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Whenever someone says “my favorite things” all I can hear is The Sound of Music… “these are a few of my favorite things…”

I know what we’re all thinking though: Wouldn’t it be great if we could get everything from one place?! I go to three different grocery stores, because none of them have everything I want. BUT… it’s also kind of fun, because I get the variety of going to different places. AND how lucky are we that everything in THIS post can be ordered in our pajamas?

This Body Butter is unreal. When my kids get the worst dry chapped hands, this is the ONLY thing that saves them. Just ask my littles I keep it where they can reach it in the downstairs half-bath, and when they’re sore and dry, they use it to heal their skin!

HEALTHY deodorant!!!!!!! No aluminum of any kind, nothing questionable, AND this is the absolute most effective deodorant we have ever used! I know all the cool kids are into charcoal everything, and they have a charcoal deodorant too, but the Lemongrass is still my faaaave. I’ve been using it for years, because guess what?? I’m friends with Bethany, the founder of this company Also, you guys, you don’t need to put on a ton of this stuff, just enough to lightly cover. It’s THAT good.

Okay, it has been yeeeeeears that you guys have been asking me for a healthy store-bought sunblock that goes on smooth and doesn’t leave you white, and it’s FINALLY here. This Beautycounter sunblock gets the best EWG Skin Deep safety rating you guys!!! My family and I are LOVING it. Read more options for sunblock and find out how to get Vitamin D HERE.

Moisturizing Cream from Tropical Traditions! See HOW I use this in my tutorial here. Long story short: you need to apply it with a little water before applying your foundation so you’re foundation doesn’t get all dry and unhealthy looking during the day They also have unscented if you prefer!

Hemp CBD oil Hydrate Cream from Prime My Body! My teenage girls dab it on breakouts and poof, they’re gone. Read about it HERE.

Araza Coconut Cream Foundation with zinc for natural sun protection for your face! I apply this as directed HERE, and I love how real the ingredients are! Really, you could eat this foundation, but it probably wouldn’t taste very good

Enjoy these lovely products!

, Kelly

The post Skin Care & Beauty Favorites! appeared first on The Spunky Coconut.

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The “cheese” in this recipe is a variation of the cheese in my lasagna recipes, which gets combined with other things like meat sauce, when you make lasagna. I added some extra spices here because I thought the dairy-free cheese was a little bland all by it’s lonesome. (You know, without its friend Mr. Meatsauce.) I think the extra spices make this dish even better, but you can leave out the cumin and paprika if you prefer. I hope you like it!

Potatoes au Gratin dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free

Potatoes:
2 and ½ pounds (about 9) russet potatoes

“Cheese”:
1 ½ cups cashews
1 ½ cups water
½ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons Herbamare
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup ghee + more for the dutch oven
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour

  1. Set the oven to 400F.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into about ½ inch cubes.
  3. Add the potatoes to a greased 5 quart dutch oven.
  4. Puree the cashews, water, salt, Herbamare, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, pepper, Dijon, and lemon juice until completely smooth.
  5. In a saucepan make the rue: Melt the ghee over about medium heat, then whisk in the arrowroot flour. Slowly pour in the puree while whisking to thicken slightly.
  6. Pour the sauce over the potatoes in the dutch oven.
  7. Put the lid on and bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Carefully remove the dish from the oven wearing oven mitts, and take off the lid. Make sure that everyone knows not to touch the lid or the pot that have been in the oven. (Yeah, I’ve done that.)
  9. Allow the dish to cool slightly, then serve. It will thicken more the longer it cools.

Serves 10

, Kelly

This recipe comes from my new book, Easy Paleo Meals, which contains all my holiday recipes and meal plans!

The post Dairy-Free Potatoes au Gratin appeared first on The Spunky Coconut.

