Family · Health · Kids · Mommies · Recipes · Smoothie · Sparkle

Apple-Strawberry Popsicles

Sweet summa-time! We love summer around this joint! Pretty weather, lots of time in the swimming pool & no where to be!!!!!

So, my backyard doesn’t quite look this but a girl can dream!

Anywho, what brings me to you today is a need for popsicles. I really just need to sneak healthy in in anyway that I can so I thought why not make a nutritious popsicle for my little guys.

Another requirement was that it had to be simple so that they could help me make their treats. We chose to make apple-strawberry popsicles because Luke likes apples & Jaxson loves cutting the tops off strawberries. Definitely solid reasoning for our flavors.

I know, this is just a plain ‘ole apple. Choose whatever flavor apple you enjoy most, but the sweeter the better. You will notice a remote control monster truck in the background. That’s where baby man was sitting while he helped.

Now that looks like a few apples but you only need one per ice tray, I just sliced it crazy.

Some people might want to leave the strawberry stems & leaves for whatever reason they may have but it will give you a bitter taste so I recommend cutting the tops off of 5 strawberries. No extra chopping necessary because your Nutribullet will do the rest.

Just to let you know, affiliate links are contained in this post and if you order through the links, we receive a small percentage of your purchase at zero extra cost to you.

My absolute favorite mixing tool EVER is my NutriBullet RX! If you don’t have one, get one……..Now!!!!! (I have not been paid by Nutribullet to say that, but if you want to order one, click on the link below.) Seriously, I don’t think my life would be the same without it! In fact, Nutriblasts (Nutribullet smoothies) got me healthy enough to have baby #2 in 2014.

 

Add 1 1/2 cups of water to blend. This makes the juice semi-thick so that it freezes well. It’s not so thin it’s a juice & not so thick you have chunks. If you want fruit chunks, prepare additional strawberries to place in the ice tray before pouring. Slice the strawberries very thin so you still get a good amount of juice within each pop.

This is like staring into the abyss, the apple-strawberry, healthy, popsicle abyss! By the way, I can’t mention these are healthy to my kids because it will automatically look like liver to them so they are just non-specific popsicles. ?

Nothing needed to prepare your ice tray. Just pour your deliciousness into the cube compartments without making a complete mess! Ok, so I may have made a big mess but it was within the ice tray so no party foul!

On that note, I have included a pic of the best way for adults to use these popsicles so read to the bottom.

The final piece to preparation is to place Saran Wrap tightly over the top of the ice cube tray & poke toothpicks into each cube for a holder. Put your tray in the freezer & go play.


After we went to the park, road bikes & had pizza, it was time! J-Ray, my oldest, was beyond impressed with our handiwork. That’s a thumbs up & a wink. He’s multitalented like his mother who is also very humble!

Luke might have fallen asleep with so much anticipation, or maybe he didn’t have a nap!

This thumbs up is for what I knew would be a glorious beverage with apple-strawberry ice cubes after the kiddos are in bed.

The absolute best part about these Popsicles is that they are all natural. Ok, maybe there’s several “best parts”.

The kids can help & they were pretty impressed at their product.

Also, they were super easy to make with a 5 minute prep time & 5 minutes from blending to freezer. The hardest part about it was waiting to try them!

So I promised that picture!

I have a giant obsession with sangria right now & I typically add fruit juice & fruit slices to my wine but these little Popsicles double as the fruit & juice. Yay!

I wait about the length of 3 Super Mario games & the cubes have melted enough to get fruity taste.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you poke yourself in the nose while drinking.

Colitis · Entyvio · Health · Recipes · Xeljanz

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes! It is a southern staple at the dinner table, especially when your main course is fried! I don’t fry often but when I do, I throw some kind of potatoes with it.

 

So on this particular day, I actually found a recipe in The Quiet Gut cookbook that would get approval from all under my roof. Well, all who actually eat mashed potatoes. The little men have never been mashed potatoe lovers, even when mashed food was all they ate. I know, strange children!

 

I love it when I look through a recipe and can mentally check off every ingredient already in my cabinets. It feels like a small success in this crazy busy world of ours.

 

Ingredients:

  • Milk- I have never liked milk or its smell until I discovered Fairlife. It is milk without lactose and its easy on my gut (small successes once again).
  • Potatoes- I used Idaho because they were in the cabinet but the recipe calls for new or baby potatoes.
  • Butter- I prefer the lactose free sticks.
  • Salt- Sea salt is preferable to plain table salt.
  • Pepper- Freshly ground tastes much better than the ole’ McCormick pepper.
  • Bacon- Any kind of bacon but stay away from breakfast flavors like maple or you might mix up a batch of breakfast mashed potatoes (yuck).

 

 

Now its time to get this show on the road! Start by peeling your potatoes. Cooking can be a family affair so teach your littles to peel as well and you can bond! Sometimes with mashed potatoes I like to live dangerously and leave the skins on, just not for a new recipe.

 

I’m not OCD often but when I am, its to stack my peeled mashed potatoes!

