Raw Vegan Cashew Cheesecake

Vegan Cheesecake 1.JPG

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (or combo macadamia and walnuts)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 pinch salt

Filling:

3 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours (or overnight)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbs. pure vanilla extract (get the non-alcoholic version if possible)
*a few tbs. filtered water or orange juice
*optional: a few drops doTERRA Wild Orange essential oil

*Optional topping:
1/2 cup fresh/frozen berries of choice
1 tbs. maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 orange
Zest of 1/2 orange

 

Method:

Crust:

Place the shredded coconut in the bottom of a pie pan and spread evenly (this will help the pie not to stick).

Place the rest of the crust ingredients in a food processor and process until crumbly and well-combined (but still airy).

Press the crust ingredients into the pie pan and form an even crust. Put this in the fridge/freezer until ready to fill.

Filling:

Place all of your filling ingredients into your food processor and process until creamy. Add the water or orange juice, but don't add too much! Just enough to get it a soft "yogurty" texture.

Pour mixture on top of your crust and spread evenly.
*NOTE: You can pour 2/3 of the mixture, then add 1/2 cup of thawed berries (then blend), then pour on top of your base cheesecake layer for even cooler presentation.

*Optional topping:

Wash the bowl of your food processor.

Place all topping ingredients into food processor and pulse until well-combined (but not soupy). Sprinkle evenly on top of the cheesecake base.

Freeze your cheesecake for at least a few hours, then thaw in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Heart Chakra Smoothie

 The colors for the heart chakra are green and pink, both featured in this delicious smoothie. Greens and cruciferous veggies support the heart on the physical level, while the colors green and pink vibrate at the same frequency as the heart chakra giving it added strength and vibrancy. Enjoy!

The colors for the heart chakra are green and pink, both featured in this delicious smoothie. Greens and cruciferous veggies support the heart on the physical level, while the colors green and pink vibrate at the same frequency as the heart chakra giving it added strength and vibrancy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 cup peeled cucumber chunks
1 cup strawberries, stemmed and chopped
Plus one strawberry chopped in half to garnish
3 tbs. hemp hearts, plus a few more for garnish
1 teaspoon Spirulina
1 cup nut/seed milk of choice (preferably homemade...I like Brazil nut milk in this recipe)
1/2 cup coconut water
*optional: 1/2 cup Rose tea or one more 1/2 cup coconut water
*if you want it sweeter add one pre-soaked date...I'm just trying to cut down on sugar

Method:

Place all ingredients, except for garnish berry and hemp hearts, into a blender and blend on high speed until smooth (about 1 minute).

Then pour into your favorite glass and garnish with remaining ingredients.

Sip and enjoy!

 

Vegan Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Thank you Deb, the  amazing artist and photographer , for the wonderful recipe! Made a batch for our friend's dinner and they were devoured in a matter of minutes. 

Thank you Deb, the amazing artist and photographer, for the wonderful recipe! Made a batch for our friend's dinner and they were devoured in a matter of minutes. 

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

1/3-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
3 tbs. grade B maple syrup
1 tbs. vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or carob chips if you're not into caffeine)...I prefer dark chocolate mini chips myself...

Method:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment.

Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl (the first four).

Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl (the next three).

Then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.  

Then add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix until evenly distributed. 

Form the cookies into little patties (you can use a tablespoon to get exactly the same amount of dough for each if you're a stickler for evenly sized cookies) and place them onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 13 minutes or until they're just browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating (yeah right! good luck with that!). Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

May you enjoy the sweetness of this life! Here's a quick and easy recipe to fulfill your sweet tooth.
May you enjoy the sweetness of this life! Here's a quick and easy recipe to fulfill your sweet tooth.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup  cashews (raw or roasted and salted)
2/3 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 cup chocolate or carob chips
Hefty pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
*Optional: add a splash of almond milk if your dough isn't sticking together well. JUST A SPLASH! *Optional: mini-pinch sea salt if you're not using roasted salted cashews

Method:

Blend the cashews, oats, and coconut in a food processor until you've created a fine-ish powder.

Add the syrup, vanilla extract, and almond butter and blend again until it sticks together to form a dough. Add the splash of almond milk if it doesn't turn dough-y.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse briefly or mix in by hand.

