Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (no cane sugar, gluten free, healthy-ish…)

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Am I the only one who craves something sweet in the afternoon? We made these babies last night and they were sooooo good…they are all gone by the way (ahhh!). These were pretty easy to make. I adapted this recipe from DishingDelish, but I wanted to get creative and change up the white and brown sugar originally required. Next time, I am going to try coconut oil or coconut butter rather than the butter that this requires since I didn’t want to change up the recipe too much. How perfect would these be to bring for your next “friendsgiving”??? As you can see in the pics, Sofia enjoyed stealing all my chocolate chips and kept stealing cookies every time I turned around for ONE second!

***The keys to this recipe is to refrigerate the dough for AT LEAST 20 minutes before baking in the oven, use room temperature butter, AND use parchment paper for an easy removal and cleanup. ***

Hope you guys enjoy baking these, they are definitely on my list to make for Thanksgiving this year. They pair really well with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk…YUM.

What you will need:

  • Organic Pumpkin Puree (1 can)
  • Parchment Paper
  • 1 and 3/4 cup of Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1.5 cups of Gluten Free Old Fashioned Uncooked Oats
  • 1 Cup of Coconut Crystals Sugar (this stuff is amazing and you should be able to find at your local grocery store or on Amazon!)
  • 3/4 Cup of Agave Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 sticks organic unsalted butter softened at ROOM temperature
  • 1 Large Organic Egg
  • 1 cup of mini semi sweet organic chocolate chips
  • 1½ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit, prepare baking sheet with Parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, oats, coconut crystals sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and pink salt. Whisk together until well combined.
  3. In a different bowl mix together the egg, pumpkin puree, agave, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, along with butter.
  4. Using a hand mixer or kitchen aid, blend all ingredients together until well combined.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips gently with a large spoon.
  6. Place dough in refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. When dough is chilled, use a spoon to scoop dough onto cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches of space between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Remove and allow to cool…EAT UPPPP!

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you want to refrain from the butter, use coconut oil/applesauce/or bananas and let me know what you think!!! (this will be on my to do list)

Here’s to a healthy and happy you xo

P.S. I am so grateful for you guys and your support on this blog, thank you.

Spicy, Ginger Orange Butternut Squash Noodles with/ Tofu

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Feels so good to be back in the kitchen! I seriously should invest in a wok with all the asian inspired recipes I’ve been whipping up lately. It’s my favorite way to get lots of yummy veggies in our system while also tasting delicious. Asian sauces tend to have TONS of Cane Sugar, Corn Syrup and MSG in them so BE CAREFUL. Always check your ingredients…I prefer to make my own and I value the use of potent spices. On another note, I made this with that four letter word most people fear…TOFU. I’m not sure if it’s because many do not know how to prepare it or the texture or what not, but I swear if you slip it into some of your dishes you won’t even notice.

What you will need:

  • Butternut Squash noodles, spiraled. Our grocery store (Wegman’s) sells them already spiraled which is a huge advantage into a quicker meal prep.
  • Broccoli or veggies of your choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • half onion, chopped
  • 2 packs of brown rice noodles
  • Red Garlic Chili Paste
  • non-Gmo, organic Tofu, extra firm (not cubed)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of organic peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • fresh ginger grated
  • lime juice
  • zest of 1/4 of an orange
  • pink salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • for extra spicy: use a Jalapeno pepper or spicy pepper of your choice. Make sure to remove the seeds and the membrane and wear gloves esp if you have contacts!!!
  • Soy sauce (gluten free)
  • Organic Sesame oil 1 tablespoon
  • Unrefined Coconut oil 1 tablespoon
  • Asian ginger seasoning (spices)
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Scallions for topping

Directions:

  1. Drain water from tofu and place tofu on paper towels, in colander with book or something heavy pressed on top (this should be done earlier in the day an hour or so before preparing this meal)
  2. Once the tofu as drained for an hour, chop into cubes and place in bowl. Cover with gluten free soy sauce, lime juice, fresh minced ginger, salt and pepper. Let marinate.
  3. Place rice noodles and butternut squash noodles in cold water to soak
  4. Place large pot on high heat filled halfway with water and heavily salted (this is for the noodles)
  5. Mince 2 cloves garlic, finely chop half a large onion, chop scallions for topping, chop broccoli into florets
  6. Steam broccoli
  7. Place noodles in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain but save 1/2 cup of water for sauce
  8. place coconut and sesame oils in wok or LARGE pan… on med high heat
  9. Add garlic, onion, season with salt, pepper
  10. When onion starts to look translucent (1-2 minutes) add red chili garlic paste, fresh ginger, lime juice, spicy pepper (if using), 2 tbsp soy sauce
  11. After 2 minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, orange zest, 1 tbsp maple syrup
  12. Pan fry the tofu in this sauce flipping occasionally, adding 1/2 of the sauce it was marinading in
  13. Add cooked broccoli, toss until covered in sauce
  14. Taste and season with more asian spices, add Sriracha here too for extra spiciness
  15. Finally, add cooked noodles with 1/2 cup of the water
  16. Cover and let simmer for 1-2 minutes
  17. Mix together and plate, adding red pepper flakes, topping with scallions and sesame seeds.

Bon apetit!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Life Hack #1 – Homemade Compost!

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Who doesn’t need a good life hack every now and then? Last week, Sofia and I made Gluten Free PB Banana Cupcakes  and we had banana peels and egg shells leftover. I decided that rather than throwing them away or put them in the food disposal, they could be repurposed! A few of our plants need some extra love so I decided we could make a super easy compost in the blender and voila…happy plants!

What you will need:

  • Egg Shells
  • Coffee Grinds
  • Banana Peels
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together adding water as necessary.
  2. Place spoonfuls on top of the soil.
  3. Water normally.
  4. Wait a few days, and the plants should be doing a little better!

I love finding ways to repurpose things and lessen our garbage output. This is a really great way to reduce and reuse 😉

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Gluten-Free Almond Joy Granola (Bars)

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These granola (bars) are bomb. I accidentally just ate half- woops! These are a much healthier version of the “chewy bar” or the stuff you find at the grocery store. I wish I could call them BARS but they kind of crumble together and become yummy granola pieces. Apparently, this is because I adapted a recipe online that had brown sugar and butter and opted for coconut oil and maple syrup- so I will be experimenting in the future and coming back with another recipe. But in the meantime, here you go!

What you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup of Agave or Honey
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup – I actually think it was too sweet, next time I will add less!
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup (or more, who is counting anyways) of chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Place almonds and oats on a rimmed baking sheet
  3. Place in oven for 9 minutes (give or take) to gently toast
  4. In the meantime, in a small saucepan add the coconut oil, maple syrup and agave or honey
  5. When it has fully combined and started to bubble, remove from heat and add salt and vanilla extract
  6. Take the oat mix out of the oven and pour the mixture in sauce pan over the oats and almonds, coating generously…add the coconut and combine evenly. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before adding the chocolate chips!
  7. Use a spatula and make sure all oats/and additions are coated in the syrupy sauce
  8. Take a 9×9 pan and place aluminum or parchment paper, spray with non stick spray (I love the coconut oil one!)
  9. Place chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan
  10. Take mixture from pan and place in pan, pressing firmly with the spatula
  11. Top with coconut and chocolate chips
  12. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours… I took mine out a little early because I was craving a taste
  13. These hold up well in the fridge or freezer. You can store at room temperature but there are no preservatives so eat within a few days

Let me know what you guys think! Sofia loved to steal all the chocolate chips as pictured above.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

 

Time to throw out your table salt.

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Salt is an amazing thing – it’s one of the most important elements in almost all living things. Not just for cooking and seasoning foods it can be used as a muscle soak, body scrub and more…

***BUT*** your everyday normal white table salt could be killing you. According to Dr. Edward Group in his article “The Health Dangers of Table Salt,” ‘Table Salt’ is a manufactured form of sodium called sodium chloride. While similar, this version of ‘salt’ is meant to taste a lot like its natural form by boiling/cooking sodium at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! Natural Salt is alkaline (great for anti-inflammation) has over 80 naturally good for you elements that help with adrenal glands, boosting your immune system and thyroid balancing. When you cook the sodium this high you get rid of all of the good for you stuff, and THEN in MOST cases, synthetic material is added to this mixture.

According to Group’s Article:

These chemicals include everything from manufactured forms of sodium solo-co-aluminate, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives. It may come as a shock, but most table salt is not only unhealthy, but can sometimes be toxic.

The natural forms of important iodine is lost when we manufacture salt. Without this natural iodine, the thyroid is severely harmed, leading to growth and metabolism issues. Because of this, the chemical-based salt industry began to add synthetic forms of iodine to their products.

Other salts add things such as processed white sugar and toxic MSG (mono-sodium-glutamate). And what about the color of table salt? Salt found in the natural world is not usually white. Table salt has been colored white with bleach. And where does this salt come from? Much of it is the actual flaky residue from oil digging. That is correct. Crude oil extract is one way we produce table salt.

 

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Get rid of your white table salt!!!
  2. Try not to use the table salt at restaurants (remember most of you food out has this salt in it already so try to reduce eating out as much as possible!)
  3. Try a good for you salt such as the Pink Himalayan Salt above.
    • Himalayan Salt is dried in the sun and therefore, maintains its alkalinity and the good for you elements.
    • It tastes better.
  4. TIP: Homegoods/TJ Maxx has some great finds– I love getting our pink salt from there.

 

Let me know what you guys think!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you xo

Lime & Tequila Infused Veggie Tacos, gluten free!

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Last night I was craving Mexican so I decided to play around with some flavors and it turned out pretty delicious! This would pair really well with a margarita 😉 Hope you enjoy!

What you will need:

  • Corn Tortillas (or flour if you prefer non-gluten free)
  • Organic Black Beans
  • Coconut Oil for pan frying
  • Organic Salsa
  • Organic Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro
  • Organic Mexican Shredded Cheese
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Shot of Tequila
  • Spices: Pink Salt, I used a smoky steak seasoning, cayenne, chili powder, cumin
  • Zester for the lime

Directions:

  1. Wash the produce and cut into julienne strips, chop up cilantro to top at end
  2. Open and Rinse one can of black beans
  3. Place 1 tbsp of coconut oil in the pan over medium high heat, add veggies
  4. Season with above spices to your desire, I add extra smoky seasoning for that nice flavor
  5. Pour 1 shot of tequila, reduce heat to med-low and cover
  6. Pour beans into small pot and take 2 tbsp of fresh salsa, cumin and smoky steak spice, cook on med-low
  7. Place 3-4 tablespoons of organic sour cream in a bowl
  8. Zest 1 lime, place half zest in sour cream, the second half over veggies
  9. Take the juice from half a lime and put in sour cream, the other half in the veggies
  10. Mix the sour cream with a spoon until everything is combined
  11. Heat oven to 200 degrees, wrap tortillas in foil and bake for 5 minutes
  12. Uncover the veggies and allow the sauce to thicken and reduce (see photo above)
  13. Once tortillas are ready, add veggies, beans, guac, cheese, salsa, cilantro, lime crema (the sour cream mix) and lime juice from a fresh lime wedge
  14. Top with hot sauce if you’d like–eat up!

Let me know what you guys think of this recipe. We used the leftovers and made breakfast burritos this morning and they were THE BOMB.

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

KBS (Kale, Banana, Strawberry) Smoothie- anti-inflammatory!

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Who doesn’t love a classic Strawberry and Banana Smoothie? As with most foods I do my best to put an anti-inflammatory twist on it. Also, we had some Kale from another recipe (Anti-Inflammatory One pot rice cooker meal) so we incorporated it to get our added Greens…

Also as a mama, Smoothies are my all time favorite way to get greens in her little body. She isn’t super picky with food but she is a Smoothie-holic…can you see it on her face? I also let her put all the ingredients in the blender and turn it on for an added bonus.

What you will need:

  • Frozen Organic Strawberries and Bananas
  • Organic Kale (fresh)
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Organic Almond Milk
  • Almond Butter (1tbsp) (can substitute cashew or peanut, your preference)
  • 1 tsp of Turmeric, cinnamon for topping!
  • Protein Powder of your choice, I have Vega so I used it here, sun warrior is my favorite brand though!
  • I didn’t add any sweetener here but you can add some organic local honey or a little maple syrup if you’d like

How to:

  1. Add all ingredients into blender.
  2. Hire a toddler to help you!
  3. Turn on blender, if not mixing well add more almond milk.
  4. Pour into cups and top with cinnamon.
  5. Enjoy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you!