Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweets for my Sweets, No Refined Sugar for My Honeys.

when i picked sylvia up from school the other day she asked me what i brought for her.  i asked her "what do you mean? i brought you my love." she answered, "no, mom. i mean a treat."  i must admit that i was a bit saddened that she did not consider me a treat but i decided not to make this about my lack of confidence that day, so,  i pretended to not understand but i knew exactly what she meant. i asked her "what's a treat?" she got frustrated very quickly and replied, "you know...something good to eat."  i kept the frustration going. "oh! you want a cucumber? i have lots at home!" she begged, "MOM! STOP!"  i teased, "then what? what's a treat?" finally she cut to the chase, "something sweet. a treat is something sweet."  to most kids, i suppose it is.

the food we feed our family should be as pure, nourishing and full of love as the hugs and kisses we unconditionally give them.  i don't know about you, but i don't give my family processed hugs and kisses.  pure, authentic love and pure, authentic food to grow big and strong physically as well as emotionally, that's what i strive to bring to "the table."  when i know that something is not good for my family i stay far away from it.  according to nancy appleton, PhD (Suicide by Sugar), sugar is our #1 national addiction and is ruining our health. appleton states that sugar can be attributed to at least 140 problems and life threatening illnesses including suppressing the immune system, upsetting mineral relationships in the body, hyperactivity, anxiety, food allergies, cardiovascular disease, impairing the structure of DNA, gallstones, cancer, addiction, inflammation, alcoholism and much, much more.  

i am a fiercely protective mother bear and i work hard to make my family happy.  one of the best ways i can do this is by keeping them healthy.  as a rule we stay away from all packaged, processed & pasteurized foods, keep gluten to a minimum, traditionally prepare our grains, legumes & nuts, avoid refined sugars, flours and immune suppressant foods in general. we drink lots of pure, filtered water and steer clear of "drugs."  i get teased quite often at birthday parties and family functions when we are offered sugary "treats" when i politely, and sometimes not-so-politely (when pushed to the edge with "come on, a cookie won't kill them,") decline.  believe it or not, sugar has been proven to be more addictive than cocaine, so actually, a cookie or a cupcake could lead to a lifetime of trouble, addiction and illness.  (check this video out).

my daughter's amazing kindergarten teacher (who totally gets it and respects my parenting choices) emails me the night before there is a birthday celebration in class so i can pack an appropriate treat and syl won't feel "left out" when the cupcakes are passed around.  henry's nursery school teacher does the same. thank you, brooke.  as far as i can tell, my kids don't feel left out at all. they know that we do things a bit differently and that's okay with them. it took a little getting used to at first but now they have adapted to our sweet treat routine.  they like having some-thing special that mum makes just for them and look forward to our treats that we make all together as a family at home.   

what differentiates these treats from others?  for starters, all ingredients are fresh, organic and whole. there are no additives, preservatives,  ingredients with numbers or names you can't pronounce.  we use real butter, real pastured eggs, sprouted flour that is easier to digest, healthy fat like extra virgin coconut oil that contains natural anti-bacterials, anti-fungals and lauric acid (found in human breast milk), sea salt, properly soaked nuts and nut butters, enzyme rich raw honey, nutrient dense raw dairy and gut healing bovine gelatin.  each treat is naturally sweetened with local, raw honey or local grade b maple syrup.  i choose to not use agave syrup because it is not a natural sweetener. i wish it were the healthy, miracle sweetener it is hyped to be but, in fact, it is a highly processed product that has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

the following are our favorite "sweet treat" recipes. at any given time you can find one (or sometimes all) in our home just waiting to be enjoyed.  i invite you to make them and see just how delicious they are.  i am confident that you will feel satisfied by the flavor, texture, healthy fat content and yumminess that will quickly make you feel like a kid again, and your kids feel very special. as a matter of fact i think that these recipes might just become a regular part of the way you bring your naturally sweet family2table

NOTE: some recipes have been adapted from previously existing recipes handed down to me from incredibly talented cooks and generous friends and family. thank you all for your creativity, wisdom, love and inspiration!

