Feb 142014
 

This semi-homemade Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe with Four Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is simple enough for even non-bakers (like myself) to make and absolutely scrumptious!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

This post is for any of my last-minute types out there. If you want to make a dessert but they all sound too complicated, run out to your natural food store and grab the simple ingredients for these cupcakes and get mixin!

I loved the combo of chocolate with a touch of peanut butter peeking out from under a decadent and naturally sugar free frosting.  These Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Four-Ingredient Creamy Cocoa Frosting is great for vegans and non-vegans, adults and kids alike!

Happy Valentines Day to you and your loved ones.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe with Four Ingredient Frosting

Serves 18
Vegan
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 box Madhava MMM….Super Yummy Chocolate Cake Mix
Egg Replacer equal to 3 eggs (or three organic foraged eggs)
1 cup non-dairy milk or water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
4 1/2 dark chocolate peanut butter cups, cut into 4s (Justin’s brand is vegan)

Frosting
6 Tbsp non-dairy creamer
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups dates, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake batter to package directions using egg replacer, water or milk and melted coconut oil; pour batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners (18 cupcakes); push 1/4 peanut butter cup into each cupcake and cover with batter; bake 23-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

2. Blend frosting ingredients using a high speed blender or processor until smooth – this will take several minutes, stop and scrape the sides of the blender regularly to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. Cool cupcakes completely and frost with frosting.

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 288.6
Total Fat 17.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 153.6 mg
Potassium 111.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 21.1 g
Protein 2.3 g

Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.3 %
Vitamin C 0.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.2 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 3.2 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 7.1 %
Magnesium 2.7 %
Manganese 3.7 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 0.7 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 0.7 %

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

Feb 052014
 

Stick-to-your-ribs filling, my all natural and sugar free oats with nut butter and coconut oil are full of healthy fats, fiber, zero cholesterol and only 3 grams sugar. A perfectly delicious way to start your day!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

My Nana always told me white sugar and white flour is the devil. Back over thirty years ago she already knew so much of the information that comes out nowadays as the latest and greatest health news.

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Along with the flour and sugar comments from her, I would hear….eat mostly plants, pills are not the answer, you are what you eat, fast food will kill us.

She knew about the benefits of cayenne pepper, turmeric, macrobiotics, legumes ~ you name it, she was well versed in it.

A lot of my passion about natural food comes from my Nana. I remember browsing the aisles of small natural food stores, with their distinct earthy smell and natural light streaming through the windows. Life was slower, calmer and a little more relaxed when I stepped through the doors.  I could browse around and choose a healthy snack like dates rolled in shredded coconut.

She recently passed away right before Christmas ~ just shy of her 100th birthday. We miss her dearly but her long life was a testament to her health.

These oats are an ode to my Nana. She served me a similar breakfast every morning when I would stay with her.

Nana ~ we love you. Cheers to your long life!

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oatmeal

Sugar Free Oats with Nut Butter and Coconut Oil

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

 Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats**
1 3/4 cup unsweet vanilla non dairy milk or water
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 ripe banana
4 tsp nut butter
4 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup nut/seed mix (raisins, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds etc.)

**Be sure to use gluten free oatmeal for a gluten free meal

Directions

1. Heat oatmeal, milk, salt, coconut and banana over medium high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until oats are soft, about 7-10 minutes.

2. Divide oatmeal mixture into four mugs; top each with 1 tsp nut butter, 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 Tbsp nut/seed mixture.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 252.6
Total Fat 16.2 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.3 mg
Potassium 208.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 4.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.4 %
Vitamin C 1.8 %
Vitamin D 10.2 %
Vitamin E 20.5 %
Calcium 19.3 %
Copper 7.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 10.0 %
Magnesium 8.2 %
Manganese 12.7 %
Niacin 6.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 5.9 %
Riboflavin 2.8 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 3.6 %
Zinc 3.1 %

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

Jan 292014
 

My warm Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar and refined oil free ~ perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert when paired with a delicious scoop cashew ice cream.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Way back when, in my past life, I made a career choice that may surprise you.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

After graduating from FSU I attended a career fair and saw a friend I knew. He was working as a manager and encouraged me to join the manager training program.

