Strawberry Nice Cream

Strawberry Nice Cream

The cub had a friend join us this week! The wildly talented vegan blogger Sophia DeSantis of Veggies Don’t Bite stopped by with her youngest son to make some Nice Cream.

Fun facts: Sophia and I met through a moms group when the cub and her son were just a few months old and the two of them are just 5 days apart.

Ice Cream8

The two started off by helping remove the leaves from the strawberries. Team work at its finest!

Ice Cream7

Now time to chop the strawberries. The cub goes first while her friend watches.

Ice Cream6

Now it’s his turn. The cub started sneaking strawberries and eating them.

Ice Cream9

Earlier in the day, we had cut up a few bananas in 1/2 inch pieces and put them in the freezer. We added the frozen bananas to the blender, but someone thought they needed to eat a few, too.

Ice Cream3

In go the chopped strawberries. I see you!

Ice Cream2

I think handling two toddlers in the kitchen has Grandma DiDi a little nervous. 😉 Next up, the Califia Almond Milk. This is not a sponsored post, but we really love their unsweetened almond milk.

Ice Cream1

Grandma DiDi helps with the blender – the nice cream is almost ready!

Ice Cream

After pouring the mixture into a freezer-safe dish, we served up their very own creation – “Nice” Cream! They wanted more, and more, and more!!!

Ice Cream10

It’s as good as it looks! So easy, vegan, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and delicious! A must try! Use our combination or try your own flavor – peanut butter/chocolate; coconut/pecan; blueberry/lemon… the possibilities are endless.

Strawberry Nice Cream


  • 10 Strawberries, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 Bananas, cut into 1/2in pieces and frozen
  •  1 tsp good vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk


  1. Cut bananas into inch pieces and freeze in a plastic bag for a few hours.
  2. Once bananas are frozen, place all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly mixed. Poor into a 9 X 5 bread pan and freeze about 1 hour.   Scoop and serve.

Note: If frozen too long just let it sit out for about 10 minutes until it is scoop-able.

Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup

Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup

Anyone else on an endless cycle of colds with their little ones this season? The cub has had her fair share of sickness. A balanced, healthy diet can help boost your immune system, so we are doing all we can to help the cub during this season.

For centuries soup has been regarded as a cold fighting food. To back up this theory, we dive into the nutritional benefits of each ingredient.


The cub learns about thyme and how to strip it. Grandma DiDi models and the cub follows along.


The cub always smell new ingredients she uses. It activates more than one sense in the cub helping her to fully understand it.

Thyme: The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping-cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination.

Thyme to eat up!


Next up, the cub chops the zucchini. If you have been following along, you will notice the cub has improved on her knife skills. We’re so proud!

Zucchini: Already being an outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, zucchini is also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus.


The cub moves onto chopping the bell peppers. Check out those knife skills!


Along with smelling our ingredients, we eat them, too, to make sure they are delicious.

Bell peppers: are rich in many vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C and various carotenoids.

Eat up, Cub!


Grandma DiDi helped chop the rest of ingredients with a quick kiss to show love and appreciation for one another.

Onion: An onion contains fiber and folic acid, and B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells.

Carrots: Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. These root vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Potato: Potatoes offer the body fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron, and are an excellent source of potassium.

Celery: The benefits of celery begin with it being an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.

Tomatoes: Are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Iron, Potassium and Copper.


Once again, the cub tests out how celery leaves taste. Eat your antioxidants, little one!


We added all the yummy ingredients to a pot to cook. Can you smell the aroma? Delicious!


Grandma DiDi made her own vegetable broth and added it to the soup. You can also use store-bought. The cub watches with curiosity.


Time to add our noodles. We decided to use Eden Organic Pasta Vegetable Noodles for our soup. Bonus points for adding a learning component to the soup!


In they go from the loving arms of Grandma DiDi.


The final product that’s filled with so much goodness. Add fresh lemon for added Vitamin C – a proven way to help boost your immune system and a brightened flavor in whatever you’re eating!


She’s so proud of her dish. Extra credit: Happiness is also known to lead to better health! 😁


Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup


  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • I cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • I cup bell peppers – whatever color you want, diced
  • 3 – 4 small yukon gold or red skinned potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • approximately 4 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken if you wish) *see note
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups alphabet noodles *see note
  • Salt and pepper to taste (note that canned tomatoes have a lot of salt)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Add whatever veggies you want, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips, parsnips, etc.


