Nutty bars

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This recipe is adapted from Elana’s Pantry, one of my absolute favorite food blogs for gluten-free goodies. I added hemp seeds for extra protein and omegas and used date paste to make them  lower-glycemic. They’re like extra nutty Larabars. They’re perfect for a quick snack or dessert. The healthy fats, protein, and fiber will keep you going and the nutrient-rich dates will satisfy your sweet tooth without making you crash. For a little extra sweetness, just add chocolate!

  • 2 cups almonds (raw)
  • ½ cup golden flaxmeal
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon date paste, agave nectar, or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks (optional)
Put almonds, flax meal, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds. Melt coconut oil over very low heat in a saucepan. Once melted, add to the mixture with the date paste and vanilla. Pulse until you have a thick paste.  Press mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Refrigerate for 1 hour, until mixture hardens.
To make them chocolate covered, melt chocolate over very low heat in a saucepan, stirring continuously. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens.
Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve.
Makes about 20 bars, depending on how big you cut them. Enjoy!

Nut Milk.. easier than you’d think

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Homemade nut milk always sounded like an unattainable thing to me until I stumbled onto a recipe in Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts. It is really so easy as long as you have the necessary equipment! And the taste is unbelievably better than the store-bought kind.

Side note: I highly recommend this cookbook and/or getting dessert at Cafe Gratitude if you’re in LA. Their desserts will open your eyes to the amazing taste and texture possible using nutritious raw ingredients!

What you need:

  • Blender – it’s especially easy if you use a Vitamix but any will do
  • Nut milk bag – Basically just a fine mesh bag. You can buy one on Amazon for about $8
  • Pitcher

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts 
  • 2 cups room temp water

Get to it:

  1. Soak almonds for 24-48 hours (if using hazelnuts, you can skip this step)
  2. Put in blender and blend until smooth (in a Vitamix just flip it to the smoothie setting)
  3. Let sit for 5-10minutes for a richer flavor
  4. Pour into nut milk bag secured in a pitcher or other container
  5. Squeeze out all the milky goodness (this is a messy process but should stay contained in the pitcher.. just be careful)

You end up with about 2 cups of delicious milk and 1 cup of nut pulp that you can use for crackers, cookies, etc in place of flour (see some of my other recipes for ideas). Add vanilla, cocao, or agave to your liking but it’s really yummy plain.

Happy milking!

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Unbelievable Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from Elana’s Pantry, a great site for gluten-free/paleo recipes. I modified the recipe a bit and the results were unbelievably tasty!! These cookies are gluten-free, dairy-free, and have no processed sugar (if you get sugar-free chocolate chips). You can substitute the chocolate chips with sliced almonds or dried coconut chips or just put it all in! If you’re going to completely substitute the chocolate I recommend adding a little more date syrup to up the sweetness. I made some without chocolate chips so I only splurge on processed sugar for one day and they’re still really good but could use a little more sweetness 🙂

  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour/meal
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup date syrup
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or carob chips or sugar-free chocolate chips)
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Fold in chocolate chips
  5. Form 1-inch balls and press onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  6. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes
  7. Cool and serve

Makes 24 cookies

Mocha Chip Macaroons

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This recipe was adapted from ChoosingRaw.com’s Holiday macaroons. I highly recommend exploring her site for some great recipes and ideas!

Makes about 25-30

2 cups shredded, raw, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup almond meal (or raw ground almonds)
2/3 cup raw cocoa powder (yes it’s more expensive than Hershey’s but tastes so much better.. and doesn’t have mold in it!)
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1 tbsp instant espresso (I used 1 packet of Starbucks Via. I recommend decaf if you don’t want to keep yourself up at night)
2/3 cup date paste (Should be syrupy consistency. Add water if too thick) or agave syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt

1) Place coconut, almond meal, cocoa powder, espresso, and nibs in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together date paste, oil, vanilla, and salt.

2) Pour wet ingredients over dry, and mix thoroughly until dough is uniformly sticky and clumps together easily. If you need to, add a little more date paste.

3) Scoop in tablespoons onto a cookie sheet (lined with foil for easy clean up). Put in the oven at 325 degrees for twenty minutes or so, then allow to cool in a fridge thoroughly. To make these raw, scoop the dough onto a dehydrator tray lined with Teflex and dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6-8 hours (6 is probably all you need).

These come out with a rich, bitter chocolate taste. If you don’t want them as bitter, you can make them without the cocoa nibs. I personally love the crunch they add though. And just think of all the antioxidants you’re getting from the raw cocoa and coffee! So good for you and your sweet tooth!

 

Quinoa Nori Wrap

This is a quick nutritious meal that’s vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. The quinoa is protein-packed and the seaweed is full of omega fatty acids (ie makes your heart and brain happy). Who couldn’t use a little happiness there?

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  • Roasted seaweed (yaki nori)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (room temp or refrigerated is best so it sticks together)
  • 4-6 sprays Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • Small handful of arugula (or mixed greens)
  • Small handful of pea sprouts
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Black pepper for a little kick (optional)

Note: These amounts are only an estimate. Just put as much as you think will be able to roll up.

Lay out one sheet of nori with the shinier side down. Spoon quinoa in the center in about a 2-inch strip. Spray the Bragg’s over the quinoa (more or less depending on how much you like the salty soy sauce-like flavor). Add the rest of the ingredients over the strip of quinoa. This will make it easier to roll. To roll it, wet your finger tips and and dab the ends of the seaweed (this makes it sticky). Then with both hands tuck the free end of seaweed that’s closer to you over the inside ingredients and onto the other free end. Squeeze the wrap to make sure the ends are sticking together well. (There should be a description of how to make a roll on the seaweed package. Refer to that for a better explanation.) Then wet a sharp knife and cut your wrap in half for easy handheld eating.

Quinoa Lentil Burgers

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A great vegan, gluten-free burger patty that you can eat on a bun, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, in a burrito, or on a salad. Enjoy fresh or freeze for easy meals later.

Makes 6 patties.

2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium carrot roughly chopped
1/2 medium zucchini (or 2 baby zucchini)
1/2 small jalapeño, seeds removed
1/2 cup cilantro
1 green onion
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin

Heat half the oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until they become somewhat translucent. In a large food processor, blend all the ingredients until it sticks together well. Put in a bowl and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. With clean hands, form patties and place on wax paper.

To enjoy now, heat oil in pan on medium heat. Cook on each side until browned, about 10 minutes.

To enjoy later, layer between wax paper in a Tupperware and freeze away.