ABC Fudgesicles (Avocado, Banana, Cocoa/Coconut)

 

 

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With the warm summer weather in full swing, it is a great time to play with some fun, frozen, kitchen concoctions! These naturally sweetened fudgesicles are a hit amongst adults and kids alike. The creaminess of the avocado and banana combined with the sweet delicate coconut flavor works wonders in this delicious dessert.

In addition, it’s always great to find alternatives to the highly processed, super sugar laden dessert options found in the grocery store. Below are the ingredients lists from two popular brands of fudgesicles.

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Yikes!! High fructose corn syrup, aspartame, guar gum, carrageenan, artificial colors and flavors, plus loads of other difficult to pronounce chemicals… this is not the stuff you want to ingest or feed to your kids! Carrageenan for instance, is a gumming agent that is known to cause inflammation in the digestive tract, which is the root cause of ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and certain types of cancer. In fact, drug investigators have actually used carrageenan in the past to cause inflammation in the tissues of laboratory animals in order to test the anti-inflammatory properties of new drugs. Steer clear of this harmful additive also found in most shelf stable milk alternatives, boxed almond milk, coconut etc. by making your own! The freshness and flavor can’t be beat! Injoy!

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Ingredients:

8 Medjool dates

½ cup water

1 medium avocado, pitted

2 small bananas (or 1 ½ large)

1 cup coconut milk (from a can)

5-7 Tbls raw cocoa powder

2 tsp. vanilla

pinch sea salt

 

Optional additions before blending:

½ cup fresh mint

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

 

Optional additions after blending

½ cup chopped walnuts

zest from ½ orange

dried coconut chips

 

Instructions:

1. Place the dates into your blender and cover with water. Pack the dates down so they are completely covered and let soak for 30 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Depending on your blender, you may need to add a little more water or coconut milk.

3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 6 hours. Remove by running warm water over the molds to loosen fudgesicles.

 

** This recipe makes 8 fudgesicles, I used half of the quantities to make the 4 pops pictured. Another option is to serve the extra as pudding. It is delicious as a creamy unfrozen desert as well! Injoy!

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The 21-Day Sugar Detox

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Diane Sanfilippo with Balanced Bites has quickly become one of my favorite authors and educators in the field of nutrition and health. She wrote the wildly successful New York Times best seller Practical Paleo, has an incredible podcast with Liz Wolfe, and offers a fun and approachable perspective to creating healthy habits in our lives.

Her new book, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, is an extremely informative and easy to follow guide to busting carb cravings and breaking the blood sugar roller coaster. Though the book has only been on shelves a short time, the 21-Day Sugar Detox has been followed by thousands of people over the years, through Diane’s work as a certified holistic nutrition coach. The program outlined in the book is broken down into three levels. The varying factors are based on your experience with detoxification and what your current diet consists of. For instance, if you already eat primarily vegan, you will likely begin on the more advanced level that does not include dairy.

The book contains an extensive list of foods to avoid and foods to include, a full menu plan for the 3-week program and over 100 delicious (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and Paleo-friendly) recipes that are worth trying anytime! The supplement recommendations and descriptive section on what to expect during the 21 days are both very helpful as well.

This simple, straightforward, practical plan is a whole-foods-based program created to help you reset your habits, your taste buds and your entire relationship with food. If you are someone who wants to take control of your sugar cravings, and experience better energy, improved sleep, and freedom of symptoms from a myriad of health issues, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the 21-Day Sugar Detox.

 

Game Day! N’oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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It’s game day. And my boys are fired up over here. There’s been a lot of buildup to the Seattle vs. San Francisco championship game and the energy is high in this Seattle living room. Being a California girl at heart, though spending my entire adult life in Seattle, makes things tricky. My brothers and Dad and many of my childhood friends are big time 49er fans, but you better believe I am decked out in my blue and green and super proud of my Seattle team this afternoon. Tooting around downtown last night proved to be a very spirited adventure! The city is alive with cheer and going all out with Seahawks support. The Ferris wheel is a permanent dance of blue and green lights, the Space Needle is dressed in beautiful blue flare, flying an enormous 12th man flag and even the corporate buildings are showing their support with floors lit up in the shape of a “12.” It’s big fun!

No surprise, I am head of the kitchen, preparing snacks for our crew. Since many of my friends choose to avoid lots of inflammatory ingredients… grains, dairy, sugar etc. These fantastic N’oatmeal Paleo cookies are a great fit for everyone’s dietary needs. No gluten/grains, sugar, corn, soy etc. They are a tasty snack that very closely resembles an oatmeal raisin cookie. The texture is a perfect combo of chewy and crunchy and the sweetness is a perfect dose! They’d even be great for breakfast! Let me know what you think!! Injoy!!

 

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Ingredients:

2 cups almond meal

½ cup flax seed meal

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 Tbls cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup coconut oil

1 cup raisins

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil with a hand mixer.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop tablespoon-sized amounts of cookie batter.
  7. Bake cookies for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies to cool and serve.

In the Vitamix: Ginger Peach Sorbet

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It was a dark and stormy night… the makings of so many tales of intrigue and adventure. On this particular Sunday evening, after an uncharacteristically warm and sunny Seattle summer, it struck me how black the sky had become by 7:30pm. And the heavy downpours were coupled with ferocious gusts of wind, lightening bolts that filled the sky with flashes of electricity and rolling, rumbling claps of thunder. Needless to say, no one at the Boyz Haus wanted to go on a snack run. Not even the ol’ ‘you fly I’ll buy’ deal was working its magic to persuade any of us to make a trip to the store.

And so, the kitchen adventure began. Titus, Katie, Jasson and I began to scour the cupboards and freezer for anything sweet and delicious. Nothing seemed to add up. Nuts, but no apples or pears to bake. Homemade nut butter, but no dates to fill. Gluten-free flours, but no eggs to bake with. We did however, have peaches. A whole ginormous bag of frozen goodies stocked for smoothies. We ultimately consulted the Vitamix cookbook and settled on tweaking the recipe for peach sorbet.

The whole process took literally 2 minutes and the result, out of this world! We added the ingredients to the blender, then Titus popped his head out of the fridge and suggested the last little bit of fresh ginger in the fruit drawer. About 2/3 the length of my thumb. Admittedly, I was skeptical at fist, trying to imagine the flavor combination, but that little addition really brightened up the whole dessert and gave it that wow factor. Another option is to add dried or candied ginger. I will sometimes add it to smoothies for an extra zing. Also, just about any frozen fruit will work in this recipe, and you can also use fresh fruit and add ice. Though, a word of warning, the couple of times I’ve tried it, the result is more of a sweet, berry shushy. I hope you Vitamixers out there give this one a try. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how it goes!

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Ingredients

1 lb. frozen organic peaches

3/4 cup coconut or almond milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 cup raw honey or other sweetener to taste

Instructions

1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in order listed

2. Turn machine on and quickly increase spped to variable 10, then to High.

3. Use tamper to press ingredients into blades.

4. Process about 30-60 seconds until smooth. Do not process more than 60 seconds as motor will heat up and melt the sorbet. Enjoy!