Feb 212013

Six Disney Food Survival Tips

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Disney World.

Is it one of your life’s dreams to get there? Or are you not into the lines and crowds?

I would definitely put myself into the latter category.  Camping is one of my favorite pastimes.  Nature. Solitude. Calm.  My life is crazy enough as it is, so going into an environment of man-made chaos is not my cup of tea.  Nevertheless, I just returned from a three day Disney adventure because we had family that flew in from Massachusetts that my daughter had never met and she very much enjoyed meeting her cousins…and Mary Poppins.

One of the first and most obvious things to me, of course, was the food choices of many Disney-goers.  At the “resort” we stayed at there was a cafeteria where my family and I ate.  During one particular breakfast I noticed a sadly obese child that had skittles, some sort of cinnamon bun, a chocolate chip cookie, bacon and a chocolate chip pancake on his plate and was washing that down with his ($17) mug of Coke.  The more I looked around, the more I realized it was the same with many of the parents and other children’s plates.  Some of the “healthy” choices were Light and Fit yogurt, flavored milks and frosted flakes.  If you know anything about the commercial dairy industry and GMO corn, you know this is not actually a healthy choice.

So what is a food conscious person to do?  With a little planning you can both save money and stay healthy!  

1) Spend a little time to plan ahead. Choose a few recipes to make beforehand, such as this five ingredient black bean burger. **(For those flying in see below.)
2) Find out if you can get a refrigerator in your room or if you will need to get ice each morning.
3) Bring a canvas bag for non-refrigeration items, a large cooler for anything that must stay cold and smaller lunch bag for the day trips.
4) Each morning separate breakfast items out and then pack enough food items for lunch and snacks in the smaller bag. (You will have a much easier time of this with a plant based diet since you won’t need to worry as much about refrigeration.) If you are not going back to the room for dinner, you will need to pack that too.
5) Bring paper plates, napkins and utensils. (If you are flying in you can get these on the park grounds, but taking them along allows you to forgo having to stand in line to obtain only a plate.)
6) Bring some reusable storage containers that you can portion your lunch into and rinse out each night.

Note: For lunch items such as a bean burger, there are a few restaurants that are happy to allow you to use their condiments such as salsa, lettuce, tomato and onion when you tell them you or your child has food allergies – especially if you do purchase something from them such as a side salad or small iced coffee (I packed my own coconut creamer).

**If you are flying in, prior to leaving home, purchase and pack a soft sided cooler.  Upon arriving in Orlando find a grocery store such as Publix and stock up on some ice and essentials.  You can still make these five ingredient black bean burgers – all you need is a can of beans, mustard, ketchup, some instant oats, salt and pepper and a microwave.    

The outcome? With just this little bit of preparation: 1) I saved enough money to cover my daughter’s three day ticket into the park as a Florida resident and 2) we had some really delicious food compared to some of the generic items available.  There would have been almost nothing either of us could eat between my plant based diet and my daughter’s food allergies.  I found almost no meat/dairy free choices, unless we wanted to get a iceberg lettuce salad or a plastic packaged $7 bowl of melon.

Some of the items I packed included refillable water bottles with filters, fresh fruit, dried fruit, sun butter/peanut butter, whole grain bagel thins, rice cakes, home made bean burgers, an avocado, onion and tomato, carrots and hummus, salsa and organic corn chips, oatmeal, coconut milk creamer, rice milk for my daughter and a few splurge items such as a container of Blissful Blueberry Bake, gluten free fig newtons and GF pretzels.

Looking at the population of people that was in the parks was disheartening.  There were so many people that were so overweight they actually had to have motorized wheelchairs to get around.  It made me so sad and wishful that I could help them.  But as with all things in life we can only Live and Let Live and lead by example.  The more of us that band together in these situations and show people that eating and living healthy is possible the better.  My hope is that even ONE person saw what we were doing and said you know what, I’m going to do that next time!

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

This blueberry bake is a simple and satisfying warm dessert.  For those folks where fresh blueberries are not available, frozen would work great too.  Whatever you choose, be sure to get a variety that does not contain added sugars or salt -this way you can control the amount that is added to the recipe.

I encourage you to dress this base recipe up in different ways – some ginger or cinnamon would be lovely or the addition of some extra pecans or other nuts.  Don’t like agave?  Try  subbing some 100% maple syrup.  Any which way, you can’t go wrong with baked blueberries!

