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Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Refined sugar-free

Yields: 10 truffles

This simple 4-ingredient recipe is made with no heavy cream or refined sugar and takes less than 15 minutes to make! As many of you know by now, I have a love affair with chocolate (always have!). It is a nice sweet treat that I love to keep in the fridge for when I am feeling it. Most truffles are far too decadent for me and they typically contain dairy which I am highly intolerant to and steer away from. In replace of heavy cream I have used heart-healthy avocado as the base and let me tell you – you wouldn’t even guess that this is what makes these truffles super creamy.

As you begin to rid your diet of refined sugars, artificial flavours, preservatives, msg and the list goes on you retrain your taste buds to want and crave healthier foods. By eliminating these ingredients you begin to detoxify the body giving it only real ingredients that is recognizes and can eliminate.

I decided to coat the truffles with maca powder for its many health benefits. You can also use shredded coconut, cacao powder, chia seeds, etc. Maca is naturally high in minerals (calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc), sterols, essential fatty acids, lipids, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids. It is often recommended to those with adrenal fatigue as it nourishes them and reduces stress hormones. It is also fantastic in helping boost hormones, fertility, increase energy and more!

With Valentine’s Day just one month away I really wanted to perfect a decadent chocolate recipe to share with you all. Enjoy x

Ingredients

  • 1 Hass avocado
  • ¾ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy life)
  • A pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • Maca powder (to roll balls in)

Instructions

  1. With a potato masher, mash one avocado until smooth and lump-free
  2. Melt chocolate chips in a double broiler
  3. Pour melted chocolate into the bowl with the avocado and mix until well combined
  4. Place the mixture into the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Once th e mixture has firmed up, remove from fridge and make the truffles by rolling a tablespoon at a time into a 1-inch ball.
  5. Fill a shallow bowl with maca powder and roll each truffle until coated. Roll some truffles in the maca powder and some simply sprinkle a few Himalayan sea salt crystals on each truffle. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Yields: 8-10

As a child Brussels sprouts was one of those vegetables that I cringed even at the thought of eating them.  They have become one of my favourite adult vegetables (when in season of course).  Brussels sprouts are a great source of iron and potassium (important for bone health) and offer other benefits that can boost your overall health. Butternut Squash is a staple in my household in the fall and winters months.  It delivers an ample dose of dietary fibre as well as potassium and vitamin B6 (essential for the proper functioning of  both the nervous and immune systems). I try my best to incorporate vegetables, herbs and spices that boost the immune system during the fall and winter months to protect us from the common cold.

I adore the combination of ingredients here with all the flavours of winter. This dish is not only low-maintenance but it makes a beautiful presentation too – it was a wonderful holiday side dish that made a great addition to our Christmas menu.

Enjoy xx

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 medium size butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (Roast). Place the butternut squash chunks in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Place the Brussels sprouts halves into another large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to distribute the oil evenly.
  2. Place the butternut squash on one baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the Brussels sprouts on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper (tip: place the Brussels sprouts cut side down so they caramelize much more evenly).
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, flipping them gently 1 to 2 times.
  4. Place the pecan halves in a pan and toast for 5-7 minutes until golden.
  5. Gently place the roasted vegetables in a large serving bowl or platter. Drizzle olive oil and toss the vegetables gently until they are lightly dressed. Serve warm.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

Yields: 10-12 cookies

In nursery school, my daughter Savannah has been learning about Christmas traditions. She comes home one afternoon and asks me to make gingerbread men cookies for Santa. She was so excited and I could see the sparkle in her eyes, I couldn’t resist but agree! I immediately realized that I had never made Gingerbread men cookies before – yikes!  I never grew up with this cookie which meant I needed to make it a few times until I was satisfied.  The first time I made them the shape of the cookies were distorted but the taste was there. My mistake was rolling out the dough too thin.  It is imperative that the dough is no less than ¼ inch thick to ensure the gingerbread men do not break when transferring them from the cookie cutter to the baking sheet.

I absolutely love the spices in this cookie. I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger; all spices that remind me of the Holiday Season. The best part of this recipe is making it with my daughter and enjoying the process. Being present in today’s society is becoming more and more difficult. As life becomes busier we become more and more distant from the present moment.  Engaging in activities that bring you, family and friends together will help with presence. I am so happy that Savannah came home and asked me to make these cookies because it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone.

