Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Let me tell you a story...

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Once upon a time there was this Princess. She was of coarse the fairest of all and had control over all the house hold...um land, I mean land!

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She danced, sang, and pranced around like most princesses do, but most of all she was known for her dramatic, and quite loud,  personality.

Often times you might walk into her living quarters to find jewelry, purses, and plastic heels strewed about the room. Then when you look up to see the Princess, you notice her standing against her table wearing an oversized tutu talking to a line up of her favorite princess dolls. She talks politely but demanding to them, and if one disappoints her she slaps them onto the floor...

Her mother, quite beautiful I might add, loved to watch this Princess grow on a daily basis but knew the more she grew the more independent she would become. Instead of request to be held and cuddled, it was more like, "Go away mom, I'm playing!"

 So, in her desperate efforts to hold onto her little princess just a little longer, before Teenage Charming comes along, her mother whisks her away into the kitchen to prepare a snack.

It's where they connect every time and share stories, laugh, and learn.

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And for that moment in time, nothing matters except the love in their hearts and the chocolate on their faces...

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Oh...and the muffins in the oven. Those are pretty important too...

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Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

dash of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 c. homemade pumpkin puree, or puree from a can

1 egg-or 1 flax or chia egg

1 TB. vanilla

1/3 c. almond butter

1/3 c. melted coconut oil-cooled

1/4 c. packed finely shredded carrots, or 1 large carrot finely shredded

1/3 c. maple syrup

2 TB. non dairy milk

1/2 c. chocolate chips.

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Directions:

1. Whisk dry ingredients together, (flour, salt, BP, BS, spices) in a medium bowl.

2. In a separate bowl whisk the rest of the ingredients together, besides chocolate chips. Add wet to dry and stir until incorporated. DO not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter into muffin liners in cupcake pan. Bake in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes.

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As soon as the muffins are done and consumed, the little princess gives her mother a hug and a kiss and quickly runs off to her big girl duties.

The mother, grateful for the time they spent, realizes what a precious and polite angel that little princess really is and wants nothing more than to give her one last big hug before she goes about her duties.

Knowing this would be no easy task, the Princess' mother bends down and says to the princess, "Can I tell you a secret?" In which the princess replies, "Sure!"

Her mother quietly whispers in her ear saying, "I Love You!"

At that moment, the Princess looked at her mom, rolled her eyes, and said...

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"That's no secret Mom!"

The end.

Anytime (Veggie) Cookies

**This original post is from 2012 and I have updated it so it’s easier to follow! Along with an updated recipe and pictures :). Scroll down for the recipe!**

I created this recipe to be a cookie you or your family could have ANYTIME. It has veggies, dark chocolate, and naturally sweetened coconut sugar. My kids ask for cookies on the daily, so I love to whip these up as a great healthier alternative! They have a texture similar to muffins vs. a crunchy cookie. I love to store these in the freezer, and then pull one out when needed. Just sit them on the counter for a few minutes to come to room temperature! Also a great filling treat to put in your kiddos lunches!

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup coconut oil, room temp. (Not too hard, not melted)

1 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1 TB. vanilla

1 cup shredded zucchini, I like to do the large shreds. If there is a ton of moisture in the zucchini, you can squeeze it out a little bit.

2 cups plus 4 TB. unbleached flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add coconut oil and coconut sugar to your mixer bowl. Turn the mixture on low and continue to mix until incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. Next mix in the eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and then shredded zucchini.

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. With the mixture on low, add in the flour. Do not over mix. Then add in the coconut and chocolate chips and stir until just combined.

  3. Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet fitting with parchment paper.

  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, be careful not to overtake. Just when they start to golden up. Take them out of the oven and place cookies on a cooling rack to cool.

  5. Store in a covered container. These have a similar texture to muffins, especially after being stored as they will soften up. I love to make these and then keep them in the freezer to pull out when needed. Just allow them to thaw on the counter for a bit before eating.

  6. It also taste delicious with a spoonful of nut butter spread on top as well!

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Freezer Pesto Egg Breakfast Burritos

Before Sweet Pea was born I really wanted to get busy and make a few freezer meals because I knew I would have little time to cook.

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Of coarse I procrastinated, and now I've found myself deep in a box of Peanut Butter Puffins Cereal wishing I had prepared better for this moment. Trust me, those puffins aren't cheap and 1 box only last like...and hour.

Sadly we can't live off cereal, which I could totally argue. (That and a box of chocolates and a bottle of ketchup are all I would need to survive.)..Which is why I've tried hard to prep a few things here and there and throw in the freezer for days of desperation.