  1. Put oil in large dutch oven pot or pan.
  2. Add onion, celery,  and carrots and saute until softened (about 5 – 10 min) over medium heat.
  3. Add peppers, zucchini and potatoes with thyme and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in tomatoes and broth and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add noodles and cook about 10 minutes (or per package direction of noodles).
  6. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Note: I have found that packaged vegetable broths taste terrible. So as I cook I throw all leftover trimmings of veggies I have (carrot ends, stems of parsley, and other herbs, etc) into a plastic bag and put them in the freezer. I add to them and then put them in a pot with water and some fresh garlic, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves etc)  and simmer for a while then strain.  Freeze and use when needed.

Also noodles in broth will continue to soak up the water/broth until there is no more liquid. It’s best to eat soup with pasta first couple days.   You can freeze, but the noodles don’t always hold up well structurally, although they still taste wonderful.



Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

When you are in a hurry, there is nothing better than having something readily available in the fridge or freezer to grab and go. These morning glory muffins are packed with fruit, veggies, fiber and protein to fuel your little cub through the morning.


The cub began by helping add apples to the food processor.


The cub doesn’t like loud noises so she held her ears while Grandma DiDi grated the apples and carrots.


Time to add the dry ingredients to the bowl. This is the cubs favorite part.


After stirring with her handy piggy spoon, she stops to smell the ingredients.


The cub examines the grated apples and likes the texture. She takes a few handfuls and adds them to the bowl.


But quickly realizes its easier to just dump them in.


Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to scoop the honey out of the measuring cup. The cub is fascinated and giving the process her full attention.


Grandma DiDi gave the cub a dried wild blueberry and had her guess what it was. The cubs first guess… a raisin!


Such a big helper! The cub helps grease the muffin pan with avocado oil.


And lastly scoops the muffin mixture into the greased pan. This is great for hand-eye coordination!


Bake and you have these delicious wholesome muffins! Let them cool and eat or keep them in the refrigerator for about a week in an air tight bag. You can also wrap them well and freeze for 3 – 4 weeks.


Morning Glory Muffins


  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk or your choice of milks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 TBSP avocado oil
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we used walnuts but choose what you want)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 medium sized apple grated (with skin)
  • 1 cup dried fruit of choice (we used Trader Joes wild dried blueberries)

(Makes 12 -15 muffins)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease regular sized cupcake tins well with butter or oil
  2. Put all dry ingredients in bowl and whisk together until well blended.
  3. Add milk, vanilla, honey, yogurt, molasses, coconut, grated carrots and grated apples and blend well by hand or in mixer.
  4. Beat egg with oil in a separate bowl and add to muffin mixture.
  5. Add chopped nuts and blend well.
  6. Pour into tins and bake 25 – 30 minutes until almost dry with toothpick test.






Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat Poppy Seed Crackers

Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat Poppy Seed Crackers

Crackers and dip – pretty much the epitome of snack time. We try not to snack too much in our house in order for the cub to focus on eating meals. But when we do eat snacks, we try to make them wholesome and nutritious.


The cub began by helping prep our ingredients. In this case – butter! Her knife skills are improving! Practice makes perfect.


Colorful, large measuring cups make it easy for little toddler hands to hold. From the look on her face, you know she’s proud of herself. Mission accomplished.


A bit more difficult of a task, but she executed perfectly. Measuring herbs and spices always has an additional step – stop and smell the aroma!  She was picking the spices this time by smelling curry and garam marsala.  She picked curry!


In goes the agave syrup. “I can do it grandma,” explained the cub.


The cub enjoys using her pink piggy spatula to stir all the  ingredients for the crackers. We needed to mix it until it became a ball of dough. The cub started and then grandma DiDi took over.


After the dough is formed, roll the dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. While the cracker dough chills, we started the hummus.


Grandma DiDi heard that boiling your canned garbanzo beans first will help them blend into a creamier hummus. So after the beans boiled, the cub helped add them to our blender. Another fun task for her was watching the liquid separate from the beans.


Measuring and smelling all the yummy ingredients into the blender. The cub dumped everything in and then stood back for the blending part. She doesn’t like how it makes such a loud noise.


Cracker dough is ready. Slice into 1/8 inch rounds and place on a lined baking sheet.


After placing them on a prepared baking sheet, sprinkle the tops with poppy seeds. The cub took this task very seriously and kept asking us to look at her work. “Good job, honey!” Pop them in the oven and then it’s time to eat!


As soon as the crackers cooled, the cub dove right in!


So yummy!


Make some for your cub at home and feel confident you are feeding them whole ingredients, with no crazy additives you find in so many products these days. Dive in!

Artichoke Hummus and Whole-Wheat and Poppy Seed Crackers
(Cracker recipe adapted from Vegetarian Heartland )

Artichoke Hummus


  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced –  or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 clove garlic or more to taste
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil


  1. Heat garbanzo beans in juice with garlic and bay leaf at a simmer for 20 mins
  2. Remove bay leaf
  3. Strain beans and garlic into blender, reserving 1 Tbsp or more liquid for blender
  4. Add all other ingredients to blender and mix well until creamy
  5. To serve drizzle with good quality olive oil

Note: Store in air-tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

Whole-Wheat Pumpkin and Poppy Seed Crackers 


  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seed, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp ground spice of choice – we chose curry but you can use spice of choice, even cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Measure all dry ingredients into bowl.  
  3. Work cubes of butter into dry ingredients with pastry cutter or fork until they are incorporated well into dry small particles
  4. Add pumpkin and mix well into ball
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and form into log about 6 inches long.  Refrigerate for 1 hour
  6. Slice with sharp knife into 1/8 inch slices and place on a parchment covered baking sheet
  7. Sprinkle with more poppy seeds
  8. Bake 15 – 20 min until edges start to brown

Pear Chips

Pear Chips

In ancient China, people believed that pears represented immortality and prosperity because pear trees live for a long time. We couldn’t think of a better post to start off 2018 than a recipe symbolizing prosperity in the new year.


The cub started off by cutting up the pear. Her slices weren’t exactly perfect, but she was able to practice her cutting skills and she felt engaged in the process.


Next up is her favorite part, measuring and smelling the spices! This girl loves flavor on her food.


And we always stop to smell them.


And snack on our ingredients…


This particular day was special because we had G-ma in town for the holidays. The cub enjoyed showing G-ma how she brushed the maple syrup on each pear slice. Some may have had a bit too much maple syrup. 🙂


Quick break to taste the maple syrup. Finger-licking good.


That wasn’t enough so she decided to lick the brush. *No double dipping occurred in the process.


After the pears had been brushed with maple syrup, we sprinkled the spices over the pears. This is the cubs best “salt bae” impression. I’m pretty sure that this could also become an internet sensation for this “spice bae” signature move.


Dusting complete. Some more than others, but that’s ok. Embrace the imperfections of cooking with a little one.

Pear12Slow baked to perfection. Delicious, wholesome, flavorful and prosperous! The cub wishes you a happy new year filled with endless possibilities in the kitchen.


Pear Chips
(recipe adapted from Vegetarian Heartland)


  • 3 ripe, firm Bartlett pears, unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 different toppings can be used – see note
    • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon with or without pinch of cayenne
    • 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 225ÂşF.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Thinly slice pears.
  4. Prepare the chosen dry spice ingredients.
  5. Arrange pear slices in a single layer on the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush with maple syrup on both sides and sprinkle with spice mixture.
  6. Bake, flipping once halfway through the baking time until all moisture is removed and they are brittle and not spongy – about 3 hours.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool. They should be the consistency of a chip when cooled.
  8. Store in resealable bag at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Note: We used the cinnamon without the cayenne for the cub but the other mixes are delicious for more adult/sophisticated taste or your adventuresome cub).

Paleo Peppermint Brownies

Paleo Peppermint Brownies

I have to be honest, I would not have thought to make a paleo style brownie a few months ago, but we have been exploring alternative ways to make sweets with healthier ingredients and I must say I’m completely blown away. These are just as good as regular brownies. Ooey gooey and delicious!

I also have a new obsession with Cheryl Malik’s blog 40 aprons. I found these delicious brownies on her site and knew the cub would love them!


We started off our cooking session with a little snack – raisins! And an excuse for me to post a cute photo of the cub!


In goes the dry ingredients. The cub has mastered this skill!


After all the dry ingredients have been added, the cub likes to take a moment and observe the texture, color and smell.


The cub observed how the coconut oil went from a solid, then a liquid after heating it. Fascinating!


We always stop to smell our ingredients. Peppermint is a new smell for the cub and she approves.


“It wont come out Grandma,” the cub explains! Grandma DiDi helps scoop out the almond butter from the measuring cup. “It’s thick, isn’t it,  explains Grandma DiDi?

Grandma DiDi and the cub completed mixing all the dry and wet ingredients and now its time to pour it into our 8 x 8 baking dish.


“Grandma, am I doing this right” the cub asks? Grandma DiDi encourages the cub and lets her know she’s doing a fantastic job.

Grandma DiDi helps spread the mixture evenly in the pan and then it was time to put the brownies in the oven.


While the brownies bake, it’s time to make the frosting!  The cub may or may not have eaten a few.


There is a first time for everything. This was the cubs first time using a can opener. With a little help, she did it!


After they opened the can, Grandma DiDi added the coconut cream into the frosting ingredients and popped it into the microwave.


Once heated and stirred, the cub thought it would be nice to dip her bread stick in the frosting to make sure it was just right. “Delicious,” the cub yells!


After the brownies have cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 mins.  Pour over the frosting and add crushed candy cane! Almost time to eat. Let them cool completely before cutting into squares.


