Yoga and Yum

Nourish Your Self From the Inside Out

Month: April, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Pie That Tastes Like Chocolate Pudding, Fo Real.

This pie should be illegal to make it's so yummy.

This pie should be illegal to make it’s so yummy.

I’ve been a little downtrodden lately about how terrible I feel after eating bar chocolate. My husband loves the stuff, and so do I. But even after a few couple squares of dark chocolate, even the highest-quality organic/fair trade, I have a distinct chocolate hangover. Boo. Is it the soy lecithin they use as an emulsifier? Or the type of sugar they use? Who knows. All I know is that it was high time to find a chocolate alternative that I could enjoy without feeling like I’ve been out drinking all night.

Enter this amazing chocolate pie. I found the recipe in my 2012 Natural Grocer’s recipe calender, made a few ingredient adjustments, and voilá! The best chocolatey, puddingy, confection EVER. No seriously, I mean EVER.

What’s better is it fits within most of the silly dietary rules that so many people are following these days. It’s vegan, paleo, and gluten-free friendly. So grab a spork and dig in!

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 1/2 cups organic walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted

Filling:
Flesh of 2 large, ripe, organic avocados (pit and skins removed)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
1/3-1/2 cup local honey (or organic maple syrup for a little “darker” flavor)
3/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine nuts, baking soda, and salt. Blend until finely ground.

Add coconut oil and pulse until well-mixed.

Scrape the batter into a 9″ pie plate and form into a crust with your fingers.

Place the crusted pie plate onto a cookie sheet (to keep the bottom from burning) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Blend all the pudding ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

Grab a spoon and eat the pudding and feed the pie crust to your dog. Don’t tell anyone.

When the crust is completely cooled, pour the pudding into the crust and refrigerate until ready to eat.

This is a great pie crust for those who have eliminated gluten and/or grains from their diet.

This is a great pie crust for those who have eliminated gluten and/or grains from their diet.

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

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Simple Blueberry Jam

Blueberries. Yum.

Blueberries. Yum.

Ingredients:

1 1/5 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) organic blueberries (or any other berries you love)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar, or to taste (blended date paste would also work)
1/2 cup chia seeds
*optional: 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs, OR 1 teaspoon cardamom….get creative!

Method

Blend or mash berries with the date paste or sweetener of choice.

Stir in the chia seeds and mix well.

Pour mixture into a sterilized jar and allow to set in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Will keep in the fridge approximately 3 weeks.

Note: Excess jam can be stored in the freezer in zip lock bags.

Benefits:

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Brain Booster Smoothie For One

Grab a spoon and dig into this pudding-like super-smoothie.

Grab a spoon and dig into this pudding-like super-smoothie.

This recipe was inspired by www.vegiehead.com.

Craving ice cream or pudding? This smoothie makes an excellent substitute. Somehow the blended avocado creates a rich and creamy texture. Combine it with your favorite berries, coconut, and any other super-food tickles your fancy, and your brain (and belly!) will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw coconut flakes
Flesh from 1/2 an avocado
1 cup organic strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup coconut water
1 medjool date
1 Tbsp. goji berries
2 Tsp. chia seeds
1/4 Tsp. ground cinnamon

Method:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend to smithereens.

Serve immediately.

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfect for replenishing simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals within the body. It contains cytokinins with significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic properties, and is very soothing to the digestive tract. But there’s so much more! See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Blueberry Cardamom Chia Pudding

Blueberries and cardamom lend a unique flavor to this tapioca-esque pudding.

Blueberries and cardamom lend a unique flavor to this tapioca-esque pudding.

This recipe was inspired by food52.com.

This pudding is a dainty little treat. If you’re trying to find dairy alternatives to yogurt but are craving something creamy as a breakfast, snack, or dessert, this is a great replacement. Try it with any type of berry that tickles your fancy and be prepared to savor!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic chia seeds
2 1/2 cups almond milk (or rice, or coconut milk)
1 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) organic blueberries
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Method:

Blend milk, blueberries, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and syrup together in a blender on high until smooth.

Pour blueberry mixture over chia seeds and whisk together. (Or put the whole shebang in a large jar and shake until blended.)

Let rest for a few minutes, then stir/shake again.

Ten minutes later, stir/shake again. Refrigerate and allow to rest overnight.

In the morning, give it a stir/shake and check texture. If it’s too thick, add a little more almond milk.

