Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

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Preparing a simple meal this evening, in the pressure pot, I considered ideas for an equally simple after dinner treat. I remembered a recipe for mini blueberry muffins in Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

Created without gluten, oil, refined sugar or eggs, these bite sized snacks seemed perfect! Best of all, I had time to prep the blueberry mini bites and pop them in the oven while dinner cooked without my aid.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Scanning the recipe, I saw that I had all the ingredients on hand. At least, what I had on hand would work. One of the things I love about recipes is that they can typically hold up to minor adaptations.

I had black chia seeds rather than white ones. I’m out of organic maple syrup, however my raw organic honey container is almost full. And my muffin tin is small, but not a mini size. Game on!

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

An easy to make healthy treat. Gluten, oil, refined sugar and egg free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds regular or white
  • 1 cup mashed banana approx 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup may use raw organic honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    Place chia seeds in blender and blend on high until finely ground.
  • Add mashed bananas, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and add frozen wild blueberries. Mix gently.
  • Line a mini muffin pan with 16 mini parchment baking cups and fill each one with a heaping tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins turn golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool completely before eating. Muffins continue to firm up as they cool.

Notes

If you don't have mini parchment baking cups, lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini BitesUse wild blueberries, if possible, as the health benefits are greater. I purchase them in the frozen foods section.

Improvise as Necessary

As you can see, in the photo above, I also lacked mini parchment baking cups. No worries! I very lightly greased the muffin tin with coconut oil.

Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, I filled 12 compartments with heaping tablespoons of batter, rather than 16. I’m calling the results mini bites. However, the treat was excellent in taste and texture. Slightly sweet, these blueberry mini bites pair well with a cup of hot mint tea.

I so appreciate that Anthony William continually offers new recipes along with his wisdom about health and fighting disease. It may seem like a small thing, preparing these decadent little high nutrient desserts. However, it means a great deal to me. Discovering I can create a wide variety of meals, dishes and treats completely shifted my perspective of what it meant to live a plant based lifestyle.

My food fuels my health. I eat well. And I love every bite.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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For the last Liver Rescue Book Club meeting tonight with my mom and sister, I provided our plant based meal. I served up my Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes with a couple of veggie sides. For dessert, I wanted something fresh, light and healthy, as temperatures today soared into the 80s. I also had an almost full container of strawberries in the fridge.

Remembering that Anthony William recently shared a luscious looking gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, I checked his website. Based on what I had on hand, I made a couple of adaptations. Perfection!

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

This light and refreshing treat is the perfect conclusion to spring or summer meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour may use almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup may use raw honey
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved, for topping sweeten with 1 tbsp raw honey if desired

Whipped Cream

  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in fridge
  • 2 - 3 tbsp raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using hands, combine oil with flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup or honey. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms. Using hands for mixing is easier than using a spoon.
  • Turn out dough on floured surface or a square of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles and place shortcakes on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until shortcakes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. While shortcakes cool, add a tablespoon of raw honey to strawberries and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream

  • Chill mixing bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove thick cream from top of can, leaving coconut water behind. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat coconut cream until soft peaks form. Slowly add raw honey a little at a time, continuing to beat for two more minutes.
  • Assemble shortcakes by placing a spoonful of whipped cream on biscuit, followed by strawberries. Top with more whipped cream. Or add a second biscuit and repeat the layers, ending with berries. 

Notes

You may substitute cocowhip topping instead of making your own whipped cream.

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

I purchased Cocowhip topping from Natural Grocers rather than making the whipped topping myself. It’s available in the frozen foods section of the store. I’ve not yet made whipped topping from coconut milk however it’s on my list of things to try!

I also used gluten free oat flour and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. The recipe made 13 shortcakes.

This gluten free strawberry shortcake is delicious. The shortcakes are slightly sweet and pair well with the honey sweetened strawberries.

This simple yet showy dessert is wonderful for special occasions or celebrations or final book club meetings. I envision topping the shortcakes this summer with a variety of fresh fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced peaches.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

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This week my mom, sister, Greg and I began the Liver Rescue 3:6:9 cleanse, from Anthony William. Watch for an upcoming book review and my experience with the cleanse. The meals for the first three days are very similar to my usual daily fare. I’m reducing fat intake and including an extra lemon/lime water in the evenings.

