Looking for an easy way to get some liver down the hatch? This metabolism boosting salted caramel is easy to make, tastes great and is loaded with Vitamin A!
This recipe was an accident.
For about a year now I’ve had so many things I can’t eat while breastfeeding that I stopped making salad dressing. I can’t do tomatoes, dairy, nuts, peas, coconut, mustard, garlic, eggs, vinegar. Seriously.
But I LOVE salad. And I was not about to eat plain lettuce. So I would just put some olive oil, honey and salt on my salad and call it good.
Imagine my surprise when instead of a dressing I ended up with a thick, gooey salted caramel! And my kids gathered around like baby birds begging for bites.
That is how my nutrient dense salted caramel came about.
It tastes great, is easy to make and my kids love it. Want to know something else? It’s great for boosting your metabolism too!
Metabolism Boosting Combination
If I am low on energy or haven’t gotten enough sleep this is the perfect pick-me-up. A little salt, a little sugar, a little fat and some vitamins.
My girls and I all have slow metabolisms and are in need of some serious rest and recovery. So this salted caramel makes a great snack for all of us.
Easy Toddler Treat
In fact, my toddler eats half of the lettuce and cucumbers out of my salad just because of this dressing. She’ll suck it off and then eat the vegetables. It’s that good!
You can eat the salted caramel with a spoon. I like to dip banana in it. Then you even get some starch with your sugar, salt and fat. It’s the perfect combination for a metabolic boost. Any fruit you like will work.
I’ve probably read it five or six times myself. And I learn something new every time. I’m so glad I have a hard copy now! It’s a great reference.
I think just about everyone could benefit from Elizabeth’s advice. Especially all of my sleep-deprived mama friends. Even children and teens these days that are over scheduled, over stressed and under nourished need some help with their metabolism (have you checked your child’s body temperature lately? You might be surprised how low it is…it’s supposed to be 98.6!).
Whip up a batch of salted caramel (with liver!). Grab a spoon, your favorite fruit or even a homemade graham cracker for dipping. Then dive into The Nourished Metabolism. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down. I read it almost cover-to-cover the first time through.
Have you assessed your metabolism lately? What are you doing to keep it running at full speed?
Try some salted caramel and all of Elizabeth’s tips in The Nourished Metabolism. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel.
Wondering how to get your kids to eat vegetables? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!
One of the most common struggles amongst my clients is getting kids to eat vegetables. For some they only have a few they are willing to eat. For others they are even to scared to touch a vegetable. Feeding kids is simple…but not easy!
Vegetables Kids Love
While some situations require deep healing, sometimes a little creativity is all it takes to get kids on board with veggies.
Don’t be afriaid to experiment! Over the years, even I have had to try lots of new veggies. Some were hits (who knew parsnips and parsley root are so delicious?!). Some were big misses (none of us is a fan of turnips). And we still enjoy some of our old staples like cauliflower and cabbage.
One of our new favorites is rutabaga. I’m not sure why I had never tried them before. Maybe because they are so big and ugly. If you buy one at the store it comes with a waxy coating to keep it from drying out.
But once you peel it you see a pretty pale orange flesh (don’t worry, it’s not high in Vitamin A!). Rutabagas are a bit tough to cut. But not too bad.
As a little side note here, I’m coming to realize that we’ve way over-complicated our food these days. With the ability to get any kind of food all year long we have seriously strayed far away from the way people used to eat. A simple diet of meat, potatoes, grains, beans and a few basic fruits and veggies is probably more accurate. And totally healthy.
Our vegetable selection alone has gotten very extensive, unlike the choices of our ancestors.
I’ve tried cooking rutabaga a few ways and eating it raw. The raw is a bit strong for my taste buds. Hands down our favorite way to prepare rutabaga is by making rutabaga fries!
Rutabaga fries are the closest to regular french fries (potatoes) that I’ve tried. They hold their shape well, but are tender on the inside.