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Feb 7 through Mar 6, 2013


1 pint fresh blueberries**
¼ cup agave nectar, (Madhava)**
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup gluten free granola, (Natures Path)**
1 tsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva) **


1. Preheat oven to 350F; mix blueberries, agave, lemon and salt in a small baking dish; mix granola and coconut oil in a small dish and then spoon over blueberries evenly; cover and bake 60 minutes, until warm and bubbly.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.6
Total Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 166.4 mg
Potassium 94.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 29.8 g
Protein 2.7 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.9 %
Vitamin C 24.7 %
Vitamin E 5.0 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 3.1 %
Folate 1.6 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 1.3 %
Manganese 14.2 %
Niacin 1.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 1.1 %
Riboflavin 3.0 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 3.3 %
Zinc 0.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Blissful Blueberry Bake and Six Disney Food Survival Tips!

Feb 102013
Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

Ziggy Marley Organics Coconut Oil

 Naomi and Tammie – this one is for you! My friend Naomi, General Manager at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, asked me if I could create something delicious with a Ziggy Marley Organics coconut oil and I chose to make a pound cake made with the orange almond version at the suggestion of Tammie, the customer service manager at the store near my house. I thought this would be a nice alternative to the standard lemon pound cake.  This coconut oil is totally worth the splurge – it has great flavor without being overpowering but a little goes a long way. The Orange Almond flavor would also be great as a glaze for a tofu dish with a little soy sauce and agave or in a dressing for a citrus salad.

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

 Even though this cake is decadent and rich – I love that there is no cholesterol.  The texture is super moist and held up a bit better once it had cooled.   I hand sliced these almond slivers from raw almonds and then hit them with the broiler for a minute or two at the end to toast the top and give it a nice little crust.

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Oranges and citrus are in season right now so it’s a great way to showcase this sunny citrus.

Florida Citrus

Florida Citrus

 This cake is the perfect finish to any meal – especially a dinner party, holiday event or Valentines day. Enjoy!

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Vegan and GF Orange Almond Pound Cake

Orange Almond Pound Cake

Inspired by Food.com
Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1/2 cup Ziggy Marley Organics Orange Almond Coconut oil
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
Egg replacer equal to two eggs
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice**
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour (or regular flour if you don’t need gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 oz sliced almonds

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice**
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325F; mix coconut oil and sugar until creamy; add egg replacer and orange juice.

2. In a second bowl, mix the salt, baking mix and baking powder; slowly add to coconut oil mixture and mix until moist; stir in almond milk; pour mixture into a loaf pan greased with a bit extra coconut oil; bake 40 minutes; top with almonds; bake an additional 20 minutes; pour glaze over evenly, broil for a minute or two if desired.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 347.7
Total Fat 16.4 g
Saturated Fat 11.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 144.4 mg
Potassium 55.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 51.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Sugars 33.2 g
Protein 3.9 g

Vitamin C 5.1 %
Vitamin D 1.6 %
Vitamin E 8.0 %
Calcium 9.7 %
Copper 2.2 %
Iron 12.8 %
Magnesium 3.0 %
Manganese 4.6 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 2.2 %
Thiamin 1.3 %
Zinc 0.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Vegan and Gluten Free Orange Almond Pound Cake!

Dec 192012

Happy Holidays!  Before I get to the last of my rolled cookie recipes…..(this one posted because of MANY requests)….Samoa No Bake Energy Bites 

No-Bake Samoa Bites

No-Bake Samoa Bites

….I want to show some love to an amazing lady I met through my businessAndrea Peltier.  This is my second post in my “inspirational women” series and in this world of negativity and chaos it is so nice to share a little something positive and uplifting about someone.  Is there anyone in your life you can do the same for today?  Just wait and see how great it makes you feel! Besides – who doesn’t love a good story?

Andrea is the mother of three – in fact, we met up at a convention last October in Orlando and she brought her four week old baby while her husband is deployed overseas.  He will not be back until April and will then get to meet his beautiful baby,  I was so impressed with her fitting her children into her life and showing them the importance of being self-confident and self-sufficient – these kids will definitely be a step ahead in life.

Andrea is on the right from a recent party.

Here she is getting out and about at a toastmasters event – where she won the event!