For days 1, 2 and 3 I’ve prepared easy oven roasted potatoes for lunch or dinner. They are that good! Previously I made potato wedges, seasoned them, and roasted them in the oven. Lately I’ve been cubing the potatoes instead. The result is crispy on the outside tender on the inside perfectly seasoned potatoes.

Greg swears he could eat this meal every day! As we shift into the next phase of the cleanse, potatoes are off the menu. No worries, however. These oven roasted potatoes wait for us in the near future.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Crispy and yet tender, these potatoes make a great side dish or meatless main meal. Eat alone or create a veggie bowl featuring the oven roasted potatoes and other cooked veggies, a salad or raw veggies such as sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

A simple recipe for a meatless meal or a flavorful side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 4
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place cubed potatoes in a large bowl. Add sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to coat potato cubes. 
  • Add melted coconut oil. Stir to coat. Spread potato cubes out in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Notes

Potato skins may be left on, if desired. Substitute two sweet potatoes for two regular potatoes, for a great roasted potato mix. 
Olive oil may be used instead of coconut oil.

 

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Healthy Potatoes

Occasionally someone asks me, “Aren’t potatoes bad for you?”

I’ve believed that in the past. Potatoes get lumped in with other “white” foods with low nutritional value, such as white bread, white rice and sugar. However, they are high in potassium, B6 and amino acids…in particular Lysine in its bioactive form. Lysine fights against cancers, viruses such as Epstein-Barr and shingles, liver disease and inflammation.

Potatoes strengthen the kidneys and liver, soothe over excited nerves and help the digestive system to heal from Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. They are antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, relieving stress, supporting the brain and helping us to feel centered and grounded. Read more about the health benefits of potatoes HERE.

I eat a LOT of potatoes. They are one of the mainstays of my diet. And potatoes are so versatile.

Tonight’s simple and wholesome meal consisted of oven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed vegetables. My dinner was delicious, healthy and extremely satisfying. I truly can, and do, eat like this every day.

Easy Oven Roasted PotatoesOven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed onions, garlic, celery, green pepper, zucchini and carrots with slightly steamed spinach. 

 

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

One of the things I’m enjoying, on this plant based journey, is adapting recipes. Stuffed peppers popped into my mind this week. A quick check of my fridge and cupboards revealed I had all the necessary ingredients on hand to create a new healthier version of this old favorite.

My old recipe contained ground beef. My desire to create a veggies and brown rice version seemed doable.

I’ve played around enough with cooking the past couple of years, to gain confidence in pulling together an impromptu recipe.

Here is the result, Vegan Stuffed Peppers.

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This easy to prepare stuffed pepper recipe has all the flavor and it's full of healthy ingredients. Meat, dairy, egg and sugar free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 2 cups brown rice cooked
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 can corn non GMO, drained
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Wash green peppers, cut in half and remove seeds. Place in baking pan, cut side up.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers
  • Saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp coconut oil, until veggies are translucent.
  • Add diced tomatoes and cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt, stirring to combine. Add black beans and corn, combining well and heating through.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers
  • Add brown rice and combine well. Pour mixture over green bell pepper halves, filling peppers. Mound remaining mixture around peppers. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove covering and bake another 5 minutes. 6 servings.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Recipe Variations

This is one of those simple recipes that can be adapted according to tastes and ingredients on hand. Any color of pepper is suitable. I happened to have green bell peppers in the fridge.

Swap out the black beans for kidney beans or another vegetable. The same with the corn. I only use non GMO corn. Del Monte carries this product. Check the label to make sure it says “non GMO”. Quinoa can replace the brown rice. During the summer, when the garden is producing, fresh tomatoes would taste great, instead of canned. And fresh peppers from the garden….amazing!

Sampling my vegan stuffed peppers, I declared them excellent! I didn’t miss the ground beef at all. These were tasty and filling and something I will prepare again!

Looking for more meatless meal ideas? Check out these:

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Meatless Dirty Rice

 

Visit my Amazon Storefront for herbal teas, kitchen appliances and gadgets, and books to help your healing journey.

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Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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I practice the refreshing tradition of afternoon tea. Typically, sweet treats, finger sandwiches and scones accompany hot cups of herbal tea. Embracing a plant based lifestyle necessitated a change in my customary tea time. No more sweets or finger sandwiches. Gluten free, dairy free scones serve as yummy treats occasionally. Or simple fresh fruits and veggies make a great mid afternoon snack.