My kids love to use the new crinkle cutters they got for Christmas to make crinkle cut rutabaga fries. And anything in a fun shape is going to be a bonus for introducing a new food to kids. Getting them in the kitchen to help make the food will too! We use Kids Cook Real Food to teach knife skills.
I’d be lying if I said they were an instant hit for the whole family. My girls can’t get enough. My oldest son…he can tolerate them right now, but isn’t crazy about them. And that’s ok. I told him we’ll keep trying. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to a new flavor. Hey, I forced myself to like liver by eating it over and over. So a child can learn to like rutabaga fries too, right? My husband doesn’t mind them. But he’s not big on trying new foods either.
If your child needs a little convincing he can dip them in honey, honey mustard, ketchup, or hummus. My girls and I devour them plain.
Rutabaga for the Whole Family
Even my 8 month old enjoys well-cooked rutabaga chunks. He’ll grow up with a unique palate, having an NTP for a mom!
Rutabaga fries are so easy to make. Just peel, slice and roast with avocado oil, olive oil, or your favorite healthy fat. And lots of unrefined sea salt, of course. Don’t forget the mandatory “assistant” to pull open drawers and untie your slippers while you use a sharp knife!
We are actually going to try growing rutabagas in our garden this year! Another fun experiment. I hope they turn out. It’ll be interesting to see if the flavor is any different when they are home-grown. Maybe that alone will encourage the boys to eat them.
Have you ever tried rutabaga? What is your favorite way to eat them?
Ice cream isn’t just for summer. Enjoy this allergen friendly treat all winter long. Neapolitan ice cream cake is perfect for any holiday or birthday.
When I think of ice cream in the winter the first thing that comes to mind is Neapolitan. I’m not really sure why. Maybe my family always ate it in the winter. Or maybe that’s when it’s available in the store. I’ve never really paid that much attention.
So while brainstorming ice cream flavors recently Neapolitan came to mind. But it’s not that easy to make a three flavored ice cream at home…unless you have three ice cream mixers! Which I do not (though with as much as I make ice cream it’s not a bad idea…).
After some thinking I decided to do the ice cream in bottom to top layers instead of side by side.
The end result is an amazingly delicious dessert that is totally dairy-free and fancy enough for guests.
Homemade Neapolitan Ice Cream
Neapolitan ice cream cake is not something you can whip up in a few minutes. Although it does not take a lot of work it does take several days. So you need to plan ahead.
You can make the dessert layers in any order you like. I did strawberry first so it was the smallest layer. We like vanilla and chocolate best (anyone else remember just eating the chocolate ice cream and leaving the strawberry and vanilla for your parents?).
This is a fun treat for Valentine’s Day or Christmas. I love that it’s so satisfying you don’t need a big piece. Just a little slice is plenty. Drizzle some dairy-free chocolate sauce on top for something really special.
If you don’t like or don’t tolerate strawberries you can replace them with blueberries, cherries or raspberries. Not a fan of fruity ice cream? Just add an extra layer of vanilla or chocolate!
If you don’t want to serve the dessert as a whole you can simply layer the ice cream in a freezer container without the plastic wrap and just scoop it out with an ice cream scooper. You’ll just have to be sure to scoop down deep to get all three flavors.
Treat your whole family to a special ice cream dessert or wow your guests. This “cake” is delicious and allergy-friendly. If you are not dairy-free you can replace the coconut milk with cream. Either way you’ll love it.
Looking for a way to get your winter dessert fix without reaching for ice cream? Turn breakfast into a special treat with these Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits!
I have fond memories of eating lots of Neapolitan ice cream and spumoni ice cream growing up.
Of course I was like most kids and really just wanted the chocolate! Who doesn’t want chocolate?
Updated Neapolitan and Spumoni
I have recreated these classic flavor combinations in a healthy breakfast treat. Did I mention they are super easy to make too?
Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits use plain, whole milk yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, organic cocoa powder and pistachio nuts. You get the flavors you love without any high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or food dyes.
Unique, Kid-Friendly Breakfast
My kids went crazy over these parfaits! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them eat yogurt that quickly. I can’t blame them. What’s not to love about vanilla and chocolate yogurt combined with sweet strawberries?
