Espresso Energy Pops (GF)(V)

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Yes, a caffeinated snack.  I was in MoM’s Organic Market on Tuesday and I picked up a “Coffee Bar” by a company called New grounds.  It was made of the usual Lara Bar-ish ingredients but with ground coffee! I had it the next day for breakfast and fell in love.  However, like all my favorite packaged goods, it was very expensive at $2.99 for just one small bar.  I decided that I would just make my own variation based on what was already in my pantry.  Here is What I used:

  • 1/2 cup of gluten free oats
  • 1 tbsp of finely ground espresso
  • 2 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 8 dates
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter

Using a heavy duty blender or food processor start with the oats and pulse until you have the consistency of a chunky flour.  Keep adding the indgredients in the order above, pulsing as you go.  When you are done you should have a thick and very delicious dough.  It is encouraged to lick spoons here.

Now you can table whopping tablespoon servings, roll them into a ball and place on a plate with parchment.  Once you’ve created your pops, place them in the fridge on parchment.  After a few hours the almond butter and coconut oil will harden and you can transfer to a Tupperware.  Store these in the fridge and they can last as long as you need them to, however they won’t.  They are so decadent.  I felt like I was having dessert for breakfast at 6:00 am with a big steaming cup of coffee.

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If you are often on the go or need an afternoon pick me up these are a great little jolt for your day. As always they are gluten free and contain no added sugars.  These are a good balance of healthy protein, fat and carbohydrate.  So if you need a light boost before a morning or afternoon workout these would be perfect.  I think they are best enjoyed with a cup (or two) of Joe.

 

 

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Avo Maria Green Smoothie

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Avo Maria

Because it is that good! Creamy, filling and not too sweet (perfect post workout!)

Simply Blend:

1 cup of fresh pineapple
1 small banana or half a large banana
½ a large avocado or a whole small avocado
1 cup of raw kale or spinach
½ -1 cup of coconut water
A few cubes of ice

Blend and enjoy for breakfast, post workout snack or a light lunch :0)

Chana Masala (GF)(V)

imageIt’s fall and it is definitely crockpot season. The leaves are falling and gathering in big beautiful piles all around us. The mold has my allergies flaring and a warm spicy meal is just what I have been craving. So enter the easiest pseudo indian meal you will ever make. Masala does not traditionally include cabbage but I cannot make anything without adding some greens. You can omit the cabbage but I recommend it!

Here is what you will need:

4 cups of water
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ head of green cabbage chopped
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas

Combine all ingredients excluding the chickpeas and cook on low for 6 hours. Add in the chickpeas and cook on low for an additional 1-2 hours.

I served over brown basmati rice but you could substitute for the rice of your choice, or even quinoa. If you cannot handle the heat, cut the cayenne to half a teaspoon.

Chaco Pumpkin Truffle Cookies (V)(GF)

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Yummmm. I think I had about three cookies worth of batter as I licked the spatula, spoon, bowl, food processor and counter clean.

I make a lot of Vegan friendly desserts because I do not tolerate dairy well. Part of vegan baking is accepting the failures. The pumpkin pure has revived me. It adds texture and bounce that mimics eggs and butter, it is spectacular!

So in honor of fall and all things pumpkin, here is my recipe:

½ cup of pumpkin pure
½ cup of creamy peanut butter
¼ cup agave nectar
¾ cup cocoa powder (or cacao)
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine everything in a food processor or vita mix. Set in the refrigerator and allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Use this as an opportunity to clean the kitchen.

Line a baking sheet (or two) and scoop the batter into tablespoon size balls onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. I would keep an eye on them.

This recipe makes 18 itty bitty bite size cookies.

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Quinoa Energy Balls (V)(GF)

Quinoa Energy Balls (V)(GF)

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I have been seriously struggling with a sweet tooth lately and have had a craving I cannot seem to satisfy with dates and nut butters alone. So if I cannot eat a big piece of chocolate cake at 3:00 pm everyday, I think these little snack nuggets will suffice.

You can whip these together in 10 minutes and enjoy them when you need your daily pick me up. I added chocolate chips to my balls but you can definitely omit them if you wish. I used the mini chips by Enjoy Life.

To make these you will need…

¼ Cup Organic Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)

1 Cup of Cooked Quinoa

2 teaspoons of Honey (Agave or Maple Syrup will work)

1 teaspoon of Molasses

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

Optional: ¼ Cup mini dairy free chocolate chips

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl until well combine. Be sure to let the quinoa cool before you add everything else. Roll tablespoon size lumps into pretty little balls. You can put these in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to make them set or you can just put them in the fridge and allow them to harden slowly. I gobbled up all the bits that didn’t make it into a neat ball and clean up was a breeze with just one pot to clean. Store them in the refrigerator.

