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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.

Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

Soy-Free and Coconut-Free Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

When you’re working around allergies, it can be hard to find easy and nutritious snacks, especially with protein. This homemade ground beef jerky is simple and safe for the whole family.

Allergen-Free and Kid-Friendly Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

One of the biggest struggles of having children with allergies is finding easy sources of protein.

Our allergies include nuts, dairy, beans and eggs. So basically it’s meat or nothing. And I don’t know about you, but I just don’t feel like cooking meat for every meal of the day!

But as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I know just how important it is to get adequate protein for blood sugar regulation (think hangry!) and to help kids grow and develop well.

Allergen-Free Protein Options

I do let my kids have sunbutter (we LOVE this brand that is made in a peanut and tree nut free facility!). But it really doesn’t have that much protein. And I only give it every four days to stick with our rotation diet. I also do sardines and anchovies about once a week. Although they are super nutritious, that gets expensive!

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.

The solution?

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!Allergen-Free and Kid-Friendly Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

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)

Allergen-Free and Kid-Friendly Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

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.Allergen-Free and Kid-Friendly Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

Easy, Allergen-Free Ground Beef Jerky

Homemade beef jerky made with ground meat and free of allergens, including soy and coconut!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Servings 30 pieces
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, pork, chicken, or turky
  • 1/2 cup gelled beef, pork, chicken, or turkey broth
  • 1/3 cup honey, maple syrup, or molasses
  • 4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 2 tsp. Perfect Supplements Desiccated Liver Powder optional

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 8 hours.

  2. Spread strips of marinated meat onto dehydrator trays using 1-2 Tbsp. of meat each (thinner is better when spreading. Hands work best to spread it).

  3. Dry at 155*F for about 12 hours, checking every hour after 6 hours for doneness.

  4. Allow to cool and store at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.

Recipe Notes

Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!

Gluten-Free Egg-Free Orange Raisin Muffins

Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love! Free of eggs, dairy, gluten, and nuts, these muffins are very allergy friendly! Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!

Not sure if it’s just my kids or a kid thing in general, but my kids LOVE muffins. Really any hand-held, round bread. If I make sourdough bread, they enjoy it. If I make sourdough rolls you’d think I hadn’t fed them in three days the way they eat them.

I guess kids just like to eat with their hands. Which explains why my kids refuse to use utensils no matter what kind of food they are eating.

But muffins are definitely a favorite around here.

Which is why I find myself baking muffins a LOT!

Egg Sensitivity in Babies

A few months ago I had to cut eggs back out of my diet and my toddler’s diet. We were off eggs for about a year (almost since birth) and then reintroduced them. I think eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. But as much as I love eating the eggs fresh from our hens, they were giving my son a diaper rash. They were also giving me phlegm in my throat on a daily basis.

Eggs seem to be a common sensitivity in babies these days. It’s unfortunate since eggs provide many essential vitamins and minerals.Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!

Some people can tolerate eggs in baked goods even if they can’t eat plain eggs. But we are generally not that fortunate. If a food is bothersome at all…it has to be cut completely. For some reason it seems to be worse when my kids are very young too.

My five-year-old was egg-free for at least the first two years of life. Now she can eat them every day!Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!

Egg-Free Muffins

Eliminating eggs from your diet definitely eliminates some food options. This includes not only egg dishes, but many baked goods. Yes, our beloved muffins had eggs!

Thankfully there are some great egg substitutes for baking. My favorite way to bake egg-free is with gelatin.

That is exactly what I do in these allergen-free orange raisin muffins.

Mix the juice of a couple oranges with gelatin. Then add hot water to dissolve. It’s the perfect binder to make egg-free muffins.


Make sure you use high quality gelatin in your baking. We always use Perfect Supplements gelatin. It is the only gelatin that is certified glyphosate free. You can stock up on Perfect Supplements gelatin HERE with the code TAKE10 for 10% off your order.


Baking Without Refined Sugar

An added bonus of these orange muffins is that they contain no refined sweeteners. Maple syrup or honey combined with orange juice provides plenty of flavor and sweetness.

The raisins add a little extra natural sugar as well. Dried cranberries or even mini chocolate chips would work too.

We prefer to top gluten-free orange muffins with a generous pat of butter to help metabolize the carbohydrates. The flavor contrast with the salty butter and sweet orange is another plus.

Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!Easy Allergen-Free Snack for Kids

Gluten-free orange raisin muffins make a great addition to a quick weekday breakfast, a mid-morning snack, or packed up in a lunch box.

