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Coconut Chocolate Keto Milk Shake

28 Feb

I needed a break from my usual fatty coffee for breakfast. I’ve been meaning to try coconut milk in my coffee but was inspired to make this milk shake after a Keto friend posted a photo of one that she bought at a shop recently. I thought: I could easily make that at home!

Coconut Chocolate Shake 6

So here’s a very easy recipe. Place all the following ingredients in a mason jar and blend with immersion blender OR in high speed blender and blend well:

Coconut Chocolate Shake 1.jpg

  • 6 oz coconut milk, canned
  • 6 oz water (or really strong coffee if you like! Use espresso or cold brew.)
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao/cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • stevia, to taste (optional but if I want sweetness, I will use 2 doonks)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthum gum
  • dash of sea salt

Pour in a cup.

Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Shake 5Coconut Chocolate Shake 7

Nutrition without whipped cream:

nutrition

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Salty & Sweet Buttery Bark

21 Jun

Do you love the tastes of Salty and Sweet together? Do you prefer Semi-Hard Chocolate Barks to Super-Hard ones? Do you like Buttery Foods? Then this is for you!

Almond Chocolate Bark 3 - this

Salty & Sweet Buttery Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c cacao butter chunks (3 1/2 oz or 100 g)*
  • 1/4 c raw cacao powder (1 oz)**
  • 2 1/2 T Swerve Granular (2 T if you want it less sweet and more of a “dark” chocolate ~ but warning, Salty Sweet is awesome!)
  • 2 T butter (I used KerryGold unsalted… yum!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I used flavouring here without alcohol, but extract is just fine too)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 c crushed almonds

*You can use coconut oil instead, but cacao butter tastes so much better!

**You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. You can also use around 4 1/2 oz (125 g) of unsweetened chocolate instead of the cacao butter and cacao powder, but it won’t quite taste the same.

Almond Chocolate Bar 4 - this

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients, except nuts, in order into a pan over low heat.
  2. When melted, mix to incorporate well.
  3. Place wax paper/parchment paper/clear film in a container.
  4. Sprinkle most of the nuts onto the prepared container.
  5. Pour in the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spread well so the mixture is even.
  7. Top with the rest of the nuts.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. You can also keep these in the freezer, but it’s perfectly buttery out of the fridge.
  9. Enjoy.

We love this at our house! Hope you do too!

Almond Chocolate Bark 1 - this

NOTE:

Erythritol, which is also the main ingredient in Swerve, is a sugar alcohol. It is not a real sugar and our bodies lack the ability to break it down. Because of this, we can safely NOT include the sugar alcohol amount in our overall carbohydrate count. The net carbs in this recipe without Swerve or Erythritol would be around 2 g.


With Swerve

With erythritol

Almond Chocolate Bark 3 - this

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

8 Oct

This post is for days when an exact recipe won’t do, when you don’t feel like being predictable, and when you want to play in the kitchen.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-3

I haven’t eaten Praline Pecans in years. I have cooked them before but with egg whites and butter. I’ve also wanted to buy them many times since turning Vegan (8 years now!) but the ingredients invariably list butter, egg, cream, and/or corn syrup, and I’d put the package back on the shelf.  I decided it was time to make my own Vegan version using better ingredients.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-4

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline

I brought out:

  • 16 oz pecans

I lay them flat on a prepared cookie sheet (with a Silpat mat) and toasted them slightly for 5 – 7 minutes at 350F. Then, I poured them in a big bowl and added:

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

I stirred well to coat evenly, then added:

  • enough maple syrup to slightly coat the pecans (I added around 4 Tbsp, but start with 2 Tbsp and keep adding by Tbsp until you think you have added enough)

I stirred again to coat the pecans evenly, then added:

  • Sucanat, to taste (I added around 1/2 c, but start with 1/4 c and keep adding by tablespoonful until it is just sweet enough)
  • sea salt, to taste (I added around 2 tsp, but keep tasting as you add by the 1/4 tsp)

I stirred to incorporate well. You want to make sure the sugar is sticking to the pecans. If not, you need more maple syrup. Now for the chocolate.*  I added to the bowl:

  • half a bag of Vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (around 5 oz, but add whatever amount you want)

I stirred one last time to incorporate everything. Taste. Is it sweet enough? Is it just salty enough? Then, I poured it out on the prepared baking sheet, making sure it was in one layer, and baked at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant, toasted, and the chocolate chips slightly melted. I took it out of the oven and allowed it to cool. Place in the refrigerator if you can’t wait.

*NOTE: at this stage, you can bake the pecans without the added chocolate chips. After baking, you can then drizzle melted chocolate in fancy patterns over the cooled pecans. The result will be even prettier Pralines but the thought of more washing up put me off this step. It probably would have been worth it though.

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan-5

When cooled, dig in. WOW. This was delicious!

vegan-chocolate-praline-pecan

I’ve been nibbling on these Chocolate Pecan Pralines since yesterday. I left a plate out for my husband to try and he finished them off too. I love it when he enjoys my food!

Got Vegan Chocolate Oat Bars, Will Travel!

1 Oct

When we travel long distances, I usually carry fruits and some food with me. This past year, we have started our journeys in the early morning, so I have prepared many different types of breakfast bars. Some were crunchy and some were sweet. Some had dry cereal in it and most had some type of chocolate. I also made a very plain bread-type oat bar and topped it with jam. Here are some of the bars I’ve made and packaged in the last few months:

My family prefers the lighter, crunchier, and drier oat bars, while I tend to prefer the denser, chewier, and more moist ones. So here are two recipes for Chocolate Oat Bars: one crunchy with double chocolate and coconut, and one chewy with bananas and peanut butter. Both are addicting.

Crunchy Double Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

crunchy-vegan-double-chocolate-coconut-oat-bars

Heat in a small pot over a low flame:

  • 2 oz cacao butter

When melted, add in:

  • 1/4 c maple syrup or your choice of liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Set aside. In a bowl, mix together about 2 1/2 c your choice of dry ingredients. My family loves this mix:

  • 1 3/4 c quick oats
  • 1/3 c semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips (if your family prefers a sweeter bar, increase the chocolate chips and decrease the amount of oats OR add tablespoons of Sucanat, to taste)
  • 1/4 c flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Place a parchment paper on an 8 x 8″ pan (very important because otherwise the bar will stick to the pan even if it is greased). Place the mixed ingredients into the pan and pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Turn over carefully onto another sheet of parchment paper and bake for another 20 minutes. You want to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked and dry. When cooled, place in the refrigerator till it hardens. Slice into 8 pieces. Package or place in a container. It will last longer in the refrigerator, but will do well stored in the pantry for a week as well.

Chewy Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars (Makes 8 bars)

Vegan Granola Bars

Mash in a bowl with a fork:

  • 2 large bananas, about 11 oz

Add in and mix to incorporate well:

  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Now add in about 3 c your choice of dry ingredients and mix well. I love this mix:

  • 2 T flax seed meal
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c your choice of chocolate: cacao nibs, dark chocolate or semi-sweet Vegan chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c chopped dates
  • 2 c rolled oats

Place in a greased (use coconut oil or other oil) 8 x 8″ pan. Pat down well so that it is evenly leveled and packed in. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool and place in refrigerator until it is easier to handle. Slice into 8 portions. Store in the refrigerator for a week.

Now that you have two kinds of bars, you’re ready to travel anywhere!

Raw Chocolate Pudding

29 Jun

Raw Chocolate Pudding

bananas, avocados, dates and cacao powder

Blissful Bites: Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse

8 Mar

Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse is also heavenly to prepare with only 5 ingredients. You will have a delightful dessert in less than 10 minutes (clean up included)!

When little hands help... you never know what they are going to add. Hmph... those sprinkles don't look like anything RAW to me, but what's important is he's helping me create a RAW TREAT that he absolutely loves.

As my sous-chef, I think my son purposely miscounted the dates and added 1 more to our mixture.  It was a little sweet for me and my husband, but my son was in dessert heaven.  The recipe is reprinted here with the kind permission of Christy Morgan, chef and author of Blissful Bites.

