Copycat Ella’s Nibbly Fingers (vegan and gluten free)

After a long while of not buying anything for my kid that comes in a package, I succumbed to a few pouches (Trader’s has the best deal IMO and they are organic!), and a few cracker-type products. …and Ella’s. Oh, damn, they are so good (well, at least I believe this is what Alana thinks about them anyway), and although they aren’t too pricey, they seemed pretty darn easy to replicate. So, I finally went for it! …and they are probably a fraction of the cost of the real thing!

I looked around for some recipe inspo, and didn’t find much, so I truly just took the portions recommended for the flour (I used gluten free oat flour, since I try not to give Alana too many foods that contain gluten), and fruit portions, but then totally went rouge! Here’s what I came up with, and by the look on my daughter’s face (and the fact that she had one in each hand at one point) tells me they were a success! 🙂

Copycat Ella’s (Blueberry Banana Raisin)

  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 handful fresh organic blueberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teensy pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp flax meal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a food processor, puree the oil, raisins, blueberries, and banana. Add sea salt (if using) and flax meal.

Move contents to a medium sized mixing bowl and fold in oat flour.

Shape about a tablespoon of your mixture into a “bar” shape (I used a little water on my hands because the mixture is a bit sticky) and line them up on your baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 min. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

I gotta say, I enjoyed the taste of them too (since I had to try them for myself). I love the feeling of making healthy foods for my daughter to enjoy. I know exactly what goes into them and I can be confident she’s eating clean and vegan!

What are some of your favorite plant based DIY kid’s snacks to make for your littles?

Are you a plant based mama, or want to be? Want to transition your family to become plant eaters? Are you pregnant and want to confidently grow your baby on a purely vegan based diet? Need guidance? Contact me! Alana is living proof that kids THRIVE on plants! Just look at those rolls! 😉

 

 

 

Green Power Protein Salad

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Well, hello there, 2017! It’s so nice to meet you!

I hope you all had an awesome time ringing in the New Year! Now, it’s time to revisit those goals and check in with how you are eating. So…how are you eating? Be honest! Are you “starting” a new diet this month?

My goal with my clients is NO DIETS. The goal is to help you transition to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, so that when the new year creeps up, it’s not some daunting task to weed out all the junk! The reality is that you can eat clean 90% of the time, and allow for those treats you love (within reason) around those special times of year or whenever you’d like. It’s not about living a restrictive life; it’s about enjoying an empowered one!

Here is a kick ass, detoxifying and energizing recipe to get you pumped for your first week of 2017! I call it my Green Power Protein Salad! It’s jam packed with nutrients, plant protein and healthy fat!

Green Power Protein Salad

 

Ingredients (serves 4):
•1 bunch organic kale (your favorite variety), rinsed well and chopped
•1 can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
•1/2 cup pre cooked quinoa
•1 avocado, chopped

For dressing:
•1/4 cup olive oil
•1 tsp apple cider vinegar
•1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
•Water, to thin, to your desired consistency
•Sea salt and pepper to taste
Whisk and drizzle over salad, then toss!

First, place kale in a big bowl with a bit of olive oil and massage for a few moments. This helps break this rough leafy green down a bit.

Place kale and other ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Toss to coat.

Will store for about 3-4 days in tightly sealed container in fridge.

For more delicious and healthy recipes or to get started on your health related goals, contact me! It’s my joy and purpose to serve you! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Yours in health,

Dori

RAWsberry Cheesecake – Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

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For those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll remember that I told you that making a raw vegan cheesecake was on my goals list. Not only was this recipe super easy, it was so delicious! I totally recommend investing in a spring-form pan, which you can easily purchase from Amazon for about $13.

I served this to some friends who came over for brunch, so it was my first time to try it, along with them! I always get a little nervous about these things, don’t you? Like, “here’s something I’ve never made, and it’s our only dessert, so I hope it doesn’t suck.” I *have* made things that suck (if anyone at Lotus is reading, how about that fiery chocolate pudding, lol!!) as I am not perfect and we all have kitchen fails once in a while. …but this, this did NOT suck. This was vegan cheesecake heaven. Light, not too sweet, not too dense, creamy, tangy, and just…you have to make it! Promise me you will!!

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RAWSberry Cheesecake (Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake)

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/3 cup virgin, raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut nectar
1 cup fresh, organic raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:
1. Place nuts, dates and sea salt in a food processor and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base even throughout.
2. Warm coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. in your food processor or a high powered blender (such a VitaMix) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes, so be patient).
4. Pour about 2/3 (you don’t have to be exact–hard to mess up this recipe) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.

