almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

It all begins with salt. You may be thinking that that’s a pretty strange intro for almond butter chocolate bars but the magical ingredient in this recipe happens to be salt.

Last week I started watching the Netflix series “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and was immediately hooked. It was the salt episode that really had me in awe. It was mesmerizing seeing the work and love that goes into producing such an unpretentious mineral that ends up in our kitchen, which is often taken for granted. I realized I was smiling at the television from ear to ear because it just got me in the heart. Suddenly everything made sense.

Salt is everything. Consider all the delicious food we eat every day, the taste and intensity of flavor in our mouth. Salt has the capacity to turn every single dish we eat into something spectacular. We would’t be able to experience and appreciate food without the essence that is salt.

When I first tested this recipe, I made it simply with a pinch of salt in the chocolate and almond butter mixture but that’s it. It was good but not quite the taste I was looking for. I wanted something more. A certain intensity that was lacking.

Then I tried again and it dawned on me. What I needed to highlight the sweetness and simplicity of the almond butter and chocolate and bring out its sweetness in a subtle way, was salt. It’s a modest and yet transformative ingredient.

I’m sure most of you who spend time in the kitchen know just how important that pinch of salt is in almost any dessert as it brings out its sweetness. Well the same concept applies here. The melted chocolate chips used for these almond butter chocolate bars, take on an entirely new flavor profile when combined with almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt.

And this recipe is impossibly easy to make. You need 7 ingredients and there is no baking involved. Almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla create a nice thick base for the layer of luscious chocolate and almond butter that’s finished with a few generous pinches of salt.

It’s undeniable that sweet and salty compliment each other, bringing out the best in any sweet recipe. So check out this easy dessert, let your taste buds celebrate and let’s give a round of applause to salt!

 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

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almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • refrigeration time: 4 hours

  • makes: 16

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • 8x8 metal cake tin

  • parchment paper

  • medium bowl

  • large bowl

Directions:

Line cake pan with parchment paper.

In large bowl combine 1 cup almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until well incorporated.

Add mixture to parchment paper lined tin and even out with spatula and/or hand until you have an even layer.

Next you can create a water bath (see below) for your chocolate chips or simply take the lazy route like I do and pour the chocolate chips into medium bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until all chips are melted. Add 1/4 cup almond butter and stir until combined.

Pour chocolaté mixture over almond butter base and even out. Sprinkle with as much salt as you’d like.

  • For water bath add one cup water to medium pan, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, add bowl with chocolate chips and stir continuously until completely melted.


 Here’s a delicious 7 ingredient no bake vegan and paleo almond butter chocolate bar recipe with sea salt. They much remind me of peanut butter cups but in healthier and more nutritious form. #dessert #vegan #paleo #vegetarian #chocolatebars #chocolatealmondbars #seasalt #chocolateseasalt #paleodessert #sweets #nobake #vegandesserr






paleo maple cardamom candied walnuts

 maple cardamom candied walnuts
 maple cardamom candied walnuts
 maple cardamom candied walnuts
 maple cardamom candied walnuts

I always liked swimming. When I was in 5th grade, I decided to try out for the team. I loved it but sucked at the competition part. Recreationally I could have done it for hours but me in a competition was a bad scene. I would literally choke and sink. Anxiety gripping even back then hindered me from ever successfully going through with competing long term, so I eventually stopped that affair. Though admittedly, I truly enjoyed practice and hanging out with friends.

But what I liked most was the ritual that took place after nearly every practice. There was a bit of time before our bus trip back to our tiny German village so my friends and I would hit up the, I guess what Americans would refer to as, penny candy store. It was thrilling. The anticipation, the lively debate over which gummy candy was best and which ones would be the choices du jour. Little gummy coke bottles, multicolored worms, sugar covered bears and spaghetti strings would make for a buzzy return trip home. I still wonder how the bus driver put up with us time after time.

But things have changed. These days I’m hardly the candy person I once was. And no it’s not just because I eat in a healthier way. Even prior to my paleo ways, one could put an entire bowl of gummy or other candy in front of me and they would be left untouched to eventually dry out and end up in the garbage. Candy just doesn’t do what it used to.

Nowadays what gets my brain doing a happy dance involves a combination of fat, sweet and salty, in the form of roasted sweet and salty nuts, particularly walnuts. I mean I have some self control but when it comes to candied walnuts, all hope is lost. So many nooks and crannies where the delicious sweet and salty goodness can sneak into, that even as I write this my dopamine levels are on the rise.

You may think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. I recipe tested these maple cardamom candied walnuts several times and tried really hard not to eat them all. I was marginally successful. What I love about them is just how simple they are to make and truthfully, compared to conventional candied nuts, are far less sweet and use only quality ingredients. You need maple syrup, coconut sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and obviously walnuts. The rest of the magic happens in the oven. I also recommend letting them cool completely before eating them (all).

 maple cardamom candied walnuts
 paleo maple cardamom candied walnuts

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paleo maple cardamom candied walnuts

  • prep time: 2 minutes

  • roasting time: 10-15

  • yields: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnut halves

  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like them)

  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp salt

Equipment:

  • roasting sheet

  • parchment paper

  • medium mixing bowl

  • spatula

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl combine all ingredients aside from walnuts and stir well. Add walnuts and stir until evenly coated.

