Raspberry Cheesecake | Vegan, Gluten Free, Divine

Make it cherry ;P Haha have fun with this one! You seriously can’t mess it up. I invite you to truly savor the beautiful people in our lives right now and have this memorial day be one of utmost gratitude. If you are having a celebration and feel anxious around food at parties, this is your time to seriously practice self trust, self love, and release the ideas of shame around certain foods. We are here to be happy and free, and we can choose a perception that serves us. No more beating ourselves up. Just fully enjoy!

If you feel called to help those who have been wounded in war, whether that be physically, mentally, or even a loved one of a wounded warrior, I invite you to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. This is a very progressive organization active in helping those who need it most. I am confident the funds will help. Or, if you live in the SoCal area, it would be awesome to see you at their 5k in late August.

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Crust:

  • 20 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 oz raw almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×6 baking dish with parchment paper (feel free to try round spring cake pan, pie plate, or square pan!)
  2. Using food processor S blade, blend the crust ingredients until well combined and pressable texture for crust, nice and chunky, not paste or butter
  3. Press crust evenly into parchment lined dish

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Cheesecake:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in the fridge overnight and drained
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup plant based yogurt, I like lavva brand
  • 2 cups raspberries or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 more cups raspberries or frozen cherries, blended, to make a decorative swirl

Steps:

  1. Soak cashews overnight, drain and rinse.
  2. Blend cheesecake in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or use your food processor S blade again.
  3. Spread evenly over crust and freeze overnight
  4. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week
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Pumpkin Cheezecake Bars | Vegan, Probiotic, Gluten Free, Date Sweetened, Oil Free, AMAZING

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

with ~4 billion probiotics per bar!!

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To everyone out there who once said, “I LOVE CHEESECAKE” Look no further. Seriously.

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These babes are so delish, and are actually full of ingredients for sustained calm energy, mood, and even improve digestion and immunity! How!? Well, using healthy foods like dates, pecans, and cashews of course. But also! I am a huge fan of the Lavva Yogurt company.

Their yogurt is pili nut based with 0 (zero!added refined sugars, and 50 billion! Yes 50 billion probiotics.  Probiotics are amazing for of course digestion and beautiful perfect snake poops, (yay!), but did you know that most of our serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is produced in the gut? Plus, our GI is an open vessel to the outside world, and is lined with inflammatory and immune cells ready to fire to protect us from invaders.  It makes sense if the biota is thrown off, our immunity and inflammation would be all over the place.

I love how this yogurt tastes and makes me feel so much that I got it for a yogurt parfait bar at one of The Shift retreats that I chef at.  The ladies 1. loved it and 2. Were floored with how amazing their digestion was after just one weekend!  Granted, my whole foods plant based cuisine helps peoples digestion, but honestly often people will complain of discomfort and gas due to so much fiber they are eating all of a sudden.  With the addition of this effective delish yogurt, it really helped!

 

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Makes 20 Bars. adapted from the incredible Feasting On Fruit

Crust:

  • 20 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 oz raw pecans
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×6 baking dish with parchment paper (feel free to try round spring cake pan, pie plate, or square pan!)
  2. Using food processor S blade, blend the crust ingredients until well combined and pressable texture for crust, nice and chunky, not paste or butter
  3. Press crust evenly into parchment lined dish

Cheesecake:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in the fridge overnight and drained
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 container Lavva Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 container Lavva Original Yogurt (save the other half to top your oatmeal or smoothie bowl!)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Soak cashews overnight, drain and rinse.
  2. Blend cheesecake in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or use your food processor S blade again.
  3. Blend until super creamy and smooth
  4. Pour on top of crust
  5. Freeze overnight
  6. Let thaw for 10-20 minutes, slice into 20 bars and keep in the fridge for ~5 days or freezer for up to 2 weeks. DEVOUR IN ECSTASY

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Chai Chickpea Superfood Cookie Dough Balls | Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free, Date Sweetened

Fall is! Well, here in Venice, CA it actually still feels like Summer… BUT the PSL (pumpkin spice latte) is back at Starbucks sooo therefore it’s time to throw pumpkin spice, pecans, and chai gingery goodness in absolutely everything.

