Paleo Cinnamon Raisin Granola Recipe

paleo cinnamon raisin granola

Paleo granola: another one of those Paleo food oxymorons, I suppose.  “Nutandseedola” just doesn’t quite have the same ring, eh?  While this granola may not have the oats of its namesake, I think it does a pretty good job of filling in all the granola-shaped holes that were left in my life when I went off grains.

To make Paleo Cinnamon Raisin Granola, you’ll need:

1 cup pecan pieces

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tbsp. salt (Real Salt and Himalayan Salt are good choices)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup honey

3 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

I’ve been soaking my nuts and seeds for quite some time now.  It improves their digestibility and nutrient absorption, as well as counteracts their anti-nutrients.  To soak your nuts and seeds, simply dump them altogether in a large bowl.  Add a tbsp. of real salt and stir.  Fill the bowl with filtered water so that it covers the nuts and seeds by a couple of inches (the mixture will soak up the water and if you don’t have enough water, the ones on top will not end up getting soaked).  Let your nuts and seeds sit overnight, covered by a towel.

In the morning, set your oven to 150°.  Rinse the nuts and seeds in a colander, then pour them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet (for this amount, it make take two baking sheets).  Place the sheet/s in the oven and let nuts and seeds dehydrate for 8-12 hours.  You can give them a stir somewhere around the halfway point to ensure all of the nuts and seeds are getting evenly dehydrated.

Once the nuts and seeds are dry and slightly crispy, you’re ready to make your granola.

Preheat your oven to 275°.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your honey, coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.

Add the shredded coconut, raisins and mixed nuts and seeds and combine the ingredients well.

Pour the mixture back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet/s and pop back in the oven.

After 10-15 minutes, give your granola a stir.

Let bake for another 5-10 minutes, watching the nuts carefully (nuts go from perfectly crisp to perfectly burned rather quickly!).

Remove from the oven and let cool.

Serve over yogurt, in raw milk, or eat as a snack by the handful like my kids do!

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Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

paleo enchiladas

Paleo enchiladas may sound like an oxymoron, and I’ve certainly had trouble finding good recipes, but I was determined to have enchiladas again!  Surprisingly, the sauce was the hardest part to come up with.  I even looked for organic enchilada sauce at the health food store just to make it easy, but they all had soybean oil and other junk in them.  Turns out, I shouldn’t have stressed because it was easy to make Paleo enchilada sauce once I got down to it!

First, you’ll want to make the “tortilla” part.  For this, use my cauliflower wraps recipe.

While the cauliflower wraps are baking, you can prepare the rest of the enchiladas.

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded chicken, salted and peppered to taste (I like to boil a whole, pastured chicken all at once and use the broth for later, then pull all the chicken off to use in several meals.)

1/4- 1/2 cup diced onion

1 cup tomato sauce (I prefer organic tomato sauce from a jar and avoid cans!)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (you can increase this or omit it, depending on how spicy you’d like it to be)

Instructions:

Place the sauce, broth, coconut milk, garlic and spices in a blender and combine well.

When the wraps are done baking, begin layering them in a glass casserole dish.

Toss the diced onions with the shredded chicken.

On top of each layer of wraps, spread out some of the shredded chicken, then cover with a layer of sauce.

Alternate layers until you run out of ingredients.  You should get about three layers.

Cover casserole dish and bake (oven should already be heated to 325* after you’ve made the wraps) for about 30 minutes.

After you remove the enchiladas from the oven, let cool and top with diced and salted avocado.

Optional additional garnishes: fresh cilantro, sour cream or shredded cheese (which can be added to each layer for a delicious cheesy enchilada!  Of course, the addition of sour cream and/or cheese would make this primal and not Paleo, but who’s counting? 😉 )

Turns out you can have your Paleo enchiladas and eat them too!

What’s your favorite dish to remake, Paleo-style?

Grain-Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

peanut butter and jelly muffins

So, I know I said we stick to a Primal/Paleo diet most of the time… and I know.  Peanuts aren’t Paleo.  But here’s the thing.  I used to not be able to eat peanut butter.  Now that I’ve healed from my intolerance and none of the rest of the family has a problem with peanuts, we eat them.  We totally eat peanut butter.  Peanut butter is delicious and fatty and high in protein, and right now, I need quick protein throughout my day.  I mix it with coconut oil and a little raw honey for a quick snack, and if I’m really wanting a treat, I throw a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips in the mix.  Yum.