For the following year, I was a manager at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

I have to give people that work in retail a shout out here. Not only do you work long hours, nights, weekends and holidays ~ you refold, restock and greet customers with a smile, even when you’re ready to call it a day. I’ll admit, it was the hours that prompted me to start looking for another source of income. The day I made the announcement that I was leaving was bittersweet. I was excited about the future, but I had made lots of wonderful friends that I would miss. My dear friend and co-worker Karey B. was even in my wedding party!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Before I left they had a little party for me. When I opened the box that held the cake, I was greeted with an unexpected, tongue-in-cheek saying and I started laughing hysterically.

The cake said “Peace Out Beotch!”

When I took my Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake out of the oven, all the memories of those friends flooded back ~ to this day,  I still can’t help but chuckle at their cookie cake.

____________________________

In this recipe, warm, caramelized bananas, a touch of salt and the tang of lemon are deliciously nestled under a scoop of cool, vanilla cashew-cream ice cream. I hope you enjoy every bite!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake Recipe

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable  Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free quick oats (or rolled oats pulsed in a food processor a few times)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
4 ripe bananas, divided
1/3 cup agave or local honey, divided
1/4 cup peanut butter, Nutzo or Sunbutter
2 Tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil, melted, divided
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix oatmeal, almond flour and salt in a medium bowl. In a second bowl add 1 banana, mashed, 4 Tbsp agave or local honey, nut butter and 1 Tbsp coconut oil; blend until smooth. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients; mix well and press into a baking pan greased with some additional coconut oil; bake 15 minutes.

2. Slice remaining 3 bananas and place evenly over baked crust mixture. Mix remaining agave or local honey, coconut oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; brush over bananas; bake 5 minutes; set to broil on high and broil 5 minutes or until bananas begin to brown and caramelize. Sprinkle a bit more salt, if desired. Let cool, slice and top with cashew or banana ice cream.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 271.6
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 57.7 mg
Potassium 303.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g

Sugars 20.1 g
Protein 6.0 g
Vitamin A 1.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 10.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 4.3 %
Folate 4.7 %
Iron 8.1 %
Magnesium 10.7 %
Manganese 7.5 %
Niacin 7.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.5 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 4.8 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 2.5 %
Zinc 2.5 %

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

Jan 192014
 

We’re all hearing about the benefits of superfruits ~ in this post I’ll review the Mangosteen and share a delicious recipe for Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing!

It’s all over Dr Oz, the internet, health blogs – you name it – superfruits are hot. It is hard not to buy into the hype so I always do some research.  I rarely discuss supplements because I’m here to promote food first.  Human nature is to say shoot, I can eat whatever I want and then just take these supplements and I’ll be fine.

Baloney. First and foremost we need to eat a balanced and nutrient dense diet of mostly plants, and then add any supplementation on top of that. (And remember – always be sure to read the ingredients!) My daily regimen includes eating Mila every day, taking a liquid coral calcium & liquid daily vitamin, sub-lingual complex b-vitamin and I’m trying a few of these superfruits to see what I think.

Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Source

The Mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree that primarily grows in Southeast Asia. The fruit is sweet, tangy and juicy ~ but it is the purple “pericarp”, or rind, that is high in tannins and contains an organic material called xanthones. The astringent rind of the fruit has been used in a variety of ways ~ to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, various infections, eczema and wounds, dysentery and urinary tract infections, and is also said to be an immune booster.

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

From doing my research please keep in mind that yes, the rind has a high nutrient content; however, it should not be used to cure any ailments, so please do not believe false claims.

Any food or nutrient can only help build your very own body’s defenses against various ailments. Our bodies are amazing symphonies of biochemistry ~ but it is up to us to treat it right. If we ingest fast food drive from the through every day and then drink mangosteen juice, we cannot expect our body to be able to defend itself against ailments.  It is much better to cleanse our bodies of toxins by eating healthfully, balance our bodies through exercise and eating a variety of colorful, organic foods and build our bodies’ defenses through nutrient dense foods ~ such as mangosteen.

