Yummy Yogurt Gummies!

I finally mastered making homemade gummies with these yummy yogurt gummies! You guys, I have been trying to make homemade gummies for at least 3 years. First of all, I love gummies and wanted to make my own. Then, when I realized you could add probiotics to your homemade gummies (you know, for gut health), I was jazzed. But each batch was grosser than the first. I couldn’t even get Grace to eat them (and she eats almost everything).

But then, as I was spoon feeding Claire her second dish of yogurt this afternoon, my lazy self thought, ‘I sure wish she could feed herself yogurt’; and BAM, an idea was born. Yogurt gummies. To my delight, they turned out amazing! In fact, Claire and I already ate the first batch.

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A few notes on the ingredients:

  • Use good quality gelatin. Gelatin is packed with protein that is easy to digest. My youngest is a bit of a picky eater, and while I know I don’t need to worry, I still feel better when she eats more quality fat and protein. These gummies are a good way to get those in her little body.
  • Use good quality yogurt. I got this grass-fed yogurt at my local health food store and I love it. Grass-fed yogurt is higher in Vitamin K2, which most of us don’t get enough of. If you can’t get grass-fed yogurt, choose a good quality organic yogurt instead.
  • I used vanilla to flavour these, but you could use anything! Blend up some blueberries and strawberries to make berry yogurt flavoured gummies; or try frozen mangoes or cherries with a bit of lime juice. Don’t eat yogurt? Just use blended fruit as the entire base. Still delicious. The possibilities are actually endless.
  • I used these silicone molds for mine. They are reusable, easy to clean, and the shapes are adorable. You can also make chocolates in them (or these) for a fun little snack. Don’t want to wait? Pour the mix into a pan and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes (like Jell-o Jigglers from 1991).

On to the recipe:

Yummy Yogurt Gummies

Delicious, healthy gummies you can make at home!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (use one with fat, please!)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (adjust to your taste preference)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbsp good quality gelatin

Instructions

  1. Stir the yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt together in a small pot or saucepan. 

  2. Sprinkle with the gelatin. Don't stir! Allow to stand for 3 minutes while the gelatin 'blooms'.

  3. Place the pot/pan on the stove on medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat gently until the gelatin dissolves (this takes about 3-5 minutes). 

  4. When gelatin is completely dissolved, taste it to make sure you like it. If not, adjust the sweetness or add a bit more salt. Remove from heat and spoon into your molds.

  5. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. They are done when you can easily pop them out of the mold. 

  6. Enjoy frozen or thawed! Yum!!!


Luxurious Brown Sugar Body Scrub

The perfect precursor to slathering your whole body with homemade body butter is some invigorating exfoliation using this luxurious brown sugar body scrub! Dry, flaky, winter skin is the worst; but this is sure to brighten your skin and your mood.

I used brown sugar as the exfoliating agent because it smells divine and is a little gentler on the skin. I used a mix of coconut oil and avocado oil because they are so nourishing! Avocado oil also thins out the thick coconut oil, and I like the whipped texture when they are mixed together. Also, if you bought other oils to make your body butter, feel free to swap those for the avocado oil instead! The vanilla added a bit of luxury for me, but if you aren’t into vanilla (or don’t want to spend big bucks on the powder), leave it out OR add in some essential oils! This recipe is super versatile, too. For example, use white sugar with lavender essential oil. Or grapefruit essential oil. Or orange. You get the idea ;).

Luxurious Brown Sugar Body Scrub

A delightful way to refresh dry, flaky skin skin. 

Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (because it smells so good!)

Instructions

  1. Whip the coconut oil and avocado oil in a food processor until light and fluffy. Scoop into a mixing bowl.

  2. Add the other ingredients and stir until well combined.

  3. Store in a tightly sealed mason jar.

  4. Make sure you have it on hand next time you pop into the tub or shower!

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My MOST Favourite Kitchen Gadgets + Cookbooks

Since cooking delicious plant-based meals at our amazing women’s retreat at Ootsa Lake a few weeks ago, I have had tons of questions about my favourite kitchen gadgets and cookbooks. We all need a few hacks to make getting into the kitchen a little easier (and a little more fun!). With two busy little girls, it is definitely tough for me to make cooking from scratch a priority.  And while we occasionally splurge on this, I try to cook delicious homemade food regularly because I just feel better when I do. So, here are my favourite gadgets and cookbooks that keep me inspired. Hope they inspire you too!

    1. Instant Pot: This is an easy 1st pick. I read all about these and for months, I wondered whether it would actually change my life. I finally bought it ins 2016 and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe I waited so long to make a $100 decision. My favourite thing to use it for: cooking dry beans and making soup…and making rice… and making meatballs in marinara sauce! Yikes, there are so many things it can do! I don’t have time to stand in front of the stove for hours these days, making sure my pot of beans doesn’t boil over. The Instant Pot just handles it. In about 25 minutes! AMAZING! It also has a super handy saute function so you can saute your onions, carrots, and celery, then just add the rest of your soup ingredients! Actually so amazing.
    2. Little Vitamix: I debated buying this pricey piece of machinery for a long time. I finally did a few years ago and it is a staple in my kitchen. I bought the smaller, “personal” version because I loved the size of my old “magic bullet” (cringe!), especially for making salad dressings, and didn’t want a lot of counter clutter. I wondered if I would be disappointed that I didn’t buy the big one. I’m not. I love that this is compact, fits on my counter, and that the bottom unscrews like a normal blender. I make EVERYTHING in this: smoothies where the greens are actually well-blended and don’t stick in your teeth, almond milk, cashew cream, hummus, soups, etc.
    3. You need these baking cups to make your own peanut butter cups. Enough said.
    4. The Joy of Cooking: This is a timeless cookbook, and while it is definitely not a health cookbook, it is a delicious cookbook full of easily swappable ingredients. For example, there is a whole host of amazing, simple salad dressings, all with 10 ingredients or less (PS: it is definitely time to stop buying salad dressings in a bottle. They don’t actually taste that good!).
    5. Dinner: Changing the Game: Again, not a health food book, but full of super delicious recipes that you can easily make healthier by using good fats (avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee) in place of traditional vegetable oils. Melissa Clark knows good food. I have never made anything I didn’t like from this book.
    6. Green Kitchen Smoothies: Healthy and Colorful Smoothies for Every Day. I seriously make the WORST smoothies in the world, unless I have a recipe. This book is a lifesaver for me, featuring smoothies (with simple ingredients)  that easily double as breakfast and dessert (especially for a picky toddler!).
    7. At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well: This book features less well-known ingredients, prepared in a super healthy way. Amy does an amazing job walking you through which grains are great for what, how to properly prepare them, and how to make them taste great. My favourite muffin recipe in the world is in this book! She also includes an incredible assortment of dips, sauces, and soups, and those make this book a winner.
    8. Wanna cook delicious food without a recipe? You need the right elements of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. This book was a game changer for me.
    9. Oh She Glows Every Day: I am not vegan, but this cookbook definitely helps me incorporate more plants into my meals, which keeps my digestion moving along at a reasonable pace. Angela hooked me into making my own hummus and finally trying cashew cream, which is actually so creamy and wonderful.
    10. Sweets In The Raw: Naturally Healthy Desserts: When it comes to the best tasting, good for you treats that won’t send your blood sugar out of control, this is the only book you need to own. I have owned this book for 2 years and still pull it out weekly to whip up healthy (mostly chocolate) treats.

I could go on and on with this post…I just love this stuff. But I will stop now. The main goal: get inspired to cook in your kitchen! Hope you found something inspiring here!


Upgraded Peanut Butter Cups

Who doesn’t love peanut butter cups!? I started making my own about 6 months ago and have never looked back. In fact, I bit into a store bought one about a week ago and seriously thew it away! It was not nearly as good as my own. Plus, consuming refined sugar usually makes me feel emotionally unstable, so I try and limit that (which my family really appreciates!). I always felt like my usual recipe was missing something, though. So, I tinkered around a bit and came up with these upgraded peanut butter cups that combine everything good about a raw dessert tart with chocolate and peanut butter. I LOVE them and I know you will too.

I made the chocolate using a combination of maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla powder, coconut oil and raw cacao. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, good fats, loaded with minerals (like magnesium to keep you relaxed!), and low in sugar. These are peanut butter cups you can feel great about eating! But, do keep in mind that this version is melty at room temperature, so the treats need to stay in the fridge or freezer until you eat them.

One other thought: I bought these fancy silicone baking cups and they are perfect for making these (and all kinds of other frozen treats). They fit right into your muffin tin, and then you can reuse them over and over. I don’t find them great for baking, but I do love them for these.

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Upgraded Peanut Butter Cups

Scrumptious homemade peanut butter cups that are free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy - but still amazingly delicious. 

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 large cups

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

For the chocolate

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

For the peanut butter filling

  • 1/2 cup natural, no-sugar added peanut butter (or almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or local honey)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

For the crust

  1. Pulse everything together in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. The 'dough' should stick together when you pinch it.

  2. Spoon 2 TBSP into a muffin tin, lined with silicone baking cups. Use your fingers (or the tamper from your blender) to evenly distribute the crust in the cup. 

  3. Pop it into the freezer.

For the chocolate

  1. Mix the wet ingredients together with a small whisk or fork. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The chocolate will be quite runny.

  2. Pull the crust from the freezer and pour about 1 tsp of chocolate into each crust. Use only half of the chocolate mix! Save the rest of the top. Pop back in the freezer.

For the peanut butter filling

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix well. 

  2. Pull the crusts from the freezer. Use two soup spoons to evenly distribute the peanut butter mixture amongst the cups. 

  3. Top with the remaining chocolate. If your chocolate firmed up too much, just re-melt it again on the stove or in the microwave.

  4. Pop the tray back in the freezer for about 30 mins.

  5. Devour 🙂

  6. If for some reason you don't eat these all in one sitting, just pop the cups out of their liners and store them in a large mason jar in the freezer. Like them a little softer? Store them in the coldest part of your fridge. You'll definitely eat them before they go bad. 

Go make them now! And, if you are looking for traditional peanut butter cups, sans crust? Just leave it off. They will still be delicious.  Got a nut allergy? Sub the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter or coconut butter. Yummmmmm. You can see where this is going: there are endless options of cups to make! Stay tuned as I tinker around with this recipe :).

 

 

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