To all my fellow chocolate lovers out there, I can't wait to share these delicious little treats with you!
I created these healthy versions of the Reese peanut butter cups for a dessert night demonstration I recently did. They were such a hit that I felt they needed to be shared with more people!
My chocolate nut butter cups are a very simple make ahead holiday dessert that you can pop into the freezer and pull out when you have friends over for coffee, place on your holiday cookie platter or save for your own sanity snacking when the Christmas to do list becomes overwhelming.
If you don't normally use cacao butter you might be wondering what it is and where to find it. Cacao butter is what is typically used in vegan raw chocolate making to give it that creamy taste and texture. Cacao butter is the creamy fat that is extracted from the beans of the cacao tree. Also known as cocoa butter, it can be used in cooking and baking but also as a beauty product (moisturizer, lip balm, stretch mark cream, edible massage, etc.). It is rich in healthy fats and vitamin E, which is an important vitamin for the functioning of the nervous system.
Cacao butter can be hard to find at your regular grocery store. In my community I have found it at both Nature's Fare and Bulk Barn. You want to make sure you purchase it organically as cacao is a heavily sprayed food.
Chocolate Nut Butter Cups
Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free
Makes approx. 24 mini cups
-3/4 cup coconut oil
-4.5 Tbsp cacao butter
-1 & 1/8 cup organic cocoa powder
-1/2 cup maple syrup
-a heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more for topping)
-1/2cup nut or seed butter (almond, peanut, sunflower, etc.)
-1Tbsp maple syrup
-sea salt to taste
-mini cupcake liners
1.Make a double boiler (a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water). Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter. Add the maple syrup and whisk to combine. When all mixed, remove from heat. Mix in the cocoa powder and salt. Adjust sweetness/saltiness according to taste.
2.Pour just enough chocolate into each cupcake liner so that there is a thin layer on the bottom. You should use less than half the chocolate, the rest will be used for later. Place in freezer for 15 minutes to set.
3.Make the filling. Mix all the ingredients together. Adjust for taste.
4.Spoon about 1tsp of filling into your hands. Roll it into a ball and flatten with your palm to be just a bit smaller than the size of the cupcake liner.
5.Remove liners from freezer. Place a disc of nut butter in each liner. Drizzle the rest of the chocolate on top to cover all the nut butter discs. Sprinkle salt on top to garnish.
6.Place in freezer for about one hour to set. Once ready, these can be stored in the freezer or in the fridge in a sealed container.
Love and light, xo
So I have some big news to share... I'm having a baby!
My husband and I are blessed to be able to take this journey for a second time. Trying to conceive the first time around was incredibly difficult and is what led me to focus my life on helping other women who are having trouble conceiving, get pregnant.
I've spent the last two years or so investing my time and energy in expanding my knowledge learning how to better help women get pregnant easily and carry a healthy child to full term. So this time around I knew all the tricks to make it happen right away.
If you're having trouble getting pregnant and are feeling alone and frustrated, it's ok. There is someone out there that can help you. Whether it be myself or someone else, you don't have to keep going at it alone. But do seek help so you don't have to keep banging your head against the wall. Us women always think we can do everything ourselves but there is just so much to know in how to get pregnant faster that noone is telling you about.
But guess what? I'm going to give you a little gift and share these 3 easy steps to get pregnant faster with you.
3 Easy Steps To Get Pregnant Faster
1. Clean Up Your Liver
The liver is the main detoxification organ. Not only does it remove toxins, both the kind we ingest and the kind that our bodies make, but it detoxes out excess hormones as well. A liver in poor working condition will interfere with the absorption of essential fatty acids and the metabolism of vitamins A, D, E and K.
A healthy liver is important for optimal fertility because it helps remove those extra hormones that may be circling in your body, such as estrogen. Estrogen dominance can be an issue with women who are trying to get pregnant. If your liver is struggling to remove that extra estrogen getting pregnant may become more difficult. Why? We need the right balance of estrogen and progesterone during the right times in our cycle to make a baby. Estrogen should be higher in the ovulatory phase, and then it should shift to higher progesterone after ovulation so that implantation can occur and a fertilized egg can remain attached to the uterus.
