Fun Valentine’s Treats

Let’s face it, it’s really hard to find a babysitter for Valentine’s Day. Everyone wants to spend it with their loved one. So last year we had some fun with the kids on Valentine’s Day and then went to do our thing on another day when we could get a babysitter. So what we did is melt some chocolate, and dip yummy healthier foods in the chocolate sauce. It was a lot of fun and SO good. Also included below are some healthier options for those Valentines the kids bring in to class, how to make dye-free natural red/pink food coloring, and a fun Valentine’s breakfast idea. The holidays can still be fun, even when you are trying to be all-natural and healthier! ūüôā

valentines treats

 

The Chocolate Sauce
I used dark chocolate chips or carob chocolate chips, add a little milk, and stir frequently while it’s heating up. Just keep adding milk to get the consistency you want. I have a really neat mini crockpot I use to keep the chocolate sauce warm.

Healthier Options for Chocolate Sauce Dipping
Peanut butter balls, strawberries, raspberries, cherries (be careful of the seeds!), kiwi, mango, oranges, apples, bananas, blueberries (probably any fruit), homemade mini sugar cookies, pretzels, homemade donuts (cut into pieces to dip or do mini donuts), graham crackers, and of course marshmallows would be good (see a healthier option below).

Recipe for the peanut butter balls (pictured above): For about 2 dozen, I did 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and about 1 cup powdered sugar. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with your hands to form a dough. Shape into balls and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use. If you want a healthier option, here’s a recipe (just omit the chocolate chips).

Recipe for the mini sugar cookies: I still haven’t posted this recipe yet but I have been using this one for a while now. It makes about 2 dozen cookies but it depends on the size. Since we are going smaller it should be more.¬†3 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla.¬†Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs & vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Form into small round balls, place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.

Recipe for the donuts (or mini donuts): I followed this recipe¬†and just didn’t put in the chocolate chips. If you do mini donuts, I recommend baking at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Here’s the mini donut pan I have and I love it! The donuts popped out of the pan very easily, I didn’t have to grease it, and it’s 100% silicone and dishwasher-safe.

The marshmallows I buy (vegan, gluten-free, gelatin-free, GMO-free Рingredients are Tapioca Syrup, Cane Sugar, Tapioca Starch, Filtered Water, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavor. I’m not happy about the carrageenan but the other ingredients are better than regular marshmallows which usually contain corn syrup, refined sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor, and blue #1. Of course making your own would be the best option. And I am not against gelatin. I think it definitely has some health benefits.):

 

Healthier Options for Valentines
There are organic lollipops, fruit snack packs, or valentines gummy bears by YumEarth (shown below), Annie’s valentines fruit snack packs (that I haven’t been able to find yet), and Trader Joe’s has organic lollipops too. Or you can tape something else to the valentines like a pencil, stickers, those little tattoos, rings, erasers, etc. It’s also okay to just hand out valentines, with nothing attached. Maybe even make homemade valentines. Kids might not think this is AS cool but we don’t always have to go all out for every-single-holiday. Maybe we can do something cool for one holiday and then be more relaxed on the next, and take a break!

 

Natural Red Food Coloring
I have not been successful on making a true red natural food coloring yet but I have not experimented that much. Here’s a recipe with a real pretty red coloring, by Real Mom Nutrition:¬†http://www.realmomnutrition.com/2014/12/16/recipe-naturally-colored-frosting/. (You could also put the beet in the juicer to get the liquid.)

 

Natural Pink Food Coloring
I was able to make a pretty pink natural food coloring using raspberries. You don’t need a juicer to make this either.¬†Just¬†cook 6 oz of raspberries in a pan on med until it turns into a sauce. Then strain the seeds and cook the sauce longer until thickened. Cool to room temp and add to your frosting.¬†See the color below on my daughter’s birthday cake. ūüôā¬†

pink raspberry frosting

 

Don’t want to mess around with homemade¬†food coloring? No problem. Here’s some all-natural food¬†coloring you can purchase through Amazon:

 

Fun Valentine’s Breakfast
You could make my¬†apple cinnamon pancakes and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make them into heart-shaped pancakes (make sure it’s not a plastic cookie cutter so it doesn’t melt when using it on the pan to make the shapes). Then you can make heart-shaped fruit to go with using a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter, or to make heart-shaped strawberries, just cut off the green stem, cut a V into the top of the strawberry, and slice.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

A Healthier Frozen-Themed Birthday Party

We usually have to worry about snow on my daughter’s birthday because there have been several years where it snowed and people couldn’t make it to the party. This year, we had to worry about a power outage! It was only out for about 24 hours or so but it felt like forever. Much better than our week-long-adventure without power though! So a December birthday…¬†perfect for a Frozen-themed birthday party! In case you don’t know what Frozen is, it’s a very cute Disney movie that just about every girl is obsessed with (my daughter included). Fair warning, once they watch the movie the songs will be sung numerous times and stuck in your head for days, months, years! ūüėČ Anyway,¬†I started researching Frozen-themed party foods. Of course most of it was dye-filled to match the blue colors from the movie. I continued to research and started looking up winter-themed parties too to get as many healthy¬†ideas as I could.