Spread walnuts on parchment paper lined roasting sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes on top rack stirring once.

Let cool completely before eating.


 Satisfy your sweet tooth with these delicious, crunchy, sweet and salty paleo maple cardamom candied walnuts. They’re incredibly easy to make and only require 6 ingredients. #candiedwalnuts, #candiednuts, #vegansnacks, #paleosnacks, #healthysnacks, #vegan, #paleo, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #calmeats, #roastednuts, #mapleroastednuts


paleo chocolate ice cream

 paleo chocolate ice cream
 paleo chocolate ice cream
 paleo chocolate ice cream

I had to do another sweet post. I just had to. It's been about a bazillion degrees here for what seems like an eternity. It's too hot to go outside and even the idea of walking from house to car makes me want to lay down and take a long nap. But I said I wasn't going to complain about the heat so I guess I'm going to bite my tongue and eat me some ice cream. 

It's a relatively long ride, familiar and in many ways pleasurable. A trip I've been making for some years now. Going back to the small town where I spent my teens holds a certain kind of sweetness. I didn't appreciate its intricacies until some distance was placed between it and me, allowing for memories to replace the mundane, every day life. After all, this small town holds the little family I have here and some good friends, whom I see all too rarely.

So the idea for this post came as a result of this visit. I generally arrive with 1 or 2 bags and inevitably end up leaving with 4 or more, packed with stuff I didn't even know I needed but my mother insisting I should have. Example being - a body heat activated ice cream scoop. I know it's been around for a while, but it's not something I would go out of my way to purchase. So what do you do with a new ice cream scoop? Well, naturally you make some ice cream.

I spent most of the drive home thinking about new recipes and decided it was without a doubt going to be chocolate ice cream. But since I don't have an ice cream machine, it would have to be a no churn version and of course be dairy fee, vegan and paleo. No problem, bring on the coconut milk. 

Since my pms hormones strongly dictate my recipes, I decided it was also going to get another layer of chocolateness (is that a word?) by adding not just good cocoa powder but ground chocolate chips. Yes, desperate times call for more chocolate. 

You need nothing more than a food processor, maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut milk, vanilla extract and chocolate chips, which you could technically leave out if you wanted - but why would you want to?

I know it's so much easier to just go out and buy a tub of ice cream but as I mentioned when it's this hot, I prefer to be indoors, pay homage to the inventor of the air conditioner while slowly licking a spoon full of paleo chocolate ice cream. 

 paleo chocolate ice cream
 paleo chocolate ice cream
 paleo chocolate ice cream
 paleo chocolate ice cream
 spoons and chocolate chips

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  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • freeze time: 4+ hours

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp allergy friendly chocolate chips

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup good cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Equipment

Directions

Add chocolate chips to food processor and pulse a few times until the chips are broken up into smaller bits. Set aside.

Add remaining ingredients and puree until fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to ice cream container or loaf pan and sprinkle over with shredded chocolate chips. If not using an ice cream container, Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours. 

Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. 

* Alternatively if you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in and let it do the magic for you. 

 If you're in the mood for chocolate ice cream but not in the mood for all the additives and gut issues regular ice cream causes, check out this 5 minutes food processor recipe that's sure to satisfy that chocolate ice cream craving. It's paleo and vegan! #vegan, #paleo, #veganicecream, #vegandessert, #paleoicecream, #chocolateicecream, #coconutmilk, #cocoa, #dessert, #vegandessert, #calmeats #healthyrecipes

vanilla collagen coconut bites

 vanilla collagen coconut bites
 vanilla collagen coconut bites
 vanilla collagen coconut bites

Recently I've come to fully embrace my style of cooking as not fancy, not involved and certainly not time consuming because at this point in my life there just isn't enough room for those adjectives. I want food that's simple to prepare with good ingredients and relatively quick to make. I'd love to sit here and tell you that I can do it all but the truth is I can't.

I have to navigate the world of a 2 year old, a 5 year old and make food that adapts to all the nuances that go along with being a parent to the 2 of them, while also keeping myself on track, food wise and otherwise. Oh and I also have a full time job, so yeah fancy food, not on my to make list for the time being. This may change in a few years but for now, I have to adapt to my environment. So if you feel me on the quick, easy and delicious, high five! 

But while my style may be on the uncomplicated side, it nonetheless has to be gut friendly, contain real ingredients and above all taste good. So whenever possible, I try to sneak in superfoods that pack a nutritious punch. Enter collagen. 

