The Best Gift For (Wo)Man’s Best Friend

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Raise your hand if you are celebrating the year of the dog. That’s right. 2018 is all about that WOOF. There is nothing like the love of a good pet and I, along with millions of others, love dogs. Looking back 3 years ago I posted a pumpkin dog biscuit recipe here.

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My Deacon loved that recipe, but pumpkin is not always readily available. After watching my daughter’s dog chow down on a few fallen apples in the yard last fall I wondered about using unsweetened applesauce in place of the pumpkin. Turns out that dogs love apples and unsweetened applesauce is safe for dogs to eat.

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So in addition to celebrating your favorite humans this Valentine’s Day consider showing your favorite Fido some love, too. This recipe for grain free dog biscuits is dog approved and with only 5 ingredients super easy to make.

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Honest and loyal, Dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partner. Could you ask for a better Valentine? 

Apple of My Eye Grain Free Dog Treats

3/4 cup buckwheat flour (did you know that buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb—me neither, but it is true)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1 tablespoon peanut butter

Mix all the ingredients together adding more buckwheat flour if too sticky. Roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 300F for 30 minutes. Turn each biscuit and bake 5 more minutes. Cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

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Wild Blueberry Frozen Hot Chocolate Smoothie

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By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

What I enjoy most about recipe challenges are the memories they conjure up. That creative process of mixing something new and different comes from a place deep in the heart and brain. It usually hits about 3 am and reminds me that those I love and where I have been inspire my food.

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From the time the kids were small we vacationed in Maine. In summer, we joined friends at Pine Point beach searching for and discovering sand dollars. The wild wonders of Mother Nature enticing the kids to dig deeper into the numbing cold ocean water always did my heart good. Then pre-Christmas shopping in Freeport, Maine enjoying a cozy fire at a quaint B&B and in spring and fall girls’ weekends to Ogunquit and guys’ fishing trips to Rangeley, respectively. Suffice to say lots of wonderful family time was spent in the Pine Tree state.

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William & Caitlin 11/26/1991

If nothing else entering recipe contests brings some good food to the table and a reminder of just how blessed I have been with great memories. It’s been a real pleasure creating this final entry for the #wildyoursmoothie recipe contest which could potentially bring me back to Maine to learn more about wild blueberries. Here is what I already know.

  • wild blueberries have been growing in Maine and Canada for about 10,000 year
  • wild blueberries have 2x the antioxidants of larger cultivated blueberries
  • wild blueberries are part of a heart healthy diet and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • wild blueberries have a well balanced sweet-tart flavor

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In my latest inspired recipe wild blueberries and dark organic chocolate blend with coconut water to make a powerful antioxidant drink that will energize the day or replenish after a work-out. Freezing the coconut water into ice cubes is a bit of flavorful genius that allows that sweet-tart balance of the wild blueberries to shine through the richness of the chocolate. Share it with someone you love. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Wild Blueberry Frozen Hot Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 ½ cups pure coconut water

2 ounces organic dark chocolate (72% cacao or greater), chopped

1 teaspoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao

3 pitted medjool dates

1 cup frozen wild blueberries, plus additional for garnish

2 heart shaped marshmallows, optional

Pour 1 cup of coconut water into an ice cube tray and freeze. Place chocolate and cocoa in a small heatproof 1-cup measure. In a small saucepan bring remaining coconut water to a boil; pour over chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Stir mixture until chocolate is melted. Add dates to hot chocolate and let cool to room temperature. In high-speed blender, combine cooled chocolate-date-coconut water mixture, frozen wild blueberries and frozen coconut water cubes; blend until smooth. Pour into serving glasses. Garnish with marshmallow and wild blueberries, if desired.

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Frozen at harvest to lock in nutrition individually quick frozen (IQF) wild blueberries are available all your round in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Check the package for the word “wild” or feel it for pea-sized wild blueberries to insure you are buying wild and not cultivated blueberries.

Winter Blues & Spirited No Churn Ice Cream

IMG_9386Winter Blues. You got em? Let’s chase them away with homemade ice cream. Yup, you heard me! We’re making ice cream in the dead of winter. Seriously, it’s a mood changer because not only is it darn delicious, rich and creamy, but also done in 10 minutes (plus freezing time) and requires NO ice cream machine. I bet you’re smiling now. Remember my posts about cleaning stuff out? You just might want to pitch your old-dust-collecting- taking-up-way too-much-space ice cream machine after trying this recipe.

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All the flavors of one of my favorite candy bars this ice cream is rich with chocolate condensed milk and coconut creamy from the liqueur. It gets some toasty goodness from more coconut and almonds which you can fold in or just sprinkle on top like I did. Scoop it or slice it, it’s guaranteed to take those winter blues away.

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Almond Joy No-Churn Ice Cream

1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk, chocolate flavor

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons coconut cake liqueur

1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

1/8-teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups heavy cream

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted, cooled

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted, cooled

Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving a 4-inch over hang on short ends. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. (Scrape it all out of that can with a rubber spatula.) Sift cocoa powdered over the top. Add liqueur, flavoring and salt. Using the spatula blend mixture until it is well mixed and smooth. In large mixer bowl, beat cream to just stiff peaks (do not over-mix or you will end up with butter). Stir about a cup of cream into chocolate mixture to lighten it up. Fold in remaining cream until fully incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle top evenly with almonds and then coconut. Bring up the extended edges of plastic wrap and press gently over the surface. Freeze for 6 hours or as long as overnight. When ready to serve let ice cream stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to make scooping easier or remove from loaf pan, peel away plastic and cut into slices. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic and an air-tight container.

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Love, Mom