Avocado Pudding

I adapted this one from Jezwyn over at Girl Gone Primal:

1 ripe avocado
1 T pure cocoa powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 T pure maple syrup or honey (to taste)

Mash the avocado in a bowl, then thoroughly mix in the spices and sweetener. I use my potato masher in a flat-bottomed bowl when I am in a hurry (hence the green bits). If you are inclined, throw it all in the food processor and whiz until smooth.

The texture and appearance is similar to chocolate pudding and I heartily market it as such.

I always serve this dip in a small dish for dipping with apple slices, pear or berries. My kids generally will not touch avocado, but they love this stuff! For little ones who cannot yet do apple pieces, I will spoon-feed this with a side of apple sauce or grated raw apple, or banana pieces.

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I Love Tomatoes

If I were to choose one food that shines in its organic, locally grown form, the tomato would be it.  Real tomatoes – even the ones that ripen in the basement months after the first frost – mock the firm, tasteless versions available in big-box grocery stores for most of the year. Continue reading

The Garden Report

In case you’ve been wondering, I am clawing my way out from under a mountain of produce.

I should have known what would happen, being an authentic farm girl and all…

I planted a little garden at my house this year, but I planted a much bigger one at my retired parents’ farm.  I chose to put the lower-maintenance items out there, believing I would need to do some processing and picking later in the season, but not routine “tending” beyond a couple weeding trips.

I can buy into the liberty garden concept: that producing our own food from quality soil is a better choice, and it certainly is more economical if it goes well, right? Continue reading

Coconut Flour Bacon Biscuits

These are scrumptious served with hearty soup or saucy crock-pot dinner.  They taste like bacon and eggs – try adding mushrooms or peppers (spinach?) to the onion when you sauté… Decadent breakfast on the go.  Oh my.

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Fish Cakes

Okay, I am done griping and back at the helm, even though I have no voice and Kleenex is still my best friend…

This was our lunch with a side of raw veggies. Super-healthy and tasty… even for those who will not eat fish in any other form! I prep the mixture early in the morning, then fry them up at lunchtime.

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Cheat Day?!

In our house, it is certainly the Den Mother who carries the Primal Torch.  You know, the flame of all things inspirational for our family’s healthier life?  The raison d’être.

Apparently, I am the only one interested in the Primal Torch at all.  After today, I expect the occasional resentful eye roll in my direction as I try to balance said torch above my head.  But I’m betting nobody is going to catch it if it falls.

For the first time in a year, after months of nose-wiping and late nights with coughing kids, I have a head cold.  Head pounding and eyes watering, I smiled weakly and made a list when Den Dad offered to get groceries for the coming week.  He even took all three girls with him.  My hero!

So, I face the work week with everything essential in my fridge.  But there were a few things that came home from the grocery store this morning that were not on the list…

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Almond Butter Makes It Better

Almond butter is tasty stuff, especially when combined with the sweet tang of fruit.  Though it is a less than perfect protein source (higher in Omega 6, for example), almond butter is far superior to peanut butter in that it is less toxic, allergenic and promotes a lower insulin response when eaten.  In moderate doses, I send it down tiny gullets with a clear conscience.

There are three super-simple ways I vary this item on our day home menu:

  • Apple slices with a small cup of almond butter for dipping.
  • Strawberry slices or blueberries atop a rice cracker spread with a generous smoosh of almond butter.  (The cracker is a bit of a nasty, but the wee ladies especially like these with a tea party.)
  • A half banana, sliced lengthwise, then filled with a layer of almond butter or cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Not exactly rocket science, but all three are always incredibly popular and fairly quick and easy to prep!

If you are looking for more pack-and-go, check out over 70 lunchbox ideas for preschoolers over at Primal Kitchen.  Good stuff!

Ham Roll-ups

In the spirit of more ideas and less verbiage, I begin a short and sweet series of snacks that work:  Ham Roll-ups!

Roll slices of deli ham around a thin spread of avocado, red pepper strips and (optional) cheese.

You can soft-cook the red pepper for babies, or leave it out.  My toddlers can handle raw peeled cucumber quite well, so sometimes I substitute that or just make theirs with plain avocado.  These are popular with me because little participants like to help make them, they are healthy-ish and hand-held.

It occurred to me the other day that chicken, tuna or egg salad would include itself in these handy rolls quite nicely, as well.

Butterfly Cake

Long ago, when I only had one little girl, my friend Naomi and I made a birthday cake.  It was a pink and white choo-choo train with a smiling face, smokestack and different cars topped with flowers and sprinkles.  It took us about 400 man-hours.

The next year we did a pink castle with a moat, bridge and chocolate wrought-iron gates.  It had vines and turrets.  That one took about 4000 man-hours.

I now have three girls who have grand expectations about their hand-crafted super-mom cake.   Continue reading