Easy Hot Chocolate in the Crockpot for Cold Winter Days

Some nights I just want to throw stuff into my small 2 quart crockpot and have a warm drink for the kids when we wake up. This recipe is a great, low effort take on a classic winter comfort drink, and so easy!

hug in a mug

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • cream, milk, or nut milk
  • water
  • (optional) 1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or date syrup for depth of flavor
  • (optional) 1/4 tsp beetroot powder–my kids like to have pink cocoa ­čÖé

Directions:

  1. Combine cocoa powder, salt, sweetener, beet powder, and syrup/honey in crockpot.
  2. Fill crockpot to the top with water. Whisk as well as you can (it won’t incorporate perfectly) and set crockpot on low overnight.
  3. In the morning add vanilla extract. Blend in a bullet or use immersion blender for frothiness.
  4. Spoon into mugs and serve with cream, milk, or nut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Thanksgiving Carrot Apple Pecan “Pie” (gluten and grain free)

This is a wonderful blend of nostalgic fall flavors mixed into one nutty, sweet slice. Everything easy, leftover, and extra, not already used in a recipe or set aside for something to be cooked later, thrown into one pan of magic. We made this for Thanksgiving breakfast. It can be dessert. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, although the kids preferred milk.

There is no crust. There is no fuss. Simply mix it all together, pour it in a pan, and bake!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar/swerve
  • 2-3 carrots shredded
  • 1-2 large apple, shredded
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1/8 cup coconut or almond flour (to thicken)
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Shred apple and carrot with a food processor or cheese grater.
  3. In a large bowl mix carrot, apple, pecans, sweeteners, flour, flaxseed, spices, and coffee. Taste (make sure you like it!) Adjust to taste.
  4. Add oil and eggs. Mix well.
  5. Spread into greased pan or baking tin. Bake 40-45 minutes or until visibly set.
  6. Allow to cool and serve.

Stuffing with Sausage (gluten and grain free)

Thanksgiving is here, and this year some of us have extra time to play around with new recipes. Why not experiment with a fun, nutritious twist on a classic side? I have taken this to family gatherings and there is never leftovers! It’s now a family go-to for holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds pork sausage–I like to blend 2 hot, 1 sage, and 1 country mild
  • 1 cup sweet peas, frozen
  • 2-4 large onions, diced
  • A few cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms–others are fine, I just like these
  • 2-5 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 pound riced cauliflower (optional, I’ve been omitting it in recent years)
  • Oregano, paprika, rosemary black pepper, salt to taste
  • Cooking fat, such as avocado, olive, coconut oil, or tallow

Directions:

  1. Dice onions. In a large skillet, cook 1-2 lbs sausage and onions over medium high heat until meat is cooked thoroughly and onions have released their water and browned.
  2. Dice mushrooms and sweet potatoes.
  3. Transfer cooked sausage into large bowl or container. I like to use a huge sheetpan for the oven to mix everything evenly.
  4. Fry next 2 pounds of sausage over medium high heat. Add to pan.
  5. Add fat to pan and fill with vegetables. Fry over medium high heat until cooked through and starting to caramelize. Add desired spices. Add to larger pan.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all ingredients are cooked. Combine in large dish, mix together, and enjoy!

Lemon Cheesecake Waffles (gluten and grain free)

I’m on a huge waffle kick, and today I was gifted cream cheese. What better than some fluffy, uplifting waffles?

Something magical about the combination of ingredients make the texture of this beautiful creation fluffy and airy, while still being solidly waffle. A light brush of butter and done!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2-4 drops lemon extract
  • 1 squirt lemon juice
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Squirt of stevia

Directions:

  1.  Soften cream cheese in microwave, about 30 seconds.
  2.  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3.  Make into waffles or delicious pancakes!

Low Carb Cloud Bread (paleo and dairy free version)

I really love dairy. I think I’ve probably said this before. What’s not to love? It’s a delicious food group. Unfortunately, my body does not love it back. I constantly flip flop back and forth between eating delicious cheese and cream-based concoctions, but when I’m honest with myself there’s no denying that my body is happier during exclusion.

So once again here I am in grain free, dairy free, soy free land. Hey, I guess it could be worse–it could be the AIP diet again. Life is SO hard without eggs and nuts.

Here’s something I wondered this morning at breakfast: what’s one to do if they just want a simple, old fashioned sandwich while trying to eat keto(ish) and yet they’re avoiding these problem foods? I really just wanted a breakfast sandwich tbh. My husband says gross, but my stomach (and kids) says yum. Bacon, eggs, and turkey stacked into something simple and magical.

Here’s the dairy-free magic, ya’ll. It’s carbier than the dairy version, but no offense, cream cheese cloud bread, this tastes much better and somehow less eggy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, eggs and yolks separated
  • Dash of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325┬░. Separate egg yolks and whites into different bowls.
  2. Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until white, frothy, and retains shape/peaks. I think of it as a meringue bread.
  3. Add spices, almond flour, and almond milk to the egg yolks. Beat into a liquid.
  4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites.
  5. Spoon onto parchment paper about an inch thing. I just make small circles 2 or 3 inches wide, about sandwich size.
  6.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

These should be stored in the refrigerator. When you want to reheat them, just pop them in a warm oven for a few minutes.

Easy Low Carb Avocado Dip

If you’re looking for snack ideas for a low carb diet sometimes it can feel like quick and easy options are limited. One of the go-to snacks in our house is pork rinds, but let’s be honest, that gets so incredibly boring. I always get burnt out on pork skins pretty quickly.

That’s where the dip comes in: having a wonderful, creamy dip really ups the ante. This flavorful concoction contains both avocado and sour cream, packing quite the punch in terms of fat content. This amount is for 2-4 people, but can easily be multiplied for larger groups.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Spices: I used 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne , 1/4 tsp oregano, a pinch of salt, a dash of black pepper, and a dash of cumin.

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl mash avocado and lime juice with a fork.

2. Add spices and mix.

3. Add sour cream and mix until well combined.

See? Quick and easy!