Make Ahead Breakfast: Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread

Happy Thursday! I know some are preparing for a weekend full of rain while we are preparing for a little bit of a Fall cool-off here in Texas. In the spirit of crisp temperatures, I wanted to share a recipe I have been perfecting over the last two months, Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread! My family isn't Gluten or Diary Free but we do try to watch how much we consume, and anytime I can make a classic recipe like this healthier, I'm excited! I hope you enjoy this as much as my family and friends have!

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbl Molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice (I like a ton of spice but if you don't, leave this out)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 Tbl. Vanilla
 3 Tbl. unsweetened organic applesauce
3 tablespoons raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil or an oil mister and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, almond flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, Molasses, pumpkin, applesauce, vanilla and eggs.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well-incorporated. Note, the batter will be very thick. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the pepitas over the top if using.
4. Bake until golden brown, the bread lifts away from the edges of the pan a bit, and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. To store, wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil and keep at room temperature. Keeps well for 3-4 days

DAIRY OPTION: Sub melted butter on top for the coconut oil.
FOR BREASTFEEDING LADIES: Add 3 tbl. brewers yeast and increase brown sugar to 3/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup. This will help build up a good milk supply and increase fat content of milk.

Linking up with these great ladies today: Fabulous Foodie FridaysFoodie Friday and Everything ElseFoodie Friends FridayFoodieFriDIYFreedom FridaysFriday FavoritesI’m Lovin’ It, Weekend PotluckOur Mini Linky PartyLink Party PaloozaPretty Pintastic Party.


Video: Our Trip to Colorado

We are home from our week in Colorado! It was an amazing time in the mountains watching the leaves turn from green, to yellow and deep orange, celebrating six years of marriage, enjoying sweet friends and seeing our little guy go from baby to toddler before our eyes. Tanner and I kept looking at each other saying, "Did you just see what he did?" It is so amazing to watch them learn and explore! The weather was also just beautiful, Fall was in full force and we hear it snowed the day we left! So thankful for time with my boys and all the new memories we made! Here are a few we captured!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cups

These are my favorite pumpkin oatmeal cups and I'm so excited to share them with you! I hope you enjoy!

1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup + 2 tbl. Unsweet Organic Almond Milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup lite Maple pancake syrup

1/4 cup unsweet organic apple sauce
2 tbl.. vanilla extract
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. Salt
3 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (do not use quick-cook or instant)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a muffin tin with baking spray; set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, add the first 9 ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the oats, baking powder, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  5. Using a 1/4-cup measure to evenly distribute batter into each compartment. 
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are set both visually and when touched lightly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs dangling, but no batter. It is super important not to over bake these!  Don't overbake because muffins will be prone to drying out. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 20 minutes before removing and placing on a rack to cool completely


Wear: Picking Clothes for Family Pictures

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We left early, early on Saturday for a trip to Colorado. The cabin is far from cell service, so we are unplugging, drinking hot coco and making smores by the fire right about now. We are also taking another round of family pictures in the mountains for our Christmas card this year. We took pictures this summer when we visited and they turned out so nice, but I'm afraid little man is going to look like a different baby by the time Christmas cards roll around so round two is planned. In the spirt of our trip and the upcoming Christmas card outfit panic we all face, I thought I'd share the casual look we went with.

I hope y'all are having an amazing start to the week! Come back Thursday for my favorite Pumpkin muffins!!


Friday Favorites: Nine Healthy Cooking Blogs

I'm finding myself just loving cooking and baking right now. Feeds my soul to feed my people good, healthy options and its teaching me that there are great recipes that taste great and are a little better for us then the southern comfort food I tend to lean towards. Don't be fooled, we still feed our hearts that yummy goodness when it's needed! We live by the 80/20 rule; eat clean and healthy 80% of the time and enjoy anything you want the other 20%!

I find myself constantly looking at food blogs for inspiration so I thought I would share a few of my favorites incase you were looking for a little motivation yourself!

Hope you have a great weekend! We will be in Colorado next week with no cell service, unplugging and enjoying the Fall temps. I have a few posts planned but I'll be back to normal the following week!

Linking up with these great ladies today: Fabulous Foodie FridaysFoodie Friday and Everything ElseFoodie Friends FridayFoodieFriDIYFreedom FridaysFriday FavoritesI’m Lovin’ It, Weekend PotluckOur Mini Linky PartyLink Party PaloozaPretty Pintastic Party.


A Birth Story...

My little man is 14 months old but I typed this out last year wanting to share the story of his day and there is no expiration on it!

