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.

German Chocolate Cupcakes

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These babies have been a long time in the making.  I’ve been working on the recipe on and off forever, making them now and then but never really getting excited about them – until now!

I’m really glad I didn’t post them earlier because I’m on a low carbohydrate mission in all of my recipes these days.  There is so much unnecessary sugar in modern day food – it drives me crazy.  I had a muffin last week in a moment of weakness and I went into a sugar coma immediately after.  No wonder I was a walking zombie every day in high school, having delicious sugar-rich cookies every. single. day.  I literally lived off of sugar!  I do not want my kids suffering the same fate, but I also don’t want to deprive them of treats.

I made so many cupcakes testing this recipe that we had them for breakfast the next day along with 2 pints of blueberries.  No sugar crash.  No mommy guilt.  And very happy kids.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 16 drops stevia (I use Now’s French Vanilla)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 12 silicone cups individually greased with coconut oil.

Mash up the banana very well, then add the eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and stevia.

Combine almond flour, cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda, and add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Stir well.

Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (dry).

Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes.  Hollow out the middle with a tsp.  Ice liberally with the chocolate ganache (careful not to fill the hole) and fill with the coconut filling!

Filling:

  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup coconut cream (solid mass in a can of full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 16 drops liquid stevia

Place egg yolks and 1 tbsp water in a large bowl.  Place the bowl over an inch of  barely simmering water, and whisk until the eggs thicken, about 5 minutes. Add coconut cream and stir until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in pecans, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and stevia. Set aside.

Ganache:

  • 8 oz good quality 70% cacao chocolate
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat source and add the coconut cream. Stir to melt the cream. The coconut cream brings down the heat of the chocolate. The mixture will thicken and you can immediately ice the cupcakes (after they have cooled a little).

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Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

When I started this journey into healthy eating it became apparent straight away that I was addicted to sugar.  While my eating habits have changed completely over the past 10 years, the sugar monster remains at some level.  My sugar of choice has always been chocolate, and although I eat the healthiest form of it, I am still guilty of eating too much of it sometimes.

Taming the monster.

The best defense is a good offense, so traditional candy doesn’t make it into the house.  But I do have a healthy stock of organic, fair trade, 70% or more cocoa chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks.  Under normal conditions, I don’t reach for them.  But as soon as you add the stress of parenting 3 young boys, I can eat an entire 100g chocolate bar in just a few minutes!

Wanting to dive into the chocolate this morning in a fit of stress, I decided that I would only have a little piece.  And this time, I knew that’s all I would have.  Usually a little bit turns into a lot of little bits, but this time was different because I had a plan.

This hot chocolate is the best defense I’ve had in awhile.  I didn’t add any sweetener at all – just whatever is in the 70% chocolate itself, but you may add a little stevia, erythritol, or honey if you wish.  Though, I challenge you to drink it as written – without any added sweetener.  I liked it immediately and didn’t need any sugar, but of course, I am motivated to limit my sugar intake in the name of health.  This just may be the sword that slays my inner sugar monster for good.

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Guilt Free Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 0.5 oz 70% cocoa chocolate (amount pictured above)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and whisk until both combined and desired temperature is reached.

 

 

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

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I’ve been meaning to make something like these for a long time and finally got around to it yesterday!  As always, I made sure to get the sugar down to a minimum, and these certainly don’t disappoint.  Everyone who has tried them has said, “These are healthy?”  Well, they’re as healthy as I could get them!  I mean, they’re not a spinach salad.  They’re still cookies!

But unlike a lot of the Christmas goodies you’ll cross paths with, they’re extremely low in sugar, which means you can eat them and not turn into the grinch 30 minutes later.  Each cookie has only 1/2 tsp of maple syrup.

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Coconut Macaroon Cookies

  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 15 drops stevia (I use Now’s French Vanilla flavour)
  • ½ cup coconut milk, canned, full fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the chocolate topping:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 325F and place a silpat sheet over a cookie tray.

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut, almond flour, and sea salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the stevia, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Stir well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.

Drop dough in tablespoon amounts onto the silpat sheet.  Roll them into balls and then flatten them with your fingers.

Cook at 325F for 22-25 minutes.

As the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate.  Place an inch of water in a medium sized pot and bring it to a simmer.  Place a bowl over the simmering water and add the chocolate chips and coconut oil.  Stir frequently until all the chocolate has melted.  If you need to thin the chocolate, you can add more coconut oil.  Remove the chocolate from the heat and drizzle over the cooled cookies.  Refrigerate.

Keep the cookies in the fridge until ready to serve!

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Gluten Free Banana Bread

I am so excited to share this recipe!