Here’s what I came up with (below). For full disclosure, I ended up ordering a regular cake because our power was out. Wow, I realized I used to have it pretty easy when I just ordered a cake or cupcakes and went to pick it up! Oh well, definitely wouldn’t want to go back to eating the way we used to even though it’s more work now. I decided to make the cupcakes later on that week since I already bought all the stuff anyway. So, why not experiment with making blue frosting since I had the time and wasn’t preparing them for a party?? Too bad it didn’t turn out. ūüôĀ I wasn’t going to experiment before a birthday party. There’s enough stress and pressure to get everything just right. I get a lot of anxiety before my kids’ parties. I want them to have great parties but with Fibro it is very difficult. I try my best and that’s all I can do! This year I decided to let Kailey pick one friend outside of our usual group of family/friends that go to all the parties. She picked a friend from school. So then I had a little more stress of making it a good party for her friend and parents. I have met her friend many times but not the parents. We are skeptical about letting Kailey stay the night with friends because she has had several seizures during her sleep. She could have a play date but it just hasn’t come up.

Frozen Party

 

Snacks
We made the cards to label the food using old cards that I had (they just had birds on the other side), paper that was cut using special crinkle-cut scissors, a blue marker, and Frozen Stickers. And we made them by candle light during our power outage, haha.

Olaf Noses (carrots with ranch dip)
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Olaf Cheese Sticks (cheese sticks with Olaf faces drawn using black pen, black marker, and orange marker)
cheese sticks with olaf the snowman drawn onIMG_5546

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Hearts (yogurt covered pretzels)
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Sven & his friends (crackers covered with peanut butter, a pretzel for the antlers, raisins for eyes & a chocolate chip for the nose)
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Snowballs (popcorn)
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Reindeer Snacks (yogurt covered raisins) – I wanted to label this ‘snow-covered reindeer poo’ but my daughter wasn’t going for it, lol.
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Melted Snow to drink (water bottles)
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Other ideas: Snowman Parts (marshmallows for the body, pretzel sticks for the arms, raisins for the eyes, tiny pieces of carrot for the nose, etc. Marshmallows aren’t really healthy but you could get these that are better: Dandies Marshmallows) – they could be put together in baggies labeled ‘snowman parts’ or laid out on the table for everyone to build, Homemade Sugar Cookies Shaped like Snowflakes (with or without homemade frosting), Yogurt Covered Strawberries (frozen hearts), Snowflake or Snowman Shaped Sandwiches, Broccoli with Ranch Dip for Snow-Covered Trees (or use cauliflower),¬†Pretzels¬†(Sven antlers),¬†Banana Snowmen¬†(banana slices on a stick with pretzel sticks for the arms, raisins for the eyes, tiny pieces of carrot for the nose,¬†Crackers with Snowflake Shaped Cheese (just use a Snowflake Cookie Cutter for the cheese),¬†Lemonade (Olaf in Summer),¬†Snowman Shaped Melon (just use a Snowman Cookie Cutter), and there’s many more ideas out there.

 

IMG_5686Cupcakes

Funny story about the cupcakes. So I planned on making yellow cupcakes with pink frosting (because I didn’t want to experiment with blue before the party), and then our power went out. I just went in to a nearby grocery store and ordered a cake. Not what I would normally do these days. Well since I already bought all the stuff to make the cupcakes, I decided to make them a few days after our power came back on. But I wanted to experiment with making blue naturally colored frosting. The blue didn’t turn out. It turned out an ugly purple tint! I think it really could have worked, I just need to do some more experimenting. The cupcakes turned out though and were really good! My family says they are similar to cornbread but I don’t think so. They are more like¬†a cupcake to me. Definitely sweeter than the cornbread I make! And everybody still loved it and gobbled them down. To make the cupcakes, I used this recipe¬†but skipped the step on separating the eggs and just put them in whole, beating in one at a time. I also sifted the flour.¬†I was really hoping to have successfully made this and have a picture to show but unfortunately I was following a different recipe that was missing one of the steps in the blue coloring. So mine didn’t turn out. If I am successful one of these days then I will post a picture here and share the info. So for now, it’s just a picture of the cupcakes. ūüôĀ And I¬†usually tape stickers to toothpicks for the cupcake toppers but you could also do Rings. Or a cake topper if you are making a cake. You can also do just white frosting! That would totally work for this kind of party.

