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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.

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can't have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You'll never miss them!!

Oat and Nut Free Chewy Granola Bars

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can’t have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You’ll never miss them!!

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can't have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You'll never miss them!!

My son can’t eat oats.

We’ve been working through a myriad of food allergies with him for the last four years. And amazingly he has been able to get rid of almost all of them.

Except a few oddballs. Like oats.

We have added back dairy, corn, rice, seeds, bananas, apples, avocado – a whole assortment of foods – too many to list! But the oats are still a big no-go.

So every time I make a batch of granola bars he feels a bit left out. I’ve made rice bars before. Which are delicious! But they are more like a cookie than a granola bar.

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can't have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You'll never miss them!!

Oat Free Bars!

We put our heads together and my son and I came up with a new version of oat and nut free chewy granola bars. They have some texture and lots of flavor. Plus they hold together well. Which is always a trick with homemade granola bars.

The secret ingredient is brown rice puffs. Cereal is a rare treat in our house. If we do have cereal, it’s often plain rice puffs. We eat them with milk or add them to yogurt for a little crunch. They work perfectly in this granola bar recipe to add texture.

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can't have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You'll never miss them!!

Make it Double

I like to make a big batch (or two!), wrap them individually and stick them in the freezer. Then I’ve got an easy snack or breakfast component ready to go at any time. These chewy granola bars are ready to eat right from the freezer.

One batch makes about fourteen bars. But if you’ve got toddlers and preschoolers you can cut them even smaller to make a batch of twenty to twenty eight.

Probably the best part of these oat and nut free chewy granola bars is how easy they are to make. I can get a batch in the oven in less than ten minutes.

So what are you waiting for? Got ten minutes? Get into the kitchen and whip up a delicious snack that has no corn syrup, glycerin, thickeners or binders.

Don’t need to avoid oats? Both my chewy and crunchy granola bar recipes are great!!

Missing your beloved granola bars because you can't have oats? Problem solved! These oat and nut free chewy granola bars have the taste and texture of oats. You'll never miss them!!

Gluten, Oat and Nut Free Chewy Granola Bars
Yields 14
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rice puffs, roughly chopped in a blender
  2. 1 1/4 cups white or brown rice flour
  3. 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1/2 cup honey
  6. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  7. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1/2 cup butter
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1/4 cup unsweetened sunbutter
  11. 1/2 cup add-ins (raisins, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt the butter, sunbutter and honey in s a small saucepan. Set aside.
  3. Combine rice puffs, flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Add the butter mixture and mix well.
  5. Add the eggs and mix well.
  6. Stir in opt-ins.
  7. Spread the batter in a greased or parchment lined 9x13 baking pan.
  8. Bake for 25 min.
  9. Let cool 15 minutes. Cut into bars (but do not remove from pan).
  10. Let cool 1 hour. Remove bars from pan.
  11. Wrap individually or store in a large container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
  1. Bars are ready to eat straight from the freezer.
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 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.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that includes plenty of protein, healthy fat AND vegetables? Creamy zucchini egg muffins combine nutrient dense eggs with creamy whole milk yogurt and fresh summer veggies to create a simple and delicious start to the day.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

I am working with Stonyfield, Le Creuset and Kitchen IQ on this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been paid to provide positive feedback.

Is your zucchini starting to pile up in the fridge like mine? I’m always looking for new ways to use it.

I love making chocolate zucchini cupcakes, zucchini crackers, soaked gluten free zucchini bread and especially zucchini cake! Our whole family enjoys it grilled, roasted and sauteed. I try to freeze some as well.

Yet no matter how diligent you are it seems there is still more. I’ve got a fun, kid-friendly recipe that will get your kids to eat zucchini for breakfast!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Eat Your Veggies…I Mean Eggs!

In my house the zucchini is not the hard part…it’s the eggs. Three of us can’t even eat eggs. My oldest can (lucky girl!). But she has always struggled eating eggs. She picks at them, holds them in her mouth, complains about the texture.

But I did not hear a single complaint about these creamy zucchini egg muffins. In fact, she told me she really liked them!

There are two secret ingredients.

  1. Whole milk plain yogurt – it really adds a rich creaminess to the eggs.
  2. Cane sugar – I know what you’re thinking. Add sugar to eggs? Don’t worry, it’s only 1/2 tsp. But it really does something to the flavor.

