Baked Cinnamon Apples with Oats, Flax and Golden Raisins

Have you ever tried baked apples?  Well they are one of my favorite healthy treats for a number of reasons:

  • they are super easy to make
  • taste delicious-naturally
  • total #momwin as they are healthy, delicious and kids love them
  • packed with fiber (one medium apple w/skin has a little over 4 grams of dietary fiber) plus I love adding oats and flax which add a healthy dose of protein and fiber too!
  • kids can help in the kitchen with mixing the stuffing and filing them before baking
  • makes a great naturally sweetened food vehicle for healthy add-ins like oats, ground flaxseed, dried fruit, nuts, etc.
  • baking apples brings out their natural sweetens..no need for added sugar – not even the natural stuff like honey or maple syrup
  • super satisfying….
  • OK let me stop here, but you get my obsession with them now.
  • perfect as dessert, snack or breakfast!

BONUS: With apple-picking season approaching, this is a great way to use up that overflow of apples!  These BAKED CINNAMON APPLES w/ OATS, FLAX & GOLDEN RAISINS were our dessert last night and topped them off with some dairy-free coconut ice cream and a dash of cinnamon.  Since many apple varieties are naturally sweet, you don’t really need additional sweeteners like maple syrup or honey.  If you’d like to try these for breakfast, an alternative topping is unsweetened coconut yogurt with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.  I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet, firm apples like Honeycrisp or Jonagold
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if you have an intolerance or allergy to gluten)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan buttery spread (or use unsalted butter if you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8×8″ glass baking dish with coconut or canola oil cooking spray.
  2. Halve the apples from stem to end and use a spoon to scoop out the core, seeds, and stem. Arrange the apple halves in the baking dish with the flesh facing up.  Lightly coat the flesh with lemon juice to help prevent browning.
  3. Melt the buttery spread in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Then add in the oats stir to coat with the buttery spread.  Continue sautéing oats until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in the applesauce, cinnamon, raisins and ground flaxseed, mixing well to combine.
  5. Divide the topping between the apples, lightly pressing it down onto the apples.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover the apples then bake another 25-30 minutes until the apples are soft and the topping has browned.
  7. To keep it dairy-free, serve with a small scoop of coconut or other dairy-free ice cream, eat it plain or with a drizzle of honey.  **The apples will keep for up to one week.  When ready to eat, simply reheat in a warm oven or in the microwave.

 

Raw Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream Bars

My kids love cookies n’ cream and since I’m always looking for ways to health-ify their favorite treats, I created these raw, dairy-free cookies n’ cream ice cream bars.  These bars are so delicious and satisfying!  Best part = no ice cream maker or churning required 🙌 My entire family loved these bars and I can’t wait to hear what you think! Check out the super easy recipe below!

💚1/3 cup pure maple syrup,

💚1/3 cup coconut oil,

💚1.5 cups raw cashews, quick soaked**

💚1 teaspoon vanilla extract,

💚2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

💚1/2 cup @ripplefoods pea milk (I used unsweetened vanilla) or coconut milk,

💚1/2 cup chocolate snack cookies,

💚for the Crust: 1.5 cups chocolate cookies-crushed into fine crumbs (I use my Vitamix to blend the cookies to crumbs before making the filling) + 1 tablespoon coconut oil (more if needed, see below)

**to do a quick soak, simply pour boiling water over the cashews and let them soak for 1.5 hours and drain). .

Directions:

1. Line an 8×8 brownie pan with parchment paper.

2. Add soaked cashews and all other ingredients to a blender except cookies and blend until smooth.

3. Now add in cookies and blend until cookies are blended well into the cashew mixture.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs + coconut oil and mix until oil is well incorporated. You can add a bit more coconut oil if needed to ensure crumbs stick together when pressed down.

5. Place crumbs into the liner tin and press firmly down until you form a single layer.

6. Pour cashew/cookie batter on top, smooth over to ensure the entire cookie layer is covered.

7. Freeze! And wait about 4-5 hours before eating. Enjoy!!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently, I went into a bakery and tried this paleo chocolate chip cookie that was seriously (and surprisingly) so delicious! I was determined to find a recipe that resembled it and I’ll honestly say that this one by King Arthur Flour is better! The only change I made with this recipe is using 1/4 cup coconut sugar (and I’ve also tried it with 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and they came out obviously less sweet but still very good) .  My kids love these cookies and I love the they are super simple to make minus a bunch of butter + sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups almond flour, blanched or raw
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter, and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla, egg, and almond flour, stirring to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix for 1 minute at medium speed.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the dough one level tablespoon at a time onto the prepared baking sheet; a  tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
  6. Gently flatten the cookies to about 3/8″ thick.
  7. Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven. Allow them to cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe by: King Arthur Flour

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-almond-flour-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Before making this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash, I never tried the original beef version-mainly because I do not eat red meat.  But my husband who is will eat red meat on occasion said he prefers this lighter, healthier version!  This turkey shepherd’s pie is made with easy whipped cauliflower mash (recipe on my blog!), veggies and white meat ground turkey.  It’s low carb (for those being mindful of their carbohydrate intake) and a fun take on the traditional Shepherd’s pie!  Cauliflower make the perfect substitute for mashed potatoes in this recipe and is a staple side dish in my home!  I can’t wait to hear what you think!

2) Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

3 cups of shredded white meat turkey or 1 pound ground turkey breast

1.5 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup low sodium chicken broth mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch or gluten free all-purpose flour (or regular ap flour)

1 large carrot, diced

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic, carrots and onions; cook until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes
  • Add the turkey and thyme and sauté for 2-3 minutes (if using raw ground turkey, continue to cook, breaking the turkey up with a spoon, until the turkey is cooked through and lightly browned).
  • Stir in the ketchup and cook until lightly caramelized.
  • Stir the broth and flour together in a small bowl until smooth, and then pour into the skillet. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas and corn and season with salt, if using.
  • Prepare the cauliflower mash (see previous recipe).
  • Finally, place ground turkey in a baking dish and spread mash on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top.

 

 

Whipped Cauliflower Mash

There’s no doubt that cauliflower has become the new “it” ingredient.  It’s everywhere from pizza crust to vegan buffalo wings.  But one of my favorite cauliflower dishes is this whipped mash and my entire family prefers it over potatoes.  Just to be clear, I have nothing against potatoes, but when I developed gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy and still struggled with pre-diabetes for a couple of years after the birth of my second child (whom I did not have gestational diabetes with), I became more conscious of the foods that spike my blood sugar and potatoes was one of them.  So I always sought alternatives that would keep my blood sugar levels at bay but still provide me with good nutrition.  I promise, you will not miss the potatoes with this mash! It’s super easy, low carb, mild in flavor and packed with nutrients!   In fact, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6!  It’s also a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin, to name a few.

Try this side dish with my Turkey Shepherd’s Pie, also on my blog! Just search for that recipe or under “turkey” and it should pop right up.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1-16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower, steamed

1 heaping tablespoon light cream cheese or soy-based spread

2-4 tablespoons milk or dairy alternative

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Place cauliflower and cream cheese in a food processor and process on high speed for about 1 minute.
  • Slowly, add in the milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Pour into a bowl and top with green onions.

Homemade Fruit Popsicles

Earlier this week I shared one of my favorite money saving tips in my Instagram stories-making homemade popsicles using 100% fresh fruit!  With the warmer weather approaching, everyone loves a good refreshing popsicle, am I right?!  Ethan is holding his two favorites here, mango/orange🍊and watermelon/lime🍉.  I use Zipzicles BPA free popsicle pouches, found on Amazon (I pay $13 for 100 pouches) and I also buy their colorful sleeves which are amazing and keep little hands from getting cold!  With about 3 cups of blended fruits (total cost, $2-3), I can easily make 12 pops, way less expensive than store-bought, made with all fresh produce and nothing added 🙌

TIP: when pouring liquid into the zipzicle pouches, use a small funnel! Insert it right at the top and hold with one hand while pouring liquid in with the other.  This works especially well for thicker smoothie-type mixes.

Here are my littles favorite popsicle recipes and if you would like more easy recipes for these, let me know and I’ll include them in this blog post!

🍊mango/orange: 1-10 is bag frozen mango chunks + 1-1.5 cups freshly squeezed oranges. Purée on high and add more OJ to thin the mix as needed.

🍉 watermelon/lime: 3.5 cups watermelon chunks + juice of 1/2 lime and purée on high speed.

Enjoy!

No Bake Vegan Blueberry Crustless Cheesecake

I’m so excited to share this recipe for NO-BAKE VEGAN BLUEBERRY CRUSTLESS “CHEESECAKES” I could hardly contain myself and I put the word cheesecake in quotes because it’s super creamy like a cheesecake but doesn’t have any cheese or dairy at all! The creaminess comes from a combo of soaked raw cashews (rich source of protein, healthy fats and other nutrients) and @ripplefoods nutritious pea milk (coconut milk also makes a great alternative but didn’t have it on hand).  Recipe inspired by @minimalistbaker and is totally vegan with only 7 ingredients+ in a blender.   Here’s the easy peasy recipe:

🔹1/3 cup pure maple syrup

🔹1/3 cup coconut oil

🔹1.5 cups raw cashews, quick soaked**

🔹1 teaspoon vanilla extract

🔹1/2 cup @ripplefoods pea milk (I used unsweetened vanilla) or coconut milk

🔹juice of 1 lemon

🔹1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

**to do a quick soak, simply pour boiling water over the cashews and let them soak for 1.5 hours and drain).

_________

Directions:

  1. line a muffin tin with liners (I use @ifyoucare_usa muffin liners, nothing sticks to them and environmentally-friendly 🌎🙌).
  2. Add soaked cashews and all other ingredients to a blender except for blueberries and blend until smooth.
  3. Add in blueberries and blend until smooth and color changes to blue.
  4. Pour batter into muffin liners about 3/4 full. Cover and place in the freezer to set, about 4-5 hours). Enjoy!!

Keep them in the freezer, they taste like ice cream!! Or thaw in the fridge.  I got a little fancy here with my fresh strawberry sauce 🍓(simply frozen strawberries + lil water over medium heat until sauce thickens, no added sugar) but it’s totally optional! And blueberry is great but I’ll be making these again with other mix-ins.  plain is pretty darn awesome too 😋 have the BEST day everyone! 💚💜💛🧡💙❤️

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