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Grain Free Granola

This particular recipe is trouble. I put this grain free granola together from a combination of ideas in a effort to get my little girl with food allergies some extra healthy fats into her diet. I was thinking this could be great!

So Many Ideas and Options

-It could be cold and in coconut milk like cereal

-It could be reheated like oatmeal

-It could be eaten dry and straight from the oven like granola

-It could be added to Greek Yogurt (for those that can tolerate dairy)

See?! It really is so versatile and could be such a great alternative to processed and chemical laden foods, right? Are you starting to think that maybe we have had a hang up with this? You are correct. I can not stay out of it. There you have it. I’m only “allowed” to make it every once in awhile because otherwise I just can’t stop eating it!

You must give it a try. Whether you have food allergies or not. It’s GOOD. If your family does have food allergies, what is nice about the recipe is that you can mix in about anything you want! This started out as a recipe with almonds, oats and butter and has evolved a bunch over the years as we have lost “safe” foods. So feel free to change it up! (I only had the idea to add blueberries because we had frozen blueberries that I needed to use. And the banana chips again were something I had in our cabinet and needed to use.)

grain free granola

Mix the dry ingredients

grain free granola

Melt the wet ingredients until bubbly (stir constantly)

grain free granola

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients

grain free granola

Mix together

grain free granola

Spread on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake 300 degrees for 35 minutes

grain free granola

Try not to eat all of it lol

Grain Free Granola

Dry Ingredients:

-3 cups coconut flakes

-1/2 cup ground flax

-1 cup frozen blueberries

-1 cup dried banana chips

-1 cup shredded coconut

-1 cup pumpkin seeds

-1 cup sunflower seeds

Directions: Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl

Wet Ingredients:

-2/3 cup maple syrup

-1/4 cup coconut sugar

-4 Tbsp sunbutter

-1 Tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Melt all wet ingredients in a small saucepan.  Stir constantly and remove from heat when bubbly. Pour over dry ingredients and stir. Spread entire mixture on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake 300 degrees for 35 minutes

Let cool. This recipe can be stored in the freezer.  I just get it out and reheat it a little and eat it warm.

This post may contain affiliate links where should you purchase through them, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you! This is how I  keep my blog up and running 💕

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Pineapple Paleo Ice Cream

I have a few favorite foods that are absolutely not “clean eating” and would also not be considered healthy in most opinions. (Pictures of pizza, chips, chocolate and ice cream are floating through my head right now) I’m not hating on these foods by any means. If I had the ability to be a moderator with my food, then by all means I would eat these! Moderation, however is not my strong point. I’m more of a person where eating a little turns into me going crazy and having to spend several days getting back on track. It’s not good.

Pineapple Paleo ice cream

BUT….what if we can start making healthy replacements for these foods that are actually not “bad” and taste good?  That would solve some problems wouldn’t it? I had been dreaming of ice cream this time. And also wondering what the heck the obsession is with Dole Whips when I decided to figure something out for me and my food allergy kiddos here!

Pineapple Paleo ice cream

I knew I wanted the base of this recipe to be frozen pineapple. I also knew I wanted to add some frozen banana to add some creamy texture. I tossed in strawberries because I needed to use them before they went bad. Enter the idea for Pineapple Paleo Ice Cream. Are you getting the picture that this is an EASY recipe? Because it was! And it was so good. I even had kid approval with this one. (They are picky little rascals sometimes)

Pineapple Paleo ice cream

Pineapple Paleo Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1.) Frozen Pineapple Chunks (I probably used about 2 cups)

2.) Frozen Bananas (I used 2)

3.) Strawberries (I used about 1 cup)

4.) Unsweet Milk of choice (I used approx 1/2-1 cup unsweet vanilla coconut milk)

Directions:

Just blend all ingredients until smooth. I had to stop the blender a few times and scrape the mix back down the sides.

I loved it right away as soft serve, but you could absolutely place the mix in the freezer and eat it later with making actual scoops.

21 Day Fix Equivalents: it may not be perfect, but I would measure 1 purple container and count it as that too. 

Pineapple Paleo ice cream

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links where should you make a purchase through them I may receive a small commission (at not expense to you). Thank you so much! That is how I keep my blog up and running 💕

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

It’s almost Christmas and for me that means doing things a certain way. I love tradition, family and memories and I think that is what makes the holidays feel a certain way in my head and heart. It feels like every year certain things are supposed to happen. For example, I must watch Elf and Home Alone and now that my kids enjoy the traditions with me, we also must watch Arthur Christmas. We decorate the house together and we drive to look at Christmas lights. And we take the time to appreciate the meaning of Christmas together. We share so many wonderful traditions that do not involve food.