A little back story on the sugar in eggs. When I was little and had the chicken pox I didn’t have much of an appetite. The only thing I would eat was the scrambled eggs my big sister made (multiple times a day for me). There was something different about them. We called them “oops eggs” because she didn’t make them right. But I loved them. We figured out later that she added a touch of sugar to them!

She was probably only about twelve years old. So she did a great job taking care of her little sis!

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

The final component of these eggs is the vegetable. Sauteed zucchini and onion really boost the flavor of the egg muffins. When you put the yogurt, sugar, sauteed veggies and eggs together you create a flavorful, healthy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) any kid will love.

New Kitchen Tools Are Fun!

One thing I loved about making creamy zucchini egg muffins was using my new cutting boards and measuring spoons from Kitchen IQ. The cutting boards come in four colors. Can I just say that as a mom of kids with different allergies that is so cool?! Everyone has a color. No cross contamination. It’s great!

I love the bright colors…and so does my toddler. She frequently grabs the cutting boards off the shelf just to play with them.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Even more than the cutting boards I love the measuring spoons. It is so easy to level them. And they nest together for easy storage. Who knew that measuring spoons could make such a great toddler toy too? My one year old loves trying to stack them over and over. She also loves to help me cook and bake with them.

Is your zucchini still going strong?

Give creamy zucchini egg muffins a try. You just might be adding sugar to your eggs more often.

Looking for a kid-friendly breakfast that utilizes summer's bounty of zucchini? These creamy zucchini egg muffins are perfect. Find out the two secret ingredients that make them so good.

Creamy Zucchini Egg Muffins
Yields 6
A high protein, veggie-packed egg muffin perfect for busy mornings.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pastured eggs
  2. 4 Tbsp. Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
  3. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar
  5. optional: any additional herbs and spices
  6. 1 cup diced zucchini
  7. 1/4 cup diced onion
  8. 1 Tbsp. butter, olive oil, tallow or coconut oil
  9. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sautee the zucchini and onion in 1 Tbsp. fat of choice (about 10 minutes). Season with salt. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 400*F. Grease a muffin pan.
  3. In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the cooled vegetables.
  5. Divide the egg mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. You can bake these in advance and eat cold, room temperature or warmed.
  2. You can freeze these muffins for up to a year. Thaw and heat 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 a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly {No Added Pectin!}

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m not very good at making jams and jellies. Even when I use the packs of pectin!

I have switched over to using gelatin to create my strawberry freezer jam, cherry jam, grape jelly and five minute peach jam. They turned out beautifully!

But I recently teamed up with Ball Brand to try one of their recipes. I had the great pleasure of perusing The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving. It’s like a canner’s dream.

The pictures are gorgeous. And the recipes all sound so delicious. I wish I had time to try them all!

But I had to just pick one to try and share with you.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Trying My Hand At Jelly Again

With our allergies I don’t use pectin. Since I can’t be certain of the source it’s too risky. I know a lot of pectin is made from apples. And my two youngest are allergic to apples.

So instead of modifying a recipe I went for one that didn’t even need pectin. Red plum raspberry jelly sounded like the perfect combination of fruit flavors. And it is!

Neither fruit over powers the other.

There is no doubt that red plum raspberry jelly tastes good. You can use it for your  morning eggs and toast or mixed into some plain yogurt. We like it on pancakes.

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

The Outcome

The real question, though, is did I manage to make good jelly without using gelatin?

Ummmm, no.

I read the instructions on how to look for the gelling point. I used a thermometer to monitor the temperature (got it to 220 just like it said).

But the timing worked out that it was right around the gelling point when I was trying to get my toddler down for a nap. And of course this was the one day where she was fighting sleep. In fact, instead of taking 3-10 minutes to get her to sleep it took over an hour and a half (including a dirty diaper change)! Maybe it was all those raspberries she ate!

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

So I kept bouncing back and forth between checking the jelly and checking the toddler. And at one point I just said I have to get it done and said a prayer. Well, it wasn’t gelled.

My Big Mistake

And now that I am re-reading the directions I see that it says to stir constantly…oops. Not easy when trying to get a toddler to nap. I think all of the pectin came to the top when I wasn’t stirring…there was a sticky, pink foam. Oops.

Note – keep stirring while it boils!!

All is not lost, though. We now have sweet red plum raspberry syrup! I can’t wait to use it on our pancakes this week (every Friday we have breakfast for dinner…pancakes is on the menu).

I might also try cooking it down a bit or adding a little gelatin when I open a jar. Just to see what happens.

It’s Your Turn

In spite of my inability to make jams and jellies I am sharing this delicious recipe with you today. I bet you’ll have better luck. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two about gel! My motto moving forward is going to be “Follow the directions and keep stirring.”

I hope to try this recipe again and actually cook it the right way. I REALLY want to try red plum raspberry jelly on bread (freshly baked sourdough would heavenly).

How about you? Are you a pro at making jams and jellies? Or are you jelly challenged like me?

I’d love to hear how it goes if you try red plum raspberry jelly.

But there’s more! Keep reading.
Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.

Red Plum Raspberry Jelly
Yields 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs. firm, ripe red plums, halved
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 4 cups raspberries
  4. 3 cups cane sugar
  5. cheesecloth
Instructions
  1. Pit plums, reserving pits. Chop plums and place in a 6 qt. stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Lightly crush the plum with a potato masher.
  2. Stir in the water and reserved pits. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add raspberries, crushing with a potato masher. Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Line a large, fine wire mesh strainer with 3 layers of dampened cheesecloth. Place the strainer over a large bowl.
  5. Pour the plum mixture into the strainer (do not press down). Cover and let stand 3 hours or until collected juice measures 3 1/2 cups and mixture no longer drips.
  6. Wash and dry Dutch oven.
  7. Pour the juice into the Dutch oven. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, to gelling point.
  8. Ladle hot jelly into a hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  9. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust to fingertip tight.
  10. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  11. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes.
  12. Remove jars from canner and cool.
Notes
  1. Tip - plum pits are super high in pectin, so simmering them with the fruit really helps give this jelly its velvety smooth set.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

Looking for a delicious jelly that is naturally free of pectin? This is it! Red plum raspberry jelly is the perfect fruit combination for your morning toast, mixed into yogurt or spread on your pancakes.Can It Forward

Don’t forget to “Can It Forward” with Ball Brand. On July 22, 2016 they are hosting a Can-It-Forward day live on Facebook. You’ll see demos (I think I need to tune in for one on jelly). Plus Ball Brand will be donating to a local charity. The more engagement they receive the more they donate!

Here’s how you can participate.

  • Pledge to can-it-forward by signing up via the pledge page and share with friends.
  • Tune in on July 22nd to watch canning demonstrations via Facebook Live from 10:00AM – 3:30PM ET. Each hour, viewers will have the chance to win a giveaway prize!
  • If you engage with any of the Facebook Live recipe videos, a donation will be made to charity.
  • You can ask Jarden Home Brands canning experts any preserving or home canning questions via Twitter with the hashtag #canitforward from 10AM – 5PM ET on July 22nd. Consumers can also share their own #canitforward creations with the brand on Pinterest and Instagram.

More For You

Ball Brand would also like to give one of my lucky readers coupons for canning supplies and a copy of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving! Enter below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Does red plum raspberry jelly sound like a delicious combination? What is your favorite jelly flavor?

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.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

The Best Allergen Free Snacks For At Home And On The Go

Whether you’re hitting the road in the summer or you’re in your regular routine at home it’s important to have safe snacks on hand. I’ve got the best allergen free snacks to help make summer fun.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Kids love to snack. No question about it.

I try to give my kids nutrient packed meals so they aren’t too hungry between meals. But they still seem to be hungry a lot (especially due to allergies and gut issues). And with a little one trying to get back on track with weight gain I feed her any chance I get.

Summertime is no exception to the snacking.

There are so many healthy real food choices! What a blessing.

Not Everyone Is So Lucky…

What if your kids can’t eat most things that you can buy in a store or restaurant, even the healthy stuff?

Your options are quickly limited.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Managing Food Allergies On the Go

No need to worry. I’ve got a list of some of the best allergen free snacks around. They aren’t expensive processed foods. Just simple, nourishing snacks that kids love.

Believe me, I know allergies. When I say something is allergy friendly, it really is safe.

Feeding my children nourishing meals is hard. But providing safe and healthy snacks is even harder,especially when traveling. Since I can never compromise, I have to constantly be prepared.

Look no farther! I've got the BEST allergen free snacks so you can enjoy summer and stay safe.

Favorite Allergen Free Snacks for Kids

Some of these snacks work well for when you are away from home and need to keep food at room temperature. Others are simple bites to have on hand at home or kept in a cooler.

Some are salty. Some are sweet. There is a little something for everyone. Mix and match to meet your summer activity needs!

These allergen free snacks are all naturally free of (or can be made free of) gluten, dairy, nuts, eggs, corn, soy and coconut. So take your pick and enjoy safe summer snacking.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing my list of allergen free snacks!

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.

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

The REAL Reason I’m Teaching My Kids To Cook

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook. Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

 

“It’s a good thing I like to cook.”

I made that comment to my husband earlier this week. And I really meant it.

With all of the varying allergies in our house cooking is a full time job. I’m not joking. I spend half of my day in the kitchen.

It’s a rare treat if I can come up with a meal the whole family can eat. There is no such thing as convenience food (unless you mean a box of raisins.). Eating out? That’s a thing people do?

Even as we look ahead to visiting family this summer I have to do the meal planning. I don’t get a break whether I’m home or traveling.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Nobody else can cook for my family.

There is no substitute for me. Even my husband doesn’t know how to cook.

It doesn’t matter if I’m sick.

It doesn’t matter if I’m tired.

If I don’t cook, my kids don’t eat.

I happily accept the challenge of keeping my kids well fed and healthy. It is actually my passion.

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

Everyone deserves a break.

But let’s be honest. Everyone needs a break sometimes. If you don’t get one, that passion fades a little. The joy of cooking isn’t quite the same when your food is reduced to a handful of safe options. And I don’t have ten hours a day to cook.

Have you tried cooking when you can’t let one person’s food touch another’s food? You must use a new knife for everything you cut. Did I stick that spoon in this pot or that one? Better get a clean one just to be safe. What rotation day are we on? Better check so we know what your snack options are. Does this measuring cup have latex? Gotta wash my hands after I add the flour to the bowl (or buy new measuring cups). Everyone must wash up as soon as they are done eating so you don’t get an allergen on anything.

Nothing is easy.

Easy meals like sandwiches are a big undertaking. It requires me to make my own lunch meat and bake a minimum of two kinds of bread. Pizza…three separate crusts, two kinds of sauce, different toppings, some with and some without cheese, bake on separate pans, use different pizza cutters. Not so easy.

Cooking and eating at my house is like a very delicate juggling act. Fun in some ways. Not as fun in others. And one little slip up and it comes tumbling down.

Cooking is a learned skill.

When I got married I really had no idea how to cook. I had a handful of things I could make. But not very well. And most of them involved packaged foods.

Over the years I have taught myself to cook. I have learned to be creative in the kitchen with evolving food restrictions and new diets. I always gladly accept each new challenge. I’m thankful I get to share my journey and my creations with you!

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

I want some replacements.

But my kids won’t be little forever. I won’t be in control of what they eat when they grow up. I can’t make choices for them when they are not home.

I want to empower my kids to take control of their own health and understand how to eat well in spite of their allergies. I want to share my passion for real food with my children.

Yes, we are working on and hopeful for healing. It would be wonderful if someday we can all eat the same food and a much larger variety of food. But that is not guaranteed.

What I can for sure give my kids is the knowledge and ability to cook and care for themselves.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Here’s the plan!

That’s where the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse comes in. We started it back in January. But I’ll be honest – life was crazy busy. We only did it sporadically.

When we did do the course my kids LOVED it. And they learned so much. Now they are always begging me to help in the kitchen.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for summer so we can dive back in and really get cooking.

The real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not so I can take it easy.

Sound good? Go check out The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!

You can do beginner, intermediate or advanced or get all access if you have kids of all ages and skill levels. There is something for everyone. Do it at your own pace and watch the videos whenever it fits in your schedule.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Lofty goals.

My first goal for this summer is to have my eight year old be able to make an entire meal by herself, start to finish. Then in a pinch I know I could rely on her to make a meal. That may sound like an ambitious goal if your kids don’t normally cook. But she’s been cooking with me since she was nine months old. She loves helping in the kitchen. Now it’s time to let her really take responsibility.
Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.
Even my toddler can get in on the action now. I’m excited to let her practice cutting banana slices for herself and spreading lard on her bread.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even convince my husband to tune in to some of the classes and learn a few cooking skills too.

I love cooking in spite of our challenges. But I don’t want my kids to depend on me forever (well, I do, actually…can I keep them this small?). Sadly they do have to grow up.

I could say I’m teaching my kids to cook so I’m off the hook. But really that’s not it. I want them to be safe. I want them to stay healthy even if a situation comes up where I can’t be around to cook a meal. I want my children to be able to visit Grandpa and Grandma and tell them what they can eat.

