Category Archives: summer treats

Monday, July 20, 2015

Almond Flour Blueberry Mini Muffins


Last year I finally bought myself a mini muffin pan…and I love it! I try to keep snack time creative and healthy for the kiddos and mini muffins were a perfect new addition.  I love using almond flour for the muffins, as they are packed with protein.  Any flavor combo is possible and I adore that they are easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to eat.  Today I am sharing blueberry, as blueberries are in season and such a delightful little berry.  I also use cherry, strawberry, or raspberry or any combo of each.  The kids also love banana chocolate chip, which I will share soon.  Have you ever made mini muffins?  I am addicted! Continue reading

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Labels: grain free, kids, muffins, Paleo, snacks, summer cuisine, summer treats.


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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Orange Kissed Apple Pie


When I was a little girl I loved helping my Gramie make apple pie.  She did not play around when it came to the apples. She piled them apples a mile high in a huge mound and placed the crust on top.  When the pie cooked the apples settled and there was at least a 4 inch space from apples to the top of the crust.  I will always remember how cool it looked.  When she broke into the pie, the crust fell nicely onto the apples.  What I loved most about her apple pie, however, was the filling.  She made it thick and gooey. The liquid ran all over the place.  The apples were tart yet sharp with sweet cinnamon flavor.  I loved extra scoops of the apple pie liquid on my ice cream which was the ultimate flavor combo.  We remember those we love through food.  When I taste my apple pie it takes me right back to her kitchen – standing there next to her oven, smelling the cinnamon and drooling for that flaky crust.  I’m happy to say I’ve perfected my version of her apple pie with a dairy, gluten, and cane sugar free spin. It’s comforting to smell, taste, and physically enjoy a memory.  Food has a way of bringing us closer to those we have lost, and really, then, suddenly they don’t feel so far away. Continue reading

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Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, fall cuisine, holidays, pie, summer treats.


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Monday, August 12, 2013

Coconut Mango Spinach Smoothie (dairy free)

Need a kid-approved green smoothie?  Join me today over at Green Thickies as I share a new green smoothie recipe with yousure to please children and adults alike!

Click HERE for the recipe.  
Shared on: Fat Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Raw Foods Thursdays , Wellness Weekend ,Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
Posted by Amber at

Labels: guest post, smoothie, summer treats.


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Friday, July 12, 2013

Refreshing Tropical Coconut Ice Cream (dairy free, SCD, Paleo, GAPS)

Once upon a time I ate cow milk ice cream.  And once upon a time I ate cow milk pineapple ice cream in Hawaii with my fiancΓ©, now husband) – wow 13 year ago (and I still remember that ice cream).  We were at the Dole pineapple plantation in Oahu.  It was the most delightful ice cream I had ever eaten.  Not really one for heavy, overly sweet or chocolaty treats, this pineapple ice cream was so refreshing and light.  I fell in love.  This tropical coconut milk based ice cream brought me back to that romantic stay in the islands.  In addition to pineapple, however, I added fresh mango, banana, and lime.  It’s a real tropical explosion.  This recipes makes quite a bit – too much for my ice cream maker.  I suggest using the leftover mixture in popsicle molds or refrigerate to use in a smoothie.  I hope you enjoy it.  Mahalo.   

-2 cans full fat coconut milk (3 cups). See here or here 
-2 cups fresh chopped mango
-1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple 
-1 medium ripe banana (5 ounces worth)
-1/3 cup fresh lime juice
-1/4 cup honey (vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar)

How To:
1. Add all the above ingredients to a blender and blend until well incorporated.  
2.  Fill your ice cream maker with the mixture (do not over fill) and churn until it starts to firm up and harden, and the ice cream maker starts to slow.  
3.  Transfer the ice cream to an air tight glass container and store in the freezer for at least 4 hours (I give mine a good 6 hours).
4. Remove 5  minutes before serving to allow ice cream to soften up a bit so it’s easier to scoop out.
Shared on: Fat Tuesday Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Whole Food Fridays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dessert, GAPS, ice cream, Paleo, raw, SCD, summer treats.


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Strawberry Coconut Cake w/ Strawberry Frosting (dairy free, gluten free, cane-sugar free)

I’m thrilled my blog is working again so I can share this cake with you.  I made this for my daughter’s 7th birthday last week.  The recipe is simply my coconut blueberry muffin recipe made into a cake.  I made two batches for two layers and I added strawberries instead of blueberries.  But the frosting is what I am excited to share with you.  Several traditional eaters taste tested this and really liked it.  I am always on the lookout for easy-to-spread frosting that won’t melt all over the place and this one did the trick.  This frosting is inspired by The Urban Poser’s whipped strawberry frosting, which I’ve made 5 or 6 times, and while I love it, the honey is far too overpowering so I used coconut nectar instead and added some soaked cashews.  It looks like chocolate, but it’s actually strawberry (I made a chocolate version too that was delightful, see pictures below).  Happy birthday to my amazing daughter.  We love you so much and we are so very proud of youbeyond words! 
Strawberry Coconut Cake w/ Strawberry Frosting 
Cake Ingredients:
(I made 2 batches of this recipe)
-2 eggs room temperature (weighing 4.5 ounces in the shell)
-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (room temperature)
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla or plain stevia
-3/4 cup fresh small chopped strawberries 

