Unrefined Living

maintaining a healthy balance of the mind, body, and plate

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Sauce

Peanut Butter and Chocolate…together….in a sauce?  Yes please!  This makes for a rich and simple topping for dessert, or in my case breakfast.  My favorite is on top of a big fat bowl (jar) of banana ice cream.  I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!  And it’s healty—er, I swear!

Heat the following ingredients either in the microwave for 30 seconds, or over medium heat until completely melted:

  • 1 Tbsp all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil

Then add the following to heated mixture and stir until smooth and well combined:

  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or raw honey/agave)
  • optional: a drop of vanilla extract


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Mocha Iced Frappucinno (healthier version)


IMG_0956Have you ever had an iced frappucinno at Starbucks or any coffee shop?  Well, as tasty as it might be, it is most likely loaded with GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring and sweeteners, and antibiotic injected milk. Not to mention extremely high in calories!  Actually, incase you haven’t heard, Starbucks is a big supporter of Monsanto.  If you are a Starbucks addict, you might be interested in learning more about this issue before you make your next purchase.

Even though I have always opted for a plain old basic coffee shop cup of joe, I have enjoyed the occassional fancy high calorie drinks from time to time.  And I won’t lie, they are so good, and often leave me feeling so bad!  And although I successfully gave up coffee last year, I do still crave the flavor some days. Which is what led me to find an easy healthier version I can make at home, and it’s way cheaper!  I even think this version tastes better.  But who knows, maybe thats my healthier taste buds talking!  Anyway….if you like fancy coffee then you should try this.  I swear it’s not hard and you probably have most of the ingredients needed.  I add a frozen banana to mine to create a smooth creamy ice cream like texture, but you can omit that if you don’t love bananas like I do.  You know how I feel about ba-nana ice cream.  Enough chit chat, let’s get started!

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 c almond/coconut milk (or your choice of healthy milk)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee (I use decaf, organic when possible)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder (omit if you don’t like “mocha” and just want it plain)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar (can substitute with agave, pure maple, honey, stevia, etc)
  • 1/5 frozen banana (not necessary but gives ice cream-like creaminess)
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 5-7 ice cubes

Blend everything together in high speed blender until smooth.  I find that this comes out better when I heat a few tablespoons of water and mix the instant coffee/espresso first then add that to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.  Either way, the result is still delicious!  Sprinkle with cinnamon and guzzle.  Be careful of the brain freeze!


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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie



IMG_1005I am loving smoothies lately.  I used be a juicer, and I still am.  But recently my needs have changed and I crave thicker denser beverages.  Not to say this won’t change again soon, but for now I am addicted to chocolate smoothies.  Who wouldn’t be?  It’s chocolate for crying out loud!  And I love that I have the liberty of adding whatever the heck I want.  I always make sure to add veggies and protein so I can justify replacing a meal or snack with something chocolatey.  It’s a win win!!!


What you will need:

  • 6 frozen cherries
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Handful spinach or kale
  • 1 C water/coconut water/milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 4-5 ice cubes (optional)

Add everything to high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!


Coconut Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Hello, my name is Michelle, and I am an oatmeal addict.  My addiction started about 5 years ago after I was ‘diagnosed’ with high cholesterol (eek!).  It was the very first major change I made to my daily routine. And since then oatmeal has been my breakfast of choice, with the exception of vacation badness and some healthier experimental pancake trials.  It wasn’t until recently (thank you Instagram) that I’ve begun to venture off into the world of unknown healthier breakfast creations.   But that being said, I still love and crave oatmeal every morning.  And while my oatmeal used to consist of the basics (plain oats, cinnamon, water, fruit, and nuts), I have gotten more creative with it over the past year or so, and I have to credit Chocolate Covered Katie for most of my inspired combos.  Sometimes it takes for someone else to demonstrate that it’s ok to live on the edge, venture outside of your comfort zone.  And let me tell you….chocolate in my breakfast was definitely living on the edge!   Did I mention I am also a chocolate addict?  So you see, this is a danger zone for me.  But it’s ok, I have it under control now.  I swear…..ish….!

So getting back to the reason for this post.  Three things I love: chocolate, coconut, and oatmeal. Baked so it’s like one big cookie.  Soft and gooey on the inside, brown and crispy on the outside.  Oh my!  If you have 20 minutes to spare (perhaps on your day off) and you love these three things too, then this is a must try.  Katie calls it coconut cookie dough oatmeal.  Indeed it is.  I made a few modifications and this breakfast bake is a WIN in our house.  Thanks Katie!

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (less if you are not used to large bowls of oatmeal)Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
  • 1/2 mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 nut milk (or water, coconut water, regular milk…organic of course)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter (melted or room temp if your house is warm)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I can assure you I used more than this amount)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (and a few to sprinkle on top)
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar (or natural sweetener of choice)

More options

  • 1 tsp ground flax (to mix in or sprinkle on top…or both)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds for topping
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • dash of sea salt

Preheat oven to 380 degrees.  {I use my toasted oven and bake it closer to 400 degrees, watching it to make sure it won’t burn}  Combine ingredients well using a fork (I swear it mixes better).  Pour into small glass oven-proof bowl or pan.  I like to lightly grease the bottom of my bowl with oil so it’s not a pain to clean later.  Add a few extra chips on top and bake for about 20 minutes or more depending on preference.  Turn your oven to broil for about 5 more minutes to get a crispier top layer.  Top with almonds, milk, and whatever else your little heart desires.  Enjoy!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

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Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Pressed for time and want something sweet, healthy, and satisfying?  This smoothie is so delightful and takes minutes to make.  And chances are you have most of these ingredients already!

For this blend I like to use strawberries as my sweetener, besides being juicy and sweet, they are packed with nutritional benefits.  Strawberries are known to promote cardiovascular health, help to lower blood sugar levels, contain antioxidants, fiber (great for constipation), aid in decreasing inflammation (which can also fight against certain types of cancer), and also help to keep you hydrated.  (To list a few).   If you are a fan of strawberries, my suggestion is to freeze your fresh strawberries after cutting the stems off.  You can also chop them and freeze them.  They have a fresher flavor than store bought frozen berries because there aren’t any preservatives or additives.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond/coconut milkphoto_3-12
  • 1 frozen banana (peeled before freezing)
  • 3 large frozen organic strawberries (or 1/4 cup sliced)
  • 1 large tablespoon all natural peanut butter
  • 1-2 tbs raw cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you are feeling)


  • handful of fresh organic baby spinach
  • 1 tsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • fresh/frozen berries for garnish

Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with raspberries or cacao nibs.  Smile and enjoy!


Overnight Oats

No sleeping bag required.  Just oats, milk, and yogurt.   And of whatever else your little hungry heart so desires.  The options seem endless.

Overnight oats have been one of my favorite go-to breakfast concoctions for quite some time.  I make various versions for my self and husband, and he is obsessed with it.  He actually gets offended if I don’t make it for him.  Crazy huh?  Anyway, they are super easy to make, and you can prep a day or two in advanced so you have yourself a couple of on-the-go “healthier” breakfast options.  Just think, you can skip the long line at {enter the name of your favorite breakfast place}, and have this much simpler and satisfying breakfast of champions.  You can also add any flavors you like.  Just know that the more you add, the more calories you will be consuming and possibly the less healthy it will become.  So be mindful of your choices.  You don’t need much, as the yogurt is pretty filling.


What you will need:

  • 1/3 c nut milk (your choice)
  • 1/3 c yogurt (I choose greek 10% milkfat, organic if at all possible)
  • 1/3 c organic/gf slow cooking rolled oats (instant oats don’t work as well)

A few of my favorite options (but not necessary):photo_4-2

  • 1/2 ripe mashed banana (for me this is necessary)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (also necessary for mine)
  • 1 tsp ground flax
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (this might require a few more tbsps of milk)
  • 1 tbsp of honey (or coconut sugar if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips (the darker the better)
  • handful of fresh berries
  • 1 tbsp of chopped nuts
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nut butter (all natural is always best)
  • 1tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder

Add the first three ingredients to a clean mason jar (or something similar).  Then add in chia seeds and mashed banana, if you desire.  Then stir with a fork.  You can use a spoon but a fork is better!  Continue adding anything else you choose, and stir well.  Make any adjustments needed, such as adding more milk if it’s dry, more yogurt if it’s watery, etc.  Then put the jar in your fridge overnight, and see how the oats are beautifully “cooked” by the morning.  You can store this for up to 2 days in the fridge.  Enjoy being creative and happy eating!



Ice Cream for Breakfast?


photo_2-12Why not?  That’s the best part of being a “grown up.”  I can eat dessert for breakfast and no one will tell me otherwise!

There are so many mouth watering health-foodie posts lately and I wish I could try them all.  Acai bowls are at the top of my list.  However, since I still haven’t gotten around to stock up on the necessary ingredients, I chose to go with a fruity banana blueberry ice cream jar (not bowl), which was heavily inspired by a lovely young lady I follow on Instagram (she is an ice cream for breakfast advocate!). Yay!

Bananas are one of my favorite ways to indulge on ice cream in a much “healthier” and dairy-free fashion.  (And yes I have other ice cream methods…)  Bananas are a natural sweetener and taste delicious when frozen and blended.  The taste and consistency mimic that of regular ice cream, but with a much lower glycemic index.  Bananas also contain a wonderful mix of vitamins and minerals, and have been know to help with hydration.  I’m sold!  I also added some frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, and Ezekial Sprouted Grain cereal for the extra crunch factor.  That pretty much justified me eating it for breakfast!  Ok enough small talk, let’s get to the good stuff….


What you will need:photo_1-13

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 c frozen organic blueberries
  • 3 tbsp almond/coconut milk (or more depending on thickness you desire)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (I omitted it here, but can attest that it’s a great option!)
  • 1/4 c Ezekial Sprouted Grain Golden Flax Cereal (or granola, or similar)
  • 2-3 fresh organic strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Add frozen bananas, blueberries, and almond milk to blender and mix until smooth.  You may need to add more almond milk or less depending on how frozen your bananas are.  Add vanilla and raw cacao (or cocoa) powder and blend again.   Scoop into jar or bowl and top with your favorite toppings.  Or, layer with toppings in a glass jar.  You can also pop it back into the freezer for a few minutes to set and eat later.  I couldn’t wait.  Enjoy!

Double Trouble

Double Trouble