SPICED HOT CHOCOLATE + WHIPPED CREAM HEARTS

I love Valentine’s Day. The logical side of me is always thinking this is such a silly holiday and an expensive one that is really unnecessary. But ever since I had kids I fell in love (pun not intended) with Valentine’s Day all over again. It doesn’t have to be a hyper consumer holiday. The best gift you can give somebody you love is your time, a healthy meal, a drawing, a note, or even a kiss. Each year I like creating really fun cards and gifts for our best friends and loved ones. We decorate the house with hearts and color with pink and glitter. It’s just so fun.

This year we plan to cuddle up and watch a family movie and drink hot chocolate with cute whipped coconut cream hearts. And I’m over at the Honest Company today sharing this creative recipe with all of you! These little hearts are like pillows of cold fluffy cream. And the hot chocolate is full of unique spices. Trust me and just go for it. You’ll be glad you did.

I am going to share on my blog today the recipe for these cute little whipped cream hearts. I'm attached a few instructional photos as well that Honest Company didn't post. 

But for the spiced hot chocolate, you'll want to head on over to their blog. 

WHIPPED CREAM HEARTS

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight in fridge
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Instructions

  1. Open the can of coconut milk and pour out the contents into a bowl. Separate the thick white cream from the water. Use only the thick white cream for this recipe. (Honest Tip: Save the water for a smoothie!)
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip the rice syrup, the coconut milk and the vanilla until everything is well blended and the chunks are gone.
  3. When it’s nice and whipped and thick and creamy, you’ll want to transfer this to a small baking dish – I used a bread pan.
  4. Flatten mixture and smooth it out nicely with a spatula.
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Enjoy immediately.

Good luck and I hope you have a fun Valentine’s Day. Get creative and fill your house with hearts and pink and cupcakes! Why not!?

For full recipe and additional text please visit the Honest Company Blog. 

Valentine's Day [Healthier] Rice Crispie Treats

These "rice crispie" treats are so festive for holiday coming up in a few weeks. I love sprinkles because they add so much flair without too much extra sugar or food dyes and no overwhelming flavor. How cute are those little hearts?

Now what child wouldn't be jumping for joy over these little treats? They vegan and sans marshmallow but they sure are tasty, gooey and chewy. So you won't feel as guilty letting them devour one or even two. 

This recipe goes to show that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about spending tons of money or showering loved ones with gifts. What's so bad about a homemade batch of these cute festive treats? 

And did I mention they are incredibly easy to make?

Just 4 simple ingredients

No baking required

Kids can help you make them

No gluten

No dairy

No marshmallows

VALENTINE'S DAY RICE CRISPIE TREATS RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

3 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal {I used WF 365 brand}

1/3 cup peanut butter {can sub for almond butter for nut allergy}

1/4 cup vegan butter {I used Melt Organic}

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large mixing bowl mix wet ingredients {butter, brown rice syrup and peanut butter}. Mix in the dry cereal, one cup at a time. 

2. Stir and Stir until everything is evenly mixed. 

3. Using some extra vegan butter, grease a baking tray. 

4. Add the rice crispy mixture and spread evenly into baking tray using a spatula. 

optional: sprinkle on your pretty hearts or other candy sprinkles at this point. 

5. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. 

6. Cut into squares and serve.

Store extras in air tight container. Should last a good week. 

Happy Valentine's Day.

_______________________________________________

Recipe adapted from TheBigMansWorld

Making this recipe? Share your photos using #PUREMAMAS on instagram. You can tag me as well: @JuliNovotny 

And feel free to leave comments or questions below. I love feedback. Thanks you!


VUORI Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

Today I'm busy over at VUORI clothing sharing my super tasty mint chocolate chip milkshake recipe in honor of getting healthy this new year! Their fitness and workout clothes are awesome. And a large majority of their products are sustainable. Their clothes, in combination with PURE MAMAS healthy recipes, equals PUREHEALTH <---- don't forget that, it will get you a discount, keep reading for details...

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There's a secret ingredient to this milkshake: peppermint extract. The spinach of course gives the illusion of a mint ice cream color and the chocolate chips make it very kid friendly. Instead of the usual, "Ew I don't want it, it's green!" the kids were like "oh mint and chocolate!" It's so easy to make and so tasty, even on a cold day. 

A man at Costco first introduced me to this combo. He used vanilla whey powder, which gave the milkshake that "milky" taste. But since I don't eat dairy, I subbed for rice protein and you can do either or. 

VEGAN MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP "MILKSHAKE" {aka smoothie} 

Full recipe is posted over on the VUORI clothing blog. Have you seen their rad board shorts? My husband has a few of their t-shirts and the Balboa pant, thanks to Santa {wink}, and they are soooo soft and comfy. He loves them. VUORI is a local company, but everything is available online as well. I suggest you check them out. And good news is - drumroll please - today and for the next two weeks, we are offering a 30% off your entire order with code PUREHEALTH - all caps, just like that! Code expires Feb 14th, 2016. A perfect gift for the husband. They even have awesome women's workout clothing. I like this pant

Simple Pad Thai // For the Kiddos

I'm so excited to share this meal with everybody. It's so fantastic and kids love it. I had no clue my kids would would eat two bowls each  because the first time I had made this they wouldn't even take a bite. Well, turns out the pretty chopped herbs and shaved veggies I had on top made them instantly shy away. {duh!}

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So, this time around, I added two eggs and removed the veggies {at least for now!}. It's milder and the texture and of course the visual is more appealing to the kids. This dish is healthy - full of fat {egg yolks, sesame oil + almond butter}, protein {tofu, egg + almonds} and chewy gluten-free grains {egg noodles}. And added bonus is the miso {it's all about the fermented foods, mamas!}. So move on over spaghetti and meatballs, you've got some healthy competition over here.

If you double this recipe and you've got dinner for the parents, too. You'll love it, top it with fresh herbs and greens or sautéed mushrooms. I swear it takes ten minutes, plus clean up and all that. The noodles take one minute to cook. 

RECIPE

gluten-free + dairy-free

Serves 2-3 kids meals

INGREDIENTS

sauce:

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 Tbls tamari 

1 Tbls chili sesame oil

2 Tbls toasted sesame oil

1 Tbls agave nectar or sugar

1 lime, juice only

1 1/2 tsp raw garlic sauce {my favorite condiment}

1 Tbls miso

In a high speed blender, blend the above ingredients until completely blended smooth. About 30 seconds, mix by hand, then another 30 seconds on medium.

the rest:

1/4 cup chopped tofu

2 eggs {totally optional + not plant-based but kids love them}

spray oil

salt + pepper, to taste

1 package vietnamese brown rice noodles

In a small skillet you'll want to cook the eggs with some spray oil  or a little oil. Add tofu as well. Cook together on medium and season with salt and pepper to taste. About two minutes or less. 

Cook the rice noodles according the package. Again, after the water boils, the noodles only take one minute. Drain and put back into the warm pan. Add the sauce and the egg/tofu mixture. 

You can top with avocado if you'd like or your child's favorite healthy vegetable! Enjoy. Good luck. Hope it's a hit.