Variety of organic and nutrient dense foods is one of main reasons to consider the mangosteen. This is the same reason you may want to consider joining an organic CSA/farm share ~ it enables you to obtain a variety of high quality vegetables you may not normally find at your grocer. Conventional soils are depleted in the US ~ to think that we can lay down some man made fertilizer and believe we are adding everything to the soil that it needs is ridiculous, nature is infinitely more complex, so by choosing organics you are also choosing healthy soil. This is not to say that all organics are without shortcuts and are perfect by any means; however, it is a step in the right direction.

If you ARE looking for a high quality mangosteen product ~ I have a great one in my wholesale membership club with Genesis Pure  and I do feel comfortable supporting and recommending it like I do Mila. I checked out a variety that are available out there and this one is really good. If I found anything in it I didn’t agree with, I wouldn’t talk about it ~ even though it is a product supplied by my own company. It is wild harvested and has no added preservatives or sugars.

I do suggest that you compare other products and do your own research first, any time you are looking to try something out.  Google “mangosteen juice products” and see what comes up.

Other than drinking it, making a light dressing is a great way to use it ~ especially over the organically grown veggies at KyV Farm or Native Sun. It is gently sweet and really pleasing ~ no need to add additional sweeteners!

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Fresh Salad with Superfruit Mangosteen Dressing

Serves 4
Printable Recipe
Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

4 cups fresh chopped lettuces and greens such as kale or bok choy
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced cucumber
Salt & pepper, to taste

Dressing
1/4 cup mangosteen juice
2 Tbsp roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil (plain will be fine too)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey

Directions

1. Divide lettuce, tomato and onion evenly over four plates.

2. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl; pour 2 Tbsp dressing over each salad; season with salt and pepper.

Here is Dr Duncan talking about what the mangosteen is good for.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 64.1
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 44.2 mg
Potassium 195.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
S
ugars 8.0 g
Protein 1.1 g 

Vitamin A 29.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.2 %
Vitamin C 24.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.8 %
Calcium 2.3 %
Copper 1.7 %
Folate 19.7 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 1.5 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.2 %
Phosphorus 3.0 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 0.3 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 1.2 % 

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

Jan 132014
 

Move over eggs ~ there’s a new perfect protein for breakfast. My Avocado and Sea Salt Toast has a healthy, balanced blend of fat, FIBER and protein with zero cholesterol.

What’s not to love?

If you are an avocado lover, like me, you may not have thought of using it in place of butter for a simple, creamy and satisfying breakfast for your busy mornings.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Every day you get up with purpose. You get out of bed, shower, hurriedly get dressed in the dark ~ and manage to get out the door with a black shoe on your left and a brown shoe on your right. True story from my past life.  I remember it only too well.  For all of my hard working friends in Corporate America – I dedicate this post to you.

Who has time for breakfast?

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

You do! Just before grabbing your keys and leaving, toast some sesame Ezekiel bread and grab an avocado, an onion and your knife.

I’ll tell you the reason for the onion in a second.

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Take your knife and cut around the avocado, the long way; twist. For now, leave the pit in the one side because it will cut down on the oxidation (browning).


Source
 ~ The Amazing Avocado

Next, cut your slices while the avocado is still in the skin. (Technically, you don’t have to do this step ~ it just looks prettier.)

Slice Avocado
Source
 ~ Thank you to the Practical Cook

Scoop out half of the slices on one side for your toast and place the remaining avocado in a reusable airtight container. Cut an onion and half and place it in there right along with the avocado. The vapors from the onion will reduce further oxidation.

If the avocado is ripe enough you should easily be able to spread it like butter. In fact, I will be so bold as to say wherever there is butter, avocado should replace it.

Let’s look at butter and avocado nutrition facts in a head to head comparison for a two tablespoon serving.

Avocado vs. Butter

Avocado vs. Butter

Shhh….don’t tell the dairy farmers.

