Kid-Friendly Chocolate Protein Balls (with greens!) .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

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These have been a new favorite in our house.

In fact as soon as I finish typing this, I’m going to go make some more…because we’ve been out for 2 days and that is just unacceptable.

These are completely delicious, easy, kid and husband friendly.

I present you with ….

KID-FRIENDLY CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BARS!

They take 15 minutes to make and are loaded with all sorts of good stuff from the protein to spirulina and hemp seeds.  It’s like the super hero of the peanut butter cup!

I eat one for breakfast before I work out.  😉

and then one after the workout….

and maybe another one a few hours later.

Hmmm maybe I’m addicted.

O-well.  There are worse things.

I won’t keep you any longer.  I know you want to go make them now.  How can you not?

If you try these out, make sure to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @indiemamalife  I love to see your creations!

XOXO

Kid-Friendly Chocolate Protein Balls (with greens!) .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

Prep Time: 20 minutes

16

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup nut butter (I use a blend of sunflower seed and almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup natural or vanilla flavored vegan protein powder (I like Vega, Bob's Redmill or Sunwarrior Brand)
  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal or crunchy cereal of choice (I used purple corn-flakes)
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1-3 TBS plant-based milk (if needed)
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks (I use Enjoy life brand)
  • 1 TBS hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a small saucepan, warm up nut butter, cereal, spirulina and protein powder. Mix well.
  3. If mixture is too dry to stick together, add a few tablespoons of plant-based milk. If it's too moist, add a few teaspoons of protein powder.
  4. Use your hands to roll mixture into 16 one-inche balls and place them on the baking sheet.
  5. With a double-broiler, melt chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally until completely melted.
  6. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, turning to coat. Use a fork or spoon to remove each ball from the chocolate.
  7. Place on baking sheet to cool and sprinkle with hemp seeds.
  8. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours to set. If you are impatient (like I am), you can expedite the cooling by placing the balls in the freezer for a few moments.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. Store in fridge.
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https://www.theindiehomestead.com/kid-friendly-chocolate-protein-balls-with-greens-gluten-free-vegan/

*Adaptation of Vegan Vitality’s Chocolate Protein Balls

 

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Snackaroons by Laughing Giraffe .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

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Eat Well.  Be Well.  Live Better.

That’s the slogan that the company Laughing Giraffe lives by.

I have the same values so you can imagine how excited I was when I received a package in the mail FULL of all the Snackaroons from this awesome company.  The boys and I couldn’t wait to open it.

They sent us all the flavors to try and I honestly don’t love one more than the other.  There is a flavor for every mood and they are all delicious.

It’s so nice to be able to purchase raw, vegan snacks for on the go that aren’t full of a bunch of preservatives and sugar.  These are healthy snacks full of vitamins and minerals.  The boys love them so a bag of them usually goes along with us to play-dates and homeschool meetups.  The best part is that you can find them at common grocery stores.  I pick them up locally at Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Theo and my husband enjoy the lemon the most and Milo prefers the vanilla and lemon.

I’m mostly about the chocolate, but like I said, I love all the flavors.

Thank you so much to Laughing Giraffe for sharing your wonderful products with us.  We’ve been enjoying them so much and sharing them with all our friends.

XOXO

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Savory & Smokey Butternut Squash Soup .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

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I remember the first time that I had butternut squash soup.  I fell in love and I learned that it’s actually really REALLY easy to make.  Soup in general is a really easy, healthy meal.  It usually don’t take very long and is packed with so many nutrients.  Plus, soup is tasty!  Especially on a cold winter afternoon or evening.

Growing up, soup in our house was usually delivered by can.  I don’t understand this because my mom was a great cook and baker and soup?  Well, like I mentioned, it’s easy.

For whatever reason, she wasn’t a big soup maker.

Fast forward to my early 20’s when we lived in NE Oregon and I was changing my diet drastically to plant-based and gluten-free.  Soups were my savior.  So much that my family got really sick of soup.  I made it….A LOT!

