Tag Archives: paleo snacks for kids

Happy Valentine’s Day from Heather and Leigh

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming with cheap chocolate and candy around every corner, so we thought we’d share a few of our favorite “primal friendly” treats and how we plan to spend the day. First, the treats:

-No-bake mocha fudge cookies inspired by Elana Amsterdam’s famous fudge babies– Add 2-3 Tbsp of your favorite ground coffee or espresso to Elana’s classic recipe!

-Home-made heart shaped “Larabars” In your food processor pulse 1/2 cup pitted dates, 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries, 1 cup nuts of your choice, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Flatten mixture into 8×8 pan to make bars, roll into balls, OR flatten on cookie sheet and cut out festive shapes with cookie cutters. The flavor combinations are endless here: apricots and almonds, coconut, dates and macadamia nuts, add some cocoa powder, throw in some dark chocolate chips…just combine proportionately until the ingredients are sticky enough to take shape.

Classic chocolate chip cookies from Elana’s Pantry – This recipe is tried and true, thank you Elana! You can sub honey for the agave and coconut oil for the butter, and the results are still always crowd pleasing.

Double chocolate mocha cookies from Elana’s Pantry – These are extremely decadent! Again, you can sub honey for the agave and coconut oil for the grape seed oil with amazing results!

-Heart shaped primal meatloaf with roasted root vegetables– Nothing says “I love you and I want you to stick around on Earth as long as possible” than a heart shaped, grain-free, hunk of meat and veggie primal goodness! This was our primal Valentine’s meal from last year!

As for my day, it will go something like this:

I will start the morning off with a festive WOD (something like AMRAP 14 minutes of 14 power cleans, 14 sit-ups, 14 push-ups, 14 ring rows, 14 double-unders) because I’m a nerd like that.  Between me (who naturally tends to over-do holidays!) and school parties, my kiddos will be inundated with little gifts and treats throughout the day. They are kids, they love it, and it’s just plain fun!

My husband and I collectively decided that we “just don’t do Valentine’s Day” which takes a lot of pressure off of us both.  Although, I do plan to make a  bit of a celebration dinner for the family hoping to make everyone feel a little extra loved. It will consist of coconut crusted salmon, roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts, and home-made sweet potato fries roasted in melted coconut oil, salt, pepper and cinnamon.  For dessert, I think I’ll stick with fresh berries and either try Leigh’s avocado chocolate mousse (plan to present as chocolate pudding to my kiddos!) or make home-made whipped cream.

Now, in a perfect world this will all come together, but we’ll see what happens between work schedules and kiddos extra-curricular activities! Hmm….Leigh’s plan is beginning to sound like a good idea…


My husband hopelessly dotes on me every day of the year.  I am blessed.  I never feel too much of a dying need to set time aside to remember to do this.  Still, this year I would like to recognize the fact that we are actually together on Love’s Holiday.  Even though I am not a big Valentine’s Day person– I do love doting on my little ones and allowing them to make treats to honor the memory of St. Valentine.

This year I think we will put the kids to bed a little bit early… then enjoy a special, quiet dinner together after they are asleep.  Most meals feel a little intense in our house.  We are there to take care of business, and clean it up quickly.  There is not a real moment to truly savor our food or have meaningful conversation.  I pine for quiet time with him, and babysitting costs are prohibitive.  I think this change of pace will serve us well.

When he gets home, I will have hot tea and an appetizer ready for him to enjoy while we scurry the kids through their nightly routine.  After they are asleep, our menu will consist of seared filet mignon covered in sautéed mushrooms and onions, with a side of beets and greens.  We will finish with hot decaf coffee and fresh berries  Normally, I would make a chocolate dessert like the chocolate mousse, or some kind of paleo-compliant tart.  But we are currently doing a 30 day sugar rehab, and Valentine’s Day will be no exception for us.

Tonight I came up with a quickly-whipped-together “pudding” which turned out to be really tasty.  I know Dallas and Melissa will blacklist me for labeling this a Whole30 option, because they dont like dessertifying paleo foods.  But–if you consider this a cheat–it’s a pretty clean cheat if you ask me.

1 ripe banana
1 tbsp sunbutter
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cocoa powder

 In a small bowl, combine the sunbutter and vanilla.   Mix and mash in the banana.  Stir in the cocoa powder until well mixed.  Enjoy alone or as a dip for strawberries.

Demonstrate your love with action!


Crackers two ways

5 Feb

Since we started the primal lifestyle I truly have not looked back. I can easily look past bowls of pasta, insulin spiking desserts, and loaves of bread.

However, I will be the first to admit that there are times when I wish I had something to snack on besides a handful of nuts, carrots and cucumbers, or beef jerky.

So, with that said, I present almond flour crackers:  a salty version that would accompany yesterday’s baba ganoush fabulously for part of a Super Bowl spread, and a sweet version to bring back childhood memories of graham crackers and milk with Grandma.

These should come with a warning label though: only to be made on occasion and not on a regular basis, can be addictive! Even my “suspect of everything almond flour” seven year old requested I make her the “super yummy” crackers for her birthday party. Now, that is what I call proof!


Almond Flour Garlic and Herb Crackers
(recipe inspired by my amazingly talented sister-in-law at Roost blog)


2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp salt + some for sprinkling
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients, stir in olive oil, and slowly add in water until a sticky dough forms. Flatten dough on parchment lined baking sheet, place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and roll out to desired cracker height (for best results, roll out as even as possible to achieve uniform doneness when baking). Cut dough into desired cracker shapes. There is no need to transfer the shapes, they will break apart easily after baking. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Cool, break apart, and enjoy!

Almond Flour “Graham” Crackers


2 cups almond flour
3-4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp softened butter (at room temperature)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients, cut in softened butter with pastry blender or fork, add vanilla and honey, and form into a ball of dough.  Place dough on parchment lined baking sheet, place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and roll out to desired cracker height (again, as uniform height as possible–although I admit to liking the “burnt” edges!). Cut dough into desired cracker shapes. Again, no need to break them apart prior to baking. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (this is optional but I swear my kids saw it, assumed it was sugar, and dug right in) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. You can also optionally prick crackers lightly with fork prior to baking for a more authentic graham cracker look! Cool, break apart and enjoy before your kids clear the whole plate while you’re doing the dishes…


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Baba Ganoush

4 Feb

I love this recipe.  Not only does it motivate me to eat my vegetables, but my kids eat this stuff like it’s their job.  This is also one of my go-to appetizers, people rave about it, and the best part is knowing how healthy the dip itself is.  I used to live on hummus before I made the change, but I have never thought about it since.

  • 2 eggplants, peeled, cut, roasted
  • ½ c pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 c tahini
  • ¼ c mayo (optional)
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ c chopped parsley

Cover and roast the eggplant on a nonstick surface at 375 until soft and brown.   (about 60-90 min)

Toast the pine nuts until they are golden brown.

In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts with the cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add eggplant and blend  until smooth.  Add tahini, mayo, and lemon juice.   Blend.   Add chopped parsley.  Taste it.  Go back and add lemon juice, or tahini, or salt if it needs it.  🙂

Serve chilled, with crudités, or a veggie chip of your choice.


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