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I am a huge fan of drink mud.  The founders are basically neighbors of mine, local here in Venice. They have a great mission to help get people feeling energized and thriving without overstimulating the adrenals from coffee.  Their product drink mud has medicinal mushrooms, cacao, turmeric,  and Indian Chai spicee. It does have a tad of caffeine, making these superfood balls the best pick me up that ever happened!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 8-10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1-2 Tbsp Drink Mud Powder: https://www.mudwtr.com/ . (option to use your favorite mix of spices and superfoods like pumpkin pie spice, spirulina, maca, hemp, cinnamon, cacao, etc.)
  • 1-2 thumbs fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkle of pink salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice powder
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

Steps:

  1. Food processor S blade: blend chickpeas, dates, tahini, nut butter, vanilla, mud powder, ginger, and salt until smooth
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin spice powder, cinnamon, coconut, and pecans
  3. Using a tablespoon, create balls of dough and roll them into the separate bowl to coat with pecans, coconut, and more spice
  4. Keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze for about a month
  5. Warning: you will feel like LIFE IS AMAZING after eating these and you may want to run 15 miles or something. Do your best not to eat them before bed 🙂

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SNICKERDOODLES + How To Bake No Flour, No Oil, No Sugar, Vegan

Growing up in a home with a perpetual aroma of freshly baked bread and an ever-replenishing plate of homemade muffins, cookies, or brownies, I could never give up milk, butter or eggs. No way. How could I? Oh, and I definitely could not ever give up muenster cheese. The divine moldy cow teet fluid suffocated in sodium and grease, in between sour dough smothered in 100% cow fat, and grilled. Divine. Delicious acne. Heavenly mood swings, bouts of depression, energy crashes, and stomachaches.

Although I am not a French trained gourmet baker, my taste buds do not lie. There are certainly ways to enjoy baking, without the harmful baggage. Here, you will learn how to make scrumptious baked goods taste the way you like, and make you feel that glowing radiant health that you deserve. What is life without energy. Only alive radiant energy in my baked goods. peace sign  

  1. Flour

“The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead.” ~Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Ideally, we want to transition from white flours to more wholesome flours or products.

Instead of 100% white flour, try:

  • ½ whole grain or bean flour + ½ white flour
  • Make your own oat flour: blend rolled or quick oats in the blender or food processor until flour consistency

Does what you are making really require flour? I used to think that cookies and brownies needed flour until I tried white bean snickerdoodles and black bean brownies that use beans for a base instead.

Little cholesterol and saturated fat bombs. There are lots of healthier alternatives.

The tried and true is the flax or chia egg:

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water

Mix until well combined and let sit until it forms a gel.

For a light and fluffy product, instead of 1 egg, try:

  1. 2 tsp baking soda + 2 Tbsp warm water
  2. 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder + 1 tsp. vinegar
  3. 1 tsp. baker’s yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water

Mix until well combined and gelatinous

For thick and dense products, like brownies and cookies, instead of 1 egg, try

  1. ½ cup mashed ripe banana
  2. ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  3. ¼ cup canned pumpkin or squash
  4. Ener-G Egg replacer product
  5. 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water
  6. 2 Tbsp potato starch + 2 Tbsp water
  7. 2 Tbsp. instant mased potatoes
  8. 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water

Mix until well combined and gelatinous

Tip: if you need to replace just an egg white, try:

Aquafaba: Don’t pour the canned bean liquid down the drain! Aquafaba in latin means “water bean”. It is the bean water from a can or from cooking beans.

Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip it up and after beating for five minutes, the liquid will start to form stiff peaks, just like egg whites. To stabilize the aquafaba, add an acid such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream or tartar. Use ½ teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar or ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar for ¾ cup of bean liquid. Adding an acid is especially helpful when you are making something that will not be eaten right away as it helps the aquafaba to remain aerated.