  I caught up with Andrea again recently at a recent Christmas party, during which we had a white elephant gift exchange and (though my donation was a chia pet) I ended up with the most amazing gift – two handmade ornaments that said “health” and “wealth” with a card that noted how many times the ornaments we choose have meaning to us and are symbols of what we love and desire. SO true.  I fell in love with these ornaments and shared one with my dear friend Jodi for being an amazing business partner and friend.  (I’ll have to order us another set so we can each have both Jodi!)

Andrea – thank you for inspiring me to take the initiative to get up and out and live life – no excuses!

If you would like to order handmade ornaments from Andrea please contact her at PAndreaE5@gmail.com.


Now – for these COOKIES!

I know I have now posted several variations of these round cookies so this variation is the last.

This recipe, that originated with my friend Theresa, has been passed around so many times to various business partners because it is SO amazing.  Peanut butter, chocolate and coconut make this cookie more like a decadent girl scout Samoa than a healthy energy bite! Everyone that eats these cookies asks where they can find the recipe so I made them for a recent KyV Farm workshop.

I love that I was able to start a business with so many inspirational women AND a food that has 3000mg of plant based Omega3’s and can be used as egg replacer in raw cookies.   This is a GREAT way to get lots of Omega 3s into kids without having to get them to swallow a huge pill or eat fish, and I love that they can help with making these.

For those of you that haven’t heard of this amazing food, Mila, and want to know more – click here.

 Samoa No Bake Energy Bites

Serves about 24
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


2 cups rolled oats
1 cup creamy peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
2/3 cup honey or agave
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup Mila
3/4 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt


1. Mix all ingredients; refrigerate 30 minutes; roll into 24 1-inch balls and store in an air tight container.

Nutrition Facts
24 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 217.1
Total Fat 12.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 53.1 mg
Potassium 91.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 15.3 g
Protein 4.7 g

Vitamin B-6 2.6 %
Vitamin E 5.3 %
Calcium 1.8 %
Folate 2.0 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 4.3 %
Manganese 4.6 %
Niacin 7.2 %
Phosphorus 5.8 %
Riboflavin 1.2 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 2.2 %

*Percent Daily Values for Samoa No Bake Energy Bites are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 122012

CONGRATULATIONS TO SUZANNE HIGBY! You are the winner of the FIVE FREE smoothies, juices, wraps or sandwiches at Native Sun Natural Foods Stores. Please go to the Baymeadows location to pick up your gift cards and mention that you are the winner of the Florida Coastal Cooking Giveaway.

Pin this recipe:

WHO would have ever guessed that five simple ingredients could be so satisfyingly delicious?

WHO would believe there is no baking?

WHO loves a giveaway??? 

Enter for a chance to win FIVE Native Sun gift cards for a free wrap, sandwich, juice or smoothie. 
[Only entries within driving distance of Native Sun Natural Foods Market, 11030 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL location please. For those of you not in the area – stay tuned! I’m working on some more fabulous giveaways!]

How to enter:

Get 1 entry: Tell us what your favorite wrap, sandwich, juice or smoothie is – whether you make it at home or buy it at Native Sun
Get a 2nd entry: Like Florida Coastal Cooking on facebook and share the giveaway.
Get a 3rd entry: Like Native Sun Natural Foods Market on facebook and share the giveaway.
And a 4th entry: Pin the giveaway on pinterest.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
The winner will be picked at random at 10AM est Saturday, December 15th, 2012.
Gift cards expire 12/31/2012 so act fast!
The winner can pick their 5 winning gift cards up at the baymeadows location – 11030 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL.

Happy Holidays to you from Florida Coastal Cooking and Native Sun 

Chocolate Chip Oat Bites

Mini Chocolate Chip Oat Bites

Inspired my my friend Theresa’s oatmeal ball recipe.
Makes 18 1 1/2 tsp bites
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Dec 7 – Jan 6


1 cup rolled oats**
1/4 cup Earth Balance Coconut peanut butter spread
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp chocolate chips**
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt


1. Mix all ingredients well and, using a teaspoon, scoop rounded teaspoonfulls and form into ball shapes. 

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 52.6
Total Fat 2.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 43.5 mg
Potassium 20.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 1.2 g

Copper 2.8 %
Iron 2.8 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 21.4 %
Phosphorus 4.5 %
Thiamin 4.4 %
Zinc 2.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 Posted by at 10:54 pm
Dec 072012

Brought to you by popular demand…..

