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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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.

 

Sheet Pan Spiced Chicken and Vegetables

One pan meals are pretty much my favorite. They’re simple, efficient, and most importantly, easy to clean up! I also love that ample leftovers are often a result. Plus, the options and flavor varieties are endless.

This recipe is loaded with everything you need: healthy fats, good-quality protein, healthy carbs, green veggies, and herbs/spices. Feel free to tweak the spice ratios to your taste and swap out any of the veggies based on preference or what you have on hand.

Meanwhile, I’ll be making this recipe TODAY on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll be sure to share the replay link once it’s available, but if you want to tune in live, the show is on from 3-4pm PST.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into large chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large broccoli crown, chopped into florets
  • 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To a large bowl, add the onion, chicken, sweet potato, carrot, and broccoli. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, sea salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken and veggies and stir well to coat.
  3. Pour chicken and veggie mixture onto prepared sheet pan and spread out in an even layer.
  4. *Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are fork tender. *Note if chicken is done before the vegetables (mainly the carrots and sweet potatoes), feel free to remove what’s done from the sheet pan and set aside while veggies finishing cooking.

Yields: ~4 servings

Oven-Baked Grain-Free Party Mix

I grew up eating homemade Chex Mix every year during the holiday season from the time I was a little kid on. It was something I ate copious amounts of (along with all the Christmas cookies mom made) and thoroughly enjoyed. I even adored its salty aroma when it was baking in the oven and it lured me into the kitchen every time.

Naturally, like any person, I picked out the stuff I liked best. For me, it was the cashews and wheat Chex, especially the pieces that were extra coated in seasoning and stuck together in a chewy sorta way. Anyone else know what I’m talking about here?

Anyway, after discovering I was allergic to gluten several years ago and then later going completely grain-free, I thought my Chex Mix days were over. It would have been doable when I was just gluten-free, but no grains at all is a different story.  And, honestly, for a long time, I didn’t miss or think about this salty snack mix much, but something struck me this year and I really wanted to create my own version. I also assumed there were many others that wanted a grain-free party mix as well. So, I figured it out and let me just stay that it’s amazing, salty, and still addictive.

I recommend using the best quality nuts/seeds you can find, meaning raw and sprouted whenever possible. Feel free to swap out any of the nuts for other varieties as well. For instance, hazelnuts and pecans would be amazing in this recipe. Macadamia nuts too. The plantain chips add some extra crunch and variety, and the big flakes of coconut take on the flavor of the seasoning while adding another layer of texture. Speaking of the seasoning, it is spot on and meets all the requirements. Also, I opted for coconut aminos and fish sauce to create a Worcestershire-like flavor because I don’t like the Worcestershire sauce options out there. It proved to be a winning combo.

If you give this recipe a try, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Cheers and happy holidays!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, ghee, or avocado oil
  • 1.5 cups raw almonds, preferably sprouted
  • 1 cup raw cashews, preferably sprouted
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, preferably sprouted
  • 4 oz package roasted plantain chips (I like this brand)
  • 1 heaping cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (find here)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce (I like this brand, which is gluten-free and unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules or powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large roasting pan, mix together the almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and plantain chips. In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter or ghee (obviously you don’t have to melt avocado oil, if using) with the coconut aminos, fish sauce, and all the seasonings.
  3. Pour the seasoning mixture over the nut mix and stir to coat. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Once cooled, store in airtight container.

Vanilla Cinnamon Espresso Hazelnut Butter

This recipe meets all the criteria (and more) of a great nut butter. It’s creamy, salty, nutty, and a little crunchy. It’s also subtly sweet with added elements of cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. The coarsely ground coffee is what adds the slight grainy texture and crunch, and it’s magnificent. All in all, it’s a match made in heaven. I think it might be the best nut butter I’ve ever tasted — not even exaggerating. It’s out-of-this-world good! Enjoy it straight off the spoon or spread on apples, pears, bananas, or in my sunny cinnamon sammie recipe (instead of the sunflower seed butter). It’s also delicious drizzled into plain yogurt.

