Shamrock Mint Shake

  I love spring! Here in my desert home the trees are starting to blossom and big billowy clouds bring cool rain, turning the sagebrush a lovely shade of green. The inevitable and always inspiring rainbow is bound to show up whenever the sun peeks out. 

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Gluten Free Chocolate-Filled Macaroons

  Most of the time I would consider myself a planner. I usually prepare and think ahead, but every now and then I'm a "What?! It's already Valentines?" kind of person.  So here's to anyone else who's been caught off guard by this lovable holiday. These {Homemade} gluten-free, chocolate-filled, pink and simple macaroons are the perfect Valentine's Day treat for your someone special...or yourself -- who is also very special. ;) With only 5 ingredients, these macaroons can be whipped together in no time and are sure to impress way more than store bought chocolates. (hint, hint fellas) I made mine bite-sized, but you can make them bigger if you'd like. Here's how you do it... 4 egg whites, whipped 1/2 cup sifted organic coconut sugar or honey (I did half and half) 1-1/2 cups coconut flour

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Lemon Almond Muffins

 Muffins were always a regular snack or dinner side at my house growing up. I mean, how can you not love sweet little mounds of bread. Even though my family doesn't do refined wheat, that doesn't mean I still can't share my love of muffins with my family. So here's some gluten free after school snacks, grab-and-go breakfast, dessert in the kiddos lunch box, or side to a light dinner. As a family we go through a lot of eggs. So whenever possible I like to leave out the eggs in my baked goods so I can save them for things like Bacon Broccoli Quiche  or in bread that does need them like {Homemade} Sandwich Bread. These muffins aren't missing any protein though since I used a garbanzo bean flour blend. They are sweet, light, and fluffy and you probably wouldn't even guess they were eggless, gluten free, and refined sugar free. 

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Healthy {Homemade} Hot Cocoa

 

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a cup of {Homemade} Hot Cocoa! I love this time of year, but I will admit that in years past I've indulged in the excessive festive goodies that always abound during the holidays. Over the years I've become more aware and informed and consequently have started making some different choices in what I feed my family. Does that mean we can't enjoy some holiday treats? No way!!This hot cocoa is made with unrefined coconut sugar, coconut milk and cacao (cocoa) powder. As a bonus the natural coconut oil from the sugar and milk will leave your lips super soft after each sip. Which may come in handy if you find yourself under the mistletoe (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

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Cinnamon Apple Crockpot Quinoa

 

I've been on a breakfast kick lately, but breakfast can get mundane with the same old things. So I like to switch it up. This healthy and delicious breakfast is super easy - as in throw it in the slow cooker the night before and forget about it, kind of easy.  This would be a great alternative to oatmeal. 

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{Homemade} Gluten Free Granola Bars

 

You know what the worst part about feeding my entire family gluten free and as organic and chemical free as possible? The COST! $6 for a box of 5 gluten free snack bars?! Really?! So yes, making my own snacks from scratch does take up some of my time, but no more time than it'd take to make a batch of cookies, plus it saves me $$$ - like $.25 for .$50 per bar and I know exactly what's in them. So I take the time, and you know what? It's worth it. This recipe makes approximately 16 bars and the variations are endless.

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{Homemade} GF Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Since making my kitchen 100% gluten free there are a few things that my kids (and by my kids I mean ME) have not been willing to let go of, namely yummy breads! This will be the first of several yummy and healthy breads in the Food L'amor GF Baking Series. After lots of trial and error I've found that gluten free bread can taste amazing and doesn't have to be super fattening either! What?! This delicious Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread will hit the spot during the holidays or freeze and save for any day. I used a light gluten free flour blend, dark chocolate chips, cut out the refined sugar and replaced it with less than half the amount of 100% pure organic maple syrup. Don't worry it will appease that sweet tooth and you'll get a healthy dose of dark chocolate in each bite!F.Y.I - I always double this recipe to make two loafs since my family will take down the first loaf in a matter of minutes before it even cools!Preheat oven to 3502 eggs + 1 egg white1/4 cup coconut oil, warm jar under hot tap water to liquify1/4 cup apple sauce1 tsp. pure vanilla extract1/3 cup organic pure maple syrup1 - 15 oz. can pureed pumpkinCombine wet ingredients in a bowl until well blended. In another bowl combine dry ingredients. You can make your own flour blend or use a store bought prepared flour blend. I've used both and it turns out good either way.)Gluten Free Flour Blend:3/4 cup brown rice flour or GF oat flour1/4 cup potato flour5 tbsp. + 1 tsp. tapioca flourCombine the flour blend with...1 tsp. baking soda1 tsp. cinnamon1/2 tsp. ground allspice1/2 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. baking powderMix the wet and dry ingredients together until well incorporated along with...1/2 cup dark chocolate chips  *I may have used a little bit more than this just cause ;)

