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There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

How to Find Joy in Nourishing Your Body

There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I’ve experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I’m so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

“You have to be healthy to eat healthy.”

It’s something I often say to people frustrated with trying to eat the “right way” but still not feeling great. There are so many diets that promote real food and healing. They all have merit, but that doesn’t mean they work for everyone.

I know this because I’ve tried them (read some of my thoughts HERE). And the only thing I got was severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, more food intolerances and infertility. But no healing.

The real problem is they all include rules. Specific diets place restrictions on what you can eat and categorize food as good or bad. When a food is deemed bad or forbidden guess what happens? You want it! You are left with this constant decision making between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. And feeling guilty if you choose wrong. Or worse food starts to cause anxiety.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

It took me the last twenty years to move past feeling like food is either good or bad. But I did it.  And I love it! It is so freeing to finally enjoy food.

Sound Familiar? There’s help!

Are you hung up on trying to find the right diet for you? Are you wondering if low carb or grain free or high fat is right for you? Does it make you stressed just thinking about it? Here are some simple tips to get past the fear and back to joy.

  1. Start listening to your body.
    Take note of how you feel when you eat certain foods. Keep a food journal for a week or two if need be. If nuts bother your stomach, take a break from them. If you feel better eating more carbohydrates and less fat then go for it. Eat what makes YOU feel good, not what helps your neighbor or your favorite blogger. If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease or allergies that will impact what foods hurt or help.
  2. Get rid of the rules.
    Stop viewing food as good or bad. As long as it’s real food it’s ok. Enjoy a piece of homemade chocolate cake and ice cream. Make a big stack of pancakes with butter and real maple syrup for breakfast. When you restrict foods because you think you shouldn’t eat them (instead of restricting because they actually make you feel bad) they create more stress. Ditch the diet and rigid rules.
  3. Start focusing on nourishment.
    This is where the fun begins. When you let go of unnecessary rules and you’re not constantly debating between eating a salad and digging into a container of ice cream you can focus on really taking care of your body.

Finding Joy

I spent far too many years trying to eat the perfect diet. Only to feel stressed, anxious and deprived. Then I had to go the other direction of eating anything and everything to try to restore metabolic health (you can read about my journey HERE and HERE). All to find a place of balance. Now I find great joy in nourishing my body. Not because a diet tells me to. Because I want to.

I heard someone recently say that happiness is external and joy is internal. Being happy comes from your circumstances, but joy is a state of being that comes from within. And it’s true. Good food does make me happy. But it’s the joy and peace I have inside that motivates me to make healthy choices every day.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Balance is Key

Today eating is like an exciting adventure for me. I try to pack as many nutrients into my food as possible. I add desiccated liver and fermented kale to smoothies and salads. I eat sardines and anchovies a couple times a week. I eat pastured meats and eggs regularly. I aim for a rainbow of vegetables and plenty of healthy fats daily. I drink herbal teas for added minerals and to support my body and get my hormones back in balance. It’s almost like a fun game to see how many vitamins and minerals I can get each day. I feel good and the joy comes pouring out.

But I also enjoy a dish of ice cream when I want it. Sometimes I eat a bowl of mashed avocado and tortilla chips for breakfast (quick and delicious…and it’s easy to add liver to avocado!). I like to bake with my kids and make special sweet treats together (like gluten free Oreos® and salted honey chocolates). It’s even rare that I go a day without at least a little bit of chocolate.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

There is no more should or shouldn’t with food. There are no rules. There is no restriction. Which in turn eliminates cravings (imagine that!).

Now I love to fuel my body, and I love how it makes me feel. That does not mean my diet is perfect. Not every single bite of food has to be nutrient packed. And less healthy foods here and there don’t negate all the good stuff I put in my body every day.

Let go of the Guilt

There is no guilt or feeling of reward for eating a certain way. I just truly love to eat nutrient dense food. No rules or special diets. I don’t eat GAPS or Paleo or AIP or low carb or any other specialized diet. I just eat real food that makes me feel good and that I know is helping me take care of my body. One day I might eat grain free while the next I might need some extra starch. And they are both just fine!

