Tag Archives: kid friendly primal snacks

More “Lara” balls please!

22 May

“Lara” balls are a hot commodity in our little corner of the world. Everyone we introduce to them instantly falls for their deliciousness, ease to make, and simple clean ingredient list. They are also perfect for kids and babies…bite sized, not too crunchy balls of high protein/high fat/naturally sweet yummy goodness.

I have the distinct pleasure of hosting an amazing group of cadet women most Friday evenings to unwind from the week. They are often my test group for recipes and they too have fallen for “Lara” balls. Here are a few new concoctions we tested recently to keep your “Lara” ball stock interesting:

No Bake Fig Newtons
If you used to love Fig Newtons, you will love these!

  • 2 cups nuts of your choice (I like a mix of almonds, walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 cup figs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
Cherry Pistachio
Fun, different and colorful! 

  • 2 cups pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup dried cherries or craisins
  • 1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp warm water (add at the end if the mixture is not sticky enough)

Macadamia Medley
Irresistibly buttery 

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Kona Coconut
Inspiration came from a cup of Green Mountain Island Coconut coffee I had the other day that was sinfully delicious! 

  • 2 cups nuts of your choice (I like almonds and walnuts for this one)
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt (to taste)

For all “Lara” balls: Pulse nuts in food processor, add rest of ingredients and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together enough to form balls. A lot of times I end up adding “a little more of this, a little more of that” depending on the day. Get creative! If your mixture isn’t sticking together, try adding a tsp at a time of warm water and pulse again.



Banana sweetened coconut flour muffins

18 Apr

I was putting together some leftovers for a friend and wanted to include an extra “treat.” My criteria: use coconut flour (because I was out of almond flour!) and use only fruit as a sweetener.  I put together this simple muffin and my friend said they were “rich and delicious.” We all second that, kids included!

  • 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped or ground pecans (optional–or replace with nut of your choice!)

Preheat oven to 350. Mash bananas, whisk in eggs, vanilla, and melted coconut oil in large bowl. In separate small bowl, mix coconut flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until you achieve a relatively smooth batter. Stir in nuts. Let batter sit while you either generously spray your muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. I love this spray for convenience, but alternatively I use a plastic baggie like a glove to grease pans with coconut oil. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 delicious, fruit sweetened muffins packed with fiber and protein!

**Update: Recipe also makes yummy pancakes! Follow same directions for batter. Spoon small circles on griddle pan, spread out slightly.  Cook for 1-2 minutes per side and you have yummy, fruit sweetened pancakes packed with fiber and protein!




Happy Faschnaut Day!

21 Feb

In my home growing up, the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent was known as Faschnaut Day (commonly called Fat Tuesday) and we would celebrate with delectable faschnauts (aka donuts!). I have vivid memories of my sweet mom bringing in our then counter-top deep fryer to my elementary school, and making donuts for my class. Fast forward twenty some years and twenty some faschnauts later, I still like to keep the tradition but found a better way to do it. Enter primal friendly baked “donuts” made from a variety of different nut flours. I will be the first to admit (and my husband said that I must not leave this part out!) they are a far cry from the donuts sold on bakery shelves, but they are a fun way to to treat your family without sending them into a fury of spiked insulin.

The day itself is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tradition originally created to purge your pantry of sugar and lard so that you could fast from those items during Lent. You have to admit it’s not such a bad idea! The first step in primal living is to purge your pantry of processed and packaged foods, flour, sugar, candy, chips, etc, etc and re-stock with primal staples. What a better time to start than today?

So, in the true spirit of Faschnaut day, I spent the morning baking a variety of primal friendly faschnauts for my family and myself, but tomorrow will be another day. I’m going to take the opportunity this season to pack away my baking honey and dark chocolate chips, and take a hiatus from any added sugar that might be creeping its way into my life. It should be a refreshing and rewarding way to spend the next few weeks! Now, I challenge you to think of a step you can take toward primal living….in your diet, in your fitness, or in your life! But, first enjoy your Faschnaut day!

Coconut flour cinnamon vanilla with honey-cinnamon glaze
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
6 eggs
2 Tbsp raw honey
1-1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
extra raw honey and cinnamon for glaze

Chocolate hazelnut with toasted coconut or honey glazed
1 cup hazelnut flour/meal (almond flour would also work, but I just bought some hazelnut flour and was eager to try it!)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
extra raw honey for glaze and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut for topping

For both recipes:  Preheat oven to 350, combine all ingredients minus those for glaze and toppings until smooth, grease a donut pan (or muffin pan, or any other circular type pan you might have) liberally with coconut oil, fill until near the top, bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake or they will lose their moistness! Makes about 6-8 donuts depending on your pan.

Topping ideas:
-Melt honey and cinnamon together, and brush on like a glaze
-Toast some unsweetened coconut, melt honey and brush on donuts, top with toasted coconut
-Melt honey and brush on donuts, top with mini dark chocolate chips
– Brush on pure maple syrup as a glaze
-Melt honey and brush on donuts, top with sprinkles–decidedly not primal, but fun for resistant kiddos
-Mix in some dark chocolate chips to the batter before baking

My recipes were adapted from Comfy Belly. Pictured to the left are her chocolate honey-dipped donuts that I made for a friend’s birthday last month. I opted for a honey glaze topped with mini dark chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut. They were a hit, even for my non-primal friend!


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