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{Homemade} Pomegranate Jam

  

When I think of fall, of course the traditional apples, pumpkins, and savory soups immediately come to mind and make my tummy growl in anticipation, but only a second behind that craving is my love of freshly picked pomegranates. My in-laws have a couple trees that are weighed down each fall with these delicious pink-seeded fruit that are packed with vitamins C, B5, E, and could rival carrots for its beta carotene and bananas for its potassium. On their own they're a healthy yummy snack, but when you have buckets of them you need to get come up with something other than having one for a snack or even freezing them for later. Thus we have {Homemade} Pomegranate Jam made with low or no-sugar needed pectin and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar because it ranks lower on the glycemic index and won't leave you with a rush and crash after eating, plus it's usually far less processed.

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{Homemade} Cranberry Sauce

 Okay, yes, it does take slightly more effort to make this cranberry sauce than opening a can, but only slightly and it will taste so much better!  These beauties are made without any granulated sugar so pile it on the turkey and then save some for your turkey sandwiches later :) 1 - 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries2 cinnamon sticks1 orange, rinsed and quartered3/4 cup raw honey All you have to do it throw it all in the slow cooker first thing thanksgiving morning on low.  Let it simmer for about 5 hours and fill your house with the smells of the holidays. After 5 hours turn the cooker up to high for the last hour so the juices will reduce and the berries will fall apart.  Remove orange pieces and cinnamon sticks when you're ready to serve.  That's it!  It's a little more involved than just using a can opener, but as in life, anything worthwhile takes some effort :)  Happy holidays everyone!   Enjoy!
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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Okay people we're officially on countdown to turkey day, and whether you're in charge of cooking the feast or not, this healthy pumpkin pecan pie is a must!  Not only is it gluten free, dairy free and delicious, but it also contain a fraction of the calories of your regular pumpkin pecan pie!The best part is you get your pumpkin pecan fix without sacrificing all the progress you've made the whole year by blowing it in one sitting!  I've used lots of exclamation marks, but this is exciting!  And while I'm all excited about thanksgiving let me just say how thankful I am to you for visiting my little blog :)  I love sharing my healthy recipes and hope you enjoy them too.  I'd love to hear from you if you do.

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Peach Meringue

While at my local grocery store I scoped out some big, delicious looking peaches; the last of the summer crop.  I snatched them up and giddily planned for a scrumptious peach pie, Mwahahaha :) But when I got around to making it I was dismayed to discover that I was missing some ingredients that I just didn't feel I could do without.  So, like the theme of my life, I rolled with it and came up with this super healthy and amazingly easy dessert.  It's so simple yet so unique and delicious you'll hardly realize how healthy this decedent dessert is.  And just like the reoccurring theme of life, I usually discover that rolling with it turns out to be just what I needed after all! 

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Honey Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 

This morning we awoke to....SNOW!  I shouldn't be surprised since I grew up along the Wasatch mountain range, but when you live in the sunny Southwest for almost 10 years you kind of forget what cold is.  The kids were so excited!  It was all I could do to keep them in the house and dry before I dropped my 2nd grader and kindergartner off at school.  Back at home again my 2 year old sat with her face glued to the window and watched as the slushy rain turned to little balls of hail then to huge fluffy snow flakes.  It's only October!  I needed something toasty and since we just carved pumpkins last night ---> 

