Viewing entries tagged
clean eating

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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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

broccoli soup

Cooking? Who has the time to get the kids to school, go to work, go to the gym, pick everyone up, make dinner, do the dishes, prep the lunches, oh and look glamorous, fit, well rested, and oh so happy?!?

Listen, I am not claiming that this soup is going to feed your crying kids and convince them to eat broccoli, but what this will do is give YOU something quick and healthy you can eat for lunch that isn’t going to take forever to make.You do need to make your own food; snacking on your kids goldfish is not a sufficient “lunch”.

Steam your broccoli, blend it up, pair it with a protein for a full meal, and voila! You have your cleansing herbs to mange water weight, the fiber in the broccoli to keep you full, and the healthy fat from the olive oil to keep that skin young and gorgeous. This is actually really good mixed in with salad greens, roasted veggies, chicken, or fish and some almonds for crunch. Boom!

 

Vegan broccoli herb soup 

Serves 2

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

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, freshly steamed
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth (divided)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 1 Handful of Parsley (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the steamed broccoli.
  2. Puree until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining broccoli and puree, adding more vegetable broth to smooth to desired consistency.
  4. Taste for seasoning.

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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

20140325-DSC_2178

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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Time to slim down for Spring!

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Time to slim down for Spring!

roasted radishes

I just had a startling realization….

It’s the last week of February, which means it’s almost March, and March is almost Spring, and Spring is close to Summer, which is bathing suit season and you know what that means don’t you?!?!?!??!?

It means its time to stop eating all those starchy caloric dense foods and start slimming down for the warmer weather. Eeeek!

So what should you be eating you ask? Well its a good time to start filling your plate with low starch veggies on big piles of fresh salad paired with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and oily omega 3 filled fish. 

Here is one that you probably haven’t tried before, roasted radishes!

I love radishes because they are very light, have a low starch content, and are great for cleansing because they are a natural diuretic. I prefer to mix raw radishes and cooked to gain a variety of flavor in salads or paired as a side with proteins. All you have to do is place the radishes in a pouch of either parchment or aluminum foil add some ghee or olive oil roast for 15 minutes then open it up and broil for 5-8 minutes to get some nice color and depth of flavor. Voila! Keep in mind that you can use this method for almost any other low starch veggie for cooking like turnips, zuchini, asparagus, etc. 

I also suggest to jumpstart your weight loss efforts by drinking a liter of this detox water daily to help fight bloat and curb your appetite:

Roasted Radishes

Serves 2

Gluten Free - Paleo - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Low Carb - Vegan Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 lb radishes (washed and cut in half)
  • 2 tsp Grass Fed Ghee or Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425F
  2. You will need a piece of aluminum foil that is double the size of the amount of radishes because you will be folding it over on itself to form a pouch.
  3. Place the radishes off to one side of the foil and drizzle with oil or place the ghee in the center of the radishes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold the foil over on itself and crimp the edge tightly shut so the radishes can steam inside.
  6. Place the pouch on a sheet pan for easy removal.
  7. Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pouch from the oven and using heat proof oven mits carefully open the pouch to expose the radishes.
  9. Crank the oven up to a broil.
  10. Toss the radishes with a spoon.
  11. Place the radishes back in the oven on the top shelf and broil for 5-8 minutes or until they start to gain some color.
  12. Remove from oven allow to cool, sprinkle with a touch more of salt if desired and enjoy!
  13. See notes for garnishes.

Optional garnishes

  1. Chopped chives
  2. Julienned mint
  3. Drizzle with favorite salad dressing while still warm to absorb the flavor.
  4. Serve with sliced avocados on top of a salad for a healthy snack!

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Dinner in a Flash! Healthy Thai Turkey Hot Pot

Thai turkey

I have realized something over the last year or so of fumbling my way through running this blog…I tend to over complicate healthy food when all I (and my friends and family) really want is easy, delicious food that isn’t going to make us fat. So my new years resolution is to bring you the simple food that I eat everyday that will keep you lean, mean, and in control of your kitchen. 

I just made this Thai inspired turkey hot-pot and it’s just the thing my cold body needs on this rainy day. This is one of a series of clean dinners that will keep your new years resolutions on track because Lord knows I drank and ate a wee bit too much this holiday season.

Whoops.

