Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chia Date Hearts

From my friends who had never had a raw cookie (first comment was "Is this a dog treat?") to my family that has been exposed to my creations for awhile, this was a winner.

Sweetened with dates, it is full of protein and nutrients, and a good snack or dessert.

A very easy recipe, it was created by tossing in pretty much every ingredient I had on hand.

Chia Date Hearts


7 organic Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon organic almond extract
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup raw sprouted almonds
2 tablespoon ground chia seeds
2 teaspoons organic coconut oil


1.  Food process ingredients, adding as much water or coconut milk as needed for dough to come together into one ball.
2.  Divide into little discs or form into a shape, such as hearts!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Breakfast & Dutch Bros.

I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with coconut milk lattes, and through careful research and taste testing, I have determined Dutch Bros., the drive-thru espresso stand with Oregon roots, makes the absolute best.  So much so in fact, I dream of opening my own.  Whenever I'm in Eugene, the time seems to fly by with way too many caffeine-infused runs and bike rides along the Willamette River.

This morning I enjoyed the smooth taste of a coconut milk latte along with a raw breakfast bar.  Wrapped in wax paper, it makes the perfect portable snack, and I was able to bike to a stand near my house to indulge in my latte and treat while writing away on my second novel.

This recipe yields about 5 medium bars, and is a great breakfast or mid-morning snack.

Quick Date Oat Bars


5 organic Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup quick-cooking gluten-free oats
1/2 cup raw organic almonds
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
1 tablespoon protein powder (I used hemp protein, completely plant based)
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk


1.  Like all my quick, raw treats:  Food-process the ingredients together, adding a tablespoon of water or so if needed.  Pulse just until ingredients come together in a ball, stopping in between pulses to scrape down the sides of the processor if necessary.

2.  Between two sheets of wax paper, roll out the dough, cut into desired-size bars and make little wax paper packets to hold the bars if desired.  You can also just roll the dough into little balls for an easy cookie.

3.  Pair with your favorite beverage; maybe a cup of steaming green tea or if you're lucky, a coconut milk latte.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mom, I want one!

Zeke smells them baking...

While baking these Blueberry Coconut Muffins this morning, I had a little spy looking in on me.  Zeke, sent to play with the other five dogs outside (yes, I'm visiting family and we have a total of six dogs roaming), remained instead at the back door, peering through the screen as he silently pleaded with me to bring him a muffin.

If you don't love coconut, don't fret.  Sweetened with coconut palm sugar and using coconut oil or spread and unsweetened coconut milk (not the kind from a can, the nondairy substitution with only 45 calories per half cup), you cannot actually taste the coconut contribution to the goodness of this blueberry muffin.

While my younger twin brothers are likely sleeping until noon, I thought I'd whip up some muffins for everyone.  Easy, and a little more crowd pleasing that my healthier raw concoctions, this is a great way to start the morning.

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

Yields 9 x-large muffins


1/2 cup coconut oil or coconut spread such as this one (or Earth Balance's nondairy butter or other similar butter substitute)
1 cup coconut palm sugar (3/4 cup will also work great, just not as sweet)
2 eggs or 2 "eggs" made from flax meal and water or Ener-G egg replacer
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
2-1/4 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup quinoa flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 cups blueberries

Topping (optional): 2-1/2 tablespoons sucanat or coconut palm sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


1.  Beat coconut oil or spread with palm sugar, then mix in eggs or egg substitute.
2.  Add in vanilla, then baking powder.
3.  Add in flour alternating with nondairy milk, and fold in blueberries last.
4.  Divide batter into 9 paper-lined muffin cups.  (This makes huge muffins, you can fill only 3/4 full for a full dozen)
5.  Sprinkle optional topping across all 9 and bake at 375 for 25-30 min or until inserted toothpick comes out clean or muffin springs back when lightly touched.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The best kind of birthday cake

My neighbors made me this glorious cake (my friend's sweet daughter exclaimed "now that's a real fruitcake!" awww) for my 27th birthday.  I immediately assumed this was a Pinterest-inspired creation, but no, she invented it with pure creativity, and a lot of toothpicks.

A pleasant surprise!  I also contributed a few raw cookies to the party, both rice chocolate sunflower coconut balls, and a healthier spirulina-banana concoction.  Here's the recipe for the latter (I made them both on the fly without really paying attention, so maybe I'll recreate the rice choc ones later and divulge that recipe at some point).

celebrating a birthday Eugene-style

Spirulina Banana Cookie Recipe:

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded reduced fat unsweetened coconut
splash of vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons spirulina
1/2 banana
1/2 to 3/4 cup dehydrated banana slices (unsweetened, only with organic lemon juice added to retain moisture--available at some Costcos and health food stores, or make your own)

1.  Food process seeds, then add remaining ingredients, adding a little water if necessary to help it come together.  Optional: roll in flaked coconut or sesame seeds for texture

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Maiah's Breakfast Bars

On a Sunday, I like to get ahead in terms of healthy meals and snacks for the week.  Often I have salad and raw cauliflower couscous ready for the week ahead in case I'm in need of a hurried meal and don't want to rely on just almonds and the one flavor of Larabar I can actually eat.  (Yes, I sometimes eat salad for breakfast; toss in avocado, sunflower seeds and a few currants and it's actually pretty phenomenal).

This Breakfast Bar recipe was created tonight and "packaged" for the week to come.  Whether you're running out the door for a workout or on the way to work or a long drive, this is a great nutritious snack and also filling, meaning you won't be craving a sugary coffee beverage or muffin desire before lunch.

I have a second opinion as well: "Much better than a Clif Bar!" as well as a suggestion to play around with other dried fruit.  The husband and I are thinking dried cherries or apple-juice sweetened cranberries would also be delicious additions.


1 cup almonds
¾ cup diced dried apricots
2 cups reduced fat shredded coconut flakes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ scant cup sunflower seed butter
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water

food processor is key in this one

 Food process almonds until fine.

 Dice dried apricots, add apricots and remaining ingredients, adding a little more water if necessary.

 Scoop out ingredients onto parchment paper, roll out and form into a giant rectangle; cut into 10-12 bars.

package them up into desired portions for a quick out-the-door snack or light meal

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Paleo Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Brownies

Happy early 27th Birthday to meeeee!

Disclaimer: there are eggs in here!  Vegan?  No prob!  Sub in ground chia seeds mixed with water for a healthier boost (tip: 1 TBSP chia seeds or ground chia seeds plus 3 TBSP water=1 "egg")

Not very sweet, but satisfies that chocolate craving!  Also, the almond flour will lend a nice nutty sweetness to this treat.

Paleo Brownies


3/4 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 mashed banana
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
3 eggs (I did 1 egg and 3 egg whites)
optional: 3 tablespoons mini rice chocolate chips


1.  Mix dry ingredients together; set aside.

2.  Melt coconut oil, add in mashed banana, stirring in vanilla and eggs last.

3.  Add wet to dry, folding chocolate chips in last if desired.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees in a parchment lined 8x8" dish for 25-32 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out pretty clean.  Let cool, remove brownies by gently pulling out parchment paper, cut into squares and serve!

Party treat idea:  Cut into tiny squares, and serve warm with a dollop or two of non-dairy coconut ice cream on top.  Really partying it up?  Add some gluten-free veggie-colored sprinkles!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Superfood Quick Cookie

In a huge rush?  No food in the house?  Looking for a sweet and filling treat and maybe substitution for that chocolate-y protein bar?

Whip up a batch of these, eat a few and chill the rest for later.  This is a less than 5 min, kitchen-cleanout type cookie that is easy, satisfying and sneakily healthy.

Superfood Quick Cookies

1 medium banana, mashed
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (i used an almond-coconut-chia combo, any will do).
splash vanilla
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
1/4 to 1/2 ripe avocado

Food Process the above ingredients, pureeing until smooth, then add:

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1-1/2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
2 teaspoons maca powder
optional 1/2 teaspoon spirulina
1 to 2 tablespoons plant protein powder
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Food process the above until mixture forms a ball, adding a splash or two more nondairy milk or water if necessary.
This isn't a very sweet cookie; if you want it as more of a dessert rather than meal cookie, add some agave or rice chocolate chips, or maybe just more banana or throw in some applesauce.  Cranberries or other dried fruit would likely be delish as well.

Easy off to do chores, walk the pups, run, then teach some classes at BodyROK!  Enjoy!

 Yogi Bear...he is sulking because of his ridiculous haircut (I can't stop laughing at his little dome)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

In honor of Independence Day, we have some not-quite-as-healthy but delicious star cookies.  Rich chocolate with a hint of cayenne for a little sweet and spicy kick, these are vegan gluten-free cookies that will really make your fourth pop ;)

Spicy Chocolate Stars


1-2/3 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (1/2 teaspoon if you want it spicier!)
1/2 cup  oil (coconut, grapeseed or avocado)
3/4 cup raw cane sugar or sucanat or coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup nondairy milk


1.  Sift dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2.  In a larger bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
3.  Preheat oven to 350 and grease several cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
4.  Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet, and then roll out between wax paper until 1/2" thick.
5.  Cut into desired shapes, such as stars for a patriotic cookie ;)
6.  Bake 10 minutes, let cool then top as desired.

I melted nondairy chocolate chips and drizzled them over the cookies, finishing with some red, white and blue sprinkles (side note: these are not organic sprinkles and a totally artificially dyed.  Omit the sprinkles or look for food dye made colored with beets, etc for healthier colorful decorating).

Yogi and Zeke say happy 4th!!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Rice Chocolate Seed Butter Cups: like Reese's but a mill times better

Not only is it July 1st (the best month ever as my twin and I have a birthday this month), but my husband promoted to Captain today.  In order to celebrate, I simply had to make some treats with chocolate, his absolute fave.  I wanted to keep it healthy-ish, and let's be honest: I wanted to be able to enjoy a treat too, and so this amazing recreation of the famous peanut butter cups were born.

Packed with protein, this nondairy rice chocolate shell is wrapped around a creamy sunflower seed pumpkin butter filling.  Easy and pretty quick, these elegant desserts are best stored in the freezer until ready to eat.  Rich and full of healthy nutrients (my current diet calls for more iron and protein, so the protein and iron boost in pumpkin is perfect), this is way better than your fatty store bought alternative.


1.  Melt nondairy chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double boiler , with a small spoonful of coconut oil (Enjoy Life brand is the best!)

melt until chips just begin to lose shape, and stir well until smooth

2.  Spoon a dollop of melted chocolate in mini paper liner; set in freezer.

3.  Mix 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter with 1/3 cup organic canned pumpkin, stir well until creamy and combined.  I added a sprinkle of cloves, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

organic pumpkin yuuummm

4.  Place a dollop of the seed butter/pumpkin mix on each frozen chocolate, and place back in freezer.

5.  Repeat Step 1 and place chocolate on top of seed butter/pumpkin mix, covering it completely and refreeze.

gently peel away liner and invert!

6.  Gently peel away paper liners from little rice chocolate dessert cup.

Go crazy!  Insanely good, and made me wish Halloween was a tad closer; pumpkin and chocolate will do that to a person.