Avocado can even be subbed in baking! According to 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet:

“Avocado is almost like a butter, and just like butter it has a soft and creamy texture. You may have to do some experimenting, but in general you can simply substitute 1 cup of avocado for 1 cup of butter. You may have to increase other liquids as the avocado does not melt like butter.

When substituting avocado for eggs in your baking, start by substituting 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup mashed avocado for each egg.

Avocado will make your cakes rise up higher in the center, and in some occasions may even cave. It also browns quicker, and therefore your cake may look well done on the outside, but the inside may still be doughy. To avoid these things from happening, reduce your oven temperature by about 25 percent and increase your baking time.”

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

One bite and you will be subbing avocado left and right for everything – ESPECIALLY when there is coarse sea salt involved. There is something about that tiny, salty crunch on top of creamy, satisfying avocado and nutty sesame.

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Creamy Avocado and Sea Salt Toast

Inspired my a request from my 5 year old daughter ~ she loves it!
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free Option*
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 slice sesame Ezekiel Bread (or gluten free bread)
1/4 ripe avocado, sliced
Sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Toast the Ezekiel Bread; spread avocado over bread evenly; sprinkle sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 152.2
Total Fat 7.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 83.4 mg
Potassium 299.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.9 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 4.8 g

Vitamin A 1.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 10.2 %
Vitamin C 6.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 0.6 %
Copper 3.7 %
Folate 9.6 %
Iron 5.5 %
Magnesium 9.1 %
Manganese 3.2 %
Niacin 10.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 10.3 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 10.2 %
Zinc 6.0 %

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

Dec 232013
 
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

This Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole is a deliciously wintery use for this summertime fruit ~ reminiscent of the caramelized pineapple flavor of an upside down cake but with a hint of savory onion.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Wait. Onions in pineapple upside down cake? Yes! They cook down and caramelize to a lovely sweetness that adds that hmm factor.  If you don’t like the pink hue, choose a sweet vidalia onion.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Why is this such a great dish to bring for a winter pot luck? Because pineapple is PACKED with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C protects the body against free radicals that can damage healthy cells and can give the immune system a nice boost.

So let’s think, do we know anyone with a cold this time of year?  Ha! Even people that don’t normally get sick are coming down with this or that. Forget the chicken soup – bring this casserole!

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake Casserole

Golden Pineapple Upside Down Casserole

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free Version
Printable Recipe 

Ingredients

1 fresh pineapple, peeled and chopped finely
2 Tbsp flour or gluten free flour
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic agave (or local honey)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
8 organic golden round crackers, crushed (for gluten free use GF breadcrumb or GF crackers)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix pineapple, flour, onion, salt and agave or honey in a medium mixing bowl; spoon into a casserole dish prepared with coconut oil; bake 30 minutes; broil 5 minutes or until just browned to caramelize pineapple and onion.

2. Meanwhile mix crackers and coconut oil; spoon evenly over pineapple mixture; bake an additional 10 minutes or until crackers begin to brown.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 73.7
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 122.9 mg
Potassium 95.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Sugars 11.2 g
Protein 0.8 g

Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 3.6 %
Vitamin C 20.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.4 %
Calcium 1.0 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 2.3 %
Iron 2.4 %
Magnesium 2.8 %
Manganese 65.2 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 0.7 %
Riboflavin 1.8 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 4.9 %
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.

Dec 192013
 

Serve these Ultra Gooey Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes straight from the oven and delight the guests at your next dinner party.

(Shh don’t tell them these are from a box and are vegan!)

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

It has been said that the fastest way to win a girl’s heart is through peppermint and chocolate.

(Or maybe it was I that said that.)

Think molten lava cake.

Gooey. Oozing with warm chocolate-y goodness and a hint of peppermint for Christmas cheer.

Be warned however; these should be eaten while warm. Once they cool overnight the magic “molteniness” will be gone.

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Did I mention how simple this recipe is? The reason is that there is no mixing of flour and sugar etc. is because it is all in the box!
But wait! Before I lose you, this isn’t your average box o’ brownie mix with genetically modified ingredients, hydrogenated oils and cocoa processed with alkali….
See the difference for yourself!

