Raw Stone Fruit Pudding

This recipe is too easy and tasty not to share! Peel the fruit for creamier texture, but it's just as tasty with the skin on!

Ingredients:

Flesh from one ripe avocado 1 large, or 2 medium (ripe!) peaches, pit(s) removed 2 ripe apricots, pits removed 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1 teaspoon lemon juice *8 drops liquid stevia or 1 soaked date if you want sweeter pudding *Splash coconut water for thinner consistency (optional)

Method:

Place all ingredients, but 1/2 of your apricot (sliced), into a food processor/blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour into your serving dish and adorn with your reserved apricot slices.

Allow to chill for at least 15 minutes (or if you're super hungry, eat immediately!) Serve and enjoy!

Grapefruit Apple Smuice (Smoothie Juice Hybrid)

Gently cleanse your digestive and lymphatic systems with this tasty elixir. In spite of these surprise April snowstorms, tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses are bursting forth en mass. These heralds of spring are telling us that now is a good time to gently cleanse the body of toxins and extra pounds that we may have accumulated during the winter months. This tangy drink is a tasty way to aid this natural process.

This juice contains a powerful combination of ingredients that will help flush away toxins while soothing your digestive system and offering your body nutrients it needs to help develop and maintain healthy cells. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit, peeled, pith and seeds removed 1/2 cucumber, peeled 1 small apple, cored 1 1" hunk of ginger, peeled Juice of 1/4 lemon or lime 1/2 cup coconut water or purified water 1 drop doTerra grapefruit essential oil

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to smithereens.

*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:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. 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.

Grapefruit: This citrus fruit is packed with Vitamins C and A. The pink varieties are an excellent source of the phytonutrient, lycopene, which has been touted for its ability to battle cancer-causing free radicals. Grapefruits also contain phytonutrients called "limonoids" which help inhibit tumor formation and growth. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Grapefruit Essential Oil: This citrus oil boosts digestion and helps to clear the lymphatic system, while flushing the body of excess fluids. It is also beneficial for treating aging or loose skin. It is mood balancing and uplifting to the mind, and may help to relieve anxiety. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

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.

Simple Blueberry Jam

Blueberries. Yum.

Ingredients:

1 1/5 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) organic blueberries (or any other berries you love) 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, or to taste (blended date paste would also work) 1/2 cup chia seeds *optional: 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs, OR 1 teaspoon cardamom....get creative!

Method

Blend or mash berries with the date paste or sweetener of choice.

Stir in the chia seeds and mix well.

Pour mixture into a sterilized jar and allow to set in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Will keep in the fridge approximately 3 weeks.

Note: Excess jam can be stored in the freezer in zip lock bags.

Benefits:

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.

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.

Blueberry Cardamom Chia Pudding

Blueberries and cardamom lend a unique flavor to this tapioca-esque pudding.

This recipe was inspired by food52.com.

This pudding is a dainty little treat. If you're trying to find dairy alternatives to yogurt but are craving something creamy as a breakfast, snack, or dessert, this is a great replacement. Try it with any type of berry that tickles your fancy and be prepared to savor!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic chia seeds 2 1/2 cups almond milk (or rice, or coconut milk) 1 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) organic blueberries 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Method:

Blend milk, blueberries, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and syrup together in a blender on high until smooth.

Pour blueberry mixture over chia seeds and whisk together. (Or put the whole shebang in a large jar and shake until blended.)

Let rest for a few minutes, then stir/shake again.

Ten minutes later, stir/shake again. Refrigerate and allow to rest overnight.

In the morning, give it a stir/shake and check texture. If it’s too thick, add a little more almond milk.

The texture will resemble a teeny-pearled tapioca pudding. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Raw Raspberry Jam

Smear a dollup of these preserves on a homemade muffin, or swirl them in your yogurt for an added boost of berry bliss!

This recipe was inspired by www.vegiehead.com.