Think you might be estrogen dominant?
Symptoms that may signal an estrogen imbalance are: heavy bleeding during periods, clotting, fibroids, swollen or tender breasts, endometriosis or painful periods, abnormal pap smears, PMS, mood swings, trouble sleeping, memory issues, cold hands or feet, hair loss.
Some key things to do to improve the health of your liver to get pregnant faster are: eat more cruciferous vegetables, bitter foods, lemons, sulphur-rich foods and pomegranates, berries, artichokes, green tea and milk thistle tea. These are just some of the many foods that help support the liver. Also, working on stress reduction will help bring balance to the body, also helping the liver.
One of the best things you can do for your liver is start your morning off with half a lemon squeezed in a glass of warm water 20 minutes before consuming any other food or beverage.
2. Drink More Water
Most people aren’t drinking enough water. Yes, probably you too.
Why is water so important for fertility? Well to start, drinking water flushes out toxins from the body which keeps the body running smoothly. Secondly, it hydrates the body to allow it to make more cervical mucus. Cervical mucus is what protects and nourishes the sperm on its way to meet your egg. It is equally important that men drink enough water to create good seminal fluid.
Ideally you should be drinking about 2L of water per day. You will know when you are well hydrated because your urine will be quite pale. Fluorescent yellow urine means you are dehydrated and need water now!
Make sure that you drink good quality, filtered water. I use a system that filters the water and re-alkalinizes it as well which is especially important these days as our bodies have become overly acidic (also not good when you are trying to conceive).
If you have a hard time drinking water in a day, make it more exciting by adding slices of fresh lemon or limes, fruits like watermelon or strawberries and herbs like mint or parsley.
3.Eat More Fruit
Most people don't know that the reproductive system runs on glucose, so you need to eat at least 3 cups of fruit per day to get pregnant faster.
Focus on berries as they help balance reproductive hormones and help govern the reproductive system's absorption of specific nutrients it needs. Bananas, oranges, avocados, grapes, mangos, melons, raspberries, cucumbers, cherries, pomegranates and limes are all amazing foods for helping fertility. Eat as many of these as you can.
So there you have it 3 easy steps to get pregnant faster.
Are you STILL trying to get pregnant?
In my beautiful 4 month program, Making Babies, I will guide you to achieve the most glowing, energetic, vibrant, baby making body possible!
For more information about this unique program click HERE.
Please know that I am always here to help guide you towards better health. If you ever have any questions, shoot me an email!
In the meantime, try out my delicious new creation below. Pomegranates are what I have been craving in a big way this pregnancy so I went all out with them in this cashew-filled vegan cake. Yum!
Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free
For the crust:
-2 cups soft fresh dates
-1 cup raw almonds
-1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
-1/4 tsp salt
-1Tbsp hemp seeds
-1Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
For the filling:
-2 cups raw cashews
-1 can coconut milk
-juice of 1 lemon
-1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
-1/4 cup honey
For the top layer:
-juice of 1 lime
*If pomegranates are unavailable, feel free to use raspberries or blackberries to make this cake instead.
1.Place cashews in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Let sit for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse.
2.Make the crust. Place almonds in a food processor and process until you have a fine crumb. Pulse in the dates. Add the shredded coconut, salt, hemp seeds and coconut oil. Pulse until dates are finely chopped and mixture sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of a spring form pan (you can use one slightly bigger or smaller if you do not have a).
3.Rinse food processor out and make the filling. Place cashews, coconut milk, lemon juice, coconut oil, vanilla and honey in food processor. Blend until nice and smooth (you can also use a blender for this step). Keep about 1/4 cup of filling in the food processor and pour the rest of the filling on top of the crust, smoothing out evenly with a spatula.
