Our daughter just turned the Big 1 year! Hubs and I confidently carried our little one into her 1-year follow-up expecting, for the first time in our brief parenting tenure, to get a great report along with the standard marching orders “just keep doing what you’re doing.” We’d been receiving those same instructions at every previous check-up along with high praise for our daughter’s diverse food intake and her preference for spinach and love of scrambled eggs.
Baby Girl Turns Eating Spinach into a Full Contact Sport
But this time, we were hit hard by our pediatrician’s orders to transition our daughter to all solid food within 60 days. Most alarming to me, I was told to stop pureeing or mashing her foods starting right away…I was appalled! I thought we were doing so well. I’d been cruising along using our trusty NutriBullet to puree everything from broccoli and carrots to salmon and chicken, and she was doing so well eating that stuff…just as long as it was smooth with no lumps. She’d basically refused to eat anything with lumps or texture except her beloved eggs. I had created these yummy Veggie Puffs which she liked, but they’re pretty labor-intensive so I rarely make them and don’t relish the idea of making them several times per week.
Now my head was spinning as I pondered all the changes I’d have to make and worried how baby girl would respond to the transition. On the other hand, I can’t stand the idea of giving our little girl the highly-processed chemical-laden transitional toddler foods sold in stores.
Hubs – recognizing the look of consternation on my face – said, “Baby, it’ll be okay. We’ll just start by giving her those foods she already likes. What about sweet potatoes? We know she loves those.”
Of course! That’s what I’ll do! She loves sweet potatoes. I’ll start there, I thought to myself. I decided to try to recreate one of our favorite treats – sweet potato fries – without the funky hydrogenated oils and preservatives. Baked with a little extra virgin coconut oil and some pure, unsweetened apple juice, these “fries” take only a few minutes to make and both my daughter and husband love them! Their an easy, inexpensive and delicious treat you can make in less than hour (including cook time). The secret is the combination of coconut oil and apple juice that the “fries” bake in. The result is slightly sweet and just the right combination of soft and crisp to be considered the perfect healthy transitional food by even the most persnickety pediatrician. Score one for Mommy! Ingredients:
• 1 Large or 2 Small Whole Sweet Potatoes, Washed and Peeled
• 1 Tbsp. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
• 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Homemade or Organic Apple Juice
• 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
• Light Sprinkling of Sea Salt, Ground Ginger, and/or Allspice Hardware:
• Large Chef’s Knife (the sharper the easier this will be)
• Cutting Board
• Parchment Paper
• Medium-sized Cookie Sheet or Baking Pan
1. Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius). Cover baking sheet/pan with parchment paper. Then set aside.
2. Slice sweet potato (or potatoes) length-wise into 4-5 slices of roughly equal width (as pictured below).
Then cut slices into match sticks (or french fry shape). When cutting sticks, try to avoid pointy or sharp edges.
3. Pour oil and apple juice onto parchment paper and rotate pan gently to blend the liquids (you can also use a fork or other utensil to swirl the liquids together). Then place the sweet potato sticks in a single layer atop the liquid mixture. Lightly sprinkle with spices, and then gently shake the pan again to distribute the liquids and seasonings.
Raw Seasoned Sweet Potato Sticks Ready to Bake
4. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Then remove from oven and test for doneness. Makes about 2-3 Toddler Servings Notes and Serving Suggestions: If you’re serving a toddler, you want the fries to be softer so stick with the shorter bake time. Check first after 40 minutes. If not quite done, stick the pan back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes. For adults, bake for 45 minutes before checking for doneness for a crisper texture. If not quite done, bake for 5-7 minutes longer, but keep a close eye on them. They go from crispy to burned very quickly.
Wisdom for the Day:
So, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, don’t have stubborn hearts as they did in the rebellion, on the day when they tested me in the desert.”
~Hebrews 3:7-8 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.
Left: My Homemade Veggie Puffs. Right: Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
I have a secret. I’m completely addicted to toddler food. Actually, it’s just 1 particular toddler food.
For years now, I’ve been loving these Dr. Praeger’s Spinach and Broccoli Littles. Love. Love. LOVE. Them. I’ll drive way out of my way to find these “little” veggie+potato treats, and cheerfully pay more than $5 per 10 oz. box (I usually purchase 4 to 5 boxes at a time since they’re hard to find in my area) to feed my habit.