 Looking for the perfect dessert to bring to a party this holiday season?  Try these decadent brownie Mila Rum balls!  If you are short on time, these are just perfect!


What is Mila?

Mila is an organically grown, non-genetically modified blend of chia seed that is cold pressed and sliced to make it more bio-available.

It is RAW, GLUTEN FREE, AND VEGAN, perfect for cooking and baking.

It is super high in OMEGA 3s – equal to  fish oil pills per serving.

A single serving also has FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER, more antioxidants than blueberries, more iron than spinach and many more benefits.

This little seed has anti-inflammatory properties, is excellent for brain function, energy, elimination, sleep and the best part?  It’s a FOOD! AND there is an awesome business it revolves around.


By using a boxed brownie mix, these can be thrown together in less than ten minutes before baking!  Rolling them into balls does add a bit of time but it’s kind of fun to get into the spirit of the holiday season.

And the best thing about these is they are vegan because the Mila acts as the egg in this recipe and by using applesauce they are actually light – low in calories, fat and NO cholesterol.

Have a HEALTHY and happy holiday season!

Decadent Brownie Mila Rum Balls

Decadent Brownie Mila Rum Balls

Inspired by this recipe
Serves 24
Printable Recipe 


1 box brownie mix of choice (Organic, GMO free version)
1/3 cup organic applesauce
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Mila + 1/3 cup water
3 Tbsp Malibu Rum
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans 


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix brownie mix, applesauce, water and 1/4 cup of the Mila mixture (drink the rest!) in a large bowl; spoon into an 8×8 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray; bake to package directions.

2. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack; crumble into food processor; add rum and process into a ball.  Using a teaspoon, scoop a rounded tsp and roll into a ball; roll into chopped pecans until well coated.

Nutrition Facts (Estimated – exact brownie mix was not in database)
24 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 106.6
Total Fat 3.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 57.7 mg
Potassium 11.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 10.4 g
Protein 1.2 g
Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 0.2 %
Vitamin C 0.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.3 %
Calcium 0.1 %
Copper 1.0 %
Folate 0.1 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 0.9 %
Manganese 3.5 %
Niacin 0.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.1 %
Phosphorus 0.9 %
Riboflavin 0.2 %
Selenium 0.1 %
Thiamin 0.7 %
Zinc 0.5 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


 Posted by at 11:04 am  Tagged with:
Dec 032012

Living in Florida is such a blessing.  Not only was I able to take my cream colored Labrador, Tally for a walk yesterday without a jacket on (a fact I can really appreciate from growing up in Massachusetts), but the citrus trees are all heavy with fruit – including my Meyer lemon tree.

When you think of barley or grains you probably thing of savory dishes – so I wanted to change things up and bring sort of a sweet, salty, tangy dish. Your tastebuds will be dancing!

This makes a great side dish, snack, breakfast or even dessert!

Take a bite and you’ll get the crunch of pistachios but the creaminess of the barley slowly cooked over 40 minutes.

And talk about easy! I threw this dish together in under ten minutes – shelling and all.

Tell me what is your favorite thing to do with fresh citrus? 

Sweet Citrus Barley with Pistachios

Sweet Citrus Barley and Pistachios

Serves 4, 1/2 cup serving
Vegan Option
Printable Recipe


1 cup barley
2 cups water
1 orange or Satsuma
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
2 to 3 Tbsp honey or agave for vegan
1/4 cup shelled pistachios


1. Rinse barley well in running water; add to small pot with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover; cook 40 minutes; remove from heat cook an additional 10 minutes.

2. Peel orange and blend in Magic Bullet or blender with juice of lemon, salt and honey or agave; mix well and pour over 2 cups of the cooked barley, reserve the remaining barley for another use; spoon barley mixture into large bowl.  Chop pistachios and top barley mixture.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 184.0
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 148.2 mg
Potassium 211.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36.3 g 

Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 3.6 g
Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 12.3 %
Vitamin C 26.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.3 %
Calcium 2.8 %
Copper 10.2 %
Folate 6.2 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 7.5 %
anganese 15.7 %
Niacin 9.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.2 %
Phosphorus 8.6 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 10.7 %
Thiamin 10.5 %
Zinc 5.7 %


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 212012


Here for the popcorn? Scroll down!

Here are my top 10 reasons why Mila is the best gift for the people on your list.