Combine it with a nourishing drink, a bowl of soup made with bone broth, or another form of protein and fat like bacon, sunbutter, or sausage. You really can’t go wrong!

Grab a couple organic oranges, some Perfect Supplements gelatin, and your favorite gluten-free flour blend and whip up a batch of egg-free orange raisin muffins today!

It also helps to have a very cute assistant for quality control. My toddler gave these muffins his seal of approval!Looking for an easy, egg-free snack or breakfast? These naturally sweetened gluten-free orange raisin muffins are the perfect hand-held treat that both kid and adults love!

Gluten-Free Egg-Free Orange Raisin Muffins

A quick allergen-free muffin with no refined sweeteners and a bright orange flavor.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1 tsp. psyllium husk
  • 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 organic oranges juice (about 1/2 cup) and zest
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tsp. gelatin
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup raisins, cranberries, or chocolate chips optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

  3. In a large bowl combine the flours, psyllium husk, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and orange zest.

  4. Add the applesauce, oil, and maple syrup. Mix well.

  5. In a small bowl combine the gelatin and orange juice (about 1/2 cup). Let sit 1 minute.

  6. Add the hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved.

  7. Immediately add to the batter and mix well.

  8. Stir in raisins.

  9. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

  10. Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden.

Recipe Notes

This makes 12 large muffins, 16 medium-size muffins, or 24 mini muffins.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Soaked Teff Crackers | Healthy Gluten-Free Snacks

Tired of the same old crackers? Try something new with soaked teff crackers. Allergy-friendly, crunchy and salty these crackers are easy to eat for toddlers or strong enough to use for dipping.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Normally when I do any gluten-free baking I use at least two different flours, usually three. I really like this combination.

Gluten-Free Baking with Teff

But when you are on a very limited diet and are trying to rotate starches, that gets tricky. You sometimes have to limit yourself to one grain/starch a day. Most gluten-free flours don’t work well alone (have you ever tried baking with just tapioca…it doesn’t work so well). But there is one that does.

Teff!

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

What is Teff?

Teff is a very hearty grain that reminds me of wheat or rye. It gives great depth of flavor to baked goods. Sometimes I use it for about a quarter of the flour in my baking.

But other times I use it alone. Like in these soaked teff crackers.

Kid-Friendly Teff Crackers

I started making these crackers for my little one and I so we had something safe to snack on. But soon the whole family wanted them. My son even requested these in place of the crackers I had already made for him.

I like to keep a batch on hand at all times for dipping (hummus is my favorite), eating with soup or for an easy snack on the go.

These teff crackers have a hint of sweetness, so they are like Wheat Thins®. But they don’t have any vegetable oils, gums or fillers. Plus the flour is soaked for better digestion. Teff crackers are the perfect solution to delicious gluten-free snacking. I love to add extra salt on top to really satisfy my craving for a crunchy, salty snack.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Easy Gluten-Free Snack for Kids

What’s even better is how easy they are to make! It takes about one minute to get the flour soaking. Then the next day you’ll have crackers in the oven with about ten minutes of hands-on time.

This is a great project for little hands. Invite your kids into the kitchen (check out this course for help!) and show them how fun and easy it is to make food from scratch.

Double the recipe and store half in the freezer. Snack on some and save some for easy lunch packing. Teff crackers, cheese slices and homemade lunch meat make the perfect homemade Lunchable®.

The next time  you are in the mood for something crunchy make a batch of teff crackers. Just be sure to make it a big batch! They’ll go quickly.

Teff Recipes

One of my other favorite ways to use teff is to make teff porridge. It’s a great alternative to oatmeal!

Some great breakfasts or snacks are my teff and sorghum cherry bars or my teff and rice granola bars. They are both loaded with flavor.

Have you ever baked with teff?

Give it a try with these foolproof soaked teff crackers. The whole family will love them.

Soaked Teff Crackers | Just Take A Bite

Soaked Teff Crackers
Yields 50
A gluten free Wheat Thin style cracker made with teff flour.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups teff flour
  2. 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or melted lard, tallow or butter)
  3. 6 Tbsp. warm water
  4. 1 tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 6 tsp. organic cane sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 3-6 Tbsp. water
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, fat, warm water and lemon juice.
  2. Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 350*F.
  4. Add the salt, sugar, baking soda and 3 Tbsp. water to the soaked mixture.
  5. Mix and knead dough by hand until a ball forms. Add more water if needed.
  6. Split the dough into three equal parts.
  7. Cut four pieces of parchment paper (the size of a baking sheet).
  8. Place one piece of dough on one piece of parchment paper. Top with another sheet of parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough between the paper until it is about 1/8" thick.
  10. Remove the top layer of paper.
  11. Cut into desired shapes with a pizza cutter or cookie cutters.
  12. Sprinkle extra salt on top of the dough.
  13. Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.
  14. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough.
  15. Bake the crackers for about 20 minutes, until golden.
  16. Turn off oven. Leave the crackers in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until crisp.
  17. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  18. Store crackers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
 This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Homemade Fruit Snacks

How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks | Dye-Free & Allergy-Friendly!