For more delicious and guilt-free recipes such as these, or for personalized coaching, contact me! I look forward to being of service to you!

 

Macadamia Fig Smoothie

FigShake

Fig season!!! Isn’t it the BEST???

I just picked up some organic figs from Whole Foods the other day, and woke up this morning and thought, “I need to make a fig-centric smoothie”. I typically use a chocolate flavored plant-based protein powder, and I didn’t want a “chocolate/fig” thing goin’ on, but I definitely wanted protein, so that’s why I thought macadamia nuts would be a good pair!

Figs are naturally high in fiber and potassium. They are also helpful for fertility as they contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.

I also sweetened this with yacon syrup, and if you don’t know much about yacon syrup, let me tell you about how wonderful it is!

Yacon syrup is extremely low GI, and safe for diabetics AND for candida! It won’t feed bad bacteria. Also, it contains fructooligosaccharides, which are PRE-biotics (food that feed GOOD bacteria). It has the consistency kind of like a thinner molasses, I suppose, and it’s rich in flavor, as it comes from a tuber native to South America.

Behold–the Macadamia Fig Smoothie!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 4 fresh figs
  • 2 tbsp. macadamia nuts
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp. yacon syrup

Blend away and enjoy!

Tell me…what is your favorite way to enjoy figs?

For more delicious recipes or personalized nutrition plans, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you! xo-Dori

Vegan Ayurvedic Recipes

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a food demo in an Ayurvedic Immersion class that was taught by Travis Eliot at Santa Monica Yoga. I received my 200 hour yoga teacher training with he and his amazing wife, Lauren Eckstrom last year. I admit, I don’t have extensive knowledge in Ayurveda, but I do find it very interesting! I have seen a couple of Ayurvedic practitioners in the past, and have even tried diet recommendations to help with the issues I went to see these people for. I believe in the power of Ayurveda. Heck, it’s *only* 5,000 years old. 😉

So, when it came to the food demo, I was a tad limited, since I would not have access to a kitchen. Travis originally asked if I would be willing to make kitchari, which is a sort of porridge, and it would have been awesome, but alas, no stove.

I chose two foods that I could do with minimal cooking requirements; Golden Turmeric Milk and Ayurvedic Bliss Balls. All these required were my Vitamix blender and my food processor!

I thought I would share these recipes with you, so you would have the chance to experience some of the healing benefits in these foods. They call for the use of some pretty healing and delicious spices; cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and saffron. Before I get into the recipes, I want to share with you the benefits of these particular spices. I am a nutrition educator, after all! 😉

Spices

 

Cardamom:

  • Known as the “Queen of Spices”
  • Good for detox, digestion, and is considered an antioxidant
  • Mentioned in the Vedic texts as antidepressant
  • One of the most expensive spices next to vanilla and saffron

Cinnamon:

  • 2 types of cinnamon on the market: Ceylon & Cassia – Cassia is most common and cheaper, Ceylon is “true” cinnamon, and more expensive
  • Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, lowers blood sugar
  • Has been shown to help with HIV
  • Cinnamon pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas, but it may aggravate Pitta dosha if taken in excess.  It has a sweet, pungent, and bitter taste, it is heating, and has a pungent vipak or aftertaste

Ginger:

  • Excellent for digestion, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness
  • There is an ayurvedic sutra (verse) that says that everyone should eat fresh ginger just before lunch and dinner to enhance digestion.

Turmeric:

  • Antiinflammatory-natural Ibuprofen
  • Antioxidant / anti-cancer
  • Every traditional Indian bride is layered in turmeric paste before her wedding to create that special glow!!
  • Used in Ayurveda to balance vata, pitta, and kapha, though in excess, it can aggravate pitta and vata.

Saffron:

  • Most expensive spice on the market (roughly $8 per oz.)
  • Dried stigma of Crocus plant
  • Helps pacify all three doshas. It improves immunity, increases energy, helps fight phlegm and respiratory disorders, improves vision and reduces inflammation. Its tonic can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help treat spleen ailments, insomnia, impotency, premenstrual syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders.

Now, here’s what you can make with all of the above!! Enjoy!

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Golden Turmeric Milk – traditionally, this recipe uses ghee (clarified butter), and is served warm. My version is vegan and sort of a “cheater” easy version that can be served warm or cold

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (or you can use coconut nectar or stevia, if trying to avoid sugar)

Blend all ingredients well in your blender. Serve cold, or warm gently in a small pot over the stove to enjoy warm.

Ayurvedic Bliss Balls – bliss balls are amazing because you can pretty much add in or remove any ingredient that doesn’t work for you, and since they are raw, the proportions do not have to be exact. Play around and create your favorite version!

  • 1 C dry coconut flakes
  • 1/4 C raw almonds
  • 1/4 C raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 C Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 5-6 saffron strands

Process all ingredients in your food processor and roll into bite sized balls. Can store in the fridge for 1 week.

For more information on Ayurveda, you can contact Travis, although, his focus is on teaching yoga and teacher trainings. He is definitely an expert though! Another amazing resource and friend of mine is Dr. Aunna Pourang, who is an Ayurvedic MD!!! Check her out here.

For nutrition coaching and more super healthy and easy recipes, contact me! As always, I’m happy to be of service to you!!

Golden Milk

Clean Homemade Sunscreen

Sunblock

Happy summer, all!

Let’s chat about sun protection! Well, for starters, my DIY version is technically sunBLOCK, not sunSCREEN, since it contains the mineral zinc oxide (other sunblocks may contain titanium). Sunblocks protect against UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens contain chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin.

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can disrupt endocrine function and may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical damage. Uh, oh, right? According to the FDA, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen!

Sunblocks physically prevent UV radiation from reaching the skin. Sunscreens tend to be transparent and are invisible when applied, whereas sunblocks are thicker (whiter) and remain visible when applied and are more difficult to wash off than sunscreens. The appeal of sunscreens is the fact that they blend more into the skin, while sunblocks do not.

So, most of you know, I have an infant, who is now 16 months old, and we live in sunny southern California. I dug around through tons of articles trying to find a safe option for my baby, and most products are not recommended for children until 6 months of age, and even after that, there are only a handful of “safe” products to choose from. I was torn, since I like to go outside with my baby, but didn’t want to risk exposing her to harmful sun rays with no protection, so I just made my own.

The secret ingredient is NON-nano zinc oxide. There’s a lot of info out there on nano vs. non-nano, and here’s the difference: A nano particle will enter the blood stream, but a non-nano will not. For that reason, non-nano is safer. Chemical sunscreens will enter the bloodstream, so that is why they are not preferred–unless you like being at risk for skin cancer. 🙁

So, why not give this safe version a try! It’s so easy, and you can feel good about using it on your skin, and your whole family’s skin! Please always check with your pediatrician and do what feels right for you and your baby regarding skin care and sun exposure.

HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN 

  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate oil
  • 3/4 cup virgin, organic coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. non-nano zinc oxide powder
  • 2 tbsp. shea butter
  • Small glass jar
  1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.
  2. Place a saucepan with a bit of water on stove over medium/low heat.
  3. Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
  4. Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.

*You can add 10 drops of essential oil to your sunblock, if desired, but do not use citrus scents as these actually increase UV damage.

Also, it may tend to melt at super hot temperatures, so store in a cool place.

For more tips and tricks on how to live a healthier life, or for one on one coaching, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you and your family!

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Ginger Dream Bliss Balls

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We recently took a trip up to the Bay area (Marin and San Francisco, to be exact), and while in Marin, we visited the Marin Country Mart for their farmers market. It was pure heaven, with the most amazing and beautiful looking local produce! My favorite thing though, was this date treat I got from a stand that sold dates. The treat had ginger, dates, coconut and…I totally forgot what else, SO, I made up my own, inspired by that treat. This is unlike the traditional “tried and true” bliss balls I make. This one has a kick–a spicy, ginger-y kick! If you love ginger as much as I do, you’re gonna love ’em!!!

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GINGER DREAM BLISS BALLS

  • 12-14 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup crystalized ginger
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  1. Blend dates and ginger in your food processor until a nice round ball forms.
  2. Add your coconut and cashews and process until combined well. You may have to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
  3. Form into balls (you decide how big or small to make them). Should make about 12-15 regular-sized bliss balls.

I absolutely LOVE getting inspired by things I’ve tasted or admire. It’s so fun to play around–especially with raw treats, because you can’t really mess ’em up! When it comes to the kitchen, I have no fear! What do you have to lose? The kitchen should inspire fun and play!

What are you inspired by?

If you’re inspired to get healthy, and don’t know where to start, contact me! It’s my life’s purpose to help YOU find health and happiness through FOOD!