My balls have about 2 grams of protein and 50 calories each, incase you are counting.

I am about to go have one now with a big chai :0)

Chocolate for Breakfast (V)(GF)

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1 Banana (the riper the better)
¾ cup peanut or almond butter
¼ cup flax ground
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup cacoa powder (cocoa will work)
Splash of almond milk
Drizzle of agave

Combine in blender

Bake on 400 for 15+ minutes. Keep an eye on them because it may very depending on your oven and cookware

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These are rich yet light and totally satisfying. Enjoy with organic local coffee 🙂

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Peach Crisp (V) (GF)

Peach Crisp (GF)(V)

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Peach seasons is the BEST! It is hard to resist grabbing a dozen at the farmers market. The problem is, they all like to ripen at the same time. I love making a peach crisp because it is such a light dessert that I sometimes find myself having it for breakfast! This recipe is so hard to mess up so feel free to make changes to ingredients based on what you have laying around. I adapted this recipe from the Chalkboard Mag’s Peach Black Berry Crisp.

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For the Peach Filling:

8-10 Medium/Large peaches
½ Cup Almond or Coconut Milk
½ Cup Organic Brown Sugar (you can also use honey, maple syrup or turbinado sugar)
¼ Cup Almond Flour/Meal
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt

For the Crisp Topping:

1 Cup Rolled Oats (Trader Joes GF)
¼ Cup Almonds roughly chopped
½ Cup Almond Flour/Meal
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ Cup Coconut Oil

Set your oven to 375 degrees F

Slice all your peaches and set aside in a large bowl.

In a blender combine all the remaining filling ingredients until smooth. Poor the liquid mixture over the peaches and set aside in your refrigerator.

Combine the second list of ingredients in a bowl adding the coconut oil last. Make sure the coconut oil is worked through as evenly as possible. I used my hands to accomplish this.

Grease your tart pan or casserole dish with coconut oil. Slide in your peach filling then top evenly with your crisp topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes depending on the size of your casserole dish(s).

I used two medium sized casserole dishes (one 8×8 and an oval dish of a similar size). If you have a large casserole dish that works great too! I made one to enjoy at home and one for a get together tomorrow evening. It is up to you!

This is so delicious and a easy to make, you must try before fall arrives!

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Product Review: Wild Friends Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter

Today while shopping for a client I stumbled upon this pretty packaging.  I like peanut butter, I love coconut and I LOVE chocolate so I bought it.

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I spend a lot of time in grocery stores.  Honestly,  I probably visit Harris Teeter, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Safeway once a week.   As a bit of a health food whore, I get excited by Non GMO & USDA Organic stamps on packaging pretty packaging.

Today we are talking about Wild Friends brand Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter.  First of all, it tastes like heaven without out all the added sugar.  The ingredients are simple and natural: Peanuts, Coconut,  Organic Agave, Unsweetened Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt.  I bet your mouth is watering.  You will find only 5 grams of sugar in a serving compared to Nutella’s 21 grams.  The taste is natural and rich.  It is the savory kind of sweet that I crave.

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We are talking gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Kosher and Non GMO.  Peanuts generally pack a fair amount of GMOs.

The protein content comes in at 6 grams, which is pretty dang good for what I would consider a dessert.  Nutella only has 2 grams of protein.   The nutrition facts are pretty comparable to an organic peanut butter.  You will notice there is a slightly higher saturated fat in Wild Friends.   That is due to the coconut.  Coconut is high in saturated fat but it is one of those healthy fats our bodies thrive on.

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So would I buy this product again? ABSOLUTELY.  I will probably have to buy it soon because I don’t think this jar is going to last all too long.  Five Stars.  I would give it six but I only have five to give.

Cheers!

Heirloom Spinach & Artichoke Hummus

I made this hummus for the superbowl, but it was such a huge hit I have to share it! The dip is red because I used red heirloom spinach.   If you look closely you can see the purple spinach in my photo.

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I love hummus because it has so many uses.  You can use it simply as a dip, to flavor a dry chicken breast, as a mix in for your tuna salad, as a condiment on a sandwich or pita or if you like it as much as I do you can eat it with a spoon…don’t tell.

If you have a food processor or a Vitamix this recipe is a breeze! It will take about 15 minutes total to put together, I then let it cool and set overnight in the fridge.  You could definitely serve the hummus right away if you are in a pinch :0)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
5oz fresh spinach (I used red spinach)
1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained
2 cans (15oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and peeled
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin

Directions:

Start by sauteing the olive oil, garlic and spinach.  While that is cooling you can begin to process the garbanzo beans, adding in the rest of the ingredients one at time and pulsing until you have a smooth consistency.  I added the spinach last.

Go ahead and give it a whirl!