4.Add seeds from 1.5 pomegranates and the lime juice to the food processor that still has some of the filling in it. Blend until smooth. Pour over top of cake. Place cake in fridge for about 6 hours, until nice and firm.
5.Decorate top of cake with the rest of the pomegranate seeds. Remove springform pan edge and enjoy cake cold.
6.Cake keeps for about 5 days in the fridge.
Love and light xo,
Welcome to Body Fuel Nutrition! I thought I would make my very first recipe post a special one and create a cheesecake for you all to enjoy. Since it's Valentine's Day this weekend I couldn't resist making something with chocolate. This cake is a tribute to my girlfriends and the time I ate almost an entire cheesecake... can I tell you how much I love dessert?! It's been kind of a running joke with us the past ten years so I thought I would create a cheesecake to commemorate our teenage days-but this time it's actually GOOD for you! Rich, creamy, tangy and gluten and dairy free, this cheesecake has all the right elements to make it delicious. I hope you whip one up for someone you love this weekend.
These days you have probably heard the words chocolate, cacao and cocoa and thought to yourself, are they the same thing? Let's clear up the confusion.
Cacao has been around for an incredibly long time-some 2000 years- and can be called a superfood. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals, one of the highest minerals being magnesium. Magnesium is extremely important for regulating muscle tone-especially the muscle of the heart. It is also important in energy production and the formation and excretion of urea. Cacao is different from cocoa though- cacao is raw and made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, so it keeps it's nutritional content. Cocoa on the other hand has been processed by heating at high temperatures which changes its molecular structure which in turn changes the nutritional content. Use cacao powder when making raw treats and cocoa powder when heating, as heating may cause destruction of the nutrients rich in cacao. Cacao can also be bought as cacao nibs, which are simply just chopped up cacao beans. These are a lovely addition to cookies and other sweet treats such as granola bars. Like cacao powder they are not sweet. You'll notice I've added them to the recipe below as they add a lovely texture to the crust. It you prefer your crust a little more smooth feel free to leave them out.
Most chocolate is made from cocoa powder and the nutritional content really depends on the quality you buy. Cocoa beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides so make sure that you purchase yours organic and fair trade. When choosing your chocolate, pick one that has a high percentage of cocoa solids-70% or higher. You also want to make sure that you are buying chocolate that is not chock full of sugar as too much sugar negates the health benefits. I like to make my own raw chocolates but when purchasing chocolate for nibbling I prefer to buy raw chocolate as it is made from cacao beans and is lower in sugar, higher in nutrients and tastier than regular chocolate. A favourite brand of mine is Sacred Chocolate.
Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake
For the crust:
-2 cups fresh Medjool dates
-1 cup almonds
-1/4 cup oats (use gluten free oats to make this recipe gluten free)
-1 Tbsp cacao
-1 Tbsp cacao nibs
For the filling:
-2 cups cashews, soaked at least 12 hours
-1 can of full fat coconut milk
-2 Tbsp lemon juice
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-100g dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa)
-1/4 cup honey
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1/4 tsp salt
1. Soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 12 hours. Drain and rinse cashews.
2. Pulse dates, almonds, oats, salt and cacao in a food processor until the mixture starts to clump together. It should stick together fairly well when pressed between your fingers.
3. Fold in the cacao nibs.
4. Using a springform pan (I used a 10 1/4" pan), press the crust mixture firmly into the base of the pan and slightly up the sides. Set aside while you make the filling.
5. Put cashews, coconut milk and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. This may take a few minutes depending on how powerful your blender is.
6. In a double boiler on medium-low heat melt the coconut oil. Add chocolate and melt, stirring frequently. Add honey, vanilla and salt and stir until ingredients come together and become smooth. Remove from heat.
7. Add chocolate mixture to cashew mixture and blend until smooth. Pour filling over your crust. Place in fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
8. Top with toasted coconut, fresh fruit or coconut whipped cream. Enjoy with friends!
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day eating delicious food with people you love.
Love and light, from my family to yours,