Vegan (awesome) Choco-chip Blondies

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life)
*Optional: one pastured egg for a more cakey consistency
*Optional add-ins: chopped nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit
 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and line an 8x8 inch baking pan with cooking parchment (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).

In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips (and optional add-ins) and process until batter is smooth.

Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan then sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.

Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack.

Sprinkle with sea salt then cut into squares. Makes about 16 blondies.

Carob "Mock-lates"

Carob Mocklates

I originally found this recipe on ThePaleoMom.com and made a few tweeks. So easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

2 cups extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup carob powder
2 Tbs. Grade B maple syrup (or honey, or a few drops Stevia), or more to taste
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (raw or lightly toasted)
1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
Teeny pinch salt

Method:

Place the coconut oil in a food processor and whip until smooth (about 2 minutes).

Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT the walnuts (and continue to whip until smooth and well-combined (you might need to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times).

Take out the blade and stir in the walnuts.

Spread into a 9"X9" baking pan, or put into silicone molds like the heart-shaped ones I have, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. 

If using a baking pan, cut into a squares and enjoy!

*Store in the fridge or freezer!

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.

 

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.

Sexy Coconut Snowballs

Inspire romance with these delicious gluten-free snowballs.

This recipe was inspired by www.thekitchn.com

If you have someone with whom you'd like to experience some, ahem, romance, then whip up a batch of these snowballs and serve them with a little tenderness and affection. A drop of pure ylang ylang essential oil adds to the magic of this delectable dessert, infusing each bite with an alluring fragrance that's sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Ingredients:

(Makes 12 balls)

1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil 3 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 drop doTerra ylang ylang essential oil 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically until it reaches a coarse, paste-like consistency.

Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ylang ylang oil, and salt and process until well combined.

Add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined.

Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bring to room temperature before eating.

*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.

Benefits:

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.

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.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: This exotic oil is an aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, and sedative. It can help lower high blood pressure, balance equilibrium, and boost one's libido. Ylang ylang is calming and relaxing, and is supportive of a healthy heart. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

 

Raw Wild Orange Cashew Coconut Truffles

Nom nom nom......

This recipe was inspired by The Alkaline Sisters

This was my first attempt at chocolate-covered truffles, and they are TOTALLY worth the extra effort. As you can see, they're a bit more, ahem, rustic than what you'd find at Godiva, but I don't mind being an artisanal chocolatier. It adds character.

You can wrap the finished truffles in wax paper and tie them with ribbon or twine for a beautiful and delicious gift, or hoard them all for yourself.

Chocolate, particularly the dark variety, is excellent for your health, in moderation. It is packed with antioxidants, is great for your blood circulation, and helps maintain a healthy heart (and soul!). Need to re-ignite the spark in your relationship? These will only help. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Truffles:

6 medjool dates

1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil

1/2 cup finely shredded organic raw dried coconut

1/2 cup raw organic cashews (*optional: soaked approx 2-3 hours, drained)

1/4 tsp. ground vanilla or alcohol free liquid vanilla

Pinch of Himalayan salt

1 drop wild orange doTerra essential oil

*optional organic cocoa powder and/or finely shredded coconut for rolling.

Dipping Chocolate:

1 bar fine, fair-trade, organic, dark chocolate, melted over low-heat in a saucepan (I've never had patience with the double boiler method, but you can if you'd like!)

Method:

Truffles:

Place all ingredients except coconut oil in food processor.

Melt coconut oil either in a glass measuring cup set in hot tap water for 5 minutes or over a double boiler for 1 minute.

Add to mixture and mix until well-combined.

Use a spatula to scrape mixture into a bowl and chill for approx 30 minutes.

Once mixture is chilled, scoop by heaping teaspoon fulls and roll into balls and chill again for at least 10 minutes on a wax paper lined cookies sheet.

These can now be dipped into the liquid chocolate, rolled into raw cacao powder or fine dried coconut.

For the Melting Chocolate:

Place a toothpick in each of your truffles.

Dip each one into the liquid chocolate. Allowing the excess to drip off, then place the truffle on a tray lined with parchment or wax paper.

When all are dipped, remove the toothpicks by gently twisting and pulling upward.

Cover the toothpick hole with a nut, shredded coconut, sea salt, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, or any other pretty toppings you choose.

*NOTE: If the dipping chocolate becomes too thick you may place it over the hot water for a minute or two.

*NOTE: Once all truffles are dipped you can speed up the hardening process a smidge by chilling for in the fridge for up to 10 minutes. BUT do not leave them any longer as they will form condensation on the truffle's surface when removed from the cold.

*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 2-serving smoothie. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

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.

Cashews: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. What's more is that about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated or "good fat" found in olive oil. This super nut is also packed with copper, manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan (the "feel good" amino acid"). 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.

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.

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.

Wild Orange Essential Oil: Wild orange essential oils is anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, and carminative (expels gas from the alimentary canal, relieving colic and spasmodic pain of bowels). It is also a digestive aid, a gentle sedative, and is hugely mood uplifting. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

 

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bites

We had four desserts at our Thanksgiving meal, and these 'lil beauties were the favorite. They're not overly sweet, but will leave you with a smile (and room to breathe after dinner). I'm not really into this whole "Paleo" diet craze. However, I understand that it's important to be able to offer all types of foods and desserts to the finicky, ahem, refined eaters in your life. This is by far one of the yummiest recipes I have discovered (modified from fitsugar.com) that can be tailored to just about anyone. Even my 14-year-old nephew picked this as best in show over the pecan and pumpkin pies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup grade B maple syrup

1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin

1/2 cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted ghee)

1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp. organic nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or minced fresh)

2/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips

2/3 cup organic chopped pecans

*NOTE: This recipe can be doubled if you are in the giving mood. Perfect for sharing with neighbors and other kind samaritans who deserve a tasty holiday treat!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing vigorously with a spoon to avoid clumps.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (Check them at 15 to make sure they're browning evenly, top and bottom)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

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. *NOTE: NOT ALL CHOCOLATE IS CREATED EQUAL! The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content, and generally, the lower the sugar content. Buyer beware.

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.

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.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. 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.

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.