Raw Thumbrint Cookies

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Lately, I feel like I’ve been so busy I don’t have time to do anything besides working and being a mom. I got a new job that I’ll be starting soon, which is part of stress that has been on my plate. I haven’t been cooking and baking as much, which I hate, but it should become a bit better.

The problem with being super busy and stress is that the food I eat is not always the best for me because I’m in a rush. How many times have you thought “oh I wish I had a simple, yet nutritious snack right about meow?” I know I have, a lot. Look no further! These raw cookies are delicious, nutritious and 5 ingredients only!

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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  2. 1/2 cup flaxseed
  3. 1/4 sunflower seed
  4. 2 cups dates, soaked for 15 minutes
  5. chocolate for topping
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in warm water for 15 minutes.
  2. Blend in the food processor until smooth.
  3. Mix with the seeds and form little balls.
  4. Press into baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  5. Melt chocolate or make your own and pour on top.
  6. Let sit in the fridge until chocolate hardens, then store the leftovers in there too.
  7. Enjoy with loved ones!

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Summer Cashew Popsicles – Vegan, GF

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Summer is here! Or so we thought. Here in the Pacific NW, the sun and temperatures keep teasing us – it’s nice and warm for a couple of days and then it’s back to colder and rainy days. I’ve heard that’s normal. Last year was amazing, warm starting in March. Not this year. I LOVE summer months. Going out is so much fun, enjoying the temperature, the smell of grass, being near water. I have yet to experience that this year. So, if the summer is hesitant to come I’ve decided to make my own summer with these yummy cashew popsicles 🙂IMG_1056-1

Popsicles are so easy to make! It’s an amazing snack and your kids will love you for letting them eat some. You can spend time together making them and you can personalize them in so many different ways! In the summer, I make them quite a lot and change it up, but this time I wanted to make them unusual – hence the cashews. The chocolate recipe for topping can be found here. Please play around with the sweetener levels so it’s to your liking. Enjoy and I hope, wherever you are, you’re in summer already!

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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cashew milk (if you want to make your own, just blend 4 cups of water, 1 cup of cashews and a bit of salt)
  2. 2 cups frozen mango
  3. 1 date
Optional
  1. chocolate and nuts for topping
Instructions
  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Fill popsicle molds with small pieces of cashews and pour the blended mix in.
  3. Mix a little so that the nuts get distributed into most parts of the mold.
  4. Freeze until solid.
  5. Once ready to serve, make your own chocolate or melt bought one and pour over popsicles.
  6. Finish with nuts or sprinkles of choice.
  7. Enjoy with loved ones!

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Green Series: Vegan Matcha Cheesecake with Spirulina Sprinkles

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Aaand, another cheesecake is here 🙂 Yes, it is and it’s been too long. I love vegan cheesecakes because they’re an amazing snack full of nutrition and flavor. So simple and so delicious. This cheesecake is only 5 ingredients. Yes, it’s that easy. Can you believe it? You better.

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Remember how I told you I didn’t really like dates until I decided to step outside the box and try them? Well, I’ve been loving them ever since. I love dates filled with peanut butter as a snack at work.

Dates and almonds are the only two ingredients you need for the crust! I couldn’t decide what to use as toppings/sprinkles until I realized my beloved Organic Burst Spirulina granules were the perfect match – they’re green which matches matcha (ha), they look like sprinkles AND they are filled with amazing health benefits. You can’t go wrong with them.

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And matcha – I’ve been wanting to try matcha for so long! Its amazing health benefits were one reason (antioxidants and energy boost, just to name a couple). Also, I’m a sucker for anything colorful, so there. Unusually looking foods are my favorite. I love to shock, what can I say. Not that matcha is that shocking, but it did create a green cake, so kinda. I took this to work and the response was overwhelmingly positive, even by meat eaters 😛 I love this cheesecake as a snack or a treat. So go and make it and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

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Crust
  1. 1 cup dates, soaked 15 minutes
  2. 1 cup raw almonds
Filling
  1. 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  2. 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  3. 1 tbsp matcha (I accidentally bought sweetened one, but if you have regular sweeten with preferred sweetener)
  4. Optional, but highly recommended: Spirulina granules
Instructions
  1. Put almonds and dates into food processor and blend until dough forms.
  2. Press into cake form, I used a 9 inch. Put into freezer while preparing filling.
  3. In a high speed blender (or food processor) put the filling ingredients and blend until super smooth.
  4. Pour over the base and put into freezer for at least 2 hours.
  5. Share with loved ones frozen or chilled. It will hold form out of fridge too.

