Simple Gluten-Free Cocoa Cookies

Simple Gluten-Free Cocoa Cookies

I am all about simple recipes that only have a few ingredients. It balances out the multi-ingredient smoothies I make each day. I made these cookies today and they were awesome. With wanting chocolate and there being a shortage in the house due to going through Whole30 twice now, it was a bit of a challenge. I managed to find a recipe that worked after some modification, but that’s not new for me. I found the original recipe for these cookies looking for a quick Whole30, Paleo, and/or grain-free cookie. The original recipe included palm shortening, chocolate chips, along with a few more things I either didn’t have/wasn’t going to use. That left me with 3 ingredients and then I added in organic cane sugar since I couldn’t make it without it. I tried the recipe with no sugar, but it wouldn’t stay together, so I cut the amount of sugar in half and it worked great. We had finished our 30 Day Whole30 program, so sugar was allowed but I was keeping it to a minimum. I don’t do well with coconut (so unfortunate), so coconut derivatives were out. With the creation of a cookie with 4 ingredients, I made due with what I had in the fridge and pantry while staying as close to my eating rules as possible. This is the result. Simple Gluten-Free Cocoa Cookies I gathered my ingredients: 1 cup Almond Butter (crunchy, unsweetened and salt-free) 1 egg (organic) 1/4 cup cacao powder (unsweetened, organic)(cocoa substitute) 1/4 cup brown sugar (cane, organic) Put all ingredients into a large glass mixing bowl and mixed well until it closely resembled dense cookie dough. Used a 1 Tbsp scoop and separated the “dough” into piles. Since these are nut butter cookies, they made me think of the peanut butter cookies my aunt used to make. I decided to use a fork to smash them down but only in one direction. They were baked for about 12 minutes at 350°F, promptly removed from the oven, and the parchment was slid off the tray and onto the oven surface where they cooled. The more they cool the crunchier they get – or at least that was my experience. Awesome, little, simple...

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Strawberry Waffles

Strawberry Waffles

Ingredients 2 1/4 cups Namaste Pancake & Waffle Mix 2 eggs lightly beaten 3 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce 3/4 cup water 2 Tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup crushed fresh strawberries (other fruits like blueberries or apples could work too) Directions Mix all ingredients together (I mixed them together in the order listed above). Batter will be a little thicker (reminds me of almost pancake mix). Made 8 large waffles on a George Foreman Next Grilleration grill using waffle plates. Some photos from the preparation… Crushed strawberries with the use of my new Pampered Chef Mini Mix N Chop. Mixing the crushed strawberries in with the...

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Chocolate Berry Banana Smoothie

Chocolate Berry Banana Smoothie

Main Ingredients & Deviations 70g frozen strawberries (1/2 cup) 30g frozen blueberries (1/4 cup) 30-40g frozen bananas (1/2 small) 21g Chocolate Spirutein water ice My husband and I like our smoothies slightly different, so at this point the ingredients break into two deviations: Deviation 1: 120g fat-free milk Deviation 2: 50g yogurt 70g Kefir 70g milk Directions We use an immersion blender and two blender cups so we can make two different smoothies at the same time, but a blender or smoothie maker work just fine too. Add desired ingredients to blender of choice. With the immersion blender, I tend to add the fruit, then the protein powder, and then the liquids since that makes for better mixing. I would guess with a conventional blender, the opposite would be true: liquid, powder, then fruit. Blend. Add water and ice to make your smoothie your desired consistency. If you like it thick, add ice. If you like it thin, add water. If it goes too thick or thin add water or ice appropriately. Blend. Add smoothie straw. Unless your smoothie is thin, a normal thin straw will not do. We use the smoothie straws from Panera....

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A Review: Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker

A Review: Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker

Between his blog, BecomingMinimalist, and his books, Joshua Becker is a wealth of knowledge about minimalism, simplifying, and decluttering through his own experiences and the shared experiences of others. Clutterfree with Kids goes far beyond what the title suggests. It delves into clutterfree in all aspects of your life, gives practical advice about reducing kid clutter and just about any other type of clutter you can think of, and really gets you thinking through the questions posed. If you feel like your stuff is getting the best of you -or- if you’ve been organizing and no matter how much you organize, you never get ahead, this book is for you. I’ve been there – through the organizing and reorganizing just to finally realize things had to go away and my space needed to be decluttered. When my spaces became decluttered, I found I enjoyed intentionally living with less – and a minimalist was born. Joshua Becker is one of the people to thank for that realization. Open spaces are not to be feared. Less stuff is freeing. Joshua Becker’s new book will help you declutter all of the spaces in your home through relatable stories, simple steps, and thought provoking questions. Personally, I am not a parent, however, as someone who wants a child one day, I am trying to learn all I can about keeping things simple before that day comes. One of my favorite sentences of the book and indicative of Joshua Becker’s inspiration: “We ought to strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves—not only for our own selves, but for the benefit and contribution we can offer to others.” This book could be the first step or next step for anyone looking to free their home & mind of clutter. To Note | Please see my other reviews at: Twitter, Pinterest, and Amazon. I reviewed on Facebook too, however, my profile is private, so only friends and family are privy to that review. Thank you for understanding. I received an advance copy of Joshua Becker’s new book to review, however, receiving the book in no way influenced my review. These words are all mine (minus the quote above) and I have been a fan of Joshua Becker’s works for quite some time. I am honored I received the privilege to review Clutterfree with Kids and to be part of the launch that made his book the #1 Parenting and #1 Self-Help book on...

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Cookie Bars

Cookie Bars

Our cookie recipe has mutated. I wanted to see if I could make it even easier. Achieved! I used to make the cookie mixture and then drop small teaspoons of it onto a cookie sheet, however, I wanted to see what would happen if I just spread the mixture over the baking sheet and baked it – more like making brownies – and finally truly make a bar replacement. Well, I prefer this option so much more. It is faster and I can make the bars as small or as large as I want. I actually wanted to make them really small, so this 9″x13″ sheet was divided into 80 mini bars. I tried a few different things to cut the bars, but what worked best was the PChef Nylon Knife. I don’t use it much, but it is going to get a lot more use now. The recipe below, I have figured out, is my favorite and I’ve made it the last few times. This recipe is only slightly different from the original since it fits the 9″x13″ Baking Sheet and makes more cookies or now BARS: Oatmeal Banana Bars (previously cookies) Ingredients 5 bananas, ripe 1 3/4 cup quick oats 1/4 cup irish quick oats 1/2 tsp cinnamon 45 g almond butter 3/4 cup cranberries 3/4 cup almonds 3/4 cup chocolate chips Directions Mix ingredients together in order listed. Lightly grease baking sheet. Spread mixture evenly over baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes at 350°F (a little extra baking time needed to be added). Note: More quick oats can be substituted for the Irish quick...

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Healthier Eating | Part 2 | Snacks

Healthier Eating | Part 2 | Snacks

Over the last month and a half, we’ve been trying to come up with healthy snacks including desserts. We think we have some good ones. Cracker Snacks Just about anything can be placed on any type of cracker and it is deemed a snack. After some searching, I found a rice/almond cracker that is quite good – Nut Thins. We’ve tried anything from peanut butter and cheese to almond butter and jelly to lunch meats and tomatoes. These come in really handy when we need something quick to eat as we are heading out the door, before exercising, or for taking with us. Salad The wonderful thing about salads is that they can be made up of so many different veggies and can be topped with our without dressing. We use them as snacks or as the addition of a veggie to our dinner. Sometimes they are as simple as tomatoes and cucumbers and other times as complicated as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and broccoli – really, whatever veggies we have on hand in the fridge. Veggie Pockets These were fun to make. I had a roll of non-perforated crescent roll dough and didn’t know what to make with it. So, we had some broccoli to use up in the fridge and I started concocting. By the time I was done, I mixed broccoli, spinach, sour cream, mozzarella & Parmesan cheese, and garlic & herb seasoning. I unrolled the dough across my brownie pan, cut around the wells, stuffed the pockets and squeezed them shut. They turned out so cute. Fruit bowl This bowl was originally full of fruit – bananas, apples, strawberries and/or blueberries – and chocolate chips. It all depends on what fruit we have in the fridge or on the counter. This snack has become our evening snack dessert. I learned that eating bananas in the evening helps to sleep better. Clementine We keep a few in the fridge and these things are awesome as a small snack during the day. Pairing it with a few walnuts or cheese stick will kick any small hunger pangs while waiting for lunch or dinner time. Plus, we get a good dose of Vitamin C. These could be added to our fruit bowl also. Banana Ice Cream Cut up some bananas onto a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Alone, these little guys make a great snack as do frozen blueberries or cut up strawberries, but put some frozen bananas in a blender and you have yourself banana ice cream. We like to add a little bit of peanut butter to the blended bananas and then throw on a...

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