And here’s the inside of the cupcake:¬†
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Decorations

There are Frozen-themed party supplies at different stores like Toys ‘R Us, Target, etc. You can make paper snowflakes to hang. My daughter wore her Anna dress from Halloween and brought some of her frozen toys to setup. You can make labels for all the food. Blue and white balloons would work¬†great. Or here’s some items to purchase:

 

 

Games

There are many games you could play but we were at a bowling alley, so bowling was part of the party and I decided not to do games. Ideas: ‘Let it Go’ snowball toss (toss cotton balls into a bucket or bowl on the table), ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ (pin the snowman parts on the snowman, or pin the nose on Olaf, like pin the tail on the donkey), and many more. Here’s some ideas:

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Easy Dairy-Free Fudge

I made this fudge last year and it turned out so good! You would never know it was coconut milk and not regular milk. And the only reason I used coconut milk is because I had a can of it and needed to use it for something. The recipe is derived from The Detoxinista. I used regular dark chocolate chips though that are not dairy-free but I’m including the dairy-free chocolate chips in the recipe. So you could use either kind. (See a link below for dairy-free chocolate chips.) And you can make it refined-sugar-free fudge by using unsweetened chocolate, and increasing the amount of honey when making the sweetened condensed coconut milk.

easy dairy free fudge

 

Easy Dairy-Free Fudge
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed coconut milk (1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk, ¼ cup raw honey)
  • 2 TB coconut oil
  • 12 oz chocolate chips (regular or dairy-free, see link below)
  • Optional: 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
Directions
  1. To make the sweetened condensed coconut milk, pour the can of coconut milk into a small pan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, about 5 min. Watch closely so it doesn't bubble over, and whisk regularly. Reduce heat, bring to a simmer, add the honey, whisking until it's dissolved. Allow to simmer for 30-45 min, or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely if storing in the fridge. (This should last a week when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.)
  2. In the same saucepan, melt together ½ cup of the condensed coconut milk, chocolate chips, and coconut oil until smooth.
  3. Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish, lined with parchment paper for easy removal. (Sprinkle in the nuts at this time, if desired.)
  4. Place the dish in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
  5. Slice and serve chilled for best texture.

coconut milk

 

Tip: If you want to make coconut milk using coconut cream, heat 2 TB of coconut cream per 3/4 cup of water in a pan and stir until dissolved. Increase the amount until you get to at least 14 oz for the recipe above. I made a lot and put some in a mason jar in the fridge to use for smoothies. It should last up to 4 days in the fridge.

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

A Healthier Thanksgiving – Tips & Recipes

Last year we had our first organic Thanksgiving dinner. It was just our little family and my dad but I wanted to go all out and try to make all our favorite dishes using organic real food ingredients. Everything turned out great! I know organic foods are expensive and when you are trying to buy a complete Thanksgiving meal, it really adds up. While I do think organic is best, I want to share my 5 Simple Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving (without having to go completely organic): 

Healthier Thanksgiving Tips

 

Here are some recipes for healthier Thanksgiving appetizers, ideas for drinks, what we put on our turkey, recipes for side dishes, biscuits/rolls, and desserts. (Sorry if some of the pictures aren’t the best quality. Those were taken last year before I got better with my photography.) ūüėȬ†

 

healthier thanksgiving

 

appetizers

Appetizers

Make it simple with chips & dip, fruit/veggie tray, meat/cheese/cracker tray, and/or pickles & olives.
(I use organic tortilla chips, a refried bean & cheese dip, salsa (with or without sour cream), Late July crackers, uncured pepperoni. A guacamole and ranch dip recipe is listed below.)

Party Appetizers: http://organicfibromommies.com/2013/12/party-appetizers/.

guacamoleGuacamole: The recipe is included in the Party Appetizers link above, and I’m totally estimating on the amounts because I don’t really¬†measure. But it was so good!¬†1 tsp garlic powder, salt & pepper (sprinkle desired amount), 1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1 TB chopped white/yellow onion or red onion), 1 TB chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp cumin, a couple small tomatoes-chopped, 2 large avocados, a few squirts of lime juice. Mash up the avocados, then add all the other ingredients and stir it up.

Ranch Dip Recipe (by 100 Days of Real Food): http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/12/01/recipe-ranch-flavored-dip/.

Pumpkin Fluff Dessert Dip (by 100 Days of Real Food): http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/11/14/recipe-pumpkin-fluff-dessert-dip/.pomegranate

Pomegranate – great as an appetizer or it would be beautiful on a salad to serve with your Thanksgiving meal!
(Mama Natural’s¬†video on how to open a pomegranate easily)

 

Drink Ideas

eggnogEggnog – Organic Valley has a tasty Eggnog (pictured on the right), if you can find it. We got it earlier in the month and since then it has been selling out so fast so we had to go with the Horizon brand which is good too but not AS good.

Sparkling CiderR.W. Knudsen has a good brand with all different flavors.

