Vegan Carob cookies 

 

 

Every time I make a dessert recipe I firmly state that I rarely do so. Well, because we are embarking on a NEW business venture (yep another one) I will be using some of my time to try and create prototypes for testing – you may even see us out at the farmers markets this summer AND you should definitely see us with a booth at the fall bodybuilding shows….stay tuned.

My risk, your gain, these cookies were inspired by a bag of carob chips I had leftover after teaching part of my health series at my step-daughters elementary school. I call sugary things “sometimes treats” and enjoyed that I could reinforce that terminology with the class delivering surprise cookies.

*Nearly* sugar-free, these have made the recipe books…well, mine anyway. Just wish I would’ve busted out the equipment for some decent food shots.

Carob chips come in sweetened and natural – natural carob is NATURALLY sweet so please try to find unsweetened chips.

Dry Ingredients:

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

4 cups spelt or coconut flour * I used both and liked spelt more

Wet ingredients: 

1/2 cup almond milk

1 1/8 cup coconut oil melted

2 tsp vanilla extract – try my simple recipe

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups carob chips – save us for last!

Method: 

Baker I am NOT so I will have you know that there were two fallen trial recipes before this one. I attempted both baking AND dehydrating however, baking won.

Set oven to 350.

You will need 2 bowls, one large one medium.

In your medium bowl mix warm melted coconut oil with vanilla extract and brown sugar. Dissolve your sugar up in this mix.

In your larger bowl add all of your dry ingredients and mix well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add your wet ingredients as pictured below.


Once this is done SLOWLY add your nut milk and mix until sticking. Add in your carob chips.

The dough should be relatively dry and ball up easily. Don’t add all your nut milk at once and don’t be afraid to use a tad more over the recipe if you feel the cookies are too dry.

Ballers being ballers – stoked to have a recipe that just might work.

Next, roll into doughnut hole sized balls and place on a cookie sheet.

These bad girls don’t grow too much so squish them down with your fingers or a fork to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.

Bake for 10 minutes. I tried 12 and they dried out too much, 10 should work well if your oven temps are true.

 


 

Becoming Little Miss Bikini – Season 2, Episode 2 – Stay Inspired

 

10 weeks out & feeling firm, fit and rested.

 

As everyone is aware, this season I’ve decided to go all out. In more ways than one. I’m doing at least 5 shows this year which will be demanding and probably drive me right nuts…I’m also working on a new fitness product which will have me traveling and attending seminars for R&D, we have had to fire up a new Engineering Services company to survive the oil downturn, our traveling budget has been sliced next to nil so I will be looking to run teaching vacations to get us out of town whenever I can AND I’ve applied for a grant for a 12 month mentorship program to re-energize my training business by attempting to infuse this new fitness product into it.

Oh ya, did I mention I’m running my second 90 day transformation in 6 months and we have a couple of inventions on the back burner that we need to find time to look at feasibility studies for? Am I/are we nuts? Yes. Do we have heaps of time? No. Am I still going to give it 110% while I still have 110% to give? There’s only one answer.

This week will be 10 weeks out until my first show. I’ve managed to make a few surprising back gains and am feeling really great. 4 weeks off bulking mode and I’m still not tired or hungry or too irritable.

Fasted cardio in the morning starts this  week, also adding more exercise in to blow up my shoulder area…cardio PM and I’ve changed up my ab routine because I’d really like to bring in a bit more defined musculature for Spring/Fall ’16.

Practicing Flexing

I’ve decided on a suit colour for this year – and I’m keeping lucky green as a back up for sure! Can you guess which one I’ve chosen? I’ve also decided on a jewel pattern that I think will look stunning….going to try out some new connectors as well.

 

 

 

All this and I’m still trying to stay in the kitchen and develop new and interesting recipes for my lifestyle, clients and the kids I teach a nutrition series for at Earl Grey School in Calgary monthly.  This month we completed our sugar unit, last month was Salt, next month is Eating in Season ~ kids are pretty inspiring.

This go around is going to take a lot of inspiration. A lot of digging deep and more mental preparedness than the last. Holding fast while the storm beats you down….yep, I’m ready for it.

