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Clean energy snack - Superfood trail mix

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Clean energy snack - Superfood trail mix

As some of you may or may not know I am laid up awaiting my fourth back surgery this month. This one will be a big one and due to some major allergies I can not tolerate pharmaceutical drugs (which I think is a blessing in disguise, albeit a painful one, but still a blessing). Instead I will be employing every ounce of knowledge I have about alternative medicine, healing techniques, and most importantly holistic nutrition to heal and cope through this tough time.

Some think that when you are in a time of physical crisis ( i.e. sick, injured, or even depressed) is a time to turn to comfort foods but I am adamantly opposed to this concept. The time when you are at your lowest is the MOST important time to fuel your body with nutrient dense food to accelerate healing. I also believe that feeding yourself nourishing food at any time is a beautiful way to honor the body you have been given no matter what state it is in. 

Since I can’t do much in the way of cooking I want to show you something I have been eating that doesn’t take much in the way of effort but packs a huge nutritional punch.

Check out this superfood trail mix that requires no cooking at all!

superfood trail mix words

Here is the run down of what each of these foods offer nutritionally to make them “super foods”

  • Cacao nibs/cacao is one of nature’s richest dietary sources of magnesium and is also an excellent source of iron and dietary fiber.

  • Cashews provide an impressive profile of beneficial oils and an ideal ratio of healthy saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, and trace minerals.

  • Goji berries are a high source of protein, a wealth of antioxidants and over 20 vitamins and minerals.

  • Goldenberries contain a high amount of carotene and bioflavonoids, vitamins A and C.

  • Mulberries contain iron, calcium and vitamin C along with dietary fiber and resveratrol.

Please be conscious of the sources of your nuts and fruits to make sure they are coming from reputable sources (I have linked organic and reliable companies above). I also soak my cashews and pumpkin which removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible. This is optional but highly recommended if you have the time. Instructions are in the recipe below

No matter what state you are in you can add equal parts of each of these ingredients, portion it out in 1/4 cup servings and pack them up in portable containers so you have power food on the go (in the car, hiking, or even at your desk for a late afternoon snack). You can top off your favorite yogurt, smoothie, or salad with this mix or do what I do and make it into a cereal!

Add a 1/4 cup of the trail mix with some plant based protein powder into a bowl and top it with a non dairy milk for an instant and delicious morning cereal. SO. GOOD.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients you can make an even simpler version using just pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, and only one of the dried fruits (mulberries, gojis, or golden berries) and mix those in equal proportions. I pick whatever is cheaper that week to make this and remember to keep your serving size to fit in the palm of your hand because dried fruits sugars have been concentrated in the drying process. I must also add that Nutivas naturals just came out with this same exact trail mix already mixed so you skip buying all the ingredients separately and purchase it here. I will admit its a bit more expensive to buy it pre made but that is for your to decide what will suit your needs best. 

My family will be helping me document my food, supplements, and pain management techniques during my pre and post recovery period on my social media platforms so make sure to follow my journey!

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK 

Superfood Trail Mix

Serves 12

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free - Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 c Goji Berries
  • 1/2 c Mulberries
  • 1/2 c Goldenberries
  • 1/2 c Cashews
  • 1/2 c Pumpkin Seeds

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to an airtight container and store in a cool dry place or portion out in 1/4 cup servings in baggies for on the go nutrition!

Notes

  1. Feel free to not use all three dried fruits, its a personal choice and it boils down to which ones you want to buy or what is most available to you.
  2. I like to soak my nuts and seeds because it removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible.

Here is how I do it

  1. In a large glass bowl or mason jar add the nuts/seeds and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for 8 hours (overnight is perfect). Rinse thoroughly and drain. I allow mine to dehydrate in an oven at its lowest temperature until dried (4-8 hours) or in a dehydrator to achieve a crispy texture but they can be eaten right away they will just have a squishy texture.

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

If I hear one more time from someone that “they don’t have time to eat healthy” I’m going to lose it. 

Lets get serious guys about eating right, being prepared, and ditching the excuses!

Here are 5 NO BAKE, RAW, VEGAN recipes for bars or balls of delicious nutrient dense food that are made in minutes, can accompany you on your craziest of days, and be ready when you need some fast fuel. And for all of you out there who still “don’t have the time” I have attached 5 store bought bars that are approved by my standards (no gluten, no grain, no sugars, no junk!) 

