Grain Free Granola

Well it has been far too long since my last post.

The past 6 months have been a bit of a blur, but in the best of ways. Life is constantly in motion and if you allow it to do its thing, it can take you to some amazing places and leave you in some very awesome situations. However, if you fight it, or don’t take the time to appreciate it, you can end up feeling lost, overwhelmed and out of control. Take a step back, take a deep breath and appreciate where you’re at, no matter where that may be. There is no other way to live! (Seriously, you’ll go crazy otherwise!)

Since my last post, I have enrolled in a program at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and will be certified to practice holistic nutrition in a year’s time! (and have some letters after my name, not that it matters, but kind of stoked on that) The program is absolutely fantastic and even though I am just a month in, the knowledge I have gained is huge! Loving everything about it and can’t wait to apply it to some of my new recipes.

Alright, now that we have the appreciate-your-life moment and a life update out of the way, let’s get back to the recipes. That’s why you're here anyways!


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Vegan Fruit and Nut Bars

I am one of those suckers that loves to glance over all of the packages as I meander through the checkout line. Like a kid, I like to give everything a once-over and every so often I feel compelled to pick up a bar or chocolate just to turn over the package and read the ingredients. The child-like wonder disappears almost instantly when I check over what's in most of the "health food" fruit and nut bars and protein bars in most grocery and health food stores! Tapioca starch, syrups, unpronounceable fillers and GMOs. I just can't justify throwing that in my cart, no matter how convenient it may be!

These fruit and nut bars are easy to make, sweetened naturally and easy to transport. You can make these vegan treats in bar form, muffin cups, or even roll them into balls. Just don't eat them all in one go!​

Vegan Fruit and Nut Bars

Makes 16 muffin cups, or 1 8x8 tray

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup  unsulphured green raisins
  • 1/3 cup mulberries(or more raisins!)
  • 3 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 4 turkish figs, stems trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup seeds of choice (I used flax and chia)
  • 2 1/2 tbs virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

​Method

Preheat oven to 350 f

Place all dry ingredients a food processor and pulse 3-4 times, until the walnuts are broken up.

In a small saucepan, heat ​coconut oil and honey until it begins to bubble, do not let boil. Remove from heat.

Pour hot liquid into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse with dry ingredients until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the desired consistency. Too chunky and it won't stick together, too fine and you will have more of an energy bar on your hands.

Place mixture in a lined tray, or press into lightly greased muffin cups and bake fro 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven before the edges begin to crisp.

Keep in the fridge for best consistency, although they do hold at room temperature. ​

Rich Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

I wish I could tell you a tale of how the weather is getting colder and snow is beginning to fall in my part of the world. I would talk of how the nights were getting longer, the air is crisper and the snow is starting to blanket my sidewalk. I picture myself in winter boots with mittens and a scarf, coming in from the cold. Hot chocolate and marshmallows would make the perfect drink to warm up from a lazy afternoon walk, especially since it's been rather chilly lately!

But as you can see by my pictures, that is definitely not the case. Life on the Canadian west coast is rough. Rough enough to deserve a warm mug of guilt free hot chocolate, complete with homemade marshmallows! (psst, make the minty ones!)

This is a lighter hot chocolate, made with cocoa powder and cocoa butter. The secret to its frothiness is whipping it in your Magic bullet or Vitamix. I like the mixture of almond and coconut milk as it makes it just creamy enough.

I was lucky enough to receive some samples from Wild Foods and their cocoa butter makes this hot chocolate absolutely stellar. Topped off with some homemade minty marshmallows and you are set for success! 

**Note - I received free samples from Wild Foods but was not otherwise compensated. I was not obligated to write about them, but I felt like I had to share their products with you. Check them out, their motto and products are awesome!

Rich Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Makes 2 cups

Healthy Homemade Marshmallows

There is something wonderfully childish about marshmallows. Whenever I see a bag of Jet Puffs I am instantly reminded of sticky fingers and summer campfires. Memories of marshmallows make me smile.  Even the popular boutique style ones, wrapped in pretty packaging and tied up with bows have the ability to make me happy. 

Boutique or straight from the bag, there is one thing that most marshmallows have in common; they're terrible for you. Most marshmallows are made out of syrups and powders that we can't even pronounce! There is a reason why you can grab last year's supply out of the back of your pantry and pack them in your camping gear again and again. Still smiling?

Fear not, for those of you who still need marshmallows in your hot chocolate or in your puffed rice bars, I've got you covered! This homemade healthy marshmallow recipe comes together in a snap and is actually a great source of collagen. Made from gelatin and organic honey, these healthy marshmallows are basically guilt free! *Tip - use the mildest honey you can find, otherwise you will have a very honey-forward taste

Homemade marshmallows are fun and quick to make. You can easily add different flavours or colourings to make them pretty, or leave them as is for a classic white marshmallow. ​Peppermint and chocolate make great additions if you're thinking of using them for hot chocolate!

Homemade Healthy Marshmallows

Makes 8x8 tray

  • 1 cup filtered water, divided
  • 1 cup mild organic honey
  • 3 tbs grass fed gelatin

Method

Prepare your stand mixer or bowl with 1/2 cup of water. Sprinkle gelatin overtop to soften. If you're adding the mint or chocolate (or both!) add them here. 

Line an 8x8 tray with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Grease with a little bit of coconut oil for easy release. If you want to dust your marshmallows for an old school powdery finish (I like it better), sprinkle a little bit of arrowroot or cocoa powder on the parchment.​

In a medium saucepan, add honey, water, salt and vanilla bean. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches around 240 f on your candy thermometer, or if you don't have one, you can (as safely as you can!) check the sugar mixture by dipping a spoon in and dropping a little bit into a cup full of ice water. If you can roll it into a little ball, you're good to go. ​

Once the mixture has hit 240 f, turn on your mixer to low and slowly pour in the sugar mixture. Once combined, turn the mixture to high and allow it mix until it looks like good ole marshmallow cream. This takes less than 5 minutes. ​If you're using an electric hand mixer, this will take quite a bit longer. Be patient!

Transfer to 8x8 tin with a spatula. Try not to eat it all on the way!

Allow to set for 1-2 hours. Turn over onto a clean surface that you have dusted with arrowroot or cocoa and cut into 1-2 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.​

Paleo Ice Cream Bars


Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free

Summer is in full swing and there are few things that satisfy a summer sweet tooth than a chocolate dipped ice cream bar. Haagen Dazs bars ​are a personal favourite. You know the ones. With their perfectly dipped bars that crack delicately as you bite into them, to reveal a smooth vanilla ice cream speckled with flecks of vanilla bean. That's the good stuff. Nothing else compares to their top quality bars, until these guys came along! 

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Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk


Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Vegan - Dairy Free - Egg Free

My first few attempts making almond milk at home involved a magic bullet, a small amount of water and a handful of raw un-soaked almonds. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. 

The trick to making delicious homemade almond milk  is pretty easy; soak the almonds for at least 8 hours or overnight. I like to use filtered water and I replace the water halfway through if it crosses my mind. I've tried making the milk with the almonds as they are after soaking, as well as with the skins removed. I prefer the nutty flavour that the skin gives to the final product, but if you have time to remove the skins after soaking you're left with a smoother, creamier, vanilla finish to your milk. 

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Coconut Almond Butter

Coconut Almond Butter


​Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Vegan - Dairy Free - Egg Free

Ever get the feeling that things are too complicated? When there's too much stress at work, home, during traffic or while working on your latest arts and craft project, turn to this recipe for simplicity and sheer deliciousness! Success is but a few steps away my friends. 

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Oatmeal Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Pistachio Cookies


Gluten Free - Dairy Free

Baking in someone else's kitchen is always a love hate thing for me. I love it because it challenges me to use what I kind find in someone's home, but it can be frustrating when they don't have the right utensils or the one ingredient you think would just make the recipe.

While I was away on Vancouver Island with work I had the pleasure of staying with my cousin, who is like a sister to me. As way of thanks for an awesome visit (and an epic chicken cashew curry dinner that her boyfriend made) I had to come up with something tasty to leave on their counter.

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Paleo Chocolate Easter Eggs

Paleo Easter Eggs


Paleo - Vegan - Dairy Free - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Egg Free

Although my love of chocolate never seems to fade, but come Easter time all alarm bells go off and I seriously need blinders when I am grocery shopping. Although I can't stomach a Cadbury creme egg or Reese's egg anymore, I definitely felt the need to make a healthier version for myself! 

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