Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe

This recipe has nothing to do with me and everything to do with: you all totally rock.  Thank you for reading my posts and then sharing your great ideas too.  YOU are Heavenly Homemakers that I am so thankful to call friends.  Plus, you give me more delicious chocolate ideas, so of course I love you.

This recipe is a result of putting several of your comments together from both my Make Coffee Ice Cubes for Iced Coffee post and my Chocolate Whipped Cream – Perfect For Your Coffee post.  I took all of your thoughts, advice, and suggestions – put them together with my ingredients and my blender…and what did I get?  Chocolate Frappe perfection which is a completely guilt free treat on a hot day.  Or a cold day.  Or in the middle of the night.  Not really.  I sleep at night.  But I dream of this Chocolate Frappe.

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe

This frappe is stevia sweetened, which means there is no sugar in this – only wholesome, real food ingredients that won’t give you a sugar rush.  Don’t like stevia?  I didn’t like it either until I learned to use it correctly.  I prefer NuNaturals Liquid Stevia (ordered through Vitacost).  Use only a few drops – too much and your drink will have a bitter aftertaste.  Get it just right and you’ll feel like you’re drinking something naughty.  Oh lovely Chocolate Frappe fantastic-ness.

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe

5-8 iced coffee cubes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coffee (cold brewed or hot brewed then chilled)
1/2 cup (or more) Chocolate Whipped Cream

Mix ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Feel free to add more or less of any of the above ingredients.  Serve and drink immediately.  Pass out from the deliciousness.  Take joy in the non-guilty pleasure.

Some additional ideas I learned from you regarding the creation of cold coffee treats:

  • In addition to freezing coffee cubes, you can also freeze cream or milk to blend into frappe type drinks.
  • You can cold brew coffee in your French press if you have one.  I’m definitely trying this.
  • You can cold brew coffee in jars.  Well shucks, I have jars.  I can do that.
  • You can freeze tea in ice cube trays so your tea doesn’t get watered down.  This has nothing to do with coffee, but it’s worth sharing anyway because, duh.  Why didn’t I think of that?
  • We should all get together and drink coffee, or tea, or something because wouldn’t that be so much fun?

Keep on sharing – What are your favorite coffee drinks for summertime?

Dark Chocolate Almond Granola – Quick! Make this before it gets too hot outside!

First, many of you are thinking, “What do you mean before it gets too hot outside? It’s already too hot outside!”  And second, do you want to see my awesome new jar??

Dark Chocolate Almond Granola - A Great Make-Ahead Meal

I actually got the jar as a Christmas gift and am just now getting around to showing you.  Therefore, it’s really not new as I’ve had it for five months.  It’s also an antique, which also means it’s not new, but whatever.  My dad’s wife found it at an auction and was sweet enough to think of me, snatch it up, wrap it, and put it under the tree.  I opened it and gasped with complete delight, while everyone else in the room was like, “oh look it’s an old, used jar…she really gets excited about weird things.”

I washed it up, and have used it to store many treats.  The latest?  Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.  Which leads me back to my original statement:  You really should make this before it gets too hot outside.

See, at my house, it’s finallllllly warming up and staying warm (I hope).  This is making me so happy!!!  It’s also making me think about foods that require an oven and how I will not want to be using the oven much in the near future.  These thoughts are what led me to ask my 14 year old to make a double batch of Dark Chocolate Almond Granola earlier this week.  How nice to get this made ahead of time!  We baked it on a day it wasn’t too hot, and we can eat it on a day that is too hot.

And it looks so pretty in my new, old jar.  Don’t you think?

One thing to consider:  The pieces of chocolate in the granola will get pretty soft if (when) my kitchen gets too hot.  I may need to store it in the fridge.  On the other hand, melted chocolate all over granola is not a bad thing.

So, Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.  Make some before it gets too hot.  Enjoy it on a morning you don’t have time to cook breakfast, it’s too hot to cook breakfast, or you just have a hankering for chocolatey almond goodness.

Find the recipe here.  This recipe is also included in our free Healthy Breakfast Made Simple eBook.  Head on over and download it for several more easy, healthy breakfast ideas.

Have you made this recipe before? Is it hot at your house yet? Do you love my new, old jar?

Chocolate Whipped Cream – Perfect For Your Coffee

I was so excited about putting my Chocolate Whipped Cream on strawberries that I never thought to put some in my coffee.  Thankfully, I have smart friends.