2 Ingredient Blueberry Icecream

I make banana ice cream a lot. A LOT. People always ask me what I use to make it and almost never believe me when I tell them it only has one ingredient. After a little explanation they become believers. Banana ice cream is really the simplest frozen treat you can make. It only requires frozen bananas and desired toppings. I try to make sure I have 2-3 bananas in my freezer at all times. Depending on your freezer they stay pretty nice for about a week, or even longer. If you don’t make ice cream, you can always use them in your smoothies, so nothing is wasted.

For this one, I used blueberries and bananas, but feel free to mix whatever frozen fruit you like as long as you make sure there’s at least one banana to get the nice and creamy consistency. Heck, add some spinach while you’re at it.

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As hard as it is to believe, you really only need bananas for the basic banana ice cream. The secret? Food processor. A blender won’t do it. You can try, but you will most likely need to use milk in order for the blender to be able to chop it all up. And in the end, the consistency won’t be as creamy as it could be.

So, here’s what to watch out for while making it in a food processor:

1. At first, your machine will dance on the counter as if it was Saturday Night Fever.

2. Then all the bananas will get chopped up and it’ll look like shaved ice (even more so if there is other fruit because it’ll give it more of a sorbet look).

3. Next, a huge mass forms and it will go around, looking as if it was pole dancing. No biggie, keep going.

4. Last stage is when that big mass breaks down and looks like a soft serve. It’ll be all pretty quick so make sure you don’t walk away. You’re done!

Some people add sweeteners, but, honestly, if you freeze ripe bananas there’s no need. Unless you have a super sweet tooth 🙂

And toppings? Anything you’d like. Nuts? Sure. Chocolate? You better! Sprinkles? Go for it. The chocolate I used is the same as my previous recipe minus the crispy rice.

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Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. 2 cups blueberries
Instructions
  1. Just one step – throw it in a food processor and watch it do the dance until ice cream forms.
  2. Enjoy with loved ones!

Raw Vegan Maca Squares

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me: hey babes, I made these amazing maca squares just now!

hubby: I don’t like coconut. I’m kinda over it.

me: ok. I’ll go take a nap because I’m tired.

hubby: ok

I come back and half the bars are gone.

Do you need any more proof that you need to make these?

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These squares are your ultimate energy snack. Dates, almond, cacao and coconut to begin with and the amazingness (is that a word?) of maca can’t even compare.

Have school and a lot of studying? Make these.

Are you a parent (doesn’t matter what age your kids are, right?)? Make these.

Did you just come home and want to go to gym, but you don’t quite feel the energy? MAKE THESE!

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This recipe is so simple to make. I love Organic Burst, as you may know, and I’ve been wanting to try maca for such a long time, but was hesitant for some reason. I researched and researched and then I finally dove in. This company is simply beyond amazing! Btw, they have in no way sponsored this post, I just love them 🙂 If you want to try any superfoods I highly recommend them. The maca they have is a blend of 4 different kinds to provide the best outcome. The first thing I did when I received my first order was to sniff it because I’ve heard various things about maca’s scent. Well, look no further because this one smells amazing! Do this for me, will ya? Close your eyes and inhale and let your senses process it. See? Very unique, huh? Of course, if you’d like to make these without maca, or another brand that you like that’s absolutely fine. They will still be just as amazing. Please enjoy and let me know how you like them!

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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup dates, soaked
  2. 3/4 cup almonds
  3. 1/4 cup cacao powder
  4. 1/4 cup oats
  5. 1/4 cup almond meal
  6. 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk, or as needed
  7. 1 tbsp maca
  8. coconut for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Soak almonds in warm water for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients, except maca into food processor and blend until dough forms.
  3. If you feel the dough is too thick add more almond milk, little by little.
  4. Transfer into a bowl and add maca. Mix well.
  5. Pour into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and press down firmly with a spoon. If too sticky, wet the bottom of the spoon.
  6. Sprinkle coconut on top and put in a freezer for about 30 – 60 minutes.
  7. Take out, cut into squares and enjoy with loved ones!

