Peppermint Coconut Cream

Here is another coconut cream recipe that is quick and easy to make, and can be catered to your own tastes. Some of you will like more peppermint flavoring than others, so experiment to see what works for you.

The creams I am making, such as this one and the vanilla coconut cream, are far healthier for me than dairy-based creams. I’m thankful to have them for topping my fruit and desserts. They also goes well with the chocolate sauce I like.

This peppermint recipe is particularly good for the holidays.


1/2 of a 13.66 +/- can of organic coconut cream

10 to 12 drops of pure peppermint extract

  1. Put half the can of coconut cream into a small bowl.
  2. Place the rest of the cream into a container, cover, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. Put 10 to 12 drops (give or take, depending on your preferences) of pure peppermint extract on the cream.
  4. Mix the cream and peppermint together until well combined.
  5. Pour into a canning jar and cover.
  6. Label the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Photograph copyright 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.



  • Try other flavorings, such as lemon or almond.
  • Try to find coupons or wait for sales to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over a Paleo brownie.



Vanilla Coconut Cream

This coconut cream recipe is so quick and easy to make, and can be catered to your own tastes. Some people may like more vanilla flavoring than others, and that is fine.

Vanilla flavoring is so good, I may try others in the future.

This cream is far healthier for me than dairy-based creams, and I’m so thankful to have it for topping my fruit parfait and other desserts.


1/2 of a 13.66 +/- can of organic coconut cream

6 drops of pure vanilla extract

  1. Put half the can of coconut cream into a small bowl.
  2. Place the rest of the cream into a container, cover, and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. Put 6 drops (give or take, depending on your preferences) of pure vanilla extract on the cream.
  4. Mix the cream and vanilla together until well combined.
  5. Pour into a canning jar and cover.
  6. Label the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Photograph copyright 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.


  • Try other flavorings, such as orange or peppermint.
  • Try to find coupons or wait for sales to save money.

Serving Suggestions



Chocolaty Good Banana-Cranberry Cereal

Have I mentioned just how much I love these healthy cereals I’ve been posting. I probably have…

They are so simple to make using different types of ingredients. This is a easy one that I made using cranberries to celebrate the autumn season. Oh, and I was also having a chocolate craving.


1 small banana, sliced

slivered almonds

dried cranberries

unsweetened coconut flakes

chocolate almond milk

  1. Place the banana slices into a bowl.
  2. Add a few slivered almonds and small handful of dried cranberries.
  3. Sprinkle unsweetened coconut over the top.
  4. Pour milk over everything.


  • Try different types of nuts, according to what is on sale.
  • Use coupons or wait for sales on the almond milk.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve with bacon or sausage.

Warmest wishes!


Chocolate-Banana Pudding with Berries, and a Smoothie

I admit it. I love chocolate. I don’t know too many women who don’t. However, I’m trying to eat healthier foods. Traditional chocolate desserts are a no-no, and I comply with that most of the time. When I really want chocolate and am at home, chocolate pudding is a dessert I enjoy. Because there is only one of me, I don’t eat the whole thing, but I do take half and make a smoothie for the next day. Both recipes are below.

Just let me say that I had never had an avocado, so I had no idea what this might taste like starting out. I was pleasantly surprised when I made the pudding and the smoothie. I still have never had just an avocado, but I do know I like it mixed in with other foods.

Avocado is not necessarily cheap, mind you, which means I don’t make this often. One costs me about .98. I can get more kiwi or bananas for the price, which is what I often do with a portion of my fruit money. But for only a once in a while treat, this is perfect.

Chocolate-Banana Pudding with Berries


1 chocolate-banana pudding recipe (I use this Paleo one from

2 large strawberries, the green cut off

a few blueberries

  1. Make the banana pudding recipe according to the directions on
  2. Mix with a blender and taste. If it’s not chocolatey enough for you, and another tablespoon of the cocoa powder.
  3. Chill for an hour or so, then split half the pudding between two small cups or bowls.
  4. Top with diced strawberries, and a few blueberries.
  5. Refrigerate the other half, covered.

