Mojitos recipe 


Summertime cocktails so are much fun!!!! We are visiting some friends who recently put in a pool so we are enjoying a beautifully sunny day and some poolside mojitos! The first round were traditional mojitos, but about as organic as you can get. And the second round of “fire and water” mojitos had a little kick, but were cooled off with some watermelon. Both were equally delicious!! 


I love a fun cocktail, but i don’t usually order them out because I don’t know what kind of gross chemicals are could be lurking in the mixers. I like to have control over what goes into my body. This is a super yummy, light and refreshing mojitos that doesn’t have a bunch of gross chemicals and additives in it. And it’s easy to whip up because we just use organic agave syrup instead of a simple syrup that would need to be made ahead of time.  For a cocktail, it’s about as organic as you can get. 

This recipe makes 4 mojitos. Cheers! 


Traditional mojito

Ingredients: 

2 limes (one cut into 1/4s, one cut into 1/8s)

3 cups of seltzer water or club soda 

4 tablespoons of organic agave syrup 

White rum 

20 Mint leaves, torn (about 5 per glass)

Ice cubes 
Method:

1. In the bottom of 4 glasses, place 2 slices from the lime cut into eighths, the torn mint leaves and the agave syrup. Muddle the ingredients together.  

2. Add 1.5 – 2 shots of rum and 5-6 ice cubes per glass. 

3. Squeeze 1 of the lime wedges from the lime cut into fourths into each glass and fill the glass with seltzer (at least 1/2 cup). 

4. Mix well and serve. 
“Fire and water” mojitos recipe:


I named these after drinking 2 mojitos so time will tell if it’s a terrible name or not. The “fire” is for a hot pepper that my husband grew in the garden and the “water” is from watermelon. 
Method:

Follow exact recipe above, but add 1 tablespoon of watermelon and a small slice of hot pepper to the bottom of the glass before you muddle it. This mojito has a little kick to it and a delicious watermelon hint. 

Homemade almond butter recipe

This homemade almond butter recipe is INSANELY easy, fast and delicious. I make a batch every week and keep it in the fridge to go on my morning bagel (or sometimes just on a spoon directly into my mouth). My homemade almond butter doesn’t separate like most store bought almond butters do. I absolutely love the consistency and I love being in charge of how much salt goes in the recipe. 

With all of the peanut allergies that are around these days, it’s really nice to have an alternative nut butter on hand and this homemade almond butter recipe is perfect for that. My daughter and son both love this homemade almond butter too so it is definitely kid approved! 

I prefer to buy the almonds already roasted just because it’s a nice time saver, but if you can’t find them or prefer to roast them yourself, that’s always a good option too. I also (as always) use all organic ingredients!  You’ll also need a good quality food processor or blender. 


Ingredients:
12-16 oz unsalted roasted almonds 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Method:
Empty almonds into food processor. Turn on and blend for about 4-5 minutes. 
When the almonds reach a consistency that looks like this, turn it off and scrape down the sides with a small spatula. 

Let the food processor run until you reach the desired consistency. It should take about 2-3 minutes. You are looking for it to be completely smooth and it will have a sheen to it. 

Once you reach the consistency you want, add the salt and vanilla and blend for another 10-15 seconds only. DO NOT OVERBLEND with the vanilla added. It will ruin the consistency. 

Give this a try and let me know what you think! It will only take you 10 minutes or less to make. 

Shrimp Pasta with Lemon and Spinach

This shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe is so easy, fast, and absolutely DELICIOUS. I’ve been making some version of it for the past few weeks at least once a week because it’s so easy and fast, my entire family (toddler and baby included) will eat it, and it’s healthy and sticks to our current diet plan. 

I really love using sautéed shrimp in weeknight recipes because it’s so fast and can take on any flavor you pair with it. Even though lemon, shrimp, and spinach remind me of a summery dinner, I love it because it’s light and we are having a very healthy month since it’s January and we are trying to kick off the new year right! 

I always buy wild caught shrimp because the farmed ones are YUCKY. Trust me, you don’t want to eat what they are feeding the farmed shrimp. Get shrimp from their natural habitat – THE OCEAN. Always keep an eye out for deals on frozen wild caught shrimp. Whenever I see a good sale, I grab a bag or two to keep in my freezer. That way, I can run the shrimp under cold water in my sink for about 5-10 minutes in a colander to thaw them out and dinner is ready in a flash! 

Ingredients:
1 lb wild caught shrimp (if you can find it already peeled and deveined, I usually pay the extra couple bucks for this because with a baby and a toddler – I think it’s worth it!) 