Aquafaba in Recipes:

  • 1 tablespoon for one yolk
  • 2 tablespoons for one egg white
  • 3 tablespoons for a whole egg

Another egg white alternative:

1 Tbsp plain agar powder dissolved in 1 Tbsp water, whipped, cooled, and whipped again for each egg white.

There are lots of other egg replacements out there. Have you tried tofu scramble? For quiches and custards ¼ cup of pureed soft tofu works tremendously.

  1. Milk

For a cholesterol, hormone, and unfavorable protein-free alternative try unsweetened and unflavored varieties of plant milks. Soy, almond, and rice milks are common neutral good ones.

Instead of buttermilk, try:

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk + 2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar.

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and creamy. Equal to 1 cup buttermilk

  1. Butter / Oil

            Solid or liquid, animal or plant, it is still 100% fat, absorbed way too quickly, very calorie dense, and not health promoting. Usually, these are added to moisten the product. What’s fabulous about vegan baked goods, is that they do not need to be cooked all the way since the ingredients do not harbor food born illnesses like salmonella. So, they will certainly be ooey, gooey, and moist. Yet instead of doing so with butter or oil, replace with applesauce, mashed banana, or another chia egg.

  1. Sugar

            White sugar is stimulating, like a drug. It excites us and gets us addicted so we can’t stop thinking about it. After we have a hit of white sugar and our blood glucose levels spike, a crash follows. Leading to fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even headaches post-sugar hit. My recommendation? Stay away from drugs. Crack. Cocaine. White sugar. Etc.

Whole fruit is sweet enough! Dates are loaded with potassium (more potassium than bananas), fiber, and even have great iron and calcium too! Instead of sugar, blend pitted dates into your recipe. Make sure they are moist enough by soaking them in warm water for at least 15 minutes before using if they are too hard. They should be nice and mushy and combine easily.

Baking healthy vegan is the best. It’s super easy cleanup, no grease, no scrubbing, no flour everywhere. I love it. You actually feel like you did a service sharing these goodies with people too. No more giving away stomach aches and post-eating purging episodes. This is a real issue people. Now’s the time to inspire others with how delicious healthy baked goods can be! Your homework: Fail. Try and try again. I am certain you will make some incredible things. And I am certain some things won’t be the bees knees. That’s ok. Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Have fun!

SNICKERDOODLES

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Makes 10-12 cookies
Equipment:
– 2 baking sheets
– parchment paper
– food processor
– oven

Ingredients:
– 1 can white beans
– 1/3 – 1/2 cup pitted dates
– 1 ripe banana
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 cup nut butter (1 ingredient only)
– 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– chopped raw walnuts to garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a food processor with an S blade, blend all ingredients except walnuts
  3. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of dough onto parchment and using the back of a spoon or a knife, spread into a cookie shape
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes
  5. Once cookies are dry enough to get off of the parchement easily with a spatula, press walnuts into cookies and transfer to a plate or cooling rack
  6. Enjoy 😛

I would love to help you however I can.
Schedule a Consultation with me: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13878540

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5 Favorite Vegan Thanksgiving / Holiday Recipes | Katie Reines, MS, RD.

Ahhh Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. Take the stress away and leave nothing but joy to saturate your friends and family. Which is really what Thanks. Giving. is all about, isn’t it?  Sometimes, these family occasions can be looked at as a burden.  I invite you to challenge that.  Let’s put in an effort out of love. It is worth it.  And maybe even take it to the next level- provide your family a truly compassionate dish option 😛

  1. Apple Pie

This is the gourmet recipe from the incredible healing cafe, Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA where I’ve been working at seasonally since high school. Jacob Massey is an amazing raw vegan pastry chef. This pie: UNREAL. You have to believe me, seriously you must try it <3. I’m obsessed. Maybe its the already delicious food it’s made out of. Or maybe it’s all the joy he puts into his work. I’d say both. Anyone who has it tastes and feels the incredible-ness.

