7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream ~ Dairy Free Option

Healthy food always takes a long time to make, right?  Not at my house.  Healthy food always tastes like “health food,” right?  Oh, for real.  Healthy food always costs a lot of money, right?  Not if I can help it. 

Most of the guests I feed at my house don’t even suspect that I’m serving them healthy food.  In fact, I fed this simple Strawberry Ice Cream to someone last week, and all he knew was that I was handing him a dish full of homemade ice cream.  All he knew was that it tasted delicious, he loved it, and he asked for seconds.  He was impressed that I had “taken the time” to actually make homemade ice cream.  He had no idea it was made in 7 little minutes.  He had no idea the dessert didn’t have any added sugar (I used stevia).  He had no idea the health benefits of what he was eating.  He just thought he was eating really good ice cream.  Boom.  Score one for healthy food that doesn’t appear to be health food.

Yes, from start to finish, this ice cream just takes about seven minutes to make.  No ice cream freezer necessary – all you need is a strong blender or food processor.  By the way – those seven minutes it takes to make this treat?  Well, it’s not like it takes 7 minutes of work on my part.  I just put the ingredients into the food processor and walk away.  God bless the person who invented food processors so that I can check email while I’m making ice cream.

7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups (give or take) frozen strawberries
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia or 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup or 1 Tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 4-8 servings.

7-Minute Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Have you tried the Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert recipe yet?  This is pretty much the same recipe, except for the obvious switch from pineapple to strawberries.  I found that when using pineapple, I didn’t need to add anything else to sweeten the treat.  Strawberries are a little more tart, so adding a tiny bit of stevia made this perfect.

Next I plan to make this treat using frozen peaches.  Then maybe frozen blueberries.  Then frozen raspberries.

Health food?  You can keep your rice cakes.  I’m having ice cream.

What’s your favorite “healthy food” to serve that doesn’t appear to be health food?

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert – Dairy Free, No Sugar Added – 100% Delicious

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I found this recipe and decided to make it on Sunday night for our small group.  A couple of my friends who were coming can’t eat dairy, so I figured it would be perfect.  I had it whipped together and served into cups by the time friends began arriving.  And then, it just sat there, looking ever so inviting and refreshing.

Seeing as this is sort of like ice cream, and seeing as the cups of Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert were just sitting there on the counter while my friends and I waited for the burgers to come off the grill so we could eat, and seeing as my stomach was growling as loud as a mack truck - I interrupted our visiting and said something like, “Forget it.  I’m not waiting for a burger.  I’m going to try one of these.  You guys want one?”

And so it was that three of us gals stood in the kitchen, eating our desserts before dinner even began.  Hey, the kids were all outside running around.  Nobody even knew.  Except that I just ratted us out to all of you.  But you’ll never tell, right?

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert.  It’s a dessert, it’s a snack, it’s breakfast, it’s lunch, it’s a cool treat in the evening while you’re sitting outside on the porch.  This recipe can be whatever you want or need it to be.  Why?  Because it’s sweet enough to be a dessert, but it’s healthy enough to be a part of your meal.  With only three, whole food ingredients, and no added sugar – this recipe is perfect.

My friends and I decided it tasted a bit like pineapple sherbet from the store.  If you want this to taste a little sweeter, simply add a few drops of real maple syrup.  I thought it was great without any added sugar.  In fact, after I was a good girl and ate my dinner, I went ahead and ate two more cups of this goodness, guilt free.  I just couldn’t help myself.

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert

4 cups (give or take) frozen pineapple chunks
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 6-10 servings.

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert

Can other milk options work in this recipe?  I don’t see why not.  Regular cow milk should work just fine (1 1/2 cups), and I’m guessing almond or rice milk would work – although I don’t have much experience with either of those.  Coconut milk gives this extra great nutrients, plus a mixture of pineapple and coconut will help you make believe you are vacationing in Hawaii.  Especially if you are eating dessert before dinner, right?  Ah the beauty of being a grown up.  :)

Ever snuck dessert before dinner when the kids weren’t around to catch you?

Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries

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My men ban me from doing any work on Mother’s Day.  They take over the kitchen, putting together all the meals in a way that is both hilarious and beautiful to me.  Sometimes, I shout instructions from the living room.  Other times I offer some quiet advice to help avoid culinary disaster.  But they always do a nice job working together, and I’ve found it’s best if I simply walk away and let them do things their way.

Therefore, I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that was easy to make.  I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that could be made ahead of time.  I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that was low in sugar.  And I needed chocolate.  Obviously.

There’s nothing like inventing a recipe in my head, then writing it down and handing it to my boys to experiment with.  Why give them a tried and true recipe when something else sounds better…inside my head.  Right?  Bless my boys.  They are so used to how I roll in the kitchen, they didn’t even blink when I said, “For dessert, we’re going to try something new.”  I’m sure they expected nothing less.

Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries

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

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.

Chocolate Whipped Cream On Strawberries

Everyone loved this dessert!  The boys especially loved that I said, “Have as much as you want.”  When do I ever say that about dessert?  Never.  But with this, since it is sweetened with stevia, I felt no need to limit how much they ate.  This will be a great breakfast, snack, or dessert that we’ll surely be making over and over.

Now it’s your turn.  Make this Chocolate Whipped Cream and sit back and enjoy it guilt free.  Oh sweet happiness in a bowl.

What dessert did you request for Mother’s Day?

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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Honey Glazed Carrots – Only 4 Ingredients

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If it looks like candy, smells like candy, and tastes like candy – it must be candy, right?  Yes.  Unless it’s a carrot.  Then it’s a vegetable.  A really, really delicious vegetable.

When a veggie tastes like candy, costs less than candy, and looks as appealing as candy - you have no more excuses to pull out about why you’re not eating vegetables.  I’m not sure if you knew this or not, but carrots are also much more nutritious than candy.  Yes, it’s true.  That’s why you should choose veggies over candy most of the time.

This leads me to share about one of my new favorite ways to serve veggies.  Honey Glazed Carrots take only a few minutes to make – so you can’t use the excuse that “it takes too long to make healthy food.”  You don’t have to know a lot about cooking in order to make these, so no excuses there.  What else is there?  Actually, why are we even still talking about this?  Just eat the veggies, for goodness sake.  Here, I’ll make it easy for you:

Honey Glazed Carrots

Honey Glazed Carrots

5-6 medium carrots
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon honey
sea salt to taste

Peel carrots and cut them into “coins.”  Steam them for about five minutes or until they are tender.  Remove them from the pan.  Melt butter and honey together in the pan until it is runny and well combined.  Add the steamed carrots to the butter/honey mixture, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with salt.  Serve right away.

This recipe tastes a lot like the honey glazed carrots you get at Cracker Barrel, although this recipe is better in my opinion as it’s not quite as sweet.  I mean, if I want something super sweet, I’ll skip the veggies and eat candy.  Which of course, I will only do rarely and that just leads us back to our original conversation.  Again, why are we still talking about this?  Just eat the veggies already.

Honey Glazed Carrots - better than candy in every way possible.  Won’t rot your teeth, won’t turn your lips blue, won’t give you a sugar high or crash, won’t freak out your insides.

Serve these carrots with Grilled Barbecue Chicken and a salad, and you’ve got a great tasting, super easy, very nutritious meal.

So now you tell me, what’s your favorite kind of candy?  Answer: Honey Glazed Carrots.  Now we’re talking.

 Find More High Five Recipes here.

Quick and Easy Shortbread Recipe

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Three ingredients.  A super quick snack.  Amazing deliciousness.  Supplies you always have on hand…

Wait, you do have butter on hand, right?  Okay.  I mean, we can still be friends even if you have run out of butter, but don’t let it happen again.  This has nothing to do with me and my butter obsession.  I’m just looking out for you, that’s all.  I have your best interests in mind.  Opening the fridge or freezer to find that there is no more butter waiting – well, it is reason to panic.  It’ll send a woman into a crazed frenzy, causing her to frantically toss a whole frozen chicken and eight packages of hamburger meat off a freezer shelf, hoping in vain to locate a forgotten pound of butter buried in the back under some frost.

It could be that I got going on that paragraph and couldn’t find a logical time to stop.  Just save yourself (or me, apparently) the emotional trauma of running out of butter by always keeping a nice supply on hand.

So butter.  You’ll need it for this recipe.  You’ll also need flour and sugar.  Plus a bowl, a spoon, and a pan.  That’s it.   Could it be any easier?

Quick and Easy Shortbread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat for this)
1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar if you prefer)
3/4 cup melted butter

Blend all ingredients well.  Press mixture into a 9×9 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cook and cut into 12 squares.

Quick and Easy Shortbread

As you can see, this is a no-brainer recipe.  I discovered it as I’ve been working on a brand new healthy snacks eBook.   This shortbread can be stirred up and put into the oven within just a few minutes.  We love it because it is just lightly sweetened, and deliciously buttery.  It is awesome with a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon.

It is worthwhile to note that this is not a snack you’ll want to hand your kids while they are running into the living room you’ve just vacuumed.  This shortbread is a bit crumbly and needs to be eaten while holding ones head directly over a plate while sitting at a table.  Trust me.  I know these things.

And one more thing.  Go check your butter supply.  We’ll all sleep better tonight knowing you’re well stocked.

‘Fess up.  How much butter do you have right now? 

Now, Now. Let’s Not Make This Difficult ~ Easy Orange Chicken, A Super Quick, Real Food Recipe

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Why do we make it hard?  Why do we think that cooking healthier foods always takes a long time?  Relax now.  My recipes are all made with real food, and most all of them are very low maintenance.  This Easy Orange Chicken recipe will prove it.

The truth is that eating a real food diet is actually rather simple.  We just have to get the hang of it.  We just have to plan ahead a little bit.  We just have to buy some chicken – at least if you want to make this recipe.  I think I had this dish in the oven after about five minutes of prep time.  That’s faster than making a box of mac and cheese, and I think it goes without saying that this tastes much better.

High Five Recipes

Have you scrolled through all of my High Five Recipes?  If not, you should.  If so, you should again.  They are all high quality recipes which call for five ingredients or less.  We’re talking everything from main dishes, to side dishes, to snacks and desserts.  Real food.  Real easy.  So how about a new High Five Recipe?

Easy Orange Chicken

1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons onion soup mix
10-12 chicken legs

Place chicken legs in a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Stir together orange juice and onion soup mix.  Pour mixture over the chicken.  Cover and bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Variation:

Pour orange juice mixture over 6 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Bake in a 375° oven for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until juices run clear.

Easy Orange Chicken

During the final few minutes of cook time for your chicken, put together two or three vegetable side dishes.  Brown rice is also wonderful with this chicken.  Your meal will be satisfying, delicious, and you won’t even break a sweat preparing it.

Having homemade MSG-free Onion Soup Mix on hand is always super helpful.  In fact, I encourage you to spend a few minutes putting together several of the seasoning mixes you’ll find on this page.  They save so much time, taste so much better than purchased packets, are much healthier, and save money too!

I hope you’re beginning to see that eating a real food diet really isn’t complicated.  What are your favorite “throw it together” healthy meals?

Easy Homemade Nacho Cheese Pretzel Dip

Obviously, this nacho cheese dip can be eaten with other foods beyond pretzels.  I’m thinking tortilla chips, steamed veggies, popcorn chicken

But with these Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites?  So delicious!

What’s fun about this recipe is that you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like.  In fact, our family made individual bowls of the cheese dip, then added as much hot sauce as we each prefered.

Easy Nacho Cheese Pretzel Dip

4 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
hot sauce to taste (we like Cholula)

In a medium saucepan, slowly melt cream cheese and cheddar cheese cubes on medium low heat, stirring constantly.  Once melted, gradually add milk and whisk together while continuing to heat.  Once the sauce reaches the consistency you desire, remove from heat and serve – adding hot sauce to taste.

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My boys were so impressed that I was able to make something that tasted so much like the canned fake cheese dip.  But never fear – because this is made with real ingredients, it tastes much better than what comes out of a can.

Let’s take a vote: Who likes the cheese stuff that pours out of a can?  Love it?  Hate it?  Don’t feel bad admitting that you like it. We all have our lingering non-food cravings (says the lady who still chooses Nacho Cheese Doritos when given the opportunity).

Flourless Fudge Cookies

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You can’t go wrong with a recipe that has the word “fudge” in its name.  These cookies are very easy to make and live up to their name.  Mmm, fudgy cookies.  Yes please.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

2 1/4 cups sucanat powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 2 1/4 cups of sucanat into a blender.  Process until sugar has become powdered.  (Here is a post with picture tutorial showing you how easy this is!)  In a bowl, mix sucanat powdered sugar with the remaining ingredients.  Scoop teaspoon sized balls of batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (very important).  Bake in a 350° oven for 8-10 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool completely while on the cookie sheet.

If you bake them on a baking stone or try to remove them before they are completely cooled, you’ll end up with this:

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See below, how the cookies sit patiently and cool on their parchment paper so that they will come off the pan nicely?

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Ah yes, that is the way to do it.  These cookies are worth the wait!

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Have you ever made your own powdered sugar with sucanat?  It’s very easy – and these cookies are a great way to experiment with that idea!

Crustless Cheesecake Cups

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Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts.  In fact, I believe I will have my boys make these for my birthday on Saturday.  Since I’m turning 40, perhaps I could have them double this recipe so we can have 40 little cheesecake cups.  (Why, so I can gain 40 pounds as I celebrate?)  Yeah, we’ll just stick with a single batch.

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Crustless Cheesecake Cups

2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup real maple syrup or 1 1/2 cups unbleached powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.  Scoop cheesecake mix into about 20 paper-lined muffin cups.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.  Top with fresh fruit.

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These Crustless Cheesecake Cups are so easy to make and since they freeze well, they can be made ahead of time.  You can even serve them frozen.  Delish!

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