It’s very freeing to let go and find joy in nourishment. And it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!

I am very blessed that I do not have an autoimmune condition or severe allergies. But I do have some sensitivities and health issues I’m still working through. But I try not to let them get me down. I nourish my body as best I can with my limitations and keep striving for full healing.

Eating real food is easy. There are limitless options. Eating real food that meets your needs can be hard. But once you figure out how to do it you’ll love how you feel.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Foods That Nourish

Some of my favorite nutrient dense foods are ferments. They are packed with natural probiotics. What I really love is how easy they are (take a big scoop and enjoy!) and how much my kids like them. My toddler can’t get enough sauerkraut. While we do make our own sometimes, I don’t always have time to pound cabbage.

I recently got the chance to try sauerkraut and fermented pickles from Cultured Guru.There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Both the kraut and pickles have just a few simple ingredients and taste amazing! Using traditional fermentation these products are teaming with probiotics. They make great additions to a meal or are the perfect quick snack.

My oldest can’t get enough of the pickles. She has oral SPD and doesn’t tolerate any amount of spice. So even though she likes pickles it’s rare we can find any she’ll eat. But she loves the Cultured Guru pickles! She loves the sauerkraut too. Another rarity for her.

If you want to try some Cultured Guru ferments you’re in luck! You can get 25% off off using coupon code PROBIO.

I’ll be stocking up too. My kids and I can’t get enough!! Such a blessing when working on healing allergies!There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Super Charged Bites

Another super food that tops my list is a traditional staple – organ meats. I get mine by adding Perfect Supplements desiccated liver to just about everything. I even make caramel with it! I also love the fermented kale, collagen and aquatic greens from Perfect Supplements. I add them to most of our smoothies.

You can get 10% off any of these Perfect Supplements products with the coupon code TAKE10.

Some of my other favorite foods include sardines, salmon, eggs, raw milk, butter, lard, tallow, pastured meats and a rainbow of vegetables. They all make my body smile.

You have to be healthy to eat healthy.

I’m so excited to finally be healthy so I can enjoy eating well and nourishing my body every day.

Are you ready to let go of rules and enjoy eating again? Ditch the diets and find joy in nourishing your body.

Today is my birthday, and I’m starting it with pure joy. Joy that I’m taking care of myself and this beautiful body God gave me.

Want to see what I eat for my #nourishingbreakfast #nourishinglunch and #nourishingdinner? Follow me on Instagram! It may inspire you…or it might gross you out. In my husband’s words, “You eat that for breakfast?!”There are so many diets and theories and opinions when it comes to health. I've experimented with many of them! As I celebrate another year of life I'm so excited to finally be able to find joy in nourishing my body.

Disclaimer: I am working with Cultured Guru for this post. I have been compensated for my time 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.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

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.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt

No need to give up yogurt just because you have allergies! This pumpkin yogurt only takes five minutes to prep and still packs a nutritional punch with protein and probiotics.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

I’ve been dairy free for 18 months now, ever since my youngest was about a month old. This is not the first time I’ve had to go dairy free. But no matter how many times and no matter how long it lasts it’s never easy.

I LOVE dairy. Love it.

One of the things I miss most is yogurt. I used it eat it almost daily for breakfast or lunch. Add some granola…my happy place.

For most people there are some decent options to replace dairy yogurt – coconut, almond, etc. But those are all out for me too. We have that many allergies. So I’ve just gone without yogurt.

Until now.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Problem solved.

My youngest it starting to notice when her siblings have yogurt and she keeps asking for it. Oh, how I’d love to give it to her!! It breaks my heart to have to say no. I feel so mean since she doesn’t understand why.

Why Won't My Child Eat Banner Image 400x335

 

So I came up with a solution.

I created pumpkin yogurt. It is creamy and slightly sweet. It has lots of protein from both grass-fed collagen and gelatin plus a healthy dose of probiotics (this is the one we use). Just like the real thing.