6-8 oz organic pasta of your choice. Lately we have been using a lot of spelt pasta

1 lemon 

3 large handfuls of organic baby spinach 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Salt, pepper, garlic powder 

Method:

1. Thaw out your shrimp by running cold water over them in a colander in your sink. Or if you’re thinking ahead, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator. Then dry them with paper towels. Season both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

2. Boil water for pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box. 

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on one side and an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side. When the shrimp start to curl up and become pink, they are done. Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside. 

4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. It’s okay that it’s still dirty from the shrimp. It will all ended up married together later anyway. Add spinach and allow to cook down for about 5 minutes or until it’s all sautéed to the same consistency. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 

5. In a large bowl or your pasta pot, combine your cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, sautéed spinach, the zest and juice from one lemon, and your last tablespoon of olive oil. Stir together carefully and check for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed. Your shrimp pasta dinner is coming together!

I have been experimenting with all different kinds of pasta lately. We loved this spelt penne too:

 

If you have any other ideas for quick weeknight dinners, please share in the comments below!  Also, try out this shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe and let me know what you think.

Vegan buttercream frosting 

Now that the holidays are over and I’m on a sugar detox, of course I’m dreaming of all the yummy things I ate the past month. These delicious (toddler decorated) Christmas Cookies and this birthday cake come to mind…. as I snack on these baby carrots. I made a vegan buttercream frosting on both that was just divine. 

One of my best friends, a self proclaimed meat eating vegan, has given up dairy and eggs this year to continue breastfeeding her son who has severe food allergies.  We celebrated her baby’s first birthday and had a Toddler Christmas Cookie decorating party in December. And since that sweet little boy is one of my favorite kids on earth, I made sure the toddler cookie party was completely vegan friendly. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, but my friend called me after the party and said she was so incredibly thankful that everything was vegan friendly because there was no other cookie party on earth she could have gone to and not had to worry about what crumbs her 1 year old was finding on the floor.  

For the sugar cookies I used the Minimalist Baker’s sugar cookies recipe and they honestly turned out AMAZING. The binder in them is puréed pumpkin and I was so impressed with how they turned out. 

For both the sugar cookies and the birthday cake, this is the butter cream recipe I used. Earth balance vegan buttery baking sticks worked like a charm and everything tasted delicious. Like so delicious that people didn’t know it was all vegan until we told them. And no one missed the dairy or eggs! Try it out and and let me know what you think. 

Vegan Buttercream Frosting
Easy vegan buttercream frosting that can be used to decorate cakes or cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup softened Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (leave them out on the counter overnight)
  2. 3 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 tablespoons rice milk (or any other milk alternative you prefer - almond, coconut, hemp, flax, etc)
Instructions
  1. Beat softened "butter" in your stand mixer at medium speed for 3 or 4 minutes until creamed.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and start the mixer on low speed and then gradually move up to medium speed as it incorporates in.
  3. Once all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer off. Add the vanilla, salt and milk in the bowl. Then then the mixer back to medium and beat for 3 minutes.
  4. These measurements have always worked for me, but if your frosting seems too thick, add a little more milk. If it seems too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
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Vegan buttercream frosting
Ingredients:

1 cup softened Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (leave them out on the counter overnight) 

3 cups powdered sugar 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

3 tablespoons rice milk (or any other milk alternative you prefer – almond, coconut, hemp, flax, etc) 
Method:
1. Beat softened “butter” in your stand mixer at medium speed for 3 or 4 minutes until creamed. 

2. Add the powdered sugar and start the mixer on low speed and then gradually move up to medium speed as it incorporates in. 

3. Once all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer off. Add the vanilla, salt and milk in the bowl. Then then the mixer back to medium and beat for 3 minutes. 

4. These measurements have always worked for me, but if your frosting seems too thick, add a little more milk. If it seems too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. 

Soft Boiled Eggs

My best friend Natalie and her sister Melissa introduced me to prepping soft boiled eggs for the week. For the last several months, the three of us always send snaps of our SBE’s (soft boiled eggs) to each other on snapchat. Yes, we are tools. But they are soooooo good!!! My husband and 3 year old love them too. I make a big batch of them on Sunday night and then we have them ready to go in the mornings for breakfast. 

I go through phases with eggs. I think because I avoided runny eggs when I was pregnant, now I am making up for lost time. Sometimes I love them, sometimes not so much. I’ve been in love with these SBE’s lately and I love that it’s a super convenient source of protein for my family. Also my 3 year old loves peeling them. Actually it’s a big problem if I try to peel it for her. Three year olds are very calm and rational people. 

Side note – did you know that super healthy chickens that eat organic and frolic around in the sun have SUPER yellow yolks? I’ve gotten some from local farms where the yolks are so yellow it’s almost orange. I LOVE IT. Honestly since I started eating almost all organic, conventional eggs taste and look gross to me. If you haven’t tried them yet, do yourself a favor!! I really think it makes a difference. 

