Cherry Cacao Fudge Balls

Can these all too familiar raw fudge balls ever be over done? I am not being very inventive here in sharing this recipe but these little tasty nuggets are so simple to make and bring me so much joy that I just had to share yet another recipe with you guys. Plus, this was my daughter and I’s Valentines Day kitchen project. She was the one who had the idea of making these. So we turned the popular little ball into a labor of Love at our house.

These are a great project to do with kids. My 6 year old daughter got her own little food processor for christmas and enjoys throwing all kinds of stuff in there and making her own concoctions. So she made her own balls (pictured here). She had the most fun rolling them and licking the sticky stuff off her hands afterwards :)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • dash of salt

Steps:

  • put everything but cherries in food processor and combine until everything is broken down
  • add cherries and keep processing until a ball is formed
  • roll into little balls of desired size
  • roll in coating of choice
  • keep in fridge

We combined 2TBS  freeze dried raspberries and 1TBS shredded coconut in a blender and pulsed to break down. That was one of the coatings. The other one is the same but replace the raspberries for blueberries. And lastly just plain raw cacao powder.

My daughters one’s are the blueish one’s. There is no recipe as she doesn’t write things down as she makes them ;) But I know that she put freeze dried blueberries and cranberries as hemp seeds in hers.

Sweet Potato Spaghetti

Grain free spaghetti that takes less than 5 minutes to make? Ummmm, yes please!! If you are a sweet potato fan and a noodle fan, than I don’t see why you wouldn’t love this! I’ve been making zucchini noodles for years with my spiralizer. And I truly adore them. I don’t see why I would ever replace them as they are my favorite noodle alternative. But these sweet potato noodles are so fun and much more kid friendly! IMG_1950 Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or as many as you want really)
  • water
  • ice cubes

Steps:

  • In a pot bring enough water to a boil where you would be able to submerge your sweet potato pasta with
  • in the meantime, following the instructions of your spiralizer, “noodelize” (that is too a word!) your sweet potatos
  • once the water is boiling put your “pasta” in, and set your timer for 3 minutes
  • really pay close attention as your noodles could quickly turn to mush if you leave them in the booing water too long. Taste them and take them out when they are still a little crunchy, but barely.
  • drain when they are to your liking and stick them in a bowl filled with water and ice in order to stop the cooking. Let cool for a couple minutes before draining again.
  • serve how ever you feel like!

For this time around I had made miso soup and the kids really wanted noodles to go with it. So I served it these. But of course just a basic tomato or pesto sauce would work great too :) IMG_1947

Vegan Raspberry Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Chocolate

Happy Valentines Day!!! This treat is more delicious than the title suggests. “More” because it is soooo creamy and dreamy that you wouldn’t guess it’s vegan.

I bought some out of season, over priced, still pretty tasty, raspberries earlier this week because I really wanted to make this Valentines Day treat for my kids. Every now and then I go out of my habitual seasonal produce shopping because what I have in mind sounds so delicious that I must make it, like really soon. And I am so glad I did not wait for spring to make this!!

This guilt free silky smooth indulgence paired with the amazingly deliciously simple crunchy peanut butter chocolate hearts made for a perfect Valentines for my family last night (although I will not wait a whole year to make it again ;) )

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Ingredients for raspberry ice cream:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup soaked cashews (30 minutes in hot water, or 4 hours in cold water)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 TBS lucuma (optional but it adds to the creamy texture)
  • 1 cup coconut milk cream (the full fat cream that comes in cans)

Steps:

  • put first 5 ingredients in the blender and blend on high until super creamy and nuts completely broken down
  • add the coconut cream and finish blending
  • if using an ice cream maker, follow directions for that
  • if you don’t have an ice cream maker you can freeze these in ice cube trays and once frozen put them in a food processor or blender to create a nice cold mixture. (You might need to add a little liquid if doing it in the blender.)

This is so tasty that you don’t have to make it into ice cream! You can just eat it straight out of the blender as a yogurt substitute!

While waiting for ice cream, make your chocolate hearts.

Ingredients for chocolate hearts:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 TBS natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 TBS honey or other liquid sweetener (adjust according to desired sweetness).

