Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is finally here.  And that means delicious vegetables like pumpkin and squash are too!  There are many ways to utilize this colorful, nutrient-rich produce.

Pumpkin and squash both make great soups.  They can both be used in pasta or risotto.  They are great in smoothies.  Or even in scones.

gf pumpkin muffins 3

Pumpkin pie is an obvious favorite of many.  You can even use pumpkin to make ice cream!  But one of my favorites is pumpkin muffins.

These muffins are gluten free, slightly sweet and spicy and perfectly moist.  They also only take minutes to prepare.  And you can substitute squash if you don’t have pumpkin on hand.

Pumpkin muffins make a great breakfast for busy mornings.  You can bake them in advance and freeze them for later.  Take some out to thaw the night before and you’ll have a delicious treat in the morning.  Top it with butter and pair it with some fresh fruit and yogurt.

They also go well with soup for a comforting fall dinner.

You can enjoy a little taste of fall any time you want with these pumpkin muffins.  You might want to make two batches.  They won’t last long.

What is your favorite flavor of fall?  How do you like to enjoy pumpkin?

gf pumpkin muffins 4
Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
Author: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • ¾ cup amaranth flour
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 5 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix well with a stand mixer or hand mixer. The dough will be somewhat thick.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full.
  5. Bake 25 - 30 minutes.

 

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

cherry cobbler

Summer in Michigan is filled with a wide variety of fruit.  You can eat it fresh, freeze it, can it, make jams and jellies, dehydrate it and cook with it.   My favorite way to enjoy the bounty of fruit is to bake with it!

gf cherry cobbler

Pie, ice cream, tart, crisp, cake.  They are all good, especially when using in season fruit.  Now you can add cobbler to your list of must-try summer desserts.

This cobbler is easy to make, and it’s perfect for those with food allergies.  It is gluten, corn, nut, egg and soy free.  It can also be made dairy free.

For those with sensitive stomachs, cooking fruit can make it easier to tolerate.  So an allergen free dessert with cooked fruit is quite easy on the gut.

If you don’t have any cherries you can substitute whatever fruit is in season.  Blueberries and peaches work really well together.  Or you can try nectarines or plums.

Cherry cobbler pairs well with homemade vanilla ice cream for a perfect summer treat that just about everyone can enjoy.  What special fruit-filled treats are you creating in the kitchen this summer?

gf cherry cobbler 2

 

Gluten Free Cherry Cobbler
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups sweet cherries, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2½ Tbsp. tapioca flour or 1½ Tbsp. arrowroot
  • 1 - 2 tsp. gelatin (optional)
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. butter or organic palm shortening
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp. organic cane sugar, sucanat or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix 3Tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a greased 1½ or 2 qt. baking dish combine the cherries, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, tapioca flour or arrowroot and gelatin. Toss. Bake 10 min.
  4. While the fruit is baking, in a large bowl combine the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Blend in butter until it resembles coarse meal (you can do this by hand or in a food processor).
  6. Stir in the water until just combined.
  7. Remove the fruit from the oven. Drop topping by spoonfuls over fruit. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mix
  8. Bake about 30 minutes, until the topping is golden. Allow the cobbler to cool slightly.
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Simple, Versatile Pesto

I’ve loved pesto since the first time I tasted it.  As the years have gone by I’ve made quite a few versions of my own.  I’ve made traditional pesto.  I’ve made red pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto.  And I’ve made very simple pesto.

pesto pasta

I’ve added new ingredients.  I’ve taken things out when I had various dietary restrictions.  And I finally settled on my base pesto recipe that only takes about 2 minutes to make.  I’ve removed the allergens (dairy and nuts) as well so just about anybody can eat it.

Pesto is so versatile.  You can use whatever greens you have fresh or frozen.  And you can use it in so many dishes.  Here are a few ways to use pesto.