Kombucha – There is a little organic store by us that sells this but I’m sure you can find it other places like Whole Foods. Or, there are a lot of recipes out there to make it.

Wine – There are organic wines. I found a whole section at Fred Meyer.

 

turkey1The Turkey

We use butter, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic powder, salt an pepper as a turkey rub. We do not measure and it would depend on the size of your turkey anyway. (You can use the herbs that you like but we thought these were really good together.) Cook @ 325 degrees, 3 – 3 1/2 hours for a 12-14 lb turkey. (Increase or decrease the time by an hour for a bigger or smaller turkey.) Of course you will want to temp it to determine if it’s done, and baste the turkey along the way (it’s all about that baste, ’bout that baste…. sorry, got a little crazy there). ūüėČ After the turkey is done it will need to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing. While it’s resting start cooking other foods that need to cook in the oven. Usually green bean casserole, then the stuffing, then the rolls. Any pies should be baked ahead of time, unless you’re lucky enough to have more than one oven of course.

 

Mashed Potatoes & Turkey Gravy

Here’s my cheesy garlic mashed potato recipe that you can do with or without the cheese and sour cream (I would double the recipe for a larger crowd):¬†http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/01/cheesy-garlic-mashed-potatoes/.
turkey gravy in a pan

For the gravy:
Use the turkey juice after the turkey is done, pour into a large saucepan and add 2 cups of chicken broth. Turn up the heat to medium-high and after it starts to bubble, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Just keep whisking until you get the right consistency. (Some people like to separate the fat out of the pan drippings and cook the fat in the pan with the flour, then add the broth. This is just extra work to me so I skip that step. It is kind-of hard to get the flour clumps to mix up but it works.)

 

green bean casserole

Greenbean Casserole

12 oz. organic cream of mushroom soup, ¬ĺ cup milk, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1 clove minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder), 2 – 9 oz. packages frozen green beans thawed, and 1 1/3 cups fried onions (plus extra for topping – I found some at Trader Joe’s or there’s a recipe to make them by 100 Days of Real Food). In a 1 1/2 QT casserole dish, mix soup and milk. Then add pepper and garlic. Mix thoroughly. Add green beans and fried onions. You can have this ready in the fridge until after you pull the turkey out to rest, and that will give the green beans time to thaw. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Stir, top with remaining fried onions and bake another 5 min.

 

stuffing

Stuffing

10 oz bag of organic herbed bread cubes, 1 ¬Ĺ cups of chicken broth, 1/3 cup of butter, 1 cup of chopped onion, 1 cup of chopped celery, ¬Ĺ to 1 lb of ground sausage. Brown sausage in small chunks (drain if needed). Then add celery and onion to saut√©. Bring broth and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat and add bread cubes,¬†mix thoroughly. Cover, let stand for 5 min. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, add bread cubes¬†and sausage/celery/onion mixture. Mix thoroughly and bake at 350 for 10 min to develop a golden crust. (You can pop this in the oven after you pull out the green bean casserole.)

 

biscuitsBiscuits/Rolls

You could make biscuits/rolls ahead of time and then just warm them up after the turkey is done and resting.¬†Real Fit Real Food Mom’s sandwich buns would work great as rolls. Or my Easy Drop Biscuit recipe. I haven’t posted it to the blog yet but the recipe is:

Easy Drop Biscuits:
*Makes about 18 biscuits (depending on the size)

2 cups flour, 1 TB baking powder, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp thyme (or parsley), 1/2 tsp garlic powder, rosemary (optional), 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup milk (I use organic whole)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, garlic powder, and thyme/rosemary. (I put the rosemary as optional because my kids don’t like the stick-like texture of the rosemary in their biscuits, but I like the flavor. So it’s up to you. Still good without it.) Stir in the melted butter and milk just until moistened. Lightly grease a cookie sheet (I use coconut oil) and we also add a little flour to cover the pan. Just kind-of bat the pan to get the flour completely covered. This seems to be the best way for the biscuits not to stick. Drop batter on the cookie sheet by the tablespoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

 

Thanksgiving Desserts

Desserts

Fruit Salad:¬†Add the different kinds of fruit you want (canned or fresh), chopped. We usually use satsuma oranges, grapes, pears, pineapple, cherries – basically the fruit cocktail fruits. And maybe some apples would be good in it. Add whip cream (see homemade recipe below). You can also add shredded coconut if you want. We don’t measure, we just basically take half of the whip cream that we make and add to a large bowl with different kinds of fruit. Then use the other half of the whip cream for the pie. For a healthier fruit salad, I like this recipe from My Whole Food Life.

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe (you can do other kinds of fruit too): http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/08/blackberry-cobbler/.

Pumpkin Pie (my Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pie): http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/11/easy-homemade-pumpkin-pie/. 

For Whip Cream we use this recipe: http://www.organicvalley.coop/recipes/show/whipped-cream/ (of course, you can reduce the amount of sugar).

