Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups

There is no greater food combination than peanut butter and chocolate.

End of story. ūüėČ

This is another candy re-do for you to enjoy that still has ALL the sweet flavor but NONE of the guilt.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating salad all day every day. Even though I do literally wake up every morning craving my lunch which usually consists of a giant salad (I should just start eating it for breakfast!), I do like to indulge in a treat every now and then, too.

I am out to prove that there ARE healthier options for those times when you want something sweet rather than savory.

FILLING

3/4 cup no sugar added peanut butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

COATING

1 cup melted dark chocolate (I use this brand of chocolate bars and melt them down down)

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the filling ingredients.
  2. Pour the mixture into molds (I used silicone pumpkin shaped molds, you can use any shape you’d like but I would suggest silicone for easy removal)
  3. Put in freezer for at least an hour.
  4. Melt the chocolate to make the coating.
  5. Remove the molds from freezer and place on parchment paper.
  6. Pour melted chocolate into the molds about half way up.
  7. Drop the frozen peanut butter pumpkins back into the molds and press down so the chocolate encases the peanut butter. You might need to use your fingers to cover completely.
  8. Place in refrigerator to let cool. Store in the refrigerator.

 

Vegetable Rice Soup

You want easy? I got easy!

Trying to meal plan one day I knew on one particular day we were going to be out ALL DAY. ¬†I also knew, that even though I packed plenty of snacks, my boys would be “STARVING.” What else did I know? I knew I wasn’t going to want to spend much time cooking. I would be tired, too.

So before we left the house that morning I threw some rice in the crock pot. I don’t use instant rice and I knew I wouldn’t want to wait 45 minutes for my rice to cook.

When we got home my rice was done. I threw a few bags of organic mixed veggies in a pot with some diced tomatoes, covered it with organic veggie broth and mixed in the rice.

Quick. Easy. Delicious.

My kids even ate some for leftovers, and they typically aren’t the biggest fans of leftovers for dinner.

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1 cup long grain brown rice

2 cups veggie broth

  1. In crock pot add the rice and the 2 cups of broth. Set to low and let cook for a few hours.

2-3 bags organic frozen mixed veggies

2 32oz. containers of organic veggie broth

2 cans organic fire roasted diced tomatoes

  1. To a large pot add the broth, tomatoes and mixed veggies. When that comes to a boil turn off the heat and add the cooked rice.

I serve mine along side a slice of homemade bread. Such a comforting meal on these fall nights!

Homemade Twix Bars

Recently I made peanut butter patties in an effort to give my kids treats for Halloween that didn’t involve the highly processed sugar laden varieties they would receive at every door step. They want to participate in the celebrations but do not want to eat the junk food. And I don’t want them to either. So I promised them that they can get their costumes, head out trick-or-treating, but have healthier treats waiting for them at home. We have a local hospital that will buy back all the candy kids receive and give them a dollar per pound! They are ready to FILL their bags and cash in, as we agreed this would be the last year of the door-to-door celebration, opting for a more low key holiday next year.

These Twix bars here are easy to make, but take 3 individual steps. You have to let each layer cool before pouring on the next one. It doesn’t take long, though. And it will be WORTH it in the end.

For the shortbread crust
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea¬†salt
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, soft but not melted
For the caramel filling
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 ¬†cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 ¬†cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
For the chocolate topping
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • handful of Enjoy Life chocolate chips (which are dairy/soy/nut free), melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350¬ļF. Grease an 8×8 square pan with coconut oil, liberally.
  2. Combine coconut flour and salt in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir. Add the coconut oil and mix until a large dough ball forms, pressing out any clumps of coconut oil. I used my hands¬†to make sure it’s fully combined and no clumps remain.¬†Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until all of the ingredients are melted and thoroughly combined. Pour over the crust and let cool in the refrigerator until set before topping with chocolate layer.
  4. For the chocolate topping, whisk together all of the ingredients and pour over the cooled caramel layer. Smooth evenly and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let cool in refrigerator until set.  Keep stored in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Patties

With Halloween fast approaching, and my kids fully on board with not eating processed sugars, I always make sure to have homemade treats on hand so they can still indulge in the holiday. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter is always a winner.

In addition to not eating processed sugars, I really try to stay away from companies that support/promote/perpetuate terrible practices for obtaining their food product. A lot of the major candy and chocolate companies employ child laborers, some of which were trafficked and forced into child labor. I am not comfortable with that.

This is why I make these home made patties. We like to treat ourselves, too, but do not want to promote an unhealthy lifestyle or turn a blind eye (which in essence is supporting) to the horrific practices of major chocolate companies.

And they are quick and easy to make!

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2/3 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour

3.5 ounces 72% dark chocolate bar, vegan if desired (fair trade!)

** You could also use cashew or almond butter, just make sure they are natural

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of coconut flour. The peanut butter mixture should be sticky like a wet cookie dough.
  2. Drop peanut butter mixture by the tablespoonful onto a parchment lined small baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, melt the chocolate bar in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. Transfer melted chocolate to a small warm bowl. Quickly use a fork to dip each peanut butter “egg” into chocolate. Make sure to coat evenly. Transfer back to parchment lined baking sheet. Immediately place baking sheet back in freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. ¬†Keep in freezer until ready to eat.

**Another delicious option would be to add a drop of Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil to the peanut butter mixture to make them mint patties. In addition to tasting great, peppermint oil serves many benefits to the body such as helping relieve digestive issues, ease headaches, boost energy, improve mental focus, aid in clearing respiratory tract, has a soothing effect on aching muscles and will even freshen your breath. So the question is, why¬†wouldn’t¬† you add a drop of peppermint to your patties?! ūüôā

Vegan Fried Rice

This is a great, hearty, wholesome meal that comes together quick and is full of nutrition. That’s my kind of meal!

