Chocolate Chip Flax Gluten Free Muffins

gluten free muffins

Have you ever made chocolate chip flax gluten free muffins? If not you are in for a delicious treat. These are so yummy. I copied the recipe based on the ingredients from the flax 4 life muffins from Flax 4 Life. Since I don’t have the exact recipe I wrote down the ingredients list from the package and then tried to figure out how much of each ingredient to use. I also used cane sugar instead of cane juice and eggs instead of frozen egg whites. I’ve only made these gluten free muffins once. I think the next time I will try melting the chocolate chips before I stir them in. That is really the only thing I would change.

Chocolate and Flax Gluten Free Muffins
Serves 8
Gluten free muffins with flax, gluten free oats and chocolate chips.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups ground flax seeds or flax meal
  2. 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  3. 1 tbsp of baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1/4 cup cane sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. 1 tbsp. oil
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients in 1 bowl and wet in another bowl. Combine the two bowls and stir throughly. You can also try melting the chocolate chips first before stirring them in. Then spray a muffin pan and put in equal amounts of the batter. This recipe made 8 regular size muffins. You could also use a loaf pan and make some bread instead of the muffins.
Notes
  1. You can use a little more cane sugar if you want them sweeter or a little less for less sweetness. Anywhere between 1/5 a cup and 1/3 a cup. Flax 4 life also sells carrot and blueberry versions so you would probably add in 1/2 cup of graded carrots and blueberries. You could also try strawberries or apples just to name a few variations.
Adapted from from the flax muffins by Flax 4 Life
Health coach for allergies, sensory issues and autism http://annalaurabrown.com/

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegetable Soup

gluten free dairy free vegetable soup

Do you struggle to cook gluten free dairy free vegetable soup? While it’s true that many recipes for soups call for things like cream of chicken soup, or tomato soup that have wheat flour in them and therefore aren’t gluten free, it really isn’t too difficult to cook a gluten free dairy free vegetable soup. Most of the time when I’m cooking gluten free and dairy free soups and or other recipes I follow an exact recipe. However, once in a while I will experiment and see what I come up with. I made with my mom for dinner this really yummy gluten free dairy free vegetable soup last week and it turned out too yummy to not post.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Vegetable Soup
Serves 3
This is a delicious gluten free dairy free soup that I cooked with my mom while using whatever we had in our fridge. It turned out so good I decided to post it here.
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. Chicken Broth
  2. Carrots
  3. Onions
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Zucchini
  6. Cheyenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Shop vegetables into small pieces.
  2. Cook until about half cooked.
  3. Add in 1-2 cans of chicken broth in pan.
  4. When done sprinkle in a small amount of Cheyenne Pepper.
Health coach for allergies, sensory issues and autism http://annalaurabrown.com/

What do you think? Do you want to try and cook this recipe? Do you have other recipes for gluten free dairy free vegetable soups that you enjoy?

10 Delicious Healthy Dairy Free and Gluten Free Christmas Holiday Drinks

Christmas Holiday Drinks

Believe it or not Christmas Holiday drinks can be full of gluten and or dairy if you buy them at the store or eat them at a restaurant. However, making your own delicious healthy gluten free and dairy free Christmas Holiday drinks can actually be quite easy. Here are 10 recipes.

1. Gluten Free and Dairy Free Eggnog with coconut milk This is easier than you think to make and is quite delicious. You can also buy it at the store. One brand that I have seen is the So-Delicious brand of dairy free ice creams. They make a dairy free eggnog too.

2. Eggnog with Almond Milk- You can try the recipe above in number 1 but with almond milk.

2. Apple Cider While apple cider usually doesn’t have gluten or dairy in it, it does often have more sugar than necessary.

3. Cranberry Smoothie

Put Coconut or almond milk, vanilla trim shake or other vanilla protein shake, cranberries, chia seeds, and stevia and blend in a blendtec or other high speed blender.

4. Pumpkin Smoothie
Put Coconut or almond milk, vanilla trim shake or other vanilla protein shake, canned pumpkin, banana in a blendtec or other high speed blender and blend.

5. Pumpkin Spice Tea. You can buy it above from Amazon or you could add clove, cinnamon, and or pumpkin spice to another kind of tea.

6. Raw Cocoa- Hot Chocolate- blend- warm coconut or almond milk with raw cocoa powder and stevia. Use about 1-2 tablespoons of raw cocoa per 8 0z. of coconut, almond or rice milk and 2-3 drops of stevia. If you want to stick with the chocolate flavor, then use chocolate stevia.

7. Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Smoothie- chocolate trim shake, coconut or almond milk, peanut butter, cinnamon or 1-2 drops of cinnamon essential oil.