 

turkey brothWhat To Do with Leftover Turkey & Making Turkey Broth/Turkey Noodle Soup:

When Thanksgiving is over, why not make your own broth using the turkey bones?? You can follow my recipe for making homemade chicken broth. I recommend doing two separate batches because the turkey carcass is so large. You could separate all the bones and split them up between two batches, or freeze half the bones to make more broth at a later time.

Uses for¬†Leftover Turkey: Just use the same ideas in the following post on¬†uses for leftover chicken –http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/09/whole-chicken-crockpot-homemade-broth/.

Turkey Noodle Soup: Use my chicken noodle soup recipe and just substitute the chicken for turkey.

If you have any leftover pumpkin puree left when everything is all over, here are my pumpkin recipes: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/10/pumpkin-recipes/.

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Pie

I have made pumpkin pie before but I would usually just buy a pie crust already made, and use that can of Libby’s pumpkin and Carnation evaporated milk. Last year I made a pie crust from scratch but had to roll out the dough. Which is fine but I personally would rather not roll out the dough if I don’t have to. Guess what? You don’t have to. This way is so easy! You just mix up the ingredients in the pie dish, form the dough, and press the dough all around the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Then you just have to mix up your filling ingredients in a bowl, pour into the crust, and bake in the oven. So easy and so good. This year I am using my homemade pumpkin puree¬†for the pie. Some of it is a little stringy but it works just fine.

easy homemade pumpkin pie

 

easy pie crust
The Crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 TB unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 TB coconut oil

Mix ingredients into a 9″ pie plate and stir until a dough forms. Then press the dough evenly throughout the bottom of the pie plate, and up the sides. Chill in the fridge until the filling is ready and oven is preheated. (Note: You can make it without the coconut oil if needed.)¬†See step-by-step instructions below with pictures.

 

The Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream – see a picture of what I use below (you can use a 12 oz can of evaporated milk instead, and I heard you can use half & half or whole milk but I haven’t tried those yet)
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups pumpkin puree
  • ¬ľ cup sugar (or raw honey can be used but it will come out very moist)
  • ¬Ĺ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¬ľ tsp nutmeg
  • ¬ľ tsp ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl, then pour into the crust.¬†You can put foil over the edges of the crust or brush with water so it doesn‚Äôt burn. I haven’t tried the foil trick but brushing the edges of the crust with water did work. Bake at 425 for 15 min, then change to 350 for 45 min. A knife inserted should come out clean. Cool for 2 hours. See step-by-step instructions below with pictures.

Tip: You can use 1 TB pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

For Whip Cream we use this recipe and Organic Valley Whipping Cream shown below:
http://www.organicvalley.coop/recipes/show/whipped-cream/ (of course, you can reduce the amount of sugar). 

Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream (just 1 ingredient – cream)heavy whipping cream

 

Making the Crust

Mix up the ingredients in your pie dish:IMG_4960

 

Form the dough:IMG_4961

 

Push the dough throughout the pie dish and up the sides.
I use my measuring spoon to help flatten it.IMG_5054

 

You can form your dough a few different ways. Regular (on the right), use a knife to make slits (on the left),
or you can even pinch the edges of the dough together to make a decorative pie crust.
Then chill in the fridge until the filling is ready and the oven is preheated.

pie crust1pie crust2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Filling

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl:IMG_4964

 

 Whisk up the ingredients:

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Pour the filling into the pie crust, brush edges of the crust with water (to prevent burning), 
bake @ 425 for 15 min, then 350 for 45 min.

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Done! Let the pie cool for 2 hours.

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You can put either whip cream or vanilla ice cream on top! I have even eaten a piece plain for breakfast
(that was a pie I made with honey instead of sugar though). ūüėȬ†

pie1

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Pumpkin Recipes

I love pumpkin! It is one of the many reasons I love Fall. We grew our own pumpkins this year and I made pumpkin pure√© for the first time! I got 11 cups of puree so I definitely had to start making everything with pumpkin, and I was okay with that. ūüôā Pumpkin is so good for you. It’s an antioxidant, and an anti-inflammatory food (which means it is good for joint health and stress relief, among other things). It is a significant source of Vitamin A, and has high levels of Vitamin C which helps your immune system. It’s great for your skin and a good source of Fiber, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

I just don’t think we need sugar in everything so I only put sugar in the cookie recipe below. Because let’s face it, when you have a cookie you really aren’t intending for it to be healthy. It is usually considered a special treat. But for the bread, I used honey instead of sugar. For the pancakes, I didn’t use anything to sweeten them because we are already adding syrup, honey, or jam. You can add sugar to these recipes if you prefer, or chocolate chips! ūüôā

pumpkin recipes

 

IMG_4647Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground ginger (1/8 tsp)
  • dash of ground cloves (1/8 tsp)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin pure√©
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB Coconut Oil or melted butter

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside. In another bowl (or make a well in the middle of the large bowl) whisk the milk, pumpkin pureé, egg, and oil (or butter) together. Combine wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The batter may be slightly lumpy and that’s okay. Grease your skillet and set to medium (I use coconut oil to grease it). Once it is heated, add a big spoonful of batter to each area on the skillet, depending on how big your skillet is and how big you want your pancakes. When bubbles form in the batter, you can flip them. Cook a couple more minutes, remove from the pan and repeat until all the batter is used up. Best served with real butter and 100% pure maple syrup, or raw honey.

