Category Archives: Kids

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

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Sweet potato??? really??? was my first thought when I came across this ice cream recipe. I was very intrigued by it because of the ingredients… ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS!!! Now who wouldn’t want to make this??

I have had great success with Brandi at The Vegan 8 recipes which was another reason to test this one. Well we have been blessed with another heat wave :( and we want something cool and sweet. I typically do not use coconut milk, but with this being ice cream, I felt it would be necessary for the full creaminess effect. After I had blended everything (which BTW, you just put it all in a blender, so easy!) I had to taste test. Um, well I could have kept taste testing, this stuff is seriously delish! so I can only imagine how it will be when it is ready to come out of the freezer… DEVINE!!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

 

Even though the coconut milk adds fat, it isn’t very much compared to the cream in packaged ice cream.  The processed fat and dairy which comes with a price to your health.  Our bodies can digest this easier as it is plant based. The sweet potato is loaded with Fiber, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and also has protein and carbs, all of which come from the natural source. All the more reason to splurge once in a while with a cold treat!

 

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

 

Ingredients you will need: Serves about 4 cups

Canned coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk) be sure to shake before opening
Dairy free chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
Cooked mashed and packed sweet potato (not yams)
Pure vanilla extract
Sea salt

 

Recipe here: The Vegan 8 – click here for recipe

 

Directions:

Cook the sweet potato however you prefer. I used a microwave because I want to make this quick and I was excited to get it in the freezer :) If you choose to bake it, bake at 400 degree F with skin on until soft. Do not steam or boil it.

Once the potato has cooled, peel and mash it really well. No lumps or skin. Pack it into 3/4 cup and add it to the blender.

Continue with adding the vanilla, coconut milk and salt. But do not blend yet.

Melt your chocolate chips your preferred method. Be sure to not get the chips too hot as they will burn easy and will be useless. Also try not to eat all the chocolate ;) I used my setting on my microwave, heat for about 15 seconds then stir and heat again until about 90% is melted then remove and continue to stir until all chips are melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the blender, scraping every bit of chocolate you can from the bowl into the blender.

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

 

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Taste test, and adjust if needed. I didn’t add anything extra to it, it tasted amazing just as is and I could have kept tasting it!

I poured mine into an ice cream storage container as I do not have an ice cream maker. If you have an ice cream maker, use it! Using the storage container, you will need to return every 30 minutes to stir to get your desired consistency. Best to set a timer for 30 minutes as a reminder and it may take at least 2-3 hours to get it to set.

Now it may not last long enough to be in the freezer overnight, but if you do have some just take it out to thaw for about 20-30 minutes to soften. Also, remember every time the ice cream is removed, thawed, and put back in the freezer, ice crystals form. My guess is that there won’t be much to worry about that. You could always pour it in individual containers for single servings.

making choclate ice cream

School Incentives – Rewards

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State testing in our school district is currently happening.  The girls came home last week with a sheet of paper with the words “Incentive Program” at the top.  As I began reading through this sheet of paper, I suddenly started to feel frustrated and kinda angry.  Why do kids need incentives for doing something that is standard in their school curriculum?

There are 10 bullet points on this sheet of paper and EVERY single one of them is a reward for how the students score on their state testing performance!!!  Seriously, is this for real?   Am I just over reacting on this or looking at it from a different perspective?  I don’t agree with the pressure put on students for state testing, let alone the testing and I don’t feel it is an accurate display of a child’s abilities. Just seems so backwards to helping kids learn life skills for when they are out in the world.

Of course I want my children to perform well and succeed in what they work for.  I also want them to fail.  They must learn how to solve, navigate and overcome many obstacles in life. If they are rewarded for every step along the way,  I am failing as a parent.  But that is neither here nor there and a completely different post.

There are a couple incentives listed that are not food related, thumbs up for that!   For example, “Every student who scores Met Standards or Exceeded Standards in English and Math will be able to keep their elective”.   I think it means, if you do not take the test there will not be a score, therefore you will not get to keep your elective. It is unclear of the meaning behind it.

 

 

Encouraging and supporting these students is great, I am all for that. With the way society and world is lately, we all need that extra positive nudge in our lives.  I also understand some need a little more than others.  Incentives to receive rewards can work but are not always the best choice, especially when it comes to food/candy (read past post).  Kids DO NOT need to receive a reward for EVERYTHING they do and accomplish.  Correct me if I am wrong, this is not how it works in life later on. 

