Friday, February 3, 2017

Mexican Chicken Soup (Plus Super Easy Guacamole) - Whole 30, Paleo

There's nothing I love more than a big bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day, especially when it's made with homemade broth. The flavor is so rich and the health benefits bountiful. It doesn't take a lot of extra effort to make your own broth either, so why not?

This Mexican Chicken Soup has become one of my favorite soups. It's hearty and filling. I highly recommend adding guacamole as a garnish. It without-a-doubt completes the soup. It's that extra touch that makes a really good soup turn into an absolutely amazing soup! So when writing out your shopping list be sure to pick up a bag of avocados and plan ahead so they have a few days to ripen before making your soup.

Mexican Chicken Soup


1 whole pastured or organic chicken
8 cups cold filtered water 
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Real Salt

2 tablespoons butter, preferably grass-fed
6-8 carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lime juiced
Real Salt to taste


1. Place chicken in a large pot and add water and vinegar.  Bring to a boil.  Use a spoon to skim off any foam that forms on the top. Sprinkle on salt. Reduce heat and cover.  Let simmer for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

2. Remove chicken from pot.  Trim off meat and cut into bite size pieces. Cover and place chicken in fridge to use later.  Add bones and carcass back to pot.  Simmer another 30-60 minutes.

3. Strain broth through a metal sieve into a large bowl.  Set aside temporarily.  Melt butter in pot.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and red pepper.  Saute until onion is tender.

4. Measure 5 cups of strained broth and return to pot with vegetables. Allow the remaining broth to cool and store in fridge or freezer for later use in another recipe.

5. Simmer soup until carrots are tender.  Add cut chicken, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, cumin and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Serve garnished with guacamole.

Quick and Easy Guacamole

Peel ripe avocado and slice into bowl. Mash with fork, add Real Salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste.

Printable Recipe


Monday, January 9, 2017

Chocolate Gummies

I'll admit.  We're kind of obsessed with gummies at out house. I mean if you saw the shelf stuffed full of silicone molds in my kitchen dedicated solely for the purpose of making gummies your jaw might just drop. I have molds for just about every holiday now, plus everyday any-ol'-occasion molds. There's a lot of them. But they're such a fun snack--the kids love them, they're easy to whip up, and they're oh so good for you.

The health benefits of gelatin are numerous! Did you know gelatin can improve digestion, help maintain healthy bones and joints, help you sleep better, and lifts your mood? And as an added bonus, it nourishes your skin, nails, and hair!

Better pop one more gummy in your mouth! And then pass one out to the kids. They deserve a healthy treat too!

Chocolate Gummies


1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can--not a carton, unless it's this kind--which is my favorite!)
3-4 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1. Add coconut milk, honey, and cocoa powder into sauce pan and stir until well combined.

2. Heat mixture over medium heat until warm. Slowly poor in gelatin while whisking briskly.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Poor into glass dish or silicone mold and refrigerate several hours until set.

4. Remove gummies and store in an airtight container in fridge.

Printable Recipe


Looking for more yummy gummy recipes? Try these too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Custard

I love custard! Loooove it!

I loved it so much as a girl that when I was just nine years old my mother taught me how to make a simple four ingredient custard using the classic red and white gingham Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I learned pretty quick how to make it all by myself and loved that I could whip up one of my favorite treats all on my own. It's still one of my favorite recipes. Since my nine-year-old baking days I've branched out a little with my custard recipes. One of the favorites around our home now is this Pumpkin Pie Custard. I usually make up a double batch every week. My kids love to eat it as a morning snack and this past summer we found we loved the leftover custard in the fridge for a quick and easy breakfast. I love the pumpkin flavor blended with that classic eggy-custardy flavor. It's the perfect combination

This recipe is easy to whip together, the kids love it, and it's full of good for you ingredients. You really can't go wrong with this one!

Pumpkin Pie Custard


4 eggs
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (if using canned pumpkin this should equal one full can)
1/3 - 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup (I stick with 1/3 cup but you can up it for a sweeter taste)
1/2 cup milk kefir, plain whole milk yogurt, or coconut milk (optional)
1/3 cup almond flour (I like Wellbee's for it's fine texture)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon Real Salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Add eggs to large bowl and whisk. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.

3. Pour mixture into a buttered 8 x 8 baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Best served cold.

Printable recipe


Friday, June 24, 2016

Healthy Snack Ideas for the Road

I'm sure we all know how it is when we're traveling . . . we load up on snacks and junk food. This year I'm trying to leave out the junk and have come up with some easy healthy snacks to take along with us on the road.

String cheese -- My kids love the Kraft Twist-ums cheese where you get mozzarella and cheddar twisted together.

Blue Diamond almonds -- We're a peanut free home and that's why we love Blue Diamond almonds. They're one of the few nuts that are completely peanut free. They're also packed full of vitamins and minerals and are high in protein. They make a great salty snack and my kids LOVE 'em.