I brought these to a dinner party and everyone thought they were sooo good. As good as a regular brownie and have a rich and gooey texture.

Paleo Peppermint Brownies
(recipe adapted from



  • 2 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder 
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup Refined Coconut Oil melted
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Spray Coconut Oil


  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. Refined Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Cream
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • vegan peppermint candies or candy canes crushed, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 325ÂşF.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, pinch of salt, and coconut sugar. Pulse a couple times until well mixed. Add in 2 eggs, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Process until smooth. Alternately, to mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well, then add in egg, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, and extracts, and stir until very smooth.
  3. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil. Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan, push batter into edges, and smooth surface. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out close to clean. Don’t overbake! You don’t want the toothpick to be perfectly clean, but it should not be coated in what looks like frosting.
  4. Make frosting: combine chocolate chips, coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut cream in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave 60 seconds then stir well. Continue microwaving in 30-second bursts, stirring very well between each burst, until chocolate is just melted. Stir in peppermint and vanilla extracts, then pour over still-warm brownies. Let cool slightly then top with crushed peppermint candies. Let cool completely before cutting. If frosting is not solidifying, chill for about an hour to harden. Cut into 16 square and keep in an airtight container about 4 days.

Veggie Quinoa Sushi

Veggie Quinoa Sushi

We are big fans of and her plant-based recipes! Grandma DiDi made these a while back for a baby shower and they were a hit. Light, delicious and healthy. So when trying to think of a healthy lunch option for the cub, these popped up! The cub is a big fan of sushi and we always like introducing new ideas to her.


To truly make sticky quinoa for the sushi, we dissolved miso in water to add to the quinoa while it cooked. The cub helps stir it up and watches it dissolve.


Next up, its time to julienne some vegetables. New word for the cub and she is happy to help cut the pickled carrots, because…


She ate them all! She loves anything pickled. Remember the pickled veggies we made a few weeks ago. Obsessed! I’m not upset about it as it is great for her overall gut health and making them ourselves cuts down on the salt!


Back to work! Cutting more veggies. Almost ready to make the sushi.

quinoa 7

Grandma DiDi took the quinoa off the stove so it can cool before it goes on the nori. If we add it too soon, it would ruin the nori. While we wait, the cub helps get the rolling station set up. Such a great helper.


Quinoa is all cool. Grandma DiDi spreads it in an even layer on the nori while the cub eats more carrots.


Add whatever combination of veggies you would like. We did raw beets and cucumber with pickled carrots and some avocado. We also tried another one that included raw beet kraut.


The cub is very interested in the rolling. “Grandma, you’re doing it”, yells the cub.


“SUSHI”!!! Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to cut it into bite-sized rolls. Almost time to eat!


So simple, yet so wholesome and delicious. Pair with your favorite dipping sauce and you have an excellent lunch.


Veggie Quinoa Sushi


  • 6 nori sheets
  • 1½ cup quinoa (we used a mix of red and white.  Black is great if you can find it)
  • 3 tbsp white miso paste*
  • 1 small avocado, peeled & sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & julienned
  • 1 beetroot, peeled & julienned
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & julienned
  • tamari (for GF version) or soy sauce

Directions (modified from

  1. Rinse your quinoa. Dissolve miso paste in ½ cup of water. Place rinsed quinoa in a pot with a see-through lid. Add dissolved miso paste and an extra 1 and ž cup of water to the pot. Put the lid on and bring quinoa to the boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat right down to simmer. Simmer (with a lid on) until all of the water has been absorbed. Once quinoa absorbs all the water (tilt the pot slightly to check if there is any water left in it), turn the heat off and leave the pot (DO NOT LIFT THE LID) on a hot hob for about 5-10 mins so that quinoa finishes cooking in its own steam. Make sure you cool it down completely before making sushi rolls or else nori sheets will become soggy.
  2. Time to roll your sushi – Wrap your sushi mat (bamboo mat or folded kitchen towel) in a large piece of saran wrap. Put the mat down, put a nori sheet on top of the mat, shiny side down. Grab some quinoa with a spoon and spread it evenly on the nori sheet leaving a 1 cm margin at the very top, for sealing. As well as spreading the quinoa evenly, keep on pressing it into the mat with the back of a spoon.
  3. Place avocado slices, a few pieces of beet, carrot and cucumber all along the sheet(veggies of your choice)
  4.  Using the mat, slowly start rolling the nori, squeezing it tightly with both hands as you roll. Go back every now and then to make sure everything is tightly bonded.
  5. Once you get to the end, dip your finger in water and brush the water on the margin to seal the roll. Finish rolling and set the roll aside.
  6. Cut them into 1 cm slices with a sharp knife. Serve with a side of tamari (or soy sauce) and wasabi if desired.