Peanut Butter Quinoa, with Apples + Honey

Oh gosh. I have found a winner. I don’t know about you all, but one of my all-time favorite go-tos for a snack or even a dessert is sliced apple drizzled with peanut butter and honey. In fact, if we don’t have something on hand for dessert, chances are quite good that I will make myself my apple “treat.”

This recipe is perfect for breakfast, lunch (I am currently eating it for lunch as I type), breakfast-for-dinner or post-dinner snack! It’s super quick and easy, too. And… a huge hit with the kiddos. Score!

I topped mine off with a whole banana sliced up. Perfection. I think cinnamon will be added next time… because you all know how much I love my cinnamon. If you have all of these ingredients in your kitchen,  which you probably do, go make it! And let us know what you think.

peanut butter quinoa with apples and honey

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup of water (to cook quinoa in)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter or more if you want it more peanut-buttery! (I used 3 tablespoons of natural crunchy peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 banana for topping (optional)
METHOD:
1. Give your quinoa a quick rinse in a mesh strainer and cook in a medium pot according to the package instructions.
2. After quinoa has cooked, remove from heat. Stir in the diced apple, peanut butter and honey and stir until everything is combined thoroughly and you don’t have anymore globs of peanut butter left.
3. Serve warm. Top with sliced banana if you choose. Enjoy!
NOTE:  Makes 2 large servings.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Oh Shine On.
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Cinnamon Honey Graham Crackers (with whole wheat flour)

I unfortunately have no idea where I found this recipe. I found it probably a year ago and copied/pasted to my desktop and just stumbled upon it the other day and am so glad I did. These crackers are so simple and the perfect afternoon snack. The recipe made it sound like the dough would be the right amount for just one cookie sheet, my crackers were pretty thick – so next time I will divide the dough between 2 cookie sheets to create a thinner cracker, and also shorten the baking time. I’m also going to throw in 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to make them chocolatey and even more delicious! Goes perfectly with a cup of milk for the kids or a cup of coffee for mom and dad. Enjoy, and I challenge you to not eat them all in one setting when they are warm out of the oven… you’ve been warned. But in case you have leftovers, they keep great in an airtight container.

cinnamon honey graham crackers (made with whole wheat flour)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
METHOD:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. Mix the butter and honey together in a separate bowl, and then add into the dry ingredients.
4. Mix well (I used my mixer, but you can mix by hand easily) and drop onto a greased, parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Roll or press with your hands, out to the corners with a rolling-pin.  (You could also roll out and cut with cookie cutters).
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch carefully to avoid burning them.
7. Cut quickly when they come out of the oven. I used a pastry cutter on mine, but they would be so cute cut out with cookie cutters!
Optional add-in: TRY 1/3 C OF COCOA TO MAKE THEM CHOCOLATEY…

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Blackberry Bars (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

5 days in to our no grain challenge and we are going strong.  Happy to have dabbled in grain-free cooking and baking over the past year, or this would have been really hard. However, it has been fun and easy.  I’ve had ingredients stocked in my pantry (well, sad excuse for a pantry… more like shoved into my cupboard), and have been easily able to serve up 3 meals a day (plus a lunch to send with husband to work) and have literally avoided all grains.  Too early to report any changes, but so far we feel great.  These bars can be easily made Paleo if you sub the milk for coconut milk or almond milk.  On to the berry bars.

I froze a bunch or organic berries from the farmer’s market this summer.  And boy, am I glad I did.  Those blackberries were perfect in these bars.  Although, you could use another berry, fresh or frozen.  Or a combo of berries.  Easy, super yummy, and grain-free. Even if you eat grains, give this one a try.  Coconut flour is really healthy for you, and you might be surprised how you feel after a protein filled breakfast instead of a carb filled one. Give em a try!

grain free black berry bars

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 bananas, smashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup blackberries (or other berry of your choice)
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil, set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine dry ingredients (coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Stir (or mix on low speed) to combine.
3.  Add in wet ingredients (honey, smashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, milk).  Stir (or mix on medium speed) until thoroughly combined.
4.  Fold in berries, and scoop into greased baking pan.  This batter is similar in texture to cookie dough, so it won’t pour.  And once you scoop or spoon it in, press down a bit with your spatula so that it is evenly distributed.
5.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden.  Wait until completely cool to cut.  Serve with pastured butter, honey, or jam.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from What Runs Lori.
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Creamed Honey

I love my morning coffee with a little milk and honey in it, and this honey took my coffee to a new level.  It is amazing.   We also put it on toast, drizzled it over plain whole milk yogurt, put it on our oatmeal, and mixed it into warm lemon water when we were plagued with sore throats and colds this week…. (sorry for the lack of new posts, we’ve all be under the weather!)…. hoping to be better before the holidays.  And before my last birthday in my 20’s tomorrow (YIKES!!)…. Where I intend on eating a disgusting amount of wild caught crab legs…. my all-time, favorite food of life.  Back to this whipped honey.  You just take equal parts raw, liquid honey and whip it with crystalized honey.  Seriously, that is it.  Mine lasted about a week in the cupboard before losing its “creaminess”…. so I just whipped it again and we are back in business.
creamed honey

 INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup raw, liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup crystalized honey (I found organic, crystalized honey at Trader Joe’s… it is similar in taste to liquid honey, but solid in the jar…)
METHOD:
1.  Combine both types of honey in stand mixer with whisk attachment in place, and whip on low to medium speed for 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is white, thick, and creamy.
2.  Store in a jar, at room temperature.  So delicious.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Bite My Cake.

Coconut Banana Meltaway Cookies

I was at a friend’s house a few weeks ago and she had these delicious banana coconut balls that she got from Whole Foods, I believe. They reminded me of the Coconut-Lemon Meltaways I have made before.  I checked out the ingredients on the package, and they were pretty much the same plus or minus a few things, so I wondered if I could replicate it using bananas instead of lemon. I liked the lemon ones a lot, but banana anything is always going to be my favorite. They turned out really well, and they made the house smell fantastic as they baked. I love their texture. They are light, fluffy, and perfectly moist.  I altered the original recipe and cut the sweetener in half, as bananas are plenty sweet and really don’t need a lot of added sweetener. I used raw honey, but these would be great with maple syrup, too. This was a tasty treat for the kiddos and they gave it their seal of approval.

coconut banana meltaway cookie

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 big pinches of salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil
 METHOD:
1. Pre-heat oven to 250F.
2. Mix dry ingredients together and pour in the bowl of your mixer.
3. Mix honey, vanilla and mashed bananas together in a separate bowl and slowly add to the dry ingredients with the mixer on.
4. Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together, slowly stream in the melted coconut oil. Your mixture will thicken once the oil is added.
5. Form your balls on parchment lined baking sheets. I yielded about 20, but could’ve made my balls much smaller to yield more. Let them bake until they start turning a golden shade,  about 45 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on them, you don’t want them too brown though or they will be dry.
6. Enjoy!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Addicted to Veggies.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread (without a bread maker)

My family and I just got to spend a long Thanksgiving weekend with my husband’s family.  It was amazing to have a few days off all together, and the kids LOVED spending time with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Joe. They went on hiking adventures, helped cook delicious food, read books, and snuggled.  Super cute kids.  And super thankful for our family.  While we were there, I had some homemade cinnamon swirl bread, made by Ehren’s Great Aunt. She makes it all by hand, and it was so yummy.  It inspired this recipe.  I adapted Evan’s sandwich bread, and it turned out perfectly.  I am thinking about making one loaf of this bread every week, and one plain loaf as well.  That way we will have one for our morning toast, and one for sandwiches.  Hope you have as much success with it as I did!  PS, how on the earth did something that pretty come out of my kitchen?  And without a bread machine?  Trust me, if I can do this, you can too!   PSS, my house smelled AMAZING while this was baking.  Like, ah-mazing.

INGREDIENTS:
METHOD:
1.  First, add yeast to the warm water (think lukewarm, not hot) while that’s dissolving, throw the flour, salt, cinnamon, and raisins in the mixer. Once the yeast has dissolved, dump in the melted butter and the honey into yeast and then pour all of it into the mixer. Let the mixer do it’s work with the bread hook attached, it takes about 3-5 minutes until the dough forms into a ball. So fast and so easy!  NOTE:  If kneading by hand (making without a mixer), try using only 4 cups of flour for best results.
2.  After that, knead the ball of dough a couple of times and put it in a greased bowl, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise for an hour.
3.  Knead again a couple of times, put it in a greased bread pan and let it rise again for at least 45 minutes.
4.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and immediately remove from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.
NOTE:  This recipe makes one loaf.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.
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Fig Bars

Perhaps one of my most favorite things about avoiding processed food is the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen homemaking various goods.  Today, we saw a kid eating a Fig Newton at the Farmer’s Market.  My 3-year-old was asking what he was eating, and I told her it was like a cookie with fig jam inside….. She instantly suggested going home and making it ourselves, only better!  I love that my kids are growing up thinking about what they eat, really enjoying creating things in the kitchen with me, and thinking that everything can be homemade.  Sure, it takes work.  And time.  But I’m thankful to be able to do both – so tonight we made our own fig bars.  With whole wheat flour and honey.  And organic dried, unsweetened figs.  And they taste amazing.  I adapted this recipe from my amazing friend Nicole.  I CrossFit with her, and she is strong and lovely.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup roughly chopped (stems removed) dried, unsweetened figs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon pure honey
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon 100% vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Places the figs in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 10 minutes.
3.  Remove the figs from the water with a slotted spoon and place in food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon honey, and about 1 tablespoon of the soaking liquid.  Puree until smooth and spreadable.
4.  Using your mixer, or by hand, whisk together 1/3 cup honey, egg, vanilla, and butter until well incorporated.
5.  Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.
6.  Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper, creating a large rectangle.  It may help to flour your parchment paper so that the dough doesn’t stick.
7.  Spread the fix mixture evenly on 1/2 of the rectangle.  Leave a 1/4 inch border at the edge.
8.  Fold the dough over on top of itself and gently press the dough together at the edges.
9.  Cut the rectangle into even squares (makes 20-25 bars depending on how large you cut your squares).
10.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.