Watermelon Agua Fresca – Paleo, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

watermelon ag 3

With summer fast approaching, the weather is getting warmer, and Memorial Day weekend is here!

This means that ’tis the season for backyard barbecues and hanging out with friends and family in the sunshine. This calls for drinks.

One of my favorites is my watermelon agua fresca. It’s cool and refreshing, and along with iced apple green tea is a refined sugar free alternative to sweet tea.

I love watermelon. It’s one of my favorite fruits and drinking this is almost like drinking a cross between lemonade/limeaid and watermelon juice.

Watermelon season in the US runs from May to September, so lots of delicious ripe watermelons are available in grocery stores right now, which is super exciting (yay!) and another thing that makes this watermelon agua fresca the perfect drink for summer.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Makes 2 servings (4 cups total)

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups cubed seedless watermelon (1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes)*

1 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup water

3 tsp lime juice (I used lime juice that froze previously and defrosted)

Notes – * Use the sweetest watermelon you can find, that way you won’t have to use any added sweeteners. If you’re having a party, you can make a big batch of this ahead of time and it will keep great in the fridge overnight.

Instructions

1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until well chilled, making sure to give the agua fresca a good stir before serving. Pour over ice if desired (especially if it’s a particularly hot day) and serve.

green goddess dressing

Parsley Green Goddess Dressing Recipe – Paleo, Dairy Free

Green Goddess Dressing 1

I like to think of Green Goddess dressing as Caesar dressing’s sort of hippier, more free spirited cousin.

Caesar is the dressing that you want for a beautiful dinner party, while Green Goddess is for summer picnics and dancing through a garden in a sundress while wearing a daisy crown.

Green Goddess 5

My Parsley Green Goddess dressing has all the things that you love about Caesar dressing (the rich savoriness and creaminess, with a bit a bit of garlic thrown it to punch up the flavor) and is full of anti-inflammatory herbs like parsley, rosemary, and basil.

It’s light and creamy, a little thinner than most green goddess dressings (which makes it better for drizzling over a salad), and is packed with heart healthy olive and avocado oils.

This is also the perfect recipe for when you’re looking to use up a bunch of fresh parsley in a hurry. You can blend it all into this beautiful dressing.

Green Goddess 6

Parsley Green Goddess Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

3/4 cup packed parsley (stems and leaves)

1/2 cup water

2 cloves garlic

1 egg (lightly scrambled over a double boiler, and cooled to room temp)

 

2 tbsp + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 tsp fish sauce (I used the Red Boat brand)

 

1/8 level tsp dried rosemary

1/4 level tsp dried basil

1/8 level tsp granulated onion

1/4 level tsp granulated garlic

1/4 level tsp black pepper

1/2 level tsp sea salt

 

1/4 cup avocado oil + 1 tbsp (or any neutral oil)

1/4 cup olive oil

 

Instructions

1. Add all the ingredients except the oils to the blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender occasionally.

2. Take the top cap off of the blender, and with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive and avocado oil into the dressing (you’re basically making a cooked mayonnaise).

If there is some separation in the dressing at this point, that’s ok. Put the top cap back onto the blender and blend on high until well combined.

3. Pour the dressing into a jar and keep in the fridge until ready to use. The dressing should keep at least 3-4 days.

Green Goddess 2

This dressing would also be delicious over chopped roasted potatoes for a quick potato salad, but honestly it’s good on just about anything.

Green Goddess 3

I hope that you enjoy this recipe!

Happy Eating 💚

 

The Etsy Shop is here!

one small blog

I’m so excited to share that the Hope and Butterflies Etsy Shop is now open!

Starting new adventures and not knowing where they will take you

When I started this blog, I had no idea where it was going to go. I knew that I loved to cook, and that I wanted to share my recipes because they were the kind of recipes that I wanted to have when I first went on a dairy / gluten / refined sugar free diet.

I had so many food sensitivities, and I missed eating the things that I loved.  It was really hard to be in more pain, or just feel ill because I ate something as normal as a blueberry muffin. My list of food sensitivities was so extensive that I couldn’t even eat most of the recipes on other gluten free websites.

So I started writing recipes, and eating gluten free versions of the foods that I loved again.

What I didn’t expect when I began this journey was that as my list of recipes grew, and as I cooked and ate my way through this rough patch, I felt more and more like myself again.

Not having recipes that worked for me meant that (for a while) the foods that I ate were boring and bland, and eating those foods brought me no joy.

I hadn’t realized how much brightness food had brought to my life before, and learning to eat the new versions of my favorite foods gave me that brightness back, and nourished not only my body, but also my spirit.

Baking and cooking have always felt very meditative to me. When I’m in the kitchen I can get lost in a recipe, and no matter what I’m going through, I always feel better (and like I’ve accomplished something) when I’ve created and eaten something delicious (especially if it’s a muffin or a brownie).

That’s what I wanted to share when I started this blog, to help other people with food sensitivities find a way to nourish their souls with the joy of creating something that they really enjoy eating.

What has also been exciting is to see how many people have visited the blog. Hope and Butterflies has had visitors from places like the UK, Australia, India, France, Ireland, Kenya, The Netherlands, Germany, and even our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada.

It feels amazing to think that this little cooking blog that I started 6 months ago would reach (and hopefully help) so many people in so many places all around our big world.

I’m also incredibly lucky to have so many good friends and family who have cheered me on during this time. So many people in my life have reached out to tell me that they enjoy reading the blog, or think it’s cool that I’m writing it, which has been amazing.

There have been many times when I think I’m out of ideas and am in doubt if I should keep trying to write recipes, and their encouragement has really cheered me on. I’m so glad that I kept writing, and I’m excited to see how the blog grows and evolves in the future.

The Prints

wonder wander comes + goes

The Hope and Butterflies Etsy Shop sells posters / prints that you can download and print at home.

Each shop listing includes 7 high resolution JPG files (300 dpi, RBG Color Format)

– 4″ x 6″
– 5″ x 7″
– 8″ x 10″
– 11″ x 14″
– 18″ x 24″
– 24″ x 36″
– Wallet Size (the size of a credit card)

Most importantly though, $1 from each sale will be donated to support girls education.

When I was designing, I wanted to create prints that would be encouraging, and most of all, kind. Many of the designs encourage self care, self acceptance, and cheer you on in difficult moments.

Life can be really hard sometimes, and you’re always doing the best that you can.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of that, which is why the prints all include a wallet size printing option as well.

Because sometimes you do need a pocket sized reminder that “You are AMAZING” when things aren’t quite going the way that you want them to. Take it from someone who knows, storms pass, you will grow from them, and things will get better.

And whoever you are, you matter too. Your dreams matter too.

I hope that in some small way, these prints will cheer you on when you start down the path towards your own dreams (even if you have no idea where it will take you).

Starting the blog was scary, but also exciting and so so rewarding. I wish you that same scary excitement (and fun surprises, and joy!) along your journey.

Girls Education

Right now, this little Etsy Shop and the Hope and Butterflies Blog are my dream.

I decided to donate part of the proceeds from each sale to support girls education, because not only is it simply the right thing to do, but also because I want to do what I can to help other young women and girls accomplish their own dreams.

I was lucky enough to be able to go to school and learn about the world around me.

Every young woman should have the right to do the same. This shop is my own little way of trying to help make that happen.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be posting more recipes soon.

And remember :

 

you are doing great blog

And you are wonderful, just as you are.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there!

banana bread muffins

Banana Bread Muffins – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free, Comfort Baking

Banana Bread Muffins 1

There is something magical about making muffins. You sift together a few ingredients, stir in a few more, and a little while later 12 mini cakes emerge from the oven ready to fill your heart with joy and comfort.

If there is a practice more conducive to self care than baking, I have yet to discover it.

If I’m ever having a bad day, I bake. It takes focus and when you’re measuring and stirring everything together, the things that troubled you before seem far away.

The scent of delicious muffins wafts through the air and makes any house and home seem more warm and friendly. It’s a scent that makes the world a little softer and everything feel a little more possible.

And once you bite into a freshly baked muffin the spell is complete, and life feels ok again.

banana bread muffins 2

I love blueberry muffins, but there’s something about banana bread muffins that seem extra nourishing to your soul.

When I first cut gluten out of my diet, I really missed banana bread. I missed it’s buttery sweetness, and cozy banana richness.

It took me a couple of tries to get this recipe right, but these muffins taste just like the banana bread that I used to love eating. They also have a touch of cinnamon and vanilla to give them an extra bit of warmth to their flavor.

I like to use the ripest bananas that I can find (overripe bananas work the best as they are sweeter) and baking these muffins is a great way to cut down on food waste and have breakfast ready to go for the next few days (even if you eat 3 – 4 muffins still warm from the oven like I normally do).

I like to make these muffins a day ahead and leave them out on a plate on the counter covered by a paper towel. They dry out a little overnight, and the texture gets even better the next day.

 

Banana Bread Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 – 4 1/2 bananas)

 

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 eggs

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

2 cups oat flour

level 3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Notes –

* I grind oats into oat flour using a blender. Don’t grind the oats in a food processor because the flour won’t be fine enough.

Any extra oat flour I don’t use in the recipe goes into an airtight container and I use it for another recipe.

If you’re making this recipe for someone who has celiac disease, please use certified gluten free oats, as the oats from the bulk bins can sometimes be processed on the same equipment as wheat.

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Grease and flour muffin pan with melted coconut oil and oat flour.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the oat flour, baking soda, and ground cinnamon and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl stir together the mashed bananas, apple cider vinegar, melted coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until well combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 F for 33 minutes (until golden). Turn the oven down to 300 F and bake for another 10 minutes until the cake tester comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the pan. To pop them out of the muffin tin, run a small knife around the edge of each muffin (a small butter knife works great for this) and they should come right out.

banana bread muffins 3

I wish you many happy breakfasts (and memories) with these wonderful muffins.

 

 

 

 

How To Get A Pan Super Clean

Baking soda pan 1

Baking soda and vinegar can be your best friends in the kitchen. They help muffins to rise, can make a sink squeaky clean, or help you scrub out a pan without damaging the finish.

Here’s how I like to clean my pots and pans (if they need a little more help to get clean than the dishwasher can handle by itself).

(This is a pan that I used to sauté some baby spinach with garlic and olive oil.)

Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda into your pan to absorb any leftover oil.

baking soda pan 2

Add a splash of plain white vinegar, and use a sponge to give the pan a good scrub.

baking soda pan 3

Rinse the pan out, then wash with soap and water as usual.

Ta da! A super clean pan, ready to make your next delicious dish.