9. Apple Cinnamon Water- boil an apple in water- then drain the water and add cinnamon and honey.

10. Pumpkin flavored kambucha. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it sounds delicious.

Which one of these Christmas Holiday drinks is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

12 Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes Recipes

dairy free mashed potatoes

Do you love mashed potatoes as much as I do? I know mashed potatoes are one of my favorite Thanksgiving and really anytime recipes. Yet ever since I had to give up dairy products, I’ve had to experiment with various ways of making dairy free mashed potatoes. Here are 12 of either my own recipes, or of those I’ve found online.

1. Mash potatoes with a pinch of salt, 1 cup of coconut milk per 2 cups of potatoes and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

2. Use the same recipe as number 1 only use almond milk.

3. Mix and mash potatoes with coconut oil and a pinch of salt. You want to use just enough to get the coconut flavor without overdoing it. Usually about 1 tablespoon per 2 large potatoes is a nice amount.

4. Mix and mash potatoes with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast per 2 large potatoes. This makes for a nice twist on a “cheesy” dish of dairy free mashed potatoes.

5. Use cauliflower instead of potatoes and blend them in a blender with a pinch of salt and coconut or almond milk.

6. Use half potatoes and half cauliflower and make the same recipe as in number 5.

7. Mix potatoes with olive oil and garlic spice mix. You can use a straight garlic one, or one that has garlic and a few other spices.

8. Make a rosemary and thyme version by mixing the potatoes with coconut or almond milk, a pinch of salt and some sprinkled rosemary and thyme herbs.

9. Make a version of dairy free mashed potatoes with chicken broth.

10. Use vegan butter with black pepper and chives.

11. Combine garlic, thyme and almond milk in these dairy free mashed potatoes.

12. Mix potatoes with olive oil and herbes de provence herb mix.

Got a favorite dairy free mashed potatoes recipe that I forgot? Please share in the comments below.

How to Get Your Sensory Challenged Child to Eat Vegetables

how-to-get-your-sensory-challenged-child-to-eat-more-vegetables

Do you have a child who is either on the autism spectrum or who is sensory challenged for one reason or another and you struggle to get him or her to eat vegetables? While it can seem like pulling teeth at times, once you know what to do, it really can be quite simple. Here are some ideas to try:

1. Try green smoothies. Yes really. Sometimes just the idea of having to chew a vegetable can be hard on the senses. Make sure to include plenty of fruit the first time and then you can gradually increase the amount of vegetables and reduce the fruit intake. You can also try juicing, but I recommend smoothies first and more often since the fiber is removed when you juice.

2. Ask your child which vegetables he or she likes and serve those vegetables more often. You can even show your child pictures of all vegetables and ask him or her to point to the pictures of the ones that he or she likes.

3. Encourage your child to try a new vegetable, or to eat just a taste, by bribing him or her with a treat or other reward later. Often, children who have sensory challenges just need to try a taste of a vegetable in order to realize that he or she does like to eat vegetables.

4. Mix up the way that you serve vegetables. For example, instead of always boiling them, serve a few raw with condiments such as peanut or almond butter, or ranch dressing. You can also saute them in olive or coconut oil or make a soup with them. Take note of your child’s preferences when eating more vegetables.

5. Find ways to hide them in your child’s favorite foods. Some stores even sell foods that children usually like with vegetables added in. For example I know that Sprouts sells rice based cheerios with spinach in them. You can also make a puree of spinach, broccoli or other green vegetables and add it into the tomato sauce you put on pizza for example.

Take it one step at a time and know that if you child isn’t eating any vegetables now, you can’t expect him or her to start eating them every day by next week. Set the example as well. Your child should see you and any other children you have also eating more vegetables.

How to Make Healthy Cooking Fun for Kids

healthy cooking fun

Do your kids enjoy healthy cooking? If they are like most children this may be a challenge for you and you may be wondering, How do you make healthy cooking fun for kids? The good news is that this is not that hard to do. I have found memories of when I was young watching disney movies in the kitchen while making and canning homemade applesauce and peaches. Here are some great ideas on how to make healthy cooking fun for kids.

1. Just like I mentioned above, you can consider turning on a movie or listening to music while cooking. You need to make sure if you do this though that your child is still helping you cook and not just sitting around watching or listening.

2. Involve your child directly in the cooking process by taking him or her with you to the grocery store and helping him or her buy the ingredients and then helping you cook. It also helps if you cook something that he or she likes to eat.

3. If you have more than one child consider having a healthy cooking fun competition. You could chose two meals that you want to cook. One for dinner that night and another for dinner later in the week that you can easily freeze or save in the fridge for a few days, and have each child see who can cook his or her meal the fastest and in such a way that it tastes the best. If you want you could even have prizes. Obviously you have to figure out if this will or won’t work given the personality types and ages of your specific children.