Roll the dough into little balls and put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, or in a pyrex food container. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 3o minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Summer Melon and Avocado Pudding

This pudding is cool, creamy, and utterly refreshing.

Ingredients:

1 avocado, just the flesh 2 cups ripe de-rinded melon (honeydew or Santa Claus melons are nice because their pale green flesh lends to the delicate hue of the pudding) 1/4 cup coconut milk 1 tsp. lemon juice Teeny pinch salt *Optional: honey to taste if you like it even sweeter

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

You might need to stop the blender and stir the ingredients with a spatula a couple times just to ensure even blending.

Place in a container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (if you can wait that long!)

Serve and enjoy!

*Optional: Serve with a little wedge of lemon...squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over your bowl and enjoy!

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cantaloupe/Honeydew: This melon is a plentiful source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fruit, which means it can help us to fight off unwanted inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

 

Simple Raw Brownie Bites

Chill these tasty bites for a chewy chocolatey treat!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw almonds 2/3 cup raw walnuts 1-2 tbs. almond butter Pinch of salt 3/4 cup pitted dates 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

*optional: 1 drop doTERRA wild orange essental oil and a little orange zest *optional: 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract *optional fun add ins: cacao nibs, paleo chocolate chips, coconut flakes, dried cherries or blueberries, cinnamon, cardamom

Method:

Place nuts, nut butter, and salt in a food processor and blend until they are finely ground.

Add the dates, cocoa powder (and vanilla, essential oils, spices, or other add-ins if using) to the bowl. Mix all ingredients until well combined. While the food processor is running, you can add a little water, a few drops at a time, to help the dough stick together.

Use your hands to form 1-inch (or littler) balls and place them in an airtight container. Allow them to chill for at least an hour (trust me, they're delicious cold!).

They will keep for up to a week. Bon apetít!

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

 

 

Basil Grape Smoothie

It's toasty warm out there! Here's a nice cool smoothie recipe to help cool your jets.

Ingredients:

1 cup homemade almond milk 1/2 small avocado 1/4 cup pepitas (soaked for at least a few hours, if you've planned ahead) 1 large handful organic black seedless grapes Juice of 1/4 lime 1/2 drop doTERRA lime essential oil 5 basil leaves 1 handful blanched spinach

Method:

Put all ingredients into blender and blend to smithereens.

Serve and enjoy!

*Note: 1 whole drop of essential oil might be too much for the sensitive palate, so dip a clean toothpick in the lime oil, and stir it into the other ingredients before blending.

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapes: Grapes are packed with vitamin C and manganese and contain a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients such as beta-carotene and resveratrol (think red wine!). These tasty little jewels are thought to help support the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and nervous systems. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lime Essential Oil: Lime essential oil is a powerful respiratory aid due to its anti-mucus and natural decongestant properties. It also aids in the cleansing of the lymphatic system, reduces muscle spasms and cramps, and is a proven pathogen inhibitor (think disease and cancer prevention!) See here for more information about this amazing oil.

Lime: Limes are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K (think blood builder/purifier!), vitamins A, C, B2 and B6, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. Popeye apparently knew how to protect himself against inflammatory problems and oxidative stress-related issues, while promoting his cardiovascular and bone health. AND he got the girl! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Coconut Bliss Bars

Coconut bliss bars are the yummiest snack EVER. They can also double as dessert.

This recipe was inspired by Stephanie Eusebi Nutrition & Wellness.

Looking to make a nice dessert or energy boosting snack? This recipe is super simple and delicious. Feel free to add other types of nuts or dried fruit to appeal to any palate. I added pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) to this batch and it was delish!

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded or flaked coconut
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate or carob chips (preferably a brand with no refined sugar)
1 egg
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
teeny pinch cinnamon
teeny pinch nutmeg
1 pinch sea salt
*Optional: If you like them a little sweeter, feel free to add a few tablespoons of maplesyrup to the mix

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.

Whisk the eggs.

Whisk the melted coconut oil into the egg mixture.

Add in the vanilla, coconut, and chocolate chips (and optional maple syrup) and combine until well-mixed.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the top and edges are golden and crispy.