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Raw Strawberry Jam

Jam, jelly, marmelade.

Do you remember those early mornings on the weekends when nothing was more satisfying than a toast with jam? A homemade one? I was lucky enough to have a grandma who made almost everything from scratch. We’re talking jam, pickled anything; even pasta was homemade. That woman was amazing and I hate the fact that when I was a teenager and she wanted to teach me how to make things I was “too cool” for that.

Ever since I remember I would spend time with her in the kitchen with cutting boards and flour and dough everywhere and I had my kid’s version of tools and she let me play along as she was preparing things. It was magic. My grandma was the kindest woman I’ve known – selfless, loving, but she stood her ground on things she believed in and I wish I got to spend more than just the 14 years I’ve had with her. I have now lived more of my life without her than I did with her, but there isn’t a day when I don’t miss her. She was a great friend – I could tell her anything. There are many recipes that were her staples and I can only try to be as close as I can, but I’ll never make them as good as she did.

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It doesn’t hurt to try though. And now, trying to be more healthy, I take recipes we have from her and adjust them. That way I get the best of both worlds 🙂

I still remember my grandma making jam at her house. She had all the berries she needed in her garden so we spend a day together picking them and then cooking. The house smelled so amazing – her kitchen was always warm and steamy and yummy smelling.

While I don’t have time to make cooked jam, I sure do have time to make a raw one. And I did and I love it. You will too!
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It only takes about 5 minutes of prep, 3 ingredients and a bread with peanut butter on one side, just waiting for that jelly to be slapped on 😀

PB&J – let me tell you how weirded out I was when I first learned of this when I came to the states – “What do you mean salty and sweet? Peanuts and jelly? EEEEEEWWWWW.” But then I learned that different things are not necessarily better or worse than the ones we’re used to, they’re just different and I have simply experienced a classic culture shock. It did take me 3 years to try this, but once I did I was hooked. And let me tell you about homemade PB&J! Or, why don’t you just make it and tell me what you think? 😉IMG_0361-1

ngredients
  1. 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  3. 1/4 cup chia
Instructions
  1. If using frozen strawberries, let thaw.
  2. Put into a blender along with maple syrup and blend until smooth, or desired consistency.
  3. Put in a bowl and mix in chia seeds.
  4. Let sit for about an hour until chia puffs up and creates a thicker consistency.
  5. Enjoy with loved ones!

Raw Vegan Coffee Cheesecake

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Coffee – the aroma, the taste, the options on preparing it… Unlike anything out there. And yet, I gave up coffee about six months ago because it was fueling my anxiety and making my heart race too much. Another reason is that every time I had it I “crashed” really hard a couple of hours later. I went from happy to half asleep so then I had another cup around lunch time and maybe another after work because I’m a mom and my day is not over until my son’s in bed. It became quite ridiculous..Because of my anxiety I decided to cut it completely and maybe just have a decaf in the morning. Since decaf has some caffeine it was still affecting me, unfortunately. So I decided to try to go without coffee to see how I would do…

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And you know what I realized? That I’m fine 🙂 Instead of having “highs” and “lows” I’m more leveled. I also noticed that hearty lunches make me go into food coma like no other. So I started to make healthier choices. And I’m proud of myself for doing so! Then I discovered Organic Burst superfoods and I love them! So far I tried spirulina, maca and chlorella, but I’ll be trying more soon.
IMG_0060-1Enough rambling though. I miss the taste of coffee. A lot. And so, when I thought about what flavor of cheesecake I should make was a no brainer.