  • Pizza sauce – Replace your usual tomato sauce with pesto and top with chicken and vegetables.  With all the flavor from the pesto you can even skip the cheese and make a delicious dairy free pizza.
  • Salad dressing – Store-bought dressings are almost always made with unhealthy vegetable oils.  Whip up a batch of pesto and you’ve got easy, flavorful dressing on hand for the whole week.
  • Rice – Rice can get pretty boring.  Liven it up with a few spoonfuls of pesto.  Add a little parmesan cheese and cooked chicken and you’ve got a whole meal!
  • Vegetable topping – Mix pesto into a bowl of roasted vegetables or pureed squash or pumpkin.
  • Quiche – Spread a layer of pesto on a pie crust.  Top it with a mixture of eggs, milk and cheese and bake.
  • Snack – Need a quick bite of something healthy in-between meals?  Try a spoon or two of pesto.  You’ll get easy to digest nutrients and healthy fat.
  • Baby food – Who says baby’s need bland food?  Let your little one try some.  No need to chew
  • Bread – Make your favorite yeast bread dough.  Roll it out.  Spread pesto on top.  Roll the dough into a loaf and bake.  You’ll have a homemade bread with pesto swirled throughout.
  • Pasta – Cook some pasta, drain most of the liquid, stir in pesto.  Top it with cheese and/or add cooked chicken or bacon if desired.  Or mix the pesto into your favorite alfredo sauce to make pesto-fredo pasta.
  • Panini – Use pesto as the dressing on a Panini.
  • Soup – Mix pesto into a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, squash soup or white chili.  It’s a great twist on your favorite soups.
  • Dip – Dip raw vegetables into plain pesto.  Or you can mix pesto with hummus to make a “pummus” dip.

Do you like pesto?  What is your favorite way to use it?

pesto pizza

Simple, Versatile Pesto
Author: 
 
Makes 2½ cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups frozen (thawed) or fresh peas, spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, basil or any other green/herb you like (you can use a combination as well)
  • ½ - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (you can replace some of it with water for a ighter version or to make it have a more neutral flavor)
  • unrefined sea salt and garlic powder to taste
Method of Preparation
  1. Blend greens, ½ cup olive oil, salt and garlic powder in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Add extra olive oil or water to reach desired consistency.
  3. Adjust seasoning to taste.

 

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Spring Cleaning – the kitchen

This morning I just couldn’t take it anymore. The spots on the tile back-splash, the cabinets covered in finger prints and food, as well as the constant array of dirty dishes waiting to be washed.

It was time for spring cleaning.

So I grabbed my handy-dandy Norwex cloth, gave the kids a couple of rags, and got to work cleaning some of the spots that rarely see regular cleaning.

I’m more of the “quick, hide it in the dishwasher/stove before company comes over” kind of gal most days. And the adrenal fatigue I’ve been dealing with for the last year has pushed me to be a bit lazier when it comes to housecleaning.

Deal with the mundane first

The dishes had to be done and put away to clear the counter before anything else got done. Often I forget this crucial step and instead find myself with piles upon piles of “stuff” in my way.

I really should have taken a before picture, so y’all don’t feel bad about your own messes, but I forgot until I was almost done.

The Stove

The workhorse of my kitchen, the stove is usually used for every meal! I find that it’s best to pull out the stove from the wall a couple of times a year to vacuum underneath and get out any food that may have fallen under. It’s also a good time to wipe down the sides as well as the side of the counter that are usually covered. Then I push it back in, wipe down the stove top  and sides with my Norwex cloth and then get to cleaning the oven.

My oven has a self cleaner which I love to use (it’s easy) but if there was a spill I’ll clean that up with some baking soda and white vinegar. On Easter I decided to bake some au gratin potatoes and I figured the more cheese sauce the better right?

Wrong. It spilled all over inside and smoked up the entire house as it burned on the bottom of the stove. So I had to clean out the inside a bit.

Refrigerator

I also pull out he fridge and vacuum up lost toys, dust bunnies, and any fossilized food. The outside gets wiped down and then I get to work emptying it of contents to wipe down the shelves. I regularly just use my Norwex cloth, but diluted white vinegar also makes a fantastic cleaner. There is always something in the back that I haven’t seen in a while as my ferments tend to get piled in on top, so the lost and lonely food goes straight to the garbage.

Other appliances

We have a microwave above the stove, what a mess that thing gets to be! Grease spatters all around as well as ick from when food is reheated. (I rarely use it, Todd is the main microwave user here) But it also has a couple of filters from the vent that I go about cleaning as well.

The dishwasher gets to run a load or two empty and this is the one place I use a conventional cleaner. We have hard water that runs through a softener and we get a fair amount of lime scale buildup. We have learned over the years that a nasty dishwasher, covered in rusty lime scale, is a recipe for disaster. So I now run a bottle of dishwasher cleaner through it as well as check the drains and the little ‘do-hicky’ that often gets clogged and allows it to overflow. (I’ve tried every natural option I can think of and nothing works well enough. I even got to the point where I hillbilly rigged the hose up the deck so that I could haul it in the kitchen and use the sprayer nozzle a few times!)

Cabinets

The kids got the job of wiping down the cabinets today, made more fun by listening to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey while they worked. For the most part they quietly worked instead of arguing the whole time. Other kids argue to…right? It’s not just mine?

I didn’t do a whole lot cleaning out the insides of them as I recently went through them all a couple of months ago, but I did clean out under the sink and finally found space for some of my mason jars.

Those things sure pile up with all of the ferments and farm fresh milk we go through!

Since our cabinets down go all the way to the ceiling I also have to get up there and dust cobwebs. And get down all of the egg cartons I save for bringing back to the farm.

Floors

Well, I guess I haven’t fully cleaned my kitchen if I haven’t mopped my floor. But I also can’t seem to find the mop……. so that will wait for another day. It did get a good sweeping with my ‘custodian broom’ though. I bought this broom years ago when I found that sweeping up a large area with a broom was just beyond ridiculously a pain. So I went to the hardware store and picked up the small version of what they use in schools and churches, I absolutely love it. A few sweeps and I’m done.

Normally on the floors I use warm water with about a cup of white vinegar, a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, and a few drops of essential oil.

Windows

I also wipe down the blinds, because man do white blinds show everything! Once the sun moves to the other side of the house I’ll also wash the windows inside and out. Now that the sun is finally out, I would like to be able to see through the winter grunge that has covered them.

spring clean the kitchen

As you may have noticed, I was so excited to have a clean kitchen that I also baked up a small plate of cookies. :-)

Have you done any spring cleaning in your kitchen yet? What’s the toughest part to tackle?

Unfortunately, I now have to start getting dinner ready which will eventually mess up all my hard work, so I’ll be back to cleaning it up….again….later tonight.

Read more:

Wellness Mama also talks about her cleaning methods

What’s Under My Sink? at Kitchen Stewardship



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Save The Color For the Eggs. Your Kids Will Thank You.

You may not be able to tell by looking out your window, but it is finally spring!  And Easter is only a few days away.

Time for Easter eggs, baskets full of candy, bright colors – signs of new life.  But if life is what you’re concerned with you might want to take a second look at all those colors.

photo credit glogster.com

photo credit glogster.com

Colored food and candy is appealing, especially to small children.  We eat first with our eyes.  So naturally kids will be excited by a basket full of brightly colored treats.

A few jellybeans.  A handful of colored chocolates.  A marshmallow chick.  Innocent fun.  An ok treat here and there.  Right?

Not really.  Artificial coloring is very harmful…for everyone.

Even if you avoid the obvious brightly colored candies you still might be getting more artificial coloring in your diet than you think.  Crackers, macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, chips, cereal, jello, sweetened beverages, yogurt, ice cream, ketchup, fruit skins, meats.  The list goes on and on.  It is even in products such as toothpaste, shampoos and medicine.

A small amount of food dye can have a big impact.  Depending on the color and variety it can cause many kinds of tumors and cancer.  It can also cause damage to a growing child’s brain and lower IQ.

One of the biggest side effects of artificial coloring is hyperactivity and inattentiveness.  Does your child have some ADD/ADHD symptoms?  Are you struggling with behavioral/obedience problems?  Before you try to get a diagnosis start with your family’s diet.

I have experienced this first hand with my daughter.  After trial and error we discovered that she has a very strong reaction to any kind of food coloring.  It makes a huge impact on her behavior.

Do you feel bad taking away these “treats” from your child?  Try to look at the situation differently.  We have adopted a strict no food coloring policy for our kids.  It might be hard to say no to a few gummies or a sucker.  But this is the best “treat” we can give them…being able to feel good and have control over their minds and bodies.

photo credit robinhoodintegrativehealth.com

photo credit robinhoodintegrativehealth.com

My daughter is very smart, creative and funny.  I love allowing her to think clearly and let her true personality shine.  It’s heartbreaking when she can’t do that, when she seems out of control or in a fog.  And by allowing her to consume foods with artificial coloring I am taking away that freedom.  Not much of a treat is it?

The first step in tackling this problem is reading all food labels carefully and checking for harmful substances.  You might be surprised what you find.  Take a look at this list of ingredients.  Can you tell what this is?

“Skim milk, sugar, strawberry puree, whey, contains less than 2% of sodium tripolyphosphate, modified food starch, pasteurized milk and cream, sodium citrate, salt, artificial color, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate as preservatives, carrageenan, citric acid, cheese culture, sodium phosphate, natural flavor, artificial flavor, red 40, carob bean gum, vitamin a palmitate”

These are the ingredients in strawberry cream cheese.  Artificial color and red 40.  No thank you.

In addition to dyes and colors check for sodium benzoate.  It has the same effect on your health.

Once you eliminate foods with artificial coloring and dyes you can move on to making your own goodies.  Use real food to color your food.  Want to make something pink?  Use strawberry juice or jam.  How about green?  Try avocado.  Have fun experimenting with foods like blueberries, beets and carrots to add color to your baked goods.

Or better yet…leave out the color.  Who said mint ice cream should be green?  It’s actually white or yellow (depending on whether or not you add egg yolks).  If you really want colorful food reach for fruits and vegetables.  And leave the treats their true color.  Don’t worry, they’ll still taste great even if they aren’t neon colored.

photo credit thehotsheetblog.com

photo credit thehotsheetblog.com

Check those Easter baskets and your cupboards.  Get rid of anything that contains artificial colors or dyes.  You’re giving your family a wonderful gift and a fresh start by keeping these harmful substances out of their diet.  Save the artificial coloring for the Easter eggs.  Just be sure not to eat them.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

“Whey”monade, a healthy and refreshing drink {recipe}

It must be the flirting our weather is doing with spring that makes me crave the refreshing drinks of summer. Or the fact that I am So. Over. Winter.

Yea, maybe it’s that.

I really just want to sit outside with a good book while I sip some lemonade and let the kids play in the mud. Though usually the thought of lemonade makes me cringe as it’s so full of sugar!

But lemonade can be a healthy treat all year round as well, and can even contain some protein, minerals, and be probiotic.

Last winter I was able to go to the cheese making class that my friend Betsy, from Green Pastures Dairy in Coopersville, taught. And during the class someone asked what in the world do you do with all the extra whey after making mozzarella. Come to find out, you can make some pretty delicious lemonade from it.

If you use whey strained from yogurt or kefir, it will also contain probiotic benefits. When it comes from making mozzarella, it will have been heated, so no probiotics, but still plenty of nutrient content.

I make this and just go by taste, as the taste of the whey always seems to vary from batch to batch.

healthy lemonade

"Whey"monade, a healthy and refreshing drink {recipe}
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverages
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart whey (from kefir, yogurt, or cheesemaking)
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (or to taste)
Method of Preparation
  1. Let the whey warm to room temperature (or let it cool to room temperature after cheese making).
  2. Add the juice of the lemon and the honey. Stir to combine.
  3. Chill and drink.
Notes
If you use whey from kefir or yogurt, you can also add up to 2 quarts of water with the juice of an additional 4-6 lemons and let it sit out on the counter overnight.


I love being able to give my family something I know they’ll love, but that will also nourish their bodies, especially the little ones that are still growing.



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

Think Spring, Plan Your Pantry

If you’re anything like me, by the time February draws to a close you are so ready for spring!  But most of the time it still seems so far away.  The ground is likely covered with snow.  Everything is wet and sloppy.  The sun likes to hide.

You’re still eating lots of winter comfort foods and living off your freezer stock from last year.

peaches

As March approaches I’m anxious for fresh foods.  While they aren’t quite available yet, it’s time to start thinking about them.

Now is the perfect time to plan how you want to stock your pantry and freezer during the spring, summer and fall.  Doing so can save you money and keep your family well fed.

Maybe you already have a good inventory of what you preserved last year.  That is a great start.  Even if you don’t you can still start planning for the coming produce season now.

Here are general guidelines of when some produce is available in the area and some ideas of ways to preserve it.  Make a list of the ones you want, find recipes, put the plans in your calendar so you know when you’ll have to do it and stock up on all of your supplies.

When spring does finally decide to show up you’ll be ready to stock your pantry for a full year of healthy food.

Produce Season:

  • Early – mid June: strawberry, rhubarb, asparagus
  • Mid – late June: strawberry, rhubarb, asparagus, sugar snap peas, zucchini, summer squash, cherry, cucumber, raspberry
  • Early – mid July: strawberry, asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, cherry, cucumber, raspberry, blueberry, apricot, peach, cherry, nectarine
  • Mid – late July: zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, raspberry, blueberry, peach, nectarine, corn, plum, melon
  • Early – mid August: zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, raspberry, peach, nectarine, plum, corn, melon
  • Mid – late August: zucchini, summer squash, raspberry, peach, nectarine, plum, corn, melon, apples, pears,  cauliflower, broccoli, squash, brussels sprouts, peppers, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage
  • Early – mid September: corn, melon, apples, pears, plums, peaches, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, brussels sprouts, nectarine, peppers, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage
  • Mid – late September: corn, melon, apples, pears, plums, peaches, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, brussels sprouts, nectarine, peppers, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage
  • Early – mid October: apples, pears, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, brussels sprouts, peppers, beets, potatoes, carrots, cabbage

Preserving Ideas:

  • Berries: jam, jelly, pancake/ice cream topping, frozen, pie, fruit leather, dried, relish/salsa, baked goods
  • Stone fruits: jam, jelly, frozen, canned, pie, dried, fruit butter
  • Zucchini/summer squash: salsa, tomato sauce, frozen, sweet bread
  • Apples/pears: canned, pies, sauce, butter
  • Tomatoes/peppers/onions: pasta sauce, chili sauce, salsa
  • Squash: bake and freeze
  • Corn/broccoli/cauliflower/peppers: frozen

apple butter

Recipe:

Apple Butter

makes 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 pts.

  • 4 1/2 qts. apples, peeled, cored and sliced (16-17 LARGE apples)
  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 qt. apple cider
  • 3 cups cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
Cook apples with water until soft (5-10 min.).  Press through sieve or food mill on the finest setting.  Add the cider and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Cook on low until thick (about 3 hours).  Add spices.  Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Gluten Free Muffins {banana, apple, blueberry, zucchini}

Our family has been gluten-free for a few years now, and while we are now happy to live without bread products for the most part, we still enjoy it every now and again. And these gluten-free muffins are soft and delicious, perfect for our chilly days here in Michigan.

(seriously….spring is coming soon, right?!)

gluten free muffin

One of the best things about this muffin is that it is so versatile. We’ve made them with mashed bananas, shredded zucchini and carrots, applesauce, and blueberries.

gluten free muffin

They rise well, very reminiscent of their wheat counterpart, and remain fluffy instead of dense like many gluten-free products tend to be. The trick, I believe, in keeping them so light, yet moist, is using the yogurt or kefir.

gluten free muffin

We have also successfully made this as a bread, though the smaller the loaf pan, the better it rises. The loaf above was a mini loaf, taking only a few minutes longer than the muffins of the same batch.

Gluten Free Muffins {banana, apple, blueberry, zucchini}
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten Free Muffins
breads and grains
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup sorghum flour
  • ⅔ cup brown rice flour
  • ⅔ cup tapioca flour
  • ⅔ cup whole cane sugar (sucanat or rapadura)
  • ¾ tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice OR cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup whole plain yogurt OR kefir
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • (you can also use 1 cup applesauce, blueberries, or 2 cups shredded zucchini/carrots)
Method of Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease muffin tin.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a stand mixer or large bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, stir together the yogurt (or kefir) egg, coconut oil (or butter), along with your choice of fruit/veggie.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and stir gently until well combined.
  5. Fill muffin tin ⅔ full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for a couple of minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. or eat them warm with some nice grass-fed butter.

*recipe adapted from Gluten Free Mommy’s Carrot Zucchini Muffin

gluten free muffin



All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

A “Hot” Breakfast For a Cold Morning

It’s January in Michigan.  Which means it’s cold (most of the time).  You wake up and drag yourself out from under a pile of warm blankets.  You shower and dress quickly to avoid getting chilled.

You clutch a big mug of hot coffee or tea to warm your hands while you think about breakfast.  Some of your staples don’t sound so great – smoothies, cold cereal, fresh fruit.  You want something hot and steamy to start the day.

So you reach for…ice cream?  That’s right.  Ice cream for breakfast can really warm you up!  Plus it can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories all day long.

It may sound crazy, but starting your day with a good mix of starch, sugar, salt and saturated fat will help raise your body temperature and metabolism.  As long as you don’t wash it down with a lot of fluid.

Ice cream is just one example of a warming breakfast.  You could also choose things like pancakes with butter and syrup, crackers with cheese, salty fried potatoes or sweet bread with butter and salt.  Any combination of starch, sugar and salt that you enjoy will work.

An important factor to remember is to not drink a big glass of water, tea, coffee or soda with it.  Save your fluids for later in the day.  Drinking too much may overhydrate your body and flush out your vitamins and minerals.  Your cellular fluid and mineral levels will be out of balance.

You’ve kicked off your day with a breakfast that gets your body burning.  Now you can gradually eat lighter and add more fluids as the day goes on.  Try some protein and vegetables for lunch, including at least some starch and salt still.  Then pile on the vegetables for dinner.  Maybe a little fruit for a bedtime snack.

Just keep in mind that if you start to get cold you should grab a small snack that contains starch, sugar and salt.  And if you’re getting really hot add some extra fluids.

Think it sounds crazy to drink less and eat more sweets and salt in the morning?  Give it a try.  See if it gets you warm on a cold winter day.  Try ice cream for breakfast paired with something salty.  Or better yet, salt your ice cream!  Your family won’t mind helping you with the experiment.

Plain vanilla ice cream is always great.  You can eat it as is or add your favorite toppings.  Don’t forget a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt.  It will help bring out the sweetness in the ice cream.

Do you have a hard time getting warm in the winter?  Have you ever tried ice cream or another dessert for breakfast?  Choose your favorite salty sweet combination and see if it helps you get warm.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

3 cups cream (preferably raw)

3 – 5 egg yolks

1 – 2 tsp. organic vanilla

1/2 cup sweetener of choice or combination of sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)

pinch sea salt

Method of Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Adjust sweetener to taste (make it a little overly sweet…the flavor will go down when processed).  Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.  Store in a freezer safe container in freezer.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes before scooping.

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.

Cookies: More Than Just A Christmas Tradition

When I was little I loved to sit in the kitchen while my mom baked.  I could just watch for hours.  She always had something delicious coming out of the oven, and I loved to see the process.

As soon as I could I wanted to join in the fun and start baking myself.  Whether it was rolling pie dough, frosting a cake or adding chocolate chips to the cookies it made me feel like I was helping and connecting with my mother…sharing one of her passions.

This was especially true at Christmas time.  Every year we made traditional Christmas cut out cookies.  Usually mom would make the dough and the kids got to roll, cut and decorate the cookies.

Sometimes all four of us helped.  And sometimes it was just me.  I would take on the challenge of decorating all of the cookies by myself if nobody else wanted to help.  If there was any way I could participate in the baking I would.

Thanks to my mom to this day I have a passion for baking (and writing about food and nutrition).  I am happy to be passing that passion on to my own children.  I am a firm believer in getting your kids in the kitchen from a very young age.  And what easier way to start than by making cookies?

You don’t have to wait until your kids are older to have them help.  My daughter helped me with her first batch of Christmas cookies before she was one!  And she has loved our countless hours together in the kitchen ever since.

Now she is four and is a bit more help.  It is so fun to watch her progress every year in her decorating skills from haphazard sprinkling to careful placement of chocolate chips for eyes on a snowman.

Don’t let gender get in the way of your baking fun, either.  My one year old son already has a passion for baking.  He begs to bake every single day almost as soon as he gets out of bed.  Which is how we ended up making our first batch of Christmas cookies this year just a few days after Thanksgiving.

Making Christmas cookies is a tradition I had with my mom and one that I now have with my kids.  But it’s not just a tradition.  It’s a way for us to spend time together.  It’s a way for them to learn some basic baking skills.  It’s a way for them to feel helpful and needed.  And it’s a way for me to teach them about homemade, real food.

The look and taste of our cookies have changed over the years along with our view on health and nutrition.  No more bleached flour and margarine cookies.  We use real ingredients and make our own frosting.  We’re still working on replacing those lovely sprinkles.  But regardless of the ingredients our tradition stays the same.

Spend some time in the kitchen with your kids this Christmas.  Let them make a mess.  Let them have fun.  Let them be creative.

Maybe you’ll spark a passion in them for baking.  Maybe not.  But you’ll definitely make some lasting memories and have an opportunity to connect with your children.  Making Christmas cookies together is a great Christmas tradition…eating them is a fun one too.

Worried about creating unhealthy habits by baking treats?  Have no fear.  Feed your kids real, nourishing food from the start and they will develop a taste for healthy food.  My son was grain and sugar free until he turned one.  Now at 19 months I can’t even get him to taste a bite of anything we bake.

Even if your kids do enjoy the treats it’s a great opportunity to teach them about moderation and the importance of nourishing foods.

What Christmas traditions do you have?  Do you have a favorite cookie recipe for Christmas?  How do you get your kids in the kitchen and teach them about real food?

Mary Voogt is a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mother of two. After 6 years as an electrical engineer she now stays home full time. She is passionate about real food and enjoys spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking and baking from scratch. She blogs at Homemade Dutch Apple Pie on a variety of topics including digestive issues, OCD, anxiety, infertility, natural parenting and healthy food.