 

Next step, boil your taters. I boil until I remember to take them off but the typical boil, if your pieces are smaller, will take about 15ish minutes.

 

I love this spoon/potatoe masher extraordinaire from Pampered Chef. All in one utensils are the bomb!

 

By the way, I know you wondered what my bacon mashed potatoes will be paired with. Well, chicken of course but only lightly fried, non breaded chicken (because I wasn’t up for the floury mess). It was fabulous and got the thumbs up from the hubs and children.

 

You also need a real veggie so we had boiled squash.

 

 

I haven’t yet mastered the art of baked bacon yet so I cooked my bacon in the microwave for approximately 3 1/2 mins. I personally think Scentsy should come up with breakfast flavors and the best seller would be bacon! Just a thought Scentsy flavor developers!

 

 

After you let your potatoes drain, add the goods…butter, milk, salt and pepper. I love my new Pioneer Woman¬†measuring spoons.

 

 

Lastly, add your mouthwatering bacon. Voila, your ready to serve.

 

 

You may notice that I did not add the scallions list in the recipe. My husband does care for onion flavors so I don’t usually keep these in the house. I think it would definitely add a flavor punch so try them. The potatoes tasted delish even without the scallions so its not a necessity.

 

A change that I would make, now that the seal of approval has been stamped, is to boil garlic cloves with the potatoes. I love my garlic mashed potatoes and it would add a great dimension of flavor to the bacon mashed potatoes.

 

Enjoy your gut friendly taters and share links to your favorite gut friendly taters in the comments.

keep-calm-and-eat-mashed-potatoes

 

Colitis · Entyvio · Family · Health · Recipes

Maple-Spiced Walnuts

A nutty recipe just in time for Christmas gatherings! The holidays might make me a little nutty but these 2 can usually save my day! Read past the cuteness for the newest recipe from The Quiet Gut.


Pecans, walnuts, macadamia, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, flax seeds. What’s your favorite?

I typically lean towards pecans because my parents have 2 huge pecan trees in their backyard that produces more pecans than I can eat in my lifetime & boy are they delish! For this recipe however, I stuck with the walnuts & I’ve got to tell you, walnuts aren’t just for baking! They’ve now made my top 3 list!

I made these Maple-Spiced Walnuts for Thanksgiving at my in-laws house. They just sounded like a holiday snack.

Here’s my OCD ingredient gathering at its best ?

I also apparently enjoy staring at separated spices. Now you see them….

Now you don’t!

Since you’ve gathered all your ingredients & mixed your yummo spices, ¬†your safe to start the liquids warming in your large skillet. Don’t scrimp on skillet size or you won’t be able to coat the walnuts properly & the seasoning is so good you’ll want them covered!

Combine the maple syrup, olive oil (I prefer to use EVOO) & water, heating for 5 minutes.

Add the walnuts & make sure to coat in the liquid before you start dropping your magic seasoning on top. Once you’ve thoroughly coated your walnuts, allow them to hang out & brown in the pan for approximately 3ish mins. I say ish because my started to scorch by 2:30 mins.

Promptly lay your ¬†deliciousness out on a pan lined with parchment paper (or foil, because that’s all I had & it didn’t stick) so the nuts can cool & you can admire your handy work!

So, what did the family have to say about the Maple-Spiced Walnuts? One family member said that it was spicy but good. On the spice front, my family & Chad’s family have a different taste for spice. My dad likes ghost pepper salsa so cayenne would probably have been better for Christmas at my parents.

My opinion of the walnuts, remove the coriander & use more sugar, salt & cumin. I also would add additional liquid so the chances of scorching are lower.

Overall, I would rate this recipe a 5 but the small changes I mentioned could bump it up to “Christmas at my parents house” status.

Colitis · Health · Recipes · Smoothie

Berry & Chia Seed Smoothie

I LOVE berries!!! All kinds of berries! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & of course raspberries so when I found this recipe, I just had to try it. I love it mainly because I can mix it in my Nutribullet RX and its portable. I love it double because berries contain antioxidents which are fantastic for your skin! Win-win!

This is the most awkward looking addition to a smoothie! I’ve never eaten chia seeds & I almost didn’t because they just look awkward! When I finally found them at Natural Grocers, I was hesitant to even put them in the smoothie because they look like small black beans and who wants beans in their breakfast? But, they add a protein boost so I took a shot at it. They’re really pretty good!

I’ve also never tried rice milk & the taste is a lot like almond milk but the consistency is much thinner, almost transparent in color and definately not sweet so your berries will make up for that.

I LOVE berries!!! All kinds of berries! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & of course raspberries & you can use whatever berries you love in this recipe. I stuck to the recipe of blueberries & strawberries, but like I said, use what berries your belly loves!

Taken from The Quit Gut Cookbook.

I’m an ingredient gatherer so I have to have everything on the counter & measured to the extent that I can before I start mixing. It’s ok to be an ingredient gatherer, it reduces my stress during cooking. I have way too many times started cooking and didn’t have all the ingredients. My brain tells me there’s substitute ingredients all around my kitchen but my belly says “make the recipe right!”

