{Dairy Free} Chocolate Banana Creamies

Summer showed up out of nowhere! The kids and I have been cooling off by playing in water wherever we can get it along with snacking on some cool treats. As a kid, a special treat in the summer was a Creamy. Have you ever had a Creamy? The originals are made of milk, some sugar and corn syrup, with flavors like chocolate, banana, and orange. Now of course there are probably a few more flavors added to the list, but my favorites were always the originals. My normal homemade popsicle recipe usually is just some blended fresh fruit and/or juice in a popsicle mold, but sometimes I like to go all out. With the strict diet we follow thanks to my youngest daughter, coming up with clean eating, gluten free, dairy free, simple, and yummy substitutes can be tricky. I was so excited when I came up with the recipe for Dairy Free Orange Creamsicles, but I still wanted chocolate or banana Creamies too!  Which got me thinking...why not Chocolate Banana Creamies!? No stove top prep time with these either. Just a blender, some popsicle molds, and a freezer.

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Grain-Free Banana Muffins & Pancakes

  The kids are home for the summer (sigh of relief and dread). Now the fun begins with playing outside all day, staying up late, sleeping in, playing in water wherever you can find it, camping, barbecues, vacations....and everyone's always hungry!

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I'm going to be "that" mom.

 

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Chia Seed Fruit Leather: Energy Snack

  

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Healthy Grape Lime Rickey

A cool drink on a hot day doesn't have to come from a can of carbonated corn syrup or a soda fountain. There has been so much already said about the health benefits of reducing or eliminating carbonated and sugary beverages from our diets that I don't really feel like I could say more to add to the conversation. I will simply say this - I have never been a soda drinker. I was raised on water or at the very worst Kool-Aid. The only reason my mom kept a few cans of Sprite or Coke around was for medicinal purposes (settling an upset stomach). I realize though that for some the love of soda is real! However, I will also say as a young teen I remember going to Warren's Burger Bar just to order a Grape Lime Rickey. The original Lime Rickey usually consists of soda water or a lemon lime or grape soda with a syrupy flavoring added in. But I didn't know or care what was in it then. It just tasted good. So, this Healthy Lime Rickey was a treat for my kids and brought back some good memories for me too. I'll show you guys the shortcut version and the slightly more labor intensive, yet healthiest version. Both ways taste great and is a huge step up health wise compared to the original.

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Crock Pot Enchilada Chicken

 

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Mango Guacamole

Want something simple, healthy, and and quick to make? I made some yummy crock pot enchilada chicken with homemade enchilada sauce for dinner one night and this guacamole was the perfect topper for it. It's really great for any taco Tuesday night special and comes together in minutes. I like mine with big chunks of mango and avocado, but if you prefer your guacamole more blended then just use a fork and mash them up a bit.Be sure your mango and avocado are nice and ripe. The mango should give a little when you gently squeeze and have a nice sweet smell. If it smells like a pine tree it's not ripe yet. You can tell if an avocado is ripe by this same method. The avocado pit should come out easily by using a sharp knife. Act like you're going to chop right into the pit with your knife and when it gets stuck in the hard nut just pull up the knife and out will come the pit with it.

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Frozen Blueberry Tart

Remember those delicious Orange Creamsicles I made a while ago? I shared them with my friends on Good Things Utah. Well, when Miah asked me for a "Frozen" cake for her birthday those creamsicles sounded like they might, with a little tweaking, make an easy and yummy (and literal) frozen cake. It would need a crust on the bottom, so I guess it's more of a frozen tart than a cake.

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Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

We don't always have meat with dinner. Usually twice a week we skip the meat and fill up on plant-based proteins like beans or maybe when dinner is rushed I throw together a simple gluten free pasta something. But when it's not a meatless night, we like our meat! (and veggies).

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Why Sprout? What to Know About Sprouting

When you think of sprouting you probably think of planting a seed in some dirt, add water, sunlight, and all that. What I'm talking about is only half the process, but can yield wonderful healthy results. When someone sprouts a seed, grain, bean or nut they are initiating the process of germination but not allowing it become a full blown plant.

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Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries

It's hard to resist the smell of fries when you're hungry. And whether you love it or not you can't seem to get through childhood in America without them either! So, when I want to give my kids all the wonderful experiences of hamburgers and fries without the health risks I make Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Fries!This seriously is so quick and simple to make and will definitely hit the spot! I used an O'Henry white sweet potato. Normally I use the orange Covington, but the white is slightly less sweet and holds up a little better than their orange cousins.

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Grilled Chicken Sweet Potato with Mango Vinaigrette

 Sundays after church when the sun is shining and you just feel good inside, you sometimes find yourself in the kitchen (hungry) and wanting something to eat that's as beautiful and satisfying.All the kids were helping themselves to hard boiled eggs, carrots, tomatoes, slices of turkey, apples, and whatever leftovers were hanging around. I was about to settle for a similar plateful until I saw the sweet potatoes. I piled chicken on the baked sweet potato along with some steamed broccoli and a yummy spicy mango dressing. Just add some pureed mango to an old favorite vinaigrette recipe and you've got a loaded sweet potato that's bursting with flavor and oh so satisfying and healthy!

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Clean Eating Teriyaki Salmon

If I'm ever feeling run down, the best pick me up isn't a kick of sugar or caffeine (although the sugar is definitely a temptation!) It's a meal that makes me feel like I'm indulging. Fish can make a meal fancy! While I feel like I'm indulging in fine dining, what I'm really doing is indulging on omega-3s, zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin D, and the natural anti-inflammatory characteristics of fish oil. *Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body. 

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Homemade Protein Powder {Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free}

 

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Barbecue Chicken Chili {clean eating & gluten free}

The weather has been a little bipolar lately. Warm and spring-like, followed by a fluke snowstorm, and now rain for three days straight. It's the perfect weather for chili! I have this chili recipe I've made forever - whenever we've stayed at our family cabin or on a rainy day at home, but it calls for things like prepared barbecue sauce, ketchup, and brown sugar. Hello? Can we say sugar overload. I love the smokey, spicy, sweet flavors of barbecue sauce, but I don't so much love high fructose corn syrup or the artificial colors and flavors. Even ketchup has a bunch of corn syrup in it.Now that we eat clean, gluten free, mostly dairy free, and refined sugar is pretty much non-existent in our home, I needed a new chili recipe.This made from scratch Barbecue Chicken Chili is a great one pot or Crock Pot meal. And it has bacon. Who doesn't love bacon?!FYI when shopping for ingredients:*It's important to use SMOKED paprika to get the right flavor. You won't get the same taste with regular, sweet, or spicy paprika.*Uncured bacon is actually cured but done so without the use of nitrates or nitrites. It's usually cured with celery powder and/or sea salt which makes it much better for you. 

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Homemade Green Hummus

After school snack attack is a real problem around my house. The kids get home from school and in a whirlwind my sort of quiet, somewhat tidy home is strewn with backpacks, shoes, homework, jackets, and noise. The only thing that can calm the after school crazies is to wind down with a snack and maybe some outside time before we tackle homework. Hummus is a such a great snack because it's full of protein, fiber, and very filling. I usually put out a little cup of peanut butter too. The carrot sticks go in the hummus and the celery in the peanut butter. What makes the hummus green, you ask? .....Promise not to tell my kids? It's spinach (and a little cilantro too)! Yep, and you'd never taste it. My kids love green smoothies so I just tell them it's green hummus and for some reason they don't ask any other questions. This hummus is simple enough to make right in a blender or food processor and the color of the fresh spinach makes it look like a mischievous Leprechaun fixed it for them ;) It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any day you want to sneak a little more green in your family's diet. 

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A Gluten Free Valentine's Party

 

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Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies

  Valentines was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. I loved making secret gifts for everyone, getting love notes from mom, flowers from dad, and little special things from my friends. Inevitably, as you get older some valentines celebrations won't be as sweet- not every valentines, but at least one just to chalk up to experience. Not as a kid though! As a kid valentines is about sweets, heart shaped construction paper cut-outs, kindergarten crushes, and love notes. Here's a little something sweet to send to school in their lunch box along with that love note or to enjoy with whomever you love.

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Asian Sweet Pork Salad & Tangy Basil-Lime Dressing

The best thing about crock-pot dinners (besides the obvious low-maintenance) is that you usually end up with leftovers. One of the easiest and tastiest things to throw in a slow cooker is meat. The longer it cooks the more tender and flavorful it gets and my favorite for the crock-pot is pork.

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Kisses For Kycie

It's part of human nature to forget; Forget how blessed we are, how important each one of us is, and how loved we all are by our Father in Heaven. I believe in a loving God who understand perfectly every facet of our lives and loves us perfectly.You can learn more hereI've been so caught up in the business of raising four children, blogging, and all the other details that I felt like I'd kind of lost the bigger picture. I forgot why I started blogging about gluten free food and fitness goals in the first place. Luckily, we have lots of opportunities to be reminded of why we started the journey in the first place. Mine came the other day.I'd seen a few posts on my Facebook feed with the picture of a beautiful blond headed little girl and a request for prayers - Kisses for Kycie. This little girl lives in my area, although I have never had the pleasure of meeting her or her family. However, as I read their story tears ran down my face. Kycie had diabetes...but no one knew until her blood sugar levels skyrocketed and she was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital where she is now struggling for her life. I continue to see updates on Kycie's condition via Facebook and my most heartfelt prayers are with her and her family.I was so touched by their story because I've been there. Yes, our circumstances were different and although my Miah was also fighting for her life with an autoimmune disease of the intestines, her fight was and is different. I believe as a parent the feelings of helplessness and hope, fear and faith, are the same no matter what kind of struggle our children are going through. More than that, a life changing event like this makes more evident the miracles and mercies in our lives.Each of us are fighting for our lives - fighting for the life we want, hope for, or feel we deserve.  Each one of our struggles are different, yet no one's fight is any less important or necessary for their personal growth.I'm so grateful for the constant reminder of the change I went through two years ago. To keep my daughter healthy now I have to make a constant, conscious effort every single day by learning to cook in ways I'd never had to before and with food I'd never heard of. Miah's personal struggle benefited our entire family and changed me for the better. Yes, I may have developed some serious anxieties over the last two years, but maybe with a little more reminding and a little more faith those fears will subside.We were so blessed then and now and, even after spending nearly a month at the children's hospital, have had to pay a substantially small amount of the high medical costs involved with her care. Please keep Kycie and her family in your prayers and if you'd like to help with the medical cost you can donate HERE as well as read the full story and updates.

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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