My love affair with Dr. Praeger’s products began several years ago. After several years of “healthy” vegan eating, I developed a severe allergic reaction to the soy-based meat substitutes I was eating on a regular. So when I first spotted these non-GMO, soy-free alternatives at Whole Foods, I grabbed them up and was quickly hooked. When I was pregnant and craving these tasty little buggers, I even sent Hubs up to the nearest Whole Foods (over an hour each direction) to score a few boxes for me! I have such a wonderful husband!
I love them because they’re green and filled with non-GMO green veggies and potatoes. They’re certified gluten-free (and in fact, contain no grains whatsoever). There’s nothing funky or nasty in them (save for some canola oil which admittedly is not the best, but at least it’s not hydrogenated or full of trans fats); no grains or gluten (they’re certified gluten-free); and no dairy or soy. They’ve got some protein in there too, thanks to the inclusion of egg whites. And they just taste great! They’re fun to eat and just make me feel good. But since I’m an adult (not the target market), I tend to eat a bunch of them (when I have them). So, keeping my “Littles” supply stocked can be rather expensive.
Recently Hubs and I were stocking up, and I was overcome with a bit of buyer’s remorse. As I emerged from the store’s freezer holding 5 boxes of assorted Dr. P.’s Littles, I made the following off-hand remark. “These things are ridiculously expensive. I bet I could make them, or something very similar.” Since Hubs manages the grocery budget, he was immediately excited by my comment. I, on the other hand, was immediately regretful I’d said something so foolish, thinking “I could never make anything as delicious as my beloved Dr. P’s.” I reluctantly agreed to try to create a recipe similar too my beloveds but insisted we purchase the 5 boxes I was holding “you know, just so I have something to compare my own recipe to.” Gotta love that rationalization there.
Hub agreed, and I began searching the all-knowing Internet for some sort of “Dr. Praeger’s Littles” dupe recipe. I quickly found several recipes posted on various Pinterest boards, all of which claimed to be dupes. Sadly, each one of those recipes included cheese, lots of cheese, sometimes 2 types of cheese in a single recipe. Ugh! Since dairy is a deal-breaker for me, I decided to wing it, and try to create something yummy using the same ingredients listed on the box (but subbing extra virgin avocado oil for the aforementioned canola. And I used tapioca powder instead of arrowroot because that’s all I had, but either would work well).
I’m excited about the following recipe for a few reasons. First, I’m excited because these little puffs taste really good, and because I envision them saving us some grocery money. I really enjoy eating them, and (even more importantly), my daughter likes to eat them too. Woohoo! Score one for Mommy! I’m also excited to share a recipe that features spinach, which is #8 on HealthGrove’s list of the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair. For those of you who are unaware, I’ve been posting a series of #Whole30-compliant and #paleo-correct recipes based on that HealthGrove list. Spinach is a favorite in our house. It’s literally our daughter’s favorite food which makes me very happy because spinach is such an amazing food. These mild leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and many awesome antioxidant and beautifying vitamins (including: Vitamins A, B2, C, E, and K). You can read all about Popeye’s power source here. If you’re interested in reading the whole list of 30 best foods for beauty, you can find the full list here. And if you’ve missed any of the previous recipes in this series, be sure to check out the list and links at the bottom of this post.
• ½ sweet onion diced + ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional)
• 14 oz. bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well-drained
• 1•½ cup liquid egg whites (roughly the whites from 12 large eggs)
• 3 cups cooked finely diced or shredded potatoes, divided
• 1 Tbsp. sea salt
• 20 cranks of crushed black pepper
• ¼ – ½ tsp. garlic powder or 1-2 whole, peeled garlic cloves (according to taste; I recommend using ¼ tsp. if using onion)
• 1•½ cup potato flakes (For this and all my #Whole30 recipes, I recommend these flakes from Bob’s Red Mill because those are the only potato flakes I’ve found that are 100% dehydrated potatoes without dextrose or any unapproved additives)
• 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
• 4 Tbsp. chia seeds
• Nonstick coconut oil spray
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin avocado or olive oil HARDWARE:
• Powerful blender or food processor (I used our Vitamix, and it worked really well)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• 2 Baking pans (I used 2 mini muffin tins) coated with nonstick coconut oil
• 1 Large mixing bowl
• 2 Microwave-safe bowls (medium and small)
• 1 oz. cookie scoop
1. If including onion in your veggie tots, cut onion into slices. Then transfer onion to a small microwave-safe bowl along with ¼ cup broth. Cover bowl with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and set aside.
