Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

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Store bought jam is packed full of sugar and weird stuff, and ain’t nobody got time to can it themselves. Here we have a super easy, raw strawberry chia seed jam packed full of fiber & protein that can be made in less than 5 minutes. No cooking required!

Strawberry chia seed jam:
Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup chia seeds (run these through a cleaned coffee grinder until they’re powder for smoother jam)

Directions:
Combine strawberries and chia seeds in a food processor and blend until smooth (or desired consistency). Store in jars in the fridge for 2 hours until jam thickens & slather it on all your favorite things.

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Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookie Balls

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I don’t about you guys, but I’m a big fan of eating constantly…meaning I basically don’t leave the house without lots of snacks on me. These chocolate chip cookie dough balls are one of my go-to snacks when running out the door or for throwing in a backpack.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked 1 hour-overnight)
1 cup dates, pitted
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Soak 1 cup of dates in warm water for 1/2 hour & 1 cup of cashews for at least an hour (but overnight is most ideal for easy blending). Drain the dates and the cashews & blend in a food processor until it forms a sticky, even consistency and holds together well. The mixture should start to form a big ball in your food processor when it is ready.

Stir in chocolate chips (optional, or you could add dried fruit, coconut, more nuts, really whatever you want)  & roll into balls. Let refrigerate for an hour before eating or packing for best results!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hummus

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Hummus

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Growing up with a Lebanese grandmother, hummus was always a family favorite and could never be store bought if you didn’t want to face her wrath. After years of making hummus from scratch and experimenting with numerous “savory” versions (hello,  jalapeño cilantro, avocado lime, and roasted red pepper garlic) it was time for a “sweet” variation. I replaced the traditional tahini (sesame seed paste) with another seed/nut butter (peanut butter) and added some other sweet touches, and I must say…holy chickpeas this stuff turned out DELICIOUS!

Not to mention, it’s gluten free, vegan, and packed with fiber and protein. I did the nutritional analysis on this recipe, and for something so sweet it’s much less sinful than you might think. In a 3 tbsp serving (though, let’s be real…I usually eat the whole bowl) this dip provides 22% of your recommended daily fiber, 7.3 grams of protein, and 12% of your daily iron at only 176 calories. Feel free to indulge, my friends.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:
▪   Combine your rinsed garbanzo beans, peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and process them in a food processor until smooth.
▪   Remove from food processor and stir in chocolate chips by hand.
▪   Pour into serving dish

Really easy and super delicious! I like to serve this cookie dough dip with apple and pear slices, but it could also be really awesome as a dip for graham crackers. If you don’t do peanuts, you could easily replace the peanut butter with almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or whatever else you like. 🙂

This recipe makes about 8-10 servings of around 3 tbsp each.

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Here are the nutrition facts, in case anyone was wondering. 🙂

cookie dough hummus

Chopped Kale Salad w/ Vegan Béchamel Sauce

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This salad is so decadent, I could seriously eat it every day. It’s hard to believe it’s totally vegan & gluten free. It’s almost like the salad equivalent to mac and cheese….that good.

Add to salad bowl:
-2 cups raw chopped kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red & green cabbage (Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crunch” salad blend is awesome!)
-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Make the vegan béchamel sauce using the following ingredients:

-1 tbsp Earth Balance vegan margarine or olive oil
-1 tbsp ground cashews or cashew meal
-1 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1/2 cup vegetable broth
-Pinch of sea salt & cracked pepper

Add the above sauce ingredients to a saucepan, whisking constantly over low to medium heat. Make sure that it doesn’t boil, but rather melts and reduces. The sauce will become smooth, creamy, and thick.

Remove from heat, immediately pouring piping hot sauce over bed of greens, allowing them to wilt a bit.

Enjoy!

Coconut Lime Bars

Yield: 16 bars Gluten- free, Grain-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Egg free I am excited to share with you guys one of my all time favorite baked goods! It’s really hard to beat the combination of limes and toasted coconut in this tangy, sweet, delicious bar that is surprisingly creamy for something that it doesn’t have any eggs, […]

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

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I’ve been experimenting with finding a delicious, healthy, and gluten free brownie recipe and I think I finally have succeeded! This recipe is glutenfree, grain free, high fiber, and doesn’t have ANY flour or white sugar. It can also easily be made vegan by replacing the eggs with flax or chia seed eggs (which I will cover in another post).

So…it freaked me out a lot at first….but it turns out black beans are the perfect replacement for flour. I know what you must be thinking; “there is no freaking way that is going to taste good…you can’t put beans in brownies!” I thought the same thing, but I was happily mistaken when these came out ofthe oven. The black beans serve to cut out the unnecessary white flour and replace it with something less processed, low in fat, high in fiber and protein, and full of vitamins. It effectively takes out the empty nutrition from the beloved baked good and replaces it with pure, healthy goodness.

These brownies are totally gooey, and chocolately; everything that a brownie should be. What I was most pleased with (and the main reason these are my go-to brownies) is that for being gluten free, they didn’t have the same texture that most gluten free boxed mixes have. Many gluten free brownies I’ve had in the past have been made from processed tapioca or corn flour mixes and end up with a very dense texture and almost sandy mouth feel. These had no such issue, and don’t actually taste like they’re missing anything (which is pretty incredible considering how much healthier these variety are).

Ingredients (makes about 10 brownies)
1 1/2 cup black beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
3 eggs (replace with flax egg for vegan baking)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree or apple sauce
¼ cup agave or honey (or whatever your sweetener of choice may be)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Cooking spray (or additional oil)
Shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub or spray a baking sheet with oil (so your brownies don’t stick) and set the dish aside. I used an 8″square baking pan.
  • Take your rinsed and drained black beans and process them in a food processor until smooth.
  • Add eggs, oil, cocoa, baking powder, vanilla, agave and pumpkin, and process until completely blended. (Be sure to stop and scrape down the sides a couple times during this step, if needed).
  • Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and pulse a few times.
  • Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips. Top with shredded coconut, if desired.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Put on a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

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I like to sprinkle shredded coconut and dark chocolate chips on top, it gives it a little “Samoa girl scout cookie” taste. 🙂

Here are the nutrition facts, in case you guys were wondering:

brownie nut facts

Vegan Banana “Cheesecake”

Yield: 20 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Freezer time: 3-5 hours

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Highlights:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • High in fiber
  • Packed with protein
  • Totally raw & doesn’t require baking
  • Made almost entirely from various fruits & nuts and is very adaptable

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
¾ cup medjool dates
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw, dried coconut (optional)

For the “cheesecake” layer:
3 cups cashews
1 cup macadamia nuts
¾ cup lemon juice
½ cup coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup agave

For the banana layer:
6 bananas, peeled and frozen
1/3 cup dates

Directions:
Soak cashews & macadamia nuts for 2-4 hours (or overnight), then drain.

Soak dates for 5-10 minutes and remove pits from center.

Add walnuts, almonds, dates, and salt to food processor and pulse until well combined. Nut pieces should be well chopped and still crumbly, but easily able to form a malleable ball.

Prepare the bottom of a springform pan (or cake pan, or glass dish, it doesn’t really matter) by sprinkling coconut on the bottom or greasing with coconut oil. Press nut and date mixture into prepared pan to form the “crust” layer.

Next, add drained cashews and all other “cheesecake” layer ingredients into the food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy

Pour creamy “cheesecake” layer into the pan evenly over the crust and smooth. Place the pan into the freezer for ~30-60 minutes to allow the layers to firm up.

Prepare banana layer by adding all ingredients into the blender or food processor and blending until creamy and smooth. Add banana layer on top of the firmed and frozen cheesecake layer. (Note: Any frozen fruit could be used instead of bananas, you’ll need around 2 cups of fruit regardless)

Decorate the top as you please with fresh fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, whipped coconut cream, etc…whatever you want, really.

Place in the freezer for 2-5 hours, and remove 10-20 minutes before ready to serve (or don’t wait and eat it frozen, it’s really good too). Leftovers can easily be stored in the freezer and make for an awesome snack.

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