Sorry, I’m not sorry :)

Thai Turkey Hot Pot

Serves 4

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

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Ground Turkey (Organic Free Range preferred I used 1/2 white 1/2 dark meat)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl Coconut oil (unrefined)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder (you can add more if you like more heat)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1Tbl Braggs Aminos (or sea salt if you are avoiding soy)
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (measure after chopping)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. In a large flat bottomed high side pot pan heat the coconut oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer
  2. Add the onions and ginger; stir to coat in oil and saute until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add the garlic and chili powder and stir to combine
  4. Add the turkey meat and break up with a spoon
  5. Allow the turkey to brown and stir to brown evenly
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and cover for 3-5 minutes
  7. Stir the turkey and cover for another 3 minutes
  8. Chop the bok choy into 1/2'' pieces and add to the pot
  9. Add the coconut milk and stir everything to combine
  10. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a high simmer
  11. Cook until the turkey is cooked through about 10-15 minutes
  12. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro at the very end
  13. Taste for seasoning add more heat and braggs to your liking

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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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Vegan & Grain Free Pumpkin Pie

Who says you can’t have your pie and eat it too? 

What was that? Oh the saying is cake not pie? Well then all the reason why you can have seconds! Check out these little pecan crusted pumpkin pie beauties free of dairy, grains, sugar, and gluten but jammed with rich, decadent deliciousness. 

 

How did I do it? Wouldn’t you like to know!

I’m kidding, obviously I will tell you just scroll down to the recipe below ;)

Oh and I made mine into individual tarts because I like to feel like a giant when I eat little things, but if you want to serve a regular pie use a 9’‘ spring form pan and pour the filling in and bake for 20-25 minutes longer or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Vegan Pumpkin Pies

Yields 4

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

Crust

  • 2 Cups Pecans
  • 2 Cups Dates
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt

Filling

  • 1 16 oz Can Pumpkin Pie Puree
  • 1 Cup Raw Macadamia Nuts Soaked in Water Overnight (or skinless almonds or raw cashews)
  • 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbl Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbl Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Non Dairy Milk (Coconut, Almond etc)
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Equipment

  • 4 - 4.75 in Mini Tart Shells
  • or
  • 8'' Spring Form Pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F

For the crust

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor add the dates, pecans, and salt and pulse until the pieces are finely ground and it holds it shape when pressed between your fingers.
  2. Grease the tart shells and evenly divide the crust between the shells.
  3. Press the crust up the sides and firmly into the bottom as evenly as you can.
  4. Set aside.

For the Filling

  1. Drain the nuts and rinse off.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the work bowl of a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Taste for sweetness and adjust according to your palette if necessary.
  4. Place the tart shells on a sheet pan.
  5. Pour the filling evenly between the tart shells.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
  7. Allow to cool and cover with coconut cream (optional)

Notes

  1. This recipe can be made into one large pie. Use an 8'' spring form pan and press the crust into the bottom and up the sides. Pour all of the filling in and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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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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Sugar Free Low Calorie Mint Chocolate Pudding

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Sugar Free Low Calorie Mint Chocolate Pudding

Do you know this scenario? 

You ate super healthy all day, had a great workout, ate a nourishing dinner but then out of the blue the sugar cravings start…

Must eat sugar…. 

Stop right there!!!!

No need to ruin a whole day of healthy eating by slamming a carton of ice cream or a sleeve of cookies. You are better than that ;)

Whats the solution? My low-calorie, sugar-free Mint Chocolate Pudding silly!

mint choc words
mint choc words

This 5 ingredient wonder can be made in large amounts so you will be prepared the next time you have a late night craving.

Heres the line up: 

Unsweetened Almond Milk- 40 Calories and zero sugars for 1 cup

Grass Fed Gelatin – 25 calories for 1 Tbl and a great source of collagen for healthy skin, bones, and nails. I really love Grass Lakes Gelatin because it is sourced from grass-fed beef cows and is Kosher.  

Raw Cacao – Low Calorie high fiber superfood packed with antioxidants and deep chocolate flavor. 

Stevia – Low calorie sugar-free sweetener 

Pure Peppermint Extract – No calories and huge punch of minty flavor which also aids in digestion

Mint Chocolate Pudding

Serves 4

Paleo - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Gluten Free 

Ingredients

  1. 4 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  2. 1 Tbl Grass Fed Gelatin (or regular gelatin is fine)
  3. 1/4 Cup Raw Cacao Powder
  4. 3 Stevia Packets (Suggested Brand Sweet Leaf)
  5. 1 tsp Pure Peppermint Oil
  6. 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (optional)
  7. Pinch of Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl measure out 1/2 cup of the almond milk add the gelatin and whisk to combine.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a medium size sauce pan heat the remaining 3 cups of almond milk over medium high heat.
  4. Whisk in the stevia, cacao powder and salt into the almond milk.
  5. When the almond milk has just come to a simmer add the gelatin mixture scraping the bowl making sure to get all of it out of the bowl.
  6. Whisk throughly and heat for an additional 30 seconds to melt the gelatin.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peppermint and vanilla extract.
  8. Pour the pudding into a glass container and place in the fridge to set up for 3 hours.
  9. The pudding is ready to eat when it jiggles and holds together when scooped.

Notes

  1. Feel free to use coconut milk for a richer pudding.

Optional toppings

  1. Cacao nibs
  2. Coconut Cream
  3. Goji Berries
  4. Coconut Flakes

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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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Raw Vegan Pub Cheese!!!

When I was growing up Friday nights in my house were great. My mom would let us put our feet up on the table and recline back like old men, we would eat pub cheese, and my mom would crack a rolling rock while we listened to tunes on the radio. Life was simple. Good cheese, family, and music was all we needed. 

Unfortunately dairy is no longer a friend of some members of my family (nor is the gluten in beer anymore) so we have had to make some changes. 

I have made a raw vegan version of the famous pub cheese to fill the void and luckily there are some great Gluten Free beers hitting the market to recreate the magic. 

Here is a list of the top 10 Gluten Free Beers from Gourmet Magazine

I made this with soaked raw almonds and macadamia nuts. The great thing about soaking your nuts before eating them is that it removes a lot of the lectins (protein binding carbohydrates that are found in plants and animals). Lectins can be harmful for digestion because of their binding qualities that can attach to the intestinal lining and cause a lot of problems such as reduced nutrient, mineral, and protein absorption, as well as leptin resistance (a pre diabetic condition linked to obesity). This is important information for people with gluten allergies who are probably dealing with or have dealt with some kind of intestinal damage like leaky gut :/

Read more about lectins and how to reduce them in your diet here

Not to fear because soaking nuts greatly diminishes the lectins levels so this recipe is free from gluten, grains, and dairy as well as gut friendly :) 

First off rinse and then soak your nuts overnight in filtered water.

Drain the nuts and rinse off any additional residue and place in a blender along with the remaining ingredients. 

Blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning. 

Transfer to a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth and place over a bowl to drain overnight. ( I know there is a lot of waiting here but the prep is stupid easy so it all works out in the end)

Turn out the cheese and eat up! 

Raw Vegan Pub Cheese

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews 
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts 
  • 3 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 3 Tbl chopped Parsley (measure after chopping)
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbl Chopped Chives (measure after chopping)

Instructions

  1. Rinse off the nuts and place in a bowl.
  2. Cover with water and place in the fridge to soak overnight.
  3. Drain and rinse the nuts and place in a blender along with all of the remaining ingredients minus the chives.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Fold in the chives and transfer the cheese to a sieve lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl to drain.
  6. Fold the cheesecloth over the top and place in the fridge to drain overnight.
  7. Turn out the cheese and serve!

Notes

  1. The flavors need time to mellow in this recipe so if you taste it right out of the blender don't be surprised if the garlic and lemon come on strong. Feel free to play around with the amount of garlic to suite your preference. If you don't like a raw onion favor feel free to leave the chives out but they really lend a good bite to the cheese.

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You put the lime in the coconut and cover it in chocolate!

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You put the lime in the coconut and cover it in chocolate!

On my last post I made a raw pistachio date crust for my Strawberry Banana Frozen Cheesecake, and I am still obsessing over the crust! I love this crust so much I made it again, except this time I made a Banana Coconut Lime filling and covered it with homemade sugar-free dark chocolate, sea salt, and lime zest.

Yeah these are pretty rockin, oh and they are also raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, Paleo, and stupid easy to make. 

Ready?

Pulse 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios along with 4 pitted medjool dates along with a big pinch of sea salt and the zest of 1 lime in a food processor. When the mixture is sticky, coarsely ground and holds its shape when pressed between your fingers you are ready to go. 

Line a bread pan with a piece of parchment paper fashioned as a sling so the sides hang over the edge for easy removal later. I also grease the pan and paper with coconut oil for extra insurance. 

Now pack the crust into the bottom of the pan making it as flat as possible. If the crust it sticking to your fingers simply wet your fingertips when touching crust. 

Place in the fridge while you assemble the filling. 

In a blender combine 3 ripe bananas, 3/4 cup coconut cream (if you can’t find coconut cream leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then scoop the cream that is chilled on the top leaving any water in the can), the zest and juice of 2 limes, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt. Blend until a smooth mixture is achieved , add liquid stevia or sweetener of choice to taste and then pour into the crust. I like to zest additional lime on top before freezing.

Place in the freezer to firm up for at least 4 hours but overnight is best. 

Take the pan out of the freezer and use a knife to separate the sides from the pan. Pull the whole thing out using your parchment paper sling and place on a cutting board.

Cut into 1’‘ squares (this recipe will yield 18 squares).

Place the cut squares on a rack with a sheet pan underneath lined with foil or parchment paper. Make sure that the squares are not touching and have at least 1’‘ (2.5cm) distance from each other.  Return the squares to the freezer to firm up while you make the chocolate. 

Over a double boiler (or a sauce pan with a bowl over the top with 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water) add 4 tbl melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup plus 2 tbl raw cacao powder and heat gently over medium low heat whisking constantly. When fully combined add 1 1/2 tbl sweetener of choice and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract off of the heat and stir to combine. 

Remove the ice cream bites from the freezer and generously pour the chocolate over each bite so it drips over the sides. The chocolate is going to firm up almost instantly so move fast. If you need more chocolate remove the rack and spoon off the dripped chocolate on the lined sheet pan (this is why we put down foil or parchment paper). 

After the chocolate immediately zest some lime over the top and sprinkle lightly with a coarse salt. I used a Himalayan Pink Salt but the choice is yours. 

These are ready to eat! Like anything frozen I like to let it sit for 10-15 minutes out on the counter to soften lightly before eating it. The colder something is the less flavor it has so by letting it defrost just a touch you will have a creamier texture and more flavor! 

Chocolate Covered Banana Coconut Lime Ice Cream Bites

Yields 18

Vegan - Raw - Sugar Free - Paleo - Gluten Free 

Crust

  • 1/2 cup Raw Shelled Pistachios
  • 4 Medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • Zest of 1 lime

Filing

  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Cream (if you can't find place a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge the night before and scrape the cream off the top)
  • 2 Limes
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Maple syrup, wild honey, yacon syrup, or sweetener of choice to taste 

Chocolate Coating

  • 4 Tbl Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbl High Quality Dark Cocoa Powder
  •  1 1/2 Tbl of Maple syrup or wild honey or yacon powder or syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Powder or Essence

Garnish

  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Coarse Finishing Salt (I used Himalayan Pink Salt)

Instructions

  1. Pulse 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios along with 4 pitted medjool dates along with a big pinch of sea salt and the zest of 1 lime in a food processor. When the mixture is sticky, coarsely ground and holds its shape when pressed between your fingers you are ready to go.
  2. Line a bread pan with a piece of parchment paper fashioned as a sling so the sides hang over the edge for easy removal later. I also grease the pan and paper with coconut oil for extra insurance.
  3. Now pack the crust into the bottom of the pan making it as flat as possible. If the crust it sticking to your fingers simply wet your fingertips when touching crust.
  4. Place in the fridge while you assemble the filling.
  5. In a blender combine 3 ripe bananas, 3/4 cup coconut cream (if you can't find coconut cream leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then scoop the cream that is chilled on the top leaving any water in the can), the zest and juice of 2 limes, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt.
  6. Blend until a smooth mixture is achieved, add sweetener of choice to taste mix and then pour into the crust.
  7. Zest additional lime on top of the filling before freezing.
  8. Place in the freezer to firm up for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.
  9. Take the pan out of the freezer and use a knife to separate the sides from the pan. Pull the whole thing out using your parchment paper sling and place on a cutting board.
  10. Cut into 1'' squares (this recipe will yield 18 squares).
  11. Place the cut squares onto a rack with a sheet pan underneath lined with foil or parchment paper. Make sure that the squares are not touching and have at least 1'' (2.5cm) distance from each other.
  12. Return the squares to the freezer to firm up while you make the chocolate.
  13. Over a double boiler (or a sauce pan with a bowl over the top with 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water) add 4 tbl melted coconut oil, 1/2 cup plus 2 tbl raw cacao powder and heat gently over medium low heat whisking constantly. When fully combined add 1 tbl sweetener of choice and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract off of the heat and stir to combine. 
  14. Remove the ice cream bites from the freezer and generously pour the chocolate over each bite so it drips over the sides. The chocolate is going to firm up almost instantly so move fast. If you need more chocolate remove the rack and spoon off the dripped chocolate on the lined sheet pan (this is why we put down foil or parchment paper).
  15. Right after the chocolate is drizzled zest some lime over the top and sprinkle lightly with a coarse salt.
  16. These are ready to eat! Like anything frozen I like to let it sit for 10-15 minutes to soften lightly before eating it.

