Wholesome R.D. Mom

Making Nutrition a Way of Life


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Homemade Organic Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This summer I broke down and finally bought our family a Cuisinart ICE-20 Ice Cream Maker (which also makes frozen yogurt and sorbet)….and it has certainly been a lot of fun! My son loves ice cream and has asked for it every birthday instead of cake…….so I knew he would be in heaven. Additionally, I like being able to customize flavors and control the ingredients in our ice cream. It’s not exactly healthy, but the cool decadent dessert  is a fun treat to splurge on every now and then. We have made some healthier versions of frozen yogurt and have not yet tried out a sorbet (that is next on my list), but this mint chocolate chip ice cream got an amazing 2 thumbs up by everyone in the family. I erred on the cautious side with the peppermint extract (as I know it can be strong) so I supplemented with a dark chocolate mint bar (Green and Black to be specific) to make up for some of it. The mixture below was simply perfect in flavor……subtle and not overpowering, but a definite minty delight. And our addition of spinach to tinge the ice cream green was a success (despite it not being depicted in the photo very well)! We sure hope you enjoy our rendition of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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Organic Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. organic whole milk
  • 3/4 c. organic cane sugar
  • 2 c. organic heavy cream
  • 1 small handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. organic peppermint extract
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch (this is optional, but I wouldn’t skip it. Please see my note below)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ~1/4 c. shaved Organic Green and Black Dark Chocolate Mint bar

Directions:

  • Before starting, make sure to place the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 6 hours. I have been storing my bowl in the freezer so it’s always ready when I want to make ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet in the summer.
  • Place the milk and the spinach in a blender and puree until there are no spinach chunks left.
  • In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the newly blended green milk, sugar, and salt.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the heavy cream, peppermint extract, and arrowroot starch.
  • Put the frozen freezer bowl on the ice cream machine motor base and add the paddle and the lid.
  • Turn on the ice cream maker and slowly pour in the mixture.
  • Let the ice cream churn for about 10 minutes. I always cover the top pour hole with a folded kitchen cloth to help keep the cold in and the churning time down.
  • In the meantime, finely chop (or shave) the dark chocolate mint bar until you have about 1/4 cup of chocolate shavings.
  • Once 10 minutes of churning has taken place take off the kitchen towel and add the chocolate shavings.
  • Continue churning for another 5-10 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached (with the kitchen towel on top of the pour hole my churning times were reduced by 5-10 minutes).
  • If not eating it right away (or if you desire a firmer consistency) store the ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer.

Note: I use the arrowroot starch as it works as a stabilizer and interferes with the formation of large ice crystals, helping to create a smooth mouth feel to the ice cream. Trust me, you will never make ice cream without it again!

 

 

 

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Banana Bread Protein Pancakes

What do you do when you don’t have much time in the morning, are out of homemade muffins and waffles, the kids had yogurt, granola and fruit the day before and you want to make sure your family has a well-balanced and healthy breakfast?……..Enter…. Banana Bread Protein Pancakes!

I absolutely adore simplicity in the kitchen and I try to make sure that I am not a slave to food prep while continuing to feed my family wholesome meals. Below is a simple morning pancake recipe that takes just a few minutes longer than it would for you to make pancakes using a store-bought box of highly processed pancake mix.

My kids love these, I enjoy them and they make wonderful leftovers. The bonus is the added protein from the siggi’s skyr, which I find helps to keep my kids a little more satisfied and satiated and helps to keep me out of a morning carbohydrate fog. If we have leftovers (as I usually make multiple batches at one time….they freeze well too) I sometimes pack the kids pancake sandwiches for lunch filled with cream cheese and berries or peanut butter and bananas. These pancakes are so simple and delicious and can easily be made gluten free!

siggis pancakes

 

Banana Bread Protein Pancakes

Serves about 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (for a gluten free version use gluten free oats)
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 1 and 1/2 smaller bananas)
  • 1 5.3oz cup siggi’s Vanilla 0% Skyr
  • 4 eggs (preferably pastured or organic and cage-free)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (this depends on how ripe your banana is)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • Optional: mini chocolate chips (my kids’ favorite)

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until batter is smooth and uniform in texture
  • Use a little oil (I use a Misto spray bottle filled with avocado oil) or a pat of grass-fed butter to grease your pan over low-medium heat
  • Pour the batter into the pan to make ~4 inch pancakes (and top with some mini chocolate chips if desired)
  • Allow to cook until edges start to harden and the bubbles on top pop, leaving craters in the pancakes (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Flip pancakes and allow to cook until batter is no longer runny (another minute or so)
  • Eat them plain, topped with mixture of honey and peanut butter with banana slices, unsweetened applesauce, your favorite flavor of Siggi’s Skyr yogurt, or pure maple syrup…..whatever floats your boat and makes yours kiddos happy  🙂

You’ll be amazed at how fast these pancakes disappear 🙂

 


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Dinner Challenge Week 1: Simple Frittata Recipe

Do you struggle with feeding your entire family the same meal for dinner?

