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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted new content on the blog. Something about having three jobs, a husband and a toddler makes that difficult to do. As I was making pancakes Sunday morning, I decided this would be a good recipe to share with y’all. Please read instructions all the way through before starting.

How To Make Blueberry Banana Nut Pancakes With a Toddler

Set out ingredients: Coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, banana, 2 eggs, vanilla, cashew (or other) milk, spelt (or GF) flour, almond meal, chopped pecans, himalayan pink sea salt (or other sea salt), cinnamon, ground flaxseed, frozen blueberries.

Tend to toddler who is politely demanding a pear. Peel the pear, because otherwise toddler chews and spits out all the skin and you find it all over the house. Ask him to please sit on the rug and eat it.

Take ~ 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and melt it in a pan. You don’t have time to measure, so just “ballpark” all of your ingredients.

Toddler is requesting the pear be washed because it fell on the ground. Wash toddler’s pear, and ensure him all is right with the world.

Add to melted coconut oil: a bunch of applesauce (~1 cup), 2 eggs, a little vanilla (~1 tsp), and some milk (~½ cup).

Tend to whining toddler because the dog did something toddler did not approve of.

Where were we? Oh, right, we added wet stuff to a big bowl. Go ahead and add the dry stuff to a bowl. Mix it all together. Then add the blueberries, and mix just until combined.

Make sure pan is hot, and dump heaping spoonfuls of batter onto pan.

Realize you forgot to add the banana to the “Blueberry Banana Nut Pancakes.” Add banana to remaining batter, mashing it with a fork.

Keep an eye on the pancakes and your toddler, flipping over when lightly browned. The pancakes, not your toddler. Meanwhile, stop your toddler from dumping a box of plastic straws into the trash. Pull out a tupperware container so that he can practice putting the straws into container. Give him a blanket to sit on because that rug really needs to be washed.

Remove pancakes when done and put on a plate.

Tend to toddler who is banging on the door to the garage crying “daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy!” Take toddler outside to see that Daddy is busy building a nice wooden garden box. Then calm crying toddler because the sound of the screwdriver is terrifying. Explain how the screw goes into the wood to hold it together and then politely ask toddler to come back inside to eat pancakes.

React quickly to catch toddler who has catapulted himself backwards to initiate full-blown tantrum because he wants to do the opposite of what you’re asking. Calmly explain to toddler that he is hungry and that eating breakfast will solve his problem. Carry toddler who is now screaming, crying and kicking you into the house under one arm, keeping your composure.

Explain the ingredients in the pancakes and how healthy and delicious they will be. Give toddler applesauce to dip pancakes in because ain’t nobody got time for a toddler with a headache from the sugar in syrup (yes, even if it’s the good organic, Grade B kind, I ain’t ready for that).

Sit with your toddler while he eats pancakes because he asked you to “sit sit” and it’s absolutely adorable. Hopefully somewhere in the process you’ve put new batter on the stove and are flipping the new pancakes, because you have to remember to eat too.

After toddler is finished eating, clean him up and send him on his merry way. Finish cooking the rest of your batter, while noticing items being thrown downstairs from the top of the stair, over the banister. Ask yourself if he’s really tall enough to be able to do this already? Notice that the items he’s bending and throwing downstairs are the nice family photos you had printed to frame and hang.

Have a couple pancakes, pat yourself on the back, and consider pancake breakfast a success. Now it’s time to get dressed and get ready to leave.

But first, feed toddler, who is now demanding a pear…no, make that an orange… yes, an orange… right. this. second.

 

Peace, love, and sanity with children,

Melissa

 

It’s hard to believe, but my little angel turned one this past week! What an incredible, challenging and exhausting year it has been! We had his party this weekend and I was faced with the decision of what to do in terms of a birthday cake. I don’t want to be that parent who doesn’t let their kid eat anything “bad”, but I also am not ready to fill his body with sugar, dairy, gluten, etc., especially considering he has not yet been introduced to any of these potential allergens.

I elected to make him his very own CLEAN smash cake—free of all food allergens—using only foods he has been introduced to and we know don’t cause any adverse reactions. It was a huge success! In fact, almost everyone wanted to try the “clean cupcakes” just to see what they were like! I’ll consider that a win.

