole milk yogurt and extra virgin olive oil to help utilize the vitamins and minerals in the spinach.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Even if your kids aren’t big salad eaters yet this creamy spinach pesto works well for dipping veggies or even chicken nuggets. We also like to eat it on noodles (pesto pasta!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Sometimes I’m sneaky and add a little desiccated liver. My kids don’t mind the taste since I add it to everything. It really boosts the Vitamin A content!

If you’re like me and craving a good summer salad this dressing is for you! Grab a big bowl, some Taylor Farms organic salad mix, your favorite salad toppers and a big helping of creamy spinach pesto! Summer has officially begun.

What is your favorite salad dressing? Do you make your own dressing creations?

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing
Serves 6
A creamy green dressing the whole family will love!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups tightly packed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  3. 2 Tbsp. plain, whole milk yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  8. optional: 1/8 tsp. desiccated liver, 1/8 tsp. fermented kale powder, 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Run warm water over the peas to thaw or let sit on the counter to thaw.
  2. In a blender combine the spinach, peas, yogurt, oil, salt, garlic, onion and optional ingredients if desired.
  3. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Notes
  1. This dressing works well on salads, as a veggie dip, on pasta or for chicken nuggets.
  2. This recipe makes one cup of dressing and is easily doubled or tripled to serve at a picnic.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Taylor Farms for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

No Mixer Required Bananas Foster Ice Cream (gluten free, grain free, egg free, nut free)

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

Summer is just around the corner. I keep telling myself that so when it’s forty degrees in May I don’t get too discouraged. A couple days of eighty degrees before the forty sure helped too.

One great way to start thinking summer is with ice cream! If you’ve followed me very long you know ice cream is my absolute favorite food. At least these days I don’t eat nearly as much as I used to and most of the ice cream I do eat is homemade. It’s all about the baby steps!

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

Make it Real

I recently bought some ice cream for my husband – a limited edition flavor – bananas foster. I tasted it. Wow, was it sweet!! Good, but sweet. It reminded me of egg nog.

My kids (and I) were a bit jealous, so I made our own version. This homemade bananas foster ice cream is loaded with banana flavor – because it is mostly pureed bananas! Then I swirled in some homemade caramel sauce for the “foster” taste. You could really bump up nutrition and save time by using this metabolism boosting caramel with liver!

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

You can add homemade vanilla wafers for great texture. I didn’t have any on hand…but I can’t wait to try it some time!

A little pinch of nutmeg really makes this bananas foster ice cream stand out.

Feel free to make your version with as much or as little sweetener as you like. The bananas add plenty of sweetness on their own as long as they are really ripe. But a tablespoon or two of maple syrup added to them is just right for us.Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

Quick and Easy

One of the best parts of this ice cream is that there is no ice cream mixer required. You do have to make the caramel and freeze the bananas in advance. But once you’re ready the ice cream comes together in minutes and is ready to eat.

Are you thinking summer already? Give this bananas foster ice cream a try. What’s your favorite flavor?

Ready to think summer? This no mixer required bananas foster ice cream is sure to help! So easy to make and free of grains, eggs and nuts.

No Mixer Required Bananas Foster Ice Cream
Serves 6
A creamy banana ice cream with swirls of caramel.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 very ripe bananas
  2. 2 - 4 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey (optional)
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 3 - 4 Tbsp. caramel sauce
  5. 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
  6. 1/4 cup vanilla wafers, crumbled (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare the caramel. Refrigerate.
  2. Slice the bananas and freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Combine the frozen bananas, maple syrup, salt and nutmeg in a food processor. Blend until smooth (this will take a few minutes and you may have to scrape down the sides multiple times).
  4. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container.
  5. Gently mix in the caramel and vanilla wafers.
  6. Serve or freeze.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Simple Steps Towards Mom Self-Care plus a Quick Vegetable Dip Recipe

Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

I’ve been mom-wired for as long as I can remember. I wanted to play with dolls all day every day from the time I was very little. I dreamed about nursing babies instead of being a princess. I loved to make food for my siblings and their friends and would even clean up after them. I was always willing to help around the house. I would just sit in the kitchen and watch my mom bake because it fascinated me.

All Grown Up

I can’t say a whole lot has changed since then. I now have three kids of my own. I still love to cook for them and take care of them. It’s fun to dress them in cute clothes and do fun activities with them.

