Almond-Chocolate-Coconut Bark

Hey y’all!

So sorry for the delay! I’ve been having some blog issues but fear not,  I’ve got an amazing recipe to make up for it!

Today I have a recipe for Almond-Chocolate-Coconut Bark. It is absolutely amazing. This recipe requires literally 4 ingredients and takes all of 30 minutes max.  I know I have discovered my sweet tooth throughout this journey and leading a gluten-free lifestyle so sometimes it’s nice to just be able to eat something that doesn’t taste healthy, you know?

With that being said:

 

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INGREDIENTS:

– 1 cup Coconut Oil

– 2 bags of dark chocolate chips

– 2 handfuls of coconut (or more if you prefer more, it’s all up to you)

– 1/2 cup of slivered almonds

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PROCESS:

 

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– Melt the dark chocolate chips, you can use a double broiler or the microwave. I always microwave just for times sake. Be sure not to burn your chocolate

– Mix in melted coconut oil

– Add coconut and almonds- The amount is all up to you. I am not  a huge fan of almonds, not to mention allergic, so I tend to not add as much as I do coconut.

– Pour in pan lined with parchment paper

-Freeze for 15-20 minutes

– Break up into pieces and enjoy!

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I made this recipe for my best friend’s art show and it was a huge hit. The longer you freeze the mixture the better. The chocolate tends to melt a little quickly in your hands just because of the coconut oil but hopefully it wont last long enough to have a chance to melt.

I hope you guys enjoy the coconut bark!

With love,

Rae Ann

Video Podcast: How To Make Almond Meal

Making your own almond meal is easy as one, two, three! Grab your food processor, your almonds, and an airtight container for storage. Mason jars work great, but plastic containers and zip-locks can work too. You can purchase raw, blanch or un-blanched almonds at your local health food store. These are not salted or roasted. Blanched almonds are almonds that have been soaked and removed of their skin. This choice is merely out of preference, but I believe the skin holds nutrients, so I prefer un-blanched almonds.

Below you will find some of my favorite recipes using gluten free, grain free, high protein almond meal. This ingredient is heart healthy and delicious!

There is a considerable difference between almond meal and almond flour, so don’t get the two confused! They will yield a completely different product if you use almond meal for a recipe that calls for almond flour. Almond meal serves as a versatile coating for chicken, fish, casserole toppings, or granola-like toppings for fruit.

Almond flour is great for desserts, entrees, or desserts. Almond flour is not to be confused with almond meal, which contains whole, ground almonds that still have the skin on them. Almond meal, or almond flour that is not blanched, will not work for almond flour recipes.

Check out this article to discern the difference between almond meal and almond flour.

Almond meal is a perfect alternative:

  • high protein
  • low carb
  • gluten/grain free
  • heart healthy

Check out these almond flour and almond meal recipes!

Almond meal recipes:

Almond Paste

5 Ways to use Almond Meal

Almond flour recipes:

Almond Flour Pancakes

Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 Great Almond Flour Recipes

Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Paleo certified chocolate chip cookies are nothing short of delicious and satisfying!

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup palm shortening
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  1. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse in shortening, honey and vanilla until dough forms
  3. Remove blade from processor and stir in chocolate chunks by hand
  4. Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Press balls of dough down gently
  6. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes
  7. Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
  8. Serve

Makes 18 cookies

Note: If your dough is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more honey

Almond Flour Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast?

Start your morning off right with this recipe. The possibilities are endless: top with fresh fruit, your favorite nut or seed butter, or Grade B maple syrup.

Yields 18 pancakes

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • coconut oil for cooking
  1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, water, vanilla and honey
  2. Add almond flour, salt and baking soda and mix until thoroughly combined
  3. Heat coconut oil on skillet over medium low to medium heat
  4. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter at a time onto the skillet
  5. Pancakes will form little bubbles, when bubbles open, flip pancakes over and cook other side
  6. Remove from heat to a plate
  7. Repeat process with remaining batter, add more oil to skillet as needed

See Elana’s Pantry for her library of gluten free, dairy free recipes.