The recipe is below. Feel free to experiment with different proportions and different gluten-free (or other) flours. I personally started out just using quinoa flour but found I don’t really love the flavor, so I mixed it with a few others. Coconut flour on it’s own can be pretty dry and brown rice flour is okay, but mixing these together was perfect. We also have not yet introduced nuts, so almond meal was not an option.

I made these as cupcakes, but you could easily use a larger pan and make this a larger cake. Be mindful to adjust cooking times, and prepare the cake pan by lining with parchment paper or using coconut oil. On the other hand, if you use these as cupcakes, they make great breakfast muffins with or without the avocado on top!

Happy birthday baking!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: One small cake or about 6 cupcakes/muffins
  • Prep time: 10 minutes (if you cook the sweet potato ahead of time, 50 minutes if you don’t)
  • Cook time: ~15-20 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ baked sweet potato (no skin)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Dry

  •  cup quinoa flour (gluten-free)
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour (gluten-free)
  •  cup coconut flour (gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • A pinch of baking powder (optional)
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds (optional)

“Frosting”

  • 1 ripe avocado

Preparation

  1. COOK THE SWEET POTATO: You can do this ahead of time if you would like. Use a fork to poke some holes in the potato, wrap in aluminum foil and bake for ~40 minutes at 400°.
  2. FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 375°
  3. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine and mix dry ingredients
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. If mixture seems too dry, add additional applesauce. If mixture seems too wet, add additional flour.
  6. Coat the cake pan with coconut oil (and GF flour if you’d like). You can also use muffin tins to make muffins/cupcakes.
  7. Spread batter into pan
  8. Bake for ~15-20 minutes at 375° (baking times vary per oven). Remove from oven when the cake starts to brown on top.
  9. Let cool, then spread avocado on top of cake. NOTE: If you attempt to spread avocado on top of cake too soon out of the oven, you will smoosh the cake. I actually baked the cupcakes the night before and stored them in the refrigerator overnight. The morning of the party, I removed them from the fridge and let them sit out at room temperature until the party that afternoon. I frosted them right before we ate to keep the avocado fresh.

Feel free to be creative with the ingredients! Pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds, and nuts (if your child is OK with nuts) are nutritious additions! If you’re making these for yourself or other adults, I might suggest adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, (baking soda/powder if you want the cake to rise more) and possibly some coconut aminos if you want added sweetness. Also, I am very loose when it comes to measurements for this (and most) of my recipes. If you find you prefer more or less of something, please feel free to customize this recipe to fit your taste! Enjoy!

Peace, love and clean-eating babies,

Melissa

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~12 muffins (depending on the size)
  • Prep time: 12 minutes
  • Cook time: ~17 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or honey, or Grade B maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Dry

  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (sprouted has more nutrients) (optional)
  • ⅛ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
  • A few dashes of sea salt
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk (optional)
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 365°
  2. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine and mix dry ingredients
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. If mixture seems too dry, add additional applesauce. If mixture seems too wet, add additional oats/almond meal. This mixture should be “wetter” than a typical dough to ensure the muffins are soft when they are done baking.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or use a muffin tin with the paper muffin liners. (Or, omit liners all together, it’s up to you).
  6. Drop batter by heaping spoonful onto cookie sheet. Muffins/cookies do not change shape while baking, however they look when you drop them on the cookie sheet is how they will look when they are fully baked.
  7. Bake for ~17 minutes at 365° (baking times vary per oven). Remove from oven when the muffins start to brown on top.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes, then, enjoy!

Feel free to be creative with the ingredients! Nuts, seeds, raisins, etc. are all great additions, and if you don’t like something, feel free to omit it! You’ll notice that most of the dry ingredients are listed as “optional”. Also, I am very loose when it comes to measurements for this (and most) of my recipes. If you find you prefer more or less of something, please feel free to customize this recipe to fit your taste! Enjoy!

Melissa

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Get ready for THE most amazing banana bread you’ve ever eaten. Yes, ever. Not only is this bread delicious, but it’s PACKED with protein and fiber!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~8 servings
  • Prep time: 12 minutes
  • Cook time: ~50 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar (or raw honey if you’re not vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ~1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (add  at the very end, after dry ingredients have been combined with wet)

Dry

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds (sprouted has more nutrients).
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • A few dashes of sea salt
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional: walnuts, almonds, pecans)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 360°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients except for almond milk together until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Almond milk slowly, until the mixture is moist, not soupy. You will not need more than ~1/2 c.
  5. Drop mixture into a 9″x5″ pan* and spread evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for ~40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and check the bread. You may need to cook the bread for an additional 5-10 minutes without the foil on to brown the top. I sometimes even throw the oven on broil for a quick 2 minute to brown the top. 
  6. Let cool, then slice and enjoy the world’s best banana bread! You’re welcome! 🙂

* If you use a different size pan, your cooking times may vary. For instance, if you use muffin tins, your cooking time will be shorter.

Feel free to be creative with the ingredients! Nuts, seeds, raisins, etc. are all great additions, and if you don’t like something, feel free to omit it! Enjoy!

Melissa

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

This is a delicious, nutritious and easy recipe to make any night of the week! Thank you MindBodyGreen for this recipe! Omit the polenta if you do not eat corn.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Sauce

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs gluten-free Tamari (or soy sauce if you eat soy)
  • 2 Tbs Tahini
  • 4 Tbs Nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir-Fry

  • 1 Tbs Coconut oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Large carrots, chopped
  • 1 Head of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 package polenta, cut into bite-sized pieces (or 1 dry cup prepared in advance)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 Avocado, diced

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan or wok at medium high. Add onions, garlic and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add broccoli, tomatoes, chickpeas and polenta. Add a dash of tamari (or soy sauce) to help veggies cook. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the sauce. Transfer to bowls, top with avocado and enjoy!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan.

After a visit to the Farmer’s Market, I had a large bag of kale and some gigantic elephant garlic that I had planned on sautéing together in a little oil and apple cider vinegar (my usual go-to kale dish). However, with the addition of only a few raw ingredients, I ended up making a delicious and satisfying meal!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 2 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and trimmed from stems
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 15 oz. can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Heat a medium-sized sauté pan on low-medium setting.  Once heated, add the oil and garlic, cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Destem kale, pulling leaves away from the stems. Discard stems. (This step is optional).
  3. Cut the kale into ribbons and add to the sautéing garlic and oil, then add the Apple Cider Vinegar.
  4. Cook the kale for approximately 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  5. Remove pan from heat and toss in remaining ingredients.

You can serve this dish warm, at room temperature, or chilled! We know that kale is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but recent studies have also shown that kale can help regulate detox at a genetic level. Also, by adding beans (protein), seeds and healthy fats, this dish becomes a complete and satisfying meal.

 

Eat Mindfully,

Holly

 

Inspired to create some diversity in my blended soups while on the CLEAN program, I came up with this simple and tasty recipe.  Using ingredients I had on-hand, I blended roasted butternut squash – known for its abundance of carotenoids – with some sweet and savory flavors to create a deliciously balanced soup.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (2-3lb.) Butternut squash
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • ½ Sweet, organic apple (such as Gala or Pink Lady)
  • 3 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock (use veggie stock for a vegetarian/vegan recipe)
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Then cut the squash in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush each cut-side of the squash with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then place the squash in a pan, cut-side up, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the apple and cut it into bite-size chunks.
  4. Remove outer layer of celery strings by either peeling them or cutting down the length of the stalk. Then cut into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Once squash is cooked and slightly cooled, scoop the cooked flesh out of the skin and into a blender.
  6. Add stock, apple, celery, pepper and thyme and blend until smooth.

You can also garnish each bowl with slices of avocado, toasted pinenuts, or some fresh, chopped thyme leaves.  Serve warm or cooled and enjoy!

Happy Blending!

-Holly

 

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan.

I absolutely love roasted vegetables. Cauliflower provides a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts immune function, as well as Dietary Fiber, which helps in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The basic roasting technique in this recipe can be applied to any root vegetable and seasoning options are up to you, although salt, pepper and olive oil is simple and delicious.

