Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paleo Banana-Coconut Flour Cupcakes (more like muffins)

My son is a cupcake fanatic and was begging me this morning to make some "healthy cupcakes".  He knows we try to make healthy substitutes for the foods we love when we're at home.  But don't get me wrong, it's fair game at birthday parties and outside the house for that kid!  I don't want him to feel deprived and then go off the deep end when he's older.  What I love though, is that he is finding out early on what is and isn't good for your body and he sees that the healthy substitutes take care of that sweet craving without leaving him feeling yucky afterward. 

So we went online to look for a primal cupcake recipe and found this one over at Cosomopolitan Primal Girl.  I didn't have the ingredients for the icing, so we just made the cupcake part.  It turned out to be more like a muffin and it was dee-lish!  I love that most of the sweetness comes from the bananas; there's only about two tablespoons of raw honey in the whole batch.  Plus, since it calls for coconut flour, it's grain free, and the coconut flour leaves you feeling full long afterward. What a winner!

Here it is, minus the icing directions (click on the link above for the full recipe):

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp coconut milk
- 1/2 Cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 whole mashed bananas (very ripe)


1.  Pre-heat oven to 350

2.  In a bowl, mix together coconut flour, salt, baking powder, coconut milk, vanilla extract, bananas and eggs

3.  Melt the coconut oil and honey/maple syrup and then slowly add it to the mix.

4.  Mix together thoroughly and pour into greased (use coconut oil or non-stick spray) muffin baking pan.

5.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes – check after 20 minutes because you might have a better oven. You want to be able to stick a fork into the middle and have it come out dry.

6.  Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

Friday, July 2, 2010

While I'm on the subject of school...

I just came across this lovely post on my friend's blog at Finally...I'm the Mom! that really hits the nail on the head when it comes to all the reasons we do not intend to send our son(s) to public school and will be homeschooling.  Since I couldn't have said it better myself, I am going to re-post it here:

Schooled... why public school is not for us.

I often tell people when the discussion comes up as to where Elijah will go to school (as if most people have that figured out at 11 months old) that Elijah will not go to public school. I am then usually bombarded with how the schools in their neighborhood have high test scores or that their particular school is amazing. While I have no doubt these claims are accurate, they do not impress me.

I do not see public school as the devil. It definitely serves a purpose and for many children it is a safety net. It was for me. My public school teachers were the reasons I survived my childhood and one of them in particular still serves the role of a mother for me.

So why no public school for my child? Oh, where to begin...

1. The Curriculum. The phrase "Inch deep and a mile wide" seems to fit perfectly and that depth they speak of is not filled with entire accuracies either. If you don't believe me, pick up a history book. On top of that, it is monumentally boring to do ditto sheet after ditto sheet of stuff no matter how old you are, much less when you are 5! I do not want a child who hates learning or even one that tolerates it.

2. Lack of Play. If you are reading my blog, I probably do not need to convince you of the benefit of play in a child's life, how it is the ONLY way they learn anything, or that play is not 15 minute recess on a blacktop twice a day with one ball for 30 kids (if you are lucky). Ok, yes, some schools have more than that and maybe even a few blades of grass.

To get what I am looking for though, take a look at this and this company.

3. Extrinsic Control. Other than a life of love, the one thing I want more than anything for Elijah is to be internally motivated. To do things that matter to him with passion and to do what is right because it matters to him and not because he will get some reward for it or especially because he is afraid of what might happen to him if he does not do it. It is much more difficult to maintain that in a child when eight hours a day is spent in a rewards/punishments based, praise based, grades based system. I will get more into this in another post, but put more simply... I don't want Elijah to have to try to understand why he was demoted to the red card for talking to his friends during spelling.

There are so many other reasons that public school is not for us. These are the most important. And while there are excellent teachers out there who create amazing programs and who certainly make a difference, it is the system that is flawed. It is the politicians that have passed bills that do not allow those wonderful teachers to flourish to the best of their ability. And while things might one day change, the pendulum has swung so far in this direction, I don't see it coming back in my child's lifetime. I just can not let him be a casualty.

Satirical Article: Increasing Number of Parents Opting to Have Children School-Homed

I'm not really sure how this article fits into this blog...but in any case, I loved it and just had to share!

Taken from The Onion:,17159/

WASHINGTON—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American parents are choosing to have their children raised at school rather than at home.

Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society.

Thousands of mothers and fathers polled in the study also believe that those running American homes cannot be trusted to keep their kids safe.

"Every year more parents are finding that their homes are not equipped to instill the right values in their children," Miller said. "When it comes to important life skills such as proper nutrition, safe sex, and even basic socialization, a growing number of mothers and fathers think it's better to rely on educators to guide and nurture their kids."

"And really, who can blame them?" Miller continued. "American homes have let down our nation's youth time and again in almost every imaginable respect."

According to the report, children raised at home were less likely to receive individual adult attention, and were often subjected to ineffective and wildly inconsistent disciplinary measures. The study also found that many parents expressed concerns that, when at home, their children were being teased and bullied by those older than themselves.

In addition to providing better supervision and overall direction, school-homing has become popular among mothers and fathers who just want to be less involved in the day-to-day lives of their children.

"Parents are finding creative ways to make this increasingly common child-rearing track work," Miller said. "Whether it's over-relying on after-school programs and extracurricular activities, or simply gross neglect,† school-homing is becoming a widely accepted method of bringing children up."

Despite the trend's growing popularity, Miller said that school programs are often jeopardized or terminated because shortsighted individuals vote against tax increases intended to boost educational spending.

"The terrifying reality we're facing is that the worst-equipped people you could possibly imagine may actually be forced to take care of their children," Miller said.

Parents who have decided to school-home their children have echoed many of Miller's concerns. Most said that an alarming number of legal guardians such as themselves lack the most basic common sense required to give children the type of instruction they need during crucial developmental years.

"It's really a matter of who has more experience in dealing with my child," Cincinnati- resident Kevin Dufrense said of his decision to have his 10-year-old son Jake, who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia, school-homed. "These teachers are dealing with upwards of 40 students in their classrooms at a time, so obviously they know a lot more about children than someone like me, who only has one son and doesn't know where he is half the time anyway."

"Simply put, it's not the job of parents to raise these kids," Dufrense added.

Though school-homing has proven to be an ideal solution for millions of uninvolved parents, increasingly overburdened public schools have recently led to a steady upswing in the number of students being prison-homed.