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December 2015, Page 2

Dairy-Free Frozen Peppermint Mocha {paleo coffee smoothie}

We are tea drinkers in this house. It’s pretty common for even Little to go into the kitchen during math time and make himself a cup of Iris Breakfast (his favorite). But we’re coffee snobs, too (last year my boys and I unknowingly bought each other coffee making accessories for gifts at Christmas), and this paleo coffee smoothie/peppermint frappe recipe is a delicious treat that won’t destroy your new-year-well-wishes for your body!




I am a huge fan of cacao nibs, but for a decadent treat, you could also toss in a few dark chocolate covered coffee beans!





The coconut oil gives the iced coffee a creaminess that I love, without having to add whole milk. You can use refrigerated coconut milk or canned, if you prefer, or you can substitute with almond or other nut milk.  The peppermint oil (be sure to source high-quality, food-safe oil) adds such a pop of flavor, and it also has added nutritional benefits.  If you prefer, you can replace it with 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.




peppermint frappe {paleo frozen coffee}
A dairy-free, paleo-friendly frozen coffee drink flavored with coconut and peppermint and cacao.
Recipe type: dairy-free drink
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs (save a few for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1-2 drops peppermint oil
  • 1-2 drops liquid stevia (or 1 tsp honey)
  • fresh peppermint leaves (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in high-speed blender in order listed.
  2. Blend on low, then high, for 30 seconds or until frothy and well combined.
  3. If desired, garnish with fresh mint and cacao nibs.



While the kids insist they must have their monkey bread on Christmas morning, I’ll be sipping on my cool, frothy pick-me-up and digging into my stocking.  How about you?



paleo_peppermint_latte_angela_sackett  dancing signature divider web

Pfeffernüsse {grain free Christmas cookies}

When I was a little girl (and even now, as a “grown up” girl), my dad and I shared a love for Peffernusse cookies.  I loved the splurge of that Archway package, and I was always torn between Pfeffernusse and the Cherry Nougats.  Now I’m not just grown up, but always looking for ways to enjoy good food and nourish my body as well.  (Did you know molasses has iron?  Cinnamon has all kinds of beneficial properties?)




This week, I was longing for spice (truth be told, also longing for the company of my parents), and I decided to dig deep and create my own grain free Christmas cookies that are a gluten-free, naturally sweetened version of that spicy cookie.




I have to say as an honest disclosure – sometimes my kiddos describe “healthier” desserts as “tasting that way.”  But this one was a hit with them (two batches devoured in a week) and with the staff at the conference where my husband works.  So I can say with confidence, make this.  And Merry Christmas memories to you, too.




You may notice, there are two different “looks” to the cookies in this post.  I first wanted to really replicate the look of the Pfeffernusse cookies of my past memories.  I rolled the dough into little balls and then rolled those balls in the natural “powdered sugar.”  Well, can I tell you, this dough is STICKEEEEEEEEEy?  I’m a hater of baking-waste (oh how I despise on the cooking shows when they barely scrape the bowl and plop it in the sink), and I was losing far too much of the precious dough on my hands.  So I got lazy efficient and just went with a “drop cookie,” which I sprinkled at the end with the sugar.  It tasted just as delicious, and was a heap easier.




Beautiful round balls?  Or pretty, rustic little cookie nuggets?  It’s your call which matters most when you bake yours!




Yes, i knooooow there are a lot of sugar-shower photos in this post.  But I love them, and I couldn’t weed them out.  Forgive.


Paleo Pfeffernüsse Angela Sackett b


(For a natural, paleo-friendly version of powdered sugar, try processing one cup coconut sugar with one tablespoon arrowroot in your blender.  It has an earthy tan color, but that texture that looks great adorning baked goods.)


Pfeffernüsse {grain-free Christmas cookies}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A grain-free Christmas cookie sweetened with natural sweeteners, that is Paleo-friendly and Celiac-friendly. Although it looks like a hefty ingredient list, it's actually easy to make in one bowl - your food processor.
Recipe type: Paleo Dessert
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 3 cups pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • generous pinch sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Process pecans in food processor until they form a "butter" (a grainy texture like almond butter), stopping several times to scrape sides of bowl.
  4. Add molasses, egg, and coconut sugar and process again until well blended (about 45 seconds), scraping bowl again.
  5. Add spices and flour, soda, and salt.
  6. Process for an additional 30-45 seconds, or until well blended.
  7. Use two spoons to round dough and drop by medium sized tablespoons onto cookie sheet (mixture will be very sticky).
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until top has just set.
  9. Sprinkle, if desired, with all-natural powdered sugar.



What is your favorite-est Christmas cookie?  What memories is it tied to for you?

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gifted. {five minute friday}

“She’s gifted,” her teachers said.  So they put her in special classes to learn faster and go further.  And she went faster, and then wondered, “now what?” because faster isn’t always better.


“He’s gifted in music,” they said.  And so he ran after the applause of the world and gained it sometimes, and wondered often what was real beyond the applause, and what meant more for always.


I didn’t care for that sweater/wall hanging/candle/kitchen gadget, so I re-gifted it at a white elephant party and got lots of laughs.


I’ve gifted this to you,” He said.  And I unwrap Light, and Life, and Forever in Love.  And this gift, nothing can take it away.


The pretty packages beneath our tree are all tied up with string, and the lights are twinkling in the branches above.  The candles are lit, and the ginger and chocolate and coffee and cinnamon aroma wafts from our kitchen.  The college boy is home and the little have a break from school, and we’re staying up late and laughing much.




But in a few days, the pretty paper will be a trail from room to room, the lights will be packed away, and the gifts given will either be oft-appreciated, or sadly, forgotten in a closet… or perhaps re-gifted themselves.  And when that which is temporary has passed, I want to hold tightly to the gift that is mine every minute, of every day, of all my years on this earth.  The love of my Savior-God, who gave all He had and all He was, to rescue me from my own folly.  The One who gives me that gift every time I forget it, and reminds me of what is real.


Merry Christmas, friend.  May you walk in your giftedness, as well.


Much love!


{On Fridays I try to keep up with a wonderful group of writers who challenge themselves to free-write for five minutes on a shared topic.  Click to Kate’s page Five Minute Friday to see what others are saying!


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