2. Place 3 cups diced or shredded potatoes into a larger microwave-safe bowl. Cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and set aside.
3. Pour the following ingredients into the canister of a powerful blender or food processor with ‘S’ blade attached: cooked onion mixture; drained spinach or greens; shredded, 2 cups diced (or shredded) potatoes; sea salt; black pepper; and garlic (if using). Place lid on food processor or blender. Then process/blend on LOW setting about 30 seconds or until mixture is liquified and thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into a very large mixing bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together potato flakes, tapioca starch; and chia seeds. Then add this mixture to the spinach mixture, along with remaining 1 cup diced or shredded potatoes. Stir well to thoroughly combine. Cover bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate batter for 30 minutes (up to overnight).
5. When ready bake, preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius). And spray 2 large mini muffin tins with nonstick coconut oil spray. Then drizzle 1 Tbsp. avocado oil over each of the pans. If using regular cookie sheets, cover sheet with parchment paper. Then lightly coat paper with nonstick spray and drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over each pan. Set pans aside.
6. Using a 1 oz. cookie scoop, scoop batter into/onto prepared muffin tins or baking sheets. Sprinkle puffs lightly with more sea salt if desired.
7. Bake at 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius) for 35 minutes (mini-muffin tins) – 45 minutes (for puffs on cookie sheets). SERVING SUGGESTIONS & NOTES:
While these little treats are technically #Whole30-compliant, they’re potato-heavy (i.e. high carbs). It’s best to think of these puffs as a starchy side dish, not a high-protein entrée. I recommend enjoying these treats in moderation and serving alongside a nice lean meat and toss salad. This recipe makes a ton, but these little puffs freeze well. If you do plan to freeze and reheat later, bake for just 30-35 minutes. Then allow cooked puffs to cool thoroughly before transferring to a large freezer bag. To reheat, remove puffs from freezer and allow to sit on counter until puffs reach room temperature. Then preheat oven to 400° F (204° C) and oil a baking sheet. Then place desired number of puffs of prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
3 Little Veggie Puffs Just Begging to be Eaten!
Wisdom for the Day:
“But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something.” ~I Corinthians 1:27-28 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
You ever notice how all the YouTube beauty gurus are always raving the latest and greatest product roll-outs? It’s pretty rare to encounter a beauty review or tutorial video that really praises those products that have been around for years. So when I encounter a YouTuber who embraces oldy but goodies, I get excited and want to share it. Check out this full talk-thru tutorial as Emily Noel discusses (and demos) her favorite all-time drugstore products. Take notes because the products she recommends are excellent and bound to save you some money!
I’m really excited to share today’s recipe with you, for several reasons – primarily because my family loves this meal so much. Since a happy and healthy family is my #1 cooking goal, this one is a big win in my book. It’s also a ‘win’ because Hubs loves (LOVES) sloppy joes, so I made them often especially in the beginning of our marriage. But I never felt good about serving such a highly-processed, sugar-laden food. About a year ago, I began making my own sloppy joe / BBQ sauce using ketchup, maple syrup, some vinegar, spices, etc. I felt a little better about that, but in the back of mind, I knew that commercially available ketchups are loaded with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and added sugars. Because of that, we all but gave up on ever eating sloppy joes again, especially during and after we did the #Whole30 this past April (2016). So, I’m really pleased that this recipe (which includes no ketchup, maple syrup, HFCS or added sugars beyond a few dates and pure apple juice, which are perfectly #Whole30 acceptable when used in moderation) allows us to one again enjoy this favorite and fun meal without regrets.
The magic is in the BBQ sauce. It’s quick and very easy to make. It’s great for basting chicken, beef, pork or any other standard BBQ sauce application you may have. AND it includes a secret (healthy+beautifying) ingredient.
