Paleo Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_3347When you bite into these cookies you can’t help but think of Christmas.  The chocolate peppermint blend of tastes will make you wish you were curled up next to a warm fire with snow falling outside.  They are the perfect gluten free cookie to add to your Christmas cookie platter.  And bonus- they are simple to make!  No freezing the dough or having to use 2 sticks of butter.  Don’t forget to leave some out for Santa with  some delicious almond milk. Enjoy!IMG_2921 (2)

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup arrowroot powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 cup oil (I used avocado but you could also use melted coconut)

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together your dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl mix together your wet ingredients.  Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer on a low setting, mix the wet ingredients into the dry.  Once thoroughly blended together add in the chocolate chips.  Drop cookie dough onto baking sheet using about 1-2 tbsp per cookie.  Wet the palm of your hand and gently flatten the cookies.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Makes about 18 cookies.

If you’re really enjoying the peppermint chocolate taste try our peppermint hot chocolate!  

Mint Hot Choc 3

Homemade Infant/Toddler Formula Recipe

IMG_2999This is a post that is near and dear to my heart.  Having adopted my 2 children, both as infants, I needed to find a formula that was as close to breastmilk as possible.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Not only did that not happen, but I was shocked and upset with the poor quality of formula options out there.  No child should have to grow and be expected to thrive with corn, soy, and low fat cow milk.  I decided to take this opportunity to learn and be a voice for a community of parents who want and expect more for their children.  Plus, many of the allergies (truthfully, most of the allergies) I see in my pediatric patients are those ingredients listed above.  I personally have been making and using this formula in my house since 2012.  I have hundreds of patients, friends, and family members who I have helped guide towards making this.  I also have shown this recipe to many different naturopaths and pediatricians and have had a strong positive response.  If your child is having any type of stomach problems or developmental issues I recommend following up with your naturopath or chiropractor to make sure you are covering all your bases.  Many of my pediatric patients will go on this formula with a few tweaks or extra supplements added in to help with their particular needs.  Use this as a guideline to help get your little one’s health on track but don’t neglect to get the additional advice of your doctor.

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What tools you will need to make this:

  • A blender
  • A strainer
  • 2-3 nut milk bags
  • 4 cup bowl (I use a pyrex measuring one)
  • measuring spoons and cups
  • Bottles
  • a small pitcher

What ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups Raw Goat Milk
  • 1/4 cup Goat Milk Kefir or Yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp Molasses
  • 2 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Amla Powder
  • Infant DHA (dose depends on infants size- go off the amount suggested by the manufacturer)
  • Infant Probiotic(dose depends on infants size- go off the amount suggested by the manufacturer)
  • 1 tsp Organic Olive Oil (extra virgin/cold pressed)
  • 1 tsp Organic Unrefined Sunflower Oil
  • 2 tsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Optional: Bone Broth

Step 1:

IMG_3021Prepare the whey by straining the yogurt/kefir.  This takes anywhere between 2-6 hours to get a good batch.  Sometimes even overnight depending on how thick the yogurt is.  Do this by using your glass pyrex bowl.  Set your strainer over the top of the bowl and lay your almond milk bags over the top.  Layer 2-3 bags on top of each other (again, depending on how thick the yogurt is) IMG_3023Pour the kefir/yogurt over the top.  Place saran wrap over the top and store in the fridge while it separates. IMG_3027

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Step 2:IMG_3033

  • Fill your blender with 2 cups water.
  • Add in your powders/dry ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes, amla powder, and probiotic).  Blend together for 15-20 seconds. (note: once your little one is eating pureed foods I would suggest removing the probiotic from the formula and mixing it into a bowl of their food.  Remember- probiotics don’t like heat so don’t add this to soup or heated meals)
  • Next, add in your molasses and your bone broth.  Blend for an additional 5 seconds (if you blend for more time it will become frothy which you do not want).
  • Now, add your olive oil, sunflower seed oil, maple syrup, and whey.  Blend together for another 5 seconds.  Do not add your coconut oil yet! You also could add the DHA here.  I like to give mine separate and just straight up.  Little ones don’t know that they aren’t supposed to like this yet 🙂

Step 3:  IMG_3039

  • Pour the desired amount into each bottle.  If your child is drinking 4 ounces per feeding pour 2 ounces of the formula into your bottles.  So the blend should be 50% formula and 50% goat milk.  Once your child is about 9 months old you can change the ratio to 1/3 formula and 2/3 goat milk.
  • If you have any extra formula just pour it into an airtight pitcher and store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  I always triple the batch of formula and just store the extra as it lasts for up to 1 week.  The key is to only pour the goat milk into the bottle within 1-2 days of use.  This helps keep the formula longer.
  • Measure out your 2 tsp of coconut oil and put a little dollop in each bottle of formula for a days worth of feedings.  You also could melt the coconut oil on the stove and blend it into the formula.  I just find it easier to put a little in each bottle.

Step 4: IMG_3056

When ready, warm the bottle in warm/hot water for about 3-5 minutes.  And feed as you normally would.

You can find out more information about the ingredients by going to the original posting of this formula by clicking here.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

 

 

Cashew Milk

IMG_2921 (2) Did you know you can milk a cashew?!  😉

Cashew milk is a great alternative to almond milk.  Personally, I feel like almond milk has a consistency closer to 2% milk where cashew milk is closer to whole milk.  I enjoy how easy it is to make and how you only need to soak your cashews for 4 hours where almonds need to soak overnight.  When making cashew milk, most people choose not to strain it but I like to.  And the left over cashew meat looks like a paste and can be turned into “cheese” or a filling for various recipes.  Here is how you make it!

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews (soak ahead for 4 hours)

2 cups water

Instructions:

Using a high powered blender, blend your cashews and 2 cups water until the cashews are pulverized (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).

Pour the cashew mixture through an almond milk bag into a bowl.  The cashew leftovers/pulp is very thick so you will have to be patient when you strain it–almond milk strains much quicker and easier.  Squeezing little by little you will get all the liquid out and end up with some great tasting milk! IMG_2913 (2)

This makes about 2 cups cashew milk (you can make a thinner cashew milk, closer to 2 % milk, by using 4 cups of water to 1 cup of cashews).  Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. IMG_2923 (2)

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Almond Flour Crackers

IMG_2160These crackers are paleo friendly and gluten free. One batch makes about 50-60 crackers so you will be able to enjoy these for a while (unless you live with my kid, who is a little cracker thief). Another bonus–they are easy to store! Add the crackers and a paper towel into a ziplock bag or bowl with a lid, and leave on the counter. You definitely don’t want to store these in the fridge or they will become chewy. I love to spread butter and jelly on top, but I’ve also been known to use them with dips and lunch meat. I hope you love them!

 Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup oil (I prefer avocado, olive, and sunflower seed oils the best for this recipe)
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your food processor, add the almond flour, tapioca flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Pulse together for 15 seconds. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend together for another 20-30 seconds.

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Next, lay down a piece of parchment paper onto the counter that is the same size as your cookie sheet. Form the dough into 2 balls and place one of these on the parchment paper. Put another piece of the same sized parchment paper on top of the dough. Using your hands gently flatten the dough down. With your rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness (rolling over the top piece of parchment paper so that the dough won’t stick to the rolling pin).

When I do this step I try to keep a rectangular shape by trimming the sides of the dough and filling in the gaps with the trimmings. Keep rolling until the consistency is even throughout the rectangle.IMG_2133Remove the top piece of parchment paper and cut the cracker shapes using a pizza cutter. A knife works too but it will take more time and your crackers won’t come out as even.IMG_2141

I like to cut squares that are about 2” X 2”. Slide the crackers with the parchment paper onto your cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Repeat this process with the second ball of cracker dough.IMG_2144Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy! Make sure they are 100 percent cool before storing them.

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Banana Bread French Toast

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Have I mentioned before that I love all things brunch? I love the laziness of eating later in the morning and how it makes you feel like you belong to a secret world where everyone loves to relax and indulge. Before going Paleo, brunch was a whole different thing for me. It was eating as many sweet things as I could find and “balancing” it out with high carb, starchy hash browns. This Paleo banana bread french toast is a Sunday morning favorite in our house…and bonus, it’s healthy! It takes brunch to a whole new level. It tastes delicious–like it should be awful for you– but I promise you, it’s not! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 loaf coffee crumble banana bread (recipe here)
2 eggs whisked
1 tablespoon water
1 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon
butterIMG_1945

Mix together the eggs, water, and vanilla and pour into a low bowl. Slice 6-8 pieces of the banana bread (1” thick). Place a piece of bread into the egg mixture and let soak for 5 seconds. Flip the bread and let soak for 5 more seconds.IMG_1955

Sprinkle cinnamon onto both sides. Heat 1-2 tbsp of butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook the french toast for 5 minutes per side. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

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Makes 3-4 servings.

