Raw Carrot Cake Bites

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When I workout early in the morning, I find it very difficult to eat beforehand. I am one of those people however that need food for fuel; especially when I go spinning. I can last for the first 20 minutes but then I progressively feel myself losing momentum and all I can think about is what I am going to make for breakfast. People often ask me what they should eat before a workout because certain foods can leave them feeling sluggish or bloated. These portion controlled bites are filled with the perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fats to fuel your workout. Because of their size, you can still have a full breakfast afterwords without the guilt of having two breakfasts. Their high fiber content keep you full and help keep you regular (yay)!

The amazing part about these is that they require you to throw some ingredients in a food processor without any baking at all. They are a perfect on-the-go snack that feel like a special treat. I store mine in the freezer for a cold and fudgy texture. The chia seeds give a good crunch on the outside plus some added omega 3 fatty acids! I have already made a second batch this week. Zach says that these are my best creation to date. Let me know what you all think! As always these are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and this time, they are raw and vegan! Have a great weekend everyone, bon appetit.
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Makes 20 Balls

Ingredients:

•1 cup of pitted dates soaked in boiling water for 10-15 minutes
•1 tbsp almond butter
•1 tbsp coconut oil
•1 tbsp cinnamon
•pinch of pink Himalayan salt
•½ cup sultana raisins
•½ – ¾ cup walnuts
•juice of ½ meyer lemon (regular lemon will work fine too)
•3 tbsp ground flax seed
•1 tbsp maple syrup
•1 carrot grated
•1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
•1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

1. Soak dates in boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until really soft.

2. Drain the dates. In a bowl of a food processor, process dates until a paste forms.

3. Add almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, lemon juice, flax seeds, maple syrup and salt. Blend until well combined.

4. Add your walnuts, carrots and raisins and pulse just until combined. I like some texture in the bites so I only pulse a few times. For a smoother consistency, blend for longer.

5. Place mixture in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This well help you roll them into balls with ease. Otherwise, the mixture will be too sticky.

6. Pour chia and coconut into two medium sized bowls. Using a teaspoon, scoop out mixture and roll between your hands to make a ball. Then dip the ball into desired coating and roll until fully coated. Continue until the mixture is finished.

7. Place bites into an airtight container and keep them stored in the freezer! They will not freeze, but have an amazing fudgy texture! Enjoy!

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Coconut Brown Rice Pudding with Maple, Pistachio and Fresh Plum

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Rice pudding is one of those desserts that gives you that stick to your bones feeling that comforts you on a blistery night. The problem with most rice puddings however, is that it literally sticks to your bones… and your stomach, thighs, and ass. Can I say ass on here? In any case…I have created an equally as comforting dessert but without the added dairy, refined sugar and unhealthy fats.

There’s a lot of people who just really can’t do the whole brown rice thing. The ‘healthier’ taste can really ruin a good sushi meal, or a simple meat and rice dinner. Personally, brown rice has a nutty delicious taste, and white rice… well it kind of tastes like nothing. Which is why sushi places will add beer and sugar , and Chinese food places will fry it up (yeah…thats why it’s so delicious!) So I put this one to the test with Zach (the BF) and his brother in law who really just cant do the whole brown rice, bread and pasta. Let’s just say I prevailed with flying colours. Both of them polished off their bowls with only one remark… “some raisins would of been nice.” No comment about the brown rice taste! WAHOO! So hopefully if you’re trying to get a loved one a little healthier, this may be a good start. The fresh tart plums and crunchy pistachios are a perfect contrast to the creamy rice pudding. It really helps cut the richness of the dish, and leaves you truly satisfied. For a little extra sweetness and earthy delicious flavour, the maple syrup takes it to another level. If you like the classic version, then omit the toppings and just add raisins and maybe a little extra coconut.