An added bonus is you also get a big helping of vegetables!

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

The first time I made pumpkin yogurt I added fruit and some crumbled homemade graham crackers. I was instantly taken back to my happy place. Finally! I can have yogurt again!

My little one loves it too. I gave her a small dish. Her response: “mrrrr” (more). That is all I needed to hear.

To my surprise even my four year old loves it. When I first told him I made pumpkin yogurt he made the “don’t come near me with that stuff” face. But after he tried it he had to have a second dish! Maybe me calling it pumpkin PIE yogurt helped a little.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

More than just great taste.

Not only is pumpkin yogurt a nutritious breakfast it is also so easy to make!

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour the mixture in a jar.
  3. Let it culture for about eight hours.

That’s it.

Pumpkin yogurt makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack. Eat it plain or add your favorite fruit and crunchy topping. It is perfect for school lunches too.

Have you had to say goodbye to yogurt due to allergies?

Even if you can’t have dairy…or coconut…or nuts…or rice…you don’t have to give up yogurt. Pumpkin yogurt is allergen friendy, easy to make and oh so delicious!

why won't my child eat 728x90

Want to learn more about feeding children with allergies?

Check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! It’s packed with feeding strategies, tips on pinpointing reactions and allergen friendly recipes.

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Allergen Free No Cook Pumpkin Yogurt
Serves 3
A creamy pumpkin yogurt that is free of common allergens.
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
  4. 1 Tbsp. sweetener (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)
  5. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  8. 1 capsule powdered probiotic
Instructions
  1. Combine the pumpkin, water, collagen, sweetener, salt and cinnamon in a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Add the gelatin and probiotic.
  4. Blend for about 10 seconds.
  5. Pour the mixture into a glass jar with a lid.
  6. Put the jar in a warm place for 8-10 hours.
  7. Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Notes
  1. Setting the mixture on a counter that gets sunlight or on a stovetop with the oven on or in an unheated oven with the light on works well for culturing the yogurt.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt For Sensitive Tummies

When your child is recovering from a stomach bug or an allergy flair give them a special treat that is both delicious and calming. Zebra striped yogurt combines cultured dairy and charcoal to ease the pain.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

There are two tricks I have learned in the last year to help get a little tummy back on track after a stomach bug or an allergy flair.

  1. Yogurt
  2. Activated charcoal

Sensitive Tummies

Last year my son had a really bad stomach bug with constant vomiting. Once that part ended he refused to eat. As parents my husband and I were very concerned. We let our fear turn to frustration.

We would try to force him to eat. And it would all come back up. After days of this process we took him to the doctor who suggested yogurt.

My son was having reflux from such an empty stomach and all of the vomiting. He finally got back on track by taking a couple bites of yogurt every 30-60 minutes to ease the pain. Eventually he could tolerate more and more.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Since then yogurt has been my go-to when he has tummy troubles. Whether it be after an allergy flair (which gives him a stomach ache and keeps him from eating) or after a stomach bug (once any kind of vomiting or diarrhea has subsided).

If your child is allergic to dairy you can try coconut yogurt. I have not personally tried to see if it has the same effect.

Allergy Relief

During the last year we have also dealt with allergy flairs over and over and over as we tried to figure out what was bothering my youngest. A friend suggested activated charcoal. It has been a life saver!

It helps absorb any toxins or allergens and flush them out. It also helps stop vomiting and diarrhea.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Every time my daughter was screaming from an allergic reaction I would take charcoal. It was like magic. The next time she nursed my milk was safe again.

Today I’m sharing a fun way to combine these two secret weapons. Zebra striped yogurt looks cool, tastes great and is very calming to the tummy. In fact, I made the dish of yogurt I photographed the day my son had a stomach bug. He was definitely happy to be my taste tester (even if he does look a bit worn out).

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Depending on your child’s age, tastes and severity of reaction you can keep the yogurt plain or add a bit of sweetener. I use maple syrup in the black yogurt and organic cane sugar in the white yogurt.

