Simple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Some people stock up on pumpkin, candy corn, or other seasonal treats–I stock up on cranberries. Year-round you’ll find bags of organic cranberries in my freezer. You may think I’m crazy, but after one bite of this recipe you will understand why!

My variation of this simple cranberry sauce is not just a sauce…it is a DESSERT. You’ll find yourself wanting to eat it plain, with a spoon, similar to how you eat ice cream or pudding. Or at least I do. The best part: the only ingredients are fruit and nuts!

If you’ve ever made homemade cranberry sauce (or are familiar with it), you know one of the main ingredients is SUGAR. This version is made with pineapple, which adds a lot of sweetness so you can forgo adding sugar.

Health + Beauty Benefits

Cranberries are known for reducing inflammation, and studies show they protect your cardiovascular health and prevent gum disease. Cranberries benefit your immune system and may reduce or prevent the frequency of colds and flus. As are most fruits, they are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants that are great for your skin!

Variations

  • This makes a slightly “tart” cranberry sauce, for a sweeter sauce add more coconut nectar, stevia, or maple syrup.
  • You can omit the coconut nectar completely for a 100% fruit and nut based sauce.
  • I enjoy this best very cold (refrigerated), but you can eat it hot as well.

Try it out and let me know what you think! Are you a new cranberry addict as well? Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

Enjoy!

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**BIG thank you to lovely Kathy Sandvoss for enlightening me to the original version of this recipe! My Thanksgiving will never be the same!**

Simple Cranberry Sauce Recipe
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups organic fresh cranberries
  • 1 large organic orange
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut nectar (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup raw chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Chop up the orange into 8 segments, then chop each segment in half for 16 pieces total. Leave the rind on the orange pieces.
  2. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water, cranberries, chopped orange, coconut nectar, cloves, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Simmer 10-15 minutes until cranberries pop and sauce thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and add the pineapple and walnuts.
  4. Cool, stirring every so often so the flavors continue to combine. Remove the orange segments before serving, or eat around them. Enjoy!
 
 
Did you like this recipe? You’re going to love my FREE “Top 5 Vegan Breakfasts for Tons of Energy” recipe guide! Here’s a hint: it’s not oatmeal or fruit!

 
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Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Jacob and I were in Thailand a couple years ago scouting Vegan on a Jet Plane locations and enjoying life! Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines, so I built in plenty of time to attend local cooking schools and hopefully learn how to make my own “authentic” Thai dishes.

We attended a cooking school in Chiang Mai and learned how to make the most amazing pumpkin hummus. Pumpkin hummus is not what I envision when I think of Thai food, but it was so unique and delicious I still get cravings for it to this day! The original recipe is modified a bit so you can find all of these ingredients in western grocery stores.

So here you go! A savory pumpkin recipe to stand out from the crowd amongst your pumpkin spice lattes, ice cream, and other sugary pumpkin treats. As always, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and completely plant-based with no added sugars. Good for your body inside and out!

Other than the obvious (ahem…pumpkin season) there are plenty of health reasons why you should indulge in pumpkin this fall. One cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. It is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, both of which are great for your skin! Pumpkin is high in fiber so it is great for your digestive tract. It’s also a good food to keep you full if you’re trying to lose weight.

One last important note–make sure to take the time to cut and steam fresh pumpkin! If you use pre-cooked and pureed pumpkin, it just won’t taste the same. Enjoy this savory dip with veggies, rice crackers, spread on wraps, or with “sticky rice” as recommended by the cooking school!

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Hummus Recipe
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small/medium organic pumpkin (approximately 8 inches in diameter)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp organic raw cashews
  • 1 tsp raw coconut oil
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tempeh (optional)
  • 1 tsp mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp green onion, chopped, plus some for serving
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sodium organic gluten-free tamari sauce
  • ¼ tsp Pink Himalayan Salt, plus additional to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop one small pumpkin into 1 to 2 inch sized chunks. Place in a steamer (I use a bamboo steamer, but any type of steamer should work) and cook until soft, approximately 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin pieces. Once cooked, cool and refrigerate.
  2. In dry pan, toast sesame seeds stirring constantly until browned (approximately 3 minutes). Remove from pan. Add in coconut oil and cashews and stir until roasted (approximately 2 minutes). If you're including tempeh in your recipe, cook with the cashews. Remove and crush the sesame seeds, cashews, optional tempeh, and basil together; using a mortar and pestle.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of the cooled pumpkin, mint, cilantro, green onion, salt, and tamari sauce to the sesame seed/cashew mixture and continue mixing with the mortar and pestle, or blend in a Vitamix on medium speed until well combined. Season with sea salt to taste.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion for presentation. Serves 1-2 people. Enjoy with veggies, rice crackers, in a wrap, or even by itself! Enjoy!
Notes
Make sure to take the time to cut and steam fresh pumpkin! If you use pre-cooked and pureed pumpkin, it just won't taste the same.