Despite all of the variety I can feed my kids at lunch time. Hot dinners are definitely a struggle in our home. First off, there is not one meal that we can/will ALL eat (ok, maybe aside from breakfast for dinner). My kids are exact opposites in their likes and dislikes (and both are quite picky), my husband is very particular about his food being separate (and is not very adventurous) and I have a food allergy and some intolerances that need consideration.

We try to prepare meals with lots of components (a couple of meat options with at least two side dishes that each person will eat…….so if you do the math there could be 6 different side options at times) to make dinner enjoyable for everyone, but even sometimes that doesn’t work. Honestly, it’s exhausting!

Therefore, after some contemplation, I decided to begin a mini Dinner Challenge and have each kid cook a meal with me one night each week. I would like for them to understand, first hand, what goes into a meal from finding the recipe, prepping the entire meal, setting the table and serving it. My thought is that if they pick out the meal and help prepare it that they will be more likely to appreciate it and eat it!………we’ll see huh?

The next day, my soon-to-be-6-year-old, Dane, found 17 recipes that he would like to make with me for our Dinner Challenge. I was shocked to see chicken amongst his choices (as he does not care for chicken and will not eat it when we make it). However, he assured me that he was definitely interested in trying the recipes…..so here is to branching out…..hopefully!?!

Fast forward to today, the real start of our Dinner Challenge. On the menu was a Vegetable Frittata as our main course (Dane’s choice). We loosely followed a recipe, tailor-making it to Dane’s liking (and adding some sausage last-minute per his request). He choose what vegetables to include and managed to prep and cook the whole meal from start to finish all by himself (with just a little direction on my part). I was quite surprised at how confident and skilled Dane was and he was super excited the whole process. He even said, “I am a real cook!” His little sister, Brooke, who is 3, had a hard time watching the whole process so I kept her busy with glitter glue and setting the table “for mommy.”…..such great helpers I have!

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While the frittata was cooking I had Dane think of some sides to accompany the dish. His choices (cantaloupe and tomatoes) weren’t at all fancy and didn’t require a recipe, but they complemented the dish, definitely suited his likes, and provided a good first step to meal planning.

All in all we had some great quality family time as we all talked about the process and complemented each other on our ninja knife skills.

So what happened when dinner was served and the blessing was said? We all dug into our proud boy’s dish! It was quite delicious and we all had seconds….aside from Brooke who tried one bite and graciously declined any more………”But she doesn’t like eggs anyways.” Dane said in defense. He’s right, but I was still impressed that I never heard a complaint by her. Brooke elected to just eat her sides and was thoroughly happy with that. About a hour later Brooke was hungry, but I was okay with making her a peanut butter sandwich, because at dinner she was present with us and tried the food, making no fuss about not liking the dish. Next dinner challenge will be all up to her. This is feeling good!

 

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Below is the recipe we threw together this evening. Feel free to switch out any or all of the vegetables for your favorites or make it vegetarian. The choices below were all Dane’s as he was a “real cook” tonight.  🙂

Dane’s Simple Vegetable and Sausage Frittata

DSC_0277Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs (preferably pastured)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a pinch of pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 chicken sausages, chopped  (if using store-bought sausage make sure you remove the pork casing or you could also sub a couple of pieces of pastured bacon) – this was a last-minute throw in for us 🙂
  • Pat of grass-fed butter or a little avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese mixed with cheddar and parmesan (or your choice of cheese)

Directions: 

  • Set the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Beat the eggs, salt and a pinch of pepper in a bowl and set aside
  • Sauté the chopped vegetables and the chopped sausage in a skillet with a little grass-fed butter or avocado oil until tender
  • Stir the eggs while you slowly add the cooked vegetables to the egg mixture and pour the whole mixture into a greased 5X9 baking dish (or similar)
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for about 25 minutes or until cooked through

Note: I typically have added basil and some other herbs to my frittatas, but have never had any luck with Dane liking them. So this time I left the herbs out and let Dane guide the ingredients. It worked! He definitely enjoyed his meal and so did I 🙂 Therefore, feel free to add in any herbs/spices that you would like to jazz it up a bit. This is a very kid-friendly version……that is, if your kid likes eggs.