The next time your child is recovering from a stomach upset of some kind whip up a zebra striped yogurt to ease the pain and get them back to full health quickly.

zebra striped yogurt | Just Take A Bite

Zebra Striped Yogurt
Serves 1
A black and white striped yogurt for settling tummies.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt, divided
  2. 1 - 2 tsp. maple syrup
  3. 1 - 2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  4. 1 capsule activated charcoal
  5. pinch unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a small dish combine half of the yogurt, cane sugar and a pinch of salt.
  2. In another small dish combine the other half of the yogurt, maple syrup, charcoal (emptied from capsule) and a pinch of salt.
  3. Layer the white and black yogurts in a dish.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. If you are short on time you can just make the "black" yogurt or you can add all of the ingredients to a blender and make a smoothie.
  2. Maple syrup can be used in place of the cane sugar, but it may give the yogurt a little color.
  3. You can adjust the dose of charcoal based on your child's age/serving size.
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.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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.

Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt

This fruit on the bottom yogurt only requires a few simple ingredients but is full of flavor and nutrients.  It’s perfect for summer when fresh fruits are everywhere and you want something cold for breakfast.Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Growing up we only got one kind of yogurt – fruit on the bottom.  As kids sometimes we would eat the plain yogurt first and then eat the fruit part last.  It was fun.

These days most yogurts are blended and overly sweet.  Many of them also contain artificial flavors and colors.  Then there is one of my biggest critiques…low fat or worse, no fat.  Why would I want yogurt that has had the healthy fat taken out and artificial ingredients added in?

My solution is always homemade.  We eat yogurt a lot for breakfast.  I usually just add whatever fruit we have fresh or frozen to plain, whole milk yogurt (kids need lots of healthy fat!!).

But I came up with a fun, fruit on the bottom yogurt so my kids could enjoy it just like I did when I was little.  Even if they don’t have to my kids always stir their yogurt before eating it.  So when I set a fruit on the bottom yogurt in front of them for breakfast they were very excited!  My son enjoyed helping me make it too.Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I like using a see through container to serve this so the kids can see the bright fruit at the bottom.  Or you could use something opaque and tell them the flavor is a surprise.  Then as they stir kids see the yogurt change color.

I keep the sweetness level pretty low in our yogurt.  My husband and kids enjoyed this as is.  But if you are used to store bought flavored yogurts you might want to add a little extra sweetener.  I divided one batch of fruit among three containers of yogurt.  You can split it between two to boost the flavor.

One thing I love about making my own fruit-filled yogurt is no addition of thickeners, particularly corn starch!  My son is allergic to corn, so we have to avoid it.

As fresh fruit comes in season (strawberries are here!!!) just use whatever is available.  Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches – they all work well.  If using blueberries you’ll have to mash them a little to get the juices flowing.Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Fruit on the bottom yogurt is simple to make, uses quality ingredients and is fun for kids.  It takes three minutes to cut up a few pieces of fruit and add honey.  Then in the morning top it with plain, whole milk yogurt.  Serve it with homemade granola, granola bars, quinoa bars or cereal.

This also makes a great addition to a picnic lunch.

Fresh fruit works well in this yogurt, but you can just as easily use frozen.  Simply let it thaw a bit before cutting up the fruit.

Did you grow up eating fruit on the bottom yogurt?  Now you can serve it to your kids – but in a much healthier way.Fruit On The Bottom Yogurt | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt
Serves 3
A fun, fruit on the bottom yogurt made with real ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries or peaches
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup (add more if you like it sweeter)
  3. 1 1/2 - 2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt or coconut yogurt
Instructions
  1. Cut up the fruit into small pieces or mash the blueberries.
  2. Add the honey/syrup.
  3. Refrigerator for 1 hour or over night.
  4. Divide the fruit into two or three cups.
  5. Top with 1/2 - 3/4 cups yogurt.
  6. Stir when serving.
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.

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.

“More Peas Please!” Green Smoothie

More Peas Please Green Smoothie | Homemade Dutch Apple PieThis month I had the challenge from Stonyfield to come up with a green smoothie.  I’ve made plenty of smoothies with green stuff in them.  But I wanted to try something new.