I love, however, coming across healthy alternatives to replace the sweet treats. Author Anthony William offers a wide range of recipes, along with an abundance of life changing health info and tips. Recently he posted an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that I’ve been excited to try.

I was not disappointed!

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This easy to prepare recipe features gluten free oat flour and rolled oats. Check the packages, to make sure the oats are not processed in a plant along with wheat flour. Oats are naturally gluten free but can become contaminated if wheat is processed in the same facility.

The recipe is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.

I purchase oat flour, rolled oats, coconut sugar and organic raisins in bulk, finding that’s better, cost wise. Any health-minded grocery store carries such items in bulk.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This delicious treat is gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Anthony William

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup organic raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix together ground flax seeds and water and set aside for 15 minutes, creating a flax egg.
  • Combine oats, oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt in a bow. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together coconut or avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until uniform dough forms. Add raisins.
  • Using spoon or cookie scoop, drop dough by spoonful onto parchment paper. Flatten into circles with a fork. Bake for 8 -10 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Mixing up this batch of cookies transported me back to my childhood. Standing beside my mom or grandmother, I’d help make cookies. One whiff of the fragrant cinnamon and I became that child again.

Of course, I sampled a bite of dough. Since it’s egg free, the dough can be eaten without concern. It tasted so good!

My kitchen filled with the scent of baking cookies as I cleaned up. Waiting for those cookies to cool required an exit from the room!

It was worth the wait. I settled into my favorite chair, with a cup of hot peppermint tea, and a small plate of vegan oatmeal raisin cookies.

The cookies are marvelous…soft, chewy, rich in flavor and not too sweet. They are, indeed, perfect oatmeal raisin cookies, and a wonderful addition to afternoon tea time. I keep all the ingredients on hand, making this a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

I look forward to making these delightfully healthy cookies a couple of times a month.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Other Afternoon Tea Time Treats

Looking for other tea time treats or healthy after dinner desserts? Try these:

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Gluten Free Wild Blueberry Scones

Wild Blueberry Banana Bread

 

Check out my Amazon Storefront to purchase Anthony’s books and to pre-order his new book, Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide.

 

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Meatless Dirty Rice

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Brown rice is a staple in my kitchen. I’m always on the lookout for great vegan rice recipes that are easy to prepare. Recently three such recipes showed up in my social media feeds. This one, Meatless Dirty Rice, meets my criteria of using readily available ingredients and being quick, easy and healthy.

I found this dirty rice recipe via Messy Cutting Board and adapted it to what I had on hand. That’s the beauty of this dish…versatility. Swap out ingredients, play with the spices, double the recipe.

Meatless Dirty Rice

What is Dirty Rice?

Dirty rice is a traditional Creole dish made from white rice that gets “dirty” from being cooked with veggies such as celery, onion and green pepper, and spices. It typically includes pork, beef or chicken. Meatless Dirty Rice swaps out white rice for brown, and excludes the meat entirely.

Meatless Dirty Rice Recipe

I cook the brown rice in a pressure pot and have it ready. Rice may be prepared in a saucepan on the stove. Start with 1 cup of dry brown rice and 1 1/2 cups of water, to create approximately 2 cups of cooked rice.

Meatless Dirty Rice

All the goodness and taste of Creole inspired Dirty Rice, without the meat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Meatless Dirty Rice
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 garlic minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans mashed
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp creole seasoning
  • 2 cups brown rice cooked

Instructions

  • Saute onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in coconut oil, until veggies are softened.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, cooking for 1 minute.
  • Add mashed garbanzo beans, kidney beans, paprika and creole seasoning. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Add cooked brown rice. Stir and cook 5 minutes. Serve.

Notes

Substitute 12 grape tomatoes halved, for canned, if desired.

Meatless Dirty Rice

Be Creative

Serve up dinner in under 30 minutes with this simple recipe. My kitchen smelled wonderful, as I prepared Meatless Dirty Rice. And the taste? Oh, so good! In fact, I’ve made dirty rice three times in the last two weeks.

