The great graham cracker disaster

Prepping for  a family camping trip, I decided to try to make my own healthy graham crackers (grain-free, gluten-free, no corn-syrup, no sugar, no preservatives). The recipe seemed simple enough and I’ve had lots of success with other recipes in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Art of Eating Healthy for Kids by Maria Emmerich, so I was excited to give it a try.

Moral of the story: Some recipes have to be followed EXACTLY!

I’m not a person that tends to follow recipes to a T. I often change the order that I add ingredients to increase convenience (and until now, it hasn’t been an issue).

This baking disaster was so epic, I had to share it with all of you. On the plus side, they still tasted awesome and we all got a good laugh over how truly awful they looked. 🙂

graham cracker


How to do it right:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together the first six ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl cream together the coconut oil, sweetener, vanilla and eggs.
  3. Slowly add in the coconut flour mixture until you have a thick dough.
  4. Grease 2 pieces of parchment paper with coconut oil.
  5. Place dough in between the greased parchment and roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick (try to make it even throughout or the thinner areas will burn). Remove top parchment and use a pizza cutter to score the dough into Graham cracker shapes.
  6. Use a fork to poke holes in down the cracker (see photo). Place the parchment onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

And then your graham crackers will look like this 😉

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3 super easy stress management tools

In our overly scheduled, fast-paced lives, feeling stressed out has become the norm.

Here are 3 quick, free or very inexpensive, and EASY tools you can try that will lower your stress hormones and help restore inner balance right away.

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  1. Yoga on Youtube. It’s become my new favorite stress management tool. Now you all know how much I love Bikram Yoga, but I don’t always want to make that 2+ hr time commitment. And sometimes, I just want to do yoga by myself (not in a class setting), so that’s why I started exploring online classes. I happily discovered that there are TONS of options. I really like the “restorative, beginner or relaxing” options when I am feeling overwhelmed, but there are also free yoga videos that will humble you and give you the workout of your life. Explore. Do a few minutes here and there to break up your day or fit in a 30 minute or longer class when you can carve that time out for yourself. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered so far: Easy groundwork class and Hatha for sadness relief (even if you’re already happy, it’s a nice series).
  2. Medical Qi Gong. I personally really like this DVD by a local qi gong master. After doing it a few times, it was easy to start memorizing chunks of it to allow me to do it anytime, anyplace. Between work and my toddler, I don’t often make time to spend an hour doing the whole DVD, but that’s okay. I feel a difference even with 10 minutes here and there. You can, of course, go to a class or explore other videos. There are plenty to choose from. Whatever works for you!
  3. EFT “tapping”, otherwise known as psychological acupressure, is a fabulous tool for reducing stress and anxiety. It seems too simple to be effective, however, this technique is applied in many successful behavioral modification protocols and emotional/stress management programs. Watch the short video and you’ll learn how and where to “tap yourself” to illicit psychological refuge in less than 5 minutes (the video is longer since she goes through it several times).

Have fun exploring these tools and integrating snippets of them into your daily regimen as needed. Keep calm and carry on! 🙂

5 minute homemade ice cream

Summer is here and who isn’t a fan of ice cream?! I love it so much that I bought an ice cream maker a couple years ago so I could choose quality ingredients to go into my and my family’s ice cream. If you’ve got a food processor, you can make this simple ice cream in about 5 minutes (modified from recipe on Hands on Learning 4 All).

ro ice cream aria 2


  • 2/3 cup coconut cream (the amount you’ll get from 1 can of full fat coconut milk) or heavy cream (raw cream is amazing!)
  • 1 bag frozen fruit (12-16 ounces)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup sweetener (I used 1/4 cup coconut nectar and 5 drops of plain stevia)

How to:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend thoroughly. 🙂 If you are using coconut cream, it helps to put the can into the fridge for about an hour before so the cream can be spooned easily away from the coconut milk.

We used a blend of blackberries and raspberries so the ice cream had a really nice tart flavor. We could’ve added more sweetener or used sweeter berries (blueberries or strawberries) if we had wanted it to be sweeter, but the tartness was really nice and refreshing. You can eat this ice cream right out of the food processor or put it in the freezer for 30 mins if you prefer it harder. For more recipes like this one, join me for a summer Paleo inspired cooking series at the westside New Leaf Community Market. We will be making this ice cream in class for sure!