Allow to cool (if you have the willpower!). Slice off a piece and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: (Dark chocolate)Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Action Packed Trail Mix

Spring has sprung! Time to hit the trail (mix)! My über adorable nephew was just here visiting, and I needed to come up with some energy-boosting snacks, stat. When you only have 2 minutes before heading off on an adventure (in our case we went snowshoeing in the high country...had to enjoy the last of the snow!), then this is a perfect treat.

I always have some dried fruit, and crispy (soaked and dehydrated) nuts and seeds on hand, just in case. This time we also added some raw cacao nibs and a few crack almonds chocolate covered almonds to make our mix chocolatey and delicious. Hope you enjoy this special snack and whatever kinds of adventures you can dream up!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup crispy almonds 1/4 cup crispy pecans 1/4 cup golden raisins Hefty sprinkle tart dried cherries Hefty sprinkle cacao nibs Chocolate covered almonds to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and place in a container that can withstand your adventure (I don't recommend glass if you're going hiking, biking, running, etc....But I really hate plastic). Try a wax paper bag if you think it won't get destroyed. Grab a handful as needed and enjoy!

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Raisin: Raisins are high in fiber witch can aid in relief of constipation. They a good source of iron (thus helping with anemia), arganine (which can enhance libido and aid with sexual weakness). They also contain calcium and boron, both of which are crucial for proper bone health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies...Nom nom

Ok seriously, these cookies have like 5 indgredients, all of which are nutritious and delicious. Next time you get a sweet tooth, I hope you give these a try!

This recipe was inspired by Taylor Made it Paleo.

I've had an insatiable sweet tooth of late, and don't like to load up on refined sugars. So I found this delightful paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe and thought I'd give it a go. Much to my pleasant surprise, these cookies are simple to make and delicious indeed. They're like little, glossy, fluffy, chocolate chippy bites of heaven. You'll see what I mean about "glossy." They've got a little sheen like they've been painted with lacquer. May you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup chunky nut or seed butter (I used almond butter and it was divine.) 1/3 cup maple syrup 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) 1/2-3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (preferably no refined sugar added)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Using a large spoon, scoop the cookie dough into little balls and place them onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (leave ample space between each as they expand).

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Allow to cool, and enjoy!

Benefits:

In moderation, chocolate chip cookies can be good for the soul.

Geranium Chocolate Bark with Sea Salt and Rose Petals

photo Instead of fruitcake and candy canes, why not try a different kind of dessert that is sure to put everyone in a good mood? This chocolate bark recipe includes a drop of doTERRA's geranium essential oil, which is known for its ability to put even Scrooge in a good mood. Plus, the salty sweet combo is sure to please any palate, even this guy!

"Bah! Humbug! Oh, wait...Did someone say geranium chocolate bark? Yes please!"

Have a happy holiday, and don't forget to pass the chocolate!

Ingredients:

1 bar of organic, fair trade, chocolate (preferably 70-80% cacao) 1-2 drops doTERRA geranium essential oil Flake sea salt or pink Himalayan salt 1 hefty pinch ground cardamom *Optional: 1/2 cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios

Method:

Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper.

Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Place chocolate peices in the pan and melt slowly, constantly stirring to ensure even melting.

When chocolate is completely melted and smooth, turn off the burner (about 2-3 minutes).

Add the drop or two of doTERRA geranium essential oil and stir until well-blended.

Mix in a pinch of cardamom.

Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet. With flexible rubber spatula spread into an 8×10 rectangle about 1/4 inch-ish thick.

Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, dried rose petals, and (optional) pistachios.

Refrigerate (or put outside if the weather is cool enough) and chill until firm (about 20-30 minutes)

*Refrigerate up to 5 days (if it last that long…which it won’t).