What I appreciate most about this recipe is its versatility. Messy Cutting Board used what she had in her kitchen to create a quick meal…and I did the same, using her recipe as a template. Prefer black beans or red beans over kidney beans? Swap them. Have red peppers in the fridge instead of green? That works too. I prefer brown rice, for its nutritional value. However, use white rice if that’s what you have.

I buy organic creole spice mix at Natural Grocers. You can order the spice here. The small amount adds mild spiciness. If more heat is desired, increase the amount slightly.

Try out this Meatless Dirty Rice, playing around with the recipe, making it yours. And then…enjoy!

Meatless Dirty Rice

Check out another favorite rice recipe of mine, Lentils & Brown Rice.

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Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

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These vegan snickerdoodle cookies are full of flavor and healthy ingredients. And they make an excellent snack or simple dessert. I so appreciate Anthony William, who creates and offers a steady stream of delicious, easy to follow recipes. The cookies came together quickly, just in time for afternoon tea.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

This recipe is dairy, refined sugar, gluten and egg free. Walnuts can be left out, for a nut free bread.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

This easy to prepare cookie recipe is full of flavor and healthy ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Coating

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon for coating and set aside.
  • Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and stir well, to form a dough. If mixture is too wet, add more flour.
  • Form dough into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place on parchment paper. Flatten balls of dough with palm of hand or bottom of a glass.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly brown on bottom. 

Notes

Arrowroot starch may be substituted for coconut flour. Gluten free oat flour may be substituted for almond flour.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Tea Time

Savoring a couple of warm snickerdoodle cookies, with a steaming cup of hot herbal tea, the treat reminded me of shortbread cookies. Crisp with a softer center, and not too sweet, this cookie provides the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy the moment.

I like that the recipe makes a small batch of cookies. It can easily be doubled. However, twelve cookies seems just right. I’m not tempted to overdo. Instead, two cookies with tea satisfies my desire for a snack.

Serve these vegan snickerdoodle cookies for an afternoon break, pack into a lunchbox or finish an evening meal with a hint of sweetness. They are perfect.

Vegan Snickerdoodle Cookies

Try out these rustic shortbread cookies as well.

And for a variety of herbal tea blends, check out my Amazon Storefront.

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Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Post holidays, the Liver Rescue book club, consisting of my mom, sister and me, picked up again with Chapter 3. We are learning much about our overworked, underappreciated livers. It truly is amazing, how hard our livers work, to keep us healthy for as long as possible. More about what I am learning in a future blog post.

Tonight it was good to get together and chat about the book over a simple, plant based meal, a cup of hot tea, and a healthy treat. I supplied dinner…Lentil Shepherd Pie…and a healthy dessert…Rustic Shortbread Cookies. The recipe came from my favorite health conscious grocery store…Natural Grocers.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

This easy and healthy recipe arrived via my email. Tonight felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free butter (I used olive oil butter), at room temperature, divided into 8 pieces/spoonfuls
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. In mixing bowl, combine flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in butter, a few pieces at a time. Repeat until all eight pieces are incorporated. Add vanilla. Stir and then using hands, knead dough until all ingredients are well combined.

Form dough into walnut sized balls, place on baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool completely, on cookie sheet. The arrowroot starch acts as a binder, as the cookies cool, holding them together.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Perfect with Tea

We rushed the cookies, not allowing them to cool completely before sampling with hot tea. They were excellent though, especially with the herbal tea. Not too sweet, these rustic shortbread cookies make a light, occasional treat to enjoy.

I appreciate Natural Grocers, for sending me recipes. Of course, I purchased all my ingredients there. Visit their website link, in the sentence above. In Joplin, they are located on the corner of 7th and Range Line.

And pick up some herbal tea while you are there! My favorite is the Yogi Detox blend, with echinacea.

Rustic Shortbread Cookies

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

With Christmas on Tuesday, I chose to share recipes for healthy treats tonight rather than info about a supplement. Being plant based doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally enjoy snacks or treats. I’ve discovered there are healthy, and delicious, alternatives to sugar or dairy laden snacks.

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

I tried out three new holiday suitable treats this evening, and a wonderful chai hot chocolate.

Healthy Rice Krispy Treats

This quick and easy recipe comes from Anthony William.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw honey

2/3 cup raw cashew butter

2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups organic brown puffed rice cereal

Directions:

In large bowl combine honey, cashew butter, vanilla and sea salt. Add cereal, stirring well to coat. Line 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper. Spread cereal mixture in pan, pressing firmly. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour. Cut into bars. Makes 9-12 bars. Store in refrigerator.