My writing is much the same. It focuses on feeding kids nourishing food and working through picky eating and allergies. All of my recipes have to be kid-approved. I even wrote two books about feeding kids (check them out here)!

Where’s Mom?

You may have noticed that one thing has been left out of all of this…myself. Yes, I am just like so many other moms. I put myself at the bottom of my to-do list.

As I write this post I’m starting day seven of my husband being out of town. With a house and farm to care for, three kids to feed and tend to, lots of activities and home schooling I bet you can imagine how much time is left to think about myself (next to none).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Mom Life Rocks!

I don’t say any of this to take pity on myself. It’s actually quite the opposite! I love my life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But sometimes (ok, almost all the time) I forget that mom needs care too.

Over the last few months I have finally made it my goal to really focus on my health and making nourishing food a priority (i.e. sardines, liver and spinach for breakfast!!). It has been amazing to see my health continue to improve (even after 2 1/2 years of breastfeeding on a very restricted diet that left me worn out and depleted). I actually feel better now than I ever have. It’s a good thing since my life requires a lot of energy!

Body Shape Roller Coaster

Along with the  health changes have come changes in my body shape. For a while now I’ve been in a constant state of exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. This leads to skinny legs and booty with weight in the belly. Plus you lose muscle. For this once fit and active woman it was strange…but eventually became my normal. My husband and I even joked that I seemed to loose more booty and gain more belly with each child (now I know that is from being so run down)!

But as my health has been reversing back to balanced hormones and fully rested my weight is shifting back to the places it should be. I have a figure again! And now my clothes don’t fit (especially pants!).Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

What’s the Problem?

Yet one thing I still never do for myself is buy new clothes. Although it sounds trivial, when you’re wearing old yoga pants and ten year old t-shirts with holes in the armpits every day, it really doesn’t make you feel so great about how you look. It impacts your self esteem. And your kids notice. But it’s about all I have that fits.

You can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to partner with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna again. I’ve worked with them in the past to help me figure out my style and learn to embrace bold. This time I combined both my love of simplicity and my need for bold colors with this royal blue dress. It fits perfectly with prAna’s celebration of #TheWholeYou. This dress is ALL me.

From the moment I pulled it out of the box I knew it would be one of my favorite pieces of clothing. Sometimes I get caught up in budgets and kids’ needs and forget that I have needs to. I am always willing to go without. I forget that a few simple pieces of clothing that actually fit and make me feel good can make a world of difference in my attitude and my confidence.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

It’s Your Turn!

I want to encourage you to do something today to take care of yourself. Whether it be taking a walk alone, meeting a friend for coffee and having uninterrupted adult conversations, finishing that book that’s been half read for months, taking a yoga class, going on a date with your spouse or buying a new outfit that really makes you feel good.

Moms often forget that they have needs too. I don’t know about you, but I need a reminder once in a while (or maybe all the time) to not always put myself last. A happy, healthy mom is better able to care for her family and help create a happy, healthy home.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Need some inspiration to get you started?

I’ve got TWO ways to take mom off the bottom of the to-do list today.

First, check out prAna and buy yourself something nice. Seriously, their clothes are AMAZING. So comfortable and good quality. If you’re like me that is so important since I don’t buy new clothes often. It has to last. 

PrAna is offering my readers 15% off using coupon code WHOLES17JTB through the end of May. I might just have to order a few more things myself since none of my clothes fit anymore!Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

Second I’ve got a yummy treat for you (though you can share if you want – my kids sure love it…there I go again, handing over my food to my kids). I LOVE vegetables. I always have. But I like raw veggies even more with dip. You can make this super simple dip in about sixty seconds. Jazz up your veggies with something delicious and do your body a favor with nourishing foods. It’s a win-win.

All those great vitamins in vegetables need fat for absorption. So Stonyfield full fat Greek yogurt makes the perfect base. Add some seasoning and you’ve got a great snack or addition to your lunch.Do you make mom self-care a priority or do you put yourself at the bottom of the to-do list? Here are simple steps to make mom matter!

60 Second Veggie Dip
Serves 4
A quick and nutritious veggie dip using Greek yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Stonyfield whole milk Greek yogurt
  2. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  5. 3/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  6. (optional: 1/2 tsp. desiccated liver)
  7. (optional: 1/4 tsp. turmeric)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients. Add more garlic or onion if desired.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. You can substitute sour cream for the yogurt
  2. This is great as a vegetable dip, chip dip or topping for tacos or nachos.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

What are you doing today for some mom self-care? I’d love to hear how you make time for yourself! I have a lot to learn.

Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is in a few days…any mom would love some prAna clothing (hint, hint)! Use the coupon code WHOLES17JTB for 15% off!!

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and prAna on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment but all opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait and a Trip to the Zoo!

Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

My kids are true animal lovers. Just one more reason we moved to the country to start our own farm a few months ago!! But it’s not just farm animals. They are fascinated by just about any animal.

Science In Action

This is our first year homeschooling…and we chose to study land animals for science. They really, truly love animals! So when I heard that Stonyfield Yogurt was promoting World Penguin Day and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program I knew we had to see what it was all about.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

We took a trip to our local zoo (John Ball Zoo) to see the penguins up close. I’ve been going to JBZ ever since I was little. Whenever I visited my grandparents they took us to the zoo, and we each got a balloon. It is one of the best (and only) memories I have of my grandparents (I was very little). But I cherish those memories. And I love that I get to take my own kids to John Ball now!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

As luck would have it when we walked into the zoo they were just about to feed the penguins. So we hurried right over and got to see penguins swimming all over and enjoying fish. My kids thought it was great.

The fun didn’t end there. We spent the rest of the morning exploring tigers, bongos, spider monkeys, goats, chickens, chimpanzees and more. My animal-loving kids could have stayed all day. They really had fun on the new funicular. And, of course, we took a snack break and enjoyed some Stonyfield yogurt!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Fun

We can’t wait to go back to the zoo again this summer when we have more time to explore and more animals are active. But leaving the zoo didn’t put an end to our celebration of World Penguin Day.

At home we went on a waddle walk to see just how hard it would be to walk miles and miles like penguins do. The kids were out of breath after waddling across the yard. I don’t know how the penguins do it!

Later that day we watched some videos about penguins and learned about Emperor Penguins by watching Planet Earth. The kids were glued to the tv, fascinated by how the male penguins care for the eggs and wait for the females to return with food.Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

A Special Yogurt Treat

In honor of all of our Penguin Day fun we decided to make a special snack – a penguin parfait! This fun treat is easy to make and reminds us to do our part in keeping wildlife safe. I combined Stonyfield yogurt with tummy calming activated charcoal to create a black and white parfait you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or a snack.

Yogurt has a great balance of sodium to potassium which is great for your heart! This parfait also contains a nice mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Activated charcoal is my go-to supplement for settling tummies after an illness or an allergic reaction. I sometimes give it to my kids to help with gentle detox as well. It’s great for tummy maintenance once in a while. So this parfait is more than just a delicious treat. It’s filled with nutrition too.

I encourage you to help your kids explore and discover God’s beautiful creation. Take a trip to your local zoo and learn about the animals and how you can help protect them (don’t forget you can earn FREE zoo tickets when you buy Stonyfield yogurt!). Then enjoy a penguin parfait!Want to make science fun? Spend a day at the zoo learning about your favorite animals. Top it off with a delicious penguin parfait!

Penguin Parfait
Serves 2
A simple yogurt parfait to celebrate World Penguin Day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup full fat plain creamy or greek-style yogurt
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 capsule activated charcoal (260 mg)
  4. 1 medium-size ripe banana, halved and sliced
  5. 2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the yogurt, honey and charcoal. Mix until charcoal is fully distributed.
  2. Divide the yogurt between two cups.
  3. Top the yogurt with a layer of banana slices and 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips per cup.
Notes
  1. You can replace the yogurt + honey with two YoKids yogurt in your favorite flavor.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt on this post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

The Christmas Breakfast You Need – Candy Cane Smoothie Bowl

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It’s so easy to make your kids can do it!

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas from my childhood. We’d go to church for a candle light service on Christmas Eve. When it was time for presents my three siblings and I would sit in a line, and my dad would hand them out one at a time. There was so much joy and excitement.

Then we would visit out-of-town extended family. It was great to see grandparents and cousins that we didn’t get to see very often.

Of course after all of the celebrations were done it was time to play! We played with our new toys and spent hours outside building snow forts. That’s what Christmas break is all about, right?

Then I Grew Up…

Now I’m a parent…and I still love Christmas. But it doesn’t quite bring the same joy and excitement as it did when I was a child. I dwell on all of the stuff on my to-do list. The packing, traveling, buying, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning and hosting. It’s more crazy than calming. More stressful than joyful.