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Face Wash Serum

IMG_2817Well if you didn’t think I was crazy before, you surely will when you begin to read this post, but bear with me and keep an open mind. I’m about to ask you to wash oil off your face using (wait for it) oil. I PROMISE you will love this. It is ah-mazing.

I started to use oil to wash my face years ago and when my last bottle ($30 2 ounce bottle mind you) fell in my shower and broke I decided right then and there that I could make this at home for 1/4 the cost and all of the same benefits. And after working on this recipe and finally finding the right blend, I have had more people comment on how good my skin looks than I have had in years.

This recipe came to be after researching the oil cleansing method explained in great detail at http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/

To sum it up: oil dissolves oil. Plus it moisturizes and is much more gentle on your skin than using soap.

And did you know that the oil your skin produces is actually your body’s way of cleansing/detoxifying itself? So if your skin is ridiculously oily or if you are prone to acne the best way to treat your skin it to take a hard look at your diet and your skin care routine. The health of your skin is a direct reflection of what is going on inside. This is another great reason to consider eating a clean diet and to try to limit yourself from extra environmental toxins.

Here is how you make your life changing face serum (Okay–I know I am selling this a little too hard–I’ll back off now):
Since there are so many options and sizes for containers I broke this down into parts as a form of measurement to help make this easier for you.
2/3 parts castor oil
1/3 parts avocado or jojoba oil
3-4 drops of your favorite essential oil (I love orange and eucalyptus)

Pour ingredients into a glass container (I use a dark 1.5 ounce bottle with a dropper as you only need a few drops to wash your entire face).

For best results, warm a washcloth and lay it over your face for 10-15 seconds to wake up your skin. Put 3-4 drops of the face serum onto your finger tips and massage into your face. Using warm water and your washcloth, lightly rub the washcloth over your face to remove the oils. I like to do this in the shower.  The warm water and steam from the shower work great to help open your pores.  An extra bonus with using this method of skin care is that your face is going to feel so soft and moisturized after doing this and you will most likely not need to follow up with a lotion.

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Nourishing Homemade Eczema Cream

IMG_2799You know how things come in waves? Well, this last month I have had a ton of new pediatric patients with eczema problems and it has motivated me to get this recipe completed and on the blog because those poor babies are miserable in their own skin.

Eczema is itchy, dry patches on the skin. When a little one is experiencing this you will notice that they can become very emotional and irritated for no reason- we all would be too if our skin was itchy and inflamed and we had no idea why and what to do.

IMG_2775Many of my moms and dads have been using coconut oil over the dry patches to try to help and while I love coconut oil for many different conditions and uses, this is not one of them. It is too thin and is absorbed into the skin too quickly. I  like to use Shea butter as a base for this cream because it is thick and heavy. It stays on the skin which means it can hydrate and sooth the skin for a longer period of time helping to keep little fingers from itching and scratching it.  For this reason this cream also works very well used on skin that is just plan old dry and itchy.

I can’t stress how important it is to know that eczema is a symptom of a condition that could be one of many different problems. Our skin is the largest detoxifying organ in our body. If you start to have problems with reactions and sensitivities, it is your body telling you something bigger is wrong. When you experience a rash, hives, or eczema it could be from an allergy–food or environmental–so it is important to not just treat the skin but to treat the whole body. Allergy testing is always recommended as well as removing the harsh stimuli that you and your family may be exposed to daily. Begin by switching your laundry detergent, dish detergent and soap, cleaning products, and rinse aids. When I went through something similar with my daughter I decided to make my own because I wanted to physically see and know exactly what went into all of my products. I completely understand that may not be the right choice for everyone and homemade isn’t always easy, but if you are interested click here on this link to my different homemade solutions. Please let me know with a comment if you have any questions or some of your own tricks.

Without further ado, here is my homemade cream recipe to help treat eczema:

1/2 cup Shea butter
2 tbsp jojoba oil or avocado oil
5 drops lavender essential oil (lavender is not only relaxing but it is very soothing to the skin and the muscles–a winning combination when you have a tiny one you are trying to put to sleep)

IMG_2751Add all the ingredients to a stand mixer or a bowl using a hand mixer. Whip on high for 5 minutes. The mixture will become light and fluffy. It will grow a little bit in size. Store in a glass container with a lid. This is shelf stable and should last you for up to 6 months. Remember–a little bit goes a long way so use sparingly.

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