Banana Chocolate Dream Bars

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I decided to invent these bad boys today. Yes, invent. I am ALWAYS looking for a way to eat healthy, delicious treats. Why? So I can eat double the amount that I would normally eat. Hopefully I’m not the only person who will “accidentally” eat dessert items for breakfast. I know myself, and I know that pre-damage control is always the best plan. You could totally eat one of these for breakfast ON PURPOSE and it would be fine. Seriously. You’re welcome.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Redmill)
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 cup dates
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pure unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup almond milk
3 large, ripe bananas
2/3 cup raw cacao
1 tspn. Vanilla
Pinch of salt

TOPPING:
Shredded, unsweetened coconut for garnish
Chocolate Chips for garnish (approx. 1/3 cup)

STEP 1:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Blend all ingredients, except for toppings. Grease a large baking dish with coconut or olive oil and pour mixture in.

STEP 2:
Top with shredded coconut and then chocolate chips and bake for about 15 minutes or until coconut becomes a bit toasted.

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Raw Vegan Tiramisu

Alright folks! Here it is; the holy grail of raw vegan desserts! Introducing *drum roll* the raw, vegan TIRAMISU!

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So, Tiramisu has always been one of my all-time favourite desserts. Making it at home can be a bit of a daunting task (for me anyways), so I normally grab a slice whenever I frequent a great Italian spot. When is the last time that I’ve had a nice piece of tiramisu? Hmmmmm… Well it’s been a while, because ever since I realized that processed foods were upsetting my stomach, I’ve really tried to stay away from them as much as possible. That being said, I do know that the last time I had Tiramisu was at a less than authentic Italian restaurant and it left me feeling pretty blah.

Anyways, am I the only person who LOVES Tiramisu? Does anyone else mildly obsess over it?

Let me know, and also, please let me know how you feel abut this guilt-free, delicious remake!

xox

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INGREDIENTS:
CAKE FILLING:
1/2 cup dates (soaked for min. 1 hour)
1 cup of cashews (soaked for min. 1 hour)
1 1/2 tsp. coffee extract (or 1 tbsp. of instant coffee mixed with 2 tspn. warm water to make your own).
2 1/2 tbsp. raw virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/2 tbsp. raw honey (not vegan) or maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

CREAM LAYER:
1 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup dates
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tbsp. raw virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 tsp. raw honey
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

TOPPING:
3 tbsp. raw cacao, sifted

Step 1:
Blend cake layer and cream layer separately and place in separate bowls. Taste cake layer, and if you feel that it needs a bit more coffee extract, add a small amount in and stir.

Step 2:
Place a layer of cake (about half of mixture) at the bottom of a small baking dish, then place in freezer until stiff. Then, apply a layer of icing and freeze until stiff. Repeat for a total of four layers.

Step 3:
Top with raw cacao. (Use a sifter or fork,mid unavailable.)

Step 4:
Enjoy; and try not to knock anything over while doing an epic happy dance! 😀

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Deliciously Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free, vegan, sugar and oil free) Healthy

Alright, so here’s the thing… Despite what my close friends may think, I don’t actually have a huge sweet tooth… Unless I haven’t been eating very much fruit. I used to basically never crave anything sweet, until I became a raw vegan. As a raw vegan, I ate huge amounts of fruit per day and I have never felt better! Well, those days are gone and I do fall short of eating as much fresh fruit as I would like to on most days.

Alas, I am left with random cookie cravings. Yes, a jump from fresh fruit to cookies; don’t judge me please!

Any-who, I really don’t like processed cookies very much… Unless I’m extremely hungry, then I’ll eat anything. So why eat something terrible if I don’t even truly enjoy it? And that my friends is why I make healthy cookies.

At the end of the day, I am one with the fact that cookies will get eaten. I just try to make sure that they are the right ones!

Please give these a try and let me know how it went! Your tummy and body will thank me later; I promise!

(As a side-note; most gluten free or vegan cookies still contain large amounts of sugar. So even though you’re avoiding gluten and dairy, you’re still really not eliminating the worst of it.)

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INGREDIENTS:
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup natural, unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 pure, unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

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INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients with a fork and place on baking sheet in desired sizes. Bake for 20 mins. DONE!

Wasn’t that easy? Just wait until you try them!

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Creamy, Vegetable, Coconut Curry Lime Soup! (Gluten free, super healthy and vegan!)

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(Meet my kitchen helper; Buddy! He LOVES sweet potatoes!)

Alright, so for the first time since I have arrived here in California, it has rained! Apparently, it like never rains here. Well, anyways, I love the rain! I voluntarily rode my bike around and picked up a few things from the store. People definitely thought that there was something wrong with me… The joke was on them though! 😀

I signed up for a farm fresh delivery service and my order came today! YUM! Basically, farms will deliver organic, GMO free fruits and vegetables right to your door. It’s very well priced and since I’m on vacation, I don’t actually have a car at the moment. This makes for a very happy customer! Since everything is seasonal and grown within the area, you start using vegetables and eating fruits you may not normally grab at the store. It’s very cool!

Anyways, today my box of love came full of delicate winter squash and carrots. Since it was cold and wet outside, I decided that this was a sign to make some heart-warming soul-rejuvenating soup. On a cold day, grab a bowl of this extremely healthy soup and ward off any sign of sniffles!