Lincoln's Birthday....
My pregnancy with Lincoln was sweet, challenging, exciting and humbling. I loved feeling each little kick and my mind constantly dreamed of what our little baby boy would look like, smell like and how this family of ours would change. I had the normal all-day sickness and typical pregnancy symtoms (you can read about trimester one and two) throughout his growing but all-in-all we were very blessed with a great time. Towards the end, things did get pretty uncomfortable when I developed  Pupps. While my case was not as sever as it could have been, I was miserable. Because of that and the fact that our little guy was measuring 2.5 weeks big, we were scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks 4 days; July 14, 2015. Here is the story of that sweet day...
Our bags were packed and our hearts were filled with excitement, nerves and joy that morning. We were told to check-in at 7:00 AM and decided to leave early for our last breakfast as a family of two at Kerby Lane. At 5:30 AM, as we grabbed our bags to walk out the door, I got a call from the hospital explaining that a few high-risk patients came in during the night that required more nursing care and they were unable to induce us at 7:00 AM. The nurse was kind and explained I was second in line. I can imagine the job of calling parents and telling them they weren't going to get to meet their little one like that thought isn't an easy one. She said if I didn't hear back by 9:00 AM, to call the charge nurse for an update. Surprisingly I was very calm with the news, I must have known it was still going to happen. We decided to continue to Kerby Lane and had a leisurely breakfast. We tried to carry on conversation like it was a normal day and soak up the ever fleeting time of just the two of us, but we were both taken with excitement. I had the attention span of a nat.

We arrived back at the house around 8:00 AM and decided to lay down and watch a little Netflix and relax. At 9:00 AM I got up to get my phone and just as I dialed the number to the hospital, I got a call saying, "We are ready for you to come in and have this baby!". Our hearts jumped and we immediately gathered our things and drove to the hospital. I always wondered how it would feel driving to the hospital, knowing we were about to meet our son. I couldn't believe we were actually making that trip. We arrived at 9:40 AM, checked-in and met our nurses in the room 261. They were sweet and comforting as my nervous laugh explained I had no idea how this worked. They walked us though what the next few hours would look like and left me to change into a gown and get into bed. Tanner was giddy and just so sweet. As I climbed into the delivery bed all I could think about was the impending IV. To be quite honest, the only thing about child birth that concerned me was the IV and epidural. I mean that's the hardest part of labor & delivery, right?!? (Are you laughing at me right now?)
A little before 10:00 AM my doctor arrived and was none to happy to see I was not hooked up and receiving my antibiotics (I tested positive for Step B and needed a round of antibiotics before she could break my water). I think she knew at this point that she was unlikely to deliver due to time and was a bit frustrated. She checked me and said I was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced. She planned to return around noon to brake my water. Quickly after she left, they did labs and started the IV and antibiotic. The IV was as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I boy was I relieved to have it done! After the antibiotic was finished they started the Pitocin and we settled in. Our family arrived at the hospital while I was getting hooked up and was eager to come in and say hello. While we were visiting Tanner started the essential oil defuser and put on some country music. Each time the staff came in they joked about how our room was making the hall smell amazing. I'm so happy we did these little things; they made the room so peaceful and relaxing.

At 12:00 PM my doctor came back to break my water. I was still dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced and my contractions were present but not regular. As the family left the room she looked at Tanner and I and jokingly said, "Are you ready? There is no turning back after this!" We laughed and the party got started. Can I just say, holy moly...the amount of water that exited my body was insane. This was probably one of the things that surprised me the most. They said I had a ton of fluid, but goodness...it was a river the rest of the day!

All during my pregnancy I told my doctor how the women in my family progressed quickly after their water broke and sure enough I followed in their footsteps. My contractions almost immediately picked up and grow more intense and frequent. By 2:30 the pain was overpowering. I was unable to talk through the contractions and couldn't find relief; I knew it was time to ask for the epidural. Shortly after I requested it a sweet anesthesiologist came in and they moved me to the edge of the bed. To be honest, this wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Once the area was numb and the initial part was complete, it was bearable. I was more focused on the contractions I was having then the epidural at that point. She administered a bolus and then explained it would take 30 minute to fully kick in. 30 minutes later, I was still in a lot of pain and the nurses brought her back to administer another bolus. If this didn't work, we were going to have to remove it and try again. I prayed it would kick in and sure enough it did within 15 minutes. By 4:00 I was feeling much better and my contractions were good and strong. I could still feel them but the pain was very manageable; just want I wanted.