Now-a-days I am more balanced in the winter.  I make a fair share of soups, but other meals grace our kitchen as well. 😉

Butternut squash has to be one of the easiest.  This recipe is no exception.

It only has a handful of ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  It makes a large pot, so you’ll have plenty for leftovers or to share with your neighbors.

 

It’s oil-free

creamy

savory

with a hint of smokey and spice

and delicious.

Serve it with a small salad and some garlic toast.

I hope you enjoy it!

If you make it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @indiemamalife or Facebook -indiemamahealth so that I can see your tasty creation!

Happy soup making!

XO

Savory & Smokey Butternut Squash Soup .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 32 oz of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions

Instructions

  1. Peel, de-seed and cube butternut squash.
  2. In a large pot, bring the broth, water and squash to a boil. Turn to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  3. While the squash is boiling, cook the onion and garlic in a small skillet with a splash of water until translucent or about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked onions and garlic, spices and liquid smoke to the large pot with the squash.
  5. Mix in a pinch of sea salt and pepper and stir all together.
  6. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the squash mixture into a smooth, creamy soup.
  7. Season to taste and serve with avocado, green onion and cracked pepper on top.
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https://www.theindiehomestead.com/savory-smokey-butternut-squash-soup-gluten-free-vegan/

 

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4 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Greens

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The one concern I hear from parents constantly is that they can’t get their children to eat healthy food.  Or that they won’t eat anything green.  People are surprised when they hear that both my children eat salad.  It’s been something that we’ve introduced from the beginning.  Green smoothies and green juices were the first food that my boys tasted.  Going deeper than that…I lived on green smoothies, juices and salads while pregnant and breastfeeding with both of them.

I have a free webinar that talks all about this coming soon. You can sign up for that here.

In the mean time, lets talk about 4 fun tricks that you can do to help get more greens into your kids.  More greens=more vitamins and minerals and that’s the most important.  It doesn’t matter so much HOW we are getting these important nutrients into our kids, but that it happens.

 

  1. DISGUISE THEM IN A POPSICLE 

    I’ve heard more than once from parents that their children don’t like smoothies.  Most kids do enjoy a popsicle though.  Especially ones that are shaped like dinosaurs or space ships.  We have these ones and the kids loves them.  My oldest son has been going through a anti-smoothie stage.  It can be the most delicious smoothie on the planet and he’s like…”meh.” Put that same smoothie in a dinosaur popsicle mold though and he’ll eat 3.

    Make them fun and colorful.  Add two different smoothie flavors or pieces of fruit if your kids like that.  Let them help.  It’s always exciting to see the popsicle be made and they get to experience a little bit of science too as the popsicle transforms from a liquid to a solid.

    If you would like some kid-friendly popsicle recipes, go grab my free DinoMite E-Cookbook. 

  2. MAKE A SMOOTHIE BOWL

    You can pretty much put anything in a smoothie bowl.  Sneak some greens like spinach or kale in the smoothie/nice cream and plop it in a bowl.  Top it with whatever they want!  Raisins, fruit, granola, cereal, chocolate chips…the possibilities are endless.  It also gives them the room to be creative with their food and to make their own choices.  Berries and acai will cover up any green color or you can make a “Incredible Hulk” smoothie bowl that’s bright green.

  3. DISGUISE THEM IN GUACAMOLE

    Disguise your greens in something else like guacamole or soup.  Both my boys love avocado and they eat it in rice, on a burrito or bread or use it as a dip.  I will make guacamole or purchase some freshly made from our favorite grocery store.  I chop some lettuce up super fine (you could even use a food processor) and I mix it into the guacamole.  If your child doesn’t like guacamole, you can disguise finely chopped greens in soups, rice bowls, on top of a sandwich or in quesadillas etc.  You get the point.  Start small.  Add a tsp of greens at first and build up to more.  Use different greens.  Spinach and kale are both great to cook with and we rotate raw butter head, red and green lettuce and baby mixed greens for salad often.  This is how I introduced greens to both boys when they were small and couldn’t chew the fibrous greens that well.  As their palate grows, you can introduce kale and chard.