You'll likely have steamed pumpkin left over, save for a future recipe or double the servings!
 

Bikini Ready Smoothie Recipe

There are certain times when we just want to look and feel great. What do we eat before a big event or a day on the beach?

My Bikini Ready Smoothie won’t make you drop tons of weight or get a six-pack overnight. We both know only good nutrition and exercise can do that!  But this recipe CAN help get rid of a little extra water weight and puffiness you might be carrying from a less than perfect diet.

I’ve recommended this to clients and friends; most see and feel a difference the next day. I whipped one up for a snack on Tuesday since I have a ton of fresh mint on hand. Sure enough Wednesday morning I felt a little lighter!

Are you ready for the “magic” ingredients? They’re not magic…just healthy fruits that can make you a little slimmer the next day!

The two main ingredients (mango and coconut water) are SUPER high in potassium. Potassium balances out the sodium in your body and as a result can flush out some of the extra water you’re carrying.

Another ingredient, turmeric, is well known for helping with digestion and bloating. Pineapple is a good source of potassium and also contains bromelain, a digestion promoting enzyme. The last ingredient, mint, helps relax the muscles of the digestive tract. All of these ingredients alleviate bloating and can help you fit into your skinny jeans again!

Other side effects from this smoothie include glowing skin and optimistic mood. Rough…I know.

A quick tip: drink this as a SNACK or a MEAL, but not WITH a meal. Fruit digests better on it’s own…mixing it with starches or protein might cause the opposite effect and promote digestive issues.

Did you feel or notice a difference? Make sure to leave a comment below with your results, I love hearing from you!

Bikini Ready Smoothie Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 cup organic coconut water
  • 1 cup organic frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cup organic frozen diced pineapple
  • 10 small fresh mint leaves
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients on high in a blender. Enjoy!

 

Did you like this recipe? You’re going to love my FREE “Top 5 Vegan Breakfasts for Tons of Energy” recipe guide! Here’s a hint: it’s not oatmeal or fruit!

 
Click Here to Download your Free Guide!

Anti-Aging Peach Parfait Recipe

Are you ready for a delicious, fast recipe that will help your skin look young and vibrant? Peaches are in season–which means I’ve been enjoying one of my favorite fruit recipes a lot lately and can’t wait to share it with you! This recipe technically serves four but you could easily eat it all yourself in one sitting (don’t worry–it’s healthy).

This delicious peach recipe would make a perfect side for a bridal shower or baby shower, as it is a simple dish that looks classy and pretty! It’s also a healthy crowd-pleaser to bring to a potluck or picnic.

Recipe Benefits

Basil is known for its exceptional anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties. Its also known for its stress and anxiety reducing properties! The Vitamin E in almonds helps protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

One of the major antioxidants in peaches, chlorogenic acid, helps destroy free radicals to reduce the effects of aging! The Vitamin C in peaches is great for your skin. Some people even put sliced peaches under their eyes to reduce the appearance of under eye circles! This makes peaches a delicious beauty food for sure!

Enjoy!

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Peaches with Basil and Almonds Recipe
 
This delicious peach recipe would make a perfect side for a bridal shower or baby shower, as it is a simple dish that looks classy and pretty!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack, Side, Dessert
Cuisine: Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 large organic yellow peaches, ripe
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 small organic lemon, juice only, fresh squeezed
  • 1 small handful organic basil leaves
  • 5 large organic mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits. Slice each peach into strips (approximately half a centimeter wide at the widest part). Cut off and discard any bruised spots.
  2. Toss the peaches in a bowl with the lemon juice and almonds.
  3. Chop the mint and basil into very fine strips and mix in with the peach mixture.
  4. Serve immediately or chill to marinade! I like to spoon into a glass for presentation and top with extra herbs and almonds. Enjoy!
 
Did you like this recipe? You’re going to love my FREE “Top 5 Vegan Breakfasts for Tons of Energy” recipe guide! Here’s a hint: it’s not oatmeal or fruit!

 
Click Here to Download your Free Guide!

