Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Oat Balls…. Yum!

These little balls of deliciousness are vegan, gluten free and powered with plant based protein! They will also give you a good dose of fiber and hit the spot for that sweet tooth without going too far off track! This was an impromptu  recipe that I came up with, and after the fam ate them faster than I could get them out of the oven, I figured it was blog worthy!

 

bananaballs

 

These are best served right out of the oven when the chocolate is good and melty…. I had mine with a cold glass of almond milk!

 

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Here is what you will need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I prefer silk almond milk because it is part of the non GMO project and it does not use carrageenan as a thickener)
  • 1/4 cup natural no sweetener peanut butter (I used chunky no salt added on these) *plant powered protein
  • 1/2 cup raw almond meal *plant powered protein
  • 1 cup gluten free oats *plant powered protein
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds *plant powered protein
  • 1/4 cup vegan and gluten free chocolate chips such as enjoy life brand

 

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Mash your banana in a medium size mixing bowl, then add your coconut sugar, almond milk and peanut butter, once this is nice and creamy add the rest of your ingredients with the chocolate chips last. Use a cookie scoop if you have one, if not a larger table spoon will do to make the dough into “balls” place on a baking sheet or stone and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes each. This will make about 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Organic Creamy Dilled Butternut Squash Soup

1511738_600664583333474_1866854922_nWinter food at its finest 🙂 even though here in CA we have been experiencing a heat wave for this time of year! I know some of you have been dealing with frigid temps, and so… Well, this one is for you! Have I ever mentioned that I am a fan of easy as well as nutritious? Well, this soup is SOOO easy, with only a few ingredients and minimal prep its a great one for a cold winters night.  Here is what you will need:

  • 1 organic butternut squash
  • 1 32 oz container of free range organic chicken stock (I get mine from Trader Joes)
  • 1 8 oz package of full fat organic cream cheese (if you cant find the organic variety, go for all natural full fat)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Dill (fresh or dried will work)
  • dried spice blend to taste (mine had onion, celery, turmeric, black pepper and paprika in it)

First thing you want to do is take a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off of your squash, then cut it in half and scoop all the seeds and strings out of it, it’s sorta like a pumpkin in this way. Once you have it nice and cleaned out chop it up into squares for boiling like so…

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Victoria chopping away

Boil the squash over medium heat for about 40 min, just keep an eye on it and get it to the fork tender point. When it is nice and soft, drain ALL of the water and replace the liquid with the chicken stock (I only used about 3/4 of the box, it depends on the consistency you want, creamier use less, thinner use more) and the entire 8 oz block of cream cheese, break it up into chunks if you can. Now you are going to transfer it to your blender, unless of course you have an emersion stick blender then you could skip this part entirely  and just blend it up in your stock pot. But for the rest of us, we are going to transfer this into a high powered blender (I love my vita mix) and blend until smooth, you may have to do this step in batches depending on the size of your blender.

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Creamy goodness

Once it is nice and smooth, transfer it back to your stock pot and add your seasonings and reheat just before serving. That is it! I told you this was easy 🙂 now I do want to talk just a bit about the nutritional value of this soup. Butternut squash packs a big nutrient punch giving your body adequate doses of Vit C, Vit A, Vit B6, Folate and Potassium, All great to eat during cold and flu season, but…. in order for your body to assimilate these nutrients you need to eat them with some fat…. enter cream cheese to the rescue! These nutrients will satisfy your body and the taste will satisfy your taste buds (even the kids will ask for seconds!!) I hope you enjoy this recipe, be sure to come back and let me know what you think. Also come on over and lets continue the discussion on Facebook, I’d love to chat with you more about all things natural 🙂

Gluten Free, Grain Free, Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

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A pizza crust made from what?? Yep that’s cauliflower alright! I made this for dinner last night and let me just say, next time… I’m making a double batch! The kids all wanted  more! One head of cauliflower will make one pizza, so plan accordingly if you have a larger family or want to make more than one pizza 🙂 This pizza was melt in your mouth delicious, you know the kind when you close your eyes while you chew to experience the flavor all the more (or maybe thats just me) Now since this was my first time making this recipe, I think I will make a few tweaks to it for next time, for one thing the crust was not crisp and we had to eat it with a fork (we really didn’t mind) and I used cream cheese in the crust and I think next time I will use an herbed chevre (goat cheese) other than that, we have a winner here!

So this is what you need to do, take your head of cauliflower (preferably  organic) and grate the entire head (minus the leaves) with your cheese grater into a bowl, when you are done it will give you approx 4 cups depending on the size of the head.

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I then filled the bowl with very hot water and covered it for about 15 min to let it “steep” after that I poured it in to my small holed metal colander to drain AND THEN I transferred it to a dry clean thin dish towel (a cheese cloth would work nicely as well) bundled it all up and squeezed all the remaining water out of it, seems like a lot of work, but its really not!

