Raspberry Avocado Popsicles

At least one baby ago, my friend Jordyn shared this recipe with me.  That was before she moved as far west as she could go, and I moved as far east as I could go, in the continental US.  And just now, I’m having sweet, aching longings for our summery Saturday market mornings at the St. Pete farmer’s market, where one could wander for hours, leading up to a cold treat of fruity, surprising combinations in flavor at our favorite popsicle cart.  More than that, I’m missing my dear foodie friend.

So today, I’m sharing this recipe she created for raspberry avocado popsicles, so we can all have popsicle JOY.  Enjoy!

 

raspberry-avocado-popsicles

I know some people might not think avocado sounds yummy in a popsicle.  I’m weird, because I do… but if you don’t, I promise, this avocado is “invisible,” both in appearance and flavor.  It adds a hint of sweetness and the tiniest bit of needed creamy texture, and a whollop of nutritional benefits… so give it a try!

 

raspberry-popsicle-recipe

 

I know I’m not the only one excited for autumn, but sad to see summer days go away.  Here’s your way to stretch out the summer a bit longer, and make a sweet, healthy treat.

 

Raspberry Avocado Popsicles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Fresh fruit and avocado combine for a surprising sweet treat.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6 pops
Ingredients
  • 3 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ of an avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. Purée all ingredients along with ¾ cup water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add in avocado and pulse until mixed. Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze until firm or overnight. When ready to eat, run molds under warm water to loosen. Remove from molds and enjoy!!

 

I made the following changes to Jordyn’s yummy treats:

I replaced the sugar with 3 tablespoons raw honey.

I used 3 cups raspberries.

 

homemade-raspberry-avocado-popsicles

Like this recipe?  I’d love for you to share.  🙂

These recipes were also shared in a Facebook Live broadcast I did for Sal et Lux blog.  Take a peek for two other recipes!

 

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{Guest Post} Three Luscious (Asian) Grain-free Recipes

Recently, I was invited to review a cookbook for a health-focused writer.  I loved her easy-to-read tips and recipes, and I know a lot of my readers are interested in healthy, whole foods, and gluten-free or grain-free recipes… So I invited her to share with you all here at Dancing With My Father!  She’s sent over some yummy (Asian) Grain-free recipes.  Introducing Vanessa, guest-posting today!

 

grain-free-asian-recipes

 

I want to thank Angela for allowing me to share some grain-free recipes with you all!

My name is Vanessa Olson, and I make my living helping people – specifically athletes – stay healthy. Because each client is different, I have to educate myself constantly to stay tuned into their unique nutritional requirements, training schedules, and so on. I love to develop my own recipes that anyone – athlete or not – can benefit from. The recipes I’m sharing with you today are all grain-free, and instead use ingredients like coconut flour, arrowroot powder, nuts, and lots of veggies!

 

Going grain-free has a lot of benefits, even if you aren’t grain-intolerant or sensitive. Grains are full of starch, lectins, and other ingredients that have been shown to cause inflammation, digestive problems, and serotonin imbalances, which can negatively affect your mood. The other problem with grain is that eating it causes blood-sugar levels to spike. In the long term, this can increase your risk for dementia. Giving up bread and pasta is a great way to focus on other foods that don’t pack so much punch when it comes to blood sugar.

 

People also like to give up grain in an attempt to lose weight, but they’re often disappointed. Simply giving up grain isn’t enough for most, but it can help you choose better foods and eat less sugar, which grain-based products like bread and pasta are full of. When combined with other good habits, giving up grain can definitely make weight loss easier.

 

But what about the nutrition? A lot of people are wary of going grain-free because they don’t want to have gaps in their nutritional intake, but the reality is there’s nothing in grain that can’t be found in other sources. The main question is carbs, which the body needs to produce energy. However, great carb sources can be found in legumes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and nuts. The same goes with fiber – try beans, berries, nuts, and dark leafy vegetables.

 

The next three recipes are all about three things: being grain-free, fast, and delicious.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a “great” chef, you can master these meals very quickly, and there aren’t any unusual ingredients. If something is not considered a “pantry staple,” I will let you know where you can find it. Let’s get started!

                                          

 

Paleo Crepes

Serves: 6

Time: Less than 10 minutes

 

Crepes are one of my favorite vehicles for a variety of sweet and savory dishes, but they use flour. Luckily, you can use coconut flour for tender, flavorful crepes that will satisfy a sweet tooth come dessert-time, or make a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

 

First, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over very low heat. While that’s melting, you can put the eggs and coconut flour in your food processor, and blend. When the oil is melted, pour into the food processor along with ½ cup of water. This is your crepe batter.

