Author Archives for Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

About Sandra Shields, Food and Wellness Blogger, Health Coach, Healthy Living, Food Intolerance Recipes, Well Rounded Living

Hello! I am Sam. I am a foodie and a Health Coach who likes being in the kitchen creating healthier versions of favorite foods, especially for those with food intolerances and restrictions, or those who are looking to incorporate healthier eating habits. I have had an obsession with baking since I was ten! I started this blog to share recipes I was making for myself after finding out I had several food sensitivities, including gluten. I had no idea what I was going to eat and how I would feed my hungry family. I went to school for Health Coaching as a second career at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world's largest health coaching school. I wanted to have recipes I could eat, and the whole family would enjoy, that were healthy, delicious and made with ingredients that promoted overall health. So this is in essence my food diary. Taking real food and creating delicious recipes is something I am passionate about. From experience, I believe nutrient dense food gives the body the best fuel and building blocks to be vibrant, healthy, prevent disease, and maintain great energy as well as heal. I am excited to share delicious food recipes and tips!

Chocolate Mint Nut Milk

Chocolate Mint Nut Milk 2

I came up with this recipe with a dairy free creamer to go in my coffee in mind. It is creamy and tastes great for making peppermint mocha’s, but it’s also delicious all by itself.

Chocolate Mint Nut Milk 3

Nut milks are simple to make. You just need a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Nut milk bags are inexpensive, and I prefer them over a strainer lined with cheesecloth, but you can go that route too. You can get a three pack for just under $9. on Amazon.

Chocolate Mint Nut Milk

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Raw Pecans

4 Cups of Water for Soaking (This will be discarded later)

3 Cups of Cold Water

1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder

2 Tablespoons of Raw Honey

1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract

a pinch of Sea Salt

Directions:

Place your pecans in a bowl and cover them with 4 cups of water. Let the nuts soak overnight for 8 to 12 hours. The longer they soak, the creamier your milk will be. This plumps up and softens the nuts for a creamy non-gritty milk.

After the nuts have soaked, dump them into a strainer and rinse them with fresh water.

Add the rinsed nuts and 3 cups of fresh cold water, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, peppermint extract and sea salt to a high speed blender, and blend for three minutes.

Pour the nut milk into your nut milk bag over a large bowl. Gently squeeze the bag to strain out the milk into the bowl. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Mint Nut Milk Gluten and Dairy Free

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Quinoa and Banana Flour

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies 4

I created this new cookie recipe to be nut free, gluten free, dairy free and gum free and it uses just two flours, Quinoa and Banana. These two combined I find make a nice cookie.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies 5

These cookies taste chocolately delicious, and are sweetened with natural maple sugar.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies 1

I usually freeze them after I make them because,  1. It keeps them fresh longer and 2. It helps resist temptation to eat too many at once. But, I have to say, they are good right out of the freezer, so that doesn’t always work well. 🙂

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies 2

This recipe makes a dozen cookies. I don’t think there is ever a time of year when chocolate isn’t on the list of cookie flavor favorites. But, they are especially cozy when the weather gets cooler and you can grab a hot cup of something to go with them curled up with a blanket and a good book.

Here’s the recipe.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Quinoa and Banana Flour

1/4 Cup of Banana Flour

1/4 Cup of Quinoa Flour

1/4 Cup of Cacao Powder

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Egg

1/4 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/3 Cup of Chocolate Chips

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, beat the olive oil and maple sugar together. Add the egg and beat for one minute. Add the quinoa flour, banana flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla and beat until creamy. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet using a tablespoon cookie measure. Flatten the cookies with damp fingers. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 – 11 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on the cookie sheet.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free

*This post has affiliate links in it. I receive a very small commission if you purchase through my links. The small commission helps cover the cost of maintaining this blog.

Chopped Kale, Cranberry, and Pumpkin Seed Slaw!

Kale, Cranberry, Pumpkin Seed Slaw 2

This slaw is a twist on the traditional cole slaw with the Autumn flavors of cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and the added nutrition of Lacinato Kale!

Kale, Cranberry, Pumpkin Seed Slaw

Gosh I love Fall! It’s my favorite season! I love all the spices, warm drinks, cozy sweaters, autumn fruits and vegetables, crunchy leaves, pumpkin patches, pumpkins, Mums, Fall porch decorations, cozy corners with a good book and a quilt, jackets, boots…..Love- It – All! This slaw introduces some of the flavors of Fall without completely letting go of Summer yet IMO.

Autumn Picture Cozy Time

What’s your favorite part about Fall? Please share with me. 🙂

I think you will like the crunch of the pumpkin seeds and chewy cranberries in this slaw. Plus, it has a milder onion flavor with scallions (green onions). It can also be made ahead, which is always handy!

Ingredients

4 Cups of Shredded Green Cabbage

1 Cup of Finely Chopped Lacinato Kale

1/2 Cup of Shredded Carrot

1/2 Cup of Thinly Sliced Green Onion

1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Seeds (I like this sprouted kind)

1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries, fruit sweetened

Mix all the slaw ingredients together, then make the dressing:

1/2 Cup of Primal Kitchen Garlic Aioli Mayonnaise (here)

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of Honey

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, and fold into the slaw.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chopped Kale, Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Slaw, Gluten and Dairy Free

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts

Dark Chocolate and Raspberries with Mint is divine! But if you like Macadamia Nuts better, I have given you options. Or, if you are like me, I like to make both!SO Perky raspberry and macadamia truffles

This is a brand new recipe with choices! I have added a powdered drink mix supplement that is new to Perfectly Posh called So Perky that has a lot of beneficial ingredients in it, to boost these truffles, like Green Coffee Bean, Matcha Green Tea, Peppermint, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Ginseng! The mint flavor in this drink mix adds a nice flavor to the chocolate, plus other benefits. But, you can totally make this without it! All the new Knosh is allergen free, with no artificial colors! One of the many reasons I love it!

So Perky Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles

Here’s some more information below on the So Perky which you can pick up here.

 

So Perky

I like to add it to make these delicious dark chocolate bites an Energy Power Treat!

So Perky Truffles

They also have cashew butter in them, and are simple to make, because instead of cooling the truffle mixture and then rolling them into balls, which can be tedious, you simply pour it into mini muffin cups which is much quicker and easier!

Here’s how to make them!

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts (optional Knosh So Perky Drink Mix)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup of Cashew Butter

2 Knosh So Perky Mint Julep Drink Mix packets (optional)

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon of Peppermint Extract

A pinch of Sea Salt

Freeze Dried Raspberries (crushed) 1 Cup

1/2 Cup of Macadamia Nuts (finely chopped)

Directions:

Prepare a mini muffin tin with 20 paper liners.

In a double broiler over simmering heat, melt the dark chocolate chips, cashew butter, a pinch of sea salt and 2 Knosh So Perky Mint Julep Drink Packets. Whisk with a fork until it is melted together. When completely melted, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.

Crush the freeze dried raspberries into a fine powder. I like to use a mini food processor. You can also do this in a plastic storage bag and crush them by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the sealed bag. Finely chop the macadamia nuts. Place each in a small bowl for sprinkling.

Place about a half teaspoon of the crushed raspberries and macadamia nuts in ten each of the mini muffin cups. Pour the melted truffle mixture evenly into each cup leaving a little room at the top for more raspberries and nuts. Immediately sprinkle the remaining crushed raspberries and macadamia nuts on top of the truffles accordingly.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes until set. Remove them from the mini muffin pan and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator to enjoy as needed!

Makes 20

Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles with Raspberries and Macadamia Nuts

*I am a consultant for Perfectly Posh and love all their cleaner beauty products and supplements and what the company stands for. I appreciate you choosing me as your consultant when shopping with them.

