Share butons

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sugar Free Chocolate Sauce

Sugar Free Chocolate Sauce

Low fat and Low carb too

We love chocolate sauce around here, but now that we eat sugar-free it is hard to come by without nasty chemicals in it. Some homemade sauces I found had a funny texture or taste. I have seen some that would work, but they have fat and I was looking for one that I could pair with either low fat (E), low carb (S) or a combination of both (FP) desserts I finally remembered a simple one I made in my sugar eating days and wondered if I could remake it. Sure enough it worked and we love it, in fact my 3 year old chocolate lover like to eat a spoonful of it. =)
Here it is, hopefully your family enjoys it as much as we do.

  • 1 cup Cocoa Powder (A good brand works better as some brands get bitter with Stevia)
  • 1/4 C Xylitol or Truvia (Ground in coffee grinder)
  • Approximately 1/8t (or more if you want it sweeter) of NuStevia  (or equivalent brand of Stevia)
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 t Vanilla

In heavy-bottomed 2 quart pot, combine sweeteners, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the water. Stir until well combined. 
At this point taste to see if it is sweet enough for you and if not add more sweetener.
Set over medium heat; stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil  about three minutes (Boiling shorter than three minutes gives you a thinner syrup, longer and you can get to more of a fudge sauce consistency.), stirring frequently with whisk and reducing heat if syrup threatens to boil over.
Remove from heat; pour into heatproof 4 cup measure or pitcher. Cool briefly.
Cool on counter (uncovered) until room temperature, strain through fine strainer (straining is optional, but gives it a smooth texture) into container of 2-1/2 cup capacity. Stir in vanilla. 
Store, covered, in refrigerator.

For Trim Healthy Mamas (THM) this is a Fuel Pull (FP) sauce. =)

 This post is linked up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays hosted by Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Parfait - THM Friendly

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Parfait

Sugar free, Low carb and delicious

 You are probably getting the idea by now that I prefer my food sugar free and either low carb, or healthy carb / low fat. In other words no sugar fats and carbs are separate. =) That means finding all new recipes to replace my favorite foods especially desserts. Well we tried one tonight and I think it is a real winner, so I just had to share it right away!

Sorry it is not the best picture, but after the first bite I knew it was a winner and I would want to share it, so I snapped a quick pic so that I could finish eating it. =)
It came about because my husband was eating cheesecake and we wanted some too, but all we had was frozen cream cheese. I figured if I started blending it we could come up with something good and oh boy did we.

  • 1 package frozen cream cheese
  • 1t of peanut flour 
  • 1 handful of almonds
  • Sweetener to taste (I used about 1t of xylitol and 4-5 shakes of NuStevia)
  • Dash of vanilla
  • 1T cream
 I thawed the cream cheese just enough to cut it into chunks. I put everything in the food processor and blended until creamy with chunks of nuts. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough for you, if not just add a little more sweetener. I then scooped it into bowls and put some of my sugar free chocolate sauce on it (Recipe Here) or you could drizzle skinny chocolate on it. Now all you have to do is enjoy!
No peanut flour? Don't worry, just try adding a little peanut butter and omitting some or all of the cream. =) 

I would say this is somewhere between cheesecake and ice cream.

If you eat THM style this would be a heavy S dessert. =) 

This post is linked up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays hosted by Gwen's Nest  and  Stacey Makes Cents

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lime Twister - Refreshing Summer Drink

Lime Twister

It's refreshing and good for you!

Did you ever wish there was a healthy alternative to soda pop? Something that had that nice zing and was refreshing, but was actually good for you instead of bad for you.  Well I think I found it! I was inspired by a drink named GGMS (or Good Girl Moonshine) by it's creator. You can find it here . One day a friend gave me some lime sparkling water and I decided to use the ingredients that made the GGMS  healthy, but to make my own drink. Voila, Lime twister was born and boy is it GOOD!