Earlier this week, I had 11 other women in my home for Bunco.  (It was time for this Mama of boys to get some girl time!).  I served BLT Wraps, veggies with Homemade Ranch Dip, chips and salsa, and Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries.  It was all simple to prepare and serve, which made it perfect for a fun night in with the ladies.

While many of us were enjoying bowls of strawberries with Chocolate Whipped Cream, one of my friends took her full coffee cup over and scooped in some of the chocolaty goodness.  It didn’t take long for several of the rest of us to follow her lead.  Before I knew it, I was brewing another pot of coffee and making another triple batch of Chocolate Whipped Cream.  Mmmmm, so good.

Here, so that you can drop whatever you’re doing and run make this, is the recipe once again:

Chocolate Whipped Cream for Coffee

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 rounded Tablespoon cocoa powder
Liquid stevia to taste (we used about 10 drops)

In a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add cocoa and stevia, and whip again for a few seconds until ingredients are mixed well.  Serve on top of sliced strawberries…or coffee!

Chocolate Whipped Cream - Perfect For Your Coffee

Now, a few days later, as if I wasn’t already beginning an addiction to putting Chocolate Whipped Cream on my strawberries, now I’m adding it by the huge spoonful(s) to my coffee mug in the morning.  Ahhhhmazing.  And no guilt.  It’s all real food, and there’s no sugar involved.

If you don’t want chocolate, can I interest you in making Peppermint Cream for your coffee?  And if you really want a sugar splurge, but you still want real ingredients, how about Homemade Chocolate Caramel Creamer?

Listen everyone – with goodness like this to put in our coffee, why would we ever need to buy coffee creamers that are full of not-so-real ingredients?  Why??

So what do you think will be your fav?  Chocolate Whipped Cream in coffee…or on strawberries?

Quick and Easy Crepes (and 8-Piece Pyrex Bowl Set With Lids Only $13.49!!)

Welcome to a typical crepe conversation with my children:

Boy: What’s for breakfast?
Mom: Crepes.
Boy:  Is that it?
Mom:  Isn’t that enough?
Boy:  I’m gonna still be hungry.
Mom:  What’s new?
Boy:  Can’t we have something else too?  I just don’t get full on grapes.

Every time.  You’d think I’d recognize the difficulty by now in hearing the difference between the words grape and crepe, but they rhyme and confuse the children.  Then they confuse the mother.  And then the entire conversation is confusing.

Crepes.  They are very different than grapes.  They are easy, filling, and very tasty.  My recipe has three simple, whole food ingredients.  Crepes make a great breakfast, lunch, snack, or light dinner.  We love crepes!  (And grapes.  But as I said before, we’re talking about crepes, not grapes.  Okedokee.)

Quick and Easy Crepes

Quick and Easy Crepes

6 eggs
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
100% fruit jelly

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until well combined.  Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture into a well greased, hot skillet.  I find that medium/high heat works best.  Cook the crepe until it begins to bubble and thicken, then flip it to cook the reverse side until lightly browned.  Remove from heat.  Spread a little jelly on one flat side of the crepe, roll it up, and serve.  Repeat process until all crepes have been cooked.  Makes about 10 small crepes.

I usually double or triple this recipe to fill my family.  Yes, sometimes we actually go through 18 eggs in one sitting.  And sometimes we also eat grapes.  But not usually at the same time as crepes.  Although I should totally do that sometime – just to throw everyone off.  Hmmm….

What’s your favorite kind of crepe filling?

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Look what I just found this morning!  This super useful 8-piece Pyrex Bowl Set With Lids is only $13.49.  That’s an amazing price and I’m snatching it up.  I posted about it last time it was on sale but it got bought out before I got mine.  No guarantees on how long this price will last so grab it now!  This set is super useful for prepping and storing tossed salads, cole slaw, potato salad, fresh fruits and veggies – so many great ways to use these.  Click our Amazon Deals page to purchase.

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23 Great Muffin Recipes + Free Printable Zoo Animals Muffin Toppers

Now that spring is here, you’ve likely got outings at the park, school parties, trips to the zoo, feel like you live in the zoo.  It’s a fun time of year.  These printables can be downloaded (for free!), and used however you like.

Attach a toothpick and poke them down into a muffin or cupcake for a fun snack decoration.  Attach a popsicle stick and let your kids use them as puppets.  If your kids are old enough, let them do a little research on each animal, or on an animal of their choice.  Use these as gift tags.  What else can you think of to use these for?