I’ve been working on a gluten free bread recipe book with Yuri and I’m going to give you a little teaser/gift here.  Shhh don’t tell him, ok?  This was my first priority when we ventured into creating these recipes. 1) because I love banana bread and 2) we had a surplus of overripe bananas.

So, here is another recipe from my childhood.  It’s been changed up quite a bit from the original version, but surprisingly “tastes like memories,” which is what I say any time I hit the nail on the head with respect to recipe creation!

If you don’t have any coconut palm sugar you can substitute brown sugar.

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Gluten Free Banana Bread

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a silicone or glass bread dish by greasing it with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the eggs and melted coconut oil.

In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

Pour into prepared baking dish and bake at 350F for one hour.

Let cool in pan before cutting or just when you simply cannot wait any longer!

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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Salted Caramel Sauce

This happened today, and I can’t keep it to myself.  It’s probably my most favourite recipe ever.

I have always loved caramel.  I still sneak a few of those little square caramels every Halloween, even though I know they’re going to make me feel sick. Last year I even attempted making my own caramel covered candy apples – from scratch.  Don’t do it.  It’s painstakingly annoying and health destroying.

The alternative?  This caramel concoction that takes about 2 minutes to make. It’s like apples were made to be dipped in it.  No more fighting with plastic to open little caramels, and no more caramel sauce filled with dairy.  I’ll be dipping apple slices in this from now on!  And obviously, it’s kid approved.

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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

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!  Done.

Now cut up an apple, dip it in the caramel sauce, and eat it.

You’re welcome.

Peanut Butter Balls

I realize there are about a million peanut butter ball recipes out there but I just had to add one more.  I’ve been craving these like mad lately and got hit by some inspiration this morning to add coconut flour as a thickening agent, so here they are!  These are about as healthy as peanut butter balls can possibly get, and they taste so much better than their graham cracker and butter counterpart.  If you can get your hands on some coconut milk powder, it is an amazing addition.

Obviously these are a hit with everyone in the house, and we seem to have a never-ending supply since I keep trying to perfect the recipe.  Most of the recipes I’ve been playing around with lately include protein powder to increase the acceptability of me eating them for breakfast – see notes below. Of course, they also make a great post-workout treat!

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Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • optional: 2 tbsp coconut milk powder

Chocolate Covering:

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

Mix the first 5 (or 6)  ingredients together in a bowl.

Let sit for a few minutes to let the coconut flour absorb thicken the mixture and then form into tablespoon sized balls.

Refrigerate while you melt the chocolate.

Using a double boiler, or a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil, stirring frequently. If the chocolate mixture seems too thick, just add a little more coconut oil to thin it out.

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Roll peanut butter balls in chocolate using a spoon and place on a silpat sheet or any other non-stick paper.  A plate will do!

Store in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • If you want to increase the protein content of the balls you can add 1/4 cup of protein powder and decrease the almond flour to 1/4 cup.
  • If you want the coconut taste but don’t have coconut milk powder, you can use 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup coconut/almond butter by MaraNatha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Key Lime Pie

We were in Montreal this week for a family wedding, and after it was all over it felt like we had pretty much eaten non-stop for 36 hours.  Feeling that we needed to get back on track instantly, we went for a grueling morning run to Mont Royal and then up and down, up, down, up, and down the staircase of death that is the Mont Royal Staircase.

Starving and barely able to walk, we were so excited to try out Montreal’s raw food restaurant: Crudessence.  Once there, we were bitten by the raw food bug once again.  When we got home I dug out my dusty raw food word docs and pulled out this gem!  Here is a recipe that I initially wrote 8 YEARS ago, back when I discovered raw food, David Wolfe, and was attending the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition!

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Raw Key Lime Pie

Crust:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place walnuts and pecans in food processor and pulse until nuts start to stick together.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well combined.  Press into the bottom of a tart pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Filling:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the solid mass in one can of coconut milk)
  • 2/3 cup fresh key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into your tart shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

This was inspired by the not-so healthy chocolate mousse debauchery that went on at the cottage this summer.  In an attempt to lessen withdrawal symptoms, this healthy version was born.  I’ve always loved avocado in chocolate mousse form, but it’s not for everyone so I toned it down in hopes of appeasing you avocado/chocolate haters (namely the hubby).  The results were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned)(coconut water works well too!)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or more…delicious)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted (or 1/4 cup honey)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend well, using the tamper as needed to move the ingredients around.  Eat immediately (and why wouldn’t you?) or refrigerate for later!  Just be sure to place cling wrap right on top of the pudding to avoid as much oxidation as possible due to the avocado content.

You can also add a tsp of maca if you love it.  It will make your pudding taste like maca, but it’s a nice change if you’re a maca lover!