4. Assign your child small cooking tasks such as peeling the potatoes or washing the lettuce in a salad spinner.

5. Give your child choices as to what you will cook. Include complete meals and only offer healthy eating choices that you want to serve. There are lots of studies that say that if you give a child a choice between one of 3 or 4 meals, then he or she will choose one of them. Whereas if you just say “What do you want to eat?” The child may choose something you don’t want him or her to have.

6. Start having your child help you with cooking very simple things and then progress to more complicated dishes later after he or she has mastered the simple ones.

7. Consider watching a cooking show together or attending a cooking competition in your local area such as a chili cook or something similar so your child will see people having fun cooking.

Got other ideas for healthy cooking fun for kids that you have tried? Share your ideas in the comments below I would love to hear them.

How to Make A Delicious Gluten Free Cucumber Salad

cucumber salad

Have you ever eaten a cucumber salad? When I was younger cucumbers where on the list of vegetables I couldn’t stand to eat. I hated them and I thought they tasted gross. However, as an adult I have learned to love cucumbers and how I love eating cucumber salads on a regular basis and as part of my gluten free diet and lifestyle. Here are the simple instructions on how to make a delicious gluten free cucumber salad.

1. Decide if you want to make your cucumber salad with lettuce or if you want to use cucumbers as the main ingredient. I like my cucumber salads both ways although obviously making a cucumber salad with just cucumbers makes it taste a lot more like cucumber. If you are making your salad for children or for the entire family and you have at least one child who will be eating the salad, I recommend using lettuce and fewer cucumbers. That way if you have a child who really doesn’t like cucumbers or says that they don’t like them you can easily remove them.

2. Chose the other ingredients that you will include in your cucumber salad. Personally I’ve found that adding in other ingredients that have either a sweeter or a salter taste will make the salad more appealing for everyone and especially for children.

3. My favorite ingredients include:

Tomatoes. I like to either slice them thinly or use baby ones.
Avocado. This is a must in my opinion since it adds in a nice creamy flavor and texture.
Humus. Optional but can also add in a creamy flavor.
Feta cheese- or you can try some of the white Daiya dairy free cheese if you can’t have milk products.
Hard boiled eggs- Usually 1 for every serving.
Sliced ham or turkey. Optional but great unless you are vegan or vegetarian and don’t eat meat.
Salt and pepper to taste- again not required but can be great for adding flavor and balancing the slightly sweet savor of the cucumber.
Olive oil- drizzle it on.

4. Decide how many people you are serving with your cucumber salad and then use the amount of each ingredient necessary according to the number of people. If you are using lettuce then I recommend about 1/2 of a cucumber per person. If no lettuce then I recommend 1 full cucumber per person.

Have you ever eaten a cucumber salad? What did you include in your salad? Share below with me in the comments.

5 Delicious Gluten Free Sandwich Wraps

gluten free sandwich wraps

Have you ever tried a gluten free sandwich wrap? These have become more and more popular especially with people who are not only gluten free but who are also following the paleo diet. Even if you aren’t paleo, eating fewer grains and carbs can help with weight loss and to improve your overall health. Gluten free sandwich wraps are a great way to enjoy a sandwich without all the gluten and carbs. Here are five of my favorite gluten free sandwich wrap recipes:

1. A lettuce wrap- There are lots of variations of this but my favorite is the following:

Take a large piece of iceberg lettuce then add in 1-3 slices of turkey, 1-2 slices of tomato, cheese(only if you aren’t dairy free) or you can try some dairy free cheese although I personally don’t love it and prefer to just go without, and half an avocado. Then roll it up and enjoy. You can also add in some cucumber, red onion and or pepper slices. You can also try it with ham, beef or chicken.

2. Make a sandwich wrap with a paleo coconut wrap such as- Paleo Wraps, Gluten Free Coconut Wraps, 7-Count (Pack of 2). These are quite expensive though and while there are other brands that are a bit less, you may want to experiment with making your own with coconut flour. I have tried these wraps though and they are really good. You can fill them with anything you want just like you would a regular sandwich.

3. Make a sandwich with a gluten free spinach sandwich wrap such as these: Raw Wraps Spinach- Gluten Free. Vegan, Paleo (Quinoa Seeds), Raw. You could also use spinach leaves like the lettuce wrap to make you sandwich. Personally I really only like raw spinach in smoothies though so this isn’t my favorite gluten free sandwich wrap recipe.

4. Use the slices of turkey, chicken or ham on the outside and put the avocado, peppers, cucumber, red onion, and tomato inside it. You can also add in some mustard if you like it. I don’t really like mustard so I usually just eat mine plain.