Ingredients:

Organic eggs – from a local farm if you can! You can use any amount that you need. It just depends how many will fit in your pot. 

Method:

1. Boil a pot of water. 

2. When it is already boiling, with a large spoon, carefully cradle the eggs into the pot with the spoon. 

3. Set a timer for 8-9 minutes. 8 minutes is about the perfect SBE. I usually do 9 minutes if sharing with my toddler. 

4. While the eggs are boiling, prepare an ice bath. Put about 10 ice cubes into a large bowl and fill with cold water. 

5. When your timer is up, carefully spoon the eggs into the ice bath. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes or until cool. 

6. Dry the eggs off with paper towels. They will stay fresh in your fridge for about a week. I like to pack 2 in sandwich bags to grab easily for breakfast during the week. 

Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are my absolute favorite Christmas cookie. They are slightly spicy from the ground ginger, warm from the cinnamon and cloves and they are SOFT. They are super easy to make and they are very fast. You could easily make these in about 20 or 30 minutes start to finish. 

These molasses cookies are also great for kids since they are so soft. I actually brought these in for my daughter’s birthday treat at her preschool because the teacher told me that they all just lick the icing off of cupcakes anyway – ha! The kids LOVED them! 

I also like to use blackstrap molasses which has lots of vitamins and nutrients from the sugar cane plant that are lost in the process of making sugar. Actually when my daughter was anemic, I used to give her a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses every morning to boost her iron. 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup melted butter 

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1 egg

1 cup brown sugar 

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp kosher salt 

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger 

1 tsp cloves 

3-5 tablespoons granulated sugar 

(Use all organic ingredients if possible!)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and blackstrap molasses. 


3. Add in flour, baking soda, and spices. Mix well. You’ll end up with a really smooth brown dough. 



4. Put your granulated sugar in a separate bowl so you can roll the cookies in it before baking. 


5. Form small (about 1 or 1.5 inch) balls and roll them in the sugar before putting them on the cookie sheet. 


6. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool completely before moving the cookies. They come out looking like this. 

These are what Santa will be getting this year!! Hope he likes them! 

Vegan brownies

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My best friend Maggi has been dairy and egg free for 7 months because she is breastfeeding her son who has severe allergies to both. So while we are not religious vegans, I have been creating a lot of vegan treats for her. These vegan brownies are delicious and so easy and fast to make. They are perfect if you have a last minute invitation and you want to bring something yummy. You basically just need to preheat the oven, spend a couple minutes mixing the ingredients and 20 minutes to bake. Voila – you’re done and have delicious vegan brownies! I also have chosen to make them a little bit healthier with extra virgin olive oil instead of canola or GMO laden vegetable oil. Don’t worry, no one will ever know! 

Give these vegan brownies a try for your vegan and non vegan friends alike and I promise that no one will complain! Let me know how they turn out for you. 
Dry ingredients:


1 1/3 cup organic flour 

1 cup organic sugar 

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder 
Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup water 

1 tsp vanilla extract 
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray. 

2. Put all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk it to combine. 

3. Add your wet ingredients and whisk everything together. 


4. Press your batter down with a spatula to flatten. 


5.Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Have you heard about all the benefits of coconut oil but you just stare at the jar and wonder how the heck you’re supposed to cook with it?  These roasted sweet potatoes are a great “gateway recipe” for you to get your feet wet with coconut oil.  I recommend trying it out now for a weeknight dinner, and if you like it, it is a perfect side dish to add to your Thanksgiving Dinner menu. 

This roasted sweet potatoes recipe is super simple and loaded with superfoods.  I love roasting sweet potatoes in the oven with coconut oil for a little bit of natural sweetness, rosemary for a fragrant woodsy heartiness, and salt and pepper to balance it out and make it savory.  It’s so fun to make something so healthy that tastes delicious and feels decadent.

Ingredients:

5-6 medium or 2-3 large sweet potatoes

1.5 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil onto your baking sheet.  (I like to cover mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up).  If you’re new to cooking with coconut oil, the weird part about it is that it changes form with the temperature.  In the summer, your coconut oil might be completely liquefied.  In the winter, it might be rock hard!  The good news is that it’s very malleable and you can soften hardened coconut oil in your hands easily.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces somewhere between 1/2-1 inch.  You are going for 2 things here: size uniformity so that they cook evenly and a size that looks pleasant to bite into.
  4. Add your cubed sweet potatoes to the baking sheet.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary over them.  I love using rosemary from my garden, but dried rosemary works great too.  Thyme works perfectly here too.  This is where you will get your hands dirty.  If the coconut oil is solidified, work it in your hands for a minute first to soften it.  Toss with your hands to coat all the sweet potatoes completely. Try and get them all in an even layer. 
  5. Roast at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Halfway through, take them out and turn them with a spatula so that they caramelize evenly.  They are done when you see them start to brown on the outside and the inside is tender.