 

 

 

 

Gnawty By Nature

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Clearly you know by now I like treats.  Dark chocolate and dates go hand in hand. That is why these Gnawty by Nature treats are topping my favorite list!

Sinful, maybe.  Decedent, maybe.  Heavenly, maybe.  Down right freakin amazing, heck YAASS!

Most of all, these nut butter bombs are healthy and nutritious.  They are rich, gooey, sweet and salty (if you use it for a topping) and the ideal treat to keep stocked in your freezer for banishing those sweet tooth cravings. Not to mention, one of the easiest treats to make.

When it comes to treats, there has to be dark chocolate!   It is a requirement for whether a treat is made or not. Not always, but pretty darn close!  I don’t receive too many “no thank you’s” from the family or friends either.   When smooth, creamy nut butters and chocolate are combined, you feel like you can conquer anything!  Throw in a fiber rich, potassium filled, antioxidant power house date, and you’ve got a chocolate and caramel combo that just makes your eyes swoon and your mouth drool.

Hope you like these treats! These are:

Soft & Chewy
Fiber rich
Perfectly Sweet
Easy to make

Need I say more!

 

Ingredients:

Dates (pitted)
Almond Butter or nut butter of choice.  I do not use any with salt and oil and suggest to avoid any added ingredients.
Optional toppings, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sea salt or cayenne.
Dark chocolate of choice, I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips

 

 

Directions:

A plate to place the dates on. You can line with parchment paper.
Choose the amount of dates you want.
Slice down one side of the date.  If there are pits, be sure to remove them.
Spread in your choice of nut butter.  We prefer almond butter, but if you like peanuts, peanut butter tastes divine as well.

 


Place them in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Melt dark chocolate or chocolate of choice.  I used a microwave setting and it works fine.
Pull out the dates from the freezer and begin pouring the melted chocolate over the nut butter filled dates.

 

The chocolate will start to harden.  At this time if you want to sprinkle some chia seeds, hemp seeds, sea salt or cayenne, now is the time.
Once they are all covered, place back in the freezer for another 10 minutes or so and then enjoy!

I stored these in a glass sealed container in the freezer.  I would guess about 4 days is good, but they never last long enough to find out :)

 

PB & Yay!

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For the longest time I have been making Kinda Like Muffins for the kids. They are the ultimate grab-n-go snack and always stocked in the freezer.  Over time they have evolved into other creations by changing up the ingredients, but always using the dates, bananas and oats as the base.

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Nature’s Candy Apples

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Alrighty, by now you have figured out that I like treats and I do my best to avoid using granulated industrial sugars of any kind.  I do use pure maple syrup and honey in some recipes and I am doing my best to reduce and eliminate those ingredients.  It is still sugar no matter how you perceive it, but a better alternative to industrial sugars. Dates are what I focus on using for added sugar.  These bites of heaven do more than satisfy a sweet tooth (and one does the trick!) they are packed with fiber, potassium, carbohydrates and magnesium that the body can digest easily.  They are great for sports, biking or running for a long duration.

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The Vegan 8’s Life Changing Pancakes

Whoa Nellie!!  Back it up, whip these pancakes up, and let’s just sit and mow these bad boys down!

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Fallnola

The girls have been putting in a request for granola lately and it is something that I have wanted to try. Our mornings and evenings have been cooling off which is feeling a little like fall as well as making it tolerable to use the oven more. Ava has been on a smoothie bowl fixation and the granola is what she said was missing. The evenings have been long with all the baking and taste testing, I figured granola should be pretty easy to put together. Well it sort-of was, getting the spices (flavor) down was a little harder than I realized because I wasn’t measuring, I was adding and tasting until I liked the taste. After the second batch, I felt I had it figured out. One of the convenient things about granola, you can kinda add what you want in it. This is the recipe for one of the batches I made and the flavor had a “fall” feeling.

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Mac N Cheese

Temperatures are dropping and some sprinkles here and there are making the crock pots, Instantpots and need for warm cozy food to fill the kitchen.  Well, start with this incredibly delicious Mac N Cheese from Plant Based Jane. I came across Jane through Angie Stewart Fitness and just adored her wit and sass. We have made several of her recipes with great success.  It was a nice change to use something other than cashews for the sauce, we don’t have nut issues in our home but for those who do, this is a fantastic meal.

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