Almond Butter Coconut Bars (Clean & flourless!)

Finally able to post a new recipe! I have been trying a few original recipes over the last couple of weeks and have bombed big time. Yikes. Throwing away such high quality organic ingredients makes me sad, but I don’t want to post anything here that I wouldn’t recommend making on your own.

Also, I know this blog is food related but I have to share two exciting updates on my end.

  1. Today is my FIRST anniversary with my husband! I’m officially an old married lady and couldn’t be prouder!
  2. Today is also my first day of starting a one year program to become a certified health coach. I’ll be looking for clients in about 6 months so stay tuned!

Ok, now on to the food.

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As you all know, I work for Pinterest, which means I am on Pinterest a LOT. I see an ad for Thrive Market frequently that advertises getting one free product and have always been a little skeptical (although, side note – our ads are highly monitored by a policy team, so I’m not sure why I was so hesitant to believe it. Just assumed it was too good to be true!) A coworker of mine came over my desk and said “Get this free Justin’s almond butter and make us something please!” So, I did. And it actually was free! Do it!

These bars have pumpkin and almond butter as the base and require no flour – healthy win!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Justin’s Almond Butter – I used the plain kind but any of the flavors would be great and give some good variety!
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin (actual pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 large egg or one flax egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (or less, but I personally prefer more)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes + 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes for topping
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
    • Nuts, walnuts, pistachios – any other nuts or dried fruit that you want! I only used chocolate but you could get creative here!

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare an 8×8 pan (I’m currently liking this) and set aside
  • In a Vitamix or blender, pulse together almond butter, pumpkin, egg and vanilla
  • Add in baking soda & spice and pulse again for a few seconds
  • Once combined, hand mix in coconut flakes and chocolate chips – don’t overmix, but just allow the batter to cover the flakes
  • Pour batter into pan – sprinkle the rest of the flakes on top
  • Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and coconut flakes are golden brown
  • Let cool or dive right in!

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Blueberry + Chocolate Coconut Bites (Clean, Vegan, no-bake)

It’s been hot. Really really hot. Like, “feels like 100” hot here in Chicago. When it’s that hot, who can stand to be in the kitchen with a hot oven? Not moi. Time for a no-bake, chilled sweet treat!

These take about 10 minutes to put together. Another SUPER easy one! You really can’t mess this up even if you try!

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I have to say… one thing I have never been great at is layering on the chocolate drizzle. It’s a mess. I totally intended to have the chocolate drizzled nicely & evenly across the cookie in straight lines.. Ha! Not even close.

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But really…aren’t they more fun this way?

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One of the things I love about these is that they are actually better frozen. They’re like a little frozen blueberry coconut meltaway puff. (What a mouthful!) I’m planning on keeping these in the freezer until about 2-3 minutes before I am ready to eat them. Totally not necessary to keep them frozen, as they’ll maintain their shape even if room temperature. I am just using them to provide a little relief from the heat wave!

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Ingredients:

  • One pint of organic blueberries (you could also use frozen – I just happened to have some fresh organic blueberries laying around…because…who doesn’t? :))
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (if you don’t have any, just put some gluten free oats in your vitamix and pulse until ground)
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1 full frozen ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • Optional: Dark chocolate for melting

How to: (Um, the easiest ever…)

  • Pulse all ingredients except for chocolate together in a Vitamix – I like to leave a few blueberry chunks in there
  • Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, create balls of the mixture and lay on a piece of parchment paper or on a cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 1 full hour.
  • Melt dark chocolate in a cup or bowl and drizzle (hopefully, more beautifully than I was able to!)

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I chose to use blueberries in this recipe because I just happened to have some. If you’re a cheery person, I can imagine they would turn out INCREDIBLY. Omg, maybe I need to try that too…

Also, you could use strawberries, blackberries, or really any berry! Give them a try with some different fruits and let me know what you think!

Stay COOL! Woof.

Pistachio Matcha Protein Balls (Clean, healthy, Gluten-free, no bake)

A co-worker has been requesting that I bake with matcha for some time now, though I’ve been nervous to try it. Matcha is not cheap when it comes to tea and I was nervous that it wouldn’t taste sweet enough without any added or artificial sugars. However, I just went for it … (YOLO)… and these were a huge hit!

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For a first go at baking with matcha, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the results. The green color of these is natural  from the matcha – they would have been the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat. I guess there’s always next year!

balls1.jpgThese were super quick to make. I put them in the freezer to set, but you could have eaten them right away. This recipes makes about 12 balls depending on size.

Oh, the best part? These are low calorie and HIGH protein, so they make for a great post workout snack or a healthy after-lunch treat. I’m estimating these bad boys come in around 125 calories each.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 scoops any plant based, vegan protein powder (I used Sun Warrior, a personal fav!)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Matcha (If you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with David’s Tea – this matcha is great, and they have a few “flavored” options too)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of organic coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup (could sub Agave if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1-3 teaspoons of water
  • 1 cup of crushed shelled pistachios (to make sure these are clean, just use plain pistachios – not roasted or salted) balls1.jpg

How to: (Told you these were super easy)

  • In a food processor, blend together cashews, coconut, protein, matcha, and coconut flour until well combined and powdery.
  • Add in melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Blend for a few seconds until a heavy dough starts to form.
  • Scoop all of the mixture out and put in a seperate bowl or onto parchment paper so it’s easier to grab and roll the dough into balls.
  • At this point, if the dough isn’t sticking together, add a teaspoon of water at a time, mixing in between, until you’re able to roll these into balls. They should be dry enough, though, that they will stay together on their own and not melt all over the plate.
  • Put all crushed pistachios on a plate and roll the dough around on the plate, pushing the pistachios into the dough.
  • Set these in the freezer to set. This should only take 15 minutes or so.
  • Eat and enjoy!!

 

Green Superfood Smoothie Bowl (Clean, gluten-free, paleo)

Ok, you know how oats are my “thing?” I may have discovered a new “thing”.

Smoothie bowls.

Most mornings, I have a green drink to go alongside my oats, but I have recently discovered smoothie bowls that bring in some of my favorrrrrite superfoods. This is my very first smoothie bowl and it was delicious. I had to stop myself from making 10 more after this first one because I got so excited thinking about everything I could create!

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One of the most fun parts about these is how beautiful they are! I mean… LOOK!

I started thinking/dreaming about smoothie bowls after my recent trip to Tulum, where I stumbled upon the most amazing raw vegan smoothie restaurant – Raw Love.  My husband made fun of me for discovering one of the healthiest restaurants in Mexico while on vacation, when everyone else we were with was more focused on finding the best margarita. But seriously, this place was legit. Ahhhh, I want to go backkkk.

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Ingredients:

  • Smoothie Bowl:
    • Small handful of kale
    • Small handful of cabbage
    • Small handful romaine
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 10 ice cubes
  • Toppings: 3 large sliced strawberries
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup blueberries
    • 1/8 cup pistachios
    • 1/8 cup cashews
    • Anything else your little heart desires!

How to:

  • Add all ingredients from smoothie bowl to Vitamix and blend until well mixed
  • Top with any toppings & enjoy immediately!

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Chewy Chocolate & Coconut Protein Bars (No bake, Vegan, Gluten Free, Clean!)

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As you know, I’m a workout fanatic. Recently, I have started using protein powder after working out to help my body refuel. Not everyone believes your body actually needs protein supplements, but since I don’t normally eat protein in the morning I find it’s an easy add to my breakfast that helps keep me full all day.

Honestly, I could probably eat the entire pan of these. I am thinking of having my husband lock them away somewhere so I don’t do that.

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My plan is to cut these up and put them into individual Ziploc bags for a quick breakfast I can grab on my way out the door. You could even freeze them to make them last a few weeks. Just be sure to thaw them overnight!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of your favorite protein powder (I like Sun Warrior because it’s vegan and tastes great!)
  • 2-3 T cocoa powder (Or more, depending on your taste)
  • ½ cup almond butter (any nut butter would do)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk or Cashew milk (I’m newly obsessed with creamy unsweetened vanilla cashew milk!
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oat flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
  • ½ cup of your favorite protein powder (I like Sun Warrior because it’s vegan and tastes great!)
  • 2-3 T cocoa powder (Or more, depending on your taste)
  • ½ cup almond butter (any nut butter would do)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk or Cashew milk (I’m newly obsessed with creamy unsweetened vanilla cashew milk!
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

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How to:

  • Spray a 8×9 or 9×9 pan with  coconut oil spray
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together (Flour, Protein powder, cocoa powder) and mix well
  • Separately, mix together nut butter and maple syrup and warm over the stove until they’re melted together
  • Once they’re melted, add the vanilla and stir
  • Add all wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. It should be pretty chunky and hard to stir
  • Spoonful by spoonful, add the milk util a super thick batter is formed
  • Scoop batter into the greased pan and push down firmly to flatten the dough into the pan
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes over
  • Pop in the fridge or freezer and let them set 1-2 hours, or until they become bar-like
  • Slice – makes somewhere between 12-16 bars, depending on size

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