-100 grams sorghum flour (3/4 cup + 2 level tablespoons)
-100 grams brown rice flour (3/4 cup)
-60 grams tapioca starch/flour (1/2 cup)
-1 teaspoon baking powder 
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum 
-1/2 teaspoon salt 

How To:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
1.  Prepare your cake plans by rubbing the inside with coconut oil and dusting a generous amount of flour (rice or sorghum to coat the pan.  If done properly, the cakes will pop right out with NO stick.  Set aside 
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients.  
3. Next, in a large bowl, add in the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, and stevia (please make sure everything is room temperature).  Beat on medium with a hand mixer for 30 seconds.  Drizzle in your coconut oil with the beaters running on low.  Beat on medium for 15 seconds.  
4.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Hand mix gently for a few seconds, then beat with mixers on medium for 15 seconds.  
5.  Fold in the strawberries.  
6.  Fill the cake pans.  I make two separate batches at one time so I can place both pans in the oven together.  
7.  Bake on middle rack for 30 – 35 minutes.  Mine were perfect at the 35 minute mark.  
8.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so.  When you can handle the pans, scrape around the edge with a knife to loosen, then pop out the cakes and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Strawberry Frosting Ingredients:
-1 cup cashews soaked for at least 8 hours, drained and rinsed 
-2/3 cup coconut nectar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-5 teaspoons tapioca or arrowroot starch
-1 cup palm shortening
-1 1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries 
-A few drops of stevia for added sweetness (optional)

How To:
1.  In a high speed blender (don’t know if a regular blender will work), add in drained cashews, coconut nectar, vanilla, palm shortening, and freeze dried strawberries.  
2.  Blend until everything is well incorporated and it become smooth – I use the tamper the entire time. 
3.  Transfer into a large bowl and add in the tapioca or arrowroot starch.  Mix by hand until incorporated.
4. Place in the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes.  It will be warm from the blender – you just want to cool it off, not refrigerate it long.
5. Frost your cake.  This batch will frost a two layer cake as shown below.

*See HERE for the Urban Poser’s Strawberry Frosting recipe.
Skylar also requested my homemade coconut strawberry almond ice cream.
Oh my, it was a strawberry explosion! 
Coming soon
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  
Shared on: Allergy-Free WednesdaysSlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dessert, frosting, gluten free, summer treats.


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Monday, June 24, 2013

Raw Nutrient Dense Key Lime Pie Creamsicles (also makes a tasty pudding) SCD/Paleo/GAPS

I’m always looking for new ways to serve not only sweet treats, but healthy sweet treats.  My freezer is usually full of popsicles at the ready.  It gets super hot here in the summer and so they are a necessity.  We usually go with juice based pops, but I love the use of coconut milk or other non-dairy milks for a fun, healthy twist.  I wasn’t sure how my kiddos would respond to theseand yeah, they LOVED them! And mommy loves how much nutrition they get in every cold, sweet and sour bite. 
This also makes a great pudding, you know, kind of like key lime pie without the crust.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours to thicken. 

-1 can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk this or this 
-1 cup fresh spinach
-1 avocado 
-1/3 cup honey* (vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar)
-1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

How To:
1.  Add the above ingredients to a blender and blend until well incorporated.  Fill popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours.  
2.  I like these popsicle molds which are made with toxic free plastic. 

*Please adjust the sweetness to your preference.  Taste test before and add more as needed.  
*You can also add in some protein powder of your liking for additional nutrition. 
*A banana with 1/4 cup water would add in another fun flavor combination to these pops. 

Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, GAPS, Paleo, SCD, snacks, summer treats.


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Raw Strawberry "Cheese" Cake (Method #2) – SCD Friendly

In August I shared a raw cherry “cheese” cake.  In this recipe cashew butter was used to make the filling.  In this next version, the cashews are soaked.  The final verdict for me between these two recipes?  I prefer the soaked cashew method. The filling really mimics traditional cheese cake.  It was light and creamy.  But again, I haven’t had real cheese cake in years, so my memory of this dessert is a little foggy, but I can tell you that I prefer this method over the use of cashew butter.  My children and husband loved them both equally.  But I happen to live with three hopeless dessert/sweet fanatics, so they will eat anything I put in front of them that resembles cake.  Good for me, right.  Let me know if you get around to making any raw “cheese” cakes.  I really enjoy them and look forward to experimenting with different ingredients.  Yes, pumpkin is definitely on the list.  