2. Fiber aids in WEIGHT LOSS and BALANCES BLOOD SUGAR:  How many people are struggling with weight loss and never feel full? Mila absorbs ten times its weight in liquids so it expands in your stomach.  Many times I will drink Mila with juice before eating a meal and it will cause me to eat less without even trying.

Need a weight loss program? Try the Aztec diet.

See the snapshot below of 1 serving of Mila, then 1 serving of Mila mixed with 1 cup water.

3. Can heal CONSTIPATION ISSUES: Soluble fiber ensures hydration and insoluble fiber gently moves through the system, cleansing and carrying food along.

4. Omega 3’s can help DEPRESSION:  Google Omega 3 and medical studies and you will see many studies on how Omega 3s can help.  Here is just one example from the University of Maryland. The best thing about Mila is there is 3000 mg of plant based Omega 3s – so we don’t have to worry about mercury contamination like we do in fish.  This is a FOOD. Our bodies will naturally recognize it faster than a supplement.

5. Omega 3s and HEARTH HEALTH go hand in hand: High blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease are all covered in this same University of Maryland medical study on Omega 3s.

6. NUTRITION AND ENERGY: Vitamins and Nutrients can give us Energy. The Standard American Diet (or SAD diet) is severely lacking in nutrient content. We try to counteract that by taking vitamin and mineral supplements.  But think about it, our bodies recognize food faster than a supplement.  It will recognize the vitamin C in an orange faster and more efficiently than a pill form of vitamin C. And our bodies simply need the nutrition.  We can’t produce Omega 3s so we must obtain it from food sources.


8. Great BRAIN FOOD FOR KIDS- Check out this pediatric study.

9. Is there a pet lover on your list?  Mila is PERFECT FOR PETS.

10. FUELS WORKOUTS and keeps us hydrated! See how it absorbs all the liquids in the photo above? That is what keeps us hydrated longer.  Loose the GU!


WHY is Mila different from organic or regular bulk bin chia?  See this study from the North Carolina Research Campus. 

Hear you can eat chia whole?  Watch this study done on the absorption and bio-availability difference of milled chia.


Share the love and get yours now while the gettin’s good!

The gift that keeps on giving – give your loved one a subscription!


Try the recipe below and these other delicious Mila recipes.

Chocolate Peppermint Mila Popcorn

Chocolate and Peppermint Mila Popcorn

Party Size
Printable Recipe


1 bag natural popcorn, such as Newman’s Own
1 cup chocolate of choice – I used the Bakers Dipping chocolate
1 scoop Mila
Coarse sea salt, to taste
1 candy cane, crushed 


1.  Cook popcorn to package directions and remove any un-popped kernels; sprinkle Mila over warm popcorn.

2. Heat chocolate to package directions; pour evenly over popcorn; sprinkle sea salt and candy cane over heated chocolate.

3. Place in refrigerator to cool; break into pieces and place in a bowl or in decorative canisters for gifts.

 Posted by at 2:30 pm  Tagged with:
Nov 122012

Last Thanksgiving was my first plant based Thanksgiving experience.  Before the holiday I was a bit nervous.  No turkey? At Thanksgiving?  That can’t possible.

But then I made this walnut loaf with all those comforting poultry seasonings.  And you know what?  I liked it even better.  It was moist, flavorful, made great left-overs, was delicious in sandwiches and it was much less expensive than turkey.  Even some of my non-vegan family members tasted it and loved it!

Walnut Loaf

Since I got that big change out of the way last year and it was a stunning success, this year I decided to tackle the pumpkin pie.  I see many recipes with eggs and sweetened condensed milk.  Not only did I want this to be even tastier than the standard pie but much easier and I do believe I accomplished that.

I’m a big fan of texture.  I confess, that is the one thing about pumpkin pie that, for some reason, I miss.  Something else I love? Coconut!

I figured why not marry coconut and pumpkin pie and get the best of both worlds?

Those of you that love that smooth texture – don’t worry!  Simply leave the shredded coconut out of the mix and put a bit more on top.

Coconut Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

  The unexpected texture and sweetness of the coconut and the hint of peanut along with the classic pumpkin pie spice flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice are a delightful surprise. 

I also left the cashews a bit coarser for even more texture and they also add lots of protein!

Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

 With some simple, 100% real maple syrup on top – this dessert is over-the-top delicious. 