Pillsbury brand:
SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR BLEACHED (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI AND COCOA, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: CORN STARCH, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BAKING SODA

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Madhava Blend:
Madhava Sweetener Blend (organic cane sugar, organic coconut sugar), organic wheat flour, organic cocoa powder, Ancient Grains Flour (organic spelt, organic KAMUT®, organic farro), organic vanilla, salt

Which one would we rather put into our kid’s bodies?

__________________________________________________________

Tell us, what is your favorite dessert to make for the holidays?

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Ultra Gooey Peppermint Brownie Cupcakes

Serves 12
Vegan
Printable Recipe
*On sale at Native Sun Natural Food Market Dec 7, 2013-Jan 6, 2014

Ingredients

1 box Madhava Ooey Gooey Brownie Mix*
1 Tbsp ground chia + 4 Tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup water
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed*
2 drops peppermint extract

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Mix the chia and water and set aside. Mix the brownie mix and melted coconut oil until blended; add the water and mix again; stir in crushed candy canes and peppermint extract; spoon into 12 muffin tins lined with baking cups.

2. Bake 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to firm.

Estimated Nutrition Info – (Madhava brand was not available)
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 225.6
Total Fat 13.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 87.6 mg
Potassium 5.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 16.9 g
Protein 1.8 g

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

Dec 162013
 
Cranberry Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

This Sweet and Tangy Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash recipe is full of holiday cheer and is the perfect side dish! 

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash – Source

This recipe was born from the boat load of fabulous, organic acorn squash I got with my CSA at KyV Farm. Though they do make a superb Christmas-y centerpiece, I decided to use a few of them to create an easy and delicious holiday meal side dish.

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Upon the first taste and I knew what my contribution to the Christmas dinner will be this year! The walnuts become caramelized under the sweet maple syrup and rich coconut oil to give this dish almost a dessert-like flair. For anyone with a nut allergy, like my daughter, simply leave the nuts out, spoon the cranberry mixture into the reserved squash halves and mix the nuts in afterwards.

Note: This recipe was taste tested by both me and my mom so there you have it. The EXPERT opinion that yes, indeed this recipe is holiday table ready!

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Walnut Cranberry Acorn Squash

Inspired by the baking blog
Serves 6 (1/2 squash each)
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

3 small acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed (from KyV Farm)
1 can whole bean cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped nuts (I used mostly walnuts and some pecans)
6 tsp coconut oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F; mix cranberry sauce, syrup, salt and nuts in a small bowl. Spoon evenly between six acorn squash halves; top with 1 tsp each of coconut oil. Bake 1 hour or until squash is fork tender.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 285.8
Total Fat 7.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 114.3 mg
Potassium 784.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 56.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Sugars 28.0 g
Protein 2.3 g

Vitamin A 14.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 17.6 %
Vitamin C 39.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.5 %
Calcium 8.1 %
Copper 10.2 %
Folate 10.0 %
Iron 9.6 %
Magnesium 19.0 %
Manganese 40.6 %
Niacin 7.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.9 %
Phosphorus 9.0 %
Riboflavin 1.6 %
Selenium 1.9 %
Thiamin 21.0 %
Zinc 5.4 %

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

Dec 042013
 

 This sweet, spicy and savory Raw Thai Noodle Salad is easy to make and as an added bonus is also naturally gluten free and vegan.

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Walking through Native Sun last week I stopped and did a double take. Kelp noodles. Hmm. Interesting.
I’m embarrassed to say I have never worked with these noodles of the sea. I bought them and then visited the noodle website on line for more info.

“Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories. Their noodle form and neutral taste allow for a variety of uses including salads, stir-fries, hot broths, and casseroles, while their healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine, which kelp is well known for. Their unique texture completes the package, making Kelp Noodles a one-of-a-kind healthful and tasty alternative to pasta and rice noodles. Best of all, no cooking is required. Just rinse and add the noodles to any dish and they are ready to eat!”

Love the healthy convenience of a ready to eat raw food! One of the main reasons raw is great is because the healthy enzymes stay in tact since they are not heated above 115 to 118F.