Behold: The Greatness of Brown Rice Four

Hey guys! Peyton again!

Today I’m going to do a continuation of my podcast from last week and explain another part of my diet that keeps me going during athletic season.

As I’ve mentioned before, yeast-free living is a high protein diet, but that in no way means that I have completely given up carbs. That would be impossible, considering that I sometimes spend up to six hours a day on an athletic field. I often need something to keep me going, and a product I lean heavily upon is Brown Rice Flour.

Made out of natural, organic brown rice, Brown Rice Flour serves as a healthy substitute for white flour in many of my recipes. Although it does contain yeast, this product falls into the category of “Beyond Yeast-free” living: something that is allowed from time-to-time when living yeast-free.

Brown Rice Flour fits into my lifestyle because of its numerous health benefits:

  • Naturally gluten-free and high in protein, iron, fiber, and vitamin B
  • High in manganese which helps develop cartilage and bones properly
  • Helps the body absorb calcium
  • Supplies 20% of the recommended amount of magnesium, phosphorus, and copper
  • Contains 9% of the daily recommended amount of iron for women

Even with its health benefits, Brown Rice Flour should be used sparingly. In order to stay true to my body and lifestyle, I only consume Brown Rice Flour right before an athletic activity. It is the perfect product for keeping me going at my highest level of performance.

I’d like to rap-up my post today with a link to this awesome Brown Rice Flour Biscuit recipe that I make all the time, courtesy of Simply Gluten Free, found here. I usually eat them by themselves, but they can also be used to make a healthier version of a chicken and biscuit breakfast sandwich!

Enjoy! And have a great rest of the week!

Coconut oil: 10 different ways to use

We are happy to offer information to add value to your life. There is so much information out there and we hope that we offer information that fits your interests. Check out our posts that are all about almonds, coconuts, and dark chocolate. You don’t want to miss out on some of the most beautiful things in life.

Coconut is the talk of all generations, male or female. With its ability to lower cholesterol, aid digestion, rev your metabolism, slow aging, and curb cravings, coconut is the cure-all that should become a staple item in your household.  This versatile product is not just for your diet, but your skin, hair, and other helpful tricks.

Here are ten things you can start doing with coconut oil today!

1. On Toast Instead of Butter – Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.

2. Makeup Remover – Healthier, stronger and longer eye lashes are just a bonus!

3. Homemade Deodorant – You only need a few ingredients in addition to coconut oil to make this simple deodorant recipe.

4.  Sunburn Care – A great moisturizer to use after you’ve gotten a bit too much sun.

5. Tanning Oil – Put in a spray bottle, spray on to keep skin moisturized.

6. Cheekbone Highlighter – Apply a small amount on cheekbones over makeup.

7. Defrizzer of Split Ends – Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas.
8. Metabolism Booster – 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism.
9. For Your Owie – Although you may not be ready to give up your Neosporin, coconut oil can even be used as a topical protector for wounds, shielding them with a thin chemical layer from outside contaminants. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to small scrapes and cuts.
10. Breath Freshener: Coconut oil has anti fungal and antibacterial properties. Gargling for 20 minutes with a spoonful of oil (aka oil pulling) can help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums.
Swanson talks of even more uses for Coconut in their article, 50 Ways to Use Coconut.
Look for more information on how to use coconut in baking, cooking, health, and beauty in our upcoming posts!

Baking with Coconut Flour

Hey y’all!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Friday!

Today I have a podcast for you guys. I am going to tell you all about one of my favorite things: COCONUT FLOUR!

I hope you enjoy this information!

I’ll be following up with some recipes so that you can use your new found love for coconut flour!

You can find the podcast here!

 

With coconut flour Love,

Rae Ann

Yeast-Free Protein Balls

Happy Wednesday! Peyton here!

