Chocolate bunny truffles without chocolate – dairy free – vegan

I’m always looking for new catchy healthy snacks. Kids love snacking and moms love healthy snacks that will not ruin the appetite for lunch or dinner ;-)

Luca has developed an insane passion for everything that is or resemble chocolate (if you consider that my husband has a “secret” chocolate bag hidden in his closet, you can imagine where Luca’s passion comes from…). I try to respect his chocolaty desires but at the same time I also try not to exaggerate and to keep him on the healthy side.

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That’s why I usually have a jar of homemade Nutella in the refrigerator (if you want to check the recipe click here) and that’s why I was very excited to test on him this “chocolate without chocolate” truffles recipe. Alex helped me preparing the truffles. He loves pressing the food processor ;-)

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In order to have more fun we shaped the truffles like little bunnies and we gave them some coconut flakes fur ;-)

You will only need 4 ingredients and you will not need to bake at all. The  main ingredient that gives natural sweetness and body to the recipe is dates. Sweet and delicious fruits from the tropical oasis, packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. I would say a must for kids ;-)

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To give the chocolate taste I added cocoa. Unsweetened as the dates give enough sweetness to the recipe. Last ingredient for the truffles is vanilla extract, just a teaspoon to add more flavor. As I shaped the truffles like bunnies I needed a creative coating, that’s why I used coconut flakes to create a furry effect.

Here you are the quantities to create 20 small bunnies:


And that’s how simple the recipe is:

– Soak the dates in some lukewarm water for few hours (even overnight if you have time). The more the dates are submerged by water the softer and moist they get.

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– Place the coconut flakes in a food processor and mix for 1/2 minutes. You want to transform them in a kind of coconut flour. Set it apart

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– Using the same food processor add the dates (remember to take out the pit!!), the unsweetened cocoa powder and the vanilla extract

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– Let the food processor work for few minutes in order to transform the dates mix in a thick paste. If you need to stop and scrap the sides of the food processor with a spatula to better cut the dates, do it!

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– Sprinkle some coconut flakes on a flat surface and place on it two teaspoons of cocoa/dates mix. Sprinkle some coconut on top too and flat the mix with your fingers. The coconut will prevent the mix to stick to your hands. Using a bunny shape cookie cutter cut a bunny truffle.

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Keep playing with the cocoa/dates paste creating cute little bunnies or other shapes you like!

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Even if it is not needed I decided to store the truffles in the refrigerator and serve them cold. That was a very good move. The taste is even better when cold.

Also, the tiny shape of the bunnies is perfect as a kids’ snack size or an adult’s bite size: enough to be satisfied but not to much to be overwhelmed.

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The bunny truffles can be stored outside or in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 7/10 days, even if I’m sure they will not last more than three ;-)


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posted on March 26, 2015

Sweet peas green pancakes

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When it comes to eat vegetables and legumes, some kids can get very picky and stubborn, I know it by experience ;-)

That’s why I really like today’s kind of recipe: kids are happy and moms are happy too! Using a traditional pancake recipe I just added some frozen sweet peas in the batter getting a beautiful bright green pancakes tower. Thanks to the sweet peas, the pancakes have a delicate lightly sweet taste that can be easily turned either in a sweet or in a savory dish. All depends on the topping that you are going to use. I offered my little Alex few pancakes with just some cream cheese on top and he really liked them. For Luca I prepared a pancake sandwich with cream cheese and smoked salmon. You can always go for the sweet version and spread some good homemade marmalade on top or just a sprinkle of maple syrup.

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Sweet peas, also, are a wonderful source of proteins and very high in folic acid. Both very good things for your kids’ diet.

Here you are the ingredients for 10/12 medium size pancakes:

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And that’s how to proceed:

– Add the frozen sweet peas in a pan of boiling water and cook them for 2 minutes. Drain

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– Place the sweet peas in a food processor. Add the milk, a pinch of salt and mix for 2/3 minutes.

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– Pour the green peas mix in a medium bowl. Add the egg, the whole wheat flour, the baking soda and the potato starch. Whisk in order to obtain a smooth cream.

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– Grease a frying pan with some cooking spray. Turn the heat on at medium and pour 1/2 ladle of green peas mix in the center. Gently shake the pan in order to give a nice round shape to our mix. Let the pancake cook on one side for 2/3 minutes. When you will see that few bubbles will be formed in the center of the pancake, flip it on the other side and let it cook for additional 1/2 minutes.

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– Remove the pancake from the pan and keep going!! Enjoy ;-)

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posted on March 17, 2015

Chicken soup with noodles (pastina) recipe – how to boost your immune system

Cold season is one of the most annoying things ever. I deeply hate colds as from a medical point of view they are nothing serious but still they make you feel miserable. And when your kids get a cold, it’s even worse because a lot of medicines are not appropriate for kids and you really would love them to get better as soon as possible. That’s when usually I come out with my “grandma” natural remedies that if will not cure the cold, at least will really ease the symptoms.

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One of my favorite cold remedies is the chicken soup with noodles or pastina. All the ingredients that I use in this recipe have natural healing properties against the cold.

Here you are more details:

– The warm soup itself is wonderful for the cold: in a very simple way, the steam helps loosen the congestion while the broth hydrates flushing out viral bugs

– Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties

– Garlic stimulates the production of white blood cells and is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterical (it’s powerful, isn’t it??)

– Turmeric (also called curcuma) has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

– Chicken and chicken broth have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Also, soup made from whole chickens is rich in carnosine, which has been shown to inhibit damage from viruses in the body


As you can see the mix of all those ingredients is a natural remedy for the cold and moreover is a tasty and comfort food when you feel under the weather.

As I’m cooking for kids I played just a bit with shapes (heart carrots) and I added some noodles/pastina to make the soup even more “comfort food”. If you are cooking for babies or toddlers you can easily puree the final soup to reach the creamy consistency that your baby will like. If your baby is younger than 12 months, do not add any salt to the recipe. You can add some salt to your portion when you plate it.

I like to prepare the chicken soup at dinner time so that it makes the kids feel and sleep more comfortably. It is the best to take with the first sniffle!!

That’s all you will need for the chicken soup with noodles/pastina (6 servings):

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– Preheat the oven at 350F./175C. Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the two chicken breasts with skin and bones on it. Gently massage the chicken with few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oil of olive. Sprinkle some salt on both sides. Bake the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes.

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– Prepare the vegetables: wash them and cut them in big pieces. Place the celery, the onions, the leek and the garlic in a food processor and mix everything for 1 minute. It’s more kids friendly. You can place the carrots in the food processor too or you can transform them in cute tiny hearts. It’s not complicated and it will take only 2 minutes. Just cut out a slice of carrot on the long side. Shaving the sides of the carrots you will obtain an heart shape. Slice the carrot in 1/2 inch pieces and you will have tiny little orange hearts!

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– When the chicken is ready remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the skin and the bones. Slice the meat in small pieces. My kids like tiny tiny pieces, but you might prefer big chunks of chicken. Follow your personal taste.

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– In one big pot add one ladle of chicken broth. If you are looking for an easy homemade chicken broth recipe, click here. Otherwise a good quality, organic, low sodium store bought chicken broth will be fine. Turn the heat on at medium and add the mixed vegetables (celery,onion,leek,garlic) and the carrots. Cook for 6/8 minutes adding 2/3 other ladles of broth.

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– Add the ginger (I grate it to release more juice and to be more kids friendly) and the turmeric powder to the pot. Stir.

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– Add the remaining chicken broth to the pot, the chicken and the noodles/pastina. Cook the noodles/pastina following the cooking time on the box (mine said 9 minutes). The quantity of noodles/pastina that you add is totally up to your taste. If you add more noodles/pastina you will have a thicker soup (kids like it!!), if you add less you will have a more liquid soup.

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– The chicken soup with noodles/pastina is ready. If you want, to add an extra immune system natural booster, you can squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon in the soup. It will give a fresh taste to the soup.

If you are reading this post because your kids or yourself have a cold, I wish you to get well very soon! Take care ;-)

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posted on March 9, 2015

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