Viewing entries in
Holiday

Easter Celebrations

Easter Celebrations

The Easter Bunny is coming to town!

Easter is known as a “moveable feast” because unlike many other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, it doesn’t fall on a set date each year.  Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon after the Spring equinox on March 21st. This date can fall anywhere between March 22nd to April 25th.

This year, Easter is April 5th, this Sunday!

On a day that has become known for its sweets and candies, cook up one of these healthy and yummy recipes your whole family will love!

Sun-dried tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Tofu Quiche

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together
  • 1 cup whole almonds, ground into flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats or buckwheat groats, ground into flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1-2.5 tbsp water, as needed
  • For the quiche:
  • 1 block (14-oz) firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 leek or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (8-oz) sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 10-inch tart pan. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch glass pie dish if desired.
  2. Wrap rinsed tofu in a few tea towels. Place a few books on top of it to lightly press out the water while you prepare the crust.
  3. For the crust: Whisk together flax and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside so it can gel up.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, oat flour (or buckwheat flour), parsley, oregano, and salt.
  5. Add in the flax mixture and oil. Stir until mostly combined, adding the remaining water until the dough is sticky (about the consistency of cookie dough). The dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
  6. Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the tart pan (or pie dish). Starting from the centre of the pan, press the mixture evenly into the pan, working your way outward and up the sides of the pan. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape.
  7. Bake the crust at 350F for 13-16 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool while you finish preparing the filling. Increase oven temperature to 375F.
  8. For the filling: Break apart the tofu block into 4 pieces and add into food processor. Process the tofu until smooth and creamy. If it doesn't get creamy, add a tiny splash of almond milk to help it along.
  9. In a skillet, add oil and saute the leek (or onion) and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook on medium-high heat until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until combined. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
  10. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the processed tofu until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.
  11. Bake quiche, uncovered, at 375F for 33-37 minutes, until the quiche is firm to the touch. For best results, cool the quiche for 15-20 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to slice. The crust may crumble slightly when sliced warm, but not to worry.
  12. Wrap up leftovers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Leftover quiche can be reheated in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes at 350F.

Spring Salad with Strawberries, Asparagus, and Lemon Dressing

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, for garnish
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.

Peanut Better Balls

Ingredients (16-20 balls):

  • 1 cup 100% natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 3.5-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons gluten-free rice crisp cereal
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Stir the jar of peanut butter well before using. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup vigorously, for 30-60 seconds, until it thickens up. It will go from runny to thick during this time.
  2. Stir in the coconut flour until combined (if your PB is dry, you might be able to skip this step or only use half). We're looking for a texture that isn't too sticky, but not too dry either. Let it sit for a couple minutes to firm up as the coconut flour will continue to absorb moisture with time. Add a touch more coconut flour if necessary. Or if it's too dry, add a touch more syrup.
  3. Add salt to taste and stir in the cereal.
  4. Shape into small balls (I made about 17).
  5. In a small pot, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and heat over low heat, stirring frequently. Once half the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth.
  6. With a fork, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Tap off excess chocolate on the side of the pot and place the ball on a plate or cutting board lined with parchment. Repeat for the rest. Save any leftover melted chocolate for later.
  7. Place balls in the freezer for around 6-8 minutes until mostly firm.
  8. Dip a fork into the leftover melted chocolate and drizzle it on top of the balls to create a "sophisticated" design like the baking diva you are.
  9. Freeze the balls for another 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate is completely set.

Keep your family healthy and happy this Easter by trying these delicious recipes!

Happy Easter!

 

Written by: Dana Stretchbery

Recipe Adaptations:

http://ohsheglows.com

Images:

http://ohsheglows.com

www.weheartrecipes.com

Passover Celebrations

Passover Celebrations

We have some delicious and family-friendly Passover recipes just in time for the start of Passover and Seder dinner this weekend!

Spring Vegetable Matzo Ball Soup

Try this delicious spin on traditional Matzo Ball soup!