 

Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in an 8-inch skillet, on medium-low. Coconut oil is delicate, so you never want to turn the burner up too high. When the oil is hot, use a ¼ cup measuring utensil to scoop out your batter. Pour into your skillet and let the batter spread the edges. Watch the batter until it begins to bubble and the bubbles are bursting. Flip the crepe. Wait another 2-3 minutes before moving the crepe to a plate. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

 

For a savory onion, mushroom, and spinach crepe:

 

Heat some olive oil in a separate skillet. Add 2 cups of chopped onions, 3 cups of

mushrooms, and salt. Cook for about 8 minutes, then add 2 big handfuls of spinach.

Keep cooking until the onions and mushrooms are tender, and the spinach has

wilted. Season with more salt, if necessary, and pepper.

 

For a sweet Nutella-banana crepe:

 

Cut up 5-6 small bananas into round slices. Spread into your crepes and spread on a

heaping spoonful of Nutella. Fold over, and dust with powdered sugar and a dollop

of whipped cream.

 

Ingredients:

4 big eggs

½ cup water

2 tablespoons coconut flour

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon coconut oil

 

Directions:

 

  1. Using a food processor, blend the eggs and coconut flour.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, the water, and pulse again until combined.
  3. Pour 1 teaspoon of coconut oil into an 8-inch skillet and heat over medium-low.
  4. When hot, ladle ¼ cup of batter into the skillet so the batter spreads to the edges.
  5. Wait until you can see bubbles on the crepe (they should also burst) and then flip.
  6. After 2-3 minutes, the other side of the crepe should be cooked through.
  7. Move to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.
  8. Serve sweet or savory, and enjoy!

 

Nutritional Info (⅙ of the crepe batter):

 

Calories: 119

Protein: 5

Carbs: 2
Fat: 11

Fiber: 3

 

Simply-Delicious Chicken Stir-Fry

Serves: 4

Time: About 35 minutes

 

I love stir-fry! It’s easy to make and easy to pack with nutritious, grain-free ingredients. This recipe is for a chicken stir-fry with lots of veggies like broccoli, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms, to name just a few. It also includes toasted sesame oil and Ume Plum Vinegar, which gives the whole dish an incredibly tasty,   slightly fruity, acidic, toasty flavor. With just those two add-ins, this homemade stir-fry beats out even your favorite take-out place.

 

To make this stir-fry, you basically just cook all the ingredients in shifts. Now, you’ll notice this recipe calls for Celtic sea salt. This is a fancy unrefined salt, which means it has no additives and has numerous health benefits. You don’t have to go out of your way to buy it for this dish, but if you choose to, there are different “cuts” of the salt, like fine-ground or coarse. I like fine-ground for this recipe, personally, because the dish is already pretty salty with the plum vinegar, and the coarse salt just creates really salty pockets that aren’t super appealing. Celtic sea salt is strong, so don’t go over the ½ teaspoon recommendation.

 

Begin by prepping the chicken. Rinse and dry the breasts before cutting them into 1-inch cubes. They’ll cook faster in bite-sized pieces. Next, heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, until it’s clear and soft. Toss in the carrots, broccoli, and chicken. Cook for another 10 minutes. Next come the mushrooms, zucchini, and bok choy. Toss in some sea salt, too, while you’re at it. After five minutes, pour in 1 cup of water and cover the skillet.

 

While the veggies are steaming, whisk the arrowroot powder with ½ cup of water. After the veggies are done, pour your water/arrowroot mixture into the skillet and keep whisking. When the sauce has thickened, it’s time to add the sesame oil and plum vinegar. That’s it! It’s time to eat!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 ½ cups water

1 finely-chopped medium-sized onion

2 medium-sized sliced carrots

2 heads of broccoli, sliced into spears

2 heads sliced baby bok choy

4-ounces stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms

1 small sliced zucchini

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons Ume Plum Vinegar

½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt

 

Directions:

 

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Toss in the onion to cook for 8-10 minutes, until clear and soft.
  4. Add the carrots, broccoli, and chicken cubes.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, bok choy, and salt.
  7. After 5 minutes, pour in the cup of water and cover the skillet.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. In the meantime, mix ½ cup of water with the arrowroot powder until smooth.
  10. Pour into the skillet and stir for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  11. Stir in the plum vinegar and sesame oil before serving.

 

Nutritional Info (¼ recipe of stir-fry):

 

Calories: 353

Protein: 29

Carbs: 15
Fat: 19

Fiber: 5

 

Thai Peanut Chicken

Serves: 2

Time: About 10-15 minutes

If you’re looking for a quick weekday dinner, this savory peanut chicken is super easy. You just whip up a quick sauce and cook some chicken tenders, and you’re ready to go! The combination of classic Asian flavors like ginger and bright scallions with the creamy, nutty-sweet of peanut butter is absolutely lip-smacking. To keep this recipe grain-free, you use tamari instead of soy sauce. You can find it at any Asian market or a grocery store like Target.

 

To make the sauce, just mix the water, vinegar, tamari, cayenne, garlic, ginger, and creamy peanut butter together in a pot till smooth. Turn the burner to low, so the sauce can reduce for 8 minutes. While that’s simmering, season your chicken tenders with salt and pepper, and heat some olive oil in a skillet. Lay the chicken in the hot oil and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Depending on your stove, it may take a bit longer.