1 cup organic coconut flour
6 pastured eggs
2 ripe bananas
2 TBS melted butter
2 TBS xtra virgin coconut oil (Nutiva)
2 TBS milk
2 TBS raw honey
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix coconut flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. mash bananas and set aside. combine eggs, milk, honey, coconut oil, butter, vanilla and salt. add mashed bananas and incorporate well. add dry ingredients and blend. fill muffin cups in a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. FOR CUPCAKES - frost with real cold butter whipped with vanilla and maple syrup to taste. add whipped cream, chocolate powder or cream cheese to frosting for delicious variations.

1/2 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup grade b maple syrup
3 tablespoons xtra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 cup shiloh farms sprouted whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped crispy almonds (these are almonds that have been soaked in sea salt & water overnight and then dehydrated for 12 hours at 100 degrees & then crisped on a metal tray in a warm oven)
Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, combine natural almond butter, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, along with chopped almonds, and stir until just combined.  Let sit for five minutes.  Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, flatten to about 1/3 of an inch and place onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 -15 minutes.  Makes 15 cookies.

1/2 cup xtra virgin coconut oil (gently heat and measure as liquid)
3/4 cup organic chocolate powder (pick a high quality organic brand for the best taste)
2-3 Tablespoon raw orange blossom honey 2-3 TBS. dessicated organic coconut
melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler.

add the honey to taste (if there's too much honey it's overbearing and won't harden properly). don't cook! just heat till it's melted or you'll destroy the live enzymes in the honey.
add dessicated coconut and incorporate. stir well to keep honey dispersing throughout.
pour into molds (you can use ice cube trays) and put in freezer. should be hard and ready to eat in about 15 minutes.  store in refrigerator.
4 pastured eggs yolks (save whites for pavlovas - we'll get to that another day)
1/2 cup grade b maple syrup
1 TBS organic vanilla extract
1 fresh vanilla bean
1 TBS arrowroot powder
3 cups heavy cream (preferably raw but definitely not ultra-pasteurized - i like Ronnybrook)
Beat egg yolks. blend in maple syrup, vanilla extract, vanilla pods from the bean - split bean down the middle and use a knife to scrape out pods), arrowroot and finally, the cream. blend well and pour into an ice cream maker. **Make sure the freezing bowl from the maker has been in the freezer for at least 48 hours before churning).  Churn for 20 minutes. transfer to a glass bowl, cover and store in freezer.


3/4 cup raw cream
3/4 cup raw milk
1 TBS Bernard Jensen's bovine gelatin
1 TBS + 1 tsp. raw orange blossom honey
1 cap full organic vanilla extract
1/4 vanilla bean

gently warm 1/4 cup cream to not above 100 degrees in order to dissolve the gelatin
turn off heat, add honey and continue to stir to dissolve.

add vanilla extract and cut vanilla bean and let steep
add remaining cold cream and milk and let flavors bloom
strain through mesh sieve into measuring cup
pour into individual ramekins
place in refrigerator
should be a solid pudding in about an hour.

VARIATIONS - instead of vanilla, steep with lavender flowers, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon zest etc 


  1. Wonderful!!!!
    Many questions:
    -- What do you mean by "natural" almond butter?
    -- Is dessicated organic coconut hard to find? I'm figuring it's different from dried coconut or coconut flour. Is it essential to the chocolate?
    -- Is bovine gelatin something I might find locally or a mail-order item?

    So glad to hear someone else say agave is just fructose. And by the way, often contaminated with heavy metals in the extraction process.

  2. Lovely recipes ... I was disappointed to discover that agave is just an evil sugar concoction a few months ago ... What would recommend I use as a substitue for honey for my baby?
    Whilst I agree with the ideology of much of what you are saying I wonder if it, perhaps, runs the risk of drawing children TO sugar as its something forbidden ...? We try to eat as well as possible but DD (9ms) is already checking what's on our plates and wants to eat exactly what we eat so we've had to clean up our act! We are totally GF and next to no dairy, we avoid refined sugars but we are only human so when we have a dessert (on occasion) we allow DD to try some in order to avoid the interest that could be created from denying it.
    We are keen to not use sugar, or any food for that matter as a bribe or a reward. EVER!

