Paleo Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream

This summer I searched for a creamy, healthier version of mint chocolate chip ice cream and found one with spinach.  I was hesitant at first but have altered my recipe by actually doubling the amount in the original recipe.  The kids love it and so do I since it is so easy to make for guests as you can get everything ready prior to their arrival in a matter of minutes.  Watch how we do it at home with the 3 boys helping me.  It’s not always perfect but the kids enjoy helping and that is key.

summer 2012- summer 2013 300

summer 2012- summer 2013 301

summer 2012- summer 2013 302

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of coconut milk (full fat and with least amount of ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (1 teaspoon is the optimal mint flavor for me)
  • 1 cup raw spinach (this makes the ice cream green!)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like 70% or greater, more healthy!)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. During the last 5 minutes of processing, add the chocolate chips to the mixture.
  5. Enjoy!

Serves about 6 people

Kids love veggies!

Today I had the pleasure of going into David’s grade 1 class at school to do a fun little activity.  Last week I mentioned to his lovely teacher, Mme Ramona that I would love to bring in some healthy cupcakes for them as a celebration for the end of the school year.  She was very gracious and allowed my sister and I, who both have kids in this class, to come in today.  I then decided to add a little activity with some health lessons for them to take home and put into practice.  We made them do a veggie man.  The class has 26 students so the teacher divided them up into 3 groups.  My sister and I chopped up 3 bins of veggies with all the body parts ready for the activity.  Each group was then given the task to put together their man.  The activity included them eating it afterward.  My husband Jason had made some hummus for their heads which we had also given to each group.  The kids enthusiastically made their man and before we could even take a picture, they were devouring their veggies.  Prior to the activity I asked them a couple simple questions to spark their brains about the importance of eating raw veggies.  When children are asked what rabbits eat, they are always quick to say carrots and greens.  I then ask them what would happen to the rabbit if we fed it ice cream.  They immediately let me know the rabbit would get sick.  I then asked about a dog and what would happen if it was fed chips and pop.  Once again they always reply without hesitation that the dog would get sick.  I then bring it back to humans and what happens to us when we eat this type of junk food.  They get it.  So, I then tell them we wanted to make them healthy and strong today and that is what kids want.  Helping them focus on what they want (healthy and strong) vs unhealthy (weak and frail) helps them make better decisions.

My sister and I also made them some chocolate cupcakes which they again thoroughly enjoyed.  They ate these and drank some healthy water:

Spa Water-

  • 1 cucumber, sliced and unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 to 2 liters of water
  • 3 mint sprigs (boiling it first in a small amount of water will help release the minty flavour quickly)
  • Half a lemon, sliced and unpeeled
  • Ice cubes

chocolate cupcakesspa waterSo, this summer have fun adding some raw veggies before every meal.  My friend Lois sometimes gets quite creative with my kids and makes them some fun veggie plates.  They always love it, especially since she is far more creative than their boring mom:).  I’ve included the veggie man, a few of Lois’ creations for the boys, and my friend Susanne’s birthday party platters.  I hope this sparks some ideas for you and your family to include more healthy raw fruits and veggies into your wellness regime this summer!veggie manfun veggie platefun veggie plates1Will's b-day

Happy Father’s Day!

Cindy and Jason graduation

Last week I walked into the storage closet, picked up a file and opened it up to find Jason’s graduation speech from our chiropractic school in Iowa.  I read it and then stood there for a few moments reflecting on our graduation day 11 years ago, his speech and its significance at this point in our lives.  It gave me goose bumps in a way that you get when you are experiencing something awesome.  I felt proud to be married to this wonderful man.  I walked out teary-eyed still thinking about how much has changed for us in the last 11 years.  My beautiful boys were in the room hanging out and just loving being around their dad.  It was as though I was quickly taken from our moment of graduation to our present life, all in a flash.  In that moment I was so grateful for the kind and loving man I married who could not be a better dad and role model for our boys.  Below is the last paragraph of his speech.  I am sharing it with you today as it is timely with Father’s day tomorrow.  It is also impactful to all of us as we go about our busy lives:

“One last thought to leave you with- it comes from a Stephen Covey book so it is not my idea, but it really hit home.  ‘Begin with the end in mind.  When that day comes, what do you want people to say about you?’  We will be starting from scratch.  Tomorrow is the first day of our professional lives.  My dad practiced optometry for over 30 years.  Five months ago he passed away leaving a legacy behind in both his personal and professional lives.  People wrote letters saying that they looked forward to their appointments, that he was a man of integrity, and that it was obvious that he loved what he did.  People said he made them feel welcome and comfortable the minute he walked in the room.  I’m not saying this for you to feel sorry for me.  I in fact am privileged to have had such a positive role model.  We can all learn this, that who we are and what we do can and will affect people for the rest of their lives.  What do you want your patients to say about you?”

Although this was written specifically for us as chiropractors, it is applicable to everyone.  Are we living the joyful life we set out to?  When we are in the flow and have passion for what we do, we are contributing to those around us.  Those are the moments  when we are thriving.  Wishing you many of those moments along your journey.

With much love and gratitude,

Cindy

 

Paleo Power Bars

power barJason made these today for the attendees of his “Wheat Belly” workshop.  They have a sweet and salty taste.  They are a great snack to have ready in the refrigerator and are a healthy protein packed treat.  They do have coconut oil in them so will melt a little when left out at room temperature for a while.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of roasted nuts/seeds (either 1/2 cup of each almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds or 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pecans, and 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup of nut butter (almond, sunbutter, or pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 scoop protein powder (whey or vegetarian blend)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or ground sunflower seeds
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 heaping TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 6 drops stevia
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Spread parchment paper out on baking sheet.  Add 2 cups of nuts and shredded coconut and roast until golden brown (around 10-15 minutes).  You may need to shake up the tray at least once throughout the process to roast everything evenly.
  2. Once roasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground.
  3. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil and almond butter.  Stir until smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract, honey and stevia and mix thoroughly.
  5. In a separate bowl (I know it’s a lot of dishes but worth it in the end:)), combine almond meal or ground sunflower seeds with the nutmeg, cinnamon, protein powder, currants, and cranberries.  Then add ground roasted nuts from the food processor and combine well to have all dry ingredients in one bowl.
  6. Add in the wet ingredients to the bowl and combine the wet and dry ingredients until well mixed.
  7. Spread the mixture into a Pyrex dish (we use 8×8) and place in the freezer for at least 1/2 an hour.
  8. Cut up the bars into desired sizes and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Raw Energy Bars

003Our friend Sydney went to NY and tasted this great energy bar, adapted the recipe and voila this is the delicious concoction she made.  I got the recipe from her on Friday afternoon and made three batches since then.  Today is only Monday.  It was a busy weekend with lots of kids playing outside.  This was a snack they thoroughly enjoyed.  The great thing is that these bars can be made, refrigerated and cut up to eat whenever you need them.  Thanks Sydney!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of nuts (I used walnuts, pecans and almonds)
  • 20 dates (I put them in some boiling water for a few minutes to soften them first, then strained the water prior to adding them to mixture)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of chia seeds or flax seeds or coconut
  1. Add the nuts to the food processor and blend until they are in tiny pieces.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is well combined.
  3. Use parchment paper to cover a baking dish (mine was 8×8 square).
  4. Refrigerate or place in freezer for about half an hour or so.
  5. Remove and use big knife to cut up into desired size pieces.
  6. Store pieces in container in the refrigerator end enjoy whenever you want them!

How to make your own almond milk

Until a few weeks ago, I thought making my own almond milk was a little too much work.  Watch this clip on how easy it is to make your own almond milk.  The milk tastes much creamier than the store-bought one and has no preservatives.