Chocolate-Banana-berry Smoothie


1/2 of the chocolate-banana pudding recipe above

1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated over night

a few strawberries, greens cut off

a handful of blueberries

  1. Place everything into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend until combined.


  • Buy coconut milk on sale, preferably with a coupon, to save a little money.
  • Try adding strawberries or other berries to the smoothie.
  • Top the pudding with apple slices for dipping.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the pudding over a Paleo brownie, or with fruit slices for dipping.
  • Serve the smoothie for breakfast, with eggs on a bed of spinach.

Have a great day!


Simple Chocolate-Coconut No-Bakes

I love super easy recipes, especially when they involve chocolate and coconut. And this recipe is as easy as they come. I’m sure you’ll enjoy these cookies as much as I do.

And the health factor? Regular no bakes have so much sugar in them, not to mention the sugar in the peanut butter. I’m happy with these, even with the sugar in the chips. If I could afford the expensive healthier stuff, I would certainly buy it. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money in the budget.

I don’t make these all the time anyway, maybe a few times a year. So, I very much enjoy them when I do.


12 ounces dark chocolate chips (If there is extra melted chocolate, I use it to dip fruit into later. May need to be re-melted.)

2 or 3 tablespoons chocolate almond or cashew milk, or a tablespoon or so of organic coconut oil

3 cups organic unsweetened coconut flakes

  1. In a pot, melt 12 ounces of dark chocolate chips with the milk or coconut oil. Stir every so often to begin, and then almost continuously once the chocolate is really melting.
  2. Pour all 3 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes into a bowl.
  3. Pour half of the chocolate over the coconut, and then mix it all together.
  4. Add a little more chocolate at a time while stirring, if necessary, until there is enough to coat all the coconut.
  5. Pour leftover chocolate quickly into a canning jar and set aside.
  6. Spread out a sheet of parchment paper on a table or sideboard. Use a tablespoon to spoon the coconut mixture onto this sheet.
  7. Let the cookies sit until set.


  • Cover the remainder of the chocolate and set aside for use with fruit.
  • Do NOT put the no-bakes in the refrigerator if you can help it. They may get very hard, making them difficult to bite into.
  • Use whatever you have on hand for chocolate.
  • Add dried fruit, such as cranberries.
  • Add slivered almonds.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a cup of organic almond or cashew milk.
  • Make a few batches and serve during your next get-together.
  • Serve with Paleo hot cocoa, while sitting on the porch watching the night sky this fall.

Enjoy the treat!


Quick Tip: Storing Coconut Milk

I use quite a bit of coconut milk. The milk is good in smoothies, and I use it in other recipes. Usually, I buy this milk in cans and, being the only one I prepare meals for, I tend to use only a half a can of milk at a time. So I pour the remainder of the milk into a small canning jar and store it in the refrigerator. I do not like to store items in their cans once they are opened, so I keep plenty of different sized canning jars on hand.


Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Salads are great for patriotic holidays, because of the sheer number of color combinations of the different foods that might be added. This salad concentrates on combining reds, whites, and blues, in a tasty way that will make your mouth water. Sweetness, with a bit of tang. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic day.

I love fruit salads. Previously, I have made them with whipped topping. Feel free to do so if you prefer, but I am trying to eat healthier. This is a new recipe for me, in that it uses coconut cream instead of whipped, as well as berries.

I am sometimes able to get a couple pints of blueberries at the grocery store for $4.00, or can buy them for $2.00 per pint on the side of the road. Fresh berries are the best to use, and often the most affordable.

There are no measurements for my version, as I usually make a lot and eat what is left over the following few days. I really just guess at everything. I will try to give measurements here though. Use them or not. Change them if you please.

This is a great recipe for kids, but an adult will want to open the cans and cut the fruit.