I avoid bottled soy sauce because because most soy sauce contains gluten. You can use coconut aminos instead or you can make your own gluten free soy sauce. I have a recipe for that below.

One of my sons also likes when I add chopped pineapple to it, so that is another great flavorful option for you if you like pineapple.

Another idea….I’ve made this using quinoa instead of rice and it is equally as delicious!

FRIED RICE

Splash of veggie broth

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 small white onion, diced

1/2 cup frozen peas

3 cloves garlic, minced

Himalayan sea salt, to taste

Pepper

3 cups cooked rice

3 green onions, thinly sliced

3-4 Tbsp. coconut aminos (or homemade soy sauce, recipe below)

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Diced pineapple (optional)

  1. In a large skillet, sautee the carrots, onions, garlic and peas in a splash of broth until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the cooked rice, salt, pepper, green onions, coconut aminos and sesame oil. Mix well.
  3. Top with diced pineapple.

GLUTEN FREE SOY SAUCE

2 cups veggie broth

2 tsp blackstrap molassess

1 large garlic clove (smashed)

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp white vinegar

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.  Liquid should reduce slightly.
  2. Remove garlic.
  3. What is left is your gluten-free and soy-less “soy” sauce.

Raspberry Chia Jam

Super charge that old fashioned PB&J with this delicious Raspberry Chia Jam.

Chia seeds are considered one of nature’s “superfoods” for good reason. Such a tiny little seed and it packs a big punch. Being rich in antioxidants, it is great for your skin and for slowing down the signs of aging, It is super high in fiber which helps maintain insulin levels, keeps you satiated, and all that fiber helps keep you regular. They can even reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure so consuming chia seeds is great for heart health. Chia seeds contain boron which is essential nutrient for bone health. Even more amazing, is that chia seeds are one of the top sources for plant-based protein.

I could go on and on, they are so¬†jam¬†packed with vital nutrients! Add to that the antioxidant power of raspberries and just a plain ol’ sandwich suddenly becomes quite the power lunch!

1 cup raspberries

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until you get the consistency you like.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. It may be runny at first but the chia seeds will thicken it up in no time.

Vegan Fajitas

My kids are good vegetable eaters. They have to be since we don’t eat meat. But I still take it as a compliment when my CHILDREN tell me that I should “post this right away, Mom!” I have to admit, it is one of my favorites, too. I make my own fajita seasoning and admittedly had to tinker with it quite a few times before getting it just right. No one in my house really likes it too spicy. And getting the right ratio of every other seasoning to sea salt took a little work. Feel free to add more spice if you like it hot.

You could very well add in some mushrooms to the veggie combo, too. I have done that in the past and it turns out great. Really, you could use any veggies you want. Zucchini is a good addition and I always add that when I happen to have any extras.

Homemade Tortillas 

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 orange pepper

3-4 roma tomatoes

1 large yellow onion

fajita seasoning

TO MAKE FAJITA SEASONING:

1 tbsp potato starch

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

FAJITAS

  1. Slice all the peppers, tomatoes, and onion. Saute in a large skillet for 7-10 minutes on medium heat, until cooked through.
  2. Stir in the fajita seasoning. If it is too dry, you can add a splash of veggie broth.
  3. Serve on homemade tortillas.

 

Deodorant

Let’s face it, no one wants to walk around smelling like a stinky old locker room. We want to smell good. Or at least not smell¬†bad.

The trouble is, there are several damaging chemicals in deodorant that can cause serious chronic diseases in our body. Many of them are known skin irritants, endocrine distruptors, and carcinogens.

Some of those include parabens, aluminum, silica, talc, triclosan, and propylene glycol. These are all linked to organ damage and/or cancer.

We don’t want to clog up our skin’s pores anyway. The skin is a natural detox pathway for our body. We need to keep that pathway open. Let the sweat come, I say! Get those toxins out! I sure don’t want to be putting more IN!

You aren’t doomed to having stinky pits forever, though!

I have for you a super simple recipe to make your own deodorant that not only controls the stink but actually can do some good.

Using apple cider vinegar on your skin is just one of its MANY uses. ACV can balance your skin’s pH. And though it will have a vinegar smell when spritzing it on, I promise once it dries you won’t smell like a salad. I like to add essential oils like lavender because it is great for your skin and tea tree to help assist the body in ridding itself of unwanted bugs.

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3-5 drops tea tree essential oil

3-5 drops lavender essential oil

distilled water

  1. In a 4oz. glass spray bottle add the apple cider vinegar, and essential oils. Give it a gentle swirl to combine then fill the rest of the way with distilled water.

TO YOUR OWN HIGH QUALITY ESSENTIAL OILS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 If you want to know why I choose Young Living, click here to find out!

DIY Beach Waves Spray

The salty ocean water makes for pretty awesome hair. Unfortunately I do not live by an ocean and even if I did I probably wouldn’t dunk my head in the water every morning as part of my daily morning routine. The good news is, it’s easy enough to get that beach-waves look without even leaving your bathroom!

In an 8 oz. glass spray bottle combine:

1 1/2 tsp epsom salt

5 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil

Fill the rest of the way with distilled water

Adding the lavender oil to the spray will help condition your hair, keep it shiny and reduce flakes. Lavender essential oil is also said to promote healthy hair and hair growth. Plus your hair will smell great!

TO PURCHASE OILS FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE CLICK HERE, AND YOU WILL BE WELL ON YOUR WAY TO BEING ABLE TO MAKE DIY BEACH WAVES SPRAY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN FAMILY!