Impress your kids and avoid strange ingredients by making homemade fruit snacks! Just a few simple and nourishing ingredients create a fun and healthy snack.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

One of the best decisions I made as a parent was to stop buying packaged fruit snacks. Let’s face it – they are sort of weird, food-like morsels that really are more like candy than anything.

Even the “natural” or organic versions still have some questionable ingredients. And basically zero nutrition.

Why You Should Make Your Own Fruit Snacks

My solution to this problem is always homemade.

I’ve been making homemade fruit snacks (also known as gummies) from scratch for my kids for quite some time. I get lots of requests for the recipe.

Most people are amazed at how simple it is. But beyond that, it’s amazing how healthy they are!

We used to buy organic fruit snacks once in a while as a special treat. But not anymore.Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks with Grass-fed Gelatin

These fruit snacks are filled with nourishing gelatin (use code TAKE10 for 10% off) which is great for gut healing. They are also very safe for almost any allergy. I love that I can even make a variety of flavors for my little guy that is allergic to multiple fruits (have you ever tried finding something fruit flavored at the store that does not contain banana, grape or pear? Impossible).

My kids will easily eat a whole batch in a week if I let them. So I often have to make a new batch almost weekly! I try to make different flavors like blueberry lemon, lemon lime, lemonade and cherry. I love having very healthy snacks on hand that my kids truly love. And they don’t have to feel like they are missing out.

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

One of the things that surprised me is how much my toddler loves homemade fruit snacks. I just make them in a pan and cut them into small squares. It’s a great finger food! Bonus that I can pack them up for when we are out and about. No little puffs or melts with strange ingredients. Just fruit and gelatin.

Do your kids like fruit snacks?

Try replacing the store-bought version with a homemade version. You can make them in any shape and flavor. Let your kids choose which ones. They’ll think it’s great! And you can know they are eating something that is healthy and healing.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks
A fun, fruity snack that is full of nourishing gelatin and free of allergens and artificial ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pure juice (i.e. blueberry, cherry, lemon, lime)
  2. 3/4 cups sweetener (cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup)
  3. 3 -6 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
  4. 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the juice, salt and sweetener in a small saucepan. Heat slightly and mix until the sugar/honey dissolves.
  2. Taste the juice and add more sweetener if necessary.
  3. Allow the juice to cool for 10 - 30 minutes.
  4. Add the gelatin to the juice while gently whisking.
  5. Let sit for one minute.
  6. Heat the juice/gelatin mixture over low heat, whisking gently until the gelatin completely dissolves.
  7. Pour the mixture into molds or a glass pan.
  8. Refrigerate until solid (about 20 minutes).
  9. Remove fruit snacks from molds or cut into squares/desired shape from a pan.
  10. Store in a container in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Do not use juice from concentrate/juice that you would drink plain. Use pure juice.
  2. You may need extra sweetener for some flavors like lemon and lime.
  3. You can use one type of juice or a combination - blueberry lemon, cherry lime, lemon lime, etc.
  4. Using less gelatin will make a softer gummy and they will need more time to set. More gelatin will make it firmer.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

Gluten-Free Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies

In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

When I ask my kids what they want for breakfast nine times out of ten they say breakfast cookies.

I don’t blame them. Who doesn’t want a cookie for breakfast?!

Easy Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies

I’ve been making a variety of breakfast cookies for years. But recently we experimented with an egg free diet for my oldest. So I had to come up with yet another version.

Sunbutter makes a great allergy-friendly substitute for eggs. Not to mention it is delicious! It also replaces the fat. So there is no need to use dairy or coconut.

I also add some ground flax seeds to make sure the cookies hold together.In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

Soak Grains for Better Digestion

Sunbutter breakfast cookies start with a long soak to reduce the phytic acid content. This is especially important when using oats as they are very high in phytic acid.