Do you have any healthy recipes that feel like a cheat? Share them with me in the comments! 

Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Muffins 

Oatmeal apple cinnamon muffins are an easy grab-and-go breakfast that are perfect for the fall. I love them because they are made with all organic whole ingredients. There’s no added sugar or flour. And my toddler loves them because they are delicious and they have the perfect amount of  natural sweetness and spices. Plus she calls them cupcakes, so whatever. Perception is reality, girl. Ha!

I originally created this recipe for my friend Maggi who is breastfeeding her son  Daniel. He has a severe dairy and egg allergy and she’s always looking for easy meals that are Daniel-friendly. But the more I started talking to my mom friends, the more and more I realize people are really in need of dairy, egg and gluten free recipes. Whether it’s for a kid or a breastfeeding mom who is avoiding eggs, dairy and/or gluten, these Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Muffins are a perfect treat that won’t leave you feeling elimination diet deprivation. 

These also freeze well and travel well. I made a few batches this summer and brought them to Michigan with us for an easy grab-and-go breakfast. I like to make them on Sunday night so we have them for the week. 

Try them out and let me know what you think! This recipe will make 12 Muffins. 
Ingredients:

1 tbsp flax meal, 2 tbsp water 

2 cups organic gluten free oats 

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

1/4 tsp kosher salt 

1 cup organic rice milk (or any milk or your choice) 

1/2 cup applesauce (or if you’re a toddler mom, 1.5 Kirkland applesauce pouches)

2 tbsp honey

1 apple of your choice – peeled and diced 

(Use all organic ingredients if possible)
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to set. Flax eggs are so amazing for baking. I use them for pumpkin bread even though we don’t have egg allergies in my house! You can also just use one egg here if it’s easier for you. 


3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (By the time you add everything to the bowl, the flax meal and water mixture should be ready) 


4. Line muffin tin with muffin liners and spray cups with cooking spray. Scoop evenly into 12 cups. (I like using an ice cream scoop)


5. Bake 22 minutes. Cool completely and enjoy! 

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread Recipe – Happy fall, y’all!! This recipe is great for those who are avoiding eggs and dairy, but still want to participate in the PUMPKIN-ness of fall!! It is a favorite in our house, and I also love to give this bread as a gift as it holds up really nicely and freezes well.  I sent some in Lyla’s backpack for her preschool teachers, and mailed one to my cousin who is a freshman at Virginia Tech.

The reason I developed this recipe is for my friend Maggi who is breastfeeding, but her son has a severe dairy and egg allergy.  The pumpkin bread recipe that I have made for years had 4 eggs in it, so I wanted to see what happened if I tried flax eggs instead.  You honestly can’t taste a difference.  Maggi also loves chocolate, so that’s the reason for the optional chocolate chips add in!  Just look for the Vegan label on the chocolate chips.  Try this vegan pumpkin bread recipe and let me know what you think!


Vegan Pumpkin Bread
This Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe is a perfect fall staple for those breastfeeding moms who are avoiding eggs and dairy.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour
  2. 3 cups organic raw granulated sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
  3. 2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp nutmeg
  7. 4 tablespoons flax meal, 1/2 cup water
  8. 2/3 cup water
  9. 1 cup organic canola oil
  10. 1 15 oz can organic pumpkin
  11. 1 cup vegan or dairy free chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax meal and water in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes. These flax eggs are a perfect substitute for eggs.
  2. 2. Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in your mixer.
  3. 3. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. 4. If using, add chocolate chips last and mix for 15 seconds.
  5. 5. Pour evenly into 3 bread pans greased with cooking spray.
  6. 6. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool before serving.
Notes
  1. Freezes well! Perfect for those avoiding eggs and dairy.
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Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour

3 cups organic raw granulated sugar (or coconut palm sugar)

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 tablespoons flax meal, 1/2 cup water

2/3 cup water

1 cup organic canola oil

1 15 oz can organic pumpkin

1 cup vegan or dairy free chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax meal and water in a bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes.  These flax eggs are a perfect substitute for eggs.

flax egg
 
2. Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in your mixer.


3. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined.


4. If using, add chocolate chips last and mix for 15 seconds. I love this kind when avoiding dairy!

5. Pour evenly into 3 bread pans greased with cooking spray.


6. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool before serving. Freezes well!

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