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vegan; gluten free; dessert; recipe; food blog

Superfood Saturday: Iron-rich Molasses [Energy Balls]

Superfood Saturday: Iron-rich Molasses [Energy Balls]

*this blog post includes affiliate links.

Let me be honest. Sometimes I feel like I have something to prove, re: my decision to follow a mostly plant-based diet…as if, I am not allowed to get sick or feel low-energy because, if I do, my diet is surely to blame.

Oddly enough, when I got a call from my OBGYN letting me know that I am slightly anemic, I had been eating more non-plant-based foods that I have in ages — meat, fish, eggs, cheese…you name it…stuff that generally makes me feel BLEH but I had been craving (and decided to eat) during pregnancy!

My theory is that in filling up on these other foods, I was too stuffed to fuel my body with my usual iron-rich plant-based goodness. And so, I started to become anemic.

I decided to make a point of reintroducing and prioritizing iron-rich plant-based foods in my diet, regardless of what else I ate. My go-to assurance that I get enough? These Iron-rich energy balls (and, uh, lots of lentil soup). Almost all of the ingredients are natural and high-iron: molasses, hemp seeds, flaxseed, sunbutter, sweet potato flour….

Iron-rich [Energy Balls]

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned gluten-free oats

  • 1/2 sweet potato flour (other options: hazelnut flour, almond flour, flax meal)

  • 1 tbs hemp seeds

  • 1 tbs flax seeds

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • dash of nutmeg + ginger

  • 3 tbs blackstrap molasses

  • 3 tbs maple syrup

  • 3/4 cup sunbutter (or whatever kind of nut or seed butter you prefer)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl

  • Roll into ball shapes (makes ~16)

  • Store in air tight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!

Ingredients used:

Disclaimer: you can overdose on iron; talk to doctor if they recommend supplement before eating these or other foods for medical reasons or instead of taking a supplement.

Frozen Friday: Vegan Vanilla Yogurt + Goji Berry [Bark]

Frozen Friday: Vegan Vanilla Yogurt + Goji Berry [Bark]

*this blog post includes affiliate links.

Problems: It is the final stretch of my pregnancy, and I am craving SWEETS! But, I know that sugary, processed snacks make me feel lousy. And, every time I eat anything too heavy, I feel stuffed and uncomfortable for days...yes, literally for days. On top of that it is winter…in Florida. I am craving winter flavors + colors (think hot coco, pumpkin spice, peppermint bark) but it is too hot outside to enjoy my typical go to winter snacks.

So, what is this hormonal pregnant mama to do? Make this vegan vanilla yogurt and goji berry bark. It turns out that this creation not only satisfied my pregnancy and winter cravings, but also it is an easy-to-make healthy snack that my whole family loves! How is that for a win-win?

Give it a try. It might just become your new favorite too!

Vegan Vanilla Yogurt + Goji Berry [Bark]

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan yogurt (I like to use the plain cashew yogurt from Forager Project)

  • 1 tsp organic vanilla powder (or you can use vanilla yogurt)

  • 1 organic banana

  • 1 tbs chopped walnuts

  • 2 tbs cacao nibs

  • 2 tbs goji berries

  • 1-2 tbs raw maple almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice. (I used Maranatha; see below)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine yogurt + banana in high speed blender or food processor until smooth

  • Pour mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet

  • Sprinkle walnuts, cacao nibs + goji berries on top

  • Put soft almond butter into a plastic bag and cut toff the corner. Squeeze bag to drizzle the nut butter all over yogurt. You can always add more later.

  • Freeze 2-4 hours (or until frozen)

  • Once frozen, break into smaller pieces and enjoy!

Ingredients used:

Superfood Saturday: Rhubarb [Crisp]

I remember growing up in upstate NY and just waiting for the time of year when my mom and grandmother would make their delicious rhubarb pies.   Years later, when I realized that gluten, dairy, and sugar made my body go a bit cray cray, I figured it was best to retire by rhubarb pie habit.   

But, recently, when I came across an article talking about the many health benefits of rhubarb, I decided to give the old rhubarb pie recipe a facelift.  Enter my vegan Rhubarb Crisp, high in fiber (easing digestion) and vitamin K (helping to protect against osteoporosis and Alzheimer's), and super duper tasty too!

Rhubarb Crisp

[Vegan; Gluten Free]

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rhubarb mixed (if using frozen, place in colander and briefly rinse under cold water)
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries or strawberries (or a mix) ((if using frozen, place in colander and briefly rinse under cold water)
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cub favorite gluten free granola mix
  • 4 tbsp cold vegan butter
  • Coconut cream topping (optional) (one 4 oz can coconut cream, mixed with a tsp coconut sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, scoop of chia seeds; mixed and refrigerated for at least 1 hr)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly (vegan) butter an 8X8.
  • Add fruit directly to the dish and toss with sugar and maple syrup.
  • Add oats, nuts, granola, and vegan butter to a mixing bowl and mix until all of the butter is evenly distributed. Distribute evenly over fruit.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with coconut cream or your favorite vegan ice cream.