Matzo Balls:

Ingredients (Makes About 24 matzo balls)

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes (see Note*)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup matzo meal (or 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes for a gluten-free version)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. optional
  • 1/4 cup light vegetable oil (like safflower)

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the matzo meal (or additional quinoa flakes for GF), salt, pepper, optional onion powder, and oil. Mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.
  4. Roll the matzo meal mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don’t pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch; don’t let them brown.
  6. If making ahead of time, let the matzo balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium-hot oven or in the microwave, and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzo balls per serving.

*Note: Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes are now Kosher for Passover! If your local natural foods retailer doesn’t carry them, they can order a box or two for you. Or look for them online.

Soup:

Ingredients: (serves 8 to 10)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
  • Handful of celery leaves
  • 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower, optional
  • 32-ounce vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
  2. Add the potato, carrots, celery, and celery leaves, optional cauliflower, vegetable broth, and 2 cups water.
  3. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables tender but not overcooked.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Allow the soup to stand off the heat for two hours or longer to develop flavor.
  5. Just before serving, add the dill and heat the soup through. Add more water if the vegetables seem crowded, then adjust the seasonings. Add the Matzo balls lastly and enjoy!

Spinach, Leek, and Potato Matzo Gratin

Ingredients (8 to 10 servings):

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large or 3 medium leeks, white and palest green parts only, chopped and well rinsed
  • 10 to 12 ounces baby spinach, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/4 cup matzo meal
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 matzos
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook, bake or microwave the potatoes in their skins until just tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  3. Cover the cashews with 1 cup of boiling water in a heatproof bowl and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Drain the cashews, then combine with the avocado and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smoothly puréed; drizzle enough water through the feed tube while the processor is running to give the mixture a thick, creamy texture.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the spinach in batches, covering and cooking until wilted to make room for all of it. Stir in the cashew cream, dill and matzo meal. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Break each matzo in half, and place in a shallow container. Cover with room-temperature water in a shallow container until slightly pliable (don’t let them get mushy), about 2 minutes; drain. Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish.
  6. Layer the casserole as follows: line the bottom with a layer of matzos, using two matzos per layer. Follow with a layer of potato slices, half of the spinach mixture, and another layer of matzos. Repeat, ending with a layer of matzo.
  7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden with spots of brown. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve. If you will be topping with pine nuts, sprinkle them over the top about 10 minutes or so before the gratin is done, to allow them to get lightly toasted.

And for dessert…..

Carrot-Apple Pudding

Ingredients (serves 6-8):

  • 1/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • 5 large carrots, grated
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet Passover wine (or substitute
  • pomegranate juice, or similar no-sugar dark red juice)
  • 1/4 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Combine the quinoa flakes with 2/3 cup boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Let stand while the other ingredients are being prepared.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour in the quinoa flakes and mix well.
  4. Pour into an oiled 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and crusty. Let cool. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Infants can enjoy Passover too with this delicious and simple recipe!

Sweet Potato Puree (for infants 4-6 months)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 13 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons water, formula, or breast milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Pierce each potato several times with a fork. Bake at 400° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Cool 45 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes. Place flesh in a food processor; process until smooth, adding 2 tablespoons water, formula, or breast milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency.

Chag Pesach Sameach!

 

Written by: Dana Stretchberry

 

Sources:

Recipe Adaptation

http://www.vegkitchen.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potatoes

images:

http://www.vegkitchen.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.babybullet.org

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

As 2014 comes to a close, we want to remind everyone of some great nutrition and cooking tips for your family’s 2015 resolutions! These tips are simple and specific enough that they can be clearly implemented. Engage your whole family in these ideas, and everyone is more likely to keep with them for the whole year!

father and daughter cooking together

Get Your Kids More Involved in the Kitchen.

Getting your kids involved teaches them to develop healthy eating habits, and most importantly, it allows some quality family time to create special memories in the kitchen!