INGREDIENTS: For ground meat – • 1 lb. lean ground beef, bison or turkey breast (I used 97% lean ground turkey)
• 1+½ tsp. salt
• 1 Tbsp. coconut or avocado oil
Perfectly Paleo and Whole30-compliant BBQ Sauce
For Sweet Smoky BBQ Sauce –
• 6 dates soaked overnight in ½ cup filtered water
• 6 oz. can tomato paste
• ½ cup no-sugar-added applesauce, organic if possible
• ½ cup pure canned pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie mix)
• ½ cup homemade or organic ready-made chicken broth
• ¾ cup 100% pure apple juice
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• 2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
• ½ Tbsp. liquid smoke
• 1 tsp. spicy mustard (NOT Dijon mustard if doing #Whole30)
• ¼ tsp. garlic powder (or 1 whole garlic clove)
• dash ground allspice
For the Sweet Potato Toasts –
• 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
• 2 Tbsp. coconut or avocado oil, divided
• ¾ tsp. Celtic sea salt, divided
• Sprinkling garlic powder
• Dash ground allspice
Sweet Potato Toasts
• Blender or food processor
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Large frying pan or skillet (preferably nonstick)
• Toaster Oven (helpful but non-essential)
• Small baking pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper
1. Prepare BBQ sauce place soaked dates AND soaking water into canister of powerful blender or food processor fitted with S blade, along with all other sauce ingredients. Cover blender or food processor and pulse on LOW setting for about 1 minute. Then blend/process sauce on HIGH setting until the sauce is thoroughly blended and very smooth.
2. Taste sauce to test seasonings and adjust if necessary. Transfer sauce to a large jar or pitcher with lid. Cover and place BBQ sauce in refrigerator. BBQ sauce will keep covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
3. Brown ground meat in a 1 Tbsp. oil (not necessary if using higher fat meat, such as 85% lean ground beef) in a large (preferably non-stick) pan or skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH (level 7) heat. Sprinkle the meat with 1.5 tsp. seal salt and stir frequently while browning to break up the meat into smallish pieces or chunks. Drain meat if necessary. When meat has been browned (and drained if necessary), turn off the heat and cover the pan.
4. Take BBQ sauce from refrigerator and pour about ¾ of the sauce over ground turkey. Stir well to combine and recover pan or skillet.
NOTE: Store remaining BBQ sauce in refrigerator. You can serve Sloppy Joes with the extra BBQ sauce or keep it for another use.
5. Turn skillet or stove to MEDIUM and cook mixture covered until sauce begins to simmer. Then reduce heat to LOW. Cook mixture on LOW for about 30 minutes while preparing sweet potato toasts.
6.Prepare Sweet Potato Toasts as follows: Slice peeled sweet potato length-wise into 1/8” slices. Cover a small baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Then pour 1 Tbsp. oil onto pan and sprinkle pan with ¼ tsp. sea salt. Place sweet potato slices in a single layer on pan. Drizzle remaining Tbsp. oil over the sweet potato slices. Then sprinkle slices with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, garlic powder and dash of ground allspice.
7. If baking sweet potato toasts in full-size oven, preheat to 400°F (204°C) (if you’re using a toaster oven, there’s no need to preheat). Bake sweet potatoes at 400°F (204°C) for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove toasts from oven and flip each toast over. Return toasts to oven for about 5-10 minutes, again at 400°F (204°C). Check on the toasts often because they get really dark quickly. N.B. – If you need to cook the Sloppy Joe mixture for longer than 30 minutes (i.e. to attend to other tasks), that’s no problem. Just follow steps 2-5 above, then turn stove or skillet setting lowest heat setting. Then a few minutes before serving, add another 1/2 cup pure (no-sugar-added) apple juice and a pinch more sea salt. Stir well and keep mixture on LOW until serving. ~ Makes 4 dinner-sized servings Serving Suggestions:
As always, I recommend serving these “sandwiches” along side a nice tossed salad of mixed greens, with a little fresh maybe or nuts tossed in, or crisply fried+crumbled #Whole30-compliant bacon. Some sort of cooked green vegetable side also works nicely (if you’re not as salad-crazy as me). I served these along side steamed green beans almandine (as pictured above) and tossed salads. But other great side options include: Crispy Fried Sprouts or Crispy Coconut Roasted Green Beans or your own preferred veggie side are all great options. A final note, if you’re not interested in making the sweet potato toasts, you can also serve the mixture on large romaine lettuce leaf “boats” for an open-faced style sandwich. That’s actually my favorite way to eat these.
The cool crisp lettuce is such a great counterpoint to the sweet, tangy BBQ sauce and warm meat filling.
