Fighting A Cold Naturally (plus K’s Honey Lollipops recipe)

Standard

Ugh! Being sick is no fun at all…especially when your little one is sick with you! It’s one thing to fight a cold on your own but watching your little one suffer can be unbearable at times.

I can count the fingers on one hand how many times K has gotten sick in the two and a half years of her life, and this past week was the first time she’s had to fight it on her own. I used to be able to nurse her through those rough days and nights and help boost her immunity. But those nursing days came to an end earlier this year. So…what was I to do?

I went through my “how to fight a cold” checklist in my head: homemade bone broth, lemon, raw honey, garlic, turmeric, coconut oil, probiotics and lots and lots of sleep! Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and…well, we’ll see how the sleep goes! I felt prepared to help both K and I win this battle!

So with my crockpot filled with some ACV, water and pasture-raised knuckle beef bones on high for the first few days, K and I managed to hang in there during the day between her coughs, sneezes, sniffles and her shouting “boogs” (short for, “tissue Mama!”) every few minutes. We constantly drank hot lemon tea, bone broth infused with garlic, turmeric, coconut oil and lemon juice and ate Bubbies’ sauerkraut (her favorite). Thankfully she was chipper all day long, filling our time with imaginary play, painting and playing basketball by making slam dunks in our laundry basket.

As for nights, the first few were a huge struggle. Tossing and turning, being waken by her congested coughs and stuffed nose, and running a high temp of 103, all poor little K could do was cry and try soothe herself back to sleep. The nights were miserable for all of us. I rubbed some garlic oil onto her feet and covered them with socks and turned up the humidifier on high, hoping to help draw the toxins out of her body while opening up her lungs. And as she slept for increments of 20-30 minutes at a time, I would lie there and pray, asking God for healing and for her fever to break.

With two almost sleepless nights, I felt like I was losing this battle. My health wasn’t getting any better (mainly due to the lack of sleep) and K’s didn’t seem to be progressing either. But thankfully, things turned around on the morning of day 3.

K woke up with a temp of 98.7 and while she looked a lot better, her raspy voice and congested cough said it all. She had a sore throat and was miserable. At that point, I took out my jar of organic raw honey and after giving K half a teaspoon that morning, I quickly realized that it did make her throat feel better…almost instantly! But…and here’s the BUT…it also made her HYPER!!! She rarely has any sort of sugar to begin with, but a full on gulp of it made her CRAZY!!! She ran around and her slam dunks in the laundry basket became SUPER slam dunks with loud shouts and squeals that I’m sure my neighbors loved to hear at 7am. “Honey, honey, more honey Mama!” was all I heard for the next hour or two.

At that point, I had to think of a more practical way to help soothe K’s throat opposed to feeding what was turning into a honey monster with spoonfuls of more honey by the hour. Ah ha! What about a honey lollipop? I googled “homemade honey lollipops” and came across a ton of great recipes. At this point, all I wanted was a quick and easy recipe I could whip up in 5 minutes. So I simplified all the recipes out there, gave this one a try and LOVED it!

photo 3

K’s Honey Lollipops
Paleo, refined-sugar-, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free, gluten-free

This recipe takes about 15 minutes (5 minutes cooking plus 10 minutes cooling time) and makes about a dozen pops

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
small pot
metal spoon
parchment paper or silpat
lollipop sticks
candy thermometer

Ingredients:
1/2 C honey

Directions:
1. Place honey into the pot and put it on a medium-low flame
2. Stir and wait until your thermometer reads 300 degrees F and remove from heat
3. Allow to cool until honey is somewhat gloppy and formable when poured
4. Using your metal spoon, pour small 1″ diameter round dollops onto paper/silpat and place lollipop stick on top, rolling it to make sure the top is covered in honey
5. Wait until pops are cooled before removing and then begin licking! Wrap extra pops in parchment paper, seal them in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for later enjoyment!

After a few more days of more bone broth, lemon tea, ACV water, honey lollipops and R&R for the two of us, I am proud to say that K and I finally beat the cold!!! Today was our first full day out and about and both K and I were able to enjoy every minute of it ~ tissue free!

So…what to make of all this? Well, I’m thankful I haven’t yet had to give any meds to K with all the natural home remedies available and God’s healing hand. But when that day comes, at least I can say we fought the battle with all we had…and at least enjoyed K’s honey lollipops through it all 🙂

photo 2

Banana + Coconut + Chocolate = Frozen Yumminess!

Standard

One of our newest favorite homemade frozen treats in our home are my Coconut Sprinkled Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas!

Banana = Yummy

Coconut = Very Yummy

Chocolate = Very Very Yummy

Now, combine these three ingredients and you’ve got…

Banana + Coconut + Chocolate = EXTREME Frozen Yumminess!!!!

As you know, I absolutely LOVE chocolate and coconut is right up there! Pretty much anything that has chocolate or coconut in it wins me over. And I have found bananas to not only be a great easy to-go healthy snack (the greener the healthier) but the perfect easy substitute for a recipe that calls for a sweetener (sugar, honey, maple, molasses, etc.). So in our house, we always have several bunches of bananas, packages of organic coconut flakes/shreds and Enjoy Life dark chocolate in our fridge.

This recipe calls for 4 ingredients and is super easy to make. Baby K loves to help making (and eating) these too!