What’s In Season for August

What's In Season in August

August is a time of year when the fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak! This is a great time to eat your fill of all the freshness the season has to offer and enjoy all the nutrient rich benefits of a large variety of colorful, fresh food.
I have put together a list for you to pin, share and inspire you!
How would you use some of these? Share with me in the comments and share this post with friends who love good food!

Blueberry, Dark Chocolate Chip, Pecan Quick Mug Muffin

Quick Muffin 6

Is there ever a season when we don’t need something quick in the kitchen? I don’t think so from my experience. Even in the Summer when the kids are out of school, the pace can be fast, and we have to purposefully carve out time to slow things down.

Quick Muffin 7

Our time Up North is winding down, and it has been so fun, relaxing and refreshing. Lots of quality time, but I’m feeling tired. Because even a vacation, or even especially a vacation, can make you tired.

Quick Muffin 3

During the last few days, I am running out of time to bake, and also not replenishing things like muffins that I don’t want to take with me traveling home.

Quick Muffin 5

So, I’ve made a new recipe for a quick 2 minute mug muffin. No big batch, just enough for two servings. Half for now, half for later, or to share all at once. It’s big enough for two.

This one has dried blueberries, pecans and dark chocolate chips in it, and I used a combination of Banana and Quinoa flour, and sweetened it healthfully with applesauce and maple syrup.

Quick Muffin Batter in Mug

Blueberry, Dark Chocolate Chip, Pecan Mug Muffin

You will need one 16 oz. Microwave Safe Mug

Ingredients:

1 Egg

1/4 Cup of No Sugar Added Applesauce

1/4 Cup of Quinoa Flour

2 Tablespoons of Banana Flour

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/8 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

A Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon of Dried Blueberries

1 Tablespoon of Chopped Pecans

Directions:

Whisk together the egg, applesauce, maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, blueberries and chopped pecans. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Add a Tablespoon each of Dark Chocolate Chips, Blueberries and Chopped Pecans. Pour the batter into a 16 oz. microwave safe mug. (It should be half full). Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, blueberries and pecans if desired.

Microwave on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes until cooked through and the muffin springs back to the touch. The first time you make this start at two minutes, and if needed go 30 seconds more. After that you will know your microwave time requirements for this muffin. Microwaves vary. This muffin Puffs Up Huge above the rim of the mug when microwaving. It will shrink back down level with the cup when it is cooled. There are no worries of it spilling over. Kids will enjoy watching this process, at least mine do. 🙂

Cool a little bit before eating this. It is good warm or cooled. 🙂

Serves 2

THISIS~1

 

 

The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

The cherries are in season, so now is a good time to enjoy them, freeze them at their peak to enjoy all winter and to reap the health benefits of this delicious stone fruit!

 

Let’s talk about the benefits of sweet cherries!

 

Some of my favorite benefits of cherries are the compounds that help improve sleep naturally (they contain natural melatonin). If you want the benefit of better sleep, have a serving an hour before bedtime. 

 

Cherries also contain anti-inflammatory properties, and they inhibit oxidative stress. It is always a good idea to eat foods that decrease inflammation in our bodies that can lead to a variety of diseases and health problems, and oxidative stress leads to premature aging and puts you at a higher risk for cancer, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.

 

The red color of the cherries is from Anthocyanins which are a class of antioxidants that research shows can benefit our bodies in several ways. Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and neuroprotective. Anthocyanins can rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage. The polyphenols in cherries are a boost to heart health and aid in exercise recovery.

 

As with any fruit, stick to reasonable serving sizes.

 

1 Cup of Sweet Cherries has 90 calories, 22 g of carbs and 17 grams of sugars.

 

Sweet Cherries are highly palatable and tasty just as they are. This stone fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, especially Vitamin C and Potassium. They are wonderful atop a salad, as a snack, chopped up and made into a salsa to go with a meal as a topping, in a breakfast bowl, in a homemade cherry bbq sauce, use them to make homemade popsicles or in broccoli salad. There are so many creative ways to use them as part of a healthy, well balanced diet and the benefits are worth your attention.

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

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