Kids can help prepare Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits. It only requires pouring and mixing. They love the assembly part too.
Holiday Breakfast Parfait
I love how festive these parfaits look. Hosting guests for the holidays? Prepare the parfaits the night before. Then wow your guests with a special treat in the morning. Wine glasses make fancy serving dishes.
You could even use these as a special Valentine’s Day dessert.
This winter spruce up Saturday morning breakfast with a classic dessert flavor. Try both parfaits and see which one you like best. Or combine them to make a four layer parfait that includes chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and pistachio.
Are you ready to try something new for breakfast (or dessert!)?
Neapolitan and spumoni parfaits are simple and nutritious. Plus they are packed with flavor.
Holidays aren’t just about the sweets. Candy corn potatoes and carrots is festive and healthy! You won’t have any problem getting your kids to eat vegetables when they look like dessert.
I love fall.
I wish it could last longer. Mild temperatures. Beautiful colors. All things pumpkin.
Fun, Fall Food
I recently shared my candy corn finger jello recipe as a nod to fall and a tribute to my grandparents. In that same spirit I have another fun play on candy corn today. But this time it is savory!
Candy corn potatoes and carrots is a fun and healthy side dish. You can modify it to meet your dietary needs too.
The base recipe uses white potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. But if you don’t want to use roots or don’t like quite that much starch (or have a crazy sensitivity/allergy to them like my daughter) then you can use pumpkin or squash (yellow/orange) and cauliflower (white)!
Quick Crockpot Side Dish
The preparation for candy corn potatoes and carrots is so simple because the crockpot does most of the work for you. Toss all of the veggies in the crockpot. Once they are cooked you simply puree and layer them.
The entire dish can be prepared in advance and just warmed before you eat. The warming can even be done in the crockpot!
Sweet and Savory Fall Vegetables
I love how versatile candy corn potatoes are. You can add any seasoning, spices or even sweeteners you like.
My kids love a little sweetnes on their carrots and sweet potatoes. So I add just a touch of maple syrup or honey to the bottom layersy . But if you like things really savory adding salt, pepper and herbs would be just as delicious. Or you can find a happy medium by adding a pinch of cinnamon.
Go ahead and choose which color to put in which layer. I like the dark to light effect. But you can go with the traditional candy corn yellow, orange, and white scheme too.
Kid-Friendly Holiday Side Dish
Are you wondering what to serve for a holiday dinner that kids will actually eat? How about roast beef paired with candy corn vegetables and candy corn finger jello?! Your kids will love it. Plus they’ll fill up on nourishing foods and won’t crave a bunch of sweets later (can I get an Amen?!).
You could even turn this into a one pot meal by adding seasoned ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey between each layer. Candy corn casserole!
Surprise the kids with this delicious treat. Candy corn potatoes and carrots (or squash and cauliflower) is a healthy way to enjoy the holiday.
Do you have any creative holiday traditions or treats?
If not, start one with a festive dinner your kids will request year after year that includes candy corn potatoes and carrots.
Yellow layer: 6-8 large yellow carrots OR 1 yellow flesh squash (acorn, spaghetti)
White layer: 3-4 white potatoes OR 1 head cauliflower
unrefined sea salt to taste
water, broth or milk (enough to puree)
optional: brown cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cinnamon, spices
Peel and cut vegetables into large chunks.
Place the vegetables in glass containers with a small amount of water or broth. Place the containers directly into the crockpot.
Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the crockpot.
Cook on high about 3 hours, until vegetables are tender.
Remove containers from the crockpot.
Add salt and any sweetener, herbs or spices and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add water, broth or milk if needed.
Layer the vegetables in desired order in a see-through oven safe dish.
Serve immediately or place in the crockpot on warm or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat (in a 350*F oven for about 20 minutes).
If using squash it can be roasted whole in the crockpot or oven, then cut open and the flesh scooped out. You can keep it as is or puree it at this point.