Coconut Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Coconut Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Serves 10
Vegan, (Gluten Free Option)
Printable Recipe


1 cup raw cashews
1 15oz can pumpkin puree (Farmers Market brand)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar (Woodstock Farms)
1/4 cup coconut peanut butter spread, or smooth peanut butter, (Earth Balance)
2 Tbsp potato starch, or corn starch, (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (Frontier)
1 tsp salt
1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (Arrowhead mills) 

(For Gluten free use Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pie Crust)

Optional: Maple Syrup to serve


1. Soak cashews in water for 3 hours.  Drain and place into high speed blender or food processor; add pumpkin puree through salt.  Blend until desired consistency is reached.

2. Spoon into pie crust; let set in refrigerator for 1 hour to firm. Top with some additional coconut for garnish and pour a bit of maple syrup over top, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 455.8
Total Fat 24.5 g
Saturated Fat 5.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 623.8 mg
Potassium 106.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 48.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
Sugars 26.1 g
Protein 14.0 g

Vitamin A 243.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 2.1 %
Vitamin C 2.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 7.5 %
Calcium 4.2 %
Copper 3.5 %
Folate 2.6 %
Iron 8.7 %
Magnesium 4.6 %
Manganese 17.0 %
Niacin 6.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 4.2 %
Riboflavin 2.7 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 1.9 %
Zinc 2.1 % 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oct 152012

Curried Pear Crumble

Mildly sweet, a bit salty and aromatic curry….VERY light and satisfying. 

Those were the words I jotted down when I was writing up this recipe.  We weren’t especially hungry after dinner but wanted something  sweet.  I opened the pantry door and Ziggy Marley was staring out. That was it! The Ziggy Marley organic Coco’mon curry flavored coconut oil, I got from Native Sun!  Lots of times I find curry dishes with raisins so I knew I could create a dessert with this. I grabbed the oats and agave too and whipped this dish up in a minute.

If you have regular coconut oil, that will work too but if you can find the Ziggy Marley brand, I say go for it.  His website features this quote, “If I was given a choice and saw something that was genetically modified and saw something else from nature, I would choose the stuff that’s from nature. I don’t want to put anything into my body that’s not natural, that wasn’t created by nature, because we are a part of nature.” What’s not to love?!

My four year old daughter and I shared this crumble – she called it pear pie – and we both loved it.

Curried Pear Crumble

Curry? In a dessert? Yes! Get a little crazy!

This recipe will appeal to both the folks that love curry and those that aren’t too fond of it because the amount of curry added is so slight and the curry in the coconut oil is not overpowering.  But if you are a curry lover I encourage you to add more curry powder!  There are many different curry blends and we tend to think of curries with savory dishes, but the one I chose had some nutmeg and ginger in it along with other spices such as black pepper and cumin – all these flavors come together and compliment the sweet pears and raisins.

What I love about natural desserts where you incorporate fruit is that they actually have vitamins and minerals that you won’t find when you rip open that prepackaged dessert. Those of you that follow me regularly probably note that I leave the long list of vitamins and minerals under the calories fat and carbs; why? Because that is what is important for your body to function!


Curried Pear Crumble

Curried Pear Crumble

Serves 2
Vegan and Gluten Free
(Be sure to buy “Gluten Free” oats if you have Celiac)
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale from October 7th through November 6th



1 ripe red Bartlett pear**
3 Tbsp rolled oats (Country Choice)**
1/2 tsp curry coconut oil (Ziggy Marley brand)**
1 dash curry powder
1 dash coarse grind sea salt
1 tsp agave nectar (Madhava)**
1/2 Tbsp raisins


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice pear and remove core; layer in a small baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix oats, coconut oil, curry powder, salt, agave and raisins in a small bowl; spread evenly over pears; bake 12 minutes or until top is brown and pear is soft.

Nutrition Facts
2 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 114.2
Total Fat 3.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 78.0 mg
Potassium 126.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 1.4 g

Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-6 2.0 %
Vitamin C 5.7 %
Vitamin E 2.7 %
Calcium 1.9 %
Copper 9.8 %
Folate 3.6 %
Iron 5.6 %
Magnesium 8.0 %
Manganese 39.9 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.6 %
Phosphorus 8.9 %
Riboflavin 3.4 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 8.8 %
Zinc 4.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.