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

Chai Hot Chocolate

I have missed hot chocolate during the winter months, since going plant based and eliminating sugar and dairy products from my diet. The delicious hot drink combines the goodness of chai with a sugar free, dairy free hot chocolate.

This wonderful drink is adapted from a recipe by Taking Route.

Ingredients:

For the chai spice – mix together in a small bowl

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon allspice

For hot chocolate –

2 cups dairy free milk (I used almond coconut)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Directions:

In a saucepan mix together milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of the chai spice mix. Bring just to boiling point, whisking occasionally. Lower heat and simmer a few minutes. Pour into mugs. Makes two serving.

I topped the chai hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped coconut cream (available at health conscious grocery stores) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I carried out steaming mugs of chai hot chocolate and a small plate of the rice krispy treats to share with Greg around a crackling fire in the backyard fire pit. What a perfect winter evening!

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This great recipe comes from an Instagram friend, Leah’s Health.

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free flour (I used a combination of almond and oat flour)

2 tablespoons Arrowroot Starch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 – 1 cup dark chocolate chips, sweetened with stevia. (I used 1 cup of dark mini chocolate chips, sweetened with stevia)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda and sea salt. Add maple syrup, water, coconut oil and vanilla, stirring just until combined. Add chocolate chips.

Form into large balls of dough, 2 – 3 tablespoons each, and flatten on cookie sheet. Makes 7 – 9 large cookies. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Don’t over bake.

Healthy Christmas Eve Treats

Gingerbread Bars

Finally, I adapted a recipe my grandson and I used a couple of nights ago. He made gingerbread cookies to give as gifts. I decided to try gingerbread bars, as his creations smelled so wonderful!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of olive oil spread (rather than butter)

3/4 cup coconut sugar

3/4 cup molasses

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let set for 5 minutes.)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used oat and almond)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl whisk together olive oil spread, coconut sugar and molasses. Stir in flax egg. Add salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Using a wooden spoon add flour, half a cup at a time. If baking as bars, don’t allow dough to form into a ball. Chill mixture for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Press into baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean and edges are slightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Or for cookies, add enough flour so that dough forms into a ball. Chill. Then roll dough out, between two sheets of parchment paper, to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and bake 8 – 10 minutes.

I’m ready for Christmas Eve, with holiday songs to listen to, plant based meals to prep for the next day and healthy versions of traditional treats to snack on. I’ll enjoy some quiet, cozy moments late tomorrow night, appreciating the glow of Christmas tree lights and tea light candles…and a cup of chai hot chocolate and one of my healthy Christmas Eve treats.

 

Vegan Hot Chocolate

This time of year, as Christmas approaches and the night air becomes cold, I miss hot chocolate. I grew up drinking my mother’s made from scratch hot cocoa. Many holiday traditions included the warming drink.

Later in life I’d tear open a packet of hot chocolate mix, add hot water and instantly have this favorite winter drink. Since adopting a plant based lifestyle I have not enjoyed hot chocolate. Typically, the commercial varieties are full of processed sugar and dried milk.

Thankfully, I successfully adapted a recipe to create a healthy hot chocolate that is dairy and sugar free.

 Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk, full fat

1 cup non dairy milk (I used almond coconut)

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

In a small saucepan, whisk together canned coconut milk, non dairy milk, cocoa powder and maple syrup. Continue to stir over medium-low heat, until hot chocolate is heated through and well combined. Makes 2 servings.

Top with whipped coconut cream, tiny dark chocolate chips, sweetened with stevia, or peppermint leaves.

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is Back!

Oh my, this hot chocolate is delicious. I savored it, sipping on the steaming liquid as I edited photos for tonight’s blogs.

The recipe is easy to adapt. One half a teaspoon of peppermint or pure vanilla extract could be added to change up the flavor. Leave off the whipped coconut topping if desired. Or, leaving it on, switch out the dark chocolate chips for unsweetened shredded coconut.

I’m so glad to have hot chocolate back in my life. This rich chocolate drink won’t be a nightly treat. However it’s good to know that if I am missing hot chocolate I now have a healthy option.

It will be perfect for Christmas Eve, with a Rustic Apple Galette!

Vegan Hot Chocolate