  • 2 cans Lime flavored sparkling water (no other additives but water and natural lime flavor)
  • 1-2T Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw is best)
  • 1t Ginger -ground or powder (you can also use juice or grated to taste)
  • 7 shakes NuNaturals NuStevia Extract (This is the non-bitter kind)
  • Enough ice to fill to 1 qt
  • Squeeze of Lime Juice (optional, but gives extra zip)

Making this is simple. The most important thing to remember is to put the sparkling water in first as it tends to bubble over if you pour over the other ingredients. (Yes, I know this from experience). You can either make this in a quart jar or a 1 qt drink cup. This is what I use.

Once the water is in, add the rest of the ingredient except the ice. Give it a good shake or whisk and then add the ice (I liked crushed ice, but any ice will work). Now you are ready to enjoy! Give it a shake or stir every once and a while and sip away, it will be gone before you know it. =)

If you are eating THM style, this would be considered FP and weight loss promoting.

Sip with confidence, knowing you are boosting your health and weight loss!

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rich in potassium, a mineral that is often times lacking in adult diets. This mineral is key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc. It also helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.
  • Rich in acetic acid. This acid is said to slow the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.
  • Rich in ash which gives ACV its alkaline property. This aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state.
  • It can help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Rich in malic acid which gives ACV its anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • May help improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate.
  • It can help clear up skin conditions and blemishes.
  • ACV helps with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them.
  • A few lab studies have found that ACV may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.
Health Benefits of Ginger
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Helps you feel full
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps manage glucose levels
  • Helps with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Helps the Body Absorb Nutrients
  • Helps with Morning and Motion Sickness  
  • Improves Circulation
  • Blocks Acid from Heartburn  
  • Relieves Gas 
  • Provides Pain Relief 
  • Clears Sinuses 
  • Strengthens Immunity  
  • Helps Boost Metabolism 

Find more great, healthy recipes at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents, they host a Trim Healthy Tuesday each week with lots of link ups to great recipes and tips that fit into THM Style.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama Book Review

Trim Healthy Mama Book Review

 Have you heard of this book? A friend introduced it to me back in February when it was only 5 months old. At first I thought "Oh another one of those books that tells you if you just reduce your calories you will lose weight". Not so. This book was a surprising breath of fresh air in the dieting world! It is all the best parts of things I have been reading about recently, put together in a coherent way.

 The authors come from a background of trying many different styles of eating and after years of research have come up with a healthy way of eating that you can use for life. They help you understand how your body sees food, so that you can lose weight, gain weight, stay at goal weight or even maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. And all while eating delicious food (yes, I meant that, it is delicious), the kind of food you eat and say "Am I really losing weight?" and you look at the results and you are For example there are many variations of Skinny Chocolate, basically a sugar free homemade chocolate that promotes weight loss. =) It is the biggest temptation buster out there!

 Peanut Butter Cup version of Skinny Chocolate

 You are probably wondering how this way of eating works. Well without going into details of how your body reacts to certain foods (which you really need to read in the book to understand), here is a very basic summary. First off it is sugar free, uses some low glycemic principles, teaches you how to keep your primary fuels of  fat and carbs (healthy ones) separate so that your body only has to deal with one at a time.  There are some more details to it, but that is the best way I can explain it without going into the details you find in this 600 page book. Yes, I said 600 pages, and yes it is a big book, but a lot of it is recipes and some of it is other issues outside of eating that are very helpful. At first it is a bit of a learning curve, but after a while it becomes second nature.

Cottage Berry Whip - a really delicious snack from the book

So far I have told you about the book, but what about my experience with it? When I read it I was very excited and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It just made so much sense! I started right away (this was near the end of February) and at first I felt a bit sluggish which turned out to be sugar withdrawl. After I got the sugar out of my system I felt much better than I had in a long time; more energy, more satisfied with my food and I felt really great about how I was giving my body the proper food it needed. As for weight results, well I have learned that those vary from person to person, but the weight does go down as well as the inches. A lot of people have lost fast and a lot. Some others like me are just naturally slow losers and have always fought for every pound lost. Well guess what? It works for us all; with some advice from the authors (yes, they are on facebook and are around to help you out) I was able to find the little tweak that helps even this slow loser lose weight. To date I have lost 14 lbs in 10 weeks, which is the most I have ever been able to lose and I am still going!
A favorite of mine- Volcano Mudslide Muffin in a Mug -another great recipe from the book

I have been enjoying wonderful food all this time. Things like muffin in a mug made with ground flax seed and almond meal, chicken salad wraps, zuchini noodle alfredo (really, really good) cheeseburger pie, skinny chocolate, Fat Stripping Frappa and my new favorites Good Girl Moonshine and Good Girl Margarita (making use of the health benefits of Apple cider vinegar). I have not felt deprived at all while my body is dropping inches and pounds. And best of all I am feeding my body nourishing foods.