Steps:

  • in a saucepan, put the coconut oil and barely heat it up. Just enough to get it to starts melting.
  • Turn off the heat and add all ingredients except for honey.
  • Mix well until uniform
  • add the honey and mix until honey is very well incorporated in the mixture
  • pour in little heart shaped molds if you have them, if not you can pour this in anything (Ice cube trays, small containers, large containers), and set in the freezer to set
  • the small molds I have only take about 10-15 minutes to set

Fig Spread

Figs are not in season, but they are sooooo tasty!! That’s why I purchased cases of them and froze a bunch so that I could eat them at any time of the year. When looking for something else I stumbled upon these in my freezer and immediately I thought “Fig Spread”. So here it is. I don’t know who started spreading mashed fruit on things but I find it a very clever idea. A very delicious and clever idea. I don’t generally buy jam or jelly as it is packed with sugar. I will eat homemade jam that someone has gifted me though. Nothing like homemade goodies to make me temporarily forget that refined sugar is evil. At my house though, we stick to fruit sweetened jams if we buy them. Trader Joe’s actually has a brand that I don’t mind my kids eating. Nonetheless, I still generally choose to not eat it regularly. Making my own is a different story. Since I love eating raw breads, I enjoy switching up what I top them with. After letting the figs thaw, this spread was so quick to put together. And so incredibly delicious. I can see this going great with some porridge, or yogurt, or anything you typically enjoy fruit with! IMG_1718 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thawed figs (you can use fresh but the texture will be different)
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Steps:

  • Put everything in a food processor and blend until well combined
  • store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week

The Gift of Inspiration

Inspiration is truly a gift. Being inspired allows me to try out new things, expand my mind and get out of my comfort zone. Being inspired is how I keep the momentum going, how I keep coming up with ideas to improve my cooking, my fitness, my relationships, my life. I get inspired from all kinds of places: videos, Facebook, restaurants, magazines, blogs, conversations. I wouldn’t come up with half the stuff I do if it weren’t for all of those things. I am so grateful to live in a world where inspiration is so prevalent, where people so eagerly share ideas. Inspiration is truly a gift. Knowing how much I get from being inspired by others, I feel so honored to have gotten the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Knowing that others feel inspired thanks to what I put out in the world, is also a gift. Thank you so much to Karen at Sweetbabyveg for, not only following my site and my offerings but for nominating me for this award! Karen’s blog is so inspiring. She shares innovative (and delicious looking!) recipes and beautiful photographs of her vintage style and finds, and the gorgeous produce she grows. Each photograph tells a story. I am inspired by how she so beautifully captures her creations. Karen makes me want to garden :) And then cook with what I garden, and then take awesome pictures :)

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This is such a lovely award. This award allows us to show our love and support to other bloggers we follow and admire, while promoting their offerings to the blogging world and introduce new readers to their site. It also allows us to share our inspirations, because without inspiration, blogging would quickly become dull, no? And I think inspiration should be acknowledged. It keeps the flow going.

So here are the rules of this award:

1. As the recipient you should thank the person who nominated you by linking to his/her blog and displaying the award logo;

2. Nominate up to 15 other blogs. Link to their blogs and inform them about the nomination;

3. Share three things that inspired you the most this week.

Because I rarely play by the rules, I will jump to #3 now and will nominate my inspiring blogs at the end :) Here a some things that have inspired me this week:

1. Dried things. 

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Pictured here are dried dates, Deglet Noor variety. I don’t usually buy Deglet Noor as they are much drier than my go-to favorite the Medjool date. But for some reason I picked some up at the farmers market. Feeling like branching out of my juicy, rich and taffy-like date habit. I am planning on making a savory dish with these. Not sure what yet. If it turns out amazing, you can be sure you’ll get to read about it here :)

Also pictured here are dried chanterelles mushrooms. Brought to me all the way from the French Pyrenees. Freshly picked in the mountains, then dried at my parents house before flying over the ocean to land in my kitchen. What a special treat these are!! I look forward to coming up with something delectable to use these in.

2. My pedometer, the Fitbit. photo-187

It is such a tiny little gadget that makes such a big difference. I started wearing this pedometer when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby because I wanted to make sure that even if I didn’t exercise much, I was at least walking a significant amount. And it worked. So well actually that I have kept wearing it and love it. This thing inspires me to keep moving. It inspires me to walk to places I would normally drive to. Seeing the numbers on it motivate me to want to walk more as I love seeing the numbers go up, feeling accomplished at the end of the day if I hit my target. If I hit my target steps in a day, and didn’t do a workout, I still feel accomplished. I have also successfully stopped beating myself up if I don’t hit my target, knowing that there is always a tomorrow to walk more, making this tool an all around win for me. I didn’t think I was someone who needed to see numbers like that to keep me motivated to move, but it turns out I am. And I definitely don’t mind it. I end up getting inspired to walk all around the neighborhood just so I can get my steps in. And I discover new places, walk up higher sets of stairs with my boys and get my body moving. Seeing my progress as I go is inspiring to me.

3. My beautiful family.

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They inspire me every day, every week, every month. It is thanks to them that I live the life I live today. Most of my recipe creations happen because of them. Each of them bring different ideas forth that allow me to create something new in all aspects of my life. They inspire me to be authentic, loving, vulnerable, bad ass. They make me want to laugh and cry. They inspire me to allow myself to feel every emotion to the fullest. This blog wouldn’t happen without them.

As for my own personal nominations, here you go (in no particular order of preference):

Cooking with Toddlers. I love seeing posts in my reader from this person. The beautiful simplicity of her photographs and recipes are inspiring. And the whole feel of her blog is heart warming and sweet. Not to mention that she is cooking with a toddler ;)

Type one Type Happy. A girl with diabetes who knows how to live life to the fullest while maintaining a positive attitude through learning how to live with her condition. She has uplifting messages and great advice for diabetics (and non diabetics!).

Blissful Brit. This girl is fun to follow. She has a variety of blog entries, always entertaining and uplifting. She keeps it real and shares herself candidly. If you are in search for a fun, energetic, healthy, coffee lover who shares about her life, love of good food with a sprinkle of fitness and a bucketful of coffee, Britt might be your girl.

Earthly Radiance. This is my very good friend Sam’s blog. And she is all about sharing her finds in the natural beauty department. Weather you are looking to improve your skin with natural face cream, or make your own lip gloss and dry shampoo, check her out for tips on using mother earth as your greatest resource. Plus Sam has a heart of gold and a beautiful daughter, and both of those radiate on her blog.

Food For your Mood. This woman’s blog is so beautiful and inspiring. She has countless recipes, all looking and sounding delicious. She does a great job at keeping up with seasonal posts and giving us various recipes for each celebration. I highly recommend you check her out for some tasty inspiration.

Simply Sweetly Veggie. Here is a blog after my own heart. The woman at this blog has very similar beliefs to mine when it comes to what should go into your body. I love reading recipes where every single ingredient is something I don’t feel the need to alter to make it to my liking. She has a sweet tooth like me and seems to be equally in love with chocolate as I am. Yet never compromises her health to satisfy her cravings. Love it.

These are the ones that stand to me right now, today. I am constantly inspired by everything that I read here on WordPress, and if I follow you, it means I truly appreciate what you have to offer. Thank you to all of the bloggers out there for being a part of this world wide web :)

bRAWnie bites

Let’s face it, February is the month of love….of chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, chances are you are a brownie fan. I know I am. So coming up with this super delicious, healthy and raw alternative to a classic, was such a fun and happy time for me.  Moist, fluffy, sweet and chocolatey, this little nugget of delight did not last very long in my house. While these are healthy, I still serve them to my family as a special treat. My daughter was delighted to find one in her lunch box :) I always try and find new things to do with my leftover almond pulp as I make so much almond milk. This was a fun recipe to come up with. IMG_1794 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups almond meal (left over from making milk, but using ground raw almonds will work too)
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 3 TBS coconut sugar
  • 12 dates
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (I mixed goji and mulberries)
  • 1 TBS coconut shreds (for decorating)

Steps:

  • In a food processor combine all the ingredients, except for the dried fruit,until well combined
  • add dried fruit and pulse a few more times

If you do not have a dehydrator, you can make these in the oven: put on a baking tray at 200*F for about 1hour. Test the consistency to see if it’s to your liking, leave in longer if need be. I have never made them that way but since these are good even before going in the dehydrator, I think the only you could really screw these up is by burning them :)

  • scoop into balls on a dehydrator mesh screen
  • dehydrate at 105*F for about 6-8 hours or until desired consistency. I like mine firm on the outside and slightly moist on the inside.
  • Dip in some chocolate sauce and top with shredded coconut

Pistachio Delight and Nutella Divine

It’s February, the month of LOVE. Although love happens all year round, I don’t mind jumping on the happy train at various scheduled celebrations. So I came up with these, because Love inspired me to. There are two recipes here, but since I created them in the same day and photographed them together, you get them in one post. These little balls are quite a burst of flavor. I am especially happy with the Pistachio Delight as they are a new flavor creation of mine and I am super happy to share it with you. The Nutella Divine is just as the name suggests. Delicious of course as it has chocolate in it. The longest part of these recipes is rolling the balls, so if you want to minimize your active working time, I will offer an alternative at the end of the post.  IMG_1962

Ingredients for the Pistachio Delight:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup lucuma powder
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Steps:

  • in a food processor blend all ingredients for a few minutes. It will take a little bit for the oils to releases and start binding together. When that starts, add the pistachios and finish blending until a somewhat ball is formed.
  • the “dough” will be somewhat crumbly which is fine
  • using a teaspoon, scoop out a bit of dough and press it in ball shape in between your fingers before rolling it in to a ball in between your palms
  • place on a plate and set in fridge while making the coating

Cacao Coconut Coating:

  • 1/8 cup melted cacao butter
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup finely ground coconut shreds (I used a coffee grinder)
  • combine everything in a bowl and mix well

Roll balls in coating and return to fridge to set. Makes about 35 small balls. Store in fridge.


Ingredients for Nutella Divine:

  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS hazelnut butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Steps:

  • put everything in food processor and blend until a dough is formed.
  • the “dough” will be somewhat crumbly which is fine
  • using a teaspoon, scoop out a bit of dough and press it in ball shape in between your fingers before rolling it in to a ball in between your palms
  • place on a plate and set in fridge while making the coating

Pink Coating:

  • 1/8 cup cacao butter
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 TBS beet juice

Roll balls in coating and set in fridge to set. Store balls in fridge. In the picture I also rolled some of the Pistachio Delight balls in the pink coating. Play around and spread the LOVE!!! Note: to save active working time you can press the mixture very firmly in a pan lined with parchment paper. Set it in the fridge or freezer to set for about 30 minutes (maybe a bit more if in the fridge?), then take out of pan and cut into squares. Proceed with dipping in coating all the same. Although these treats are amazing without the coating as well.

Cacao Mint Shake

One of my favorite ice cream flavors is mint chocolate chip. It’s been that way for decades. Although I am very adventurous and will try and eat plenty of flavors, when in doubt, I fall back on mint chocolate.

I have had plenty of versions of this kind of shake, and it’s way overdue that I share one of them with you. If you are looking for a delicious and guilt free treat, this is it! The kids and I whipped this up under 10 minutes for our afternoon snack. I took advantage of the fact that I told the kids we were having a very special treat to sneak in some greens. They were so excited to be having a “milk” shake for snack they didn’t think twice about spinach that was in there!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk or any other milk
  • 2 soft medjool dates
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional but it adds a little flavor boost)
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs
  • 4 small frozen bananas

Steps:

  • put all ingredients except bananas and nibs in a blender and blend until the greens are well broken down
  • add the bananas and nibs and blend until a thick creamy texture is formed
  • serve and enjoy immediately!

Mu husband came home right as we were about to eat these, and I wish I had made more. This made a humble snack for the 5 of us.

Apple Carrot Muffins

Just the right amount of sweet thanks to the honey and fruit, these little muffins are sure to give you plenty of energy without the nasty refined sugar crash that can sometimes come from baked goods.

We finally ran out of all the muffins I had made over the fall and winter and stored for later use. Which means it’s time to get baking again! I love muffins. Not to eat myself but to have on hand for my kids. They can be so nutritious as well as versatile.

And if you make a big enough batch, they can be a handy quick snack.

These muffins are packed with vitamins and fiber from the carrots and apples, as well as from the flax seeds. Those also provide a good dose of omega 3’s essential fatty acids (the good kind of fat that helps with cholesterol). The almond base gives  this muffins a delicious flavor while keeping it suitable for gluten intolerant people. And the honey. Well that kind of sweetener just always makes my kids happy :)

I am hoping to put some away in the freezer, but at the rate my family is eating them, I better hurry up!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup small oats (regular oats work fine)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds soaked for 10 minutes in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded apple
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • soak the flax seeds in water
  • in a large mixing bowl combine first 6 ingredients and mix
  • in a blender combine remaining ingredients
  • pour the wet ingredients in the flour mixture and mix
  • grease some mini muffin tins and put dough in them
  • bake for about 10 minutes

This recipe made about 54 mini muffins. I think it will make about 16 large ones.

Natures Potato Salad

“Natures” because this salad is 100% natural, and almost raw. The potatoes are cooked but other than that everything else is raw which allows for this american staple to actually be healthy and packed with nutrients. This salad is rich and creamy, you wouldn’t guess it could actually be good for you! This is the kind of salad you bring to party and not tell anyone whats in it until the dish is empty. Because believe me, the dish will be empty this salad is so good. It’s almost sunday, and for americans, that means Super Bowl. Super Bowl is another one of those american get togethers that people use as a reason to over indulge in the worst foods possible with a copious side of alcohol. Most people go to Super Bowl parties not to actually watch football, but to imbibe. If you are one of those people, have fun, and try to be kind to your body. I decided to make my version of the potato salad, (which my husband says people would love to eat with a stack of ribs) to hopefully inspire some to try and be more mindful with what they put in their bodies this weekend. I know there are many of you out there, like me, putting out delicious wholesome twists on party staple foods, which gives me hope for the health of this nation. IMG_1858 Ingredients for the salad:

  • 7 medium gold potatoes, quartered and steamed or boiled for about 20 minutes (make sure not to overcooked them or they will become mush)
  • 2 large ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded carrot

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews (4 hours, or 30 minutes in boiling water)
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 3/8 cup water (is that a weird measurement? I just wanted to use the same measuring cup)
  • 2 tsp french mustard (although I am sure the yellow kind would work fine)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 date (or 2 tsp honey, or agave)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste

Steps:

  • Put all the sauce ingredients in the blender and blend until nice and creamy
  • Put all the vegetables in a large bowl
  • coat with the sauce
  • serve and enjoy