Feel Good Fudge

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There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to enjoying eating in a healthier way. Many people claim they don’t have the time to eat well, or it’s difficult to do so when you’re eating out, or that simply, it just doesn’t taste as good. I think the best way of winning people over is showing them that you can actually still eat well with tasty and delicious food and one of the best ways (in my opinion) is with dessert!

This fudge came about when I had some leftover chickpeas. They are the magic ingredient in this dessert. I didn’t want to make something savoury with them and I thought if I blended them with some cashews and added in some cacao it could wind up being a simple and quick sweet tooth fix. After leaving the fudge to sit in the freezer for a couple hours, you have a healthy decadent dessert, all of which takes you no time to prepare with only six ingredients. This recipe gives you protein, fibre, and healthy fats that help to balance hormones and manage sugar cravings in a healthier way. And they are ingredients that you’ll feel far better in consuming and are kinder to your body than the usual refined and processed sugars that make up the conventional fudge.

You can change this up to suit what you like by adding some raw cacao nibs, chopped dark chocolate, or chopped nuts. Just mix it in at the end before you pop it in the freezer. This will not only take away a chocolate craving, it will fill you up before you get the chance to finish the whole pan!

Ingredients 

1 ¼ cups chickpeas

¼ cup cashews, soaked (4 hours minimum or overnight)

4 heaped tbsp. coconut oil

¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. raw cacao

Optional: 1 tsp. maca, raw cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Blend chickpeas and cashews in a food processor until combined.
  1. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the raw cacao, and blend until smooth. Add the raw cacao and blend again until the whole mix comes together.
  1. Add to a parchment lined baking tray and pop in the freezer until firm, usually a couple of hours.
  1. Remove from the freezer, pop out of the tray, cut into squares and enjoy!

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Immunity Shots

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Anyone who’s ever wandered into a juice shop before or maybe even perhaps if your local grocery store has caught on, you may have come across juice shots. Usually they are sold as a potent dose of nutrients in a quick, easy to toss back shot. I remember when wheatgrass shots used to be the only variety kicking about. Nowadays, there are all sorts of different kinds being touted for a variety of ailments.

I’ve been experimenting with lemon ginger variations myself and I absolutely love them for this time of the year. They’re really great to have on hand to keep you feeling well when everyone else around you begins to feel under the weather from the changing temperatures.

I’ve included a couple of extras I also like to add to mine depending on if there’s something specific to target.

Ginger is wonderfully warming and aromatic and helps with cold and flus by promoting detoxification and healthy sweating. It’s also great for the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce nausea and upset stomach. Ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory making it beneficial for aches and pains of the muscles and joints.

Lemons are very alkalizing for the body. They contain a variety of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, which is one of the most important we can find to maintain a healthy immune system. You can try adding half a lemon to warm water in the morning upon rising to wake up your digestion and cleanse the system of toxins.

Together, these two make a potent spicy dose that feels like you’re literally kicking any bugs lurking around right out of your body! Experiment a bit to find the right combination of the ingredients for your ideal shot.

Makes approx. ¼ cup

Ingredients

1 lemon
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger

Optional:
2-3 drops of oregano oil (colds/flu)
4-5 drops of grapefruit seed extract (candida/parasites)
1-2 cm piece of fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory boost)

Directions 

If using organic ingredients, you may choose to leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel away from both the lemon and ginger then juice through a juicer. Enjoy straight away for the best benefits or keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, banana, banana bread, organic september, overnight oats, oats, porridge, oatmeal, cinnamon, coconut, breakfast, back to school, back to school recipes, labour day, labour day weekend, long weekend, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, plant based

Happy Long Weekend!

Labour Day is always the day of that final farewell to summer if only because it means returning back to routines with school and work.

Making that even easier is prepping ahead with easy to make recipes such as this overnight oats breakfast I shared on The Huffington Post today. These really are one of the quickest things to make, ready the night before you wake, and leaving you with more time in the morning.

Ingredients

1 cup of oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 cup of coconut milk (or milk of choice)

¼ cup of water

1 banana

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

Handful of walnuts

Optional: 1 tsp. maca powder

Directions

  1. Add the oats, coconut milk, water, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of sea salt to a bowl and mix together.
  1. Take half the banana, mash with a fork, and add to your mixed oats.
  1. Chop the walnuts and add these to the mix. You can also set some aside to add on top in the morning.
  1. Place the bowl in the fridge ready to have in the morning. Alternatively, you can add your oat mixture to a jar with a sealed lid overnight in the fridge.

5. In the morning, add the other half of banana to your oats as well as any additional toppings of your choosing.

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Spring Rice Wraps

 spring, recipes, rice wraps, Asian food, Asian fusion, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, herbs, plant basedThe changing of the seasons always pinpoints a change in our eating habits. There’s an increase in fresh and light foods from the heavy and hearty ones that kept us warm through the cold months.

I was very ambitious back in March making these for lunch on an almost daily basis thinking spring was well and truly here. Of course I was misled by the sunnier mornings and the rising temperatures were only fleeting.

Now I think I am safe in saying that spring seems to be making itself known and these rice wraps are a great transition into the lighter side of things.

There’s no exact measurement for the amount of ingredients here; mix and match whatever veggies you like, add some sprouts, rice noodles, shrimp, different herbs, etc. The beauty of these is using what you have on hand or changing it up with what’s in season for different colours, flavours, and textures.

I made these with fresh basil, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, chopped lettuce, and rice noodles, sprinkling in some sesame seeds and hemp hearts. Get creative by changing up the veggies, spiralizing some and chopping others.

Instead of using peanut butter, I’ve made an almond butter satay sauce with a spicy hit that really takes these up a notch! spring, recipes, rice wraps, Asian food, Asian fusion, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, herbs, plant basedIngredients:

Rice wraps

Variety of veggies, chopped into “matchsticks”- red pepper, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, greens, etc.