By Mary - justtakeabite.com
Just Take A Bite https://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.
Dairy-free and missing cheese? Try this simple, healthy zucchini cheese loaded with healthy protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep your kids happy and nourished.
Within one week of my youngest being born I was 100% dairy-free.
I had been through this with my previous two babies. So I knew the signs of a dairy reaction right away. There was no easing into it. I went from eating ice cream pretty much every evening while pregnant to strict no speck of dairy almost overnight.
It’s not fun to have to cut out dairy. But I knew how to do it. I have another son that is still dairy-free, so I just added two more family members to the mix.
Unfortunately our food reactions did not end there.
I cut out so many foods, trying to help my son’s silent reflux. We had his tongue and lip tie clipped.
What finally made a significant difference in his ability to nurse and eat was learning about histamine intolerance. I switched to a low-histamine diet and it was like magic.
What wasn’t magical was the amount of effort it took to keep the two of us nourished, and our lack of food options.
During the summer we basically lived on zucchini and ground beef as I tried to calm our bodies. Our garden was overflowing with zucchini, so I sliced and roasted some pretty much every day.
The ground beef was nourishment that I could actually digest. Plus I could cook up some burgers for us and freeze extras for another meal (an essential part of a low-histamine diet – not letting meat sit in the fridge).
I’m thankful I am an Analytical Eater that truly does not mind eating the same foods over and over. In fact, that is what I love. But I was really lacking in texture with all that soggy zucchini. My mouth needed more!
My solution? Zucchini cheese!
What are the Health Benefits of Zucchini?
Although often overlooked, zucchini really does pack a punch in terms of nutrition. This fruit, used as a vegetable, contains:
Zucchini also has a really high water content in addition to its minerals so it is great for hydration!
What Can I Do With Too Much Zucchini?
I often joke with my husband that there is no such thing as too much zucchini.
Every summer we grow an absurd amount of zucchini. And every summer I use it all up! Sure, we give away a few here and there. But I truly do my best to not let any go to waste (though the chickens get the baseball bat zucchinis that we inevitably miss).
It’s easy to use up quite a bit of zucchini by roasting it for a family dinner. My kids will devour roasted zucchini covered in herbs and garlic.
Of course we can’t eat all of our zucchini fresh. Somtimes we pick 20 in one day! So I love to freeze all of my extra zucchini.
Simply slice into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Freeze and bag. Peeling is optional. You can also freeze grated zucchini to use in bread and muffins.
Last year I froze at least five gallons of zucchini. I lost count. It’s been such a blessing to be able to enjoy it all year.
What Can Be Made With Frozen Zucchini?
Frozen zucchini works well in soups, stews, and stir fry. Frozen grated zucchini is great for zucchini bread, muffins, or scones.
But mostly I use my frozen zucchini to make zucchini cheese. I have some in the fridge at all times.
I love that I don’t have to do any peeling or slicing when I use frozen zucchini. Just put a big pile in a saucepan to cook for a few minutes and it’s ready to go!
Though you can make zucchini cheese with fresh zucchini too. That is how I do it all summer.
Dairy-Free Zucchini Cheese
Back to our low-histamine diet. I was really getting bored with roasted or sauteed zucchini. I had heard you could make “cheese” with zucchini. So I found some recipes and started experimenting.
The first one I tried used lemon juice. That was a big disaster. I think it all went in the trash. Even the kids couldn’t stomach the flavor.
Over time I figured out my own version of zucchini cheese that has been a staple in my diet ever since.
Zucchini cheese gets it’s texture from a combination of healthy fat (like butter or coonut oil) and grassfed gelatin. Now that my son tolerates butter I tend to use it for zucchini cheese. But coconut oil works just as well!
I use a small loaf pan to create a taller block of cheese that I can slice.
We use zucchini cheese on salads and sandwiches. It’s delicoius on crackers. Or I often just eat it plain.
One of our favorites is squash cheese. It has such a beautiful orange color! Not to mention it has a bit of sweetness to it. So kids really love it. It has a taste reminiscent of American cheese, so it’s often a great transition for kids that are used to a Standard American Diet (SAD).
Cauliflower is another great option if you want a white cheese with a kid-friendly flavor.
You can go a little more bold with peas and create green cheese!
What to Feed a Child Who Doesn’t Like Meat
One of my favorite things about zucchini cheese is the nutrition factor. It has a combination of protein (gelatin), healthy fat, and carbohydrates with fiber (zucchini). Lots of Real Salt adds essential trace minerals.
Sometimes I really boost the nutrient content by adding non-fortified nutritional yeast and turmeric.
So many selective eater kids struggle with eating meat. Whether it’s the texture, the chewing, or the inability to digest it, getting adequate protein is a struggle for many.
Gelatin is a great solution! And zucchini cheese is an easy way to get a big dose of easy-to-digest gelatin down.
Perfect Supplements is the only brand of gelatin I trust. It is grassfed and certified 100% glyphosate free!
Stock up now. Take 10% off with the code TAKE10 HERE!
Zucchini cheese is also great for the kids that only want to eat cheese and starch all day. You can get a great dose of both macro and micronutrients in while they still enjoy their favorite food.
Easy Toddler Snack
When I first started making zucchini cheese it was really for myeslf. Did I let my kids try it? Of course! But I was the one needing something creamy and salty.
But soon it turned into one of my favorite toddler snacks. My almost-three-year-old has been enjoying zucchini cheese with me since he could eat solid food!
I cut it into thick slices and then into sticks. Easy to hold. Easy to chew. Easy nourishment. That equals an easy toddler snack! And a great way to get little kids interested in veggies.
Is your toddler like mine and only wants to snack all day? Zucchini cheese is the way to go. Snack away!
What is the Best Diet for Picky Eaters?
Each child has unique, bio-individual needs. Which is why I am so passionate about Nutrional Therapy for Kids! That being said, all kids need a balanced diet. This is especially important for those “picky” or “selective” eaters.
A balanced diet includes whole food sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates with fiber. An easy way to think of this is meat, oil, fruits, and veggies.
Zucchini cheese meets all of the criteria! So it is a great addition to a picky eater’s diet. And getting that balance will help alleviate those picky eating symptoms.
Need more dairy-free substitutes? Grab your copy of 10 Simple Dairy Substitutes with recipes for everything from milk to yogurt to ice cream!
Allergen-Free Food on a Budget
One of the hardest aspects of having a child with dietary restrictions is the cost of the food. Have you ever compared the price of regular cheese to dairy-free cheese? Or the cost of wheat bread to gluten-free bread?
If you have, you know that allergen-free food can add up very quickly!
Which is why I love making zucchini cheese. Zucchini is a very affordable vegetable that you can buy in bulk in the summer and store enough for the whole winter. Visit any farmer’s market in the summer and you’ll see piles of zucchini. Or just ask a neighbor with a garden. They probably have extra.
Stock up on gelatin with a bulk discount or when it’s on sale HERE.
You can also watch for good deals on coconut oil.
Now you have all of the ingredients for healthy, dairy-free cheese on a budget!
Is Dairy-Free Cheese Healthy?
I’ll be the first to admit that we do buy some dairy-free cheese. It’s nice to have something that melts like real cheese when making a pizza or grilled cheese.
But I can’t say I’m thrilled about the ingredients. While not horrible, it is still a processed food with some gums and fillers.
That is why I love making zucchini cheese. I control the ingredients. And they are all whole foods that I serve my family regularly.
Is dairy-free cheese healthy? It is if it’s homemade zucchini cheese!
Is your family dairy-free? Do you miss chees? Give zucchini cheese a try!
Although smashed avocado with a generous helping of Real Salt scooped with organic corn chips or raw veggies is pretty amazing, there is another version of avocado that tops my list.
My favorite way to serve avocado is to fry it in a pan to create avocado fries!
I use either butter or coconut oil and plenty of unrefined sea salt.
