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  • Chocolate Bark in Minutes

    Chocolate Bark in Minutes

    Make Your Own Chocolate Bark
    Great to throw together for a party or just enjoy at home.

    This is a really fast and easy solution to the all-too-common "I've run out of chocolate" problem so many of us experience. (Happened to me last night.) If you have raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and sea salt, you're covered. How cool is that?

    High quality, organic, fair trade chocolate is not only decadently delicious, but can also good for you. Just don't go eating it all day long. My feeling on chocolate is that it's meant to be savored and enjoyed, a little at a time.

    Cacao beans (where all real chocolate begins) are rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, and manganese. And they contain more antioxidant flavenoids than red wine, green tea, or blueberries. They're also high in resveratrol, a potent antioxident that protects and supports the immune system.

    What's the difference between cacao and cocoa? Good question, my friend. What you're looking for here is "raw cacao". Why? Here's the low-down, straight from the folks over at foodmatters.tv:

    Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). 

    Cocoa looks the same as cacao, but it's not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that's been roasted at high temperatures. The roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, which reduces the enzyme content and lowers the overall nutritional value.

    Making your own chocolate with raw cacao is where it's at! And it couldn't be easier.

    Ingredients:
    1 cup coconut oil
    1 cup raw cacao powder
    1/2 cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
    pinch of sea salt
    pinch of cinnamon, optional
    pinch of cayenne, optional
    chopped nuts/seeds/dried fruit, optional

    Instructions:

    • Over the lowest possible heat, heat coconut oil in a small saucepan. You can even create your own double boiler to further remove the cacao from the heat.
    • Once coconut oil has melted, remove saucepan from heat, and immediately stir in cacao powder and maple syrup, until well combined.
    • Mix in sea salt. (Mix in cinnamon and cayenne, if you like.)
    • Pour mixture over parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
    • Sprinkle with optional nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
    • Place in freezer to harden.

    Note: 
    It will melt quickly (remember that coconut oil is liquid at room temperature), so don't leave it out too long, unless you're planning on eating it all in one sitting -- with your friends, of course.

  • Chewy Chocolate Cranberry Bites

    Chewy Chocolate Cranberry Bites

    Welp. We ran out of dark chocolate yesterday. Never a good thing! I like a piece of high quality dark chocolate from time to time. And my husband looks for it every night!

    After the success of the Wild Orange Power Bites at my essential oils class last week, I was really wanting to put together a chocolate-themed "bite" *for all the lovers* this Valentine's Day. (Or any day!)

    These are super easy, satisfying, and frankly, quite healthy! Throw them together today, pop them in the fridge, and enjoy throughout the week. Warning: They go fast! 

    Ingredients:
    1 cup almond butter
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 cup sesame seeds
    1/4 cup hemp hearts
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup cacao nibs
    1/4 cup cocoa
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    1/8 cup chia seeds
    Several dashes cinnamon
    Pinch of sea salt

    Instructions:

    • Place all ingredients in mixer bowl.
    • Mix thoroughly, until well combined.
    • Shape into 1-inch balls.
    • Place in fridge to store.

    And enjoy!

    Happiest Valentine's Day to you and yours! Lots of love from me! 

    Katie
    XO

  • Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread

    Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread

    Oh heeeey there!

    I didn't see you there behind my giant heaping bowl of chocolate chili and stack of cinnamon cornbread. You have got to try this one! (Recipe and cookbook giveaway coming up!)

    It's packed with plant-based power and it's super hearty, to satisfy all! Plus, it has chocolate in it! (What?) Yes. It's true!

    Especially as my days and nights grow busier with all the holiday happenings, I'm loving having my friend Michelle Pfennighaus' Winning at Kitchen, A Budget-Conscious Cookbook + Mealplans on hand.

    Michelle Pfennighaus is a fellow Holistic Health Coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She suffered for years with debilitating IBS and anxiety, until finally healing herself through changes in diet and lifestyle. Now, she helps others do the same. (And you know I'm all about that!)

    Sure, I know how to make meal plans. And sure, I know how to cook up some delicious, nutritious food!