How about you? Are you ready to give your kids skills for life?

Click here to register for the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

It’s an investment in your kids’ future.

The real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook is to empower them and keep them safe and healthy. What is your motive for teaching your kids to cook?Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Need more info about picky eating and allergies? Check out my books!

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

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.

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Chocolate Filled Frozen Banana Bites

Sweet, creamy and a little taste of chocolate added in. These chocolate filled frozen banana bites are allergen friendly, easy to make and even great for teething toddlers!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

With summer in full swing it’s nice to be able to give the kids a cold treat without loading them up on sugar. I do my best to make sure we have lots of time outside instead of spending a bunch of time inside the kitchen preparing food!

These frozen banana bites are fun to make and fun to eat. But so, so easy.

Knife skills.

Let your kids practice their knife skills by slicing the bananas. Then use a straw to make holes. Add a sucker stick or popsicle stick if you like and you’re halfway done with the preparation…and a three-year-old can be in charge!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

A Safe Sweet.

My favorite part about chocolate filled frozen banana bites is that they are allergen friendly. Well…mostly. My son is allergic to both bananas and cocoa. But those allergies aren’t as common. Just be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips if you have dairy allergies (this is the brand I use).

Also use caution if you have a latex allergy as bananas can be cross-reactive.

Ready to get your kids in the kitchen and make a delicious, healthy treat? Check out the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse where your kids will have so much fun learning knife skills (among many other skills!). And whip up a batch of chocolate filled frozen banana bites together.

Now click here to head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing the recipe!

These chocolate filled frozen banana bites make the perfect allergen friendly cold summer treat.

Looking for more cool summer treats? Try one of these:

Black Forest Popsicles

Blueberry Cheesecake Pops

Nectarine Squash Pops

Grain Free Peach Cobbler Creamsicles

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Dairy Free Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream

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.

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

Strawberry Kiwi Gummies

Just because your gummies are homemade doesn’t mean the flavor has to be boring. These strawberry kiwi gummies are bursting with flavor and made from real fruit.

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

Fruit snacks are a go-to snack for many kids these days. They are easy, sweet and chewy. Kids love them. They don’t require any work on mom’s part. Just grab a bag and go.

But have you ever actually looked at the ingredients? Many contain artificial flavors and colors. Even if you get natural or organic fruit snacks they contain things like caranuba wax and “natural” flavor.

Natural flavor is actually not that different from artificial flavor and can have the same impact on your child’s health and behavior. Not to mention it’s important to avoid it if your child has allergies since it can contain anywhere from 50 to 100 unknown to you ingredients. So it could contain a hidden allergen.

Real fruit combined with grass-fed gelatin create the perfect snack - strawberry kiwi gummies.

What’s the solution? Make your own!

Homemade gummies are so easy to make. The flavor combinations are endless. And you can make all sorts of fun shapes with candy molds.

These strawberry kiwi gummies are both fun and fruity. The juice of real strawberries and kiwis is combined with grass-fed gelatin for a protein-packed, nourishing snack.

Want to learn how to make them?

Click here to head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this simple recipe.

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.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

Black Forest Smoothie

Want to say “I Love You” in a healthy way? Show your kids some extra TLC with a black forest smoothie. It  combines the delicious flavors of chocolate and cherry and is packed with nutrition!

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

January was great, wasn’t it? Full of motivation and enthusiasm about your goals. Everyone is eating well, getting good rest and moving their body each day.

Then February arrives. So do the sweet treats!

Don’t panic. This year take a new approach to Valentine’s Day or any holiday. Instead of showing your love with boxed chocolates and candy, promote health and wellness to show you care. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

You can show some love this February by creating nutrient dense food that still tastes great. This black forest smoothie is a great place to start. Whether you serve it for breakfast, a snack or even dessert you’ll be doing your kids a favor.

Black Forest Smoothie | Just Take A Bite

 

They taste chocolate and cherries. You see them filling up on healthy fats, protein, probiotics and vitamin-rich fruit. If you really want to bump up the nutrition factor you can add avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds and collagen. That sounds like a delicious and nutritious breakfast! The perfect way to show your kids some love.

Want the full recipe?

Click here to head over to Super Healthy Kids where I’m sharing this delicious black forest smoothie! The perfect breakfast for Valentine’s Day or any day.

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.