The texture will resemble a teeny-pearled tapioca pudding. Serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Almonds: Almonds are a Supernut. High in monounsaturated fats (associated with reduced risk of heart disease), almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in protein, which makes them an ideal snack. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Blueberries: These berries should get their own cape. They are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, meanwhile protecting your nervous system and brain health. They’re rich with manganese, and Vitamins K and C, and are also a good source of dietary fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Cardamom: This spice is an excellent source of iron and manganese, making it a rock star for blood and cellular regeneration. It also contains significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, and can be used as an anti-spasmodic and digestive aid. Great for the belly AND the heart. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Sexy Coconut Snowballs

Inspire romance with these delicious gluten-free snowballs.

Inspire romance with these delicious gluten-free snowballs.

This recipe was inspired by www.thekitchn.com

If you have someone with whom you’d like to experience some, ahem, romance, then whip up a batch of these snowballs and serve them with a little tenderness and affection. A drop of pure ylang ylang essential oil adds to the magic of this delectable dessert, infusing each bite with an alluring fragrance that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Ingredients:

(Makes 12 balls)

1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop doTerra ylang ylang essential oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically until it reaches a coarse, paste-like consistency.

Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ylang ylang oil, and salt and process until well combined.

Add 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined.

Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bring to room temperature before eating.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTerra because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTerra Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTerra Essential Oils.

Benefits:

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: This exotic oil is an aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, and sedative. It can help lower high blood pressure, balance equilibrium, and boost one’s libido. Ylang ylang is calming and relaxing, and is supportive of a healthy heart. See here to learn more about doTerra essential oils.

 

Raw Raspberry Jam

Smear a dollup of these preserves on a homemade muffin, or swirl them in your yogurt for an added boost of berry bliss!

Smear a dollop of these preserves on a homemade muffin, or swirl them in your yogurt for an added boost of berry bliss!

This recipe was inspired by www.vegiehead.com.

Few things are more pleasurable than a freshly baked goodie with a dab of raspberry jam. And fortunately, raspberry and other berry jams are exceedingly simple to make. Mush and stir a few ingredients together and voilá: preserves that are suitable for brunch with The Queen. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/5 cups fresh or defrosted organic raspberries (or any other berries you love)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar, or to taste (blended date paste would also work)
1/2 cup chia seeds

Method

Blend or mash berries with the coconut sugar.

Stir in the chia seeds and mix well.

Pour mixture into a sterilized jar and allow to set in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

Will keep in the fridge approximately 3 weeks

Note: Excess jam can be stored in the freezer in zip lock bags.

Benefits:

Chia Seeds: “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Once an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, they are now favored by athletes and birthing mothers for their strength and energy enhancing properties. They are a great source of omega-3 acids, calcium, protein, fiber and potassium. Plus they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Coconut Sugar: This sweetener contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar does not cause your blood sugar to spike as quickly as its sugar-cane based relatives, which is a real plus for diabetics and others who are concerned with maintaining stable insulin levels. See here for more nutritional info.

Raspberries: These little berries are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, and dietary fiber. They also abound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients which help protect against oxidative stress and excessive inflammation. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Warning! These are an exercise in willpower not to eat all at once. Just sayin...

Warning! These are an exercise in willpower not to eat them all at once. Just sayin…

This recipe was inspired by www.cindystable.com.

After a bit of a debacle making paleo banana bread muffins that resembled hockey pucks, I had nearly given up hope of perfecting a paleo any kind of muffin…Until now. These precious bites of love are light, silky, and versatile. For variety, trying replacing pumpkin with apple sauce and the walnuts with pecans. Add a sprinkle of powdered ginger or cardamom, and you will have yourself a delicious breakfast or snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin (or make your own pumpkin puree)
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup apple sauce
6 eggs (yes, 6.)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*Optional: 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
*Optional: 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
*Optional: 1/4 cup chopped dates, dried currants, or dried figs

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare 12 muffin cups lined with paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices together.

Whisk remaining wet ingredients, except for the pumpkin, together.  Combine well but don’t over mix!

Fold in pumpkin mixture.

Divide batter between muffin cups.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Benefits:

Apple Sauce:  My, what balanced phytonutrients you have, oh beloved apple. Apples contain a wide array of polyphenols which help regulate our blood sugar. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, and fiber. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It’s also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories.
See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

These muffins make terrific mini-PB&J sammies.

These muffins make terrific mini-PB&J sammies.