Tip: you can use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & cloves – about 1 1/2 tsp.

 

pumpkin cookiesPumpkin Cookies (makes 2 dozen cookies)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ginger
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin pure√©
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix up the dry ingredients with a spoon. Make a well in the middle, add the remaining ingredients and use a whisk to mix it up. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. (I use coconut oil to grease it.) Bake for 10 minutes, or until brown around the edges.

Tip: you can use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & cloves – about 2 tsp.

pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ginger
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin pure√©
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a Loaf Pan (I use coconut oil) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the middle and whisk the eggs, pumpkin pure√©, melted butter, and honey. Then whisk¬†in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Add the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. You can test with a toothpick (insert into the bread and it should come out clean when it’s done).

Tip: you can use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & cloves – about 2 tsp.

 

Pumpkin MuffinsPumpkin Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ginger
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin pure√©
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (or pure maple syrup)

Preheat oven to 350¬†degrees. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the middle and whisk the eggs, pumpkin pure√©, melted butter, and honey. Then whisk in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Add the batter to a muffin pan with muffin cups and fill each one almost to the top. Bake for 20¬†minutes. You can test with a toothpick (insert into the muffins¬†and it should come out clean when it’s done).

Tip: you can use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & cloves Рabout 2 tsp. 

easy homemade pumpkin pie

 

Pumpkin Pie Recipe: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/11/easy-homemade-pumpkin-pie/.

Other Ideas for Using Pumpkin Pureé: Add to soups, smoothies/milkshakes, pumpkin fluff dip (by 100 Days of Real Food), pumpkin brownies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin fudge.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Blackberry Cobbler

We first made this cobbler for Thanksgiving last year and it was a hit! Now we decided to make it again with some blackberries my mom gave us. She has blackberry bushes at her house so we get a bunch every year. This time I reduced the amount of sugar. The original recipe was 3/4 cup of sugar and that seemed like way too much! Especially if you are putting ice cream on top, which most likely has sugar in it. And who doesn’t want ice cream on top?? ūüėČ If you have a ton of extra berries and need to make something, this is a very quick and easy recipe.¬†You can use any kind of berries, or peaches.

blackberry cobbler1

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 TB butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 TB raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use organic whole)
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries (or any other kind of berries/peaches) or 12 oz package frozen berries
  • 1 tsp raw cane sugar (to sprinkle on top before you put it in the oven)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the butter in an 8 x 8 baking dish and place in the oven to melt. Make sure to keep checking the butter and pull it out after it has melted. Whisk the flour, 1 TB sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium¬†bowl. Add the milk and whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the dish with the melted butter. Scatter the fruit over the batter and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the batter browns and the fruit bubbles. Let cool a little, but serve warm. It’s really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

My grandma grows a lot of rhubarb and has extra every year. I have never taken any until this year, so I could make strawberry rhubarb crisp for the first time. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because I had heard how tart rhubarb is. And my husband had made it very clear that no matter how much sugar I put in it, he wasn’t¬†going to like it and that he has had it made every way possible as a kid. Well guess what, he loved it! I believe his words were that it was AMAZING. It was almost gone in 1 day. And there was no added sugar! I used maple syrup to sweeten it.¬†If it’s real maple syrup, it’s definitely better for you than sugar because it’s high in magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. Regular maple syrup has: high fructose corn syrup, regular corn syrup, caramel color, artificial flavors and preservatives. Honey is better for you than maple syrup but this recipe needed something that would really sweeten it up since rhubarb is so tart. And I heard¬†that Grade B maple syrup is better because it’s the second tapping and the syrup has more nutrients. Grade A is still okay to use though. As you can see in the picture at the bottom of this post, I have Grade A. Partly because I always forget which one is better, haha.

Note: I froze some of the rhubarb from my grandma. It is REALLY hard to cut after it has been froze, and it’s full of water. I reduced the amount of water in the filling recipe below by half when I used the frozen rhubarb.