As I was pureeing peas for my six month old it dawned on me that peas are quite sweet.  They would be the perfect green component to a smoothie!

It also just so happens that my oldest just got an expander…and could hardly chew while she adjusted to it.  I was feeding her soft food like yogurt and applesauce.

But she wasn’t eating many vegetables.  I could have pureed some for her, but she’s not a big fan of that.  So I gave them to her in a smoothie!

This is my “More peas please!” green smoothie.  It will have your kids begging for peas.  The peas give it a nice bright color (my daughter said it looks like a mint shake).  Then I add some pear and honey for extra sweetness.  This is perfect for spring and St. Patrick’s Day!More Peas Please Green Smoothie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

If you need an extra boost of fruit flavor you can add a few strawberries, blueberries or cherries.  It will change the color a bit, though.

As with all of my smoothies I like to use them to boost nutrition.  That is especially true when I have a child not able to eat their normal diet.

I use full fat yogurt.  I like the Stonyfield whole milk plain yogurt.  Then I add egg yolk, gelatin and sea salt to the mix.

You can make the smoothie fresh or prepare it the night before.  Then just grab it out of the fridge for an easy breakfast.  You can also pour it into popsicle molds for a fun frozen treat (this really works well to give nutritious food to sick or picky kids).

My daughter can be very picky when it comes to smoothies.  But she drank this whole thing without complaint.

Are you struggling to get your kids to eat something green?  Give this smoothie a try.  Your kids will be begging for more peas please!

If you don’t tolerate or are allergic to peas (like my son) you can use another mild green vegetable like green beans.  If you want to use greens like spinach be sure to cook them first to eliminate oxalates.

More Peas Please Green Smoothie | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

"More Peas Please!" Green Smoothie
Serves 1
A sweet and fruity green smoothie with peas.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup frozen peas (thawed/rinsed under hot water)
  2. 1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt
  3. 3/4 - 1 medium pear
  4. 2 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup)
  5. 1 egg yolk (optional)
  6. 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 - 2 tsp. collagen (optional)
  8. 2 Tbsp. strawberries, blueberries, cherries or raspberries (optional - for extra flavor)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until well combined and smooth.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or in popsicle molds in the freezer.
Notes
  1. This can be made with coconut milk or coconut milk yogurt if you are dairy free.
  2. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/


I am working with Stonyfield to blog about the yogurt. I have been compensated for my time commitment to use this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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.

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.

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut || Homemade Dutch Apple PieThe final smoothie in this series is packed with nutrients and has no added sugar.  So I call it the health nut.

Dates and fruit add a touch of sweetness while flax seeds, avocado, egg yolks and vegetables provide critical fats, vitamins, minerals and omega-3’s.

The health nut is a very mild smoothie.  There are no strong flavors that overpower.  It is perfect for kids.

I used yogurt for probiotics, but this smoothie works just as well without any dairy products.  You can use coconut milk or water to get the correct consistency.  Then add a powdered probiotic.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

This smoothie does require a little bit of forethought.  You should soak the dates in warm water for a bit before using them.  The dates plus the soaking liquid will help sweeten the smoothie better that way.  I just put the dates and water in the blender the night before and add the rest of the ingredients in the morning.

You can adjust the amount of dates and fruit to your liking to make the smoothie sweeter if desired.

This smoothie is great as part of your breakfast or lunch or even for a mid-day snack.  Pour some in a travel mug with a straw and sip on it throughout the day when you need a little pick-me-up.

