Walnut Coconut Power Balls

If you like these as much as we do, you may want to plan a heavy workout before you make them!  Since they are sweetened using dates, each ball has approximately 6g of sugar, making them perfect post-soccer snacks, but not something you would want to take to the couch as you pound back a 6-pack!

Speaking of sugar, I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat my treats any day than drink them. One can of soda has approximately 33g of sugar! I can’t even fathom how I used to drink that stuff regularly. It makes me cringe now. The next time you feel the need for a soda, try adding the juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of Perrier. It’s the best invention ever. I’m pretty sure I learned about that drink from Food Matters, so props to them for that one!

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Walnut Coconut Power Balls

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (about 12, pitted)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Shredded coconut for covering.

Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until fine.

Add the dates, almond flour, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sea salt. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Roll into golf ball sized balls and roll in shredded coconut.

Store in the fridge.

Pear Crisp with Salted Caramel Sauce

Our family loved apple crisp growing up.  I can still recall the taste of it – So sweet.  When I got older and started making it myself, I cringed at the amount of sugar used in recipes!  This revamped recipe calls for pears for the sole reason that I didn’t have any apples and didn’t want to go to the store.  This recipe has 3 tbsp of maple syrup instead of the TWO CUPS of sugar the original called for…yikes.

If you choose not to make salted caramel sauce, I would recommend doubling the amount of crumble.  I went light on it knowing that I was going to pour a little extra sugar on top, and the result was perfect.

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Pear Crisp

Filling:

  • 6 cups chopped organic Bosc pears
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond four
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cut up the pears and mix in the cinnamon and flour.  Pour into an 8×8 inch pan.

For the topping, place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well, melting the coconut beforehand in a pan if need be.

Using your fingers, drop the topping mixture on top of the pears.

Cook at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

For the salted caramel sauce, if you’re lucky enough to have runny almond butter, just mix the ingredients in a bowl.  Otherwise, place all ingredients in a blender.  If your sauce isn’t runny, add more coconut milk to thin it out.

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

Here is my go-to recipe for snack day at my kids’ school.  It’s simple enough that you can make it even when a baby is crying for a bottle, and up to two other kids are driving you nuts – and you need to get them all in a car 20 minutes from now. GO!

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Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • 1 can chick peas (19 oz), liquid reserved
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp salt
  • olive oil to garnish

Put the garlic cloves and coconut oil in a pan over low heat and cook until fragrant but not burned. About 5 minutes

Place garlic, chick peas, lemon juice, tahini, and salt in a high speed blender with about 1/4 cup of the chick pea liquid to get the blender moving.  Blend until smooth, using the temper as much as needed to push the blending mixture around.

Add as much or as little liquid as you would like to get the thickness you desire. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with a good quality olive oil.

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

This mock tuna salad recipe always makes me feel so good because I get to pretend I’m eating a lot of mayonnaise without all the guilt.  Use it to top a salad, use it as a dip, or do what our 21 month old did and eat it with a spoon.  Either way, it’s something that you can feel good about eating! IMG_7774.JPG Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup cashew mayo
  • 1 tsp celery salt

Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until broken up but not fine.  Mix well with the rest of the ingredients.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Protein Balls

Meet my new favourite obsession: protein bar creation.  I used to live off of protein bars so it’s high time I make my own.  These balls will come in super handy when the kiddos come home from school and want food ASAP.  Though I would like to get the sugar content down even more for that same reason!

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Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Protein Balls

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 scoops ultimate vegan energy protein powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 6 drops liquid stevia

Mix all ingredients together, and roll into TBSP size balls.  Serve.

Using the above recipe yields 16 balls with 2.5g of sugar and just over 2.5g of protein each.  The protein powder is comprised of sprouted brown rice protein, maca, and vanilla.  I highly recommend Brad King’s brand not only because it tastes great, but because it is a highly bioavailable form of protein.  Our bodies can use it easily unlike other vegan forms such as pea protein which are largely cheap fillers.

My favourite brand of stevia is Now’s better stevia, french vanilla flavour.  It’s still got the bitterness characteristic of stevia, but is way better than sweet leaf in my opinion.

ballsNote that sweet little hand trying to get into the chocolate chips!

 

Allergen Free Baking: The Best Pancakes Ever.

gluten free vegan pancakes

Banana Coconut Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

I have had many reasons to go allergen free in the past, but none were as motivating as my current living breathing reason: my newborn son Oscar.  I have many food sensitivities that I notice daily unless I eat 100% clean.  Even then, I will notice a reaction if I eat too much of something that I am mildly sensitive to such as certain vegetables!  I have been eating moderately clean my entire pregnancy, gaining less than 25 lbs, and my eczema disappearing for most of it.  However, upon delivery, my hormones are out of whack and so is my body.  My eczema is flaring up once again.

Oscar is also developing a rash.  I don’t know if it’s eczema yet.  I think it’s newborn acne at this point, but in a bid to avoid the occurrence of eczema and allergies I am trying to keep him away from the common culprits: dairy, soy, corn, wheat, excess sugar, etc. as well as giving him a daily probiotic. Unfortunately, when both parents have allergies or asthma, the offspring is nearly 100% likely to have them as well.

And it is because of all of this that these pancakes were born.  I swear they are the best pancakes ever, and Yuri agrees!  I am not saying that you can eat pancakes every day because they are allergen free, but they are there when you want something special.  There is no need to feel guilty about indulging in these, and the best part of it is that these pancakes cause me NO digestive distress!

BEST PANCAKES EVER

Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Pancakes. They’re vegan AND healthy.

Serves 2

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (see below)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 eggs, or use this egg substitute:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp hot/boiling water

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 banana, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut
maple syrup, for serving
banana and coconut for garnish

If using the egg substitute, mix the egg substitute ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.

Separately, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Add the almond milk, egg substitute, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add the coconut, cinnamon, and banana.

Cook over medium heat until done, flipping once.  Makes 6 pancakes.

*if the batter is too thick, add more almond milk

*Lately we’ve been really loving chocolate chunks in our pancakes – the best ones are by Enjoy Life!

Gluten Free Flour

Gluten free flour making is an intimate thing.  There are so many variations out there.  This is what I came up through trial and error and it is my favourite gluten free flour yet.  I doubt I’ll even try any others.  You can use this in any recipe that calls for all purpose flour. Just make up a batch and you’ll have it to use whenever you need it!

Mix together:

250g millet flour (1.5 cups)
150g almond flour (1.5 cups)
150g quinoa flour (1 cup)
150g buckwheat flour (1 cup)
300g tapioca flour (2 cups)

I buy millet, almonds, buckwheat, and quinoa whole and mill them in the coffee grinder. This way they are as fresh as possible. Tapioca and almond flours I buy already milled.  Though you can grind almonds in a coffee grinder – they are super fresh!  In Canada you can get almond flour from jkgourmet.com which is what I do now that I’ve found them!

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk and a Creamy Strawberry Shake

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk

2 cups filtered water
1 cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut butter
4 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean, seeds only)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a high speed blender like the vitamix, you can place all ingredients in a blender and let them sit for a couple of hours until the cashews and dates soften.

I HIGHLY recommend investing in a vita-mix.  It’s so powerful that it can turn an ipod into dust – I’m sure you can find some interesting videos on youtube.  I use my vita-mix at least 4 times a day.  You can make nut milks without having to use a strainer, and make the smoothest raw cheesecake you’ve ever tasted.

And since I happened to have fresh strawberries in the fridge – voila!  Instant strawberry shake.

Silky Strawberry Smoothie

Creamy Strawberry Shake

1 batch Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk
1 cup fresh strawberries

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.

The funny thing about strawberries is that when you pick them yourself, their size range from that of a raspberry to…a slightly larger raspberry! They taste so sweet and just downright incredible.  When you buy them imported from who knows where, they’re the size of peaches and they taste sour and just gross!  If you missed them this time around, don’t miss out on picking your own (or buying, although picking your own can be fun) local berries next season!