Coconut, Almond & Date Shake

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After watching one of my favorite cooking shows, Trippin’ out with Alie & Georgia,  where they venture to southern Cali and tried a date shake I knew I had to have one…like right now. Thankfully my husband is amazing and he drove me over to WinCo to get some bulk dates.   I wasn’t really interested in drinking a ton of ice cream and as usual following a recipe seemed like such a drag so I reinvented the date shake and made this semi-healthy meal in a cup!

This date shake is super thick and rich and quite filling. I don’t care if there is ice cream in this drink, I had it for breakfast and have no regrets. Try it with a burger  with dates and bleu cheese!

What you need

  • 1/4 cup of almonds ( soaked for at least half hour)
  • 1/2 c dates
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 c vanilla ice cream ( Use coconut bliss  or greek yogurt!)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

How to make it

  • soak almonds  for half hour and drain
  • add almonds and dates to blender until well blended
  • add coconut milk, ice cream, ice and cinnamon and blend until smooth

**For a superfood boost soak 4 tbsp of  chia seeds in coconut milk overnight before adding to the shake!

Happy Family Review & Giveaway

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I love making all of my families food from scratch at home but when it comes to baby food I don’t always have the time to whip up some puree for the babe. Once the little one got the hang of the basics like avocado, mashed banana and mashed yams I wanted to let her try some more adventurous treats. It is so very important to me that my babies food be REAL, pure , healthy and organic so when I found Happy Family I was excited to not only see it was GMO free and organic but that it contained  a great variety of fruits and veggies and even superfoods like chia and quinoa.

Happy Family brands has everything from baby foods and snacks to smoothies for us adults and everything in between.  The babes favorites were the  simple combos like pear and peas and the banana, beet and blueberry combo and  I admit I stole a few sips because it was just so yummy.  You can squeeze a little into a bowl or drink it right our of the pouch, my  ‘do it myself’ babe preferred to sip it right from the pouch while the kiddo liked to squeeze a bit out into her oatmeal or mix it in her applesauce.

This companies healthy foods for kiddos are not limited to just squeeze pouches, the food that was devoured the quickest were the Happy Yogis and Happy Creamies! Happy Yogis are yogurt bites mixed with fruit while the Happy Creamies are the non dairy coconut milk version with a bit more adventurous flavors, both dissolve quickly in the babes mouth and  were enjoyed by the whole family.

Another great snack that will be making a return appearance in the  big kids school lunches is the  Sunny Buddies sunflower and jam bites. I love that these snacks do not contain peanuts since a lot of schools forbid it because of allergies. The jam in these snack bites are made with various fruit puree and contains NO SUGAR, what more could a mom ask for?  WE also tried the  Veggie Pals -carrot orange apple chews that tastes like little bites of smoothie, they were wonderful and although I tried to ration them they were gone in a day.

Overall I am quite in love with Happy family- sugar-free, all natural, organic, contains awesome superfoods like chia and they give back. Happy Family donates a portion of their proceeds to FEED, helping to fight  hunger and malnutrition in children around the world. Along with donations to fight hunter Happy Family also committed to using sustainable packaging and  sourcing as many ingredients as possible from American farmers.

Best of all Happy Family would like to offer of one you dear readers a Happiest Traveling Family package!

ENTER HERE

Happiest Traveling Family Package

(1) Happy Yogis

(1) Happy Tot Plus

(1) Happy Tot Greek Yogurt

(1) Happy Munchies Veggie & Fruit Crisps

(2) Happy Times

(2) Happy Squeeze (pouches for all ages, especially adults!)

All natural dog treats: A dogs review

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Eating and living healthy is very important to me and my dog’s food and treats are no exception. We have  a Seppala husky that we adopted from our local arctic dog rescue and  he is one pampered pooch. Loki is 4 years old and has lived a hard life so I feel  like it is only fair that he gets healthy and yummy treats.
 The biggest reason I choose to feed Loki real whole foods is for his fur, as you may know Husky dogs shed like there is no tomorrow but a healthy diet can help a lot. Besides spoonfuls of coconut oil, fish oil  and home made broth I try to give Loki tasty and healthy treats to help with his shedding. Here are a few of his favorites that he has tried and loved. He is quite a picky dog considering he used to ( and still does) eat trash so when he likes something you know it’s good.