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Anastacia & I working out a new recipe for sugar free vegan cookies – it bombed, 3 times. Master baker I am not.

I am excited for Spring Break as well as we have managed to (on points and searching for deals for weeks) find a cheap as hell family vacation to Cancun for 10 days at a hotel with a full gym AND kids club. It seems like while the Oil Gods are raining down hellfire and damnation the Adventure Gods are showering us with the gift of travel once again. Something I couldn’t live without and will never give up. Be sure to stay close to see how I made out during the trip ~ my coach will be altering my plan for the equipment I have access to.

I suppose I feel like this time around I really have a burning sense to remember that you only live once and there are so many excuses you can make for not leaving the house or getting out of your pajamas, but there is a giant world to see and so many positive changes to make that I can’t see how folks waste theirs in front of a TV or not doing anything.

My point here being, if you’re considering doing something that you feel is drastic, that you have no time for and are just all out overwhelmed – do it any way. There are enough hours in the day.

Replace the mantra “I don’t have time” with “I haven’t made that a priority in my life” and see how motivated you feel.

Today is rest day and I am going to go for a beautiful hike in the mountains with my family, feed your soul and you’ll find all the time you need for everything you truly need in your life.

 

xxoo

S

 

Vegan Metis Bannock – Frybread

Tradition 2.0

Tradition 2.0

Anastacia came home from school on Friday talking about what she learned that week. Part of her experiences were speaking and learning about First Nations people, apparently Bannock was either discussed or eaten.

Having Metis roots close at home meant that she had already experienced making and cooking Bannock over an open fire at home and she has also been exposed to a tidbit of the culture.

She asked if we could make Bannock. I accepted the challenge and added a twist – veganism.

If you like scones, you’ll love this recipe.

Ingredients: 

3 cups pre-mixed cake flour (includes baking soda/powder/salt)

3 tbsp granulated organic cane sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 block (lb) of vegan butter spread (or butter if you will)

1 cup almond milk

Jam/Honey/Agave nectar for topping

Method: 

Preheat oven to 425

Mix dry ingredients.

Add butter and mix by hand until crumbled.

Slowly add almond milk until dough forms but is not sticky/runny. (Add little bits of flour if your mixture is too wet).

Knead (folding) for 2 minutes.

Form into ball.

Spread in circular formation about 1/2 an inch thick on cookie sheet. I use a pizza sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.

Serve warm drizzled with jam, honey or agave nectar.

 

 

Chocolate Chip cookies

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Me and cookies were never a thing, but after finding a pretty decent recipe and tweaking it…we just might be on like donkey kong.

Simple, quick and delicate. If you’re a fan of chocolate chip cookies, you’ll thank me for working this one out.

Fact: they were bagged up to take to the kids at Anastacia’s school before I could get a picture…then Jeff ate a bunch….so you’ll have to use your imagination here.

Ingredients: 

2 cups flour (gluten free flour is ok here, I used coconut flour)

1/2 cup raw coconut oil (I use the flavoured variety and just a bit over)

1 cup raw turbinado sugar

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp homemade vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 & 1/2 cups carob chips or vegan chocolate chips or regular

Method:

Preheat oven to 350. I used 365 in my 3rd and 4th batches which worked out better.

Mix coconut oil and brown sugar (do not soften coconut oil prior to mixing).

Add nut milk and vanilla extract.

By now your mix should be a bit watery because of the coconut oil. This is alright unless you have soup on your hands…then add a smidgen more flour at the end of the next step.

Mix all dry ingredients together then add to wet ingredients. Your mix should be crumby but tacky…if it’s still too wet, add a bit more flour here.

Roll into balls, make for 10 minutes checking on them often. They spread out quite a bit so don’t try to place too many on one sheet.

I placed all my cookie sheets outside in the 0 degree temps for 20 minutes after to cool them down quickly.

These freeze amazingly.

Made just over 30 cookies.

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Adapted from a daily Rebecca recipe. 

Vegan pumpkin ginger sugar cookies

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This year, for some reason has been the most seasonally themed ever. For whatever reason, I’ve really gotten into the fall spirit.

Loafing around Friday night my step-daughter and I decided it was high time to make some goodies for school again. It’s always important that we do our best to make 100% organic, GMO free, Vegan and DELISH.