Dark Chocolate Energy Ball by OhSheGlows.com

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Date-Cherry-Ginger-Orange-Coconut-Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

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Superfood Energy Bars with Cacao by this RawsomeVeganLife.comIMG_3960

 

Chamomile Lemon Ginger Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

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Lemon Coconut Cashew Pineapple Energy Bars by Bakergal.com

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Here are 5 Bars you can buy already made that are approved by the

Transform Your Food standards: 

NO GLUTEN!  NO GRAINS! NO REFINED SUGARS! NO JUNK!

Check out these Cherry Pistachio RAW Protein Bars by Dales Raw Foods

 

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The Bearded Brothers have 4 awesome flavors of these Raw/Vegan/ Energy Bars – Chocolate Maca, Raspberry Lemon, Vanilla Blueberry, and Coconut Mango…HELLO! 

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GO RAW Spirulina Energy Bar 

Go-Raw-Organic-Spirulina-Energy-Bar-Gluten-Free-859888000035

 

Cacao Hemp Walnut Bars by Thunderbird

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Paleo Energy Raw Bars for pre/post workout by Dales Raw Foods

 

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No more excuses! Pack a few of these in your bag so you are never without a healthy, easy option for staying fueled on the go.

 

 

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

Remember cereal? If you are grain/gluten free or following any sort of low sugar lifestyle cereal is a long distant memory….

Fear not!

I have a 5 minute recipe that you can whip together even in the foggiest of morning states, so you can sit down with bowl of cereal and feel like a kid again. 

5 minute granola mise

Simply toast the coconut and almonds in a a dry sauté pan until golden, add a pinch of salt, drizzle of maple syrup or stevia, little touch of coconut oil, cinnamon, throw in the flax seed meal and toss to coat. Cover in non dairy milk of choice, stand on your chair and you tell that box of wheaties to take a hike…you got this whole cereal thing covered. Try this version of Stevia for the most natural, purest form of this amazing plant!

5 minute granola with milk

5 minute Paleo/Vegan Cereal

Serves 1

vegan - low sugar - paleo - gluten free - grain free

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds (or nut of choice)
  • 2 Tbl flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Small sprinkle of green stevia or Sweetener of choice to taste (maple syrup, coconut sugar etc see notes)

Optional add ins

  • dried fruit
  • cacao nibs
  • fresh chopped fruit
  • more chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the coconut and sliced almonds until slightly golden
  2. Make a small well in the middle of the pan and add the coconut oil in the center of the pan and swirl around to melt
  3. Add the flaxseed meal, cinnamon, pinch of salt, sweetener of choice, and toss to coat so the spices stick to the nuts and coconut
  4. Empty the cereal into a large bowl and add non dairy milk of choice
  5. Top with any additional add ins at this point

Notes

  1. This recipe can be doubled/tripled etc and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place ahead of time.
  2. Feel free to play around with the nut choices and spice options.
  3. I like to use stevia to keep this sugar free (buy green stevia for the purest form) to keep my insulin levels down in the morning, but use whatever sweetener works for your dietary needs.

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

I realize that we all want to be healthy, look fantastic, and not put a lot of effort into the process but you may be scratching your head wondering where to start. Its ok, I am here to help. Your life is busy, so I want to give you a recipe you can make in bulk for an instant meal replacement, snack to throw in the kids lunches, or even an afternoon cure to the sweet tooth monster. 

I will be launching some meal plans soon, but in the meantime here is a simple granola bar recipe that can be doubled or tripled to make in bulk for the whole family. Whip up a huge batch on the weekend when you have 10 minutes of prep available and while they are baking, you can clean up, have a cup of coffee, do some squats…the choice is yours :) I went the extra step and sealed mine in individual pouches but these can also be wrapped in wax paper or kept in an airtight container until ready to eat. You can also freeze these and pull them out to defrost the night before so you have snacks ready to grab in the morning. 

 

Paleo Honey Almond Chocolate Granola Bars

Yields 14

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Unrefined Sugar Free - Kid Friendly - Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Cup Toasted Cashews
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (not in shell)
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds (not in shell)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (unrefined)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey (local, high quality please)
  • 1/3 Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower Butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate finely chopped.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Line a 9x11 rectangle baking pan with parchement paper sling so the paper hangs over the edges for easy removal.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Working in batches pulse the nuts/seeds in a food processor until the nuts/seeds are broken up into small pieces.
  5. You can also chop the nuts but you don't want too big of pieces.
  6. Transfer the chopped nuts back into the bowl with the whole nuts and add the flax seed meal.
  7. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the coconut oil, sunflower/nut butter, coconut sugar, honey, and salt whisking until well comined.
  8. Pour over the nuts and stir until throuroughly covered.
  9. Whisk the egg whites for 10 seconds to get some air and mix them into the nut mixture thoroughly.
  10. Pour mixture into pan and using gloves or slightly wet finger tips, press the nuts firmly and evenly into the pan so it is one flat compressed layer.
  11. Sprinkle with additional sea salt over the top.
  12. Bake in the middle rack for 15-18 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  13. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly.
  14. Pull out of the pan and remove the parchement paper.
  15. Cut the entire granola bars in half length wise to have two long pieces.
  16. Then cut each half into 7 equal pieces to cut 14 bars roughly 1 1/2" in width and 4 1/2" in length.
  17. Drizzle or dip into melted chocolate if desired (see notes).

Notes

  1. It is completely up to you to toast the nuts and seeds before making the bars. They will taste so much better if you choose to do so, but its fine if you skip the step.
  2. For the chocolate use a dark chocolate with 70% cacao content or higher. You can melt it in a double boiler or if in a pinch chop the chocolate finely and microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  3. If you don't feel like melting chocolate, chop it into chunks and fold into the nut mixture before baking.

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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I love me a good snack, but I am not willing to throw my whole day of healthy eating out the window for a momentary craving. Luckily, I don’t have to with a high protein, superfood rich, healthy fat filled snack like this one:

  • Pumpkin seeds – high in protein, zinc, magnesium, and a natural anti-inflammatory

  • Cinnamon – helps curb appetite and control sugar cravings

  • Cacao nibs – rich in antioxidants and naturally occurring caffeine for a nice energy boost

  • Sea Salt – naturally alkalizing to the body and rich in trace minerals, and electrolytes

The perfect balance of salt, sweet, crunch, and fat made in minutes!

Let’s get our healthy snack on!!!

Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds with Cacao Nibs

vegan - gluten free - grain free - sugar free - paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pepitas, pumpkin seeds out of shell (soaked and sprouted or lightly toasted, your choice)
  • 1/4 cup Cacao Nibs
  • 2 tsp Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt ( I like pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Optional

  1. 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add the cacao nibs, coconut oil, (maple syrup or honey if using) and pumpkin seeds and toss until the seeds are well coated in the oil.
  2. Sprinkle, the salt, and cinnamon until well coated.
  3. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting ;)

 

 

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I need to catch you up to speed here. So it is day 4 of a 10 day raw whole food juicing/smoothie cleanse that is being run by the beautiful and talented Dr Rhea of RAWjuvenation. I have chosen to go completely raw,  blending all of my food to give my digestion and body a break from the heavy foods of winter. So far, so good. I start my morning with a probiotic, oil pulling, a huge glass of lemon water, then I fill my day with superfood smoothies, nutrient rich, low sugar, green juices, more lemon water, and the occasional blended raw food like this:

This was inspired by one of Dr Rhea’s recipes up on her Facebook page. The best part is that this recipe is a dump and puree method and this pesto is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a dip for a crudite platter, a spread for sandwiches, or even thinned out with some additional olive oil as a sauce or salad dressing. Basically, it is good on everything! 

How are you cleaning up your diet for the Spring? 

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Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto 

Yields 2

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 large handful of parsley (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1 large handful of cilantro (about 1 cup packed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 capful of apple cider vinegar (brand Bragg's)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a work bowl of a food processor and blend until a well combined and blended to the consistency of your liking.
  2. Taste for seasoning and keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

  1. The seeds can be substituted for any other nut like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts etc
  2. The herbs can be substituted for other herbs like basil, dill, chives etc
  3. For a richer pesto use 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. Thin with extra olive oil for a salad dressing or sauce

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Eat Clean on the Go! - No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

I don’t have time to eat right during the work week because I am glued to my desk or on the road.

You are busy I get it. I hear this all day long from clients. People that eat clean, nutritious foods don’t necessarily have more time, they just manage it differently. Want to know the trick? Packing healthy, non perishable snacks in your bag before leaving the house is going to keep you on track and out of the drive thru. Make a huge batch of these protein truffles, pack up small bags of raw nuts/seeds, and bring some fresh fruit like apples or a banana that is ready to go. Keeping your blood sugar balanced throughout your day and staying well hydrated is going to keep your energy levels up, your brain sharp, and will keep you satisfied until you can sit down for a real meal.

No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

Yields 14

Raw - Vegan - No Refined Sugar - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw nut butter (sunflower, almond, cashew etc)
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or plant based protein powder of choice)
  • 3 Tbl Flaxseed meal
  • 2 Tbl Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 C Non Dairy Milk (coconut, almond, rice, hemp etc)
  • 6 Large Dates (pits removed and soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Optional

  1. 1-2 tsp scoop favorite greens powder, spirulina, chlorella etc

Coating

  1. 2 TBL Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  2. 2 TBL Raw Cacao Powder

Instructions

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the non dairy milk, cacao and shredded coconut.
  2. Pulse to break up the dates. When they are broken up start to run the motor and stream in the non dairy milk until the mixture starts to become a dough in consistency.
  3. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop one ball and split this in half.
  4. Roll the truffle in your hands to form a ball.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Complete this with the rest of the dough.
  7. Roll the truffles in either the cacao or the coconut.
  8. Store in the fridge and eat when you need a snack!

Notes

  1. I like adding greens powder to boost the nutritional content but make sure you add one that tastes good. I like the Amazing Grass brands and some optional flavors that would work in this recipe would be the chocolate or berry flavor.

Some optional nutritious add ins

  1. 1 tsp Maca
  2. 1 tsp Camu Camu
  3. 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

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Protein Rich, Skin Boosting Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate

I swear on all things Holy and true that this is the LAST cold weather recipe I will be posting this season. 

It is currently 12 degrees where I am….winter is a cruel mistress that won’t quite take the hint and get the heck out of here already!!! Oh well guess it’s just another excuse to drink more of my latest obsession….

How, you say, can a hot chocolate be high in protein, good for you skin, dairy free, and paleo!?!?

GELATIN!!!!!

I know you may have weird memories of jello from your childhood or stays in the hospital but gelatin (from a reputable source like the one pictured above from Great Lakes) can be amazing for skin health, bone health, and a rich source of protein from the natural collagen. I love the Great Lakes brand because it comes from grass-fed cows and it is Kosher so you can feel good about the quality of this gelatin. Recently a client of mine, when I introduced her to the wonders of gelatin, said she didn’t know why she was spending so much money on bodybuilding supplements like BCAAs and protein powders when she could get all that she needs from one tablespoon of this gelatin for half the price. I know girl. 

So how do we get this gelatin into our hot chocolate? Its easy, I dissolve a heavy handed tsp in some cold almond or coconut milk while I heat up the rest of the milk, add some raw cacao (like this one) for a boost of natural caffeine and a huge dose of antioxidants, stir in the bloomed gelatin, whisk , add my sweetener of choice and BOOM! Protein rich, paleo, dairy free hot chocolate that will starve off hunger, curb that sweet tooth and give your skin and joints a nice boost of collagen. 

Protein Rich Hot Chocolate

Serves 1

Paleo - Sugar Free - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Grain Free - Low Cal 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp Gelatin (Grass fed, High Quality Please)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Non Dairy Milk (Almond , Coconut, Hemp etc)
  • 2 Tbl Raw Cacao Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Sweetener of Choice to Taste (Maple Syrup, Liquid Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Raw Honey etc)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup non dairy milk of choice and sprinkle the gelatin over the top and stir to combine.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan add the remaining non dairy milk and heat over medium high heat.
  4. Whisk in the cacao, salt, and sweetener of choice.
  5. When the milk comes right under a simmer add the bloomed gelatin (you may need to use a spatula because it will be a solid mass) and whisk to melt and incorporate.
  6. When the mixture is heated to your desired temperature remove from the heat and pour in a mug.
  7. Drink up!

Optional add ins

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne
  • You can also substitute a dark chocolate for the raw cacao and omit the sweetener. Use about 1-2 oz or to your level of liking.

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

I am a girl who needs food frequently. Only problem is I don’t like to eat junk or buy $4 a pop on protein bars that have questionable ingredients…so what do I do? 

I make my own! And now you can too!

Since this is January and we are all trying to lose a few pounds these are the perfect snack, breakfast, or pre workout meal because they are vegan, gluten-free, grain free, high fiber, and sweetened lightly with dates. Want to know the best part? You can make the whole batch in your food processor and they don’t require any baking.

#winning

Here is the nutritional breakdown

Paleo Protein Bars

Yields 8

Vegan - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vanilla hemp protein powder (plain is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or almond butter/ nut butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 5 Dates
  • 1 tsp. pure vanillla
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 2-3 Tbsp dark chocolate for melting

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by lining with wax paper like a sling with the sides hanging over the edge for easy removal.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In the workbowl of a food processor add all of the ingredients except the almond milk.
  4. Pulse until the mixture forms a sandy texture and the dates are chopped finely.
  5. With the motor running slowly stream in the almond milk until a dough forms.
  6. Press the dough into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
  8. Optional: place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each. When chocolate is fully melted, drizzle over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.
  9. Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for ~30 minutes before cutting into 8 bars.

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Low Carb Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Todays post is for all of you out there who have been working so hard trying to stay in shape and are having a bit of a panic for this years holiday eating season. Lets tackle the Thanksgiving table and make  a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes. I have had my fair share of cauliflower “faux” mashed potatoes so lets mix it up with a new veggie that you probably haven’t thought to use in a vegetable puree. 

Enter the low starch phenomenon called the turnip! 

These little beauties have a very low starch content and are the Paleo/low carb dieters key to satisfying the need for a creamy puree  for Holiday and comfort meals. A quick disclaimer, they do not taste like a potato so I like to add some rich flavors like dried mushrooms to change the somewhat spicy flavor a turnip can have. Don’t worry though, once the turnips cook that spice turns sweet and luscious. The other option is to use half potatoes and half cauliflower or half potatoes half turnips to cut the starch content down. Either way you will eliminate  a lot  of calories and add in a different profile for nutrition and taste. Just make sure to cook the potatoes separately from the turnips and/or cauliflower because the cooking times are different. 

Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

Vegetarian - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Low Carb

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Peeled Turnips cut into large chunks
  • 2 Cups Low Sodium Broth (Vegetable, Chicken, Turkey etc)
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Mushrooms cut finely
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan add the broth, the mushrooms, and the chopped turnips.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer with the lid off and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the turnips are easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Transfer all of the mixture to a blender and puree with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Notes

  1. The mushrooms can be omitted and milk and butter can be used if you can tolerate dairy but make sure to not add the maple syrup.
  2. Half the turnips can also be exchanged for potatoes if you want a more traditional style of mashed potatoes as well and omit the maple syrup.

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Gluten Free Paleo Thanksgiving App - Carrot Sunflower Seed Dip

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Gluten Free Paleo Thanksgiving App - Carrot Sunflower Seed Dip

Are you prepared with a recipe arsenal for last-minute family and unannounced guests showing up this Holiday season ready to eat? Oh and don’t forget Auntie Pattie who is Paleo now, and Jimmy who has a peanut allergy, oh right and your gluten allergy. 

Are you sweating already? 

Its ok, I am here to help. 

Let me introduce you to a healthy, quick, and easy dip that is usable for an appetizer dip with crackers or veggies, or to pull together a meal by using it as a spread for roasted meats, or even thinned out with some olive oil for a salad dressing. 

Oh and did I mention its Gluten, Dairy, Grain, and Peanut Free?

Boom! 

A bonus aspect to this recipe is that you can exchange the sunflower seeds for any nut or seed you have on hand. I usually make my own crackers but let’s be honest, during the holidays sometimes we need to take short cuts, so here are some links to gluten-free crackers that I have pictured with the dip.

Obviously fresh veggies would be optimal but we need to please a crowd so lets not be too pushy on family and friends during Thanksgiving about gluten-free this and vegan that. Just put the food down and make no health announcements (unless you need to) and see what the reaction is. Plus a dip made of carrots that is completely vegan is way better than the usual cream cheese stuffed fried food that is usually around, but they don’t need to know that right? 

Carrot Sunflower Orange Date Spread

Yields 2

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Sugar Free - Make Ahead

Ingredients

  1. 1 Lb Carrots Peeled and Cut into 1/2'' Pieces
  2. 1 Cup Roasted Sunflower Seeds or Nut/Seed of Choice
  3. 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  4. 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
  6. 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  7. Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Steam the carrots for 5-7 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Drain the dates and add all of the ingredients to a blender.
  3. Blend the mixture until smooth.
  4. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a bowl and serve with crackers, crudite, or use as a dip for meat or veggies.

Notes

           The sunflower seeds can be replaced with cashews, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts.

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Pre Workout Snack of Champions

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Pre Workout Snack of Champions

Welcome to my latest obsession…

You may think I’m crazy for putting beets into chocolate and making a pudding, but don’t knock it until you try it. I do have a love for beets in general but a friend of mine turned me on to the combination of chocolate and beets and it really is a match made in heaven! This recipe would be perfect for curbing a sweet tooth but I actually think this is the PERFECT pre workout snack. 

Beet pudding before a workout? Really?

Really. 

Beets are high in nitrates and this creates a chain reaction where the body converts the nitrates in into nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is a compound that enhances blood flow throughout the body and helps lower blood pressure. Many body builders take nitric oxide or pre workouts supplements that have nitric oxide for enhancing their workouts. The increase in blood flow yields better lifts for weight training and better blood flow for cardiovascular events. 

In addition to the increase in blood flow there is a nice balance of carbohydrates from the beets, energy boost from the cacao/chocolate, and vitamin C from the raspberries that give your body the proper balance for a killer workout. You could also eat this after a workout with some protein powder mixed for a complete post workout snack. I have been eating this for breakfast all week with some chopped almonds or hazelnuts on top and it is RIGHTEOUS! I feel so clean after I eat this and ready to take the day on.

Here is a link to a post I did about the health benefits of beets in pre and post workout nutrition.

Chocolate Raspberry Beet Pudding

Serves 4

Vegan - Sugar Free - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Steamed Beets (about 3-4 large beets or 5-6 small beets)
  • 1 Cup Raw Cacao Powder (or High quality Cocoa powder or Carob Powder)
  • 1/2 Cup Non Dairy Milk (Almond, Rice, Coconut etc)
  • 3 Cups Frozen Raspberries (Cherries would be amazing!)
  • 25-30 drops of Liquid Stevia or sweetener of choice to taste (Recommended Brand - Sweet Leaf Vanilla Creme)
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Steam beets in a steamer over simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until a knife is easily pierced through the skin. Allow to cool.
  2. Once the beets are cooled rub the skins off with your hands. ( I suggest wearing gloves and doing this over the sink to prevent staining on your skin)
  3. Slice the beets into small pieces and place in the work bowl of a blender.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
  5. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.

Notes

  1. If seeds bother you, heat the raspberries in a pan until softened with 2 TBL water and then mash with a fork. Strain the raspberries into the blender through a sieve to remove any seeds, pushing the solids with a spatula.
  2. Carob would be a great substitute for chocolate if you have any issues with caffeine or histamines that are in raw cacao/chocolate

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Recipe Remake: Sugar Free Paleo Peppermint Patties

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Recipe Remake: Sugar Free Paleo Peppermint Patties

pepermint patties

 I have my mind on my candy and candy on my mind. 

It’s that time of year….the time when most stores you walk into are filled with candy, candy, and more candy. Halloween is the precursor for the upcoming holiday season….the season of eating. Don’t get me wrong I love the holidays, and I like to indulge, but I like to control the ingredients and keep the junk out of my mouth and away from my hips. You feel me?

I wanted to start with one of my families favorites the refreshing, sweet and sinful peppermint patty. 

Feel the chill and float away on a rich bed of chocolate and creamy mint without any of the guilt…isn’t life grand? 

Oh and don’t worry if you don’t have a chocolate mold I have instructions for making these without one. If you feel so inclined here is a link to buy the one I use its only $9 and it really makes your candies and chocolates look very professional. 

Sugar Free Paleo Peppermint Patties

Yields 20

Vegan - Sugar Free - Paleo - Soy Free - Gluten Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (shredded will work too)
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Pure Peppermint Extract (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Stevia Packets (recommended brand Sweet Leaf)
  • 2 Tbl Maple Syrup (divided in half)
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (or any sea salt)
  • 4 oz Unsweetened Chocolate (high quality please and thank you)
  • 2 tsp Coconut Oil

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor add the coconut flakes, coconut oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts, stevia, 1 tbl maple syrup, salt, and blend until the mixture is smooth. Taste for sweetness and mint intensity. Feel free to add more of both depending on your palette.
  2. Place the coconut mixture in the fridge to firm up while preparing the chocolate for at least 20 minutes. The mixture should be firm while soft enough to scoop with a spoon. If the mixture if made ahead of time allow it to sit out on the counter before using.
  3. Chop up the chocolate and place in a double boiler. (if you don't have a double boiler place a bowl thats big enough to sit on the top of a saucepan without the bowl touching the water with simmering water underneath)
  4. Add the oil to the chocolate and stir until it is completely melted.
  5. Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the maple syrup and a pinch of salt.

