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Gluten-Free Honey Date Muffins {soaked, dairy-free, nut-free, corn-free}

Honey Date Muffins {Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free} | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Two of my favorite natural sweeteners are honey and dates. They are such simple foods loaded with flavor.  In fact, they are so good you can eat them plain for an easy treat. My kids love a spoonful of honey or a couple dates as a snack.

I decided to combine them into one delicious muffin that is made with soaked grains. Plus these muffins are gluten and dairy free.

The end product is a mildly sweet muffin the whole family will love. Spread on a healthy dose of butter or coconut oil and you are on your way to great breakfast. Pair the muffins with a protein source like eggs, bacon, nuts or yogurt for a balanced meal. 

Honey Date Muffins {Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free} | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Naturally Sweetened Gluten-Free Muffins

Honey date muffins are so easy to make. Soak the flour one day. Mix in the remaining ingredients and bake the next. These muffins also freeze well. So you can make a big batch, eat some fresh and freeze some for later.

Do you love salty and sweet combinations as much as I do? You could add cooked, crumbled sausage right into the batter for a complete meal all in one!

Honey Date Muffins

Honey and dates – simple yet full of flavor. They are the perfect combination for a breakfast or snack for the whole family. Get your flour soaking now so you can enjoy this nutritious treat. 

Honey Date Muffins {Soaked Gluten Free Dairy Free Nut Free Corn Free} | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Soaked Honey Date Muffins {gluten free, dairy free, nut free, corn free}
Yields 15
A simple soaked muffin with a touch of sweetness from honey and dates.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups any combination gluten free flours
  2. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  3. 2 Tbsp. lemon juice.
  4. 2 Tbsp. warm water
  5. 1/4 cup coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  9. 1 tsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  10. 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  11. 2 eggs
  12. 1/2 cup chopped dates
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, water, lemon juice and fat.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Heat the oven to 325*F. Grease a muffin pan or line with muffin cups.
  4. Add the sugar, honey, soda, cream of tartar, tapioca flour, salt and eggs to the soaked flour.
  5. Beat until well combined.
  6. Stir in the dates.
  7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.
  8. Bake 25 - 30 minutes.
  9. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. The muffins freeze well.
  2. The muffins can be made with whole wheat, spelt, kamut or einkorn flour if you are not gluten free.
  3. Stir 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage or bacon into the batter with the dates before baking for a complete meal in one.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel {With A Secret Ingredient!}

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 metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

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.

Getting creative.

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.

After a while I decided to experiment a bit and added desiccated liver (this is the brand I use). Who knew I’d actually love the taste?! And it’s so healthy for a slow oxidizer like me with high tissue calcium levels. I need all the Vitamin A I can get.

I’m not one to mix up a bottle of dressing. I always just add the ingredients directly to my lettuce and mix it all together. But one day I tried mixing up the dressing first to see if it was easier.This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Accidental Caramel

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.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

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.

Metabolic Recovery

My journey with healing my metabolism has been a long one. You can read about what happened to me in 2013 and all of the things I learned in the process.

One thing that was pivotal for healing was The Nourished Metabolism by Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life. I have recommended this book to more people than any other book or real food resource.

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.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Thursdays.

This metabolism boosting salted caramel not only tastes great, it is packed with nutrients and a secret ingredient!

Metabolism Boosting Salted Caramel (With A Secret Ingredient!)
Serves 1
A simple gooey caramel that will boost your metabolism and your nutrients with liver!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey
  3. 1/8 tsp. unrefined sea salt (adjust to taste)
  4. 1 capsule Perfect Supplements desiccated liver
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well mixed. The mixture will thicken in about a minute.
  2. Eat with a spoon, with fruit for dipping or with graham crackers.
Notes
  1. This can be used as a salad dressing if you increase the oil to make it thinner.
  2. You can add one capsule of Organic India moringa to the mixture when using it as a salad dressing for extra nutrients.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/

Kid-Friendly Rutabaga Fries Recipe

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!Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? 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.


Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

Rutabaga Fries

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.Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

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!Wondering what vegetables to feed your child on the VAD Diet? Or just looking to add something new to your menu? These rutabaga fries are easy to make and kid approved!

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?

Rutabaga Fries

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 5
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 rutabagas
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Peel rutabaga. Cut into thin strips.

  3. Mix rutabaga, oil and salt on baking sheet.

  4. Bake for one hour, until browning and cooked through.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

Dairy-Free Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free

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.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

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…).Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake grain free dairy free nut free | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

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?).

Dairy-Free Dessert

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.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake | Just Take A Bite

Neapolitan Ice Cream "Cake" {dairy free, nut free, grain free, egg free}
Serves 10
A three layer ice cream cake that is free of most allergens.
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Strawberry Layer
  1. 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  2. 1 cup coconut milk or cream
  3. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  4. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  6. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Vanilla Layer
  1. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or cream
  2. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  3. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  4. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1 egg yolk (optional)
Chocolate Layer
  1. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or cream
  2. 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder or carob powder
  3. 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  4. 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour or arrowroot
  6. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  7. 1 egg yolk (optional)
Instructions
  1. Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap in both directions/make sure it is fully covered.
Strawberry Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (this is a small batch so it doesn't take too long. It took about 10 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the strawberry ice cream in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
Vanilla Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (It took about 15 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the vanilla ice cream on top of the strawberry ice cream.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
Chocolate Layer
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined.
  2. Process in an ice cream maker (It took about 15 minutes in a Kitchen Aid attachment.)
  3. Spread the chocolate ice cream over the vanilla ice cream.
  4. Fold the plastic wrap over the ice cream and place it in the freezer.
  5. Freeze until firm.
To serve
  1. Invert the ice cream cake on to a plate.
  2. Cut slices.
  3. Top with chocolate sauce if desired.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Breakfast Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Simple, Whole Foods!

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!

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

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.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

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.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

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.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

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.

Looking for an actual dessert that captures the Neapolitan flavor? Try my grain and dairy free Neapolitan ice cream cake.

Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Neapolitan Parfait
Serves 1
A yogurt parfait with the classic Neapolitan flavor of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
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Vanilla layer
  1. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
  3. optional: 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
Chocolate layer
  1. 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 2 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 2 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the vanilla layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  3. Layer the vanilla yogurt, chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips and strawberries in a serving dish.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Neapolitan and Spumoni Parfaits | Just Take A Bite

Spumoni Parfait
Serves 1
A breakfast parfait with the classic spumoni flavor of chocolate, strawberry and pistachio.
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Chocolate layer
  1. 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  2. 4 tsp. organic cocoa powder
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. optional: 3 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Strawberry layer
  1. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Pistachio layer
  1. 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the chocolate layer ingredients. Let sit 1 minute.
  2. Layer the chocolate yogurt, chocolate chips, strawberries and pistachios in a serving dish.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Notes
  1. The cocoa powder and maple syrup can be replaced with 1 Tbsp. homemade chocolate sauce.
  2. If using frozen strawberries allow them to thaw for a few minutes before serving.
  3. The cocoa powder can be replaced with carob powder.
  4. Coconut yogurt can be used in place of the whole milk yogurt.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

When it comes to Valentine’s Day nothing beats chocolate. Get your fix with this divine chocolate cake that can be mixed by hand and made gluten free!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I am working with Stonyfield and Divine Chocolate for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment. But the opinions and ideas are my own. I have not been paid to post positive reviews.

Stop what you’re doing and run to the kitchen.

Wait, read this post first. Then run to the kitchen to make this divine chocolate cake. Trust me, your family will be singing your praises.

Chocolate is the Best!

When it comes to sweets I always pick chocolate anything. Especially for Valentine’s Day. So naturally I like to make chocolate treats for my family.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

When challenged to create something with Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate, my first thought was to simply eat a dish of yogurt with big chunks of chocolate in it. That’s my idea of great treat!!

But that isn’t much of a recipe.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake

Instead I created a chocolate cake that uses melted chocolate for flavor and whole milk yogurt for moisture. I don’t go overboard with sugar either. The end result is a light chocolate cake that you’ll go crazy for.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

I made two versions. One gluten-free for my kids and one with wheat for my husband. Both cakes were so delicious! If my husband approves of a gluten-free cake you know it has to be good.

My daughter even shared some with a friend at school (who is not gluten-free) who raved about it.

For the gluten-free divine chocolate cake I used my favorite gluten-free flour mix. It worked perfectly! No gums or binders required.

If you are dairy-free, you can use coconut milk yogurt in place of the dairy yogurt.

Reduced Sugar Chocolate Cake

But you can’t have cake without frosting! So I added a light chocolate buttercream and shavings of dark chocolate. Yep, I had some pretty happy kids.

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

The great thing about Divine Chocolates is that there are quite a few flavors. So you could change up the flavor of the cake. Simply shave flavored chocolate on top or add it right to the cake batter. The mint or raspberry would be amazing!

Are you looking for an easy and delicious dessert for your family?

This Valentine’s Day give your loved ones a special treat by creating your own divine chocolate cake using Stonyfield yogurt and Divine Chocolate. Everyone will feel the love!

Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Divine Chocolate Cake
Serves 12
A light, moist chocolate cake made with dark chocolate and yogurt.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chocolate of choice (see notes)
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1 Tbsp. carob powder (optional)
  4. 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder (optional)
  5. 1 cup organic cane sugar
  6. 2 cups AP flour or gluten free flour mix (see post for link)
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*F. Grease and line with parchment paper two 8" or 9" round cake pans.
  2. Melt the chocolate, butter, carob powder and cocoa powder in double boiler. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Stir until combined.
  5. Add the melted chocolate. Stir until well mixed. The batter will be thick.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  9. Frost and serve.
Notes
  1. For chocolate you can use any flavor of Divine chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 Divine Chocolate Cake | Just Take A Bite

Light Chocolate Buttercream
A simple, light chocolate buttercream.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup organic palm shortening (or more butter)
  3. 1 cup organic powdered cane sugar
  4. 1 -2 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Beat all ingredients together in a large bowl until well mixed and fluffy.
Notes
  1. To make powdered sugar simply blend organic cane sugar in a high powered blender until powdered.
  2. This makes enough to fill and top a two layer cake. Double the recipe if you also want to frost the sides.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

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

Kid-Friendly, Healthy Avocado Fries

Simple, healthy avocado fries

 

I once heard a chef on tv (I won’t mention names) say you should NEVER cook avocado. Boy was she wrong!!! I cook avocados all the time. They are delicious!

Years ago while doing the GAPS diet I got very creative with avocados. I put them in soups, on salads, blended them in smoothies, added them to eggs, used them for “bird’s nests,” all kinds of stuff.

The Best Way to Serve Avocado

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

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.

Simple, healthy avocado fries

 

Quick Avocado Fries

Cook Time 14 minutes
Servings 2 kids
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
  • Pinch unrefined sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot add the butter/coconut oil.

  2. Add sliced avocado (the thickness just depends on your taste). Sprinkle with salt. Let cook on the first side until golden and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Flip and repeat with the other side. Add extra salt if necessary.

Recipe Notes

Don't waste the salty butter in the pan. Use it on bread or to cook some greens.

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday and Fresh Bites Friday and Fight Back Friday.

An easy solution for preserving pears without spending hours in the kitchen - how to make and can pear sauce. A great no-sugar-added alternative to applesauce. #canning #realfood #healthykids #pearsauce

How to Make & Can Pear Sauce | A No Sugar Added Alternative to Applesauce

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.

An easy solution for preserving pears without spending hours in the kitchen - how to make and can pear sauce. A great no-sugar-added alternative to applesauce. #canning #realfood #healthykids #pearsauce

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.An easy solution for preserving pears without spending hours in the kitchen - how to make and can pear sauce. A great no-sugar-added alternative to applesauce. #canning #realfood #healthykids #pearsauce

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 make and can pear sauce - an easy alternative to applesauce

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.An easy solution for preserving pears without spending hours in the kitchen - how to make and can pear sauce. A great no-sugar-added alternative to applesauce. #canning #realfood #healthykids #pearsauce

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.

Pear sauce makes a great alternative to applesauce. Variety is key to any diet, especially if you are implementing a rotation diet for food allergies. So this is a nice change of pace! My kids actually prefer it over applesauce.

Have you ever tried preserving pears? I encourage you to try pearsauce!

Are you new to canning? Check out my step-by-step tutorial to get you going.An easy solution for preserving pears without spending hours in the kitchen - how to make and can pear sauce. A great no-sugar-added alternative to applesauce. #canning #realfood #healthykids #pearsauce

What to do With Extra Pears

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.

Homemade Pear Sauce Recipe

Homemade Canned Pear Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 7 quarts
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 30 - 40 medium ripe pears
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

Making Pear Sauce

  1. Wash pears (this can be done in a clean sink full of water).

  2. Add 1 cup water to a large stockpot and turn on high heat.

  3. Quarter and core pears, placing them in the stockpot as you go.

  4. Adjust heat to simmer and cook the pears until soft, stirring periodically, about 15 minutes.

  5. In batches puree the cooked pears and their juice in a high-powered blender until smooth.

Freezing Pear Sauce

  1. Chill the pear sauce.

  2. Put the pear sauce in freezer-safe containers.

  3. Label and freeze for up to a year.

Canning Pear Sauce

  1. Return the pureed pear sauce to the stockpot and keep warm.

  2. Prepare the water bath canner (filled with water and jars and get the jars hot).

  3. Ladle the hot pear sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.

  4. Wipe the rims of jars and place the lids and bands on.

  5. Can in hot water bath for 30 minutes (quarts) or 25 minutes (pints).

  6. Remove the canner lid and let the jars sit for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool, untouched for 8 hours.

Recipe Notes

  • One batch of pear sauce makes 6-7 quarts or 12-14 pints.
  • A half-bushel of pears will make 2 rounds of pear sauce, with a few pears left for eating fresh.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Don't let those extra muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, muffins make amazing bread pudding.

What To Do With Leftover Muffins…Make Leftover Muffin Bread Pudding!

Don’t let those extra muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, leftover muffins make amazing bread pudding.Don't let those leftover muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, leftover muffins make amazing bread pudding. #realfood #kidsinthekitchen #allergenfree #pickyeaters

Growing up there was a great debate in my house – should bread pudding have raisins or not?

The debate was between my big sister and me. As an Analytical Eater, I L-O-V-E chunks in my food. Bread pudding without a contrasting texture was too boring.

But my sister wanted nothing to do with raisins!

My poor mother. She never knew who to please. I’m sure we had it both ways many times.

In the end the bigger conundrum in my mind was why we didn’t get bread pudding more often!

What is Bread Pudding?

Bread pudding is sort of a misleading name. It’s not really pudding like we know it. No creamy chocolate dessert here. It’s more of a custard made with chunks of bread…or muffins!

You mix bread or muffins with eggs, milk, and some type of sweetener. When baked it creates a cake-like breakfast or dessert with a custard feel to it. The more eggs and milk you add, the more custard you get.

Why do Muffins Fall Apart?

How many ways can you mess up a batch of muffins? Far too many!

Muffins mishaps can be caused by too much or too little of a lot of things:

  • too little moisture (milk, water, or fruit/veggie purees) (crumble)
  • too few eggs (fall apart)
  • too many eggs (won’t fully bake)
  • not enough baking powder (stay flat)
  • no binder (gluten, psyllium husk, flax seeds, gelatin) (fall apart)
  • overbeating (chewy)

Who knew something as simple as a muffin could cause such trouble?! But it happens to the best of us.

Sometimes it’s not even a bad batch of muffins that causes problems, but a lack of paying attention to them.

Normally when I bake muffins I use them for a couple breakfasts and freeze the rest to have later. But sometimes I get busy. And the muffins just sit there, staring at me for a week.

Or once in a while there is that batch of muffins that didn’t turn out quite right. That happens more than I care to admit with gluten-free baking! They are crumbly and messy and you just want to toss them. Don’t!

Use them to make muffin bread pudding!

Leftover Muffin Bread Pudding

Traditional bread pudding is made with chunks of bread. But it’s just as easy to make it with leftover muffins.

Bread pudding with muffins is simple to prepare. Just crumble the muffins (if they aren’t a big mess already!), mix them with eggs, milk, and sweetener, and bake! You can assemble a delicious dessert or breakfast in minutes.How to use up leftover muffins. Don't let those extra muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, leftover muffins make amazing bread pudding. #leftovermuffins #simplefood #glutenfree #breadpudding

The next time you have a few leftover muffins turn them into something new.

It’s fun because you get a variety of flavors depending on the muffins. I have tried flavors like orange raisin and blueberry. These double raspberry chocolate chip muffins would make amazing bread pudding! If your muffins are kind of bland you can add extra fruit or dried fruit to the bread pudding to boost the flavor without adding refined sugar.

Easy Bread Pudding for One or For a Crowd

You can make leftover muffin bread pudding with a whole batch or just a few muffins. Enjoy it as a breakfast or dessert. I like to pour milk on top, like baked oatmeal.

I have fond memories of my mom serving bread pudding when I was a child. It was one of my favorite treats. But I don’t take the time to make it often these days. When I do, though, it’s usually using leftover muffins (these allergen-free blueberry muffins are perfect for making bread pudding!)

Kid-Friendly Bread Pudding with Muffins

My kids are very proficient in the kitchen thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. My oldest is actually the muffin maker around here. Most of the time they turn out well. But once in a while we have a muffin flop. It’s part of the learning process.

Then all the kids can chip in to make leftover muffin bread pudding. The little one can have fun breaking or cutting muffins into chunks. While the older kids can practice cracking eggs, measuring ingredients and oven safety. Plus they get a delicious reward at the end. Muffin mistakes never tasted so good.

Not sure what to do with leftover muffins? Turn them into bread pudding – a delicious breakfast or dessert the whole family will love.

Don't let those leftover muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, leftover muffins make amazing bread pudding. #realfood #kidsinthekitchen #allergenfree #pickyeaters

Leftover Muffin Bread Pudding
A simple breakfast or dessert using leftover muffins.
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Ingredients
  1. Leftover muffins
  2. 2 eggs for every 4 medium-size muffins
  3. 1/2 cup milk for every 4 muffins
  4. 2 - 3 Tbsp. organic cane sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar (depends on the sweetness of the muffins) for every 4 muffins
  5. optional: fresh fruit, frozen fruit or dried fruit
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a baking dish.
  3. Add the eggs, milk and sugar (and fruit) to the baking dish.  Beat with a fork.
  4. Crumble the muffins and add to the dish.  Push the muffin pieces down to get fully coated.  If there is not enough moisture add extra milk.
  5. Adjust sweetness to taste.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until golden on top and baked through.
Notes
  1. Serve plain or with milk, yogurt or ice cream.
  2. Serve warm or room temperature.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
How to use up leftover muffins. Don't let those leftover muffins go to waste! Whether they are getting stale or are starting to crumble, muffins make amazing bread pudding. #leftovermuffins #simplefood #glutenfree #breadpudding

Protein-Rich Salted Chocolate Milk

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!

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!

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!Healthy Chocolate Milk for Kids with a protein boost!

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.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!

Healthy Chocolate Milk

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!

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.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

A nourishing drink filled with extra protein and minerals.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw whole milk, full fat coconut milk, almond milk, or rice milk
  • 2 Tbsp. organic cocoa, carob, or cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. collagen
  • 1 capsule probiotics optional
  • 1/2 medium banana optional
  • 1/4 avocado 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.