As a breastfeeding mother who has always been a light weight I need to make sure I’m taking in enough to maintain. I decided to turn to coconut oil to help me out a bit. The internet is full of article after article of the benefits of eating coconut oil (fighting dementia, balancing blood sugar, satiating the appetite, etc). You can also find long lists of its many uses. These are great, but another great thing about it is its taste! I found out about coconut oil fat bombs, and tried a couple recipes that were close to what I wanted. After a couple of batches I got it taste how I wanted it to. This of course, is the joy of cooking. A little tweak here or there can make things perfect for our individual tastes, and I love playing with tweaks. So, without further ado, here is my Chocolate coconut oil bomb.
1 cup coconut oil
4 tbs cocoa powder (dairy free)
1 tbs honey
1/8 tsp stevia powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smoothly combined. Line a pan with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of the coconut oil mixture on to the parchment paper. Balance the pan as un-precariously as possible in the fridge for half an hour or until the coconut oil sets. Mine was perched on a container of chilling bone broth and a bowl of marinated zucchini salad while trying to not let any of its weight crush my farm fresh greens. At this point you can take out the pan, peel the chocolates off the parchment paper and place them in a more space efficient container. Tell your husband you have a stool sample in the fridge so he doesn’t steal them. (Just kidding, but they do look like little poos) I grab for one of these if I just need a quick little boost between meals, or if I feel the need to indulge in their silky chocolateness. Enjoy
P.S. Maybe I shouldn’t write posts late at night when little man decides trying to learn to crawl is more important than sleep.
Update: If the oily feel throws you off a bit (it doesn’t bother me but it might some folk) just add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to change up the texture. Thanks Barb for this idea!
It has been bitter cold this winter and I wanted a creamy soup. This recipe contains spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that make you feel warm and comfy, as well as cayenne and ginger which are said to help with circulation. Put those spices in a rich, soothing base of sweet pumpkin and savory broth and you have the perfect winter soup. I’ve also made it using butternut squash. You can use it as a main course served with crackers for a lighter meal, or as a side dish. It would go great with a roasted chicken.
Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup
3 cups broth
4 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs ghee
1 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1/8 to 1/2 tsp cayenne, to taste
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or using a immersion blender until smooth. Heat on medium in large pot until simmering, stirring occasionally.
I was spoiled growing up. My mom always used fresh pumpkin in her holiday baking. It makes such a difference in the flavor. Roasting a pumpkin, or squash, isn’t difficult. I had a big butternut squash i needed to cook up for preparation for another recipe. First, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Then cut the squash in half.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. To keep the squash from sticking tothe pan smear some coconut oil, butter, or ghee on the cut side of the flesh. Place the squash on a large sheet pan with lips, or roasting pan.It’s better if you can fit them both in laying flat,but if you need to lean one on the other a bit like in the picture below it’s ok. They just might not cook as evenly.
Put them in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the squash. These I did for an hour. They are done when you can stick the tines of the fork through the skin of the squash with almost no force. Take the out and let them cool.
The one on the left is done, if they get as dark as the one on the right, they are a little bit overcooked.
The skin will peel right off, just watch out for pockets of heat. At this point prep it for whatever recipe you are using. Or you can mash it up with a little of your favorite milk/milk substitute and enjoy as a yummy side dish.
Shortly after I went non-dairy, a craving struck. I needed something creamy, but not necessarily sweet, and I needed it right away. Okay, so what foods are creamy? I had recently been introduced to avocados, and they are kind of creamy, but I needed REALLY creamy. So, I decided to add some mayonnaise. Right. So then I had this messy green goo, that’s kind of bland and, well, green. I needed to add some kick to it somehow. I opened the fridge, and my eyes fell on the jar of salsa. Just the thing. So I stir in some of that, and now I have a messy green goo with red in it. Well, at least it didn’t look boring anymore, but I didn’t really want to just eat this stuff with a spoon…. so… lets pretend its a dip. I grabbed some crackers and dug in. And WOW this stuff actually tasted really good…. not sure how that happened. Out of a craving a recipe was born.
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use Spectrum brand)
2 tablespoons salsa
lime or lemon juice (optional)
- Chop up an avocado and toss it in a bowl. Not sure how? Check out this video.
- Add 2 tbs of mayonnaise. Using a fork, mush the avocado and mayonnaise together against the side of the bowl
- Mix in 2 tbs of salsa
Serve with your favorite gluten free cracker. I like using Sesmark’s original rice thins for this, though I love Mary’s Gone Crackers. If you’re not going to be eating this right away, add a splash of lime juice (if you don’t have that lemon works too) to keep the avocado from turning brown. Feel free to add more salsa if you like more kick. I’m not big into spicy.
There are many energy bars out there today, but a lot of them are high in sugar. Because of this they raise energy levels quickly, but then the dreaded crash sets in. I was planning a vacation with my husband that involved a 14 hour road trip, one way. We were also planning on doing a lot of walking and hiking so I knew we needed a snack that would help provide us with lasting energy without the crash. This trail mix recipe was born out of that need. Unfortunately we had to postpone the trip, but it certainly did the trick while we were raking our yard!
Keep scrolling after the recipe to read some of the health benefits of the individual ingredients. And of course, remember to use all organic ingredients whenever possible. I am sensitive to even natural sugars so this recipe is really low in all forms of sugar. If you are less sensitive than me you could add a small amount of dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries.
Energy Trail Mix Recipe:
(Yields 4-5 cups)
1 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup shelled pistachios
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted or raw)
3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
(optional 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks and/or 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit)
You can combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together, or toss them in a resealable bag and shake them up a bit. Easy, right? Make sure only one of your nuts is salted, the first time I made it I didn’t pay attention to that and boy did it make you thirsty,
- High levels of copper, riboflavin, and copper aide in energy production
- Good for your heart, brain, skin, blood pressure and cholesterol balance
- High in vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and fiber
- High in vitamin B6, which is essential for your nervous system, red blood cell production, energy production and immune system
- Contains the minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc
- Has as much fiber as oatmeal per serving
- Aides in glucose tolerance
- Cholesterol balancing
- Contains diverse forms of vitamin E
- High in minerals manganese, tryptophan, phosphorous, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- And men, it’s good for prostate health
- High in fiber, B vitamins, potassium
- Raises good cholesterol