Super Foods

Paleo Cocoa Treats – Tastes Like Ferrero Rocher Chocolates!

Cocoa treats

I was craving chocolate the other day, so I decided to try out my new found base for deserts…homemade coconut butter and cocoa butter base, the ending result reminded me of those chocolate balls wrapped in light gold foil that appear around Christmas time….Ferrero Rocher Chocolates!

I think what did the trick was the toasted pecans I added. I’m so glad I was able to record the exact recipe because these are defiantly a keeper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C coconut butter, at room temp (I use homemade- just put coconut shreds in a food processor and blend about 10 minutes or until it turns to “butter”)
  • 1 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil or cocoa butter, melted
  • ½  tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs chia seed
  • 3 Tbs toasted pecans

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients except for the pecans in a food processor or in a mixing bowl and mix until combined, then mix in the pecans and pulse until combined or mix in if using a mixing bowl.
  2. Form into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Once the balls have hardened, transfer to a glass container with a lid where they can keep in the fridge  for about 10 days (maybe longer)

~Enjoy

Get Ready For Fall…AMAZING Coconut, Apple-Cinnamon Treat!!

Apple_Coco-luscious

This recipe has become a family favorite around here. My little one called it coco-lishious when he took his first bite, so I took it a step further and called it coco-luscious! The name can be deceiving…This recipe does not have cocoa in it, it’s rather short for coco-nut…I felt compelled to share that for some reason 🙂

When I found this amazing recipe on PaleOMG, it was an instant favorite, I loved it, but I had to add a little sweetener and vanilla to my complete liking (if I must be honest). It really tastes like a fall treat and a wonderful snack when your craving something sweet, minus the guilt.

This recipe has opened my appetite to the flavors of possibilities 🙂

Ingredients:

1 Tbs coconut oil for sautéing
2 green apples, cored, peeled and diced

1/2 C coconut butter (click here for homemade) softened
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted

1-2 Tbs maple syrup or local raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of unrefined sea salt

Instructions:

1. Sauté apples in 1 Tbs coconut oil for about 5 minutes or until soft, don’t let brown.
2. If coconut butter and/or oil is hard, place in a stainless steel mixing bowl and place over a pan of boiling water to soften/melt.
3. If your coconut butter and oil are already soft/ melted, place in a mixing bowl and add the ingredients in order – sweetener, cinnamon, salt, cooked apples – mixing with a fork each ingredient one by one well before adding the next.
4. When the ingredients at all blended, place in a greased muffin tin or cup cake paper and place in fridge for 20 minutes or until hard before eating.

These need to be kept cool or else they might melt.

Enjoy!!

Soaked Buckwheat Crispy Granola (Almond -Vanilla)

Soaked Buckwheat Granola

To make this Paleo, omit the buckwheat.

This recipe may seem intimidating and overwhelming to look at, but after you’ve done it once, you will see how easy and worth it is to make. This recipe has individualized formula options. It should be noted that over consumption of nuts and seeds may cause abdominal discomfort in some, however since this recipe is soaked, it may help certain people with digestion issues. Try not to go overboard and don’t consume more than a handful (meaning what can fit  in your hand) a day to be on the safe side.

*Depending on the nuts and seeds you have on hand, your recipe may change often. If you find a specific formula you like best, keep with it. The formula is given to show that there are choices because of individual preference and/or allergies.

An example formula is as follows; 1 C almonds, 1 C pecans, 1 C cashews, ½ C sunflower seeds, ½ C pumpkin seeds. Then add ½ Cup chia seeds after blending the nuts/seeds mixture.

Ingredients:

Group 1:

  • 1 C hulled buckwheat seeds, washed and rinsed
  • 3 C raw nuts; choose a mixture of any of the following – almonds (without peels), walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, hazel nuts (skins removed), shelled pistachio (NOTE: make sure any nuts are raw, NOT roasted or salted)
  • ½ C raw seeds; choose a mixture of any of the following – pumpkin seeds, pine nut, sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp. unrefined salt for soaking, plus more for later

Group 2:

  • 1 ¼ C maple syrup grade B or local raw honey
  • 4 Tbs. coconut oil or grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. unrefined salt
  • 2 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Group 3:

  • 1 ½ C coconut shreds
  • ½ C seeds to add after blending; choose a mixture of any of the following – chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds

Group 4:

  • ½ – 1 C dried fruit of choice (optional, or you could add to individual servings or use fresh fruit/berries)

Instructions:

  1. Wash well and strain the water from the buckwheat, nuts and seeds you have chosen for your mixture from group 1.
  2. Place the mixture in a glass or stainless steel bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and cover with filtered water, enough to cover mixture by 1 inch.
  3. Cover with a lid/plate and let sit for 12-24 hours.
  4. Next, strain the mixture and wash very well several times (the mixture will be slimy, but don’t worry – the final product will be crunchy).
  5. Drain excess water by placing mixture on paper towels.
  6. In many batches if needed -place mixture in a food processer and blend until nuts break down and begin to look crumbly; about 1 minute.
  7. Then transfer mixture to a larger mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients from group 2 and 3; mix well with a fork.

*DONT ADD GROUP 4 YET, that will be the final step after the mixture is dry.

Drying Your Mixture:

To dry out your final mixture spread a thin layer of mixture on trays or cookie sheets; either use a dehydrator or oven.

  • If using a Dehydrator – layer trays with parchment paper and then spread a thin layer of mixture and dry at 120 degree for 24 hours.
  • If using the Oven – layer cookie sheets with parchment paper and then spread a thin layer of mixture, then bake in the oven at 200 degree or lower (many ovens only go down to 200) bake for about 4 hours or longer. Keep the door cracked with a wooden spoon to let moisture escape. Check on mixture every hour or so and flip or mix as needed to dry out.

The mixture when warm will feel moist but it will become dry and crispy as it cools. When the is done, slide parchment paper on counter and let cool completely. If it needs more drying and has been a couple hours, simply place back in the oven or dehydrator – Keep an eye on it.

Final Step:

When it is done drying, add dried fruits from group 4 and mix. You can break the pieces into any size you like and enjoy with some raw grass-fed milk or other non dairy milk of choice, Greek yogurt, homemade nutella, or anything else…?

Let it dry completely before storing. Can be stored on counter top for about 5 days (or longer, you will need to be the judge of taste) or in fridge for about 1 month.

Fenugreek Porridge

Fenugreek Porridge

Many breast feeding moms have at one time or another heard of fenugreek tea to help increase breast production. I tried it myself once using the seeds (not tea bag) and thought “I wonder if there is a porridge out there made from this”. That was because the consistency was really soft and chewy.

Fast forward years later and on a trip to the Middle East, I was served Madeeda Hilba (in Arabic, Hilba means fenugreek) and I recognized the flavor from the tea I made years prior. I am sure the most healthy ingredients were not present in the dish; flour and sugar play a major role in this recipe, but it was really good and a flavor that stuck in my memory.

I recently was in a situation with my youngest child who needed a boost to help fight off a cold he caught so I made a tea with ginger, green onion roots, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom. I had made such a big batch I had to use it up for something, then I saw I had fenugreek seeds and since he had excess mucus and his appetite was poor, I thought I’d make him some sweetened porridge with the extra tea I made. He loved it! It was great, I was able to get all the goodness of the spiced tea I made for him, plus the fenugreek. I really enjoyed it too 🙂

One thing I learned from the first batch was that the seeds should be toasted which can be done by heating up a pan or in the oven and dry roasting the until .they become a little reddish color. The reason for this is that they are sooo bitter. Be careful not to burn them.

Use this recipe as the base, and play around with it by adding different nuts, seeds, spices and so on.

*Note – Fenugreek is excellent for ridding the body of excess mucus, increasing milk supply if needed, helping in fighting infection, aphrodisiac, and many more benefits.

You can make a big batch a few days in advance, it lasts about 5 days refrigerated.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C roasted fenugreek seeds
  • 2 C filtered water or tea (herbal or spiced)
  • 1/4 C brown rice or wild rice (arrowroot might work, I haven’t tried it yet)

Toppings:

  • honey or other sweetener
  • coconut shreds
  • nuts/seeds; walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, and so on
  • dried fruits; raisins, mango, peach…
  • coconut milk or raw grass-fed milk
  • coconut oil or butter

Instructions:

  1. Soak the toasted feugreek seeds and brown rice in the 2 cups of water or tea overnight.
  2. Next morning, bring to a boil and simmer until soft, adding more liquid if needed, keep checking. This will take about 1 hour.
  3. When it’s finished, top with honey or other sweetener to taste and coconut shreds along with anything else you like.

This can be made creamy by either grinding the seeds and rice to make a flour before cooking or blending after the mix has cooked, then using a milk to further cook in. Play around with it and enjoy~

Chia-Goji “Pudding”

Chia_Goji_Pudding

I was soaking chia seeds and goji berries for my smoothie but when I went to put it in, it looked like pudding to me so I tried it, and it was surprisingly delicious. It had just the right amount of sweetness. I ended up eating just that by itself and no need for the smoothie. My 3 year old also loved it. I was thinking it would be a great addition to Healthy Kids Snacks.

I’ll start off with the recipe, then tell you about the benefits so while your waiting for the seeds to soak, you can read all the benefits you are about to put in your body by eating these amazing super foods :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. goji berries
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds
  • Enough coconut water, or filtered water to cover the seeds completely, they will expand and absorb all the liquid.

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a small bowl or cup.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer and ENJOY :)

Note: You can play with the flavors, even add some nuts, berries, and any other super food you like :)

Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Chia seeds have been a staple food source for the Native American people for centuries. Aztec warriors would eat chia during hunting trips, and the Native Americans of the Southwest would eat only chia seed mixed with water as they ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade products. Recently, the press has picked up on Chia and its amazing attributes.

Nutrients Contained:

  • This is a perfect food containing essential fatty acids, protein, as well as being a soluble fiber.
  • Omega-3s
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • B-vitamins
  • Boron
  • The seeds and oil naturally contain more than 60% omega-3 fatty acid. This is higher than any other plant we know. Chia seeds do not have to be ground up prior to consumption like many other seeds high in good fats, which adds a convenience factor.
  • Protein; it is estimated that between 19–23 percent of the seed by weight is protein. This is higher than most other seeds and grains. Combining the good fats with an excellent source of protein make this a dieter’s dream.
  • Chia contains vitamin C and vitamin E but also has something named cinnamic acids. It is believed that these three (especially the cinnamic acid) help preserve the seeds and, more importantly, protect the good fats from oxidizing (going bad). This is why chia is a stable product for years.

Chia can absorb up to 30 times its weight in water. This also works with other liquids like juices. This ability can prolong hydration (i call it having time-released water) and retain electrolytes in body fluids, especially during exertion or exercise. A 15 gram serving of chia seeds can provide you with 4-5 grams of fiber.

Benefits:

The nutritional profile of chia is amazing. Here are just a few benefits:

  • Weight loss and blood sugar control
  • Heart disease
  • Bone health
  • Digestive disorders

Helpful for the following conditions:

  • Weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Bone health
  • Digestive disorders

How to take it/ Dosage: Chia should be considered part of your everyday diet and not a supplement. It has virtually no flavor so you can add it to almost any food or drink. 2-4 Tbs. per day is a dose that many people take.

Side Effects: none known

 

Goji Berriesgoji berry

These red berries grow on vines in the protected valleys of inner Mongolia and Tibet.  Goji berries have many interesting legends associated with them, particularly Chinese.

Nutrients Contained:

Goji berries provide overall nourishment by providing an amazing number of rich nutrients; the number of nutrients that it contains by way of amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides, HGH (human growth hormone), are too many to be listed, here is a short list:

  • Very rich source of vitamin C, having 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges and more than any other fruit.
  • They are a superb source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E
  • Full complement of protein with 18 amino acids
  • 21 trace minerals
  • More antioxidants than any other food
  • More iron than steak
  • More beta-carotene than carrots

Benefits: An important thing to remember is that goji berries should not be used to treat illness but to prevent it from occurring.

  • Increases immunity
  • Protects liver
  • Improves eyesight
  • Improves quality of blood
  • Prevent aging
  • Goji berries improve the quality of life
  • Improves circulation
  • Beneficial for prostate
  • Said to reduce LDL cholesterol levels
  • Reduce joint problems
  • Promote general feeling of well being
  • Enhances libido and improve sex life
  • Very rich source of antioxidants.
  • Helps improve vision and eyesight.
  • Goji berries are known to aid the production of choline, which stops the production of free radicals
  • Prevents degeneration of the brain due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Also known to protect the arteries from narrowing down due to build up of plaque along the walls, which can cause heart related diseases.

How to take it/ Dosage:

Goji berries should be soaked a few minutes in filtered water and washed before consuming. They are often dried and eaten as raisins. You can add to smoothies, granola/ trail mix, and salads. They can be added to tea or soups to make them healthier. Goji berries can also be blended into smoothies, juices, or added to other recipes to strengthen them. *An average amount it 1 Tbs. a day 

Side Effects:

  • If you are on medications, especially for blood thinning, diabetes, and blood pressure drugs; consult your doctor before taking.
  • Prolonged large intake of tea has been reported to increase bleeding in a few cases, that means use in moderation and take breaks.
  • If you have bee pollen allergies, you may want to avoid taking Goji berries.