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She {hearts} Whole Grain Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I’ve been doing my best to make our breakfasts lately, instead of just relying on a box of cereal.  Price wise and health wise, I believe that it’s much better to eat a homemade whole grain muffin than “whole grain” cereal from the store.

My sister in law brought me some zucchini from her garden recently, and I decided to try my hand at whole grain zucchini muffins.  I added some cocoa and chocolate chips to make them more appealing to the kids, but otherwise, these are super healthy.

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I started by milling 1 cup of soft wheat in my Nutrimill.  I use my mill on a daily basis.  Whether I’m making muffins, bread, biscuits, or cakes, I try to use whole grains as much as possible.

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To the flour, I added quick oats, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

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After whisking that together, I stirred in the chocolate chips, extra virgin olive oil, honey, zucchini, and buttermilk. (I normally add an egg, but I forgot this time!) 

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I used a large cookie scoop to fill my muffin liners, and then popped the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes.

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Mmmm… delicious whole grain breakfast!

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Whole Grain Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Whole Grain Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

  • 1 cup Soft Wheat Berries (measure before milling)
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats
  • 3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (I use Redmond's Real Salt)
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Shredded Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk (I use 1/2 cup milk with 1 Tbsp vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mill wheat.
  3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. (Quick oats, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips.)
  4. Whisk together.
  5. Stir in the wet ingredients. (Zucchini, buttermilk, honey, oil, egg.)
  6. Scoop into lined muffin pan with a large cookie scoop or spoons. (I love using parchment liners.)
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

she {hearts} the best banana bread

I just love this banana bread! Martha does it again. The sour cream in this recipe seems to be what makes the banana bread so rich and yummy. Personally, I always add mini chocolate chips (bonus trick I learned from my mother in law: coat the chocolate chips in flour prior to adding them to the batter and they won’t sink to the bottom of the loaf, or whatever you are baking!). This banana bread is perfect for brunch or snacking (this fact has been verified by my kids on many occasions). Enjoy!

banana bread

banana bread

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined.
  6. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine.
  7. Stir in nuts and/or chocolate chips, and pour batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

She {hearts} strawberry pudding

graceOne of my favorite things about this time of the year are strawberries! Yesterday, I received the photo to the left in an email that read, “Couldn’t resist.” Grace was heading to school with her Daddy yesterday and I guess they decided to stop for a little picking time before she’d start her school day. I just couldn’t be mad, but I was a little jealous! One of my favorite things to fix with strawberries is a “Strawberry Pudding”.

It’s basically a recipe for Banana Pudding that has been tweaked to include these yummy red berries instead of bananas.

 

 

Strawberry Pudding

Ingredients:

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  • 1 eagle brand milk
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 box French vanilla pudding
  • 16 oz cool whip
  • 2 quarts strawberries (or 4 bananas)
  • 2 pkgs Chessman cookies

Directions:

  1. Blend together eagle brand milk and 1 & ½ cups water.
  2. Add pudding and beat medium speed until well blended.
  3. Put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until congealed.
  4. Remove from frig and add cool whip and stir with spoon do not use mixer.
  5. Layer cookies, pudding, and fruit and repeat layers.
  6. Garnish top with cookies or fruit!

I love to put mine in a clear trifle bowl to make it look extra nice, but if you’re having a party and want everyone to have their own individual desserts try making mini pudding cups and using a brandy snifter glass.

For more strawberry recipes, try:
Did you see Tara’s She {hearts} strawberry pie recipe?
Balsamic Strawberries over Shortbread
Croissant French Toast with Strawberry Syrup
Strawberry Napoleons
Chilled Strawberry Soup

she {hearts} dairy free chewy chocolate chip cookies


When my oldest daughter was about four months old, she started showing symptoms of a dairy sensitivity. Since I was nursing, I had to remove dairy from my diet completely. Her symptoms improved (and eventually she was cleared to try dairy and shows no symptoms now), but I was most impressed by how great I felt. No bloating, no sharp stomach pains, and I lost my baby weight (and then some!) so quickly when not eating dairy.

Since then (my daughter is 4 now), I’ve tried to avoid dairy for the most part. I don’t go crazy trying to keep it out of my diet, but I do know that I feel so much better when I don’t have it. I have really enjoyed discovering and trying alternatives to dairy, whether it be products or recipes.

A good friend recently made these dairy free chewy chocolate chip cookies using this recipe from Cheeky Kitchen. Now, if only I’d found this recipe 4 years ago when I first entered the world of dairy avoidance. These cookies are heavenly! The following recipe varies slightly from the original, but has been tweaked a tiny bit by me to make more cookies with the most perfect crispy edges and chewy texture. You can use regular chocolate chips if you aren’t going extreme with the dairy avoidance, or you can use non-dairy chocolate chips. My favorite are the Enjoy Life brand.