    Great post ... glad I discovered you!

  3. Aari, here are some answers to your questions.

    -- What do you mean by "natural" almond butter?
    look for a product that is Raw, organic and no extra ingredients. warning: it an be expensive.
    the one I buy is $9.99 but i have seen certain jars for $24. OY!

    -- Is dessicated organic coconut hard to find? I'm figuring it's different from dried coconut or coconut flour. Is it essential to the chocolate?
    it is organic dried, shredded coconut. very easy to find. it is not essential but i love it. you can create many variations on this
    chocolate. chopped nuts, chopped dry fruit, citrus peel, etc. think about what you like in chocolate and pass that on.

    -- Is bovine gelatin something I might find locally or a mail-order item?
    it is an online thing and there is a link built into the recipe on the blog.
    here it is again:

  4. Hi Mummy! so glad you discovered me, too! i know very well what you are talking about regarding DD. at 9 months curiosity is very high and that's great! my children were ripping food out my hands all the time so i made sure that everything i was eating was good for them. especially since i was on a good nursing diet - they reaped the benefits as well.

    we were very strict and did not let our children taste sweet treats until they were 2 years old. i remember sylvia did not like ice cream for the longest time. now she loves it. we don't eat refined sugar at all so once we let them have a taste of what we were eating it was cool. we practice and model good eating habits and teach them about anatomy, physiology and nutrition every day of their lives. we talk about why we don't eat certain things and explain why our diet is so good for us. our children help us pick out our food at the markets, prepare food in the kitchen and we always eat together and give thanks for who or whatever sacrificed life, time, effort, etc. to bring the food to our table so that we may bring our family2table and enjoy the blessings of vibrant health. blessings to you and your family.

  5. Yummmy recipes, thank you!

    I would choose a school where they don't SERVE unhealthy food or advocate that they change their policies. Our Waldorf school doesn't soak flours but at least they use organic whole grains, legumes, whole brown rice, and so on. The teacher has a great birthday muffin recipe for parties that the birthday parents are required to make for the class, made from whole grains, real maple syrup, etc. IT is served with organic whole whipped cream and sliced fruit and the kids love it. It's probably the closest you can get to one thing that will make everyone happy, since not everyone is NT or Raw, etc. (PS There is a beautiful personalized birth story-telling, ritual, crown, gift-giving of handmade gifts, etc for each birthday child. So it's a meaningful, nourishing celebration crowned with a nourishing meal).

  6. My pleasure, Marianna & thank YOU! that's gorgeous information. I am going to suggest to our teacher that we have a required birthday "cake" recipe as well, brilliant! thanks again. I personally LOVE the Waldorf philosophy and implementation of real food in the classroom. I have a few friends whose children attend and i am always jealous when i hear their stories!! thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. best, emily

  7. Marianna or Emily-
    Would you mind sharing that birthday muffin recipe? Or emily do you have a birthday cake recipe you can recommend? My daughters bday is coming up! Thanks

  8. i highly recommend the banana coconut flour muffin recipe dori. they are amazing when frosted like a cupcake with real butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and real whipped cream.

  9. These look amazing! Question: is chocolate powder different from cocoa powder?

  10. I just discovered your blog from your guest post on The Healthy Home Economist. I can't wait to read more. I'm 5 months pregnant with my first, and planning on keeping our little one sugar free for as long as possible. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  11. I just read your guest post at The Healthy Home Economist. I loved it!! Am sharing on facebook etc... So glad to discover your blog.

    I would love it if you could share a good frosting recipe like the one you mentioned in the comments - I never frost my baked goods but my daughter had a special request and I wasn't sure if I need to compensate with additional ingredients when replacing honey or maple syrup for the normal white sugar.

  12. HI emily, Someone sent me a link to your blog and I am now following you. Your recipes for healthy real food treats are yummy looking! You really should stop over to A Moderate Life and link up to our Tuesday Hearth and Soul Hop which features food from your hearth made for your soul. All the best, Alex@amoderatelife

  13. hey there kung fu! thanks for reading. chocolate powder and cocoa powder are the same in this case. i use shiloh farms organic cocoa powder but you can use whatever cocoa powder you like best. enjoy!

  14. hi lisa,
    thanks for reading family2table today! as far as frostings go i don't have a set recipe although now i think i need to write one. what i usually do is start with either cold, but soft butter or cream cheese (quark will work nicely). i make my cream cheese by straining a quart of really good whole milk yogurt. i prefer raw of course but pasteurized is fine too. you drip it all day until you get 2 cups of whey. adjust your
    quantities depending on how much you will need to frost but i generally
    start with a cup of butter or cream cheese and whip it, slowly adding
    maple syrup or raw honey until i achieve the perfect sweetness. then i hit it with a tsp. of vanilla extract. then i like to whip a cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks and slowly fold the cream into the butter or cream mixture. when i achieve a good balance on that i refrigerate it for an hour to let the flavors bloom.

    i take it out of the fridge with enough time to soften up slightly to spread on the cakes, muffins or cookies. my children like to do the spreading themselves. a variation on this would be to make a fruit butter using berries, bananas, applesauce or spiced pumpkin puree and spreading that as a frosting. this variation supplies a nice spectrum of color as well as flavor. when i have the official recipe i will email you or post it to the blog - or both! play with the flavors and see what you like best. let me know what you come up with, i am always interested in new flavors. thanks again for reading!

  15. thank you for sharing your passion for keeping your family healthy. i added you to my goggle reader and was wondering if you had a cookbook that you would recommend? thanks again! i;m so glad that i found your blog.

  16. Beautiful photos and yummy looking recipes. Could you tell me how many muffins the banana recipe makes? I think we will give those a try for my baby's first "cupcake" on his birthday this weekend. I will let you know how they go over!

  17. hey there crunchy pickle,
    the recipe yields 12 small-medium muffins or 6 large muffins. so excited this will be your baby's 1st "cupcake." please send me a photo!

  18. Hi Emily -

    The banana "cupcakes" were a big hit. I did the frosting the way that you suggested with the recipe. Some members of my family thought they were a bit dense, which is often the case with coconut flour products and I had made extra large muffins. I decided I should have used my mini-muffin tin so that the ratio of frosting to muffin would be more balanced - then they would have been perfect for everyone!

    The baby couldn't get enough of them! I would be happy to share some photos - where should I send them?

  19. please send photos to and thanks!

  20. Great-looking recipes! Homemade ice cream is one of our favorite treats. First question: how did you prevent your second child from having sugar for two years when your first was visibly enjoying it?

    Also, what would you recommend for a child who had sugar earlier? We didn't give our daughter anything sweet until her first birthday, when we made berry pie. After that she had sweet thing very occasionally, and almost always things that I had made (or at least approved, like good local ice cream). But now that she is almost 3, it seems impossible to keep her away from sugar. We live on a campus with a lot of other families, and cookies and cake seem to be everywhere! It seems like we have to be hermits in order to cling to our principles! I have tried to put her off by telling her she can have a special treat at home if she waits, but that doesn't always work - and I don't always have something, because I'm not much of a baker. I do bread and I cook, but I never get around to making cookies and muffins and things. Thankfully, she does view fresh fruit as a treat too, so that sometimes works. Because our daughter is such a good eater in other ways (she eats everything, begs for more cod liver oil, and tries new foods without a thought) I guess I have been hoping that the occasional cookie at a birthday party won't harm her.

    Also, I don't like to be ungracious when people are being hospitable and offering food to us. Finally, although my husband is very supportive of how I feed our family, he does succumb to sweets when we are at other people's houses, so it is hard to tell our daughter that she can't have a cookie if Papa is eating one! Sorrt for the long post, but I would love your (and anyone's!) feedback.

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