Jungle-Animal-Toppers-prev

Download Zoo Animal Snack Toppers Here

Have fun with these, spread the word, and check out more free printables here.  :)

Want some yummy muffin recipes to go with your printables?  I added them up and found that I have no less than 23 muffin recipes here at Heavenly Homemakers.  I love how versatile just a few ingredients can be!

23 Kid Friendly Muffin Recipes

All of these recipes are kid friendly, and they are made with wholesome ingredients.

What are your favorite muffin recipes?  I know the end of the school year is quite hectic for many.  How’s yours going so far?

Green Machine Milkshakes

Need something fun and green to feed your family on St. Patrick’s Day – but hoping to avoid green food coloring?  I’d encourage a tossed salad with spinach and other fresh greens, cucumbers, and zucchini – but I’m guessing your family might not think any of those foods are cute or festive.

Instead, I’m recommending an avocado.  Am I the life of the party, or what?

Green Machine Milkshakes

These milkshakes are smooth, rich, and creamy.  So what makes these green?  Maybe you weren’t listening.  I told you already.  It’s avocados.  Welcome to my way cool party.  (We’ll end the evening by shelling some peas and shredding cabbage for slaw.)  Rock on.

I personally love these green milkshakes.  My family can’t decide if they agree with me or not.  Is it because they know these have avocado in them, so psychologically, they think they taste weird?  I’m not sure.  I really can’t tell these milkshakes are made with avocados.  To me, they just taste like a smooth and creamy, lightly sweetened milkshake.  What my kids don’t drink, I will, so it’s all good.  They can just stick with Asa’s awesome guac for their avocado intake.

Green Machine Milkshakes

3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
3 cups whole milk
4-5 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Serve right away.  Makes 5-6 cups.

If this recipe isn’t exciting enough for you, might I suggest roasting some asparagus and steaming an artichoke?  I believe it goes without saying that this is going to be the most fun and memorable St. Patty’s Day ever.

Bacon Cheese Muffins

You want to know the best way I’ve found to get all of my men-folk out of bed in the mornings?  Make bacon.  Hoooah!  <—that was me grunting out a manly sound, did you hear it?  That’s the sound that typically follows the word bacon in our house.  “Mmm, bacon. Hoooah!”

I believe bacon is the language of love when it comes to most males, and I happen to like bacon too, if I do say so myself.

I usually stick with turkey bacon, but it really is hard to beat the taste of the pork bacon I can get from our local farmer.  It’s a wonderful, occasional treat at our house - and yes, it does drive the boys out of bed in the morning.

These Bacon Cheese Muffins are easy and delicious – perfect for a holiday brunch.  (You may remember seeing this recipe in our free Healthy Breakfast Made Simple eBook.)

bacon cheese muffins

Bacon Cheese Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Using kitchen shears, cut bacon into bite sized pieces.  Brown bacon pieces in a skillet until thoroughly cooked.  In a mixing bowl combine flour, sucanat, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add egg, milk, and butter.  Fold in cooked bacon and shredded cheese.  Scoop batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins.  Bake in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Are you bacon lovers at your house?  Hoooah!

Be sure to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of five $10 gift certificates to the Heavenly Homemakers Shop, good on anything of our eBooks or eCourses!

Snickerdoodle Muffins ~ Having Breakfast With the Muppets

As I stated on Facebook yesterday:

I feel a tiny bit silly (but not silly enough to keep it to myself, apparently). Growing up, my mom and I always listened to the Muppets Christmas cassette, which featured John Denver. I loved it SO much. So I just bought the album for myself. I couldn’t hold back. I mean, if you haven’t heard Miss Piggy singing the 12 days of Christmas, you’ve really missed out. (Ah, the memories…)

muppets
I have played the songs over and over within the last 24 hours.  All I can think about while I listen to this is hanging out with my mom while we wrapped presents and made Christmas crafts together during the month of December. 

I had all but forgotten the album existed until my sister-in-law texted something about it yesterday.  Memories flooded back.  Now I can’t stop listening to it.  And I can’t stop smiling. You would think that after over 9 years of being without her, I would realize that calling to talk to my mom isn’t an option.  But as I listen to this music, I have had to stop myself several times from picking up the phone to dial her number.  “Mom!” I want to shout, “Remember our winter nights together?  Remember Miss Piggy singing ‘ba-dum-pum-pum’ in the 12 Days of Christmas?  Remember how much fun we had?  I just got the John Denver Muppets album on CD and I’m listening to it now with the boys, and they love it as much as we did!”