At 5:00 PM my doctor came back in and checked me, she said we were complete. Tanner and I looked at her and said, "Ok, how dilated are we?" She laughed and said, "I was wondering why y'all weren't more excited...You are fully dilated and effaced!" We were shocked! Once the pain was managed and I relaxed my body progressed quickly; I went from a 3 to a 10 in 1.5 hours.

During that time our little guy had flipped and was now sunny side up. She tried to manually turn him many time but he wasn't moving. Around 5:15 she had me start flipping between my right and left side to see if we could help him turn. Although I was ready to push, she didn't want me to start given his position. First time moms tend to have a longer labor and sunny-side up babies are much harder to push out. Around 6:00 PM she checked me and said baby boy was not budging and we were ready to begin pushing.

My doctor was suppose to head home around 5 PM (she had a sick child at home and a husband that was scheduled for surgery the next day) but she ended up staying until 7:00 PM. Knowing that I had her and my amazing nurses for another hour motivated me. With our George Strait playing, the sent of lavender in the air and my sweet husband at my side, we started pushing. The first ten minutes my doctor and nurses coached me through technique and encouraged positive movement. My doctor kept telling me that I was such a great pusher and I have to say it felt like I was in a rhythm. After 20 minutes we could see a little hair on his head. Tanner was so overwhelmed with excitement at this point; our baby boy was right there. Little did we know it would still be a while before he made is debut. Around 7 PM, after an hour of pushing, my doctor had to leave. The on-call doctor for our practice had been there for 15 minutes and had been coaching me along. While I felt very comfortable with her, I did shed a few tears with my doctor left. My nurses said they were going to stay as long as they could which made the doctor transition much easier. I have to tell you having such amazing doctors and three nurses there cheering me on made such a difference.

The last 45 minutes of pushing were very intense for me. I would have to say this was the most surprising part of the labor and delivery process. Everyone talks about the "pressure" you will feel during delivery but I don't think I was quite prepared for just how intense that would be. As I mentioned above, the only thing I really had anxiety about was the IV and epidural. As the pushing grew more and more intense and he moved further and further down I started to feel very anxious about the pressure getting more intense...it already felt like I was going to tear. Tanner was so calming and kept encouraging me through each set of pushes. We focused on breathing and pushing and at 7:45 I gave three sets of pushes in a row and delivered Lincoln on the last full push. He came out face up looking at daddy. The amount of relief that come over my body when he come out is more than I could ever explain. They immedantly place him on my chest and all I could do was hold him and say, "Hi baby". With Tanner holding me and feeling this little boy on my skin, my world just stopped. As I write this out, I feel this intense want to experience this day all over again.


Make Ahead Snack: Vegan Granola Bars

This week we are moving from make-ahead lunches to snacks. My little man is on the move 24/7 and needs little snacks throughout the day. I've struggled with finding easy to prep, healthy, clean options for him. We are not perfect, child has had french fries and chick-fa-la, but as much as I can give him healthy options I'm committed to do it. I first started making these last Fall for breastfeeding snacks and they have been perfect for busy toddlers too. You can make multiple batches at a time and freeze for up to 2 months or keep in the fridge for up to 10 days! Let me know what you think!

15 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tbl. Vanilla
2 tbl. Water
1/2 cup Pepita Seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup Almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Hemp Hearts
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
2 tbl. Flax Seed Meal

2 tbl. Chia Seed
2 tbl. unsweetened shredded coconut
Coconut oil

1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with wax paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil and set aside. 

2. Add dates, vanilla and cinnamon to a food processor and process until the dates have broken down into a paste. If you notice the mixture is very dry, add 1-2 tbl. water until it turns into a paste.

3. Transfer the date paste to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients (except shredded coconut), mixing well to ensure that everything is fully combined.

4. Transfer the mixture into your prepared baking pan, using your fingers or a spatula to ensure that it is pressed down firmly and evenly. Sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut over top and press down a bit, then cover and refrigerate. I try to make these after baby is down for the night to allow for them to firm up over night before cutting them into bars or squares  Store bars in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze.

Let me know what you think!

Linking up with these great ladies today: Crafty and Delicious, Wednesday's Wisdom, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Worthwhile Wednesdays, Wow Me Wednesday, Your Whim Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Wine'd Down Wednesday, Wednesday Roundup.Full Plate Thursday, Home Matters Linky Party, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, The Creative Exchange, The Inspiration Gallery, Artsy Fartsy, Thursday Favorite Things, Handmade Hangout, Weekend Blog Hop, Create It Thursday.
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