Wet noses

Wet noses are probably his favorite and since it comes in a variety of flavors he is never bored.  This company is local outside of Seattle, WA and are specifically designed to be nutritionally beneficial to dogs using organic ingredients. The flavors are quite unique unlike any I have found before like carob &  mint, agave & pear, hemp seed & banana and a ton more. By far Loki’s favorite was the carob & mint and the Dogranola. When he sees me pulling out a box he practically tramples me and will show me all the tricks he knows before I even ask.
Wet nose uses only human grade organic ingredients and does not contain  corn , soy or wheat.

Bone Zappetit

Bone zappetit was my favorite treat for Loki and really helped when he was blowing coat. Bone zappetit is made with superfoods that I love and I am going to admit right here, I tried a bite. When I opened the bag of  yoda shaped treats the smell was amazing and I couldn’t resist nibbling a corner to  try it and it was yummy! Loki  loved the you-maca-me-nuts and  will sit under the shelf where they are hidden and whine for more.
Bone Zappetit treats contain no preservatives and are made to order and made by a chef!

Honest Kitchen

Honest kitchen was a win win for he both of us. I used their dehydrated dog food to make puppy popcicle to keep him cool on these hot summer days, he loved the pops and I loved that it kept him occupied for a bit.  Honest Kitchen uses only whole foods that are never cooked so all the good  vitamins and nutrients stay put.
Honest Kitchen uses only human grade food and no food is ever cooked, canned or processes to retain all the nutrients. They also use only non GMO foods, free range chicken and turkey and wild caught fish.

Sesame kale chips & Raw kale salad

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I love kale so much, it is so rich and filling and  full of vitamins….it’s kind of like the meat of greens. Kale is an incredibly versatile plant and can be used as a pesto , sauteed  or in stews  but y favorite ways to eat it are raw and as a kale chip.

When eating raw kale it is always best to massage your kale first. I know , I know It sounds a bit weird to be giving your greens a massage but trust me on this. Kale is a  bitter green that is quite tough and to be honest  a little bitter. When you massage your kale you are breaking down the cellulose structure  making it more palatable, easier to chew and easier to digest.

Another awesome thing about kale is that just one cup contains  34 HEALTHY calories and zero fat along with a good portion of fiber. Kale also has a full days worth of vitamin A,C and K  as well as some calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Whew! Now you can see why I am a bit obsessed with this green so  try out these recipes and get eating!

These 2 recipe are made at the same time  so grab a big bowl!

What you need

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • sesame oil
  • Braggs amino acids or tamari  or soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 c almonds soaked at least 30 minutes, best if overnight ( Rad why you should soak your almonds HERE)
  • optional , dried cherries

How to make it

  • preheat oven to 175-200 depending on how hot your oven gets. My oven gets too hot so I use the lower temp.
  • separate the kale from the middle vein, this vein is touch and hard to chew
  • rip the kale into chunks and add to the bowl
  • add  sesame oil and soy sauce to taste
  • massage your kale  kind of like kneading bread. You will know it’s done when the green is no longer bitter and it is silky
  • toss with sesame seeds, about 2 tbsp
  • separate kale in half and add  one half to a baking pan and place in teh oven for 20 minutes or so until the edges are crisp, the chips will crisp up more as it cools
  • for the other half add  lemon juice
  • shred carrot and add to salad
  • add drained  soaked almonds, patted dry
  • optional (but it think its awesome) chop up some cherries and toss in as well
  • eat!

Bobble sport water bottle review

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Living in the desert means our summers are hot and in order to stay hydrated we have to keep water bottles with us where ever we go. When we run out of our filtered water we sometimes have to fill up in (bleg) public bathrooms and water fountains. Luckily we have a couple awesome  water bottles with built-in filters.

Water Bobble Sport is a 24oz  water bottle made from recycled PET that is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC  with a built-in filter. Each filter  can be used 30o times to clean out chlorine and contaminates from tap water. The carbon filter can be replaced and the bottle can be used again and again. According their website approximately 38  BILLION water bottles end up in landfills each year, that means in my lifetime over 1 trillion water bottles were piled into landfills.

These bottles are great for kids, for one they don’t leak at all and when you are on car rides or long trips the last thing you want is a soggy kiddo. The lid is soft and the babe likes  to gum it when it isn’t open and it stays closed even when attached to a carabiner on a pack.  The kids loved the bright colors and I loved that they were getting clean water.  Bobble Sports are also incredibly durable, I can not count how many times they were thrown, dropped and pounced on by the kiddos and they are still holding up strong. If you are looking for a durable water bottle that filters your water for you, I highly recommend the Bobble Sport.

Check them out here-http://www.waterbobble.com/bobble-sport.html

Like them on Facebook here-https://www.facebook.com/Bobble

Hazelnut Kids review

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Having a baby means having a person around that puts everything in her mouth  including all of her toys. I want to make sure I have products around that I know I can trust and I know wont harm the babe. After scouring the web I stumbled upon a site that carries only all natural and organic toys. Hazelnut kids is an online company  that is a one stop shop for all your kids green and organic toys, art and learning tools.

One products that stood out to me was the biodegradable sand toys.  There are millions of tons of garbage in the sea and part of that is from sand toys left behind after beach adventures. Zoe B  beach toys  fully  biodegrade in 2-3 years ( versus 300 years of ordinary plastic toys), are BPA phthalates, and PVC  free, FDA approved as food safe and  can even be washed in the dishwasher.

Both of my girls loved this 5 piece set and played for hours in the sand and water and even the bathtub. It has quickly become our must have toy anytime we go on adventures and has taken quite a bit of abuse and still stayed strong.  This toy is 20% off right now and at an affordable $16.80 it is a definite must buy for summer.

Another toy we got was Grimm’s magnetic wooden puzzle. This puzzle is absolutely stunning and was an instant hit with my 5-year-old. Upon opening the metal box  you will find a beautiful rainbow of naturally painted wooden squares.  My daughter took her puzzle and sat and fiddled with it, making pictures for hours. Now I keep it in  the car and anytime she gets bored or fussy I bring it out and there’s silence as she studies the squares and creates her art.

Hazelnut kids owner Tracy Coe does all the research for you so you can browse knowing that all of the products on the site are safe ,eco friendly  and organic.  The best part is that  1% of all sales go towards land conservancy and for every purchase you make Hazelnut kids will have one tree planted through Trees for the Future.

Visit their store and see all the great toys and learning tools they have at http://www.hazelnutkids.com/.

Crock pot meal-pork tacos & chili lime corn

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Today I got to go on tv and make a crock pot meal for FOX 13’s ‘Good day Utah’ show. Everyone was so lovely and despite some technical difficulties it was still a great show.  I made an all in one meal for those hot summer days- pork tacos and grilled corn in one  crock pot so you can avoid the hot BBQ and sweaty kitchen. I wish I would have gotten more photos while I was there but luckily it is all on film !

After the show we went outside and had a picnic in the grassy area with all the yummy foods.  I hope you all enjoy my recipes, try  this no fuss meal yourself!

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What you need

  • banana leaves
  • 4 tbsp ground achiote
  • 4 tbp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp each sea salt & black pepper
  • 3 lbs pork butt
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • corn tortillas
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 3 ears of corn
  • 2 tbsp real butter
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • cilantro, lime  and white onion to top tacos

How to make it

  • Line the bottom of the crock in banana leaves
  • place pork in crock and cover in cumin, achiote, sea salt and black pepper
  • pour chicken broth and orange juice over
  • cover in banana leaves and cook on med for at least 8 hours best if overnight
  • a couple of hours before eating add  whole corn  with husk in crock
  • a few minutes  before eating add tortillas to warm them
  • melt butter and add lime juice and chili powder , shuck corn and pour over corn
  • enjoy!

Glee gum review & giveaway

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I admit it, we are gum addicts but recently we had to cut back because of all the nasty chemicals and dyes in regular gum. That is until I heard about Glee gum.  Glee gum is an all natural is an all natural chewing gum that contains no artificial ingredients, coloring or sweeteners and is Vegetarian, GMO Free, Additive Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Yeast Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free, and Soy Free*. Sugar-Free Glee Gum is also Corn Free.  Most importantly , it is delicious!

Glee was a huge hit with the kiddo and we used it as a reward when she did one of her chores around the house. He favorite was the classic bubble gum but mine was the tangerine. These little gum squares remind me of the gum I used to get out of the quarter candy machine as a kid only I know that these are safe and actually quite healthy to snack on and they have been great at curbing my late night sugar cravings.

So what is exactly is an all natural gum made from?  Glee gets its chewy texture from sustainable  chicle. Chicle is the sap from the sapodilla (pronounced “sap-oh-dee-yah”) tree, which grows in the rainforests of Central America.  The gum is then sweetened with either real cane sugar, brown rice syrup or xylitol and then the natural flavors and colors are added.  Their handy website has THIS cool little info page about how they take their gum from tree to Glee.

Overall I love these gums, the flavor lasts enough for me to be satisfied and the flavors are wonderful. Knowing what exactly is in the gum I am eating and not having to research some chemical I have never heard is a nice feeling.  These gums are a new must have in my bag at all times and  since they are quite affordable I can keep them around without denting my pocket.

Glee doesn’t just sell gum they also  candy kits so you and your kiddo can make your own  candies! Check them out HERE.

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Glee is offering  3 packs of Glee Gum (flavors of winner’s choice) & a coupon to 3 winners!

Here is how to enter, for each item  you compete you get 1 entry. Compete all for 4 entries. Be sure to comment here for each one you complete! 

“Glee Gum is all-natural, gluten-free chewing gum with no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners nor preservatives. Glee Gum is the only gum in North America made the old-fashioned way, with chicle! Chicle is a natural tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforests of Central America. Once all chewing gum was made with chicle, but today most gum is made entirely from synthetic stuff. Not Glee Gum! Glee Gum uses chicle because it is an eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest. Chicle is also what gives the gum such great, long-lasting chewing texture! GleeGum is a “green” gum right down to the packaging, which is made from biodegradable, recycled cardboard. So chew with Glee, naturally!”

Vegan beet, arugula & avocado tacos

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Last night I made chicken and black bean tacos with a super yummy mango salsa and I couldn’t wait until lunch to eat leftovers. When I opened the fridge this afternoon I saw the saddest thing ever, and empty plate. Turns out the girl child had been sneaking pieces of chicken all morning and she had devoured the entire plate.

I was craving tacos so badly and I didn’t have any more meat around. And then I thought, who says tacos have to be made with meat? No matter how empty my fridge is there are always beets inside so I decided to fry some up and make some beet tacos. I added arugula for a bit of spice and  avocado to make them creamier.

These were so good and when my dog decided to eat all the tortillas I tossed all the ingredients into a salad and it was just as delicious. These are super quick and easy  so you won’t have to be in a hot kitchen long. If the kiddos want to help out let them assemble their own tacos!

 

*Makes 4 tacos
What you need

  • 1 beet
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground chilis
  • 1 lime
  • corn tortillas
  • sea salt

How to make it

  • In a frying pan heat up a couple tbsp of oil
  • slice up the beets into thin slices
  • put beets into the frying pan in hot oil and sprinkle with sea salt, cumin and chili powder
  • Fry until edges are crisp
  • toast tortilla on open stove flame or in a pan
  • add beets, arugula, cilantro and avocado  to tortilla and drizzle in lime
  • for salad just toss all ingredients in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil