My beautiful 13 year old step daughter came home with this amazing lemonade recipe that she said we all just HAD to try! She pressed the lemons, added the water, honey and mint and blended it. And she was right. It was so darn perfect and refreshing for our hot sunny weather. A couple ice cubes later and we were drinking fresh cold lemonade on our newly poured concrete deck. A year later we are still making this lemonade recipe.  So thank you Chloe! 

I've been adding this lemonade recipe to our freshly home brewed Kombucha and it's so good! The bubbles and the sweet, yet tart flavour makes me feel like a kid again, drinking pop!

This recipe is so simple, so I'm going to keep this post the same.

Makes 5.5 cups

  • 4.5 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, I used 3.5 large lemons
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. unpasteurized (raw) honey

1. Add 2 cups, freshly squeezed lemon juice, mint leaves and honey to a blender and blend on high for 10 seconds. Add to a pitcher with remaining filtered water and stir. Let sit in the fridge for a couple hours before serving, to let mint flavours infuze in the water and to let chill. 

Strain lemonade through a metal tea strainer if you don't want mint leaves in your lemonade.


Hey everyone!!

I hope you've all been eating tons of delicious, juicy, ripe fruit this summer! I'm loving the large selection in our fav. organic grocery store. So much awesome produce from local farms. For this recipe I've used berries and fruit that was readily avaible. Feel free to do that same, whatever is available in your town!

My in laws picked 21 pounds of raspberries last week so we were given some! They are so nice to us. We ate them by the handful, put them on our banana splits and I made a seedless raspberry sauce out of the rest.

Chloe, my 13 year old step daughter, did some yard work for her dance teacher and brought home a large bag of apples from their untreated tree. So dehydrated apple rings and apple sauce it is! Plus I shared with the neighbours.

The apple sauce was so delicious. Just unpasteurized honey (or your choice of sweetener), apples and cinnamon. The kids just loved it warm ontop of the fruit crumble.

The raspberry sauce was also perfect and you can put it just about any dessert! Just raspberries and sweetener. I love food with minimal ingredients!

Not to mention, all these beautiful flowers that have been blooming in the garden! (I just had to pick some for my pics.)

Now I need to pack. An adventure awaits us...

Serves 6

Fruit Crumble

  • 6 strawberries, cubed
  • 4 apples, cubed
  • 2 peaches, cubed
  • 1 stalk rhubarb, cubed
  • 1/2 cup berries (raspberries or blueberries)
  • 3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups quick-oats
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (seeds)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Add the fruit filling and berries to your baking dish, top with cinnamon and maple syrup and stir.

2. In a large bowl, add oats, hemp hearts, shredded coconut, cinnamon and maple syrup. Stir well. Add more maple syrup if needed to lightly coat oats. Add to baking dish, spread out evenly. 

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before serving. Add coconut whip, apple sauce and seedless raspberry sauce. (Recipes below)

For storing left overs, best kept covered in the fridge. Reheat or eat cold! Tastes amazing either way. Will keep for up to 5 days. Enjoy! 

Raspberry Sauce
Makes 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. filtered water
  • 1 tsp. liquid sweetener - clear agave, maple syrup or unpasteurized honey
1. Add your raspberries to a small pot and heat on low temp. Mash the raspberries and add 1 Tbsp. filtered water. Stir well. When the raspberries get warm, add 1 tsp. sweetener, stir and take off heat. Put raspberries through a tea strainer or cheese cloth, discard the seeds and save the liquid. Add to any dessert or eat as a warm raspberry dessert soup with a dallop of coconut milk whip.

Store in an air tight container, will keep 2 weeks in the fridge.

Apple sauce
Makes 3 cups
  • 10 organic apples, cored, leave skin on
  • 2 tbsp. liquid sweetener - clear agave, maple syrup or unpasteurized honey
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Cut apples into bite sized pieces and add to a large frying pan and turn on to low heat. Stir until all apples are soft. Add to a high speed blender and blend with sweetener and cinnamon until smooth. I had to do mine in 3 separate batches in my nutribullet.

Store in an air tight container or mason jar, will keep 3 weeks in the fridge.

Coconut Milk Whip
Makes 1 cup
Prepare ahead - Place 1 can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before
  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat - use cream only
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener - clear agave, maple syrup or unpasteurized honey
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean - seeds only

1. Place a freezer safe bowl and hand held mixer blades in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2. Scoop cream out of refrigerated can of coconut milk, discard water (save for a smoothie) into freezer safe bowl.

3. With hand held mixer, whip coconut cream, sweetener and vanilla until thick, light and fluffy. If mixture is too runny, place bowl back into the freezer for 15 minutes and whip again. Serve right away. 

*Note - I've never been able to get coconut milk whip as light and airy as dairy whip cream but it sure tastes just as good and is the best healthy alternative.

Store left overs in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe! Happy Baking!!


Last night Tod and I got to get out of the heat (33° ) and see the new Planet of the Apes film in our awesome air conditioned movie theatre. (We don't have air conditioning at home so it was much appreciated.)

The movie was sooo good! I highly recommend watching the first one and then going to see the second one.

Our oldest, Chloe, as babysitting and Kyri was happy as could be, waving to us through the front window, as we walked up the drive way. Chloe handed me my hot happy baby and we said goodnight to Seth and Chloe. I took Kyri for a walk around the house to cool off a bit. The sun was going down and the sky was clear. We could see the mountains on the mainland and the clouds were turning pink. It was breathtaking. Our neighbours were outside so Kyri had to wave at them, saying Hi, repeatedly until they drove off. (It's her thing.) I showed Kyri flowers, plants, weeds (I haven't weeded in a couple months), spiders hanging from trees is big cob webs, and a white butterfly that we watched for two minutes. It even landed on a flower in front of us, then flew around Kyri's head while she just stared at it, keeping both eyes on it's every move. At the edge of the house I explained to Kyri that the back yard was her play area and the front yard was not for Kyri. Cars only in the front yard. We live on a somewhat busy street and we need our fence finished soon. She is still too scared to go past the porch but one day she will.

I took the little missy inside and turned on the fan in her room and fed her in the comfy breastfeeding chair. I put my feed up and relaxed, enjoying her tiny hands and her calm state. I hummed Sunshine, You are my Sunshine, while I ran my fingers through her hair. She fell asleep in no time and I put on my bathing suit and joined my husband, Tod, in the sauna. It had reached 49° so Tod had turned it off to wait for me. He was already sweating bullets by the time I got in. He turned it back on. Tod was listening to a podcast from Rich Roll. He was interviewing T. Colin Campbell, author of the China Study & Whole. Rich had reached over 2 million downloads.

"In honor of the milestone, I thought it appropriate to bring you one of my most compelling and important interviews to date. A conversation with a man I owe my life. A man whose studies, books and tireless advocacy have transformed countless lives across the globe. A man absolutely instrumental in paving a path for my own personal transformation" - Rich Roll

In the podcast, Rich talks about how he started his plant based diet because he was inspired by T. Colin Campbell. He talks about how critics have challenged The China Study, and have tried to debunk it for years. (To me, it is clear that as humans, when we read something and become denfensive, it is our nature to try to contradict things and question them. When I wasn't healthy I thought the Conscious Health was wrong. I thought the findings were ludicrous and I wanted nothing to do with it. But I needed to open my eyes and make a change. I needed to become un'brainwashed' by TV commercials and really follow this natural way of living, IF I wanted to get healthy. Like Milk! Milk is bad for you? Dairy and meat products can harm your body? But the TV says to drink milk to make strong bones. And to eat animal protein to become strong. Later I found out that it was just companies trying to sell their products who made those lies up. Milk is actually bad for your over all health, along with it's partner in crime, cheese and other dairy and meat
products. Especially meat sold inorganically in stores. Go coconut milk ice cream!)

Anyway, T. Colin Campbell explained his book The China Study, which I love and is on my bedside table,  and how the studies came to be. Everything just fell into place for Campbell. One awesome thing let to the next, while doing research and studies Campbell and his team made amazing discoveries, about the link between animal protein and cancer. (We still eat animal protein but only grass fed organic local bison and fresh caught salmon. No hormone injected, soy fed, caged up animals like beef, pork, poultry and farmed Alaskan salmon. We only eat it twice a month.)

The part that I liked best about the podcast was the thing Campbell said about nutrients, about how the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, found in whole live foods, are so important. They need each other to help digest one another and benefit the body. There are phytonutrients in living foods, so small, half of the nutrients don't even have names yet. They discover more and more everyday about how small nutrients are. As infinite as the universe is, it just keeps going and going, same with the smaller scale of things, it just keeps going and going. All those tiny nutrients help us become healthy. It's another world we are still yet to discover. Cool eh! That is why it is important to eat an orange, and to pass on a vitamin C pill.

This banana split was perfect for the hot days we have been having in western Canada. This treat and a nice cold refreshing salad were greatly appreciated though out the day. Oh yes and let's not forget about our home brewed Kombucha!

Serves 1

Prepare ahead (optional) - If you want to make your own vanilla coconut milk ice cream, place can of coconut milk in the fridge over night to let the cream and the water separate

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tsp. sweetener
  • fresh home made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (optional) or you can use a handful of pecans instead
  • 1 can coconut milk- full fat, use cream only or 1 container vanilla coconut milk ice cream
  • 1 tbsp. sweetener (void if using store bought coconut milk ice cream)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (ditto above)
  • 1 container chocolate coconut milk ice cream
  • 2 Tbsp. caramel sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. shredded coconut for garnish

  • 1/4 can coconut milk
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. clear agave nectar or unpasteurized honey
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • pinch of celtic sea salt
  • 3 dates, pitted & soaked in hot water

1. For the coconut milk - Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge over night to let the cream and the water separate. Open the can and save the water for a smoothie. Place the cream in a freezer safe bowl. Add 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp. sweetener, such as honey or agave. Mix with a hand meld mixer for 2 minutes. Place into the freezer for half an hour, mix every half hour until thick and creamy ( I mixed it 3 times). Add back to the freezer until ready to serve.

2. For the raspberry sauce - Take out 6 raspberries and set aside. Add your raspberries to a small pot and heat on low temp. Mash the raspberries and add 1 Tbsp. filtered water. Mash and stir. When the raspberries get warm, add 1 tsp. sweetener like honey or agave, stir and take off heat. Put raspberries through a tea strainer or cheese cloth, discard the seeds.

3. Make caramel sauce - Caramel - In a medium sauce pan, over the lowest heat, melt all the ingredients except the dates. Stir well and add to a high speed blender with the dates. Blend until smooth. Add to a sealed container or mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use. I had some left over so I used some but this is totally optional.

4. To create the banana split - Put your banana in half length wise. Place a piece of banana on the outer edges of your bowl/dish. Add scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and drizzle them with caramel and raspberry sauce. Add crumbled up oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or nuts and raspberries. Garnish with shredded coconut & grab a spoon and dig in. Add lots of ice cream if you plan on sharing!

Thanks for reading Mandy's Healthy Life. Be sure to visit my facebook page Mandy's Tips for Everyday Health. Enjoy your day!!!!!


I can't get over how smokin' hot is out lately! It's almost too hot to do anything outside and we don't have air conditioning inside so I'm trying to wear breathable clothes and only turn the oven on in the evening....which is leading to late night baking.

I found an awesome cookie recipe online from Bojon Gourmet, my new favourite blog, so I modified the recipe a bit to suit our family's lifestyle. I am so looking forward to adding this recipe to the monthly baking rotation. So far I have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and my spinach quinoa muffins.

We are hitting the road this weekend, travelling down Island to shop, and have a nice getting away with the kids. We are staying at our fav little Inn which has been renovated and has the best kitchenette I have ever seen in a rental suite. I am so happy we get to have fun, go out for dinner to our fav restaurant (twice), picnic in the park, visit the petting zoo, and hopefully I can find some new shoes! My Vans have a huge hole in them.

I'm so glad I made the Items for the road post so I can just look back at pack those exact snacks! And do a bit of prepping for the dehydrator. Mmm excited for more Maple Granola!

So back to these cookies! They did remind me a bit of Christmas but honestly, it was just what I needed. Thinking about the cold season made me really appreciate this wonderful hot weather we have been having. These cookies were devoured pretty fast. The kids just kept asking and asking...and Tod and I just kept eating and eating. Haha we are as bad as the kids, for sure! But when they aren't refined and have quality ingredients you don't need to worry about your health...or your waste line!

Do your family have any favourite cookie recipes?

This recipe has been modified from
Makes 21 cookies

Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, & Dairy-Free


  • 8 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. coconut sugar
What to do

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

2. Mix cookie ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a spoon and then knead by hand until fully mixed.

3. Place ball of dough on a large piece of saran wrap and place another piece on top of the dough (for easy rolling). Roll out cookie dough so it's 1/2 cm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough. Place dough cookies on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Roll dough again and cut more cookies until dough is used up. I used two cookie sheets. Sprinkle topping on each cookie.

4. Bake in the middle racks for 7 minutes. Take out and let cool before store in an air tight container.

Popular Posts