Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Photo of the bars I made

Gluten Free Fruit and Nut Bars
My kids love granola and fruit bars so I tried my hand at a homemade healthier recipe and they were a hit!!!  Here's the recipe I tried and will modify again to include more nuts and maybe some seeds in the future batches.  Enjoy!!

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coarse-chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks cut up
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried organic fruit - I used a blueberry, strawberry, cherry mix
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a small square baking pan with parchment paper hanging slightly over each side (for easy removal).
  2. In a bowl, add honey, coconut flour, almond butter and salt and combine.
  3. Coarse chop all the almonds and any other nuts and seeds you wish to add and put into the mixture.
  4. Chop the dried fruits into small coarse chunks and add to the mixture.
  5. Next add the small chocolate chunks to the mixture and stir all together.
  6. Put the mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish. Fold the excess parchment paper and evenly press the top of the bar mixture firmly to pack-in the ingredients so they hold together better after baking. Then, peel back the parchments flaps from top of bars. 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven and allow to completely cool on stovetop for approximately one hour (or until bottom of baking dish is room temp).
  8. Place in fridge to continue cooling. (Do not freeze as it makes it impossible to cut the bars without them crumbling.) Once cold, remove dish from refrigerator. Then, run a knife along the two edges without parchment. Using the parchment paper ends, lift the bars from the baking dish and place on a cutting board.
  9. Cut into 8 bars and individually wrap and store in the fridge or freezer. Then you can easily take out what you need and place directly into your child’s lunchbox (or yours) – no need to thaw. However, for best results, bars should be kept cold so they do not become over-sticky. Simply include an ice pack, if placing them in a lunchbox, or taking them on the go.

This recipe was adapted from one I found online and yields a small amount of bars.  Perhaps double and add any fruit, nuts, coconut, and seeds to try new variations.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life Ameliorated goes broad.  After many side conversations with friends and a lot of encouragement, Life Ameliorated has broadened from a blog to include a website of information.  Join us at: for more information.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Roasted Side Dish

Well to be completely honest this begin as yet another attempt in pursuit of making amazing veggie baked chips.  Fail from the start....I pulled out the wrong slicer for my King Kutter and ended up with thin curls of Sweet and Russet Potatoes, Carrots, and Zucchini.  So from there I just went with it.

Drizzled them all in olive oil and sprinkled on the following:
Celery Salt
Mustard Seed
and ground Rosemary

Baked at 425 on several pans (to get a thin layer) turning over only once and keeping a watchful eye to catch them before they burned.  Approximately, 15 minutes.

Decided at the last minute that a yummy garnish would be some roasted Chickpeas so out came the can of Garbanzo beans.  Rinsed and Drained
Also drizzled in EVOO
S & P
and Celery Salt
Baked at the already 425 degrees for 10 minutes and popped them into the center of the mixture.

Ended up being a super super yummy way to sneak in some protein and veggies for the kids!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

(Not so healthy but yummy) Chocolate Cake

Woke up this am and made a yummy treat (pictured above) for our guests tonight...

  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 1½ cups butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. For the cake:
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, & salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  7. Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting.
  8. For the Chocolate Frosting:
  9. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  10. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  11. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  12. Add vanilla extract and combine well.
  13. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Whole Wheat Coconut Lemon Almond Bread - DELISH

So I found a Donna Hay recipe for coconut bread and tried it.  It turned out alright but nothing I would run back and bust calories for (which is unusual for her recipes- they are usually mouth watering).

At any rate, I determined to get creative this morning and try again.  I mixed it up (a lot) and here's what I came up with:

Whole Wheat Lemon Coconut Bread:
1c shredded coconut
1c almond flour (you can grind your own almonds but I just bought the flour from Whole Foods)
3c whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4c sugar
1 stick of butter - yep, that's right a whole stick (you can cut this back but I didn't want to on this one)
1 whole lemon zested (I used a meyer lemon for juice and rind to make it even better)
1/2c applesauce
1c milk

Whip room temp butter with applesauce until smoothish.  Add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar; mixing until combined.  Add almond flour, then milk, then whole wheat flour until combined but not beaten to death.  Pour into greased bread loaf pan (I oiled mine with lemon infused olive oil) and bake for 1.5 hr at 320 or until a toothpick/skewer comes out clean.

Take out of oven and cool to liking.  Can be served with a nice fruit jam.
*****Donna's recipe also called for 2tsp baking powder but I forgot to put it into my version and it still turned out great but I might add it in next time, as this kind of bread is automatically dense bread so it might fluff it up a bit but the bread had no trouble rising for sure.

My house smelled so great I jumped right in after pulling it from the oven and it was delicious!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cooking with essential oils - A good idea?


Essential oils add rich and brightening flavors to your dishes while also adding the health benefits.

Essential oils are so concentrated that only 1-2 drops of a therapeutic grade essential oil is necessary.  One Tablespoon of a dried herb is equal to ½ to 1 drop of pure therapeutic grade oils.

Here are some guidelines to get you started:

Here is a recipe appropriate for this time of year:
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 ¼ cup Butter
2 cups White Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
5 drops CPTG Peppermint Essential Oil
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F
2.  In large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture and stir until entire mixture is an even dark brown.  Add Peppermint Essential Oil and stir until evenly blended.
3.  Roll dough into balls about 1” in diameter.  Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on parchment covered cookie sheet.  Cookies will spread during baking.  Bake for 8-10 mins or until tops have a crackle appearance

What WebMD says about peppermint oil

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Natural Remedy for Snotty Noses and Congested Cough

Natural Remedies for a snotty nose or congestion and cough - Eucalyptus oil PASSED THE TEST!

So our daughter was sick for the last 2 weeks and our son as well before I remembered to visit my oil cabinet.  What is wrong with me?  It always takes my "wits end" before I remember what worked the last time.

At any rate, I plugged up my diffuser and added a couple drops of eucalyptus oil.  Twice a day for 36 hours I would either diffuse by water vapor or burning the oil over a candle and voila!... the kids cough and runny noses dried right up.

Apparently, the oil is known for being a cold and flu remedy.  But don't take my word alone, here's an article I found that helped me have confidence in experimenting.

Discovery Health How Stuff Works

Again, I make the following claim:

I in no way am a sales lady.  I only want to share what I've learned through experimentation because it's by the experiences of others that I have discovered what helps me and my family.
That being said, I love essential oils so much and am super picky on which ones are best, that I am a distributor of Young Living so if you are interested just let me know or order yourself at the link below and click the referred by a sponsor square.  Sponsor # is 1557832