We’ve had a hard time in our family being able to bring healthy alternatives to others without sideways looks. Since my days of teaching kitchens in Vancouver I have always proclaimed that the best way to introduce non-believers, is with dessert. This one hits the mark, spot on!

Ingredients: 

1 cup softened earth balance (soy free)

2 cups raw, organic, unbleached sugar + 1 cup for rolling

1.5 cups pumpkin puree – shelling out your jack-o-lanterns and processing is a real treat if you can

just over 1/2 cup of molasses

2 heaping tablespoons of egg replacer with 8 tbsp of water mixed until smooth

2 tsp vanilla extract (get my homemade recipe HERE)

5 cups unbleached, organic all purpose flour

4.5 tsp baking soda

1.5 heaping TBSP pumpkin spice (get my homemade recipe HERE)

3/4 tsp salt

 

Method: 

My oven is a bit of a pain in the *&& so I preheat the oven for 360. If your oven heats true, preheat to 350.

Either by hand or in a mixer beat butter, and sugar together until creamy. I use a hand blender for this.

Add pumpkin, molasses, egg replacer and vanilla extract mixing until fully combined.

Next, mix all dry ingredients together in another larger bowl  – flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, salt.

 

Anastacia mixing dry ingredients.

Anastacia mixing dry ingredients.

 

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed – your arms are going to get a workout here as you add in flour.

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This looked a little off to us. Flour ratios were off a bit on the first trial.

 

Refrigerate batter for 1.5 hours minimum. 

 

Remove from fridge, roll into bit-sized balls (smaller than a Timbit), dust in bowl with your reserved sugar, place on a non-stick or greased/parchment tray and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the sides of your cookies begin to firm up. Again, you need to start keeping an eye on them after 10 minutes dependent on your oven.

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Don’t forget to roll them in sugar!

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Transfer to flat surface or rack to finish cooling.

Makes approximately 60 cookies depending on sizes you roll.

Pumpkin Spice

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Fall is definitely here, Thanksgiving weekend is just 1 more sleep away. Are you ready with your recipes? If not, stay tuned for some great meat-free recipes that will last all fall & winter.

For today, here’s an easy, at home, pumpkin spice recipe that you can use for pies, pastries, breakfasts, smoothies, coffees, and pretty much anything you want to have this robust flavour accompany.

It takes 5 minutes and saves you the hassle of buying store-bought pre-mixes.

Ingredients: 

Ground spices

8 tbsp cinnamon

7 tsp nutmeg

8 tsp ginger

2.5 tsp allspice

Add to glass jar, shake and voila! Makes enough to last all fall, or more.

3 ingredient granola bars

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This recipe was whipped up when my step-daughter, Anastacia, was hungry just before we needed to leave the house for her ballet rehearsal. As most people who know me know, I do not enjoy putting my money into packaged and industrialized foods. SO, of course, we had no ready made granola bars in the house. With just a few ingredients and 10 minutes, healthy bars were in the oven and in 10 more, ready to eat.

You now have no excuses for feeding your kids crappy “over the counter” granola bars – feel the shame!! 🙂

Ingredients: 

3 cups of oats

1 cup peanut or almond butter

1/2 cup agave nectar or honey

Options: 

2 tbsp warm water for chewy-er bars

Vanilla extract

Peanut chips

Chocolate or carob chips

Coconut

Raisins

Craisins

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat up nut butter and honey on stove top – low. Add all ingredients to bowl and mix well. Press in pan, cut into shapes…whatever you like.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Tip: add water or more honey/agave if the mixture is too dry!

Healthy Facts: 

Oats – lower cholesterol, enhances immunity, blood sugar stabilizer.

Peanut butter: protein rich, healthy unsaturated fats that lower risk of heart disease – WE NEED FATS IN OUR BODIES FOLKS, DON’T BE FOOLED BY RECKLESS DIETS!!!!!!

Almond butter: alternative to peanut butter for allergies, fiber, calcium, zinc, iron, folates – WOW almonds are amaze-balls.

Agave nectar: anti-microbial,  still high in concentrated fructose, but an option for Vegans.

Honey: 2% mineral rich, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, antioxidant, B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin.