Posts Tagged GF

Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie

Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie

I am not a morning person… but I am quickly learning to be one.  When I married my husband eight years ago, it never occurred to me that his “morning-ness” would inevitably transfer to our three boys.  Needless to say, this girl-who-loves-to-sleep-in rarely stays in bed past 6:30 am.

Every once in a while, I do stay in bed.  And while I sleep, the little boys have a daddy-date with Lego’s, Car Ramps, and Nerf Guns.  Daddy-date-mornings are incredibly awesome.  Saturday morning I was awoken at 8:30 am by one excited dad who begged me to get out of bed quickly before the destroying-18-month-old had a chance to demolish his latest creations.

Stumbling out of bed, I discovered that my house had been invaded with pirate Lego ships.

Lego ships with pirates and cannons and planks.

Carefully swimming through shark infested oceans (my kitchen floor), I whipped up a batch of my favorite Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie.  When the treasured smoothie was securely poured into cups, I set sail with my boys and landed on a desert island where I enjoyed my breakfast smoothie.  Simple moments like this are the true treasures found in life.

Cacao Berry Avocado Smoothie

1 handful raw cashews
2-3 Tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
1 avocado
1 very ripe banana
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Dash of salt
1-2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 handful of spinach
1-2 cups water

1. Remove pit from avocado and scoop fruit from it’s shell.
2.  Place all of the ingredients in your high-powered-blender (I love my Vitamix – it works perfectly in recipes like this).  Blend ingredients until smooth.  Add additional water if needed to create the consistency you desire.


Almond Butter Apple Dip

Almond Butter Apple Dip

1 cup organic almond butter
1/4 cup organic pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Organic sprinkles (optional)
and Apples… lots of them.

Stir together almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  Carefully cut apples into wedges.  Enjoy with apple wedges and a burst of sprinkles.   It is not unusual for our family to consume ten apples when combined with this delicious dip. I do not always add a full 1/4 cup maple syrup when we enjoy this dip… sometimes only add a tablespoon or two.  This recipe is incredibly flexible, so play around with the quantities.

Peanut butter can be used in substitution of the almond butter, but be careful…  While peanut butter is extremely delicious, peanuts contain arachidonic acid that can promote inflammation, causing further harm to injuries, already inflamed tissues, and constipation/irritable bowel.


I was referred to this YouTube video by a friend, and I fell in love. This girl is absolutely adorable, and the argument she makes about the benefits of organic foods is irresistible.


Berry Poppy Seed Salad with Greens, Mangoes, Coconut, and Almonds

Berry Poppy Seed Salad with Greens, Mangoes, Coconut, and Almonds

My little kindergartener is majorly crushing on some girls at school.  For the last week or two, he has spent the evenings with paper and pen writing love notes to all of his girlfriends.  His love notes are envelopes with a carefully penned “I love you.”

I thought the joy of writing love letters was unsurpassable.
I was wrong.
Dead wrong.
Receiving a love letter from a very cute girl was beyond exciting. The letter is adorable with a picture of the two of them holding hands.  He carefully hung it on his magnet board by his bed so that he can look at it as he falls asleep at night.

And while my kindergartener has been crushing on girls, I have been crushing on this amazingly berry good salad.  Spinach, romaine, mangoes, strawberries, un-sweetened dried blueberries, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a handful of crushed raw almonds topped with a Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette – is amazing.  My husband loves this salad with a little feta cheese and an organic grilled chicken tender marinated in a healthy Italian dressing.  Either way, I love this salad.


Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
adapted from Our Best Bites

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup raw organic honey
1-2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
About 10 cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

In a blender or Vitamix, combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, berries, and oil.  Blend until smooth.  Transfer dressing into a mason jar or dressing container and add poppy seeds.  Shake and serve.

Store dressing in the refrigerator.


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Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Santa made an early visit to our house this year and left us a Cuisinart Frozen Ice Cream Maker.


We have either been really good…

or Santa really wants some homemade frozen yogurt on Christmas Eve.


Make your own homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt
This counter top ice cream machine is by far my favorite kitchen appliance I own… and I own a lot of appliances.

Homemade ice cream has never been so easy, fast, and convenient.  I love that those big bags of ice are no longer necessary due to the convenient removable freezer bowl that now lives in my freezer.  The removable freezer bowl is pure genius and quickly freezes homemade frozen ice cream/yogurt in approximately twenty minutes.  And this machine is quiet too in comparison to others.  Quiet enough that the kids sleep while the machine is working…. date nights now happen multiple times a week thanks to this fun machine.

I have had a lot of fun experimenting with this ice cream maker.  One of the best things about this machine is that I can control what is in the ice cream that I am feeding my family.  Sure, it sounds like I have some kind of ice-cream-controlling-condition that should be monitored by a specialist, but let me explain.

A lot of ice creams are laden with artificial coloring, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and dairy products that I choose to avoid.  Purchasing healthy ice cream at a health food stores can be pricey…. which creates a problem for the pocket book.  This ice maker however decreases the price of healthy ice cream significantly, making ice cream so much more enjoyable.


One of our favorite frozen yogurt recipes is altered from Jessica Seinfeld’s Double Delicious! cookbook  -which is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks to modify.


For this recipe, you are going to need mint extract.  I always use the Watkins brand for extracts due to its pureness.


Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt Recipe


To make this frozen yogurt, you are going to need some pure mint extract, Greek yogurt, organic sugar, chocolate chips, and spinach.


I said spinach.

And yes, we are still making frozen yogurt here.

And trust me.

This frozen yogurt tastes amazing.


Place all of your ingredients (except for you chocolate chips – we are saving those for later) in your vita-mix or high powered blender and spin until smooth.  Pour the frozen yogurt mixture into your already frozen freezer bowl.  Secure the lid on your ice cream maker and turn it on.


Watching the ice cream spin around and around is fabulous entertainment for little boys.

Give the ice cream ten minutes to start freezing and then add your chocolate chips.


After approximately twenty minutes, you ice cream is going to be frozen.  Stop the machine and dish up.


Spinach frozen yogurt


And smile.

Spinach frozen yogurt has never tasted so good.


Homemade Frozen Yogurt


Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach

1/4 teaspoon pure mint extract

3 cups Greek yogurt

1 cup organic sugar

1 cup bittersweet all-natural chocolate chips (variable)


Place all ingredients (saving the chocolate chips for later) in a vita-mix or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour ice cream mixture into a Cuisinart Frozen Ice Cream Maker previously frozen freezer bowl.  Secure freezer bowl onto ice cream maker and spin until frozen.  Add chocolate chips after ten minutes.

Raw Apple Holiday

Raw Apple Holiday

apples + peanut or almond butter + unsweetened coconut + raw pecans + chocolate chips = amazing.

Serve it at your next big event, share it with a friend, or enjoy it with a warm blanket and book.
This treat has the power to transform any day into a holiday.



  • For easier drizzling, heat your almond/peanut butter on low heat prior to pouring it over the apples.
  • Splash your apples with fresh orange juice (prior to toppings) to prevent browning.
  • For added sweetness, try mixing organic almond or peanut butter with a little organic maple syrup and vanilla prior to drizzling your apples.



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