However, we do have one major holiday tradition that involves food.  Specifically baking and decorating sugar cookies together. That one goes back to when I was growing up and I of course loved every minute of it. Can’t you just picture me sneaking cookie dough and licking the icing before it ever even makes it to the cookie? Some habits go pretty far back lol.

Here we are at another holiday season but this one is a big deal. I can remember this time one year ago I was praying for a miracle for my 6 year old and praying to find some way to help heal her body. I was desperate and upset and heartbroken watching her be so uncomfortable and watching her body and immune system basically attack itself. (Hate you eczema!!) While we do not have answers this year and we don’t have a cure, we have had some miracles and help along the way. And they almost all stem from her diet. She has finally found some relief and NOT in the form of medicine (finally). It does however mean that she is on a very strict and unprocessed diet. I’m so very proud of how strong she is and how far she has come. And the proof that it is working is all over her face (literally….I can see her beautiful face now, no sores and no wounds and no red).

Chocolate caramel popcorn

So, what do we do this Christmas? How do we mix what we think of as tradition with the new way we are trying to live our lives? The rest  of us are by no means perfect, but we are trying to get better. I also can’t bring myself to make endless amounts of sugar laden cookies with dyes right in front of her little face. Here is how we fix this….we find alternatives and make that a new normal for now. We are experimenting and baking and testing new recipes to find “treats” for the WHOLE family.

And guess what? We have one that is a success. I was watching Food Network and came across a recipe that I had to try. It was sweet, looked like dessert and I had a plan to alter it to make it safe. And it DID work!!  I’m not saying it’s a perfect treat and it’s probably still a little too much sugar for her little body. But, it’s a start and we are learning moderation.  Anything called chocolate caramel popcorn sounds good, doesn’t it? Give it a try and see what you think! I have changed the recipe to clean ingredients and increased the amount of popcorn (by a lot!) so that it is not just soaked in chocolate (not that I wouldn’t secretly enjoy that, because I would).

Chocolate caramel popcorn

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients:

1.) approx 1.5-2 cups popcorn kernels: pop using method of choice (we have a stir crazy popcorn maker)

2.) 3/4 cup honey

3.) 3/4 cup coconut sugar

4) 1 cup Sunbutter (you can use a different nut butter, we are just limited to this one)

5.) 1 tsp vanilla

6.) 10 oz chocolate chips (we use this brand)

7.) sea salt

Directions

Start to boil water in a small pot. Pour the chocolate chips in a measuring cup and place inside the water in the pot. (We are creating a double boiler effect to melt the chocolate).  Remove the chocolate from heat when it is melted and stir. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan on the stovetop, melt together the honey, coconut sugar and sunbutter. When it starts to get bubble, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir together and sit to the side. Pour the honey mix over the popcorn (I had it in a large foil baking pan) and mix it together. Then drizzle the chocolate on top.  Sprinkle some sea salt on there if you are a salty/sweet kind of person.  Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate caramel popcorn

I loved how this turned out, modifications and all! The coconut sugar and honey gives the mixture a caramel taste which I love!  Feel free to experiment with what works for your family. The original recipe had cashews, which I’m sure would have been awesome!

Chocolate caramel popcorn

Could this be considered a Paleo-ish treat? I think so! All things considered, we could have done much worse.  It was clean and without artificial ingredients.  We have even made the switch to non gmo popcorn kernels.  Eventually our baby steps will get us there!

Here is the original recipe.  Nothing like learning recipes with Kelly from Saved by the Bell 😊

Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links where should you purchase through them (at no extra cost to you), I may make a small commission. Thank you so much!! This is how I keep my blog up and running. 

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Paleo Single Serving Cookie Dough

I’m all for trying to stay on the straight and narrow with clean eating…but darn there are times when a girl (me!) really wants a treat. Rather than have the treat turn into an all out sugar binge which can easily happen with me when making cookies, why not find an alternative that is a bit more limiting?  Something that makes me happy but doesn’t cause this sugar addict to go crazy!

