paleo coffee creamer

My husband and I are slightly obsessed with Califia Farms Chocolate Coconut Almond Milk. It’s so creamy and delicious and now that they’ve taken out carrageenan, I feel comfortable drinking it. The other day when I was at the grocery I saw that they now carry Toasted Coconut Coconut Almond Milk blend (still carrageenan free) with no added sugar. Now, it still has some of the “gums” in it, so you can decide wether or not to drink it. I brought it home to try it in my coffee and decided to make a creamer out of it. It’s sweet and slightly coconutty.

Ingredients:
2c Califia Farms Toasted Coconut milk blend (you can also do 1c coconut milk and 1c almond milk if you so choose)
4T maple syrup
1 split and seeded vanilla bean

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a slight boil, take off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain vanilla bean and enjoy in your coffee (use however much you want). It’s very easy and much better than the store bought creamers.

paleo peppermint mocha

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Paleo Peppermint Mocha

8-10oz coffee
dash of your favorite non-dairy milk
1t cocoa powder
2t maple syrup
1 drop Peppermint Vitality

Simply mix all of the ingredients. You can customize the taste by changing the amount of milk, cocoa or syrup. This blend was just perfect for me. I personally chose to put them in my individual-sized blender to froth the milk but you can also simply use a whisk to do so or choose to not froth the milk at all. An extra bonus with the peppermint oil in addition to it tasting great is that it supports normal digestion and helps with gastrointestinal comfort. Yay for that!


I personally use and trust Young Living as my source for essential oils. They have a line of essential oils that are labeled for internal/dietary use called the Vitality line. When I speak about ingesting essential oils, the only brand that I can recommend from my experience is Young Living. There are many opinions about ingesting essential oils and the French school of thought is the route I go: some essential oils are safe for internal consumption. Young Living’s integrity and quality is so important to me and I love their Seed to Seal process. The fact that I can visit the farms and see how the oils are produced speaks volumes to me. If you’d like to learn more about essential oils, I’d love to talk to you more about them and how to purchase them or click here to learn about becoming a wholesale member.

calming bath soak

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It’s time to start making your DIY Christmas gifts! These are SUPER easy, inexpensive and something everyone can use!

Calming Bath Soak:
Combine 4c epsom salt, 1c baking soda and 25 drops lavender in a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes for the lavender to soak into the epsom salt. Take 10 baggies (mine are 3×5″ and fit perfectly) and put 1/2c of the mixture in each baggie. Make a cute label with some scrapbook paper and you’re all set!

One 1/2c baggie is one “serving” of the bath salts. They’ll just sprinkle it in their running bath water and soak in the relaxing aroma {plus the magnesium in the epsom salt is calming as well}. 

DIY deodorant

Deodorant. Something that everyone needs and something that can be filled with lots of harmful ingredients like aluminum which has been linked to breast cancer. Making your own deodorant is really easy and very inexpensive. The one real thing that you have to get used to with this recipe is that you apply the deodorant with your fingers – so unlike the deodorant that you get from the store. Once you mentally get past that, this deodorant works wonderfully.

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You only need four ingredients for this deodorant:
1/3c coconut oil (softened is best)
1/4c arrowroot powder
1/4c baking soda
1/4tsp essential oils (I used equal parts of lemongrass, lavender and tea tree)

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender (like me), you can use a standard mixer but be prepared for the arrowroot and baking soda to make a bit of a mess. It’s best to put a towel on top of the bowl around your mixer as you blend it together. Please know that this recipe will melt if in the heat because the base is coconut oil. When you get to a cooler location it will harden back up. If the baking soda is irritating to your under arms as it is for me, decrease it by half and increase the arrowroot – so I use 3/8c arrowroot and 1/8c baking soda.

homemade bath salts

IMG_4592A few weeks ago I did a make & take at my house with a few friends. We made diffuser pendants, bath salts & sugar scrub. Today I want to share with you how to make an easy bath salt that is perfect for gift giving! It’s not too late to whip some of these up for gifts!

The original recipe is from TidyMom. To make Lemon Rosemary Bath Salt you simply mix together the following:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest (optional)

I didn’t use that much rosemary in mine because I only had a small amount. It is still very fragrant even with only one tablespoon. I also didn’t use as much lemon zest. I just zested some of the peel until it looked like enough. This recipe fills one pint and one jelly jar.

IMG_4593If you want to fill up three pint jars, you simply double the recipe. That fills the jars almost to the top (add a little more epsom salt if needed). This recipe can easily be amended to whatever oil you want to use:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups epsom salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 12-16 drops of essential oil

IMG_4584Tie them with a sweet bow and tag and you’re all set! To use, measure out 1/2c-1c of the mixture and put in your bath water for a relaxing detox soak. Some of the oils that we liked to use in the ones we mixed up are lavender, cedarwood and peace & calming.

If you’d like more information on Essential Oils, you can read more about what they are, why Young Living and how to buy.

 

chicken zoodle soup {whole30 & paleo}

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 c bone broth
1/8 c fresh parsley, minced
2-3 small zucchini, julienned or spiralized into zoodles
salt & pepper to taste

Put the chicken, onion, carrots, celery and broth into a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes and add the parsley. Salt and pepper, if you’d like. Right before taking it off the heat, add the zucchini noodles and stir. Enjoy!

roasted chicken with carrots and potatoes {whole30 & paleo}

IMG_8941About a month ago I roasted a chicken for the first time – before that I always threw the whole chicken in the slow cooker all day long. Roasting it just creates a different taste – the skin gets crispy and the veggies almost caramelize in this recipe. It’s all just so delicious and super easy.