If you haven't made the magical white powder your friend yet, you're missing out on serious goodness. Collagen is one of the most powerful supplements you can take. While I'm a big proponent of receiving nutrition from food, I'm absolutely on board with collagen. If you want an in-depth post on collagen, check this one out

While taking collagen is easy for me as I just add it to my tea or bone broth, it's not as easy to get my kids on to take it. So I decided to make these simple vanilla collagen coconut bites that ensure they'd easily get a dose of goodness in the form of a treat. I also wanted them lower in sugar so the only sweetness comes from 3 regular dates (not Medjool as they're bigger). 

They're also packed with good fats which keep you feeling fuller, longer and are excellent for combating the afternoon slump. The combination much reminds me of a healthy-fied version of Ferrero Raffaello, which I used to have quite the weakness for growing up.

All you need to make these happen is a food processor, a bunt cake pan and about 30 minutes of patience.  

 vanilla collagen coconut bites
 vanilla collagen coconut bites
 vanilla collagen coconut bites

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vanilla collagen coconut bites

  • prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • chilling time: at least 30 minutes

  • makes: about 30 pieces

Ingredients

Equipment:

  • food processor

  • bunt cake pan

Directions: 

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until ingredients are fully incorporated. 

Spread mixture evenly on the bottom of bunt cake pan and let chill for at least 30 minutes.

In pan, cut the hardened mixture into bite size pieces and coat with additional flaked coconut. 

Store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.


 One of the best things you can do for your gut health is to take collagen on a regular basis. These tasty paleo vanilla collagen coconut bites are filled with collagen, coconut, almonds and almond butter. Check out this 5 minutes food processor recipe. #calmeats, #paleo, #paleodesserts, #guthealth, #collagen, #collagendessert, #healthy, #healthyrecipes

paleo no churn ice cream

 paleo no churn ice cream
 paleo no churn ice cream
 paleo no churn ice cream
 paleo no churn ice cream

I would like to dedicate this post to my food processor. Funny as that may sound, out of all the kitchen gadgets, besides my trusted knife and cast iron pan, this one holds a lot of weight in my kitchen. Some of my favorite recipes involve the food processor and yes, you can certainly achieve the same texture by chopping your vegetables, but when it's time to create silky smooth soups, a perfect mayo or ice cream of any kind, nothing can take the place of a food processor. 

It took a bit to convert me. I was stubborn and couldn't quite comprehend why a food processor would be life changing. After all, I had a mediocre blender that could do some mediocre blending in times of need. This was years ago, until I heard that you could make no churn ice-cream in a food processor. What? How? Sold! That's all it took and I became a convert. But not just a convert - I preach the food processor's glory wherever I go. I even hand out leaflets in public places trying to get people to get on board the food processor train. Speaking of, Cuisinart really should have picked me up as a spokesperson. Oh well. 

All joking aside though, it's summer time and strawberries and raspberries are in their peak season. Right now is the time to gorge on them, make some delicious dishes and freeze whatever you can't eat. 

So now that I've warmed you up a bit and you know my true feelings about the food processor, let's talk about this ice cream. I don't think there needs to be much convincing when I say that ice cream is amazing, right? Kind of obvious. But ice cream was one of those things that I would eat with such fervor only to be left in pain a half hour later. And I did it summer after summer. But I learned.

For this ice cream, I use full fat coconut milk, strawberries, raspberries, honey and vanilla extract. The process is absurdly easy. Everything pretty much just gets dumped in the food processor and you sit back and watch the magic happen. Then store it in a loaf pan and freeze. There you have it - paleo no churn ice cream. It really is that simple. 

My recommendation is that once frozen, you actually let it sit out for a bit until it gets slightly soft, is easier to scoop out and that creamy goodness just melts in your mouth. 

 strawberries
 paleo no churn ice cream
 paleo no churn ice cream
 paleo no churn ice cream

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paleo no churn ice cream 

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • freeze time: 4+ hours

  • yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 10 oz organic frozen strawberries (or 1 bag)

  • 1/4 cup organic frozen raspberries divided

  • 1/4 thawed organic raspberries

  • 3-4 tbsp raw organic honey + 1 tsp

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk

Equipment

Directions

Combine frozen strwaberries, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 3-4 tbsp honey (depending on how sweet you like it), 1 tsp vanilla and coconut milk in food processor and turn on. Let it run until everything is purred smooth. 

Pour mixture into loaf pan and set aside. 

Add thawed raspberries and 1 tsp honey to food processor. Puree until you it becomes a sweet sauce. Add to ice cream mixture and swirl throughout. 

Cover with cling wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. 

*Again, my recommendation is to let the ice cream sit out and soften for a bit before serving. 


 A paleo and vegan alternative to ice cream that will make you swoon! It's creamy, refreshing and perfect for hot summer months (or anytime). Check out this simple food processor ice cream that takes just minutes to make. #veganicecream, #calmeats, #paleoicecream, #strawberryicecream, #vegan, #paleo, #dessert, #healthy #healthyrecipes