Paleo single serving cookie dough

Treat Criteria

-as clean as possible

-single serving (meaning I have to stop)

-tasty so that the craving is satisfied

Paleo single serving cookie dough

I am by no means saying it is perfect or low calorie.  In fact it is probably neither.  But, it is a way to stay on track and stay as close to Paleo as possible.  And, it is really tasty!!  It’s so nice to know that I have a back up recipe when a craving that just won’t go away occurs.  You can’t beat that it is really easy to make…as in dump and stir it together and that’s it.

Paleo Single Serving Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

1.) 1 Tbsp almond butter

2.) 1/4 cup almond flour

3.) 1 tsp honey

4.) a few chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:

Add almond butter, almond flour and honey to a cup or bowl. (I like cups…the taller sides make it easier to stir). Microwave for about 15 seconds and then stir it to mix. Then add the chocolate chips. Eat as is or microwave for 15 more seconds to melt the chocolate just a little.

*Have you ever heard of Barney Butter?  It is so exciting for our food allergy family.  It is almond butter made in a peanut free facility!! 🎉🎉  Always double check with the company…but at my last contact, they were free of other tree nuts as well.  Yay!

Paleo single serving cookie dough

Give it a try!  It’s very simple….you could even make changes. Add some coconut, some ground flax. Experiment!

image

 

*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission should you purchase through these links. I use this to keep my blog up and running! 😊

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Paleo Pumpkin Almond Butter Fudge

I am on a mission this holiday season. My goal is to NOT undo all of my hardwork with a string of really bad food decisions. Which by the way is what I have done almost every year of my life so far. Yes, I know..eat in moderation. Well, that seems to be quite an obstacle for me. If only. If only. But, I am who I am and I’m working with what I’ve got. And, I’m ok with that these days!

Paleo pumpkin almond butter fudge

In my mission to stay on track (meaning not go off the deep end on crazy sweets eating basically), I’ve been experimenting with mixtures and creations in the kitchen. I am excited about how this one turned out. It’s going to be perfect for Thanksgiving. It tastes like pumpkin pie with absolutely no baking involved.

Paleo pumpkin almond butter fudge

There are some really good things about this fudge by the way.

✅ Paleo treat..for those of us Paleo people that can handle some grass fed butter

✅ Gluten free

✅ Food allergy friendly (of course! No peanuts, or eggs….you could trade out the Almond butter for Sunbutter if that suits your needs)

✅ No white sugar

Paleo Pumpkin Almond Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

1.) 1/4 cup applesauce

2.) 4 Tbsp butter

3.) 1/2 tsp cinnamon

4.) 2 Tbsp honey

5.) 1/2 cup pumpkin

6.) 2 Tbsp Almond Butter

7.) 1/4 c coconut flour

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except the coconut flour in a bowl and use an immersion blender to combine until smooth (or food processor). When combined, add the coconut flour and blend again.

Options: Both are wonderful!!

1.) Eat immediately, like pumpkin pie batter

2.) Freeze in molds and eat later like fudge

Paleo pumpkin almond butter fudge

***trust me, if you have never cooked with coconut flour, do not add more.  You may feel like you need more at first, you don’t! Coconut flour sucks the moisture out of everything, just keep blending and wait a few minutes.  It will thicken.

Paleo pumpkin almond butter fudge

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Paleo Brownie Batter

I’m just going to start off by saying…I counted no calories here. This is for sure NOT 21 Day Fix legal. But, don’t we all have those times where we are staying on track but holy moly if I don’t get a snack or a treat or something sweet I’m going to go off the deep end!?  Yah, I can get a little crazy. Seriously, there are times where there is just no getting around it with me. I have to have something sweet. Other people have to have this issue, right?

Paleo brownie batter

But, what to do when you seriously don’t want to derail all of your progress and hard work?  So, here is what I do. I have what I call “deal breakers.”  Deal Breakers are foods that I absolutely at all cost want to stay away from even during moments of temporary sugar insanity. My deal breakers are sugar and wheat. Why?  I know what they do to me. Once I get started, I can not stop them. And, they also make me feel terrible…terrible before I’m even done eating them and horrible when I quit them again and have terrible sugar withdrawal headaches. You would think that alone would be enough to teach me a lesson. I’m pretty sure at this point it has, finally.

So. I stay away from those for sure, but I usually concoct something else in my kitchen with items that I am ok with eating every once in awhile. So, that is why I’m not pretending these are a diet, low calorie food. They are something to calm the crazy sugar craving without throwing me into an all out binge. They keep me from feeling terrible after, so in moderation…I think they are worth it!  And that is where this concoction came from. I was working with what I had in the kitchen and I was running low on ingredients. I would like to pretend like I made this 2 servings…except I ate it all.  By myself.