Blend until it becomes a paste:

12 dates, soaked for 2 hours and pitted, or ¾ cup maple syrup (we used wet dates, so we didn’t need to soak them)

Add and blend until smooth:

2 ripe avocados

1/3 cup raw cacao powder (we used raw carob powder)

1 tsp vanilla flavouring or 1 fresh vanilla bean

Serve in martini glasses with:

4 strawberries, sliced

Makes 2 – 3 servings.

Review: Raw Shakti Chocolate

14 Feb

Raw Shakti Chocolate from North Carolina

from left to right: Single Origin Ecuador, Loco for Coco and Himalayan High

Want to give a gift of  Raw Vegan Chocolates?  But no time or want to make your own?  Or do you just miss Milk Chocolate? 

There’s RAW hope for you yet! 

Check out Raw Shakti Chocolate from Asheville, North Carolina!  Their chocolate bars are Raw, Stoneground, Handcrafted and Sustainable!

Raw, Stoneground, Handcrafted and Sustainable

There are only 2 Raw Stoneground Handcrafted Chocolate companies in the U.S. that I know of.  One on the West Coast called Sacred Chocolate, and one on the East Coast, Raw Shakti ChocolateThere is a clear difference between the two companies: the sweeteners they use.

  • Sacred Chocolate, founded in part by David Wolfe, uses sweeteners like Maple Sugar, Inulin from Jerusalem Artichoke, Erythritol, Agave and Stevia.  If you are like my son, you are probably allergic to almost all of these.
  • Raw Shakti Chocolate, on the other hand, founded by Raw Foodie Don Rowe, uses only one sweetener: coconut palm sugar, one of the lowest glycemic sweeteners… to which my son is not allergic!  Note: coconut palm sugar (like maple sugar and agave) is not raw as it is heated during the evaporation process but Raw Shakti Chocolate believes that it is the healthiest chocolate sweetener available.  Check out their ingredient list too.

Taste Testing

I e-mailed Raw Shakti Chocolate if I could sample 3 of their chocolate bars in time for Valentine’s Day and they gladly obliged!  Today my family and I enjoyed our Valentine’s Eve chocolate tasting of:

  • Loco for Coco (dark chocolate with Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and Coconut)
  • Himalayan High (dark chocolate with goji berries and Ashwangandha root)

I liked the simplicity of Single Origin Ecuador.  My son was Loco for Coco.  My husband was on an Himalayan High.  We found the flavor, taste and texture of Raw Shakti Chocolate distinct and unique – unlike other raw chocolate bars we have tried before.  The stone ground cacao and the addition of coconut palm sugar create a very smooth chocolate.  The coconut palm sugar also creates a flavor reminiscent of malt, so these bars taste like milk chocolate!

If you do contact them, please let them know you heard about them from Mama in the Kitchen!

Moisturize with Raw Chocolate Cream!

6 Feb
It smells like chocolate. It tastes like chocolate. It feels simply luscious on the skin!

Discovering Cacao as Emollient

My son has been obsessed with chocolate since we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Last week, we were traveling and he discovered Palmer’s Cocoa Butter in the bathroom where we were staying. My son only uses extra-virgin coconut oil on his skin at home, and then only when his skin is dry… so bottled lotions are absolute novelties to him. Clearly, ecstatic in finding one made from ‘cacao beans’, he applied thick layers of that yellow cream all over and delighted in his new smell.

“Mama! Mama! Daddy! Daddy! Do I smell like chocolate?

“Yes, you do!” I smiled because I love my son’s innocent enthusiasm, I love watching his joy in the simplest of things and I love being present when he does make all these kinds of new discoveries. “Guess what! We can make your very own Chocolate Cream at home! Would you like that?”

“You mean from real Cacao Beans?” his eyes widen.

“Yes, from Raw Cacao Butter and Coconut Oil!”

“Can I choose the flavor?” he smiles.

“Of course! It will be your very own Chocolate Cream! It will be so pure, you can even eat it!

As soon as we arrived home, it was the first thing he wanted to do.

Our Chocolate Cream

I decided to experiment with Natasha St. Michael’s Natural Body Cream Recipe.

So, we gathered the ingredients: raw cacao butter, extra virgin coconut oil, raw Shea butter and my son’s choice of essential oils (doterra’s On Guard).
We weighed the butters in a bowl: 3 oz cacao, 3 oz coconut and a big dollop of shea.
We placed our bowl in hot water and stirred to make sure everything melted properly. Then, we added our essential oils (about 5 drops for my son’s cream).
We transferred our raw ‘Chocolate’ Cream into containers.
Then we refrigerated them without the lids until they hardened.
My son couldn’t wait to dig in! Note: we used a child-proof container for his cream.

Results

I lathered some on my hands and after half a day, they still felt like silk! Touted for conditioning and protecting the skin, I used to use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter myself 10 years ago, but this raw Cacao Cream is different. It brings moisturizing to a different level! So in the evening, I made time to quickly whip a tub for myself too! I added 15 drops of doTerra’s Whisper in mine, which has rose, jasmine, bergamot, cinnamon, cistus, vetiver, ylang ylang, cocoa, vanilla, sandalwood, and patchouli. It smells absolutely delicious! I think my husband may be tempted to try it too.

Note: at room temperature, this Chocolate Cream may melt or become grainy – if the latter happens, simply heat it between your palms and you are ready to moisturize! Don’t worry if it feels greasy at first, your skin will absorb it within minutes. Also, a little of this goes a long way!

What Essential Oils are excellent for the Skin?

According to Modern Essentials, the following oils are recommend for:

  • chapped/cracked skin – myrrh
  • dehydrated – geranium, lavender
  • dermatitis/eczema – helichrysum, thyme, geranium, melaleuca, lavender, patchouli, bergamot, rosemary
  • dry skin – geranium, lavender, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, lemon
  • oily/greasy skin – lemon, cypress, frankincense, geranium, lavender, marjoram, orange, rosemary
  • rashes – melaleuca, lavender, Roman chamomile
  • scars – lavender, rose, frankincense, helichrysum, geranium, myrrh
  • sensitive skin -lavender, geranium
  • stretch marks – lavender, myrrh
  • wrinkles – lavender, fennel, geranium, frankincense, rose, rosemary, myrrh, clary sage, cypress, helichrysum, lemon, orange, oregano, sandalwood, thyme, ylang ylang

Double Chocolate Delight

29 Jan

I can't keep those little hands away from my freshly made batch of Double Chocolate Delight!

Lou at my local health food shop is a Raw Foodie and he makes these delicious raw double chocolate cookies once in blue moon.  Last week, we bought 4 pieces – but my son and husband looked at me, as if to say: “Is that it?”  Needless to say, after reading the ingredient list, I decided to come up with my own version.  I didn’t use cacao nibs or lucuma powder in mine, but mine taste similar.  As you  can see from the photo above, my son just couldn’t wait to eat one.  And after he did, he ran excitedly all over the house looking for his dad to tell him they were fresh out of the food  processor.

Thank you Lou for the inspiration!  These Double Chocolate Delights are… delightful!!!

Grind in food processor until fine and set aside:

big handful of pecans or walnuts, raw or soaked and then dehydrated

Next grind in the same food processor until fine:

1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for a few hours to soften, rinsed and drained

Add into the food processor and continue to mix together until you have a soft and even batter:

a big pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract (non-alchohol)

2 soft dates (soak if you have to)

6 tbspns raw honey or agave syrup or maple syrup

Then add in:

1/2 cup ground pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Dampen your hands when handling the batter so it isn’t too sticky.  You can roll a tablespoon of batter into a ball and then roll it in cacao powder for ‘truffles’.  Or as the photo shows above, roll a tablespoon of batter then flatten it into a circle. Serve as is or top with just a little of either raw honey/agave/maple syrup or raw chocolate sauce (mix raw honey/agave/maple syrup with a little raw cacao powder), and sprinkle with some cayenne seasoning too if you like!

The Sweeter Side of Cayenne

17 Jan

A perfect way to spice up your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Treat!

Dip Mama’s Easy Raw Chocolate in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Dip (I prefer using 3/4 tsp cayenne in the dip mix for this one) for a kick!

Add some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Sprinkles on banana slices and enjoy with homemade Raw Almond Butter on the side!  Delish!

I love eating apples (especially sour ones) with a side of sea salt. Dipping apple slices in some Sweet and Spicy Cayenne Rub brings apple slices up to a whole different level! Try it also with freshly sliced jicama ‘fries’!

Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for Every Season

25 Dec

Easy Raw Dark Chocolate Bar

After trying to get rid of his allergies for almost 3 months, my son told me the other morning that he only wanted to eat processed candy on his birthday and on Christmas Day because he didn’t want to get sick anymore. Well, he has been obsessing about Peppermint Candy Canes and Peppermint Chocolate Bars even before this holiday season came around. Hmmm, sound familiar?

Well, believe it or not, where we live, all the ‘pretty healthy’ candy canes were all sold out by December! Lucky for my son, a dear friend whose child also has allergies, bought an extra box of TruSweets for him. He decorated our tree with nine of them and ate only one today. As for Peppermint Chocolate Bars, my son was happy to discover that his Mama can make pretty healthy Raw Dark Chocolate Bars for him in less than half an hour! Here’s how:

I use my weighing machine quite a bit. I prefer to weigh ingredients instead of use measuring cups because I have less to wash up afterwards! Notice: my weighing machine is permanently in a ziplock bag to ease clean up!

Melt by placing a bowl of cacao butter in another bowl full of hot water and stir occasionally:

4 oz raw cacao butter (before melting, I first use my fork to break the cacao butter into small pieces… so melting takes only a few minutes)

When melted, add to the cacao butter:

pinch of sea salt

1 drop of doTerra peppermint essential oil (optional, or other flavours to suit your taste)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 oz raw agave syrup/raw honey/maple syrup

2 – 3  oz raw cacao powder, depending on how dark you want your chocolate

Mix well. Pour into molds and place in fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from fridge or freezer, pop out of molds and enjoy!

I use metal moulds (above) and silicon mini-muffin moulds. For the latter, I only fill them halfway. After they solidify in the fridge/freezer, I pop my thin chocolate

Chocolate Hearts are for every season!!!

Holiday Thick, Creamy and Frothy Raw Vegan Chocolate Milk

17 Dec

Holiday Thick Raw Chocolate Milk

We have been loving our DIY Raw Almond Butter with lots of holiday chocolate milk!  I don’t mean the thin liquid-y kind of chocolate milk!  I mean the thick, creamy and frothy kind that reminds me of wintry Frosty-the-Snowman days and the scents from our Christmas tree.  I love this!

Puree together very well and until frothy in a high speed blender:

1/4 tsp vanilla extract (non-alcohol)

1 tsp cinnamon (my son prefers peppermint chocolate milk, so we substitute this sometimes with a drop of doTerra peppermint oil)

1 – 2 tbspns raw cacao powder (my hubby and son prefer less, I love more)

2 tbspns homemade raw almond butter

5 big pieces of pitted dates

2 cups water

Enjoy!

Raw ‘Hot’ Chocolate

8 May

Raw 'Hot' Chocolate

When I woke up today , I craved for Hot Chocolate!  My homebirth success story was published late last night on Mother’s Day Asian time, so I have been reminiscing about how the little girl inside me became a Mama on a cold November morning.  And on this Spring day, Hot Chocolate is what I wanted!

This quick raw version was just what I wanted on Mother’s Day!

Mix together in a blender:

1 tbspn raw cacao powder

1 tbspn raw local honey (or your preferred sweetener like agave syrup or maple syrup)

1 tbspn raw almond butter

1 cup water

spices (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, other), optional

Strain.  Enjoy!

Mama Won’t Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

30 Apr

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of That Chocolate Cake

The Cake

Besides the coconut oil in the icing, this is a nut-free raw cake! Mainly oats and dates, this batter is versatile. You can make it into a brownie, cookie, cake, crumbs for fruit desserts, etc.

The day before you make the cake, prepare the oat flour: 1. Soak oat groats overnight. 2. Drain and rinse. 3. Dehydrate until thoroughly dry by placing on 2 mesh screens on trays so the groats don’t easily fall out. I place the dehydrator on full for 1 hour then decrease the temperature to 105F. This takes about half a day. 4. Process 2 cups of dehydrated oat groats in a high speed blender, such as aVitamix, to make flour. EASY ALTERNATIVE: grind rolled oat flakes into flour.

Batter: Place in a food processor and mix together:

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw cacao powder (you can substitute with raw carob powder)

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted

Add in and process together:

2 cups oat groats, processed into oat flour as above (ALTERNATIVE: you can use rolled oat flakes and grind into a powder)

Add slowly to the powdery mixture until you have a batter that sticks together:

6 tbspns raw local honey (you may need less)

use silicone molds for easy removal

Grease molds with extra virgin coconut oil (or olive oil). Place batter in molds to create small mini-cupcakes or layers of cake. Remove and set aside.

Mama Won't Mind If You Have Another Of Those Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Icing

How healthy can this chocolate icing be??? Avocado (vitamin E!) and coconut oil (the benefits are amazing)? WOW. And this icing can be used to top anything! Fruits, cupcakes, cookie, as a dip, top raw ice cream (banana ice cream or almond ice cream)… yum!

In a food processor, mix together:

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or raw carob powder)

1/2 cup extra-virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup raw local honey

1 medium avocado

Pipe on top of cupcakes or place in between layers of cake, then pipe top of cake.

Note: Depending on your dates and honey, your cake may be just right or a little on the sweet side. If it is a little too sweet, you can use fruit (mashed up banana as ‘cream’, strawberry slices, raspberry, or other seasonal fruits) as the filling in between layers to break up the sweetness. Enjoy!

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

We Love Bananas

1 Feb

 

Banana Lollipops: A Treat Anytime of the Day! Slice bananas, skewer with toothpick, freeze if desired, serve topped with chocolate sauce (equal parts raw honey and raw cacao powder) and sprinkle with chopped nuts or seeds or dried shredded coconut or dried fruit.

We love bananas at our house.  Some days, our 4 year old can eat 4 in a row.  Although we eat a varied array of fruits, some friends have cautioned that 2 bananas a day is one too many.  Needless to say, I was worried about his excessive banana consumption possibly causing hyperkalemia.

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 medium banana has 467.28mg of potassium.  The recommended daily intakes of dietary potassium are (and equivalents in bananas, assuming other potassium rich foods are not consumed):

  • Infants birth – 6 months: 500 mg or 13 mEq (around 1 banana)
  • Infants 7 months – 12 months: 700 mg or 18 mEq (around 1 1/2 bananas)
  • Children 1 year: 1,000 mg or 26 mEq (around 2 bananas)
  • Children 2 – 5 years: 1,400 mg or 36 mEq (around 3 bananas)
  • Children 6 – 9 years: 1,600 mg or 41 mEq (around 3 1/2 bananas)
  • Children over 10 years and Adults, including pregnant and nursing women: 2,000 mg or 51 mEq (around 4 bananas)

However, research also suggests that doctors believe, like Dr. Jennifer Shu of CNN states here:

“A diet that is high in potassium may also be the cause [of hyperkalemia], although if a person’s kidneys are working properly, the extra potassium is usually removed from the body through the urine.”

So, we continue to enjoy our bananas heartily – but as they say, too much of anything isn’t good for you.  We make sure we have many other fruits available and don’t eat excessive amounts of bananas everyday!

What do we do with our bananas?

Breakfast Puddings – to make them thick

Smoothies – to make them smooth

Wrappers – so they are not too brittle when we use them as sandwich wrappers

Ice Cream – to make them healthy

Lollipops (recipe above) – to give your kid something fun and still healthy to eat!

Popsicles – place smoothie mix in popsicle molds, freeze and voila!  Yes, even the ones with greens work!

Fast Food Snacks – just peel and enjoy.