Wisdom for the Day:
“⌊God has sent me⌋ to provide for all those who grieve in Zion, to give them crowns instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of ⌊tears of⌋ grief, and clothes of praise instead of a spirit of weakness. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the Plantings of the LORD, so that he might display his glory.” ~Isaiah 61:3 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
I often share Tati Westbrook’s videos because I think she’s so adorable and relatable. This Strobing Tutorial is one of my current favs. Strobing is prettier, easier and more natural-looking than that harsh contouring trend of a few years ago. Here Tati demystifies the technique (REALLY important for me and my novice-level makeup skills) and steps you through how-to strobe using a balanced mix of both drug-store and high-end products. Enjoy that summer glow!
I’ve been posting a series of recipes featuring the ingredients identified by a recent HealthGrove study as the best foods for beautiful skin and hair. If you’ve missed any of the previous recipes in this series, check out the list and links below. Number 1 on that list is – the deliciously healthy and beautifully utilitarian SWEET POTATO! Sweet potatoes are a tremendous source of Vitamins C and A (in the form of beta carotene) and also earn high marks for potassium content as well as fullness or satiety. Check out this nutrition summary from the folks at HealthGrove. Sweet potatoes are also an inexpensive, unprocessed and grain-free source of complex carbohydrates, making them favorites among #WHOLE30-ers, #Paleo types and staunch vegans alike.
Check out to learn more about the amazing health-promoting benefits of sweet potatoes!
The Lovely & Talented Sweet Potato
The following sweet potato recipe is perfect for anyone needing a quick and easy weeknight side dish. Weeknights are hectic, especially for working folks and families. It’s also an especially dangerous time for those actively doing #WHOLE30 because (in the US at least) it’s the time we tend to eat our largest meal. I find it helps tremendously to have a few simple, no-brainer type recipes on stand-by to expedite the weeknight dinner-making process. This delicious and simple side dish is one of our family’s favorites, and it’s super easy for Mommy (me) to make while attending to other tasks. After making it several times, I’ve found that I can now prepare it quickly and with almost no thought. That’s really helpful on nights when we have a lot going on and other things to attend to (like our constantly in-motion little girl). Most importantly, this dish is really yummy and works well with a wide variety of entrees. This recipe is fully #WHOLE30-compliant and #Paleo-correct. It’s free of grains, gluten and sugars. And if prepared with coconut oil, it’s also #vegan, dairy-free and suitable for folks with virtually nearly any food allergies, with the exception of tree nuts. However, you could easily substitute sunflower seeds for pecans or leave out the nuts altogether to accommodate. As listed, it’s a yummy mix of sweet, warm and salty. Buttery and tender with a bit of crunch, it’s sure to satisfy your whole family and keep you on your #WHOLE30 progress. It’s a winner all the way around. Ingredients:
• 2 large or 3 medium-sized whole sweet potatoes
• 1/2 cup no sugar added 100% pure apple, pineapple or prune juice (I used pineapple)
• ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
• 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or clarified butter (i.e. Ghee), divided
• 2 tsp. Celtic sea salt, divided
• dash each ground ginger, ground cloves, and/or allspice
• 1 cup diced fresh pineapple or 2 organic apples or peaches, sliced (optional)
• 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
If you’re the type to do your weekly meal prep on the weekends, consider peeling and slicing a few sweet potatoes. They store nicely in a freezer bag for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Then slice sweet potatoes into 1/8” thick slices, and cut those slices in half. It goes faster if you stack the slices when cutting in half. ☺
2. Pour 1 Tbsp. oil or butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Then transfer sweet potato slices to same bowl.
3. Sprinkle salt and seasonings over sweet potato slices and toss gently to distribute seasonings.
4. Pour ½ cup juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over seasoned sweet potatoes and toss gently to combine.
Don’t mock my dirty microwave. I told you it’s hectic around our house!
5. Place bowl into microwave and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 8 minutes.
6. Carefully take bowl out of the microwave. Remove paper towel (watch out for steam). Stir well. If you’re using to add fruit, do so now.
7. Return bowl to microwave and replace paper towel over the bowl. Microwave again on HIGH for another 8-12 minutes, depending on size/strength of you microwave. (As an example, we have a pretty strong microwave that has 1800W. So I microwave for 8 minutes the first time, and another 11 minutes after stirring.)
8. Carefully take bowl from the microwave. Remove paper towel (again, watch out for steam). Test one sweet potato slice for doneness. The goal is a tender not toothsome texture. (In my experience, it takes longer than you expect to cook all the sweet potatoes). You may need to microwave a bit longer (say 3-5 minutes on HIGH) to fully cook to tender.