I have two things for y’all today:

  1. A podcast about my transition to yeast-free living as a college athlete, found here.
  2. This amazing recipe for Yeast-Free Protein Balls– my own twist on Hotze’s popular snack!

TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 15 Balls

SERVING SIZE: 1 Ball

NUTRITION FACTS: 123 calories, 8.2 g fat, 6.5 g protein, 1.3 g fiber, 1 g sugar

Needed:

  • 1 medium sized Tupperware container
  • 1 sheet of Aluminum Foil
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 spoon or spatula
  • 1/2 cup measuring cup

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup of organic nut butter
  • 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 scoops of sugar-free protein powder (I use Jay Robb Vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar-replacement product (I recommend Xylitol or Erythritol)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or coconut oil

Directions: 

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1. Place the nut butter, oatmeal, protein powder, and vanilla extract together in the mixing bowl. Stir until sufficiently combined.

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2. On Wax paper, spread out the sugar replacement (I used Erythritol) and cinnamon.

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3. Using your hands, scoop up an handful of the mixture, rolling it between your palms to make half-dollar sized balls. One at a time, roll each ball in the Erythritol and cinnamon until the ball is completely coated.

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4. Once coated, place each ball in the Tupperware container. When finished, place the Tupperware container in the refrigerator. After 10 minutes, enjoy!

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Healthy…Fat?

Healthy fats are crucial to maintaining optimal health. 

There are many questions that regard what is good for you and what is not. A common misconception is that fat will make you fat, when in fact it can do just the opposite. Research will support that eating the right amount of the right fats will enhance your health.  Healthy fats are crucial to any diet and will help you in reaching your health, fitness, and weight loss goals. The more you know about what is going into your body, the better you can discern what is good for your body from what is not. The difference in fat compounds—saturated, unsaturated, and trans—lies in their composition. Each fat is composed differently and can affect the body in different ways. Knowing which foods contain these fats and what they will do your health will add value to your dietary lifestyle and remind you that health isn’t just about weight loss. Several benefits will also be evident with maintaining the right balance.

Common Misconceptions about fat:

Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.

Fact: Trans fats and some saturated fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

Myth: Lowering the amount of fat you eat is what matters the most.

Fact: The mix of fats that you eat, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what matters most when it comes to your cholesterol and health. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats.

Myth: Fat-free means healthy.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Read more about common misconceptions here.

Good Fat, Bad Fat : How To Chose

Fat is a fuel for the body, and the main form of fat is triglycerides. It is recommended that less than 30% of your calories in a day come from fat.

Polyunsaturated fat: This is an essential fat needed by the body for the building of hormones, and cell wall structures. It also helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Examples of this fat are oils like corn, soybean, sunflower, and safflower oil.

Monounsaturated fat: This type of fat is not essential to the body, but helps lower cholesterol. It is healthier for the body than saturated fat. Canola, olive, and peanut oil as well as avocado are examples of this type of fat.

Saturated fat: This type of fat is not essential to the body, and should be reduced as much as possible.Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are liquids, or oils at room temperature. In small amounts, this will not be harmful or have an ill effect on health. It is recommended that 10% or less of your calories come from saturated fat.

Nutrition for Everyone talks about sources of saturated fats. But other saturated fats can be more difficult to see in your diet. In general, saturated fat can be found in the following foods:

  • High-fat cheeses
  • High-fat cuts of meat
  • Whole-fat milk and cream
  • Butter
  • Ice cream and ice cream products
  • Palm and coconut oils

Recent studies show the positive health benefits from coconut oil. Read more here. There are common misconceptions about coconut oil, but Web MD addressed the truth in their article Truth About Coconut. 