Vermicelli

Fresh herbs- basil, parsley, coriander

Sesame seeds

Hemp hearts

2 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 lime, juice and zest

1 tsp. tamari

1 clove of garlic, minced

Splash of water- to thin as needed

Optional– chopped red chilli, chopped green onion

Directions

  1. If using vermicelli, boil some water to pour over desired amount and set aside for allotted time until softened.
  1. Chop your veggies into matchsticks, and if using, spiralize your zucchini.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together almond butter, maple syrup, tamari, lime, and garlic. Add water if needed to slightly thin the sauce.
  1. Assemble your wraps: Pour a couple of tablespoons of water onto a large plate. Taking a rice wrap, dip it into the water until every part has been coated with the water. Do this for about 25 seconds then lay onto a chopping board.
  1. Sprinkle sesame seeds, hemp seeds across the wrap. Layer a couple of leaves of basil in the centre then add the veggies you like, noodles, anything you’re using to fill.
  1. Start from the bottom of the wrap, roll away from you and fold over the filling. Tuck each of the sides in and continue to roll until you have a wrap.
  1. Repeat with the rest of your ingredients and serve with the almond satay sauce.

 spring, recipes, rice wraps, Asian food, Asian fusion, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, herbs, plant based

 

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogSpring hasn’t exactly quite sprung but that hasn’t stopped me from embracing the lighter side of things and these raw vegan carrot cake bites are a total treat! Incredibly easy to put together, they take no time at all and are as delicious as a freshly baked carrot cake.

The difference in these though is that they are considerably a much more healthier alternative. A little note on using organic carrots:

Choosing organic products means better health benefits for you and the environment around you. The soil our food grows in these days is seriously lacking nutrients and is depleted by the use of different pesticides and herbicides as well as conventional farming practices. I don’t know about you but I like my carrots to taste the way carrots are meant to and know that they’ve grown as nature has intended them to.

Organic carrots make up the bulk of this recipe giving you a dose of Vitamin A,  an antioxidant that maintains our vision and healthy skin. They also contain Medjool dates for added sweetness and a dose of fiber, and walnuts which have essential fatty acids. These are the kind of healthy fats we can’t make ourselves but that are necessary in supporting the body’s hormone production, reducing inflammation, and aiding in the proper development and function of our brain and nervous system (to name a slight few reasons as to why they are essential). Not to mention, a wicked raw cashew “cream-cheese” frosting to drizzle over as a final touch. I mean…

You can put them together this Easter weekend, or make them as part of your food prep for the week ahead as a tasty snack.

Makes 18-20 balls

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake bites:

4 organic carrots

1 1/2 cups of walnuts

4-6 Medjool dates- (depending on your sweet tooth)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ginger or freshly grated (add a little more with fresh)

Pinch of sea salt

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogFor the cashew “cream-cheese” drizzle:

1 cup of cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight

6-8 tbsp. of coconut milk (depending on how thick or thin you want the drizzle)

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. of vanilla

Juice of ½ lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add about ¼ cup of the walnuts, pulse until crumbly then set aside to roll the balls into later. Add the carrots and the rest of the walnuts and pulse again until fine.
  1. Set aside about ¼ cup of the shredded coconut then add the rest along with the dates, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pulse to combine everything.
  1. Take ½ tbsp. amounts of the mixture, roll into balls then alternate coating them in the ground walnuts or shredded coconut until covered. Place on a lined baking tray then pop them into the fridge.
  1. Make the cashew cream cheese. Drain and rinse the cashews then add to a high- speed blender with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and blend until smooth. Depending on how thick the mixture is, add more coconut milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
  1. Drizzle the carrot cake bites with the cashew cream cheese and enjoy!

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Healthy Halloween: Raw Chocolate Pumpkins

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Raw chocolate.

If you’ve never made your own chocolate, from scratch, you are in for a treat. And seeing as Halloween is right around the corner, I thought it fitting to make it into pumpkin molds.

I shared making raw chocolate a while ago on Instagram by making little cups full of the stuff, topped with chopped nuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. They are such a delicious treat and once you have a taste of making your own, you’ll find it hard to go back to anything else.

I used a lollipop pumpkin mold and this recipe made four of them. You can just as easily make this recipe and pop the chocolate into cupcake cases or even spread it out across some parchment paper.

Cacao butter is the main component in making chocolate. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that substitute coconut oil, but I find this is an essential ingredient in creating the right texture and taste. The smell alone reminds me of what chocolate is all about.

I found it easiest to grate the cacao butter, but I have also just eyeballed the amount and let it melt that way. I would recommend measuring everything out the first time round just to be sure. I grated out 2/3 cup of cacao butter, which equals just about 1/3 cup when melted.

You can also add vanilla bean (although it might create more of a grainy texture) but I quite like it.

Feel free to also mix in things such as bee pollen; nature’s sprinkles as I like to call them, are the perfect colours for Halloween with their purple and yellowy-orange granules.

Have fun with it!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup grated cacao butter (approx. 1/3 cup melted)

4 tbsp. raw cacao powder

3 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Optional: ½ vanilla bean or ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, bee pollen, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nuts or seeds to top

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler over just simmering water, melt the cacao butter. Whisk until it is completely melted.
  1. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder (and vanilla if using) and whisk until everything is smooth.
  1. Remove from the heat allowing to slightly cool for a minute or two. Pour into desired mold and mix any additions through.
  1. Place into a fridge to set for a few hours before gently removing from the molds.

These are best kept outside of the fridge once they’ve set as the cacao butter begins to rise to the surface of the chocolate resulting in a white appearance. If you plan on storing them for longer I’d place them in a sealed container, although they never last that long!