Superfood Oat Bars

What makes these super? Well, for one, these are raw so therefore no bake which means quick to make. You could even get your kids to make them. Delegate, moms! 🙂

What else makes them super? Goji Berries! Learn more about goji berries here. They are naturally sweet so add a great pop of flavor to this otherwise savory bar.

These are a great snack for sustainable energy for a hike, for your kids school lunch, or to stave off the afternoon slump without having to reach for the junk snacks.

 

1 3/4 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup goji berries (dried cranberries or raisins are also good)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

a dash of cinnamon

1/2 cup room temp creamy peanut butter

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Press into a square baking dish and refrigerate to set. They are good cool, so you could keep them stored in the fridge in an airtight container, but they also taste good slightly soft so you can keep them in an airtight container in the pantry.

Cookie Dough Bites

These aren’t raw, but they almost are. They are no bake, though. And take minutes to make. So you can feel good about giving your kids wholesome snacks without preservatives and without having to spend a lot of time batch cooking round after round of bars, treats, and snacks.

You might want to double or triple the batch! They are so delicious that you might have a lot of grabby hands in the snack jar.

The amounts listed below will give you about 12 balls a tad smaller than golf ball sized.

1 cup of oatmeal

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup grated unsweetened coconut

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

handful of dairy free chocolate chips

  1. In a food processor, pulse the oats and break them down a bit.
  2. Add everything else except the chocolate and pulse until combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll into balls and store in the refrigerator in airtight container.

 

 

Burrito Bowl

We all have those nights when getting dinner on the table quickly is priority #1. Maybe because it’s a late night, maybe you just don’t feel like cooking, maybe you are sick of the “I’m hungry!!!” battle cry coming from your kids. Or maybe you just prefer every meal be quick. I hear ya! Enter burrito bowls.

I’ll tell you my secret: cook a large batch of rice to keep in the fridge for those nights you plan to include rice with dinner. I do a lot of my batch cooking on the weekend and I will throw a few cups of rice with double the amount of vegetable broth and sea salt into a crock pot and cook my rice. That way I never have to wait for it to cook on the nights I need it. Did you know that if you cook, then cool your rice it reduces the glycemic index? Even if you warm it back up! That is another benefit of cooking your rice for the week ahead of time, because even if you warm it back up for dinner later in the week the glucose load will be lower.

Another tip: when you put your rice (or any grain) in the crock pot to cook, add a sheet of kombu, a sea vegetable, to mineralize your grain and tip it more onto the alkaline side of the scale. The other added benefits of adding kombu is that it will improve digestion, protect against anemia, aids in thyroid function because it is high in iodine, and has anti-inflammatory properties that aids in arthritis pain relief.

* * This recipe is a good start, and awesome as is, but you can add any vegetables you love. Beans are a great addition. I like to add chopped romaine to mine. OR maybe you like it spicy and want some hot peppers. Go for it! Tailor it to fit your tastes….just remember to keep it plant based and leave the animal proteins out.

 

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 green peppers, chopped

1 red onion, diced

5 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 1/5 cups fresh or frozen corn

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

juice of 1 lime

2 avocados

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Ground black pepper to taste

  1. Chop and lightly saute the vegetables in a splash of vegetable broth.
  2. Once veggies are cooked, remove from heat and stir in cilantro and juice of 1 lime and the seasonings. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado.
  3. Warm up the rice, dish into bowls, top with desired amount of veggies. Add a dollop of mashed avocado on top and enjoy!

** I generally prep my vegetables either the day before or in the morning and keep them in a covered dish on the counter so the seasonings and veggies have longer to infuse their flavors together. This makes dinner time a breeze because everything is already made (because remember you cooked your rice already, too?)

 

Aloe

Aloe is gaining popularity these days and for good reason.  It’s long been known that aloe is healing to the skin by alleviating damage done by sunburn, scrapes, bug bites, cuts, and minor burns. But it goes far beyond soothing boo-boos and owies. It is extremely useful in healing inside the body as well.

Inside that prickly, spikey leaf is a true natural plant-based medicinal gel that every medicine kit should have. A plant based medicine kit, of course!

Aloe vera juice vs aloe vera gel

The difference between the gel and juice is where it comes from. Both are beneficial and may come from different parts of the plant, but both bring their own set of healing properties.

Aloe vera juice is produced from the whole leaf or just the inner gel and can be consumed orally as a health remedy. Aloe vera juice has immune boosting properties and digestive stimulating effects.  Reports have shown that aloe vera juice has been used to treat asthma, epilepsy, and even osteoarthritis.

The gel is found inside the leaves. This can be used topically for soothing skin ailments such as sunburns, bug bites, cut and scrapes. You can also put a bit of the gel in your smoothie and consume it take way for healing from the inside out.

Immunity

The sugars in aloe are the healing form of sugar. The white blood cells that make up your immune system operate much more efficiently with certain nutrients, and the polysaccharide sugars in aloe are one of those nutrients. Another boost to the immune system comes from glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that plays an integral role in the development of white blood cells as well as preventing the damage done to other cells well oxidation occurs.  What does that mean? Things like a strong immune system, speedy recovery times, and normal detoxification is increased with sufficient glutathione.

Skin Care

Having the juice or gel on hand is a good idea because it is extremely healing and soothing. It can help reduce redness, help broken skin heal faster with less scarring, and it even works on clearing acne. This is because aloe can provide hydration and antioxidants to promote the body’s healing mechanism.

Digestion

As good as aloe is on the outside, it is just as good on the inside! It has the ability to balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation, repair leaky gut, and ease constipation.

Alkalinity

An acidic body is a body prone to illness because an acidic body is an atmosphere where illness thrives. Aloe can bring your body pH back into balance.

Detoxification

A major detoxifying organ is your liver. Because of the glutathione and the hydration present in aloe, your liver will stay operating efficiently and your body will be able to detox naturally.

Nutrient Boost

Aloe is a source of many minerals your body needs such as:

  • calcium
  • copper
  • chromium
  • sodium
  • selenium
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • manganese
  • zinc

Aloe vera is one of the only plant sources of vitamin B-12, too. This is excellent news for plant-based eaters.

Incorporating aloe into your daily ritual is as easy as adding some to your smoothie every morning, drinking the juice served over ice, and applying some to your skin. You’ll reap the benefits quickly and it sure beats spending top dollar for chemical filled cosmetics and health tonics. The answer comes direct from mother nature.

Veggie Wild Rice Soup

When I hit the jackpot of plant based deliciousness in my CSA box and a visit to a local farmers market, I couldn’t help but want to throw it all in one giant pot and make something that would leave us with plenty of leftovers. Cook once, eat twice, as they say!

I love wild rice soup, but most wild rice soups are filled which chicken and a creamy broth. Both are things I wanted to avoid. The dangers of dairy are well documented here, so we are a dairy-free household. If you value your health, and I think you do, then you ought to consider going dairy-free as well.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million time…..PLANTS HAVE PROTEIN. And this soup is chock full of plant based protein that is readily absorbed and used by the body without any negative and toxic side effects that animal based proteins have. And because of all the veggies, this soup is jam packed with vitamins, minerals and all kinds of essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.

You know, that is the beauty of health. I think it is made out to be so over complicated when it really isn’t. Just eat real food. Real, whole foods provide exactly everything the human body needs to be healthy. If it isn’t real, is overly-processed, is full of sugar, or made with more chemicals then actual food, whether it be a body care product or food, then it will cause dis-ease in the body. It’s really a no-brainer. Since this recipe has real, whole-food ingredients, you will fight against disease in the body rather than feed a disease. Better skin, lower blood pressure, protection against heart disease, lowered risk of diabetes, a boosted immune system…I could go on. But I won’t, because you want to know how to make the soup!

 

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped

2 cups green beans (fresh or frozen)

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp smoke paprika

8 roma tomatoes, diced

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup wild rice

1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

Himalayan sea salt/ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat a little water or a splash of veggie broth over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the carrots and bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add mushrooms, green beans, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Stir until all the veggies are evenly coated with the seasonings.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, broth, and rice. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Add white beans and corn. Cook another 5-6 minutes to heat through.
  5. Serve hot.

Zucchini Brownies

Cakey and fudgy and oh so good. And GUILT FREE! Besides a small amount of maple syrup there is NO added refined sugar.

Zucchini boasts a good amount of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.  So you can eat a brownie and boost your health. No brainer!

2 cups pureed zucchini (peel and puree in a food processor, no need to cook first)

1 chia egg

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 1/2 cup brown rice flour

1 handful of dark chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand, as they are dairy, soy, and nut free)

  1. Peel and puree zucchini in food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In a large bowl add everything except the chocolate chips and mix well.
  4. Spoon batter into a prepared 8×8 baking dish. I like to grease mine with a little coconut oil.
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.