Makes 6 Pies:

Crust:

  • 10 cups walnuts
  • 7 1/2 cups pitted moist dates or coconut date rolls
  • 2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp coconut oil
  1. Line spring form pans with parchment paper
  2. Pulse and blend in food processor until well combined and a little chunky, not too smooth
  3. Distribute crust evenly into pans and press to smooth

Filling:

  • 10 quarts chopped into 1/2 inch cubes apples
  • 4 cups soaked dried apricots
  • 2 cups soaked raisins
  • 3/4 cup psyllium
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger (not peeled but washed)
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Blend soaked fruit, psyllium, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in food processor until smooth
  2. Combine with chopped apple and mix well. The juices from the apple will release and the dried fruit mixture will distribute nicely
  3. Distribute filling evenly on crusts and press to smooth

Crumble:

  • 8 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  1. Pulse in food processor until well combined and forms a nice crumble texture, not too smooth like butter
  2. Distribute crumble over pie fillings evenly and smooth gently
  3. Freeze pies overnight and thaw in the refrigerator. Freezing and thawing gives the apples a delicious cooked texture and releases all the wonderful juices.
  4. Try your best to share with someone 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!

2. Holiday Kale Salad

Inspired by the Quinoa Medley (#4 below). Use whatever herbs you like and have so much fun! This dish has wowed so many people and honestly, you can’t go wrong. A sweet tangy dressing, epic freshness and beautiful colors with the pompom. Mmm mmm!

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  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 bunch green onion (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 large bunch dill (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 bunch mint (half chopped half blended)
  • 2 Tbs tahini (I used 2 Tbs hemp seeds)
  • 2 cups currents or raisins (I didn’t use raisins at the demo)
  • ½ cup pure lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups walnuts
  1. Wash, de-stem, and schiffinade kale
  2. Chop using either a food processor S blade, or a knife and cutting board, half of the bunches of scallion, dill, and mint
  3. Deseed pomegranates (with a large spoon, banging on the outside of 1/2 of the fruit so the seeds just fall into your palm)
  4. chop walnuts
  5. Blend juice, dates, and the other half of the bunches of green onion, dill, and mint
  6. Massage dressing into kale thoroughly with gloved or very very clean hands
  7. Using tongs, mix in nuts and pomegranate seeds
  8. Serve chilled❤

3. FullyRaw Pumpkin Pie

I made this pie many times in Indiana where little local persimmons are all over the place.  There were two local persimmon trees at Purdue where I would frequently sit under, wait for the wind to blow, and eat all of the fruit that fell to the ground! The samples I made in the video below could not have gotten better reviews.  It is amazing how people think healthy food won’t taste redonk. And when it does, the light in their eyes! Priceless.

FullyRaw Kristina’s Pumpkin Pie:

Crust

  • ~1 lb dates
  • 1.5-2 cups pecans
  • 1-2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pie Filling

  • 2-3 cups pie pumpkin
  • ~2 lbs dates
  • Ginger, thimble sized piece
  • ~168grams persimmon pulp
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crust

  1. Using food processor S blade, put pecans in first, then dates and cinnamon, and pulse and blend until desired crust texture
  2. Take out the blade
  3. Press all around pie crust

Pie Filling

  1. Put pumpkin chunks and then dates, persimmon, cinnamon, ginger, and spice in vitamix, or food processor S blade
  2. Blend until completely smooth
  3. Rubber spatula into pie crust
  4. Freeze to set (about 2 hours)

4. Quinoa Medley

I’m actually obsessed with Chef AJ and The Plant Based Dietitian, Julieanna Hever.  I got to meet Chef AJ at Chicage Vegan Mania when I went with the club that I helped to create, “Be Veg at Purdue”. She made this quinoa medley at her demo and everyone was like. HOMINA. No oil? No salt?? So much flavor?!! Howw does she do it. A must make dish for every occasion.  Both Chef AJ and Julieanna Hever have the best recipes.  Definitely check them out!