Ladies and gents, I give you raw vegan coffee cheesecake with goji cacao oat base. I’ve been snacking on this every day since I made it and I must say I’m in love! The best thing is the consistency which allows you to eat it frozen or just chilled. Simple – choose the texture and enjoy.
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Let’s break down what you’re getting from this cheesecake:
– the taste and smell of coffee which you love so much
– antioxidants, better skin and immunity boost from Goji berries, among other things
– cardiovascular system support and cancer prevention from cacao
– healthier heart, bones and nervous system from cashews
– good fibers and minerals from oats

In short, let’s get healthy together through a dessert 😀
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Crust
  1. 2 cups goji berries OR dates, soaked for 15 minutes in warm water
  2. 2 cups oats
  3. 1 tbsp maple syrup
  4. 1/4 cup of cacao
Filling
  1. 3 cup cashews, soaked over night
  2. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  4. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  5. 1/2 cup espresso (I used decaf)
  6. more cacao powder for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews over night (or 6-8 hours) and drain.
  2. The next day, soak goji berries for 15 minutes and drain.
  3. Make espresso and let cool a little.
  4. In a food processor combine the ingredients for crust and process until sticky dough forms.
  5. Press into a pie dish – I used 11in baking dish.
  6. Put in the freezer while preparing the filling.
  7. In a high speed blender or a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until SUPER smooth.
  8. Pour into dish on a chilled base.
  9. Store in a freezer or fridge based on preference.
  10. Enjoy with loved ones 🙂
Notes
  1. I’m so happy with the consistency of the filling because you can choose whether you’d like it frozen or just chilled while keeping its shape. YUM!

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Decadent Chocolate Bliss Balls

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I’ve been wanting to make chocolate-y treats with quinoa ever since I’ve tried 2 Degrees Food chocolate peanut butter bar. It has amazing ingredients and the best part is that every time you buy one bar another one is given to a hungry child. WIN! These bars are filling, tasty and healthy. What’s not to love?

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I played with the idea in my head for quite some time and even got encouraged by the company itself to make a different recipe. That was all the motivation I needed and I created these the next day!

The trick is to get the dough to the right consistency and texture. I knew I wanted the nuts to be chunky, but the rest of it as smooth as possible. I also wanted to make sure that the ingredients are nutritious, filling, but yummy. As always.

I played around with the dough without blending any of it, but in the end I had to do it. The best part? The nuts stayed chunky and the rest is pretty smooth because I made sure to on use pulse function on my food processor.

Bliss Balls
  1. 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa
  2. 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
  3. 2 tbsp raw cacao powder, plus more for coating
  4. 3 tbsp maple syrup, or as needed
  5. 1 cup of puffed rice (this gives the treats nice airy texture)
  6. 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
Chocolate
  1. 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  2. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  3. 1/4 cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. – cook quinoa according to instructions, rinse and set aside
  2. – put hazelnuts into food processor and pulse until desired texture is achieved – you can go all the way if you’d like to use hazelnut butter instead
  3. – put all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until you get a dough like consistency with some ingredients blended only partially (see picture of one bliss ball cut in half)
  4. – form balls with hands, or using two spoons, put on parchment paper and put in the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes
  5. – use desired toppings! let your imagination go wild, please and let me know how it goes 🙂 I used raw cacao powder, coconut shavings and raw vegan chocolate.
  6. – put into fridge and store in air tight container
  7. – serve to loved ones
Notes
  1. Tip: if you missed my previous make-your-own-chocolate posts, here’s how I make it – I melt the coconut oil and maple syrup and then slowly add cacao powder and I get a nice rich consistency.

Have a great morning/day/evening, whatever time zone you’re in currently 🙂

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Yummy Green Smoothie + Simple Guide to Smoothies

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Good afternoon everyone! Or morning. Or night, or whatever time it is when you’re reading this.

I finally made myself post a recipe of a smoothie. I think the reason I haven’t published anything is that it seems so simple and yet, I remember the days when I started with green smoothies and researched high and low what kinds I could make. So here you go, one of my favorites.

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This smoothie will be a staple in your home and everyone will love it – my toddler downs it in seconds. My husband always asks what I put in it, but he always downs it too 😀 I’m telling you, it’s easy to please with it and you’re getting the benefit of all the amazing ingredients in it. If you’re just starting with green smoothies, the fruit ones are the best for that. Veggie smoothies take a little time to get used to and also much more experimenting. If you want, I can give you my most favorite veggie smoothie recipe, just let me know 😉

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The basics for smoothies in general:

– pick a liquid you’d like to use – I usually use almond milk for fruit ones and lemon and water for veggie ones

– choose your sweetener – the easiest is banana, although I don’t really like it in veggie smoothies so I go with apples and carrots. You can also use figs, or dates or maple syrup.