  4. USE LETTUCE AS A BOAT

    This is something that we do often in our house.  We use lettuce as “boats” a lot.  You simply wrap up whatever food you are eating into a lettuce wrap…aka “boat”.  You can even wrap up a banana with peanut or almond butter in lettuce.  I usually use romaine or butter head for this.  Kale works too, but if you are in the beginning stages of introducing greens to your kids, romaine and butter head have a more mild taste and are easier to chew.  Make it fun!  Add raisin eyes to your banana boat.  Create fun scenes on your child’s plate, with a pirate ship “boat”.  Add a cute toothpick sail and tell them that they are the dreaded Black Beard Pirate that eats the boats.  Do whatever fun experience that you can think of to encourage them to try this fun way of eating greens.  If they only eat one bite the first time, that’s great!  Their palate will change over time.

 

There ya have it!  4 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Salad.

Let me know if you try any of these and if they work.  Remember, if it doesn’t work the first time, stick it out.  Give a new taste several tries before going back to the drawing board.  Also remember that kids change their minds constantly.  We have to continue to be creative.  What they like one day, may be “disgusting” tomorrow.  😉 You aren’t alone.  We are ALL going through this.

 

If you want more information on how to get your child to eat healthier, join the waiting list for my Vibrant Healthy Families Challenge.  I’ll be jump-starting the challenge with a FREE “7 Ways to Get Your Child to Eat Healthier” webinar.XOXO

 

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Kids Halloween Green Smoothie .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

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It’s that time of year again.  It’s the start of the holiday season that is full of junk food and calories and all things sugar.  Halloween seems to jump start this unhealthy trend and from there we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With our children bombarded with all these sugary temptations, it’s important for our family to emphasize the healthy foods. Milo is 5 this year and it’s the first year that he’s really been obsessed with candy.  It’s alarming and I don’t like it!

Every year, I take the “really unhealthy candy” that the boys collect trick-or-treating and replace it with a bag of “healthier candy” and little gifts, like Legos from the “Switch Witch.”  The idea isn’t new, but I first saw this idea from another fabulous vegan mama, Ellen Fisher.

The boys know that I’m the Switch Witch and they love it.  I wanted to get a photo of a Switch Witch bag that I put together, but as always, the festivities are chaotic and go by so quickly.  I make chocolate or purchase chocolate that is vegan and gluten-free.  I also have been able to find other chewy candies and fruit snacks that are both vegan and gluten-free.  Really they like the Legos more than anything else.  It allows them to be part of the festivities and not be interested in the “unhealthy candy”.  When it comes to the Switch Witch, A lot of people have their children leave their trick-or-treat bag overnight….like the Easter Bunny and the Switch Witch exchanges their bag for a new, healthier bag.  This is fun, but I actually find that it’s easier to navigate trick-or-treating when I bring the Switch Witch bags with me.  I can give the boys a candy to munch on while we are doing festivities and give them their bag as soon as they are done, so that they can look at their goodies at the same time their friends are.

After trick-or-treating over the weekend, I made this fun, bright green smoothie to start the week off right.

It has spinach, protein powder (optional), a frozen banana, almond milk, water, ice and Hawaiian spirulina to give it that ghoulish green color.

Lately we’ve been including more protein powders into our smoothies.  I feel like they sustain me a little longer, especially after I work out and I know that the boys can benefit from a little extra protein as well for their growing bodies.

I really like the Vega Protein Powders and also Bob Redmill’s Vanilla Protein Powder

I alternate between the two.

Of course green smoothies are ALWAYS fun for green mustaches.

I hope you enjoy and have a Happy Halloween!

XO

PS Don’t forget to grab my FREE kid’s Green Smoothie and Juice E-Book!  It has cute dinosaur facts, names and photos that make smoothies more fun!

Kids Halloween Green Smoothie .:. Gluten-Free & Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp Hawaiian Spirulina
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • Water to blend

Instructions

  1. Throw all your ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
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https://www.theindiehomestead.com/kids-halloween-green-smoothie-gluten-free-vegan/

 

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