Raw Carrot Cake Bites Recipe

These bites make a great little “treat” that has tons of health benefits with zero guilt! Enjoy them as a dessert, snack, before or after a workout, or with tea. They keep well in the fridge so you can eat them over a few days (if they last that long!).

This is a simple recipe where you can switch up the ingredients and not measure them out. I recently made these with macadamia nuts instead of cashews, no coconut, and no measuring devices and they were still delicious! Experiment and find a perfect recipe customized for you.

Benefits
Most desserts are sweetened with sugar, but these are sweetened with dried apricots! Not only do the apricots have tons of health benefits, they won’t spike your blood sugar so this recipe is a good choice for diabetics. Apricots are high in an important electrolyte for your body: potassium! A half cup of dried apricots has more than double the amount of potassium than one banana!

Raw Carrot Cake Bites Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 6 organic carrots (or enough to make 1 cup grated carrots)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried apricots (without sulfites, especially if you are sensitive to sulfites)
  • ⅛ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup raw organic shredded coconut + some for topping
Instructions
  1. Cut the carrot into large chunks and chop in a food processor or Vitamix. Remove from processor and make sure it measures out to 1 cup (remove some or process some more carrots as needed) and place in a large bowl.
  2. Chop the walnuts and cashews in a food processor, add to the carrot mixture.
  3. Chop the dried apricots in the food processor, and add to the carrot/nut mixture. If you have a large food processor you might be able to chop everything at once, I have a “mini” one so I did this in batches.
  4. Add the allspice, cinnamon, and coconut to the mixture. Mix with your hands making sure everything is well combined.
  5. Using your hands, roll some of the batter into a ball approximately 1 inch in diameter. Then roll the ball in the extra shredded coconut. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
  6. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Can be eaten immediately or refrigerated.
  7. Makes approximately 24 carrot cake balls. Enjoy!
 
Did you like this recipe? You’re going to love my FREE “Top 5 Vegan Breakfasts for Tons of Energy” recipe guide! Here’s a hint: it’s not oatmeal or fruit!

 
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St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Bar Recipe

I’d love to share these healthy and green St. Patty’s Day dessert bars with you. So many things make this dessert unique and special! The filling is made with heart-healthy beauty foods cashews and cocoa butter instead of dairy. The bars are sweetened with maple syrup and dates, which are lower glycemic and in general healthier than other sugars (but it is still sugar, so enjoy in moderation)! But the #1 reason why I love these bars is because the festive green color comes from a natural and healthy source, not from a food coloring.

Green Color: Matcha Green Tea vs. Food Coloring
Food coloring has been linked to so many problems: irritability, ADHD, cancer, and others. If you try cutting out or limiting “fake” food with dyes, you’ll be doing your body such a favor!

I used Matcha Green Tea powder to make these bars green. This gives you a festive St. Patrick’s Day dessert without the potential side effects/health problems that come with food coloring, but also some added benefits! Matcha green tea is high in antioxidants that give us young skin and fight UV radiation. It also contains the catechin EGCg which is widely recognized for cancer fighting properties. If this were not enough, matcha green tea also enhances calmness, boosts memory and concentration, detoxifies the body, increases energy levels without typical stimulant side effects such as nervousness, can lower LDL cholesterol (bad) while increasing HDL cholesterol (good), and promotes overall health. So…which sounds better to you? I’ll pick matcha green tea over artificial dyes any day!

If you’re not a fan of matcha or do not want the caffeine, there are other alternatives you can use to avoid the negative effect of artificial dyes. Some ideas that can make your dessert green include spinach (it has been done!), spirulina, wheatgrass, green powder, avocados, and many others. Get creative! Use your desire for a green-themed dessert as an opportunity to incorporate another healthy superfoods, veggies, or nutrients into your dessert.

So what exactly do these bars taste like? They’re very sweet and will melt in your mouth. I was hesitant to name them “matcha bars” because I cannot taste the matcha green tea at all. They taste like a white chocolate filling layer on top of a chocolate brownie crust. The texture softens at room temperature to a soft pie or soft cheesecake consistency. For firmer bars, make sure to serve straight out of the fridge!

You can add some peppermint extract to make these peppermint (or Thin Mint?!) flavored bars. I thought that was very fitting with the green color, but wanted to mix it up a bit! So green white chocolate flavoring it is. You can also drizzle some dark chocolate sauce on top.

Overall, this is a delicious dessert and is sure to be a hit at your next potluck, gathering, or St. Patrick’s Day themed event you attend. Recipe below, let me know what you think!

St. Patrick’s Day Dessert Bar Recipe

Crust Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 10 medium organic medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup organic cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup pure organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp matcha green tea powder

Crust Instructions

  1. In a food processor or a Vitamix, blend walnuts, dates cacao powder and salt until well combined and mixture begins to stick together.
  2. Transfer to an 8×8 inch dish and press evenly to the bottom of the pan to form a crust.

Filling Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in filtered water for at least an hour. Strain and discard the water.
  2. Melt cacao butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Blend cashews in a Vitamix or another high powered blender until smooth.
  4. Add cacao butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the cashews and blend on high until well combined.
  5. Add matcha green tea to the cashew mixture and blend until the filling is an even green color.

Final Steps

  1. Pour the green tea mixture over the crust and tilt the pan to make sure the filling is evenly coating the crust. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  2. Cut into bars and serve! You an top with cacao power or drizzle with chocolate if desired. Makes 16 bars.

Enjoy!

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Did you like this recipe? You’re going to love my FREE “Top 5 Vegan Breakfasts for Tons of Energy” recipe guide! Here’s a hint: it’s not oatmeal or fruit!

 
Click Here to Download your Free Guide!

15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes Everyone Will Love

We all know Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on and appreciate everything we’re grateful for. I’m challenging you to make gratitude a daily positive habit you practice every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving! Did you know expressing gratitude is strongly associated with higher overall happiness? One of the things that I am personally grateful for are all the wonderful people that read my posts and videos and have made a healthy decision because of them. I’m honored to help each and every one of you reach your healthiest + happiest self!

It’s pretty obvious that “Thanksgiving” and “healthy” are not commonly used in the same sentence. After all, it is a holiday where you’re expected to spend the afternoon eating so much food until you’re so full you can’t move.

Today I am breaking the Thanksgiving stereotype and compiled recipes to help you and your loved ones stay healthy this holiday! Almost everyone has family members with food allergies, high cholesterol, diabetes, or just has some family members who would prefer healthy options. The recipes I’ve compiled are delicious and can be enjoyed by (almost) anyone with different dietary needs. All the recipes below are vegan and gluten-free. As a bonus–no one would ever suspect these are healthy!

Mains
Lentil and Mushroom Shepard’s Pie
Pumpkin Risotto
Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Sides
Cannellini Bean, Shiitake Mushroom, and Carrot Quinoa
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts
Thanksgiving Southern Baked Corn
Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Easy Mushroom Gravy
Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Shallot and Thyme Mashed Potatoes

Desserts
Raspberry Dessert Bars
Apple Walnut Cobbler
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie
Maple Nut Cake

Here is one of my own festive fall recipes, “Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits,” pictured above!

In a Vitamix blend together:

Layer the pumpkin cheesecake filling in pretty glasses with layers of flaked coconut, cinnamon, and sliced almonds. More details and the health benefits of this recipe can be found here.

I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving, surrounded by the people you love!

Tips and Recipes for a Vegan & Gluten-Free Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of those holidays where it can feel challenging to eat healthy. Sometimes you want to give up, call it a “cheat day,” and stuff your face with potato salad and cake. Not this year! Here are some great recipes to help you eat a clean plant based diet, all while enjoying the festivities and companionship that this holiday has to offer!

Burgers
“Pulled” Cauliflower BBQ Sandwich by Beard & Bonnet
Vegan Burger King by One Green Planet
If you’re looking for pre-made burgers to throw on the grill, Qrunch Quinoa Burgers and Sunshine Burgers are good options.

Sides
Grilled Balsamic Vegetables by ifoodreal
Smokey Cumin and Avocado Dressing with Jicama Slaw Salad by Choosing Raw
Grilled Herb Corn on the Cob by Diabetic Living

Desserts
Protein Cookie Bars by Chic Delish
No Bake Chocolate Pie by Healthy Voyager

Here is one of my own patriotic recipes, pictured above!

In a bowl, mix together:
– organic blueberries
– organic raspberries
– raw organic shredded coconut
– raw walnuts

There is no need to measure anything, just add more of the ingredients you like the most! You can serve this as a dessert with coconut whipped cream, as a side, or as an appetizer. I enjoy this as a snack all summer long!

A few final Fourth of July Tips:
– Use avocado instead of mayonnaise on your sandwiches
– Use homemade or organic ketchup–the regular kind is full of high fructose corn syrup (which is linked to diabetes and Alzheimers)
– Don’t forget the watermelon!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Fourth of July!