Start off with 2 tbsp of chia seeds soaking in 1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk for approximately 10 mins or the same amount of time that it took me to unload the dishwasher & wake Luke up from his nap before the mixing noise began. The chia seeds will thicken & be somewhat sticky so you can rinse them from the bowl as you add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rice milk.

This picture reminded me that I could really use some way cuter measuring cups & spoons!

So next, add a cup, a cup, a 1 1/2 cup (my tribute to Steal Magnolias).

  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Oh, & by the way, a blender is not my favorite mixing tool even though the recipe calls for a blender. This bad boy is! The Nutribullet RX is fantabulous (I make no money for this endorsement)!!! It’s so much more fancy than my original Nutibullet that I’ve had for 3 or so years. It mixes itself when you put it on the base & then shuts off.


So it’s time to blend, whichever way you choose. Mix until all ingredients are blended together well, or your Nutribullet RX shuts off.

My tough critics gave it a taste. 2 year old taste buds loved it & kept asking for more. Chad was not big on it & said it needs sugar. Jaxson ran off when I asked him to try it. He’s not real big into trying new things. I agree with Chad, it needs more sugar so….my tip…..

Exchange sweetened rice milk for the unsweetened & add 1 to 2 tbsp of sugar if you want more sweet.

Overall, I would give this gut quenching smoothie a 7!

Coffee · Recipes

Turmeric Coffee Recipe

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Turmeric , what can I say about turmeric, besides it has an intriguing taste, awkward mustardy color & it’s supposed to be one of the most amazing anti-inflammatory spices.

This post is directed toward any autoimmune sufferer who is very tired of modern medicine & its side effects…..ME!

Winter has been tough for me because of a change in medicine. My issue with modern medicine is that it treats one hurts one for me. The new infusion Entyvio has done wonders for my colitis but has been hard on my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason, I’m willing to try natural means just so I don’t have to add another pill into the “big box ‘o pills” I have to take everyday.

For the past week I have been having a funky coffee blend & while it doesn’t taste much like my regular cup of joe, I’m willing to give it a shot. My blend is listed below.

Funky Coffee Recipe
1 cup (or more depending on your coffee addiction) simply smooth Folgers coffee
1 tsp turmeric spice
1 tsp cinnamon spice
1 tsp ginger spice
2 tbsp powdered creamer (non-dairy)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Honey to taste

I blend all with my nutribullet for a frothy feux-Starbucks look but it’s definitely not your average Starbucks coffee.

Improvements I have noticed drinking this recipe:
* Throughout the day, my back pain is much less, just a sore feeling instead of pain.
* I have more energy!
* I have been sleeping more soundly.
* The urgency with my gut that I usually feel several times a day is drastically reduced. Maybe once a day instead of 3 to 4 times a day.

So I took to the internet to research the above spices. I started with turmeric. Turmeric, sometimes pronounced as tu-mer-ic, is used in many Indian & Bangladesh foods as well as curries. I have found its coloring to stain very easily so wash your cups immediately after use.
Research is ongoing but suggests that it:

* is a natural pain reliever

* can help lower the risk of cancer

* strong anti-inflammatory plant

* strengthens immune system

* improves cognitive function

* helps boost mood

* lowers the risk of heart disease

* helps keep memory sharp

* helps reduce & prevent arthritis

* is anti-aging

Of most interest to me is the idea that it could, with regular use, reduce & prevent arthritis symptoms. Coupled with an alkaline diet (next order of business to look into), turmeric can help calm inflammation that causes joint pain. The results will not be instantaneous but with a build up in the system over time, can reduce inflammation without causing the unwanted side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Next but not least, what does cinnamon do for you? Cinnamon also has a great resume including anti-inflammatory qualities but it’s list is more widely varied. According to authoritynutrition.com, cinnamon was a gift fit for a king in ancient times. The appeal of cinnamon today is that it’s cheap, available in most supermarkets & flavorful for all kinds of foods. Bring on my childhood favorite, cinnamon toast! My mom made the best!

The benefits of cinnamon include being loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties (yay), may cut the risk of heart disease, can improve sensitivity to insulin, lowers blood sugar, could be beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s, can be a protective against cancer, fight bacterial & fungal infections, & may help fight the HIV virus.

Lastly I checked out the top ten health benefits of ginger. I already know that it makes nausea better when your pregnant or at least it did for me. I’m pretty sure I lived off ginger flavored Preggie Pops for three weeks with each of my babies. Maybe that’s why I have two red heads, bawhahaha! The top ten Heath benefits includes soothing the stomach, reduces nausea, reduces muscle soreness, boosts your immune system, is anti-viral, reduces inflammation, is anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer benefits), improves cognitive function, can help relieve cramps for women, & helps reduce cholesterol. That ginger packs a punch!

It may be too good to be true or it could absolutely be true but I’ve got to try either way. I’m not going to let disease win! I’m very willing to try natural remedies, especially if it revolves around my favorite morning beverage.

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Information obtained from www.healthremediesjournal.com & www.authoritynutrition.com.