Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Soup

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This soup…

  • healthy…check
  • filling…check
  • gluten free…check
  • filled with nutrition…check
  • delicious…check, check, check

The other day, I was craving both roasted vegetables and soup, so I decided to combine the two.  This stuff is GREAT!  The taste of roasted veggies in a yummy creamy soup!  I settled on using brussels sprouts and cauliflower (because it is what I had in the fridge), and these two veggies are packed with nutrition.  Check out these pins listing the health benefits of these two cruciferous vegetables:

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I just love looking up the health benefits of various ingredients in the recipes I make.  It makes me feel so good about putting it in my body!  Let’s get to the recipe!

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 1.5 tsp. organic butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the prepared brussels sprouts and cauliflower on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.

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2.) In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low/medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add the broth and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside 1 cup of the roasted veggies, and add the rest to the pot.  Simmer for about 2-3 minutes.

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3.) Transfer the soup to a food processor (you may have to do this in batches).  Add the salt, then process on high until the soup is smooth.

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4.) Transfer the soup to bowls and top with the veggies you set aside before serving.

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Easy peasy, and super yummy!  Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bites

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My new love interests are these yummy no bake apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal bites!  Holy cow, these things are YUMMY!  They remind me of an oatmeal cookie, but SUPER good for you!  All of the ingredients have various health benefits, but let’s focus on the fresh apple in these guys!

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Look at all those health benefits, and that’s just one of the great ingredients in these yummies!  It’s a really good thing that these are good for you, because believe me, you will not be able to eat just one…or two…or a whole batch. 🙂

APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN OATMEAL BITES

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large apple, shredded and squeezed in a dish towel to get out as much moisture as possible
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Directions

1.) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats and cinnamon.

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2.) In a small sauce pan, combine the almond butter, honey, vanilla, and sea salt over low heat.  Stir until smoothly combined (no globs of almond butter)

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3.) Add the almond butter mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to combine completely (don’t be afraid to use your hands on this to make sure it is mixed together completely).

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4.) Add the apple and raisins.  Stir to combine completely.  Use your hands to create bite size balls.  Let sit in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour to set.

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SO YUMMY!

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7Enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chia Cake

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Do I have your attention?

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What about now? I’ll tell you what, this coconut chocolate chia cake is just as delicious as it looks!

If you follow my blog at all, you may be wondering why there is cake on here.  I mean all of my recipes are healthy and good for you, and isn’t cake bad for you? Well, you guessed it!  Muuwaahahaha (maniacal laugh), I created a “healthy” cake!!!! And oh my gosh, guys, it is SO good!

The ingredients of this cake include super foods such as chia seeds, raw cacao, raw honey, almond butter, shredded coconut, coconut oil, and coconut milk! In fact, I would have no qualms about eating something like this for breakfast…for real!  The following pins describe some of the health benefits of some of the ingredients of this cake!

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coconut

raw cacao

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These are all ingredients in this cake meaning this cake is SO good for you (in moderation, of course)!!!  You definitely don’t have to feel bad about having a slice of this stuff for dessert.  One more note – raw cacao, honey, chia seeds, and coconut are all energy boosters, so probably don’t indulge right before bedtime!  You are going to love me for sharing this recipe with you!

COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIA CAKE

Ingredients:

For the crust layer:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 3 tablespoons smooth almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, in liquid form

For the second layer:

  • 2 cups full fat canned coconut mik
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • pinch of sea salt

Optional Toppings: coconut flakes, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, fresh fruit (raspberries go great with this), chopped nuts/seeds, etc. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the toppings! I topped mine with shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips.

Directions:

1.) Place all of the ingredients for the crust layer of the cake in a food processor. Process on high until well combined, and everything is sticking together like a dough. Remove from the processor, and place on the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan.  Press down to evenly cover the base of the spring form pan creating your bottom layer of your cake. Set aside.

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2.) Place all of the ingredients for the second layer, except the chia seeds in your food processor, and process on hight until completely combined.  While the processor is running, slowly add in the chia seeds, and allow the mixture to keep processing on low/medium for 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture over the crust layer in your spring form pan.

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3.) Place the cake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours (*see note), overnight is best.  Add your toppings while the spring form is still in tact, then carefully remove the spring form. You can the serve it, or put it back in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.

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4.) Use a knife to cut into slices and serve.

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*Note: If your cake doesn’t seem to be setting after 8 hours (this happened to me one of the times that I’ve made it), you can put it in the freezer, and it becomes more of an ice cream cake.  If you need to do this, let it sit in the freezer for a few hours until frozen.  You can then take it out of the freezer and let it thaw for 10 – 30 minutes and remove the spring form and serve.

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You know you want to try this stuff, and I don’t blame you one bit!  Enjoy! 🙂

Cream of Broccoli Soup (without the cream)

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Non-dairy people rejoice!!!  This is a DELICIOUS cream of broccoli soup recipe WITHOUT THE CREAM…well in the traditional sense anyway.  I saw the following pin on Pinterest for a cream of broccoli soup recipe.

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Oh my goodness, did this look delicious!  I don’t avoid dairy per say, but I have a lot of friends that are sensitive to it, and it got me to thinking about those people. The recipe this pin links to has milk and butter in it, and if you are a non-dairy person, or just attempt to avoid dairy, that is a no-no.  So, I decided to get creative and figure out a way to have this delicious soup, without the cream, but still creamy…you get my drift?

Well, I ended up making a cashew “cream” that totally made this soup creamlessly creamy!  I think this soup can be described in one word…YUM!  So let’s get to it!