Also, note that I used decaf beans in this recipe, but you can use regular as well. I don’t like to consume caffeine after 12-ish p.m. and don’t tend to eat nut butter in the morning, so opted for decaf beans. Use whatever you like.

On another note, I’m off to NYC early this morning with my close friend, Heather. We have been looking forward to this trip for months and it’s finally here! We’ve got some fun things in the works, but are leaving plenty of room for trekking and exploring. We’re kicking off our trip this evening with, Sleep No More and I’m super excited…a little scared too! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I’m up to (and eating) in NYC!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • Heaping 2 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely ground high-quality coffee beans (I used decaf beans from a local roaster)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (use 1/4 tsp if you want it less salty)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast hazelnuts in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and light golden brown. Give pan a shake halfway through roasting time.
  2. Once hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, remove some of the skins (doesn’t have to be perfect!). It’s up to you how much you want to remove, but less skin will result in a creamier consistency (the skins can also be bitter). You can also place the hazelnuts on a damp kitchen towel, fold it over, and rub the skins off inside the towel.
  3. Next, add hazelnuts (minus the skins) to the food processor. Blend for about 5-6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Once creamy, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as you like.
  4. Store in a glass jar at room temperature and use within a week. Will last a week or so longer if you store it in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Caramel Chocolate Cups

Halloween is getting closer and I thought it best to honor the holiday with these perfectly sweet pumpkin caramel cups. And, I gotta say…these are straight up divine. The combination of sweet, salty, and pumpkin spice flavors with a delicate bite and soft center is just right. It’s ridiculous, really.

You will end up with a little extra date caramel, but luckily, there are many other ways to use it: spread onto dark chocolate squares, use as a dip for apples or pears, mix into yogurt, stir into nut butter, dollop on top of baked acorn squash or sweet potato, or simply eat with a spoon.

By the way, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live yesterday and made my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters. These are another winning combo and great for Halloween as well! Watch the replay of my segment HERE. Also, if you can believe it, this month marked my one-year anniversary of going on the show!

Cheers and enjoy!

Caramel ingredients:

  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 4-5 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of sea salt

Chocolate ingredients:

  • 8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 5 Tbsp coconut sugar, or more if you want it sweeter
  • Dash of sea salt

Garnish:

  • Maldon sea salt, to garnish (find HERE)

pumpkin cups and date caramel

Directions:

  1. Add the softened dates to the food processor, along with the water, 4 Tbsp of the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Pulse to combine. If mixture still seems a bit too thick or chunky, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of coconut milk and blend again until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Be careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate or it will seize! Once melted, stir in the coconut sugar and pinch of sea salt. Whisk until dissolved.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners and add about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate to each liner. Then, add about 1 tsp of the date caramel to each and flatten out slightly (and gently) with back of spoon. Top each cup with another 1 tsp of melted chocolate. Garnish each cup with Maldon sea salt and place in fridge to set. If you want these to set faster, you can place in freezer.
  4. Store any leftover caramel in refrigerator and use within a week.

Yields: ~21 cups

Spiced Beef Stew with Cabbage, Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato

The weather has been chillier and damp the past few days, so this hearty, tasty, fall-spiced one-dish meal has been a sufficient belly warmer. Full of butternut squash, white sweet potato, red cabbage, ground beef, and flavorful spices, it’s a winning combination. Perfect for fall, in my opinion.

Also, this probably comes as no surprise, but the flavors are even more abundant the next day and the texture becomes a bit creamy too. The creaminess is a result of the squash breaking down more when reheated and stirred. The sweet potato holds together more since it’s starchier, but probably adds a dose of its own creaminess as well. Regardless, it’s legit.

Meanwhile, catch me next Wednesday, October 18 on KATU Afternoon Live! I’ll be making my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters that I shared last week. Stay tuned!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1-2 tsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Splash of chicken broth, homemade or high-quality store-bought
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste, if needed
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee or other fat of choice in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes. Then, add the ground beef and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage and 1 tsp sea salt. Stir, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, sweet potato, broth, vinegar, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Check sweet potatoes and squash with a fork and if need be, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust sea salt, pepper, and spices as desired.

Yields: 6 servings