Sunday, March 8, 2015

Raw Chocolate Superfood Energy Balls

Raw Chocolate Superfood Energy Balls
Adorable, good-looking, delicious and healthy: What's not to love about Raw Chocolate Superfood Energy Balls?

Back when winter seemed like a fun-fresh idea, I brought these little gems to a New Year's Day gathering. They were a big hit, and I've been meaning to post the recipe ever since.


Daylight savings time started today and according to my calendar, it's almost Spring. Whoopsie!

I hope you'll agree this is a recipe worth waiting for, and better late than never...

Raw Chocolate Superfood Energy Balls

1.5 cups organic raw almonds
1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or pea protein)
3 Tbs raw cacao powder
2 tsp spirulina powder
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbs Chia seeds
18 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
a few tablespoons of cold water

+ your choice of coating: shredded coconut, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, chopped goji berries (Tip: If using gojis, chop them in your clean food processor before you start making the energy balls!)

Add almonds, hemp protein powder, raw cacao, spirulina, cinnamon and chia seeds to food processor and pulse repeatedly until well combined. Add vanilla and pitted dates and pulse-process again until mixture starts to bind together. Add cold water by the tablespoon and continue processing until mixture pulls together and you have what looks like a firm, soft ball of dough.

Transfer dough into a clean bowl. In separate smaller bowls, pour out about a half cup each of your chosen coating ingredients. (I used shredded coconut and goji berries.)

Using your fingers or a spoon, pull off a tablespoon-sized chunk of dough and form it into a ball. Roll or toss ball in coating of choice until well-covered; then set aside on a plate. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

Chill finished energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until firm.

This recipe makes about 16 energy balls. They can be frozen or stored in the fridge for several weeks. For best flavor, eat at room temperature.

NOTE: You can also use this recipe to make energy BARS instead of energy BALLS. To make bars, simply press your dough into a Pyrex baking dish until desired thickness is achieved. About a half-inch thick is ideal. (Don't try to make the bars fill the entire Pyrex dish—getting the thickness you like is what matters, so expect there to be some empty space in the dish! Just square it off as best you can.)

Use the back of a spatula to get the top flat. Then, gently press your shredded coconut or coating of choice into the surface, cover entire dish with plastic wrap (or use a clean, dry produce bag) and refrigerate as above. When firm, slice into bars and, if desired, individually wrap each one using saran wrap, waxed paper or parchment.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Carrot Creamsicle

You know what's really good? Blending carrot juice with other stuff. I know it seems like sacrilege to a detox purist, but what can I say: I like it!

Must be the rebel in me. The rebel made me do it. And the fact of having some day old Trader Joe's carrot juice in the fridge. Along with some fresh turmeric roots, aka the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer best herb ever. Nothing wrong with that. 

If you don't have access to fresh turmeric, just use the best quality powder you can find. And drink up. To your health! 

Carrot Creamsicle

8 ounces carrot juice
1/4-1/2 of a honey crisp apple, cored
1/2 a lemon, peeled
1 small turmeric root, or a teaspoon of powdered turmeric
1 Tablespoon hemp protein powder
1/4 cup raw cashews

Optional Supplement Boosts
2 g vitamin C powder (I like Complete C from Innate Response) for added immune support.
2 g leucine powder (from Moss Nutrition). Leucine, a branched chain amino acid, works together with protein to help stimulate muscle growth and promote lean body mass (as opposed to fat. You know what I'm talking about.)

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whip into a sweet, frothy shake. Serves one delightfully.

P.S. Want to order professional quality supplements through me or ask me a question? Shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post, and I'll get right back to you. ♥

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chewy Pumpkin Oat Squares

Chewy Pumpkin Oat Squares - yummy, nutritious, vegan, gluten-free :)
These delicious, chewy oat squares—loaded with fruits, nuts and gluten-free whole grains—do equal service as a hearty breakfast (think muffin minus the cup) or a wholesome dessert cake. Pumpkin puree plus freshly grated honeycrisp apple makes the squares moist; currants and walnuts add a bright burst of flavor to every bite.

Chewy Pumpkin Oat Squares

Dry Ingredients
2 cups whole oats (not instant)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tbs ground flaxseed or chia seed
pinch of salt (optional)

Wet Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup liquid natural sweetener (honey, maple syrup or agave)
1/2 cup grated apple (packed)
1 Tbs melted coconut oil (optional)

1/2 cup currants (or raisins)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8 Pyrex baking dish with coconut oil or line it with two sheets of parchment paper. In separate mixing bowls, mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Add wet to dry, combine well and fold in currants and walnuts. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until top begins to brown and cracks have formed over the surface. Allow cake to cool before slicing into squares. Depending on how you cut it, each pan makes 9, 12 or 16 healthy servings.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Mungbean Daal

If you follow food blogs at all, you're sure to have noticed the recent abundance of pumpkin recipes! With Halloween just around the corner I get why, but despite the fact that sugar pumpkins are a traditional harvest food, pumpkin itself is far from a short-season vegetable. In fact, there are many varieties of pumpkin to be had virtually year-round, hiding in plain sight under the admittedly unsexy and very general nom de plume: Winter SQUASH.

I love winter squashes and pumpkins for their sweet taste, velvety smooth texture and meaty bite. These water-rich carbohydrate sources are high in antioxidant carotenoids like beta carotene that help boost immune function and promote eye health. Winter squash and pumpkin are easier to digest than whole grains, and filling without being heavy.

Some of my favorite varieties are the very dark green Buttercup squash (which resembles a bumpy, flat acorn squash), it's orange cousin Kabocha squash, and the beautiful jewel-toned Japanese pumpkin.

The other night I baked a Buttercup and had enough left over to add into the thick, delicious and satisfying protein-rich daal pictured at the top of this post.

If you don't have any roasted pumpkin on hand, it's easy enough to make. Remove the stem and halve your whole, unpeeled pumpkin or squash through the north-south axis. After scooping out the seeds with a spoon, place cut face down in a pyrex baking dish with about a half inch of water added to help keep squash moist while baking. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 450 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin—just keep checking. When a butter knife slides easily into the side, it's done.

Pumpkin Mungbean Daal

4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dry mung beans
3 slices ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
2 thin slices fresh jalapeno or red chili pepper, or cayenne to taste

1 medium carrot, sliced
2 cups peeled and chopped roasted pumpkin or buttercup squash
sea salt to taste
red pepper flakes, fresh chopped cilantro or other green herb (optional)

Simmer vegetable stock, mung beans, ginger, curry, jalapeno and lemon for an hour until beans are very soft. Add carrot and pumpkin and simmer another 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve as a soup, or over a bed of fresh chopped spinach to add a little crunch and freshness. Top with red pepper flakes, sprouts or any freshly chopped herb, such as chives or cilantro, if desired.

Bon appetit!