Monday, July 21, 2014

Blueberry & Avocado Smoothie

I often use avocado in smoothies to make them extra creamy, but hadn't yet paired it with blueberries.  The kids requested I make a breakfast smoothie with our freshly picked berries, so I thought I'd try it out.

Neither of my kids are huge avocado fans, and both slurped this down. This yielded one large portion that I halved for the two of them.

Blueberry & Avocado Smoothie

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
4 ice cubes (skip if using frozen berries)
1 very ripe avocado
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbs. ground flax
couple drop liquid vanilla stevia
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon

Combine in a blender until smooth.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Grain-Free Blueberry Crumble

I'm shifting from zucchini to blueberries, as the kids and I picked a few lbs. worth at a local farm yesterday. They are amazing! Already froze a ton for smoothies and colder weather baking, but had to whip something fun up right away.

I've really gotten into using arrowroot or tapioca starch lately for both thickening and crispness; it plays both roles in this crumble. I didn't use much added sweetener for the berry mixture, as our berries are very sweet on their own.

For the crumble topping I used a combination of pecans and sunflower seeds because that was what I had on hand. You could use any nuts and seeds that you have and enjoy and it would taste great. I've made similar toppings with walnuts that turned out great.

I based my amounts on wanting to fill four small ramekins. If you want to fill a large baking dish you might want to double the proportions.

Grain-Free Blueberry Crumble

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tbs. arrowroot or tapioca starch
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg

crumb topping:
1/2 cup total raw nuts and seeds (I used pecans and sunflower seeds)
1 tbs. ground flax
1/3 cup almond meal
2 tbs. arrowroot or tapioca starch
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground freshly grated nutmeg
1-2 tbs. palm sugar
3 tbs. chilled butter or coconut oil, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Grease ramekins or baking dish.

Mix berries with starch to thoroughly coat them. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Pour this mixture into your prepared ramekins or dish.

Add nuts to a food processor and pulse just until they are broken down to small pieces (but not a powder). Add all remaining ingredients except butter or oil and mix again until combined.

Add butter or coconut oil and pulse mixture just until it has been incorporated but chunks of the fat still remain.

Drop crumble evenly on top of blueberry mixture. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until filling has firmed up and topping is golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pizza Zucchini Bake

I think my kids are done with zucchini. Good thing you can hardly taste it here! Shredded zucchini makes a sort of crust here, held together with cheese and egg. Then for the topping I used pizza-inspired flavors and ingredients.

You could include mushrooms, nitrite-free pepperoni, sausage... the possibilities are endless. Baking the zucchini portion first ensures that it firms up a bit before getting topped off.

Pizza Zucchini Bake

4 small zucchini, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt, pepper & garlic powder
1 lb. grassfed beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups organic marinara or pizza sauce
2 cups total grated Parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Place grated zucchini in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sweat for 15 minutes. Squeeze in a paper towel and add to a large bowl with eggs, 1/2 of cheese and seasoning to taste.

Spread into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, cook beef, onion, pepper and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef no longer pink. Stir in marinara sauce.

Spread meat mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 more minutes or until cheese is melted.