Raw Strawberry “Cheese” Cake
Inspired by nearly all the raw “cheese” cakes from Heather @ Sweetly Raw   

-1 cup pitted and chopped dates (make sure they are soft and at room temp)
-2 teaspoons coconut oil 

-2 cups raw cashews soaked 4 – 6 hours
-1/3 cup honey (vegans use maple syrup or 30+ drops of vanilla or plain stevia) and add more if you’re a sweet tooth. 
-1/2 cup coconut oil (liquid state) – I use Tropical Traditions Golden Label Virgin 
-1 tablespoon vanilla 
Strawberry Sauce
-8 ounces fresh strawberries (frozen then thawed for off season) 
-1 tablespoon honey (vegans use maple syrup or 7 drops plain or flavored stevia)
-1 teaspoon liquid coconut oil 

How To:

1.  For crust: in a food processor pulse walnuts a few times, add in dates and coconut oil.  Blend until well incorporated.  I used an 8 inch spring form pan.  You can put some wax or parchment paper down on the bottom if you wish.  Press walnut and date crust mixture into pan.  

2. For the strawberry sauce: in a blender (food processor or high speed) blend the strawberries and honey until smooth.   

3.  For the filling: in a food processor, add cashews, honey and vanilla and start blending, drizzle in coconut oil.  You can make this in a food processor or high speed blender, just take note that a high speed blender will yield a smoother texture.  Add mixture to the crust and smooth out.  Then top with about 1/2 of the strawberry sauce.  
4.  After assembly, place in freezer for at least 4 hours, then you can remove from spring form pan and transfer to fridge.  The cake will get soft in the fridge, so keep it in the freezer if you want a very firm cake.  I liked it on the softer side so I stored it in the fridge.  
Shared on: Melt in your Mouth MondaysMotivate Me MondaysMonday Mania, Mealtime Monday My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, On The Menu Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursdays,  Keep It Real Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, GAPS Friendly Friday, Whole Foods Friday, 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dessert, raw, SCD, summer treats.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Allergy-Friendly Camping Cuisine (with s’mores of course) + Happy Birthday To Me!!

I LOVE camping.  I grew up camping – it’s in my blood.  My happiest memories in life are of being out in nature, singing around a campfire, playing for hours in a creek, fishing, hiking, lazy afternoon naps in a tent with a cool mountain breeze wafting around me…ahhhh.  Thinking about it makes me instantly happy and calm.  We took the kids camping last week in celebration of my 35th birthday.  We had a great time.  I was a busy bee cooking/baking, but over the years I’ve become accustomed to all this preparation.  I hope these recipes and food ideas are helpful for your next camping trip (allergy-friendly style).  

First up: S’mores.  
A MUST when camping. 
*SCD Marshmallows from Jenni at The Urban Poser
(these were amazing – they melted nicely and were ooey-gooey)
(these are the perfect chocolates for evening s’mores, caffeine free so the kiddos have a good night sleep)
*Grain Free Graham Crackers
(there are so many recipes out there to choose from)
S’mores – yes please.
I tried my hand at some grain free SCD graham crackers before we left.  I was sort of in a hurry (after alll my cooking, I was tired) so I googled “grain free graham crackers” for some ideas and literally threw this recipe together (I didn’t write anything down).  The recipe was…okay.  Certainly not blog worthy, but they did the job and held the good stuff in.
Next: allergy-friendly breads – and hot dog buns.
Another MUST when camping.  
Here is a list of homemade and store bought food items we enjoyed on this camping trip
1.  SCD Sandwich Bread
2.  SCD Cauliflower Wraps 
4.  SCD Marshmallows
6.  Graham Crackers
7.  Chocolate Milk
8.  Slow-Cooker Curry Chicken
9.  Cherry Almond Macaroons
11.  Tomatoes and zucchini from our garden
From the store:
1.  Gluten Free Crackers
2.  Garlic Hummus
3.  Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
4.  Gluten Free Hot Dog Buns
5.  Chicken Apple Hot Dogs
6.  Gluten Free Organic Canned Soup
7.  Fresh Organic Local Eggs
8.  Almond Butter & Jelly
9.  Bananas, Apples & Nectarines
10.  Gluten Free Oatmeal
11.  Turkey Bacon 
12.  Mustard & Vegan Mayo 
13.  Dried sugar & sulfur free cranberries
14.  Carrot & Celery Sticks
Here are some pictures of our fun time:
   Mommy playing some guitar – a MUST when camping.  
My sweet husband
My mountain girl
There was a lovely creek running through our camp site.
We had fun playing in the refreshing, cool water.
Mountain Mommy!
I feel my happiest in nature, especially near tall, beautiful, delicious smelling pine trees.  So healing.
 Here are a few pictures of me on my birthday
(35 years baby- woot!)  Here’s to many, many more happy, healthy years to come.
I’m an avid thrifter, and I found this super cute dress and belt while thrifting with my best girlfriend, Moe.  We are thrift store/garage sale addicts! Moe is my lucky charm, as I always find cute stuff and great deals when we’re together (plus she is really good at haggling).
My sweet-pea son, Ethan
 My sweet-pea daughter, Sky
And check out my birthday cake!!