9. Just before serving, sprinkle sweet potatoes with balsamic vinegar and pecans. Then stir once more before serving. ~ Makes about 4 generous side dish servings.
Wisdom for the Day:
With perfect peace you will protect those whose minds cannot be changed, because they trust you. ~Isaiah 26:3 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here. Praying that your evenings are full of “perfect peace” and trust in God! ~KG
Today’s recipe continues our series of recipes based on a the HealthGrove study identifying the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair. In case you’ve missed any of the previous recipes from the series, you can find links for each at the bottom of this page, so be sure to check those out. In order to avoid missing any future posts and recipes, be sure to subscribe to Daily Beauty Wisdom. It’s quick and easy, and you’re guaranteed to never miss a new DBW post. Simply enter your email address in the “subscribe here” box to sign up. A few minutes later, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Click the “confirmation” button in the email, and you’re done. Easy as that.
And now, the news, er I mean, the recipe. Today’s recipe is an easy, quick-to-prepare sauce that can be used to jazz up desserts or meats. It makes a lovely sweet and tangy counterpoint when served as a dipping sauce for well-seasoned grilled poultry or pork. And it’s my preferred accompaniment for my Paleo Brownies available here. This sauce features the fantastic and beautifying ingredient – cranberry juice (food #27 from the HealthGrove list). In case you hadn’t noticed, cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving anymore. Cranberry juice, in particular, is everywhere! And for good reason, not only is is this sweet+tart juice healthy (with impressive levels of Vitamin C and potassium in every cup), it plays really nicely with other fruits. Apparently all the juice makers are onto this fact as well because there’s a seemingly endless variety of cranberry juice combos available on the juice aisles of every grocery and health food store, as noted here by the indescribably fabulous Brian Regan:
This recipe works equally well with both frozen pitted cherries or frozen (or fresh) blueberries. Just be sure the berries you select have ZERO added sugar. Both berries provide tons of beautifying nutrients. Dark, tart cherries are a great source of Vitamin C, a key antioxidant (read more about the skin beautifying effects of antioxidants like Vitamin C here) and tummy-filling fiber. While blueberries are a bona fide superfood! They also provide Vitamin C, more than a 1/3 of your daily Vitamin K requirements per serving along with several forms of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are a group of good-for-you nutrients that include current beauty buzz-worthy antioxidants like quercitin, ferric acid and resveratol among others (Source1 and Source2). Ingredients:
• 5 dates, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight (see comment below)+++
• 12 oz. (about 2.5 cups) frozen unsweetened pitted cherries or unsweetened frozen blueberries, defrosted
• 1 cup pure (unsweetened) cranberry juice
• 1.5 Tbsp. chia seeds
• pinch iodized sea salt
• pinch ground allspice
• pinch pure Stevia extract, optional (do not use if doing #WHOLE30, see comment below)+++
• 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Powerful blender or food processor (I used the Nutribullet Pro 900)
• A large spoon or spoonula
• Mason jar or other preferred storage receptacle with lid
1. Drain dates and discard soaking liquid.
2. Place dates and all other ingredients into canister of blender or food processor. Place lid on canister and process on HIGH until sauce is very smooth and no chunks or pieces of ingredients are visible.
3. Remove lid and test for seasonings. Adjust to taste. You may want to add 1 Tbsp. or 2 of lemon juice (as noted below) if serving sauce with a savory dish. If you do adjust the seasonings, replace the lid and blend the sauce again briefly.
4. Then carefully (this will stain) pour sauce into a jar or bottle with a lid and cover. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
• This recipe makes about 2.5 cups of sauce.
• Sauce will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
• I recommend adding 1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice if you plan on using this as a sauce or dip for savory dishes.
• As mentioned above, this sauce is my preferred accompaniment for my Paleo Brownies seen below:
Wisdom for the Day:
I spend a lot of time and blog space here at DBW discussing things that will be tasty and pleasing to the tongue, but I don’t often acknowledge the power of the tongue. Words are powerful! The following Proverb reminds us that the things we say have the power to bring life or death. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.~Proverbs 18:21 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
Beauty Resource for the Day:
Ever hear dermatologists and other skin experts say you should reapply sunscreen every few hours, but think “okay but how the heck am I supposed to do that when I’ve already put my makeup on?” Well, Angie from Hot & Flashy has an answer, and a video tutorial, for that very question! Check it out as she enlightens us on the best ways to protect ourselves from the sun while maintaining previously applied cosmetics: