Cashew Cookie Bites

1 1/3 cup raw cashew bites

2/3 cup gluten free old fashion rolled oats

5 Tbsp. raw unfiltered honey or agave

1 scoop Vanilla Complete whole food shake mix (or your favorite plant-based protein powder)

1/3 cup dairy-free mini-chocolate chips (try Enjoy Life brand)

First, blend cashew and oats in food processor until a flour consistency. Then stir in Vanilla Complete and honey or agave. Chocolate chips can be added to the food processor at the end (which is what I did) or fold in at the end. Roll into bite size balls. Enjoy!


Mango Bliss Balls

These treats are delicious for dessert or breakfast! The original recipe called for dried apricots but since I had dried mango on hand, I substituted.  Be sure to use organic for all ingredients as conventional fruits and nuts contains toxic preservatives. Nuts, especially walnuts, can also contain BHT as a preservative which has to been linked to increased risk of cancer. Dried fruits may contain sulphur dioxide (sulfites) which has been linked to respiratory issues.  The #1 Rule is to read ingredient labels and buy organic!

1 c of dried organic apricots or mango

1 c. pitted dates

1/2 c raw organic almonds

1/2 c raw organic cashews

1/2 c raw organic walnuts

Set aside 1/2-2/3 cup of pure shredded organic coconut flakes

Place all the items in a bowl (except coconut flakes) and pour boiling water over until covered.  Let soak for 15 minutes, drain and add to a food processor.  Mix until everything is finely chopped. Roll into small balls and roll in coconut. Store in the refrigerator.  Makes about 20-30 balls (depending on the size that you roll them).


Oatmeal Pancakes or Waffles

Many of you asked - so here's the recipe for our favorite pancakes. As a bonus, they are gluten-free as well.  My son and I LOVE them. 

1/3 cup each:  cornmeal, millet flour and coconut flour

1 cup rolled oats (quick)

1 tbsp basking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

2 farm-raised eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cup organic soy or almond milk

4 tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp brown sugar

In large mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, millet flour, coconut flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.  In small mixing bowl, stir stir together eggs, milk, butter, and brown sugar.  Add to dry mixture.  Stir until well blended.  Pour batter onto preheated griddle or pan.  Serve only with pure maple syrup!

Coconut Cacao Snowballs

Coconut Cacao Snowballs

These make a wonderful sweet treat for those needing an energy boost or a sweet fix plus they are so good for you. The benefits of this snacks powerhouse ingredients are featured below.


  •  1 cup raw almonds (soaked preferably)
  • 12 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  •  1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup +2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup Chia seeds


  1. Set aside the 2 tablespoons shredded coconut in a small plate. Place all ingredients into food processor or Vitamix and blend for 1 to 2 min., until the mixture becomes similar to very fine sticky pebbles.
  2. About a teaspoon at a time, roll into 1 inch balls and dipped in shredded coconut to lightly cover entire ball.
  3. Enjoy

Serving Size: 1 ball | Calories: 124 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 1 mg | Total Carbohydrate: 15 g | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 11 g | Protein: 3 g

Here is why these delicious snacks are a nutritional powerhouse:

Almonds are a nutrient-dense food in the nut family, they are a rich source of fiber and protein, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, and niacin, and of course, vitamin E, an important antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals.  Note:  I always recommend you soak your almonds in filtered water for about 8-10 hours, rinse and drain before consumption.

Dates are a great source of fiber and protein, dates are also rich in mood and energy boosting B-vitamins, iron, heart-healthy potassium, and thanks to their naturally occurring sugars, provide a great energy boost. Dates also contain antioxidants known as tannins, which have anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cacao Nibs are a good for you & delicious chocolate because it is nutrient and antioxidant-dense. Cacao contains neurotransmitters that are associated with a healthy mood: serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. Cacao has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health, containing polyphenols – the same beneficial antioxidants found in red wine. The key to remember here is cacao (the raw completely natural and unprocessed form of chocolate) is the good stuff – not the processed bar that you’re buying at the store.

Coconut Oil is always highly recommended by me as it's a rich source of healthy fats that has been linked to enhanced  metabolism, immune system, and blood sugar stabilization, amongst other things. I’ve spoken at length about my love affair with coconut oil. You can get yourself some and learn more about how great it is here.

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut is just as great as coconut oil because coconut oil is a by product of coconut meat (which is what the shreds are).

Chia Seeds are another favorite of mine, they are a great source of fiber, calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Plus, they aid in retaining hydration. I've written about chia seeds before, you can read more about them here.

Spicy Sweet & Sour Eggplant Recipe

Spicy Sweet & Sour Eggplant Recipe

Eggplants are in season and we've been blessed abundantly with them from our CSA. I made this last night and it was delicious. Whether you are buying your eggplant from the local farmers market, growing your own or finding them in your CSA shares this month, consider trying this mouth watering whole foods recipe for a meat free night one day this week.

Some notes on the recipe: The Arrowroot powder is the thickener in the sauce which replaces Cornstarch (typically GMO stuff). Obviously, cornstarch works as well if you don't have access to arrowroot. The Sweet & Sour Sauce would be great with stir-fry also. If you are up to your ears in eggplant, remember, you can blanch and freeze eggplant to enjoy this winter.