5. Use a corn tortilla to make your sandwich wrap. This version is more like a taco. You can use refried beans, and salsa like you would a taco or you can use the same ingredients or a variation of them to make a traditional gluten free sandwich wrap.

How to Make Healthier Lemonade

healthier lemonade

It’s summer and who doesn’t love a nice cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer day? I know I sure do. It’s been at least 90 degrees every day for the past two weeks and lemonade tastes so good and refreshing with the heat. However, regular lemonade is full of sugar and not healthy. So how do you make some healthier lemonade that is of course gluten free and dairy free but also has little to no sugar, yet still has a sweet taste that you and your kids will want to drink.

Here are some tips for making a healthier lemonade that is still delicious.

1. Use real lemons or lemon juice. While many store bought lemonades are made with real lemons the amount of real lemon in it, is minimal.

2. Use filtered pure water rather than tap water or bottled water.

3. Instead of white sugar use either a small amount of cane sugar or stevia as a sweeter for your healthier lemonade. I recommend 2-3 drops of stevia per 8 oz glass or 1/4 teaspoon of cane sugar.

You start by mixing either the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, or 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice into 8-10 oz. of water. Then you add the cane sugar or stevia as mentioned above. You can then drink as is, or you can add in a couple of ice cubes. Another variation is to use 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil instead of the lemon juice or lemon. For this you must make sure that you are using a brand of essential oils that is food grade and safe for internal use. If you aren’t sure what to use, then contact me and I’ll help you. If you want to try something a bit different for flavor you can also add 1 drop of wild orange or lavender essential oils to your already prepared healthier lemonade.

10 Delicious Gluten free Avocado Recipes

avocado recipes

When I was younger I used to love and still do today, eating a plain avocado with a spoon. In fact, many of my friends in high school joked about it and thought it was funny that I would eat plain avocados. Have you ever eaten a plain avocado? In any case, avocados contain a high amount of healthy fats and omegas and can use used in a variety of gluten free, and dairy free recipes. Here are ten of my favorite gluten free avocado recipes.

1. Avocado green smoothie

There are various variations of this avocado recipe but the basic one that I like the best is the following:

1 avocado, handful of strawberries, coconut or almond milk, scoop of protein powder. (contact me for my recommendation.) and handful of spinach. Optional: spoon of peanut butter.

2. Avocado, tomato, black bean and corn salad

This is probably my favorite. You get a mixing bowl and you put into that bowl: 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn and 1-2 sliced green onions. Mix all together. Then cut open and mix in 1-2 avocados. If the avocados are small you will need 2, if they are large then 1 will be enough. Makes a great salsa with corn or potato chips or a sauce that you can eat with grilled chicken, salmon, or other dishes.

3. Basic avocado salad

This is another one that has a variety of options. This is my basic favorite. I mix lettuce (spring mix is my favorite), with tomatoes, sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, sliced green or red pepper, a can of tuna or a can of chicken and 1 avocado. I also like to drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing.

4. Avocado chocolate pudding

For this yummy pudding, you mix together an avocado with 2-3 tablespoons of raw cocoa and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut or almond milk.

5. Turkey avocado lettuce wrap

This is a great gluten free alternative to a turkey and avocado sandwich. It’s really simple. You start with a large piece of ice burg lettuce. Then you put in 1-2 slices of deli turkey, 1-2 slices of tomato and 1/4 to 1/2 of avocado. Then eat.

6. Avocado quinoa salad

For this quinoa dish, you will need to start by cooking quinoa. I like to use a rice cooker to make it nice and easy. Then I mix in avocado, onions, broccoli or peas, tuna or chicken, cucumber, and red or green pepper with the quinoa.

7. Avocado egg omelette

To make this you make an egg omelette with broccoli, spinach, or zucchini or your favorite green vegetables, then add some avocado on top.

8. Chicken tomato soup with avocado

This is a great gluten free crockpot recipe. To make this get out your crockpot and put in: 1 can of black beans, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 whole chicken deboned or 3-4 chicken thighs or breasts, 1 can of green chilis, and 1 can of salsa. Cook on low to medium heat for 4-8 hours. Then when done serve in bowls with avocado on top. (If you aren’t dairy free and can have cheese, it’s also good with some cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.)

9. Salmon and Avocado

To make this dish broil or cook salmon in a pan with your favorite vegetables. I really like either broccoli, cabbage or spinach. When done serve with avocado slices.

10. Broccoli, potatoes, chicken and avocado

Cook broccoli, potatoes, and chicken in a pan until done, then serve with avocado slices.

Which avocado recipe is your favorite? Share with me below in the comments.