Anyways, I’ve been making these peanut butter muffins for a while now and we all love them!  Today, I tried a new twist and added jelly.  My kids (who get the rare treat of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oh, twice a year maybe) loved these!  They really taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted if clumpy

6 eggs (pastured, organic)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup organic or natural peanut butter

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or palm shortening or butter)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup homemade or organic jam

Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350*.

2.    Line muffin tin with parchment baking cups (I use these baking cups from If You Care and

I LOVE them- they NEVER stick!)

3.     In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and salt.

4.     Add honey and eggs and mix well.

5.     Slowly stir in melted coconut oil.

6.     Add peanut butter and stir batter until smooth.

7.     Drop 1/3 cup scoops of batter in baking cups.

8.     Drop approximately 1/2 tbsp of jam into the center of each muffin.

9.     Bake for 25-30 minutes.

These muffins are delicious without the jelly as well, slathered with butter!

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

This post may contain affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission, which helps to support my blogging activities. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be beneficial for my readers.

Raw Hot Chocolate Recipe with Peppermint Marshmallow Cream Topping

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I am loving that the weather is finally cooling off in Texas (ya know, except that it’s 60 degrees today, but in general…)!  I’ve been treating the fam to delicious mugs of hot cocoa and we are absolutely loving curling up by the fire to enjoy them!

Here’s what you need to enjoy your own mug of raw hot cocoa:

1 cup raw milk

1 TBS raw cacao powder

1/8 cup raw honey

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat.  It’s very important to keep the heat low and check the temperature of the milk frequently- you don’t want to destroy the raw properties of the milk!  I warm it just enough to feel like “hot” cocoa, but never any more than I have to.

Add the raw honey as the milk is warming so it can get warm and incorporate into the milk.

Whisk the cacao powder and vanilla into the warmed milk until there are no lumps present (you could also give it all a spin in the blender if you have any trouble mixing.  Some raw honeys can be really thick!).

My favorite local farmer gave me a good tip this weekend to warm my mug up before putting the hot cocoa in to keep the milk warmer longer since you don’t heat it a whole lot.  Placing the mug in a pan of warm water or running under hot tap water for a minute should do the trick!

To make the peppermint marshmallow cream topping:

1 egg white

Splash vanilla

1 TBS raw honey

2-4 drops peppermint extract

Directions:

Whip the egg white in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.  As it begins to thicken, add the other ingredients so that they are well incorporated by the time the egg white is very firm.

Top your mug of hot cocoa with a dollop of peppermint marshmallow cream and enjoy!

Substitutions:

If you don’t have access to raw milk, you can use canned, full-fat coconut milk.

If you prefer, you can leave the peppermint extract out of the marshmallow cream.  The kids and I liked it, the hubby did not!

Why a Primal Pregnancy ROCKS!

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I am 16 weeks into my fourth pregnancy and I can officially say that I feel fantastic!  I have never felt so wonderful during pregnancy and I want to shout from the rooftops why I’m feeling better this time around!

Previous Diet Changes

When my youngest was a few months old, we started making some serious diet changes.  Although I ate much, much better during my pregnancy with him than my previous two pregnancies, I still experienced extreme fatigue and mild nausea, as well as other common pregnancy discomforts like bloating and heartburn.  After I had him, I experienced difficulty even functioning day-to-day with the demands of waking up with him through the night weighing heavy on me.  I often became very dizzy from lack of sleep, struggled with feeling fuzzy-headed and still had a lot of stomach discomforts that I had dealt with before our switch to a real-food lifestyle.  I wanted to feel better and I wanted to be a better wife and mom but just couldn’t seem to function properly.  I really began to pray and ask the Lord how it could be His plan for us mommas to feel so miserable after having a baby and yet keep having them.  I was discouraged and frustrated.  I decided it was time for a change.

When Everett was about three months old, I went 30 days without eating sugar.  It was much easier than I had anticipated and because of that trial, we have never gone back to eating and using sugar other than the *very* occasional treat or for kombucha brewing.  A couple of months after that, I decided to undertake something that was a much greater challenge than eliminating sugar: removing grains from our diet!  Again, I planned to try it for 30 days, but after only a few days I felt so wonderful, I knew I would never go back to using grains as a staple in our diet.  No more burritos, no more nachos, no more sandwiches… I had to get creative!

After one week of a grain-free diet, I was much more clear-headed and well-rested upon waking.  Gone were the days of waking up tired, groggy and with a headache.  I felt like the curtains had been pulled back for the first time.  Symptoms of gastrointestinal distress were greatly relived and eventually disappeared.  No more constant gluten-bloat!