Benefits:

Cacao (Chocolate): Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Geranium Essential Oil: Geranium is analgesic, antidepressant, antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, and a tonic for the liver and kidneys. Geranium is also a hormone-balancing oil, and provides a sense of security and comfort. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Pistachios: These nuts are rich with antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and thiamin. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Cinnamon Cherry Chocolate Almond Bark

This spicy sweet chocolate bark can be made in bulk and makes a great gift. It's almost holiday party time, so it's best to arm yourself with some chocolate. (Seems like perfectly reasonable logic to me...right?) Need to make dessert in a pinch? Chocolate bark is super simple and fast. It takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and can cool in the fridge (or outdoors, now that it's chilly enough) in about 20 minutes. I like this recipe because of it's spicy, sweet, savory-ness. And the tart cherries add a nice textural and flavor dimension too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bar of organic, fair trade, chocolate (preferably 70-80% cacao) 1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped 1-2 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil 1 pinch chile powder (New Mexico Chimayo is my favorite!) 1 pinch ground cinnamon powder

Method:

Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper.

Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Place chocolate peices in the pan and melt slowly, constantly stirring to ensure even melting.

When chocolate is completely melted and smooth, turn off the burner (about 2-3 minutes).

Add the drop or two of cinnamon essential oil and stir until well-blended. Mix in the nuts, cherries, and a teeny pinch of chile powder.

Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheet. With flexible rubber spatula spread into an 8×10 rectangle about 1/4 inch-ish thick.

Sprinkle with powdered cinnamon and another teeny sprinkle of chile powder.

Refrigerate (or put outside if the weather is cool enough) and chill until firm (about 20-30 minutes)

*Refrigerate up to 5 days (if it last that long…which it won’t).

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao (Chocolate): Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Chile: Ah, the beloved chile. A sacred plant where I come from (New Mexico), this pungent pepper has a myriad of health benefits. The phytonutrients found in chile can fight inflammation, clear congestion, boost your metabolism and immunity, while balancing your blood sugar. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon essential oil helps to boost metabolism and digestive health. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helps support immunity, enhance circulation, strengthen libido and elevate mood. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Black Bean and Squash Chile

Have a Halloween party coming up? Use pumpkin in this recipe for a festive holiday meal. Whoever invented the "slow cooker" is my new best pal. Who knew that it was so easy to cook beautiful, homemade meals with very little preparation? I recently discovered the crockpot that had been hiding at the back of our kitchen cupboard. Could it really be so simple as tossing a whole mess of ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on, come back a few hours later to a beautiful dinner? Pretty much.

On days when you don't have a lot of time to cook, let a slow cooker do the work for you. When you ladle yourself a bowl of hot, yummy goodness, you might wonder why it has taken you so long to clear the cobwebs off this handy kitchen tool. Bon appétit!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 2-3 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained 1-2 cups cooked winter squash, cubed (pumpkin is orange and delicious, but kabocha or butternut would be yummy too!) 3 stewed, or really ripe, tomatoes, chopped 1-2 cups veggie or chicken broth 2 teaspoons chili powder (Chimayo chile from New Mexico is best in my opinion) 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt *Optional: cubed avocado, thinly sliced green onions, chopped cilantro *Optional: 1 cup ground or cubed turkey, ground buffalo, or chorizo *Optional 2 drops doTERRA oregano essential oil

Method:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add onion and pepper, and cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the essential oil.

Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours.

If desired, add 1-2 drops doTERRA oregano essential oil to the whole batch before serving.

Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and/or green onions.

Benefits:

Black Beans: These magical legumes are touted for their abundant protein and fiber content, but are also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients such as folate, tryptophan, and manganese. Great for gut, heart, and overall health. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Bell Peppers: NOTE! Bell peppers, a member of the nightshade family, are not for everyone. They are on the "dirty dozen" list of pesticide laden produce (when not organic), and have been known to cause inflammation in some people. HOWEVER, they have lots of health benefits too: Sweet bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, and contain other antioxidants. Don't cook over high heat or they loose some of their nutritional wallop. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful cleansing agent which helps remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. It's also beneficial for the digestive tract due to its production of digestive enzymes, acids, and juices. Its essential oils stimulate peristalsis, relieve gas, and aid with digestion. Cilantro also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Oregano Essential Oil: Oregano is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-parasitic oil. It battles common intestinal, skin and lung infections, while fending off colds and flu. It is also a general nerve tonic. Be BEWARE! A dab will do ya. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Add some chorizo, turkey, or buffalo for an added boost of protein and flavor.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Box Tart

Impress your guests with this easy chocolate tart.
Impress your guests with this easy chocolate tart.

Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil's recipe for the chocolate ice box tart from his beautiful cookbook True Food.

Looking for a way to include "healthy" fats into your diet? Well, look no further. This is my most favorite homemade chocolatey dessert of all time. A dab will do ya, as it is pretty much entirely comprised of fat. And while the jury is still out on whether coconut oil is as miraculous as many claim it to be (I think it's just fine in small to medium-sized doses), it makes for a truly delectable dessert.

This chilled confection is actually warming due to the alchemy of the spices usually found in Mexican hot chocolate. May you enjoy this sweet treat as much as my husband, dinner guests, and I did! Plus it's great to send leftovers home with party goers, or snag a bite for breakfast the next morning! The cocoa contains plenty of caffeine, and coconut oil is known to provide sustained energy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cups ground almonds
1 1/3 cup organic fair trade cocoa powder, divided
1/3 cup local honey, divided
1 1/3 cup coconut oil, divided
1/2 cup almond butter
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch cardamom
1 pinch powdered ginger
1-2 drops doTERRA cinnamon essential oil

Method

In a bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, almonds, 1/3 cup of the cocoa, 3 tablespoons of the honey, and 1/3 cup of the coconut oil.

Mix until well-combined to make the crust.

Press this mixture into the bottom and along the sides of a 11X7X2 inch sheet pan, or into a pie plate (for thicker pieces).

Allow to chill for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Pour the filling into the chilled tart shell, and allow to chill for 2 more hours (or until firm).

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

Benefits

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon essential oil helps to boost metabolism and digestive health. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helps support immunity, enhance circulation, strengthen libido and elevate mood. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Honey: Often called "Nature's sweetener," local, raw, honey is a great way to add sweetness to your life. Raw honey is packed with vitamins and minerals and offers anti-bacterial and and anti-viral properties. But according to the Ayurvedic tradition, don't cook honey. Adding significant heat to honey both strips it of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes while creating cellular toxicity. So add it to your cool dishes, or to warmer dishes AFTER they have finished cooking. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Chia Porridge

Warm your belly with this yummy and versatile breakfast porridge. As the mornings get chillier, our bodies naturally reach for more warming foods. We are naturally inclined to swap the raw green juices for nourishing breakfasts that help us stay sated for longer and keep us warm from the inside out.

This chia porridge recipe was inspired by my very dear friend, Julie. Her recipe differs slightly, but that's the beauty of this simple recipe. It is completely versatile. Just add a scoop or two of chia seeds to some nearly boiling water. Whisk it every few minutes until it "sets" in a nice porridge-like consistency. Then add whatever else sounds good that morning: ghee, coconut oil, nut or seed butter, fresh berries, dried fruit (like goji berries or apricots), a scoop of protein powder, maca powder, or bee pollen, and perhaps a dash of honey or pure maple syrup if you like it a little sweeter. This delightful bowl of goodness will keep your belly full and happy for hours.

What are your favorite hot cereal add-ins? Enjoy!

Ingredients:

(Serves one, as pictured)

1 1/2-2 cups water dash of salt 2 scoops organic chia seeds 1 scoop high-quality protein powder 1 tbs. coconut oil 1/2 blueberries 1 drop doTERRA black pepper essential oil *Endless optional ingredients: walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, honey, maple syrup, chopped dates, apricots, goji berries, shaved coconut, nut or seed butter, nut or seed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom...you get the idea.

Method:

Place water and salt in a saucepan and allow to come to a boil. Turn off heat. Add 2 scoops of chia seeds and whisk together to avoid clumping. Cover and allow to sit while perusing the rest of your ingredients. Three minutes later stir again. Allow the chia seeds to "gel" (should take just a few more minutes). Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together again until smooth, creamy, and well-blended. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Black Pepper: Black Pepper essential oil is great for your digestive system. It stimulates salivary glands and secretion of digestive juices meanwhile neutralizing gas formation in the intestinal tract. Also a great cleansing agent! Black pepper oil also increases circulation, reducing inflammation, and provides relief for arthritis and other muscle and joint discomforts. Great for athletes! See here for more.

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They're rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Chia Seeds: "Chia" is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.