Here’s what we did:

photo 1

Sliced up the bananas into pieces & chunks…

photo 4

Dipped them into the melted chocolate…

photo 5 IMG_1713

photo 4 IMG_1701

Rolled the chunks into coconut and Baby K sprinkled coconut on the slices

photo 2 photo 3

Kept a handful of banana slices un-dipped for K to eat and then rolled them into coconut flakes. Put the trays in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then took them out to enjoy!

 IMG_1744 IMG_1747

While K devoured the frozen coconut banana slices (especially good for teething!), my family enjoyed the rest!

photo 2 copy

Coconut Sprinkled Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana
Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free

This recipe takes about 30 minutes (10 min. prep & 20 min. in the freezer)  and makes 3 full-size bananas, ~ 30 slices or 6 chunks

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
small bowl (plastic is fine)
small ceramic or glass bowl
larger bowl/pan that the small bowl can fit in (for a water bath)
measuring cups & spoons
teaspoon (one you eat soup with)
medium-sized tray/pan lined with aluminum foil

Ingredients:
1-2 C boiling water (for water bath)
1 C Enjoy Life dairy-/soy-/nut-/gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
2-3 tsp melted or solidified coconut oil (I use Trader Joe’s or Nutiva)
1 C finely shredded coconut flakes (I use Let’s Do Organic Coconut)
3 medium to large sized bananas sliced, cut up into thirds or left as whole

Directions:
1. Pour coconut flakes into the small plastic bowl and set aside.
2. Pour chocolate chips and coconut oil into your small ceramic/glass bowl and place bowl inside your larger bowl.
3. Carefully pour boiling water into your larger bowl, creating a water bath to melt the chocolate.
4. Begin to gently stir mixture together and take the bowl out once only a few chips are left unmelted.
5. Drop banana pieces one at a time into the chocolate mixture, coat and then remove with spoon (if using the full-sized banana, spread the chocolate mixture onto the banana until well coated).
6. Either place chocolate dipped banana pieces right into the coconut, swirl around in the bowl until completely covered in coconut OR place dipped bananas onto your foil and sprinkle your desired amount of coconut on top.
7. Put your tray into your freezer for about 20 minutes and then serve (if you leave it in longer or you have a very cold freezer, you may want to leave out for a few minutes to defrost before eating…and that’s only if you can wait).

**Santa Monica Mama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Chocolate Coconut Flour Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Standard

Are you in need of a guilt-free chocolatey Valentine’s Day treat? Well, I may have the perfect recipe for you…Chocolate Coconut-Flour Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting!!! And to top it off, this recipe is Paleo, grain-free and gluten-free!

A few months before baby K turned one, I researched an array of sugar-free recipes for her birthday cake. I glanced through maybe thirty or forty recipes and I was surprised how many called for coconut flour. I loved coconut but had never heard of coconut flour. While I ended up making my go-to sweet potato & zucchini muffins for her party, I was eager to try a coconut-flour based recipe for muffins. I stumbled upon a coconut flour cupcake recipe from Power Hungry and gave it a try. To me, they were perfect! I loved how each bite had a nice coconut flavor and a coconutty (if that’s even a word) texture to it. But how could I make a perfect recipe even more perfect?! Make a chocolate version, of course! So that’s what I did and since then, I’ve tinkered with it and even created a baby/toddler friendly recipe (w/o honey) that baby K just loves! Hope you enjoy too.

This recipe takes about 30 minutes for the cupcakes and another 5-10 minutes for the chocolate ganache frosting. It makes about a dozen small 1 1/2″ cupcakes or approximately two dozen 1″ minis.

Chocolate Coconut Flour Cupcakes 

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
large bowl
whisk
muffin liners (greased with coconut oil spray) and tray OR silicone liners (greased with coconut oil)

Ingredients:
1 C organic coconut flour (if I don’t use homemade coconut flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli)
8 organic range-free large eggs (at room temperature)
1 C raw honey OR mashed ripe-banana (I use this option when making them for little ones)
2/3 C melted organic coconut oil (I use Trader Joe’s or Nutiva)
4 Tbsp coconut milk (or you can substitute any type milk you desire)
4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Combine dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.
2. Whisk in the eggs, honey/banana, coconut oil, milk and vanilla.
3. Let sit for a few minutes to let the coconut flour absorb the liquid and then give it one last mix (It should be somewhat thick. Add a teaspoon of coconut flour if too liquid-like, add a teaspoon of milk if it is too thick).
4. Scoop out batter and push/pat down into muffin liners (filling them 3/4 to the top)
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool, make frosting (below), frost and then enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
medium glass bowl and a larger 2-inch deep baking dish (to create a water bath)
metal spoon
frosting knife

Ingredients:
12 oz (2 cups) dark chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate bar (I use SunSpire)
6 tsp coconut oil (I use Trader Joe’s or Nutiva)

Directions:
1. Pour the dark chocolate chips/shavings and the coconut oil into the medium glass bowl.
2. Create a water bath by pouring boiling hot water into the baking dish, filling it half way. Then place the smaller bowl inside.
3. Let sit for a few minutes until the chocolate and coconut oil begin to melt.
4. Stir the ganache mixture until smooth (replace the water with boiling hot water if needed).
5. Once it is smooth, take the bowl of frosting out of the bath and stir until it is a thicker frosting texture and then frost before serving.

**Santa Monica Mama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.