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Watermelon-Pineapple Sorbet

Since my Watermelon lemonade was such a big hit I decided to take advantage of some more watermelon goodness while summer is still going strong.  Sorbet's are so yummy, easy and healthy which makes them good to eat whenever, but especially when you have fresh juicy watermelon and fresh pineapple!  This is so easy and is a great healthy replacement for what the ice cream man brings.All you need is a sweet, juicy seedless watermelon, cubed. (Seedless makes it easy unless of course you got a watermelon like my "seedless" one which had plenty of seeds to pick out.)Now cut up your fresh and yummy pineapple.  Start by cutting the top off, then standing it up and run your knife from the top to bottom cutting all the tough outer skins off, leaving only the yellow pineapple. Now, starting at the top again, cut the soft pineapple meat off from the hard fibrous center.  Cut into cubes.Place your watermelon and pineapple chunks in a plastic container or plastic freezer bag and pop it in the freezer overnight.  The next day when you're ready for sorbet, just add as many watermelon and pineapple as you like.  Pull out your blender, like a Vitamix CIA Professional Blender Blend until your sorbet is smooth. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes before eating.  Enjoy your cool treat right away or store in the freeze for later.  If you freeze some for later just remember to pull it out of the freezer and let sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving.  

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Oatmeal Pancakes with Maple Peach Puree

Nothing says breakfast like steaming hot pancakes and making them healthy pancakes does nothing but make them taste even better.  Then top them with Maple Peach puree and you've got light, fluffy, sweet goodness to start your day off with. Makes 6-8 pancakes.

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"Beet That" Coleslaw

The other day I was given a couple beets and a large jicama (the j is pronounced as an h).  After rummaging through the pantry and fridge I found just the thing.  A small head of cabbage I'd nearly forgotten about.  Perfect!  This bright magenta pink coleslaw is the perfect side to something grilled.  

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Watermelon Lemonade

Big juicy slices of watermelon and lemonade stands are more than just reminiscent of summer, these things are woven through nearly every summer memory.  So, I thought to myself, why not combine the two? Good idea :)Watermelon, juiced to make 1 quarts1 cup strawberries4-6 lemons, juiced1 lime, juicedenough water to fill pitcher to the 2 quarthoney or stevia to taste

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Breakfast Fruit Tarts

 

I don't know about all of you out there, but breakfast at our house can get a little monotonous.  Do you want oatmeal, or eggs?  When we have time, gluten free pancakes or waffles can be added to the list of possibilities.  But, more often than not even those choices get reduced to, "Here, scarf this down while we drive or you'll be late for school!" So I decided to break up the reruns with these Breakfast Fruit Tarts.  You can make the tart mixture the night before so all you have to do is pop them in the oven the next morning while you get ready.  A healthy breakfast is served and you can eat it on the run too!  

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Almond Coconut Dream Cake

It's kind of a funny story how this cake came to be...it all began with a lemon and an idea to make healthy lemon squares.  After some experimentation, major failure (twice), contemplation and adaptation out of the oven came this beauty. The end result...moist almond cake with lemony hints topped with sweet coconut cream...you might forget its good for you ;)P.S. I was in too big of a hurry to let my coconut milk cool in the fridge so it was a little runny, but don't worry it was still super yummy!

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{Homemade} Soft Serve Mango Ice Cream with Blackberries

This one's perfect for a Hawaiian vacation or whenever you're just imagining yourself on a beach somewhere.4 bananas, peeled and frozen1-2 tsp. vanilla extract1 large mango, peeled and cut into small chunks4 oz. blackberriesServes 2Peel bananas and place in either a large plastic container.  Cover and freeze overnight.When you're ready for ice cream simply place frozen banana pieces and vanilla into a good food processor into an ice cream consistency. Have your mango chopped up and ready to go before you start whipping though.

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{Homemade} Pumpkin Surprise Muffins

Today my kids were asking for something "yummy" to snack on after school.  Sound familiar?  The after school snack rush is always eventful with my 7 year old frantically scavenging through the pantry and fridge.  He's convinced that if he doesn't eat in the next five seconds he will literally "starve to death".  So while they helped themselves to some "ants on a log" (only the best healthy kid snack ever: celery stick topped with peanut butter and raisins or "ants") I whipped up these pumpkin surprise muffins for when the peanut butter ran out. Wondering what the surprise is?  Don't tell the kids, but these muffins have no refined sugar like most muffins, ground flax, and....(pause for effect)....pureed black beans in place of oil.  Yep, amazingly you don't taste the beans, but you get all the fiber, protein and vitamins anyway. These muffins are moist and filling.  Perfect for those starving growing 7 year-old's snack attack.  Just tell you're kids that the dark chocolate chips and crunchy walnuts are the surprise, they'll never know :) P.S.  Don't you just love the tin foil instead of muffin liners.  Guess I better put that on my grocery list for next time :)

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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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