A smoothie is a great way to add nutrients to your diet with little effort.  This health nut smoothie is a delicious way to do it.Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 

Simple Smoothie Series: The Health Nut
Serves 1
A simple, nutritious smoothie with no added sweeteners.
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 dates, pitted, soaked in 4 Tbsp. warm water
  2. 1 small or 1/2 medium apple
  3. 10 -15 grapes (red or green)
  4. 1 medium stalk celery
  5. 1/2 medium carrot, peeled, cut in chunks
  6. 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, kefir, coconut milk yogurt, milk or coconut milk
  7. 1 egg yolk
  8. 1/4 avocado
  9. 1 Tbsp. flax seeds
  10. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in warm water over night or at least 3 hours.
  2. Combine the soaked dates (with liquid) and the remaining ingredients in a high powered blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. You can soak the dates in the blender.
  2. The egg yolk, flax seeds and avocado are all optional, depending on your tolerance.
  3. You can substitute cucumber for the celery.
  4. You can substitute cooked squash or pumpkin for the carrot.
  5. You can add 2 Tbsp. soaked nuts if you tolerate nuts.
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.

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.

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry || Homemade Dutch Apple PieToday I’ve got a smoothie that is sure to please everyone.  Who doesn’t love blueberries?!

This true blue-berry smoothie gives a double shot of flavor with both whole blueberries and blueberry juice.

A blueberry smoothie is great for really little ones because you can leave out the sweetener and it still has a lot of flavor.  Just be careful how you serve it so it doesn’t get on everything!

If you or your kids are adventurous you can also add a few pieces of roasted beets.  A little goes a long way in terms of changing the flavor.  But it also adds a lot of nutrition.  If you don’t tell your kids it’s in there they might not know.  It won’t change the color.

You can also easily add elderberry syrup to a blueberry smoothie for extra immune system support.

If you are dairy free you can leave out the yogurt and add a bit of powdered probiotics instead.  The smoothie will taste great without the yogurt.  Or you can add some coconut milk for texture.

Every summer we load up on fresh Michigan blueberries while they are in season and freeze them.  Then all winter long we can have delicious smoothies like this, knowing we’re using fruit from the peak of freshness.

If you do not have a blueberry stash in your freezer you can get frozen organic blueberries at the store.  They are a better option than any fresh berries you find in the winter since it is not blueberry season.

Blueberries are my favorite fruit…and a blueberry smoothie is my favorite flavor.  What’s yours?Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: True Blue-Berry
Serves 2
A healthy smoothie bursting with blueberry flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 1/4 cup pure blueberry juice
  3. 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 2 Tbsp. honey
  6. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 Tbsp. roasted beet (optional)
  8. 2 Tbsp. elderberry syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. To make this into popsicles simply pour the smoothie into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
  2. If you serving the smoothie to a child under one year of age leave out the honey.
  3. You can omit the egg yolks if you are allergic to eggs.
  4. The yogurt can be left out or replaced with coconut milk yogurt or coconut milk to make this dairy free.
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.

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.

Simple Smoothie Series: Sunrise Smoothie

Simple Smoothie Series Sunrise Smoothie || Homemade Dutch Apple PieThe next simple smoothie in this series is called the sunrise smoothie.  It’s the perfect morning drink.

The combination of orange, banana and strawberry gives a burst of flavor and also great color. It almost looks like a sunrise.  Though you don’t need to take warning for this red sky.

By adding yogurt and egg yolks to these fruits you create a vitamin powerhouse.

My oldest really loves this smoothie.  And she can be picky about smoothies.  It is bright and fresh and a great thing to boost your energy for the day.  She renamed it the morning milkshake.Simple Smoothie Series Sunrise Smoothie || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

If you want to add some healthy fat to the smoothie avocado, coconut oil and flax seed all work well.

Don’t forget to pair it with some properly prepared starch (quinoa, rice, sourdough bread, fried potatoes, etc.) for better absorption and digestion.  Then you’ll have a good balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Even if it’s cold and the sun isn’t shining during the winter you can start your day with a nutritious sunrise – in a smoothie!  Take your fermented cod liver oil with it to boost your vitamin D, just like the sun does.Simple Smoothie Series Sunrise Smoothie || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: Sunrise Smoothie
Serves 1
A fruity smoothie that looks like a sunrise in a glass.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 medium banana
  2. 1 clementine (or half an orange)
  3. 1/3 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  4. 1/2 cup yogurt (or kefir, coconut milk or coconut milk yogurt)
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. 2 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup), if desired
  7. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smoothie.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. You can add 1/2 small avocado, 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or 2 tsp. flax seeds for extra fat.
  2. Leave out the honey if serving this smoothie to a child under one year of age.
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.