Time: 25 minutes. You will need: large pot, knife, cutting board, large bowl, large spoon, measuring cups. Serves: ~20. (½ cup servings)

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz dry quinoa (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 bunch scallion
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ – ¾ cup lime juice (about 8 limes)

Steps:

  1. Rinse quinoa and then bring to a boil in 5 cups of water. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. (cook to manufacture’s instructions on box)
  2. Allow quinoa to cool. Chop herbs using a food processor S blade, or by hand. Juice limes.
  3. Combine ingredients in large bowl. Serve chilled. Keeps well for about a week in the fridge.

5. Butternut Squash Brussel Sprout Stuffing

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My roommate in Texas made this twice for a project and guess who ate it all.  GUILTY (well, you know, ate most of it). It is so amazing! Food52 is a great resource for reliably bomb vegan recipes.

I hope this helps you to bring something healthy and delicious to your table. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls | Vegan, Gluten Free, Uncooked, Naughty

Remember tollhouse chocolate chip cookies??? That feeling like dag, I just want to eat the raw douughh omgg.. Just wait till you try this cookie dough replica with peanut butter. Yup. It’s crack. You’ve been warned.  These babes. Peanut. Butter. Cookie. Dough. Musical eating is allowed (moaning). BEWARE: may trigger binge eating.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls

Adapted from the incredible Ambitious Kitchen’s Chickpea Blondies

Makes ~24 balls

  • 1 1/2 cups boiled chickpeas (or canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter- the kind that only has 1 ingredient: peanuts
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (try using 1/3 cup of moist pitted dates instead!)
  • 1 1/4 tsp maca powder (or vanilla extract, I don’t have vanilla and maca is like vanilla cupcakes)
  • squeeze some juice from 1/4 of a lime
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (ground powder would probably work too)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or vegan dark chocolate chips)
  • Cacao powder for dusting
  1. Put all ingredients except chopped nuts(or chocolate chips) in a food processor (S blade) or in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. Blend until smooth like cookie dough.
  2. Fold in chopped nuts with a spoon
  3. Using a tablespoon, form 24 balls and roll with your hands, set aside.
  4. Put about 1/4 cup of cacao powder in a small bowl and roll ~3-4 balls at a time in the cacao powder
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and, normally I would say share with loved ones but this one you’re going to want to hide in the back and keep them all to yourself. *see no evil* Savor in good health!

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1 Cookie Dough Ball According to non-italics ingredients out of 24 has:
Calories 73
Carbohydrate 7 g
Protein 3 g
Total fat 4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 0 g

http://www.supertracker.usda.gov

Nut, Ginger, and Chocolate Radiance Bars

Your search for a healthy crowd-pleasing holiday treat ends here. These are perfectly sweet and satisfying with a warming hint of ginger, and an irresistible combination of crunch and chocolatey creaminess.  Please watch the recipe video from http://www.greenkitchenstories.com for the original recipe.  It is my favorite recipe video of all time, beautiful videography ❤ and the recipe is truly delicious.

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Makes about 24 bars

  • 10 coconut date rolls
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 handful walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3.5oz 60% dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  1. Watch video
  2. Combine date rolls together by smushing them with a fork on a plate and add to a medium saucepan over low heat with coconut oil, almond butter, and grated ginger. Mix well to combine
  3. Add in millet, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and salt and mix well
  4. Line a 13” x 9” pan with parchment paper and press mixture evenly into pan
  5. Melt chocolate and spread over the top. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.
  6. Cover and freeze for about an hour. Cut into 24 bars. Store in the freezer or refrigerator.

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1 Bar (based on 24 bar yield):
Calories 140
Protein 3g
Carbohydrate 8g
Total Fat 12g
Fiber 2g
Cholesterol 0mg

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Why these bars make you radiant?