Send me an email if you’re in the Halifax region and you need me to order you a nut milk bag.  I will have some at the clinic soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64_GOC4MVBE&feature=youtu.be

Our morning routine

This is a clip of the boys and I doing our morning routine.  Many times I have patients tell me they don’t have time to take their essential nutrients.  I recommend individuals do it at a consistent time every day especially if there is more than one person involved so the whole family can remember.  It is so much easier to stay healthy than it is to take care of a health issue when it arises.  Performing this daily routine can create enough momentum in your body to keep you and your family well throughout the year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM5RKmwk8NQ&feature=youtu.be

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

paleo pumpkin pancakes

We have been looking for a paleo version of our favorite pancakes for a while now.  Jason has tried many recipes and I think he has tweaked this one just enough to make it awesome.  The spices in it remind me of my grandmother’s donuts she made us often as kids (those were not paleo).  Serve these pancakes with a nut butter.  We love macadamia butter and cut up bananas or berries on the side.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups of 100% pure pumpkin (I use canned)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Turn your stovetop on to medium.  Prior to placing the pumpkin pancakes onto frying pan, you should be able to place a drop of water on the pan and have it bubble.  Your pan will then be hot enough to add the mixture.
  2. Combine almond butter, eggs, honey and pumpkin in a bowl.  This requires some stirring to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Measure all the spices, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl.  Mix them well in order to avoid clumps.
  4. Simply add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well.
  5. Once ingredients are well combined, make sure the pan is well greased with butter, coconut oil, or bacon grease.
  6. Spoon out the mixture into small to medium sized pancakes (this allows them to flip easier).
  7. Pancakes will be slower to cook than traditional pancakes but your patience will be well worth it for the taste and health benefits.

These pancakes are somewhat filling and you may have leftover mixture.  Simply cover the leftover mixture and store in refrigerator to make them the next day.  These can be made a day or two ahead of time as the mixture stores well for a couple of days for sure in the refrigerator.

Paleo-ish Chocolate Chip cookies

108

I started this recipe one day to make a less sweet version of the original chocolate chip cookie.  Our family has gotten to a point now that regular treats taste way too sweet for us, and that is a good thing!  I do however still enjoy baking and want to have the healthiest versions available for my family.  Paleo, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a word to describe primitive and the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.

I modified this recipe from several others I found, some had way too many ingredients.  This one is relatively simple.  I substituted eggs for flax seeds and some water, worked perfectly.  Also, I reduced the sweetener from some of the other recipes by half.  The following is my version and although my taste buds are accustomed to less sweet, I thoroughly enjoyed them and how moist they are on the inside.  The boys and my nieces said they were blog-worthy.

3 ¼ cup almond flour (4 cups of sliced almonds ground in the food processor will shrink to about this amount of almond meal)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP of ground flax seeds mixed in with 6 TBSP of water (or 2 eggs, room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)

5 drops of stevia (optional)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup cacao nibs

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (70% or higher is best)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grab a cookie sheet and some parchment paper.  I find it easier to place all the cookies on the parchment paper, nothing sticks.
  2. Measure 3 and 1/4 cups of almond flour (grind up your sliced almonds first if you don’t have the almond flour).  Once ground, combine the almond flour with the salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, combine your ground flax seeds with the water and mix well (or simply use 2 eggs).  Add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup of either honey or pure maple syrup, add in stevia (optional).
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.  I use a food processor to do this.  Once the ingredients are well mixed, I stir in the cocoa nibs and chocolate chips.  The darker the chips the more paleo-friendly they are.  Our ancestors ate food that was unprocessed, we typically digest these foods better.  (The dough will look pretty wet and is quite sticky.  You can place it in the fridge to firm it up a bit.  I just spoon it on to the parchment paper into little balls.)
  5. Spoon them onto your parchment and pop them in the oven.  This recipe makes about 24 cookies.  Bake them for about 8-10 minutes (the tops will start to get golden brown).  I like them to be a little soft when I take them out to keep them chewy on the inside.
  6. When I pull them out I let them cool long enough to get them off the parchment.  Enjoy, these are absolutely delicious!

111