If using a mold

  1. Pour the chocolate into the mold and swirl around over a bowl or something large enough to catch the excess.
  2. Using a flat edge spatula or a bench scraper or even the back of a butter knife scrape the excess chocolate off of the mold.
  3. Place the chocolate in the freezer to firm up for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the chocolate and scoop the coconut mixture into the molds filling almost to the top of the molds.
  5. Return the mold into the freezer to firm up for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the mold from the freezer and pour the remaining chocolate over the pieces and scrape off the excess so there is no visible coconut.
  7. Return to the freezer to firm up for an addition 15 minutes.
  8. Pop the pieces out of the mold and keep them stored in the fridge.

If you don't have a mold

  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the coconut mixture (it should be firm enough to hold a shape) leaving 1/2'' in between.
  3. Place in the freezer to firm up for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the freezer and pour the chocolate over each coconut mound making sure to cover every inch.
  5. Return the chocolates back to the freezer to firm up for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Keep the chocolates in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

  1. Peppermint extracts can vary in intensity so I advise to start with 2 tsp of extract then taste the mixture. You can always add more but if you add to much the batch can be ruined so add 1/2 tsp at a time to increase the mint flavor.

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Homemade Spicy Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

I cringe at the price and ingredients of granola and meal replacement bars at the supermarket….

$2-$4 (sometimes even more) for a bar that has weird sugar syrups, refined oils, soy lecithin, and/or a myriad of other undesirable additives?

YEAH RIGHT!

You can make your own bars at home and control the oils,  sweeteners and all of the ingredients for only a fraction of the cost. 

Check out my spicy chocolate coconut granola bars!

Oooohhhh Ahhhhhhh

These puppies are super easy to make and pack up very nicely in your gym bag or purse for some quick fuel on the go. Feel free to sub your favorite nuts and seeds and change the sweetener to your preference (coconut sugar, honey etc). I used garam masala and curry powder but if that’s a little too out there for your taste or you are making these for kids feel free to leave it out. 

Homemade Chocolate Spiced Granola Bars

Yields 12

Vegan - Gluten Free - Refined Sugar Free - Soy Free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Raw Pecans (or nut of choice)
  • 1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Raw Cashews (or nut of choice)
  • 1 Cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (or seed of choice)
  • 1 Cup Raw Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Cup Soaked and Sprouted Gluten Free Oats (or equal amount of seeds or nuts) * see notes
  • 2 Tbl Raw Cacao
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala (optional. I used Frontier brand)
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder (optional. I used Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbl Coconut Oil 
  • 2/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup (or coconut syrup, or honey)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking pan with the oil you are using for the granola bars and line with parchment paper.
  3. On a sheet pan place all of the nuts, seeds, and oats (if using) and toast on the middle rack for 8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. (If you prefer a raw bar skip this step)
  4. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and return the sheet pan to the oven for 2-3 more minutes or until the coconut is lightly browned.
  5. Transfer the oat/nut/coconut mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
  6. Reduce the oven temp to 325F
  7. In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup and oil.
  8. Over medium high heat bring to a boil and then add the salt, spices, and cacao powder.
  9. Stir as soon as you add the spices and as soon as the mixture starts to bubble remove from the heat.
  10. Pour the syrup over the oat/nut mixture in the large bowl and stir until evenly coated.
  11. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly with a piece of parchment paper over your hands or greased or wet hands.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Let cool for 1-2 hours in the pan on the counter.
  14. Once fully cooled remove from the pan and turn out onto a cutting board.
  15. Cut into bars.
  16. The size is up to you but I cut mine into 12 bars by cutting the whole tray down the middle length wise and then splitting those 2 pieces into 6 equal portions in the shape of granola bars.

Notes

  1. If you would like to make a raw bar simply omit toasting the nut and seeds. Combine the syrup mixture and stir into the nuts. Follow the rest of the recipe as is except dehydrate the bars in a warm oven (on the lowest setting) overnight or in a dehydrator for 12 hours or until dry and crispy. Allow to set up on the counter for one hour before slicing. Do not consume raw oats they contain phytic acid that requires them to be soaked first. Soak them overnight and then dehydrate in a low oven or dehydrator overnight to "sprout" them.

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Raw Nutella Power Pudding

Life can be hard. 

Pudding can make life better. 

Nutella Chocolate Pudding can make life waaaaay better. 