    But sometimes even a health coach just wants some new done-for-you ideas, to take the stress out of deciding what's for dinner -  and to add to the standard rotation! I'm keeping things interesting over here!

    So far, I've loved everything I've tried! 

    Another nice thing about the Winning at Kitchen recipes is that they're family-friendly! Michelle knows what it takes to get her little people to eat their veggies. In fact, she's kind of an expert at that. 

    We could all use a little more time in our days, right? And a little more money in our pockets! With Winning at Kitchen, you'll get:

    • 25+ recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert and money-saving staples using real food ingredients.
    • 4 weeks of no-fuss dinnertime meal plans spelled out for you.
    • Recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free and pain-in-the-butt-free. Some vegetarian meals, some with meat.
    • You’ll get printable grocery shopping lists and make-life-easier prep instructions. Start right away, or whenever your schedule allows.
    • You’ll also get Michelle's comprehensive budget shopping guide. Do you know how to edit a recipe to be less pricey? Are you buying organic and wondering if it’s worth the cost? I’ve been honing my money-saving skills for decades and can’t wait to share my secrets with you!
    • AND you’ll have 24/7 access to Michelle's online forum for extra help, ingredient substitution questions, recipe exchanges, kid-friendly ideas and more. In other words – you’re not alone. That sort of support is something you don’t get with other cookbooks or meal plans out there!

    So what do you say? Wanna snag a copy for yourself? Click right here to buy your copy right now. And, while you're here, why not enter the free giveaway, too!?


    WIN YOUR OWN COPY
    Click HERE to enter!!


    And here's the recipe you've been waiting for:

    Chocolate Chili & Cinnamon Cornbread
    Makes 8 Servings
    Prep Time: 20 Minutes
    Cook Time: 1 Hour

    Ingredients:
    1 Tbl. coconut oil
    1 onion, minced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large sweet potato, diced
    3 large Swiss chard leaves, minced
    15-oz. can diced tomatoes
    1 quart chicken or vegetable stock I used vegetable.
    2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

    2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    1 Tbl. cumin
    1 Tbl. cinnamon
    1 Tbl. chili powder
    2 Tbl. cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp. salt (or more, depending on how salty your stock is)
    Hot sauce We skipped the hot sauce.

    For Cornbread:
    1 cups cornmeal
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 egg, beaten I used a "chia" egg*. 
    1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more for pan

    1 1/2 cups unsweetened milk of choice I used homemade almond milk.
    2 Tbl. raw honey

    *1 chia egg is easily made by combining 1 Tbl. ground chia seeds (I use a spice/coffee grinder) with 1/4 cup warm water, mixing well (I use a coffee mug), and setting aside for about 10 minutes to fully gel. 

    Instructions:

    • In a large stock pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and sweet potato. Mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard, tomatoes, stock, beans, spices, and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Serve with hot sauce.
    • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Great a 12-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch pan and set aside.
    • Combine all cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into prepared skillet or pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    And enjoy! It tastes amazing - and even better the next day!

    Love,
    Katie
    XO

  • Recipe Review: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    Recipe Review: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    This right here is seriously good stuff.
    Chocolate mousse!
    Made out of avocados!!
    Um, yes please.

    I've been seeing these recipes pop up from time to time - but hadn't gotten around to trying any yet. 

    Until last night. When, as fate would have it, we had an unusually large perfectly ripe avocado - but had already eaten dinner. What to do?!

    Make mousse, of course. 

    That's right, dessert that's actually good for you.

    Let's review:

    Raw Cacao is anti-bacterial, immune supportive, an antioxidant, and cardiovascular system-friendly.

    Raw Honey is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, a powerful antioxidant, and immune-boosting.

    Avocados is a source of heart healthy fat, great plant-based protein option, rich in Vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory (Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols, and omega-3).

    The Kitchn to the rescue! Recipe? Right over HERE


    NOTE: I used raw honey (you know how I feel about raw honey, right?) instead of raw coconut nectar. It's what I had on hand. Aaand it's the greatest. I also used my KitchenAid mixer instead of a food processor - just mixed everything together and popped it in the fridge. Worked beautifully!