Notes

  1. Double the recipe and use a 9'' greased Spring-form pan or a greased and parchment lined 9x9 square pan for a full sized cake.

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Rock Your Socks Off With This Half Cured Sweet and Smokey Salmon

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Rock Your Socks Off With This Half Cured Sweet and Smokey Salmon

Salmon cooked

Sometimes with gluten free or grain free recipes there is a palette adjustment or texture adjustment that one has to make mentally before eating a certain remake of a favorite food (ex cupcakes, or muffins). But when it comes to this Salmon, no adjustments are neccesary. I dare you to make this for any of your foodie friends and I promise the only thing you’ll be explaining is the recipe, not that its “paleo” or “gluten free”. 

Start out with a beautiful wild caught one side center cut fillet of Salmon with the skin on and pin bones removed. I like center cut because the thickness is more uniform which will help for even cooking.  This recipe is for a 1 lb piece so feel free to adjust the recipe for the size of your fish. I like the skin on because it holds in more moisture but make sure that before serving you peel off the skin because it won’t be crispy. 

Toast the coriander and cumin in a dry small saute pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Make sure to stir the spices every 30 seconds or so for even toasting. 

In a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder add the toasted coriander and cumin seeds and process until finely ground. 

Add the smoked paprika, coconut sugar (or raw sugar), salt, and zest the lemon into the spices. Toss with your fingers.

Rinse the salmon off and dry with paper towels removing as much moisture as possible. Lay the salmon down on a sheet pan lined with foil and brushed with olive oil to prevent sticking. 

Generously cover the salmon in the spice rub pressing it into the flesh until it is completely covered.

Allow the salmon to sit out for 45 minutes and “cure”. 

After 45 minutes of curing with spice mixture.
After 45 minutes of curing with spice mixture.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 3 inches from the broiler. 

After the 45 minutes place the salmon under the broiler for 6-8 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish reaches an internal temperature of 131 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Cooked Salmon
Cooked Salmon

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

This is how I like my salmon. Medium rare mmmm so good!
This is how I like my salmon. Medium rare mmmm so good!

Half Cured Sweet and Smokey Salmon

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Skin on Center Cut one Side Piece of Wild Salmon (pin bones removed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbl Coconut Sugar 
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt

Optional

  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds (toasted and ground) or 1/2 tsp dried *
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (toasted and ground) or 1/4 tsp dried *

Instructions

  1. Combine the smoked paprika, coconut sugar (or raw sugar), salt, zest of the lemon (and additional spices if using) in a bowl. Toss with your fingers.
  2. Rinse the salmon off and dry with paper towels removing as much moisture as possible.
  3. Lay the salmon down on a sheet pan lined with foil and brushed with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Generously cover the salmon in the spice rub pressing it into the flesh until it is completely covered.
  5. Allow the salmon to sit out for 30-45 minutes and "cure".
  6. You know its ready when the spices have absorbed into the salmon and it has a sheen to it.
  7. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 3 inches from the broiler.
  8. After the curing, place the salmon under the broiler for 6-8 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish reaches an internal temperature of 131 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  9. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. For whole spices: Toast the coriander and cumin in a dry small saute pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Make sure to stir the spices every 30 seconds or so for even toasting.
  2. In a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder add the toasted coriander and cumin seeds and process until finely ground. Add to spice/lemon zest/sugar mixture and proceed with recipe.

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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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