Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cucumber Dill Salad

Wanna know my kids favorite veggie?  Although it’s a close call, the cucumber wins grand prize.  My kids can gnaw down a cucumber faster than you can say “where’d my cucumber go?”

They argue over who gets the biggest piece, swipe it off the counter when I’m not looking and even eat the skin if I slice it off.  I can’t really complain about them eating too many cucumbers though.  I just have to make sure I stock up with enough each week.

Very rarely, they’ll leave me some cucumber to eat.  Lucky me! I love cucumber too.  Then I get to do something fun with it, like make a yummy salad.

Simple was the name of the game today with this salad.  There’s only a couple ingredients and a simple sauce but the taste is amazing.  I love dill and this salad gets better with time.  I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised but Dakota was a huge fan of this salad too.  She was picking pieces out while I was trying to take pictures! Sometimes I don’t want to wait for my food either!

Cucumber Dill Salad

1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/3 in cubes
2 roma tomatoes, cubed
¼ cup diced red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dill
¼ tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to coat.

Allow to sit at room temperature for ½ hour or in the fridge for at least an hour and serve.

Pure yum!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Raw Brownies for Kids

Ah, the raw brownie.  My kids are huge, huge fans.  A few days ago I was stocking up on raw bars and brownies for Andy’s trip and Kota was begging to have some.  I make them enough that she knows exactly what they are, and of course she wants to partake!

While I don’t mind sharing raw treats with the kiddos, I don’t like to give them cacao too often or in large amounts.  Cacao has an awesome nutritional profile however it also has caffeine or theobromine, both stimulants.  If you’ve got kids, you probably aren’t crazy about kids + stimulants either.

So instead of using cacao like I do in our raw foods, I use carob.  I actually use roasted carob, so these aren’t completely raw.  But I feel they’re the better choice here.  My kiddos also aren’t fans of nutty chunks in their brownies so I make sure everything is ground up.  If you prefer some chunks feel free to add nuts, dried fruit or other yummies at the end.

Raw Brownies for Kids

½ cup almonds
½ cup walnuts
1 cup dates, pitted
¼ cup carob powder
¼ cup shredded coconut
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1 tbsp water

Combine almonds and walnuts in food process and run until nuts are finely ground.
Add dates and process again until dates are completely chopped.

Add carob and coconut and process again.
Finally add water and hemp hearts and run until dough forms and starts to clump. 

When you push down on the dough, it should press together.  If it seems too dry, add 1 tsp of water at a time.

Press dough into a 9x9in pan and chill in fridge for at least an hour. 

Remove from fridge and slice into 16 brownies.  You can carefully remove them from the pan now and enjoy.

These will keep for a least a month in the fridge in a sealed container- but they won’t make it that long!

And how do the kiddos feel about these?

Lets just say I keep them on the top shelf of the fridge.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake- GF, DF

We’re in the middle of berry season here and I am loving it!  We’ve been enjoying lots of fresh, local strawberries and blueberries.  I’m perfectly happy eating them plain but I also enjoy a treat every once in awhile.

Next week the Florida Strawberry Festival opens and with it, lots of strawberry shortcake.  We went to the festival a few years ago and had some shortcake but it was incredibly sweet and definitely not healthy.  I prefer simple real ingredients that let the flavor of the fresh sweet strawberries come through!

Since strawberries are #5 on the EWG's Dirty Dozen, it's important to me to buy organic (or berries that haven't been sprayed).  In another two weeks a local no-spray farm will be open for u-pick and I'm really looking forward to taking the kids.  In the meantime, we're making due with local organic berries from the grocery store which have been on sale (bonus!).

This shortcake is free of refined sugar, dairy, and gluten so you don't have to worry about sharing with the kiddos.  It's also really simple and whips up in just a few minutes— perfect for a last minute dessert!

Strawberry Shortcake

Makes 9 mini shortcakes

Shortcake Biscuits
2 cups almond flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1-2 egg, room temperature
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs together with coconut oil and honey.

Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out large spoonful’s of dough and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Roll each scoop between your palms and place back on the cookie sheet.

Lightly press each ball down on your baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack.

Strawberry Filling
1 qt fresh strawberries
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp water

Wash and remove the stems of your strawberries, then slice.
Add about ¼ cup of sliced berries along with honey and water in a small food processor or blender and run until smooth.

Pour pureed strawberries over sliced berries and mix.

Dairy Free Whipped Cream
1 can of coconut milk
1 tsp honey

Place can of coconut milk in fridge for a few hours (don’t shake).
Open can without shaking and scoop off cream from top.
Combine honey and coconut cream in a mixer and whip until it starts to peak.

To assemble your strawberry shortcakes, slice cake in half and layer strawberries and cream on top. 

Top with your cake-top and enjoy every heavenly bite!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Raw Superfood Bars

This weekend I brought home a new food processor.  I’ve been living without one for a couple months now since my mini one broke.  I’ve been trying to buy a new one for about a year but I can’t seem to find one that works for me- I’ve even returned two.  All I wanted was a simple processor that actually works- apparently, this is hard to come by these days.  My mom has an amazing one that is about 20 years old and I drool over it every time I visit.  They don’t make them like that anymore!

Not having a food processor makes it pretty difficult to make the raw brownies and bars that my husband loves so much.  I finally decided to try another one this weekend since we were visiting one of my favorite stores to drool in: Sur La Table.  I could probably spend hours there!  Since we were on a date, I didn’t wander aimlessly through the store looking for things I absolutely “need.”  Instead I took home this bad boy.

I was really hoping the third time’s a charm since I’m pretty much over returning food processors.  My husband was also hoping I was going to keep this one.  He’s leaving for a couple weeks for work and I needed a processor to make him lots of foods for his hotel room.  Luckily, this one finally got my stamp of approval.

I decided to put the processor through its paces by making some yummy bars for Andy.  Since he’ll be living in a hotel room and eating most of his meals out, he’s going to need some help in the nutrition department.  These will be perfect to take along and supplement the junk he's going to be eating.

Raw Superfood Bars

¾ cup almonds, divided
½ cup cashews
1 cup dates, pitted
2 tbsp water
¼ cup cacao
1 tsp spirulina
¼ cup goji berries
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts

Combine ½ cup almonds and cashews in food processor and process until nuts are finely chopped.  Add the dates and water and process until mixture becomes a dough.

Add cacao and spirulina and process again.

Add remaining almonds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts and process for a couple seconds- just until combined.

Remove dough from processor and form into a ball.  Divide dough into 6 pieces and form into desired shape- bar, ball, etc.

I made 8 medium bars with my dough.

And there was no complaining from the husband.  He did ask me to make a three weeks supply though!