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

 

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Superfood Chicken and Vegetable Soup

3 spiced chicken veggie soupThis chicken soup packs a powerful punch and makes me happy. It is incredibly nourishing and healing thanks to the bone broth, veggies, and spices. It even has a dose of medicinal reishi mushroom powder. I was fortunate to receive a bag of reishi mushrooms from friends that grew and dried them, so made my own reishi powder (note: the dry container for the Vitamix works awesome for this). If you’re unfamiliar, know that reishi mushrooms are great for overall wellness, stress relief, immune support, and more. It is a great addition to chicken soup, but don’t fret if you don’t have it. You can easily omit it from the recipe or find it HERE. Also, if you’re wondering, it doesn’t really have any noticeable flavor either.

If you’re pressed for time, know that you can use pre-cooked or leftover chicken breasts (or rotisserie chicken) and skip cooking it in the broth. It’ll do the trick, but I do recommend cooking the chicken fresh in the broth, if you can. It’s more flavorful and tender, which makes it easy to shred into the soup. I find that it stretches further too because of how much it breaks up.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • ~2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8-10 cups chicken bone broth, preferably homemade, plus more if needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp grass-fed ghee or other fat of choice
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp reishi mushroom powder, optional (find HERE)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 bunch Italian kale, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Filtered water, to taste, if needed

Directions:

  1. Add the chicken breasts, broth, and bay leaves to a large stock pot. Make sure there’s enough broth to cover the chicken completely. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-low heat for 30-60 minutes or until chicken breasts are very tender.
  2. Once done, remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Drain the broth into a separate pot or large bowl, and set aside for later. Be sure to remove the bay leaves as well.
  3. Next, add the ghee to the stock pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and sauté a few minutes. Then, add the sweet potato and garlic, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté a couple minutes more.
  4. Shred the cooled chicken and add back to the pot with the broth. If needed, add a bit more broth and/or filtered water. Then, add the ground ginger, turmeric, lemon juice, and reishi powder, if using. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Lastly, add the chopped kale and stir. Let cook 2-3 minutes more or until kale is slightly softened. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.

Note: the shredded chicken absorbs more broth after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. In this case, you may want to add more broth when reheating leftovers, but it’s just as tasty eaten as a thicker soup. It all depends on how brothy you want it.

Golden Milk Cauliflower “Porridge”

golden milk porridge 2Lately, I’ve been craving cauliflower “porridge” or as it’s sometimes referred to, “no’oatmeal.” Regardless of what you call it, I’ve had a hankering for it. I made a big pot last week with what I had on hand and it totally hit the spot. I swear, it was even better than I remembered. I haven’t it made it in a long time…probably since I shared my first cauliflower porridge recipe. Anyway, it’ll probably be on repeat for a while now and fortunately, there are so many ways to mix up the flavors…just like traditional oatmeal. In this case, I went with golden milk as my flavor inspiration.

Also, you’ll notice that I made this recipe more nutrient-dense by mixing in grass-fed collagen powder and pasture-raised eggs. The added protein gives it a bit more staying power, in addition to extra nutrients. And, know that the ratios for things like the spices and raw honey are mere suggestions. Always tweak things to your liking!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large head cauliflower, riced or 16 oz bag prepared cauliflower rice
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 scoops grass-fed collagen powder (I recommend this brand OR this brand)
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or more to taste
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised, whisked

Optional toppings/mix-ins:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cacao nibs
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Blueberries, banana slices, etc.
  • Hemp hearts
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Grain-free granola
  • Ground flax
  • Extra drizzle of tahini or other nut/seed butter
  • Extra drizzle of raw honey

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the raw honey and eggs to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to mix everything together.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked eggs to temper. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
  4. Add raw honey and stir well. Taste and adjust flavor (spices, honey, tahini, etc.), as desired.
  5. Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.

*Note: porridge will thicken some as it cools.

 

Dairy-Free Tropical Turmeric Ice Cream

tropical ice cream 4

We finally had a break in the crummy weather here in Portland, and were blessed with not one, but two 80-degree days in a row! It’s been a rough spring (and winter) here with record amounts of precipitation and we’ve all been starving for the sun. Kinda weird to feel 80-degrees though when we haven’t even hit 70 yet this year, and have been consistently experiencing weather in the 40s and 50s. But man, it feels good and I’m actually sitting outside as I work on this post!

Anyway, I think the sun inspired me to whip up this tropical treat (that, and fresh champagne mangos were on special at New Seasons). It even seems like you’re eating sunshine with this one, and that makes me feel happy. I added turmeric for a dose of antioxidants and grass-fed collagen for some gut-boosting nutrients. This recipe would also be lovely with frozen pineapple (as an addition or instead of the mango).

Cheers and enjoy!

tropical ice cream bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh mangos, peeled, chopped and frozen for at least 24 hours (or buy already frozen)
  • 1 medium just-ripe banana, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least 24 hours
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed collagen powder (I used this brand, but like this one too)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground turmeric (I liked it with 3/4 tsp, but use 1/2 if you’re not sure)
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Add frozen fruit to the food processor with the coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and re-blending, as needed.
  2. Next, add the sea salt, collagen, and turmeric. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Scoop mixture into a large bowl and mix in the sliced almonds. Freeze for a couple hours if you want it to firm up a bit more or enjoy right away

Yields: 2-3 servings

“Peanut Butter” Chocolate Mousse

choc-mousse-3

Traditionally, chocolate mousse is made with whipping cream, sugar, some form of chocolate (chocolate chips or cocoa powder), and egg yolks or egg whites — I’ve seen both. Not totally sure which came first. The mixture is also heated on the stove.

However, my variation is dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and couldn’t be any easier. No stovetop needed and everything mixes together in the blender. I added sunflower seed butter too, so the final product tastes a bit like a peanut butter cup. It is so decadent and heavenly! Of course, there are no peanuts, but sunflower seed butter mimics a peanutty flavor, in my opinion. If you want a quick, easy and painless Valentine’s Day dessert, make this recipe!

mousse-bite2

Also, if you really want to go all out, make homemade coconut milk whipped cream (or dairy-based whipped cream, if tolerated) and top each serving with a dollop or two. Add fresh berries, fresh grated chocolate or a sprinkling of cacao nibs, if desired.

And, one last thing…I will be making this recipe LIVE on KATU Afternoon Live today, so tune in if you like (show is from 3-4 PST). I will share the replay clip afterward though, so you can catch it that way too. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE!

Enjoy!

pb-choc-mousseIngredients: 

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I like and used this brand)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey or more if you want it sweeter
  • *Scant 1 Tbsp gelatin, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one OR this one)

*Note: experiment with a little less gelatin if you want your mousse to be a bit thinner. Also, this recipe sets up fine without “blooming” or dissolving the gelatin first, but I know I am doing it differently than the standard. If you prefer to let it “bloom” in a small amount of chilled coconut milk first and then add it to some warmed coconut milk on the stove, go for it (you’d then of course mix it with the remaining ingredients & pour into dishes). I just know it works for me without doing this step and the directions on my gelatin container even instruct it can be used this way.

Directions:

  1. *To a blender container, add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla, sunflower seed butter and honey. Blend for several seconds or so on low or medium-low. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, if needed and briefly blend again. Then, add the gelatin and blend on low or medium-low to incorporate it into the mixture. Make sure the gelatin is thoroughly mixed in and the mixture is smooth, but don’t over-blend!
  2. Immediately pour into small dishes or ramekins and place in the fridge to set. Allow to firm up for at least a few hours or longer, if needed.

*Note: this can be whisked in a large bowl by hand, but it’s harder to get a totally smooth texture. You have to whisk somewhat vigorously, but it works pretty well. I have done it this way too and still liked it. The texture was a little thinner too. Blending yields a smoother, thicker texture. Both are good, in my opinion! If you choose to blend the mixture, but want your mousse a littler thinner, see my note above about the gelatin.

Saturday Sauerkraut Tasting

Firefly Kitchens kraut varieties. (Photo credit: Craving4more.com).
Firefly Kitchens kraut varieties. (Photo credit: Craving4more.com).

Alright, time to backtrack a few days to my Saturday, which I said I’d recap about today. It was a fantastic day and started with a great workout at Recreate in the morning, part of which was outdoors in the sunny weather. Afterward, I picked up a few things at Food Front Co-op, then came home and made a late breakfast, which I ate outside on the patio. Perfection.

Then, I got cleaned up and went to the sauerkraut tasting at Whole Foods that my friend, Ashley was hosting. Ashley is the healthy foods specialist at the Whole Foods store in the Pearl District in Portland and also the blogger behind Craving4more. She writes beautiful and inspiring posts, and definitely has a way with words. Sometimes, she shares fabulous looking recipes too.

Ashley and her wonderful spread at Whole Foods.
Ashley and her wonderful spread at Whole Foods. (Taken on iPhone)

The tasting incorporated a variety of raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut, many of which were from Firefly Kitchens. There was also different dishes to sample that included sauerkraut as an ingredient. I didn’t know there was going to be so much, and was still full from my late breakfast, but managed to sample a little bit. I sampled some Firefly kraut on its own (varieties included Yin Yang Carrots, Cortido, Caraway, and Ruby Red). They were all wonderful and so different, and they ferment for three months! I especially loved the Yin Yang Carrots, which is fermented carrots with ginger. Lucky for me, Ashley gave me a little bit to take home. The other flavors were delicious as well. I got to take home the remaining jar of Caraway too, as well as another brand of raw kraut that had beets, carrots and cabbage in it! Yum, yum.

Look at all that different kraut! (Taken on iPhone)
Look at all that different kraut! (Taken on iPhone)

As for the recipes, I sampled the pecan pate, ruby red beet and kraut atop of mixed greens (I liked eating this with the pate), roasted butternut squash with an almond butter/kimchi sauce and secret brownies, which incorporated sauerkraut into the recipe. These were raw, of course, so the benefits of the sauerkraut were not lost. These were also surprisingly good and you really don’t notice the kraut. My favorite, by far, was the roasted squash. The sauce was just to die for and not only that, but I am a sucker for squash! There was also a smoothie that had kraut in it, but I didn’t taste it since it was made with store-bought almond milk. I only drink homemade almond milk because it doesn’t have things like guar gum, carrageenan, etc., which I need to stay away from. It got a lot of rave reviews from the other attendees though.

My plate with various kraut samples, pecan pate, ruby red beet and kraut atop of greens, butternut squash with almond butter/kimchi sauce, and a raw secret brownie.
My plate with various kraut samples, pecan pate, ruby red beet and kraut atop of greens, butternut squash with almond butter/kimchi sauce, and a raw secret brownie. (Taken on iPhone)

Ashley has done a couple posts this week about the kraut tasting and recipes, so if you’re interested, please go check out her blog. Specifically, check out this post and this post, and also check back again tomorrow, because it looks like she is going to post more of the recipes.

Additionally, Ashley gave some great ideas for eating kraut. For example, use it on tacos, mix with tuna for a jazzed up tuna salad (egg salad too), roll up into a slice of deli meat, use atop of deviled eggs, mix in smoothies, add to salad, etc. The ideas are really endless, just don’t heat it, so as to not kill the live cultures.

Thanks, Ashley for putting on a great event!