  • Sweetened with fruit with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants; preventing blood sugar spike and crash which ultimately prevents depression, fatigue, and cravings for more sugar
  • Coconut oil, although the gold standard saturated fat source, should be regarded like any other oil: a concentrated food that provides a lot of calories with limited nutrients. It’s okay to use some unrefined high-quality coconut oil when preparing special-occasion treats, but as with other oils, its use should be minimized. *read more about coconut + coconut oil in article below!
  • Almonds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cell membranes from damage; preventing disease, inflammation, muscle soreness, and keeping skin glowing preventing wrinkles
  • Ginger is well known for its powers of healing indigestion and migraine headaches. Ginger also has potent anti-inflammatory properties
  • Millet is a whole grain, a complex carbohydrate helping to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day. It also has protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Walnuts contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which convert to the most abundant fatty acid in our brains, DHA. Omega-3s in the diet improve focus and cognitive function, and they have also been shown to decrease inflammation leading to heart disease.
  • Raw pumpkin seeds are a fabulous source of minerals like zinc, which is important for immune system function as well as formation of proteins and DNA. Pumpkin seeds also have vitamins like the antioxidant vitamin E mentioned previously.
  • Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols. These flavonoids may decrease oxidation (damage) from LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Also, chocolate contains many minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium

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*Coconut Oil Info:

“Few foods have been at once as maligned and acclaimed as coconut oil. Because it’s the most concentrated source of saturated fat in the food supply—even higher than lard or butter—some view it as a notorious health villain. Not surprisingly, it rests atop the “avoid” column of mainstream healthy-heart-food lists.

Others view coconut oil as a fountain of youth and the greatest health discovery in decades. These advocates claim that coconut oil can provide therapeutic benefits for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, digestive disturbances, heart disease, high blood pressure, HIV, kidney disease, osteoporosis, overweight, Parkinson’s disease, and many other serious conditions. So what’s the truth?

Based on the available science, coconut oil is neither a menace nor a miracle food. Coconut oil should be regarded like any other oil: a concentrated food that provides a lot of calories with limited nutrients. It’s okay to use some high-quality coconut oil when preparing special-occasion treats, but as with other oils, its use should be minimized. On the other hand, whole coconut should be treated in much the same way as other high-fat plant foods—enjoyed primarily as a whole food. As such, it’s loaded with fiber, vitamin E, and healthful phytochemicals, and has powerful antimicrobial properties.

The relative health effects of coconut oil consumption remain somewhat uncertain. Some people believe that eating coconut oil does no harm because it’s cholesterol-free; others claim it’s harmful because it lacks essential fatty acids. But we can’t ignore the fact that in many parts of the world where coconut and coconut oil are the principal sources of dietary fat, the rates of chronic disease, including CAD, are low. There is one major caveat: the benefits seem to apply only when coconut products are consumed as part of a diet rich in high-fiber plant foods and lacking processed foods.

The people of the Marshall Islands provide a poignant example. The traditional Marshallese diet employed a wide variety of coconut products, which furnished an estimated 50 to 60 percent of total calories. Seventy years ago, when this diet was standard fare, diabetes was pretty much unheard of. When their indigenous diet gave way to a Western-style diet of processed foods and fatty animal products, diabetes rates escalated even though coconut products continued to be featured prominently in the diet.

Coconut oil is so often blacklisted by health-care providers mainly because approximately 87 percent of its fat is saturated. Many people imagine saturated fat as a single tyrant that clogs arteries, but different types of saturated fats exist. They contain fatty acid chains whose lengths contain from 4 to 30 carbon atoms. Depending on the length of the carbon chain, these fatty acids have very different effects on blood cholesterol levels and on health.

The most common saturated fatty acids are lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Their carbon-chain length and main food sources are:

  • lauric acid (12 carbon atoms): coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil
  • myristic acid (14 carbon atoms): dairy products, coconut, palm oil, palm kernel oil, nutmeg oil
  • palmitic acid (16 carbon atoms): palm oil, animal fats
  • stearic acid (18 carbon atoms): cocoa butter, mutton fat, beef fat, lard, butter

Saturated fatty acids with 12 to 16 carbon atoms increase LDL cholesterol levels, while 18-carbon stearic acid doesn’t. However, stearic acid isn’t completely off the hook; some evidence shows high intakes could adversely affect other CVD risk factors, such as lipoprotein(a) and certain clotting factors.

As it happens, approximately three-quarters of the fat in coconut oil comprises saturated fatty acids known to raise blood cholesterol levels: 15 percent is saturated fatty acids with small carbon chains (6 to 10 carbon atoms), 47 percent is lauric acid, 18 percent is myristic acid, 9 percent is palmitic acid, and 3 percent is stearic acid. Case closed?

Well, not exactly. The predominant fatty acid, lauric acid, does raise total cholesterol, but it appears to raise HDL cholesterol to an even greater extent than LDL cholesterol, favorably altering the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. In addition, lauric acid is converted in the body into monolaurin, a powerful antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic compound—and coconut oil is among the richest food sources of lauric acid. There’s also evidence that coconut products have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. However, the compounds responsible (which include a variety of phytochemicals, such as phenolic acids) are largely eliminated when coconut oil is refined.”

– See more at: http://plantbaseddietitian.com/coconut-oil-menace-or-miracle/#sthash.ld9rrM3w.dpuf

Figgy-Mahn Rollz | Vegan – Gluten Free – Not Cooked

I LOVE fig newtons.  Figgy-Mahn Rollz are a much healthier alternative with a new pimped out rasta / reggae swag.  They are the perfect sweet-tooth fix, or a great energy bite for a snack or workout. Figs are high in calcium and dates with all that potassium, whole grain oats, fabulous fiber in here, phytochemicals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flaxy polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. What more could you ask for? ❤

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Figgy-Mahn Rollz

Serves 12

Crust

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup moist pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil (to grease baking sheet)

If using a food processor S blade:

  1. Blend the oats alone until a rough flour
  2. Add in the dates and the lime and process until it forms a smooth uniform dough

If using a high speed blender like ninja or vitamix:

  1. Blend the oats alone until a rough flour and pour into a separate bowl
  2. Blend the dates and the lime until smooth
  3. Using a fork or mashed potato masher, combine the date paste with the oat flour until smooth and uniform

To assemble:

  1. Spread the coconut oil over the baking sheet to grease it
  2. Spread the dough onto the baking sheet.  It doesn’t have to cover the whole sheet.  Trim edges so they are straight and try to make it an even thickness

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Filling

  • 1 cup moist dried figs, with the hard things on top taken off
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Blend until smooth using high speed blender or food processor

To Assemble

Spread the fig paste over the date-oat crust

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Roll baby roll!

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Press the edge down to seal it shut smoothly

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Slice into 12 rollz to share ❤

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Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | Thickest, Creamiest, Smoothest Ice Cream EVER!

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Click here to watch video

Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | VIDEO

Does anyone out there love ice cream as much as I do?? I used to work at an ice cream shop, and boy was a feeling like CRAP. This is ice cream that makes me feel AMAZING and it does not compromise taste for health.  It is sweet, smooth, thick and creamy and can be made the way you like with whatever animal free ingredients you have. Feel high on life all day eating ice cream for breakfast, and reap the benefits of all the cell and DNA protecting antioxidants, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Serves 1:  ~336 Calories

  • Uses food processor or high speed blender.
  • Easy, takes about 5 minutes.
  • Prep: Freeze 2 ripe bananas for 6 hours or overnight

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen ripe bananas (peeled before freezing)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Steps: Click here to watch my video~

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth- yup it’s that easy!

Enjoy!!

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Fat Free Vegan Blueberry Kale Bliss-Cream

Here, healthy + ice cream + so good goes in the same sentence.

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You will need: high speed blender or food processor

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 leaves of kale, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen for at least 6 hours
  • 1 fresh ripe banana
  • 1 soft medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries

Steps:

  1. Put the kale in first so it is closest to the blade
  2. Add in frozen bananas, date, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon
  3. Blend until creamy
  4. serve with blueberries and a dash of cinnamon
  5. Run around like you were just blessed with those beautiful legs. xo

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