Dried fruit -- This is what we call "real fruit snacks". We like raisins, craisins and apricots but we love dried mangos and pineapple.

Bite sized fruit -- Grapes and blueberries are great for the car. They can be popped in your mouth and are mess free--well, depending on who's
eating them . . .

Carrot sticks -- We can't forget the vegetables--and mini carrots are always a popular choice.

Crackers -- I've always loved Annie's Homegrown and we've recently become fans of the new Annie's Snack Mix. The kids love it, and I love that it's all natural and organic. The best part is that it's very affordable too. I stock up on boxes of this stuff when they go on sale at Target for $2. That's a price you can't beat!

Homemade fruit gummies -- These little jello bites are perfect for popping in your mouth. They're sweet and tangy and have a little fat to keep you feeling satisfied. My favorite recipes are these Lemon Gummies and these Coconut Lime Gummies. They're simple enough to make ahead of time and a fun snack to pull out when everyone is in need of a treat.

Granola bar bites -- This is another great snack to make ahead of time (or have the kids make them) to pull out when you're getting the munchies. Find the recipe here

    . . . But you have to have a little junk food too. My kids already know we never go on a trip without licorice. Yum Earth is our favorite brand lately.

    What are your favorite healthy snacks for the road?


    Monday, April 11, 2016

    Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Pie Bars (Grain-free, Egg-free, Paleo, GAPS)

    I'm always on the search for healthy desserts and nutrient dense snacks that will fill my kids hungry tummies right up.  This recipe fits the bill for both.  These pumpkin bars by themselves make a great snack but by adding a few chocolate chips to the recipe I've tricked my kids into thinking they're now dessert.  Personally my favorite way to eat them is by ditching the chocolate chips and sprinkling a few chopped pecans on top. Sometimes I will even sprinkle three-fourths of the pan with chocolate chips and the other quarter with pecans so everyone is happy.

    Not only are these pumpkin bars easy to whip together and free of refined sugar but they taste amazing!  They are so moist and light they practically melt in your mouth.  There's no reason to wait until fall to make these dreamy bars.  They are the perfect treat any time of year. 

    Pumpkin Pie Bars


    3/4 cup creamy almond butter
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1 well-ripened banana (should have lots of brown spots)
    1/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
    1 tablespoon coconut flour
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped pecans (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 8 x 8 glass dish.
    2. Mash banana in a food processor or stand mixer. Add almond butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix until well combined.
    3. Add remaining ingredients, mix until smooth.
    4. Poor batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips or pecans on top if using. Bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

    Enjoy every delicious bite!

    Printable recipe


    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Chocolate Chip Cookies (grain-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo, GAPS)

    We're in crazy special diet mode at our house right now trying to heal some food intolerance. Between my four kids there's at least one of them who can't have peanuts, gluten, dairy, and eggs. This makes it tricky when trying to cook for a family of six.  There's always someone who can't eat something, or so it seems.  Luckily I've been able to track down some recipes that fit the bill for everyone.  These Chocolate Chip Cookies are a hit and have become a favorite treat.  They are grain-free, egg-free, Paleo, refined sugar free, and GAPS friendly.  I love that the ingredients are simple and can be whipped together in minutes.

    Just look at these sweet morsels.  Don't they look amazing?  Let me tell you, they are soft, chewy, moist and delicious! 100% kid approved!

    Chocolate Chip Cookies


    1/4 cup raw honey
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    mini chocolate chips (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Measure ingredients into a medium sized bowl and whisk together until well combined.

    3. Scoop tablespoon size balls onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Flatten tops slightly with back of spoon.

    4. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around edges.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.  These store great in the freezer, but I doubt you'll have any left to freeze!


    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

    Healthy Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles

    Our summers here are hot, sweaty and sticky.  Yuck!  That's one thing this California raised girl dislikes most about the mid-west -- humidity!  I depend heavily on cool treats to help me get through the hot summers.  These dark chocolate fudgesicles have become one of my favorites.  We make a lot of homemade popsicles and I've found a lot of them turn out icy.  The secret ingredient to keeping these popsicles smooth and soft is gelatin!  It's amazing the difference a little gelatin can make.  Go ahead and give these a try.  I just know you'll the the rich chocolaty flavor and the smooth creamy texture.

    Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles
    (adapted from this recipe)

    1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
    2 pastured egg yolks
    1/2 cup honey
    dash of Real Salt
    1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I use this kind)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

    1. Soften the gelatin by placing it in a small bowl with the vanilla.

    2. Warm the coconut milk in a pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stir occasionally and do not let boil.  Meanwhile mix the egg yolk, honey, and salt in a small bowl.  Slowly poor the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, mixing continuously to temper the eggs.

    3. Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue to cook on medium heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.

    4.  Pour the gelatin mixture into the pot and whisk vigorously until the gelatin has dissolved, about two minutes.

    5. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth.  Let pudding cool at room temperature about 20 minutes and then pour into molds.  Place in freezer for up to six hours or until firm.

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