Why is this pudding so special? Because this is a raw/vegan nutritional powerhouse pudding posing as a decadent dessert. The base of this is chia seeds, flaxseed meal, and hazelnuts soaked in your choice of dairy free milk (coconut milk makes this incredibly rich and decadent while almond milk makes a lighter pudding so choose accordingly).

So we have Omega 3’s, fiber, & protein disguised as dessert! Pretty awesome combo if you ask me.

The chia/flax hazelnuts needs about an hour to soak up and bloom but you can assemble those ingredients the night before and blend it up the next day.

Crazy easy, super delicious, and deceivingly healthy.

Does it get any better? 

Nutella Chia Flax Power Pudding

Serves 2

Vegan - Raw - Sugar Free - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbl Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 Cup Hazelnuts (skins removed if possible but not necessary see notes)
  • 1 Cup (+ 1/2 Cup Reserved) Coconut Milk or Dairy Free Milk of Choice
  • 3 Tbl Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbl Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Essence or Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Instant Espresso Powder (optional)

Optional Toppings

  • Cacao Nibs
  • Chopped Hazelnuts
  • Shaved Dark Chocolate
  • Scoop of Coconut Cream
  • Goji Berries
  • Shredded Coconut

Instructions

  1. Soak the chia seeds, flaxseed meal, and hazelnuts in one cup of dairy free milk for at least one hour but 4-6 hours will soften the hazelnuts so they blend easier.
  2. Use a spatula to scoop the bloomed chia/flax/hazelnut mixture into a high power blender. (It will be very sticky and will be formed to the size of the container)
  3. Add the salt, cacoa, maple syrup, espresso powder (if using) and 1/4 cup of reserved milk and blend until smooth.
  4. If the pudding is too thick add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk until the desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Taste for sweetness and add more maple syrup if you like.
  6. The pudding is ready to eat but it can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

  1. If you want the smoothest possible pudding you will want to use skinless Hazelnuts. The skins can be removed by a few methods: If you do not follow a raw diet you can roast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes in a 350 oven or roast slow in a warm oven for 12 hours or in a dehydrator following manufactures directions and then place in between two kitchen towels and rub them vigorously. The skins should come right off. If you soak the hazelnuts overnight and then rub in between two towels the skins should come off easily as well.

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Snack Attack!!! Fat Free Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

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Snack Attack!!! Fat Free Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

I have an addiction to all things crunchy…nuts, fries, chips. I could survive solely on snack food if I didn’t have a nutritional conscious, but sadly, that is not the case. 

I know I shouldn’t be eating pre packaged fried foods with refined oils, cheap ingredients, and un identifiable additives…so I had to figure out a way to get my crunchy snack food fix the healthy way.

Enter the baked apple chip. 

apple cooked tray

Oooooooooooooooooohhhhhhh.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

Simple, pure, crunchy, apple goodness. 

Oh and did I mention they are stupid easy to make? I’ll walk you through it. 

Start by placing the bottom of an apple directly on top of the blade portion of a mandolin and slice as thin as possible ( you can use a knife if you don’t have a mandolin).

Place the apples in a ziploc bag and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning and add 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp coconut or raw sugar (the sugar is optional and feel free to let your imagination run wild with the spice portion: curry, nutmeg, garam masala etc)

Toss to coat the apples.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the apple slices in one layer.

Bake at 225F for one hour. Flip. Then bake for an additional hour.

Turn off the oven and leave the chips to cool with the oven door shut. They will crisp up as they cool so leave them alone until they snap when you gently push on one. 

Store in an airtight container if you don’t slam the whole tray cookie monster style like I did…whoops.  

Baked Apple Chips

Vegan - Gluten Free - Paleo - Nut Free - Refined Sugar Free - Fat Free

Ingredients

  • 2 Crisp Apples (Fujis, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 Tbl Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Raw or Coconut Sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 225F and line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the apples horizontally across the core on a mandolin (or with knife) as thin as you can.
  3. Toss the apples in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  4. Toss the apples, cinnamon, and sugar in a ziploc bag until well coated or you can also sprinkle by hand.
  5. Lay the apples in a single layer on the lined sheet pans.
  6. Bake for one hour.
  7. Flip the apples.
  8. Bake for an additional hour.
  9. Turn the oven off and allow the chips to cool with the oven door shut or until they are very crisp and snap when pushed on lightly with your finger.

Notes

  1. If these are left long enough to cool they will stay crispy stored in an airtight bag or container for a few days. This same process can be used with bosc pears.

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