Monday, August 15, 2011

Healthy Fudgesicles!

I just made these as a special snack for my girls' first day of pre-school (at home :) and oh, they are so good! My husband did mention that they taste more like dark chocolate than sweet chocolate but I didn't really notice it myself. My 4-year old thought they were the best treat ever and she normally wouldn't even touch an avocado! I actually used 1 1/2 avocados because I had some leftover in the fridge I wanted to use up. And I smashed it instead of quartering it to make certain it would blend well. I think I will actually use 2 next time to add in some more healthy fat to slow the sugar rush a bit. But I'm not too worried about it since it only uses honey for sweetener! Many thanks to Recipes to Nourish for posting such a great treat for my girls!

  • 1 ripe avocado, remove pit, quarter
  • 4 tablespoons raw organic cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw honey (I use local raw clover creamed honey)
  • 3 cups raw whole milk (See Resources)

1. Combine all ingredients in blender.
2. Blend on a lower setting until smooth and combined. No avocado pieces
should remain. Strain through fine mesh strainer if needed.
3. Pour mixture into popsicle molds.
4. Place in freezer for at least 6 hours.
5. When frozen, run under hot water to release the mold.

Yield: Makes about 4 cups mixture, finished popsicle yield varies.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Healthy and Frugal Dinner: Black Bean Salsa

We had a taco bar at my house last night and some friends brought this amazing black bean salsa to share. It was fabulous on our tacos, but would be great on its own as well. I absolutely love the fresh flavors of lime and cilantro that permeate this dish! The recipe comes from Passionate Homemaking (Lindsey has yet to post a recipe that I did not like! You should really subscribe to her blog!) Enjoy!

1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)

1 fresh tomato, diced
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup or more chopped cilantro
2 Tbls. lime juice (or lemon!)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, to taste
4 tortillas (If using homemade, make sure they are thin enough to roll up!)
Salsa, sour cream and guacamole, if desired

Stir fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans and remaining ingredients. Heat through before laying on tortillas with other toppings, as desired.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homemade "Cream of... Soup"

For so long I have rejected all my favorite casseroles because I didn't want to buy canned soups. I wish I had just tried making my own a long time ago! This recipe is extremely easy and flavorful. I usually cook two chickens and make tons of stock from them every month so I always have plenty of chicken broth on hand to make this. Creamed soup will undoubtedly become part of my monthly cooking to make throwing together casseroles a cinch! Many thanks to Katie@ Kitchen Stewardship for posting such a great recipe. You should really check out her post because she gives some tips and great recipes! I added a bunch of minced onions, garlic salt, and cheese to make a very flavorful cream of cheddar soup. It worked well in replacing the yummy sauce in our favorite Chicken Divane Casserole.


3/4 cup butter
3/4 c. whole wheat flour (can add more if you like a really thick base)
4 cups milk
2 cups homemade chicken stock (preferably condensed for added flavor)
Optional: Chopped onions


Melt butter over low heat. If using onions for extra flavor, saute in butter until limp. Add flour and whisk together until smooth. Cook 1 minute. Do not let it brown! Gradually add milk and chicken stock, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when sauce has thickened. This may take up to 15-20 minutes.


  • Cream of celery: Sautee a stalk or two of chopped celery with the butter before adding flour.
  • Cream of mushroom: Sautee chopped fresh mushrooms in butter.
  • Cream of broccoli: Add chopped steamed broccoli to the soup after it thickens.
  • Cheesy sauce: Add shredded cheese (sharp cheddar gives the most flavor) after removing from heat. Stir to melt.
  • If you want to make a big batch of soup and have different flavors, you can always saute mushrooms or celery separately and simply add to the finished soup, one can-equivalent at a time.