Apple Mint Coconut Butter Bars

Apple Mint Coconut Butter Bars

Growing up in the country in Jamaica, we always started our day with some sort of herbal tea. Peppermint was always one of my favorites. To this day, mint reminds me of the early morning excitement we used to have before going to primary school! We also used this tea as an herbal remedy for things such as upset stomach/nausea. While this recipe does not feature fresh mint, it does have fresh Granny Smith apples and it tastes absolutely wonderful. In fact, I’m off to make another batch right now!

Apple Mint Coconut Butter Bars Recipe

4 heaping tablespoons coconut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sweet raw honey
5-10 drops peppermint extract
5-10 drops almond extract
1 medium green apple, grated

1. Mix coconut butter, coconut oil, raw honey, peppermint and almond extracts together well.

2. Grate medium Granny Smith apple and mix in well.

3. Spread in a square baking dish or pie dish evenly and refrigerate for an hour or so.

4. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe by leaving a comment below!

January 2013 Highlights: Posts I Enjoyed

It is crazy how much can change in a really short time. School is back in session, my three year old is quickly turning four (next Saturday!), and… love is in the air. I’ve been crazy busy with life in general, but I’ve still had a little time to check out what’s going on at some of my favorite blogs.

This month, I really enjoyed reading Lori’s article about magnesium deficiency symptoms. I have personal experience with magnesium deficiency causing horrible leg cramps and insomnia, as well as contributing to asthma, constipation and sleep difficulty with my son. Nettle infusions are a great way to get more magnesium. Spinach is another great source, and this spinach strawberry salad looks soooo yummy! Green eggs is a great way to serve up greens like spinach and kale (which is also high in magnesium) to your kids. If you need help getting your children to eat healthy foods, check out this article specifically geared towards picky eaters.

I had never heard of obesogens before, so reading about them was fascinating to me. Obesogens are endocrine disruptors which can lead to weight issues. Click the link to learn more about how they function and where they are found. Definitely something to avoid as much as possible!

If you are looking for a grain or gluten free cake, this banana carob cake recipe may be just what you need. Other cool recipes I spied in the past month include these grain-free apple almond twists, this delicious pear cherry detox smoothie, and this round-up of healthy breakfast recipes.

Have you ever tried growing romaine lettuce in the winter? We grow many greens this time of year in Florida because it’s prime time. The post linked gives tips for colder climates also… I personally eat lettuce year-round, and of course growing your own is the in thing now. Homemade detergent and fermented ketchup are also getting pretty popular!

And aside from all the wonderful nutrition and food posts I’ve enjoyed this month, I really loved this homemade playdough post featuring natural DIY coloring recipes. The colors look absolutely fantastic and I’m intrigued by the idea of playdough lasting forever. The store-bought stuff hardens up way too quickly at my house!

Jamaican Chicken Soup Without The Cock Noodle Soup Mix

Pretty much all traditional cultures knew the value of soups for nutrition and healing purposes. And soup is indeed very healing. We’ve been misled to believe there is no truth to the saying that chicken soup boosts immunity, but that is because real soup has been replaced by the fake stuff in boxes and cans that are nutritionally dead.

When a base of bone broth is used to start a rich chicken soup such as this one, the result is something that is not only delicious, but also very nourishing. This homemade soup helps to heal the gut lining, promote digestion, fight inflammation (which can greatly help with problems such as asthma, arthritis, depression, insomnia, bloating, etc.), boost the immune system, detoxify the body, strengthen teeth and bones, and contribute to beautiful, healthy hair and nails. We do not skim the fat, and often add extra–that way we benefit from the added fat-soluble vitamins which often work in unison with other nutrients. We find that drinking soup regularly promotes healthy bowel movements as well.

I have made this soup with cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and other GAPS-legal vegetables and it is still delicious!

Jamaican Chicken Soup

“Eat soup first and eat it last, and live to till a hundred years be passed.” – French proverb

Jamaican Chicken Soup Recipe (Serves 8+)

2-3lbs chicken breast (or other parts)
3 quarts bone broth (can use less and make the rest up with water)
Squash/Pumpkin (we like to use a big kabocha and a small butternut)
2 sprigs of thyme (or sprinkle thyme to taste)
1 tsp pimento seeds (or sprinkle powdered allspice to taste)
4 stalks of celery
1-2 medium onions
2+ cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste (we typically use a scotch bonnet NOT cut)

Any combination of:
Boniato potatoes
Irish potatoes
Yellow yam
Ripe plantains
2-3 carrots

1. Add broth to a large stockpot that hold approx 6 quarts or more if you are making the recipe as-is. and bring to a boil. Add pimento seeds, chicken and uncooked pumpkin/squash at this point. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until chicken is mostly cooked. To make things easier, like I do, you can bake the squash whole until it is tender prior to making the soup, then you would just scoop the flesh out and add to the soup at a later point.

2. Remove chicken from pot, and once cooled enough to handle, shred if desired.

3. Peel and cut up anything you’d like to add to the soup, such as onions, potatoes, yams, plantains and carrots. Make dumplings if you are adding them in.

4. Scoop pimento seeds out of the soup and add in onions, celery, yams and potatoes. Let cook about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the celery if you wish and add in chicken, plantains, scotch bonnet, carrots and dumplings. Let cook another 15 minutes.

4. Add spices (thyme, garlic, salt, powdered pepper, and powdered allspice if you did not use pimento berries) to taste. Let simmer a short while until it smells and tastes awesome and additions are cooked to your preference.

5. Serve with additional fats such as butter or tallow for extra nourishment! Don’t forget to have a side with fermented vegetables first!

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