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

Grain and Nut Free Mineral Rich Hummus

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

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

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

Want to know what else is simple?

My grain and nut free mineral rich hummus!

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

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

But what makes it mineral rich?

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

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

Allergy Friendly Hummus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk

Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

I am working with Vital Proteins on this post. I have been compensated for my time, but have not been paid to post positive comments. All opinions are my own.

When it comes to drinks in our house we basically have two options: milk or water.

It may seem boring. But really, we don’t need much else. Once in a while my kids get a little pure grape juice (if they are fighting a cold). And of course we do love our smoothies for added nourishment (check out my book full of recipes here!).

But if my kids are thirsty it’s generally water or milk.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

A Little Extra

Then there are those days where we just want something a little extra. Or maybe my little one is in one of her “I don’t want to eat much” slumps. And I have to be sneaky.

That’s when I bust out the chocolate milk! Who doesn’t love chocolate milk? I know I sure do!

Protein-Rich Drink

My version is taken to a new level with extra protein from Vital Proteins collagen. It blends right in with no added taste. Plus it’s loaded with a whole array of essential amino acids.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

The kids and I have been studying human anatomy and physiology for science this year. Our unit on nutrition introduced us to amino acids and how they are the building blocks of protein. And they are so important! So when I showed the collagen container to my oldest she was fascinated to look at the amino acid profile. Science lesson built in to making chocolate milk!

The good stuff doesn’t stop there. We are big fans of adding salt to chocolate. When I say salt I mean real, unrefined sea salt (like this). Not only does it contain a broad spectrum of minerals, it is also hydrating/good for balancing electrolytes and delicious! We even use it to make salted dark chocolate ice cream, healing hot cocoa and salted honey chocolates . Salt and chocolate go so well together.

To really boost nutrition we like to add probiotics and raw egg yolks (from our own free range chickens). So you are getting extra protein, essential minerals, probiotics and vitamins! All in a glass of chocolate milk. It’s a mom win!

If you like your chocolate milk a bit thicker, like a shake, you can add a little banana and/or avocado.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Kid Seal of Approval

When I gave this protein-rich salted chocolate milk to my daughter she had two comments:

  1. Does this have salt?! Yum! When can we make salted chocolate ice cream?
  2. You have to make this every single day!

Picky Eater Trick

My youngest can be really picky when it comes to meat. Veggies? She’ll out eat anyone. Meat? Turns up her nose. We have to bribe her to take bites of meat…then she can have thirds of veggies! For real. So I’m always glad when I can sneak in extra protein for her in something so delicious like chocolate milk. Vital Proteins collagen is a great way to do this. A couple big scoops gives her the protein boost her little body needs. Added to the raw milk and egg yolks it makes a complete protein.

Her ideal meal is a huge pile of vegetables with a glass of salted chocolate milk. And I love to give it to her.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Quick & Easy Nutrition

It only takes about three minutes to make salted chocolate milk (mostly just the time required to gather ingredients). Older kids can make it themselves. My six and nine-year olds know how to separate egg yolks thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. My three year-old loves to help with the blender. It’s a family event! And we all enjoy the reward at the end.

The next time you’re in a beverage rut or your kids need a little protein boost, make a batch of salted chocolate milk. Use your favorite milk and some Vital Proteins collagen to blend a nourishing drink the whole family will love.Need a delicious drink that is also nourishing and loaded with extra protein? This protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect for kids and adults!

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk
Serves 2
A nourishing drink filled with extra protein and minerals.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups raw whole milk or full fat coconut milk
  2. 2 Tbsp. organic cocoa, carob or cacao powder
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
  4. 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  5. 2 Tbsp. Vital Proteins collagen
  6. Optional: 1 capsule probiotics
  7. Optional: 1/2 banana and/or 1/4 avocado
  8. Optional: 1 - 3 egg yolks (from free-range chickens)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a high powered blender.
  2. Blend on high until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately.
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.

Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Simple Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

I know what you’re thinking…it’s almost the New Year…time to get healthy. And here I am posting a recipe for cookies! Well, better late than never, right?

Crazy Christmas

That is the kind of Christmas we had. Everything was out of order. We had some celebrations early. We did our baking late. It was all mixed up. But it was still fun.

And boy did my kids have fun making these cookies! Even if Mom wanted to just forget the baking all together…Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Gluten Free Made Easy

Gluten free sugar cookies can be hard to make – crumbly, dry, rock hard, etc. But these are so simple and hold up so nicely. The dough is soft and easy to work with. And there are no strange ingredients like xanthan gum added!

I try to keep them not too sweet. Especially if you plan to add frosting or icing. I might even try cutting the sugar down more the next time I bake gluten free sugar cookies.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

One of my secrets to not having kids go crazy eating cookies all day? Make a small batch. They won’t feel deprived, but there won’t be cookies sitting around for weeks on end. You can also freeze extras to pull out for a special treat later.