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP (WITHOUT THE CREAM)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 – 1 cup cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 chopped chopped carrots
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 7-8 cups broccoli
  • 4 cups water plus 1 cup water
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions

1.) Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the cashews, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 15-30 minutes.

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2.) After the cashews have soaked for 15-30 minutes, drain the water, and place the cashews in a food processor with 1 cup of water.  Process on high until completely smooth with no lumps.  Set the cashew cream aside.

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3.) In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the broccoli and garlic granules.

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4.) Add 4 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.

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5.) Transfer the soup to a food processor.  You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your processor.  Process on high until smooth.

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6.) Add in the cashew cream, leaving a little bit to stir into each individual serving for presentation.  Season with sea salt, to taste.

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7.) Transfer to bowls.  Add a bit of cashew cream to each bowl, and gently stir the cream in to give it a swirly look.

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You’re going to LOVE this stuff – even if you aren’t dairy free, this stuff is amazing!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Quinoa

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Guys!  I recently realized that I haven’t made anything containing quinoa in it in quite a while!  How could I have neglected this power packed superfood???  I mean, seriously, this stuff is so good for you…it’s gluten free…it’s packed with nutrition…and it lends itself in so many ways to both savory and sweet dishes!

 

 

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Don’t worry (I know you were, don’t deny it!), I remedied the situation quickly with breakfast this morning by making this super easy and super nutritious, tasty apple cinnamon raisin breakfast quinoa!  Er-mer-gerd, this stuff is amazing.  It felt like it was just pure apple cinnamony goodness melting in my mouth!  Seriously, so yummy!

Because of the add-ins, this makes for a great complete breakfast with plenty of protein, healthy fats, carbs, and of course, NUTRITION!!!  I also love this breakfast, because it kept me feeling satisfied right up until lunchtime, which is sometimes a feat in my case just because I love food so much!  Plus, the cinnamon gave me a little pep in my step to start my day!  I love this stuff!  It also makes a great substitute for oatmeal, so if you have sensitivities to oats, then this stuff is perfect for you.  However, even if you don’t have a sensitivity to oats, you will LOVE this stuff!

APPLE CINNAMON RAISIN BREAKFAST QUINOA

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 apple, cored and peeled (I used honey crisp, but you can use any kind)
  • 1/4 dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1-2 tsp. raw honey

Directions

1.) Place the prepared apple, quinoa, and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed the water, and the apples are tender.

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2.) Remove from heat, and add the cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts to the pan.

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3.) Stir to combine, and transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with the honey and serve.

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Dig in!  You know you want to!  Enjoy! 🙂

Healthy Almond Honey Cookies

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Guys…Christmas season = Cookie season, which is awesome and not awesome at the same time, because cookies are delicious, but let’s face it…they aren’t usually good for you!  Well, this time of the year, I always try to find a healthy cookie recipe that really does taste like a cookie, and if I might say so myself, I’ve definitely succeeded this year!

These almond honey cookies are SO yummy!  You know how a perfect cookie  is a little bit crisp just on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside…um, yes…these cookies!  They are the PERFECT texture, and guys, they really taste like a cookie…not just like a healthy substitute for a cookie!  BUT…they are, in fact, healthy!  The main ingredients are almond butter, raw honey, and almond flour, all of which have some really great health benefits!  Oh oh!!!  And, guys, they’re GLUTEN FREE!!!

Both almond butter and almond flour have all the health benefits of almonds, some of which include

  • Good for heart health
  • Helps thwart cancer formation
  • Good for blood sugar management
  • Can aid in weight management
  • Good for energy levels

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Although raw honey is a sugar, it has so many great benefits that if you’re going to have sugar, it’s probably one of your best options, since many of its benefits counteract the drawbacks of sugar!  The following pin explains 50, that’s right FIFTY, healthy benefits of raw honey!

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Phew!  That’s a lot!  So, as you can see, these cookies that actually taste like cookies really are good for you, so they are great to have on hand during the holiday season!  I like to have a batch made whenever I’m going to be baking cookies for get togethers or to hand out to friends and neighbors.  They keep me from indulging on cookies with less desirable ingredients while still giving me my cookie fix!  No need to feel deprived during cookie season!

ALMOND HONEY COOKIES

Ingredients (makes 1 dozen cookies)

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Put all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix them together.  If the batter seems too runny add a bit more almond flour until you could handle it with your hands – though it will be sticky.

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2.) Drop the batter on the prepared baking sheet by spoonful.  Use a fork to gently impress a criss cross pattern on the top of each cookie.  If the batter is sticking to the fork, try dipping the fork in a bit of almond flour and then creating the criss cross pattern.  These will get bigger as they bake, so leave some space in between them.

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3.) Bake for 8-10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees, and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing.

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4.) Remove from the sheet and chow down!

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SO SO SO GOOD!!!  Yay to being able to enjoy cookie season without sacrificing good health to do it!  Enjoy! 🙂

Pumpkin Smoothie

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I know that Fall and Winter don’t usually scream “Smoothie time!”, but this smoothie will have you thinking differently.  After all, doesn’t fall mean pumpkin everything? 🙂  This is a pumpkin smoothie that is beyond delicious, incredibly good for you, and very filling.  In case you aren’t already familiar with some of the excellent health benefits of pumpkin, here’s a pin explaining some of them.

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Pretty awesome, huh?  So, I think the pumpkin says it all!  Let’s get to the recipe!

PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2-3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • Pumpkin pie spice, to taste
  • Stevia, to taste

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth.

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Transfer to a cup to serve.

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Perfect Fall/Winter smoothie!  Enjoy! 🙂