This morning my son and I read If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff and decided that we were going to make muffins to try to a lure a moose to come and visit us...very doubtful but hopeful. We didn't have a moose visit but we were overwhelmed by squirrels while we were baking the muffins!
I have been searching for a clean banana bread recipe for quite a while now. I wanted no sugar and mainly oats. I found a couple and tried them with no luck. After a few modifications of my favorite banana bread recipes I came up with this and I think it is fabulous!

Makes 12 regular muffins

1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Your bananas should look like this, the browner the better. Brown = Natural Sweetness!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together: oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
My helper...

In another bowl mix the coconut oil and honey together. Add eggs and mix. Stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined.
Bake for 15-18 minutes for regular sized muffins.
I made a total of 9 muffins (a little larger than regular size and it took 22 minutes). Check that the muffins are done by inserting a toothpick into the top/middle of a muffin and the toothpick should come out clean.
Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes and then peel off paper and enjoy.

"What?! You made muffins for me?"
No squirrels will be getting these muffins, they're almost gone.
I also made fig jam for the muffins...
 This squirrel found a little bird seed icy pop.

Buddy starring at the squirrels...he hates them but he is getting too old to care.




I am loving Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) these days. It's an amazing little seed...a complete protein, packed with fiber, vitamins, nutrients and essential amino acids. It is wonderful because it's a seed but can be cooked and eaten like a grain.  It is simple to cook, just like rice. Once it is cooked it looks like couscous but it is more substantial, slightly nutty and crunchy.

Quinoa Vegetable Pilaf- CLEAN EATING
Makes approximately 4 cups

1 cup Quinoa
1 3/4 cups broth (I use organic chicken broth)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 scallions, sliced, white and light green sections
1 teaspoon vegetable seasoning
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Rinse the quinoa and soak for about five minutes. Soaking the quinoa helps to loosen up saponin residue which can give off a bitter taste. Drain quinoa into a fine mesh strainer, try to dry it as well as you can then transfer to a dry cooking pan that has been heated to medium-high. Toast the quinoa, stirring frequently until you can smell the nuttiness coming out, about 5 minutes.
Now add 1 3/4 cups of broth and 1/4 tsp salt (optional) to the quinoa, cover and bring to a boil. Once it is at a boil reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking saute the vegetables.
Add a splash of olive oil to a pan and heat to medium-high. Add the red pepper, garlic, cloves and onion, saute for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with the vegetable seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Reduce heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in scallions.

After the quinoa is done cooking for 15 minutes, remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff quinoa gently with a fork...

and toss with the vegetables.

Our weekend fort...took me forever to make and now it is sadly melting.
 snowball fight...




I did a 5-day juice cleanse recently, which ended (against my will but for the sake of my marriage) when my husband decided enough was enough and took me to our restaurant to eat some "real food". The juice cleanse was a great experience and would recommend it to everyone. I couldn't believe how awesome I felt, how much energy I had and while everyone in my family was sick I maintained my health.

So the cleanse is over, shorter than expected and I have one issue staring at me in the face...a 25-pound bag of carrots to be exact. I juiced probably 10 pounds of carrots but still have about 15 pounds of carrots left. Onto Google for carrot recipes.

I was extremely happy to find the carrot fries recipe because this way my kids can help me slowly dent into that big bag. My daughter especially loved son was a little afraid of the color...I thought they were excellent!

adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 2

4 large carrots
1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
sea salt
 Wash and peel your carrots.
 Cut carrots into sticks. The thinner the better, if they are thick they will be soggy.
  Toss with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and parsley.
Spread on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure they are not crouded on sheet. Flip carrots half way through cooking time.

Serve immediately.

Snowy adventures today...
Making sledding hills....
Making giant heart tracks in the snow...
Hunting for the coyote
 Singing in the snow...
 Every 5 minutes...removing Buddy's giant ice chunks that get stuck in between his paws...




Can you tell I am having sugar/candy withdrawal?  I am. Seriously, it hasn't been easy eliminating refined sugar from my diet. It has been two weeks and with the help of honey, I have made it!  

I have also rediscovered dates and have a new found love for them and their natural sweetness. 

This recipe is great when you are in a bind for a chocolate fix or a sweet treat and want something healthier than a typical refined sugary treat. After a few failed recipes today...chococado (chocolate pudding made with avocado) and chia smoothie (disgusting), I was overjoyed when I made something that I LOVED and both my kids loved. We snacked on them after school and ate them up like candy!
Date and Cocoa Truffles- CLEAN EATING
Adapted from Chimayie's
Makes about 10-15 truffles

10-15 good quality soft dates
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + more to roll the truffles in
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil/coconut oil/rum/vanilla/honey (optional)

De-seed the dates and process in food processor with cocoa powder until a smooth paste is formed. If it’s too hard (depends on your dates) use a bit of oil/rum/honey to help it come together. I used 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil.

Once done, scoop out a small amount with a spoon and roll it between your palms to make truffles.
If you feel the mix is too sticky, refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or rub coconut oil on your palms.

Roll them in unsweetened cocoa and store in an air-tight container.

These didn't last a day in my good!
We had a snowy adventure outside today. I let him take the lead...the snow was up to his little knees, but he pushed through and managed to cover almost every area of the yard.

This squirrel was determined; he found the bird seed about 7 inches under the snow.




I love this dressing and salad, it's one of my favorites. In the past I would eat this salad with roasted butternut squash pieces and gorganzola but I was out of squash and I am trying not to eat cheese anymore. However, if you have those ingredients they make wonderful additions.
adapted from
Makes approximately 1/3 cup

1/4 pint fresh strawberries, halved
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch teaspoon dried tarragon

Place strawberries, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and tarragon in a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth, add more olive oil if it is too thick. I love this dressing over a bed of baby spinach with strawberries, blueberries, pumpkin seeds and roasted butternut squash (not pictured).



adapted from foodnetwork
serves 1-2

2 big kale leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for light sprinkling

Warning: You will love them or hate them. They are super light, crunchy, salty, almost disintegrate in your mouth. Make sure they are completely dry before you bake and season lightly. We are 50/50 in our house...boys against girls, no surprise. Maybe if I would have called them Kale Crumbles instead of Chips I could have won them over.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, toss with the olive oil and salt.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, total time, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you don't burn. Serve as finger food.


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