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.

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.

How to Succeed

Today has been a stellar day, but it didn’t start out that way!  I was wide awake half of the night, finally falling asleep around 3am, and up again before 7am with the 3 little clones.  I gave Arlo a bottle, made the big kids oatmeal, and finished making enough snacks for 33 kids since I had double snack day duty, and somehow managed to get the big guys to school on time for the first time in awhile!

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Kid-Friendly Snack: Roasted Garlic Hummus and Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Since I’ve been battling insomnia for a couple of weeks I came home and laid down to take a well deserved nap.  An hour and no sandman later, I got up and drove to the forest for some well needed clarity.  I walked for 2 hours while listening to an audiobook, while walking amongst the raining leaves.  Why sit at home and read when you can enjoy this?:IMG_8693.JPG

My fitness goal is set.  I’m just as persistent now as when I initially set the intention.  I take daily action, eat well, and my success is written in the stars.  However, I have yet to set a concrete goal with respect to my career.  I’ve found myself floating in an ocean of possibilities, slowly moving along.  So I started narrowing down my goals today while walking in the fresh misty air.  I’m already getting really excited about working toward them each and every day.  I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and start learning, writing, and plugging away at a book that I’ve officially taken out of the “someday” pile and placed on the top of my goal list. The audiobook I listened to was called “How to completely change your life in 30 seconds” by Earl Nightingale, and it was the perfect walking companion.  I had heard it all before, but this time it really got my attention.IMG_8688.JPG

One of my favourite lessons is this: as long as you keep working toward your goals, you cannot fail.  You may fall – that’s ok.  Falling isn’t failing.  As long as you get up, you’re still in the game.  You’re successful.  Momentary setbacks cannot harm you.  Even if you’re in the lowest possible place you have ever been, a year from now, it will be just a distant memory, and you will be one year closer to your goals!  If you set a clear goal and work toward its fruition every single day, the universe has no choice but to grow the seeds into future success.  Our minds are extremely fertile, and whatever we plant in our minds will grow.  Positive or negative the mind cannot discern the difference.  It’s up to you to plant the seeds you want to cultivate.  It’s easier to be negative.  But know that your returns will be in direct proportion to what you focus on.  Replace any fearful thoughts with a positive goal worthy of your time.

There is no need to worry about how something will come about.  Worry is one of the lowest vibrations that we can find ourselves in.  There is no sense worrying about something you cannot control, nor is there any sense in worrying about something that happened in the past, or things that most likely won’t come to pass.  There is very little that we need to really worry about.  Most worries are situations that we create in our own minds.  It’s been said that 92% of things we worry about are in the aforementioned categories.  Only 8% of our worries are legitimate.

I know I was always afraid of failing.  What I really should have been worried about was my inaction.  My fears that held me back.  You cannot fail if you don’t give up, but you certainly can fail if you never do anything to shape the life you want.  Most people are caught in a stage of quiet mediocrity.  They want success, but they don’t want to work for it.  They get distracted by 1000s of things and never really get anywhere.  What do you want?

Don’t let events hold you back.  Don’t give away your power by making excuses.  It’s not what happens in life, but how you react to events that determine the result.  A famous psychiatrist interviewed the sons of an alcoholic man, and when asked how they came to be on their current paths, they both answered something like this:  “What would you expect having had an alcoholic father?”  One of the men was what you would call a success.  The other, an alcoholic like his father.

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.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins took a few weeks to perfect but they were worth the wait!  The recipe makes 15 muffins because each time I tried to change the amount of batter, the muffins didn’t turn out as well as this exact recipe.  I ended up just placing the 3 extra silicone muffin cups on top of the filled muffin tin (each at a joint between 4 muffins in the tin).  I hope that makes perfect sense to you…  If I overfilled the silicone cups, the muffins would cook over the edges and were impossible to remove.

I happen to have xylitol in the pantry, so if you don’t you can either skip it or use a pinch of sugar.  I love the extra hint of sweetness on top since cranberries are quite tart.

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Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (vanilla extract works also)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (zest of 2 naval oranges)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • xylitol for garnish

Line a muffin tin with silicone cups.

In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, chia seeds, baking soda, vanilla powder, and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana, and add the orange zest, orange juice, eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil.  Mix well and add to the dry mixture.

Mix in cranberries.

Scoop the muffin batter into the silicone muffin cups, filling them each 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan to avoid muffins falling apart!

Enjoy!

 

 

Candied Walnuts

A quick easy snack to cure the hangry monster in those “I’m starving and can’t wait for dinner” moments.  If you don’t like cayenne, just leave it out!

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Candied Walnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

In a very small bowl, combine sea salt, cayenne, and cinnamon.

In a frying pan, lightly roast walnuts over medium heat until they become fragrant – just a few minutes.

Add butter and mix well.

Sprinkle spice mixture over top and mix well.

Add maple syrup and stir well once again until syrup candies (about 30 seconds).

Remove from heat and dump the mixture on a non-stick surface and let cool.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sour Cream Kale Chips

I make sure there is a healthy supply of these kale chips in the pantry at all times.  They put packaged sour cream chips to shame in both the health and flavour categories and are the perfect no guilt snack for movie night!

I used to grab a bag of kale chips for $8.99 every time I went to the health food store.  The thing is, they’re actually really easy to make, and your dollar will stretch further.  Here is the catch: a food dehydrator is highly recommended.  We have the Excalibur 9-tray, which runs around $260 CAN – totally worth the price tag.

You can always make them in the oven by using the lowest heat setting, but you’ll have to check and mix often to avoid burning.  Since I pretty much forget everything all the time, I prefer to use the dehydrator rather than end up with burnt kale chips!

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Sour Cream Kale Chips

  • 1 large head of kale
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup diced chives
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Pull kale leaves off of stalk and rip into bite sized pieces.  Wash and dry using a salad spinner, getting as much water off as possible.  Set aside.

Place the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Add more water if necessary.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, blend ingredients in a regular blender until as smooth as possible.  Let sit in the blender for 30 minutes and then re-blend until smooth!  This is my “pre-soak the cashews” life hack.

Pour the sour cream mixture onto the kale and mix thoroughly.  Use your hands and get messy to ensure every tiny piece of kale is covered!

Spread kale out onto non-stick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 118 F until the top is dry and crisp, about 2-3 hours.  Turn over onto the mesh screen (removing the non-stick sheet) and dehydrate until fully dry.  Store in an air-tight container or devour all at once.  You know you want to.

Strawberry Chia Pudding

This pudding immediately became the household go-to breakfast meal.  It’s more filling than your basic almond milk and chia variety and it’s way more delicious.  It tastes like strawberry shortcake, if strawberry shortcake was healthy and even more tasty.  I currently have 3L of this in the fridge because it gets eaten so fast.  Of course there is a chocolate version coming to the blog in the very near future.  The recipe has finally been perfected and you’re going to LOVE it!

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Strawberry Chia Pudding

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1  1/2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients except the chia seeds in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into any container that closes liquid tight, add chia seeds, screw lid on tightly and vigorously shake until mixed.  Alternatively, but less fun is to just stir the chia seeds in with a spoon…

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, shaking occasionally initially so the seeds don’t clump together.  Best results if refrigerated overnight.

Sesame Protein Balls

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Sesame Protein Balls

    • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
    • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
    • 2 scoops ultimate vegan energy protein powder
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1/3 cup almond butter
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Roll into golf ball shaped balls or flatten between parchment paper to create bars.  Refrigerate.  Enjoy!

Makes 15 balls.  3.5g of protein and 3g of sugar each.