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!
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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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Cashew Truffles

Do you ever have a severe snack craving?  I am sure you do.  Maybe salty, maybe sweet, but you don’t want to waste your energy eating something processed or store bought and unsatisfying?   Well thats what I love so much about making these little energizing treats.  First of all, despite the title “cashew” truffles, the truth is you can make these with any nut you have on hand.  I chose cashews because I prefer their smooth sweet taste, but I’ve made these with other raw nuts and they are just as tasty!  Not to mention, you can eat a bunch and instead of guilt, feel like you are snacking with a purpose (assuming you don’t eat them all in 5 minutes).  And, its fun to experiment. So, let’s get to it….
What you will need:

  • 1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 c raw cashews (also tossed in a tablespoon of mixed raw nuts because I wanted to use them up)
  • 6-7 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla protein powder (I used SpiruTein)
  • 3 Tbsp cacao powder (raw unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp water  (more if too dry)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of pink himalayan sea salt (regular sea salt will do)
  • hemp seeds )option for sprinkling on top)

 

Combine coconut, cashews (and/or any other nuts you have), and dates in food processor or Vitamix and blend until it becomes a fine mix, a few nutty chunks are ok.  Add in protein and cacao powder and blend again. Add the water one tbsp at a time using your judgement to decide if it’s too moist or dry. Adjust as necessary.  Add the vanilla extract and sea salt.  Layer the bottom of a small bowl with shredded coconut. Make small quarter sized balls and roll into shredded coconut and set on a plate or tray. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If you are in a hurry like I was, freeze for about 20 minutes then stuff your face and enjoy 🙂

 

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This summer is our first summer having a garden.  I am definitely not the one who maintains it, I tend to inadvertently kill all living things that aren’t people (i.e. plants and bugs).  Anyway, our zucchinis are insanely huge.  If I didn’t know better, I would think they are fed steroids.  But I can assure you that’s not the case, they are totally organic!!!

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So what to do with a bunch of overgrown greens?  Make healthy desserts…duh!  I am addicted to zucchini bread, zucchini pasta, zucchini muffins, zucchini tots, zucchini fritters (tonight’s experiment)…..pretty much zucchini everything!  I follow a recipe for zucchini bread that I love, and will post soon.  However, this go ’round I tried something different.  I thought muffins would be easier to transport and maybe, just maybe, I will stop at one muffin as opposed to eating half-a-loaf!  I must say, these muffins are pretty darn good, and pretty darn simple.

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What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (remove excess water)*
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup nut butter (I mixed sunflower seed, almond, and peanut butters)
  • 1/3 cup sweetener such as [raw] honey, maple, agave, coconut sugar (I used honey)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (or any other nut, or omit)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt

Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix ingredients, adding the chocolate chips and walnuts last.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (or spray pan, but I don’t enjoy fighting to get my muffins out!)  Fill 2/3 of each liner with mixture.  I overfilled mine and got 11 muffins.  Bake for 18-25 minutes using toothpick to test when they are ready.  It really depends on your oven, I tend to under bake because I like mine moist 🙂  Cool for a few minutes and either enjoy plain, or top with homemade chocolate sauce.

I don’t usually do this, but this time I removed the excess water from the zucchini by wrapping in a clean towel and ringing it out well.*

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Homemade Chocolate Ganache

If you are a chocolate lover (like me) and have unpredictable….well, ok maybe totally predictable….cravings and don’t want to eat the bad stuff, then you must have a few essentials on hand at all times.  Coconut oil (unrefined, preferably organic), raw cacao powder (unsweetened dutch processed will do but not as healthy), high quality dark chocolate chips (so no Hersheys!!), pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean, raw honey/pure maple/agave (agave being the least healthy of the three), and sea salt (so trash the regular table salt and ONLY ever use sea salt).

For this particular recipe, I didn’t actually use my cacao powder, just the dark chocolate chips.  However, you can use the powder, you will have to slightly modify the rest of the ingredients.

What you need:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Melt the chips and coconut oil by either using a double boiler or microwave (30 second intervals stirring in between).  Stir well until mixture is creamy.  Then add in vanilla and sea salt.  Mix again and let sit for about 10 minutes to cool.  Try not to frost your treats (whatever they my be) until everything is cooled, otherwise you will have a drippy sloppy (yummy) mess!!!

Last time I made this I used it on zucchini muffins (notice the drippy drip!!).

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Raw Macaroons (No Bake)

This is BY FAR my favorite no bake dessert, and is always a crowd pleaser.  My family absolutely loves when I make these macaroons, even my niece and nephews love them…and believe me that means something!  And the wonderful thing is you can add and subtract ingredients and tailor them to your needs.  Any time I make these I know the won’t last more than a day or so in my house!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Original recipe adapted from Averie Cooks (I don’t really change much with this one since it’s near perfect!)

  • 1.5 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 c [raw] honey* (or pure maple, agave, or other if you are vegan)
  • 3/4 c raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional:  1/4 c coconut oil, melted (unrefined organic)
  • Optional:  1/4 c chia seeds

* I often use less than the amount listed and will add more until achieved desired sweetness.  To counter balance “dryness” I opt for the coconut oil.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand.  It will become chunky and sticky (and super messy).  Use a tablespoon (or small ice cream scooper) to create small to medium sized balls and then freeze.  Makes about 12-15 balls depending on the size.  This chocolatey goodness can be ready in just 20 minutes.  You might find these macaroons taste like chocolate ice cream.  I challenge you to try and eat just one!  Enjoy 🙂


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Raw Date Energy Balls (no-bake)

You might be thinking….”Um, dates? Eeeewww gross!”  Well, I assure you that’s not the case.  If you like sweets and are not allergic to nuts, then you must try these.  You can omit and/or substitute most of these ingredients.  You can also stick to using one kind of nut instead of mixed like I did.  The choices are endless. Ok well maybe not endless…but you get the idea 🙂

Side note: Dates are packed with vitamins and minerals which are essential to our overall health. Dates are high in fiber which promotes digestion; they have a high iron content; are rich in potassium; are known to help lower cholesterol; are high in magnesium which is an anti-inflammatory and is known to reduce blood  pressure; are a natural source for energy; and the list goes on.  To read more about the nutritional benefits of dates click here.

Recipe adapted from: Wayfaring Teacher and slightly modified.

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What you will need:

  • 1 c mixed nuts (I used raw walnuts, raw almonds, pistachios, and raw cashews)
  • 1/2 c dates, soaked in filtered water for 5 minutes
  • 1/2 c cacao powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey, maple, or other natural sweetener
  • 1/2 c raw almonds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut (place in a bowl to the side, might need more depending on preference)

1. Place the mixed nuts into a food processor or Vitamix (careful with the Vitamix since it doesn’t handle dates that well) and pulse until fine meal is made.
2. Drain the water from the dates and add dates to the nut mix in the blender. Pulse until nuts and dates are well combined.
3. Add the cocoa/cacao powder, syrup, salt, and vanilla.
4. After a thick paste is formed, add the almonds and pulse until  lightly crushed.
5. Place dough mix in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
6. After 10 min, remove the dough from the freezer and roll into tablespoon-sized balls. Then roll the balls in coconut and place on a plate.  Place balls in the freezer to harden.   Store the in an air tight container.  Or scarf the entire plate down and get a date-induced belly ache 🙂