A few important notes about this dish:
1. It does not keep well in the fridge! The rice gets a little hard and just does not have the creamy rice pudding effect. So it is best to serve this fresh and warm!
2. Sweeten to your liking. I used stevia to sweeten mine which was just enough with the added maple syrup poured on top. If you don’t have stevia on hand, feel free to use 1/2 cup (or to your liking) of any natural sweetener. Coconut sugar or pure maple syrup would work beautifully!
3. This is an amazing option if you are on a budget! All the ingredients are SUPER cheap and ones you most likely have in your pantry.

As always, this recipe is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars! Also it’s perfect for vegans! C’est tous. Bon appétit and have a beautiful weekend! Love you all!

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Ingredients:

•1 cup brown rice (not the quick cook variety)
•5 cups almond milk (if you use vanilla flavoured then you can omit adding vanilla)
•1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, or the seeds of one vanilla pod
•1 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 tsp liquid stevia or 1/2 cup coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of your choice
•1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
•3/4 cup coconut cream (the thick part from the coconut milk from the can!)
•1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
•1/4 cup roasted pistachios (roughly chopped, for garnish)
•4 tbsp pure maple syrup (for garnish)
•1 plum thinly sliced (for garnish)

4-6 servings

Directions:

1. Bring rice, salt, and almond milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and partially cover for 10 minutes.

2. Remove lid, add cinnamon, stevia (or other sweetner) and vanilla. Over a low simmer, stir rice occasionally for another 20-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Once rice is tender, add coconut cream and shredded coconut. Stir until combined and taste. Adjust seasonings as desired!

3. For an individual serving, add about 1/2- 3/4 cup of rice pudding. Top with 1 tbsp pistachios, a few slices of plum and a drizzle of maple syrup! Remember to serve warm.

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Buckwheat Mushroom Risotto with Squash and Toasted Hazelnuts

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I’ve gotten a lot of requests for some recipes that are both comforting and healthy at the same time. Without added cream, butter or gluten for that matter, it can feel like a daunting task to make a dish comforting. But, as we now know, my goal is for no one to have to miss out on anything because of food allergies or dietary choices. So keep checking in for lots of delicious, warm your soul kind of meals/desserts to keep you toasty right through winter.

Risotto in particular is a meal you associate with butter and/or cream. It is so delicious but can be entirely too rich and heavy for me. The risotto I have created is equally as satisfying without the heaviness and stomachache you would get from the restaurant variety. That being said, this makes a great side for any protein source be it meat, beans or tofu. How about turkey? The combination of earthy mushrooms and sweet butternut squash with crunchy hazelnuts just screams holiday! Don’t you think? This can be a perfect stuffing substitute for your gluten/dairy – free guests!

Besides for its delicious flavour, this meal packs a big nutritional punch. I used a combination of porcini, oyster and portobello mushrooms which deliver cancer fighting properties and can lower cholesterol. Many people don’t know that Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain but comes from a plant (despite its grainy appearance). It ranks low on the glycemic scale which keeps your blood sugars levelled – which helps prevent weight gain and obesity. Most importantly, this recipe is DELICIOUS and gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Happy holidays and bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
• 1 butternut squash (cubed)
• 2 french shallots (finely chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
• 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts (chopped)
• 2 cups mushrooms chopped (I used a mix of oyster and portobello… choose your favourite!)
• 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
• 1 cup buckwheat groats
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
• 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. On a large baking sheet, coat chopped butternut squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 45-60 min. Allow to cool.
2. In a bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms with boiling water and allow to reconstitute for 10 minutes.Place vegetable broth in a stock pot over medium heat and have a ladle on hand.
3. In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil on medium heat. Add your shallots and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have reduced down. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Add 1 cup of buckwheat into skillet along with oregano and thyme. Sautée for 2 minutes and then add 1 ladle broth. Stir until buckwheat absorbs all the liquid, then add another ladle of broth. Continue to do this until all the broth is absorbed, then add 1/2 of the porcini liquid and stir until absorbed. Add remaining porcini liquid. Chop the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and add to buckwheat mixture. Add apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
5. Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan for about 5 minutes or until oils are released.
6. Carefully toss cooked butternut squash into the buckwheat mixture. Top with fresh chopped parsley and toasted hazelnuts.

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