(yes, I made my own birthday cake)
Thanks to Jenni at The Urban Poser for this great recipe.
It was amazing.

Shared on: Whole Foods Friday

Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, SCD, summer cuisine, summer treats.


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Monday, July 16, 2012

Raw Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream (vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free)

Since reviewing their products, I’ve been dreaming about Blue Mountain Organics’ cashew based ice creams.  They are so creamy and flavorful.  Such a healthy summer treat.  So last week, I finally got around to making my own cashew based ice cream.  I’m quite used to making coconut milk based ice creams, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out.  But it did, and deliciously so.  What we have here is a raw, vegan, dairy free, cane-sugar free, chocolate ice cream that’s so creamy it feels like velvet in your mouth.  It goes without saying that my chocoholic husband proclaimed this as his new favorite dessert.  Good, because it’s super easy to make and super good for you. Knock yourself out my dear. 

-2 cups cashews (soaked for up to 6 hours)
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1/4 cup raw cacao (or more for you chocoholics) 
-1/3 cup grade B maple syrup (or to your sweetness, you could also add in a few drops of liquid stevia if you’re a super sweet tooth)
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1/4 cup dates (about 4) seeded and soaked in 1 cup filtered water for at least 2 hours (I soak mine for 4)
-1 cup date water + 1/2 cup filtered water
-1/4 teaspoon coffee flavor
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-Dash of cayenne (optional) 

How To:
1.  To a blender add drained cashews, coconut oil, cacao, maple syrup, vanilla, dates with date water plus an extra 1/2 cup water, coffee flavor, and cinnamon.  Blend until incorporated (if mixture gets warm from blending, wait until it has cooled before adding it to ice cream maker).
2.  Add to ice cream maker and churn until thick.
3.  Transfer to glass container and store in freezer for at least four hours.
4.  Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving.

*I use this ice cream maker and it works great, and it’s a perfect middle ground size.  

Shared on: Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Keep It Simple Mondays, Monday Mania, Mealtime Monday,Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Freaky Friday, My Meatless Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesdays, Recipe Lunchbox Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Keep It Real Thursdays, Full Plate Thursday, Tastetastic Thursday, Raw Foods Thursdays, Wellness Weekend, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Freaky Friday, 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, ice cream, raw, summer treats, vegan.


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Friday, July 6, 2012

Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream With "Caramel" Sauce (dairy free, cane-sugar free, SCD friendly)

One thing I haven’t had in years is caramel.  As a child I just loved warm caramel drizzled over ice cream (ahhh).  I’ve been experimenting with a few different “caramel” sauces, and I think this one is my favorite.  Does it taste just like caramel, no.  Does it taste delicious, yes.  Is it a fun topping on ice cream, yes and yes.  One ingredient that gives it a nice creamy texture is cashew butter.  I always have some of this brand on hand (as I use it to make Danielle’s awesome bread).  It’s an expensive brand, but it has a creamy texture I’ve yet to replicate.  It’s sweet and delicious and makes the most amazing cashew icings.  

SCD Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
-2 cans coconut milk, this brand is SCD friendly
-4 ounces of seeded Medjool dates (7 dates)
-1/3 cup honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup) 
-1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
-Filling from 1 vanilla bean 

How To:
1.  Soak dates with 1 can of the coconut milk for at least 3 hours
2.  Blend above ingredients until well incorporated
3.  Transfer to ice cream maker and churn until thick
4.  Transfer to glass storage and store in freezer for at least 4 hours
5.  Remove 10-15 minutes before serving (depending on the season- summer 10 minutes, cooler weather, give it up to 15)

“Caramel” Sauce 
-4 ounces of seeded Medjool dates (around 6 or 7) soaked for at least 3 hours
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup) 
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons cashew butter (optional, but worth it)

How To:
1.  In food processor, blend above ingredients until well incorporated and creamy
2.  Serve immediately on ice cream
3.  Store in fridge and bring to room temp, or warm slightly, before serving 

Shared on: Just Another Meatless Monday, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless Mondays, Mealtime Monday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Recipe Box Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Allergy-Free WednesdaysReal Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Frugal Food Thursdays Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food, Show Off Friday, Freaky Friday, Wellness Weekend, Allergy-Friendly Fridays, 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, dessert, ice cream, SCD, summer treats.


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