VBS Goes Primal

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It turns out that pretty much very church on the planet uses the same VBS theme each year.  Are you looking for a business opportunity?  It seems as though someone should come up with a competing company, as there is apparently only one choice!  Because of that, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing VBS snacks with people from six different churches around the country recently…and they all offered zero in the way of nutrition.  I heard everything from candy to chicken nuggets to cookies to crackers.  How many f these snacks will sustain kids through the whole morning?  None.

Last year I played around with the whole “primal” snack thing, and got a decent response–for the most part, the kids didn’t notice that the snacks were any different.  This year I decided to go the whole way to primal, with one caveat: some corn chex in the trail mix.  That is the only place where I haven’t yet found an affordable filler.  Maybe next year I’ll have it figured out.  Anyway, our menu this year went as such:

Monday: Smoothie Popsicles/Applesauce Popsicles

Tuesday: Trail Mix

Wednesday: Ants on a Log (with sunflower butter and/or cream cheese)

Thursday: Fresh Sorbet

Friday: Vanilla-Scented Coconut Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

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Smoothie Popsicles

I’m going to be honest–I didn’t measure when I did these, but I have a rough estimate of ingredients.  These and the sorbet basically require a good blender (Vitamix or higher).

1# strawberries

1 banana

1 avocado

1 C unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp flax meal

1.- Whiz it in the blender.

2.- Pour it into Dixie cups.  Stick in a popsicle stick (they will stand up).

3.- Freeze.

These take a LOT of freezer space when you make them for large numbers of kids.  We would put 24 on a tray, then stack a second tray of 24 on top.

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Trail Mix

These two pictures look alike, but because of allergies, they were not.  We had separate snacks each day for the big kids (4 and up) and the little kids (2-3).  This way, I was able to cover all allergies in the group with just one snack.

Big Kids

Corn Chex

Raisins

Cashews

Unsweetened Grated Coconut

Pumpkin Seeds

Dark Chocolate (90%+)

Littles

Corn Check

Unsweetened Grated Coconut

Raisins

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Raw Sunflower Kernels

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Ants on a Log

These should be pretty self-explanatory.  I don’t have a picture of the cream cheese version, but they were exactly the same, just with cream cheese.

Celery

Sunflower Butter

Cream Cheese

Raisins

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Sorbet

This recipe MUST have a good blender.  You will break the motor on a $50 blender in about two seconds trying to make this.

1# frozen strawberries

1# frozen pineapple

1 avocado

1/2 frozen banana

1 tsp honey

1 C unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp flax meal

1.- Layer the liquid and soft items first–coconut milk, honey, avocado, flax meal.  Add in the frozen fruit.  Turn on the blender and slowly rev it up to high.  Use your tamp to shove everything down to the bottom and within a little bit, you’ll have four lumps form on top.

2.- When it’s the consistency of ice cream, you stop the blender and eat it.

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Vanilla-Scented Coconut Pancakes with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

One recipe makes 15-20 pancakes, depending on their size

8 eggs

1/4 C melted butter

1/2 C coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey

1/2 C coconut flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp banking soda

1.- In blender, mix eggs on medium-low until frothy (takes about 60-90 seconds).  Add in butter, vanilla, coconut milk, and honey while continuing to mix.  Add in dry ingredients and mix until well-combined and lumps are gone.

2.- Let rest for 15 minutes–it will thicken.  If it gets too thick, add in more coconut milk or water.

3.- Heat griddle to medium and grease appropriately.  Cook pancakes.  Coconut flour cooks a little differently, so just watch them and make sure you don’t turn them too early.

4.- Serve with whatever on top.  We chose strawberries and sugar-free whipped cream

 

German Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Ricotta Frosting (Keto and Primal)

German Chocolate Doughnuts

This coming weekend will be Isak’s first time going to a birthday party since going sugar-free and (most recently) grain-free.  I don’t want to always bring him his “own” treats, but I also don’t want to undo all of the hard work we’ve done, blowing it out of the water with birthday food.  Fortunately, it’s a morning party, so the likelihood of cake was going to be low.  I asked the girl’s mom what kind of food would be there, and she said they’d have fruit, so score on that one!  But she also said that at the party (which is an art party), they would be decorating doughnuts.  I told her I would come up with a doughnut and bring it for Isak with some whipped cream so he could “decorate” too.

This is the first recipe I tried.  It was originally just a plain, coconut-flour cupcake.  I decided to add some actual coconut and some cocoa to it, as Isak loves coconut and all things chocolate.  Then I made a ganache with butter, cocoa, and erythritol, but it didn’t mix correctly for some reason.  I added some ricotta, mixed it on high, and it whipped up like a fluffy frosting!  I haven’t give them to anyone who still eats sugar yet, so I don’t know what they taste like to “lay people.”  But…I know that Isak chowed down three of them today…so apparently they’re a hit.  If you like coconut and chocolate together, they’re AMAZING!

German Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Ricotta Frosting (Keto and Primal)

Makes 10 Doughnuts

Nutrition per doughnut including the frosting: 223 calories, 20.4 g fat (14.7 saturated), 4.9 g fiber (3 net carbs), 5.5 g protein

1/3 C coconut flour

1/3 C unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 C cocoa powder

3 lg eggs

1/3 C coconut oil, melted

1/4 C heavy cream

3 Tbsp erythritol

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Grease doughnut pan with coconut oil.

2.- Add all ingredients to large bowl.  Mix on high until completely blended.

3.- Pour dough into doughnut pan or mini-bundt pan.

4.- Bake 15-20 minutes.

 

Frosting

3 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1/4 C whole-milk ricotta

2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1-2 Tbsp erythritol

1/4 tsp vanilla

3-6 drops liquid stevia

1.- In microwave-safe bowl, add butter, cream, cocoa powder, erythritol, vanilla, and stevia.  Microwave until liquefied.

2.- Remove from microwave and beat on medium-low for about a minute.  Add ricotta and whip on high for another minute or so.

3.- Spread onto cooled doughnuts.

 

“Nutella” Cookies (Keto and Paleo)

Nutella Cookies

This is a cookie for all times of the day.  Breakfast, snack, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch…  Whatever meal you’re having, this is a cookie to go with it.  Hell, break them up, pour some dairy over them, and call them cereal.  Isak LOVES them.  Especially with whipped cream.  Full disclosure though, he loves everything with whipped cream.  But these he even loves without.

There is one down side: hazelnuts are far from the cheapest nuts and far from the cheapest flour.  If you aren’t stuck on having the hazelnut flavor, you could likely substitute any nut flour for the hazelnut flour (I will eventually try cashew, myself).  Pistachio would be good too.  Okay, now I’m drooling over the thought of macadamia.  You can pretty much pack the sheet with these–they don’t spread.  Keep that in mind when you’re forming them.  I made mine about 3/4 the diameter of Oreos.  So yeah, try these out.  I’m going to make about 400 dozen to take on our upcoming trip to Ohio.

“Nutella” Cookies (Keto and Paleo)

32 small cookies

Nutrition: 57 calories, 5 g fat, 2.1 carbs (1.2 g fiber, 0.2 g sugar, 0.9 net carbs), 1.6 g protein 

1 C hazelnut meal/flour (you can buy this or make your own)

1/2 C almond flour

3 T flax seed meal

2 tsp chia seeds

1/4 C cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 C chopped pecans

1 egg

3 Tbsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 C stevia in the raw

squirt of liquid stevia

1.- Heat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

2.- In medium bowl, combine hazelnut flour, almond flour, flax seed meal, chia seeds, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, chopped pecans, and 1/4 C stevia in the raw.

3.- In large bowl, mix egg, butter, vanilla, and a squirt of liquid stevia.  Mix dry into wet and combine well.

4.- Roll and flatten on silpat.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Remove cookies to cooling rack and let cool 15 minutes before serving.

More Amazing Pizza! (Keto and Primal)

Fran's Pizza

I didn’t think it could get better than the last pizza crust I posted, but it can, and it did.  One of my friends made some changes to an existing recipe, and of course I asked for the recipe while having lunch at her house.  Then I made a few more changes (because I can’t be trusted to make any recipe–including my own–the way it’s written) and now we have this!  This is the most bread-like grain-free crust I’ve ever tasted.  I would go out on a limb and say that once you press this out, you could use a biscuit cutter to make rounds of this and use it for sandwiches.  It’s that good.

It has 21 grams of fat per piece, and almost 7 grams of fiber per piece, to boot.  Delicious and nutritious!  Make some tonight!

Pizza (Keto and Primal)

9 “square” servings

Nutrition:  283 calories, 20.9 g fat, 10.5 g saturated fat, 11.6 g carbs (6.6 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 5 g net carbs), 17.8 g protein

2 C shredded mozzarella

3 T cream cheese

1 egg

1/4 C almond flour

1/2 C coconut flour

2 Tbsp ground flax seeds

2 Tbsp psyllium husks

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1.- Heat oven to 425.  In lg microwave-safe bowl, heat mozzarella and cream cheese for 60 seconds.  Stir and heat another 20-30 seconds.

2.- Stir in egg, almond flour, coconut flour, flax seeds, psyllium husk, chia seeds, and seasonings.  Mix well.  The easiest way to do this is to put on gloves and use your hands to knead it like bread dough.

3.- Oil your hands and press this out on a silpat-lined baking sheet.  Poke some small holes with a fork to prevent bubbling.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove and pop any bubbles that may have formed.  Top with some tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings (the nutrition for this pizza is based on cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms).  Bake another 8-10 minutes.