If you’ve never soaked your grains before, rest assured it’s a very simple thing to do. Mix the grains with water and lemon juice. Done.

When you are ready to bake all you have to do is add the remaining ingredients, mix, scoop and bake.In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen

This is a great recipe to let little ones help with. No chopping. No egg cracking. No butter melting. Just measure, pour and mix.


You can teach even your youngest children all the necessary skills for making these delicious breakfast cookies with the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse! Check it out HERE.


Kids can even sample the ingredients as you go. Somebody has to make sure the honey tastes good, right?!

You can add whatever extras you like to sunbutter breakfast cookies. My kids always ask for mini chocolate chips. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds and coconut all work, depending on your dietary needs.In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

Seasonally-Inspired Breakfast Cookies

Change up the flavor of your sunbutter breakfast cookies by adding seasonal ingredients.

In the summer add diced strawberries, blueberries, or preaches.

For fall you could add some diced apples and cinnamon. Be sure to chop the apples finely enough to make them bite sized for kids.

Dried cranberries make a very festive cookie during the holidays.

Are you looking for an allergen friendly breakfast treat for your family? Sunbutter breakfast cookies will be a family favorite.

Easy Prep Ahead Breakfast

Be sure to make a big batch so you can stock the freezer for effortless breakfasts on busy school mornings. Paired with a big glass of homemade rice milk you’ll have breakfast on the table in under a minute!

You can also add them to lunch boxes for a delicious and healthy treat.

I have to share a fun fact that I learned while making these.

When you mix a lot of baking soda with sunbutter it turns green!

Don’t worry. I adjusted the recipe so you won’t have green cookies like we did. But it is perfectly safe to eat them even if they are green.

In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.

In need of an easy, allergen-free breakfast? These sunbutter breakfast cookies only take a few minutes of prep time and are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, rice, corn, soy and coconut.
5 from 1 vote
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Allergen Free Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies

A simple breakfast cookies that is free of gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, rice, corn and coconut.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour or brown rice or amaranth
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sunbutter unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup add-ins: chocolate chips dried fruit, coconut, seeds, nuts

Instructions

  1. Combine the oats, sorghum, water and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and let sit 24 hours.

  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Add the sunbutter, honey, salt, soda, and flax seeds to the oat mixture. Mix well.

  4. Stir in the add-ins.
  5. Scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet (as large or as small as you like).

  6. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (less time for smaller cookies, more time for larger cookies).
  7. Let cool.
  8. Store in sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a year.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.

Easy Homemade Chip Dip

Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.

One of the easiest side dishes any time of year is chips with dip. I know, you may be thinking that doesn’t sound very healthy. But it can be!

Buy your favorite kind of chip (we like the potato chips made with avocado oil or olive oil) or make a batch of homemade chips. Better yet swap the chips for some homemade teff crackers or gluten-free Wheat Thin® style crackers. You still get the crunch without eating chips. Then all you have to do is take one minute to mix up a quick dip.

What is in Homemade Chip Dip?

This chip dip reminds me of my favorite childhood dip – french onion. What’s great about this homemade version is what it’s missing…namely MSG (read about the dangers of MSG here) or anything artificial. Just a few simple ingredients.

This is also not a dip full of spice. We keep it simple for the oral sensory issues in our family. But that doesn’t mean it’s low on flavor. This simple chip dip tastes great and packs a punch of flavor.Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.

What Can you Dip in Chip Dip Besides Chips?

If you don’t eat chips, this dip works very well for fresh vegetables. Our favorite is cucumbers. We even enjoy it on a burger whether it’s with a bun or simply as a dip when going bun-less. That’s what my kids do most of the time since gluten-free buns are expensive. Plus it’s just easy for kids to dip!

Homemade chip dip is very versatile.

Easy Dip for Kids

Chip dip works well for packing school lunches. A tasty dip is a great way to get kids to eat fresh vegetables. Serve a combination of chips or crackers and veggies. Even if you have reluctant veggie eaters you might be surprised that they eat it all when served together.

Making chip dip is also a great activity for kids. Even the little ones. You really can’t mess it up (the recipe is very forgiving…and you can always add extra sour cream if they go a little overboard with seasoning).

My four-year-old LOVES to help in the kitchen. I like to put her on dip duty. It keeps her hands busy, and she feels so proud that she is helping.Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.


All of my kids know their way around the kitchen thanks to the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. We’ve been doing it since 2016! Check it out HERE if you’re interested in getting your kids cooking.


Is Chip Dip Dairy-Free?