So since I can’t tell her, I’m sharing this with you.  Of all my Christmas memories, I have to say listening to this music while preparing for Christmas with my mom might be my favorite memory of all.  I really can’t stop smiling.  And crying.  And laughing (“mee-mee-mee-mee-mee-mee” – you have to know Miss Piggy to get that one).

Here’s a little blast from the past for ya that I found on youtube:

This morning, I turned on the Christmas lights, cranked up the Muppets, and tried a new recipe.  These muffins are simple, full of cinnamon, delicious, and perfect for Christmas time.  My family and I had breakfast with Miss Piggy, Kermit, and John Denver.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Snickerdoodle Topping:

2 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together flour, sucanat, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Add egg, butter, sour cream, and milk – stirring until mixture is well combined.  Scoop batter into 10-12 paper lined muffin tins.  Stir together the sucanat/cinnamon topping.  Sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture onto each muffin.  Bake in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown. Snickerdoodle Muffins 8

Here’s to tasty Christmas goodies, relishing wonderful Christmas memories, and creating new memories with our own families now.

Please tell me if you remember this Muppet Christmas album with John Denver so that we can talk about Piggy Pudding together!  What are your favorite Christmas music memories?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It’s kind of a no-brainer, converting muffin recipes into quick bread recipes and vice versa.  Still, it’s not something I always think about doing.

Remember how I turned Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins into Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread?  That worked just as well when I decided to turn Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins into Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

To make it easy, I’ll post the recipe here with revised instructions for making this batter into a delicious quick bread!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground hard white wheat)
1 – 1 1/2 cups sucanat
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups pureed pumpkin (or one 16 ounce can)
1 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
1 cup chocolate chips (I prefer either homemade chocolate chips or soy free chocolate chips)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.  Add eggs, pumpkin and oil.  Mix well.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into two buttered loaf pans.  Bake in a 350° oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Do you like muffins or quick bread better, or does it depend on the day?

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe

How’s the Getting Ahead {Snacks} Challenge going for you?  I’m having a blast in the kitchen, but I can’t say I’m really getting ahead.  We’re eating the food as fast as I make it.  And by we, I mean my four boys.  Okay fine, except for the Raspberry Oatmeal Bars.  I took care of those very well without much help. {grins sheepishly}

You are going to love today’s idea!  This one really did help me get ahead.  I turned out so many pretzel bites, we ate on them all day, then I was able to stash some in the freezer too.  This recipe is more time consuming than the other easy snack recipes I’ve shared.  But trust me, these are worth the extra work!  I didn’t stop and count how many pretzel bites this recipe makes (for obvious sanity reasons), but I would say this recipe would fill a two gallon ziplock bag and then some.  Yep!  You’ll get ahead with this recipe for sure!

pretzel_bites

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites (Adapted from my Soft Pretzel Recipe)

1 cup water
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 teaspoons honey
2 1/2 cups milk
1 stick butter
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoons sea salt
8 cups whole wheat flour (more or less as necessary)
butter
salt

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup warm water, yeast, and 2 teaspoons of honey.  Stir this together and allow it to sit.  Meanwhile, heat butter, milk, 1/2 cup honey, and salt in a medium saucepan on the stove until mixture has reached 120°.  Stir contents in saucepan into the yeast mixture.  Begin adding flour, two cups at a time until a nice dough has formed.  Knead for 3-4 minutes.  Place dough in bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1-2 hours.

On a well floured surface, roll fistful sized balls of dough into “snakes.”  Cut into one inch bites.

pretzel_bites_1

Place on a baking sheet or stone.  No need to allow for rising time, but if they sit there a while, that’s okay too.  Bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

pretzel_bites_3
Place baked pretzel bites in a bowl, drizzle on some melted butter, toss until coated, then sprinkle sea salt and toss again.  Serve warm, serve cold, or cool and freeze the bites in a freezer bag for up to three months.  Thaw and reheat in the oven.
pretzel_bites_2
I experimented with a Nacho Cheese Dip for these pretzel bites and will be sharing that recipe shortly!

pretzel_bites_4

 

 Give me more dipping ideas for these soft pretzel bites!!