From there I put the soft cauliflower back into the dry mixing bowl and added 1 cage free egg, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp organic herbs de provence, 3 tbsp cotija cheese (the Mexican version of parmesan)  and 4 oz of natural cream cheese (not lite) and blended it all together. Then I spread it out evenly  on my rectangle baking stone and baked it at 350 for 15 min.

After this I pulled it out of the oven and topped it with organic spaghetti sauce, organic cheese, and sliced up mushrooms and red bell pepper and put it back in to back for another 25 min.

We enjoyed ours with a large green salad, which in my opinion has always been the perfect accompaniment  with pizza! Please enjoy and let me know what you think after you try it!

Here is what you will need again (for easier reference):

  • 1 Large head organic cauliflower
  • 1 cage free egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp organic herbs de provence (oregano is a good spice to use as well)
  • 4 0z natural cream cheese or 4 oz herbed goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 3 tbsp cojita or parmesan cheese
  • organic spaghetti sauce for topping
  • organic mozzarella cheese for topping
  • assorted veggies such as: bell peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms

12 Day Pre-Holiday Cleanse!! Yes, Lets Get Ready For The Holidays!!

While eating real food!! No diet food or special products 🙂 this is all about cleansing the body mind and spirit! Want to know more?? I am looking for 10 motivated people, if you are ready to lose weight, sleep better, have more energy and boost your immune system, and do it all before the hectic holiday season gets into full swing, then NOW IS THE TIME!!! Watch the short and informative video and then register here.

 

5 Ingredient Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My husband and teenage Son are heading out to partake in some male bonding this weekend with an all mens camping trip, so what is a wife, mom and health  coach to do? Bake them yummy gluten free cookies and take ultra feminine pictures of them on a pretty plate before I send them off of course 🙂 not only are these cookies gluten free but they are also grain and refined sugar free! And with only 5 all natural ingredients they are ultra easy to make, and their yummy… did I mention that already? Ok, so here is what you will need for these ultra simple, yummy cookies:

Blend together your Peanut Butter and coconut crystals, add in your Vanilla and Pastured eggs one at a time, when all ingredients are nice and well blended, stir in your chocolate chips by hand. By scoop or rounded tablespoon place about 2″ apart on your baking stone or sheet and bake at 350 for approx 12 min. This will make about 30 cookies to send the guys off with (don’t worry they are leaving the pretty plate behind) Enjoy!

Gluten Free Date Sweetened Almond Butter And Oat Cookies

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It’s no secret that I love to bake! I love to bake all kinds of things for all kinds of occasions, Just ask all my friends and family members who have received copious amounts of homemade Christmas goodies from me over the years or the cousins that I have made wedding cakes for, or the countless friends and family that I have had the privilege to make birthday cakes for over the years! I love it! Its a time to bond with my kids, it can be therapeutic and stress relieving to do, and lets face it, is there really any better taste then butter and sugar creamed together? Yes I know, but even health coaches aren’t perfect 😉

  So when I became health conscious and started my transforming journey that led to over a 100 lb weight loss, which subsequently led me to the path of becoming a health coach, I had make a decision…  Let go of baking yummy treats OR learn to make healthier yummy treats!

I chose the latter, and I (not to mention my family) am so glad I did. The above recipe is one that me and my 11 year old daughter Victoria made recently, in a household of 5, these cookies did not last long, but with their higher nutrient and fiber content I did not feel as bad about the kids eating these cookies, then say… a bag of Oreos!!

so without further adieu here is the recipe for these healthier cookies!

You will need:

  • 1 stick or organic grass fed butter softened
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1  1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 organic cage free eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup natural raw almond butter
  • 12 pitted dates blended into 2-4 tbsp water (make a paste with it!)
  • 6 oz organic dark choc chips
  • 1/4 cup organic flax meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups organic gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces

First, make your date paste, Don’t worry its simple to do! Make sure you have removed all the pits from your dates, then place them in a shallow dish and cover them with water for about 20 min. this will get them nice and soft, now drain the water and place the dates in your blender or food processor and add 2 tbsp of fresh water, pulse the dates until they start to become a paste like consistency, you may need to add 1 to 2 more tbsp of water if the mixture is too dry. Once you have your date paste ready to go cream the butter, sugar, date paste and vanilla together, add in the raw almond butter and then the cage free eggs one at a time,  then add the baking soda and cinnamon, then your chia seeds, flax meal and oats slowly, you don’t want to douse your kitchen wall with cookie dough batter 😉 lastly stir in the dark choc chips and optional walnuts by hand, taking extra precaution not to eat the rest of the choc chips in the bag 😀 save those babies for your next batch!

Then use a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to measure, place on a cookie sheet or stone and bake at 350 for 12 min

Let cool or serve warm, and enjoy with someone you love!

makes approx 35 – 40 cookies

Vegan “Cream” of Broccoli Soup

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This soup is “souper” filling and SO simple to make!

Made with broccoli and cauliflower to get you a good serving of cancer fighting cruciferous veggies! Its savory and ‘spicy’ and its also vegan! If you want a nice and creamy textured soup, without the cream, this is your soup!   Here is a list of what you will need to make this soup:

  • 1 head of cauliflower chopped up
  • 2 bunches of broccoli chopped up
  • 3 cloves of garlic pressed
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1  32 oz container organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • Olive oil (to coat pan)
  • extra water (to thin soup)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp Dill
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • a few dashes of bragg’s liquid aminos

Now here is what to do with all that: saute the broccoli, cauliflower, and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, then add the cashews and vegetable broth, simmer until everything is nice and tender, pour the contents into your blender (I had to do mine in two batches) pour your creamy soup into a large stock pot and add your seasonings and extra water to thin to the consistency you like, heat, serve and enjoy!

Summer Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

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What says summer more them fresh strawberries and salads?? This Salad was featured in my most recent newsletter, and it is delish!

When the weather gets warmer it is only natural that we crave cooler foods to help cool us down, but it’s important that we resist the urge to go for those mega sized bucket o’ cola and the heavily doused sugar sweetened iced coffee beverages to cool us down and instead we look to what is abundant in nature this time of year!

If you have never ventured into adding fruit to your salads, you really should try it! 😀

We can turn a boring salad into an amazing main dish and fuel our bodies with really great nutrients and cool ourselves down all at the same time!

Here is what you will need for this yummy summer salad:

5 cups mixed greens (spinach and strawberries go well together!)
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced cucumbers
4 ounces organic goat cheese, crumbled in small pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or raw pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp organic raw honey
1 garlic clove minced
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup cold pressed olive oil

Wash and chop lettuce, cucumbers and strawberries,  crumble your goat cheese and chop your nuts (if using walnuts or pecans) then toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl.

Whisk all your dressing ingredients together in a “dressing shaker” or bowl, let your dressing chill in the fridge for at least 30 min. Dress salad just before serving and enjoy!

Serves 6

Creamy Summertime Fruit Pops

Nothing says summertime to a kid like cold treats! these are healthy and natural, not to mention super simple! If you happen to have your own popsicle molds this would work great! We made ours in our star shaped silicon ice cube trays….
What you need:

1 ripe banana

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

What you do:

Place all ingredients in your blender and whip together, couldn’t be any easier than this right? pour your blended fruits into your ice cube trays and freeze until solid, then give them to your kids and feel really good about not giving them something laden with high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40 🙂

Gluten Free 4th of July Flag “Cake”

This is a long standing tradition in our family! I have made a version of this “grand ol”  dessert on July 4th for as long as I have been a momma (and our oldest turns 13 next month!) In the beginning I confess this festive treat was far from healthy, in fact I am sad to say it was the standard American fare made with highly processed franken foods like Sara Lee pound cake and Kraft cool whip, I may have even used “sugar free” cool whip to make it “healthier”…  Easy? yes! healthy? no! oh my, how things have changed!…..

As I was contemplating this years recipe for our families traditional dessert I came across an awesome recipe for some gluten free brownies, and since I have never made this dessert with brownies as the base I thought hey why not? Chocolate and berries together sound pretty good to me! In the past I have made different cakes with coconut flour and other natural ingredients as well, this year we are trying something new!

How to make the Brownies:

(I tweaked the ingredients just a little from the original poster)

  • 1  16oz jar of roasted almond butter (I used trader joes almond butter with roasted flax seeds)
  • 2  whole eggs (organic free range is best!)
  • 1  cup organic raw dark agave nectar
  • 1/4  cup raw turbinado cane sugar
  • 1  Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp.  sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2  cup raw cacao powder
  • 1  cup dark chocolate chips

Place all wet ingredients in your mixing bowl (almond butter, eggs, agave, and vanilla) mix until smooth, then add your dry ingredients (sugar, salt, baking soda, and cacao) mix at a low speed until well combined, then add your choc chips and mix in by had (batter will be quite sticky!) Pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan and place into a preheated 325 degree oven for about 35-40 min (mine was perfect at 35 min!)

Now comes the fun part……

After the brownies have cooled completely take your frosting (recipe to follow) and frost the top of the cake evenly, then rinse your strawberries and blueberries and dry. Stem your strawberries and cut in half or quarters length wise,  Create your flag design by using the blueberries for the “stars” and the strawberries for the “stripes”. If you want to get really fancy you can put any remaining frosting in an icing bag and pipe little stars in between the blueberries!   Now for the frosting, if you want to make it simple you can go to your local health food or natural food store and find a healthy alternative to cool whip, I found a non hydrogenated version made with natural oils and organic sweeteners, this is a great time saver and what I have opted for this year; however, if you want to make a yummy cream cheese frosting this is an old stand by recipe for me.

  • 1  8 oz package of natural cream cheese (or vegan cream cheese substitute if you prefer)
  • 1  cup organic powdered sugar or 1/2 cup agave
  • 1  tbsp lemon juice
  • 1  tbsp vanilla

Take your room temp cream cheese and whip it with all other ingredients at low speed using your whisk attachment until smooth and fluffy and víola! Enjoy your 4th of July celebration!!

 

 

And it was hubby and kid approved!