Blueberry Chickpea Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbs. melted coconut oil
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease or line a muffin tin with liners.

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.

In a large bowl, combine egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, apple sauce, and oil.

Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir until well combined.

Fold in the blueberries and optional walnuts.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are set and lightly browned.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

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.

3-ingredient Paleo Naan Bread

I made this to go along with some seriously yummy chicken curry for a party we had recently. They were a big hit! Thank you,  MyHeartBeets.com  for the inspiration!

I made this to go along with some seriously yummy chicken curry for a party we had recently. They were a big hit! Thank you, MyHeartBeets.com for the inspiration!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (make sure it's soft or well-blended before mixing)
*Optional: 1 pinch salt and/or ghee for frying

Method:

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

*NOTE: if they battler is too think you can add a little water to reach desired consistency.

Heat a medium sized non-stick skillet to medium heat.

Depending on how large your want your naans, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour little naans, or 1 cup for larger. You can pour half the batter in the pan for a really large naan, but it'll take a while to cook, and/or be pretty tricky to flip (unless you're a pro!). So be patient. :)

Flip when side one looks fluffy and firm, and allow the other side to cook for a couple minutes.

You can enjoy these with any Indian dish, make them as makeshift pancakes, or even use them as a base for flatbreads.

WARNING: These are addictive!

Spiced Fig Energy Bites

The best energy ball recipe hunt continues! These peppery confections blow fig newtons out of the water.
The best energy ball recipe hunt continues! These peppery confections blow fig newtons out of the water.

The best energy ball recipe hunt continues! These peppery confections blow fig newtons out of the water.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried flaked coconut
1/2 cup blanched almonds
4 Medjool dates, pitted
1/2-3/4 cup dried figs, de-stemmed
1/2-3/4 cup fresh almond butter
Hefty pinch cinnamon
Hefty pinch cardamom
Pinch sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
 (or 1 drop doTERRA black pepper oil)
1/4 cup coconut water
*Optional: 1/4 cup dark mini chocolate chips...This makes this recipes take like cookie dough yumness.
*NOTE: You can replace the almond cashew butter with any complimentary nut or seed butter. *NOTE: Omit the rolled oats to make this recipe paleo friendly

Method:

Place 1-2 drops black pepper oil in the coconut water and set aside.

Place all the ingredients (including the peppery coconut water) except for nut butter in a food processor with the “S” blade. Blend until grainy (entirely depends on what kind of consistency you prefer…you like crunchy, process less. You like them sans chunks, process longer.)

Add nut butter and process for another 15-30 seconds or until well-mixed.

Using a spoon and/or your hands, form into little balls and place into a glass tupperware container.

Allow to chill and set in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Serve 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.

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.

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.

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.

Figs: Figs are a good source of manganese, potassium, and dietary fiber. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin B6. Dried figs are an excellent sugar alternative and can be added to most recipes in place of other sweeteners. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Rolled Oats: Due to their high fiber content, oats are known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. Oats also help maintain cardiovascular health since they contain antioxidant compound called avenanthramides, which help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal also contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to help immune funtion and to stabilize blood sugar. Oats are also high in manganese, selenium, and phosphorous. 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.

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad

This 5-minute salad was one of my favorites of the summer...Sweet, tart, and tangy, I'm drooling a little just thinking about it. Nectarines and tomatoes might not seem a likely pair, but oooh, they are. Sweet yet savory, tart but smooth, the ripe flesh of both of these fruits (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit) are a sultry match, like a tango in my mouth. I had to make an instant salad to go with dinner, and ended up enjoying this way more than the main course. So I offer it humbly, and hope the results are equally as satisfying to you.

Ingredients:

2 large or 5 small/medium RIPE heirloom tomatoes (I like the smaller ones as their flavor is more concentrated)

2 RIPE nectarines

2 Tbs. julienned basil

High quality olive oil and sea salt for marinating

*NOTE: This recipe can be made with ripe peaches as well for a similar effect, but I recommend using nectarines. If using peaches, peel them for less "mouth fuzz."

*OPTIONAL: If you're craving dairy, try a few crumbles of goat cheese for a nice variation on taste and presentation.

Method:

Slice tomatoes and nectarines into a bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Toss.

Sprinkle with basil and allow to sit 5-10 minutes (if you can wait that long!)

Serve and enjoy.

Health Benefits:

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.

Nectarines: Nectarines are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene (read: high in cancer-fighting free radicals!), and are high in fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain healthy blood pressure. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tomato: Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain high amounts of manganese and vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that tomatoes are wonderful for heart health. See here for more health benefits of tomatoes. Heirloom varieties of any flora and fauna are dear to my heart. I’ll write more about this later. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

The Easiest Homemade Hummus Ever...

They could call this "yummus." This week I had the absolutely delightful experience of hosting a few young cyclists at my house in preparation of the USA Cycle Pro Challenge, Tour de Colorado (which started in Durango this year...boo ya!). Long story short, I needed to find a way to feed some grande appetites without hours of preparation. One of my staple recipes for such an occasion is hummus. See below for the base recipe, but keep in mind that you can add whatever you want. This recipe is the standard hummus, dressed up with a few other fresh ingredients to kick up the flavor quotient. I added chopped Greek olives, basil, pine nuts and paprika to this batch, and it was gone in minutes. Happy creating!

In other news, I totally enjoyed being "cycle Mom." Who knew how much fun it could be to have four 20-ish-year old sons. I cooked a massive spaghetti dinner, they cleaned, and we all jammed out to Notorious B.I.G. Yes, Biggie Smalls is the illest, but team Bondrager/Livestrong, the feeder team for Team Radioshack, is pretty bad ass too. Good luck this week, guys!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed (or you can use a hefty sprinkle of garlic powder)

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans (or soak your own and cook according to package directions which I think is waaay better)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon, or 1 drop doTerra lemon essential oil

2 heaping tablespoons tahini

1 heaping teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons-ish olive oil

Method

Rinse garbanzos and pour into blender, reserving a couple tablespoons for garnish.

Place lemon juice (and/or essential oil), tahini, chopped garlic, and salt in blender.

Blend until creamy and well mixed. (Add a little water and/or olive oil if not blending easily.)

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans and other tasty and pretty items for an impressive flavor and presentation.

Serve with bread, crackers, crudite, or your fingers...kidding.

*Optional items to put in and/or on your hummus: paprika, Greek olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or rosemary, pine nuts...the list goes on. Just use your imagination.

*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 meal!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Health Benefits

This bean/seed combo makes a complete protein, which means that all the amino acids your body needs are present in this combination. See here for other complete protein combos to get the most out of your nutrients. Enjoy!

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as "chickpeas," these beans are particularly high in insoluble fiber, which means you have a squeaky clean colon and feel fuller for longer when eating these legumes. They are also extremely high in lots of nutrients such as manganese, folate, and tryptophan. They are a great source of plant-based protein. If you find legumes make you gassy, try pre-soaking them for easier digestion. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Tahini: Sesame seeds (of which tahini is made) are jam packed with manganese and copper, and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, and dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon Juice: Lemons (and 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.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system, and promote a sense of well-being. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.