StrawbRhubarbCrisp

For the Filling:

  • 16 oz organic strawberries
  • 2 stalks of rhubarb (about 2 cups, sliced thin)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon (I just do a few good squirts)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
  • 2 TB chia seeds (optional – I grind my seeds)

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 TB melted coconut oil, or melted butter
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut up the strawberries into chunks and slice the rhubarb thin. In an 8 x 11 baking dish, mix up the filling ingredients with a large spoon. Mix the topping ingredients in a bowl until crumbly. Crumble on top of the filling. Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

This is the maple syrup I use. It’s from Trader Joe’s, about $8. It’s 100% pure organic maple syrup, nothing else. Believe it or not that is a good price for pure maple syrup.
syrup

Coconut Oil (I heard this is a good brand):

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Zucchini Recipes

Zucchinis can get so huge! And I don’t know about you but our garden is producing a lot of them. So we have to come up with many ways to use them up. I think it would be boring to just make zucchini bread over and over, even though it’s delicious! I actually like zucchini bread better than banana bread, but I don’t care much for bananas (I force myself to eat one or throw one in a smoothie now and then). But, I just learned from a neighbor that you can pick the zucchinis when they are smaller and they taste better that way for salads/stir-fry. And when they are bigger they are better for bread/pancakes. I don’t know why I didn’t know this before…. Oh well. ūüôā I wouldn’t say this is the best zucchini bread I’ve ever had but I need more time and more zucchini to experiment. It was good though and the kids loved it, even without any chocolate chips. ūüėČ

Zucchini is a summer squash that has many health benefits. They have anti-oxidants, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and B-complex groups of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. And the peel is a good source of dietary fiber.

Zucchini Recipes

Fried ZucchiniFried Zucchini

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups zucchini (cut-up into triangles or circles)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (or another herb you like)
  • Salt & Pepper (sprinkle desired amount)
  • 1 egg

Heat up the oil in the pan. Cut up the zucchini into triangles (like the picture) or circles, depending on the size of zucchini you’re working with. Mix the flour, herb & seasonings in a small bowl. Add the egg to another small bowl and use a whisk to mix it up. Dip the zucchini into the egg, then into the flour mixture and add to the hot pan (make sure your pan is hot – probably on medium-high). Flip them after they are brown on one side, then cook until they are brown on the other side. Let them cool a little before serving.

Zucchini PancakesZucchini Pancakes – (makes 10-12 small pancakes)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB¬†melted butter
  • 2 TB milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Create a well in the middle and whisk the eggs, olive oil, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the grated zucchini, (you can grate it with a cheese grater or use a food processor to shred it. After I grate the zucchini, I squeeze out some of the water before adding it to the bowl.) and stir the dry ingredients into the batter, mixing until just combined. It will be very lumpy. Grease your skillet (I use coconut oil) and set to medium. Once it’s heated, add a big spoonful of batter to each area on the skillet, depending on how big your skillet is and how big you want your pancakes. Keep checking the bottom and when it’s golden brown, you can flip them. Cook a couple more minutes so that they are golden brown on both sides, remove from the pan and repeat until all the batter is used up. Best served with real butter and 100% pure maple syrup, or raw honey.

Roasted ZucchiniRoasted Zucchini

  • 1 small zucchini
  • other veggies like bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, whatever you like.
  • onion
  • 1 – 2 TB coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
  • salt & pepper (sprinkle desired amount)
  • Herb(s) of your choice (I used thyme). About 1/2 tsp.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut-up all your veggies and onion. In an 8 x 8 baking dish, add the veggies, onion, coconut oil/olive oil, herbs & seasonings and mix them up. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring a couple times.

zucchini breadZucchini Bread
Note: This bread comes out dense and a little crisp on the outside but moist inside. I may adjust this recipe when I experiment more but the point is that the kids loved it and kept asking for more! ūüôā It was pretty good.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • Options: 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 1/2 tsp orange zest, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (you may want less honey if you add these).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then make a¬†well in the center of the bowl and add the eggs, coconut oil (should be melted this time of year), honey, and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients in the center of the bowl and then start whisking in the dry ingredients together. Stir in the grated zucchini and any nuts, orange zest, or chocolate chips you want (optional). Add everything to a greased 9 x 5″ loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool before slicing. (Need a loaf pan? See below.)

ZucchiniCookiesZucchini Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and whisk together the oil, butter, egg, and vanilla. Add the zucchini and mix everything in with the dry ingredients. Stir in some chocolate chips or chopped nuts if you want. Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. (I use coconut oil to grease it.) Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Other Ideas: Add to stir-fry, fajitas, fried rice, salad, make kabobs, Real Fit, Real Food Mom’s zucchini boats, zucchini muffins, zucchini brownies, add to veggie packs (packs of veggies/potatoes in foil you put on the grill), add to spaghetti sauce, taco meat, pizza, soups & stews, and I even added some to our grilled cheese sandwiches! You can add zucchini to many of your favorite dishes. I want to get a spiralizer (shown below) to make zucchini noodles!

