Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter

Delectable. I took some soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds and threw them in a food processor with a bit of maple syrup (I’ve also tried honey with excellent results) salt, coconut oil and cinnamon. It’s a delicious treat! Especially when served with apple slices. I know it’s not super pretty, but the taste more than makes up for it.

If you have soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds on hand, this is very easy to throw together. Otherwise, you can toast raw pumpkin seeds in a pan over medium heat on the stove until they start to brown, which also helps reduce enzyme inhibitors.

I’ve used a fair amount of cinnamon in this recipe because pumpkin seeds have a robust flavor and can handle it. I personally think that one tablespoon of maple syrup makes it sweet enough, but doesn’t give as good “maple flavor” as I want, hence the two tablespoons. But play around with the ratios, if you want. This will get pretty hard in the refrigerator because of the coconut oil, so let it soften at room temperature for a while before you serve it.

Whatever you do, make sure you put it out of reach of little people! After Elena and I had enjoyed amble servings of this treat, I took a shower. When I came out, she had already taken a spoon and polished the rest of it off! Oops. But yes, it’s that good. You will want to eat it off a spoon.


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Creamy Orange Curd & Holiday Giveaway of Beautiful Mandarins


Growing up, my mother would get boxes of mandarin oranges at Christmas time. How well I remember eating orange after orange while watching Christmas movies and reading books (my favorite hobby).  It was a very special treat and probably gave me a lot of vitamin C during cold and flu season!

Oranges are one of those foods that speak Christmas to me. As does desserts like orange curd…more on that in a second.

One of Real Food Media’s sponsors, Chaffin Family Orchards offered to send me a box of their mandarins and I said “Yes, please!” All those memories rushed back as I sampled these delicious sweet and tart oranges. And these are way better than my childhood ones because they are cultivated to organic standards (though not certified), the peels haven’t been treated in the least, and they came from old trees which means flavorful and sweet oranges.

After enjoying these for a day or two and loving how good they were, I asked Chris of Chaffin Family Orchards if he would like to do a giveaway of these beautiful oranges. I was thrilled that he agreed. One lucky reader will get a beautiful large box of mandarin oranges, worth 40 dollars retail. For the rest of you, I would definitely consider buying a box this Christmas season (shipping is free). They ship until December the 14th.


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Sweet Almond Cookies (Gluten, Grain and Dairy Free)

These simple cookies use only a few ingredients and are so delicious. Almonds are the main ingredient and flavor, making this cookies gluten and grain free as well as delicious. Slightly Sweetened with coconut (palm) sugar, these cookies are full of protein from the ground almonds and are perfect to pack in a lunch or to have with a cup of coffee after dinner. We served these to some guests last week, and they were well received (along with the caramel popcorn!).

But before we get to this delicious recipe, I have three items of news. First, I am thrilled to be going to the Weston A Price Conference this year! I am really looking forward to it, and if any of you are going I would love to get the chance to meet you face to face. Please drop me a note to let me know!

Secondly, I am speaking at a MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) group this upcoming Wednesday at a local church. My topic is Frugal and Green living-looking at food, household cleaners, and body care. I still have some writing to do for it, but have really enjoyed preparing for it and am also looking forward to presenting it. I have enjoyed teaching cooking classes, so I expect to enjoy this thoroughly as well. Blogging is great, but getting face to face with people is nice too.

Third, I am going to be starting a new series starting hopefully next week! The topic? I am not going to say quite yet, but you can be reassured that it’s both frugal and nourishing (and yummy!). Look for it next week.

Now on to the almond cookie recipe!


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$5 Dish: Scrumptious Pan Fried Apples

ng_panfriedapplesPennywise Platter is tomorrow!
Surprisingly sweet and rich, these pan fried apple slices are sweetened purely from the apple itself. As it cooks, it continues to sweeten as the apple releases it’s juices and the surface caramelizes.

So simple, yet so good! With just a few pantry items and a few minutes of cooking time you have a tasty treat. It’s also a very frugal dish. When we were on a grain free diet, having pan fried apples gave us a cheap snack/dessert that stretched our budget quite a bit. And it’s apple season around here now too! So it’s the perfect time to enjoy this!


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