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

nutrition_facts_kelp_noodles

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Once I opened the bag and rinsed, I had to dress them up. I chose fresh carrots, sesame seeds, raw broccoli and aromatic cilantro to add to the noodle base and, in just a few minutes time, was able to whisk a spicy, sweet and salty sauce to massage into the mixture.  This mixture can be heated, but it was delicious cold! This salad has a wonderful crunch from the veggies that work so well with the thin, semi-chewy noodles that have the perfect amount of bite.

 Have you tried kelp noodles? What do you typically do with them?

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Raw Thai Noodle Salad

Serves 5 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

Salad
1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained
1 small head broccoli (and stalk), chopped **
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped red cabbage
3 carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped (Fresh from KyV Farm)

Sauce
1/4 cup raw nut butter of choice
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
1 Tbsp ume plum vinegar (or rice vinegar will be fine)
1 Tbsp raw organic agave or raw local honey (non-vegan)
2 tsp organic chili sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 Tbsp raw sesame oil (optional)

Directions 

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl; pour dressing over salad mixture; mix with hands to combine and coat the noodles and vegetables evenly.

Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 174.2
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 751.3 mg
Potassium 394.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 6.9 g
Protein 6.1 g

Vitamin A 99.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 11.8 %
Vitamin C 62.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 10.9 %
Calcium 11.4 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 10.4 %
Magnesium 15.4 %
Manganese 19.9 %
Niacin 13.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 13.2 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 3.6 %
Thiamin 8.2 %
Zinc 8.0 %

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

 

Dec 032013
 

You will love this light and buttery Sugar Cookie Recipe made without butter! They just so happen to be super simple to make, vegan & gluten free.

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

They are cute, yes?

 It is the holidays and we all want to spend time with family and want our comfort foods.  After talking with my mother in law about her yearly cookie ritual and the amount of butter involved I thought, self, you know how many people want to be healthier so why not start now by converting a few cookie recipes so we can still have our comfort foods and feel good about eating them too! Rich coconut oil replaces butter to add a light, flakiness.  This is a perfect recipe for kids that want to help but have food allergies to dairy and wheat.  My five year old daughter cut all these  snowmen out herself and then dressed them with little candies (not shown here).

Plus, coconut oil has been shown to fight viruses and bacteria that cause illness, so therefore we can assume that instead of taking cold medicine we can just eat these cookies.  I think that is a reasonable assumption – don’t you agree?

I can see it now. Food blogger comes up with the cure for the common cold. Sugar cookies.

All joking aside, if I know many of my friends/blog followers, you will question as to whether we can leave the sugar out on this one and use agave or another sweetener. You are smart cookies. (No pun intended.) We may be able to try substituting with raw coconut sugar and I will try that myself next time.  It would be slightly lower on the glycemic index, but not by much, and the texture and sweetness could be a tad off but it would be an interesting experiment.  My goal with this recipe was to give a simple and delicious animal free alternative to those that want a holiday splurge cookie. Done and done.

What is your favorite holiday cookie or indulgence?

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Buttery Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
* On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, Nov 7 through Dec 6, 2013

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for dusting, optional)*
2 Tbsp nut milk or water
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup gluten free baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix coconut oil in a stand mixer until smooth; add cane sugar and mix until evenly distributed through coconut oil; add nut milk or water and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl mix baking flour, baking soda and salt; spoon dry mixture into wet in 1/2 cup portions, mixing in between until dry is completely mixed into wet ingredients.  Remove mixture from stand mixer and knead into a ball.

3. Place dough on sheet of parchment paper. Press into 1/4 inch thickness with hands or rolling pin. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheets. Roll remaining dough in same fashion and repeat step three until all dough is used. Refrigerate cookies for about 5 minutes; bake 10- 12 minutes or until just browned on the bottom; let cool at least 5 minutes.

**This is the perfect place for Ziggy Marley’s Orange Almond Organic Coconut oil to make an delicious variation of this cookie! 

Nutrition Facts
18 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 112.3
Total Fat 6.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 26.1 mg
Potassium 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 1.2 g