Dairy-Free Banana Almond Butter Popsicles

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have more popsicle recipes for you all. I’m gearing up to do a popsicle segment in a couple weeks on KATU Afternoon Live and need to have a few options to present. So, this is the second recipe of three or four. Luckily, they’re all different, but hopefully, you don’t get sick of my sharing recipes for frozen treats on a stick!

Meanwhile, this combo is incredible in a classic kinda way and SO creamy. Like, insanely creamy. No sweetener of any sort is needed either, as the banana adds enough on its own. I think these are sure to win over kids and adults alike. Between these and the chocolate mint popsicles, I’m in popsicle heaven. Each day, I look forward to grabbing one out of the freezer and enjoying it out on the deck in the sunshine. Feels good and tastes good, too.

I used these molds, which yield six popsicles, but there was enough mixture for seven (I actually have two sets of the molds too, so no issues for me there). I recommend the following options if you have extra, but are out of molds: 1). drink it, 2). pour it into a little dish or jar and freeze (then scoop out and eat like ice cream), or 3). pour into a paper cup and add a popsicle stick mid-way through freezing.

Cheers and enjoy!

UPDATE: watch the replay of my KATU Afternoon Live popsicle segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut cream (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 2 just-ripe medium bananas, peeled and cut in half or into thirds
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Once ready, rinse mold under hot water to remove.

Yields: 6-7 popsicles

Chocolate Mint Popsicles

These chocolate mint popsicles are creamy and full of mint chip flavor. Not only that, but they’re dye-free, have no refined sugar, include a dose of protein and probiotics, and have vitamins and minerals from the spinach (and natural light green color to boot). They are not your average popsicle. They’re the perfect healthy treat on a hot day and I’ve definitely been enjoying my fair share. I went through two rounds of experimenting with this recipe, so I’ve had a freezer full. No complaints on my end!

In the directions, you’ll notice that I don’t add the chocolate pieces to the blender. It doesn’t work all that well if you do and I know since I tested it this way on my first trial run. The chocolate pieces break up a bit more, but then sink to the bottom, which means you then have to scoop them out by hand.

Meanwhile, I’ll be making these popsicles on KATU Afternoon Live at the end of the month, along with two other flavors (one of which will be for adults only). Stay tuned for those recipes!

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July! Cheers!

UPDATE: watch the replay of my KATU Afternoon Live segment HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups coconut cream (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 3/4 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt, preferably grass-fed (I used this brand)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (use more if you want it sweeter)
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 3-4 drops high-quality, dietary-safe peppermint essential oil OR 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (learn where to get therapeutic-grade oils here)
  • 2.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate bar, finely chopped (I used this one, which is lightly sweetened with coconut sugar)

Directions:

  1. To a high speed blender container, add all the ingredients, except the chocolate. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space at the top of each mold. Then, disperse chocolate evenly among the molds. Top off with more of the mixture and stir a little with popsicle stick, if desired (chocolate will distribute a bit during freezing though).
  3. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Once ready, rinse mold under hot water briefly to remove popsicle.

Note: I used these molds, but the Dixie cup & popsicle stick method will do the trick as well. Just put the stick in halfway through freezing. This way, the sticks will stay centered.

Yields: 6 popsicles

 

Favorite Brands in My Kitchen

I don’t rely on many foods that come in a package or can, but there are several that I consider staples in my kitchen. These products are legit, pure, minimally processed and something I can feel good about too. Sometimes, I mention what brands I use in my recipes, but I thought I’d put it together in one handy list. Here goes:

  1. Trade Secret Raw Coconut Aminos: this is the only brand I know of that makes coconut aminos, in fact. Use this fermented coconut product in place of soy sauce or tamari. It’s free of wheat, soy and additives. Oh, and it tastes salty and delicious too.b6cfe6b9ceca747388e4adbe33b65e4e
  2. Aroy-D and Natural Value full-fat coconut milk: this stuff is as pure as it gets without making it yourself. There’s no gums, thickeners, stabilizers, sugar, preservatives or additives. These are my only two go-to brands. Aroy-D comes in boxes and Natural Value comes in BPA-free cans. Aroy-D also makes a wonderful coconut cream that I love. 01b4dc3b8a18d71b933ce753f422d5cc0a757268b885cf3e55843797b7e60d03
  3. Tessemae’s All Natural dressings/sauces: these are paleo-friendly (made from extra virgin olive oil) and come in a variety of delicious flavors. The paleo-friendly flavors even say ‘paleo’ on the label! The BBQ sauce is legit and I love the ranch (non-creamy) and cracked black pepper atop of ground meat and veggies. I find it in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. f9c4bb8c418f785f17e34c18d932033e
  4. Kerrygold grass-fed butter: I always buy unsalted, unless it’s out of stock, but I absolutely love this butter. It comes from Irish grass-fed cows and tastes delicious. I find it for the best price at Whole Foods, but I think it’s reasonable at Trader Joe’s too. I pay $3.19/block (equivalent to 2 sticks) at Whole Foods. I used to get it for $2.99, but Whole Foods raised the price a few months ago. Also, this is the butter I use when I make my own ghee at home. ecc2c354f858241fc94f6dd284e8d4ce
  5. Vitacost organic extra virgin coconut oil: this is now the only place I buy coconut oil because I can buy a 54 oz container for about $22 at most, but often have a coupon code and get it for under $20. If you stock up on other things, you can usually get free shipping too. Once you buy from Vitacost once though, you’ll be notified of deals all the time, especially on Vitacost brand stuff. It’s totally worth it.4b9f916917f000e9968ae993ac816609
  6. Coconut Manna or MaraNatha coconut butter: these are the creamiest coconut butters of the brands I’ve tried, and so smooth too. I generally pick up a jar of either when it’s on sale and have found it for as cheap as $5.99. I never pay full price for either of these brands. Sometimes, I’ll refill my empty jar with Let’s Do Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate, which comes in a little packet. I soften it first by placing it in a bowl of hot water, and then empty the contents into the jar. This stuff is a little grittier and sometimes needs to be mixed with a little water before using (depending on what you’re using it for). The bonus with this stuff is that it’s cheaper. I always pay less than $3 for an 8 oz box.c2701bed1957677eded68a5c006e8386
  7. Bernard Jensen’s powdered gelatin: this gelatin powder is grass-fed and fantastic. You get a lot of bang for your buck and can use it in many different ways. It’s so good for your gut and skin too!6d915b15660e3dde3d1968ece69ac40f
  8. Pomi tomatoes and tomato sauce: this brand is imported from Italy, so you get exactly what’s on the label, which is nothing but pure. In the U.S., companies don’t have to list an ingredient if the product contains 0.5 grams or less, so it’s possible you get added sugar or other unwanted ingredients. Pomi comes in boxes too, so there’s no worry of BPA. I love that the tomato sauce has a cap on the container too because sometimes, I just need a little bit.7f93ef17b17431ecb1819bc0d29d2008

28th Birthday Recap & Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!

As you probably know, my birthday was this past Saturday, and boy, was it a good one! First of all, I had a wonderful night’s rest, which included sleeping with my bedroom window open, and woke up to the sound of birds chirping outside. It was a refreshing start to my day and made me smile. Then, I got ready for yoga and headed over to my studio. There’s nothing like a sweaty, challenging power vinyasa class to get the day going.

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Root Whole Body. (Taken on iPhone).

After yoga, I came home and made myself a wonderful breakfast. You may have seen it on Facebook, but if not, here’s what I ate:

Birthday breakfast.
Birthday breakfast: US Wellness Meats sugar-free grass-fed beef bacon, pasture-raised eggs cooked in garlic n’ herb pasture butter, avocado, and red chard and tomato cooked in the bacon grease. Not pictured, Numi Organics chocolate puerh tea.

Then, I got a surprise phone call from my 87-year old grandma and 90-year old grandpa back in Michigan. It was so touching and wonderful to hear their voices. Apparently, my dad was on the phone with them earlier in the day and asked if they wanted to call me on my cell and wish me a happy birthday. I’m so glad he offered up the idea! I love my grandparents dearly and they’ve always been a big part of my life.

Next on my agenda, a pedicure! I treated myself to a little TLC at a salon/spa down the road from us — literally just a 5-minute walk away. Lucky for me, I had a $20 off any service coupon that they sent me for Valentine’s Day, so my 50-minute pedicure only cost $20 (plus tip). Such a steal, and my toes look tons better. It was much needed.

A sneaky picture, in the midst of my pedicure.
In the midst of my pedicure. (Taken on iPhone).
After: pretty coral toes, and smooth, moist feet and lower legs. Don't mind the flip-flop marks on my feet. (Taken on iPhone).
After: pretty coral toes and smooth, moist feet and lower legs. Don’t mind the flip-flop marks on my feet. (Taken on iPhone).

The day continued with a drive up to Cultured Caveman for some chicken tenders. I LOVE their chicken tenders. They are crave-worthy. They’re dipped in a thin layer of coconut flour, egg white and spices, and then fried in grass-fed beef tallow. Garnished with course salt and dipped in homemade ketchup and/or aioli, they are divine. If you live in Portland and have not tried their chicken tenders and other delicious food, do it! And try some of my date/nut treats while you’re there…hehe.

Mmm...hot tenders!
Mmm…hot tenders! (Taken on iPhone).
A chicken tender smile. (Taken on iPhone).
A chicken tender smile. (Taken on iPhone).

Next, grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

Afterward, I hung out a home and did a itty bitty amount of homework. Then, I decided I wasn’t having any more of that on my birthday and put it away.