Paleo brownie batter

Paleo Brownie Batter

Ingredients:

1.) 1/2 cup applesauce

2.) 4 Tbsp butter

3.) few drops of vanilla

4.) 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

5.) a little less than 1/4 c coconut flour (seriously..no more! Coconut flour sucks the moisture out if everything, and we are not using eggs here, so we don’t have the extra liquid)

Directions:

Warm the applesauce slightly in the microwave, add the butter, cocoa and vanilla and then use an immersion blender (or food processor) to mix these ingredients  then add the coconut flour and blend again. Eat it just like warm brownie batter!

Variations:

you can also freeze this for approximately 30 minutes and turn it into more of a fudge consistency.  Also good!  I just can’t always wait that long

image

 

As as far as Paleo perfection..it depends. It is really stinking close. I used grass fed real butter which is perfectly legal depending on what Paleo person you are talking to.

Food Allergy Friendly..you bet!  This is my house we are talking about and we are food allergy friendly around here. Peanut, tree nut, egg, sunflower and gluten free baby!

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Keeping Food Allergy Treats

Welcome to the world of food allergies.   Always being prepared, having to watch every single thing. It’s hard and it’s scary. Then factor in your 4 year old wanting to know why they can’t have certain things and trying to explain to them that they can not have whoever’s birthday cake. There are so many things about this that I can not change. But, there are some things that I can. I choose not to dwell on the negative (I can’t).  I put on a brave face because I want her to brave.  I have decided to focus on what we CAN have and what we CAN do.

I make every attempt to figure out ways to make her anything., including treats for special occasions. However, I found I was baking cupcakes and cookies all of the time (and who was doing most of the eating…me). In an attempt to save me time, money and rescue me from so much temptation…here is what I consider one of my GREAT ideas (keep in mind it doesn’t take much to get me excited though).  I have started baking whatever batch of cupcakes, cookies or cake and saving them. It’s awesome!  I bake whatever it is, add icing when ready and then freeze each item individually on a cookie sheet for a few hours just to get the icing hard.   Then I take them out of the freezer and wrap each one individually and place them all in a labeled freezer bag. I put the bag in our freezer and just get out each individual item as needed. It actually works surprisingly well. If I know we are going somewhere where she will need a treat, I just get it out a little before and let it thaw.   Single serving treats for my little food allergy buddy!  I do make things that she will like.  That is why everything almost always has blue icing 🙂

 

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It it helps to freeze them first (not stacked) so that the icing doesn’t turn into a complete mess.

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Make sure to wrap them individually so that you can get out single servings.

 

 

Food allergy treat

Getting ready to put them in the freezer here. Labeled and ready to go!

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher

Banana Ice Cream

I have attempted Banana ice cream in the past with no luck. I had a lot of leftover bananas and thought I would give it one more try. I’m sorry…i love ice cream, so anything like ice cream but healthier is worth a try in my book!  Anyway, this time it worked!  And, I was amazed. I think what made the difference this time: I didn’t give up, I kept stopping the blender and scraping banana back down the sides, and this is a more powerful blender (ninja from Kohls…I broke our last blender, surprise surprise). Added bonus…food allergy friendly ice cream for my little girl. Win win!

 

Banana ice cream

Anyway, here are the ingredients:

Banana Ice Cream

1.) Frozen bananas

Yep that’s it.

Directions:

-peel and cut bananas, freeze

-place in blender or food processor

-blend, scrape down sides, blend some more, repeat

-keep repeating until creamy…see pictures below

-optional add ins: pumpkin, cocoa, nut butters, berries

 

Banana ice cream

 

Banana ice cream

 

I put a lot in there…definitely pushing the limits (I did break the last one by dropping the glass jar, not overloading it by the way)

 

 

Banana ice cream

 

It looks crumbly first…don’t quit

Banana ice cream

 

Starting to see some cream in there, don’t give up now!

 

 

 

Banana ice cream

Woohoo!  It worked!

Banana ice cream

I added some unsweet cocoa just to see if we like it. Pretty good. I think I would have liked it best at this stage (love soft serve!). I went ahead and put it in the freezer to see how it would turn out.

Banana ice cream

 

Look at that…real ice cream scoops. Still tasty!

 

Jenn Fehrenbacher