What is a day of desperation you might ask?

Just picture Sweet Pea Crying, Boo screaming, and me doing a little bit of both...

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For starters I try to cut, chop, wash, store, etc. all the produce and snacks after I go grocery shopping so that healthy food is ready and available to desperate times. This food prep takes some time, and I usually do it at night when the hubs is home. I will even cut veggies that I am going to use for dinner days later, that way it's ready and cut when it comes time to cooking.

This week I'm going to share with you two freezer foods I made, the first being Pesto!

I love Pesto! It's great for sauces, dressings, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, etc.

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Freezer Diary Free Spinach Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

2 large handfuls spinach, 2 large handfuls basil, almonds, olive oil, 2-3 cloves garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon

Blend until desired consistency is reached.

Place pesto in ice cube trays or container and drizzle a little extra olive oil on top.

Along with that pesto, I decided to add it onto some freezer breakfast burritos. These are super quick and easy grab and go breakfast for someone like a nursing mama or a hubby quickly on his way to work!

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Screen shot 2012-09-06 at 10.56.40 PM

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Ingredients:

Sauteed Veggies

(I used onions, shredded zucchini, garlic, and bell peppers)

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Scrambled Eggs

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Screen shot 2012-09-06 at 10.58.50 PM

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Take a whole wheat tortilla and spread about a tsp. of pesto on it.

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Add a spoonful of veggies.

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Then add your eggs.

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Top with cheese if desired. (I used pepper jack cheese for the hubby!)

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Roll into burritos...

(Don't ask me how to roll a burrito...This took me 45 times before I got it right.)

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Roll the burritos in plastic wrap and store in a plastic bag or container in freezer.

To reheat, remove from plastic and warm for about 1-1 1/2 min. in microwave.

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Top these bad boys with fresh guacamole, salsa, or better yet...Ketchup!

Here's to makin' life a little easier! :-)

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Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Loaf Bread & French Toast

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to start cooking some real food and blogging about it! It was a really great experience to share with you my baby/toddler food experiences, but now that I am in my second trimester and have more energy than I have had in months...

I've been a cookin' machine!

My husband actually asked me if I was feeling okay, because every night this week we have had a home cooked meal and he hasn't had to scrummage the fridge for something other than hummus and a bag of grapes.

(Prego me=terrible wife)

But let's not go into all the things that i've been 'skipping' since growing this little chickpea inside me, and let's focus on the food that I have been stuffing my face with.

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Carbs.

I love carbs...bread in particular. Bread taste heavenly when your pregnant...then again, so does ketchup...

But you see, I love flavorful breads. Not just the regular old whole grain bread with seeds, those don't get me all hot and bothered. It's the banana breads, lemon, and sweet fruity breads. Am I weird?

I've had these lovely freezer burned cranberries in my freezer for only heaven knows how long...

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I'm guessing they are as old as Baby Boo, which is kind of disgusting, isn't it? They have actually been in 3 freezers because we've moved 3 times since having Baby Boo...That's more disturbing.

None the less, why not make bread with said cranberries. Nothing a little warm water and defrosting can't solve right? :-)

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Whole Wheat Orange Cranberry Loaf Bread

Adapted from THIS recipe from Lick The Bowl

Ingredients:

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 c. coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

sprinkle of nutmeg

3/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

1 TB. orange zest

2 TB. applesauce

1 egg beaten

3 tsp. maple syrup

1 TB. vanilla

1 1/2 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

Gather your ingredients and preheat oven to 350:

(not pictured, vanilla and baking powder)

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Juice your oranges:

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Mix your dry ingredients (including sugar) together, and then mix your wet in a separate bowl. Combine wet and dry. Fold in the cranberries.

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Pour batter in a prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. (I did 45) It will be a harder loaf compared to banana bread, which is a little softer. Make sure to stick a toothpick in the middle to make sure it's all the way cooked.

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While your waiting for your bread to cook, have Baby Boo make dinner.

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Once it's done, let cool and be excited, because your whole house will smell delicious!

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This is a loaf bread, so it's sturdy. It's a great bread for a sand which!

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It has a hint of orange and the perfect amount of sweetness, with a slight burst of tangy cranberries with each bite...MMmmmm.

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But if you don't want to make a sand which, then I suggest you make french toast...

Because sweet baby cranberries, orange cranberry french toast with a drizzle of maple syrup=favorite breakfast of all time!

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I know this because between my sweet little family, we finished off the loaf in one day.

We are heifers.

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MOOOOOOO!

Have a great weekend friends! :-)