The result? Golden, crispy, salty outsides with rich, creamy insides. This is like heaven for an Analytical Eater (find out if that’s you HERE).
Avocado fries are like french fries…but much healthier.
They contain tons of good fat, vitamins, and minerals (did you know avocado is high in potassium?). You can eat the avocado fries plain or dip them in ketchup, pesto, hummus, or honey mustard. Really they are good dipped in pretty much anything.
Eat them like fries or use them to top a salad (like croutons).
How to Increase Healthy Fat in Your Child’s Diet
I like avocado fries as part of an easy to prep lunch. I just toss them in the pan and let them cook while I get the other food prep done.
Avocado fries make great finger food for toddlers. And they are a fun way to get healthy fat into any child’s diet.
There isn’t much to cooking avocado. Simple, delicious, nutritious. My favorite food trifecta!
Give avocado fries a try. You’ll be glad you did. If someone ever tells you not to cook avocados…ask them if they’ve tried avocado fries.
Fall is a busy time of canning applesauce and freezing pumpkin. But don’t forget about preserving pears! With a short season and a busy schedule use this guide to stock your pantry with pear sauce before the pears are gone.
I’m a big fan of hardy produce. You know, the kind that can sit on the counter or in the fridge for weeks and still be OK? Like carrots, potatoes, apples, rutabaga, parsnips, cauliflower, and cabbage.
I love all kinds of fruits and veggies. But some of them are a bit demanding.
One day an avocado is not quite ripe. The next day it’s mushy.
The same goes for pears. You check and check for ripeness. Then all of a sudden you’ve missed the window and they over ripe.
Personally, I like to be in control instead of my produce. But it just doesn’t work that way for everything.
So I always get anxious when it’s pear season. I want to preserve them. But I just don’t have time any old day. Will I time it just right? Will I be stuck peeling hard pears? Or will I let them go too far because we were busy with soccer and band?
It’s a gamble.
I try to do a fair amount of canning each fall. How much I do depends on my kids’ ages and how I’m feeling.
Regardless, I don’t like to spend hours on end in the kitchen each day to keep up with produce preservation.
How to Can Pears
I already take the easy route when it comes to canning peaches. That is a life saver!
Then I get to pears. There is really no way around it.
Canning pears takes a lot of time.
Lots of peeling and slicing (especially if the pears are small). It can take up to sixty pears just to do one round of canning! That is a lot of peeling.
So I stopped doing it years ago. Much to my husband’s disappointment. I just don’t have time.
But I still want to preserve this amazing fruit to enjoy it all winter.
How to Can Pears Without Sugar
Enter pear sauce.
It is just like applesauce but with pears. Honestly, I would take pear sauce any day over applesauce. It is that good.
There is no need to add any sweetener as pears are plenty sweet on their own.
The other thing you don’t have to do – peel them!
Preserving pears is quite easy when you can just wash, quarter, cook and puree. Then either can or freeze the pear sauce.
Pear Sauce for Baby
One of the reasons I love having pearsauce on hand is that it makes a super easy first food for little ones six months and up. You can serve it plain or turn it into a nutrient dense baby porridge. Warm the pear sauce slightly and mix in coconut oil and an egg yolk. Stir and serve!
My big kids love pear sauce too! Sometimes I even make it extra special by adding strawberries, raspberries or blueberries from our freezer stash. As they melt and let off juice it colors the pearsauce and adds an extra burst of flavor.
Serve it cold. Serve it warm with a pinch of cinnamon. Add it to oatmeal. Mix it in yogurt.
You really can’t go wrong. You also don’t need to spend days on end making pear sauce.
Pear Sauce Canning
Here is my busy mom’s solution to preserving pears. I am able to work through a half bushel in one day (with four young kids, including a nursing little one) and still manage to do our school work, go to activities, and get healthy meals on the table.
It only takes about twenty minutes to wash and slice one batch of pears. Then you can let it cook for a bit while you tend to something else. Being able to make pear sauce in steps is so handy!