Few things are more pleasurable than a freshly baked goodie with a dab of raspberry jam. And fortunately, raspberry and other berry jams are exceedingly simple to make. Mush and stir a few ingredients together and voilá: preserves that are suitable for brunch with The Queen. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/5 cups fresh or defrosted organic raspberries (or any other berries you love) 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, or to taste (blended date paste would also work) 1/2 cup chia seeds

Method

Blend or mash berries with the coconut sugar.

Stir in the chia seeds and mix well.

Pour mixture into a sterilized jar and allow to set in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Will keep in the fridge approximately 3 weeks

Note: Excess jam can be stored in the freezer in zip lock bags.

Benefits:

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.

Coconut Sugar: This sweetener contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar does not cause your blood sugar to spike as quickly as its sugar-cane based relatives, which is a real plus for diabetics and others who are concerned with maintaining stable insulin levels. See here for more nutritional info.

Raspberries: These little berries are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, and dietary fiber. They also abound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients which help protect against oxidative stress and excessive inflammation. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Raw Dark Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

We could call these "Superfood Cups" because of all the health benefits each bite provides.

This recipe was inspired by fellow yogini-foodie, Jessie Monds.

Ingredients:

(Makes about 22 treats)

Chocolate:

1 cup raw cacao powder 1/3 cup tablespoons maple syrup 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Whisk together ingredients to combine, mixture will be smooth and ribbony. If it's too thick, add more oil and/or syrup to taste .

Nut Butter Filling:

1/4 cup almond/cashew or pepita/sunflower seed  butter

Method:

Lay out 20 mini cupcake liners on a large rimmed baking sheet. Fill each liner with 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate mixture. Fill with 1/4 teaspoon of nut/seed butter mixture, flattened out slightly into a disk shape. Top with 1 teaspoon of chocolate mixture then a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Store them in refrigerator until ready to 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.

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.

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.

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.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). 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.

Citrus Cucumber Cleansing Tonic

This multipurpose beverage pleases the taste buds while flushing toxins from the body and regenerating your cells. Every morning I curl up in the window sill and gaze outside for even a few minutes, while partaking of whatever type of breakfast I can dream up. Today I felt a little sluggish, so opted for this delicious and simple juice. It's thicker than a "juiced" juice, but not quite as thick as a smoothie. If blended long enough it has a velvety texture. The flavor profile is gently sweet thanks to the apple and cucumber, but has a little edge thanks to the ginger and lime. The tarragon rounds out the flavors. Just delightful. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water 1/2 cucumber, peeled 1/2 apple, seeded and cored 1/2 inch hunk of ginger, peeled, 1/4 lime (you can either use the juice, or toss the whole lime wedge in if your blender can handle it) 1 sprig fresh tarragon 1 drop doTerra lime oil

Method:

Put all ingredients into the blender (I like my Vitamix) and blend to smithereens!

Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy!

*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.

Benefits:

Apples:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They're also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there's so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cucumber: Cucumbers contain three types of phytonutrients which provide with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. 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.

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.

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.

Tarragon: Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. It has also been used in various types of traditional medicine as an appetite stimulant, and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence and hiccups. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Raw Nutty Energy Nibs

I have a food processor and I'm not afraid to use it! Some friends of ours came in for a visit last weekend and taught me a thing or two about my least used kitchen appliance: the food processor. I have relied heavily on my Vitamix blender for the last year, and had only but once broken the seal of the other worthy appliance...until now. My friend, April, taught me how to make a hearty breakfast/snack that comes in more variations than paint colors, and I am SO excited to explore them all.

Introducing Nutty Energy Nibs! Sure, on other blogs they are probably called "energy balls," but that seemed like such a let down of a title for these spheres of energizing nutrient-dense goodness!

Without further adieu, here are two of my favorite combos so far. Please comment and share your own! I'd love to see what other folks are coming up with.

Mmm...chocolate crunchy deliciousness!