– go with less liquid at first and based on your ingredients and speed of blender add more later because fruits and veggies will let some water out and the last thing you want is a smoothie that’s too runny. I have a very basic and cheap blender so I sometimes have to use more liquids, but I do so gradually while watching the consistency.

– pick your greens – whatever you’re throwing into your blender, even if it’s just bananas, add a green veggie to it. It’s the best thing you can do for your body because the nutrients will at least double. The easiest one to start with is spinach. The taste of spinach is not overpowering when paired with other foods so it’s easy to forget it’s in it – in case you have picky eaters 🙂 Kale is a bit stronger in flavor so that one requires a bit playing to figure out the best combinations for your taste buds. We’re all different and that’s ok. You may prefer Kale and if you do, more power to ya! Kale is packed with nutrients and vitamins so no harm done. After you try spinach and kale feel free to try other greens and see what you like.

– For a more dense and filling smoothie, add about one tbsp of chia, flaxseed (meal), nut butter, coconut or cacao powder

– blend until the smoothest possible! I used to be asked if I’m drinking salsa until I realized that I didn’t let the blender go long enough. Truth be told, my blender is also not very powerful, but it gets the job done once I give it enough time 🙂

– these are the basics that I figured out when I was starting out with green smoothies. If you have more tips, please share them in the comments below!

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Allright, on to this beauty. You need:

– 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk

– 2 medium size bananas

– 1 cup of frozen strawberries

– (big) handful of spinach

Directions:

Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth! You can use frozen bananas as well if you want it thicker and colder. Serve in a cute glass because I promise you it’ll taste better 🙂 Serve to loved ones immediately. If you have any leftovers pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Your kids will love you.

I love green smoothies in the morning, for snack or after a workout. Or whenever. ENJOY!

What’s your favorite?

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Raw Vegan Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Pie on Goji Crust

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Fall is here! This raw pie definitely matches – color wise – and I didn’t even plan on it. I have been researching all kinds of crusts for raw pies, but most of them use dates mixed with variety of different things. I don’t really like dates because they’re too sweet for me so I was trying to think what else I could use to make it work. I don’t like raisins, I don’t normally buy cherries…And then it hit me! Goji berries! Full of every possible goodness you can think of for your body, so why not?

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Like I said, I wasn’t even thinking about the color because I was so excited about using gojis. The color was a sweet bonus. Also, this was my first time using soaked cashews for the filling too and I must say now I know why they’re used so much in raw pies/tarts. Perfect texture and not too much taste that would mix with other ingredients. All right, let’s get down to what’s in it. Who loves peanut butter? ME! Chocolate? DUH! Banana? YEAAA! I mean, you just can’t go wrong here. Fall colors? Check. Go make it!

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Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup goji berries – soaked for 10 minuts

1 cup oat flour – simply blend oats in food processor

Filling

1 cup cashews – soaked for 5 hours

1 banana

1 tbs cacao powder

1/4 cup peanut butter – I made my own

1 tbs brown rice syrup – feel free to use maple/agave syrup or honey

Optional – roasted cashews and goji berries for topping.

Method:

Soak cashews 4-6 hours prior to making the pie. Soak goji berries and start gathering all the ingredients. Use oat flour or make your own in food processor. After gojis have been soaking for about 10 minutes add them to the oat flour in food processor and blend until everything is well combined. Press into pie pan using fingers or a wet spoon – I used a 9 inch pan. Press firmly on the bottom and sides, bringing higher on the sides. Put into freezer while making filling. Prepare filling by blending all the ingredients in food processor or blender. Take the pan out of freezer and pour the filling in, smoothing with spatula. Make it pretty with toppings of choice, fold sides inward a little and put into freezer for 1-2 hours. Once firm enough to cut, keep in the fridge. Don’t forget the most important step – cut up and share with loved ones. Enjoy!

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