I can remember making homemade ice cream with my family a few times as a child. My neighbors had a hand crank ice cream maker version and I loved helping. My parents had one too and we would make it for birthdays since it was a special treat. We would make homemade ice cream with chunks of fresh fruits for my mom because she loved the taste.
B IS FOR BERRIES
Strawberries taste delicious, and can be best enjoyed in the summer months. Do you know the many benefits of eating berries? They are full of antioxidants which helps prevent cancer. They are great for your digestive system because they are rich in fiber. Research has also shown berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are great for heart and bone health.
This recipe was simple, refreshing, and full of nutrients. I love making homemade food and treats because we can choose the quality and the flavors are better. My children loved helping in the kitchen with it and of course eating it!
Strawberry Mint SorbetSORBET INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 bundle of fresh mint
6 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, heat the honey on the stovetop on low until you see bubbles form. Place the mint in the honey. Next, turn off the heat and allow the mint to infuse with the honey. Finally, let the honey cool down completely.
Blend the strawberries in a food processor. Then, pour the honey and mint mixture into a fine mesh strainer and get as much honey into the processor as possible. Throwaway the mint. Then, add all additional ingredients in and blend until well mixed. Store the mixture in the refrigerator until cold (at least 4 hours).
Finally, pour the sorbet liquid into an ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the ice cream maker.
I have never been a big fan of doughnuts, even though I love sweets. I fondly remember trips to Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts with my parents. However, I was very picky in choosing flavors. While I absolutely love chocolate, I never cared for chocolate doughnuts. Call me a chocolate connoisseur – I’m super picky about my chocolate. Even as a child, I felt like they were not really chocolate.
I usually ended up picking glazed blueberry doughnuts with a side of chocolate milk. The sugary sweets were absolutely delicious at the time. Finally, a sugar crash usually followed consumption of the treats and I didn’t feel all that great. Yet, strangely it would leave me wanting more.
We have been following mostly a Paleo diet. We mainly eat a whole foods diet, with as many nutrients as possible. It is key for optimal health and feeling your best. My husband is gluten-intolerant, so we avoid gluten in nearly all our home cooking. I searched for paleo doughnut recipes on Pinterest and came up with a few we would like to try. My husband loves cinnamon rolls so when I found a cinnamon roll recipe for these treats, I knew we found the recipe for us!
PALEO CINNAMON ROLL DOUGHNUTS
Try these doughnuts below in order to have a paleo option without dairy, gluten or sugar.
PALEO CINNAMON ROLL DOUGHNUTS
Note: If you want to make Chocolate Doughnuts, add in 1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder to the batter and top with cocoa nibs before baking.
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 cup almond flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch of sea salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 cup raw honey
Preheat your oven to 350'F. Grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil. I used this doughnut pan here. This one also looks amazing.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and mix it together with the almond milk.
Melt your nut butters and honey in a saucepan the stovetop. Stir the mixture together until it becomes thick.
Next, combine the nut butters, honey, egg, and milk mixture with the dry ingredients. Stir it all together until its a thick batter.
Finally, transfer the mixture into the greased doughnut pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. You will know when they are cooked when the tops are golden brown. Allow the doughnuts to sit in the doughnut pan for five minutes, then remove them and set them on a baker's rack to cool. Once cooled down, you can frost them.
5 tablespoons coconut butter, melted
2 tablespoons alternative sugar of your choice
Combine all of the frosting ingredients with a spoon, and stir it together until it thickens like a batter. Spoon onto the doughnuts until they are coated. Finally, we added rainbow sprinkles for an extra special touch. We normally don't use colored dyes in our house, but I felt once would be a treat. Alternatively, you could sprinkle cinnamon on top!
This recipe was adapted from the bigmansworld. You can find the original recipe here. Arman has created some amazing clean sweets and I can’t wait to try some others out!
We also made these adorable apple “doughnuts” with cream cheese and almond butter for breakfast!
My fondest memory of my Grandmother Tessie was how much she loved her family, and I also loved her homemade strawberry jam. While we visited my Grandmother each year, we were welcomed with a home-cooked breakfast. Each morning, we could wake up to count on: bacon, sausage, grits, homemade biscuits, butter, and homemade strawberry jelly. I have always loved food and am particularly fond of a big breakfast and the star of Grandmother Tessie’s breakfast was her strawberry jam.
STRAWBERRY JAM AND BUTTER
My Grandpa Ford showed me how to mix butter and strawberry jelly together in just the right amounts to make a delicious topping for anything. We would take a fork and mash together the two ingredients and although it didn’t look very pretty, it had a heavenly taste. I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head with delight each time we concocted it. When I was in middle school, I learned Grandmother’s delicious jelly actually was made with figs. Since I didn’t know anything about a fig, I was a little shocked and turned off by my new knowledge. My ignorance quickly faded and I maintained my reverence of her strawberry jam.