For my birthday dinner, we went to Cafe Nell, one of our favorite restaurants in Portland. We drank the loveliest chardonnay I have ever tasted and shared egg on horseback, minus the cheese. This is asparagus with a sunny side up egg and sage brown butter. For dinner, I had NY strip with roasted brussel sprouts. My phone pictures were really bad in here, especially the one I tried to take of my entree, so I don’t have a picture of that.

Dim lighting, a cozy fire and European-esque windows. The atmosphere here is one of my favorite things about this place.
Dim lighting, a cozy fire and lots of windows. The European feel of this place is one of my favorite things about it. (Taken on iPhone).

After dinner, we came home and ate some homemade butter pecan ice cream that I made earlier in the day, and watched the final episode of season 1 Downton Abbey. I had been wondering what all the hype was about this show and kept hearing people talk about it. Jesse and I finally checked it out on Netflix a couple weeks ago and loved it! I’m bummed that we have to wait for season 2 to come out on DVD before we can watch it, but oh well. That’s the nature of most everything we watch. You know what’s really funny? Up until watching this show for the first time, I thought it was called, “Downtown Abbey.” Am I the only one?

I had such a lovely birthday and feel so blessed. I’m just sad that it went by so fast. Now, it’s just a memory, but a good memory indeed.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

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Birthday butter pecan ice cream, equipped with a candle.

Ingredients:

  • 1 14.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 2 pasture-raised egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey (or more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I used this brand)
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and let toast, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. The pecans will continue to absorb some of the butter while cooling.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, coconut milk, honey and sea salt together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut cream, vanilla and pecans. Place in the fridge to cool for a couple hours.
  3. Once chilled, add to ice cream maker and let churn for 17-20 minutes. Serve right away or empty into a container and store in the freezer.

Vanilla Hazelnut Ice Cream

vanilla hazelnut ice cream

In lieu of Fat Tuesday, I have a fatty (good, healthy coconut fat!) and delicious treat for you all. No, it’s not a paleo-fied paczki either. I really have no desire to try and replicate those. I do recall eating them on Fat Tuesday during my childhood though, and they were okay, but I never really thought they were that awesome. Sure, I still ate them because grandma offered me one every year, but I think I would have rather eaten a plain glazed doughnut. Oh, how times have changed.

Anyway, the idea for this treat all started with Jesse. You see, I haven’t made ice cream in a while and apparently Jesse noticed, or had a craving at the very least. I say this, because he came home from Food Front Co-op the other day with two boxes of coconut cream, which is what I use to make ice cream sometimes (combined with coconut milk). He said, “Look, I bought you something!” What he meant was, “I bought you this, so you can make me ice cream!” Or in other words, “Make me ice cream, woman!” Okay, I’m exaggerating because the ice cream is for me too and I enjoy it just as much as he does, but I like to tease him. It’s all out of love.

Jesse and I love my plain vanilla ice cream recipe (everything below, minus the hazelnut butter), which is what I was going to make, but then I got the idea to add fresh hazelnut butter. I was shopping at the Alberta Co-op on Friday, and spotted it in their bulk section. They have a big bucket of it and you can scoop out as much as you need, whether it be a lot or just a few tablespoons. I appreciate this because hazelnut butter is spendy and even though it’s still expensive in bulk, I can buy just a little bit, making it pretty affordable. This way too, I won’t go hog wild and eat it all. I don’t know about all of you, but nut butter is super addicting for me, so for this reason, I only occasionally buy it. I generally turn to coconut butter over nut butter anyway.

If you can’t find the coconut cream, don’t fret! Just replace it with more full-fat coconut milk. It’ll work just fine. I know, because I make ice cream this way as well. It really just depends if I have coconut cream on hand or not. The coconut cream makes the ice cream a bit thicker and richer, but it’s still fantastic and creamy with more coconut milk in its place. Additionally, you can use a different nut butter if you can’t find hazelnut butter in the store and don’t have the availability to make your own. This recipe would obviously be awesome with unsweetened cocoa powder added to the mixture too. I actually contemplated doing so, but we decided we wanted the vanilla base, so the hazelnut flavor could really shine through. Maybe next time.

Happy Fat Tuesday! And happy birthday to my dear Dad who turns 63 today! Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand or this one)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I used this)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 – 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened hazelnut butter (this brand is really good)

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Directions:

  1. Add the coconut milk, coconut cream, vanilla, honey and sea salt to the blender. Don’t use a food processor for this — you’ll end up with a mess if you do. Blend on high for a couple minutes, until the mixture is smooth. If your coconut cream is cold because you already had some open and stored it in the fridge, it may require more blending. Just keep blending until it’s smooth!
  2. With your ice cream maker turned on, pour the mixture into the freezer container. Let churn for about 18 minutes. Then, add the hazelnut butter and continue to churn for another 3-5 minutes or until hazelnut butter is mixed through and ice cream is thick.
  3. Scoop ice cream into a container that can be stored in the freezer. Serve some up right away or place in the freezer to firm up a bit more, if desired. I didn’t do so, but feel free to garnish with some chopped raw hazelnuts.