Breakfast for Champions
Apples – diced
Bananas – diced
Dried fruit ( shredded coconut, dates, raisins, goji berries, etc.)
Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Top with milk or a scoop of coconut whipped cream. Yum!
My boys are getting pretty excited for Halloween. My kindergartener is excited for the big Halloween parade at his elementary school, my preschooler is excited to collect candy, and my one-year-old does not care – he just wants to wear his shoes. He loves shoes. No costumes have been solidified, although I have to admit that I am loving this costume idea. The boys will probably dress up as a little bit of everyone and everything. Something like Spiderman with Buzz Lightyear wings, clown wigs, and pirate patches. I’ll be sure to share some pictures.
Halloween Monster eyes are one of our favorite sugar-free Halloween meal traditions. To make your very own Halloween Monster Eyes, simply hard boil and egg and allow it time to cool. Once the egg has cooled, peel off the outer shell and cut your egg in half vertically. Top your egg with a slice of olive and your Halloween Monster Eyes are ready to be enjoyed. Yum!
Here are some fun sugar-free ways to enjoy Halloween:
It has been relatively quiet on the blog as of late. We officially sold our Colorado house on October 10th and moved into our new Utah house on the same day. Unpacking with three adventurous boys is no easy task… let me tell you. Big thanks go to all of those who have helped move heavy boxes, wash our laundry, fix doorbells, and find serenity amongst the chaos. Moving is hard work. Meanwhile, I have tried to create some form of food in the kitchen besides peanut butter sandwiches and scrambled eggs… I think we are still a couple days away from full-blown-cooking. I still have five bags of clothes to unpack, piano screws to locate, and a garage to clean. I keep reminding myself that it took six months to pack everything.
I miss cooking. Especially now that the weather is turning cold and pumpkin season has officially begun. Does anyone else love pumpkins? Pumpkin bread, pudding, cake, pancakes, seeds… you can never have too much pumpkin in your diet. Pumpkins are loaded with important antioxidants, fiber, potassium, zinc and beta-carotene – thus enhancing the overall health of the body. The beta-carotene found within a pumpkin is instantly converted to vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A protects the body from various diseases, degenerative aspects of aging, heart disease, and certain kinds of cancer. Furthermore, pumpkins encourage healthy bowels, decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of macular degeneration, reduce the risk of hypertension, boost the immune system and improve bone density. With pumpkins, you can have your cake and eat it too.
We made these gingerbread pumpkin pancakes a couple weeks ago and I am still thinking about them. They were the perfect combination of ginger and pumpkin and my five-year-old wanted to eat nothing but pancakes the day I made them… needless to say, they did not last long.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Pancakes
I am a big breakfast fan… but I am not an imitation maple syrup fan. For the last couple of years, my family has used agave nectar on our pancakes, french toast, and oatmeal. It is good… but not good enough due to its lack of maple flavor. Having gone through a health revolution a few years back, I have been missing my syrups which I refuse to eat since they are packed with harmful ingredients and highly processed sugars. In fact, they are more “fake” food than “real” food. But those sad-syrup-free-days are gone. History! Welcome to Syrup Making 101.
Homemade [Can-Life-Get-Any-Better?] Syrup
Store in a fun Syrup Dispenser and enjoy syrup once again. You deserve it.
I declare that pumpkin season is finally here!
Pull out your mixers, your pumpkins, and your cooking sheets because these pumpkin cinnamon granola bars are seriously amazing.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Chocolate Chip & Pecan Granola Bars
3¼ cups rolled oats (be sure to select gluten free oats if living a gluten free lifestyle)
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup sucanat
½ cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey or agave nectar for vegans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cinnamon chips
½ cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together sucanat, pumpkin, applesauce, honey and vanilla extract until combined and smooth. Pour the applesauce/pumpkin mixture over the oat mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix until all of the oats are moistened. Stir in the cinnamon chips and pecans.
3. Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the granola bars to cool. Cut into bars and serve. Leftover bars are perfect for packed lunches, trips to the farm, or snacks. Individually wrap the granola bars with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and kept at room temperature.
Coconut rice is one of our family’s favorite breakfast “treats.”
I love that it is simple to prepare and packed with yummy nutrients that leave our tummies full and happy.
6 cups water
3 tablespoons kefir or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups brown rice
1 can coconut milk
2 cups blueberries
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Soak rice in 3 cups water plus 3 tablespoons kefir / yogurt overnight (6 to 12 hours). Strain and rinse rice. Bring 3 cups water to a boil, add salt and stir in rice. Cover and allow rice to cook until soft and tender. Stir in coconut milk, shredded coconut, and maple syrup. Allow extra fluid to evaporate by cooking on low heat for a minute or two. Top with blueberries and watch the rice turn blue.
Whole Grain Banana Bread “Muffins”
1/3 cup organic butter or Earth Balance
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sucanat
1 tsp. vanilla
2 organic fresh eggs
1 1/2 cups mushy ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease baking pan/cupcake liners with olive oil spray, Earth Balance, or butter. Combine wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix in a bowl. Set aside. In another large bowl, mix butter, honey, water, and sugar. Beat on high for two minutes. Add eggs and lightly beat until just combined. Mix in bananas and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture.
Or, if you are like me, toss all ingredients into your Vitamix. Turn it on and blend until smooth. Although the dough may taste fabulous uncooked and on a wooden spoon – don’t do it! Pour batter into pans at bake at 325 degrees. Bake for 52 minutes if you are using a bread pan and approximately 25 minutes if you are making muffins. Remove pan and place on wire rack. Allow time to cool. Enjoy!
As a teenager, my orthodontist created a mold of my teeth using seaweed – disgusting. I seriously thought I was going to die from gross-ness. Who in their right mind would voluntarily put seaweeds or algae in their mouth by choice? Yes, I was once a seaweed/algae pessimist.
My seaweed/algae pessimism came to an end when I began researching foods that contained high levels of iron and iodine – essential nutrients for the body. The health benefits shocked me – I had no idea that something so disgusting could be so amazing.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is cultivated from oceans and lakes. Good for the brain, heart, and immune system, Spirulina supports the immune system, healthy inflammatory responses, and protects against oxidation. The high iodine content found in Spirulina supports a healthy thyroid and provides relief to those struggling with iodine deficiencies.
Spirulina has also been used to successfully help individuals struggling with depression, asthma, hypertension, digestive problems, skin disorders, fatigue, stress, and attention deficit disorder. Spirulina is often considered a complete protein and contains more protein that soy, more iron than beef, and more vitamin A than carrots. Spirulina is a super-food that your body needs.
Better Than Cherry Spirulina Smoothie
1 cups vanilla yogurt (be sure to select a yogurt that is free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and/or artificial flavors)
1 cups frozen cherries
1/2 cup agave nectar
Two large handfuls of spinach
1/16 – 1/8 tsp. Spirulina (remember to start small and build your way up)
Milk (almond, soy, rice, dairy, etc.) to desired consitancy
Place all ingredients in your Vitamix (or high-powered blender) and blend until smooth. Pour into cups with fancy straws.
Put your feet up and smile. Welcome to the Spirulina optimists club.
We love this breakfast dish. It is delicious, easy to prepare, and perfect for any breakfast occasion.
Berry Good French Toast Bake
6-7 slices of gluten-free bread
1/2 cup milk (coconut, almond, soy, or cow’s milk)
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4-1/2 cup sucanat
Frozen mixed berries
Mix the milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut bread into little cubes and spread on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle berries over bread/egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 35-40 minutes.
If you are unfamiliar with green smoothies, the main idea is to combine veggies and fruit in a smoothie to help maximize your daily vegetable intake. My first green smoothie consisted of romaine lettuce, strawberries, and bananas – it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t something that my kiddos would voluntarily drink.
Since that day I have created a variety of green smoothie recipes that even the pickiest-eater will enjoy. This first recipe I am going to share with you, is a good place to start. My four-year-old loves this smoothie so much that he volunteered to teach it.