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I’m so excited to have this guest post for you guys today! I’m drooling over it! This Dairy-Free Queso comes from my good friend, Brittany, who I’ve known for a long time! Brittany and I were blogging buddies in the old days of blogging, then met for the first time in real life at a gluten-free expo in Chicago in May of 2011. Years later we shared a room at my second PaleoFx in Austin (2014), where we laughed so hard, and had the best time!
Enjoy this Dairy-Free Queso from Brittany!
Dairy Free Copycat of the Famous Rotel Queso!

Hey Spunky Coconut Readers! My name is Brittany Angell. I specialize in Allergen Free/ Special Diet Baking & Cooking! I cover everything from Gluten Free to Paleo, AIP and Keto! A few years ago I authored a cookbook called Every Last Crumb. You can find hundreds more free allergen free recipes on my site BrittanyAngell.com

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease back in 2007. For several years I had to eat a super restrictive diet while I was working to get my health issues into remission. I’ll never forget that feeling of being deprived and missing out on my favorite things. That motivated me to jump into the kitchen and spend many years mastering my baking skills using new allergen free ingredients! 11 years later and Im still at it.. recreating everyones favorite foods in a healthier way for various allergies and diets!

I have known and loved Kelly for YEARS, and I admire her authentic approach to recipes and blogging! I’m super thrilled to be sharing my Dairy Free take on the Famous Rotel Queso!

I have been working on perfecting Dairy Free Cheese recipes for years- and i’m out of my mind excited with how this one turned out! The texture is spot on and the flavor is glorious. If you enjoy making homemade cheese sans dairy you might also enjoy my Dairy Free Mozzarella balls recipe, and homemade Dairy Free Brie (among many others!).

Almond Milk used for Queso

  •   3 3/4 cups water
  •  1 packed cup blanched almond flour

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Set aside.

The Queso

  • 1 2/3 Cup Homemade Almond Milk (Must be from the recipe above!)
  • (10 0z) can of Hatch Chili’s + Tomatoes Strained (Rotel or Organic Brand of Choice)
  • 1/2 cup of Refined Coconut oil (refined is preferred as it has less flavor)
  • 3 Tbsp starch (Tapioca/Arrowroot or Potato Starch)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/4  cup + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (THIS ONE is free of synthetic folic acid, a major no-no with the MTHFR mutation)
  • 3/4 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic Mushroom Powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt to taste.

*Ingredient notes: The magic mushroom powder can be found in Whole Foods. The recipe to make it can be found on Nom Nom Paleo’s website! It essentially just helps to intensify the flavor of the queso and (it adds to the cheesy flavor too!). If you are having trouble finding the ingredients to make it or buy it- it can be left out! However if you do leave it out- you may need to increase the salt in the queso (to taste.)

You will have leftover almond milk- it can be used to make a number of my other dairy free cheese recipes. You can also add a little salt, tiny bit of sweetener and drink it like milk. If you want it totally smooth it can be strained. The leftover can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or longer.

Directions
  1. Make the almond milk!
  2. Pour 1 2/3 cup of the almond milk into a sauce pan. Strain the can of chili’s and tomatoes. Pour the chili’s and tomatoes into the pot. Then add all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Whisk on medium low heat until its your preferred thickness. IF it gets too thick- you can thin it out a by adding 1-2 more tbsp of coconut oil. (Do not add more milk- this will mess up the texture and flavor) DO NOT boil this sauce hard or it will break..and loose its goo-ey texture.
  4. Serve Warm! You can reheat over medium low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave- stirring it every 20-30 seconds until fully warmed. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. This queso tastes even better the day after its made! So I recommend making it ahead the day before bringing it to or serving it at a party!

Brittany Angell

Food Should Be Good!
Connect to me on Facebook & Twitter

The post Dairy-Free Queso appeared first on The Spunky Coconut.

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Today I wanted to talk a little bit about having hard conversations, talking about things that are hard to talk about, that make us uncomfortable. I believe that the more we talk about these things, the easier it gets, and the more connected we are with one another. After all, we are here to support one another, to share our gifts, and to spread kindness and love.

When I first started talking about Ashley it was really hard. With time it got easier. Occasionally someone still says something about Ashley that hurts me, but I can’t let those rare instances keep me from all the good that comes from talking about the hard stuff.

There’s another topic that deserves our attention which can also be hard to discuss, and that’s money. I wish it weren’t so. It would be easier if I were a man or if I had a different job. No one ever criticizes my husband for making money. People criticize women less for working in an office than they do for earning money online. But women are amazing, I’m proud to be a woman, and the more we value our time and work, the easier it will be for our daughters.

I’ve been selling products my whole career. I’ve written over six cookbooks. I’ve been an affiliate for makeup that I believe in, and for food and other products on Amazon that I believe in (affiliate links). Now I’m an affiliate for a hemp oil that has improved my health and changed the lives of so many people that I have shared it with. I feel really good about the work that I do and have always done. When people criticize me for making money I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do what I’m passionate about, what I’m really good at.

Back in 2011 about a dozen of my blogging friends from around the country came to Boulder for a girls weekend. In one of our discussions a woman asked (timidly, as if she was ashamed to ask this private group of supportive friends) “Do you think it’s okay if we make money?” Wow. Would a man ever feel the need to ask, “Should I get paid for the work that I’m doing?” I don’t think so. We were spending our time and money developing recipes, sharing health journeys, sharing helpful products, writing, and photographing for our blogs. We were helping so many others who were struggling — adults and children alike.

Many of our blogs had an audience way bigger than a traditional printed magazine. Health and food brands saw value in our popularity and recognized it as a great way promote their businesses. Many of these brands were exploitive, offering only a $10 box of gluten-free cookies in exchange for advertising to our tens of thousands of readers. Other brands approached me, offering a thousand dollars for a single sponsored blog post, and I turned them down because I didn’t agree with their ingredients or their product. But there are also companies that have offered me fair compensation to bring attention to their helpful and healthy products. I’m delighted to share these brands with my fans!

From time to time I see a blogger or an Instagrammer shaming other women for making money, assuring her audience that she only blogs, “for the love of blogging.” She vows to never make any money, as if this makes her a better person than those who do. I occasionally get messages from readers who are offended that I promote my cookbooks and cookies, or that I’m an organic makeup affiliate, or a hemp oil affiliate. Not everyone needs to work for a living, but for those of us who do, there’s no shame in supporting our family by making commissions on products we already buy. Beauty Counter and DoTerra work this way, and so does Prime My Body (PMB), the company that makes the hemp oil, pet hemp oil, skin care products, and the detox kit that I buy.

My fans don’t make money when they buy my cookbooks, mugs, mug cake mix, cookie mixes, or when they follow my Amazon links. But when my fans join my PMB team as an affiliate they can buy their supplements AND earn money. I’m happy that because of me they’ve found a product that helps them, and I’m happy that it helps them earn money for their family. (Just to give you an example of what I’m talking about: my husband is on my PMB team, I enrolled him. That means when he makes an order for our family, I get a commission. We get money back on products we already buy. The first time Andrew ordered our hemp oil as my teammate we earned $300 back, because we wanted the big pack of bottles. Andrew’s future orders didn’t earn us as much as his first purchase, but we still get points and rewards every time he orders. I think of it like my Amazon credit card, which gives me money back for making purchases with it.)

We all have expenses. A family on a special diet is espensive, and having a child with severe special needs is even more expensive. But I don’t need an excuse to earn a living. Nobody does. I love helping people and sharing what has helped my family and my sweet Ashley.

Lots of love!

, Kelly

P.S. If you’re interested in enrolling, and joining my PMB team OR getting affiliate discounts as a customer (without enrolling) email me: inquire@thespunkycoconut.com

The post Real talk: blogging and money appeared first on The Spunky Coconut.

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