Oh, and when washing your hands after rolling the dough into balls, the brown sugar makes for an excellent hand scrub. A mini spa treatment and whipping up ridiculously delicious chocolate chip cookies sans dairy? Now I call that a successful afternoon.

Dairy Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 10 ounces dairy free mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat together coconut oil, eggs, and brown sugar until very well blended.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, mixing together one by one until all are incorporated.
  4. Measure dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Space a dozen dough balls per large cookie sheet and press each ball to flatten a bit.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly browned.
  6. Cool on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let the cookies finish cooling. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

She {hearts} little green pouch

 

My daughter is a super picky eater.  And the only way I’m able to get her to eat a good serving of fruits and veggies, is with those squeezable fruits and vegetable pouches.  She’ll eat them straight from the pouch and in her morning oatmeal.  But watch out, if I run out of them, it’s toddler tantrum time.  That’s why I was so excited to learn about Little Green Pouch!

Little Green Pouch was created by two moms who wanted to make getting those fruits and veggies to children easier and greener!  It is designed with a fill-able zippered seal to add your own favorite pureed foods.  The pouches are reuse-able and made of durable, BPA -free, PVC-free and phthalate-free plastic.  The pouches are even dishwasher safe.

 

You can find a list of great recipe ideas on Little Green Pouch website.  I created my own for my daughter with blueberries, bananas and plain Greek yogurt.  I must admit, it was pretty yummy.

Little Green Pouch also provides other utensils such as a funnel, brush, pitcher and labels to make your fruit and veggie puree making a little more easier.  Get connected with Little Green Pouch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Little Green Pouch is giving away a four pack of the reusable food pouches.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner from the U.S. will be chosen on ***May 11, 2013*** at 7PM CST. Please see our Giveaway Rules for further details. Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} Oatmeal Bake

Have you read about soaking grains? There is a lot out there, so I will break down what I’ve learned to the basics (ie. what I actually understand) soaking aids in digestion of your food.

My conclusion, soaking = better digestion. (But you don’t have to take my word for it, read up on it yourself!)

This recipe, passed onto me by a friend, turns oatmeal into a delicious treat.

 

{heart} It
Oatmeal Bake

Oatmeal Bake

Served warm the combined flavors from the coconut oil and molasses makes for a happy mouth and comforted belly, or you can eat {the leftovers} straight from the fridge cold making for an almost cake-like consistency. Also, this bake is easily halved, which is how I usually make it (in a large pie dish).

    To Soak:
  • 6C dry oats
  • 2C water
  • 1/3C yogurt/whey/kefir
  • 1C soft/melted coconut oil
  • Next Morning:
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2C molasses (1/3 C if using black strap, as it is so strong)
  • 1/2C raisins (optional)
  • Additional Toppings:
  • shredded coconut (optional)
  • brown sugar (optional)
  • additional yogurt or milk (optional)
  • honey (optional)
  1. Combine all "to soak" ingredients in glass bowl and leave on counter, covered, overnight or for 24 hours
  2. The next morning, pre-heat oven to 350
  3. Grease 9x13 pan
  4. Add all "next morning" ingredients to the soaked oats and scoop into prepared pan (optional: sprinkle top with shredded coconut and/or brown sugar)
  5. Bake for 30-35 min
  6. Serve warm or cold (optional: top with additional yogurt or milk and/or drizzle honey on top)

She {hearts} Hibiscus Tea Concentrate

I started making hibiscus tea concentrate to aid in the healing of my adrenals. It’s rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants plus wonderfully refreshing.  (please note, I’ve read some not-so-nice things about this tea and pregnancy, so please check with your doctor if you are pregnant before drinking.)

Hibiscus Tea Refresher Concentrate

 

I enjoy very bold flavors so the concentrated form allows me to make a good strong glass while making others in our home a more diluted versio


You’ll need:
1. Organic hibiscus tea flowers. My local grocery store carries them in bulk, but as much as I’m making, Amazon has the better price so I’ll be switching soon.

2.Organic raw sugar

3. (optional) Juice of half a lime, fresh ginger, organic orange peel, organic lemon peel, and/or other fruit teas like raspberry, blueberry, etc…

Boil 2 cups of filtered water. Remove from heat. Add one cup of hibiscus leaves plus any of the optional items. (The lime juice and ginger are a must-have for me!)

Cover and let the tea steep for 30 minutes (which simply means let it sit there.)

Filter the concentrate into a bowl and add sugar (I use about 3/4 cup. I don’t like really sweet drinks.) Dissolve the sugar then pour the concentrate into a container and refrigerate.

Hibiscus Tea Refresher Concentrate

To drink: use one cup of concentrate to one cup of filtered water. Remember, I like mine strong, so if it’s overwhelming to your taste buds, add more water until it’s pleasant to your tastebuds!

Hibiscus Tea Refresher Concentrate