This recipe makes about 25 cookies. You can easily double or triple it if you need a big batch for giving away or for a party.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

If you’re going to make sugar cookies, you have to decorate them! We used homemade frosting with natural dyes and chocolate chips. In typical fashion my toddler wouldn’t eat the cookies unless I scraped the frosting off. She is not a fan of sweets…and I hope to keep it that way.Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Healthy Year and Holiday

I hope you make this your healthiest year yet! But don’t forget that it can include a small treat here and there. These simple gluten free sugar cookies make the perfect little sweet treat or fun holiday baking project!Gluten free sugar cookies are fun to cut and decorate any time of year. These hold up well and are so simple to make!

Simple Gluten Free Sugar Cookies
Yields 25
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  5. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 cup white rice flour
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400*F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. In a small bowl mix the egg, gelatin and vanilla. Add to the butter mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients.
  5. Use your hands to combine the dough into a ball.
  6. Cover dough and chill for 30 - 60 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough on a floured surface. Cut shapes and place on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 400*F for 10 - 12 minutes, until golden.
  9. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.
Notes
  1. The cookies can be frozen for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

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

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

Candy Cane Mason Jar Fruit Salad

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

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

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

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

  1. Nutritious
  2. Simple

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

Three-in-One Recipe

Today I’m sharing my solution for all three!

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

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

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

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

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

Fruit Stripes

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

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

How to Save Time

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

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

Kids Can Cook Too!

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

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

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

Coffee with Dessert?

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

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

Cutest Candy Canes

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

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

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

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

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Abram’s Cowboy Cookies {gluten free, nut free, dairy free option}

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Last year my daughter got her own cookbook for Christmas. Of course she immediately wanted to try some recipes. We found a few good ones that the whole family enjoyed. Her favorite was the molasses cookie.

Naturally if big sister gets to choose some recipes little brother wants to as well. My son saw a recipe for cowboy cookies. But when we went to make them, we realized they were loaded with things he is allergic to like wheat, nuts and oats. He was quite disappointed.

Time to Recipe Create

No worries. Allergy-friendly mom to the rescue!

We came up with our own cowboy cookie recipe that does not contain gluten, nuts or oats. They can also be made dairy free.

My son and I had a blast making these together (he is quite skilled in the kitchen thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!). And he loved being able to share them at a family gathering. Everybody else loved them too!Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

A Colorful Cookie

We use sunbutter in this recipe to help bind and add fat. You must note that when you use sunbutter and baking soda together it can turn green! So if the inside of your cookie starts to look green there is no need to throw them out. And no, you didn’t do anything wrong. My kids now think it’s a fun surprise to have a green cookie when you take a bite.

Save Some for Later

This recipe makes a big batch (about 30 cookies). They freeze really well. So you can enjoy some now and save some for later. Or if you need them for a party or event you can make them well in advance. They thaw very quickly (10 – 20 minutes). Though my kids love to eat them frozen!

Cookies with a Punch

My little cowboy (and cowgirls!) is very active. He loves to spend all day outside on the farm taking care of animals and helping with any jobs he can. He really works up an appetite (and is by far my fastest, biggest eater). These cowboy cookies are great as part of a snack or the perfect ending to a hearty meal.

Loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals from eggs, sunbutter, pumpkin seeds and raisins, Abram’s cowboy cookies are nourishing and sweet. As you can see my little one sure loves them!

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Get your little cowboy or cowgirl into the kitchen to whip up a batch of cowboy cookies. You’ll all enjoy the time together and delicious treat you make.

Looking for more fun cookie recipes? Try these!

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cookies

Everything Free Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Gluten Free Peppermint Twist Cookies

Einkorn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Squash Cookies

Give your little cowboy a power-packed treat with these fun, gluten free cowboy cookies. They are loaded with real, nourishing food.

Abram's Cowboy Cookies {gluten free, nut free, dairy free option}
Yields 30
A hearty and allergy friendly cookie.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup softened butter, palm shortening, lard or tallow
  2. 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp. organic vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup sunbutter
  6. 2 cups white rice flour or brown rice flour
  7. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  8. 1 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (we use Enjoy Life)
  10. 1/4 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
  11. 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the sunbutter, egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour, salt and soda. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the chocolate, dried fruit and seeds.
  6. Scoop large mounds (2 - 3 Tbsp.) about 2 inches apart on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. The cookies freeze well. Allow 10 - 20 minutes for them to thaw.
  2. The cookies may turn green inside due to the sunbutter reacting with the baking soda. It is not harmful.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/

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

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

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

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

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

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

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

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

My New Favorite

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kid-Friendly Greens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

All Grown Up

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

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

Where’s Mom?

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

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

Mom Life Rocks!

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

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

Body Shape Roller Coaster

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

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

What’s the Problem?

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

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

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

It’s Your Turn!

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

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

Need some inspiration to get you started?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Penguin Parfait and a Trip to the Zoo!

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

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

Science In Action

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

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

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

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

Penguin Fun

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

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

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

A Special Yogurt Treat

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

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

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

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

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