This version of chip dip is made with dairy. While my kids are mostly dairy-free, they do tolerate butter and a small amount of cream. So we still use a little sour cream.

But if you can’t have any dairy you could make this with coconut sour cream or almond milk sour cream. Both sound delicious!

The next time you are in the mood for chips and dip try this simple homemade version of chip dip. It takes less than one minute to make and will be a family favorite.Chips and dip make a great side dish for any party or picnic. Make it real food style with this easy homemade chip dip. Just ONE ingredient plus seasoning.

Easy Homemade Chip Dip

A simple chip dip made with real ingredients that only takes a minute to prepare.

Prep Time 1 minute
Servings 8
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup organic sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. organic garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. organic onion powder
  • 1 tsp. organic dried dill weed (optional - not allowed on VAD Diet)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar.

  2. Mix until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  3. Serve with chips, crackers or vegetables.

  4. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

Easy Allergen-Free Bread

Looking for a great gluten-free bread that holds together without allergens or gums? This allergen-free bread is easy to make and tastes great!This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

A couple years ago I spent at least six months trying to come up with a decent gluten free bread. I probably made at least fifty experimental loaves.

What did I come up with?

My “not-quite-perfect” gluten free bread. It tastes good. But it’s not quite as sturdy as I’d like. And it seems to turn out differently every time I make it!

Easy Allergen-Free Bread

Then when two of my kids added a bunch of new allergies I just stopped making bread. I really didn’t know how to bake anything safe for them. Back to experimenting.

This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

Eventually I got the hang of making decent muffins (my poor husband with texture issues had to suffer through some over-moist and dry, crumbly experiments).

Can You Bake Gluten-Free Bread Without Xanthan Gum?

One day I decided to try making a loaf of bread. Just to see what would happen.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out great! Actually way better than the gluten-free bread I had tried to create for so long.

Who knew you could cut out the eggs, dairy and binders and get something better?!

My allergen-free bread has no gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, coconut, rice, corn, seeds or soy. And as with all of my baking it has no gums. As an added bonus, it is soaked so it’s gentler on the tummy.This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

Kid-approved Gluten-Free Bread

Want to know what my kids think about this allergen-free bread?

First kid: “This is AWESOME!”

Second kid: “This is only for me! Nobody else can have it.”

What Can You Make with Allergen-Free Bread?

Life sure is easier when you have bread. My son can enjoy sloppy joes, sandwiches with homemade lunch meat or toast with sunbutter (we love this brand because it is made in a peanut and tree nut facility). We even use it to make mini pizzas with our nutrient dense pizza sauce (no cheese necessary)!

Sometimes we use leftover pancakes or tortillas as “bread.” But this allergen free bread is definitely our first choice. I try to keep some in the freezer at all times for quick snacks, breakfasts and lunches. I even pre-slice it so I can just grab one slice at a time.

This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

Just a few simple ingredients, mixed by hand gives you a delicious and versatile bread. Soak the flour the day before (or skip that step if you didn’t plan ahead). Then it takes about five minutes to get the bread into the oven.

Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to miss out on freshly baked bread. It also doesn’t mean  you have to resort to strange ingredients and binders (that actually often contain allergens!), like most store-bought versions have.

Looking for Homemade Allergen-Free Bread?

Give this allergen free bread a try. Your kids will be begging for more.

Better yet, get your kids in the kitchen to help make it! They can practice, measuring, pouring and mixing. This will definitely be on our list of things to bake as we go through the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. Click here to learn more about it!

This easy allergen free bread is great for sandwiches or toast. Let the kids help make it!

5 from 1 vote
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Easy Allergen Free Bread

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups organic sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup organic tapioca or white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tsp. grassfed gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup hot water

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, psyllium husk, warm water and lemon juice. Mix to remove any lumps. Cover and let sit 7 - 24 hours.

  2. Heat the oven to 350*F. Grease or line with parchment paper one medium bread pan.

  3. Combine the gelatin and cold water. Set aside.

  4. Add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, honey and oil to the flour mixture. Stir well.

  5. Add the hot water to the gelatin water and mix until dissolved.

  6. Add the gelatin water to the flour mixture. Blend well with a hand mixer to remove any lumps.

  7. Pour the dough in the prepared pans.

  8. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, until golden.

  9. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

  10. Allow to cool for at least an additional 60 minutes before slicing.

  11. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a year.

Recipe Notes

You can slice the bread before freezing.
You can replace any of the water with yogurt, whole milk, coconut yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk or rice milk for a moister bread.