I don’t have exact measurements, because I just made how much I thought would fit in the dish and how much we’d eat. I don’t have a roasting pan, so I had to use a glass casserole dish. I need to get a roasting pan so that I can fit more veggies in there because they are so good, especially the carrots. Yum! I hope you enjoy it and if you have chicken left over, it’s perfect for soups or chicken tacos.

1 whole chicken
ghee
1 lemon, cut in half
4-5 carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
3-4 potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 onion, chopped in large pieces
olive oil
salt, pepper & seasoning

Preheat oven to 425*. Rinse and blot the chicken dry with a paper towel – be sure to remove all of the insides from the bird (you can decide what to do with those, some people use them…I don’t). Squeeze the lemon halves and put them inside the chicken. Tie the legs shut (truth be told, I didn’t do this either time and it worked out fine). Rub some melted ghee (or grass-fed butter if you’re not doing Whole30) on the outside of the chicken. Put the carrots, potatoes and onion in a bowl and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Also grease the bottom of the roasting pan with some olive oil, then put in the chicken, surrounded by the veggies. Season everything with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you’d like. I used a sweet all-purpose herb mix from Penzeys Spices called Parisien Bonnes Herbes (chives, dill weed, basil, french tarragon, chervil and white pepper). Put it in the preheated oven for about an hour and a half. If everything looks dry, you can add a little bit of chicken broth or water to the pan and then baste it every 20 minutes or so. Stir the veggies occasionally so that the tops wouldn’t get burned. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer measures 165*. The juices should run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh.

When you get done picking the bird clean because it’s so yummy, save the bones and any extra meat you can’t get off and make some bone broth. You’ll need it for tomorrow’s recipe.

simple spicy chili {whole30 & paleo}

IMG_8949This is Dave’s favorite chili and I’ve adapted it from this recipe (didn’t take much amending) to make it whole30 compliant and Paleo. Like all recipes, check your ingredient list for canned goods to make sure there isn’t any hidden sugar or other things that you don’t want while doing whole30. This is a spicy chili, but not overly hot. Our kids like it too so it’s a great way for them to get some veggies. This is a great recipe to double and freeze some for later. Our family of 4 eats almost all of this in one sitting.

1 lb ground beef
1 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
4 tsp jalapeño peppers, chopped finely
29 oz diced tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce
2 1/2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

In a large saucepan or chili pot over medium high heat, combine the ground beef, onion and bell peppers. Stir and cook until the beef is browned, about 5-7 minutes or do. Drain the fat and return to the pan. Add the jalapeño peppers, diced tomatoes, sauce,  chili powder, garlic, bay leaf, and cumin. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can amend this even further by using another ground meat instead of beef like chicken or turkey. You can also throw some chopped carrots in there or other veggies to make it more substantial.

zucchini lasagna

Last week I took a risk – I made zucchini lasagna for my family. Not gonna lie, I prayed as I was making it that my family would be receptive to it. I knew my daughter wouldn’t be, because she hates pasta any way. But our son LOVES pasta, so I was eager to see what he thought. Well, three plates later I think it was a win. Hubby also had a second helping and we ate the entire 9×13 pan. I didn’t take any pictures because mine wasn’t very pretty and I was in a rush to get it finished, so sorry about that. You all know what lasagna is supposed to look like. This recipe is adapted from Primal Palate – the only change I made was omitting the mushrooms and adding some mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Bell Pepperschopped
  • 1 cup Onionchopped
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • Zucchinisliced thinly
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauceno salt added
  • 3 cloves Garlicminced
  • 6 oz Tomato Pasteno salt added
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepperto taste
  • 1 block mozzarella, shredded
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in garlic, onion and green pepper, and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and tomato sauce.
  4. Add in parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, continue to stir.
  5. Bring sauce to a light boil, then remove from heat.
  6. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with coconut oil.
  7. Place a thin layer (1/2 inch) of the sauce in the baking dish.
  8. Layer zucchini and cheese over sauce, and repeat, alternating layering of sauce, then zucchini and cheese.
  9. Bake lasagne at 325°F for 15 minutes, covered with foil.
  10. After 15 minutes, remove foil, increase temperature to 350°F, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

The sauce is amazing – it looks like it’s not wet enough, but the zucchini adds some moisture to the dish. The zucchini cooks up to the texture of noodles and they hardly have a zucchini taste. Three out of four of us liked it!

chocolate chip coconut bars

chocolate chip coconut barsSo I’ve found my new favorite easy, tasty sweet treat. They’re chewy, chocolatey and coconutty – a true winner in my book. There are just 4 ingredients (5 if you make them with two different types of coconut like I did). You can add other things instead of or in addition to the chocolate like nuts or dried fruit. There are so many possibilities!

I adapted this recipe from The Paleo Mom’s Simple Chocolate Coconut Squares. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1c finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I buy in bulk at our Earth Fare)
1c shaved coconut flakes (I use Bob’s brand)
2 eggs
2t vanilla
1/2c mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand because they’re dairy & soy free)

Preheat oven to 350* and either grease a 9×9 pan or line with parchment paper. I prefer lining it with parchment paper because I can just pull on the parchment paper and remove the whole thing at one time to cut it more easily. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together, then add the remaining ingredients. Press the mixture into the pan lightly and bake for about 22 minutes (or until golden). Let it cool, cut and enjoy the chocolate, coconutty goodness!

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