Here are some great activities for each age group in the kitchen:

Toddler:

  • stirring ingredients in a bowl

Preschool(ages 3-5):

  • pour liquids into a bowl

Children (ages 6-8):

  • setting the table

Children (ages 9-12):

  • measuring out proper amounts

In addition, let your children decide on a meal one day a week. Have them help you pick out a recipe and the ingredients. This way they can feel that they are a part of the process as well!

toddler stirring in bowl in kitchen

Introduce New Foods Often:

Although we all have our favorite foods, introducing and embracing new healthy foods is extremely beneficial! Not only will these provide different nutrients for your family, but it will also shake up their eating routine. Keep in mind that kids are more likely to enjoy a food after they have tried it more than five times. So even if that turnip doesn’t sit well with them the first few times, don’t give up! They will learn to enjoy it. We love this goal because it focuses on the positive aspects of making healthy changes, not limiting or restricting certain “bad” foods.

fruits and vegetables

Practice Mindfulness at Mealtime

Here are a few great tips to practice mindfulness at mealtime with your children:

Talk with your children about what hunger and fullness feel like. (A great activity is to draw a picture of their stomach and show them what fullness and hunger may look like physiologically. Therefore, they know what is going on when they feel these feelings.)

Let your child eat as much as they want during meals and snack time. Although it may be difficult as a parent to not control your child’s eating habits, they will soon learn, on their own, to eat until they are satisfied.

Eat with your children and discuss flavors, textures, and aromas of the food.


Educating your children to trust their own instincts will allow them to learn to regulate their own eating and ultimately lead to healthy eating habits and creating positive associations with food.

 

Avoid Bribing Your Children to Eat Healthy

We know this one is tough. We all want our children to love vegetables and healthy foods. But sometimes, it just isn’t that simple! However, when you bribe your children to eat healthy using incentives such as desserts or extra play-time, kids end up seeing the fruit or vegetable as the “yucky” item they must consume in order to get their reward. Children start to associate eating these healthy foods with external rewards, such as dessert, instead of internal rewards. However, if we took the time to describe to our children how fruits and vegetables are not only necessary, but extremely beneficial, to consume, then we may not need bribery at all! This type of food and nutrition communication is imperative in getting our kids to eat healthier, and love it at the same time!

child eating lettuce

Take these simple changes into mind when planning what type of year 2015 will be for you and your family.

We’re wishing you a happy and healthy 2015!

 

 

Written by: Dana Stretchberry

Sources:

http://foodformyfamily.com/the-kitchen-sink/kids-in-the-kitchen/eat-well-spend-less-getting-your-kids-in-the-kitchen

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/07/23/should-you-really-bribe-your-kids-to-eat-healthfully

http://www.michelledudash.com/2011/03/23/how-to-get-your-kids-involved-in-the-kitchen/

Images:

https://www.yahoo.com/health/the-52-new-foods-challenge-2015s-best-new-years-105968749193.html

theiveyleague.com

livelearnloveeat.com

http://ohdeardrea.blogspot.com/2013/08/this-is-my-happy-place.html

http://acceleratingscience.com/food/ (cover)

 

 

Holiday Snacks!

Holiday Snacks!

With only two days left until Christmas we have some fun ideas for healthy holiday snacks for you and your family!

Banana Snowmen

Ingredients (makes 1 serving):

  • 1 banana
  • 6 thin pretzel sticks
  • your choice of ingredients for the buttons and eyes (we recommend blueberries!)

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice the banana into 9 round pieces and make 3 snowmen bodies (three pieces of banana attached vertically to each other)
  2. Add the pretzels for arms on the middle banana slice
  3. Add the buttons and eyes and nose!
banana snowmen

Not only will this adorable snack be enjoyed by all members of your family, but bananas are also a great source of potassium and will give your little ones lots of energy for the holiday season!

Fruit-filled Candy Cane

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 1 banana
  • 3-5 strawberries (depending on the size)

Directions:

  1. cut the banana into 7-8 chunks on an angle
  2. cut the strawberries into 2 chunks per berry
  3. arrange in the pattern of strawberry, banana, strawberry, banana, curving at the top to create a candy cane shape
born_to_rock_comida_saudável_natal_13.jpg

We love that these two snacks are SO simple to make and require very little ingredients! We know you’re busy making big holiday meals but don’t forget about a healthy snack-time with these recipes.

Get your kids involved in crafting the snack and enjoy together!