Grandmother Tessie lived to be 97. She lived a long, loving and loved life, filled with a large family, and homegrown and homemade foods.
CHILDREN IN THE KITCHEN
I knew just the thing to do when I discovered an abundance of strawberries in my refrigerator. I rounded up my boys and we made homemade strawberry jam. My boys are always so excited to help us out in the kitchen. Their faces lit up and they are so delighted to get their hands on the food and assist. I call my boys my great little helpers often – and they truly are. They wash berries in the sink, cut off the stems, place berries in a bowl, squeeze lemon to make fresh juice, and dump in sugar, and vanilla extract from my pre-measured spoons and cups. They also stir it all together before I place it on the cooktop to simmer.
STRAWBERRY JAM: The recipe is super simple and super delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
SIMPLE, HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM
2 pounds strawberries, sliced and stems removed
Juice of one lemon
Zest of half a lemon
2 cups sugar (raw cane sugar or coconut sugar - I'm going to try honey next!)
2.5 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally.
Jam should be ready in about 60-90 minutes. It should be thick and jam-like.
I stored my jam in a mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month. However, I don't think it will last that long!
This recipe is adapted from a Completely Delicious recipe. I use fig balsamic vinegar because it reminds me so much of my Grandmother’s homemade version. I also add lemon zest for brightness since a little extra lemon is almost always a welcome addition! If you try this jam recipe, please comment! I would love to hear how it turns out for you!
First, I share our struggles to get pregnant. Next, I share how we opened up a cupcake shop. Finally, I share my favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe!
My husband and I tried for more than three years to get pregnant. I was more disheartened with each passing year when I did not become pregnant. I wondered why I had this huge desire to be a Mama, yet not be able to obtain it. My doctor recommended blood work and a radiology exam to check for infertility. All of my levels appeared normal, so we waited.
I took Clomid, an ovulatory stimulant, for five months with no positive results. My doctor said he had taken us as far as he would go, so he wanted to refer us to a fertility specialist. My husband and I had a discussion and we finally decided to let this goal go for awhile and focus on other things. I was heartbroken, and mourning the loss of my dream, so I cried for several days.
BEGINNING A CUPCAKE SHOP
For more than a year, I created and tested cupcakes recipes in the kitchen. We valued high-quality ingredients since that is how we eat at home. Organic, whole milk, Madagascar vanilla, cage-free, organic eggs, and organic fruits were staples in our sweets, therefore I wanted to bring that to my business. We would use as many organic ingredients as possible in baking and also provide an abundance of gluten-free options. Flavor played a key role and each cupcake was taste tested happily by family and friends. I worked towards making the best tasting cupcakes I could, using the best ingredients I could in order to present the best quality.
Finally, we acquired keys for the shop. About two days later, we found out we were pregnant! I was shocked and filled with wonder for so many different blessings during that time in our lives. God’s love is amazing. My husband and I prepared for our special miracle at the same time preparing to open a cupcake shop.
I clearly remember the first day of opening. We didn’t advertise or market. The health inspector had approved us for opening the day before. We decided to bake about 120 cupcakes to see what would happen. On opening day, so many customers, friends and family poured into our doors so by the afternoon, we were SOLD OUT of cupcakes.
Business that first weekend was even better and in one Saturday, we had sold more than 300 cupcakes. This was a huge deal because we were in a small town! I put in long hours daily at the shop, was pregnant, therefore, I could barely keep up with production that first year.
VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE
While I didn’t bake this particular recipe while we had my shop, if I did it all again, this recipe below would be my go-to for vanilla cupcakes. They are the most delicious we have made. These cupcakes contain high-quality ingredients which may lead to a superior flavor.
ALMOND CUPCAKES (or Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Cupcakes)CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup full-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (grass-fed)
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice or sorghum flour
1/3 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 325'F. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with approximately 12 regular size liners. I prefer the unbleached kind.
Whisk your eggs. Use a knife to cut the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add them to the bowl with your eggs. Add the honey, yogurt, butter and mix together. In a separate bowl, sift the almond flour, your choice of other flours, sugar, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix together. Use an icecream scoop to pour the batter into your cupcake liners. Bake until a cake tester or knife inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. The baking time varies depending on your oven, but a good rule of thumb is about 20 minutes. Set aside the cupcakes to cool on a baking rack.
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (Madagascar vanilla)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
pinch of sea salt
Whip the cream with a mixer until it thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until fluffy. At the end, add the mascarpone and a pinch of salt.
Top the completely cooled cupcakes with the frosting and add berries for a beautiful and delicious touch. Eat and try to share.