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maple syrup

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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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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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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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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