Trans Fat This fat is created during hydrogenation by making healthy, unsaturated oils solid into partially hydrogenated fats for use in food manufacturing and solid margarine. Food labels are required to list the amount of trans fat in one serving of the food. Research suggests that this fat like saturated fat increases the bad LDL cholesterol and reduces the HDL good cholesterol. This type of fat is solid at room temperature. Examples are found in processed foods like chips or crackers, solid margarine, processed and convenience foods.

Good Fat Found Here

  • Coconut oil not only helps your health, but can aid in maintaining your ideal weight. Read Dr. Oz’s article, The Surprising Benefits of Coconut Oil. Start using coconut milk, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut flour, or coconut butter.
  • Raw Cocao  contains:
    • Magnesium, and other essential minerals such as calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
    • Polyphenols, antioxidant rich flavonoids
    • Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, E
    • Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
    • Protein
    • Fiber

For more helpful information see my previous post, Dark Chocolate: It’s food, not candy. Start using Cocao powder as a spice or toping on fruit. Hershey will show you nutrition facts to assure you, its not a fad.

Almonds are a natural source of protein and naturally high in fiber, while being naturally low in sugars.  Plus, a 1 ounce serving has 13g of good unsaturated fats, just 1g of saturated fat, is naturally salt-free and is always cholesterol free. Almonds are the tree nut highest in when compared ounce for ounce.Plus, a 1 ounce serving has 13g of good unsaturated fats, just 1g of saturated fat, is naturally salt-free and is always cholesterol free.

Whole almonds are a naturally high source of :

    • Magnesium
    • Riboflavin
    • Protein
    • Fiber
    • Vitamin E

Visit California Almond Board for more information about almonds. Almond butter, almond milk, almond meal are all good variations to use to soak up their health benefits. Click on each for more information, recipes, and how to make your own at home.

Now that you have all the information and resources to base your decisions, don’t let the words fool you. Add these healthy fats into your diet and you will see the health benefits you have been promised.

 

Almonds: The breakdown

Hey everyone!

Today we’re going to chat about Almonds!

I recently had a conversation with my mom about them and she was under the impression that Almonds aren’t as good for you as everyone claims. Though I found validity in a lot of her concerns, I do want to share my opinion on the benefits and misconceptions of this delicious seed!

Almonds are a fantastic snack! They provide a wonderful source of protein, fiber and a healthy dose of unsaturated fats. Eating a handful is extremely filling and it will only cost you 160 calories!  Before I developed an allergy to them, I loved to snack on almonds that were roasted in coconut oil. YUM! Because almonds are so low in fat, they are also really great for your cholesterol, promoting heart health.

Many diets these days are focused on low fat, high protein and require you to snack through out the day. Most dietary lifestyles consist of eating 3 meals and a snack in between each of those so that your metabolism never has a chance to slow down. One of the best snacks that you could choose would be a handful of almonds because they are in fact, extremely low in fat and high in protein!

It is important, however, to watch your almond intake. Just about anywhere you read about almonds will tell you not to eat more than a handful at a time. Some general portion sizes are : a handful, a shot glass full, enough to cover a sticky note or about a 1/4 measuring cup. Just in general, nothing is good in excessive quantities but almonds can be especially dangerous for a number of reasons. They are high in oxalates which can build up and lead to kidney stones, they are extremely high in fiber which can cause your gastrointestinal system to over work and become irritated and they are also known to cause allergies to themselves, which is what happened to me. I ate so many almonds that I developed an allergy to them.

Some people have a stomach that can tolerate almonds without a problem and to them I say, congratulations! For those of you that can, here are some amazing almond products that you can incorporate in your daily life!

  • Almond Milk- an excellent dairy replacement. You can buy it flavored or unflavored, sweetened or unsweetened. I love my almond milk!
  • Almond butter- Like peanut butter but 10x better for you! You can make decadent peanut butter cups but instead use Almond butter and dark chocolate.
  • Almond Oil- make your own vinaigrette for a salad!

I hope this helped give you the lowdown on Almonds. Remember, moderation is key.

With love,

Rae Ann