My family is full of chocoholics – including me. We eat chocolate several times a week and I don’t feel guilty about it. To me – it’s all about moderation. We’re a foodie family and I believe enjoying a meal is one of those simple pleasures that should be a part of one’s daily routine.
We rarely eat processed food and, excluding chocolate, we don’t eat a lot of refined sugar and white flour. This granola is whole-grain, packed with fibre, and much healthier than most of the granolas on the grocery store shelves. If you have never tried raw buckwheat groats – you should. They are lovely nutty crunchy little things that are full of protein, fibre and iron.
These delicious scones are kid-approved. I recently made them as an after-school snack and one of my kids said she would trade her LOL doll for another batch. I need to take her up on that…
My eldest daughter is lactose-intolerant. Initially we avoided all dairy but we’ve recently found that there are a couple of dairy foods that she can handle. Butter is one of them. I’ve tried making scones without butter but the alternatives have never been as good. This recipe swaps out the traditional milk or cream (which are no-gos for her) with coconut milk. They are absolutely delicious and it means my lactose-intolerant kid can happily devour these goodies with her sisters.
My young ones are OBSESSED with dogs. I love dogs, too, but am not planning on adopting one anytime soon. Truthfully – it would push me over the edge.
Every Christmas the kids ask for dog. And in the summer when they blow on dandelion flowers and make a wish – they always wish that they could have a dog. Somedays I think I should buck up and make their dreams come true, but in the mean time, I try to support their relationships with our four-legged friends in every way I can. We’ve spent countless hours at the local make-shift dog park hanging out with local pups. We always stop to say hello, shake a paw, give a pat, even when it makes us late. And every Christmas our holiday baking includes gingerbread and dog biscuits.
This year we tried Ina Garten’s (aka Barefoot Contessa’s) Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. This recipe is a winner, the best we’ve made to date – and it was really easy to make.
Barefoot Contessa's Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
This adapted recipe comes from Ina Garten's <em>Make It Ahead</em> cookbook. She uses stone-ground whole wheat flour, quick cooking oats, and wheat germ. We used regular whole-wheat flour, large flake oats, and omitted the wheat germ because that's what we had on hand. The biscuits still turned out beautifully and they smelled so good that my kids wanted to eat them.
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup large flake oats, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
1 cup of water
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 325F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients except water and egg.
With mixer on low speed add the water and the egg and mix until it forms a slightly sticky ball.
Dump dough on well-floured board, knead into ball, and roll out 1/2 inch thick. (We were inconsistent with the thickness and the biscuits turned out just fine.)
Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut out shapes. Collect scraps, roll out again, and cut out more biscuits.
Place biscuits on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with oats.
This easy breakfast is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s also a great weekday make-ahead option which can be portioned out over a couple days.
Kefir is a fermented milk that’s kind of like an unsweetened yogurt drink. It’s thinner that yogurt and thicker than milk. It’s made with milk, bacterial cultures, kefir grains and kefir yeast. It contains more probiotics that yogurt and has a broader range of nutrients. It’s great for your digestive health and your immune system.
Chia seeds are full of essential fatty-acids, fibre, omegas, anti-oxidants, protein, and vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron, which support good heart, brain and bone health. They stabilize blood sugar and fight belly fat and inflammation.
If you like yogurt you should give this recipe a try. I love it and so do the kids!
Chia pudding has to be the easiest make-ahead breakfast and it’s incredibly versatile.
It’s also very healthy as chia seeds pack a big punch. These little gems are full of essential fatty-acids, fibre, omegas, anti-oxidants, protein, and vitamins and minerals which support good heart, brain and bone health. They also stabilize blood sugar and fight belly fat and inflammation. It’s no wonder this superfood is becoming so popular.
If you find it hard to manage breakfast before work, chia pudding is a great option to have ready to simply grab and go. My husband often rushes off to work in the morning and loves to bring this to eat at his desk.
At home I take the time to turn my chia pudding into a pretty breakfast bowl with an assortment of fresh fruits or chia jam and sprinklings. It’s a lovely way to start my day.
The most basic version is simply 1 cup of milk to 1/4 cup chia seeds. For vegan options you can use nut milks such as almond or cashew, or soy milk if you wish to go nut-free.
Give the mixture a stir after 15 minutes or so, otherwise the chia can clump together which yields an undesirable texture.
When I started making these chocolate chip granola bars in the fall they quickly became a family favourite that was put into heavy rotation. I whip up a batch every week. They are easy to make, tasty, and infinitely cheaper and healthier than store bought. They are nut-free and sesame-free, making them safe to bring to school and community spaces with allergy-friendly food policies. They also keep well. I pop them into my daughter’s lunch box, and pack them for snacks at the park and for after-school activities throughout the week. My husband also takes them to work to munch on when that afternoon slump hits. The ingredients are all from the pantry.
1/2 cup avocado oil (or another neutral flavoured oil)
1/2 cup liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup combine wet ingredients.
Drizzle wet ingredients over dry ingredients and THROUGHLY combine.
Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet and PRESS DOWN FIRMLY to shape it into a rectangle (about 10×11 inches). If you don’t press it together well and it’s loose then you’ll end up with granola instead of granola bars.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the top starts to turn golden.
Allow to cool – for at least 15 minutes, then cut into bars (thirds lengthwise, then eight across).
Resist the temptation to cut into these bars immediately – if they haven’t cooled you’ll end up with a big ol’ mess of granola instead of granola bars.
These granola bars can be stored in a container for a couple weeks (if they last that long).