Spicy Sweet & Sour Eggplant

Eggplant and bell peppers are cooked in a spicy, pineapple sweet–and–sour sauce. Serve this dish with brown rice ,quinoa or  by itself. If you aren't able to use fresh pineapple, make sure to use pineapple canned in juice, not syrup. Serves 4

  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, stemmed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, or one 20 ounce canned, drained
  • 1 batch pineapple sweet–and–sour sauce (see below)

Place onion, peppers and eggplant in a large skillet and sauté over medium high heat for 8 to 9 min. or until the vegetables are tender. Add water (1 to 2 tablespoons at a time) to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. I used a bit of coconut oil as well.  Add the red and green pepper, eggplant, garlic, crushed red pepper, pineapple, and sweet and sour sauce. Cook for 5 min.


Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce

This unusual sauce goes well with a variety of dishes, such as spicy sweet and sour eggplant (above). There are many variations on sweet & sour sauce but this one is one of my favorites. The brightness of the pineapple juice pairs well with all kinds of vegetables and grains, and this sauce is a great one to have on hand for last-minute stirfry. Makes 2 cups.

  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, dissolved in 4 tablespoons of cold water

Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, garlic and brown rice syrup in a saucepan bring the pot to a boil, and whisked around the arrowroot mixture. Cook until thickened, about 1 min.

Above recipes are from the new: Forks Over Knives Recipe book. Loving this book which is from the documentary. If you haven't watched this DVD documentary, or checked out the  recipe book, you can pick it up at library, On Demand or in my online shop here..

Recipe Food Facts- Did you know...

  • Pinapple (especially the stem) contains bromelain which has anti inflamatory properties.
  • Eggplant skin is packed with nasunin, a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage.
  • A single 1-cup serving of eggplant contains 3 g of dietary fiber!
  • Red bell peppers contain Lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

HC Hung of the Harvard School of Public Health reports: eating nutrient-rich vegetables like eggplant can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases like stroke and cancer. In a paper published in the November 2004 issue of the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute," Hung found that vegetable consumption was associated with significantly decreased chronic disease risk in a sample of 70,000 women.

Countdown to Christmas & Traditions

Well, we are officially 7 days away and the countdown begins. For those traveling, this typically means WE have far less time to complete our holiday shopping so the pressure is on!

I’ll be traveling to Michigan which is part of my tradition of going home. It’s a bittersweet trip as I’m excited to see my family but sad that my husband stays here as his daughters arrive from out-of-state. It was understood at the beginning of our relationship that this was the way it would be as there would be a time that our children would not be coming home.

My son, a chef, and dedicated worker will stay in town with his dad’s family as to not miss work. I’m proud that he is so dedicated to his job but I find myself singing, “Cats in the Cradle” too many times these days. You know, “when you coming home son, I don’t when, but we’ll get together then..”

So, what I really wanted to share is some of our Christmas traditions. Our Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve with almost everyone (six siblings) coming home. Christmas food consists of a unique blend of old versus new traditions. My dad (now in heaven) was Polish and mom was from Czech Republic so our foods connect to these nationalities. The pinnacle of our meal is the Pierogi. This is a Polish specialty consisting of half-moon-shaped noodle dumplings filled with a mixture of potatoes, onion, garlic and bit of cheese. (BTW—this is NOT a health food for those that know me.) Fish and fish soup are both part of the Czech Christmas food tradition. Big brother (one of three big bros) Dennis provides fresh catch which is appropriate as we live in the Land of Lakes! The fish is lightly fried and the soup is oyster stew.

Some newer food traditions that have popped up since our health movement are a variety of salads. My sister Sandy and my niece Chef Jen, personal chef and caterer always come through with something amazing. The amount of sweets has diminished and almost completely eliminated. Mom makes her fav molasses (hold the sugar) cookies and I’ll be starting a new tradition of peanut butter rice crispies squares with my secret ingredient (JP Complete) for the chocolate lovers.

Outside of food, mom and I have created our own new tradition. Since my siblings leave Christmas Day to spend with their extended families, it ends up just mom and I.  So we started the, “stay in your PJ’s all day, play Scrabble and read day”.  This is one of my new favorites. Need to mention, mom (at 87) can kick my butt in Scrabble.

Mom playing Scrabble

Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins

One of my favorite desserts used to be carrot cake.  That was the version full of white flour and sugar!  So when I ran across this recipe in The Great American Detox Diet, I was very excited.  The muffins are made of whole food ingredients, have an outstanding flavor, simple to make and moist!

The recipe didn't call for nuts but I think next time I will include.  Also, I didn't have an orange for the zest so I used the Doterra Wild Orange oil which worked great and really gave it a lovely zing of orange.  I have used this on several occasions in cooking and cold salads.  To learn more or order yours go to  Thank you and enjoy these wonderful delicacies.
Carrot Muffins

2              cups white spelt flour

1              cup whole spelt flour

1 1/2      teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2      teaspoons baking powder

1/2         teaspoon cardamom powder

1/2         teaspoon cinnamon

1/4         teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2         cup unsweetened applesauce

1              cup water

1/3         cup unrefined coconut oil

1              tablespoon vanilla extract

2              tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4         teaspoon sea salt

Zest of 1 orange ( I used 3 drops Wild Orange Doterra oil)

1 1/2      cups grated carrot

1/2         cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1      cup maple syrup

1      cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the white spelt flour, whole spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a blender, combine the applesauce, water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, salt, orange zest, carrot, coconut, and maple syrup. Blend until well combined.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, add the raisins, and stir until just mixed.

Pour 1/4-cup scoops of batter into oiled muffin pans and bake for 20 minutes.

YIELD: 24 3" Muffins

Recipe from The Great American Detox Diet by Alex Jamieson

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