No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

Sometimes, you want cake, but don’t want to buy special ingredients to make it or have an entire cake in your house. Am I right? Well, you can have your cake and eat it too with these scrumptious no-bake carrot cake bites. Not only are these grain-free, but they’re also dairy-free and date-sweetened. They’re incredibly easy to make and won’t wreck your gut either. Plus, you can’t go wrong with carrot cake, especially this time of year. It’s reminiscent of both spring and Easter, and tastes magnificent too.

These bites are loaded with healthy fats from the walnuts and coconut, and are naturally sweet from both the dates and carrots. Not only that, but you get a dose of vitamins and antioxidants from the carrots too. The warm spices add the perfect amount of zest to these melt-in-your mouth morsels.

If you don’t have walnuts on hand or just want to mix it up, try pecans instead. Also, feel free to tweak the spice ratios to your preferred taste. Luckily, you can taste along the way with this recipe, so it’s easy to adjust the flavors to your liking.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • About 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced (~1.5 cups grated)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted (pecans would also work well)
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Extra unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling, if desired

Directions:

  1. Place sliced carrots in food processor bowl. Process until finely grated.
  2. Next, add all the remaining ingredients, except for the extra unsweetened coconut (for rolling at the end). Process until ingredients are fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Mixture will be sticky when done.
  3. Shape into 1-2 Tbsp sized balls with hands (I did a generous tablespoon size for the amount I yielded). Roll into extra shredded coconut, if using. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 20-30 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~25-30 bites

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Slow Cooker Curried Chicken Stew

This stew is becoming a new staple in my house. I’ve made it numerous times already and enjoyed it immensely each time. It kinda has that comforting chicken soup vibe to it and feels so good to eat. The chicken is slow cooked, tender, and easily shreds apart. The stew is well-spiced, flavorful, nourishing, and loaded with veggies. It’s the epitome of a perfect meal and has been especially nice on some of the chillier days we’ve been having. It may officially be spring, but it’s still cold! Plus, you really can’t beat curry, can you?

Meanwhile, did you catch my segment on KATU Afternoon Live from last Friday? If not, check it out HERE. I made my magic green muffins that I shared last week for St. Patrick’s Day. Check out that recipe HERE if you haven’t already.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand)
  • 1 cup chicken stock or bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (find HERE)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch Italian kale, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken, onion, ginger, garlic, curry, paprika, turmeric, sea salt, coconut milk, broth, lemon juice and coconut aminos in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker and let cook for another 2 hours. Break up and shred the chicken a bit, and then add the kale and peas. Let cook for another 20-30 minutes or until kale has softened a bit.
  3. Serve on its own or over cauliflower rice.

Yields: ~6-7 servings

St. Patrick’s Day Flourless Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

These muffins are kinda magical. They have the power and capability to turn a beautiful mossy green on their own, which is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. The green is not mold or anything bad, and does not affect the flavor or nutrient profile either. It’s purely a natural chemical reaction.

So, here’s the deal: sunflower seeds contain chlorophyll — also known as chlorogenic acid. This acid reacts with baking soda (or baking powder) once heated and cooled, and turns green. It’s a natural phenomenon, but can be startling if you don’t know it’s coming!

If you want to make these muffins during other times of year and don’t want the green color, feel free to swap the sunflower seed butter for almond or cashew butter instead. Alternatively, if you still want to use sunflower seed butter, you can reduce the amount of baking soda to 1/2 tsp and up the apple cider vinegar to 1 tsp (lemon juice works as an alternative too). This will negate the green color.

Meanwhile, catch me making this recipe on Friday, March 16 between 3-4 p.m. PST on KATU Afternoon Live! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I used this brand)
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, plus extra for greasing muffin tin
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins (make sure there’s no sugar added)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins with a little melted butter or other fat of choice and set aside. Alternatively, you can line with parchment paper liners, if preferred.
  2. In a small dish, mix together the baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of melted butter, ghee or coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, honey, vanilla, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and coconut milk until smooth.
  4. Next, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Once mixed, fold in the raisins.
  5. Fill each muffin compartment with about 2-3 Tbsp of batter. Be sure not to fill any more than 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  7. Carefully remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack. Muffins will turn green once cooled and will deepen in color after a couple hours.

Yields: 9-10 muffins

Mighty Green Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is fresh, zesty, herby, and a tad spicy. The avocado base is combined with lime, jalapeño, fresh ginger, mint, cilantro and more to create a refreshing twist on the common chicken salad. It’s definitely reminiscent of spring and summer, and makes for a delicious lunch that comes together in a pinch.

I enjoyed eating this over greens with plantain chips on the side. It would also be fantastic with grain-free lime tortilla chips, in a grain-free tortilla or lettuce wrap, on top of a baked sweet potato, or with sliced veggies. Lots of possibilities to say the least!

Cheers and enjoy!

UPDATE: Catch the replay from Tuesday, April 10 of me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live. Visit HERE to watch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed (roughly 1 lb or so of meat)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced into quarters and peeled
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (leave some seeds in if you want it spicier)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the avocado. Add the all the remaining ingredients, except the chicken and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  2. Next, add the chicken into the avocado mixture and stir well to coat.
  3. Serve over greens, with sliced veggies, plantain chips, or in a grain-free tortilla or lettuce wrap.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Carrots with Fennel, Ginger and Lemon

These carrots are incredibly aromatic and exhibit a bit of a floral taste. The combination of lemon juice, crushed fennel seeds, and ginger create a beautiful flavor with the sweetness of the carrots. The flavor is definitely not for everyone, but if you like all of these ingredients, you’ll probably be a fan. If preferred, you can always add the ginger sooner to the pan to mellow it out more or opt for a lesser amount. I personally like the the fresh, vibrant ginger taste, but know it can be overpowering for some.

Also, make sure you don’t skip the step of crushing the fennel seeds. This allows the fragrant oils to be released and ultimately, creates more flavor. For those unfamiliar, fennel has a slight licorice-like flavor and is subtly sweet. It’s also a flowering plant in the carrot family, and native to the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, combine this side dish with green veggies and protein of choice, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. I even enjoyed adding a couple scoops of these to my big salad bowl I eat at lunchtime. It was delicious and a nice way to mix things up.

Cheers and enjoy!

P.S. – Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m feeling great about turning 33! It’s my auspicious year and a very exciting one to boot!

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ~1/4″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp pasture-raised ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: 2-3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee or coconut oil in large pan over medium heat. Place the fennel seeds on a cutting board and slightly crush using heel of hand on the back of a chopping knife. Add to pan and toast 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the chopped carrots to the pan, along with the sea salt and lemon juice. Toss well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 7-8 minutes or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Lastly, add the fresh ginger and stir well. Cook for another couple minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro, if using. Serve.

*Note: if you’re not big on ginger, you can add it sooner to mellow out the flavor or opt for a little less.

 

Chocolate Banana Walnut Bites

We had a snow day yesterday and it gave me the opportunity to experiment with the green banana flour I bought a few weeks ago. I’ve known about green banana flour for a while, but kept forgetting to order some. Then, I conveniently stumbled upon it at the grocery store. Score!

So far, I am pretty impressed with the flour. It worked well in this recipe and did not yield a strong or sweet banana flavor. It’s actually rather subtle. All in all, the bites turned out intensely chocolatey, subtly sweet, and slightly crunchy. In addition to the wonderful flavor, you get a dose of antioxidants, healthy fats, and resistant starch in these decadent bites. Perfect little treat.

Also, if you’re wondering, resistant starch actually, “resists digestion” and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to improved blood fats, better insulin sensitivity, increased satiety, improved digestion, and more. Cold cooked white potatoes, fresh green bananas, and green plantains are other great sources. If you want to learn more about resistant starch, visit HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green banana flour (find HERE)
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp cacao nibs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
  • 4 large medjool dates, pitted

*Note: if you want these sweeter, you can add a little maple syrup, raw honey, or another 1-2 pitted medjool dates

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in the food processor. Process until mixture is well blended and clumps together.
  2. Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  3. With hands, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place in the refrigerator to set for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~15 bites

 

Strawberry Coconut Butter Cups

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something chocolatey, right? To be honest, I don’t even really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but still like to have a little chocolate or sweet treat. So, I guess I celebrate a tiny bit. But, if you ask me, any reason is a good reason to eat chocolate. Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday though.

Meanwhile, melted dark chocolate, coconut butter, and freeze-dried strawberries come together in this combo to create a decadent, satisfying, and pretty sweet treat. Can’t beat the touch of pink for Valentine’s Day either! Use your favorite dark chocolate bar and adjust accordingly if you want the cups more or less sweet. Personally, I like really dark chocolate, but know that the darker stuff can be too bitter for some people.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4-4.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate (I used a mix of 100% and 85%)
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
  • 2 Tbsp ground freeze-dried strawberries (grind in a small blender, coffee grinder, or food processor)
  • Extra ground freeze-dried strawberries for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat, being careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate.
  2. Remove from heat and spoon about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into each liner. Place muffin tin in the refrigerator for chocolate to set. Meanwhile, place chocolate bowl back over pot of hot water to stay warm over low heat.
  3. While chocolate is setting, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the melted coconut butter and 2 Tbsp of ground freeze-dried strawberries. It will look crumbly, but keep mixing and smushing mixture down with a fork to work in the strawberry powder. Eventually, it smooths out some and is no longer crumbly. Know that it will not be drizzly and melty though.
  4. Remove muffin tin from fridge and scoop about 1 tsp worth of coconut mixture into each liner. Flatten mixture slightly with hands or back of spoon. Lastly, remove melted chocolate from heat and top with about 1 tsp more of melted chocolate. Place in fridge to set. After a few minutes or so, while chocolate is still tacky, garnish with extra freeze-dried strawberries, if desired. Place back in fridge to finish setting.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yields: 12 strawberry coconut butter cups