Ingredients:

Nutty Energy Nibs:

1/4 cup-ish almonds 1/4 cup-ish pepitas 1/4 cup-ish cashews 1/2 cup-ish coconut flakes 1/4 cup-ish dark cherries 1/2 cup-ish rolled oats Pinch sea salt 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract 3/4 cup-ish nut/seed butter 1/4 cup maple syrup

Chocolate Salty...Nibs

1/4 cup-ish almonds 1/4 cup-ish pepitas 1/4 cup-ish sunflower seeds 1/4 cup-ish cashews 1/2 cup-ish coconut flakes 3 Tbs. raw, organic cocoa powder 1/4 cup cacao nibs 1/4 cup dried blueberries 3 medjool dates, pits removed Pinch sea salt 3/4 cup-ish nut/seed butter

Method:

Add all the ingredients but for the nut butter to a food processor and blend until desired consistency (large grainy is probably best).

Pour into a large bowl and add the nut/seed butter and stir until well-mixed.

Using a spoon and/or your hands, form into balls and put into large glass tupperware with lid.

Allow to chill and harden 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). 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.

April stirring it all together and showing me how it's done.

 

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.

 

Zucchini Avocado Carpaccio

For this "simple man's" zucchini carpaccio, I used a potato peeler to create paper-thin zucchini ribbons. I've always been a glutton for delicious words like "kumquat" and "soliloquy." Diving into the world of culinary arts has opened up a treasure trove of new words that make me tingly just to say them. One such word is "carpaccio." I love the way it rolls off my tongue, especially when in the same phrase as multi-syllabic words like "zucchini" and "avocado." Call me a word nerd, but I don't care. I take almost as much pleasure speaking the names of these dishes as I do tasting them. So I present this beautiful dish, which was spawned from food icon, Patricia Wells' cookbook Vegetable Harvest, but I found and adapted this version from food52.com. It takes a few minutes to assemble, can marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, and is absolutely divine. The tartness of the marinade is rounded out by the fat of the avocado and the salty creamy crunch of the pistachios. I didn't include lemon thyme in this version, but that would surely elevate the tasting experience even more. Enjoy!

 Ingredients:

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. fine sea salt, plus additional as needed

1/4 cup high-quality pistachio oil, almond oil, or extra virgin olive oil

4 small or 2 medium zucchini

1 ripe avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts, chopped

4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, preferably with flowers.

Method:

Combine lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in small jar. Cover and shake to blend.

Slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using mandoline or very sharp knife...I used a potato peeler and had pretty good (albeit not perfectly even) ribbons.

Spread slices on platter and drizzle with lemon mixture. Tilt platter to evenly coat slices. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Alternate zucchini and avocado slices on your platter (or individual salad plates), slightly overlapping each slice.

Sprinkle with pistachios. Season with salt to taste, garnish with lemon thyme, and serve.

Health 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.

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.

Pistachios: These nuts are rich with antioxidants, phytosterols, unsaturated fats, vitamin B-6, and thiamin. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Zucchini: Excellent source of manganese and vitamin C, and is a good source of vitamin A. Summer squash also retains its nutrients when eaten raw, lightly steamed, and/or frozen. And make sure to eat the seeds! Summer squash seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which are helpful in the prevention of inflammation. The seeds are also thought to contain anti-microbial properties and are still used in some parts of the world to treat intestinal parasites. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Moroccan Raw Carrot Salad

Moroccan Carrot Salad We had too many carrots. And I needed an excuse to get over my fear of the Cuisinart food processor that our chef friend thought would come in handy in our kitchen. And it only took me seven months to work up enough courage to plug it in. Then another half an hour and a few spare brain cells to put it together. But the results were totally worth it!

This salad makes a delicious side dish and packs a massive dose of beta carotene. Yum!

Ingredients:

1 pound-ish carrots, coarsely grated or food processed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced (or more if you're really brave)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Pinch of salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

*Optional ingredients: 1/4 cup raisins or currants, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans

 Method:

Mix all ingredients but the carrots in a large bowl.

Add shredded carrots and mix thoroughly.

Cover and let marinate in the fridge for a couple hours (or up to a couple days to let the flavors really cross-mojinate).

Served chilled or at room temperature.