*If you order by clicking on any of my Tropical Traditions links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

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.

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple PieIt’s that time of year – time to get back on track with nourishing foods.

So this month I’m doing a simple smoothie series.  Smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrition, and they can be tailored to meet any dietary restrictions.  Plus kids love them!

The other great thing about smoothies is that they can be prepared in advance and are great for on the go breakfasts or lunches.  They can even be frozen to make a breakfast popsicle your kids will love.

If you have a little one just starting solids you can spoon feed a thick smoothie.  It’s an easy way to give them things like probiotics and cod liver oil.  Be sure to leave out the honey if giving it to a child under one year of age.

A smoothie can be a meal on its own.  I personally need to have a salty/starchy component to my meal or else I will feel cold.  So if I drink a smoothie (which has lots of fat and protein) I like to pair it with a muffin or slice of bread or bowl of rice with salt.  That gives a good fat/protein/carbohydrate balance and a good sugar/salt/saturated fat/starch balance – both of which are ideal for good health.  It is especially important for adrenal health.

My first simple smoothie is kiwi strawberry.  It’s perfect for the winter months.  Kiwi is readily available in the store.  Then add some strawberries from your summer freezer stash.  It’s a delicious combination that is rich in vitamin C.

An added bonus of using strawberries is that they are the best source of ellagic acid.  According to Nourishing Traditions, “strawberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which is an antioxidant that helps detoxify carcinogens.”Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

The yogurt or kefir in the smoothie provides probiotics and enzymes to help digest lactose.  The egg yolks provide so many nutrients – fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K plus calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

I add a pinch of sea salt to smoothies for trace minerals.  You can also add gelatin (use the non-gel form) and coconut oil.

Probiotic powder and liquid fermented cod liver oil can also be added in small amounts.  You can also add avocado for thickness and dates for sweetness.

The end result is a refreshing kiwi strawberry drink.  But when you look a bit deeper you see it is a nutrition powerhouse and a great way to start your day.

I sometimes make a large batch of smoothie on Sunday and pour it into individual cups.  Then I can use them as needed throughout the week.  If you are going to make the smoothies in advance leave out the coconut oil and gelatin.  They will change texture as they sit in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes enough for two adults (average size smoothies) or three to four children.

A few words of caution.  Do not add raw greens to your smoothies.  Most of them contain oxalates in their raw forms.  If you want to add greens be sure to cook them first.

Also, I don’t advise drinking smoothies every day.  It’s a good addition a couple times a week.  Change it up with other breakfasts throughout the week.

A strawberry kiwi smoothie is the perfect breakfast treat for the whole family.  Stay tuned for more delicious flavors.Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Simple Smoothie Series: Kiwi Strawberry
Serves 2
A power packed smoothie to start the day.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup total yogurt, kefir, sour cream, milk, coconut milk and/or coconut milk yogurt
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  4. 1 kiwi, peeled and cut up
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 2-4 Tbsp. honey and/or maple syrup (to taste)
  7. 2 tsp. gelatin (optional)
  8. 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil (optional)
  9. 1/2 small avocado (optional)
  10. 2 dates (optional - leave out some or all of the honey if adding dates)
Instructions
  1. In a blender combine the yogurt/milk, egg yolks, strawberries, kiwi, salt and sweetener. Blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  3. Add gelatin and blend.
  4. While the blender is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil.
  5. Pour into glasses and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. If making the smoothie for a child under one year of age leave out the honey. It is not safe for a small child. They should not need extra sweetener besides the fruit. Or you can add a bit of banana for extra sweetness.
  2. If making the smoothies in advance leave out the gelatin and coconut oil.
  3. If you do not tolerate eggs you can make the smoothie without egg yolks. The taste will not change.
  4. You can substitute a different kind of berry if you do not tolerate strawberries.
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.

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.