Good Girl Margarita - It helps with weight loss and has many other health benefits

I could just go on about all the things that are exciting to me about this way of eating, but instead I will just leave with a few links you can check out. 
The website for the book
The Author Facebook page with lots of good info
 Check them out, you won't be sorry if you do! =)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sugar and Carb Free Hot Coco

Sugar and Carb Free Hot Coco

I know I haven't blogged in a while, life has been crazier than normal the last month. New niece born, engagement in the family and starting a new way of eating. It is this new way of eating (inspired by the Trim Healthy Mama book) that brings us to this post. I made hot chocolate last night that was not only sugar free and carb free, but delicious and good for you. Ya, right you say. I am serious this really good for you.
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop whey protein powder (isolate is better)
  • 1 TBL coco powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla (the real stuff is better)
  • dash of NuNaturals stevie or about a tsp of truvia (this is really to taste)
  • optional- if you want it really creamy you can add a dash of cream, but this will add some fat to it.

Blend this all together well and heat up. The beauty of this recipe is that it is low fat, low carb and high protein. It make a perfect nutritious snack and if you eat Trim Healthy Mama style (more about this later) this would be a fuel pull. =)

As a side note if you are looking for a healthy way of eating or losing weight look into Trim Healthy Mama. I am really enjoying it, it doesn't make me feel hungry, I am eating good healthy food and it is good tasting food. When I have some significant progress to report I will do a better review on here. For now just know it is worth checking out. =)

This post is now linked up to Trim Healthy Tuesday put together by Stacey Makes Cents and Gwen's Nest

Friday, January 11, 2013

Easy No-Grate Homemade Laundry Soap

Easy No-Grate Laundry Detergent

Our house has a lot of eczema, soap and scent allergies, which means it was doubly important for me to find a way to make our own laundry soap. We needed something allergy friendly and I wanted something that didn't bust the budget, but some of the grated, cooked and stored in a 5 gallon bucket detergents seemed a little overwhelming and time consuming for this busy mom (who just wants to quickly get her laundry done).  Then I came across the idea of no-grate laundry soap here   with some reworking I came up with something I am happy with. It cleans great as long as I pre-treat stains (which I had to do with regular detergent too, as my "little Loviehas a way of majorly staining all her clothes)

Here is what you need:
  • 4T Borax
  • 4T Washing Soda
  • 3T Dawn (or other grease fighting) dish soap
  • 3T Oxi Clean (optional)
  • 4C Boiling water
   Mix all ingredients together in glass bowl (the measure cup works fine) until powder ingredients dissolve. I use a whisk to do this, but don't whip to hard or you will have a bunch of bubbles. Once it has cooled a bit, you can pour it into an old detergent container (or whatever container you have handy). It is as easy as that.
I use an 1/8 to 1/4 cup per load depending on the load size. If I am doing a white/light load and I want to brighten it up I fill up the bleach container(not really sure what you call it) with peroxide.
 This works great in front loader (this is what I have) and HE washers. 
Let me know how this works for you, or if you find a way to make it better. I am always looking for new ideas. =) 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Easy Homemade Bread

Our Favorite Easy Homemade Bread

(made in a Bread machine, but baked in the Oven)

We love homemade whole wheat bread. My mom usually made 5 loaves at a time, but as a busy homeschooling mom of 2 young children I needed something easier and quicker. I discovered I can use a 2lb breadmaker that I found on garage sale for $5 to make 2 loaves fairly easy and they still turn out as good as "non-breadmachine bread". 