So by the time all of the chaos is over I’m just plain worn out. I don’t have the energy to prepare a fancy breakfast for my family.

Enjoy your holidays AND serve a healthy breakfast with this nutritious candy cane smoothie bowl. It's so easy to make your kids can do it!

My Solution?

This super simple candy cane smoothie bowl!

IT’S LOADED WITH NUTRIENTS BUT REQUIRES VERY LITTLE EFFORT…ISN’T THAT WHAT WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR?

A candy cane smoothie bowl is festive and fun. It is so easy to make I actually let my kids do most of the prep work! The older kids practice their detailed cutting skills they learned in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. The younger ones pick out pomegranate seeds.

All of the preparation can be done the day before (great afternoon project for bored kids!!). Even the smoothie ingredients can go right in the blender and be ready for morning.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing the recipe. Christmas breakfast planning done!

Get the recipe here!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

*This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt and Unreal Candy. I was compensated for my time commitment but I was not paid to publish positive reviews. All opinions expressed are my own.*

My oldest has been begging me to make frozen yogurt for about a year now. The only reason I haven’t obliged is because three out of five of us can’t eat it. And I have so many other things to make from scratch to keep us fed.

I don’t often take the time to make a special treat for just one child.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

The Right Time.

But when we got some Unreal candy to try I decided it was the perfect time for both – frozen yogurt as a special treat just for my daughter (well…my husband has been getting plenty of it too).

This is an easy, healthy version of traditional moose tracks ice cream.

I used Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt combined with some of our fresh raw milk cream as the base. Pastured egg yolks added extra creaminess. And a healthy dose of maple syrup and vanilla for a sweet flavor. Don’t forget the unrefined sea salt to really bring out the sweetness.

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Then comes the star of the show – bits of Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I also added some mini chocolate chips for extra chocolate (because you can never have too much!).

There is no cooking involved. You can have the frozen yogurt in the mixer (this is the one I use) in about five minutes. I actually let my eight-year old make it herself!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt maintains a little tang from the yogurt. But it is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the maple syrup and candy.

It makes the perfect treat any time of year!

In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

More To Love.

Unreal candy has some other great options besides the peanut butter cups. I think my favorite is the basic – candy coated chocolates. But these aren’t colored with dyes that will make my kids go crazy. They are colored with foods like cabbage and beets!

If you’re craving something sweet and a bit indulgent but want to skip the processed junk food, make a batch of Unreal moose tracks frozen yogurt. Use peanut butter cups, almond butter cups or whatever candy you like.

What is your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?
 In search of a sweet treat without any food dyes or chemicals? This Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt will blow you away!!

Unreal Moose Tracks Frozen Yogurt
Serves 10
A creamy frozen yogurt filled with peanut butter cups and bits of chocolate.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
  2. 1/2 cup whole milk
  3. 1/2 cup cream
  4. 3/4 cups maple syrup and/or organic cane sugar
  5. 2 pastured egg yolks (optional)
  6. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 5 - 8 Unreal dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into pieces
  9. 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine the yogurt, milk, cream, syrup, yolks, vanilla and sea salt in a blender.
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds to mix well.
  3. Process in an ice cream mixer according to manufacturer's directions (this takes about 20 minutes using my Kitchen Aid attachment).
  4. Transfer the frozen yogurt to a freezer-safe container.
  5. Gently fold in the candy and chocolate chips.
  6. Cover and freeze until firm.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Easy Pumpkin Filled Chocolates

Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Halloween is just around the corner. Which means candy everywhere you turn.

Where We Stand.

I’m not one to tell my kids they can never have anything sweet. But I am one to shy away from most traditional processed candy.

We don’t do any food coloring.

NONE. Which eliminates pretty much all fruity candy.

I let my kids choose a couple chocolates as a special treat. But even if the ingredients aren’t too horrible I still think ethically the big name companies are not so great. And I’d prefer not to support them.

So I turn to my tried and true solution – I make my own!

Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Pumpkin Season!

This year I went with something festive – pumpkin filled chocolates!!

Delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate (I use this brand because it is allergen free) filled with gooey, sweetened pumpkin…made with Perfect Supplements gelatin! Candy with good stuff in it? Yes, please.

These are a huge hit with my kids (especially my son that has been cocoa free for the last year and can now have it again…and my toddler that could care less about sweets but loves chocolate). We love to make them in fun shapes.

As an added bonus they are super easy to make. And if there happens to be either leftover pumpkin or chocolate they are great plain!

Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Gelatin For You!

Don’t forget that you can win a container of Perfect Supplements gelatin (or any other product of your choice)! The giveaway ends October 24, 2016.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!!

Easy Pumpkin Filled Chocolates
Yields 20
A simple allergy friendly chocolate filled with gooey pumpkin.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
  2. 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
  3. 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  5. pinch unrefined sea salt
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. Perfect Supplements gelatin
Instructions
  1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
  2. Fill the bottom of candy molds with half of the chocolate. Freeze to set while making the filling.
  3. Combine the pumpkin, cinnamon, syrup, salt and gelatin in a small saucepan.
  4. Let sit 1 minute.
  5. Heat over low - medium heat until the gelatin is dissolved (about 3 minutes).
  6. Add a small scoop of the pumpkin mixture to each chocolate mold. Freeze to set (about 3 minutes).
  7. Warm the remaining chocolate. Fill the candy molds to the top. Chill.
  8. When chocolate is solid remove the candy from the molds.
  9. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
Keep the Halloween treats simple, nutritious and delicious with these pumpkin filled chocolates. Free of major allergens but full of flavor.

Looking for a few other fun Halloween treats? Try these!

Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Gummies

Five Minute Salted Honey Chocolates

Chocolate Covered Toffee

Maple Candy

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

I am working with Bob’s Redmill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But all opinions are my own.

I love the start of fall. The leaves are changing colors. There is a crispness to the air. And some of my absolute favorite produce is in season – squash, pumpkin, pears and apples!

There are so many ways to use apples, including canning homemade applesauce and turning them into sweet, cinnamony apple crisp (with homemade vanilla ice cream of course!)

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar. The perfect healthy breakfast.

Dessert For Breakfast

I don’t always have time to bake apple crisp. But I do always have time to make apple crisp steel cut oatmeal.

Soak the oats in whole milk plain yogurt a day ahead to make them easier to digest. Then add freshly diced apples, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a bit of coconut sugar for a sweet breakfast treat. The coconut sugar adds a great maple flavor that pairs beautifully with the apples and cinnamon.

Don’t forget to top your oatmeal with your favorite granola (ours is kettle corn granola!) for that crunchy apple crisp topping.

Steel Cut Versus Rolled

Even if you are not a big oatmeal fan you have to give this a try. I grew up hating oatmeal. I wanted to like it so badly. But I couldn’t handle the texture.

Then I tried steel cut oats. What a world of difference! Once you try them you won’t want to go back to the rolled variety. Steel cut oats keep their texture and don’t get mushy.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

All around apple crisp steel cut oatmeal is a great breakfast. It does take about fifteen minutes to cook. So if you are pressed for time on weekdays you can save it for a weekend treat. Or just cook a big batch at the start of the week and reheat it on the stove or in the oven for a quick breakfast.

Make It Your Own

My husband loves to eat his oatmeal with fresh, raw milk on top. My daughter likes a dollop of vanilla yogurt on hers. It’s almost as good as apple crisp with ice cream!

Are you in need of a delicious fall breakfast that the kids will love?

Grab some Bob’s Redmill steel cut oats and coconut sugar and Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt. Then hit up your local orchard for your favorite variety of apple. You’re already half way to an amazing breakfast.

There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of oatmeal on a crisp fall day. Make it even better by turning it into apple crisp steel cut oatmeal with fresh apples and coconut sugar.

Apple Crisp Steel Cut Oatmeal
Yields 4
A hot breakfast of steel cut oats, sweet apples and coconut sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup steel cut oats
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  4. 1 3/4 cups water
  5. 1/2 cup coconut sguar
  6. 1/2 cup peeled and diced apples
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  8. pinch unrefined sea salt
  9. Optional toppings: milk, yogurt, granola, raisins, dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the oats, 1 cup water and yogurt. Let sit 7 - 24 hours at room temperature.
  2. When ready to cook, combine the oat mixture, 1 3/4 cups water, coconut sugar, apples, cinnamon and salt in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook on low, stirring frequently, until the oats and apples are cooked, 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm, plain or topped with milk or yogurt and granola.
Notes
  1. You can prepare the oatmeal in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat on the stove or in the oven with extra water added.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.