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Serves about 4-6 depending
INGREDIENTS:
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 Can of coconut milk
1 Sweet potato/Yam, chopped
2 Potatoes, diced
4 Carrots, chopped
1 Large onion, diced
2 small winter squash seeded, peeled and chopped (or one medium squash)
A bunch of asparagus, chopped into medium sized pieces (about 2cm) (optional but recommended ingredient)
1 Tomato, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
2 sprigs of thyme
Pinch of cayenne (this adds spice so use to your liking)
Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:
Cook all of the vegetables (EXCEPT TOMATO AND ASPARAGUS), along with garlic and ginger, on medium heat for about five minutes.

Step 2:
Add remaining ingredients (except for coconut milk and lime juice) and simmer on low-medium heat for about 45 minutes.

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Step 3:
Check to make sure vegetables are cooked through, then add coconut milk and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste and ENJOY!

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Healthy, High Protein, Vegan, gluten, sugar and oil FREE Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter and Toasted Coconut Cookies! HURRAY!

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Alright, so I was determined to make some amazingly healthy, vegan, gluten, sugar and oil/butter free cookies. Why, you may ponder? Because I think it’s a crying shame that humans everywhere are constantly being punished for eating delicious sweets. That’s right! The animals are punished to make them AND then our bodies are punished for eating them. It’s a vicious cycle really. The problem is that most healthy things tend to taste not-so-awesome. That’s where these delicious cookies come in!

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Makes approx. 30 small-medium sized cookies
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups of gluten free oats
1 cup of crunchy, PURE peanut butter (try to make sure that the only ingredient listed on the jar is peanuts; i.e. NO other oils)
1 ripe banana
2 cups of dates (don’t forget to remove the seeds!)
1 cup of room-temperature coconut milk (use what’s left in a green smoothie! Don’t you throw that out!)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (as pure as possible [65% or higher])
Approx. 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of unrefined salt
*Note: if you find that your cookies are sticking to the baking sheet/parchment paper, try using the most invisible amount of coconut oil. Only use this if you have to, otherwise stick to cooking without lining the sheet with anything.

Step 1:
Blend/Process oats until they become a flour-like consistency.

Step 2:
Add the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT for the chocolate chips and shredded coconut, and blend/process completely. This may take some stopping and scraping of the sides of your blender, however it will form a very gooey, thick dough.

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Step 3:
Put the batter into a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.

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Step 4:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Get a bowl of cold water and dip your hands in prior to rolling cookie dough into a ball, flattening it and placing onto the cookie sheet. This prevents the cookie batter from sticking to your hands. (It’s pretty sticky, so you’ll thank me later for this one.) Then, sprinkle a generous amount of shredded coconut onto each cookie and stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure the coconut has been fully toasted before taking them out!

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*Original Recipe was written on this blog: http://www.gluten-free-vegan-girl.com/2013/01/guilt-free-chunky-chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-cookies.html#comment-2234 please feel free to check her out, she has some truly amazing recipes!

Cooking is easier when you have thyme!

Yes, cooking is definitely better when you have that thyme. You like that, huh? It’s true though! All you have to do is buy some organic, fresh thyme, wash it, separate it a bit and let it dry on a piece of paper towel. Done and done! Let it sit there forever (although it won’t last long) and add it to savoury meals to add that extra OOMPH! Not only that but thyme has many well-known health benefits and contains some of those awesome anti-oxidants that we all crave. Don’t believe me? Google it!

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Anyways, I love this stuff! I add it to almost everything; mainly soups, stews, quinoa and rice dishes. It really adds something amazing!

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Delicious, vegan, gluten free, “Cream” of Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup! YUMMY!

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So, apparently fall is approaching… However, I wouldn’t know because I have been in California since August! As much as I love the beautiful weather, I miss the smell of autumn and watching the leaves turn from green to yellow to orange to red. At home, my dad would always make soup on the weekends. I would come home from the chilly outdoors and mmmmmmm! The smell of the soup would welcome me right into the house. He would generally make meat-based soups containing whatever random vegetables we had in the fridge at the time. There is something about the smell of his soup that makes me understand the beauty of simple vegetables and ingredients. If someone has caught a chill or needs a pick me up, this soup will make them feel the love, I promise. Right now, I miss home just a tad, so I decided to bring a taste of home into my kitchen in California. (Plus, it’s super healthy and a great way to pack in a ton of vegetables.) Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS:
1 Cauliflower
2 Celery Stalks
1 Carrot
1 Large Onion chopped (I used a red onion, however you can use a yellow onion.)
1 Large Potato
1 Sweet Potato/Yam
4 Garlic Cloves
4 cups of Vegetable Broth
1 cup Almond or Plant-Based Milk (If you aren’t vegan, feel free to use skim milk.)
Some dried herbs of your choice. (I used three sprigs of thyme [stems removed], and a couple of dashes of oregano and basil.)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Step 1:
Cook onions and garlic on low heat until slightly browned. Then add potatoes, celery and chopped carrot. Cook, while stirring, for about five more minutes.

Step 2:
Add the vegetable broth and herbs and bring to a boil. Now add the chopped cauliflower and simmer until all of the vegetables are tender. (This will take about 10-20 minutes.)

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Step 3:
Either use a hand blender, or transfer into a blender and purée. (If you are like me and have had bad experiences with this; do it the safe way… Transfer the vegetables into a blender using a slotted spoon, purée and then give it a bit of an extra stir once you put it back into the pot with the broth.)
***Note: at this point, depending on the size of potatoes, etc. that you used, you may need to add some water to thin the soup out if it is too thick. Add a bit of water to do this, and a pinch of salt if necessary.

Step 4:
Stir in almond or plant based milk, add some freshly cracked pepper, serve and enjoy!

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*Original Recipe credit to this amazing girl: http://www.gluten-free-vegan-girl.com/2013/01/vegan-cream-of-cauliflower-soup.html Please check her out, she has some truly awesome recipes!