Happy Holidays!

 

Written by: Dana Stretchberry

 

Images:

wotv4women.com

litabells.blogspot.com

 

Recipe Sources:

http://www.produceforkids.com/blog/fun-snacks-holiday-season

http://laurenmajewski.com/healthy-holiday-snacks/

 

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!

Although there are many great Hanukkah traditions, one of our favorites is the Latke!

Did you know that the potato pancakes, known as Latkes, actually descend from Italian cheese pancakes? The first connection between Hanukkah and pancakes was made by a rabbi in Italy named Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328). According to The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, the Rabbi included pancakes “in a list of dishes to serve at an idealized Purim feast, as well as a poem about Hanukkah.”

Modern potato latkes are a more recent Ashkenazi invention that gained popularity in Eastern Europe during the mid 1800′s. A series of crop failures in Poland and the Ukraine led to mass planting of potatoes, which were easy and cheap to grow. Thus the modern latke was born (and we are so grateful for this because that are so yummy!)

Enjoy your last two days of Hanukkah by recreating history and making latkes with your family! The following recipes can be made for toddlers and children who have already had experience in eating solid foods.

We know it’s hard to stray from tradition, but the following healthy latke recipes are filled with nutrition and also incredibly delicious!

Carrot Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

Makes: about 3 to 4 dozen, depending on size

  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats or quinoa flakes
  • 6 medium-large organic potatoes, grated (golden or red-skinned,
  • peeled or not; scrub well)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal (or 1/2 cup additional quinoa flakes)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Safflower or other high-heat vegetable oil for frying
  • Applesauce for serving

Directions:

  1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the oats or quinoa flakes with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Use a food processor to make the grating of the potatoes, carrot, and onion, much easier and quicker!
  3. Combine the grated potato, carrot, and onion, and matzo meal in a mixing bowl. Stir in the oatmeal, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a large, nonstick skillet or griddle. Drop enough potato batter to form 2 1/2- to 3-inch pancakes.
  5. Fry on both sides over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp.
  6. Optional: serve with some plain applesauce on top!
carrot latkes

The oats may seem like an odd addition to the recipe but they work perfectly at holding the pancake together while adding a little fiber into the recipe!

Zucchini Latkes

Ingredients (makes 10 Latkes)

  • 21/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated onion
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place grated vegetables in a colander for 30 minutes to drain. Wrap in paper towels and squeeze out excess moisture.
  2. In a large bowl, mix zucchini, onion, chickpea flour and spices until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat.
  4. Remove batter from refrigerator, pouring off any excess liquid. Using a tablespoon, drop batter onto pan to form 2-inch rounds. Flatten with a spatula and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until brown and crisp.
zucchini latkes

Enjoy the health benefits of Zucchinis by making these latkes:

Vitamin C- helps strengthen the immune system (and many other things as well!)

Vitamin A- for vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.

Potassium- necessary for many of your organs to work properly

Folate- important for maintaining your cell’s metabolism and for allowing cell growth

Manganese- an important trace mineral and essential nutrient for building and maintaining bone structure.

Involve your kids in making these unique latkes and maybe even tell them a few interesting facts about how latkes originated (can be found earlier in this post)!

 

Written by: Dana Stretchberry


 

Sources:

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/17/food/fo-hanukkah17

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/history-of-latkes/

http://parentinghealthybabies.com/health-benefits-of-zucchini-for-babies/

 

Recipe Adaptations:

http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegan-latkes-potato-pancakes/

http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/sides/zucchini-latkes-vegan-gluten-free-soy-free

 

Images:

http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegan-latkes-potato-pancakes/

www.bbcgoodfood.com

www.todaysparent.com

 

Vegan Holiday Baking

Vegan Holiday Baking

holiday cookie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – cookie season! December may bring back fond memories of decorating cut out sugar cookies with your mom as a kid or putting together grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. For those following a vegan lifestyle or who have a child with allergies or intolerances, the idea of baking can be a little more daunting – no eggs, milk, or butter? Fortunately, vegan baking (and the messy, hands on family time in the kitchen!) is easier than it may seem with these simple swaps.