How a Primal Diet Applies to Pregnancy

Without grains and sugar (and pasteurized milk!) assaulting my insides, my body has been able to focus on pregnancy and nourishing my baby!  Because those things tend to cause gut and intestinal problems, the absence of them, for me, has equaled the absence of nausea!  How amazing to have a pregnancy free of nausea!  Although pregnancy and being a mom to three other children is demanding, I wake up refreshed because grains are not causing “grain-brain” symptoms.  (Learn more about that here. –This is not an affiliate link, I just feel this information is that important!)  Waking up rested equals so much more energy than I’ve ever experienced before during pregnancy.  I’m homeschooling my three boys, keeping up with a house, a small home bakery business and various other activities when during my other pregnancies, I could barely get off the couch!  This alone is the biggest difference I have felt this pregnancy -the energy!

Primal vs Paleo

While a Paleo diet has worked for us at times and is a great plan to follow, we choose to consume raw and cultured dairy.  For a pregnant woman, raw dairy (if no intolerance is present) is a necessary part of a nourishing diet.  I didn’t start getting raw milk until the end of my pregnancy with Everett and have no doubt that pasteurized dairy played a part in making me feel unwell during my first three pregnancies.  This pregnancy, I drink raw milk everyday and include plain and full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, raw cheeses and homemade raw kefir in my diet as well.  All of these contribute to my staying nourished as well as regulating my digestion.

Supplements

Because I’m not a big believer in vitamins, I am taking whole, real food supplements during this pregnancy to ensure proper absorption and maximum benefit.  I use fermented cod liver oil, homemade liver capsules (which, by the way, have also contributed greatly to my energy levels thanks to the high amount of iron and B vitamins found in liver!) and a powdered magnesium supplement which also contributes to regularity.  I like to try to regularly drink “pregnancy tea” which can be found from different brands containing different herbs to support a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  When I get towards the end up my pregnancy, I will begin including things like evening primrose oil, gentle birth tincture and red raspberry leaf tea to my repertoire.  Until then, I’m happy and feeling great meeting my nutritional needs through food!

If you struggle with feeling tired, sick or just plain not good during pregnancy, I encourage you to closely examine your diet and evaluate whether everything you’re eating is nourishing to your body and growing baby or if there are some things that you may need to consider doing away with!

What have you found has made you feel your best during pregnancy?

Easy Cauliflower Wraps- Grain Free for Paleo, GAPS and Low-Carb Diets!

cauliflower wraps

 

I’ve tried several different cauliflower recipes, some of which worked ok, and some of which were a complete flop.  The best one I had found required steaming and then straining the cauliflower.  I didn’t like the extra steps!  I set out to recreate a cauliflower wrap recipe that was simple and fast.  Since I make them at least once a week for soft taco and fajita meals, I’ve had lots of opportunities to tweak the recipe.  I think I’ve found the perfect combination of ingredients this time!  You will need:

1 head of cauliflower (small-medium)

2 eggs

1/8 cup palm shortening

1/2- 1 tsp ea chili powder and real salt

Parchment paper- don’t skip this; it’s important!

*Preheat oven to 325*.

1. “Rice” the cauliflower in a blender.  You can accomplish this by chopping all the heads off and placing them in the blender, all together if you have a high-powered one, and lesser amounts at a time if not.  I use the tamper to smash it down in my Vitamix as I blend so that it gets “riced” evenly.  When you are done, it will resemble white rice.

2. Place the riced cauliflower in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, mixing together well until a batter forms.

3. Using a large spoon, scoop the batter, one scoop at a time, onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  As you scoop, smooth the batter into a round shape, spreading it evenly so that there are no holes in the wrap.  You don’t want to spread it too thin or it will burn and then fall apart when you eat it, and if you leave it too thick, it won’t bake well.  Somewhere between the thickness of a corn tortilla and a flour tortilla is just right.

4. Once you have all of your wraps spread out on the parchment-lined baking sheets (it will take two sheets, as the recipe makes about 8 small wraps), place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  The edges will start to crisp a bit, as well as any thin spots in the wraps.  That’s ok, as long as those parts aren’t too thin, otherwise they will burn while you’re waiting on the thicker parts to finish baking.

5. Once the centers of the wraps are done, they should peel off the parchment paper easily.  If they begin to fall apart when you try to remove them, they aren’t quite done yet and need to go back in for a few more minutes.

My family loves these and no one has complained once about missing tortillas!  I load them up with some sort of meat- (I’ve used ground taco meat, as well as seasoned brisket, chicken and pork), guacamole, diced tomatoes and other veggies, sour cream, sauerkraut… with all that flavor, you hardly notice that you’re not eating a real tortilla!

Real Food Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe (Gluten/Grain and Sugar Free!)

Real Food Mississippi Mud Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake recipe from Make It Paleo:

 

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

10 eggs

1 TBS vanilla

1 cup real maple syrup (or honey)

1 cup melted coconut oil (I used palm oil.  You could also use butter.)

 

Preheat oven to 325*.

Combine sifted coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

Blend eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and melted coconut oil.

Add dry ingredients to wet and blend.

 

My additional steps to make Mississippi Mud Cake:

Add 1/2 cup each of chopped pecans and plain, shredded coconut to batter and mix well.

Original recipe calls for two 9″ cake pans, but for Mississippi Mud Cake, I used a standard rectangular cake pan, greased with palm oil.  Pour batter in cake pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

 

For marshmallow cream layer:

I tweaked a recipe from Cheeseslave:  2 egg whites, 5 oz honey, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch a real salt.  Whip all together in stand mixer or with hand mixer until thick and fluffy (7-10 minutes).  Spread over cooled chocolate cake.

 

For chocolate frosting:

Ok, so I didn’t measure, so I’ll give you approximate measurements and you’ll have to taste-test as you go like I do ;).

Butter (I used cultured, pastured butter!)

Organic Palm Shortening

Raw Honey

Vanilla

Cocoa Powder

 

The butter and palm shortening should be slightly softened but not melted.  Start with about 1/2 cup butter and whip it in the stand mixer.  Add about 1/4 cup palm shortening and whip them together.  Add 1/4- 1/2 cup raw honey and 1 tsp vanilla and blend.  Add cocoa powder, 1/8 cup at a time until frosting reaches desired texture and chocolatey-ness 🙂  If the level of desired chocolatey-ness isn’t sweet enough, add a little more raw honey.  When it reaches a flavor and texture to your liking, add just under 1/2 cup each chopped pecans and shredded coconut.  Frost over the marshmallow layer.

 

Try not to eat the entire cake all in one day like we did.  (There was lots of family around, so it’s ok, right?)

 

My five-year-old said “This tastes like unhealthy cake!”  Best compliment ever in my book!

A Perfectly Paleo Birthday Party! GAPS Diet* and Allergy Friendly, Grain-Free Party Food!

My little guy turned one! I have to say, I am a sucker- an absolute sucker- for throwing big, fun parties! I love party planning. I love making a special cake for my kiddos, especially for a first birthday so they can have one all to themselves to smash and mash and taste and play with. But now more than ever, it is important to me that the cake be healthy. And since we’ve gone grain-free, it’s even a little trickier. However, I think I pulled off the perfect paleo birthday party, in which I used no grains, sugar or any other nasties typically found at a child’s birthday party. Here’s what I came up with. Enjoy!

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Decorations take center stage when healthy, simple foods are available!

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If you’re like me, you want to treat your kids with fun, yummy food. That used to mean frozen, boxed corn dogs. Thank goodness I can say it’s been years since I’ve bought any kid-friendly foods from the freezer section. So, I came up with these paleo-friendly “corn”dog muffins- a coconut flour-based cornbread-like muffin with a chunk of uncured, hormone and antibiotic-free hot dogs. Even guests who don’t typically eat a grain-free diet enjoyed them and I thought they really did taste like corndogs!

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Homemade lemonade with a secret ingredient- Sweet Lemon flavored Natural Calm (a magnesium supplement).  Instead of hyping kids up on sugar and sending them home wired, we gave them Natural Calm, so they can go home mellow!  You’re welcome, fellow parents. My brother-in-law was kind enough to juice a dozen lemons for me, to which we added filtered water, a couple tablespoons of the Natural Calm, and honey/maple syrup to taste.

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Cupcakes for the guests- on top is a coconut flour-based strawberry shortcake, with strawberries baked throughout and sliced on top.  On the bottom is my new favorite treat, a chocolate cupcake (made with or without eggs!), with a caramel center and topped with a chocolate frosting and toasted pecans.  I really don’t even want to tell you how many cupcakes I *may* have eaten throughout the day.

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My little guy’s personal cake!  Made with the same chocolate cake recipe I used for the cupcakes, and topped with a frosting made of palm oil, butter and honey.  I used to use lots of colored frosting made with powdered sugar.  Cute decorations can replace the colorful frosting for a fun option that doesn’t use artificial dyes.

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He loved it and mommy doesn’t have to feel guilty about giving baby junk!

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For the main course, we made “burger skewers”- using the homegrown ground beef we get from my in-laws, we made mini burgers that my hubby grilled up.  You can then stick them on a skewer and top them with whatever you like.  I ate mine by dipping it in guacamole and homemade lacto-fermented ketchup.  I got the idea for these skewers from Danielle at Against All Grain– brilliant!

 *My husband also made “regular” burgers for the “regular” folks so that no one had to feel weird about eating a burger without a bun if they didn’t want to.  He balances me out.  I am all for all healthy all the time, whereas he wants to accomodate guests a little better.  It works.

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Finally, no birthday party is complete without a favor to send away with the kiddos.  Birthday party treat bags typically contain some kind of candy and lots of little toys that get broken and spread all over my house for me to step on in the dark in the middle of the night.  Not this time.  I just put some organic apple sauce in little canning jars, put circles of burlap in between lid layers, and tied it off with a red ribbon and spoon.  Easy peasy.

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We had such a wonderful time celebrating the first birthday of our littlest son!  Guests commented that the food was good and, yes, they asked me if the cupcakes were “natural”.  I always worry a little about serving our “weird” food to “normal” people 😉  But everything got eaten and people even asked for recipes, so all in all I think it was a success!

*To make foods GAPS-diet friendly, use honey as sweetener!  All baked goods were made with coconut flour and have an egg-free option by using chia seeds to replace the eggs.  Getting creative with GAPS diet foods is easy!

Best Ever Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe (Yes, I’m Aware It’s Still Winter.)

Best chocolate ice cream

I know there have been recent snow storms across the country. But not in my neck of the woods. Nope, here in Texas, we’ve been having some pretty nice weather and have even been opening doors and windows to let in a nice breeze. So, no, I do not think ice cream is out of order. Nor is it ever. I played around with a recipe last night and found it to be so unbelievably good that I made the exact same thing again tonight. You, too, can make this unbelievably good treat with only a few ingredients:

Ingredients:

2 cups raw milk (or organic or homemade coconut milk [Native Forest is a good brand])
1/4 + 1/8 cup raw honey
Heaping 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 pastured eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until well combined (you don’t want the cacao powder to have clumps!) Pour into your ice cream maker and proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions.

This is delicious to serve up with some fresh, organic strawberries. My husband added some plain raw milk to his and made a chocolate milk shake, which was delicious, by the way. I think I will use this recipe (without freezing it) to make good ol’ chocolate milk as an occasional treat for my boys as well- pretty sure I would get some kind of mom award from them for that one!

You may notice that this is a pretty small batch of ice cream. The first night I made it, my boys didn’t eat much of their dinner, so I sent them to bed and made it just for the hubby and myself! We didn’t finish all of it, though, so it really is enough for several people. I made the same amount again tonight, and it was just about right for the four of us (baby definitely doesn’t get ice cream yet!), with no left overs, which is fine by me because it’s much better fresh anyways.

The funny thing is, I’m not a huge chocolate person, but this just really does it for me.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Homemade Fruit and Veggie Leather (Better Than Fruit Roll-Ups!)

So, remember how I said I was going to do the Whole 30?  I was really excited about it and pumped up to encourage you guys to join me… If you follow me on facebook, you know that it didn’t quite work out like I’d hoped.  Type A person that I am, this really bummed me out, but once I just determined to do what was best for my family at the time, I felt a huge relief.  Turns out adding on additional food restrictions to an already strict diet mere weeks after a move and schedule change is not the wisest thing to do.  Lesson learned and I will try again when I feel like it’s the right time.  So… did any of you do the Whole 30? 🙂

Moving on… I’ve been getting busier in the kitchen over the last month as we are feeling a little more settled in our new home.  I’m enjoying experimenting in the kitchen again!  I’d been wanting to make some homemade fruit leather for years and hadn’t ever gotten around to it, so I finally decided to give it a try last week.  The results were amazing- and so simple to achieve!  If you want to give it a try too, here’s what you’ll need:

2 peeled, cored apples

1.5-2 cups mixed organic berries (fresh, not frozen)

1-2 large carrots

1/4 cup honey

High-powered blender or food processor

Parchment paper

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Preheat oven to 150*.

Place all ingredients in the blender:

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Blend until completely smooth:

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Pour mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet/s and place in the oven for a minimum of 6 hours, possibly overnight if you start it in the evening.  Just gauge how thick/thin the mixture is.

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When it is all totally dry and can be peeled off the paper, it’s done!  To be honest, we didn’t let it all get done, we just peeled strips off as it was finished because it was SO good and we are an impatient bunch.  I took a few strips and sort of rolled and twisted them together to make them more transport-able for a park play date.

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I’d like to try again with more veggies next time!  What combination of fruits and veggies would you try?