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Vegan Meringues Made with Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)

Chickpea Brine

So, have you ever heard of aquafaba? I hadn’t either up until a couple of days ago, when my mom forwarded me an article about it. It turns out, it’s very handy as a vegan egg white substitute! …and it’s the water you typically discard from your can of chickpeas! I suppose “aquafaba” sounds a lot sexier than “chickpea water” or “bean water”, but it makes sense: aqua (water) faba (bean). So, as you may have guessed, I had to try this; immediately. I actually took a trip to Trader Joe’s today specifically for a couple cans of chickpeas (I like to make my own hummus as well, and needed to make that, too–win/win!).

I was also thrilled to be able to break out my KitchenAid mixer to make these meringues! I like, NEVER use the thing. It just sits there looking all pretty and fancy on my counter.

Okay, so this recipe couldn’t be any easier! It was so fun, too!! I hope you’ll give it a try!

VEGAN MERINGUES

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  • 6 tbsp chickpea brine (water from canned chickpeas–room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar (I used organic cane, but you can probably try it with xylitol or other sugar alcohols to keep them sugar free–please don’t use Splenda or any other artificial sweeteners)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add chickpea brine and cream of tartar to bowl of stand mixer and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
  4. While it’s mixing, add sugar and mix until it dissolves completely.
  5. Add in salt.
  6. As your mixture becomes thicker, drizzle in your vanilla.
  7. Continue mixing until it looks glossy and stiff peaks form. This should take about 7-12 minutes.
  8. Scoop out about a tbsp of your meringue and drop onto your cookie sheet (you can get fancy and use a pastry bag, but I don’t have one).
  9. Bake for 45 min, and then shut oven off. DO NOT OPEN OVEN. Leave the cookies in the oven for an hour to dry out.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in airtight container.

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Also, big thanks to my daughter, Alana for napping and then “allowing” me to play in the kitchen today! She’s an excellent sous chef!

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Chocolate Avocado Mousse

PuddingThe interesting thing about this recipe is that I first tried it nearly 9 years ago when I attended Bauman College getting certified in Nutrition Education.

My colleagues and I each had to each do a couple of food presentations during the course period, and one of my classmates presented her version of this recipe and I became OBSESSED. I had never tasted anything like this before…or truly, I HAD tasted something like it before (something quite unhealthy), and I loved the familiar, chocolate-y, seems-like-it-was-bad-for-me, taste! I loved Jello chocolate pudding as a kid–you know, the one that comes IN A BOX that you make with milk, lol? Man, I would go crazy for it…and top it with Cool Whip?!? TROUBLE!

I kinda love that this recipe (or similar versions of it) have become so common! I adore naughty looking recipes that truly present no need for guilt at all! Okay, true, you may not want to eat the entire batch (I admit, I’m always tempted!), but it’s sure a heck of a lot cleaner than anything that comes in a box, ha ha! It’s raw, vegan, easy and soooooooo yummy!

I hope you enjoy!

AvoChoc Mousse

CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp unrefined, virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 3 Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes, then pitted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup regular almond milk (start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed if too thick)
  • Topping choices (optional): fresh, organic berries, cacao nibs, coconut whipped cream, raw nuts, banana slices, shredded coconut…go wild!

Blend all ingredients in food processor. Devour, guilt free!!

Learn to prepare guilt-less treats and more by working with me one-on-one! Contact me via phone or e-mail to schedule your complimentary 30 minute phone consultation!

 

 

‘Souper’ Easy Red Lentil Stew

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This stew literally took me 5 minutes, yes 5 minutes to prepare! After it was prepped, I threw everything into my rice cooker and BOOM, it was ready in 30 minutes! It’s one of my favorite soups to make because 1. I LOVE red lentils and 2. It’s way too flippin’ easy!

Lentils are like a vegan’s dream since they are packed with protein, but whether you’re vegan or not, you’re sure to enjoy this!

How to Make:

  • 1.5 cups dried red lentils (rinsed thoroughly)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into discs
  • 1 potato (any variety–I like red ones), cut into small chunks
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Throw everything in your rice cooker. Hit start and enjoy once done! My rice cooker has a “porridge” option, so I go with that one and it takes about 30-35 minutes to fully cook.

Looking for more easy, plant based recipes such as these? Contact me for food coaching! I can help you easily and sustainably transition to a plant based diet, or simply incorporate more plant foods into your current diet. I always offer a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and see if HTF is right for you! I look forward to helping you eat clean and enjoy more plant foods!