 

To blanch the broccoli, boil a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. When the boiling water is ready, add the broccoli and cook for 1-1 ½ minutes. Immediately remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and submerge in the ice water to stop the cooking process.

 

When the chicken and sauce are done, get out two plates and transfer the chicken tenders. Serve with the blanched broccoli and lots of the peanut sauce. To finish things off, garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions.

 

Ingredients:

9-ounces of chicken tenders

3 cups of water

1 ½ cups blanched broccoli florets

¼ cup chopped peanuts

5 chopped scallions

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon champagne vinegar

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

 

  1. Begin by mixing the water, vinegar, tamari, cayenne, garlic, ginger, and peanut butter in a pot.
  2. Turn the burner to “low” and reduce for 8 minutes.
  3. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper.
  4. Grease a skillet with a healthy splash of olive oil and heat on medium-high.
  5. When hot, add the chicken tenders and cook through.
  6. After about 4 minutes per side (8 minutes total), the chicken should be done.
  7. Serve chicken tenders with the blanched broccoli and lots of the sauce on top.
  8. Sprinkle on the peanuts and scallions.

 

Nutritional Info (½ recipe):

 

Calories: 510

Protein: 29

Carbs: 30
Fat: 32

Fiber: 1

                                          

 

You probably noticed that two of these recipes are clearly Asian-inspired. That’s not just a coincidence. I love homemade versions of these take-out classics, because they’re way healthier, and just as tasty. They’re also really great for going grain-free, because the only adjustments you need to make are to skip the rice side dish.

 

One of the challenges of grain-free is experimenting with different grain substitutes and flours (like coconut flour, from the crepe recipe), and that can be tricky and a bit touch-’n-go at first. When you just want an easy meal after a long day, that kind of experimentation is not fun, which is why I gave you two recipes that are simple and easy to make grain-free. Just sub out soy sauce for tamari, and use arrowroot instead of flour or cornstarch.

 

If you like what you see here and want to look at some other recipes I’ve done, check out my Happy Healthy Cooking blog for some French-inspired pressure cooker recipes. Two of them are even grain-free!

 

Thank you so much, Vanessa, for sharing today!

 

For regular readers of Dancing With My Father, here are a couple other recipes for yummy grain-free treats!

Chocolate Hazelnut Latte Cookies

Banana-Rum Skillet Cake

Apple Avocado Kale Salad

 

What is your favorite grain-free recipe?

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Courageous {Christian Movie Review}

He may be thirteen, but I can still wrangle him into the king-size between daddy and me if I offer him a scratch-back.  He’s as much a fidgeter as I am, but I wouldn’t trade those moments for the whole world.  It’s even sweeter if he’s the only one allowed to stay up and snuggle with us, watch a “big kids only” movie, and if we’re super fortunate, have a bit of talk-time, too.  This week, our middle got to stay up without any of the other siblings, and together we watched a movie we’ve seen before, but he wasn’t old enough to watch at first – Courageous, written and produced by the Kendrick Brothers.

 

Courageous-poster

 

Christian DVD’s have provided a great option for family movie nights.  From the time our kids were little and they were watching the “little kid” movies, we’ve sometimes enjoyed the chance to just curl up and zone out… but I’m never one to settle for wasted time – if we are going to watch something, I want it to have redeeming value.  As mainstream media becomes less about quality and worthy content, and more about political statements and moral decay, it’s harder to find material worthy of our time.  Having studied theater in college, it makes me giddy to see the quality of Christian production improving, and the Kendrick brothers have definitely been a marked part of that movement.

 

Courageous_Cover

 

Recently, FishFlix sent us the Courageous DVD to review (disclosure: the movie was free to us; we had previously seen it and all opinions are our own).  It wasn’t a new movie, but I’ve realized that often, we don’t need “new;” our kids enjoy returning to movies they’ve enjoyed before.  For me, the journey of five men through the challenges of family life and career hadn’t lost its potency.  I’ll never forget the moment my dad knelt before my sister and myself and asked us to forgive him for his failings and spoke words of life into our daughter-hearts.  He didn’t shy away from his lack, but instead pointed us with hope toward the God and father who will never fail us.  He spoke of his own hope in what God could, and does do in our lives to bring healing and purpose.  As the men in the movie step tentatively and boldly toward a greater calling, they inspire us to do the same, whether we are fathers or mothers, or wherever we are in seasons of life.

 

At times, the acting is less than amazing or the effects or plot-line falter, but as with each of the Kendrick movies we’ve seen, we found ourselves willingly suspending belief, engaging in the story, and finding encouragement and challenge to step forward, step up, and be courageous ourselves.  And isn’t that what good theater does?  Share your favorite picks for family movie night!

 

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