Blueberry Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (Passover-Friendly)

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I love looking at food photography of other bloggers. Healthy food or not, I find it so inspiring to see how others both create and demonstrate their food. After seeing so many beautiful versions of homemade Oreo’s or sandwich cookies, it was time I made my own! I had a visual in my head of a purple or blue cookie with a healthy Nutella filling. I love pear combined with chocolate hazelnut spread but I wanted to do something different! Back in the junk eating days, I would take a huge scoop of Nutella and put berries on top, so I figured why not inject this flavour into a cookie?

The base of this cookie is based on my Maca Maple Flax cookies. I wanted the same soft texture and sweetness level of those cookies just with a strong blueberry flavour. I love infusing blueberries into my maple syrup for pancakes, so I did the same for these cookies. They taste like blueberry muffins! In fact, if you add some baking powder I’m sure these can be muffins… (to test at a later date…)

The almond base makes these cookies passover friendly.There are no leavening agents or grains. From what I understand, most of the ingredients don’t need to have a Kosher for Passover label because they are natures foods! BUT if you are strictly Kosher for Passover over the holidays, make sure to check with your local Rabbi or ask a knowledgable friend! The lack of dairy in these cookies allow them to be served after a meal containing meat!

Passover Seders not in your near future? No problem! These are a PERFECT Easter treat! Because of their beautiful colour they would make a great addition to any dessert table! You can even use a cookie cutter to shape them into bunnies or eggs. How cute? It is always nice to serve something a little healthier and gluten free when hosting an event! (just incase!)

Good on their own or with healthy nutella filling, these cookies are a flavourful gluten, dairy and refined sugar free treat. Hope you all love these and wanted to wish you all an early Happy Holidays!!
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Ingredients:

• 2 cups almond flour
• 2 heap tbsp ground flaxseeds
• pinch of sea or pink himalayan salt
• 1 cup + 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (the light kind works best here!)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 egg
Healthy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes about 20-25 cookies

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and grease with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour,ground (milled) flax and salt. If your almond flour is lumpy sifting is a good idea!

3. In a saucepan on medium heat, begin to heat your maple syrup. Once heated, add 1 cup of blueberries. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the blueberries have exploded and begun to reduce in the pan. Whisk every 2 minutes.

4.Once the blueberries have turned the syrup a beautiful purple colour and have reduced slightly, add your coconut oïl. Once the coconut oïl has melted transfer mixture into a small mixing bowl and allow to cool for several minutes.

5. When mixture has cooled, whisk in your egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

6. Add the wet ingredients all at once to dry ingredients. Stir mixture until combined and a dough forms. Add your remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries.

7.If your dough is too liquidy to form into balls then place in saran wrap and allow to rest in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.

8.Scoop the dough using a tablespoon and roll into balls. Place onto baking sheet. Using your fingers press the dough down slightly.

9. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and then spread a generous amount of healthy hazelnut chocolate spread on the bottom of a cookie, sandwich it with another cookie, pressing firmly so that the icing comes all the way out to the edge. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks!
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Blueberry and Peach Summer Crumble

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Living in North American makes it incredibly easy to gain access to all sorts of fruits and vegetables year round. It has become so easy that as consumers, we have forgotten what grows when. Part of eating for wellness is making an effort to eat more locally which often allows for proper harvesting, a lower environmental impact and a positive economic impact for your community. It is quite simple. If you live in Quebec and buy Quebec fruit, farmers will be able to contain more nutrients within the fruit by allowing it to ripen naturally on the parent plant. By only transporting within Quebec, there is a shorter transportation time and Quebec farmers will be supported and happy! The consumer will be happy as well, knowing they are getting food that isn’t made in a large plant that is often focused on yield rather than quality.

Although we are blessed to have all these amazingly delicious fruits and vegetables year-round, I do urge you to stay in tune with what is in season and to buy local whenever possible. Although it can be more expensive, there really is nothing more gratifying then walking through a farmers market and knowing you are getting quality food while supporting your community. Don’t get me wrong, you will find me at Provigo, Loblaws etc… But I do make it a point, especially during the summers, to make it to farmers markets as much as possible. And its not always more expensive! That delicious (but expensive) iconic Quebec maple syrup you get in a can is actually half the price at Atwater Market! That alone is worth making the trip over!

So… what is in season now you ask? I know my readers come from all over the world so it truly depends on where you live. My advice is to find a well accredited website in your area and do a research. If you live in Quebec (comme moi!) you can click here  for an amazing chart of what is in season monthly!

If you take a look at that chart, you will see that both peaches and blueberries are in season during the month of July. In honour of their deliciousness I have made a wonderful crumble to celebrate! I highly recommend Jean-Talon, Atwater and Maisonneuve markets which are the largest here in Montreal. If you live elsewhere, you can check online for the best markets in your area. It is also worth it to check out small family owned grocery stores which often have the best produce and alternative products. Weekends are the best for making a day out of market and grocery store adventures. Drive a little further than you would normally, and you will be blown away with what unbelievable produce is available coming right from your hometown.
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Now on to the food. I love fruit desserts. Pies, crumbles… you name it, ill eat it. They are so easy to make and so very versatile. Any fruits you like will work and if you can’t find whats in season, you can use frozen fruit as well! How easy is that. I love mixing cherries, strawberries and apples. The possibilities are endless.For this summer crumble, I am using two fruits that are in season, but if you want to make this in the winter time, you can freeze the fruit yourself in freezer safe bags, or buy frozen peaches and blueberries at your grocery store. If you use frozen fruit, make sure to let them thaw and drain some of the liquid otherwise you might end up with a soggy crumble! Also, I like to leave the skin on my peaches for a more rustic dessert. If you hate the skin, feel free to peel it off.

You will also notice that there is a large amount of topping for this crumble. The topping is my absolute favourite part so I always like there to be an abundance! That is really the beauty of home cooking. Being the chef allows you to alter and adapt your dishes to how you, friends and family like it best! If you find theres too much topping for your pie, you can pour the mixture onto a sheet pan and bake for about 45 minutes for a perfect granola! As always this recipe is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugars. It is also vegan! Bon Appetit!
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Topping Ingredients:

• 2 cups gluten free oats
•4-6 drops stevia
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 cup walnuts
• pinch of salt
• 1 heap tbsp arrowroot starch
• 1/2 cup coconut oil (not melted)
• 1 tbsp cinnamon

Filling Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup maple syrup
• 4 ripe peaches (sliced)
• 2 1/2 cup blueberries
• 2 heaped 2tbsp arrowroot starch
• juice and zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
1. Prehead oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until well coated. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse all the topping ingredients until crumbly. You still want some texture here so do not over pulse! Make sure to use coconut oil in its solid state and not melted.
3. Pour fruit mixture into ramekins or pie dish. Using a spoon, pour desired amount of topping onto the fruit. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and beginning to pour over. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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Protein Pancakes with Maple Blueberry Syrup

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There are all kinds of pancake recipes I have made. Buckwheat, almond flour, brown rice flour, protein powder etc.. Eventually I will get all those recipes up on the blog, but I have decided to share the recipe I go back to time after time. These super easy 4 ingredient pancakes are so incredibly filling without adding loads of unwanted ingredients. Plus, most of the ingredients are right in your pantry. You will get a good daily dose of omega 3s, protein (13g!), vitamins, healthy fats, fiber and carbs that will keep you full until lunch.

Although they aren’t always the most photogenic, these simple pancakes (you can even call them crepes) are so tasty. I don’t know about you, but I like A LOT of maple syrup on my pancakes. But like anything, moderation is key, so by adding some fresh blueberries I have found a way to extend the maple-y flavour. As the blueberries break down with the syrup in the saucepan, the mixture becomes thick and syrupy making that measly tablespoon of maple syrup last a lot longer! Plus it is an insanely delicious sweet topping that go great with the banana flavoured pancakes. Add a little crunchy coconut or walnuts to make a perfect breakfast! This recipe is free of refined sugar, gluten, dairy and is great for those watching their carb intake or who are following the paleo diet! Enjoy!

A little update on me:

If you have read my about section I talk about some of the digestive issues that I had been facing. Since cutting out gluten for good, I am happy to report that I have had NO heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux whatsoever and am off any medication. Although I am not back to my daily coffee routine (because I am no longer addicted) I do enjoy the occasional almond milk cappuccino! I also can enjoy a glass of wine without any discomfort which is amazing! From my own personal experience, it seems that wheat was the culprit of all my pain and discomfort. I have been feeling amazing since starting this new way of life and am constantly changing and adapting my diet based on how my stomach is feeling. Everyday is a new challenge and I am excited to share with you what I discover personally and through studying holistic nutrition. Stay tuned!

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp flax seed
• 1/2 cup egg whites
• 1 ripe banana (mashed)
• 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
• 2-3 drops stevia (optional)
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• Optional toppings: coconut, walnuts, peanut butter, almond butter

Directions:

1. In a medium sized bowl, mash banana with a fork (or food process) until smooth.

2. Add egg whites, flax seed, cinnamon, stevia and whisk until combined.

3. For blueberry syrup: In a small sauce pan on medium heat add blueberries and maple syrup and stir. Cook until reduced and syrupy (about 5 minutes)

4. Heat coconut oil on medium high heat. Using a ladle, spoon pancakes batter and fry for about 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Then flip! Top with syrup and enjoy!
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