Butter – Butter adds density to your sweets. There are many vegan margarines and non-dairy butters available at any grocery store that can be used in cookies and more. Shortening or coconut oil can also be used instead of butter.

Eggs – Eggs binds ingredients and helps your final product rise. Applesauce is an easy substitution – ¼ cup of applesauce for every egg required. Another option is to mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax with three tablespoons of warm water to make a flax “egg”. For cakes, two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with two teaspoons baking soda can give the lift of an egg.

Milk – Milk is the easiest ingredient to replace. Most non-dairy milks can be replaced one for one in any recipe.

These swaps can be used with most any recipe! For a new favorite cookie recipe this holiday season, check out the recipes for below for vegan twists on the classic Christmas cut out cookies and everyone’s favorite, the chocolate chip cookie.

Christmas Cut Out Sugar Cookies from Babble

vegan sugar cookie

Ingredients:

Cookies –

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing –

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and blend on low to combine.
  2. Add butter substitute, vanilla, and water; blend.
  3. Roll and cut dough into desired shapes.
  4. Bake for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. For frosting – whisk ingredients until smooth, adding milk if icing is too thick.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Oh She Glows

vegan chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup non-dairy butter spread
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 1 “flax egg” (1 tbsp ground flax+3 tbsp water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (*dark chocolate should be dairy-free, but always check labels!)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the flax egg in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the non-dairy butter spread until fluffy using a mixer or stand-in mixer. Add the brown sugar and cane sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Beat in the flax egg and remaining ingredients.
  4. Shape balls of dough and place on cookie trays lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Written by: Amanda Dunham

Sources:
Vegan Heartland
Headline image – Elizabeth Towle

http://content1.tastebook.com/content/photo/user_photo/EYCwFEvf13c2737383530323cEYCwFEv_1390778350.jpg

http://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/10/020.jpg

Kids in the Kitchen: Thanksgiving

Kids in the Kitchen: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of warm wishes, giving thanks, and spending time with family, and what better way to spend time with family than by making sure there’s food for everyone to enjoy come dinner time? Whether it’s baby’s first Thanksgiving or fifth, here are some easy ways to get kids involved in the cooking, and the eating, that comes with Thanksgiving.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest foods to make friendly for infants eating soft solids.  Simply leave off your toppings, such as gravy, and serve a small amount of plain potatoes to your infant.  The older children can enjoy helping by washing the potatoes and mashing them once they have been boiled for a while.  Just be careful the potatoes aren’t too hot before letting little ones help mash or eat them.  

Butternut Squash

If you are making butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, save some of the puree or steamed cubes before you blend it into soup.  The puree is perfect for all ages after your child has started eating solids, and the soft, steamed cubes are perfect for more experienced eaters.  For the older kids wanting to help out in the cooking process, let them push the buttons on the blender or stir any add-ins into the soup before serving.  

Apple “Pie” Puree

Apple pie may be a little out of your infant’s range of appropriate foods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let them enjoy the flavor of apple pie. Before you use up all your apples set aside one or two and chop and boil them until they are soft (or use an all in one steam/puree). Once your apples are soft, simply puree them and add a little cinnamon for a soft food friendly apple “pie.”

What to do besides cook?

If the kids are finished helping cook all of the dinner food, why not let them help set the table? Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to teach your older children basic place setting rules.  And for the younger kids, simply let them create some table decorations.  That way everyone gets to be involved and in the end you have even more to be thankful for.  

What are some kid-friendly foods you cook for Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!


 

Written by Katie Tessier

Sources:

Title Image: http://mediaserver.dwpub.com/press-release/34320/Marcus%E2%80%99s+mince+pies+-+MARCUS+WAR.jpg

Mashed Potato Image: http://ourabundantblessings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/4mary-cooking.jpg

Butternut Squash: http://www.annabelkarmel.com/assets/uploads/Butternut-Squash-and-Pear.jpg

Applesauce: http://mamasmiles.com/blog/media/2011/Orange-flavored-Applesauce_C44D/2012_10_08_8272.jpg

Turkey Décor: http://oneheartonefamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/turkey.jpg