 A few things that I think are important for good bread are baking the bread in the oven not the bread machine and using fresh ground flour. I have a flour mill and grind my own, but if you don't have that option try looking for a friend that would let you use theirs or a flour mill in your area. Make sure to freeze your flour until you use it to keep the nutrients in it. All that being said, here is the recipe that we love...

Oatmeal Honey Bread
(3lbs from a 2lb breadmachine)
  • 1 3/4 cup Water
  • 2/3 cup Milk (or Almond milk)
  • 3T butter
  • 5T Honey (or brown sugar)
  • 3t Salt
  • 5 cups Flour (In this measurement I use 3T gluton flour and fill the cup up the rest of the way with all purpose flour and then use 4 cup fresh whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 4t Yeast
  Start by heating your water in the microwave for about a minute to a minute and a half, add it to the bread machine bread pan along with the milk, butter, honey and salt.
Next add the flour, oats and yeast. 
(Take care not to scoop out the flour with the measuring cup, but to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off before adding it. This makes a big difference in the measurement. When you scoop with the measuring cup you compact the flour and add to much.)
At this point point I turn the machine on, put the pan in, choose the dough setting and press start. Depending on your machine it will either immediately start to mix or wait about 15 minutes to start. After it has mixed for about 10  minutes, check to see if it needs more flour or milk. It should look satiny and just barely be grabbing the sides. 

If it is gooey and really sticking to the sides and a little four until it is right. If it is a big thick dough ball, really dry and not grabbing the side at all, just add a little milk until it just starts to grab the sides a little. Now you can close the lid and ignore for the next hour and a half or until it signals it is done. It should look something like this:

Dump it out onto a greased or flour surface and knead it for a minute or two to work out the air bubbles. Cut it in half...
Lightly  pat out each section into a loose oval about the length of the bread pan and tightly roll it into a loaf and place into well greased pan...
Turn oven on 350 for 1 minute then turn off and place bread pans and container of water in oven for about 40 minutes or until bread at least doubles in size...
Pull out water, turn oven on to 350 and bake for 20-25minutes or until golden in color and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. If needed use spatula to help release bread from sides of pans and tip out to cool...
Now it is time to enjoy a fresh, warm slice of bread, just beware the first loaf seems to disappear right away. =)

Measurements  for 2lbs of dough for 1 lb Breadmachine
  • 1C water
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2T butter
  • 3T honey
  • 2t salt
  • 3C flour
  • 1C oats
  • 2 1/2 t yeast

Monday, December 31, 2012

Healing Lotion

Hand Softening, Healing, Natural Lotion

Lotion, it should be light, moisterizing and help heal chapped hands, but most importantly it should be chemical free. At first I was intimidated by the idea of making lotion from scratch, it wasn't just melt stir and pour, it was emulsifying oil and water together to make something new. I decided to give a try and it was fun watching it change, it was also easier than I imagined. Try it and see for yourself.
  • 3/4cup Aloe Gel
  • 1tsp Vitamin E oil
  • 3/4oz Beeswax (grated or broken into small pieces)
  • 2Tbl Comfrey
  • 1/4 cup Almond oil
  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 1Tbl Cocoa Butter
  • 15-20 drops Essential Oil of your choice

  1. In double boiler on low melt coconut and almond oil with comfrey, let it infuse for 45min to an hour.
  2. Strain through cheesecloth, throw away herbs and wipe leftover herbs out of pot.
  3. Pour oil back in pot, add beeswax and Cocoa butter and melt.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and essential oils.
  5. Pour the melted oils into a bowl and allow them to cool to room temperature. This is a vital step in order to prevent separation. You can also heat up the aloe mixture slightly in the microwave to bring the 2 mixtures to the same temp.
  6. Once cooled, blend on low speed with hand mixer, slowly and continuously pour in aloe vera mixture. Run a rubber spatula aganist the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Blend until the mixture has the look and feel of lotion. (Note: this step could also be done with a blender on low speed)
  7. Pour the lotion into sterilized jars. You can use sterilized canning jars if you have them on hand. I keep a jar on the bathroom counter and one in the refrigerator. The lotion will keep for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you are looking for a source for herbs
has been recommended to me as a source for high quality herbs