I like tossing leftover roasted veggies with fresh spinach, leftover cooked grains (such as brown rice or quinoa), and a simple Dijon & lemon vinaigrette. By adding nuts, seeds or beans to the mix, you can get extra protein in as well.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Heads of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Turmeric
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Yellow mustard seed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse cauliflower and cut into pieces (any size you like, just make sure they’re consistent in size).
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and all spices.
  4. Toss cut cauliflower in the spice oil and use your hands to make sure the spice oil is distributed evenly.
  5. Remove heated baking sheet from oven and spread the cauliflower evenly on the sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a side dish with Lentil Dal, or on its own with brown rice, chopped fresh spinach and chickpeas for a complete meal.

Happy Roasting!

-Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

For those of you who know my husband, you know that he’s quite a trooper. If I’m cooking, he’ll eat whatever crazy vegan creation I am making. He embraces healthy eating (for the most part) and in fact, he is the creator of this recipe, which has become one of my favorites! Also, don’t let the name or the ingredients scare you—as it is quite delicious. For those of you scared of greens, the broccoli or celery flavors are not strong at all. It has a nice, subtle taste and the lemon gives it a welcomed “zing.” I encourage you to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 bunches of broccoli (depending on their size)
  • 5-6 stalks of celery
  • 1 box (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • Filtered water
  • A small amount of unsweetened original almond milk (optional)
  • 1 lemon

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent ( ~5  minutes).
  2. Chop off ends of celery and pull off any obvious “strings”. Chop broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Add celery, broccoli, vegetable stock and water to pot. Add enough water so that the chopped veggies in the pot are covered (after the veggie stock has been added).
  4. Simmer covered on medium heat until veggies are soft (~20 minutes).
  5. Take portions of the soup and add to blender or food processor, blending until a creamy texture is reached.
  6. In the “old” version of this recipe, we would add heavy whipping cream to the soup to thicken it up and add “creaminess” to it. Since cream is no longer a part of our diets, we now use unsweetened almond milk (original) on occasion. It’s personal preference, however, as it’s not a necessity.
  7. Pour soup into individual bowls.
  8. Cut lemon wedges for each bowl, squeezing the juice of one wedge into each bowl. Mix juice in with soup and enjoy!

I can’t wait to hear your feedback on this recipe! It’s one of my favorites and I have to tell you, I’m not a huge fan of broccoli OR celery!

Happy Healthy Eating,

Melissa (+ Juan)

This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I had made a large batch of pearled barley the other day and after using some of it in a soup, I still had a lot left over and wasn’t quite sure what I could do with it. Since beets are in season right now – and are antioxidant superstars containing compounds that fight inflammation and help neutralize toxins making them easily flushed from the body – I was inspired to create a roasted veggie barley salad. Since I had already cooked the barley, this dish was quick and easy to put together for a weeknight meal.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked barley (room temperature)
  • 2-3 beets with stems and greens
  • 1 lb. baby brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp. for sautéing
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the stems and trim the bottoms of the beets, then wrap each beet with foil.
  3. Trim the stem ends of the baby brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Once oven is preheated, turn prepared sprouts out onto the hot cookie sheet along with foil-covered beets and halved lemons, cut side up.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Beets may need longer depending on size – check for doneness by piercing largest beet with a knife, if it goes in and out with ease—they’re ready, if not—remove sprouts and set aside and continue cooking the beets until done.
  6. While beets, sprouts and lemons are cooking, rinse beet greens and cut the greens away from stems then slice into ribbons. Chop garlic and sauté for about a minute in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the beet greens and sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. When beets are cooked, let cool slightly and remove outer skin. Dice into bite-size pieces.
  8. Finally, in a large bowl, combine barley, diced beets, sautéed greens & garlic, roasted Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts. Squeeze roasted lemons over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

This entrée salad is delicious served at room temperature and although it may seem slightly involved, if you can get an extra hand in the kitchen it can be ready in no time. I added the leftovers to fresh greens the next day with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a lunch-ready meal!

Happy Fall Eating!

Holly