Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Ingredient Raw Fudge

I'm a member (currently an admin) of a group on Facebook called Real Food Cafe and a fellow blogger, Chloe of How We Flourish, shared her recipe for Raw Almond Chocolate Brownies. Three words got me there so I peeked and BAM --- I made them that day! 

A few notes worth mentioning: I have a Vitamix and knew that I couldn't make the recipe as was listed because the dense almonds and dates need a liquid to move through the blades with ease. I also substituted one of the ingredients. You can get her recipe on the link above and you can get mine below. I renamed mine to fudge because of the added coconut oil which made the 'brownies' slightly wet to the touch and they'll definitely melt in your fingers. 

The recipe is 5 ingredients but including the optional toppings, there are seven in total. The recipe is still raw. 

3/4 cup ground almonds (or almond meal)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate Complete (like this)
3 tbs melted coconut oil, divided

Optional toppings (as pictured):
1 tsp chocolate chips (like this)
1 tsp of unsweetened coconut chips (this is a good option)

1. *If you've got whole almonds, you can make almond meal in your Vitamix in under a minute. Keep on variable low and up to 7 using tamper to move the almonds towards the blades. If you made almond meal in your Vitamix then remove it and set aside. 

2. Pour in the dates and the peanut butter and 1 tbs of melted coconut oil and blend on variable low between a 5 and 7 using tamper for about 30 seconds. Turn off.

3. Add in the chocolate Complete (or raw / plant based chocolate, or cocoa / cocao powder) and 1/2 of the almond meal and 1 tbs of melted coconut oil. Turn on variable low between a 5-7 for about 30 seconds. Turn off.

4. Add the remaining almond meal and the last tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Blend on variable low until well mixed. You'll need to keep an eye on it as to ensure the ingredients are mixing thoroughly. 

5. Pour in a dish of your choice. Spread it out and flatten it with the back of a spoon. 

6. Sprinkle the chocolate and coconut chips and press into the fudge. 

7. Refrigerate until ready to devour. It stores up to week, if it'll last that long.

*Final note, if you already have almond meal on hand and/or don't have a Vitamix, you can omit the coconut oil and make the recipe in your food processor. 

Buon appetito! 

I do receive a small commission from if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

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If you're interested in learning more about how to choose quality, real foods for your family, you may enjoy my online L.E.A.N. Start "Nutrition Simplified" classes - they are for families that are starting out in their wellness journeys; individuals who need a new beginning or anyone who is looking for accountability and encouragement. You can learn here

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

L.E.A.N. Approved Snack - Chicken & Veggie Mini Pizzas

Before I share the quick recipe for DIY pizzas that even young children can make, I'm going to do a quick recap of what L.E.A.N. stands for...

L.E.A.N. is an acronym - Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, Nutrition. It is a philosophy taught by coaches certified from the Sears Wellness Institute (like me!). We teach quality and integrity of foods like nutritionists do and our basic foundation is the Traffic Light Eating (TLE) concept. When we think of foods in the 3 colors of a traffic light, we can quickly ascertain which foods fuel our bodies. Green and yellow light are the categories you want to stay in at least 80% of the time! More information on TLE can be found on a post I wrote in March 2013. 

L.E.A.N. Approved Snack - Chicken & Veggie Mini Pizzas

3- 100% whole wheat English muffins (without HFCS or hydrogenated oils)
2 tbs EVOO (like this); divided
Spaghetti sauce (I use this one or make your own like this)
Leftover chicken breasts, chopped
Veggies on hand - I used broccoli florets and onions
1 tsp oregano
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (can omit)
Unbleached parchment paper (like this)

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and separate the 3 english muffins. Set it up like an assembly line. This is a great time to get the little ones to help! 

2. While the little one is separating the English muffins and putting them in two rows of three, heat 1 tbs EVOO on medium heat in a skillet. Prepare veggies for a quick stir-saute. 

3. Using a silicone basting brush (like this) put a little EVOO on each slice of the English muffins. 

4. Cook the veggies for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally and seasoning with oregano. Stir in the chopped chicken breasts and finishing heating for 3 minutes. 

5. Turn on your oven's broiler to low. 

6. After all English muffins are topped with EVOO, use the same basting brush to top them with spaghetti sauce. Make it as thick as you'd like. 

7. Top the English muffins with the cooked veggies & chicken and if using, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. 

8. Place in the broiler for up to 10 minutes. Remove. Cool. Enjoy!!

If you'd like your English muffins to be more crunchy than soft, you can place them in the broiler with the EVOO (step 3) for 4 minutes. Then carefully (if children are helping), remove from oven and top with spaghetti sauce. Follow directions 7 & 8. 

I do receive a small commission from if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

Subscribe to my blog here to never miss a post. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Simple Solutions Series: Grazing on the Go

Simple Solutions Series

March Healthy Eating Presentation

I enjoy putting resources into the hands of people who want to dive deeper into wellness. One of my favorite activities is holding free presentations for communities in need. I've been invited back twice since holding my first talk with the local diabetes chapter. They would like me to come back monthly but due to time constraints, I'll be back every quarter. 

For the first time since moving to the High Desert, I was able to put on a collaborative event (this makes my heart sing!). My friend and I teamed up in March to give busy parents some helpful ideas on how to make healthy foods in a jiffy and with ease. We both know this is a need in our community as we live in a food desert. 

My neighbor was so kind to let me use her outdoor shaded kitchen for our talk. We demonstrated 4 healthy recipes that the guests could sample.

My friend demonstrating the chopper after serving our guests the hummus dip.


#1 – Importance of Breakfast
I shared L.E.A.N. tips and talked about boxed cereals. I shared two types of boxed cereals - one seemingly healthy and the other a much better alternative then we made: 

#2 - Grazing
I shared why small nutrient dense meals are preferable over 3 large meals.
We demonstrated a hummus dip with vegetables and a grazing tray.

#3 – TLE (Traffic Light Eating)
I shared the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

        I blended my signature green smoothie. (A new recipe to follow with images.) My friend demonstrated her container that prolongs the freshness of fruits and vegetables and she also demonstrated a veggie omelet using her tools.  

We served pineapple infused water in between the demonstrations. 

All adult guests left with a door prize and two guests went home with a giveaway valued at $35 each. 

We are looking forward to doing more of these events in the months ahead. Our goal is to do these "solution" based talks several times a year. Each talk will somewhat overlap the previous and they will build upon one another. 

All the recipes are using mostly green and yellow light foods. More on this color, search Traffic Light Eating on my blog or click the link above in #3.

The outline and discussion points for our April talk will be shared soon. Stay tuned.  

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Got asparagus? 

Wrap it with prosciutto. It is delicious! 

I also added basil pesto and crumbled feta before wrapping the asparagus. It was a nice added touch! The prosciutto I used was nitrate free. You can make your own pesto in under a minute in your vitamix as seen here

Roast the wrapped asparagus in a 400* oven for 10 minutes and about half way through drizzle EVOO on the ends of the asparagus. The prosciutto is already cooked and if your asparagus is really thick, you may need to add a few more minutes to the roast time. Sprinkle with sea salt when out of the oven. Cool for 2 minutes. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)