Here’s a Glass Loaf Pan through Amazon:

A Spiralizer (great for making veggie noodles):

Coconut Oil (I heard this is a good brand):

A Cheese Grater (great for grating zucchini too):

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Popsicles & Ice Cream Treats

Can we still have popsicles and ice cream when eating organic? You bet! I make popsicles using organic juices and different popsicle molds. I also juice sometimes and add that. I have juiced a watermelon and my daughter loved watermelon popsicles or just drinking the watermelon juice. I do this especially if it’s a watermelon that’s too soft¬†and no one wants to eat it but it’s still good (hasn’t gone bad). Also, I recently saw a fellow food-blogger post a great idea about filling popsicle molds with applesauce and freezing them. I have been doing this ever since and my kids LOVE them! And you can fill the popsicle molds with smoothies too.

popsicles & ice cream treats

The regular popsicles you buy at the store are filled with artificial colors & flavors and refined sugar, among other things. Food dyes (artificial colors) have been linked to so many problems with kids. I truly believe it has caused many problems with my daughter. And food dyes are in so many unsuspecting foods. Foods that don’t even have much color or no color at all. So that makes you think that maybe they are putting it in the foods for more than just coloring. We don’t need it. And these are banned in many other countries! Why not here too? And there’s no real fruit in them. Sure, you can buy a big box of Otter Pops for really cheap. But is it worth it? And kids suck those things down so fast, they end up having like 5 at one time. Believe me I know, I used to buy them and eat them. ūüôĀ

So here are a few better options for popsicles/ice cream and other frozen treats:

“Push-up” Ice Cream¬†– I bought some¬†“push-up” containers that we fill with ice cream (see the link below). The kids love them! Just fill with your favorite ice cream and serve. You can wash them in the dishwasher too. See the picture above of the kids enjoying them.

Organic Ice Cream Cones – I came across these at a little organic market (Farm Fresh Market). See in the picture above. The ingredients aren’t perfect but still better than regular cones (ingredients are shown below). They only get to have these once in a while and usually when I give them the option between these and the “Push-up” containers they choose the “Push-up” containers. I think they just like pushing up the ice cream. ūüôā

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches – Just take two cookies (chocolate chip would be best but any kind will work), add ice cream in between the cookies, and freeze or eat right away. So yummy!

Frozen Strawberries Covered in Yogurt – Just cut the strawberries in half, dip in yogurt, and freeze! I wouldn’t freeze them all together because they get stuck. But other than that, it works great and my kids love them.

Smoothies or Milkshakes – We use our NutriBullet and make smoothies which usually consist of different kinds of frozen fruit, hemp milk, spinach, chia or flax seed. For a milkshake we usually do milk, ice cream and some kind of frozen fruit. Just add to some popsicle molds and freeze. I use the ones shown below.

We use these stainless steel reusable straws, and here’s where you can find a NutriBullet:

watermelon juice

Popsicle Options – Use organic juices, juice veggies/fruit in a juicer-like the watermelon I juiced (pictured to the right), put applesauce in the silicone popsicle molds (see link below), you could also puree fruit or cut-up fruit in small chunks and add to the molds. I haven’t tried that last one yet but always see recipes and they look so good! If you do blend up some fruit, you could add chia seeds too to make them extra healthy. See tip below about filling the popsicle molds with liquid. Here’s a juicer similar to ours:

See pictures below on the different popsicle molds that I use. There are MANY options out there though.

sundae
Ice Cream Sundaes – You can do this with or without brownies but we made brownies (I will have to post my recipe to the blog soon), then we made whip cream using Organic Valley’s whipping cream, and added organic vanilla ice cream, the best maraschino cherries I could find, and organic chocolate syrup. So good!

You could even make your own ice cream. We really want to buy an ice cream maker. It would be so fun to make together and try different flavors. Here’s a Cuisinart ice cream maker we are thinking about getting:

I have heard many good things about the Cuisinart brand.

Here are the popsicle molds I use:

IMG_3236
Jewel Pop Molds: Tovolo Jewel Pop Molds – Set of 6.

 

 

 

IMG_3233
Silicone Popsicle Molds: Norpro 431 4-Piece Silicone Ice Pop Maker Set. (We lost our 4th one, so now we only have 3.)

 

 

 

IMG_3235
“Push-up” Containers: Jokari Cool Cones Reusable Ice Cream Serving Cones – 2 Pack.¬†

 

 

 

IMG_3237
These are just various popsicle molds I found at Walmart/Target. But there are many different options out there. It’s fun making different shapes and sizes! I like the smaller ones so they aren’t having so much juice at one time. Even organic juices usually have sugar. But I put the watermelon that I juiced in the big popsicle molds. My daughter loved them but my son didn’t really care for it.

IMG_3200
Tip: Don’t fill the popsicle molds all the way. You want to leave a little bit of room¬†because when liquid freezes, it expands. See picture to the right for an example.

 

Organic Ice Cream Cones: organic ice cream cones

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!