1 can pineapple chunks in water

1 large banana

1/2 to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pound strawberries

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice for later use in a smoothie or another recipe by storing it in a covered canning jar.
  2. Peel the banana, and slice into rounds. Cut the rounds into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer.
  3. Rinse the remaining fruits, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  4. Cut them into slices or chunks.
  5. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Cover with coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the coconut cream into another bowl, and add vanilla to taste. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  7. Pour as much of the cream as you think you will need into the bowl with the fruit and coconut flakes. You can always add more if necessary. Combine the cream with the berries, and coconut, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add more cream if necessary. If not, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


  • Try using different types of berries. Whatever is affordable (or free!) at the time.
  • Look into whether it would be more affordable to buy a whole watermelon than canned.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at barbecues and picnics with burgers, corn on the cob, and other foods.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!



Cinnamon-Coconut Fruit Salad

I love fruit 🙂 Once in a while I make a salad consisting mainly of some type of this delicacy. The other night I created this one. It’s sweet, but the seeds help to add another important flavor. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

Three servings were made from the one salad, though one of the servings could have been split to make another. I had one serving as a snack, one as a side for the next days lunch, and the other for a side to that day’s dinner.

Cinnamon-Coconut Fruit Salad

Makes 3-4 servings.


1 apple, cored, and chopped into bite size pieces

1 orange, peeled, sectioned, and chopped into bite size pieces

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, 2 tablespoon of juice reserved (Use the rest in a smoothie.)

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 teaspoons sunflower seeds


  1. Combine the fruit in a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Add the pineapple juice, unsweetened shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds and mix well.
  3. Divide the fruit salad between 3 or 4 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with cinnamon.


  • Nature’s Place makes an exceptional organic cinnamon. (No, they are not paying me to say this.)
  • Purchase store brand products when possible to save money.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve this alongside a salad of spinach, coleslaw mix, and sliced hard boiled eggs.



Banana Chip Trail Mix

Snacks for work need to be easy to grab. I don’t want to waste time in the morning, making something and packing it up. Trail mixes are good options for me.

I’m always coming up with different trail mix ideas for this purpose. Dried fruits and seeds make up the bulk of my trail mixes, and go with my Paleo way of eating. (Remember me posting recipes for the whole30. Paleo is the next step for me. A new way of eating that is making me healthier and aiding in my weight loss efforts.) A variety of nuts can also be added but, if you are living Paleo, remember that peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes and are best avoided.

I store my trail mixes in glass jars that I purchased jellies and fruits in, or in small canning jars. This way, I’m not wasting plastic baggies. The jars last for years, so they are not going into a landfill right after I use up the product I purchased. I  wash them out, and place on a shelf until needed.

This is a simple recipe that will only take a minute to mix up.

Banana Chip Trail Mix

1 cup dried banana chips

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  1. Measure out each ingredient into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it all up.
  3. Scoop into jars, cover, and place on a shelf in the pantry.


  • Save money by combining coupons and sales.
  • Drying your own fruit will save you even more money.

Serving Suggestions

  • This recipes serves as a great stand-alone snack.
  • Pair with a grilled chicken salad at lunch and vegetables sticks.




Quick Tip: Toppings for Steak

I love a big juicy steak as much as the next person, though I do not eat beef often. Even steak can get boring after a while if it is always served the same way.

I cook mine medium rare, which many people do not like, and have never had any issues. When we were growing up, our parents didn’t over cook things for our ‘safety’, so things that may irritate the stomachs of many people today do not necessarily bother us. We even go so far as to lick the spoon and the bowl when baking. Shocking, I know.

  1. Paleo Teriyaki sauce is always a good topper.
  2. So is Paleo steak sauce.
  3. Just before serving, try something I learned from the City Park Grille in Old Town, Maine. Stick a toothpick, that has a pineapple chunk and a cherry on it, into the center of the steak and top with shredded coconut. Use a fresh cherry, pitted.
  4. The combination above is also good with Paleo teriyaki sauce.
  5. Warmed, crushed pineapple is good on steak.
  6. Many people enjoy a mixture of cooked mushrooms, onion, and green pepper on their steak.
  7. Sauteed, shredded cabbage, spinach, and diced tomato make a good topping as well.

What do you like to top your steak with? Share your family favorites in the comments section of this post.