Now I can comfortably make these cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa with a Camomile tea 😉

Happy Holidays xo

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower seed butter
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup 1-to-1 baking flour (Bobs Red Mill)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Blend well.
  2. In a small pot, combine the coconut oil and molasses and heat up for only 20 seconds until well combined. Add the coconut sugar (leave the 2 Tbsp for sprinkling) and whisk until blended. Add the egg and whisk the mixture until thoroughly blended.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and mix until combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 2 sheet sof plastic wrap on your working surface, placing one dough on each and roll out until ¼ inch thick.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place each cookie on the baking sheet. Combine your dough scrapes into a ball and roll them out again repeating until you have used all of your dough. Sprinkle the cookies with coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 8-11 minutes (8 minutes for a softer cookie and 11 for a more crisp cookie). Place cookies on cooling racks to cool.

For a drink with holiday spirit!

Dairy- free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free

Yields: 4

As soon as it begins to get cold I start to crave eggnog. It screams Christmas to me and I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Eggnog, or also knows as egg milk punch, is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. It is a creamy dairy-based beverage that I have steered away from for years because of my dairy intolerance. However last year I decided to give this holiday drink a try making it gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. The holidays just aren’t the holidays without eggnog so I am happy I perfected this recipe (and so are my family and friends).

Some of you may be reading this blog thinking why make your own when you can buy a festive carton at the nearby grocery store. Store bought eggnog is filled with thickeners and stabilizers, artificial colors and flavors; some are also sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Making your own eggnog may initially appear intimidating but I promise that this recipe is simple. Making your own will spare you these additives and preservatives and you can create variety in the flavours of your eggnog. Using an orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and maple syrup will give your homemade egg nog the boost it needs without any refined sugars.

Some recipes use raw eggs to avoid tempering but typically these recipes call for quite a bit of alcohol which acts as a preservative and sterilizer. My recipe involves tempering the egg yolks but it is a quick process and you can still add in alcohol if you choose to 😉

Ingredients

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 stick whole cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and maple syrup until thick. Set the bowl aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, slowly heat the almond milk with the cinnamon stick, stirring frequently, until the cinnamon becomes fragrant. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the milk very slowly into the egg yolk and maple syrup mixture, whisking constantly. This is how to temper the eggs, so they don’t scramble. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and stir in the coconut milk.
  3. Return the saucepan to the stovetop, and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble slightly (not a full rolling boil, or it will curdle) and starts to thicken.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Chill completely in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
8 years ago I decided to rid my life of anything that did not represent me wholeheartedly.  From the food that I eat, to the make-up that I put on my face, to the clothing and accessories I wear.  It truly came down to the Art of Simplicity and representing companies and brands that align to my lifestyle.
It is no denying that I love beautiful things and a beautiful style of life. I was ecstatic to receive an email from Jord Wood Watches asking me to join their Holiday Campaign in promoting and representing their Cassia Series Walnut & Vintage Rose women’s watch.  For me, when wearing Jord it represents more than showcasing a healthy and authentic person, it represents a person who has an opinion of their own, speaks their mind out loud and has the courage to live life on their own terms and chooses authenticity over everything. This brand represents all that I am embody.
When this watch arrived to my doorstep I was initially impressed with the thoughtful styling of the packaging. All Jord watches are packaged in an intelligent design. The box that surrounds the watch is wood with magnets to safely keep the box closed and the watch safe. Included in the box is humidity control and a natural finishing oil to keep your watch looking timeless.
If you look at women’s watches today you will see a sea of similar staring back at you. This Walnut & Vintage Rose watch has thoughtful styling and is meant for the unique woman. Its vintage look and domed sapphire crystal glass creates a pretty and soft design allowing women to look and feel feminine.
I decided to switch over my accessories to eco-friendly ones that use natural raw materials. This series uses natural walnut and is hand finished and pretreated with tung oils. It is natural, durable and environmentally friendly. Apart from its beauty, this watch makes a statement that you care about the environment and what companies you spend your money on. As a health and wellness blogger, I was attracted to this watch, not only for its vintage and trendy design, but because wood is good for health and wellbeing. Wood watches are healthier than mainstream metal and aluminium ones. Exposure to wood products could create similar health benefits to those created by spending time in nature. As someone who has sensitive skin, switching over to wood products was the ideal decision as they tend to be hypoallergenic and do not require chemical cleaning solution.  This watch is cleaned with Lemon or orange oil extract.
The Cassia Walnut and Vintage Rose watch is a vision of versatility and truly a piece worthy of your wrist that you should welcome into your jewelry wardrobe. I am offering all of my followers a 25% off coupon . Treat yourself, and someone special, this Holiday Season and purchase this timepiece that transcends the simple categorization of a watch.
Happy Holidays xx

Have your cake and eat it too!

These no-bake cake bites are soft, chewy and delicious. It is a healthy treat packed with nutrients. They’re sweet and packed with flavour, without the added white sugar and gluten. Yes you read that right – these cake bites are refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Shhhhh you can’t tell.

These cake bites are super easy to make of course because I only ever do easy! This is the ideal treat recipe for busy schedules and anyone like me who is often “on-the-go”. No baking is required here which makes them fast to make, easy to pack and an instant treat in your mouth!

I am constantly trying to create simple healthy recipes that the whole family can endulge in.  These cake bites have been a success with my little one. She attends nursery school and snacks are included however I decided to opt-out of this snack program once looking at the list of snacks provided. Our family sticks very closely to a dairy-free and refined sugar-free lifestyle with minimal to no gluten. Opting out of the snack program meant that I would have to become more creative with the snacks I pack Savannah to somewhat mimic the snacks being provided so she doesn’t feel completely left out. This is not an easy task! Well, these cake bites are always a WIN and she has her nursery school friends asking her to share! What parent doesn’t like a hidden veggie snack that tastes like dessert!?

All you will need to make this quick recipe is a few simple ingredients and a food processor or blender. You begin by blitzing the raw carrots in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Then you transfer those to a bowl. Place dates, nuts and all other ingredients into the food processor or blender. I adore adding in dates to anything no-bake as they act as a sticky binder keeping the balls together. Not to mention they provide a lovely touch of natural sweetness.

I created this recipe with pecans for the caramel favour they have but you can most definitely swap out this nut for almonds, walnuts or your preferred nut of choice.

To this mixture, add the rest of the ingredients and then pulse until it forms a dough that you can roll into balls.

Important to Note:

  •  Keep the cake bites in the fridge as these tend to be softer than other no-bake bites I have created due to the high water content in raw carrots
  •  If nuts are an allergen in your household, you can swap in sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for the pecans

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, plus 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 5-7 medjool dates, pitted (if dry, soak for 10 minutes first)
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter (also called coconut manna)
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated or 1/2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt

Instructions:

  1. Place raw carrots in a food processor or blender and blend until finely chopped. Then transfer into a bowl
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend until fully combined –  and a sticky yet workable texture is formed
  3. Roll out heaping tablespoon sized bites, and set onto a baking sheet, repeat until all the mixture is used.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of shredded coconut on a plate or in a shallow bowl and roll each turmeric carrot cake bite to lightly coat.
  5. Place finished bites in the refrigerator to set for a few hours, or overnight
  6. Store in the refrigerator for one week or freeze for a one month

Yields:  8 Bars

Matcha boosts the metabolism and detoxifies the body effectively and naturally.  It is rich in fibre, chlorophyll and vitamins. This Japanese green tea enhances mood and aids in concentration.  I enjoy a Matcha latte (made with coconut milk) in the mornings as it gives me the energy boost I need to start my day without the headaches that can sometimes come with coffee.

Green tea and chocolate may make you second guess this recipe but both ingredients compliment one another very well.  Both matcha and cacao have a bitter taste but that is offset with the sweetness of the pure maple syrup.

Why does chocolate make us happy? Because it tastes good and it provides us with an escape from our busy and often stressed-out lifestyles. Dark chocolate made with raw cacao is good for more than curing a broken heart. Scientific research has provided explanations around the idea that chocolate does in fact make us happy. There are over 300-naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate and some of them can affect the brain by releasing neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters can be responsible for your emotions and the way that you feel. Eating chocolate releases endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are known to decrease levels of both stress and pain.

Not all chocolate is weighed the same. I am speaking about high quality chocolate made with cacao not the sugary junk.  Chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. These plant-based, healthy, vegan, dairy free, gluten free chocolate bars will increase your mood and enhance your taste buds leaving you feeling comforted, alert, excited and HAPPY.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 Tablespoon organic matcha powder
  • 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Naturespath organic brown rice crisps

Instructions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap for easy removal
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until smooth
  3. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out
  4. Freeze for 20 minutes or until solid
  5. Slice into 8 chocolate bars and enjoy! These bars will melt at room temperature. Store into a container in the fridge to avoid melting.