A full batch (seven quarts) takes about 30 – 35 medium to large pears. So figure out how many jars you’d like to can and then figure out how many pears you need. I usually get one bushel of pears. It makes three rounds of pear sauce with some pears left over for eating fresh.
Depending on the size of the pears and the quantity you buy, sometimes you end up with a pile of extra pears. And like I said before, they can go from almost ripe to mush pretty quickly. So what do you do with those extra pears?
Of course you can eat them fresh! Pears are a sweet treat on their own. But you can only eat so many. Here are a few other options for using up extra ripe pears.
Have a kid that won’t eat meat or isn’t getting enough protein? Chocolate milk to the rescue! This refined sugar-free protein-rich salted chocolate milk is perfect!
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 or if we are making our “smart water.”). 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.
Kid-Friendly Drink Without Refined Sugar
Then there are those days where we just want something a little extra. Or maybe my Intuitve Eater 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 for Kids
My version of chocolate milk is taken to a new level with extra protein from grassfed collagen (THIS is the brand we use – use TAKE10 to get 10% off). It blends right in with no added taste. Plus it’s loaded with a whole array of essential amino acids.
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.
Healthy Chocolate Milk
When I gave this protein-rich salted chocolate milk to my daughter she had two comments:
Does this have salt?! Yum! When can we make salted chocolate ice cream?
You have to make this every single day!
How to get Kids to Eat Enough Protein
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. Collagen is a great way to do this. A 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.
Quick & Easy Nutrition for Kids
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 grassfed collagen to blend a nourishing drink the whole family will love.
When it comes to lunches and snacks I stick to easy. And the usual easy protein sources aren’t options. Most days there is enough leftover from the previous night’s dinner that it’s not a problem.
But sometimes there’s not.
Homemade Ground Beef Jerky
I did some research to find a recipe…and couldn’t find one. Most of them use either soy sauce or coconut aminos. When you can’t use soy or coconut that just doesn’t work. Plus I really had no desire to go to the store or buy specialty items.
So I came up with my own recipe using just a few simple and nourishing ingredients. To my great delight this ground beef jerky turned out great!
Soy-Free Beef Jerky
My biggest surprise…my one year old was the child that liked it the best! She ate almost the whole batch (don’t worry, not in one day). My husband and I love it too!
It is so easy to stick in the diaper bag when running errands. No mess. No refrigeration. Just a simple, healthy snack that is free of allergens and easy enough for a one year old to eat. Perfect!
You can adjust the salt and sugar to your liking. I like a lot of salt. You can also add liquid smoke for a smokey flavor. If you really want to bump up the nutrition you can even add desiccated liver! (Use the code TAKE10 for 10% off)
What is the Best Meat for Beef Jerky?
Ground beef is the easiest meat to work with and makes the easiest to eat beef jerky (trust me, I tried other meat first…and I could barely chew that batch).
Not a fan of beef? Swap it for ground pork, chicken or turkey!
This ground beef jerky is perfect for school lunches or summer picnics. Make a big batch and store it in the freezer. Grab as much as you need any time. It thaws in about sixty seconds.
Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Beef Jerky?
The other thing I love is how affordable this beef jerky is. I use grassfed ground beef. No fancy steaks. So a whole batch only costs about $6.00 (including the other ingredients)…and makes at least 30 good size pieces of jerky!
We recently bought some locally-made beef jerky. It came in a tiny package and cost about $8.00. Plus my kids thought it was too spicy. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.
Can You Make Beef Jerky Without a Dehydrator?
Most homemade beef jerky recipes use a dehydrator. But it is possible to make beef jerky in the oven. Simply spread the meat in small strips on a baking sheet and bake it at a very low temperature (around 200 degrees F). Check it every hour for doneness.
What are your go-to allergen-free snacks?
If you’re like me and always trying to figure out an easy snack that is healthy, satisfying and free of allergens you’ve found it. Ground beef jerky is perfect for the whole family. Put it at the top of your allergy-friendly snack list! Homemade lunch meat is a great option too.